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Husband Appreciation Day – April 15

April 15th is National Husband Appreciation Day! You read that right! What are you doing to show your husband you appreciate him? Maybe cook him a nice dinner? Clean his house? Wash his clothes? Care for his children? Oh wait! You do that everyday? That’s exactly what I thought when I saw this, in fact, I thought it was an April Fool’s joke. What is this bullshit day and who thought it was necessary? I’m not even sure it is real because even Wikipedia didn’t have any info on it (and duh, they are all knowing).

Here are 3 reasons why we love our husbands on this day, as listed on http://www.nationaltoday.com (the website that created this dumb day):

1. He is our best friend for life – um ok, Claire is also my best friend, but you don’t see us married 

2. Travel partner – this is debatable, my husband is worse than a toddler during airport security. He always seems confused about what needs to come out of his pockets and bags. 

3. They take out the trash and other gross chores – well this just isn’t true! I can maybe get him to take out the trash once a month and now that we live in Japan where we have 4 separate trash cans for things he has completely stopped throwing stuff away because it is too confusing for him!

So yeah, these would not be my 3 reasons for appreciating him! 

FULL RANKING OF WHAT WOMEN APPRECIATE MOST ABOUT THEIR HUSBANDS

#1: My husband is a hard worker (69%)

#2: I can be myself around my husband (62%) 

#3: My husband makes me laugh (61%)

#4: My husband is smart (56%)

#5: My husband is supportive of my goals and desires (52%)

#6: My husband is a great parent (52%)

#7: My husband is sexy (43%)

#8: My husband does the dishes (33%)

#9: My husband is good with money (31%)

#10: My husband buys me things (29%)

Don’t get me wrong, these are all great reasons to appreciate him, but I still don’t see a reason to have a whole day dedicated to it. I mean, does he not realize I appreciate him when I get up at 5 AM with him to make his breakfast and pack his lunch? Or when I’m waiting up for him when he gets home from work and have a nice dinner ready?

When is wife appreciation day? Now that’s a day I can get behind!

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You’re Gonna Jinx It…

“My baby has always…” is a phrase that often pops up in mom groups and is one that makes me toss my head back in maniacal laughter (okay, not quite so dramatic…maybe I just smirk). Because to assume a certain behavior from your baby/ toddler will last forever makes you woefully unprepared for the curve balls they will inevitably throw you.  I think the most common example I come across is, “My baby has always been a good sleeper…” usually followed by some new inconvenient night-waking problem. Well, I’ve said this before, but a sleeping baby gives a mom a dangerous dose of hubris. 

Usually my urge is to welcome these moms to the real world and tell them to treat themselves to a well-deserved coffee-run; This too shall pass. But by the time I get there, a dozen or so moms have already tossed in their $0.02. Some even comment about what has always worked for their 6-month-old 🤣. Somehow, saying that your baby “always” does “x” is most egregious when it comes in the form of advice.

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So, what else are perfect lil babies always doing? Let’s explore:

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The Wonderfully Weird World of YouTube for Toddlers

I don’t even know how we began watching videos on YouTube that led us down the rabbit hole of inane children’s entertainment, but we found out pretty quickly that they range from absurd and pointless to educational and useful. Young kids seem to love it all though.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here are some basic characteristics of all the videos:

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Child Proofing your Devices

A while back my friend Angela told me about “Guided Access” for the iPhone and I never thought I would need it because I didn’t want to be one of those parents who gave their child an iPhone to play with. Well, now that I have nothing in my house to entertain my little monster with I have resorted to letting her watch Baby Einstein and other educational videos on my iPhone (see My PCS Adventure for more on why I don’t have anything in my house). She absolutely loves it and it keeps her happy for a few minutes. The only problem is she wants to hold the phone and her sticky little fingers move all over the screen and close out the video. Then a major melt down occurs. By enabling “Guided Access” this problem is completely eliminated. It allows me to lock everything on the screen (or just certain features) so my kid can’t open/close any apps on my phone that I don’t want her to.


From Apple Support:

Use Guided Access with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

Guided Access helps you to stay focused on a task while using your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Guided Access limits your device to a single app and lets you control which app features are available.

You can use Guided Access to:

  • Temporarily restrict your iOS device to a single app
  • Disable areas of the screen that aren’t relevant to a task, or areas where an accidental gesture might cause a distraction
  • Disable the hardware buttons

Set up Guided Access

Tap Settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access to set up Guided Access. From there, here’s what you can do:

  • Turn Guided Access on or off
  • Set a passcode that controls the use of Guided Access and prevents someone from leaving an active session
  • Set whether the device can go to sleep during a session

Start a Guided Access session

To start a Guided Access session, follow these steps:

  1. Open the app you want to use.
  2. Triple-click the Home button.
  3. Adjust settings for the session, and then tap Start.

Control apps, screen sensitivity, and motion sensitivity

You can use Guided Access to turn off app controls, parts of the screen, and motion sensing. Follow these steps:

To disable app controls and areas of the app screen, follow these steps:

  1. Circle any part of the screen you want to disable.
  2. Use the handles to adjust the area.

To ignore all screen touches, turn off Touch.

To keep your iOS device from switching from portrait to landscape or from responding to any other motions, turn off Motion.

End a Guided Access session

If you’re using Touch ID on your iOS device, you can use it to end a Guided Access session. First, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access > Passcode Settings and turn on Touch ID. Now, when you’re using Guided Access, you can end the session by following these steps:

  1. Press the Home button once.
  2. Use Touch ID.

If you’re not using Touch ID on your device, follow these steps to end a Guided Access session:

  1. Triple-click the Home button.
  2. Enter the Guided Access passcode.

Now I’m not exactly sure why you wouldn’t have an iPhone, but if you are like Claire and don’t have one here is how to set up a restricted profile for your Android so you can lock down access to only the apps you choose, as well as set parental restrictions for videos, music, and books.

Instructions courtesy of PC World:

Set up Restricted Profile

  1. Tap Settings > Users > Add user or profile, and then tap Restricted profile.
  2. Next, you’ll see a setup screen with the name “New profile” at the top. Tap New profile to change the name to, say, the name of your child.
  3. Below the profile name, you’ll see a list of every app installed on your device—including Chrome, Google search, the Camera app, and others that you might not want your toddler touching. They’re all switched off by default. Certain apps, like Google+ and Google Hangouts, can’t be turned on at all; for the others (like, say, PBS Kids), you can unblock access by flipping the switches next to their icons. You’ll also find a few apps with gear-shaped Settings buttons; tap to configure additional “restricted” settings, such as content ratings for movies and TV shows.
  4. All set? Tap the Back button, put your phone or tablet to sleep, then tap the user icon in the top corner of the screen (for Lollipop-enabled devices) or at the bottom (for KitKat devices). Tap the icon of the restricted profile you just created, and boom—your Android device is baby-proofed.

I’m breaking a lot of the promises I made myself when I first became a mom, like never letting my daughter play with my iPhone and no screen time for kids under two years old. I’m sure more seasoned moms are reading this laughing at me and I am sure there are many more rules I will change in the future. What are some of the things you have gone back on as a new mom?

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My PCS Adventure: Part Two

Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

That’s basically all I have to say about the past couple of weeks. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot I could say, but I don’t want to rant and cry all over this blog today. Instead I’m looking forward to reaching our new destination and beginning a new life. 

Stay tuned for tips and tricks on surviving with a one year old in an empty house and while PCSing. 

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Potty Training Take 2…and 3

In anticipation of our second baby, I’ve spent the past couple of weeks trying to potty train our two-year-old. I was faced with the dilemma of potty training when my son began to show the signs of interest before we made our big cross-country move 2 months ago. But with our looming move, I feared that inevitable poop and pee accidents on-the-road combined with the possibility of him regressing anyway would be a much bigger headache. So I didn’t end up fully enforcing the potty habit.

Now that my son has abandoned all interest in the potty, we are settled in our new home and the final countdown for Baby #2’s arrival has begun. What better time to have made the executive decision to begin potty training?!  Here are some reasons we are falling short of success so far:

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3 of my DGAF Resolutions for 2017

We survived 2016! Thank you, eager readers, for bearing with us as Mallory traveled for the holidays and I moved all the way across the country. It was an exhausting December, for sure.

Now that I’ve gotten a little more settled and my growing belly has made me a little less active and energetic, I can sit down and think of ways I’d like to care less about things in 2017. So, here it is in the form of my 2017 resolutions, 3 ways IDGAF (this is an urban dictionary acronym) about this year:

1. Say “NO”

As a parent this one seems easy. I say no to my kid all the time, “NO more cookies,” “NO more TV,” “NO eating off the floor like a dog.”  But for some reason “no” doesn’t come so easily when making plans or taking on some added responsibility. So this is the year I’ll say no to “attending” yet another online party, no to social outings when all I want to do is watch a Netflix show by myself, no to free favors that overwhelm what I already have on my plate. A definitive “no” wastes less time and, in my opinion, is more courteous than a lukewarm maybe (which almost always turns to a last-minute no).

2. Ignore More on Facebook

I’m not particularly productive when I’m on Facebook. I like to see important life updates and pictures of how everyone is doing, but occasionally as I’m scrolling through all of the humble-brags, repetitive sales pitches and bad information I think of deleting my account altogether. In my quest for good journalism and sound science, I find it especially hard to resist the urge to reply to every misleading headline or meme with the Snopes article that corrects it. But I also don’t want to alienate friends by becoming some sort of fact-checking vigilante. So, I’m trying to ignore the app more and hide the people who are a little too trigger-happy with the share button. I highly recommend it.

3. Cut myself some slack

Arguably, I began doing this more at the end of 2016, especially when Mallory and I decided to take a bit of a writing break during the holidays and when I decided it would be okay to NOT get around to all of the Christmas activities I had planned.  In 2017, I’m going to be quicker to accept the fact that I may not get around to doing the dishes at the end of the day, quicker to go ahead and let my son watch that extra TV show when I’m just too exhausted.

You see, I’m hoping that by worrying less and caring less about the trivial things that 2017 is going to be pretty awesome. Cheers to a new year, new homes and new sons for me and Mallory!

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Second Pregnancies: Misery Loves Company

Mallory and I have spent a good deal of time talking about the terrors of becoming pregnant too soon after the first. I’ve repeatedly expressed that “two under two” (two kids under the age of two) is my worst nightmare.

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REVIEW: The Barefoot Book of Children

In our household, the time we get to spend reading to our son is very important. We always get our 20 minutes (at least) of reading in a day. Over the past two years of his young life, I’ve tried to bolster my son’s book collection on a budget. I mostly buy books when they are on sale and especially if I can find someone selling used books in bulk. When I do buy new books, It’s usually because I’m looking for something specific to fill a void in our collection–a certain topic, educational, or maybe a title reminiscent of my own childhood.

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When I got a peek at The Barefoot Book of Children, I knew I wanted it on our bookshelf.

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Two Badass Mother Runners take on the Marine Corps Marathon – Q&A

If you spend time regularly reading our antics on this blog, you’ve seen us mention our running club, Stroller Warriors, from time to time. We are regularly surrounded by women far more inspirational and athletically inclined than we will ever be. Proof of that is two of our fellow Badass Mother Runners who had the opportunity to run the Marine Corps Marathon last weekend.

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Meet Kristan C. (left) and Andie C. (right)!

We were wondering all about it, so asked them to share their experience with us: