I firmly believe that parents benefit from other parents. I am just one voice….one perspective….one style of parenting…Awhile back, I ran a weekly feature called Mom Spotlight. Each week, a different mom would fill out our mom survey, sharing a few of their favorite things with all of us. I have re-vamped the survey, including more questions and more areas for moms to share tips, advice, recipes, and ideas….to really share what works and doesn’t work for them. I think this updated version of Mom Spotlight will really benefit the Chasing Supermom community, and I’m really excited about it. I hope many of you will want to participate! (Lots of you ask for more interactive features, but things like Mom Spotlight and The Confessional don’t work without volunteers!)
This week, I am so excited about our first mom back in the spotlight!. Meet Farrah, author of the mom blog,The Three Under! She blogs about life with: A Toddler +Twins and Everything Else! She blogs very honestly and is down to earth and easy to relate to. I think a lot of you will be able to identify with her and some of the challenges/struggles/day to day happenings she faces with her three little ones. I love her vulnerability as a blogger, and think she has shared some good tips with all of you today in her survey. She also has a blog where she does reviews and giveaways called Outnumbered 3 to 1.
For any fellow tweeps out there, you can follow Farrah at @momofthreeunder
Ready to learn from another mother?? Let’s go!! (Remember to LET ME KNOW if you are willing to share with our readers!! We need YOU to make this work!!)
So, who IS this Mom?
Name: Farrah Ritter
Kids (How many/How old): Brody (2.5 years) Lincoln & Chase (twins- 11 mos)
Hometown: Orig. from MI, but live currently in Greenville, SC
Hobbies (You know, b/c we all have TONS of time for these..): I just learned how to make the Chan Luu wrap bead bracelets, but yes, when? I already sacrifice sleeping and eating!
Stress Relievers: Blogging, making those bracelets I never have time to, reading an eBook.
Favorite Way to Exercise: Push my mammoth stroller- it holds all 3 kiddos!
Collections/Obsessions: Collect magnets from the places that we have travelled to
Here are a few of my favorite things:
Pet Peeves: The ‘one upper’ moms. We all do what is best for our family, so back off!
Favorite TV Show: Dexter
Favorite Movie: Gone With The Wind
Favorite Book/Series: Love & miss Hogwarts, and Jean Plaidy series on the women of olde England- (the wives of Henry VIII and after)
Life Philosophy: The days are long but the years are short, so let’s put it in perspective and enjoy it!
Let’s Talk Products!
The baby item I cannot/could not have lived without is: My baby monitor. I may have eeked out a couple of hours sleep extra (total) with it.
Best game(s) for kids: ‘Let’s take turns dumping the container of toys in this room! Now, that room! And again! Drag them here, there, everywhere without really playing with anything!’ is always pretty popular in my house.
Favorite board game/party game (for YOU!): Trivial Pursuit
My favorite children’s book/series/author is: JK Rowling, Laura Ingalls, the Llama, Llama series, and Madeline L’Engle.
No child’s bathroom would be complete without: Extra towels. Many, many towels.
MY must-have in the bathroom is: a very long counter.
My medicine cabinet must have: Excedrin
Make-up essential: Mascara, eyeliner
My favorite kitchen gadget/appliance: Kitchen Aid Mixer (which I wish I used more!)
Favorite app: Kindle, Craigslist (to sell baby stuff), Tap Tap (camera), Life Pics (auto order pics from your phone to store)
Best magazine: Used to be Cookie- but now I like Lucky Kids.
For the outdoors, you MUST have: Bug spray
In the car, you need: Sunglasses, water
I could NOT clean my house without: A million rags.
Come and Get It! (Food time Baby!)
I simply MUST have blank in my pantry at all times: almonds
To keep their lunchbox interesting, I: mix up the kind of cheese I send him.
BEST snack on the market for kids: Peter Rabbit Organic pouches. All three love them!
Finger food ideas for babies/young toddlers: Ziti pasta cut really small.
MY favorite food: Lobster
At lunch, I typically eat: A salad with a million things on it and a pretty high calorie dressing
NEVER eat: Liver
My spice rack would not be complete without: Garlic powder
My go-to weeknight dinner: Neeloo’s Lemon Cream Chicken Pasta
My go-to company dinner: Balsamic BBQ Beef tenderloin medallions
Yummiest dessert: Banana Cream Pie
Best brand/flavor of ice cream: Chocolate Almond, Publix Premium (really!)
Fast and easy breakfast ideas: Egg Mc Muffin in your microwave: in a glass measuring cup take 1 egg and scramble. Cook 30 sec-1 min. Take a spatula to loosen it from the sides, and it will pop out. Put it on toast, a bagel, etc.
Best baby food: I gotta go with Sweet Potatoes. I don’t know what it is about those things, but being a fantastic veggie for them I am thrilled that all 3 loved Sweet Pots!
My favorite way to get (sneak) veggies into my kids diet is: I’m really lucky. My toddler loves veggies- almost to the point to where sometimes that is all he will eat. So it’s not all that great.
When you’re thirsty, you MUST try: Cranberry & pineapple juice over ice.
I would do just about anything for a plate of: Really, really good potato skins.
Best kid-friendly restaurants: Any that is LOUD.
Best drive-thru restaurant: Chick Fil A
Favorite place to go with just the S.O.: Anywhere
Do you make your kids eat what you are eating? Explain why/why not: I try. But I also won’t let my kid go to bed without eating something as it will come back to get me when he wakes up at 5am because he is hungry.
How do you handle picky eaters?: I try to get him to try everything/anything- but 2.5 is hard. He’s going to eat what he wants to and I’m not going to have WWIII because of it! I will NOT, however, serve him pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner which is what he asks for some days.
I would describe my parenting style/philosophy as: Survivalist, easygoing, affectionate- firm yet fair and consistent discipline (we are just now trying the whole ‘time out’ thing. If anything it’s great to remove him from the situation and start over.)
Our bedtime routine: Twins to bed after bottle (by 7pm). We stay up with Brody until usually about 8 playing trains, puzzles, reading and watching Baby Einstein in the background. I have no idea why it has to be on, but it does.
Tips for a smooth morning: The earlier we get out of bed and shower, the better. I try to lay out clothes for everyone the night before (including diapers) and have morning bottles for the twins ready to go. Brody has milk and a granola bar- so I keep all of those items in my fridge in my bedroom (leftover from last summer’s bed rest).
On rainy days, we like to: Veg, paint, read
When it’s hot, we like to: Hard question because it’s TOO hot here most of the summer so that keeps us inside. We love the pool but I can’t go unless I have a friend over to go with is. 3 vs 1 at the pool just isn’t smart. (we have a subdivision pool).
I love to play blank with my kids: climb on mommy
I hate to play blank with my kids: climb on mommy
My kids are not allowed to: Eat candy- yet. Obviously the twins are too little. But Brody is only a toddler so he doesn’t really even know what candy is. Why mess with a good thing? He will know soon enough. I had too many cavities to count by 7 so I hope they have less.
My best piece of potty-training advice is: Just go with the flow. When it happens, it happens. As much as I would love to be done with diapers- (I use cloth so $$ is no longer a factor) I also don’t know how I will handle the taking B to the bathroom whenever we go out- especially if it is just me and the gang. Not looking forward to that.
How I handle the kids’ chores: We’re working on cleaning up our own toys for now.
My kids are/are not allowed to choose their own clothes (and why): Brody is just starting to do this. I don’t mind if he chooses something that can get dirty- as he ALWAYS gets dirty- but I don’t want him wearing school clothes to go dig up the garden.
Here is how we handle discipline: We are attempting time out. Actually it is more like removal from the situation, come back and apologize to the brother he just yelled at /hit/etc.
Birthday party tips or ideas: This year the twins are 1 on 10/15. That’s also the MSU vs. U of M college football game, huge interstate rivals and it just so happens that Dad & I went to each school…kind of a no brainer to have that as the theme. Brody is going to wear a referee shirt. I have two very, very talented friends with their own businesses supplying the paper goods and invitations- so I know they will be awesome!
We manage extra-curriculars/sports/activities by: Not there yet.
I wish we’d never given into: Cookies. My son now wants a ‘gookie?!’ every night after dinner.
Here is one (or two) of my favorite holiday traditions to do with the kids: We are going to start Elf on the Shelf this year- and I have a Christmas journal where I log Christmas Eve and Christmas day activities, the tree, and a picture of the 5 of us. Each child will also receive their own ornament every year. Something my mom always (and still does) with me.
How we teach values/character: Lead by example. We are always conscious of little ears- and we feel that they way we treat one another is with respect—something we want our children to see and repeat with others.
Homework solutions: Not there yet.
One thing I think we did right: Somehow we have instilled a real affection in Brody for his brothers. He loves them so much, and even at such a young age I see how he genuinely cares for him. He’s a nice boy too- I am so lucky to have a little guy that I am so proud of already!