Real Talk: Getting Trolled/Mommy Wars

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Once a month, I write a blog post for the Cedar Rapids Moms Blog. I love connecting with local moms, and have made some wonderful friendships by being a writer with them. You can see all the posts I’ve written for CRMB here. I’ve really learned a lot and have definitely seen an improvement in my writing.

I always enjoy when I get comments on my posts. For one, it confirms for me that people (besides my parents) actually read my writing. Two, it’s always been something complimentary or validating, and who doesn’t like a choir of people saying “Right on! I agree!”?

My latest post was titled “Four Hours with my Kids: A Working Mom’s Reality,” and I talked about the challenges of being a full-time working mom. Namely – only getting to spend limited time with my kids before and after work during the week. In it, I was honest, and said I enjoy working, but sometimes I feel guilty not wanting to be a stay at home mom.

When I saw I had received a comment on my post, I was excited to see what someone had written. Not thinking that my post might be controversial AT ALL, I eagerly read the response. It said:

“Sorry but you feel guilty, because someone else is raising your children! Being with your kids 4hours (sic) a day is not giving them what they need. You are thinking about yourself, that’s why you feel guilty. You are fooling yourself, trust me every child wants to be with their mom. Make a sacrifice for a few years until they are in school, you will never get that time back!” -Sandy

Whoa – talk about a gut punch. I didn’t even see it coming. Someone quickly came to the defense of all working moms and responded:

“Wow Sandy – you must have been one that was able to stay at home with your kids. Lucky you (note sarcasm). I myself am a working mom – because I want to and my husband is self-employed. Quite frankly, I don’t feel guilty about leaving my kids at daycare. I know they are learning more there than they ever would at home with me. Most importantly, they get to learn how to play and interact with other children – they aren’t stuck in the same four walls with me every day. My thought for you – if you can’t say something nice, don’t say it at all. Hopefully your kids learned that when they were home with you…” -Lea Ann

Neither comment was very nice. And they both just further promoted what we know as “Mommy Wars.” Breastfeeding vs. formula feeding, SAHM vs. working mom, public vs. private school – and the list goes on.

I know “trolling” happens on blog posts and social media all the time. It’s hard to please everyone, nor should that be the goal. I didn’t take the post personally, and I don’t necessarily agree with everything Lea Ann voiced in her rebuttal, either. I have lots of friends who are SAHM’s and they love it and are wonderful at it.

But, we’re all moms. We all want what is best for our children, and what is best for our personal situations. Promoting or participating in “Mommy Wars” does no good – it just further divides us. I never expect that everyone will agree with my choices 100%. I can only support my fellow moms and write from my heart.

In my heart – being a working mom is me. And I’m proud of that. To quote from the post:

“I pray that they’re seeing first-hand that women can have a successful career and a family, and give them both her all. That they’re getting what they need from me, my husband, and the village that is helping us raise them.”

Let’s stop the mommy wars and band together to join team mom. Lord knows there are plenty of other conflicts and disagreements out in the world today….and I can’t think of a better team to promote love and understanding and support.

Leo’s 1st Birthday Par-Tee

After searching Pinterest for 1st birthday party ideas, I settled on a golf themed party for baby Leo. It was taking place in the middle of summer, in our back yard, and our family loves to play golf. So we planned a 1st birthday PAR-TEE, complete with his very first set of golf clubs!

 

2-tiered cake and smash cake: Countertop Cakes

Embroidered birthday shirt: Etsy

Menu:

Golf Clubs (Brats and Hotdogs)

Putt-ato Salad

Par Pasta Salad

Chip Shots (Chips)

Watermelon Slices

Range Balls (Popcorn Puffs)

Donut Hole-in-Ones (Donut holes)

Arnold Palmers

 

I’m Back–With Lots of BIG News!

Hello, and I’m back!! I had to take a break from blogging for the first part of this year, with lots of big changes going on in my life. But lucky for you, I’m back and ready to talk about what’s happening in Our Little Ivory Tower!

Here’s the first piece of news:

Guess what?!

Guess what?!

Big enough for you???? We found out in November that our life was going to change DRASTICALLY in 9 months and couldn’t be any more thrilled. We got to share the news with our parents at Christmas by giving each set of parents a baby book and ultrasound picture. There was a lot of screaming, tears, and hugs–and I think it’s safe to say this first grandchild on BOTH SIDES is going to be very loved (and very spoiled!) We have decided NOT to find out what we’re having {yes, I know that’s crazy!} so we are preparing as best we can with neutral tones. I can’t wait to show our nursery progress with you as we get further along.

I am at 32 weeks today, so we only have about 2 months left to prepare until the little bambino is here. He or she is incredibly active and has been looking great at my doctor’s appointments. I have been feeling pretty well, but the swelling has been getting worse and worse, and sleep is getting harder and harder to come by. I miss margaritas, sushi, and being able to comfortably bend down to pick something off the ground. I also miss wearing my wedding ring, which became impossible to get on and off about a week ago. Darn you summer pregnancy!

Here’s the second piece of news:

I got a new job! On May 12 I had my first day at ACT in Iowa City as a Product Marketing Associate and it has been a whirlwind since. I’ll be working on marketing their K-12 products including the ACT Test and the new ACT Aspire. While I miss my amazing coworkers from my old job SO MUCH, I’m really excited about my future with ACT and am already loving working full-time in a marketing role. I can’t wait to see where it will go from here.

I think that is enough news for today. Next weekend we’re taking a mini-“babymoon” to Milwaukee, then in coming weeks we have a LOT of work to do to prepare for the baby, and a baby shower at the end of June. We’re also trying to enjoy quality time together while it’s just the two of us, work on projects in and around the house, and getting a few rounds of golf in.

Have a great weekend, and I promise to be back soon!

Dory is resting up for the baby

Dory is resting up for the baby

Where Did January Go?!?

Well, I’m off to a terrible start this year blogging. Believe it or not, it’s been a pretty busy month, despite the freezing temps and frigid weather. I had several things I planned on blogging about this month. For one, I thought I was going to do Bachelor recaps. However, after the first show or two, I realized this season is REALLY not very interesting. The lead barely speaks English, and the girls are pretty blahh. So I didn’t have much motivation to blog about it. Then G & his dad painted our kitchen/dining room, and it looks AWESOME! We still have some projects to finish it off, but the paint looks great. We went with Naval (navy blue) and white, and I’m really happy with how it turned out. Maybe this weekend I will get my kitchen put together enough to take some pictures and post the before and afters.

Last weekend I got to celebrate my friend Tiffany’s 30th birthday at her 90’s theme party. We had SO much fun reliving the 90’s in costume, complete with lots of denim, clogs, and some butterfly clips. I was so impressed how into it everyone got. Lots of great costumes and fun games. One guy even came dressed as a TY BEANIE BABY. It was awesome.

Me and "Cher" - the birthday girl!

Me and “Cher” – the birthday girl!

He's got his tag....how much is he worth?!

He’s got his tag….how much is he worth?!

Bottom's Up for the Birthday Girl!

Bottom’s Up to the Birthday Girl!

It’s going to be a fun year with so many of my friend turning the big 3-0 this year! (I still have another year, though, YIPPEE!)

Tonight I tried a new recipe that I wanted to share while it’s still bitterly cold outside. This chicken noodle soup recipe will make your house smell amazing and will warm you right up–and the best part is it’s SUPER easy and only takes about 30 minutes to make! I did make a few changes to the original recipe found on Pinterest.

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Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients:
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 bag of egg noodles (medium or wide)
2 cans of cooked chunk chicken breast, strained
1 can sliced carrots, strained
8 cups water
Chicken Boullion cubes
Spinach leaves, cut in thin strips
Parsley Flakes

Directions:
1) In a large soup pot, saute onion in olive oil until translucent.
2) Add 8-10 cups hot water and add bouillon cubes (I used 8 cubes)- you could also use canned chicken broth.
3) Bring to a rolling boil and add bag of egg noodles.
4) Boil until noodles are tender (approx. 8-10 minutes, according to package), and stir occasionally.
5) Add carrots, spinach, and chicken and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 more minutes. (I did a quick taste test here and add more seasoning if it needs it including some salt/pepper.)
6) Sprinkle parsley flakes on top and serve!!! (Don’t skip out on the parsley flakes- it really adds to the “homestyle” look of the soup.)

This recipe makes a big pot of soup, so you’ll have left overs for a couple days. It is so easy and delicious, and perfect for this time of year. Enjoy!

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Merry Christmas From the Ivorys!

Merry Christmas friends and family, near and far! We spent the last few days with family in Plainfield, IL celebrating the holiday and getting to see my cousin who is home for a short while from the Air Force. We enjoyed eating way too much and got completely spoiled with presents. We missed being with my sister who was in Colorado, and Greg’s family. But we will continue the celebration with them next weekend.

Hoping you all had a wonderful holiday!

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So This is Christmas

Apparently I’m into naming my posts after songs lately….and I kinda like it. Might see how long I can keep it up! 🙂

Tomorrow I’m hosting some Zetas from my alumnae chapter over to put together the fundraiser I’ve been working on. We sold “finals survival kits” to the parents of the collegiate Zetas, and will put them together for delivery. I’m really excited about it because we sold way more than I expected, and are going to be able to donate a lot of money. I just hope the weather isn’t bad, as many of the ladies are traveling from Iowa City and the Quad Cities. Snow, snow, stay away!

In preparation for my guests, I finished my Christmas decorating today, and even wrapped the presents I have ready so far! I really wish I would have gotten a real tree this year, but with Thanksgiving so late, it just didn’t seem worth the hassle. Hopefully next year…regardless, I’m glad to have it done and am looking forward to enjoying the pretty decor for the next 3 to 4 weeks!

See this year’s decorations below and Merry Christmas, everyone!

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These Are a Few of my FAVORITE Things!

Oh my goodness, you guys! I am SO excited for the NBC LIVE performance of The Sound of Music. It is one of my very favorite movies, not to mention I LOVE Carrie Underwood! And a LIVE TV special?!!? I’m ALL in! So in honor of my excitement…..

…..these are a few of my favorite things……

**Dory-Dog….this little puppy has given me so much joy in the three years we’ve had her. She is snuggly and cuddly, and can put a smile on my face no matter what is going on. We got a good one with this little pup, and I can’t imagine my life without her.

Dory Dog

**Chopped Salad….to me, regular salad is SO hit or miss. Salad bar salad used to ALWAYS be my favorite kind. Portillo’s chopped salad was a close second. But that was really all the chopped salad I was familiar with. Since finding Dole’s chopped salad kits, I could probably eat salad every day and be completely happy. This stuff is amazing…..try it!

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**Hand-Written Notes…..There is nothing like receiving a hand written note from a friend or family member saying hello or they miss you. Call me a hoarder, but I hold on to all the sweet cards and notes I get. Christmas time is amazing because the Christmas cards start rolling in from near and far!

**Sephora BB Cream……It moisturizes, it evens out my skin, it’s got SPF 20, and lets be honest, it just all around makes me prettier. I’ve tried other BB creams before, but this one is for sure my favorite. If you haven’t tried it, get it here!

**Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows…..no special recipe, no special kind. I just think there’s nothing as comforting on a cold winter night as a big ole mug of hot chocolate filled with marshmallows.

Oh, and of course….

….raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favorite things….

Enjoy the show everyone!!!!! I really hope it is as good as I’m expecting it to be!