Lets be Honest Mamas | Family Traditions

Its that time of the month again. No, No. Not that. Honest Mamas time! The lovely  www.elementsofellis.com asked me to be apart of this small, beautiful, honest online mama group called Lets be Honest Mamas.  We chat a bit about each topic and how we do life each month. One of the fun things is we are all at different stages in motherhood. Some of us have one, others have 3. Some are stay at home mamas, some are work from home, others are working mamas, and some of us are single mamas and its all just stinking beautiful. I find inspiration from these ladies.

What do family traditions mean to you? Why are they important to you?

Family traditions are very near to my heart. They are also hard. My mom (who passed 4.5 years ago from cancer) loved the holidays and was very adamant about creating, and maintaining traditions. From family board game nights, to thanksgiving morning traditions to weekly tradtiions . It was one of my favorite things, especially now looking at back the holidays I have such fond memories of how excited it would make my mom and seeing how much effort she put into it to bring us all together. Acts of service was how she loved us and she was amazing at it. Those memories are what I have left of her. I recently wrote about dealing with loss during the holidays HERE.

I personally am one of those that has a really hard time if traditions are not able to be withheld because I hold memories of loved ones so close to my heart.

What are some of your holiday family tradition?

I have to pause and focus on thanksgiving because not only is it the next holiday but it was my mamas favorite. Therefore it is the hardest holiday without her. Thanksgiving morning started with sleeping in, but not to long as we didn’t wanna miss watching the Macys Day Parade. Not that it was something glorious to watch, it was just what we did. And well growing up the TV was never on for hours at a time. So that may have been apart of the appeal as well 😉 Still to this day if I don’t get to start my morning with watching the Macys Day Parade it hurts. For me its apart of holding onto her legacy.

While the Macys day parade is going on in the background mom would be food prepping. I would always volunteer to help cause well I loved cooking, and well taste testing 😉

She always had a list of everything that needed to be done and in what order. Dad was God knows where off doing his own thing. haha. Oh dad. We would eventually pack up the car and head over to my grandmas big red house on the hill. Where we would meet up with my grandparents, cousins and aunt + uncle. Thanksgiving was small but it was perfect. We would run all around grandparents house playing inside and out. Trying to sneak food before it was time. Okay lets be honest, grandma was offering food to us 😉

We always tried to play board games beforehand. Us kids were always coming up with ways to sell our toys to each other. haha. After we ate we would always watch a movie as we were in turkey coma. (Its a real thing people) Eventually we would bundle up and head home. Half the time we would devour turkey leftovers that night. haha.

Family traditions don’t just have to be holiday based…what are your daily/weekly family traditions?

Oh I love this. I try so hard to take my son to some of his favorite places at least 1-3 times a week. In the summer its his favorite animal farm. We would go about 3-4 times a week. Now that its getting colder we love going to Union Station and running around and checking out the trains. He is obsessed. I usually try and take him on a “date” at least twice a month. And we always go out to lunch together at least once a week at my favorite juice cafe in Kansas City. He will drink his own drink no problem.

Christmas pictures have been something we’ve done. This year was a little different with it just being the two of us but I thought you know what? I still wanna do them and I am SO GLAD we did. Images in this post are from that session with the amazing Leigh Miller Photography.

 

Share your tips for creating strong family traditions. (Examples: Communication, Scheduled family time, etc)

Being a single mama its easier I suppose because its just him and I that are going out and doing things. He’s still to young to say no 😉 haha!! For myself though I try and be diligent about scheduling things. I honestly am much more ‘carefree’ about scheduling this kind of thing and just kinda follow my gut as to what we both need. Like today I had some work to do after I finished in record time I decided we needed to get out of the house. So we spent an hour at one of his favorite places and it was pure joy for both of us.

Tell us something positive you have seen come out of making an effort to have family traditions/family time?

Creating memories is one of the most beautiful things you can do and at the end of the day when I am gone memories of the two of us will be all He has. I just want Him to remember me as someone loved him well, and gave him room to love and be himself. As he grows up I want to expose him to a lot so that He can make his own choices as to what He loves. So for now we are exploring the city one park and museum at a time.

The beauty in taking time to make new traditions is re-discovering how amazing your town is. Its taking time to breathe, and finding joy in the small things.

Make sure and check out the other ladies answering these same questions:

Kacie Ellis elementsofellis.com // Amber Hill amberlately.com // Carla Thompson curiousnatalia.com // Victoria Schneider thesoutherntrunk.com // Stephanie Pollock koleimpressions.com

 

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My must haves for flying with a toddler

This will be his fifth flight and he has always done amazing traveling. I did a blog post last November when he was 5 months old on what helped that you can read HERE. Whatever you do, don’t forget the carseat backpack. It is a must. Especially since I currently travel solo with little man.

So when it comes to actually traveling. There a couple things I always suggest having “in case” they get bored of sleeping or staring at the person behind you 😉

Now that little man is just over a year old I changed up what I typically have in my carry on bag because he will most likely be awake for a large duration of the flight. (*Update: He ended up just taking a 30 minute nap and was up for 3 hours. Everything listed provided MORE than enough entertainment.)

I always suggest dressing your little one in fleece, or two layers and make sure its comfy clothing. Planes are typically chilly so I usually put him in a fleece romper. This trip he will be rocking a one piece cat + Jack romper I got him and high tops.

 

 

For activities I scored these six books for $1 at a recent consignment sale. (New books + toys are always a great way to keep them enthralled). Also bringing one of his favorite books Babys first 100 words.

I bought a set of gel window clings from Targets dollar spot for him to put on the windows, or seats or whatever else his heart desires. (Some moms suggest stickers. Ummm, no thanks. I’d prefer not to spend half the flight peeling stickers off the seats 😉 *Update* He LOVED these! I did have to remind him two or three times they were not for consumption but he caught on pretty quick when he saw how they stuck to almost anything. 

I splurged and bought him some magic markers + paper. This will actually be his first time trying markers. So I am hoping the appeal of something new will keep him entertained.

For teething I brought his favorite honeycomb goods teething bracelets and teethers. Along with his paci + “teddy” lovey.

 

Snacks. Lord knows he loves to eat so I am bringing a couple things. Cereal bars, puffs (aka baby crack), and a pouch. I will purchase a water bottle when we get through security for us to drink as well.

To keep germs at bay I have my thieves spray. Yes, I will be that mom that sprays the tray and seat with it. Cause lets be honest people with colds travel.

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Music Therapy class

I’ll admit I was a skeptic. Music Therapy for a one year old? He is developing well, I don’t see any issues that we need to deal with…Well, my skepticism quickly vanished the moment she walked in the door. Isaac was enthralled the moment she brought in all her instruments and stayed a foot from her the entire hour class. A FOOT you guys!! If you know my little guy you know he doesn’t just jump in sight unseen.


I keep looking around like is this seriously happening? Not only was he completely engaged it was responding to her and doing everything she was doing on cue. Which then of course brings on the mom guilt of wait am I teaching him enough? I had no idea he could do this! Music therapy isn’t just for kids with ‘special needs’. It is for ALL children and I am 100% a believer in it.

Music For Milestones Baby Playgroup is a unique, interactive music class with your child! This evidence-based program offers an opportunity to connect with your child through musical play, while also nurturing their early communication, physical, emotional, and social development. Activities include singing and signing, music exploration, movement, finger-play, instrument-play, and more! Parents will have the opportunity to ask questions, receive parent education, and actively shape the group based on the needs of their child and family! Music groups are led by a Pediatric, Board-Certified Music Therapist, trained in adapting music to fit the needs of each child, facilitate healthy attachments, and build early skills!

After our first class with him I instantly had to tell my friends about it because a) how does anyone get a one year old to sit for one hour and do everything they say and two, he LOVED it. She is a board certified therapist and has the sweetest disposition and lets be honest a beautiful voice that captures the kiddos attention.

 

The first years of your child’s development lay a crucial foundation for the years to come! You can enhance your child’s early learning in a fun way that will make a long-term impact! Music Therapy is a powerful and non-threatening medium, where unique outcomes are possible. The brain processes music in both hemispheres, allowing Music Therapy uniquely to stimulate development in the whole child. With young children, Music Therapy provides a unique variety of musical experiences in an intentional and developmentally appropriate manner that promote changes in a child’s behavior and facilitate development of the child’s communication, social, emotional, sensory-motor, academic, and cognitive skills. It involves relationships that are structured and adapted through the elements of music to create a positive environment that will foster positive growth. Music Therapy enhances the quality of life!

Music is highly motivating, yet it can also have a calming and relaxing effect. Enjoyable music activities are designed to be success-oriented and make children feel better about themselves.

 

I am doing a giveaway for a free MONTH PASS for one child on my instagram account. Head over HERE to enter.

 

Stepping Stones serves children in the Greater Kansas City area, offering services in Overland Park, Olathe, Lenexa, Mission, Leawood, Kansas City, and Lee’s Summit. Sessions are typically held in the client’s home, daycare, or school environment.

Honestly KC mamas. Your kiddo is going to LOVE this class. Get them enrolled today. Classes are ONLY $15 per class or $100 for 8 weeks.

Time: Wednesdays, 10:30-11:30am // Location: Home Holistic (7927 Floyd St, Overland Park, KS 66204) // Kristi at SteppingStonesKC@gmail.com

Magical sunday mornings …

Making memories with Isaac is at the top of my list when it comes to what I want him to remember me by. I want him to remember me as someone who always made room for new experiences and making the most out of the ordinary.

That is how some of my favorite childhood memories have been made. The big boxes we made into castles, the leftover fabric scraps my mom saved, the magazines I cut up and made into art, the scrap wood we made into bird houses…

This morning I woke up ready to have an amazing day. I am realizing more and more happiness and joy are a choice. It is a way of thinking. It is choosing to let go of the negativity in your mind and choose a better way. To believe that good will happen. We all have the opportunity to help make someone’s day bright or gloomy including our own.

Today was one of those days where time almost seemed to stand still and we were able to soak up every minute of every hour. It was dreamy honestly. We stayed in our jimmies extra late and it was glorious. Mainly because well is there anything cuter than a little pre-toddler in two piece jammies? I think not.

 

This photo below may be of my all time favorite pictures of him. This is Isaac. It is that perfect capture of his personality. I can just imagine when he is 5, 10, 15 taking the same candid capture. This inquisitive little boy who watches how things work and then attacks the task with gusto.

 

 

As I peeked outside I saw the morning light was streaming through some of our trees onto the driveway perfectly. So barefooted in our pajamas we trod outside in the perfect 70 degree weather. Some people would never post pictures of their driveway broken, cracked, with rocks everywhere but you know what? Our driveway is perfect. It provides him with trails (cracks) to follow, and thousands of toys (rocks) to play with. Who cares if your driveway has cracks, or if its brand new. Not me 😉 I’ve got more important things to focus on.

I had boughten some chalk from Target during their summer clearance because… HELLLOOOOOOOOOOO CHALK!

And decided this morning was the magical morning to introduce chalk to him. Mind you I had boughten enough chalk for an entire kindergarten class, but hey options. And well, I kinda forgot how many 64 is. Its a lot you guys. But look at all those color options.

So barefoot with the light shinning on our faces we played outside till we decided we should come in a get changed for church.

Mornings can be magical if you let them be. 

 

What are some of your favorite summer morning memories as a kid?

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Dealing with loss on the holidays

Well this year didn’t quite go as planned. The day started off storming.

Im talking thunder, lightning, torrential raining. The whole works. So a pool day was completely out of the picture. Little man goes to his nannies house on Tuesdays so while he played with her and her little one I went with one of my best friends and thrifted. Not before getting my Starbucks B+W Mocha though. The stormy weather and coffee in hand reminded me of fall and Ill be the first to admit I considered turning on christmas music. (Don’t hate me. Im just being honest)

So I do have to confess while I am HUGE on bargain shopping I haven’t thrifted in probably years. I am actually shocked at this considering I grew up thrifting. It use to be one of my favorite things. However it can be SO HARD for me to hold back and not buy everything. Now especially with having a little one. I usually go through a process of putting things in my cart, staring at them. Then five aisles over realizing no I don’t actually love that. Even if it is $1 or $.050.


So what I didn’t know about fourth of July was that it is a HUGE day for people who do thrift. Why? 50% off EVERYTHING. I pulled up ten mins before they opened with the parking lot pretty much empty and within 15 minutes the parking lot was half full of thrifters! I had no idea!! Does anyone else here thrift on the fourth?? Well I am SO GLAD I went!! I was able to find some super cute hoodies, and button ups for little man. That brown jacket you see in the cart I scored for $.99, a denim skirt for $2, and some jeans I am going to attempt to make into cutoff shorts. If the shorts turn out well I will do a DIY on them.

 

 

After I picked up little man we went home and just hung out at home. Because it was fourth of July I put his little outfit on simply for the sake of pictures. Cause come on you have to document this cuteness!! 

While we made the most of the day and he has no idea what he ‘missed out on’ with a pool day, bbq, smores, and fireworks theres a part of my heart that genuinely grieves. See fourth of July was one of the bigger family holidays in my family. My mom loved it, we would go to the beach with my grandparents, parents, and cousins. We would explore the beaches, eat to much watermelon and stay up late watching fireworks.

With the passing of my mom and my grandparents holidays are hard. But its honestly harder when I cannot participate in them. Because when we can do holidays I feel like I am able to continue the tradition of what those who are gone left behind. So today was hard. I wanted to be able to continue the traditions that my mom and grandma loved. I wanted to be in situations that reminded me of their laughter, and jokes. The inside jokes. To be honest this was honestly probably one of the hardest holidays to date since there passing because of this.

 

 

I would love to hear from others who have dealt, or are dealing with this!

Hope you all had a wonderful fourth. Stay safe out there!

 

 

 

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My favorite skin care product

I have been slowly working on switching out all the products we use for ‘clean’ products. If you haven’t downloaded the Think Dirty App I HIGHLY suggest doing so. Skincare has been something I have been slower to change over as I am super simple and honestly its hard for me to actually commit to a regimen. Insert SkinKC skin care line. Stephanie Skin KC is extremely knowledgable and truly LOVES what she does. Stephanie has created each of the products so if you are local to KC pop in the store and pick her brain about your skin needs. She will definitely help you out.

 Skin KC prides themselves on having a natural organic skin care line. The Skin KC products are made safely, with non-toxic, non-synthetic, anti-aging, exfoliating, cruelty free and vegetarian ingredients, contains free-radical ingredients, age-fighting antioxidants, natural anti-inflammatory nutrients, organic, all-natural ingredients, premium essential oils, powerful antioxidants, nourishing & organic, nut, seed, and fruit oils. She uses essential oils, so you know I was going to love them 😉

This Anti-Aging Serum has become my FAVORITE skincare product. While my skin is extremely dry I was nervous the oil would make my skin oily or breakout. It does no such thing. Instead the anti-aging serum adds a glowy ageless look to my skin that I have been dreaming of.
Seriously, this is the first time I actually use a skincare product religiously.  Best part? Its under $35!

 

 

The next product I got was the apricot clay mask that can also be used as a scrub. We she told me they had dual uses I knew this was going to be my friend! Less products cluttering my bathroom drawers. This clay mask through is such a winner.

 

 

My outfit:

Top is PINKBLUSH (size small)

Shorts: Rock + republic

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Taking time to read

One of my favorite pastimes is reading. I definitely don’t do it enough for myself so when little man gets new books we try and spend time reading. He LOVES his books. Definitely just like his mama. Especially in the last couple months he is so drawn to his books and learning and doing what the books talk about. Talk about major heart melt ❤

 Lost my name has done a phenomenal job at creating books that are customizable and teach life truths, and remind children on their worth and work ethic. All things I can get on board with!

 

 

They have several other books as well. We also have have the little boy who lost his name book as well. You can read about that book here. 

What are some of your favorite books?

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