So it's finally here! I'm so excited to share with you, what has been in my head for awhile, but only now is being presented: A Cuppa Tea With Shawna Marie

Some of you may remember that I started to do something like this before, only it was with a pen name. I'm really glad it wasn't my real name then, because it seemed like it was good practice for the real show. Now I am going by my actual name, and I have a better idea of what it's supposed to look like, etc. I'm open to comments to help me to develop the best kind of show!

And what's it all about? It's about having some time that you can make a cup of tea, now and again, sit in your favorite comfortable chair, maybe even in your jammies and enjoy the show. Each "visit" will be about 15 to 20 minutes long --- just enough time to enjoy your tea (or coffee or cocoa) and sit still a little while. We ladies all need a break in our busy days
(the men folk do too, which I'm not minimizing, of course!). I hope this will become a new favorite to many! I hope you will come away inspired, again, and again, and again.

With that, I'd like to present to you the very first show, ask that you subscribe and share it with others, and may this be a momentous occasion that you are taking part in! I invite you to share in the comments, so that it is more like a visit with you too! Thanks for joining me!

Let’s talk diapers.

Are you are navigating this for the first time?  You may be wondering about best brands and things like that. First, there is the question of cloth or disposable, or a little of both. Once you have that question squared away with an answer, you will be asking yourself about the best brand, best price, how to know the right size, etc.

The good news is that that is really not a hard thing to figure out.

You got this!

However, no question is a silly question: it’s just that I’m here to say you have nothing to worry about.

I guess every mom has their stories of this or that diaper brand which worked for them, and comparing notes can help. So, here’s what I have found:

Huggies leak. Okay, I do have a boy, so maybe a mom with a baby girl would rave about the value of Huggies, but I didn’t even use mine after awhile and I gave them to another mom in hopes that they would find them to work for them. But they simply didn’t work for us.

Pampers are great, but expensive. Are they the only good option? Not to worry! They are great to use, but keep reading to find less expensive brands that work very well!

Luvs are excellent, and the price is right!
I’m really amazed how much “water” these diapers can hold and no leaking is going on, and yet, they are a reasonable price! I definitely recommend these!

Other generic store brands can work well too and be a decent price, but I would compare them to Luvs or Pampers to see what you are happier with. The price may even be similar. I found that our local grocery store brand was good with one exception: They leave a little cottony stuff on the baby, and I don’t really like that. I don’t know what your local brand does, so you may just give it a trial by purchasing a small package at first.

What about stocking up ahead of time for baby? Well, don’t buy more than one pack of newborn size, and not-to-many size ones either. Before long, you will be getting into size two and three…and probably hanging out in these for awhile. Don’t open any packages of diapers until you are ready to use them, this way they will not absorb humidity in the air while being stored, plus you might be able to exchange them for another size if need be.

To know which size your baby should be in, the diaper company gives a suggestion on the box based on the baby’s weight. This is okay, but not necessarily going to work out perfectly. A  good rule of thumb that works for me is: if the diapers are starting to leak (even if they seemed like a fine fit in size), it is time to go one size up…at least that’s the best way if you have a boy. I think girls tend to wear smaller sizes longer than boys in most cases.

Enjoy your baby, all diapered up and happy!

Visit again next Wednesday to talk about cloth diapers.

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My Dog Ate My Homework.

You probably think that’s just an excuse. Where’s the homework, the teacher wants to know? And the classic answer? "My dog ate it."

I’d like to use that one, but I’m not a student these days, nor have I ever owned a dog. But if I had one, he or she would have a regular diet of paper.

I was thinking recently about a plaque I once read on my aunt’s kitchen wall. It read something like,

“Please excuse the mess --- The kids are making memories”.

 My aunt and uncle now have grandchildren --- lots of them! They certainly know a thing or two about kids and how quickly they grow up!

It was almost two years ago that I was there, aware of the little ones going to and fro, as I looked forward to the birth of my own son. I enjoyed observing her daughter-in-laws interacting with their children. I was encouraged to think of my mommy days coming soon and wondering what that was really going to be like.

That day in my aunt’s home, she saw me reading the sign and she said, “I wish I had had that sign when my own children were little.”  She knew that time with her children and allowing them to enjoy their own home was of great value, and a sign like this was a simple reminder, peace of mind, and permission to relax a little.

Today, I am enjoying motherhood real time! My own son is a toddler, whom I love dearly. Even now as I type, he is sitting next to me in his highchair dropping a cookie on the floor to join the crackers and toys he already dropped. I try to get my work done, but everything takes longer than the days when I was single and had no child. What is my conclusion? Totally worth it!

When I vacuum, sweep, and clean the floor, the time of that cleanliness is limited before it either needs to be done again, or I say, “Hmmm…I will try to get to that soon…or sometime.”

My baby ate my housework.

I’m just sayin’.


Recently, my mom and three of my sisters came for a visit. We had a good time together, and Mom basically spoiled me and my family rotten! That was fun!

We have a bird feeder on our porch. It’s a nice big globe designed to keep the squirrels out of the bird food, which belongs in the slender shaft in the middle of the feeder. This way, the birds should be able to go in and out of the globe and get to the food, but hopefully just the birds can get to it. At least, that’s the idea.

My mom saw our feeder hanging there, but there was no food in it (I must have had “good intentions” on getting to that project for over a year!).  Mom is much better at getting a thing done. She’s the type that makes lists and checks things off. When she saw the feeder, she really liked it and didn’t know if we just had it around with no interest in it, or if we were going to use it.

“I like that feeder,” she said, “And I can buy it off of you if you don’t want it.”

We did want it, but really didn’t have the money in the present budget to fill it (times have been tough for us lately). So, Mom offered instead to buy us suet ingredients and fill it up for us! We were very excited about that. She and I went to the store, so she could purchase the following: peanut butter, shortening, and bird seed.

That evening, we left our baby boy with Mom and my little sisters while my husband and I went on a date. By the time we got back, the suet was made and the feeder was filled. All we had to do was to wait for the birds to come to it.

“They say it takes a week for the birds to find it,” Mom said.

The next day, the squirrels were going crazy! Two squirrels --- no, three! The week ahead ended up being a torture to the squirrels as they tried every which way to get at the suet, only to get little-to-none!

Finally, just as Mom suspected, little birds arrived the scene 6 or 7 days later.

What a very nice gift for a grandmother to give! My little boy notices critters outside and now we can expect education and entertainment to come right to us from the comfort of home, and that without the use of a TV!

Sweet! What a “Tweet”!

My life as a mom continues to develop as my baby develops!  It's great fun to see my little one growing up. I feel like he is a baby and a little boy all-at-the-same-time.  I love him so much, and I always hope that he will think I am a good mama when he grows up old enough, hopefully, to think about it. A mother's love is a beautiful thing.

It's a beautiful thing to watch a father's love too.  As I watch my husband enjoying his son, and having fun father-son times of listening to music together or hanging out in daddy's office while daddy works, etc., my heart is blessed!

Not every child has a mom and a dad that are near. Not every parent gets to raise their child to adulthood. Let's not take these moments for granted!  My own father died very young which only goes to show that we don't know what the next moment may hold.  Let's hold our children closer. They are gifts to be treasured above the "stuff" that we strive to acquire. Enjoy your children every moment you can.

"It's a beautiful thing to watch a father's love ..."

Let's face it:  we mom's need a pleasant outlet, some fresh air, and exercise!  What better distraction than to share that with the baby!  Put him in the stroller and enjoy a walk --- after all, it is Spring, almost Summer!  If it's Winter or a rainy day, that's the beauty of the local mall.  If you have other children, the walk is good for them too.

Walking is good for so very many reasons, including trimming the waistline (mama's gotta lose the "baby weight") and simply improving your health.  You just feel better after walking.  You actually might be inspired with more energy and willingness to tackle other projects after your daily walk!  Not to mention, the baby might fall asleep in the stroller, and the little kids may go down better for a nap later on.

Take a break.  Go enjoy yourself!  Your children will enjoy it too.  Point out the squirrels, the birds and their chirping, meet the neighbors as you go!  A daily walk will do everyone some good.   

When I was growing up, I was surrounded --- I mean, surrounded with children!  Not only did I have eleven siblings in the end, but our family naturally tended to hang out with other big families.  How did my mom keep up?  What kind of baby distracting tips did she cleverly come up with while she was busy doing her daily household tasks?  Ahhh... read on.

Sinerio:  Baby is crying in the crib because he woke up and wants to see everybody.  Baby is bored and needs some attention.

Mom's Solution:  Send in the three or four-year-old into the room to entertain the baby with talking and playing.  Before you know it, BOTH baby and toddler are distracted.  Baby is still in the crib as literal captive audience to the entertaining sibling who is talking and playing on the floor.  (Baby-safe toys are also important here).  

Aha!  Kudos to my mother!  That was a smart plan!

Vacuum cleaners are not the only distracting sounds for my baby!  Here is an excellent, easy way to get him to be content a little longer in his crib while I'm hoisting off a load of laundry:  I can play "peek-a-boo" with him!

Here's how it works for you and your baby, too:  When you have just left your baby's room and he is starting to get upset, just poke your head back into the door way and say "peek-a-boo!" or whatever it is that makes your baby laugh, but then quickly hide behind the wall again.  After a couple seconds, pop into view again with another "Peek-a-boo!", and hide again.  Repeat this just a few more times, waiting longer between each time.  At last, you make your breakaway!  Get that laundry started!  ;)

Today, I had a good start on the day, getting breakfast together, washing dishes, getting started on laundry, nursing baby, putting him down for a nap, and so forth.  It's great to have him down for a nap, allowing me time to accomplish housework, home office stuff, even a cuppa coffee and computer time, but once that nap is over, then what?  

Well, sure enough, my baby boy finished his nap with a cry instead of waking up all sweet 'n stuff.  What's a mom to do when you have a full day of stuff ahead?  Distraction!  The baby needs something distracting to do of course!  Here is what I did today:  I went into his room and changed his diaper, nursed him a little, then I put him back in his crib.  That's where it could have been a problem, but I quickly and excitedly put toys in his crib.  He was interested.  But before he could really think about me leaving him there, I was already grabbing the vacuum cleaner that was in his room.  I started it up and vacuumed his carpet, and went right out of the room with it, and continued to vacuum.  Between a clean diaper, milk in his tummy, fun toys now in the crib, and an interesting machine mom is going crazy with, hmmm... junior simply forgot to be upset!

Hope this is inspiring for my mom-friends and readers!  Check in tomorrow for another one of my distraction secrets!