The End of My SAHM Status

Starting next week, I will no longer be a stay-at-home momma.  My little ones will be heading to daycare for the first time in their lives and I'm not sure what I'm going to do with myself.  I see the following scenario: Monday, I'll sob all day.  Tuesday, I'll take a nap.  Wednesday, I'll go look for a job. I have been with both of them every day since they were born.  It's stressful, it's hectic, and there are days when I want to run away, but Sammy and Kaya are my babies and I seriously can't imagine not being the one to snuggle them before a nap or feed them or do all of the other momma duties.

I'm seriously having doubts about letting my little people walk into a room full of other kids and leaving them behind, with a simple wave and a "See ya later!"  Matt doesn't understand, but I think this may be one of the hardest things I have ever done.  Liberating, maybe.  I have so many mixed emotions about it.  I feel a strong sense of responsibility to them, like they need me and only me.  I know that is ridiculous, especially with Kaya - as long as her needs are met, she will be fine.  Sammy may have a bit of a harder time since Momma is the one that comforts him and understands everything.

Then, I feel guilty because I think in the back of my head what a relief it will be to have them somewhere safe and being taken care of where I can be someone other than Momma for a while.  To be able to have another identity, without a whiney crying voice saying it over and over.  I've mentioned a couple of times on here that I am going back to school but haven't really went into any depth - I am taking online classes through the local college's distance learning program, working toward becoming a substance abuse counselor.  I just came across a job opening for a paraprofessional in the same field - if I am hired, I will be training alongside a professional in the addiction counseling field and learning, well, how to be a counselor.  It is my dream job, and as I emailed my resume I couldn't help but to feel hopeful.  I could have a career at the same time as I go through school, and come out able to get my certification and become an actual counselor. To be able to snag this job, or any related job, would be a dream come true, and also one that I am not able to do sitting at home with a baby and a toddler.

I'm hoping to do a series of posts as I go that will help other mommas hanging up their apron for a briefcase.  Do you guys have any tips on how to make the transition from Stay-at-Home Momma to Working Momma any easier?

Should Children Drink Soda?

We have a pretty strict caffeine ban for the kids in our house.  Sure, Matt and I drink it, but the way I look at it - we are adults that are able to make conscious decisions about what we put into our bodies.  Maybe we aren't setting the best example with a Dr. Pepper in my hand and a Mtn. Dew in his, but we make sure that the kids are drinking healthy juices, milk, and water.

When the "other mother" drops Lexi off on Sundays, so many times she will be carrying a cola in her little hands, chugging it coming up the steps because she knows that I am going to dump it out as soon as she walks in the door.  She sees it simply as me being mean, because her mommy lets her drink all the soda she wants over at her other house.  I have to sit her down almost every time we get her to explain the consequences of soft drinks.

Now I'm not saying that she can't have the occasional Sprite or Sierra Mist as a treat, but I prefer if she and Sammy are exposed to healthy choices instead of only sugary soft drinks.


Why is soda bad for kids?


1.  Carbonated beverages contain Phosphoric Acid, the acidifying agent that gives soda it's tangy flavor.  Phosphoric acid is also used to remove rust.  When consumed regularly, phosphoric acid depletes the body of calcium and increases the risk of osteoporosis.  Children who drink more soda are more likely to break bones than those who do not.  It can also cause kidney disease and eat enamel from teeth.

2.  Speaking of teeth, studies have shown that the acid in soda can begin to break down tooth enamel within 20 minutes.  Add that to the high amounts of sugar, and teeth will start to crumble.  I know this one from personal experience, as I had to have serious amounts of dental work done to help repair my almost non-existent front teeth from excessive soda drinking.

3.  Caffeinated beverages have been linked to high aggression in kids, as well as a lower attention span.


What effects does caffeine have on children?

Side effects of caffeine include insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, upset stomach, fast heartbeat, and/or muscle tremors.  These side effects can be even more common in younger children due to the smaller sizes of their bodies and their lower tolerance for the drug.  Drug?  Yes, caffeine is a psychoactive stimulant that occurs naturally in many plants - acting as a natural pesticide.

Because of the concern about the adverse effects of caffeine, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) discourages caffeine consumption for all children.



What are your thoughts?  Do you let your children drink soda?  What are your kids' favorite drinks?

Keekaroo High Chair Blogger Opp




                             

Keekaroo High Chair with Infant Insert ARV $270
Dates: TBD
Hosted by: The Nurse Mommy
This event will be limited to 15-20 bloggers.
Free Twitter
Announcement Post: FOUND HERE
Paid Options available, extra links $2, votes $3

********************SIGN UP HERE********************

Four Month Check-up: Signs that Baby is Ready to Eat

My poor Kaya had vaccines again today, and has spent the last 2 hours crying, being miserable and sad.  I'm talking about the hiccuping, losing her voice, bright red face kind of crying that only the rock-bounce-pat works to calm her down.  Luckily we have an awesome glider that I bought when Sammy was a baby; we have spent the majority of the day just rocking and singing to the baby girl.

On a more positive note, she has gained almost 4 pounds in the last month, weighing in at a whopping 11 pounds, 5 ounces.  She is still in the fifth percentile for weight, but is growing steadily.  Everything else is right on target:  Kaya is a perfectly healthy, happy baby!

One thing that did bother me a bit about her doctor appointment though - her pediatrician told me that as soon as she seems ready to eat solid foods, to go ahead and introduce them.  Now, according to the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics), solid foods shouldn't be introduced until around six months.  Matt and I had already decided to wait until six months with Kaya, especially since Sammy had such a hard time with solids.  With him, we started at 5 months and he would choke all the time.  He didn't develop any allergies, but the risk was there still.  If your baby is formula fed, wait until six months to introduce solids in order to reduce risks of food allergies.

To know if your baby is ready for solid foods, check for these signs:
 - Baby should be able to hold his or her head up.
 - Baby should be able to sit upright with support.
 - Baby should seem interested in eating.  When she sees you eat, she should act like she wants some.
 - Baby should be "mouthing" everything - trying to taste the world, chewing on her hands and toys.


Hip-Hop Lullabies - Jammy Jams Review

Jammy Jams Baby Music Review and Giveaway



I get so sick of the tinkling music of Kaya's mobile, going on and on...  Sure, I know the words to about half of Brahm's Lullaby.  Ok, I lied.  I know "Lullaby and goodnight, dah dah dah dah dah dah dah."

But then we were introduced to Jammy Jams - they take songs that Mom and Dad actually know and turn them into soothing lullaby music that will keep Baby calm.  So while we're jamming out to Outkast's "Hey Ya," Kaya is loving the tinkling music and drifts off to sleep.

The Jammy Jam's album, Once Upon a Rhyme, features hip-hop classics by artists like 2Pac, Dr. Dre, and Coolio - a line-up that Matt absolutely loves.  I am more of a rock fan, but Matt is loving the walk down memory lane with some of his old favorites.  It is so sweet hearing him sing the lyrics along with the baby music to our little girl.

And the result?

Baby girl drifting off to sleep

Here's the album line-up for Jammy Jam's Once Upon a Rhyme:

1. Hey Ya (originally by Outkast)
2. California Love (originally by 2Pac)
3. The Real Slim Shady (originally by Eminem)
4. Gangsta's Paradise (originally by Coolio)
5. Girls (originally by Beastie Boys)
6. Rock Box (originally by Run-D.M.C)
7. Summertime (originally by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince)
8. Regulate (originally by Warren G)
9. Big Pimpin (originally by Jay-Z)
10. Nuthin' But A "G" Thang (originally by Dr. Dre)

You can find Jammy Jams on facebook and on twitter.

And now for a contest!  One person will win their very own copy of Jammy Jam's Once Upon a Rhyme! Instead of rafflecopter, I decided to make this one all about the comments.

Mandatory Comment:  Tell me what song you would love to hear turned into a lullaby for baby.
Optional Entries:
1. Follow Jammy Jams on facebook (link above) and comment telling me that you did
2. Follow Jammy Jams on twitter (link above) and comment letting me know your username
3. Follow Momma Without a Clue via Bloglovin (button on the top right)
4. Follow Momma Without a Clue via facebook (button on the top right)
5. Follow Momma Without a Clue via twitter (button on the top right)

Make sure you leave a comment for each entry!

Giveaway will run from today, 8/18 until midnight EST on 8/25.  US only, 18+.  Winner will be chosen via random.org.  Make sure to leave an email address you check regularly, as the winner has 24 hours to respond to my email to claim their prize, or another winner will be chosen.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Great Expectations Hop: ZIPaboo Giveaway



Welcome to the great expectations giveaway hop hosted by princess among superheroes!

The great expectations giveaway hop is a fun way to not only celebrate belly3.0, but also get all the things a new mom/dad could want in one place! All participating bloggers have secured awesome prizes worth at least $25 fit for a baby shower! Don't forget to hop around and to enter to win the GRAND PRIZE sponsored by  project pomona, daddyscrubs, buttons diapers and tiny love worth over $200!


Great expectations bloggers are not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes.


Here at Momma Without a Clue, we have a great prize from ZIPaboo!


Don't you hate those footie pajamas in the middle of the night?  50 million snaps (or a zipper that goes all the way to their neck) and a sleeping baby that needs changed... makes for a frustrating (and half the time, procrastinating) diaper change.  Well ZIPaboo's owner thought the same thing, and after months of trying to figure out how to change her baby boy's diaper in the middle of the night without disturbing him, she finally came up with the idea of a rounded zipper in the diaper area that gives direct access without having to completely undress the child.


Introducing ZIPaboo, patent-pending baby footed onesie that makes diaper changes a ZIP!

Buy

You can purchase the ZIPaboo online at http://zipaboo.com/. They retail for $36.00.

Win!

One person will win a ZIPaboo of their very own! Just use the Rafflecopter form below!


Rooster Diaper Bag Giveaway

Hi Everyone!  I had the chace to participate in a giveaway for a diaper bad from 2 Red Hens, so here you go!  Good luck!


2 Red Hens Studio was founded by Lori Holliday, the 'Mama Hen', whom grew up on a 1,000 acre farm in rural Arizona in a huge family. Lori grew up with out a lot of money, but she quickly realized that you didn't need fancy possessions or a lot of money to make something look pretty. She incorporates this same philosophy into her designs today. 2 Red Hens offers beautiful things for Mom and Baby including, but not limited to beautiful diaper bags made of fabric designed by Lori as well as one-of-a-kind Limited Edition bags made from reclaimed leather and innovative products that help solve problems such as the Toy Nanny and the Bibby Mat.


The Rooster Diaper Bag from 2 Red Hens is a great diaper bag for a mom who likes to have a little style. This diaper bag's outer layer is water - resistant, making it quick and easy to wipe it down in a pinch. It has a large zippered inside pocket, a bottle holder and two pockets with elastic. The straps on this diaper bag are removable for your convenience. Don't take up room in the under basket of your stroller, just unhook both of the straps (leaving one end attached) and reattach your straps around the stroller handle. Magnetic snaps, at both ends of the diaper bag, help allow a busy mom to effortlessly close the diaper bag so contents don't fall out, there is a magnetic button as well that helps for added security as so many of us moms use our diaper bag as a purse as well. Tired of having to go digging for gold your keys in the diaper bag, your purse, etc? The Rooster Diaper Bag has an attached key fob! PERFECT!   

You can view more detailed photos and read Mami's 3 Little Monkeys full review here.

GIVEAWAY!

One lucky reader will win a Rooster Diaper Bag ($50ARV) from 2 Red Hens in the print of their choice! This giveaway is open to US & CAN, entrants must be at least 18 years of age. Giveaway will run until August 31st at 11:59p.m. CST. Enter through the Giveaway Tools form below, there are 2 mandatory entries, you may do one or both, if you do both more entries will open. The more entries you have into the form, the better your odds of winning. 
Disclosure: Momma Without a Clue and all other participating blogs  are not responsible for the fulfillment of this prize. I received no compensation for this publication. If you are a brand or company and would like to see your product(s) in an event similar to this one please contact Sarh at mamis3littlemonkeys(at)yahoo(dot)com .

2 Red Hens Giveaway Blogger Opportunity


Hi Everyone! 
Sign-up, offer your readers the chance to win and help me promote this awesome giveaway!
Prize: 2 Red Hens Rooster Diaper Bag! ($50ARV)
Event Dates: 8/16-8/31
Open to US & Canada
Sign-Ups will close on: 8/14

Bloggers
You will receive 2 Free links w/announcement post OR for a small fee w/o post. 
There will be two additional link options for a small fee each. 

Referral program!!
The blogger who refers the most sign-ups for this opp will be one of our co-hosts! Co-Host will receive 2 additional free links into the RC form as well as 2 follow pages! Refer as many bloggers as you know to this sign-up form and remind them to let me know Momma Without a Clue sent them! Why be a co-host? It helps boost your follow base as well as your page views!

4 Months Old: A Comparison in Pictures

Kaya just hit the four month mark yesterday.  Not to sound cliche, but time is really flying.  I got all sentimental and started the trip down memory lane with pictures of Sammy at that age, and thought I would share some with you guys.

Here they are as newborns (literally, the same day as they were born)


and two months - Sammy definitely has Kaya beat on size:


And last - my babies as 4 month olds.  Sammy had rolled over at this time, but Kaya is happily taking her time learning how to do things.  She is no where near as interested in moving as Sammy was, but loves chewing on her little feets and coos up a storm.  The difference between boys and girls is amazing.



And just for good measure (and for a good laugh) - here's my little man at 5 months, laughing at his Daddy who is throwing the burp cloth at him:


Chicco Cortina Travel System Giveaway

Welcome to the Chicco Cortina Travel System Giveaway! chicco
Chicco-logo
Enter to win a baby travel system giveaway from Chicco
A great group of bloggers has come together to offer you this great giveaway for baby! The Chicco (pronounced Kee-ko) Cortina Stroller is a full-size stroller with simple features for convenience, comfort, and safety.
ChiccoCollage
The Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat fits infants from 4-30 lbs, rear facing. The Chicco Keyfit 30 is the number one ranked Infant Car Seat. It is also easy to install and moves very easily between the base in your car to the stroller.
Check out this in depth Chicco Cortina Travel System Review for more information.
Chicco is offering our fans the chance to win a Chicco Cortina Travel System, valued at $349!!! US Residents, 18 and up only. All winning entries will be verified. Winner will be randomly chosen and emailed, they will have 48 hours to claim their prize before a new winner is chosen. Giveaway begins 8/15/2013 at 12am EST and ends 9/5/2013 at 11:59pm EST.
Disclosure: This blog, Fun With Four, and Everything Mommyhood are not responsible for prize shipment, as this is a sponsored prize from Chicco. We were not compensated in any way for promotion of this giveaway. Everything Mommyhood/Fun With Four received the above mentioned item, in exchange for an honest review. Our opinions are not influenced in any way. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and any other social media are not affiliated with this giveaway. If you have any questions please contact the host of this giveaway at [email protected].

Princess Ruby Book Review



I had the opportunity to review a children's book, Princess Ruby's Make-Up Ballet Class, with my 7 year old step daughter, and I have to say - this is an awesome feel-good book.

Princess Ruby is nervous about a new ballet class that her instructor recommends, because there will be new children and new dances.  Even though she is scared, she ends up going to the make-up ballet class, and loving it.  She learned new dances and had a lot of fun.  Then her mom tells her that what she did, facing her fears and going anyway, was brave.

This book is perfect for back-to-school jitters.  Lexi is nervous about starting second grade with a new teacher, new kids, and new work.  After reading this book, she has decided that she wants to be brave too!

You can buy this ebook and share it with your little ones on Amazon for $2.99 or Prime members can borrow it for free.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Headstands and Boo-Boo Stickers

The little guy learned how to do a headstand this week.  Add another item to my list of anxiety-inducing activities... He has so much fun with it though!  I love seeing his face light up when he's showing off.





















And he's come up with a new word. Instead of Band-aid, he's decided that they are called "Boo-Boo Stickers."

We also got our first family picture taken this week.  I couldn't believe it, but nowhere in existence is there a picture of all four of us.  It seems like either Matt or I always have the camera.  Here ya go, this is my little family:




MAM Anti-Colic Bottle Review {and Giveaway}

MAM Anti-Colic Bottle Review {and Giveaway}

Every evening, without fail, Kaya gets fussy.  We're talking super-screaming, face turning red, nothing working but walking and bouncing her until she falls asleep from sheer exhaustion.  We've tried gas drops, extra tummy time, keeping her upright for at least 30 minutes after eating, and propping the edge of her mattress so she isn't laying flat.  She hasn't been officially diagnosed with Colic, but I know she does have tummy troubles.  

Then we were sent a couple MAM Anti-Colics bottle to review.

5 oz and 8 oz Ant-Colic Bottles by MAM

Dealing With Fibromyalgia

You may have seen me mention that I have fibromyalgia.  It isn't something I talk about a lot, because I feel like people would completely discredit and ignore me since that is what I have dealt with for years.  The thing is, I know I'm not alone.  According to Women's Health , there are as many as 5 million Americans suffering from fibromyalgia, around 80% of them women.

I was officially diagnosed with fibro when I was 15 years old.  After years of complaining about various aches and pains, and being told to "suck it up," my mom finally brought me to a doctor.  I had shin splints, headaches, neck pain, and morning stiffness so bad that I could hardly get out of bed.  My step-dad always said that I was just lazy, that I was making excuses to not have to do chores or be active.  My mom used to joke and say that I got around worse than her grandma, and then tell me they were just "growing pains". When my doctor referred me to a rheumatologist 2 hours away, my parents finally realized that my symptoms might actually be real.

After tons of blood work checking for rheumatoid arthritis, junior arthritis, thyroid problems, lyme disease, and lupus, and then ruling out anything that could be medically explained - the rheumatologist threw out a word we hadn't heard before.  Fibromyalgia.

The main definition of fibromyalgia is chronic widespread pain.  There is no specific area of pain, there are days when everything hurts and days when nothing hurts.  The pain almost migrates around your body, like it's trying to find a place to settle.  And yeah, Pain is a separate entity here - it acts like it has a life of its own when it takes your body over.

They say that the best treatment for fibro is exercise, but when it hurts so bad to move - exercise is pretty much out of the question.  Starting small and working up to around 20 minutes a day will increase your energy levels, help reduce the pain, and helps release endorphins that can help combat the depression that comes along with fibromyalgia.

Do any of you deal with fibromyalgia?  I'm thinking about starting a weekly fibro post about small steps to take to help fight the pain.  Would this be something you all would be interested in?

Don't Be the Evil Stepmother



Being a step-mom is no walk in the park.  Being a step-mom and then having children is even tougher.  Then there's the worst - being a step-mom, sharing custody, and then having new children.  I wish I could say that there was a manual that explained the roles, responsibilities, emotions, and scenarios with step-parenting, but there isn't.  Heck, I would be happy with a what to do/what not to do list.  The truth is, every situation is different, and the best you can do is learn what works best for your family.

I started dating Matt when Alexis was three years old.  He has primary custody, but he and Alexis's mother share custody.  We have her every other week, and split holidays.  We had Sammy when Lexi was 4, and Kaya two and a half years later.  After almost 4 years of being a step-parent, I can share with you what I know doesn't work, and a few things that I've learned really help with the situation.


Cheap Textbook Rentals from CampusBookRentals

As a momma who is working on a college degree, I know the importance of saving every little penny when it comes to buying your textbooks.  That's why I was excited to find CampusBookRentals.  Why buy a book that you will only use for one semester and probably wont be able to sell back to the college bookstore?

CorsetChick Review

I just wrote a post recently about how much my body has changed after having two kids.  I hate the muffin top and pudgy waist that I'm sporting now, and it is so hard to find a top that doesn't make me feel self-conscious.  But then I was given the opportunity to review a corset from CorsetChicks.com.

Doing the Mom Thing

You've probably read my posts complaining about being overwhelmed, or talking about how being a stay-at-home momma is, to say the least, challenging.  And ya know what?  It is tough.  It's hard work to spend every single moment with your children, even more so when one of them is a step-child.  But I wouldn't say I have it any harder than a working mom.  A working mom has to drop her kids off at daycare or some form of baby sitter, work their butts of at some form of job just to come home and do the mom thing before she's able to collapse.  They work double-time, a double-life.

And I am thinking about stepping into that role.  As of right now, I am a stay-at-home mom/student.  I am pursuing a degree in Addiction Psychology, taking all the classes I can online.  Juggling time has become somewhat of an expertise for me here lately, as I handle doing the mom thing along with finding a few moments to study and work on homework.  The opportunity has come available for me though, to get a child care grant through my school.  If I put the little ones into daycare, I will be able to find a part-time job.  I know it would help out tremendously, as my fiance is the sole breadwinner in our household and the burden has been pretty heavy lately.

What are your opinions?  Are you a stay-at-home momma or do you work outside the home?  Is one easier than the other?  Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about the SAHM vs. WAHM vs. WOTHM (working outside the home mom):

Summer Sweeping - Munchkin Diaper Pail Review

I received a Munchkin Diaper Pail in exchange for an honest review

Munchkin Baby Logo

They provided me with an awesome Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail to review for you guys, and I just have to say, this thing is amazing!