A Few Favorite Places to Get Back to Nature

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With the cooler temperatures and the gorgeous leaves, I find myself giving thanks daily to live in north Georgia. Especially during this time of year. I want to be outside all the time. For all the things. Hayrides, pumpkin patches, family hikes, bonfires, farm tours. Autumn is my jam.

If your family is like mine and you love being outdoors during this season, family camping trips are awesome adventures. Whether it’s a dream come true or your worst nightmare, memories are sure to be made and they will last a lifetime! I grew up in Florida and we would spend our vacations camping in north Georgia. Some of my earliest childhood memories include sleeping bags, mountain air, and grumpy geese.

So if you’re ready to add some solid points towards that “Mom of the Year” title, here are a few of my favorite campgrounds. They’re so much fun, you won’t even realize you’re roughing it.

Please click through to read about my top three choices at Atlanta Area Moms Blog. Offering tons of activities in gorgeous settings (along with some alternatives to roughing it in a tent), you’ll want to add these places to your list! http://atlanta.citymomsblog.com/mom/favorite-places-get-back-nature/

 

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Play and Learn with Sid the Science Kid

Hey, Atlanta, there’s a new kid in town!

Children’s Museum of Atlanta just unveiled their newest feature exhibit and it is all kinds of awesome. Sid the Science Kid: The Super-Duper Exhibit was an absolute hit with all three of my kids (ages 2-11). This fun traveling exhibit brings to life the award-winning PBS KIDS TV series, Sid the Science Kid.

The exhibit recreates Sid’s kitchen, bedroom, backyard, and classroom, allowing kids to become “science kids” themselves! Kids can step into Sid’s world and investigate everyday science questions through the use of scientific tools and hands-on activities.

Check out our favorite parts of Sid’s world!

Click through to Atlanta Area Moms Blog to see how great this new exhibit is! You can find photos and more info about the latest and greatest at Children’s Museum of Atlanta.

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Could the Old Wives’ Tales Really Know?

I’ve been pregnant three times. And each time those two little pink lines popped up, I had about five and a half minutes before I started obsessing over whether baby was a boy or a girl.

I needed to know all the things to plan all the things. It was my very poor attempt at feeling any amount of control in a completely unpredictable situation.

Google became my best friend and told me approximately eleven million ways to tell if your baby is a boy or a girl. Each method was totally backed up by the completely trustworthy folks of the internet and all their extensive lack of scientific research.

But because our first born’s ultrasound tech happily announced we would have a girl and we prepped for said baby girl (in the totally neurotic way only first-time parents could) just to finally birth a handsome baby boy? I spent way too much time during my next pregnancies trying to beat the system.

So I’m gonna take one for the team here and share some of these theories and how it applied to my last baby, complete with excerpts from my pregnancy journal…

Click through to Atlanta Area Moms Blog to check out my experiments with the most popular old wives’ tales for gender predictions. See which ones were correct and which were wrong! 

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Dare to Bare (It May Save Your Life)

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On the way to my appointment, I had the radio on the 90s station. (I almost always have the radio on the 90s station because I’m apparently old now and the 90s qualify as nostalgic oldies music. When did that happen? That’s a whole different post.)

Remember that song Baz Luhrmann addressed to the Class of ’99? Everybody’s Free (to Wear Sunscreen)? There are fantastic words of wisdom covering all aspects of life but the one piece he keeps coming back to—wear your sunscreen.

Hearing that song again now that I’m older and wiser (or maybe just older), I wanted to jump up and down and high-five that man about his sunscreen obsession. As I drove to my appointment, I couldn’t help but notice how the timing could not have been more appropriate for a “yesssssss” moment.

I had been dreading the next hour for weeks but it was finally here. I took off my clothes that day. In a room full of strangers, I took off all my clothes. In my worst nightmares, my mind doesn’t play out that level of humiliation.

This body that I love for the life it has birthed and I often hate for the way it refuses to cooperate with me was exposed for all to see. To have all the Too.Many.Inches not just glanced at, but really stared at and analyzed is one of the most uncomfortable experiences of my life…

To find out why it’s so important for me (AND YOU) to regularly bare it all and how I got the emoji-shaped scars on my arm, join me over at Atlanta Area Moms Blog for the rest of the story!

 

That One Time Pinterest Made Me Poison the Teacher

 

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We’re all friends here, right? I hope so. Because, mamas, I have ten years worth of motherhood mess-ups and cautionary tales to share with you. I always hoped that one day these all-too-true stories could bring other mamas some encouragement because I’m selfless like that. Okay fine. Not really. I just want my pain to count for something and if it makes another mama laugh or feel less alone in this crazy world of motherhood, then it’s all worth it!

So lean in close, friends, and I’ll share with you the reason I won’t be on Pinterest ever again. Ever. Amen.

It was time to buy the preschool teacher a gift. And this wasn’t just any teacher. This woman had most definitely achieved sainthood in the year she spent shepherding my sweet, precious angel. Saint. Hood.

Now what she probably wanted was a long vacation or a gift card to the nearest package store, but I wanted a gift that would adequately convey the depths of my love and appreciation for what I knew she had been through with a whole class of sweet, precious angels.

Also, I wanted it to stand out among all the other parent gifts because I’m the oldest child and a perfectionist and we can get into all that some other time. So I scoured the list of favorites we received at the beginning of the year. I googled like my life depended on it. And then, like every other good mother would’ve already thought to do, I turned to the one true source that has never let me down before–Pinterest…

To see how it all went wrong, click through to read the rest of the story on Atlanta Area Moms Blog! See you there!

So You’re Thinking Your Kid Might Have Autism?

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So you’re thinking your kid might have autism?

Okay, mama.

Deep breath.

It can be overwhelming, I know. Seven years ago, I was right where you are now.

At first, I thought it was an adjustment to his new baby sister. Then, I thought maybe it was a lack of experience, so we enrolled him in a part-time preschool class. It only took two days for his teacher to see what I couldn’t.

I will never forget that conversation. His sweet teacher was loving and gracious and could not have handled it better. But still. My stomach sank to my toes. For the entire ride home, every time I glanced in the rearview mirror at his sweet three-year-old face, the tears came hot and fast.

We wrestled with the idea of an official evaluation. We resisted the idea of a “label.” We didn’t want this to change our kid.

But here’s the thing, mama, an autism diagnosis is not the end of the road. It’s just the beginning of a new path.

Actually, it’s not even a new path at all. It’s just a signpost for the path you are already on.

Because a diagnosis cannot and will not change your child. Your kiddo is still the same awesome kid, fearfully and wonderfully made. The only thing that changes is your filter…

I’d love for you to continue reading this post and join the conversation at Atlanta Area Moms Blog. Click here: So You’re Wondering if Your Kid Might Have Autism? Share it with a mom (or dad) you know who might be going through the evaluation and/or diagnosis process. Let them know they are not alone! 

10 Things I’ve Learned in 10 Years of Motherhood

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My first baby just had his tenth birthday. He was just born five minutes ago. And then I blinked. I can definitely testify to the truth of that old saying: “The days are long but the years are short.” I’m no expert, but I have learned some valuable lessons along the way.

Here are ten things I’ve learned in ten years of motherhood.

  1. Expect the unexpected.
    From minute one, motherhood has been full of surprises. Our firstborn was named and the room decorated in various shades of pink just as soon as we left our gender-revealing ultrasound. The kid was five minutes old before someone thought to tell us that she was a he. Our poor ultrasound tech must have had an off day. Oops.
  1. Haters gonna hate.
    No matter what we choose for our children, there will be plenty of people who passionately disagree with us. Breast or bottle, cloth or disposable, free-range or Pop-Tarts. I’m still somewhat shocked at how freely people will shame a mom for her choices. After ten years, my skin has finally thickened up and I’ve learned to own my decisions.
  1. Coffee and wine.
    The only two things I can think of that I get to enjoy on my own without sharing with my kids. They don’t even ask anymore. Cheers!
  1. This, too, shall pass.
    Whether it’s teething, potty training, or the crazy drama of threenagers, there are seasons of motherhood. I thought I would never leave the house without packing for a three-day safari. And then suddenly, I was carrying a cute purse again. (Would someone please occasionally remind me of my own words because we started over with a new baby last year. Ahem. See #1. Also, #3.)
  1. Choose Laughter.
    When they draw whiskers on their faces in permanent marker the day before family portraits. When I drop the diaper and the contents fall out in front of a crowd. When I’m carrying a screaming kid half my size all the way through Target. These are the moments that could easily send me into a mommy meltdown. It took some practice, but I learned to laugh. Especially when I realized these are the stories I’ll get to tell at their rehearsal dinners…

To read the remainder of this post and join the conversation by sharing your lessons and tips, please click through to visit Atlanta Area Moms Blog. While you’re there, check out some of the other great posts by some amazing mamas!
http://atlanta.citymomsblog.com/mom/10-things-ive-learned-10-years-motherhood/