Canyon’s Crates | PreK | Tot School | Home School Learning Kits

We made a few extra winter activity kits – available for purchase starting NEXT WEEK! 🥳

These kits reduce the need for a printer – everything you need is included…and reusable!

Customize your crate – every crate comes with enough materials to personalize your experience- or- I am happy to include the child’s name on a project for you if you add it to the notes and details section before final checkout.

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Crates start at $29.99 plus tax – $8.95 shipping

Priority Shipping available to WA, OR, ID.

Penguins or Polar Bears? Jury is still out!
Enough fun for two!
Look a little closer… 🔍
Do you get snow at your home?

Surviving a Day with Toddlers | Real SAHM | Mental Health Awareness

The day started off pretty promising: after regrettably having to skip yesterday’s workout I was a little nervous I was going to feel some backslide in progress (and scared my workout was going to hurt) but it wasn’t the case.

I have been trying to network a little bit more here in the valley and decided to head to Pybus marketplace to share some treats with The Littles.

That is: the one and two year olds.

After somewhat coaxing them to eat last nights dinner of a recent “hit” (a side of fresh blackberries plus tortillas with mozzarella, pepperoni and…ketchup), they’d both woken up starving like they’d not eaten in 46 days.

just why

If you see next weeks Vlog you’ll know that I’m not starving them; we have plenty of marinara sauce, yet they for some reason both think that it’s poison. So…ketchup.

After refusing the eggs I cooked and turning their nose up at the peanut butter toast, I gave in to cereal.

I’m not advocating for being a pushover parent but two days without my wife will do that to me. (I am so much looking forward to her return from overnight work travels this evening!)

Amos if you can read this: I love you!

But I digress as per usual.

For some reason I left the stroller at home thinking they were both old enough to walk 25 feet through the front doors and another 25 feet or so to the front counter and wait in line for about three minutes or so.

It was about as good idea as putting two unleashed rabbits on the floor.

Wild animals, I tell ya! This was before the chaos. More at MommaAMommaB on YouTube

Loud rabbits. Rabbits that wanted to touch the display case even though we talked about looking with our eyes at this EXACT CASE on the car ride and on the walk over to said display case.

As I try to corral them in the same general area, and yell loudly enough for the barista to get my order, also yelling BITE ME because my kid couldn’t make up his mind and that’s the first one I saw.

His increasingly-heavy-in-my-arms sibling was starting to arch her back and do tornado moves and scream. Boy, did she scream, demanding in her 17 month old way to also touch and possibly lick the cookie case.

Bite Me! Cookie

It was the first one that stood out to me, and I’ll admit it felt good to yell it. Only because I did it with a half smile on my face, and the barista smiled back. I think it made her day.

Instagram @cafecolumbiapybus

Or maybe I looked scary (I noticed smeared mascara when we fiiiiinally got back to the van – has it been there??!) and maybe she didn’t smile but grimace.

No, it was a smile. She was friendly. But gosh, I could hardly see anything through my embarrassment – parenting in public is definitely not for the faint of heart.

Menu @ #cafecolumbiapybus

Regardless, instead of me just sitting there like usual being too shy to reach out to people I actually had people offer to help – and struck up quite a few conversations with interesting folks which was the exact reason I went there: I had been hoping to bring my work from home mentality to the public realm, thinking just maybe my kids would sit and be distracted with beautiful cookies while I chatted and it would be chalked up as a business expense.

But, kids are unpredictable- especially young kids! Or maybe I am. I mean, they’re just doing what they do best. I was the foolish one thinking that pre-feeding, pre-watering, pre-entertaining, pre-napping them and bribing them majorly would buy me TEN MINUTES.

Nope!

But you know what? I embrace it. I didn’t have a choice in the moment.


Thank you from the bottom of my soul to whomever made these cookies

I marched those sugar-laden children to the minivan and ate my cold tuna melt in the park. Well, near the park. With the window rolled down. While the kids slept.

My lunch from the park as experienced from inside the mom van

Oh, how I wish to have sat on a sunny bench – but there was no way I was waking up one sleeping soul. And what would I do with them once they were awake? No sunbathing was happening today. Or was it?

Since unattended children in running vehicles is frowned upon, I engaged the parking brake and kept the seatbelt on, then craned my neck until I needed two Tylenol, aiming my gaze out my van window and into the sunshine – and enjoyed the moment. Really. Someday they will be grown and I will look back at this and miss it immensely. Of course I will probably glorify it. And oh the advice I’ll have!

we arrived home and it’s been a nightmare ever since…

…but now my Mom#2 is finally back (!!!) and I can post this and give you all a look at my day as a stay at home mama trying to network and meet new professionals in the valley. Tough and very rewarding!

Thankful for my coworking days at Wenatchee WorkSpace – a time I get to truly maximize my productivity so I can be both “on” as a parent and “on” as a community member. When you start using a coworking space like mine, and begin growing your business…well, it’s hard to go back to the home office! Hats off to those who can pull it off. Mamas everywhere being SuperHuman!

Rainbows at yesterday’s lunch meeting @ #wenatcheeworkspace

Wenatchee WorkSpace is also located half a block from the Apple Capitol Loop Trail – Perfect for days when you need to blow off some steam or get creative energy flowing.

It’s all about work life balance.

Until next time!

Mama B

You may have noticed a lot of my recent posts and YouTube videos have focused on mental health. Even my most positive and chipper friends have thrown an occasional “…gee, February sure is a long month!” For those of us who got through a tough December, February is dragging on and on.

Can it be spring yet?

Or are there changes we can make now to improve productivity?

I’m talking, clear the clutter or rearrange your if need be. Shake things up! Try something new! Modify your routine if it isn’t working for you.

Stay positive and good things will come.

Until next time,

Mama B

xxxx

no filter day – love yourselves

Digital Closet: Grail or Fail? STYLEBOOK 2020| I Tried It for 30 Days – pt. 1

StyleBook touts itself as being an expert wardrobe organization and closet management tool created by a fashion industry insider, who got her start as an intern in the Vogue fashion closet and is an alum of Lucky magazine.

I tried using it for 30 days. You can see the full video soon at MommaAMommaB on YouTube.

Here are some highlights from the first two weeks:

Day 1 – This is the best idea ever. I’m a genius.

Day 4 – So, I guess I have to spend an entire Saturday taking photographs of every single item I own if I REALLY want to use this app as intended. No cheating. Goodie. (This is my first FAIL day. I wore sweats all day to take photos of everything I own, and didn’t backlog my outfit at the end of the night – because that’s cheating. And I’m committed, dammit).

Day 5 – Dang, perfect timing. I totally forgot about period week.

Day 13 – We had a lovely soul offer to babysit for us at the last minute – they were in route to our house just in case we answered the phone.

Amy and I were right in the middle of preparing tacos for family dinner – of course we said YES!

It was Day 13 when I finally hit my groove:

I threw some lipstick and blush in my purse, tidying the house as quickly as possible; serving up my kids’ plates and swooping up those small hot spots of clutter – INSTEAD OF FRANTICALLY FIGURING OUT WHAT TO WEAR!

The fact that I was already basically dressed enough for a casual date to our local market was such a win, I can’t even.

Petite Mama? Try Target’s Athletic clothes…from the kids section. These XL teal pants by all in motion fit LONGER than my usual women’s S/M version – Seven bucks saved! Top is simple and black with velvet collar and sleeve trim

Photo @ Pybus Market in Wenatchee WA

This may not seem like a big deal for most people, but with two toddlers at home and selling two homes and moving across state twice in three years, I have been living in “cleaning” and “work” and “mom” clothes. At many times, the good stuff was “packed” and “not quite unpacked”. Both of which mean in a box but I’m trying to make myself look organized not lazy.

Let’s get one thing straight – we all go through moments in life where we earn our badges, our rights to wear whatever the hell we want to. And I use the term “mom clothes” on purpose.

My intention is to break the norm of what we think about mom clothes. Do you conjure up thoughts of bathrobes and curlers? Accurate. Do you think of the new twin mom in a slinky black dress on a date sans kids, whom are with the nanny after a successful round or three of breastfeeding (don’t worry, she left fresh pressed quinoa juice just in case – and a recording of her voice in a teddy bear that can be warmed in the microwave to match mothers exact body temp. Which is the same as anyone else’s in case you’re wondering…)?

Both images are accurate, and moms are also everywhere in between.

But I digress – I’m starting to feel like a human that is capable of daily showers (if I so choose) and an occasional opportunity to plug in a hot tool or use enough makeup to require a fixing spray. Man, I feel like a woman!

As parents, especially moms, we can often feel like we are under the microscope, expected to stand up to the ideals of the Instagram “norm”. I embraced this time to stay at home and raise my babies, and I was incredibly fortunate to have been able to make that choice. But I’m not going to pretend it was a walk in the park!

By “embracing this time,” I low-key mean “went without harsh baby-damaging hair dyes or nail polishes, the fumes of which could leave my kid with crossed purple eyes and a limp on three sides and a lifetime curse of driving an old Chevy Malibu with a bad fuel pump. Or something.

Basically, sacrificing for the greater good. Drinking all the water, cutting back on pepsi with quad shots. I kid…sort of. I’m an “all-in” kind of gal, which is exactly why I stay away from casinos or anywhere with a mechanical bull and redbull. So to me, sacrificing meant living in pea-stained sweats, scrubbing pee-stained onesies and being okay with that.

And I still am! I loved every second. But now, I realize that my maternity clothes truly don’t fit any longer, which is a sad day. I loved what they symbolized, and that stage of my life. Also, I could eat a second slice without having to undo buttons and ALL dresses had snack holes [pockets]. Winning.

Me trying too hard to match (it looked good on the app!)
Shop my INSTA @ brandi_n_hightower

Don’t worry, guys. There’s a version for you, too. My inner wanna-be feminist is wondering “why the dichotomy” – but I’ll admit it’s a nice looking alternative.

I wish there was an option to just buy ONE stylebook and update the layout and user preferences to your liking, but perhaps this is their roadblock to preventing adults from sharing at home. We happen to be a home with two adult women Head Of Households so ideally we’d share a closet. But in real life we don’t, and our styles are similar but different enough. So we didn’t choose to share the Stylebook for Women app across our devices, as Amy chose the Men’s version.

Also, in this day and age, nothing gets under the digital radar! I was contacted within two hours of this post with some helpful advice from Stylebook App itself:

via Instagram

I’ll admit I jumped the gun by not giving a full 30 day try before this post – I would have likely uncovered this feature in the near future. Maybe it was a shameless self plug 🔌 for a future Apple Scripting tutorial. The world may never know.

So, there you have it! Download the version if your preference, know there are options! And set a timer for notifications…

…in-app.

See something in this video you can’t live without?
Shop Our Life:

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https://amazon.com/shop/mommaamommab

Digital Closet: Grail or Fail? STYLEBOOK 2020 | I Tried It for 30 Days – pt. 2 Coming Soon!

KeaBabies Unisex Diaper Bag | Best Cloth Diapering Backpack of 2019

My wife and I like to consider ourselves fashionable and modern — though it can be tough to keep up with two kids under the age of three!

Stroller Straps on the Explorer Bag

When it comes to finding a cloth diapering and potty training backpack that suits both our different styles and matches our adventurous parent-vlogger lifestyles, the Explorer bag by KeaBabies is a perfect fit.

From having room to fit extra clothing items and all of those bulky winter accessories, to snacks compartments and pockets to spare, it was easy for us to vote this bag as the Best Unisex Diaper Bag of 2019.

At under $40 it’s a must have to add to your arsenal of parenting gear!

**DISCOUNT CODE for additional 20% off** KEA-HIGHTOWER20

On the off chance Mama gets to strap on some heels or wear a fancy white jacket, this bag pairs nicely with it all! From airplane travel to strapping on the stroller (psst…stroller straps and waterproof changing mat are included), this bag is adventure-ready! 

Whether you choose Trendy Black, Classic Gray or Navy Blue, this backpack is a great unisex diaper bag going into 2020. 

Thanks KeaBabies for providing this bag in exchange for our honest review.

See our full review:

KeaBabies is on Instagram and YouTube!

Search #KeaMommy #KeaDaddy #KeaParent and join a community of supportive parents.

BEST UNISEX BAG FOR CLOTH DIAPERING PARENTS | KeaBabies Explorer Bag | TRENDY MODERN PARENTING GEAR for ADVENTUROUS FAMILIES KeaBabies: “Parenting is Awesome. Sleep is Overrated. Everyday is an Adventure.”

www.keababies.com

Pee Slides Down The Potty

*This blog freely mentions bodily functions, including pee and poop as the title insinuates.

—–

Just like that, we have a potty trained two year old. I am still shaking my head in disbelief (but mostly because it took me so long to update this blog; I wasn’t too surprised my kid picked up the whole potty-in-the-toilet thing).

Since the last update I started boning up on the book “Oh Crap! Potty Training” by Jamie Glowacki and a few light bulbs went off in my head. I think he really is ready to do this. It’s me that’s terrified. 

So…we went for it. Long story (really really long story) short, we are officially halfway through our third week and we are in underwear and shorts with minimal accidents, mostly when he is trying to get to the toilet and can’t quite make it but after he is on his way and so far, only at home.

This week he used the toilet at his playgroup twice, and last week he used a few public toilets at the market and gymnastics. I am so proud of him!

Thank you, thank you very much. No, stop, you’re embarrassing me! Ya’ll are too kind.

I couldn’t have done it without the help of SUMMER, MY WIFE, THOMAS THE TRAIN UNDERWEAR and JAMIE.

Seriously. The book was a savior, and the second my wife got home she watched him like a hawk and reminded him and helped when he needed it while I got to focus on other things that needed my attention. Like the infant that I will hardly mention in this post (it’s brother’s turn to shine! But Dakota is great and sweet and pulling herself up to stand using all the things – chairs, brother’s potty chair, my leg…).

We all spent many hours in the first three days hanging outside by the kiddie pool, him buck naked, Dakota and I mostly nekkid. Per the book’s recommendation, we graduated into elastic waisted shorts after the first few days (or ‘block one’), even going commando to the mall which was terrifying for both him and I, but I think we both played it pretty cool.

Skipping the undies helps the brain rewire itself in a way that that snug turd-catching apparatus is gone. Undies or briefs feel like a diaper, plain and simple. For us, I think this was the game changer that facilitated us in helping him ‘catch’ his accidents in the first days: Stop a pee mid-stream, hold it, and finish in the toilet.

Poop has it’s own chapter and can be difficult to deal with. In our case, we had a few days of tummy aches as he held back for a couple days, and a couple incidents where we have made 20 trips to the toilet because “poop is coming” but then he is too anxious to sit and let it happen. We also have had 20 trips to the bathroom for marble turds that also somehow require 100 yards of toilet paper.  

I think we’ve turned a corner (which makes me think of a looping intestine. Parenting is so gross, turns out). He’s so amazing and smart and potty training just validates how ready he is. He has been asking to go to school, and so I’ve been experimenting with dropping him off places for a couple hours at time and he is living his best life this summer. So much love for that kid.

Just as I think we’re getting close to sleep training with undies he’s decided to pull a wild card and sleep in front of his bedroom door, despite me moving his bed closer to it, as he likes to peer under the door until he passes out. Happily, though, never making more than a few bangs as he rolls around for a bit trying to get comfortable, a stray foot slamming a wall or the hollow door.  Alas, I am going to try to get him back into bed before I risk potty training.

Pee on the sheets, whatever. Potential poop on the carpet I just cannot get behind.

…Then I remind myself that wouldn’t be the first time there’s been something questionable and kid-related on the floor. #momlife

And if you thought the Baby Shark song was bad, it’s creators Pink Fong has found a potty training version.

“Pee pee slides down the potty,

Wee wee wee wee wee wee

Potty potty see you when I pee again!”

(Repeat ad nauseam)

Thank me later.

lovemamab

Canyon’s Birth Story

Written May 27, 2018

Happy birthday Canyon! Today is your actual date of birth.

This time last year I was getting my blood pressure checked at Fred Meyer, which was closer than the midwife center and cheaper than purchasing a blood pressure cuff (free!). It had been slowly rising over a couple of weeks, and our midwives were concerned that if it kept rising we would fall under the pre-eclampsia category (meaning, not a suitable client for the birth center). So in the last few days we were to monitor it daily.

When I felt a slow leak of fluid over the next few hours, I let my midwife know, as I was calling to report that yes, my blood pressure was still a few digits higher than just the day before (even after three readings). She told me to not panic, to sit still and that she’d come down from the center to meet me. “Those store machines can be a bit over sensitive…”

We both knew I was also very anxious that we would be discharged as her patient and this was NOT my wife and I’s ideal plan at all! When her readings outside in the fresh air still showed similar results, she gave me an amniotic fluid test strip to use in the bathroom. Blue reaction on the strip confirmed, no color or green indicated urine or other. When I came back out nodding, we both knew the next step, as we discussed the prior day. The strip of paper she’d given me, bright blue, promoted us into action. She hustled to her car to tell Amy parking instructions for the hospital. “Wait…right now?” I asked. They both laughed a bit before saying, together: “Yes!”

Our midwife said of course we should go home and grab our bags, and my mind started reeling from all the things I would have to unpack from our birth center bag. “Guess I won’t be needing those snacks,” I wondered aloud. “No, eat! They may not let you once you check in, and if you are going to try to do a natural birth, you’ll need the energy.” All our advice from our world-renowned birth course instructor Penny Simkin rushed back. Good idea. Amy was fresh from getting a haircut on her lunch break (she’d rushed to meet us at Fred Meyer, down the street, hair trimmings on her shirt and everything). She confessed she needed a shower, as she scratched at the back of her neck.

Our midwife handed me a chux pad to sit on incase my water did break, and instantly I felt so excited and nervous that I could hardly think! We drove home in our separate cars to grab our things, and Amy took the fastest shower of her life! Our birth center team stayed with us and helped facilitate the process of checking us into our hospital and our amazing doula was due to arrive any moment – we started our transfer of care to the birth center at the hospital (no birthing tub, which is why we had originally chosen the facility next door).

Amy and I met with a nice midwife on staff who confirmed that since my water had been slowly draining for a day, compounded by the fact my blood pressure was higher still than it had been at check-in, it made us higher risk patients – the birth center at the hospital couldn’t accept us, but the doctors would be more than happy to accommodate a natural style birth as much as possible. She asked if we had a birth plan. We said we only had about two or three “ideals”, and would wing the rest. We didn’t anticipate being here, after all! We wanted skin to skin after birth, no pain meds as much as possible, and avoid surgeries unless necessary.

We were getting tired already, and fine with starting pitocin as recommended (admittedly after a brief cry when the nurse left to exchange our paperwork with the hospital doctors on staff). We knew we would do whatever we could to get our baby here safely, but I was irritated when my blood pressure spiked and I was told I could no longer move freely, and to be as still as possible. I was again offered pain medication, and through the first fee centimeters of dilation, until my doula took JuJu the nurse outside and gave her a good talking to.

I was started on blood pressure meds. I tried to lie on my side for as long as possible; When I switched to my other side and adjusted the ball between my legs, the blood pressure monitor would become angry. I was told if I wasn’t able to stop moving completely, I could potentially need a c-section if my blood pressure hit a certain level (not too far from where I was). The comfort ball at my hips was taken away. I was at 6 or 7 centimeters, and things were very uncomfortable. My doula was amazing but how much can you really do when you are confined to no movement? I wasn’t sure I could do a drug free birth without being able to move from my back at ALL, or stand or turn. I agreed to an epidural, because I preferred that over the alternative.

My doula was so supportive of my decisions, and told me how amazing I had done when I was discouraged about giving up by agreeing to the epidural. I could tell she really was proud of how far I’d come, as she kept telling me that I had already thrown up and gotten through the worst of labor on my own. She saw in me that if I could get through that I could have done the rest, but we were both in agreement that my blood pressure rise plus not moving around was a unique situation that we dealt with the best way we could.

The pressure cuff was so mad about as I sat as still as a stone for the epidural placement by a very severe, younger-looking man. At this point, whatever it took, we were okay with! Things were rolling along pretty smoothly after that, and I was able to get a little bit of sleep. The next afternoon, after a bit more work, baby Canyon was here and we were all so relieved and happy!

What a day to remember and be thankful for. I can’t wait until our guy can wake up from his nap and have his birthday pie smash (so what he already had a cake smash? A birthday isn’t a birthday in our house without a piece-a pie)! Grateful for our amazing midwife, doula, and hospital team; and for every second I get with Canyon James.

 

I’m Bossy | PIO shots 24, 25

Today the vlog goes up from our weekend injections. Having cramps and intermittent pink to red bleeding is dulling my normally sunny disposition, but with Amy by my side I am getting through it.

The shots are almost easier to do myself, because by now they have become a sort of evening ritual:

I wash up, set out my supplies, ask my partner to get out the supplies I forgot (okay, it’s not always easier by yourself), 1,2,3 breathe and inject, rub any additional oil on my wrists (why? no idea), and clean up the mess, sorting the used needles, trash, and recyclables into their respective receptacles. Then I sit down with my still-warm rice sock and treat myself to a hot cocoa and a television show with Amy before bed. It’s become my evening “church”.

So…on shot #25 when my wife grabbed the syringe out of my hand and uncapped the needle as I was sitting down post-injection, I got a bit upset, as you can see on the vlog. This is my reaction when I am at the end of a long day and things just still aren’t going as planned.

There is some adrenaline pumping after a self-administered injection in your bum, and this progesterone is throwing everything about me just a little “off”; my hair is extra oily, my skin is extra sweaty, and I am washing our bedding two to three times a week, to the point I have written “sheets” on next week’s shopping list. And on top of all of that, I am leaking this gross melty-aspirin-like endometrin suppository and have been wearing pads for a month so far. Every so often I will have a series of small rolling cramps similar to the beginning of a menstrual cycle. I go to the bathroom and see blood occasionally, sometimes spotting and sometimes a heavier but not quite “full” flow.

Living on the edge of your seat and wondering if your life is about to change is exhausting. We have 9 more days until our OB appointment at our clinic. If it’s looking good, we will be discharged from care; we’ll be on our own to find our doctor of choice for the remainder of our pregnancy. If it’s bad news, we remain patients of Seattle Reproductive Medicine which is the best place to be during our struggles but I will be happier to GO!

The “Bossy” vlog starts out with the previous evening’s injection; we were at a fancy dinner with Canyon’s grandparents which took longer to course out than we had anticipated. We rushed home to do our injections 45 minutes later than normal, which also put me in a foul mood. I told Amy to just leave me be and put the babe down while I did my own quick injection. I was almost shaking mad for being so late on our injection. To the point I don’t want to leave the house ever again after 4 pm until our shots are done! The feeling of fear and disappointment and anxiety and insecurity is manifesting as anger and I know that. I don’t want to be angry.

Deep down, I am. I am angry my friends cycle just failed. I am angry another dear friend is bleeding 3 weeks after losing her baby after similar strong beta numbers. I am mad that I am bleeding after a fourth IVF transfer, five embryos and 7 IUI’s. I don’t think I can handle losing this baby, but I see the strength in our TTC community and I am so grateful to these women, and inspired.

We will keep sharing our journey, even in these unflattering moments where I look like a self-confessed smelly jerk. I will also be packing a PIO kit to take next time we have an evening event, though I would honestly rather be in the comfort of my own home. (Plus, I find that not warming the oil causes me a slower injection and more bleeding, so I would rather be home with access to a warm, dry compress).

I am sure we will be doing cold PIO shots in the car by the time this is all over, but as long as I can avoid it, I am going to try!

Partners of IVF women: you da real M.V.P.’s.

“I’m Bossy” vlog, now on YouTube.

“Big Hole” After PIO Injection #21

Self-administered PIO shots are unnerving enough, and though I wasn’t sure why I was bleeding so much here, we reviewed the tapes and looked back at my technique for some answers.

The actual progesterone injection was administered fine; I likely scraped myself removing the needle by not working with the natural angle and trying to focus on pulling it ‘straight out’ when I had injected at a slight angle. I believe this caused the appearance of a larger post-injection hole (usually you can hardly see anything after bleeding stops).
Next time I will need to find the needle’s natural angle by relaxing my grip before pulling the syringe away, and from here on out I’m going to have my cotton ball ready just in case!

Living and learning and sharing it all with you.  See more on YouTube.

lovemamab