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The simple joys of motherhood!

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Halloween Lessons Learned

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Wiped Out: BrownBaby#1 trick-or-treated himself into a passed out stupor on Halloween. Time to break out the wine! Image copyrighted by Adrienne Gibbs. Permission required for all reprints.

I’ve been doing Halloween my entire life, but now that I have two kids it’s taken on a whole new angle. When I had one kid, and he was a toddler, Halloween was simply dressing him up and answering the door. Maybe we went by the neighbors to introduce him to the idea of saying “trick or treat.” When that Brown Baby 1 turned four, it got more serious. We were invited to go trick or treating with a bunch of other kids, and that was my first experience with the mom wagon, the beers, the drinks, the parents passing out flasks of wine and stopping at Starbucks to use the bathroom and regroup.

But now I have two and BrownBaby2 is just about two and not quite old enough to be out and about in a 27-degree Halloween situation. My oldest is five. I live in Chicago. Trick or treating ends at 7 p.m., per the laws of my particular South Side neighborhood. Last year we only were able to trick or treat for about 45 minutes because of the location I drove to and because I went to work and had to fight traffic to get back home in time. So this year I got hip. I took the day off of work so I could do all the Halloween things and you know what? I STILL ran out of time!

I’m also exhausted.

Hopefully you all aren’t wiped out like I am. But if you are, here are my newly-learned Halloween-with-two-kids-under-six Halloween lessons, or tips.

  1. Take the day off work or try to take a half day. Get up early and get ready. No sleeping in.
  2. Prep Halloween dinner two days before the big day or cook Halloween dinner before lunchtime and set it up.
  3. Don’t be like me and wait until Halloween to buy candy. *runs and hides * Thank goodness there’s a Sam’s Club near me.
  4. If you take the kids by your office or your partner’s office, do it early, like at 2 or 3. That way, you can trick-or-treat at 4.
  5. If you do go with a group, try to keep it within walking distance of your own home. I’m no longer going to try to drag little bitty kids to blocks where we have no respite from the cold, no bathroom and nowhere to change a diaper.
  6. If it’s too cold for your baby/toddler, then split duties and have one person stay home and the other go out with the oldest.
  7. Carry band-aids. Whew. All the kids I saw who fell face first on concrete steps was appalling.
  8. You might need help if you want to trick-or-treat and pass out candy at your own home. Enlist a cousin or a babysitter. Several of my neighbors use their nannies for this purpose, plus the nanny watches the smallest kids. I don’t have a nanny, so my husband got off work a half hour early to pass out candy/watch our house.
  9. Bring juice boxes and healthy snacks for your kids to eat and keep said snacks in the wagon that you will inevitably use to cart them back home because they will be pooped.
  10. Go with furry, head-to-toe suits if in a cold weather climate. And stuff the suit with layers of t-shirts and sweatshirts and long underwear. It’s warmer that way.
  11. Always carry a thermos full of hot tea and whiskey or hot tea and rum. Or… coffee and Bailey’s Irish Cream. Again, it’s warmer that way.

Here’s to a bigger better Halloween next year.  Meanwhile, drop your top tips below for things you plan to do differently next year. Only 365 days to go….

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Why Being An Aunt Is More Magical Than Being A Mom!

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I’ve been a mom, like forever. I can hardly even remember when I wasn’t a mom. Don’t get me wrong, parenthood is amazing, stressful, glorious, exhausting, joyous, and infuriating all rolled up in one chaotic ball. But did I mention, it’s amazing? And guess what is doubly amazing….becoming an aunt!

I had no idea that becoming an aunt was something magical that is nothing like motherhood! I recently became the proud aunt of twin boys and I am over the moon! Why didn’t you all tell me it was this awesome? You’ve been holding out on a sista!

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Your Ultimate List of 24 FREE Summer Activities For Kids!

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Now that school is out, are you looking for activities to do with the kids, but don’t want to spend an arm and leg? Summer is a perfect time to visit loved-ones and enjoy activities that we missed during the school year due to hectic schedules and tons of responsibilities. 

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Tiny Tot Tuesdays: Cooking With Kids!

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Put those tots to work in the kitchen!

Cooking with kids…When my kids were toddlers it seemed like they would wait for me to get busy cooking and decide to get into e-ver-y-thing they could think of! Those classic moments of the little ones writing on the walls and covering themselves in Vaseline would happen in my home while I was in the kitchen. 

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Learn When To Say No… “I Cain’t and I Ain’t!”

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No Means NO!

A hard ass lesson I’ve learned since becoming a mom is that I cannot yet operate at the level I did before I was a mom. Don’t get me wrong, this does not mean that I will never operate at the highest of the high levels from my previous life- I AIN’T GIVING UP! But right now, I don’t have the f*cking energy to do it all and I am temporarily unwilling to try. Because of that, I have perfected the art of saying no. My favorite ways of saying “NO” are: Nope, Hell to the naw naw,  and F*ck no. In other words…I cain’t and I ain’t!

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Top This! How to Completely FAIL at Summer: a Step-By-Step Guide

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I was doing really good today. Great even. I was momming the crap out of today and earning serious Fun Mommy points. Then it all went to *insert poop emoji.* Literally. Here’s how I managed to accomplish my latest fail. 
Step 1: Fill a storage container with water. 

Do your kids love water play in the summer? Of course they do!! Fill a container and let them splash in it. Give them cups, strainers and floating toys to play with. Then let them climb inside and completely soak their clothes. For best results ensure that at least one kid is in diapers. What’s the big deal anyway? How bad could it get? 

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“Don’t Lose Your Mind Evacuation Plan” For Stressed Moms

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By Nicole Walker

“Y’all gon’ make me lose my mind, up in here, up in here. Y’all gon’ make me go all out. Up in here, up in here. Y’all gon’ make me act a FOOL. Up in here, up in here. Y’all gon’ make me lose my cool. Up in here, up in here” –DMX

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Fathers Are Parents, Not Babysitters. #NormalizeFatherhood

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Fathers are not back-up, the help, or the assistant.

In fact, they aren’t adjuncts in any shape or fashion. They are tenured parents with full-time roles and responsibilities, other duties as assigned, and no union rights available. Fathers are parents, not babysitters. And yet I often hear them referred to in these auxiliary roles, as if they are dangling onto a family unit by a mere thread. Sometimes they even jokingly refer to themselves this way: “I’m on dad duty tonight.” I know, I know, it’s sometimes said out of love. But words matter and get stuck deep down in our subconscious and have an impact. “Duty” implies that it’s some sort of unwanted gig and “tonight” sounds like a temporary, obtrusive and interim hang-up. Why?

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On Pregnancy, Mothering, And All That Jazz!

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To grow and deliver a tiny human being is no small feat. The impact of pregnancy on the human body can vary drastically from one person to the next. Some women come out unscathed while others have lasting scars and/or conditions to remind them of their journey to motherhood. In fact many try, to no avail, to conceive spontaneously only to be faced with years of infertility or recurrent pregnancy loss. Some mommies have lovingly adopted children or welcomed bonus babies into their blended families. So, with families nationwide celebrating Mother’s Day today, I wanted to take a look at pregnancy and motherhood from the perspective of a few mom friends. 

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I HATED Mornings; But Motherhood Made Me A Morning Person

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I’m not a natural morning person. I wasn’t born loving this lifestyle. In fact, I used to hate mornings! When I was younger, mornings always meant I had to do something I didn’t want to do, be somewhere I didn’t want to be, or just perform in general. The world wanted too much from me in the AM! #AintNobodyGotTimeFaThat! Before kids, I stayed up late, slept until 10 am, and finally rolled out the house mid-afternoon. The world came alive in the evening, I lived for the glamor of the night. Mornings weren’t even on my radar, didn’t recognize them. I couldn’t even pick out Morning in a lineup. Morning was a hater.

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The Joys of Having Twins! Advice, Tips and Hacks!

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20 fingers, 20 toes, twice the cries and twice the love! So you’re having twins and are pulling out your hair trying to decide what to expect! 

Sassy Plum asked our favorite twin moms for advice on preparing for 2 babies. Here are some common questions. 

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