Chasing Cheerios

Saturday, January 16, 2010


After reading this post over at The Snail's Trail, I thought it would be fun to write a confessions post. These are the things that I don't say or show on my blog because I don't think you are coming over here to read about the things we don't are stopping by for ideas and inspiration which is what I try to provide. However, the post (and comments) at The Snail's Trail lead me to believe that some readers might enjoy this post :) So, here I go...

I work on Thursdays and on most Wednesday nights I realize that I haven't brushed my hair since the previous Wednesday.

If the weather is slightly bad (cold or wet), we don't go outside. I'm relieved that I have the weather as an excuse so I don't feel guilty about not going outside (this happens MUCH more since the baby was born, and I am REALLY trying to play outside more as she gets bigger).

One reason that I am happy to stay inside all day is then it's ok for us to wear our pjs ALL DAY LONG! We've been having REALLY cold weather for the past few weeks, and on most days we just stay cozy and comfy in our pjs.

O loves to dress herself and her choices are VERY interesting. I wish that I shared pictures of her on this blog because her combinations are hilarious. She almost always has on a costume, leotard, etc and rarely wears "real" clothes at home. I let her wear her choice of clothes when we go my mom's house, but I try to give her some direction if we are going out and about.

My baby rarely goes to bed before 11 pm. It's 12am now, and she is sleeping peacefully in my arms. I've been rocking and nursing her for almost 3 hours. I love it, and I don't want to put her down. However, it would be nice to put her down occasionally...

We live in the middle of nowhere with no neighbors and no kids nearby. I worry about O not having friends to play with. We are looking for houses in a small town about 30 minutes away because we don't think it's such a good thing for our kids to grow up in such an isolated area. However, there are not many houses for sale, and I am feeling very discouraged.

On Wednesday nights when I am getting things ready for work the next day, I often feel a sick dread of leaving the kids. However, a not so small part of me looks forward to going to work because work is so much easier than being a SAHM. I enjoy talking to my work friends, and I love what I do (I'm a School Psychologist).

I sometimes dread looking at the blogs on my google reader because I know there will be so many things that I want to do that I don't have time to do. I'll keep putting off checking it, but I don't want to miss any great ideas, so I try to catch up late at night after everyone is asleep. As I'm reading the titles of posts, I try to click on as few as possible. I have SO MANY starred items that it is ridiculous, and I almost cringe when I star more posts.

When reading other homeschooling blogs, I occasionally feel a sense of panic when I see something that I haven't done with O. I talk myself down by reminding myself that she is only 3, and the most important things that we do are reading and playing. All of the other stuff is just filler :)

My house (especially since the baby was born) is often a disaster. I'm less stressed when it's clean, but it seems impossible to get a handle on things. I don't remember the last time I mopped. It's been a LONG time. I realized today that I'll have to start mopping regularly once the baby starts crawling...maybe she'll be a late crawler like her big sister (10 months) :)

I REALLY want to be organized, but organization eludes me.

I'm really bad about starting projects and not finishing them for months. I have file folder games that I printed in MAY that I have not finished making. That's just ridiculous.

I have many more boxes of craft supplies than I have room for. One of my New Year's resolutions is to use what I have instead of buying more craft supplies. However, that requires organization in order for me to know what I have...

Although, I've never let O watch tv during the daytime, I've started letting her watch 2 videos (Letter Factory and Signing Time) during the afternoon instead of taking a nap (every other day).

O is a candy fiend. We don't let her have candy often, but she loves it. We have a container of candy from Christmas in our pantry, and we've been letting her have one piece a day. I'm not even sure how that started...

I don't like to cook and I hate baking. When I cook, I cook a lot, and we eat leftovers for as long as possible. I really love my crockpot because I can cook healthy meals without feeling like I'm cooking at all.

I hate to dust, so I don' house is very dusty :) I'm teaching O to dust, and I'm hoping that she'll love it!

I still have Christmas crafts to do (photo ornaments mounted on foam core board and memory book ornaments). I'm hoping to finish them by the end of January.

We have JUST gotten O on a consistent bedtime schedule. She goes to bed around 8:30. We are still flexible, but we all like having a set bedtime for her, and we really enjoy reading together as a family every night.

We use disposable diapers when we are on vacation or are out and about. Sometimes it's just easier to throw the poop away.

It's not uncommon for me to realize late at night that ALL of E's diapers are dirty. (I just sent Elliott to find diapers for me to have for the night and there are none...guess it's sposies tonight).

We had a mouse in our house. He's gone, but we are still finding evidence of his existence. He wreaked havoc on my many bins of craft materials.

We've gotten incredibly slack with EC since it's been colder. I don't remember the last time I put E on the potty. I'll do better once it warms up...

I sometimes realize that I'm doing something just so I can blog about it. I HATE that, and it makes me think I should stop blogging.

I started this blog to document our activities (to one day turn into a book for the kids) and to share ideas. It started off being lots of fun, but lately it often feels more like an obligation than fun.

Ok. That's probably enough. This was fun to write...kind of like a catharsis :) Feel free to chime in with your confessions...I really like comments!


  1. I've followed your blog for awhile now and I love it...but it's so funny that you post actually makes me feel...*don't laugh* makes me feel more normal!! I read your blog and think, gosh, she really has it together and I'm really slacking over here...but alas! I'm not the only one with too many starred posts and a messy house! :) Thanks for posting this! :)

  2. Love it! Thanks for sharing how real you are.

    I sometimes post a small confession on my blog, but I think I need to do a big post like this. Thanks for the encouragement to do it.

  3. I think because we all want to post about the positive things on our blogs, other people reading them can feel very intimidated because they give a false sense of reality. Thanks so much for doing this and making us all breathe a sigh of relief!

  4. I've been thinking about this, how we all post our small successes...but looking at so MANY successes in others' blogs can feel so disheartening! We don't post about the day we stayed in our pjs, we post about the day we did the craft, the outing, the amazing and special things... :) Thanks for keeping it real!!

  5. Thank you! I have followed your blog for some time, and it is nice to be reminded that there is a real person behind all of the great ideas! It definitely makes me feel a little less pressured to get it all right . . . right now! Whether we blog or not (I don't), we all tend to put our best face out there for the public, while the truth is, we ALL have plenty of things that aren't getting done as well as we'd like them to!

  6. Your not so perfect after all! *LOL* I love reading about the real you! I agree so many times we read all these perfect blogs and it can be very intimidating.

    I always feel like a slacker and I too have a messy house, but my DYSON vacuum helps me with dusting.

    I love the fact you stay in your PJ's all day. I do that with the boys some times too, it's fun.

    I miss my days of nursing my little one. I would hold him literally all day in my sling and never put him down. I still hold him alot! and he's 4. I yearn for another baby, I miss the nursing days so much!!!

    Take care, thank you for being real and encouraging us everyday with your ideas and creativity.

  7. You actually encouraged me to start writing my blog. You are a great mom with great ideas. When winter comes it's easy to curl up like hermits, especially with a new baby. Remember this time is short, enjoy every moment. You are doing a great job!

  8. Hiya. I have just started to read your blog and I love it! I decided to do my own blog about what me and the kids do as it all goes so quick.

  9. Thanks for this post! It points out to me that us moms all strive to achieve similar things and have similar struggles and worries along the way.I too found myself holding my baby all the time. It has only been since the new year that I have started putting her down in her cot (she's 71/2 months old). I too have an endless list of activities I want to do with my son which have been inspired by other bloggers. I know I won't get to do them all. As for cleaning...let's just say my house would not pass the white glove test. It's nice to know that someone I have been inspired by is in the same boat as the rest of us. Thanks for sharing!

  10. the obligation thing of blogging, yes, I hear ya!

  11. Oh that is so hilarious - so real and so great.
    I think we all need to do this so we all feel normal. It can get intimidating with amazingly talent and prolific bloggers with such fabulous ideas (such as yourself LOL) that reading this makes us all feel better.
    I love this honesty and could have written many myself - infact I might just do a similar post soon. (:

    Always love your blog. x

  12. Loved this!

    We have a swiffer wet jet. We still mop occasionally (maybe once a month... once every two months?) for a good deep clean, but the wet jet makes it easier to keep the floors clean on a regular basis. My husband worked at one of their solution bottles and got the cap open, so we can re-fill with our own cleaner. It does still mean buying the disposable pads, and I sometimes feel guilty about this, but with how quickly our floors get dirty (there are certain areas we wetjet pretty much daily) it is the only way to keep my sanity.

  13. we are SO alike! Wow, its pretty nice to get to know the "normally mommy" side of you, too :) I really hope we get to meet one day :)

  14. Thank you so much for writing this. I adore your blog but find it the most mommy-guilt inducing part of my reading day. I think dusting is overrated and is a key reason why our children have so many allergies. I have been working vigilantly since my children were born to expose them to a healthy amount of dirt. :-) Also, you might tell your husband that a roomba is the best mother's day gift ever and they make one that mops, too! It Saved My Life when Megan hit the mouthing and crawling stages at the same time.

  15. This is one of my favorite posts! So many of your confessions are true for me too. I'll share one too... on the record, I pump each morning so the baby will have my milk in the future in case she needs it. Actually, it's my 10 minutes to read some blogs. Sometimes (usually), I lose track of time and 10 minutes turns to 15 and the milk is overflowing from the bottles and my husband and toddler ask if I'm almost done. "Almost" I say. :)

  16. Thank you so much for posting this!

    When I'm reading your blog I always think "I bet my kids wish I was her!" or "Who has time to do ALL these amazing things with their child??"

    I always feel guilty when I read your posts because I rarely find the time to do projects with the kids ans such. We play and read, but I do spend a lot of time cleaning because it's important to my husband.

    Reading your confessions reminds me that we're all human... even you, lol!

    You sound like you are far too hard on yourself though. Your daughters are so lucky to have you. If they are happy and healthy and you and your husband are in agreement, what more could you ask for here on earth!?

    Thank you again for this post!

    I completely understand how you cannot keep up because I devote HOURS a day to housework, laundry and cooking and it's still NEVER done!

  17. Thanks for sharing, it makes you so more "human" ;)

    I always have the impression that wow.... this SAHM(you) really spend lots of time to coach her little one(O), and she can still manage her house and her work.. why can't I do that?! And sometimes I'm really guilty of not spending more time to coach my little one, cos there's so much to do.

    So we are all human being, to assure you, I have the same feeling for most of the thing you have just mentioned. And I like this one:
    "I hate to dust, so I don' house is very dusty :) I'm teaching O to dust, and I'm hoping that she'll love it!"
    I'm going to try this ;P hope that Hanhan will love dusting too!

    Not sure if you have heard of "Word World", it's a kid edutainment, Hanhan loves to watch the dvd. I think it's not bad too.

  18. Hey Melissa! Obviously this post touched a lot of your readers.

    My confession, lately we have not done of the activities I have planned. I too am considering giving up the blog...I just no longer see the point. ...And we are loving his school experience...

  19. Thank you for sharing this! It's so nice to get a "behind the scenes" peek.
    Your blog was the first I ever read and referred to constantly. Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful ideas!

  20. I totally know what you mean about the homeschool panic. I always think I'm doing really good with my girls, and then when I hear what someone else is doing I start to worry they'll be messed up forever! I just try to remember that not all school kids know the same things because every school has a different way of teaching :)
    And I can also relate to not brushing your hair for a week. I have this tendency to just braid mine every day and several days will pass before I think "oh yeah, I should probably brush it!" LOL!

  21. Thank you for this post. It is a nice reminder that we're all human, including the people behind the blogs I read. I could have written over half of your confessions for myself and added quite a few more.

  22. We have all been there. When my first few were little, I just didn't think I was going to survive it. I always felt like a failure. The blogging world only shows the best of the best. Don't get discouraged. It does get better...but even now that my oldest is 18 and helping out, I still have a messy house, etc. That is not what they will remember, however. They will remember your love and attention... and from reading your blog, your kids do certainly have that.
    Keep up the good work and relax. All is well,

  23. You sound normal to me. ;)

    Stay isolated. Living in a neighborhood with so many other children is not all that people make it out to be. Mostly it's a pain. Keep your privacy and protect your children. Involve them with other children on your terms: homeschool group, park, activities, church, etc. You'll find raising your daughters much more peaceful when you're not in a neighborhood!

  24. I love your blog and you;) Thanks for being honest. We all have really hard days and things are hard when you are a SAHM. We do our best and that is good enough. I gave up my blog about 4 months ago because I felt like you do now. But now I miss it so much but I lost all my readers and it would be hard to start all over again. Don't feel obligated to post everyday. Just post when you have something real and fun to share. Think about what made it fun before and try and bring those feelings back into it. Thanks for being real.

  25. I also would like to say thank you for sharing. I think every stay at home mom wishes she could do more.

    Some quick suggestions:

    Try telling O the duster is a fairy wand even if she just waves it around she'll get some dust

    I just bought a Shark steam mop and while they are initially more expensive then most mops, they have washable pads and are completely chemical free. Very easy (hopefully now I'll mop more)

    I love reading your blog and getting inspired, but since it is for you and your family to remember, keep in mind the girls will probably love seeing the whole picture of their childhood (especially when they are moms and feeling overwhelmed).

  26. Thanks for "being real!" I love reading your blog, but all of the wonderful mommy blogs I follow make me feel like "How do they get it done? And have time to blog about it?" I feel a little better after reading your "confessions"--the same things we all struggle with! Thank you for taking time to share your wonderful ideas and activities!

  27. Oh wow...these are your confessions? Because I thought you had been "reading my mail". Seriously, about 90% of these could be me (with names changed in appropriate places). Thanks for taking the opportunity to be transparent via your "confessions". I think it will only increase our respect for you.

    On a side note...I think in today's "blogging culture", more than ever, so many of us SAHMs try so hard to be "professional" SAHMs and forget to enjoy the ride. So, take more time to enjoy your ride ... and although you don't want to tell us the things you don't want us to know (understandable!)...remember that there are even things that are awesome and inspiring that you don't have to share with us either. :) We won't take it personally ;-)
    Much love!

  28. I loved the post over at Snail's Trail, and I LOVE this one too. I think it helps the rest of us realize that you are normal too! I think that occasionally bloggers appear to be perfect - doing so much with their happy, smiling children, etc. It's nice to read about the normal stuff once in a while. Maybe I will do a post like this! Thank you for sharing! I really loved it, and can totally relate to so much of it.

  29. Thank you!

    I too feel dread when I look at other blogs because of all the ideas that are great and I want to do them. But in all likelihood, I won't be able to do them (all). This is when I get down and depressed. I'm trying to come to grips with that.

  30. I think this post deserves an award. :) And no, I'm not kidding, I actually just gave your blog the sunshine award over at my blog, This post was great, as are all your other great posts! If you've already received this award, please accept the compliment and no need to do anything else.

  31. Wow! Thank you for sharing your confessions...I often read your blog and other's and think gee, I need to do thanks for keeping it real!

    here are some of mine:
    I am also often in my PJ's all day
    I only get to the laundry when no one has anything clean to wear
    We eat out too much ( a new years resolution to stop that!)
    I also seem to spend more time looking for ideas of things to do with my kids on blogs, rather than actually doing them.
    I'd rather sit on the couch with my hubby and talk, or read a good book rather than clean/do dishes at night, so I usually wake up to a dirty kitchen.
    thanks for sharing, and I love your ideas!

  32. Yep, I'll pitch in with the others and say I'm so pleased to know that you are human after all. :) I discovered your blog just a short while ago and I've been inspired greatly, but it's nice to know that you are real.

  33. Bravo, Mel! We all think everyone else has got it together except us. Especially other people who have fancy cameras and great photoskills (and access to photoshop). Yes, i sometimes find myself choosing a certain project over another just because I think it will be more fun for readers to see (these are also invariably the ones that are quicker to do = more likely that anyone will get to see them within the next year!) I hate it too. I was going to take a photo of my bag because it is very unlike the bags I make for other people (i.e. very normal-looking and polyester!) I shall! It will be funny! Hooray for this post and hooray for you!

  34. yeah! Thank you for posting your "real" confessions of true life. It does get overwhelming when you read blog after blog of what seems to be moms who have it all together...and this is just what I needed today!

    Thanks for your blog!

  35. I really liked this post. You seem more real to me now. I know you're real but I never really knew much about you. Thank so much for sharing. I love checking your blog for ideas to do with my children. I realize that blogging can seem like such a chore sometimes but I want you to know that I appreciate that you do it. Keep up the great work!

  36. Sometimes it's just good to see that other people are normal . . . which is why everyone loves posts like this! None of us moms are perfect, some are just better at appearing it than others. I have been reading your blog for a while and love the great ideas!

  37. My best friend and I both check your blog and share activities with each other. We were just commenting that there are times when we feel like complete slackers with our children (we are both Kindergarten Teachers now stay at home mommies)when we read others blogs. You do such wonderful things with your children! I struggle with maintaining a balence between education, play, cleaning, crafts, children, husband and me time. It never seems like there is enough time in one day. You are wonderful to keep and maintain this blog. Blogging is hard work - I feel fortunate to have connected with another mom and am a regular contributer on her site. It allows me to share my experiences and with 2 of us, there is much less pressure to blog all the time. I sure appreciate you sharing. It means a lot.

  38. Thanks for your honesty. I really appreciated this part ..."I sometimes realize that I'm doing something just so I can blog about it. I HATE that, and it makes me think I should stop blogging."
    I sometime feel this same way, so I rethought why I started the blog in the first place and I try to be easier on myself.
    Thanks for showing us that you really are human after all!

  39. You have no idea of how this just made my day! I just had a new baby and have 2 1/2 year old twins. It's just a feel good post! Thanks! I think you're amazing!

  40. Thanks so much I love your blog and now even more your honesty is so uplifting! I feel selfish though cause I dont want you to stop blogging! Just enjoy your little ones! Enjoy the nursing I miss my days of nursing my own babies!

  41. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I have recently found your blog and I love reading your posts and finding new things I "may" someday do with my little ones.

    I do have to admit that I have felt overwhelmed by many of the blogs I have started reading. It is amazing how you read one that takes you to another and another and another. After reading them, like you, I have lots of ideas but also a lot of guilt.

    Sometimes at the end of the day I am glad we all are fed and relatively happy...I consider that a success. If we have gone somewhere, did a project, read a lot of books then we consider that a great day.

    I love my children but being a SAHM is harder than I ever could have imagined. Cluttered house...yes. Too many toys...yes. More things than a daycare probably needs...yes. Before children I was so organized and such a planner. Now it is more of survival mode. We also stayed in pj's yesterday. It felt so good but I felt bad about it. It is so nice to know that others do the same thing.

    Thank you again. I think this one post of yours will do more for other mothers than you can possibly imagine. I think we are all so hard on ourselves. For the most part, I belive we are all trying to do our best. It really helps to know that other people aren't living the perfect life that we have dreamed up in our minds.

    Please, do what works for you. I love your blog. It is my favorite to read. But, if it is causing you more stress than positive, you need to do what is best for you. Just know that this post was what I needed to read today. Thank you very much. Take care.

  42. Thank you for posting your confessions. I often compare myself to you and find myself lacking which is silly, so reading some home truths did me the world of good and I really appreciate it.
    PJ days shouldn't be a confession though, I think they should be compulsory! ;)

  43. Thank you for this. I'm tempted to post my own confessions now. We spend most days in our pjs, we sleep as late as we want, and my 3 year old (who still nurses) doesn't have a bedtime. I'm tempted to post my own confessions, but I fear the remarks of some people who know me in real life, because I get criticized for these things.

  44. I can really relate to this post! I have many of the same confessions that you do. Years ago I started a blog called 'Confessions of a stay at home mom' to do just that. I didn't keep up w/ it unfortunatley, but last year I started a new blog and so far I'm still going with it!

  45. thanks for this post. I think it's important to "confess" things with other Mamas and to make sure people know that our lives aren't as perfectly organized creative existences.

    Love the idea of a half birthday. My Eleanor was 3 in December and it's such a busy month that adding in something in June would be fun too! xx

  46. If your kid can pick out matching shoes, they don't need all the extra matching practice. If they can sit one doll on each chair at their table- that's one to one. They've got it. They aren't going to forget! The things we make them practice and learn so early at 2 or 3 years old, can easily be learned in one week when they are Kindergarten age. Why make them learn it so young?! Is it because we really think their lives will improve if they can recognize the alphabet at 2, or is it because we want to be able to say "My kid can read before Kindergarten"?! Preschool years aren't meant to be spent memorizing letter sounds. Kids don't benefit from scholastics at an early age. Enjoy your time as Mommy, before homeschool age begins and you are always forced to be in teacher mode. I love reading your blog. You are a wonderful mom. If blogging and making all that extra stuff for O's preschool is making you stressed, I think you should skip it. She'll learn most of it on her own, without all the fancy activities! That's what kindergarten age is for! LOL

  47. Beautifully written! I so *HEART* you and Chasing Cheerios! I hope you and I started a revolution with mommy bloggers and our readers. It would be so refreshing if we can all stop the guilt trips. And I am guilty of being a guilt giver! It would be so fun for everyone in our blog community to get together because I know for sure we'd all be friends. We're all so much alike! :o)

  48. I really enjoy reading your blog and appreciate the "behind the scenes" look. Your blog inspired me to create my own and I link your blog often in my posts! I too have file folder games to be finished and am striving for some kind of order in all the craziness. I have 2 older boys and a girl who is 2- all have benefited from your great ideas! Thanks!

  49. Thanks for sharing this- I can relate to many of them! I love all of the ideas and inspiration I get from your blog.

  50. One of the other commentors mentioned how she spends hours cooking and cleaning a day. I also feel like that's important for my family's health and happiness.

    But I also feel guilty because I can't keep up doing tons of activities while chasing my three kids and teaching music lessons and having a relatively clean home and home cooked meals.

    It's all a balance. If I choose not to spend a morning doing preschool activities maybe I'm teaching my kids how to work together by cleaning up their free play time toys. Or having my kindergartener help me in the kitchen to make bread. It's all a give and take. Thanks for the perspective!

    One thing that helped me become more organized and keep on my housework is to focus on one area a day a week. I looked around my house and divided it up into 5 areas. Then I spend a half an hour to an hour working on that one area a day. Except for the kitchen, that's always a work in progress!

    I love your blog and am always planning on using your ideas!

  51. We definitely have a lot in common!

  52. Oh, I loved this post!!! It makes me feel so much better ... I always kinda pictured you in a spotless home doing everything right ... and it kinda puts pressure on yourself if you do that since you start thinking how can everybody else pull that off but you can't ...

  53. Thank you for your confession page. I'm an attempting montessori mother of twin girls and lately i've felt out of sorts due to my girls being toddlers... So i more then appreciated that you wrote a whole section on your confessions...
    Kristy from Alberta Canada

  54. Thank God. You ARE normal. Seriously, thank you for sharing this.

  55. Thank you SO much for this confession!!! It is so freeing to me...i always feel guilty that i can't do it all. Sometimes i look at all that you are doing and i feel like a failure...i really appreciate your honesty and it makes your blog even more precious. Thank you for all the ideas, although i certainly understand the pressure of blogging (i started for the same reason, but the pressure got to me so i quit :P). thank you, is always encouraging to know that we are all in the same boat of motherhood.

  56. Wow Melisa, sometimes I asked my self how she did it??? And you're NORMAL!! thanks for share it!! you make me feel better!!!lol, I will post something like this confesions.... Love it!!

  57. As far as organization goes, I used to be and feel exactly like you. My house has made a major turn around, as have my organization skills since I found the Fly Lady. She is free, I subscribed to her group and have read her book. Check out

  58. Thanks for the confessions. I enjoy reading your blog and appreciate all of your good ideas and use them too! My daughter is 2.5. Here is my confession: I started making file folder games for my son when he was two years old and they are not all finished yet. He turns 12 on friday! :) Here's to motherhood!

  59. This post could have come from me! Seriously! We SAHM's gotta stick together! Your ideas are great!

  60. I TOTALLY relate and I don't even have children!
    I haven't written a blog post in 20 days, and I've tried so hard today to organize my workspace and I literally don't have enough room for all my stuff. Which isn't THAT much really.
    And I think I mop my floor every year and half. Maybe.

  61. Thanks for all the comments! I TRIED to steam my floor on Wednesday, but the steamer is broken. At least I have another excuse to not do it now :)

  62. I feel relieved reading this! I know I shouldn't feel relief from your "confessions", however it just makes me feel more normal. I kinda was thinking that it was only me that didn't finish projects, and had a to do list a million miles long. I never feel like I am covering enough with my kids. I do not homeschool, but kinda wish it were an option. I love your blog, it makes me try to do better!

  63. I think een if you weren't doing any of these activities and were only reading and playing your sweet daughters would be thriving because their mommy obviously LOVES them SO much.
    Thanks for the reality check and letting us all off the hook!
    Love it!