Category Archives: We’re Moms Too

Like you, We’re Moms Too. We get excited for their first tooth, first step, first day of school, and first love. Here, we share our stories about motherhood.

MomsDay Monday Hiatus

The holiday season is fully upon us. It’s the season of love, warmth, kindness, compassion, family, fun and food. There are so many things for us to be thankful for during this wonderful time of year. We get to spend extra time with family and friends, to teach our children the meaning of Christmas or Hanukkah, to experience the excitement of opening presents and the joy of giving and receiving. As much as we love this time of year, let’s face it, we also know that it can be exhausting, jam packed, and leave very little time for you.

Because we’re Moms too, we get it. We know and understand that even our most loyal readers will likely not have time to read what we have to write about during this holiday season. To honor this acknowledgement, we are taking a short break from our weekly Mom Day Monday posts from We’re Moms Too Contributors. We will be back on January 7th with new posts to virtually bond over our tales of Mom-hood. We are sure to have some interesting stories and entertaining posts to share after the holidays and hope to hear some of your stories shared with us.

Even though we won’t be posting, we still invite you to visit our Facebook page every Monday, because we believe that every Monday should still be Mom’s day. Each Monday, we’ll post a quick pick-me-up suggestion designed just for Moms to enjoy. Our weekly and daily deals will also be posted on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

We invite you to take part in our “Thankful” campaign and to share with us what you are thankful for during this season.

Finally, several of our We’re Moms Too contributors will be answering the phones during this holiday season so if you reach one of us, be sure to say hello and let us know what you think of the posts.

 

Toddler Prep

My 21 month old granddaughter is coming for a visit over the Thanksgiving holiday and needless to say I am very excited and in a bit of a panic at the same time.

It has been many years since I’ve had a toddler in my home therefore my home is far from being “kid proof”. Friends are telling me that I will need to remove the glass candle holders from my coffee table. But gee they look so nice. Now I’m wondering, ok, what else do I need to do? When raising my sons I never put anything up, but of course I didn’t have a whole lot to speak of back then.

I would like to throw this out to the young moms and grandma’s reading this in a quest for some advice on the prep work that I need to do prior to the arrival of my little angel and her parents for five days. I need all the help I can get.

Thanking you in advance.

About Sharon

Sharon became a first time grandma in February of 2011 and had the pleasure of celebrating her granddaughter’s first birthday in San Francisco where she lives with her oldest son and his wife. Sharon welcomes the opportunity to spoil her granddaughter after having raised two boys. Sharon is an avid lover of the arts and has dabbled with oil painting and enjoys interior decorating as a hobby. She is the Customer Service Manager for Step2.

The Power & Influence of Moms

I know for sure something that enriches my life and something I could not live without – Moms!  The amount of information that I have learned from other Mom’s and the amount of love, happiness, fears and hardships that that other Mom’s have shared with me is much more than a college course, a parenting lesson, or even a semester class could have taught me!  I am a huge fan of all Moms, Grandmother’s, single Mom’s, adoptive Mom’s, working Mom’s and stay-at-home Mom’s.

We all have a story- a story full of heart.

In October I was blessed with the opportunity to travel on two business trips – both wonderful, both Moms focused!

The first opportunity took me out to San Diego, to work with Infantino at our second annual “Everybody Plays” photo shoot, featuring Kelle Hampton as photographer. http://www.kellehampton.com/2012/10/everybody-plays.html

I was able to meet with the women (all were Mom’s) who helped to orchestrate, organize and pioneer this wonderful event. Kelle was of course amazing and getting to know her was something I will cherish and appreciate.  The Everybody Plays shoot is a photo shoot that highlights and celebrates the ways children play; children with all different abilities. Kids are kids no matter what their abilities and it’s fun to celebrate their individuality. Step2 and Infantino sponsored this event and will be featuring these beautiful children on packaging, marketing campaigns, and on any graphic or signage needs. It is hard to express how astounding this event was. There are lots of breathtaking photos on-line. Here are some I took with my phone but don’t do the children justice. Through this event I met amazing Moms.  One Mom was caring for a baby named Genevieve who has spinal bifida. She learned of this when her husband was in Afghanistan. He came home for the birth and is still in Afghanistan. She was excited to meet Kelle. I hope to be involved in this Everybody Plays shoot every year! This year it was on the news and positively affected hundreds of Moms and families. My heart grew from attending the event!

The second trip I took was to Chicago for Marketing to Moms. Moms are all that and a bag of chips. We also have $2.4 Trillion in buying power in the US. Each seminar was filled with insights on Mom’s, what she wants for her kids, all she does in a day, and how important her decision making is when it comes to the household budget.

Cheers to all Moms!  You are amazing and you can do it all because you do!

Sara is an on the go – down to earth Momma, married to a Marine and the mother of two get dirty wild and crazy, play in the mud boys. She loves Michael Jackson, dancing and spending time with her family. She is honored to be able to teach her little guys about the world around them, about kindness love and the human spirit. For fun, she loves to make jewelry, shop, ski and spend time outdoors getting dirty with her boys. Sara is a Sr. Product Manager at Step2.

Never Say Never

We did it. We traded in our mid-sized vehicle for a van. A van that seats 7 people comfortably! I think I swore to the powers that be that I would never purchase a van. I would never be the parent who lets their house turn into a huge toy room. I would never adjust our daily life for our children; they would have to fit into our schedule.

Even as I write that, the Mommy in me wants to laugh at myself for even having those thoughts. Yes, I am sure that there are some of you out there who have been able to achieve this, and my breast pump is tipped to you. For those mere mortals, like me, who find it easier (and even empowering) to just roll with the path of least resistance, can I get a “H.E. double hockey sticks yeah?!?!”
If I were able to have a conversation with my LBK self (live before kids) I imagine it would go something like this.

LBK Tena – “Wow, you bought a van. I thought you were way to cool for that. Aren’t you embarrassed driving around in such a huge soccer mom mobile?”

Now Self – “My van rocks – we have enough cup holds for water, pop, energy drinks and bottles! Milk wipes so easily off of the leather interior and the dual climate control for the second row of seating keeps everyone comfortable and happy. You should envy this van.”
LBK Tena – “You sure do have a lot of toys for Myles.”

Now Self – “It may look like he has a lot of toys but they are just strategically placed throughout the house. The box in the kitchen, those are the toys that distract Myles while he is eating. He loves to figure things out and I can get him to eat a full container of yogurt in about 2 minutes while he is pulling the hippo out of the ball that we shoved into that box. We are creative. Aren’t you impressed with my creativity?”

LBK Tena – “I cannot imagine why you are always late.”

Now Self – “You should be amazed that I made it at all. Myles slept in 30 minutes longer than normal and that threw the entire day off. We had to put his shoes on about 3 times before he actually kept them on and I had to make four trips back into the house because I forgot things that we needed. You try getting ready 2 hours before you leave to ensure you make it out the door and still show up with a pony tail for your hair do.”

Before having a family I only thought of all of things I would have to give up; my car, my time, my space, my life. The truth is that I have so much more now it doesn’t feel like I’ve given anything up. Don’t get me wrong, some days I miss staying in bed as long as I want, making dinner plans hours in advance instead of weeks in advance, or having walls that don’t need to be scrubbed every day from flying food. The reality is I wouldn’t trade one minute of my life now for one second of my LBK.

So, for all of you who rock your swagger wagon, adore your messy toy filled house, and are impressed by your ability to put a little mascara and lip gloss on and make it out the door with your child fed, napped, bathed and clothes, this clip is for you (it’s an oldie but a goodie).

About Tena

Tena and her best friend (and hubby) had their first child in July, 2011. Their little guy has a congenital heart defect and he is one tough little cookie; don’t ever think about calling him sick though – “his plumbing is just different.” Tena is an animal loving vegetarian and is excited to teach her son about compassion and the importance of volunteer work. She secretly hopes her son will be left handed like his momma. She is the Online Marketing Director for Step2.

The Joys of Being a Grandparent

Being a grandparent has all the joys of being a parent without the stress and discipline. When my daughter was in the hospital getting ready to deliver her first child, my first grandchild, I was fortunate to be present. I experienced all the feelings of a first time parent without the labor pains.

When my grandson was born I spent a week at my daughter’s to help with the new baby.   Well, actually I  took care of all the house chores while my daughter and son-in-law took care of all the baby’s needs but I did get a lot of one on one time with my new grandson. My grandson now calls me Nonna which is Italian for Grandma.

Because they live about 2 ½ hours away, I don’t get to see my grandson on a daily basis but we manage to see each other about once a month, sometimes they come up to stay with us but most times I travel to Columbus for a weekend stay.  I don’t mind the 2+ hour drive down but the drive back always seems longer and not as exciting.

Being a grandparent means you get to spoil and break some (or most) of the rules. For example:  My grandson loves chocolate chip cookies especially home made. My daughter and son in law have a two cookie rule.  When I babysit he usually manages to get three cookies (sometimes four) especially when he looks at me with those big baby blue eyes and says “One more, Nonna? one more?” Bedtime is always at least an hour later than normal.  After all you can’t send the little guy to bed when he’s having so much fun.

While visiting this past weekend, we made a trip to the park on Saturday and spent Sunday at the Columbus Zoo for Boo at the Zoo.  My grandson went as a fireman, a very handsome fireman. For some reason I was up at 6:44AM on Sunday! I was probably excited about going to the zoo, so I decided to sneak down stairs and clean up the kitchen from the night before and start the coffee, when I heard a small voice upstairs say “Is that my Nonna?”  my heart melted.

I’m hoping to have the little one spend a week with me next summer so I can really spoil him.

I ran across a couple quotes that explain it all:

“The idea that no one is perfect is a view most commonly held by people with NO grandchildren.”

Grandchildren are God’s way of compensating us for growing old

To all you grandparents out there, what do you think the most rewarding part of being a grandparent is?

 

Sara is a mother of four. She has two daughters – Jamie age 35 and Taylor age 16 – and two sons – Justin age 20 and Christopher age 14. She is also a grandmother of one – Andrew age 3. She lives in Mantua, Ohio with her husband Bill. She has worked at Step2 for the past 12 years (before that she was a stay at home mom for 9 years). Sara is the Operations Manager for Step2 Direct internet sales.

Toddler Alert

Having managed Step2’s Customer Service Department for over 19 years, I have learned the importance of age recommendations, safety guidelines, parental supervision and warnings outlined in product assembly instructions and oftentimes displayed on cartons and products.  Much research and testing (both internal and third party) goes into determining this information.   The majority of incidents involving children reported by consumers generally occur when children are unsupervised, not age appropriate for the product or recommended guidelines not followed.

This recently hit home with me when I learned that my precious granddaughter was hurt riding on her first “foot to floor” ride-on toy.  The product involved was age appropriate however, clearly noted on the box was the statement that shoes should be worn while playing with this product.  Since the product is used indoors and my son and his wife have a “no shoes worn in the house” policy, my granddaughter was in her bare feet.  Unfortunately, my son did not see exactly how the injury occurred as he was in the kitchen and she was right outside the kitchen door, in the hallway.  He was alerted that something was amiss when his daughter suddenly let out a loud yelp followed by many tears.  Luckily, it was not a serious injury however she did bruise her foot.  (She showed grandma her “boo boo” in our last Skype session.)  This resulted in a trip to the pediatrician’s office and then on to the hospital for a recommended x-ray.

Having raised two boys myself, I learned quickly that toddlers need constant supervision.    It only takes a split second for a mishap to occur.  As much as we want our children to be independent, the younger years are not the time to be concerned about independence as there is plenty of time for that.  And of course, we all think our children are smarter, more advanced or bigger than average and suitable for toys beyond their years.

Please know that I did not lecture my son for lack of supervision or for not following the “shoe” rule – I’m sure he beat himself up plenty without my help. Although, I did say that little girls are more fragile than boys and he agreed.  All parents go through situations like this at some point or another.  It is just a reminder that during those tender toddler years when they are exploring and innocently trying new things, it is important to keep them in full view.

Sharon became a first time grandma in February of 2011 and had the pleasure of celebrating her granddaughter’s first birthday in San Francisco where she lives with her oldest son and his wife. Sharon welcomes the opportunity to spoil her granddaughter after having raised two boys. Sharon is an avid lover of the arts and has dabbled with oil painting and enjoys interior decorating as a hobby. She is the Customer Service Manager for Step2.