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Three Relationship Changes I Didn’t Fully Understand…Until I Experienced Them

During our guest blog series, Jessi shared some candid thoughts in The Someday Scenario about preparing for a future life with children. It helped me revisit that same place in my journey before Daddy D and I decided to conceive. We all know that having a baby means life changes in every way possible. Over the years, I’ve heard the phrase, “you can’t fully understand until you experience it.” It used to be hard for me to accept this as an answer to, well, anything! I believe I’m competent and empathetic, so I sometimes took offense when others didn’t think I could comprehend an experience without living through it. I’ve learned that there is something to participating in life altering situations that helps me understand more than through explanation. It’s the first hand experience and emotions that affect everyone differently and teach us. It has nothing to do with a person’s competency or ability to relate and I have become a believer in this saying. I catch myself thinking or saying it more often than I’d like to admit these days. Continue reading

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Baked Blueberry Almond Oatmeal

One of the ways I make life easier on our family during the week is by sometimes making a couple meals on the weekend that we can grab and eat during the week. Breakfast can get awfully boring at our house as we look for food to grab. To add a little variety, this tends to be a meal I focus on during my weekend cook offs.

One of my favorite go to breakfasts these days is baked oatmeal. Continue reading

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Love Him As He Is Today

When N was about 14 months, he was having horrible tantrums. As a first time mom I was unsure if these were normal in quantity and/or scale and nothing we seemed to be trying at home was working. One of the first places I went for advice was to Ms. E, the owner/teacher at N’s daycare/preschool. In addition to our own moms, she has become a great resource for us. She has provided amazing care to dozens of children and N spends 30-40 hours a week in her program so she knows him pretty darn well. Anyway, I went to her, incredibly frustrated, looking for any suggestions she had to minimize or get rid of these tantrums. During our conversation she mentioned something that stuck out to me. She said, “You have to love him for exactly who he is today.” She wasn’t suggesting we support these tantrums or indulge them, but just that there was a bigger picture to our current situation. Continue reading

And the Survey Says: Jelly Bean Journals 2014 Reader Survey Results

We are wrapping up our first reader survey this week and we are incredibly excited to share the results with you! (If you didn’t get a chance you share your input, you still have time and we would love to hear from you!) From “sense of community” to “I enjoy your perspective,” our hearts melted as we read through your responses for reasons you indulge in our blog each week. Our original intentions for Jelly Bean Journals were reflected in your answers and we feel blessed to have such a strong and supportive reader community!

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A Very Hungry Caterpillar First Birthday

My first and only, Baby A, turned two a little over two months ago. After his second birthday I went back through old photos to reminisce over the past 365 days of our time together. When I came across his first birthday photos, I had a wonderful time remembering his party. We had a blast planning it and I was reminded of the feelings and emotions of preparing for the huge (in my mind) celebration of navigating our first year as first time parents. Continue reading

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Behrs Deck Over Swing Set Update

I have big plans for this little swing set! By next summer, there will be a pirate ship in our very own yard. Picture this: a red and white striped cover (similar to this but with stripes instead of polka dots), a pirate flag like this, a steering wheel like this, some canons (can you believe I can’t find any decent photos or tutorials for this? I do have ideas in my head that includes PVC pipe), a telescope like this, and some battery operated lights twisted around the boards for night time play (this is not a requirement for a pirate ship but I think it will be stinking cute).

When we started our little swing set project it looked like this:

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5 Reasons a Family Friendly Business is Important to This Mom

A while back in Happy, Healthy & Loved. Stop the Mommy Wars Part III, I mentioned that I’m taking a stronger interest in family friendly workplaces. Among other things, I’m trying to learn what family friendly businesses look like, what employees value most about them, what employees still feel they need, and how these steps actually positively affect a business’ bottom line. Two years ago, this may not have even been a topic on my radar.

Luckily, I have a fairly positive firsthand experience on what a family friendly business looks like. The company I work for offers many of the benefits I anticipate will appear on my “How to be a Family Friendly Business” list down the road. But, what I didn’t realize is how important these things would become to me, basically overnight. And now that I have, I feel they should be offered to all parents out there. Let’s not forget, we are raising a generation of people that will eventually infiltrate our businesses, become influencers and decision makers, and lead our companies. So, we should want to be the primary source that raises them, as well as set a strong tone and example for them. While I still have lots of reading, researching, and interviewing to do, what I do feel I can confidently talk about today is this: 5 Reasons a Family Friendly Business is Important to This Mom. I think this applies to a dad, too, but my perspective is that of a mom’s, so that’s what you’re going to get today.

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Printable: Things To Do

If you are like us, you want the caregivers to your children to be engaged during their time together. We leave our son very seldom and when we do it’s with select people. On the occasion that we do leave him in the care of others we like to provide a “play list” or list of ideas to keep him…and them…entertained. This is important for a couple of reasons. First, even the people most familiar with toddlers and childcare can run out of ideas. So, we like to offer a list of activities to take the hard work out of it. This helps the caregiver successfully keep our son engaged without a lot of worry or stress. Second, we want him to have a fun and positive experience when we are away. We already know our son enjoys these activities and we hope the caregiver will, too. Continue reading

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In-Laws & The Life We Share

I don’t want to give away too many tidbits about our reader survey, but when we asked our Jelly Bean Journals community what they are struggling with in motherhood, a number of respondents mentioned in-laws. It got me thinking, regardless of whether we have a wonderful, horrible, or somewhere in between relationship with our in-laws, we are connected for life and will have many joys and challenges to navigate together. I have a few ideas on how these relationships can be approached. So, here are my thoughts for ALL people who have the words “in-law” behind their title.

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Photo Credit: Free Stock Photos.biz

Whatever type of in-law you may be, this post is for you. If you are a son-in-law, sister-in-law, father-in law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, mother-in-law, or any other type of “in-law” I hope this post helps you to consider an alternate perspective and forge empathy and understanding in your relationships:

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2014 Summer Recap

We had an awesome and fast summer! Our intent was to have a summer planned with only minimal activities and that allowed the exciting spontaneity that is life with a toddler. While we did have several weekends where we flew by the seat of our pants, we ended up with a packed and fun-filled summer. This is by no means a complaint, but more a reflection as I look back on the quick few months that flew by.  I sometimes wonder if we jam pack our summers because in Wyoming, it seems like we really only get a good three or four months. But, then I remember we like to take advantage of fun times with family and friends and I realize that busy summers would be a part of our lives no matter where we lived. Home improvements, family vacations, pool trips and much more filled our summer! Anyway, here is a quick little glimpse at some of the highlights! Continue reading