Town Hall #1: Good Cop, Bad Cop & the “Threenager” Phenomenon

Posted on Updated on

Click Here to Listen to Town Hall #1

It seems to me like every parent I know is talking about Threenagers these days.  Like, when did this become a thing?  When I was a babysitter, learning about Littles and what to expect while looking after them, I was never warned about the age of 3.  It was always, ALWAYS about 2.  How the 2s are TERRIBLE… Hence: The Terrible Twos.

Bee is almost 3.  And most of the time, she’s great.  Really great.  Fun, funny, witty, blow-my-mind amazing.  But when she’s not great, she embodies the spirit and attitude of a hormonally raging teenager.

Lord.  Help.  Me.

Desperately wanting to talk it out with other parents, and feeling the need to share other parenting issues of the day, one hot July evening I gathered some of my closest girlfriends together in a room, plopped down a mic and recorded the very first Town Hall.




In this episode we discuss this Threenager business, and also get into topics such as: the Good Cop, Bad Cop dynamic between us and our husbands, the “Second Child Syndrome,” which is basically how our parenting style has changed since having second and subsequent kids, and what our own personal parenting mantras are.

Click here to download the episode on iTunes

From that link you’ll be directed to my iTunes channel, where you can subscribe and stay up-to-date on future Town Halls and the other parenting series I’ve got in the works.

You can also hear the audio from all my #ASKAMAMA {Mondays} episodes.  If you haven’t had a chance to watch any of them, and can’t spend the time watching a YouTube video – sometimes I can’t! – then you can still enjoy by downloading and listening on-the-go!  Bonus!

I hope you enjoy the podcast.  And if you have any ideas for future episodes, or would like to get involved, feel free to contact me via the form at the bottom of the page.  I’d love to round up a fresh bunch of ‘rents for the next session, which I’ll be scheduling soon!

Until then, listen on!  And to all you Moms and Dads: be kind to yourself.  You’re doing the best you can.


Just a note:  Alli demonstrates her mantra to us with her hands around 30:40, here is video of that.

Updates… and VLOGS! What Fun!

Posted on Updated on

Things have been pretty quiet here on the ol’ bloggeroo lately.

It’s summer, Bee is home Mondays and Fridays, and I’ve been spending as much time soaking up these Littles as I can before I head back to work {*SOB*} in the fall.

So for that, my writing has taken a bit of a hit.  And that’s not to say there hasn’t been anything noteworthy happening around here!  Quite the opposite, actually.  I’ll go into more detail in an upcoming post, but for now, here are the bullet points:

– Bubs is nearly 10-months old and crawling around like a wee speed demon.  Well actually, he’s more butt-scooting than crawling.  He pushes himself on his bum while pulling himself forward with his legs and supporting his chubby upper-bod with one arm.  One arm, so he can hold something in his other hand.  Natch.

– He’s also still not sleeping through the night.  Which means no one is sleeping through the night.  Except for Bee, actually.  She sleeps like a dream, thank God.  But at nearly a year old, I’m still getting up with him around three times a night.  Ugh.  We’ve tried “sleep training” him, but you know what?  I really hate the sound of my baby screaming bloody murder in the middle of the night.  It feels wrong to me, so we threw the whole Cry It Out business, OUT the window.  Call me crazy, but I’ll probably keep going to him until he just one day, MIRACULOUSLY, starts sleeping through the night.  And perhaps it’s just my sleep-deprived, exhausted brain talking here, but for now, I’m sticking to that statement.

– Despite the sleepless nights, he is one of the chattiest, happiest little babies I’ve ever met.  He has dimples for days and shows them off to anyone who looks his way.  His blonde hair is fluffy and growing into one badass mullet, it’s pretty spectacular.  Those two, nasty bottom teeth have finally poked through, and now we just await… the rest.  Sigh.  Teething SUCKS.  But thank goodness for hacks like THIS 😉

– Bee has entered the dawn of the Threenager, and a few months early at that.  Hooray.  “What is a Threenager,” you ask?  What, you don’t know?  You poor fool!  A Threenager is a JOY to have around!  Um, not.  A Threenager is a toddler who is prone to being moody, judgemental, and stubborn as hell.  The power struggle is real, and it’s CRAZY.  I am definitely revisiting my mantra a LOT these days, and constantly having to remind myself that, “she’s two.  She’s two.  She is only TWO.  And you are the Mama.  You Are The Mama.  What YOU say, goes.  Jeebuz…..”

– Yes, Bee can be a challenge.  A perplexing puzzle of a little human.  But she really is, at the end of the day, the greatest achievement in my life.  She is remarkable – brilliant, funny, polite and kind, and I know I totally sound like one of “those” parents, but if you ever have the pleasure of meeting her, you’ll see I’m not full of sh*t.  She is the light in our lives, and manages to charm everyone who crosses her blazing path.  I’m loving every second watching her become the person she’s meant to be, and consider it a privilege to be her Mama.  *SOB*

– I’ve launched my newest podcast series through my iTunes channel!  Well, I’ve published the intro to the series.  You can check out what’s to come HERE.  Make sure you subscribe so you get the updates as they happen 🙂

Although the writing has been thin, I’ve been spending more time vlogging for my YouTube channel.  Head on over to check out the latest, but for your immediate viewing pleasure, please have a laugh at two of my recent contributions to the internets!

So there you have it!  This is what we’ve been up to lately around these parts.  I’m going to be a bit more diligent with the writing – I can feel I’m a bit rusty and would like to get my “voice” back. Until then, I’m gonna keep up with the vlogging and podcasting so you can join me in any way that suits you best.

Don’t be a stranger!

Happy Father’s Day

Posted on

To my handsome hunk of a Hubs.

Who doesn’t care that I leave my deodorant by the front door {so I remember to put it on} and grow out pedicures every time I get one done.

Who tolerates me watching The Real Houswives of Everywhere and The Bachelorette.

Who appreciates every meal I set before him, even if it’s frozen pizza for the third night in a row.

Who works so damn hard to provide for our family.

Who slow dances with Bee every time Annie’s Song comes on.

Who carries Bubs in his arms instead of pushing him in the stroller, no matter how far we have to go.

Who keeps me on my toes by being smart and funny and and wonderful and kind, but also frustrating and perplexing at the same time.

Who loves our little unit like a crazy person, deeply and unconditionally, and isn’t afraid to show it wherever and whenever he can.

Who is the best man I ever could have asked to fall in love with and get to marry.  Who totally completes me, regardless of how cheesy it is to say it.  Who has made me a better woman, and helps me get better every single day.

To my handsome hunk of a Hubs.

Thank you for our babies and your love.

All ways.  Always.

Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset


How to Make the Most of an Hour

Posted on Updated on

My husband just took the kids to the park, he said he’d be back by noon for lunch and nap time. Which means I have approximately ONE HOUR, one glorious hour to myself to do whatever I choose that does not involve cleaning the kitchen {which is a mess}, folding laundry {which is all over the house} or thinking about what to make for dinner {which will probably come out of the freezer anyway.}

Not even the fact that we’re out of the “good” coffee can wrinkle this excitement.   I’ve just put on a pot of the “backup” stuff and will mask it’s mediocrity with coconut oil {thanks for the tip, Lish!} and lots of hot, frothy milk – it’ll be like the real deal in only a matter of moments….

So, “The Thing” I choose to do, since it’s been a while since I’ve done it: write a post.  As quickly and rambly and possibly nonsensically as possible.

Let’s have at it then, shall we?

vscocam-photo-1Me.  Writing.  Now.


{aka Things That Popped into My Mind Today}

“Damn you, yogurt covered raisins.”

“If I tweeze this white eyebrow hair, will two grow back in it’s place?”

“How long has this wet laundry been sitting in the machine for…?”

“Must remember to Google: getting poop out of shag carpet.”

“God, this coffee is gross.”

“That’s a prune in my shoe, somehow…”


We’ve been hitting up the library a lot lately, I find it’s the perfect way to kill the hours between “after nap” and “baby hand-off when Hubs gets home.”  There are the usual suspects Bee regularly wants to take out, like anything Robert Munsch {“Andrew’s Loose Tooth” is a particular fave} or Beatrix Potter {is it just me, or are the messages behind those books rather dark…?}  But amongst the stacks there always seems to be a hidden gem that sparks her interest, that even pleasantly surprises me.  A few of those have been:

Magnus Maximus, a Marvelous Measurer by Kathleen T. Pelley

Magnus Maximus is a marvelous measurer. He measures wetness and dryness, nearness and farness, and everything in between. When a lion escapes from a traveling circus, Magnus and his trusty measuring tape come to the rescue. Now a hero, all is well until the  day Magnus accidentally breaks his glasses, and he sees—for the first time—that he’s been missing out on life’s simple pleasures.

Lively Elizabeth! by Mara Bergman


Lively Elizabeth lives up to her name – in fact, she’s a bit of a handful. She doesn’t mean to hurt anyone, but one day at school she finds out that one little push can lead to BIG problems!

Bedtime for Monsters by Ed Vere


In this hilarious bedtime story, a monster is licking his lips . . . maybe he’s thinking about eating a bedtime snack? And what if that snack just happened to be you? Gulp! He’s getting closer and closer . . . and his tummy is rumbling really loudly. But all this monster actually wants is a sloppy monster-sized goodnight kiss!

The Sleepy Little Alphabet by Judy Sierra


This rollicking alphabet story features the lowercase letters of the alphabet. Like children, they have a trunkful of tricks for putting off bedtime. But ultimately their moms and dads (the capital letters) succeed in tucking them in with a good-night kiss. Melissa Sweet’s watercolor, pencil, and collage illustrations enliven these little letters with animated expressions, and Judy Sierra’s brief rhyming story begs repeat readings at bedtime.

Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen


Miss Merriweather, the head librarian, is very particular about rules in the library. No running allowed. And you must be quiet. But when a lion comes to the library one day, no one is sure what to do. There aren’t any rules about lions in the library. And, as it turns out, this lion seems very well suited to library visiting. His big feet are quiet on the library floor. He makes a comfy backrest for the children at story hour. And he never roars in the library, at least not anymore. But when something terrible happens, the lion quickly comes to the rescue in the only way he knows how.

There have been quite a few more, but these five are the ones that stand out as having been obsessively read over and over…. and over again.  To the point where, even though yes, I did enjoy them very much, I still could not wait to return them!

What are some your favourite library finds?


I’ve become sort of hardcore for podcasts lately.  YouTube is great fun {I have a channel, by the way.  Didn’t know?  WELL!  Check it out HERE, then}, but for the long errand walks and taking transit to appointments, getting lost in a great podcast is kind of the best.

I’m loving Off Camera with Sam Jones.  Sam is a photographer, director, musician, and skateboarder who now curates Off Camera, which is a website, magazine, television show and podcast all in one… or, as he describes it, a “multi-platform technologically relevant episodic blogpodzine.”  Amazing.

He interviews A-list celebrities {recently in the chair: Will Farrel, Ethan Hawke, Jon Hamm, Laura Dern & Jessica Chastain, just to name just a few} in the beautiful long form conversational style which I love so much.

My own podcast is growing – I’m currently editing episode 1 of “Town Hall” {like, literally.  Garage Band is open behind Safari} which I will get to talking about in a upcoming, soon-to-be post – and any time I can connect with and learn from others doing what I want do be doing, people like Sam, I feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Are you a podcast fan, too?  I’d love to hear what you’re listening to!


Okay.  It’s noon.  And like clockwork, I can hear my family ambling down the hill towards the house.  Time to put my Mama Hat back on and get lunch going.

What a lovely hour, though.  And no need to worry…

…nap time will be here before I know it.

It’s just too bad about the coffee.

#ASKAMAMA {Mondays} with Trisha Hughes: Part 2

Posted on Updated on

In part 2 of my #ASKAMAMA episode with Trisha Hughes {from Eat Your Beets}, we finally get to your questions!

In this video, Trisha tackles:

1. Paleo “on the go” – how to stay satiated while out-and-about

2. As a Mom of 4 how does she “do it all”, AND keep everyone happy with lunches

3. Tips on how a newbie food blogger can stand out in the crowd

4. Find out where Trisha cuts her hair!


To connect with Trisha:
Eat Your Beets {dot com}
IG: @goeatyourbeets
FB: /eatyourbeets


To reach me (Beth):
I Am The Mama Mantra {dot com}
IG: @iamthemamamantra
FB: /iamthemamamantra
T: @themamamantra


Music from the YouTube Music Library

#ASKAMAMA {Mondays} with Trisha Hughes: Part 1

Posted on Updated on

I know it’s technically a Tuesday, today.  But, guys…

This one was epic!

Trisha Hughes, from Eat Your Beets, has been on my “WANT” list of Mamas to ask for this series since I started it.  Thankfully the stars aligned, and we were able to make it happen for this episode!

The one thing neither of us was expecting, was just how long we’d end up talking for!  I recorded nearly 2 hours of interview footage, and decided instead of butchering it to high heaven for one episode – there is a lot of great material – I’d break it into two!

In part 1 we discuss how Trisha and her family came to discover the Paleo/Primal lifestyle, her upcoming events {a hands-on photography workshop & panelling a discussion group at the Alt Summit}, and her crazy experience with being put on the Instagram Suggested Users list.  And in part 2, which will be up next week, we get into the questions you guys submitted for Trisha.

As I did with the previous episode with Bria Evenson, the podcasts will be the longer, unedited versions of the interview.

You can link to the podcast for part 1 on my iTunes channel HERE.  And while you’re there, don’t forget to subscribe (*wink*)



Eat Your Beets
Eat Pretty Things
Edible Omaha
Trisha’s post “Why I’m Glad I’m Losing Followers on Instagram”
Click it up a Notch
Natural Light Food Photography Workshop at Bench Omaha – June 6
Altitude Summit in Salt Lake City – June 9-12


What I Know & What I Don’t Know Since Becoming a Parent

Posted on Updated on

Happy Monday, everyone!  And welcome to my first instalment of:


I’m calling it my first instalment because I imagine this is the sort of list that I’ll be building on constantly.  Kids are kind of amazing creatures; I’m finding myself learning something new and being baffled by them every day.

This particular list started last week when I watched Bee for the very first time climb the ladder to the big slide and actually go down, all by herself.  The big, yellow, twisty slide usually reserved for bigger kids; kids with a little more courage than she has shown in the past.  Bee’s always been very thoughtful in the playground – not exactly a risk-taker – and preferred to be pushed contentedly on the swing while seemingly contemplating the bigger picture of the universe, as evidenced by this recent photo:


But, back to the slide.  As I watched this mini-human, all wild hair and bare feet (she also suddenly decided that shoes are for chumps?) climb the ladder and spin down with a look on her face I can only describe as hysterical joy, I wondered to myself, “where does this courage come from?!  What is it that makes a kid say to herself one day, ‘yes.  Today is the day I’m going to do this slide!’??”

I just didn’t know the answer.  Not that there is an answer to it, but all these other things started rattling though my head, things I didn’t know about children and life – and also all the stuff I realized I now do know.  Stuff that I never in my entire existence would have come to know or not know, had I not been blessed to become a Mama.

Sure there’s probably scientific or anthropological explanations for most of this stuff. But let’s just say there isn’t and go with it, k?


I know that not two children are alike when introducing solid food: one will choke with every mouthful you feed her, and the next will scarf with such abandon that you’ll wonder if they even have a gag reflex at all.

I know banana is incredibly difficult to get out of hair/eyebrows:

IMG_5541Yew, boy.  Poor kid.

I know Velcro is awesome.

I know that learning to share is HARD and often incredibly emotional.

I know playground politics is a real thing.

I know following through with promises and threats is crucial if you want solid parenting cred with your Littles.

I know putting a towel over your head and pretending it’s long, flowing princess hair is instinctual.

I know I can hold my pee until I forget I have to go.

I know that baby farts will always be funny, especially in completely inappropriate situations like church, or while talking to baby-less single, ultra cool people you used to be friends with until you decided to become one of “those” people who got married and had kids.  Baby farts are especially awesome in that situation.

I know that when my toddler cries, “mommy, I NEED A LOLLIPOP RIGHT NOW!!” she truly believes she needs a lollipop in that moment or else she will probably crumple and die.

I know my floors will be perpetually sticky until the kids move out of the house.

I know that a baby will be just as happy playing with a spoon and an old face cloth as it would be with a $50 toy.

I know that somehow there will always be a dirty diaper somewhere in the house at any given moment, regardless of how diligent I am with throwing them in the bin.

I know that baby socks are bullshit.  Like, seriously.  Teeny tiny pieces of fabric to cover a baby’s feet that will only end up in a gutter somewhere on the other side of the city or lost at the bottom of a purse?  Ridiculous.  I say, footed sleepers for Fall & Winter, then bare feet in Spring & Summer, or until they are able to walk and then need socks and shoes.

I know I will always, without a doubt, have some sort of food/bodily fluid substance on my shirt until the kids move out of the house.

I know that babies and kids will live and thrive just fine on non-organic food & dairy products.

I know that this parenting gig is the hardest f*cking job in the world, but I am all the better a person for it.


I don’t know what makes a child love salmon one day but then gag dramatically just thinking about it the next.

I don’t know why it’s so true that you can buy a kid every damned toy in the world but all they’ll want to play with are the boxes they come in.

I don’t know why I bother to HAND WASH this $18 Old Navy dress, but I do:


I don’t know how a child can survive for days on nothing but Cheerios and raisins.

I don’t know how I am surviving on no sleep.  Seriously.  How is this happening.

I don’t know how I would get through the week without parenting drop-in centres, public parks and the library.

I don’t know if there actually is such a thing as “too much coffee.”  Sheesh.

I don’t know where the irrational fear of pooping on the toilet comes from.

After everything I’ve gone through with two kids, I honestly do not know how people have more than two.

I don’t know where this love for my children comes from, if you can even call it love.  What’s bigger and deeper than love?  Because that’s what I feel for them.


I’m sure I’ll be updating this list in the coming weeks.

Until then, I’d love to hear from you!

What are some things you now know or realize you don’t know, since becoming a parent?