You’re probably a good mom…

We’re late again. As I’m juggling a 14 month old wiggle-worm trying my darnedest to squeeze his feet into his new grey Nike’s, I call to Peach and tell her to get her coat and boots on. 10 minutes and 10 requests later she’s still not dressed. She’s in the play room jumping on her miniature trampoline. I feel my patience dwindling like a frayed rope. I’m hanging by a thread. An all too common phrase I use to describe my status to family and friends as of late. I get Chief into his car seat and head back in to tackle his big sister. At this point, I fear we’ll get the boot from her private school since we’re late so often. There’s no more time for “Miss Nice Montessori Mom”. I grab her and man-handle her up the stairs, whip her boots and coat on and carry her out to Black Beauty. Mom. Is. Done. It’s 8:31AM. #sendhelp. Once we’re safely on the way to school. I sink down into a wave of regret and feel like the worlds meanest mom.

I read something one day that said “if you worry about being a good mom, you already are one”. I’m here to tell you to hold onto that, friends.

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Another day done and what was accomplished? Running from one commitment to the next and suddenly it’s bedtime. As the sun sets I normally reflect on the day. Often times, thinking of all the things I wish I would have done. Did I get down on the floor and pretend I was a cat for the 15th time that day? Did I read every book requested of me? Did I serve an organic balanced homemade meal? Did I lose my temper or raise my voice? Did I put down my phone enough? Did I keep bribing my eldest with chocolate chips? Did I complete all my household duties to show a good example to my children? Did the kids get a probably much needed bath? Did I cuddle them as long as possible before turning out the light? Did I say “I love you” enough?

We could all fall victim to holding onto our potential shortcomings as a parent. Could we have done better? Probably, but let’s focus on the good that came from our day.

My children thought I was a hilarious feline. Meow! I got to read some of my childhood favorite books. (Hello, Jan Brett!) Their tummies were filled and they were loved. So what if I didn’t fold the clean laundry today? Life is a progression and the chores are never all done. One thing is for sure though, these days are limited. (Insert baby fever).

I’ve lost my temper more times than I’d care to admit. Yet, how easily my children keep smiling and loving me. They don’t even contemplate what it means to forgive. They just do it. In an instant. Can we see the world through our children’s eyes for a moment? Take a step back and love more?

Do you ever ponder these things about your parenting day in and day out? If you do, chances are you’re a good mom (or Dad)! So let’s hold onto the positive love filled moments we provided for our children today and not be too hard on ourselves. That doesn’t mean we don’t need to strive to improve our lives. I know I do. It’s patience for me. I believe with love and patience anything is possible (especially in parenthood). Maybe even being on time!

💕😻- TBHM Hilary

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Toddler Easter Basket Ideas

Here are some of my favorite ideas for toddler Easter baskets that won’t give them a sugar high. Peace be with you all this Easter!

INDOOR TOYS

-Board books

-Puzzles

-Stuffed Animals

-Coloring books/ arts and craft supplies

APPAREL (etc)

-Rainboots or Sandals

-Sun hats

-Warm weather jammies

-Sunglasses

-Spring outfit

-Water Bottles

-Fun toothbrushes

OUTDOOR TOYS

-Bubbles

-Balls

-Sidewalk chalk

-Sand Toys

I highly recommend the dollar section at Target for some adorable Easter basket goodies. I plan to add a few more items to our baskets once the personalized ones I ordered arrive!

How cute are these?! Made by Sticky Momma Designs!

What fun surprises are you putting in your children’s baskets this year?

🐇🐣-TBHM Hilary

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Hot Mess of the Week- Freezer Meal Swap

When I got invited to do a freezer meal swap I was all in. Let’s be honest. I’m a little more Betty Crockpot than Crocker, if ya feel me. All I was going to have to do was prepare 2 different recipes for the group and I’d be bringing home 12 meals. Easy enough right?!

My sister, Mimi, was included in the exchange so we decided to prep our food together. We learned very quickly this wasn’t going to be as easy as we had imagined. It began with Split Pea Soup. Mimi had prepped her peas by soaking them since the early morning for hours. She arrived at my front later that afternoon with pots overflowing with damp green legumes. More dreams of ease start being crushed when we realize we don’t seem to have enough stove space or pots to accommodate the soup. Yet, we manage to start simmering the split peas and move on to prep of the next meal.

25 onions chopped later, we’re starting to sweat. WINE PLEASE. My stove top is starting to gurgle and bubble, army green liquid splattering about. Our other sister arrives and I get her to start opening cans of black beans for me. Again, 24 cans later and carpal tunnel beginning to throb, I decide to text the woman who organized the meal swap. At this point I imagine she’s drowning in the kitchen like us. I’m concerned about her!

Here’s a little how the text conversation goes:

Me: Meal Swap 2018 happening. All I can say is WOW.

Her: Overwhelmed?

Me: Overwhelmed, Yes. Grateful for my big kitchen island but not enough pots, pans and stove space.

Her: What are you using pots and pans for?!

…Ugh, gulp…what do you mean? We’re meal prepping…

*Phone rings*

She calls after she quickly learns that things have gone off the rails. Can you say “train wreck?”  I start to laugh-cry (you know the kind) as she explains we weren’t supposed to actually cook the food. We were just supposed to put the raw ingredients in freezer bags, ready for a slow cooker. I look at Mimi. She’s getting a little teary eyed. I head towards the wine. WINE PLEASE. NOW PLEASE. Screw the glass, gimme the bottle. JK its a box.

We were literally supposed to dump the food into bags and call it a day. GUYS, WE HAD BEEN IN THE KITCHEN FOR 5 HOURS. That doesn’t include the pea pre-soak. Part shaking-part crying- part laughing we attempt to breathe again. My husband was home at this point sitting on the couch like “what in the world did I seriously just come home to?” Yet, he’s never surprised. Another day, another hot mess. I like to keep things exciting in our marriage. *winks*

A slight bit of relief washes over us since we’re happy we won’t have to pull an all-nighter on this meal prep. Too bad we couldn’t finish it all then and there. Nope, 4 steaming hot pots of soup had to cool before bagging. So lucky us, the fun continued the next day.

I don’t think I’ll ever run out of hot mess stories to share with you. They just. Keep. Coming.

🍲🥄-TBHM Hilary

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Motherhood is lonely (yet, I’m never alone)

I’ve said it before “if you think my hands are full, you should see my heart”. It’s true. Motherhood is the most fulfilling, heart warming, proudest part of my life. My little loves, made from love. How I cherish them so. There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not thankful for spending all my days with them. We all get the same 24 hours. I know in my heart, I’ll never regret these priceless years.

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That doesn’t mean some days don’t feel mundane. They do. Endless butt wiping, snack preparing, tantrum calming, tidying up all the while running on a few hours of sleep. Yeah, I’ve seen easier days.

It’s hard not to look at snapshots of my childless friends’ lives and take a trip down memory lane. Back when shopping dates and happy hours were spontaneous. Now my happy hour is boxed wine at home while folding tiny clothing in my robe. Thrilling, I know.

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The transition to motherhood is enormous. Not only your body has drastic changes but everything else in your life.  One day when my daughter was a few months old I sat pondering how everything was so different. How could I be busy all day long taking care of my child and home yet feel so isolated? The kids need naps, the household needs maintenance, feeding the tribe, husband works late, etc. Am I looking for a remedy to my lonely stay-at-home mom life? No, not exactly. This is the chapter I’m in right now and that’s okay. I get to say “I wanted this life.” Yet, I also can say “this is hard.”

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You know what would be cool though? If my friends pretended like I’m the old me. Invite me to happy hour. Invite me to Friday night double date. Invite me to the adult cabin weekend. Even if, “You probably don’t have a sitter”, or “I figured the kids had to go to bed”. Whoa there…if there’s a chance I can go I will find someone to watch my kids. Please don’t assume I can’t come. Heck, I might not even want to go! I honestly probably want to go to bed early. #teamnosleep.  I don’t blame my friends for being this way. Our lives are drastically different these days. I think staying up late is 10:30 PM. They’re just getting started. (and good for them!)

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It’s hard spending an entire day with only toddlers to converse with or a baby that doesn’t even talk. The whole day might be spinning, but once the kids are in bed everything comes to a screeching halt. Like, wow. What is my purpose? Is anyone out there? Hello?! It’s me. I’m “still me”. I’ve said that a few too many times since becoming a mother, I’m afraid. When in reality, I am a new version of myself. There’s really no way I could be the exact person I was before becoming a mother. Now I’m a beautiful, caring, strong, selfless version of myself. A person I can be proud of.

Have no fear, I don’t let the loneliness consume me. I truly know today is a gift and these little babes won’t be little for very long at all. There is beauty in every day. You just have to find it. Even if it’s sticky and covered in crumbs. There’s no doubt, it’s full of love too.

💓👩‍👧‍👦-TBHM Hilary

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Hot Mess of the Week- Shame at School Pickup

I haven’t always been so forward about my hot mess life. Especially when it comes to my daughters school. Do I want them to know that I’m running late whilst throwing an Uncrustable from the frozen section at Costco on my counter? No. I’d prefer to be thought of as the mom who is creating beautiful themed bento box lunches. Prepped fresh at 5AM after my morning workout. A gal can dream…but, who am I kidding?! #teamnosleep doesn’t allow for a life like that.

I retrieve my daughter from the toddler community (Montessori lingo). All the while, juggling my baby as we make the long journey to Black Beauty (my suburban). Long Journey, you ask? Yes. Nothing ever comes fast and easy with the Poulsen Party of 4 (3 since Dad was working).

I prep Peachy Popper (age 2). “There’s the car, walk to the door and climb in.” She takes off running towards the neighboring house. Down a hill, through 2′ thick snow. She takes a mighty tumble, mitten-less. Insanity ensues. Or perhaps, sharp foreshadowing.

I clomp down the hill, wrangling a whiny Baby Chief. Snow getting all in my red Ugg boots, grab crying Peach and head back up the hill to the parking lot. I open the door and we all climb in. I plop Chief in his seat while I clip Peach in. At that point, I start the truck with my auto start from my key fob. I hop out to walk around to fasten the baby in.

*SLAP* My hand slips off the door handle. *STOMACH SINKS* You guessed it. My doors are locked. My keys?! Sitting cozy on the open seat next to Peach. Toddler clipped in, mobile baby not. Insert- PANIC. Mind you, it’s approximately 10 degrees outside. Nothing left to do but call my personal “emergency responder” (husband). His response, “call the cops.” Thanks dude.

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Here’s the proof to set the scene. My view from the outside in.

I succumb to the inevitable and dial 9-1-1. At this point, other toddler moms are seeing that I’m having a serious struggle happen. One even stops to take my photo, “for the blog”. Haha. The principal even comes outside to check on me. Delivering a coffee. (Reason 100 why I love that school). As I wait for the police I just pray my baby doesn’t flip out of his seat. He’s a wild buck and he thought this was thrilling and hilarious.

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Lovely…

The cop arrives and insists that things like this happen constantly. I don’t feel too bad… he even lets me snap a pic of him! LOL. Honestly, this dude was comical and I want him to come over for dinner. I just hope he likes frozen lasagne. *winks*

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As much as I’d like to keep up appearances, it’s seems like I’m already super successful living up to my name, Totally Blessed Hot Mess. Now the school moms and faculty have confirmed their suspicions. #ownit?

👮‍♂️ 🔐 🤦🏻‍♀️- TBHM Hilary

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Favorite Kid Item of the Week- Reusable Pouches

Pouch addicted toddlers anyone?! I admit, I’m as big of a fan as they are. Convenient snacks that are something other than crackers? Sign me up. Our go-to pouches are greek yogurt and applesauce. Much to my daughters dismay, I limit her to 1 yogurt and 1 applesauce a day. Trust me, I’m all about as easy clean up as possible. Yet, the price of the daily pouch fix plus waste, started to eat at me. So, after some sweet talking to my hubby (aka bickering that I’d actually clean the pouches) I convinced him to Amazon Prime me an order of Squooshi reusable pouches to try.

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I can prepare 9 pouches for the same price that I was buying 4 greek yogurt pouches for. Just look for the deals. Psst, Target and Costco. Easy to fill. I just spooned it in. Squooshi does make a filling station which I’m thinking about trying.

Pro Tip- don’t over fill. Leave enough room to close the pouch.

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Chief (13 months) and Peach (2) enjoying a post-nap pouch

I’m writing this post to tell you that even me, Hot Mess Hilary, can handle cleaning reusable pouches. It’s not even bad. I brought some on a day trip and managed to bring them home and clean them before they were beyond saving. Can you say “win”?! It’s hard to believe considering how many moldy snacks I find in my bag…

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Hand wash and I recommend a dish drying rack to hook them on. I got mine at Dollar Tree. You can use a bottle brush to get in the curves if you find it necessary. I’ve taken to “pouch prepping” to get set for the week.

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Chief approves.

Squooshi makes a variety of pouch sizes and designs. I have the large size which holds up to 6oz. I’m sold, guys! I’m already scoping out the other sizes to try.

Do you use reusable pouches? What’s your favorite brand? Any tips, tricks or recipes you’d recommend?

👍🏼👩‍👧‍👦- TBHMHilary

Nickelodeon Universe

Cabin fever, freezing temps, rainy day, boredom, layover at MSP? Get the kids to Mall of America’s Nickelodeon Universe! MOA has so much to offer for family fun but this is a highlight that’s worth a trip.

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Nick Universe has 27 different rides to enjoy. 11 of which are considered “Junior” and 5 that are “family”. So no worries, there are plenty for the toddler variety to take delight in!

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Even Chief (12 months old) got to enjoy a ride on the “black stallion”

Purchase tickets online or in person at one of the kiosks. You can make a day out of it or buy as little as a “3 Point Pass” which will get you on 1 ride. I went with my sister, brother-in-law and both my kids. Between us we bought two 18-point passes which you can use amongst everyone. We went on about 8 different rides taking turns who rode with Peach.

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Peach and Uncle Troy on Azul, the blue train

Toddler meltdown but still have points left? The point passes don’t expire so save them for next time or pay it forward and hand them off to an eager kid. I still have a few points waiting for next time.

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Peach (2.5) and I on Blue’s Skidoo

Seriously guys, look how much fun Peach and Auntie Mimi are having on “Swipers Sweeper”!

Being it’s the Mall of America, there are tons of food options to choose from. We made the day extra special and dined at the Rainforest Cafe! If your kids love animals this is such a fun place to eat. There is something for everyone on the menu. I was impressed with the kids meals too! Or you can check out the new food court complete with our fave, Chick Fil A!

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Peach sipping on her beverage at Rainforest Cafe

DEALS ALERT! MOA hosts “Toddler Tuesdays” which offer Toddler Wristbands from Nickelodeon Universe. $12.99 for 5 hours of unlimited toddler rides. Tons of restaurants have kids eat free. Plus, many other attractions have discounts. For a full list of T.T. events click here.

Have you taken your kids to Nickelodeon Universe? Planning a trip to Minnesota soon? Let me know what you think!

🎠🎡-TBHM Hilary

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