Packing Tips for Hiking with Littles in Late Winter/Early Spring (and a muddy trail adventure)

Our latest family hiking vlog! Click below <3

Packing Tips for Hiking with Littles in Late Winter/Early Spring (and a muddy trail adventure)

When your inner Mama Bear comes out/don’t treat my kids differently due to your gender bias

I have realized lately that having children has definitely changed me, one area being my ability to deal with confrontation when necessary. But, this post is really about an experience we had recently due to the fact my children are not all the same gender. So, the twins had their first dance class this week. We’ve done gymnastics mommy and me classes but this was their first “real” class experience. They’ve been over the moon excited, and I found it’s a bit more difficult to find dance gear for toddler boys, which is ridiculous, I mean, boys dance too. Hello, heard of Mikhail Baryshnikov?! Anyway, they have both literally been counting down the days until class started. We arrived, and the instructor immediately accosted me at the door and informed me I wasn’t “allowed” in the class, at all. I had not been told this previously and was a little taken aback the instructor didn’t even introduce herself before demanding I leave immediately, but I talked to my kids and, being the super confident little people they are, they had zero problems joining their new friends sans Mama while I waited outside the door with my mom. I peaked in the door windows often, hello, this was their first class and I wasn’t exactly impressed with the instructor’s less than friendly attitude. But, they were having fun, Arabella was listening like a precise machine and frankly I was amazed how fantastic my energetic little son did as well, especially considering this was their VERY first structured class experience and without mommy too! I mean, he was LISTENING, and sitting still…!

Anyway, class got out, and the instructor comes up to me and starts informing me, right in front of the twins, (can you tell I’m still a little annoyed!) that Arabella did just beautifully, so very well (and she did!) but, and in a very indignant tone, that Harry had listening problems and was all over the place. (which he was NOT). She then immediately proceeded to inform me I wasn’t allowed to look in at the class, that my son had seen me every time and was saying my name. Ok, first of all, lady, were you born yesterday that you feel the need to deride my son while praising my daughter, RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM?! Also, sorry, but you’re teaching a class called Dancin Dumplins (not even dancING dumplINGS) for three year olds at a REC CENTER, hardly a prima ballerina class at a New York conservatory, thus, not exactly the place to give me some kind of big attitude. AND ALSO, if you have a problem with energetic little boys maybe you shouldn’t be teaching a gender neutral class!!!!!

In the past, I would have frozen and not been able to reply, and then hated myself afterwards for it. But, motherhood, well, it’s given me balls ya’ll. I IMMEDIATELY (yes, I’m proud of my quick response) informed her, (while smiling and in a polite tone!), that A. this was Harry’s FIRST EVER class and he had done extraordinarily well, THEY BOTH HAD. And B. that I didn’t know her from Adam and absolutely no way was I not watching the class my tiny little children were in, and if she tried to speak this way to me again we would not be back.

Despite my fury, I kept a calm demeanor, and my words must have gotten my point across as she shut up immediately and physically backed off. I am not a paranoid person, nor am I a super controlling one. However, I don’t care how many years someone has been teaching class you better believe I will be observing how they treat my children until they have earned my trust. I was a teacher for yearrrssss and I would never expect a parent to trust me until I had personally earned it from them. Especially a casual class like this, this wasn’t exactly a certified school facility in which class is controlled and observed. And lady, you aren’t going to treat my children preferentially due to their opposing gender. Seriously, don’t. even. try.

I talked to Harry and Arabella afterwards. This is one of the reasons I believe communication as a parent is so important, I know they will tell me if anything made them feel uncomfortable. They loved most of all meeting new friends (they’re insanely social!). We may go back, we may find a different class. But if we do go back, and I see her do one thing to make them uncomfortable, I will walk in there and pull them out. I will not tolerate my son being treated more harshly because he is a young and energetic boy, just as I will not tolerate my daughter ever experiencing bias against her gender. I will continue protecting them until they are old enough to protect themselves. And you know, I have them in this CASUAL class to have fun, and to see if they love dance class or just dancing. Should either of them decide they want to do this seriously, I will find a serious dance class. In the meantime, I’ll just be over here sharpening my mama bear claws to protect my children, regardless of their gender and energy level.

Five Easy Ways I make Myself Feel like I Have it all together every day (even when I totally don’t)

One of my biggest parenting lessons as a previous control freak has been you simply cannot control everything all the time when you have children. That being said, I do like to have a semblance of order and peace every day, for me it helps me keep my sanity and thus help me be a better mama. I can’t always keep the bathroom spotless and I can’t always have all the laundry put away (ok, maybe ever on that one hahaha!) but I have found a few easy, doable daily things that help me feel better about everything. I call them my daily sanity savers! These may not be your five things, but if you don’t have them already, I hope they can at least help you maybe find five things that help YOU feel on top of it all, even when you have tiny humans using you as a jungle gym and your house resembles a disco with the world’s tiniest ravers alive. And please share below I would love to hear what yours are!

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Simple Gluten Free Apple Breakfast Braid

I actually love to bake and cook, but with three tiny tots I also very much love keeping it simple these days! This is a super easy breakfast braid that you can get toddler help with and not have it turn into a flour disaster of nuclear proportions AND even eat breakfast before noon. 😉 It’s also gluten-free. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it!

xx

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Lloyd Family Hikes YouTube Channel Intro!

Alright ya’ll! It’s official! We will be documenting our Colorado hiking journey on YouTube and sharing it so that we can hopefully help and inspire others to take their families hiking!
We will be documenting all our family hikes on our channel and sharing it with you as we train to take on our first Colorado 14er as a family of five! We’ll let you know the best gear, snacks and trails to take so you can get your family outside too! Click here to check out our family hiking vlog intro and make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel!

(click here to check out our first hiking post)

Got littles?! Let’s take them hiking!

#lloydfamilyhikes

Follow along with our social channels:
Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/themamaplaybook/
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/themamaplaybook/
Blog:
www.themamaplaybook.com

The Birth Story of Charlie Adam Lloyd

First of all, I want to give credit to my wonderful sister, Hayley, for photographing Charlie’s birth. It was no easy task in our cramped, tight and very dark little room, but it means the world to me to have Charlie’s birth documented, both in photos and videos. Working in such a dark room is nearly impossible for photography, but the twins were born under fluorescent lights and I was SO grateful for the dim calm this time! She also photographed the twins birth, (as much of it as she was permitted to at the hospital!) and I am eternally grateful for her love and labors at both events. She even hung in there when it got super gnarly, bless her brave heart.

I will admit to feeling quite vulnerable in sharing all of this, but, being able to read other’s birth stories and see their photos and videos gave me such strength before both of my births, and I am sharing our story in the hope that I can do that for someone else.

Watch Charlie’s birth story video here, and scroll down to read it <3

Continue reading The Birth Story of Charlie Adam Lloyd

Easiest DIY Toddler Bunk Bed (no sawing or additional tools required!)

Allow me to preface this with the statement that I am not an architect, nor am I a DIY expert, just a mom on a mission, so please feel free to ask for clarification on construction for this bed! 🙂

Ever since the twins were born, we’ve been a cosleeping family, and loved it. Many things contributed to that decision, not in the least of all which was space. (When you have one bedroom you do what you gotta do!) When our queen bed got too small we purchased a twin bed off of Amazon and sidled it up next to the queen mattress to make one bigger bed. When we found out we were pregnant with Charlie, I started making plans to transition them into their own beds as part of our home renovation. Well, the renovation took longer than expected (don’t they all) and suddenly Charlie was here and the only progress I had made was to remove the extra twin mattress and in its place put some toddler mattresses on our bedroom floor, so essentially we were all in the same bed still, it was just a LOT smaller!

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Hiking Updates-Log 1

Hello! Welcome to our first official Lloyd Family Hiking Update! (edited to add: we started vlogging our hiking experiences on my YouTube channel!!! click here to check that out too!) I want to share this journey both so we remember ourselves and so that we can also hopefully inspire and help others as we have a LOT to learn about being a hiking family of 5! I hope you join us and follow along, this will be our biggest adventure yet as a family! Follow us on Instagram here, Facebook here! Now, to check out what we learned on our first four hikes as a family of five, (including all the pics!) keep reading!

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So Yarn Cozy-beautiful crochet shop!

I am ever so excited today to introduce you to So Yarn Cozy, a beautiful crochet shop owned by Kelly, the loveliest mama of three gorgeous girls! (Not to mention, how cute is the name So Yarn Cozy!!! <3 )

Kelly is a truly talented mama who uses Etsy to enjoy her hobby as a small business, and I am ever so glad she does! She makes absolutely lovely and truly high quality crocheted items, and is she ever fast as well! I found her when I was hunting for bonnets for my three little ones, and I am just ever so honored to be able to collaborate with her!

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Best Nursing Cover-The Infineni by Nenikanopi!

I first met LindyJo Larnard, a mama to three beautiful children, wife, and the creator and founder of Nenikanopi, through her Nenikanopi Insta account and was immediately struck not only by her incredibly sweet personality but her truly genuine nature. Her kindness and loving spirit is what led me to check out her company in the first place, and I was also equally struck with her incredible product and her beautiful passion for supporting and helping mamas.

Continue reading Best Nursing Cover-The Infineni by Nenikanopi!