Book Review: Cat & Nat’s Mom Truths

The other day I watched my four-year-old have a complete meltdown because the dog looked at him. Yup, the dog looked at him. His freak out caused my two-year-old to throw his cup (which broke and leaked everywhere) across the playroom crashing into the wall causing another wave of crocodile tears. These are the real moments of motherhood – raw, ridiculous, and ruthless.

I took to social media that day not to share this wild mishap, but an adorable photo of my kids reenacting the entire production of Baby Shark. Like many of us, I slapped a filter on life and gave you what you wanted to see – a fantasy-land of parenting. Let’s be honest, we need more reality in focus, because motherhood is a wonderful, yet extremely messy experience.

I recently got my hands on a copy of Cat & Nat’s Mom Truths – Embarrassing Stories and Brutally Honest Advice on the Extremely Real Struggle of Motherhood, by dynamic duo Catherine “Cat” Belknap and Natalie “Nat” Telfer. Cat and Nat give it to you straight in this hilarious collection of REAL motherhood anecdotes. This journey from pregnancy to toddlerdom will leave you rolling on the floor in laughter.

Cat and Nat’s Mom Truths

From tips on what you should actually pack in your hospital bag to the realities of Instagram myths on to tips of how to avoid post-partum sex, they give it all to you. With all of these knee-slapping realities, Cat and Nat provide you with the reassurance that you are doing a GREAT job. Motherhood is hard and there is no right way to do it. “There is only your way.”

To be honest, I have been dealing with some personal “mom guilt.” There is no reason for it. I have decided I need to feel guilty, constantly questioning if I’m doing enough for my kids, if working is ruining my children’s lives, if the tone I had with my toddler will negatively impact him for the rest of his life…you know normal thoughts (she said with sarcasm). When I dove head first into this book, I didn’t realize how much it would put me in check. I’m no longer sweating the small stuff. I love my kids, they love me, and well hell, that’s enough! So, Cat and Nat – thank you! Thank you for sharing these truths in a captivating and entertaining way. I can look at myself and say, “you are mom enough!”

Grab your favorite drink (black coffee for me), your favorite treat, shed the mom guilt, and indulge in this delightfully raw capture of what motherhood is REALLY like. Now available for purchase, get your copy of Cat & Nat’s Mom Truths today! >> Cat & Nat’s Mom Truths <<

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GET YOUR COPY OF CAT & NAT’S MOM TRUTHS TODAY

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2018 Gift Guide – Preschooler Favorites

Let’s face it, our kids change their holiday list, especially if they are a toddler/preschooler, over and over again. Anticipating what your kid(s) will want for the holidays is almost nearly impossible.  My oldest, who is three, has one constant item on his list this year, OCTONAUTS. Something tells me Santa is going to fulfill those dreams this year but finding other gifts can be tricky. You may or may not be in the same boat, but either way, I can give you some insight to gifts your youngster(s) will LOVE!

Build Me ToysThe Take Apart Firetruck

I am always on the search for toys that challenge my children, but in a fun way. Build Me Toys wraps creativity, problem solving, and hours of fun into each of their toys. Perfect for the little builder, dinosaur connoisseur, or lover of motorized vehicles of all types, Build Me Toys has the perfect (and affordable) toy for you! My oldest spent an entire uninterrupted hour building and taking apart his Take Apart Firetruck. For a three-year-old that is amazing! He was focused on making the best firetruck for his favorite Paw Patrol, Marshall. He proudly displays his Take Apart Firetruck on his bookshelf and looks at it with admiration every single day.

Use the code IG10 for 10% off your order and check them out @buildmetoys on Instagram.

Via Build Me Toys

Mega Bloks

What’s the one toy you can never go wrong getting for your kids? Mega Bloks! For over 30 years, Mega Blok has provided topnotch fun for kids and their parents. On rainy days, we always pull out our Mega Bloks and make towers, forts, or the Great Wall of China. Whatever you can imagine, we’ve probably built it together. Mega Bloks is perfect for all ages and assists in learning colors, counting, and hand eye coordination.

Check out their HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE We recommend both color schemes of the Big Builder Bags (we have both!).

Via Mega Bloks

All Are Welcome – Alexandra Penfold a& Suzanne Kaufman – Penguin Random House

All Are Welcome is an enlightening book that follows a group of young children through their school day “where everyone is welcomed with open arms.” Not only does it show that school is a safe and caring space for everyone, but it highlights kids from various backgrounds. We LOVE this book in particular, because it shows how they come together to learn from one another. They embrace aspects of life different from their own, such as the celebration of the Lunar New Year, with understanding and appreciation. The illustrations are beyond captivating and my three-year-old wants to read it all the time. This is a book you NEED in your child’s personal library.

Via Penguin Random House

Miffy Night Lamp

I cannot and will not stop talking about the Miffy Night Lamp! My three-year-old who is plagued with night terrors relies on the warm and comforting light of the Miffy Night Lamp to get him through the night. You can pick from different color schemes, classic Miffy blue, yellow, or in our case, my son’s favorite color, ORANGE! With thousands of hours of light, this is a must have for your kids. It’s also adorable.

For fun crafts, games, and songs, check out MiffyFun.com and @miffy_official_usa on Instagram

Via Walmart

V-Tech Activity Touch and Learn Desk

This is really the all-in-one “toy” you need for your kid when it comes to numbers, letters, music, writing, etc. The V-Tech Activity Touch and Learn Desk has really helped us in working with our oldest as he creeps closer and closer to becoming a Kindergartener. With over 200 touch and learn activities and interchangeable activity pages, the amount of fun and learning to be had is endless.

You can now get this bad boy at one of the three mothership locations – Walmart, Target, and Amazon.

Via V-Tech Electronics

Candy Land – Hasbro Games

Who loves a classic game night? I do and now my three-year-old does too. Our go-to game is the childhood classic, Candy Land. He is so determined to make it all the way to King Kandy’s Kastle and gets heartbroken when he doesn’t make it. These classic Hasbro Games such as Candy Land, HiHo! Cherry-O, Chutes and Ladders, etc. are perfect for a family night with your little ones. What’s your favorite board game? Let me know in the comments?

Via Hasbro

If you’re struggling on what to get your kiddos or a child in your life this holiday season, these items are a great place to start and approved by a picky three-year-old 😊

What are your go-to gift recommendations? Let me know in the comments below.

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Celebrate Diversity – All Are Welcome – Book Review

As parents we have a very important job – to raise the world’s future. The way we decide to raise our kids now will leave a lasting impression for years to come. With the current political climate, the need to create a loving, accepting, and kind environment is more important than ever.

I was raised by two parents who provided me with tools to learn, love, and grow. I’ve kept a lot of my parent’s techniques within my own parenting artillery, but I’ve also tapped into my natural childrearing abilities. I know they are just in the beginning of their lives, but I feel my kids are on the right path to being decent human beings, and it has a lot to do with my how I’ve embraced my role as mom.

My three-year-old has been an empathetic soul from day one. He is always tapping into other’s feelings and providing comfort to those in need. It melts my heart when I hear from his teacher’s that he embraces others with ease. However, like many children, he has started to recognize differences between himself and his friends. As he starts to tap into varying cultural, racial, sexual, etc. aspects of other’s, I want him to keep his heart and mind open as well as erase the idea of judgement, because none of us have the right to pass judgement on others.

Sometimes finding a starting point for those conversations can be difficult, but the dynamic duo of Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman have created a beautiful children’s book, All Are Welcome, to help navigate dialogues in a fun way. With lovely words and captivating illustrations, All Are Welcome has built of world of curiosity and understanding for my son.

All Are Welcome is a enlightening book that follows a group of young children through their school day “where everyone is welcomed with open arms.” Not only does it show that school is a safe and caring space for everyone, but it highlights kids from various backgrounds. The book shows how they come together to learn from one another. They embrace aspects of life different from their own, such as the celebration of the Lunar New Year, with understanding and appreciation.

When we first sat down to read this book, my son was immediately captivated. Eager to flip through every page, he enjoyed sitting down together as a family with a good book in hand. It was after the initial read that we then read it three more times. During our second, third, and fourth takes of the book, we talked about the dynamics of families (i.e. some kids have two mommies, two daddies, a mommy and a daddy, etc.), what is a hijab, what does it mean if one of our friends is blind or visually impaired, and so much more. The questions flooded in, which is exciting for this mom! I LOVE that he wants to understand and learn more.

Through its continuous displays of encouragement, All Are Welcome highlights the beauty of diversity and lends a helping hand to parents, like me, when it comes to talking to our kids about embracing the wonderful things that make each of us different. I have a feeling we will be reading this book for weeks to come, and that’s alright with me!

To get your copy of All Are Welcome, go to >> www.rhcbooks.com <<

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Mom Review: Now Say This – The Right Words to Solve Every Parenting Dilemma

Parenting [par·ent·ing]: the raising of a child by its parents (Merriam Webster). A simple enough definition, but a loaded word on its own. I don’t know about you, but I am an active consumer of the “parenting book.” What is the best way to raise my child? How should I discipline my child? Should I even discipline my child? These are all questions I ask myself daily.

I have been fortunate enough to have two kids who are innately good, but I can honestly say that my cherub babes have their “moments.” Like many parents understand, those occasional “toddler moments” often leave us wondering if we communicated appropriately and whether we could have diffused the situation in a healthier way.

When I got my hands on a copy of Now Say This – The Right Words to Solve Every Parenting Dilemma, I had no idea the world of difference it would make in my life. As a mom who is continuously growing as a parent while trying to raise two functioning (hopefully) human beings, this book serves as an excellent tool in my parenting artillery.

Co-authors, Heather Turgeon, MFT and Julie Wright, MFT, clearly understand the brain capacity of a parent with small children. Many parenting tip and technique books set an expectation that mom and dad can and should retain 50 + (give or take) steps on how mold the perfect child. Yeah, right! There is no way I can remember a laundry list of steps, let alone what I did five-minutes ago, but Turgeon and Wright make it easy with their three-step approach.

The ALP or the Attune, Limit Set, and Problem Solve approach, creates a space of kindness and accountability for both the parent and the child.

  1. Attune: watch, listen, and understand
  2. Limit set: state and hold reasonable limits or state a reality
  3. Problem solve: engage your child in creating solutions

I found this method to be immensely impactful with both my three-year-old and my one-year-old. Even though they are close in age, their ability to communicate is vastly different; however, this approach makes easy to connect with them, in their own way, at their level.

This book not only covers the ALP approach, it also provides proactive tools and application examples to ensure family balance. With a wide-range of presented real-life scenarios, I can tackle many a toddler mishap in a healthy and effective manner. Together my kids and I can find a way to resolve the situation.

If you’re a parent, parent-to-be, teacher, or anyone who works with kids, I strongly encourage you to absorb this insightful information. Within a week, the way my kids and I communicated completely transformed. Rather than feeling frustrated, we were able to walk through the situation(s) together. No more tears from either kid or parent. Just a mom, dad, and two toddlers laughing, smiling, and in complete harmony. Thank you, Turgeon and Wright; you are the true rock stars in my new scope of successful communication.

To learn more about this book and to get your copy of Now Say This – The Right Words to Solve Every Parenting Dilemma, go to Penguin Random House.

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