Category Archives: About Us

Mini-Vans, Saxophones and Soccer Cleats!

minivans saxophones and soccer cleats

Written by Tonia as a part of the We’re Moms Too series

We’re more than a month into a new school year and fall sports are in full swing. I get asked at least 5 times a week, “How do you do it?” When you work full-time job and have an 11-year-old and six-year-old twins in a multitude of activities, you figure out how to make it work. Does it take a village? Sometimes. Does it take organization and patience? Absolutely. A bottle of Excedrin doesn’t hurt either.

Two Christmases ago my husband bought me a wipe board calendar. I bet you’re thinking I must have been on Santa’s good list to receive this amazingly romantic gift, right? Oddly enough, this wipe board has turned into our lifeline. It keeps track of vet appointments, birthday parties, after school activities, and much more. It even came with 5 markers so we can color coordinate for each member of our family. After updates are made, I snap a pic of it with my phone for reference on the go.

schedule

I’ll let all of you in on a secret, some nights aren’t pretty at our house. When it’s time to leave work, I sprint to pick up kids and get them prepared for the first activity of the night. After getting them home, what’s for dinner? Typically, I make a few meals on Sunday that can be quickly reheated later in the week. One thing I have learned is that there is no joy greater than wrestling with soccer socks and cleats for our twins while they are eating dinner and working on homework (don’t spill pasta sauce on your homework, please!). And thanks to double booking, some nights we have to sacrifice one activity for another. It happens, and that’s okay. We explain it to the kids and they have accepted it. They have also accept that sometimes they have to do homework in the car or while waiting for their sibling’s practice to be over. They are also becoming accustomed to multiple activities in one night with locations spread throughout the area. We are fortunate enough to be surrounded by wonderful friends who are crazy adventurous enough to sign up for a lot of the same activities we do. This network is armed with extra car seats and will gladly transport a child to any activity. We wouldn’t be able to do it without the wipe board, the network, the mini-van and the aforementioned Excedrin.

Is all the running around worth it? Absolutely! There is no greater joy when you see the smile on our little cheerleader’s face during a routine, when “Beckham” and “Hamm” score a goal or when our oldest hits a perfectly pitched note on her saxophone.

Is all the running around worth it? Absolutely! There is no greater joy when you see the smile on our little cheerleader’s face during a routine, when “Beckham” and “Hamm” score a goal, or when our oldest hits a perfectly pitched note on her saxophone.

About Tonia:
toniaTonia is a wife, mom of three energetic kiddos and two four legged friends who enjoys quiet walks in the aisles of Target.   Born and raised in the Cleveland area, she is a sports fanatic who loves all things Nashville.  Tonia is the Digital Analyst at Step2.

My Grandparents’ Legacy

we're kids too

Written by Nicole as a part of the We’re Kids Too series

As Grandparents Day approaches, memories of my grandma and grandpa run through my mind. My grandparents were my world and because of them, I was never fazed by growing up in a single parent household. My mom and grandparents gave me all the love and attention I ever needed. In my eyes, our family was always complete. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of them, and as sad as I am that they’re no longer around, time could never efface their legacy because I keep my favorite memories of them close to my heart.

grandparents

I’m so grateful for all the times that my grandparents cautiously watched me from their doorstep as I walked across the street to play with the kids in their neighborhood to all the big hugs and kisses they would give me when I would leave to go home. What I loved most about my grandpa and grandma is that they never stopped giving and they always put their children and grandchildren before themselves. They left a permanent imprint on my heart and I thank them for inspiring me in so many ways.

If my grandparents were alive today, I know that they would be proud of all my accomplishments and for finding the love of my life, a man that loved and cherished his grandparents just as much as I loved mine. Each and every Grandparent’s Day, I find a way to celebrate and honor them because they were a symbol of love, dedication and hard work. Without their guidance, our family would not be as strong and loving as we are today.

To all the wonderful grandparents out there, I wish you the most fantastic day with your grandchildren. May it be filled with hugs and kisses!

About Nicole
NicoleNicole is a DIY advocate, amateur chef, runner, soon-to-be wife and pet lover. She is the proud owner of two large cats that she claims act like dogs. If Nicole isn’t cook or crafting, she is out exploring new restaurants and attractions around Cleveland, the city that has taken her heart and anchored her to the ground. Nicole is the Digital Online Merchandiser at Step2.

The First Time We Traveled Without Her

Written by Ashley as part of the We’re Moms Too series.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – as parents, we spend so much time in our roles and moms and dads that often we forget who we were as couples before kids. I can’t stress enough how important it is to make time for our roles as husbands and wives, even as moms and dads.

My husband and I were recently invited to a wedding in New York and just assumed that our daughter would be joining us. That was until my friend called with a somber voice and said, “I don’t know how to tell you this, but we’re not allowing kids at our wedding.” Obviously, this was totally fine by me – a trip away with just my husband? How could I be angry or decline? In fact, I was actually shocked that I had just made the assumption that she would be included in the wedding plans. I guess my mommy-mode doesn’t shut off even with wedding invites.

So my husband and I decided to make a trip out of it and spend an extra night in the city to celebrate our long-overdue 5-year wedding anniversary. I was so excited to spend some time with just him, but I was a nervous wreck leaving my daughter with her grandparents for the long weekend (not because I don’t trust them – it’s just hard for both of us to be away from our little girl at the same time).

But after the drawn-out goodbye and alligator tears, the confidence that she was in good hands started to set it. How often is it that she gets to spend a whole weekend with Nana and Papa anyway?

WM2-Wedding

As we wandered throughout the city hand-in-hand, it took both of us back to the time when we came here together as freshman in college at just 18 years old to celebrate our 2 year dating anniversary. It was nice to just be together. And very relaxing not having to entertain a toddler 24/7 (even though we did bring along our little man since I’m 8 months pregnant!). I think the most relaxing part was just enjoying dinner together without getting out the crayons, coloring books, and snacks and trying to deter a little one away from the sugar packs.

We danced, we laughed, we enjoyed each others’ company. It was a gentle reminder that even at home, we need to make more time for each other. After all, our love is the reason for our kids and showing them that mommy and daddy love each other and want to spend time together is a very important and healthy lesson for them as they grow up.

Do you take trips as a couple without the kids?

WM2_AshleyAbout Ashley
Ashley is a self-proclaimed fashionista, social media maven, proud mama to her toddler daughter and expecting her second child this fall. She is the Social Media Manager at Step2 and you may have recently communicated with her if you’ve chatted with Step2 on Facebook or Twitter.