Advice for new parents

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This past weekend, I had the pleasure and honor of attending one of my best friend’s baby showers. The shower took me to the Columbus area, where I was able to reconnect with and spend some time with some of my very best friends from college – women who I don’t see nearly enough, but think about all the time. Women who helped make me who I am today and who I wish I were able to see as often as I’d like. But nevertheless, we were able to share a ton of laughs, gossip and just enjoy each other’s company,

The shower was beautiful – held in a quaint little Victorian-style venue. I ate more than my fair share of cookies and cakes, but that’s neither here nor there. We participated in the standard baby shower activities – guessing the baby’s birth date and weight, sharing what we thought he’d be when he grew up and sharing parental advice with the soon-to-be mom and dad.

Of course I shared some advice that I thought would be suitable, but having a long car drive home, I had time to think about my response and now realize it just wasn’t right.

So, I’d like a re-do.

The best advice I can offer to any new parents is not to take any.

Truly.

When you have a baby, you quickly learn that everyone has an opinion. And – they aren’t shy about sharing it with you – parents, siblings, friends, strangers – they all have something to say. About everything! Pacifiers, cribs, bottles, breasts, baby food, sleep training – the list goes on.

At the end of the day, it’s your baby. Your family. And mommy and daddy know best.

Sure, there may be times when you ask for opinions on something to help shape your own – Lord knows I reached out to my mom friends on many, many occasions and my pediatrician likely has my voice memorized (I was that mother…) And yes, I got lost in the black hole of “the Google” more times I could count. Searching “how to help a baby sleep through the night,” “how much caffeine can a human body process in a day” and “how to not lose my insanity.” I took in all the information – discussed it with my husband and made a decision. So I’m not saying that advice isn’t helpful. But there is a lot of it. Trust in your gut.

We get one chance at raising our children – one chance to make our impact. Make sure you do it your way.

Win back to school supplies (and help our teachers, too!)

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Thank you to Great Clips for sponsoring today’s discussion and inspiring my family to support teachers!

When I was little, one of my favorite parts of the summer (nerd alert) was taking a few days to help my mom set up her classroom. My mom, recently retired, spent 35 years teaching elementary school. Each year, weeks before the first day of school, my brother and I would be her little helpers (although now that I have my own little one, I understand that we likely just made things more difficult for her).

I’d watch with awe as she hung up her HANDMADE posters (my mom is an incredible artist), bulletin boards and customized name tags. I’d help her organize the books for the reading nook and put together her “first day” goody bags.

And of course, I’d always judge my first-day experience against my mom’s impossibly high set bar. I’m lucky that many of my teachers lived up to the challenge. I was one of those kids who couldn’t WAIT to get my classroom assignments. To catch a sneak peek of the classroom before the first day. I loved finding my name tag and desk and then spending the afternoon fantasizing about who my new friends (or crushes – ha!) would be. Am I the only nerd who did this? Maybe the only one that admits it…

What I didn’t know at the time is that on average, teachers spend $1,000 of their own money just to make sure their students have the resources they need to learn. That is why Great Clips wanted to team up with an organization who can help both teachers and families. Great Clips and Adopt a Classroom (AdoptAC) want to give back.  Between now and September 5th, for every download of the GreatClips Online Check-in App, a donation will be made to adopt a classroom.

Check out this makeover!

great clips

Even better? YOU can win, too. Simply upload your own back-to-school supplies list. Every day, one lucky winner will get their school supplies bought and shipped to their front door for free (up to $100 value)!

Plus, save on back-to-school haircuts for the whole family! Please visit your local salon for pricing details. #GREATLIST contest entrants receive a $2-off Great Clips coupon with their confirmation email the first time they submit a school supply list. One coupon per customer.

 

Ten things I know for sure

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1.)    Menchies (or probably any frozen yogurt) ice cream is not nearly as delicious if you forget to take one of their spoons and have to use one at home. Am I the only one who feels this way?

2.)    PINK clothing from Victoria’s Secret should be reserved for teenagers or college students. Once you hit 25, “PINK” across your tush isn’t so cute anymore.

3.)    House of Cards. Game of Thrones. Mad Men. True Detective. These are the best (drama) shows that television currently has to offer. Hope you are watching them.

4.)    As I’m getting older, it is getting far less acceptable to leave the house with wet hair and no makeup. I caught my reflection in a window when I went out on a Menchies run last night. Shudder. It was easier to pretend it was a stranger.

5.)    I received a pre-school prep email yesterday. WHAT IS HAPPENING? How is this only one month away?

6.)    I took a sports cardio class yesterday that revolved around sprints, agility drills and jumping. When I told the Mister about it he literally laughed out loud. Not sure how to take this.

7.)    I continue to receive super positive feedback from my last semi-serious post – THANK YOU. Means the world to me. And for those following along, I’ve been asked to “lay and sing”  the last five days! The little bean’s ears must have been burning :)

8.)    The Mister leaves tomorrow on a three day bike ride, the PAN OHIO. Almost 400 miles, people. I am so incredibly proud of him for his commitment, dedication and ambition. In the time he’s taken to train and prepare, I don’t even think I would have mastered clicking my shoe into the pedal.

9.)    I have the DIY itch – does this happen to anyone else this time of year? I’ve just redone our guest bedroom and we are preparing to backsplash the kitchen. Last night I ambushed the Mister with paint swatches to consider for our entryway, as well as an accent wall in the upstairs hallway. He responded like I was the witch from Snow White offering him a tainted apple. Can someone please confirm that I am not crazy?

10.)  The talent and skills of people I know and love continue to baffle me. BAFFLE.

For example:

My brother designed this incredibly clever and well-executed shirt celebrating Lebron’s return to Cleveland. You can buy it here. And you should.

1894_justin-harrell_cleveland-beats-the-heat_0_2400

We went to the Cleveland Flea Hingetown market this past weekend with good friends that we don’t see nearly enough. My friend Amanda, an amazing photographer, happened to catch these sweet moments when we weren’t even looking. CLEVELANDERS – if you need a photographer who has an eye for beautiful moments and want yours captured, contact this woman – Amanda[dot]kozma[at]gmail[dot]com – she’s incredibly talented and just an amazing human being overall.

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