Archives for March 2012

Oh, How They Change: Our Family In Pictures

Back in 2010, I wrote a post called Oh, How They Change – The Christmas Edition. My idea at the time was to write a post every year at Christmas and show our annual family Christmas picture. Since Ethan was born in 2007, we had one taken every year…2011 would’ve been our fifth picture. But because I suck, I already broke the annual tradition and we missed having our picture taken.

Until March 2012, that is. So really, I’m only a few months behind. But I think it’s pretty cool to see how your family grows, which is why I wanted to share the pictures with you!







There you have it! The Hoage family through the years. And I just noticed that in every picture I’m holding Mia and Jason is holding Lila. I really can’t believe how fast time goes and how quickly they change. It’s bittersweet, isn’t it?

Lila, Ethan and Mia

Are you a fan of Scary Mommy? Want to win a copy of Jill’s book? Head over to read my review of Confessions of A Scary Mommy and find out how!

And if you live in So Cal, head over to and check out their current deal – Watts on The Harbor Cruise Deal – a $450 value that you can pick up for just $99! That’s a two hour private cruise 2-hour private cruise for up to 6 people with appetizers, too! Perfect for a family day out this summer, don’t you think?

Dealing With Picky Eaters (And It’s Our Fault That They Were Picky)

When I was growing up, every night at dinner we had meat, salad, and a vegetable of some kind. We also drank a glass of milk. It wasn’t an option, and if we didn’t eat, there was no dessert. This is the way things should be.

At our house now, things were very different until recently. Jason works a crazy schedule, and so a lot of times I would prepare dinner well before dinnertime, and the kids would end up eating a hot dog or chicken nuggets instead of the dinner I made. It was easier than fighting with them, and it was also easy to prepare. Or sometimes I would make a meal the kids couldn’t eat (because it was too spicy or something) and so I would allow them to eat something else.

Then it got to the point that they didn’t want to eat anything healthy we put in front of them. They flat out refused. They got used to eating meals of convenience and would rather have french fries than steamed broccoli. And the worst part about it was that it was

Don’t give in, they’ll eat when they are hungry enough, people would tell me. Quit offering them snacks and junk – they’ll eventually eat. And guess what? They did. We made them take one bite of everything on their plates and if they didn’t like it, they didn’t have to eat it…but they didn’t get snacks if they didn’t eat. Food magically started disappearing off their plates. They might not have been happy about having baked chicken for dinner instead of a hot dog, but they would eat it.

Until one night Jason messed things up again. I forgot what I had made – was it meatloaf? – and Ethan threw a fit and didn’t want to eat it. Make him something else. There was no way I was going to start making different meals for each kid. When I was young, we ate what my mom made or we didn’t eat. When Jason was young, his mom would make them separate meals if they didn’t like the main one. There was NO WAY I was going to get into that habit.

But Jason started making Ethan PB&J sandwiches instead. And guess what? Ethan started expecting it. This went on for a few months until I finally had had enough of the mealtime whining and battles. We went through the process of making them eat what we put in front of them again. And every night, there’s a protein, veggie and some kind of fiber or carb on everybody’s plate.

I want them to learn to eat healthy and enjoy it. I want them to make smart food choices. Now I’m not saying they don’t eat chicken nuggets and fries anymore…they do, and often. But along with those things they also eat fruit or veggies, too. We are teaching them portion control and that they can eat whatever they want in moderation.

Thanks to Tyson’s 100% All Natural Chicken Nuggets, now you don’t have to choose between making your kids happy and feeding them balanced meals.

But I’m curious, how do you ensure your child maintains a balanced diet? Join the conversation and Tyson will select a winner and donate $500 in the winner’s name to a local food bank!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Tyson Nuggets. The opinions and text are all mine.
Official Sweepstakes Rules.

Wine With Friends For A Good Cause: My Hope At Home Wine Party

If there’s one thing you know I love, it’s wine. Back in February, I was lucky enough to host at HOPE at HOME wine party with some friends. I think you’ll recognize a few of them too! Now head over to HOPE at HOME to read my guest post there titled Good Friends, Good Wine, Good Cause!

And if you live in California and are interested in hosting a HOPE AT HOME party of your own, you can read all about how to host a HOPE at HOME event of your own!

Are you a fan of Scary Mommy? Want to win a copy of Jill’s book? Head over to read my review of Confessions of A Scary Mommy and find out how!

Mommy Moment – Cameron Style

Welcome to another Mommy Moment! If you’re not sure what it is, head over and read all about how Mommy Moments at the Monster came to be. Today, I’m so excited to welcome Cameron from Cameron D. Garriepy!

To say that Cameron can write would be a huge understatement. Some people have an amazing way with words – they can make you feel what they are writing about instead of just reading it – and Cameron definitely does that. She’s also a mom, and a lovely friend.

Go grab a cup of coffee and a donut, ahem, I mean a low-fat muffin, or depending on the time of the day maybe some wine and chocolate, and sit back and enjoy the story!


So Passed A Day

When Natalie initially invited me to share a Mothering Moment, I thought of several big, crucial moments and some upcoming events that I might want to talk about after they’d come and gone.

Somehow, they all felt contrived.

The truth of my mothering is in the seemingly meaningless moments. Like the ones happening while I type.

I am sitting across from my son while we eat lunch. He’s having American cheese on whole wheat, carrot sticks, and chocolate milk. He eats this same lunch 5 days out of 7. He pronounced my leftover gnocchi in vodka cream sauce with shrimp and asparagus, “gross.” He’s only just starting to use that particular word instead of “yucky,” and I am less than thrilled. He desperately needs a haircut, and despite the fact that it’s 55 degrees and cloudy, he insists I let him go out to play before his nap.

He’s 4 and a half, and he still naps.

After a quick step away from my computer to get his coat down for him, he puts his Curious George rain boots down on the floor. “Right way, Mama?” he asks.

I’m not even surprised anymore that they are the right way.

Feet in boots, coat flipped over his head—like they teach you in preschool—and he’s on his way out with the plastic boomarang he got in a party favor bag.

He has a fearsome imagination, no patience, an alarmingly young grasp of sarcasm, and a bossy streak. He gives me kisses and runs into my arms when I pick him up from school.

Sometime later, upstairs getting ready for bed, he wavers between wanting me to brush his teeth for him and demanding that he be left alone to do it himself. “I’m all done!” he says.

“Let me check.”


“Because it’s my job to make sure those little teeth are healthy.”

I pronounce his mouth clean, and he gleefully blows a raspberry, spraying water on the mirror. I playfully swat his little bottom and he zooms off giggling towards his bed.

So passed a day full of small mothering moments, all breezing by while the laptop stayed open on the kitchen table.


See how lovely her words are? This really got to me because Ethan is the same age and I could “see” him and I going through the same motions. She’s so write – motherhood really is about all those small moments…the ones we rarely remember but are etched into us forever.

There’s no manual out there for what we do, so sharing stories like this helps us all learn from each other. Now head over to Cameron D. Garriepy and say hello to Cameron. If you are a Twitter addict, you can find @CameronGarriepy there, and on facebook, too! And if you are a new follower, make sure to tell her that I sent you!

Are you a fan of Scary Mommy? Want to win a copy of Jill’s book? Head over to read my review of Confessions of A Scary Mommy and find out how!