Two Working Moms

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Juice Cleanse Made Me Feel Dirty

If you have been following me then you know I like to do new challenges for myself. I would consider myself a healthy person who has been a vegetarian for 28 years, runs regularly and tries to live a healthy lifestyle. I have never done a juice cleanse and thinking about the new year and my goals I thought this might be a great time to try it out. Everyone’s experience is unique, and this is mine and why I don’t think the juice cleanse thing is for me.

Everything came by mail and I got it in a few days at my doorstep. 18 juice bottles arrived mostly frozen and I put a few in the fridge to start later that day. Since I didn’t give it enough time to defrost the first few, what I had was more of a slushy, but, as it turns out, I really enjoyed the crunch. The directions did say to give it 24 hours to defrost. Screen Shot 2018-12-12 at 11.06.47 AM

The directions said there wasn’t any order to juices and to drink them when I was hungry. It was a 3 day cleanse and on top of the juice you should drink lots of water. Raw veggies and some nuts (very little) can be added if you must have something. The directions also said you didn’t have to drink all 6 juices in one day.

I loved 4 of the first flavors I had and to my surprise, things I don’t normally enjoy, like carrot juice,  were super yummy with a touch of ginger and lemon.  The 5th one I had was not that good and reminded me of grass. I was so hungry I drank it and was looking forward to the 6th one. Sadly it was the same flavor. Just my luck that the one I didn’t like was the only one doubled up each day. So out of 16 juices, it was 4 of them.  It was so gross that I just opted to not drink it and went to bed early, hungry and a little worried about how I was going to manage the next day on 4 juices.

I have never gone to bed hungry and as I laid there in my bed I felt dirty. Here I am a white privileged 40-year-old starving myself in the name of cleansing. My tummy growled as if it agreed with me and in the dark I found comfort knowing my daughter at age 3 didn’t see this disaster. I’m her role model and what I am saying by starving myself? I do agree drinking all that water and having to go to the bathroom every hour did something. I do feel lighter and my clothes fit better, but when I went running I was weak and my body just wasn’t at its best.

For me the juice cleanse isn’t the lifestyle I want to represent. I want to celebrate food, people, community, and treat my body with respect and fuel it with love. * L


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Enchant Christmas in Seattle

I was so excited to take my family to Seattle’s new Christmas event, Enchant Christmas. Wanted to share my experience so you can judge if this is the right event for you and your family. Also shared some tips if you do go to make the most of it.

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Getting In

We went on Saturday night for the 4:30 opening. Got there early and parked in the parking garage across the street for $25. When we drove by the front the line was so long getting in so we took our time getting out of the car and had snacks ready for my 3 and 5-year-old to be patient in line. When we got there at 4:30 the line was mostly gone and everything went really fast including security check. Do not show up early as you will just be waiting in line, but do show up early if you do not have your pre-sale tickets. When we got there tickets are sold out till the 9pm opening. Thankfully we got in… long story.

Snow and Ice and Everything Nice

I wasn’t really sure how the maze and ice skating worked. The maze was more of an open area so having a running 3-year-old wasn’t any fun. Should have brought the stroller, but dang that elevator line must have been a long one, so happy we didn’t. The maze or walk about was super pretty and there were so many photo ops. I loved it when I wasn’t chasing my little one. Would have loved a kid-friendly area that was fenced off and stuff they are allowed to touch and climb on. For this reason, I really didn’t think this event was little kid appropriate.

Tip: if you do go with little one, make sure to take them someplace beforehand to get the wiggles out. Really my advice would be not to bring them till they are 8 and up. (After I took the photo below we came back to this area and noticed they put up signs saying not to touch or walk on this.)

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My kids got really excited to see snow. There were a few special spots with snowfall but it was so tiny you almost missed it. Nothing like what you saw on the site. The worrier in me wasn’t sure what the snow was made of and once my kids tried to eat it and catch the snowflakes on their tongue we moved on.

They had a fun game to find clues to catch the raindeers but my 3 and 5-year-old didn’t really care much for it and just wanted to run around. I thought it was a very nice touch and kids 8 or up might enjoy something like this to make the maze more interactive.

Other than the maze there is a lazy river ice skating area. For $10 and maybe an hour wait in line, you can take part. My kids don’t know how to ice skate as most 5 and under might not so we didn’t take part in this. My kids really wanted to play with ice and snow so even showing them the area made them a little sad they couldn’t take part.

Tip: If you aren’t skating just avoid this area with your little ones.

Shopping & Food

I’ve been to the German Christmas Markets and got chestnuts, pastries, and hot mulled wine. Here the only food you are going to get is the normal Safeco food. They did add mulled wine and spiked hot cocoa. I brought a lot of snacks, so for our family, we got 3 slices of pizza, and a bottle of water, hot cocoa for the kids for $50. I also got spiked hot cocoa and a cup of mulled wine for $20 ($10 each). The wine was disgusting we couldn’t drink it and just tossed it in the trash. Kind of tasted like everything in it got burned and was really not drinkable. Another person who attended said the same thing so whatever you do do not order this.

Tip: Do order the spiked hot cocoa and make sure to bring your own marshmallows.

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Stores at these Christmas Markets sell cookies and treats but also ornaments, scarfs, things to keep warm and seasonal stuff. The stores at this event are lipstick, Seahawk gear, and stuff people like but not traditional to what I was expecting. Also after spending $165 for a family of 4 ($70 family pack, $25 for parking, $70 on food) for a few hours, I wasn’t in the mood to shop and my kids didn’t have the patience with the crowd. Perhaps if it was just hubby and me, it might have been more fun to look around the little booths and shop a little.

Tip: Not sure what the policy is but I brought a lot of food and snacks for my kids. I’d bring a sandwich if you don’t want to pay $6 for a slice of pizza.

It’s Christmas

I just love Christmas and this place is super magical and beautifully decorated. Would make for a fun date night with a loved one. They also have Santa and some great spots for photos. The line for Santa was really long and there wasn’t much for the kids to do while they wait. There is also not a lot of sitting areas so after eating dinner standing and drinking some hot cocoa we opted to leave after being there for 90 min.

Tip: Don’t forget to bring a coat. The event is covered but it is very cold and drafty. We had jackets but I wish I had brought the kids gloves.

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In the end, I was happy we went and I loved how pretty everything was and so magical. But when friends ask it was a lot of money and I don’t think it is a great place for little kids. Save the money and go to candy cane lane and get hot cocoa as you walk.

I can’t wait to go Enchant next year without my kids. * L

 


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Kindness Advent Calendar for Little Kids

I LOVE Christmas and I can’t wait to decorate the house and put up our tree. As a mom it is very special sharing the joy with my kids. What I want them to remember the most isn’t the gifts but the overall joy of giving and sharing holiday cheer.

One thing we did last year with my then 2 and 4 year old will now be our annual tradition, is the Kindness Advent Calendar. They really love getting involved with the kind act of the day and got excited to hear what tomorrows kind act would be over dinner the night before.

Here are our 31 days of kindness for little ones:

Day 1 – Help around the house. It doesn’t have to be big. Here my 2 year old is helping unpack our produce box.

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Day 2 – Extra love for the pets. We gave our dog Una extra time to play at the park. Our kids had fun making the outing all about her.

Day 3 – Pick up someones newspaper at the end of the driveway and put it on their front steps. Not a lot of this these days but fun task to do when you are out for a walk or on your way to the park.

Day 4 – Buy coffee for the person behind you. I like to do this in the drive-thru and I ask my kids if today is the day we should do it. They love looking behind to see their faces. Or make coffee or tea for a loved one.

Day 5 – Help make Christmas cards. Even the 2 year old got to help with our cards this year. Give them the job to put stickers on the envelop or something that fits their age and skills.

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Day 6 – Collect all the toys you no longer use or want to donate to others. We do this a few times a year but this is also a great time to do it with the kids and talk about how others at school might not be getting a lot of toys and how to talk with compassion.

Day 7 – This follows up great with picking a tag off the giving tree. Since my kids can’t read yet I like to pick a kid their age so they can find a gift to give them. If you can giving new toys is a nice way to give back.

Day 8 –  Help someone in your family. I like giving the kids this one and letting them find a way to help. It can be bringing in someones dish to the kitchen, getting them a cup of water, or washing your brothers back with the luffa at bath-time.

Day 9 – Play nice with your friends. Have the kids try to go the extra mile to share and be kind to their friends. It is a fun task to have them focus on being kind for a day.

Day 10 – Make something for Grandma or a loved one. Everyone loves homemade gifts and treats.

Day 11 – Leave candy-canes in the neighborhood (or mailboxes). We added notes to our so they knew it was a gift from a friend.

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Day 12 – Help make Christmas gifts. Last year we made a bunch of homemade chapsticks to give to friends and family. The kids really enjoyed helping and wrapping them up.

Day 13 – Bake something. We made muffins to give to friends. This year we might do a big batch of cookies.

Day 14 – Offer to watch your friends kids and have a mini playdate at your home or park. Your kids will love it too and this will give another family some time to do things.

Day 15 – Donate food to a food bank. You can either purge from your own home or give your kids a budget to go buy stuff for a family in need.

Day 16 – Write inspirational notes or art work on post-its and put them up in public places for others to see. Public bathroom mirrors are a great spot!

Day 17 – Make a bird feeder to hang in a tree. There are some really fun easy ones you can do with pinecones, peanut-butter, string, and seeds. Also fun to watch the birds after!

Day 18 – Participate in neighborhood caroling. Or sign for family members and put on a show.

Day 19 – Bring a friend a hot cocoa when you meet up. Who doesn’t enjoy something hot on a cold winter day.

Day 20 – Buy a few coffee gift cards and hand them out to people you don’t know. We do a fun day downtown and I love having them for this event so my kids can call out people who they think could use a nice hot cup of coffee. Or you can give something els, it is the act of giving that is important.

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Day 21 – Hold open the door. This is a another great one for our downtown event. Ask the older kids to look for opportunities to hold the door for others. My son loves this one!

Day 22 – Buy something special for a family member. This isn’t anything big, just something special just for them. My kids are young so this is a fun way to help them learn about money and picking out a special gift for other family members.

Day 23 – Visit a senior center or memory care home. Bring treats, flowers, or the homemade cards and share some joy.

Day 24 – Make homemade cards. Depending on the age of your kids they can be simple cards with stickers and images, or write something inspirational, like you are loved, or have a great day.

Day 25 – Call family members and say hello. Good lesson for the kids to remember even if we aren’t together doing face time and saying hello is important and a way to stay connected to loved ones.

Day 26 – Help take down Christmas. We love the holidays but day after we take down our tree and everyone helps out.

Day 27 – Host a playdate. We made a hot cocoa station for the fun event at our home.

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Day 28 – Let someone else pick! It can be letting your sister pick out the show or movie to watch. Let them pick what song to listen to in the car or what place to eat lunch.

Day 29 – Learn how to say hello in different languages. Fun way to talk about other cultures and how to be kind when you meet people who don’t speak English.

Day 30 – Let someone go in front of you in line. You can do this several times during the day.

Day 31 – Get an extra hour. Everyone gets to pick either an hour of sleeping in, and hour extra of play, or an hour extra to stay up at night and go to bed late.

Here is a PDF of the Kindness Advent Calendar with visual clues for each day for you to print and use with the little ones. Enjoy and Merry Christmas * L


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Best Birthday Gift EVER

I am a working woman and I not only do I have a 401k job that takes up 50+ hours of my week I also have a nonprofit Starlight Scholars, and small foundation Two Working Moms that take up some of my free time when I am not mom-ing. I love being a mom, it is what I wanted back when I was in preschool playing house. I also love having a career and working on solving problems that help other be successful in their lives. As you can tell life is full.

Another year has passed and my birthday is coming up. My hubby asked what I wanted and after thinking about it what I really want is time. Time to focus on my 2019 goals and my 7 key pillars, time for me, me time!

So for my birthday this year I gave myself the best birthday gift ever and gave myself a week off. 

Liana

The only time I have ever given myself time off was when I was able to carve out a little time before I started a new job or if you count the 8 weeks I went on short-term disability aka Amazon Maternity Leave. Yes I have taken vacations, done trips, did staycations, but never alone and just for me.

This week I took time off to do me and it was the best gift I have ever received. Kind of makes me sad it took me 40 year to think of this perfect gift.

We all know the best thing you can do to take care of your family, friends, and loved ones is to take care of yourself. So this year for your birthday consider giving yourself time. If you are a stay-at-home mom hire a nanny for the week. If you work at home, hire someone to take over for the week. If you work for a company ask for that time off.

You know best what you will want to do for your week. For me I made a list of what I was NOT going to do and what I was so I could make the most of my time. I still woke up at 4:30/5am to go running and most of the time will be spent on my 7 focus areas for 2019.

Family: Host playdate, volunteer at my son’s school, field trip with daughter’s preschool.

Home: Take down Halloween decorations, look into bathroom renovations.

Education: Finish book for bookclub, cooking and Spanish classes.

Work: Paperwork to move nonprofit from CA to WA, work on my Instagram and FB page.

Creation: Blog posts, TWM event, make blanket, family holiday photos.

Love: Date with hubby, 2 meals for new baby friends, massage session.

Health: Sign-Up for races and look into a fasting week.

Here is what I will NOT do: Clean the House, Organize Things, Special Meals, Weekly Errands, or Sleeping In.

Follow along with me on Facebook or Instagram. I post about working moms, life in the Pacific North West, monthly challenges, and how I am doing on my goals.

Happy Birthday to me!!!! * L

 


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Little Table Activities

In our home, we have this “little table“. You know the one every home with little kids under 5 have. Many from IKEA with a natural wood finish and 2 white chairs. That is the one I am talking about. In our home just about every evening, you will hear us tell our 3 and 5-year-old “go to the little table”. There we do fun activities that usually involve a small set up and gives the kids something to do on their own while we make dinner or get ready to leave the house.

Most dinner nights my hubby is the cook and I put together some version of that for the kids since they do not eat as adventurous as the adults.

Fall is around the corner and with kids going back to school we are changing our schedule, getting into a new groove, and perhaps more soups and raining cold evenings inside.

Over time I captured some of these “little table activities” and posted them to Instagram #littletableactivites for others to glean from and use in their homes when looking for something new to do inside.

Here is little more about the activities, what you need, and tips on things I used or did. Some of my favorite I have in plastic like shoe boxes to pull out and use again and again. Others are a one-time thing or part of a larger project like learning the alphabet.

Some of my favorite little table activities that I keep in clear plastic shoe-boxes to reuse are play-dough and tools,  fake snow, and watercolors with paper. I try to keep the messy activities on days the kids are taking a bath shortly after. What I love about these activities and it keeps them occupied for a good hour.

Other little table activities that have been a hit with my kids are things I have found at the dollar section at Target are more holiday and seasonal, like coloring pumpkins, make a Frankenstein illuminator, and fall stain-glass painting. Seasonal little table activities from the dollar store or Target are a lot of fun for a one-time use.

We also do more educationally little table activities like working on our letters and learning the alphabet. You can make these ahead of time and have a few letters in the box ready to go.

I plan on doing a lot more little table activities as the days get shorter here in the PNW. Follow us at Two Working Moms on Facebook or #TWM on Instagram to see whats new. * L

 

 


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Healthy Bento Box Lunches

This week my oldest is starting Kindergarten. I am super excited for this little boy to learn and blossom and make new friends. He is so ready and we are all very excited about this new stage of life.

I also can’t wait to have an excuse to make bento box lunches. Back in the day when I was single and made my own lunch, I got really into bento boxes.

Here are a few I made:

My kids and I are vegetarian and he isn’t as adventurous of an eater as I am so I am going to have to modify his bento box lot but overall I hope to keep them healthy, add variety, and maybe even toss in something he might not like/eat in hopes he does one day.

Overall I say we eat healthily but yeah my kids eat mac and cheeses a lot. We do eat a lot of homemade stuff and my hubby is a great cook and loves making new things. That said I saw this list of popular oat cereals and granola snack bars that have a very high level of weed-killing poison called Roundup. Most like me thing oats are healthy and good for our kids, but the truth is in America we use Roundup and this is not something I would eat or want my kids to eat.

Glyphosate, an herbicide linked to cancer was found in all but two of 45 samples of products made with conventionally grown oats. Here is a sample of what you will see in the report with all the Roundup food products listed. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, the Monsanto weed killer that is the most heavily used pesticide in the U.S. Take a look and see what brands to avoid and guess we will be shopping for our Oats at WholeFoods:

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As a mom, I am always on the quest to feed my kids healthy food. Looking forward to making fun bento boxes and avoiding bad foods including the dirty dozen.

Some things I really love to use is these metal bento boxes. They have compartments and it is super easy for my kids to open on their own and since they are metal they are easy to clean and don’t stain.

You can find bento stuff just about anywhere, including on Amazon. To get started I would recommend the following:

  1. Metal Bento Box
  2. Silicone Cups
  3. Vegetable Cutters
  4. Food Picks
  5. Egg Shaper

If you need some inspiration I just love following Kid Lunch Box on IG. They have a lot of meat dishes and food, but I love the variety of foods they use.

This will be new for me, or shall as I say a reborn passion of mine with a kid spin to it.

Follow me and my working mom bestie on Instagram and you can check out my new bento box lunch creations this year. It will be vegetarian and as healthy as  I can get it with my picky 5-year-old. * L


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Potty Talk

If you already use the potty, don’t have kids, or have kids who already use the potty, then this blog post isn’t for you. On the other hand, if you do have a kid or little one who is about to go on the potty training journey do read on and make sure to pour yourself a glass of wine while you are at it.

My kids are 5 and 2 and right now we are trying to get one kid to stop talking about the potty and the other one to use it.

Before I get to the current day, let’s talk about my first journey of potty training with my son Deklan. Not sure about you but a lot of what I heard when researching potty training was don’t start too early.

If you do or force it, your kid will rebel and you might end up with a bed wetter and be the worst mom ever… or something like that.

For some reason, this advice really hit home for my husband. The thing with having an active partner in parenting is you have to be on the same page. I really wanted to get my son potty trained while I was on short-term disability for 8 weeks (aka Amazon Maternity back when they didn’t give any). I thought being home with a newborn was the perfect time to do that pantless thing while making your kid drink lots of juice. My hubby thought 2 and a half was too young but kind of just went along with it.

To prepare I did a lot of what was recommended:

  • Read the books
  • Got a stool for the potty and stickers for my son to personalize
  • Found some good kids books to read while on the potty
  • Charts with stickers for tracking progress
  • Basket with toys and treats for rewards
  • Visual timer to use while on the potty
  • Inserted a smaller potty seat
  • Bought fun underwear

38875510_224240011571861_1580216930323660800_nThe potty training weekend went great but as soon as my son was with my husband he put diapers on him and it just never stuck. Soon after I went back to work, life with a newborn was too much. Now thinking back trying to potty train a kid while home with a newborn, with a partner who isn’t sure, is a bad strategy for sure.

It wasn’t till 6 months later at my son’s 3-year-old check-in with his Dr. that it all changed. The Dr. asked if my son Deklan stays dry at night. He has for months and apparently, the Dr. thought Deklan was VERY ready to be potty trained.

That weekend we did the pantless thing again, and again he did great. This time we didn’t put him back in diapers, in fact, we didn’t even get pull-ups, nothing not even underwear since we heard that can be confusing.  He never once had an accident and now thinking back he was ready. I think he was ready 6 months prior when we first tried but I guess we weren’t ready.

Now 2 years later my little girl was showing signs she was ready. Often if not all the time she is dry in the morning. So at 2 and a half, we started the process. My hubby was more onboard and so was our fabulous nanny. She was the one who actually noticed she was ready first.

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I got ready again and bought a bunch of toys and treats as rewards. We got the sticker chart, we did the weekend thing and it didn’t really stick. We did put pullups on at night but that wasn’t when she had accidents. She did great with pee but often she would poop in her pants during the day.

At first, the accidents happened a lot. Like maybe every day or a few times a day. 99% of the time it was poop. Even after sitting on the potty 5 minutes later she would poop. Or in the bathtub, or after she just sat on the potty for 15 minutes. There really wasn’t any kind of pattern.

One day we went to the zoo with friends. She was in underwear and I had a spare set of clothes. She pooped herself while watching the tigers so we changed. Then just an hour later she pooped herself again and it ran down her leg and into her shoe. It took all of my wet wipes and tossing the clothes and shoes to get my daughter clean enough to walk out of the zoo. I was that mom with a little one with no shoes and only a shirt.

We did everything to avoid the poop accidents and at one point I thought she was just doing it out of spite. In the end, the thing that worked was time. The accidents got less and less. My mom joked, she would get it before college (at the time I didn’t think this was funny). Then one day we realized she hasn’t hadn’t had an accident in weeks.

It is official my daughter is potty trained and our family is done with diapers. The advice I would tell others is every kid is different and eventually, they will get it and that might be over the weekend or over a few months. In the meant time I would suggest these 3 things that I learned along the way:

  1. Little potty for travel. Don’t use this at home. Some who have their kids have a hard time switching to the big one (Lessons from a few of my friends). Do bring this potty to places and have it in the car. There will be times when there isn’t a bathroom or your kid will just refuse a dirty one (who can blame them).
  2. Potty insert for at home to make it smaller.
  3. Potty liners for public toilets (clean and makes the hole look smaller so it is less scary).

All the best on the potty training adventure. * L

P.S. Still trying to figure out how to get my oldest to stop talking about the potty and poop.