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Here it goes…

Welcome to my journey of trying to balance being a (working) mom, wife, adult and everything else in-between. I am definitely not going to sugar coat anything. Because lets be honest here…life is HARD. As perfect as some people’s lives look according to what you see surfing the web, EVERYONE was going through, was going through or is currently going through some difficult situation. I’m here to help show that life isn’t always perfect, and it can feel like it will never get better. But it will.

Through these blog posts I’ll cover a wide variety of topics. Most topics will come from what I’m currently experiencing or things from the past. Opening up and sharing vulnerable stories and information will be tough. However, I have learned the power of sharing these tough life stories. (No worries, there will be plenty of happy experiences as well!) If just one person reads my posts and thinks, “me too..”, my job here is done. I am by no means saying I am any sort of expert in anything. My whole purpose of this blog is to share my experiences and what I have learned in the process.

Thank you for joining me on this crazy journey we call life. We are all in for a bumpy, glorious, belly laughing ride!

Peace, love and coffee,
Nicole Rae

 

 

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motherhood

Surviving the Holidays

Tis’ the season to be…stressed out! I don’t know about any of you but the holiday season used to completely stress me out! There is just so much to do with so little available time to do it. Add in two little ones and growing extended families and it’s a recipe for some straight up craziness.

So here is some ways I’ve managed to make the holidays a little less stressful over here.

Shopping

Part of this tip is a little late in the game for this year, BUT it can help in the future. I KNOW this will sound crazy but we do some serious damage to our Christmas lists on Thanksgiving night and Black Friday.  We got all the girls gifts during those crazy 18 hours of shopping and about 80% of the rest of our list. This may or may not work for everyone. I know a lot of people don’t like dealing with crowds and missing “family time” during thanks giving…which brings me to my OTHER holiday shopping tip. Enter, Cyber Monday! Cyber Monday allows you to spend the quality time with your family AND avoid all the craziness of actually going to the store. My mom did ALL of her Christmas shopping on Cyber Monday for the first time this year, and I don’t think she’ll ever shop any other way again. Honestly, how can you beat sitting at home all comfy drinking some hot coffee, shopping away in the comfort of your own home? Another tip that goes along with online shopping is AMAZON. Like seriously, I buy so so so much from here (including every day items). If you don’t have amazon prime…it’s definitely worth looking into. 

The last little shopping tip I have relates to grocery shopping. I love to bake and we always have some sort of Christmas dinner at our house. Usually around Thanks Giving we plan the meal and which desserts we want to make. Once we have the list or ideal, we slowly start picking things up at the store. During the month of December, when we go grocery shopping we just grab things we KNOW we are going to need for the dinner or for baking. Just last week I bought an embarrassing amount of chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, white chocolate chips, flour and sugars. But now, I won’t have to run last minute and hope to goodness they have some! This typically works the best for us, and I really think it would help you too!

Baking

I used to get completely stressed out trying to figure out when I’m going to have time to make all the cookies and desserts I want to make. I would also get upset if I wasn’t able to make what I wanted because there just wasn’t time to. That’s when I decided to actually plan an entire day or at least afternoon completely dedicated to baking. Typically I like to do all the baking the weekend before Christmas that way the desserts are nice and fresh. 

Also, you could make and freeze some cookies (sugar cookies typically freeze pretty well) ahead of time. That’s just one less cookie to make for santa 😉

Gift Giving

Lists, lists and more lists. Buying gifts is overwhelming to say the least. What we’ve done to make this a little easier is doing Secret Santa with the adults in our extended families and buying each child a gift or two. We have started a family facebook group where everyone can post their list and their child’s list so we don’t have to worry about physically handing people a list.

For our little family, we buy our girls gifts and get each other one gift. As our families grow it would be absolutely crazy to buy everyone a gift. For one, I know I do not really need any gifts. I’d much rather watch my kids eyes light up opening their presents. 

Family Time

Spending time with extended families can be a challenge. So many people in one space and the kiddos are usually extra wound up with excitement. I used to get super stressed out that people were being too loud during “nap time” or they were trying to feed the girls something I didn’t agree with. It’s taken A LOT of practice and patients to try to let all of that go. I know I’m not perfect at this but I honestly do my best. Because this is the best part of the holidays. Family getting together to ENJOY each other’s company. YES, the kids schedule may be completely throw off. YES, the house will be a disaster. YES, it will be loud. YES, the kids, and you, will eat way too much sugar and carbs. But guess what? It’s absolutely nothing to stress over. The whole things will be over way to fast and you won’t get that time back. So why spend the limited family time you have with everyone stressing out because your kid dumped over the toys or will only eat cookies. You can pick up the toys tomorrow and they can eat veggies tomorrow as well. 

I know it’s much harder said than done…but try to relax and ENJOY your crazy family. And if there is something you don’t want to happen (ie. kids eating candy or a certain room you don’t want anyone to enter) address it BEFORE the event. That way, hopefully, most issues can be avoided. 

I hope some of those tips help make your holidays a little less stressful and much more enjoyable. 

Happy Holidays!

Peace, love and balance,
Nicole Rae

motherhood

To be thankful this holiday season.

The holiday season is upon us. And in this consumerism atmosphere it can be extremely hard to not loose sight of the meaning of the holiday season.

It doesn’t matter if you celebrate the holidays for religious reasons or not. The holidays are for coming together.

Just think about it. During the holidays you see and spend time with those you normally don’t get to; due to distance, schedules or life events. The holidays always bring those we care about together.

It’s hard to remember what it’s truly all about when advertisers are showing us that we NEED to buy more and more to show those we love, that we do love them. Not to mention, trying to keep up with the Jones’. It’s no wonder so many people get stressed out during the holidays.

I know it’s nice to buy people amazing gifts. It makes you feel good to see them happy. I absolutely love buying presents for people. Recently my favorite gift to give is something the person themselves wouldn’t buy for themselves. BUT it’s something they would if there wasn’t a constraint. Also, I love gifting experiences (ie. movie/concert tickets). People are so much more thankful when the gift comes from the heart.

Be thankful his holiday season.

Be thankful you have good health. (something too often taken for granted)

Be thankful you have a job. (Even if it isn’t your dream job, at least you can make a living)

Be thankful you have a home. (Big, small, beautiful or shabby)

Be thankful you have friends and family. (Sometimes friends ARE your family)

Be thankful you are able to be with friends and family.

Be thankful you were able to buy gifts.

Be thankful you can have a nice holiday meal. (Even if it’s nothing fancy)

Be thankful you can decorate.

Be thankful for any and all gifts you receive. Someone put time, money and thought into it for YOU.

Just be thankful.

There is so many more things we can and should be thankful for…things that we often take for granted. Many of us are much more privileged than we think. So this holiday season, just be thankful.

Let those around you know that you are thankful. It will mean the world to them.

What are YOU thankful for?

How will you be thankful this holiday season?

Peace, Love and Thankfulness,

Nicole Rae

motherhood · parenting · working mom

My mommy hacks

It’s been said a million times, but parenting is hard. And eventually, every parent figures out the best way to parent their kiddos. Especially when everyone’s schedules are crazy. Through a lot of trial and error I’ve figured out some mommy and/or parenting “hacks” that have made navigating this whole parenting process a little smoother.

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Washing dishes at grandma’s

Hack #1- Always, and I do mean always, have snacks.

Kids tend to get whiny and unruly when they are the slightest bit hungry. Even if they just ate…like 5 minutes ago. So we typically have a handful of their favorite snacks in the diaper bag ready to go. Once we no longer need a diaper bag, I plan on having a stash of snacks in my car and I usually have some sort of snacky food in my purse…because I tend to get hangry as well.

Hack #2- Always have baby wipes with you. 

I cannot tell you how many times a lonely baby wipe has saved our butts…literally. Not only are my kids messy, but I am as well. I’m constantly spilling things. And with kids, for some reason things just end up sticky. I’ve had random people, friends and family ask for a baby wipe when we are out and about. So I will continue to buy baby wipes…because you never know when you are going to need one!

Hack #3- Drive until they fall asleep…this WILL NOT work for all kids.

With this one, use your best judgement…you know your kid better than anyone. When I pick up my kids after work (I typically get done early afternoons) and I KNOW they need to nap, I’ll drive around our neighborhood until they fall asleep. Once I know they are really sleeping I’ll head home. This is where it gets tricky. One of my girls can sleep through anything, so I usually take her in first and lay her down. My other kiddo usually wakes up and ends up having to cry it out in her crib to finish her nap. BUT one crazy kid is better than two if you ask me. For me this works about 90% of the time.

Otherwise I guess you could drive around and hang out in your car if you have time to kill?

Hack #4- Get the diaper bag ready the night before.

I hate, hate, hate rushing around at the last minute. So I ALWAYS make sure the diaper bag is fully stocked before I go to bed. When the girls were little that would include getting their bottles and snacks put in the bag. I would also figure out how much milk I needed to pack for the next day so I could put it in a freezer bag inside the freezer–grab and go!

As the kiddos get older I have their outfits picked out the night before as well…eventually I’ll have them pick out their outfits the night before to hopefully avoid the “I don’t know what to wear” phase.

Hack #5- When your kid won’t nap. 

So Kaylee is an awful sleeper. Always has been, and probably always will be. So, sometimes the ONLY way I can get her to nap, when she desperately needs one, is to do something a little unconventional. I’m probably going to get some slack for this BUT it works for me and my family so…there.

I usually set her up on the couch with a snack, a drink and a movie. Then I simply walk away…I usually do laundry or yoga. Just go somewhere they cannot see or hear you. This works 9/10 times for us. The first time it happened I actually wasn’t expecting it. So then one day when all attempts at night time failed I tried this again…and ta da! It worked.

So you can try it or not, but it will continue to be my go to.

Hack #6- Brushing your toddlers teeth. 

I actually have a couple different “hacks” rolled into one, lucky you.

First, if your child has a good imagination you can tell them they have sugar bugs on their teeth and you need to brush them away. At first I would have her open her mouth and tell her I can see them! Then I would brush for awhile and say “I got another one!”, “Let’s see if there are more!”. I would continue doing that until everything was brushed well. Kaylee absolutely loves this. So every night before bed she tells me we have get the the sugar bugs off of her teeth. She never fights us on it.

Second, if your child just absolutely hates it. They fight and scream and it super stresses you out. Buy them a cheap battery operated electric toothbrush and let them play with it. Having them chew on that will be MUCH better than not brushing at all. You could also just give them a regular tooth brush and have them chew on it…something is better than nothing.

Third, monkey see, monkey do. Brush your teeth infront of your kids. Kids just want to be just like us! (It’s the only time we get to be cool…). So if they see you brush, they will want to brush. This also works great with older siblings! The little ones just want to be just like their big bro/sis.

Hack #7- Get them involved. 

We’ve all been there. Your kid wants your undivided attention and you have a million things to do. This used to drive me crazy. But now, I ask them for help. Like stated above, kids just want to do what we do. Something has boring as wiping the counter, is a new adventure the a kid. We have play cleaning supplies, so I’ll ask the girls to grab their broom and sweep the floor for me. It makes them feel so special. Also, those swifter duster things…kids love those! And it’s super easy for them to do. I just can’t wait until they are able to put their own laundry away!

Hack #8- Routine, Routine, Routine.

Half the time kids don’t know what to do with out being told. Which is why a routine is so amazing. Routines don’t have to be super complicated, just an order of events so they know what’s coming next. Basic example that works for us: dinner, bath, playtime. We do this every night, so as soon as the girls are done eating they know to head to the bathroom and get in the tub. The rest of the night goes pretty smooth because they know what’s coming next.

Well, I hope this helps someone out there…or even makes you consider what are YOUR mommy/parenting hacks?

If any of you have some mommy/parenting hacks you’d like to share PLEASE DO! I’m always looking for ways to make life easier!

Peace, Love and Balance

–Nicole Rae

motherhood

Vote! It’s our civic duty.

The time has come. It’s time to let your voice be heard. It’s time to vote.

My senior year of high school I was a couple months short of being able to vote. And I was so envious of those who could. I’m sure everyone remembers finally turning 18 and being able to vote. How exciting and nerve wracking it was. Who do I vote for? Did I do this right? After years and years of voting the excitement wears off and it turns into a chore more than anything. Making sure your registered, that you have all the right documents and waiting in line for who knows how long. Even with all of that, voting is one privilege and right I won’t let go to waste. I’ve talked to a lot of people, of various ages, who are experienced voters. And I’m actually shocked by the amount of people who are ok with sitting back and letting the rest of the state/country make decisions for them.

I know… it’s all anyone has been talking about for the past couple of months and it’s probably getting annoying. But if the last presidential election taught us anything…it’s that every vote counts.

I live in Wisconsin, and the polls are showing an extremely close race. Close as is, only a couple of percentage points difference. That could be the case in any number of states and categories.

So let’s remind ourselves of the 18 year old us, who couldn’t wait to exercise their right to vote.

No matter what side of the aisle you’re on, let’s get out and vote, even if it is slightly inconvenient. Just do it, all the cool kids are 😉

✌🏼❤️🗳

Nicole Rae

motherhood · parenting

Traveling with little ones

Hey guys! Thanks for stopping by!

Today’s topic is “Traveling with little ones”.

This can seem like a very very scary idea, especially to new parents. Our first family vacation was absolutely terrifying. Kaylee was about 10 months old when we drove down to Florida. Yes, you read that correctly. When we drove down to Florida. That first drive down was a sh*t show and we learned so so so much from that trip. Since then we have made 2 additional trips to Florida…and one of them was with a 2 month old.

And yes, I had the okay to do so from our pediatrician. So all good on that front.

Here are some tips and tricks that make traveling with little ones, and I do mean little ones, manageable.

Make lists, lots and lots of lists.
BEFORE you start packing, make some lists! I had a list for just about everything. The girls bags, my bag, Justin’s bag, snacks, bathroom essentials, beach things…and so on. At first it’s going to seem like you have to pack so much stuff that you might as well just bring the whole house with you. But traveling with littles comes with it’s own baggage so embrace it. Making the lists and continually checking them will help ensure you don’t forget to pack something essential!

Pack slowly and deliberately.
A couple weeks before the trip start packing clothing items you know you will not need between now and then.  I like to pack things as I’m doing laundry that way I know it’s clean and where it is. I always do a load of laundry 2 days before we leave of undergarments and any clothing item someone wants to bring that they also wore that week. I’d even suggest just packing outfits you know you will want to bring with, and making due with what you have left in your closet (this is my personal go to packing move). What helps me the most is packing the clothes early that way the day before all I have to worry about is the last minute things you cannot pack ahead of time (ie. bathroom items, phone chargers, ect.) I know we’ve all been there, scrambling the day you are leaving trying to remember anything you have missed. Who wants to start vacation running around, stressing out that they are forgetting something.
Pro tip: If you do forget something…there are stores pretty much everywhere. Unless you’re going to some remote location….then good luck.

Bags, bags, bags and more bags.
This may sound crazy to some people…BUT when I pack I typically pack each girl in their own bag. I also have my own bag and my husband has his own bag. All of our bathroom stuff goes in the same bag and my husband will use my shampoo for the week so we don’t have to bring so many bottles. I also have an activity bag for the girls filled with coloring books, crayons, games and their favorite toys. We also have an easily accessible snack bag and small drink cooler. I also have a small amount (enough for the day) of diapers and wipes at and arms reach.
Pro tip: Have extra clothes easily accessible for the kiddos and also yourself. I was nursing Brynlee while we were on a trip and I was covered in breast milk basically the entire day..smelling like spoiled milk. I was disgusted with myself. And also kids tend to have blowouts at the most inopportune time…so always be prepared.
Also: I like to have a bag for each family member because when we are heading home I can put all the clean clothes together and all the dirty clothes together.

12 hours maximum.
Through trial and error we have learned that after 12 hours in the car the kiddos are done. They will no longer be occupied by anything and will scream and cry until you let them out. When we realized this, we were driving through Atlanta with BOTH girls screaming bloody murder. And nothing I did helped at all. Talk about stress. If your trip is over 12 hours I would suggest stopping either for a long break where the kids can run and stretch out or getting a hotel room.

Get a hotel room..like seriously, just do it.
Speaking of getting a hotel room…do it. If you have to stop and sleep do not. I repeat DO NOT SLEEP IN YOUR CAR. Even if you think you’ll just pull over for a couple hours to catch some quick z’s don’t. We’ve been there, done that. Kaylee decided at 1 am that it would be a great time to play. She was wide awake jumping on me in our cramped car. (We were parked at a rest stop…not driving). Yes, it adds to your vacation expense to stop at a hotel. BUT it saves you from being a raging b*tch for the remainder of the travel time. And that just makes it horrible for everyone.
Pro tip: Pack a “hotel bag”. In that bag pack a change of clothes for everyone. That way you don’t have to dig through your stuff to change your clothes and freshen up…AND you don’t have to continue to wear the same clothes. We usually pack this bag into the vehicle last, that way all we have to do is open the back and grab the bag.

Switch drivers…or at least offer. 
I never knew driving for hours could make you tired, crabby and uncomfortable. Add in needy, screaming, crying, inquisitive children and you have a recipe for a disaster. So even if your driving partner explicitly tells you they will drive the whole way, still ask them if they could use a break. They may not take you up on your offer but it will be appreciated. My husband tends to do most of the driving, but when I can tell he’s getting tired or a little crabby I offer to take over.

Have no expectations for your children. 
This is especially true if this is the first time they are traveling in a car for an extended period of time. They have never been so confined for this amount of time (besides when they were still in utero) before. Kids are used to running around, not being strapped into their car seats all day.  AND the poor things are even more confined than we are…if small enough, they are in a 5 point harness the whole time! I couldn’t even imagine how uncomfortable that is. If you have no expectations for how well they will travel, or what their behavior will be, you are less likely to get upset when things turn for the worst.

You get where you get.
The hardest thing, at least for my husband what not reaching “target locations”. He always likes to have goals as to how far we will get on day 1. On our first trip he got pretty upset that we didn’t get nearly as far as he would have liked to. He has since relaxed and realized it is what it is. Potty breaks will usually take longer than expected, gas stops will take longer than expected…so you just have to embrace it. You will get there…eventually.

I hope this gives you some confidence to go on that family vacation you’ve been thinking about! It may seem scary but it is do able. After our first family of four vacation I told myself I would never do that again…we went back to Florida the following year. Traveling was fine…while we were on vacation was another story. Better luck next year?

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You’ve got this.

Peace, love and balance,

Nicole Rae

motherhood · parenting · working mom

A day in the life.

Hello friends!

I hope everyone is having a good week! I’ve recently came down with a cold (I think?) and am hoping to feel better soon.

Today’ I’d thought I’d share what a semi typical day in the life looks like over in the Kernen household. I’m going to generalize because honestly everyday is different because of our work schedules. Justin works 4 days (off on Tuesdays) from 8:30 am-7:30 pm. I work Monday and Tuesday 7:30 am-5:30ish pm. Wednesday and Thursday 6:30 am – 1:00 pm. Friday 6:30 am – 2:00 pm. So as you can tell I’m kind of all over the place, but I have a majority of the afternoons off. Which is amazing.

 

 

Mondays:
6:00am-
wake up and get ready for the day. To be honest, if I actually get up at 6:00 am it’s a miracle…I typically try to roll out of bed before 6:30 am at the very latest. Which gives me a mire 30 mins to get ready, make coffee, find something to eat and grab my lunch. The whole time I’m hoping the girls stay sleeping because if they wake up, I FOR SURE will be late for work. Oh and also it’s garbage day, so I have to roll out the garbage bin before I head to work.

While I’m on my way to work Justin is getting the girls ready to go to grandma’s for the day. He drops them off and then heads to work himself.

7:30am- By now I should be pulling in the parking lot at work…there are many many days that it’s later. But typically I am on time. I spend the rest of my day helping the doctors I work for do all sorts of dental related things. And so much more that would probably confuse or bore you if I went into details 😉

5:30ish pm- By now I am typically heading out the door and on my way to pick up the girls. Unlike a lot of jobs we don’t actually have an “end of shift” time. We typically have a patient scheduled until 5:00pm but that doesn’t include all the post operative things that need to be done once the patient leaves…which is why I’m always happy if I’m leaving by 5:30 pm.

6:00ish pm- I’m picking up the girls from grandma’s. I usually stay and chit chat a little bit and find out how well or not well behaved the girls were that day. Then we load up all their things and pile into the car.  It takes about 5 mins (I’ve timed it) to reach our driveway. I grab the mail, bring the garbage in and unload the girls. Sometimes they walk themselves in, other times I have to carry them…and all of our “luggage”.

6:30ish pm- I usually have the girls semi situated and I let the dogs outside and give them some food. Then I makes something quick for dinner, left overs are preferred but if I have to cook it is nothing fancy.

7:00ish pm- Bath night! We typically bathe the girls every other day, more often if need be. There is not time restraint on how long they are in there. I usually get them all scrubbed up right away and the rest of the time they are in there playing. They each let me know when they are done and I lotion them up, put fresh jammies on and brush their hair.

7:40ish pm- DADDY’S HOME! I love when Justin comes home. The girls hear the door and they go running and screaming towards him. ” Daddy! Daddy!” It is just so stinking cute how excited they are when he comes home. Once he’s home he usually warms up some left overs or I have something ready for him to eat.

8:00pm- Play time and snuggle time. We try to fully focus on family time from now until bed time.

8:30pm- Time to get the girls ready for bed. We do final potty breaks, diaper changes and brush the girls teeth. I know, you’re probably thinking that they stay up too late. Which we agree. BUT it’s the only time they get to see their dad during the day…so until his schedule changes (hopefully at the beginning of the year) this will their bed time.

8:45pm- Mommy and daddy time. JUST KIDDING! Kaylee usually needs 1 million different things, like: water, to go potty, a band-aid, to clean her room….ect. Basically any excuse not to go to bed. We do try to watch a show together or lift weights. I also have to squeeze in a shower, do my “nightly skin care routine” and attempt to read a little. All before bed time.

10:30pm- I better be about to fall asleep…because I get to do it all over again tomorrow.

Most of our days are very similar to this. Some days are more trying because someone is crabby or life just isn’t fair. But for the most part the days are pretty good.

On the days I have the afternoon off I get some light cleaning done and get to do more activities with the girls. We’ve found that having some structure and a routine helps so much. The girls always know what’s next and what they should be doing. I also have them help me do little tasks around the house. I find that it makes them feel super special and keeps them out of trouble!

 

Thanks for reading friends!

Peace, love and balance,
Nicole Rae

motherhood

The other side of mental illness…

I just found out it’s mental health awareness week! So it felt fitting to post about it.

I always joke that I’m crazy… and that is actually more true than most realize. BUT that’s not what I wanted to talk about. I wanted to talk about the other side of mental illness…the people who live with, love, protect and are the emotional punching bags to those who have a mental illness. These strong people more often that not get forgotten.

Because let’s face it, if you’re living with mental illness, that pretty much consumes you. Like seriously, con-sumes you. So where does that leave your partner? What about how they feel?

The last couple of weeks have been extremely trying for our household…and we’re not exactly sure when it will (hopefully) get better. It’s absolutely awful and I really, really, really hope everything turns around soon. Not only for myself but also for my husbands sake. MAYBE, one day I’ll be brave enough to share details…but for the time being, especially right now, I want to keep things private.

I wanted to bring this up because I didn’t realize how hard it is on everyone else. All I know is how I feel and what I think. I didn’t realize how my behavior, attitude or what have you, affected my husband. And I know it’s hard, believe me, I know. But I think we have to consciously think about our partners as well. Even if it means setting an alarm on your phone to remind you to check in with them from time to time to see how THEY are feeling and if THEY need anything. I really think something as simple as that will go along way with them, it will make them feel appreciated. Because let’s be honest, those of us with mental illness or what have you, are not always easy to get along with let alone love. I honestly think if we’ve found someone who can handle us at our worst we need to hold on tight and show them how much they are appreciated.

I know how absolutely ridiculous I can be, and I’m so great full that I have someone who is able to support me. So it’s time to support him as well.

I hope I didn’t ramble toooo much.

The takeaway: let people know that you appreciate them. Big things, small things, it will make them light up inside.

Peace, love and balance,

Nicole Rae

motherhood

Time to get real with ya’ll

So when I originally decided to start this blog I was going to be real. Be honest, be vulnerable. And I have to apologize that I have failed at that promise. Honestly, it’s scary letting everyone in. Most people, especially me, wants everyone to think we “have it together”…whatever that means. So here it is, time to get over myself and get real with ya’ll…. enjoy the ride.

We will start small…just a little look at a typicalish weekend for us…

This weekend was a pretty average weekend at the Kernen household. Friday the girlies had a sleep over with grandma so mom and dad got to go out with some friends. We tried a new restaurant in town and watched some comedy. It was a fun night. With that, I have a love/hate relationship with my babies not being home with me. I do like actually getting to spend time with my husband and our friends. But coming home to a quite house is soooo weird. I actually kind of hate it. Even though we got home pretty late, I still wanted to go pick them up just so they were home with us. We didn’t, even though we wanted to. But, you better believe we went and picked them up as soon as we woke up!

Of course the girls love their grandma time, so it would be really selfish of me to not let them sleep over from time to time. I know this, but I still miss them so much.

Any who, after we picked them up with went to this kids pumpkin festival at the local Festival Foods. It was super cute! They had all different sizes of pumpkins for the kiddos to choose from at super low prices (which always makes mommy and daddy happy). They also had a bounce house, face painting and all your favorite fall snacks. Of course, one of the girls had to be a crabby. She didn’t want to walk, be held or sit in the cart. Which I can’t blame her, she’s only a year and a half and she didn’t exactly know what we were doing. And there were a lot of people there. So her and I bought the pumpkins and went to the car to watch Coco while Kaylee jumped in the bounce house (with dad’s supervision). The rest of the day was pretty chill, laundry, movies and hanging out. My brother and sister in law came over and we played Game of Thrones Risk. Way cool…but way different then normal risk so it took longer for us to really get going.

Fall activities —pumpkin hunting

Fall activity — pumpkin painting

And here we are today..Sunday. The end of the weekend. I don’t know what possessed me to take Kaylee with me to run errands, but I did. Usually it’s a mess. I’m that mom you look at and judge or just feel bad for. You know the one. The one who looks like she’s about to loose it, looks like she’s going to cry or just give up. Typically I’m chasing her around the store, making her sit in the cart the whole time. Which is why I typically do not run errands with the girls. You have no idea how many full carts I’ve left at stores because she was so crazy I just couldn’t continue shopping. So, I really have no idea why I wanted to put myself through all that…but I took her with me. AND SHE WAS PERFECT. She held my hand and when she decided she didn’t want to walk anymore she rode in the cart. No kicking, no screaming. It was actually a pretty nice shopping trip. It gave me faith that I will be able to keep taking her with me, and we will be able to do fun things together, outside of the house.  I really hope it’s not a one time a thing, I really hope this continues. Only time will tell I guess?

Not only am I super proud of her, but I’m also super proud of myself. I’m proud that I was actually willing to try it. So maybe this will help make me more brave with other things? Baby steps Nicole…baby steps.

The rest of the weekend will be filled with Packer football, laundry, homemade meatballs and family time.

I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the weekend….and maybe try being brave this week?

Peace, love and balance,
Nicole Rae

favorites · motherhood · parenting · products · Uncategorized · working mom

My favorite baby/toddler products.

Hey guys!

I’d like to share some of my favorite baby/toddler hygiene products with all of you. I absolutely love when others suggest different products to try, because you never know if you don’t try it.

Oilogic stuffy nose and cough 


I love this for a couple of reasons. First it’s natural and doesn’t have any chemicals. Which is awesome because my girls have super sensitive skin, so the less chemicals the better. To use you just have to rub it on their chest, bottom of feet and the base of their neck. Another reason is because it works for me too! When ever I’m feeling stuffed up or coughing I rub this on my chest and at the bottom of my feet and it clears me right up.

Aveeno baby-Calming Comfort Lotion

As stated above my girls have sensitive skin, so most lotions made them break out or just didn’t moisturize their skin enough. Not only does this moisturize very well, but it smells amazing! It is the perfect lotion to use right before bed time.

thinkbaby sunscreen

A friend gave this to me to try and I instantly fell in love with it. I used this when we went to Florida this past June (the hottest time of year in Florida). My girlies did not get sunburned at all, which is awesome because who wants to see their babies burnt? It’s a zinc based sunscreen with no added chemicals. It goes on pretty thick, but it works very well. An added bonus is that it smells amazing!

Aveenno baby-Lightly scented wash and shampoo

I guess you could say we are an Aveeno family…but what can I say if it works, it works! Why change?! I love this because it is gentle on the girls skin and has a very light fresh scent. I always love products that have multiple uses. This doubles has shampoo and body cleanser. It is also tear free…yay!

Toms of Maine -natural toothpaste…fluoride free.


This toothpaste is a very good training toothpaste. No added chemicals and is super safe for kiddos who are just learning how to brush. I’m going to stand on my soap box and preach just a little bit here. If you read my introduction post you know I work in the dental field….with that being said I only recommend this toothpaste for kiddos who do not know how to spit. Once your child is able to spit excess toothpaste out I HIGHLY recommend using a toothpaste with fluoride in it. Like seriously…just do it. I know fluoride is controversial in some social groups, but it is only dangerous if you are ingesting the entire tube of toothpaste. And if you are doing that…I cannot help you. Also…start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as their born. Yes, I know they don’t have teeth yet (well, most of the time) but it is crucial to get in the habit from the get go. If you are constantly rubbing your fingers in their mouth they will get used to it. That way when it is time to start actually brushing they won’t fight you as much. I know it’s just another thing to add to the list of to dos, but oral health is super important. Your mouth is the gate way to the rest of your body. Another fun fact: children do not have the dexterity to properly brush their teeth until they are 8. Therefore, us as parents should be brushing their teeth until then. With that, each child is different…so I do recommend letting them brush and checking their work after 😉  I think I’ll have to do my dental post pretty soon…I could go on and on 😉

Thanks for reading! Any questions I’d more than happy to answer!
Again thanks for stopping by!

Peace, love and balance,
Nicole Rae

motherhood

It’s ok to have a bad day.

Hey guys! I hope everyone’s week is going well! It’s really cooled down here in Wisconsin and today’s weather has been gorgeous. I’d love to spend some time ok but the mosquitoes have been horrendous lately…hopefully they go bye bye soon.

Anyway…

I’m pretty sure everyone has had, is having or will have a day where you just feel off. You know, the days I’m talking about. The days where you don’t really feel like doing anything and you are just a little bit cranky…for no reason in particular.

If your anything like me you get upset with yourself…for being upset. I had one of those days a couple weekends ago. It was a nice quiet day. But I was cranky all day. I still cannot pin down why I was cranky. I even spent a good chunk of time trying to figure out why I was cranky…then I finally realized; I was just having one of those days. And it’s ok.

Having one of those days isn’t going to make or break you. Having one of those days just might actually be a sign. A sign that you need to rest, drink more water or just have some “me” time. And that is ok.

I just want you to know it’s ok to have a bad day. It happens to all of us. Don’t dwell on it. Just acknowledge it and move on. Easier said than done for sure. But just know, it is ok and it will be ok.

Thanks for taking the time to stop on by and read what I have to say. I appreciate it more than you know.

Peace, love and balance,

Nicole Rae