Disney · kids · summer · summer activities · toddlerhood · toddlers

Summer Playdays

Disney Summer Play Days

Since we first moved here in 2014, we have been attending the Disney Summer Play Days.  My good friend, Robin, (who at the time was my new friend), introduced me to this awesome annual event held at the Disney Store.

In the past, we had to be very organized and call our local store ahead of time to see what time the Play Days event would be held each day.  However, this year they have made the event time 3pm, across the board. (I would still call your local store to confirm, just to be safe! )

Every year, the Summer Play Days event hosts different activities ranging from trivia challenges, art activities, and audience participation.  The prizes have also differed each year; our first year the kids received a lanyard and earned pins.  Last year it was tsum tsum charm wristbands and this year it is embroidered character patches!

 

The Summer Playdays event officially kicked off on June 10th, but don’t worry! There’s still time to jump in on the fun!

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Nothing like Summer Play Days with our Peeps! (my girls never look at the camera lol)

Visit the Disney Store for more information.

This is a fun, free event that’s offered daily and is a nice excuse to get out of the house on a weekly basis.  Note; though the event is offered daily, it is not necessary to attend daily.  Each new badge is released on Wednesdays, however, they will continue to handout the same badge until the following Wednesday’s release (or until supplies run out).  While you’re there, you can peruse the Disney Store summer deals (there’s usually good sales! And the clearance area always has some good and inexpensive finds!).

Enjoy!

N

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family · Father's Day · holidays

Spoiling Papi

Father’s Day Gifts & Crafts

Disclosure: This post is purposefully a few days late because my wonderfully supportive hubby follows my blog and IG accounts, so as to not spoil the surprise, I refrained from sharing ahead of time.  That said, I’m excited to finally be able to share with you all how we spoiled Dad this year.  Luckily, these gifts and crafts would work well for birthdays too!

 

Dad Tees

My husband LOVES tees.  He’s always most comfortable in shorts and a t-shirt.  I suspect that this has something to do that his profession requires him to be in a suit and tie more often than not and therefore, when he arrives at home or isn’t at the office; he goes for laidback comfort.

Every Father’s Day I try to find him unique and fun tees that fit his personality.  This year, I scored two original finds along with two ‘commercial finds.’  My ‘original finds’ were the “I heart Disney” tee from AMK Creates, the Maui Demi-Dad tee from Tee Chip, and my ‘commercial finds,’ were this “All Men Are Created Equal Then A Proud Few Become Dads” tee from Target and a Kylo Ren tee from the Disney Store (not pictured).

 

 

Safe to say; he’s set for our Disney outings for a while!

A Special Book for Dad

Most of you who follow me know that reading is a big part of our family life.  The girls own more books than I can count and I too have far too many books…and counting…(and not enough time to read them all!)  Story time at bedtime is a very special bonding time for us and our girls and the girls enjoy having their Papi read to them at bedtime.  So this year I opted for personalizing a book that he could read to the girls anytime or bedtime.  I had several companies that I could’ve used (and I’m STILL on the search for one that allows me to write my own story and just provides a catalog of illustrations- like a “build your book” type of service). However, given that we are a bilingual household, I chose to order ours from Mi Cuento

I’m so happy I did! Our storybook turned out great! The girls helped me pick the details that make Papi special like his glasses and nose and Mi Cuento ensured that our book arrived in time for Father’s Day even though it came all the way from Spain!

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Enjoying his personalized book with his two Corazones.

Crafts for Papi

Ok. Full disclosure; I don’t do crafts.  Seriously, ask my close friends; I’m not apt at anything that involves glue guns, scissors, painting, etc.  Pinterest and I have a love-hate relationship.  As in I have over 30 boards and over 400 pins of frustrated dreams that I’ll never realize.  Gourmet, magazine-worthy meals that I’ll never pull off because I burn fish sticks.  Yup. You read that right; fish sticks.  And every Pinterest craft I attempt usually ends up being a “Nailed-it” meme-worthy failure.  Nevertheless, I found a couple cute Father’s Day or really any-time-of-the-year crafts to gift Papi that even I couldn’t mess up.

To make either of these crafts all you need is:

Cardstock

Non-toxic crafting paint

paint-brushes

scissors

markers

package of wipes (to quickly clean little hands and feet)

Significant Other’s work boot or shoe (that he won’t mind a little paint on!)

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Et Voila!
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So proud of what they made for Papi

Father’s Day Annual Photo

This idea I wish I had stumbled upon when 4 years ago for Sia’s first Father’s Day with Papi. But, I didn’t know about this awesome idea then.  Nevertheless, we will be making this an annual photo from here on out.

Take an annual photo of your kids dressed in your S.O’s dress shirt and tie every year for Father’s Day.   You may tailor this to whatever your S.O wears to work.  This makes for a fun photoshoot, a lovely gift, and a fun way of documenting how your kids are growing every year!

 

The Spoils…

All in all, I think my wonderful, hard-working, patient, loving, and ever-so supportive Hubby had a great Father’s Day including two tickets to go see the Marvel Super Heroes Live show in July with Sia and a family beach day.  I’d say it was a success.

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Do you have any fun and unique Father’s Day or birthday gifts for him that you want to share? I’d love to hear in the comments!!

 

 

 

Uncategorized

Confessions of a Domestic Failure

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Review.

…It doesn’t make any sense. All I could think about for the past few months was getting a break from her, but the second I did, the moment freedom peeked over the horizon, I sabotaged it. Is this what motherhood is going to be like? Spending all day dreaming about getting a break and then, when it comes, wanting to nothing more than to be with Aubrey?

There are so many reasons I loved this book, but this quote is one of three that really drove it home for me.

Let me begin by saying that, as usual Bunmi does not disappoint.  If you do not know who Bunmi Laditan is and aren’t following her; I have homework for you.  Go right now, no seriously NOW (you can come back and finish reading my humble little blog after), and follow her on FB, Twitter, and IG. Bunmi Laditan is the creator behind the hilarious Honest Toddler Twitter account and subsequent book. Bunmi has a knack for presenting the difficulties and hardships of motherhood in a hilariously honest and satirical writing style. Her Facebook and Instagram accounts are full of hilarious terms such as “attachment laundering” and “Sanctimommies,” and following her writing has made me feel like I’m not alone in being a trainwreck of a homemaker. So, when a little over a year ago I caught wind on her Facebook that she was working on her first novel entitled “Confessions of a Domestic Failure,” I knew I HAD to read it.  With nothing but the title, Bunmi’s writing style, and unique voice on motherhood I had a strong notion that this book was about me.

And I was not wrong.  This book may as well be called, “The Truth About Motherhood; According to Nahyr. An Autobiography.”  Seriously, even five years and two kids into motherhood later; this novel was like someone had a spy cam in my house and just took notes. Down to the “eating the hazelnut chocolate spread straight out of the jar in my underwear” bit.

I know it’s cliche but I laughed and I cried during this book.  I mean it. Multiple times.  Sometimes I cried because it felt like validation of everything I’ve ever felt as a SAHM. Other times I cried because I genuinely felt for the character and her journey and had also felt what she was feeling and just wanted to hug her. (Yes, I know she’s not real. Except that she is because there are many of us like her.).  I also cried because that feeling of wanting to be seen, of just wanting someone to tell you that you’re doing a good job, of just wanting someone to say, “Hey stop beating yourself up and striving for perfection, you’re a perfect mom already. Just like this.”- that feeling is all too familiar.

And I laughed, hysterically, like a crazy person to myself at the doc’s office, or at the lobby of my eldest daughter’s dance class, or at 3am in my guest bedroom for so many moments; but I’ll highlight a few to tease your interest:

  • “And there’s no way I could quit gluten….Cutting carbs would make me a bad mother and I have to put my child first.”
  • “Aubrey’s had a great nap and I’d already done the obligatory pre-husband-coming-home speed clean.” (seriously, it’s like Bunmi’s been watching me).
  • The descriptions of the three different “Me” representations in her (my) closet: Pre-pregnancy Me, Pregnant Me, and Postpartum Me. Buy the book. Read the descriptions. Laugh and Cry. Drink some wine.
  • The scene in the book when her husband handles what is CLEARLY his first blowout diaper.  This is literally my husband EVERY TIME. EVERY TIME. ( I even read this part to him while he ate dinner and he nearly choked from laughing.)
  • “I HATE MY HUSBAND!!!….I mean, I love him, but I hate him at the same time. He doesn’t understand my life at all.  He pretends to take a crap and plays on his phone for hours at a time.” (also showed to hubby; we both almost choked from laughing.  Seriously, though, is this more ubiquitous than I realized? )

After reading this, my notion that if I met Bunmi in real life and we lived closer, we’d be besties was cemented.

Conclusion:

SAHMs, WAHMs, and SAHPs/WAHPs; go buy this book. You’ll love it.  It might become your battle cry and your therapy…Oh and working spouses; BUY THIS, READ THIS. It will shed light on the plight of your stay-at-home spouse.  May it help your marriage and communication through a healthy dose of humor and honesty.

If you haven’t read it; let me know what you think once you do! And if you have; how’d you like it? I’d love to know!!!

One last thing….

Surprise! Win your free copy of “Confessions of a Domestic Failure” by entering my giveaway!

Enter giveaway here:

https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/7fe365ed10182378

 

 

mommyhood · Uncategorized

Classifieds: Overwhelmed Mom of Two Seeks Lifetime Mom Bestie

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A few weeks ago I met this really cool mom via my daughter’s school friend.   My daughter and her son had been begging for a playdate at each other’s houses and the teacher finally put us moms in touch.  After hosting her son at our house, she offered to host us at hers.  I arrived with my girls to their house on a Monday afternoon.  I hadn’t yet met her as I had picked up the kids from school for our playdate and the sitter had picked her son up at my house (We live a block from the school.)

She invited me in for coffee while our children played and within the hour we had bonded over both our, now cold, and full cups of coffee.  We had spent the hour intermittently jolting up mid-sentence to address a trip to the potty, mediate sharing battles, or check on the older children in the backyard. We also bonded over the fact that both our husbands were attorneys and apparently both our husbands hide away for half an hour to change when they come home- which drives us both nuts.  But by far, our  greatest common ground was that neither of us felt like we fit in with other moms in our area…  This momma spoke my language; she too didn’t fit in with the chic, put-together, corporate housewives with the perfect nails, Tory Burch flats, and fresh-from-the-salon blowouts.  She also expressed that she also didn’t fit in with the organic, fresh-squeezed, home-grown, home-made crunchy mom groups.  We seemed to share the same sarcastic tone and live in the same state of “multiple child-rearing chaos.”

I must admit, I think we may have overstayed our welcome; I tried to leave some six or seven times but our children were having a blast and we seemed to enjoy our, albeit consistently interrupted (mom life, am I right?), conversation.  So, three hours later we were finally in our car and headed back home.

My hubby was already home by the time we got back and bless his heart; I talked his ear off about this new potential mom friend for about two hours.

The next day I agonized over whether to text her or not.  Is it too soon to text her? Does it make me seem desperate? If I do text her, what do I say? Is it too soon to invite them back over to our house? Or out for coffee? I don’t want to come off as needy…

Then it hit me, how much making mom friends as an adult is like dating…

I opted to text her thanking her for her hospitality and offering to reciprocate

I have to agree with Bunmi Laditan; there really should be a match.com type site for moms seeking like-minded momma friends.  I even thought what my profile would say:

Mom of two under 5 seeking Lifetime mom bestie/mom squad. Must love coffee; coffee is life.  Must not be afraid to admit that motherhood is not all rainbows and butterflies. (If you’re one of those “Motherhood is a blessing and technicolor dream 24/7” moms; please move on.) If you enjoy making handmade crafts, that’s cool; just please don’t try to recruit me; glue guns/needles/insert-crafting-tool-here and I don’t mesh well.  Bonus: If you love binge-watching Gilmore Girls and Friends on Netflix over and over. Bonus: If cooking terrifies you.  Bonus: If you obsessively buy books you most likely won’t get around to reading for another ten years.  Mega Bonus: If you’re Latinx and speak Spanish.

 

Come to think of it…I hate that Bunmi put the idea of such a site in my head…it’s such a complete disappointment that it doesn’t exist. In fact, I feel like if Bunmi lived here or I lived in Canada, we’d likely be besties.

 

 

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Rocking Motherhood Challenge

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If you know me, or if you’ve read my blog, you know that I struggle in motherhood.  In fact, often, I feel like I’m colossally failing.  So when awesome momblogger JesusAndWine asked me to be a part of the Rocking Motherhood Challenge, I must admit, a part of me wanted to run away.  But I also knew this would be a good opportunity for me to learn to give myself some credit, something I’m not the best at doing.

It’s somewhat ironic that I would finally be able to sit down and write my reasons for rocking motherhood today of all days.  This morning I woke up shortly after 1am to the sound of my 4 1/2 year old’s hesitant and soft voice at the side of my bed telling me she’d had an accident.  I was surprised as she hasn’t had an accident in about three years, but I figured since she’s been sick that maybe she was too tired to wake up.  My husband got up to go check her bed because he smelled something, well off, while I told her she could sleep in our room.  *Cue husband’s gagging sounds and cries*

Our daughter had a not-just-pee accident in her bed.  Whatever bug she had been fighting the past few days had moved down to her digestive system and now it was in her bed.  Bless her heart, she had tried to clean herself up before waking us; she wiped herself down with wipes and changed clothes; but in the process had left trackings of the-thing-that-shall-not-be-mentioned all over her bedroom, hallway, and bathroom floors.  I stripped her bed and all affected stuffed animals, cleaned the floors and tossed her linens, stuffed animals and clothes in the washer and scrubbed her mattress with CLOROX and upholstery cleaner while my husband showered her and put fresh pjs on her.  It was not a fun night.  She cried, though we assured her it wasn’t her fault and we weren’t upset with her, and my fecal-matter-sensitive hubby gagged the entire time.

That was at 1am-ish.  This morning I take my potty training toddler potty several times between the hours of 8am and 10am only to have it be false alarms.  Twice I even sat with her with a book for over ten minutes because I KNEW with that many false alarms that she was going to poop soon.  I sit down to begin working and suddenly its eerily quiet.  Like a scene straight out of a horror movie; I stand up and start calling her name with a nervous question mark and quiver in my voice.  I find her in the kitchen hiding behind her table and holding her blanket completely still.  Sure enough, she’d pooped.  For the last week; every single day she’s had a #2 accident in her undies.  I’m at my wits end. SO. MUCH. POOP.

But this post is about how I’m rocking motherhood…ironically.  So, dig deep, Momma!

 

Reasons Why I’m Rocking Motherhood

  1.  I advocate for my kids.  Whether its at the doctor’s office, in academics, in extra-curricular activities, or sometimes even within family situations; I’m always advocating for my children.  That’s not to say I excuse poor behavior or believe my children are angels; I am their mother after all.  But, I also know when I need to speak up for my child.  A few weeks ago I learned that my eldest didn’t yet know her alphabet after almost two years of preschool.  Her teacher tried to imply that my daughter perhaps had a learning issue.  I know my kid, and I knew she loved learning and that this didn’t sound like her.  So I sat with her one night and after only an hour, my kid knew and could identify letters A-G using flashcards, felt letters, and tracing.  The problem was the teacher.  I later confirmed by observing the teacher when I volunteered.  The point is; I stepped in for my child.  Fortunately, she only has another month at that school and then she’s off to a much better learning environment.
  2. I do my best to provide experience opportunities.  I constantly strive to plan and organize outings, activities, and other experiences for my kids.  From playing with ladybugs in the front yard, to a bubbles station in the backyard, to going to the movies and movies on the lawn, to strawberry fields, to beach outings, zoo visits, ice-cream socials, tea afternoons… I’m always trying to enrich their lives with experiences and quality family fun and bonding.
  3. My girls know love.  Because my children feel loved, they know love.  I often will catch my girls playing together out of the corner of my eye and I’ll see one of them kiss the other or offer a hug without prompting.  My youngest often puckers her lips to kiss Mami or Papi unprompted.  My girls love each other and can express it because they are being raised in Love.

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This was a challenge for me in every sense of the word.  Specially today.  But I’m truly grateful to Jesus And Wine for challenging me to do this! Once in a while, we just need a little nudge to encourage us to give ourselves a break and a well-deserved pat on the back.

I want to continue the uplifting nature of this challenge and I nominate the following mombloggers to take on the #RockingMotherhood Challenge:

TeacherTurnedMom

MamaBearSays

FidingTimeInTheChaos

BusyMommas

Click on their names to read their awesome blogs and learn how they’re #RockingMotherhood

To learn more about this challenge or to take it yourself, you can visit WhiteCamellias

 

 

Love,

N

Uncategorized

Guest Blogger Feature: @priandlivy

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Hello! My name is Priscila, and I am the mama behind ig: @priandlivy. I have worked with many shops  for a while now on promoting their brands by being their Brand Rep or Brand Enthusiast. A lot of people ask what these roles mean, so I wrote a post dedicated to explaining exactly what a BR/BE is. Check out my blog www.busymommas.net to get an idea what the whole fuss is about!

I am also the owner of a small Photography business named Photos by Pri. It’s a hobby and a passion that I have, so if you want to check it out, go to ig: @photosby_pri and give me a follow!

For the mamas who are part of the Brand Rep world, we know that taking good pictures is a must! It is actually part of the requirements when you enter a search.

Today, I would like to share with you a couple of tips for taking awesome Brand Rep pictures. These tips will help you take better pictures, improve your editing, and will help you create the perfect setting.

Let’s get started!

1. Cluttered background is not cool. Make sure your background is clean and light. This will bring the attention to your child. Keep in mind that noisy backgrounds cause distractions, and you do not want that when taking a picture for a Brand. This picture will mostly likely be used in the shops Social Media account and/or their website, so make sure it is a bright and clean background. Want to see an example?

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This is Olivia, my baby girl. On the left, we were trying to promote the teething necklace around her neck. You can see that it is a cute picture, but it is very cluttered. It would be difficult for the shop to use this picture in their website. On the right, is a more light and clean background. We were promoting the headband she’s wearing. This picture can totally be used on a website or anywhere, because the headband is the focus of the picture.

Note that the background doesn’t need to be completely white. Just make sure your little one is the focus of the picture.

2. Setting!

Whether you are using a fancy camera or an iphone to take your pictures, the setting is important. This tip ties with the first one. Have you asked yourself, “How can some people make the background so white?” I have many times until I figured it out how to do it for $3.

Do you remember those white poster boards you used in school to make projects? BINGO! It’s time to use them again.

I went to Walmart and bought two white poster boards. I place one behind Olivia and one under her. That way I was able to have a completely white background.

Take a look!

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3. Take advantage of those free editing apps!

I don’t like to use filters on my pictures. The only thing that I adjust is the lighting, contrast and vibrance.

Filters tend to change the colors and we dont want that. We need to show the true colors of the products you are trying to promote.

I use Lightroom to edit my pictures. But if Lightroom is not for you, your phone offers editing tools. So use it and play with the picture until you find the perfect set!

Let’s look at an example:

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Ladies, don’t think you need to have a light background to take beautiful pictures. You can take amazing pictures anywhere! You just need to know where is the best spot.

If you are at a park, choose a place with less people around. The people behind your child will cause a distraction, and we don’t want that.

Well, that’s it mamas!

I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I did writing it.

I’d love to see some pictures taken by you, so tag me! @priandlivy

Love,

Pri

Uncategorized

Spouse Training Manual

Let me premise this entry by saying that I love my husband.  I do.  He’s a wonderful provider, a great father, he has drive and ambition.  He puts up with the 50 emotions I go through in one day.  He has always been supportive of my dreams.  We’ve been through a lot and have built a great family and life together.  But, sometimes, I just….*punches fist into hand repeatedly* you know? But seriously, contrary to this post, I do love him.

Ok, so a few days ago, I was at the house of one of my munchkin’s friends for a playdate.  His mother asked me to stay for coffee and so I did.  His mom and I actually hit it off pretty well (making a mental note to write an entry about how nervous I am when meeting cool moms; I mean it’s like finding a Unicorn! But I digress).  Anyway, toward the end of the playdate, her husband came home.  She has three kids, only one of whom is over 5, and I have two under 5; as you can imagine, it was a little chaotic.  We must’ve started and never finished conversations on about 20 different topics.  When her husband arrived my children had chosen this as the perfect time to FINALLY sit down and eat their pizza from two hours ago; because children are phenomenally oblivious to overstaying one’s welcome.  Her children had gone over to the couch and were wrestling over the iPad.  Her husband casually walked into the kitchen, fixed himself up a plate, and calmly sat down to eat while scrolling through his phone.  Meanwhile, the kids were climbing and screaming on top of each other on the couch.  This scene was all too familiar to me.  It may as well be my house.  Finally, she had enough and said something to the effect of, “Can you help?”

Cue husband grabbing one of the children and taking her to the other room.  She apologized to me saying, “I’m sorry.  It’s just he sits there calmly eating.  Meanwhile you and I wolfed down our food in two seconds and washed it down with the cold coffee from three hours ago while we wrangle kids.  I just can’t.”  I assured her that she had no need to apologize and that I have been there.  That I had just been there the previous night.  At which point we had a joking conversation about how there should be “husband training.”

Which brings me to my Utopia fantasy in which I envision what this would look like.  Oh and to be progressive and fair, I call it Spousal Training.  And it looks something like this, (this is only the beginning! haha!):

 

Spousal Training

Lesson 1- Pregnancy

You’re both pregnant.  Except when you’re not.

Ex. If she can’t drink during pregnancy, neither can you.  However, don’t mistake this with the entitlement to gripe and complain.  Make no mistake; she’s doing all the hard work.  Praise the ground she walks on.  She’s growing a human being. Her organs are being shoved into her extremities by the cutest intruder, who incidentally is constantly playing kickball with her bladder.

Lesson 2- Birth & Infancy

Let’s get one thing straight: You’re never going to sleep again.  And no, it’s not ok to sleep in on weekends because you have the “go to an office/building and get paid” job.  Her job is just as important; though she doesn’t get paid, she’s responsible for keeping the tiny human alive.  Not to mention she is responsible for shaping this tiny human into a decent and kind adult. If she has to be up; so can you.

Lesson 3- Household Chores

Ok, people. It’s 2017. Yes, being a SAHP (stay at home parent; I see you, Stay at Home Dads!), technically means that you have more time to cook and clean. TECHNICALLY.  But practically speaking, any SAHP will tell you this is rarely the reality.  Here’s my view: we all live in the house together, we all should help clean up.  When you have children under 5, this is hard to enforce. BUT; there are small chores some kids 2-4 can help with like cleaning up toys and getting in the habit of putting their clothes in the hamper and shoes in the closet.  It’s never to early.  On that note; working parents, yes, I know you’re tired at the end of the day.  But guess, what? So is your Stay At Home Spouse who’s been working hard to keep the tiny humans alive, fed, in one piece, entertained, and keep the house clean.  Lead by example and pitch in.  Even one load of laundry and the dishes can swoon a SAHP. (Hint hint, wink wink)

Lesson 4- Eating

Ok, I don’t know what else to call this.  But, as in the example of my mom friend; you do not get to come home and sit calmly with your phone and your dinner while havoc ensues around you.  Hey, we get it you’ve had a long day and you’re hungry.  Same for your Stay At Home Spouse.

Lesson 5- Be A Team

Ok.  All jokes aside.  Bottom line.  Be A Team.  Not every family gets to have a designated SAHP; some families have to have two working parents who do have to conquer and divide all child-rearing and housekeeping tasks.  And while some SAHPs have always dreamt of being a SAHP, others give up dream careers to offer a SAHP to your tiny humans.  So let’s be a team.

Any other ‘lessons’ anyone wants to contribute to my budding “Spouse Training Manual”?