If you have little kids – or if you’re pregnant – pay attention. Because I’m about to solve most of the parenting problems you’ve ever had.

Well, I’m not personally going to solve them. In fact, I’m pretty sure you should never take my parenting advice, especially since my 4-year-old said to me this morning, “Mom – what’s my name again?

She was referring to her first name.

Luckily, you don’t have to rely on me, or your friends who don’t know the answers either, or your mom who only remembers the good parts about parenting and can’t remember her children ever throwing a tantrum or not sleeping through the night. (Which sortof gives me hope that I’ll be able to forget those things too.)

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I’ll never forget bringing my first baby home from the hospital and realizing very quickly that my husband and I had no clue what we were doing. (Pssst… there’s a course for that.)

And then about three months later, sitting on the couch at 3 am feeding that baby, watching an infomercial, wondering if I would ever get to sleep again in my life – and not having the energy to read the 200-page sleep bible that was guaranteed to get us there.

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Somehow I managed to survive the infant years before MomAssembly existed, but luckily I don’t have to navigate the next few years without them. These days, my kids are 2, 4 and 6 – and pretty much every course MomAssembly offers for this age range sound good to me.

Finally get Simon potty trained? Yes, there’s a class for that.

Get Miles and Alice to stop fighting? Yes, there’s a class for that.

Figure out this whole discipline thing – without losing my mind? Bingo.

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I’m even thinking of buying the Sleepeasy Solutions course for my cousin who is pregnant with her first baby. What a great gift, right?

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This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Even Steven and I are a lot like most parents.

We’re full of joy and love for our kids.

Even Steven and Kids

We laugh at things they say and take pride in small milestones (like when Alice finally learned to wipe herself and get the toilet paper into the toilet afterwards.)

We take our jobs as parents seriously – thinking about what they should eat, trying to incorporate healthy habits and trying desperately to teach Simon that he shouldn’t start kicking his bedroom wall at 5 am each morning.

Three Kids

We are good parents.

And we’re also like a lot of parents with little kids.

We’re tired.

Not newborn-baby tired – that’s in a league of it’s own. But just a general, constant fatigue of one more snack, and bedtimes and bathtimes and did you brush your teeth, and someone needs to see a doctor, and who farted, and diaper changes, and I don’t have any clean underwear in my drawers, and who wrote all over the minivan with an ink pen? (It was Miles.)

Not unhappy. Not regretful. Just full-on, parenting 24/7, tired.


And then we went to Florida.

And that didn’t exactly fix our fatigue. Because if you’ve ever traveled with kids, then you know that it’s basically just TRAVELLING with kids. Not really a vacation…

In fact, I was sick for a lot of the trip, and the weather wasn’t all that great (you can read more about that here.)

But something pretty major happened at Florida. And it left us both full of hope.

I already mentioned that we stayed in a trailer park while we were there. But it wasn’t just any trailer park.

It was a trailer park sent straight from heaven.

Straight. From. Heaven.

Even Steven and his Trailer

And it wasn’t because of the giant wellness center or the biggest outdoor swimming pool and hot tub I’ve ever seen. It wasn’t the tiki bar or the putt putt golf course. It wasn’t even the giant bounce house or the cheap price tag.

What was so amazing and life-changing about this experience was that we could call Mort if we were interested in joining the poker league.

If we wanted to play shuffleboard, we had to talk to Ethel and be at the courts at 9 am sharp.

Roger could help us if we wanted to join in on the water aerobics class or perhaps we’d like to have a treadmill brought into the water for us?

Sandy was in charge of the stained-glass lessons, and Doris was coordinating a ladies day out at the outlet mall.

Yes – Even Steven and I stayed with our family at a senior citizens trailer park in Florida.

And it was amazing.

One morning at 10 am, we were sitting by the pool. Miles, Alice and Simon were splashing in the shallow end, while Even Steven and I sat with our toes in the water. The sun was shining. I was feeling better. We were thrilled to be there.

And in walks Hank. His jeans were pulled up to his armpits. His orthopedic shoes were white and shiny. And he was carrying two pitchers of beer and a deck of cards.

His friends were close behind him, and those 8 guys sat at a table at the pool for two hours drinking beer and playing cards. At 10 am.

Do you know why? Because they could.

Every morning, we watched the seniors take on their day in any way they wanted to. Stained glass lessons? Why not? Hop in the steam room for awhile? Why not? Learn woodworking or play horseshoes or just take a freaking nap? Let’s do it!

And for each day that we stayed there – dodging the golf carts and motorized scooters – our outlook on life became more and more exciting.

I have seen our future – and it is bright!

It also happens to be in a trailer park in Florida.

Even Steven and I will come across hurdles over the next 30 years. We’ll deal with illness. We’ll worry as our kids become teenagers. We’ll panic when they learn to drive. There will be great times – and sad times. Highs and lows. And challenges that we have no idea are coming.

Kids on the Beach

But it’s all going to be okay.

Because one day, we will be living in a trailer park in Florida.

And I will be learning how to make stained glass, and Even Steven will be playing bocce ball. And then we’ll drive our golf cart up to the pool and have a margarita in the hot tub at noon – because we can.

The annual trailer park “homecoming” party takes place every year on January 15th – when most residents have returned “home” from the holidays.

I’ve marked my calendar for January 15, 2044. Who’s with me?

Yesterday was the coldest day of my life.

Okay – it probably wasn’t really.

I was born in the 80′s, and I grew up in Michigan – so I’m guessing that if I had been 8 years old with temps below zero – we wouldn’t have talked about it. My mom would have just sent me out to ice skate on the swamp behind our house.

But – yesterday was the coldest day of my life that I remember. So I’m going with it…

After two weeks of the kids being home for winter break, I was like a lot of you – with school cancelled – and the temps far too cold for me to feel comfortable shoving the kids into the backyard for the day.

It wasn’t the worst snow day I’ve ever had. Not by a long shot.

But it might have been the most educational. Here are 10 things I Learned:

1. The automated “School is Cancelled” phone call comes to our house at 5:27 am. This seems excessively early to me. Right? I understand that teachers and high schoolers that need to be at school far earlier than my kindergartener get the same call but blah blah blah. 5:27!?!?

2. Taking three kids to a well-child visit smack dab in the middle of naptime isn’t much fun. Even when the 2-year-old keeps everyone entertained with potty jokes.

3. The neighbors don’t like it when you let your kids play outside in negative temperatures. (Don’t worry mom – I’m referring to the dirty looks I gave to my neighbors. I didn’t let my kids play outside!)

4. My minivan doors don’t open when it’s below zero.

5. I can get pizza and subs delivered to my door, but try to get someone to deliver a gallon of milk and some eggs because you’re too lazy to take your three kids to the grocery store? Not a chance.

6. I should have bought the 2-year-old snow boots.

7. My 6-year-old doesn’t need more shots until he’s 11. (Unless he is bitten by a raccoon, which was a very serious question that he asked the doctor.)

8. There is an owl living in our backyard, and he spent a good portion of yesterday staring at my kids through the window. I felt a little like he was judging me for the mess (and my hairy legs.)

9. I no longer cry when people start throwing up. It’s just part of my daily routine anymore. And the 2-year-old has gotten really good at running to the tile floor before he starts heaving (which I think means he’s ready to be potty trained, don’t you?)

10. My mother-in-law’s dog likes the taste of puke. And was quite helpful in getting everything cleaned up. (Don’t worry Bing – I’m taking great care of your dog! Really!)

How are the temps in your neck of the woods?