DIY Boy Halloween Costumes

The moment you’ve been waiting for… our costumes! Just kidding, I know that 4 day’s after the big event the last thing you moms want to look at is my kids’ costumes but hey, I just got the pics on the trusty computer so I thought I’d share!

Boy number 1: Clash of Clans fire throwing Wizardwizard Collage

Purple Robe (that will double as his actual bathrobe upgraded from like a size 6 one he’s had since he was 5).  Belt, Fire ball, arm cuffs, and front panel felt from Joann’s Fabric, a sewing machine and a glue gun.  We also put a few glow sticks inside the fireball which was kinda amazing!!!

Boy number 2: Clash of Clans Barbarianbarbarian Collage

I sewed a “kilt” from some fabric I had. Got some yellow felt  to make the goatee and hair (I would have made these a little different in retrospect…) and attached them with double-sided tape. We grabbed a sword we already had and the rug “fur vest” we had from a How to Train Your Dragon party. We topped it off with socks packed with stuffing for some muscles in his shirt! He didn’t want the headband so… we left it off.

Boy number 3: Clark Kent aka Supermanclark kent Collage

This was the cheapest and easiest of them all! A white-collar shirt, skinny jeans, a superman Hanes sleep shirt, some play glasses and his cape. I gave my guy a little curl in his forehead and he was stoked!

Boy number 4: Bamm Bammbamm Collage

Felt was the lifesaver of the year. An old orange t-shirt made the skirt, felt spots, felt strap, stuffed felt bone, and a felt club. Just add a baby just woken up from his overdue nap and you get a crying Bamm Bamm!

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And this is the best pic of my kids from the whole night…

 Then we met my baby daddy to cash in on the in kids in costume to get $3 burritos at Chipoltle and free Jamba Juice before hitting the streets! At least they had something healthy before all that suuuugar!

img_5056-1Follow the Mamas on this blog and start using the hash tag #MamasLivingtheDream on Instagram when you have a love it or laugh at it Mama Moment! Email us your Mamas Living the Dream pics at info@swiftmamas.com for us to add to our Instagram account.

Red Ribbon Freebies 2014

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Click here for more participating companies.

Red Ribbon Week is here so let’s cash in our little red ribbon wearers with a couple treats!

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Free small fries at all Carl’s Jr restaurants with no purchase necessary.

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Free small fries at 15 Orange County McD’s restaurants with no purchase necessary.

Some 7 eleven’s do free slurpees but call ahead if you don’t want to be disappointed. Edinger and Goldenwest in Huntington Beach does! DISCLAIMER: 7 eleven takes your the red ribbon bands and keeps it.

Discovery Science Center

All children ages 3-14 who wear their Red Ribbon Week wristband will receive free admission. Limit one free admission per adult general admission ($17.95). Not valid with any other offer, group rate or discount. Location: Discover Science Center, 2500 North Main St., Santa Ana.

Zoomars Petting Zoo

Wear your wristband and receive one free child’s admission and one train ride (with one paid adult admission). Location: Zoomars Petting Zoo, 31791 Los Rios St., San Juan Capistrano.

Santa Ana Zoo

Students wearing a wristband can enter the zoo free with purchase of an adult admission, limited to 8 admissions per adult. Location: Santa Ana Zoo, 1801 East Chestnut Ave., Santa Ana.

Boomers

Show your wristband to cashier and receive $8 off a 4-hour unlimited play pass (regularly $18.99). Offer not valid with any other discount, group or birthday. Locations: Boomers, 16800 Magnolia St., Fountain Valley; 3405 Michelson Dr., Irvine.

Baskin Robbins

Children wearing their red ribbon wristband will be able to purchase a kid’s cone for just $1.

Domino’s Pizza

Students wearing a wristband will receive free choice of a breadstick, cheesy bread or cinnamon sticks with purchase of any order.

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Follow the Mamas on this blog and start using the new hash tag #MamasLivingtheDream on Instagram when you have a love it or laugh at it Mama Moment! Email us your Mamas Living the Dream pics at info@swiftmamas.com for us to add to our Instagram account.

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Don’t forget you love to swim…

So, sometimes the week goes so great. I feel like I’m on it…

Laundry? Bam. Washed, dried, folded, and put away.

Meals? On it. Planned, budgeted, shopped, and even crockpotted.

Dishes? Sparkling. Washed or loaded, clean and clear.

Do you have a live in housekeeper (actually yes- looking at her)?

Showered? Ptsssssst! Looking good- I got in like 4 this week! My hair is even blow dried.

Kids Showered? Boo yeah! No wet puppies here! The boys are smelling clean and looking it.

Floors? Squeaky. Swept up, mopped up, not sticky.

Beds? Drop that quarter! They are tucked and fluffed. It looks like humans live here instead of wild animals!

Animals? Ba gok. Fed, clean, not smelly.

Exercise? 24 hr this! Hit the elliptical twice this week before the kids even went to school. Rockin’ this hot bod!

IMG_7953.PNGThis week? Not so much… Between my 3 year old’s coup d’état (yes I learned that from the movie Hop), tons of homework to help with, soccer practice, lot’s of questions, almost pay days, church planning, the one 1/2 year old with the food throwing strength of a grown man, and a supplemental feedings for a baby bunny on the brink of death I don’t feel as awesome this week.

But you know what? There’s always next week.

On the up, I got an hour to myself today. There is a nice ocean breeze blowing through the trees in my backyard. I grabbed 4 fresh eggs from the egg box. My man came home an kissed me at lunch. I held a cute baby bunny in my hand. 4 kids called me Mama.

But still, don’t even ask me what’s for dinner… because let’s be honest, I don’t know. What I do know is that in the midst of  trying not to drown, I really love being a Mama.

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Follow the Mamas on this blog and start using the new hash tag #MamasLivingtheDream on Instagram when you have a love it or laugh at it Mama Moment! Email us your Mamas Living the Dream pics at info@swiftmamas.com for us to add to our Instagram account.

Guest Writer: Sally Adams- I Didn’t Know What I Was Missing

image05If you had asked me, in June of 2010, what I knew about Down syndrome, I probably would have said something like, “Oh, you mean like that guy from the TV show ‘Life Goes On’?” And that most likely would have been the extent of my knowledge – if you could even call that knowledge. Growing up, I don’t recall ever having met an individual with different abilities. In fact, knowing someone who wore glasses, or went to speech for a stutter, was a big enough difference in my world.

 But we (my husband Ben and I) found ourselves coming face to face with an unknown the day after our 7th anniversary. I remember we had just learned that our baby was a girl – a miracle amongst Adams men, as they all seem to have 3 boys. We were overjoyed, and I began planning coordinating mommy daughter outfits. But on June 20th, 2010, we sat in the darkest, most dungeon like of examination rooms with a stoic, emotionless doctor who began to explain all the things that were wrong with our baby girl. Beginning an ultrasound with “We have a problem here” is never something an expecting parent wants to hear. I understand that doctors must be thorough and explain every possible outcome, no matter how gruesome or unkind they may be, but it certainly does no good for an overly emotional, 20-week pregnant mother who was so excited to be having a little girl.

She had increased fluid at the base of her neck, enlarged ventricles in her brain, a very low profile and bridge on her nose, noticeablyimage04 short femurs, and my initial blood work pointing to a 1 in 24 chance at Down syndrome that was increased to 1 in 12 after the ultrasound. He suggested I have an amniocentesis right that minute, but I was in no condition to have a gigantic needle poked in my stomach. I cried so uncontrollably at the what-ifs, and markers that were noted, that they had to escort us out some secret back door of the hospital.

We cried for days, talking nonsense back and forth to one another. And after a very supportive and encouraging appointment with our regular OB, we decided to have the amnio. Yes, there are risks in any procedure, and yes, we were planning to keep our baby no matter what the diagnosis – but through prayerful consideration, and loving wisdom from our OB office we felt that not knowing was of greater harm. The amnio was not scary or painful or uncomfortable – it happened faster than I had imagined. And, 10 days later, that stoic, emotionless doctor called to tell us that our baby girl did have Down syndrome and he guessed (based on previous office conversation) that we would be continuing our pregnancy. I told him yes, and he transferred me to his front office so that I could make an appointment for the following week to continue high risk prenatal care. Did you know that 90% of babies with a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome are aborted (some studies say 67-85%, but that’s beside the point). That means that every time you see an individual with Down syndrome there are 6-9 others who never had the chance at life.

With knowledge, comes wisdom, and life, and so we began to learn about Down syndrome so that we could make wise decisions with the continuing and future care for our daughter. We read too many outdated articles and googled too many medical websites, but we also continued the high powered ultrasounds and had a prenatal echocardiogram. More than half of babies born with Down syndrome have a heart condition requiring surgery within the first few weeks of life, Melanie’s heart was perfect. My pregnancy continued as expected, although with a few more weekly appointments than I had anticipated, and on Monday, November 15th, 2010, at 9:56 pm, Melanie Rose Adams was delivered via C-section (only because I had no amniotic fluid due to 3-days of food poisoning. But that’s a different story for a different time.). She was perfect and pink and tiny compared to her older brother (6lbs 9oz, brother was 8lbs 12oz). And yes, she did have Down syndrome. But we were ready, and she was a baby just like any other baby is. And we loved her for all the extra she was already.Melanie Collage

 

Over the last 4 years I’ve learned so much about Down syndrome from doctors and medical experts and journal articles – but I’ve learned way more from other mamas with special kids and from Melanie herself. Here are just a few things I’ve learned:image06

  • Low muscle tone is a good thing – especially when Melanie’s tired or has just woken up. She melts into your body and feels like carrying around a sack of flour.
  • The extra space between her big toe and other toes is perfect for a pair of Rainbow flip-flops.
  • The almond shape to her eyes is especially effective for giving you the “I”m cute and I know it look….now give me some chocolate.”
  • She’ll be able to shop in the children’s section much longer than most – resulting in more clothes for a better price. At nearly 4 years old she still wears 2T and some 3Ts to cover her belly.
  • The looseness in her joints allows her to excel in her gymnastics class. The straddle position has nothing on Melanie.
  • She has bad days just like everyone else but her love is unconditional and is not selective. Everyone she meets is a recipient of her smile and love. She will not hesitate to hand out hugs and blow kisses.

 image02When I tell people about our kids, I often describe them this way: Brock is the child I always wanted and Melanie is the child I always needed. Melanie teaches us to slow down, to notice something over and over because we may see something that wasn’t there before, and that it’s ok to take longer to do something – we appreciate those milestones so much more when it’s taken us a lot of hard work to finally achieve our goal. We don’t read those medical books anymore, we just keep them in a closet for reference when needed. And, we don’t treat Melanie any different from her brother – everyone eats their meals, everyone cleans up their messes, everyone does their very best. I can’t believe what we were missing out on before she was born – what I was missing out on – as a mother, friend, human being. She has opened our eyes to the world of people with different abilities – a loving, encouraging place where everyone is included, and we thank God each day for the chance to experience life through Melanie’s eyes.

Credentials: Married 10+ years, 6 year old son, 3 year old daughter, teacher of teachers for 10+ years

Likes: Morning coffee, Ugg slippers, anything chocolate, dressing up, and balancing work and home life

Dislikes: Getting sneezed on, bad hair days, tuna noodle casserole (sorry mom), and balancing work and home life

Follow the Mamas on this blog and start using the new hash tag #MamasLivingtheDream on Instagram when you have a love it or laugh at it Mama Moment! Email us your Mamas Living the Dream at pics@swiftmamas.com for us to add to our Insta account.image03

 

Guest Writer: Kerry Hernandez- My Hour as a Tiger Mom

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My Hour as a Tiger Mom

4:45PM – I arrived at Mini-Me’s preschool for afternoon pick up. As I cruised by the after care room, to her regular classroom to read the “what we did today” notes, I peeked in the door to see my little princess quietly coloring. I smiled like the proud mama that I am, and kept moving down the hall. Within seconds, the peace of the empty hallway was shattered. A loud, “Oh, honey! What are you doing!?!” I knew immediately who it was directed at.

In the mere seconds since I had passed the after care room, my little darling had turned from coloring her papers quietly, to coloring herself with red marker. She had drawn red stripes down one arm, one entire leg, and was working on the second leg. The look on her little face when I rounded the corner into the room was priceless and heartbreaking all at once. She looked so ashamed and remorseful as she uttered, “Well, I really wanted to be a tiger, so I needed stripes.” So matter of fact. So simple. So washable.

Her teacher stifled a giggle as she calmly explained that it was really imaginative, but marker really needs to stay on paper. I swept her into my arms, and told her how much I loved her imagination, and that maybe we could talk about other ways to make stripes.

This is something, as a mama, I struggle with regularly. How do I reign in the chaos without being controlling and stifling her creativity all together? Mini-Me is a fantastic little artist. It seems to be one of her early passions. But there’s the OCD control freak in me, who wants to scream bloody murder every time she decides the table is a better canvas than her, well…canvas. We’ve talked endlessly about the right places to put crayons, markers, and paint. We’ve ended art projects early, because she control the impulse to try painting the pets. I want to establish and enforce the rules without taking all the fun out of art for her.

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. There has never been a time when her creative flair has caused any danger, or even any real damage. Sometimes, it really is just a matter of me needing to relax and enjoy the ride. I have to remember to slow down and ask myself: is this hurting anyone, is this damaging anything, is this impossible to clean up? My overall goal is for her to remember all the fun we’ve had creating, not that I was raining on her parade and begging her to color inside the lines to please me.

So with that in mind, I giggled a bit, gathered up my tiger cub and her things, and took her home for a warm bath.

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Credentials: 3.5 year old daughter * Married for 8+ years * 7 years school aged day care  * oldest child of 3
Likes: the beach * travel * chaos * my munchkin and hubby * pets * family * laughter * all things Disney * home renovation
Dislikes: doing dishes * putting away laundry * meltdowns * waking up early

Follow the Mamas on this blog and start using the new hash tag #MamasLivingtheDream on Instagram when you have a love it or laugh at it Mama Moment! Text us your Mamas Living the Dream pics for us to add to our Insta account.

Ever Feel Like You Could Some Space?

I do. At least a few times a day. What’s wrong with leaving a little teenie space between us? Like literally, just so we aren’t sweating on eachother for a little bit.

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Gotta watch this but maybe not around your kids  because there are a couple bad words 🙂
All About that Bass

Then this… a relatable parody.
I Just Need Some Space

I try to be nice when I ask for my personal space back… I’m not asking for much really. Just a few inches would be nice.

Love,

Sometimes Dreams Don’t Work Out

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Photo text to sis and hubs of said toddler, aka Tornado #4, and me during shattered dream of quiet alone time…

Sometimes the dreams that we dream don’t happen… We can start with little dreams, like having a simple 2 hours of quiet alone time per week. This is a wonderful thing, as some of you know. That might even be a little dream of your’s too! And sometimes that dream is shattered, due to a certain 1 1/2-year-old not sleeping. Or big ones like the dreams you had or have for your marriage, your living situation, or your kids. You know that list, the one that goes on and on. So, I guess what we do with these unmet expectations is what makes all the difference.

I have a couple dear friends going through REALLY (and I mean that Caps Lock really with all of my being) hard, crappy, nightmarish times with kids in tow. As I had a heart to start this blog I thought about them, but I didn’t have clarity for what I was thinking in birthing this blog. After thinking (and praying) and talking to one particular Mama Living the Nightmare, it just became more clear.

So where do you go after a crushed or postponed dream? No really, if you have the answer please comment and let us know… Lol. No really, do tell…but I have a couple of thoughts on the matter.

Behind Mamas Living the Dream

Now on the real, the whole thinking and heart behind this blog is to develop a community bound by a mutual chaos and love for our kids. The chaos is going to look different in every family, but with overlapping and relatable craziness due to the nature of the mothering gig. Maybe where you are in your life is not where you thought you’d be but the reality is you are where you are and there’s hope everyday. Possess your possessions. Own your life and live now. Let’s not wait till this or that but let’s do life now! Easier said than done but I know through my struggles, rollercoasters, and even despairs, living in our own life is  just putting one foot in front of another. Baby steps.

IMG_7062 The thing is, you aren’t the only one out there in a crappy spot and in a nightmare, or simply not where you (or I) thought we would be. The blog title is supposed to be a bit sarcastic but the point of it all is to find the joy. The joy in the crazy and the joy in the storm. That may be easier for some than others.

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Baby J selfie

Basically the dreams have to adjust for what your reality is. Maybe your dream is to raise your kids in a healthy, safe, peace and joy filled house? And some days if that happens, you’re  living the dream right there. It’s the little things on the journey that help us lift our heads from the drudgery moments. Life’s not always what we thought but there’s always love somewhere. My little shattered dream turned into a little one on one time with a hilarious, snotty nosed crab apple cling-on. And you know what? Before I know it he’ll be out the door school and I’ll have more alone time than I can imagine (sniff, sniff, joy joy) and I’ll remember. What are your dreams?

Love,

‘Faith and hope are the womb that a legacy is born of.’ -Bill Johnson

dreamsFollow the Mamas on this blog and start using the new hash tag #MamasLivingtheDream on Instagram when you have a love it or laugh at it Mama Moment! Email us your Mamas Living the Dream pics at info@swiftmamas.com for us to add to our Insta account.

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Swift Mama: My Hour of Desperation. I mean Inspiration

There was a text message that I sent to mama friends one morning and it spurred an idea. What if we all shared crazy moments in our days? Would it make us all feel a little more normal? grateful? Would it add some much-needed laughter or even pent-up tears after laughing? Anyway, it seemed like a good idea. Then I logged onto Facebook and saw this…

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Just day in the life of #mamaslivingthedream

A post shared by MamasLivingtheDream (@mamaslivingthedream) on

Seeing this confirmed my thoughts. Let’s share our crazy and get uplifted in the meantime.

This is the text.

Note to self: Never forget how hard it is to be a mom with a bunch of young kids.

The day starts when hubby’s alarm goes off at 5:20am, and then again at 5:30am, and then you wake up hubby. 6:15 baby wakes up let him talk in his crib until you get up at 6:40am. Throw hair in a messy bun. 6:42am start breakfast. 6:50am 16 yr old girl showering in front bathroom + 9-year-old boy pooping in the other=3 year old peeing in kitchen. 6:55am clean up Pee off rug, 2 kitchen towels a child’s apron, pajamas and his mini boxer briefs. 7:02am Ask hubby to change baby’s dirty diaper. 7:03am sweep ants off of my legs 7:04 sweep ants from under the table out the door 7:05am finish getting breakfast hot and then put ice in it to get it cool enough to eat. 7:06am find lunch boxes. 7:07am make lunches. 7:10am listen to boys complain about having melted ice in their oatmeal 7:30am style 2 boys hair. 7:35am clean oatmeal off of the baby, the baby’s hair, the babies chair, the babies bib, pj’s, the ground. 7:38am hubby pep talks me about lowering expectation of what I will accomplish today. He kisses us all. And the babies wave and yell as 2 big boys & hubby go to school. Followed by the teen. 7:40am wonder if the baby actually ate any of the oatmeal. 7:41am 1/2 way clean up breakfast. Put away lunch stuff. 7:43am clean up baby again after sticking his hand in the peanut butter jar. 8:05am 8:12am eat my nice cold breakfast 🙂 8:15am decide to start a blog about it

And some days are just like this!

photo (4)Watch this video awesome from the ladies at The Girls with Glasses

It pretty much sums up the life of a Mama Living the Dream!

Love,

Follow the Mamas on this blog and start using the new hash tag #MamasLivingtheDream on instagram when you have a love it or laugh at it Mama Moment!

Comment at the bottom if you can relate!

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