Running from the Law: June 2014

Thursday, June 26, 2014

One Year and Beyond - Bedtime Battles

Well mamas, we've officially reached the end of our "One Year and Beyond" toddler blogging series.  It was a lot of work, but a ton of fun and I'm sad to see it go.  I had such a great time participating in this series, writing the posts, reading about other mama's experiences and responding to all your comments.  I thought the topics were really great and forced me to finally sit down and write about some of the things I hadn't had the chance to address yet, but wanted to. Since I use this blog as an online journal for our family and baby book for the kids, I'm so glad I had the chance to write about this stuff while it's fresh in my mind so I can look back on it years from now while I'm crying in my coffee about my babies no longer being babies.  I hope you've enjoyed it as well, whether you linked up along with us or just read along with the series.  We're considering doing a Part 2, with all new topics in a few months, so if you have any topics in mind, we're all ears (leave them in the comments below).
Today's topic is the motherload of all toddler topics - Bedtime Battles.  I think every new parent in the world must be bonded by the shared experience of sleep deprivation.  We are all just walking around in this zombie-like state together, hoping and praying it eventually gets better.  It has to get better, right?  Well, I'm here to tell you that yes, it gets better...sometimes.  I've written about our battles in the sleep department a number of times (here, here, here), so it's no surprise when I tell you that Mac has never been the greatest sleeper.  I feel like at one time or another over the course of the last two years we've struggled with every aspect of sleeping (fighting naps, needing to be rocked to sleep, middle of the night wake ups, dream feeds, too early wakeups, etc.).  Each issue presents its own set of problems and has a different solution, which has taken us a while to figure out, but we've battled through and are still here to tell the story.  And with all that being said, it could be MUCH worse, so I'll take what we get. 

Since I've already blogged about Mac's sleep issues as a baby, I figured it best to keep this post limited to what we're doing with him as a toddler.  Otherwise, this post would be about 45 pages long with lots of whining and bitching (like I did here).  So let's just skip over that.  Right now (with Mac at 25 months old), I feel like we're in a pretty good (although not perfect) place.  Most nights he goes down relatively easily and sleeps through the night.   Most, not all. Lately, it seems like every other week is good/bad.  A few weeks ago (when he was fighting a summer cold), he was up at least 5 different times a night, crying, needing to be held and rocked back to sleep. It was miserable. Then all of a sudden, he went back to sleeping through the night (from 8:30 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.) like nothing happened at all.  A week later, same thing with multiple wake-ups a night, but he wasn't sick.  Seriously, what is going on?  (more on this below)

Well, since this is supposed to be an informative and helpful blogging series (although I've just told you that we obviously suck at this topic), I'll try to give you all a few bits of advice I've heard about toddler sleep and whether or not they've worked for us.  Feel free to disregard everything I say.  

1. Establish a good bedtime routine.
Toddlers are creatures of habit and love routines/schedules.  I think Mac can be more go with the flow than some other toddlers I know, which is nice, but he does love consistency and knowing what's coming next.  We always do bedtime (and naptime) exactly the same every night.  For bedtime, we do dinner at 6:30 followed by a bit of playtime (either outside or downstairs), then bath at 7:30 (he bathes every night because he's a dirtball covered in sunscreen, bug spray, dirt and sand).  Bath is followed by pajamas, 10 minutes of a movie and snuggle time with mom and dad on the couch, then upstairs for 2 books, talk about our day, one bedtime song and rocking.  Then he goes into his crib with all his babies and blankets and usually sings himself to sleep.  We very rarely deviate from this schedule, even when traveling.  If we do, he can handle it, but I think it helps prepare him for bedtime without struggles.

2. Limit naptime, if necessary.
A couple months ago, Mac was having a very difficult time going down for bedtime.  He just didn't seem tired when it was time to go to bed.  He would implement all his stall tactics, fight us on books, refuse to get in his crib, beg for "more rocking" every night and have the hardest time getting himself to sleep.  We talked with our nanny and decided to try moving his afternoon nap up earlier in the day and limiting it to 2 hours (on days where he might sleep longer).  And what do you know, that helped tremendously.  Even just moving up his nap by 30-45 minutes made a huge difference.  He was more tired and ready for bedtime in the evenings, which lead to less fighting and better sleep for everyone.  So, if you're struggling with a similar issue, try changing things up a bit - maybe a later bedtime (we moved his bedtime back by 30 minutes when he was around 22 months old), an earlier wake-up time (much easier for those of us that don't have to get the kids up and ready for daycare), a shorter/longer afternoon nap, earlier/later naptime, etc.

3. Wear them out during the day
I know what you're thinking...duh Sara, but I've found that this is a KEY element in whether or not Mac sleeps well at night.  And this is one more reason why summer is AWESOME!  The harder they play, the better they sleep.  I first realized this last year on our annual Florida trip.  All the sunshine and swimming and beach time would wear Mac out to the point of him taking 3+ hour naps during the day and sleeping through the night consistently for the first time in his life.  I never wanted to leave Florida after that week!  Now I know that outdoor time, sunshine and fresh air are essential to a good night's sleep for my kid.  If he's cooped up in the house all day, we know we're in for a long night.  He needs that outdoor time to burn energy, use his imagination, get his Vitamin D and whatever other positive things come from being outside.  I truly think that kids need to be outdoors as much as possible for a multitude of reasons, not just to ensure good sleep (but that sure doesn't hurt).  Of course, I know it's not always possible, but for us, we sure try to make it a priority to get out of the house, rain, snow or sunshine.  

4. Try reasoning with them
Ok, now you probably really think I'm crazy.  Can you ever reason with a toddler?  They're crazy and by definition, unreasonable.  However, I think sometimes we underestimate how smart our kids are (ok, we know they're geniuses, but we still don't trust their reasoning).  But sometimes, every now and then, once upon a blue moon, I think they can be reasoned with, so why not try.  I first heard about this tactic from my blogger friend Julia, who mentioned that when they were having problems with CeCe waking up too early, her husband would go in her room and "reason" with the baby and convince her she was still tired and to go back to bed.  WHAT?!!  I was pretty blown away when I read that because Mac's the exact same age and I thought there was no way in hell he'd ever reason with me.  But in the few times I've tried it, it's actually worked.  I admit that most of the time I don't even think about doing it, but occasionally I'll give it a shot and am sometimes very pleasantly surprised at the outcome.  So, what do I mean?  For example, remember how I said that lately we've been dealing with multiple middle of the night wake-ups (for no reason) where Mac wants to be rocked back to sleep?  Last night I told Ryan we needed to put an end to this, so during the "talk about our day" portion of our bedtime routine I told Mac that mommy and daddy needed sleep and if he cried tonight we'd come give him a hug and a kiss, but no more rocking.  And I repeated it three or four times.  No more rocking!  No holding.  Time to sleep.  He woke up at his normal time, cried out for us, Ryan went in, gave him a hug and kiss, told him daddy needed to sleep and there would be no rocking, put him back in bed and that was it.  No more wake-ups.  A one-time 2 minute ordeal instead of multiple 20 minute ones.  Hallelujah!  Of course this could be a total fluke and maybe tonight will be a 10 wake-up night where he screams bloody murder if we leave the room without rocking him, but we got one semi-decent night of sleep from it, so I'll consider it a victory.

5. If it's really bad, get help
Yeah, I complain all the time about Mac not being a good sleeper, but the truth is, he is SO much better than I know some of you mamas have it.  I cringe upon hearing stories about how there are some kids that (at 2 or beyond) have NEVER slept through the night.  You poor mamas!  How are you guys still functioning?  I'd be dead.  In serious cases like this, I'd highly encourage you to seek out a sleep specialist.   I'm not talking about the occasional non-sleeper, but that kid that just can't seem to figure it out despite trying every scenario under the sun.  Every kid is different and even though they will probably eventually figure it out, you shouldn't have to suffer so much in the meantime.  There are so many different approaches and methods to "sleep training" that it's completely overwhelming to most moms (especially the exhausted sleep deprived ones).  But the good news is there are also many specialists out there that can help.  From Moms on Call to local sleep specialists (like this one in St. Louis), these sleep consultants will work with you one-on-one to come up with a plan that works for you, your schedule, your preferences and your child's personality.  They usually make themselves available for calls when you're at your wits ends, consults on how things are going and can even do home visits to help with environmental factors.  Sleep is so important!  Not only to your kid, but to you, mama!  If you need it, get help!

So that's all I've got!  I hope you've enjoyed these last 8 weeks of toddler topics.  Like I said, if you have ideas for Round 2, please leave them in the comment section below.  I also hope you'll consider sharing your story and linking up with us!

From Here to EternityWords About Waverly
my delicious adventure Photobucket
My Delicious Adventure                  The Life Of Faith
Running From The LawThe Olive Tree

May 8:          Taming the temper tantrums
May 15:        Weaning from breastfeeding or from formula to cow’s milk 
May 22:        Dealing with "Mommy Guilt"
May 29:        When people share their opinions and how to lovingly handle it
June 5:         Traveling with your toddler
June 12:       How to get your toddler to eat their veggies…or their food at all
June 19:       How to make time to blog in the busyness of motherhood
June 26:       Bedtime battles (nap or bedtime)

An InLinkz Link-up

Anyone else out there dealing with toddler bedtime battles right now?
Spill...misery loves company! 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

{Mac & Molly}
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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Fourth of July Sour Cream Apple Pie

I'm so excited to be a part of a "Fourth of July Recipe Linkup" with some of my favorite bloggers today.  And what says "Americana" more than APPLE PIE!  I've actually been looking for an excuse to make this recipe for a while, so I was so thrilled to be asked to be a part of this.  The draft post has been in my queue for ages, but I didn't have any of my own photographs to accompany it, so it's just been gathering hypothetical dust at the bottom of a pile of draft posts.  I finally made it over the weekend and it was everything I remembered and more!  My house smelled so amazing!  I took it over to my in-laws for dinner on Sunday and got the official seal of approval from the entire family.  Even Mac ate two pieces!  Trust me, this one is a winner. 
Below is my recipe is called "Fourth of July Sour Cream Apple Pie" and it's really one of my favorite summer desserts.  It's a bit different than a traditional apple pie, using a sour cream filling instead of an apple cinnamon glaze.  It's refrigerated, so it's cold and creamy - perfect for hot summer days/nights.  Drizzle a little caramel sauce on top (or accompany with some whip cream) and it's perfection!  
For the topping:
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
 For the filling:
  • 1 1/3 cups sour cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 5 large Granny Smith apples (about 2 1/4 pounds)
For the crust:
  • 1 frozen deep dish pie crust
Make the topping:
In a small bowl blend together the butter, the sugar, the cinnamon, and the flour until the mixture is combined well and chill the topping, covered, while making the filling.  **I love this cinnamon topping, so I usually make more (or even double the recipe).
Make the filling:
In a large bowl whisk together the sour cream, the sugar, the salt, the vanilla, the eggs, and the flour until the mixture is smooth, add the apples, peeled, cored, and sliced, and stir the filling until it is combined well.
Make the pie: 
Spoon/pour the filling into pie crust and crumble the topping evenly over it. Bake the pie in the middle of a preheated 350°F oven for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until it is golden. Transfer it to a rack, and let it cool completely.  Refrigerate until set and cold. 
Are you drooling yet??
Now go check out these ladies below and their awesome 4th of July recipes...

So, here's how it works: Each one of us (listed above) is sharing a Fourth of July (summer) themed recipe and we are including a link up below for anybody who would like to join! 
  1. Post your recipe on your blog and link up (below) by next Tuesday, July 1.  
  2. You will be matched up to another blogger's recipe on Wednesday, July 2.  
  3. Recreate the other blogger's recipe making it your own and share your results of the swap by the following Wednesday, July 9.  

Easy peasy!  That means you get to share one of you favorite recipes and try a new (soon to be favorite) recipe over the next few weeks. Your family will thank you!  I hope you'll join us!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Photography for Moms - Self-Taught Lessons

Happy Monday, y'all!  (Ugh.)  Did everyone have a great weekend?  I had one of those weekends where I alternated back and forth from feelings of "oh my gosh, my child is the most amazing/wonderful thing that has ever happened to me" one moment to "why did we ever want to have kids" the next minute.   The terrible twos are seriously no joke. 

Anyway, I'm thrilled to bring you the next installment in the "Photography for Moms" series.  Are you guys still loving this series as much as I am?  I hope so.  I think I have at least 3-4 more guest posters lined up for the summer.  Let me know if there's a topic you'd like us to cover.  

Today's guest poster is Colleen from the awesome blog, Meet the Sullivans.  Colleen has a son (Owen) a little bit older than Mac and I've been following her blog since her pregnancy days.  I really love Colleen's blog, probably because it's what I want my blog to be: a mix of adventures with your kids, recipes, crafts/projects and personal stories, accompanied by beautiful photos and a clean, crisp layout.  Her blog makes me happy.  And what I really admire about Colleen is that all her "photography skills" are self-taught.  She's done an amazing job over the last couple years coming into her own in the photography department - I love the photos she takes of Owen (she really captures his spirit and spunk) and her food/recipe pictures always make me drool.  I'm so glad she agreed to be a part of this series because I know so many of you will get a lot out of her post.  She's here today sharing some of the tips, tricks and advice that she's learned along the way to make her photos stand out from the crowd.  As always, if you have any questions for Colleen, leave them in the comment section below!  Enjoy!

Hello! I'm Colleen and I blog over at Meet the Sullivans. I'm a stay-at-home mom (formerly a Kindergarten teacher) married to my handsome PT husband and mom to our 2 year-old son, Owen. I'm so excited to be here today sharing a bit of what I know about photographing little ones. I don't know a lot, but what I do know is the result of basically teaching myself, and today I want to share with you how I did that and some of the tools I use to make my pictures special.

I really had no idea how to use my dSLR when I first bought it way back in 2008. I had taken a photography class in college, but we spent most of our time learning how to develop film, rather than take pictures. I'm not a professional, I only know what little I do know from reading tutorials I've found on Pinterest (you can see my photography board on Pinterest to see some of my favorites) or from tips from other mommy bloggers (like Erin, Sara and Jenny).

In the beginning I mainly used the auto setting on my camera, which I was pretty happy with... until I started seeing other people's more "professional" looking shots. I knew I was wasting the great camera I had by not learning to use it properly. I would use the auto setting outside or in a low light situation, but depended on the "No Flash" setting as often as I could since I knew flash is a no no and I have never liked the look of pictures I've taken with a flash.

For the first year after buying it I brought my camera out whenever I could to play with. I played with style, the rule of thirds, getting different angles, etc. I didn't know how to mess with Manual settings, so I just left them alone. I was worried I would just have blurry messed up pictures if I tried shooting in Manual and that I would lose the moment I was trying to preserve.

I really began to pick my camera up more once we had Owen, which makes complete sense since that's when I started staying home, so I had more opportunities during the day to break out my camera and mess around. That's an important term here: mess around. That's basically how I learned to use my camera. I just played with it. In different lights, inside or outside, with a mostly stationary object (infant) and an active one (toddler).

When I bought my camera I went home with two lenses a 58mm 75-300 zoom lens and the kit lens I used exclusively until January of this year.

And then this Christmas Keith gave me a 50mm lens f1.8, which is mainly what I use now for about 95% of the pictures I take. It took me a while to get used to not being able to zoom in or out, but the quality of the photos is worth not being able to do that.

While I am not even close to being a professional at this photography thing I do have a few tips I've learned along the way to make my pictures just a little bit better!

Play with your camera as much as possible. Keep it out where you know you'll see it and be drawn to pick it up. I might take 40 photos of Owen doing one thing and only end up using 2-3 on my blog. Most people have to take a lot of pictures before they end up with a great one.

Manual is best, if you know how to use it, so LEARN it. You're not going to learn it in a week. It's a process, and I'm still trying to figure it out. Sometimes I just want to get a few good shots and don't want to bother with my camera too much, so I just switch to one of the preset auto settings like "Sports" or " Av".
18-55mm ISO 400 f/4 1/500
Get on their level. When Owen is playing on the floor, inside or outside, I like to get down on the floor with him and take pictures from his level. It gives the photo a neat perspective and it really captures the moment and expression on their face as they play.
Take lot so of pictures from all different perspectives. I like to get on the floor with Owen and take a few shots on his level, take a few from above and maybe one from far away. Sometimes I focus on his hands as he plays with a toy or just on his face. Each on gives a different feeling. 
 18-55mm ISO 400 f/3.5 1/160
The best light is outside, early in the morning or late in the afternoon, right before the sun goes down. You do not want to shoot in direct sunlight. Shade is best. Shoot in the shade with the sun to your back OR with the light behind you for a cool back lit photo (like the one above). Lighting is king -- there is no coming back from a poorly lit picture. The most you might be able to do is turn it black and white, so know your settings and good light when you see it. I like to take pictures of him outside late in the evening, when the sun is going down, there is more shade and the sun is lower. But if that's not possible I just stick to the shady spots in our front yard, and let the light be behind him as a backdrop.
50mm ISO 100 f/2.5 1/3,200    |    50mm ISO 400 f/3.5 1/500
Get Them Moving! The best pictures I've taken of Owen are always when he's busy doing something he really loves, like playing with his daddy at the beach or rolling around on the floor with his cars. It's fun to see him frozen in motion and with such a genuinely happy smile. The picture on the left was taken in the automatic "sports" setting on my Canon.
50mm ISO 100 f/2.2 1/160
Use the rule of thirds to make a simple picture more interesting to look at. This picture was taken on Mother's Day this year up in San Francisco. The picture is off center with Owen and I in the right third of the photo, which makes it a bit more interesting. I also really like the bright and blurriness of the plants behind us. We were sitting in the shade, Keith (the photographer here) was in the shade too and our background was mostly sunny, which is what gives it that cool bright appearance.

50mm ISO 400 f/2 1/40 
Play with props. You've probably noticed that Owen is almost always holding something in his hands in our pictures. He is just such a busy boy and needs to be doing something fun, otherwise he wants grab the camera from me. This was taken inside in the early afternoon near our very large and long kitchen windows with Owen sitting on the kitchen counter playing with an old camera of mine. He was busy having fun with my old point and shoot camera, and was stuck in one place, since I had him sitting on the counter. For this picture I had to turn the aperture and shutter speed down low to get Owen to be light enough, but he was happy to sit and play with my camera while I figured it all out.
50mm ISO 400 f3.2 1/200
Let it happen naturally. I've thought of some great places for taking pictures of Owen and when we finally get there it doesn't work the way I wanted it to. There is no fun in forcing your child to smile or sit for a photo just to get the perfect shot. I've found it's best to just have my camera with me as much as I can and to let the pictures I take be authentic and not staged (too much!)! His smile is the best and he's most happy when he's playing and having fun doing something HE wants to do, and not what I make him do. For this picture we were playing in the backyard and I was filling his pool up. He wanted to give it a try and I knew this would be a cute picture, so I ran in and grabbed my camera from the kitchen. I told him to try spraying me with the hose (luckily it was on pretty low) and that's how I captured his big smile.

Editing. For my big camera I like to use iPhoto to store my pictures and edit them. I might lighten them up a notch or two, change them to black & white or retouch something small like a blemish or wrinkle (mainly on me!), but I prefer to use them as is. If the picture  needs more work than that and I still don't like it, I just don't use it. To add graphics and letters to my pictures I use the Acorn on my Macbook Pro. It was $50 and it is great for adding extras to my pictures (mainly for blogging). It was pretty easy to learn how to use too. If I'm taking pictures on my iPhone I like using PicTapGo to add light.

I hope some of these little tips that have worked to make my pictures better will help some of you too! Thank you SO much to Sara for letting me be a part of her Photography for Moms series! I am learning so much from what everyone else has to share!

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *    

Photography for Moms Series:
Part 1 - Finding the Light
Part 2 - Step Off and Step In
Part 3 - For the Love of Photos
Part 4 - Aperture Priority

Part 5 - Sibling Shots
Part 6 - Monthly Milestones

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

One Year and Beyond - Making Time to Blog

Oh, well isn't this topic appropriate right now...two days after I published my last post that was nearly a week late.  Ugh.  Does that automatically disqualify me from giving anyone advice on finding the time to blog?  Maybe.  Anyway, this week's "One Year and Beyond" blogging series topic is on Making Time to Blog.  As a full-time attorney, mom, wife and blogger, this topic is near and dear to my heart and still (nearly seven years after starting this blog) something I struggle with all the time.  

One of the most frequent questions I (and a lot of other bloggers I know) get asked is how do I find time to do it all?  First of all, that question assumes that I'm actually "doing it all," which is absolutely not the case.  Every time someone asks me that question I cringe and get a bit worried that I'm portraying a life on this blog that's actually different than the one I'm living.  I certainly don't want to come across as someone that has her shit together all the time, doesn't have emotional meltdowns occasionally or has super powers.  That's not me.  Don't worry, I'm a mess!  My to do list is always pages and pages longer than I will ever have time to get to and I constantly feel like I can't keep up.  There is NEVER enough time.  Reality is so much different than the tiny little snippets of life that get presented on a blog or social media.  I hope that makes everyone out there feel a little bit better about themselves, because I can guarantee that life is never as together or easy as you can make it look online.  We're all struggling.

So how do I make the time to blog?  Well, the easy answer is by prioritizing.  I know that's probably not what you wanted to hear.  You wanted to hear that I have a secret time machine or a staff of elves that blog for me, right?  Because that would be awesome.  In reality, I have to find the time, which means that something else gets pushed aside.  There are only so many hours in the day and I (unfortunately) do not get any more than everyone else does, so the time I take to sit down and write a blog post is time I'm not doing something else.  So, when I'm blogging, what am I NOT doing?  Here are a few examples:
  • working out (ever)
  • watching TV 
  • reading books
  • trying new recipes 
  • going out to eat with friends
  • having date nights with my husband
  • cleaning the house
  • doing laundry
  • sleeping
If you are doing any of these, I'm SO jealous.  Whether you realize it or not, we each deliberately choose to make time for the things that mean the most to us.  If you can find the time to do it, it's because you WANT to do it and you want to do it more than you want to do other things.  Yes, of course I could also find time to work out or read a book, but then something else has to give (like spending time with Mac), which I'm not ok with doing right now.  And yes, I occasionally do find the time to go out with friends or do projects around the house, but those are probably also the weeks where I'm light on blog posts or when Mac is visiting his grandparents or I'm getting extra help around the house from my hubby or nanny.  There's just not time to do it all.

My time (as well as everyone's) is very limited, so I try to spend it doing what I love most.  Right now that's spending time with Mac and documenting my (and my family's) life on this blog.  It might not always be this way.  A year from now I may decide that I'd like to start running again and this little corner of the internet may not get updated as much as it does now, because that will take priority.  And that's ok.  I blog because I love it, but my love for this blog may not always be my priority.  When I'm extra busy at home or at work, this blog is one of the first things to be cut to find time to do other things.  And that's ok too. It'll still be here when I get back.  I may have to dust off the cobwebs, but it'll be here.
What most non-bloggers don't realize is what a huge commitment blogging can be.  It definitely takes up quite a bit of my time these days, which leaves less time that I'm doing other things.  A blog post can take me anywhere from 30 minutes to write to a couple hours, depending on how much research needs to be done, how many photos need to be edited and uploaded and how thoughtful I want to be on the subject.  This spring I put together two posts that each took around 10 hours to write (here and here), for different reasons.  The "baby gear" post took a ton of time to research, add links, make photo collages, give opinions, etc.  The "Working Moms" post just took a lot of time to write because I wanted to be so deliberate and thoughtful in what I wrote and then I edited and revised the hell out of it to get it perfect.  And writing the posts themselves usually isn't the hardest (or most time-consuming) part of blogging.  Blogging is a community which requires reciprocation.  It's a wonderful place to "meet" other moms and be a part of something amazing, but it also takes time to respond to readers, keep up with other mom's blogs, read and comment on their posts, stay up to date with social media, etc.  I may not be great about responding directly to comments, but you can bet that if you leave me a comment, I'll visit your blog and leave you one back.  I love reading other blogs and being a part of this community, but it also takes a lot of time.

As for blog maintenance, I keep a running list of topics I want to cover that month (I never get to them all) and  I have a monthly calendar that I use to plan out my posts and try to schedule them ahead of time, if I can.  I write a little bit of posts all the time, a paragraph here and there (especially Mac's monthly updates, etc.) over weeks and always have 5-15 drafts of posts sitting in my queue waiting to be finished/published.  Editing photos takes a LOT of time for me, but this blog has been wonderful in that it forces me to stay on top of my photos so I can also have them for baby books, year books, calendars, gifts, etc.  If I didn't need photos for this blog, I'd probably have thousands of them just sitting in my computer gathering dust (who am I kidding, I still have thousands of unedited photos on my computer - there's just not enough time!).  I definitely don't blog everyday.  I try to blog 2-3 times a week, but I don't beat myself up about not hitting that goal (because it's a hobby, not a job for me).  If I have extra time that week and post more than that, awesome!  But I try not to put too much pressure on myself to blog (because I want it to be fun) and I try not to impose firm deadlines on myself (unless it is a sponsored post or a guest post where I need to stick to a schedule).

So, when exactly do I have the time to blog?  Mainly in the evenings after Mac is asleep, on weekends or on my lunch break at work.  I think about blog posts all the time (while I'm driving, at work, when I'm playing with Mac, etc.).  Actually, I do a LOT of brainstorming in the car while I drive to and from work.  That's around 40 minutes of uninterrupted time a day to get ideas for posts hashed out.  I find that a lot of my writing happens internally and I usually have a good idea of exactly what I want to say in a post in my head before I ever sit down to the computer to type it out, which usually makes the process go much quicker.  My husband is also great about giving me some "alone time" with my computer to write or edit photos.  I'm not sure he's always a huge fan of the blog, but he is very supportive of my photography and documenting.  He loves having our stories written down and photos of the kid(s) as much as I do.

Well, that's how I do it.  I'm so curious to read what everyone else has to say on this topic.  I'm always in need of ways to find more time to blog (and do other things).  Feel free to check out the other co-host mamas listed below to find out how they "do it all."  And, of course, we'd LOVE to hear from you!  If you're a blogging mama, how do you make/find the time to blog?  Please link up with us below!

From Here to EternityWords About Waverly
my delicious adventure Photobucket
My Delicious Adventure                  The Life Of Faith
Running From The LawThe Olive Tree

May 8:          Taming the temper tantrums
May 15:        Weaning from breastfeeding or from formula to cow’s milk 
May 22:        Dealing with "Mommy Guilt"
May 29:        When people share their opinions and how to lovingly handle it
June 5:         Traveling with your toddler
June 12:       How to get your toddler to eat their veggies…or their food at all
June 19:       How to make time to blog in the busyness of motherhood
June 26:       Bedtime battles (nap or bedtime)

An InLinkz Link-up

How do you make time to blog?