Mommy Reality Challenge #22: What Mom Eats For Breakfast

Hi everyone! I'm guest cohosting this week's Mommy Reality Challenge! We'd love to have you join us in sharing some of those real moments in every mom's life. 

Waa-ha-ha-haa! Welllcome, our pet, to a very SPOOK-TACULAR edition of the Mummy Reeality Challenge!


If this is your first time hearing about the Mommy Reality Challenge we are so glad you are joining this great community of moms who participate in our weekly challenges that showcase all the fun, crazy, and sometimes overwhelming moments that are in every mom’s life!

Please don’t just read. This is an INTERACTIVE post! Come join in all the fun!

The Rules are Simple!

  1. We will announce the theme
  2. You will take a pic, post it to the social media account of your choice with the hashtag #mommyreality or write a post and then link it up to this blog post!
  3. Then in two weeks, we will announce our favorites and award a meme to the winner!
These past two weeks in the spirit of it being Halloween season, Jen from the Mommy Reality Team challenged us to show "Something Scary" around our homes.
The result was fab with a wide assortment...from the obviously scary such as a "Creepy Ghost in Photo" to the educational realism of how creepy and intimidating cosmetic aisles can be. A very special 'thank you' to Jennifer from The Deliberate Mom for co-hosting with us!

We are Talented Dancers!

Before we announce the challenge winner, Evil-Scientist Celeste and Frankenstein Jen have been rehearsing some wicked dance moves these past couple weeks along with this week's new Special Co-Host Bride of Frankenstein Marie! We are SO excited to FINALLY debut this to you! In addition, we've brought back our past two co-hosts to join in the fun: Wolfman Jennifer and Dracula Joanna!


The winner of Mommy Reality Challenge #21: SCARE US:

Amber from Our Charmed Life who submitted a photo to the Mommy Reality challenge of a mutant spider... okay... a CRAB lurking in her basement!
Here is your meme, Amber!

Crab Meme

Nice spooky spotting and we hope you join us as our next Mommy Reality Special Co-host!
Our runner-up photo comes from Lyssa from Playing the Music of Life!
Lyssa is a part of a professional flash-mob group who dances Michael Jackson's "Thriller" at various events before Halloween. SO fun!

zombie alyssa

It's time for the next Mommy Reality challenge!

(Visit the Mommy Reality tumblr page to see all of our previous memes!)


Meet The Mommy Reality Team!
Jenerally Informed
Jen from JENerally Informed: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | Pinterest

Leapfrog and  Lipgloss

Celeste from Leapfrog and Lipgloss: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | Pinterest

And Introducing a NEW Mommy Reality Guest Co-Host: Marie from Normal Everyday Life!


As a reminder, Marie won our "Something I Can't Get Rid Of" challenge. She is a licensed Speech Pathologist who is a stay-at-home mom of five. Marie's been blogging for a little over a year and we love Marie most because she has a great sense of humor. Check out some of her humorous posts here!

Our NEW Mommy Reality Challenge Theme:

“What Mom Eats For Breakfast”

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day! 

Jesse Pinkman Corn Pops 

Okay, most of the time they say that. Whomever "they" are. (These darn "THEY's" go back and forth on that issue and really need to make up their minds)


Before we dive in: Just a little background on how our challenges are selected- Jen and Celeste take turns writing the post and creating the winning meme from the last challenge. This week it’s Celeste’s turn. Celeste actually doesn't care much for traditional breakfast food, so while scrambling around getting everybody ready in the morning will usually opt for a mug of (cheap and instant) chicken noodle soup. After everybody's at school, when she gets back, sometimes she'll pour a bowl of cereal instead for a quick breakfast. Favorite cereals include: Cheerios with honey and frozen blueberries or Frosted Mini Wheats, Cookie Crisp or Golden Crisp. All healthy and adult choices.

Celeste Breakfast

So we want to know! Are you the type of momma who grabs something on-the-go like a granola bar? Or maybe you just do coffee? Or do you wait to drop your kids off at school and then fix yourself something delicious and elaborate? Or maybe you fetch something from Mickey D's? Are you a pancakes or a waffles kind of gal? Do you have a favorite cereal? Or do you opt for a breakfast food that's off the map?

We want to see! You have until 11/14/14 to Submit!

Don't forget to grab our super-nifty button!


 ✔ *By submitting your pic, you are giving the Mommy Reality Team permission to use your photo to create a special silly meme for you if you win! :). If you win and you’re a blogger, you also have the to opportunity to be our co-host! ✔ **The Mommy Reality team and our special co-host are VERY diligent in pinning, posting, and sharing the link-up participation every week, so make sure to follow us on our social media channels so you won’t miss out! We encourage you to visit a couple other Mommy Reality participants in the link-up and leave meaningful comments! The best part of this link-up is that we’re a community of real moms with a sense of humor about ourselves!

Trick or Treat Through Time

Throwback Thursday...

A look at my five favorite Halloween pictures through the years...ta-da!

Whether you choose to go as a ladybug or a pumpkin, Elvis or Barney...whether you're riding the high seas with the Pirates or out in space with the Teletubbies...

Happy Halloween to you...

Makeup? Help!!

This is not a sponsored post. Just one woman's quest to update her makeup routine. :)

Does this aisle scare any of you?

Is anyone else at a loss as to what most of these products are for and how you would use them?

How in the world am I supposed to pick the right products to lengthen, plump, tighten, conceal, and brighten? Where do you even begin when there are so many choices all promising to fix whatever you're looking to fix? Every cosmetics aisle is so overwhelming that I want to run screaming from the store!

About every five years, I get the urge to update my makeup routine. I've never been one to wear a lot, but the older I get, the more I want to help my face out a bit! Usually I start with my sister. She's good at that stuff and won't laugh at my hopelessness. Sometimes I read magazines for advice, but that can be confusing too. Other times I take a chance on buying something new, and after a few days it usually goes in the bottom of a drawer to die. 

This time I decided to head to our local mall for a makeover. But which store to choose? I'd already done Bare Escentuals on my last overhaul and the department store counters always seem so intimidating. We have a Sephora here that I hadn't tried, so that seemed like a good place to start. They offer 45 minute makeover consultations, if you agree to spend $50 on products in their store. Now that may sound like a lot, but trust me you can spend that in no time!

Let me tell you, I loved my experience. The guy that did my makeup was very helpful and gave good advice. He used a lot of products, but helped me pare it down to some essentials at the end. This is definitely the most makeup I've ever worn in my life. It's honestly a little more than I could keep up with and would want to wear everyday. However, I did purchase some basic things I think will work for me and it was a relief not to be shopping blind. Plus Sephora has a great return policy so it didn't feel risky to try something new.

Here's my before and after, just for fun...

So how about you? Am I the only one who's scared of the cosmetics aisle? What do you do when you're desperate for some makeup help?

A Letter To My Daughter

Dearest Daughter,

This weekend you asked me quite the question: Are younger or older children more fun? 

It reminded me of when Laura Ingalls in Little House In the Big Woods wonders if Pa likes brown or golden hair best. 

Such a question. Both are wonderful, both fill this mother's heart with love and it's impossible to say. What I can say is what's fun about you, at age 18 in your first semester of college. 

I love that you call me and want to spend time together. 

I like that we have deeper conversations and share meaningful things at this stage. 

It's a bit of a relief that you make more of your own decisions now. I can relax and breathe knowing you've got this!

It's awesome that you're learning new things and teaching us a thing or two. 

It's fun that we share a similar sense of humor and can laugh and joke together. 

It's exhilarating to follow you into a store for younger people and buy a pair of jeans that are hip!

It touches me that you're becoming a friend and mentor to your siblings.

It makes me happy to see you following God. I have no greater joy than to hear my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:4

I delight in seeing who you're becoming, hearing about how you enjoy your major, and discovering more about who you are. 

You see my girl, the answer to your question isn't a simple one. Children of all ages are fun. But you...I love you just the way you are right now, and the way you were yesterday, and the way you'll be tomorrow. Because I love you, at any age.

A Perfect Day

Sometimes you have a perfect day. 

The sun shines, the plans you made go well, and the people you spend it with fill your heart with joy. 

Sometimes a perfect day is being by myself, sometimes it's spending time with friends, but most of the time it's being with family.

Waiting for a hayride...

At the pumpkin patch...

In the corn maze...

Appreciating farm animals...

Carving pumpkins...

and lighting Jack-O-Lanterns...

Whatever we do, it's always more fun when we do it together...

The Great Minimizers

Have you ever noticed that kids are great minimizers? They seem to think that nothing they want you to do takes any time, money or effort. Everything they want takes just a few minutes, a couple dollars, and is so easy. They have a way of making rock solid parenting reasoning and requests sound ridiculous.

My boys say things like...

Why can't you run to the car?!? Just because you don't want to get two raindrops on you?!?

Shutting off the TV, Mom? It's really important to save that 5 cents.

Can we stop at Sonic? Why not? It will take two seconds!

I don't want to go to New York City. There's nothing to do there.

Every job is easy, and all skills are attainable for them.

I could be a surgeon. What's so hard about cutting people open?

Dad takes out people to dinner. He eats dinner for a living. 

If I was the coach, we'd win every game!

You name it, they'll claim they can do it better, cheaper, and faster than any experts. No training or education needed.

Sometimes, minimizing comes in handy. Like for doing projects. I think maybe my girls might get a little of their attitude toward projects from me...Anyone else ever attack home improvement with the idea that it will be fast, cheap, and easy?!?

With their minimizing talent, my girls can create things out of nothing. Dad won't build a swing? No problem. Just grab a tree branch, cobble together some bungee cords and jump ropes, and voila!

I have no idea how that thing didn't come crashing down!

Mom and Dad won't buy a hammock? No problem. Just take the net from the back of van, hook who knows what else to it, and trust your entire body weight to this contraption. A thin blanket will for sure break your fall in the unlikely event something you create doesn't work!

On the one hand minimizing is annoying and on the other inspiring. If only we could keep such confidence in our abilities, intelligence, looks, and all around general awesomeness into our adult years. Think of the things we could accomplish, or at least attempt to accomplish. All in just a couple minutes for a few dollars and very little effort!

Fall Break Highlights

We've been off from school and our usual routines due to fall break the past few days. We didn't leave town, but Steve's been home and we've enjoyed just doing whatever pops up. Here are a few highlights from our weekend...

1. We took the boys to a hockey game Thursday night. The last time I went to a Predators game, this guy was a baby.

It's always fun to go out with my boys. There's an ease about it that's refreshing. Zero drama and no guilt. I like hearing their sense of humor and seeing life through their eyes. When I asked my husband how long we should plan for eating before the game, he said half an hour tops. That's in, out, ordering, eating, and everything. Now that's some focus on food! 

2. It's been raining, so I had the perfect excuse to be lazy and get a lot of reading done this weekend. I started the Call the Midwife series by Jennifer Worth and finished the first two books. They're really good. I've heard the TV series on Netflix is great, too, so I'm looking forward to watching that after I finish the third book. 

3. Halloween costume shopping. I mentioned in this post that my mother in law usually does Halloween costumes. This year though we decided to give her a well deserved break and hit up Party City. Here's one of the things we bought.

My oldest daughter told me I would have never let her wear that mask and she's probably right. I guess that's an advantage of being the baby. By the time you're the youngest of five, wanting to dress in a scary mask for one night doesn't seem like a big deal to mom anymore! :)

I'll leave you with this scene. Several people mentioned that my post from last Thursday felt sad. Funny how after I wrote all that, my girls asked to bring over Nanny's Calico Critters and have played with them all weekend. I guess lazy, rainy weekends lend themselves to playing and using your imagination. I was glad to see it!

Deciding What to Keep and What to Let Go

I usually have no problem parting with things we don't need anymore. In fact, I throw away/donate/get rid of so many things that my kids don't believe me when I say I don't know where their treasures went. I'm the first person they suspect when something goes missing. But today I was cleaning the bathroom and came across these in the far recesses of a cabinet.

The end of an era. Our last bathtub toys. They probably haven't seen water in at least a couple years and I can't imagine my girls will be asking for them again, but I hesitated to just toss them. Long gone are the days of starting the tub, throwing a couple kids in it, and dumping the toys in the water to provide a little entertainment. The squeals of delight, the bubbles, and the slippery smooth bodies cuddled in a towel have all disappeared. Only the toys remain.

Then I thought about all this in the playroom...

For some reason, the boys outgrew their toys more quickly and they all disappeared gradually. Getting rid of these will require effort. I don't want to let go of the dollhouses, Polly Pockets and Barbies. Many of these things belonged to my oldest and were passed down to the twins. They've been moved from house to house and entertained children over and over. We've gotten rid of a lot of toys over the years, but these have always stayed in the "keep" pile.

My youngest are in their last year of elementary school. There won't be many more scenes like this one greeting me in the hallway.

They don't need wheelchairs and strollers for their stuffed animals anymore.

This will be the first Christmas I don't think I'll have any toys to buy. It's freeing and it's sad. I always had fun looking at their lists, choosing their special presents, and picturing their happiness at finding them under the tree.

I'm going to say goodbye to the bathtub toys, but hold off on cleaning out the playroom a little longer...until I'm sure they won't be entering that particular world of imagination anymore.

And someday, I hope I have the joy of picking out more toys and seeing the faces of my grandchildren light up like this when they open them!

So excited to open their Dora Dollhouse while wearing their new Dora pajamas!

Romance After Twenty Years

I love a good romance novel. Not the Harlequin bodice ripping variety, but one with an actual story mixed in! The problem is that when I read them, I start expecting my life to be like that. I want the grand gestures, the pretty words, and the thrill of the chase. And somehow being married for almost 21 years with five kids just doesn't cut it.

Whoa now? What are you saying, Marie? 

I'm saying that some days you have to look long and hard to find romance in such situations. But this weekend, I was reflecting on and appreciating some of my husband's romantic gestures.

Going to the grocery store for me. Seriously they never include this kind of thing in romance novels, but it sweeps me off my feet.

Playing outside with the kids. When I see him out there throwing the lacrosse ball around or playing basketball, my heart skips a beat. 

Helping me with the dirty work. Who needs flowers and candy? If you'll figure out how to fill out college financial aid forms and take the garbage out in the rain, you're my knight in shining armor. 

I love you and You look nice. I'm blushing, flattered, and so thankful you still say it. 

Movie night. Cuddling on the couch watching a movie with no kids in sight? You're a Casanova!

Suggesting we go out to eat, or even better, order in. Don't have to cook? I'm feeling more in love by the minute.

Go shopping. Spending time with me doing things you'd rather not do...smooth.

Helping with math homework. You've still got it!

Driving a minivan. Don't be fooled. Anyone can look good in a little red sports car. It takes a real man to pull this one off!

Being my best friend. Loyal, trustworthy, faithful, loving, always choosing to see the best in me. That's love. 

Raising a family, growing older, taking care of a home, they all tend to suck the life out of romantic feelings. I mean there's a reason they don't show clearing the plates, figuring out why the car engine light is on again, and cleaning up the bathroom in the movies. But it's the showing up, sticking around through the arguments, listening, helping, laughing, supporting, being there day in and day out that's really romantic!

And fancy date nights and trips alone together don't hurt any either! :)

How Much is Too Much and Who Decides?

Have you seen this article, Parenting as a Gen Xer: We're the first generation of parents in the age of iEverything? It's just too good not to share. Alison Slater Tate writes that we are the last generation that had a technology free childhood and we're the first generation to raise children that have never known anything other than a world with Google at their fingertips and screens galore. So true! No wonder I struggle to find balance and parenting direction in this area.

It seems everywhere I look, I'm pressured to limit screen time, cautioned to keep my kids from their phones, or told I'm potentially failing as a parent if I use the Internet too much in front of them. 

On the other hand, I'm told my kids need to stay up to date on technology and that I need to provide experience on computers. Even our local elementary school includes a lot of technology in the classroom. It's a natural part of the environment they're growing up in.

My youngest FaceTiming before school.

Tate's article also points out that we're the generation that has the task of bridging the technology gap between our baby boomer parents and our kids. Many grandparents question why their grandchildren are often connected to a screen. Why are they on it so much? Are they addicted? Many grandchildren can't understand how their grandparents live without wifi and smart phones. How can they stand it? Aren't they bored? Tate admits that...

When it comes to parenting, I find this middle place extremely uncomfortable, because I know what childhood and adolescence were like before the Internet, and my parenting models all came from that era.

I agree with Tate. I can understand the perspectives of both my parents and my children when it comes to technology. Sometimes I want to get rid of all of it and sometimes I find myself caught up in the hype of the new iphone! Twitter, Instagram and FaceTime may always feel a little stilted to me, but they're as natural as breathing for my kids.

My children are growing up communicating differently than I did and with much more access to information and the world around them. Unless I move them to a deserted island, I'll continue to have to walk the the fine line, or more realistically the wavy line, trying to figure out how much is too much. In the end, my goal is to teach my kids to use the internet and social media responsibly. 

It was comforting to me to read Tate's concluding words...

The truth is, my generation of parents are pioneers here, like it or not. We’re the last of the Mohicans. We can try as hard as we want to push back and to carve space into our children’s lives for treehouses and puzzles and Waldorf-style dolls, but in the end, our children will grow up with the whole world at their fingertips, courtesy of a touch screen, and they will have to learn how to find the balance between their cyber and real worlds. It is scary. I don’t think I even believe there is a “right way” to parent with technology. But acknowledging that what we are doing is unprecedented – that no study yet knows exactly what this iChildhood will look like when our children are full grown people – feels like an exhale of sorts.

How about you? Have you struggled finding a balance with your kids and technology? Do you feel torn in different directions like I do?