Sunday, March 10, 2019

Is This What Having Teenagers Is Really Like

Is this what having teenagers is REALLY like?

My first round of teenagers happened over 17 years ago. I had a 12 & 14 year old when the 3rd child came along. And then two more babies came along. I had teenagers and toddlers. I use to say that, "I have toddlers by day and teenagers by night". And oh my goodness was that a very busy time in my life. It was my normal. I would nap when the babies and toddlers napped so I had the stamina for the teenagers in the evenings.Teenagers that required a listening ear, thoughtful conversations and advice on how to talk to that special boy or girl.

I am thankful that God wired me to be organized and a, "clean and prep as you go" kind of gal. Dinner was pretty much always ready at the same time every day. Boys went to bed at the same time. I would tell the teenagers that if they wanted friends over for movies, and fun teenager stuff that they had to come after 7pm. This way the three littles were already in bed. I kept my freezer stocked with frozen pizzas and ice-cream for the unexpected extra kid my teenagers brought home.

Well those teenagers are now 29 and 31, and I am deep into the teenage years with the younger ones. And it's SOOOOOOO easy. It's like I am missing something. I remember Elliot and Emily in their rooms in the evenings doing their homework, practicing their instruments, instant messaging friends on AOL, or coming to me and asking if we could take a walk or watch a movie together. The three littlest would be sound asleep for the night and it was not uncommon to head out to a movie, or a late night run to our favorite restaurant for treats. Doing all this after putting in a full day with three little boys.

Now fast forward to a 17 & 14 year old in my house. I have spent the past few hours working on my newest hobby, Skip To My Room. Which has been my passion for well over 25 years. No more a retail store but still having fun with it. And time to actually thoughtfully have the kind of fun with it I had only dreamed of. One teenager is watching a Blazer game. I heard the strumming of the other practicing his guitar. I am so glad I have a hobby because I am pretty sure I would not know what to do with myself. Pretty soon we will be heading out to basketball practice and all I can think about is this, "Is this what having teenagers is really like?

They come to me to ask questions, outwardly process life and my mind is clear. I wonder sometimes if Elliot and Emily ever wondered if I was really present. There were times I was so tired from the activities of the three younger boys and I would just be present, smile, nod my head and hope I did not fall asleep. I loved when they suggested a movie at home. I would curl up on the sofa, watch the first 30 minutes and go to sleep. That was so long ago and here I am now with teenagers and no little people to chase after. So again I ask the question, "Is this what having teenagers is really like?"

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Sleep Baby Sleep

 Image result for images of sleeping babies
Last week I received a text from a new mama. She happens to be like a daughter and is one of my dauther's closest friends. She is in fact a first time new mama. Her texted asked if I could come and help her "sleep train" her new little 9 week old daughter.

For those who have grown up in my home and watched me mother, those requests are often. And even today a request came via text that I actually write a book about the "why" of teaching our infants to sleep. I have five children, all very different, but one thing they were not different on, is the times I lay them to rest their growing little bodies. Teaching each one to fall to sleep on their own.

I have been met with many negative comments over the years of my "sleep training" methodology. I was never one to let any of my babies cry it out, and I am a fan of a pacifier if any of my children wanted one, which was four of the five.  However I do believe if we learn the rhythm of our babies, and the timing of feeding and fussiness we learn to listen to what our babies really want. And in teaching a happy baby to rest, you are actually laying a happy baby down, who learns to sleep and then the end result is a happy baby waking up. And hosting play dates and mom groups on my home over the baby toddler years, moms were always amazed at how much my kids slept and how happy they were. Always, the mamas who were exhausted, not sleeping, and with sleepless infants saying that their baby was different. As I watched a fussy, crying, angry baby in their arms I would think, "oh sweet mama that little one is so exhausted and sleep deprived." One such mama allowed me to swaddle her 12 week old son. I gently rocked and sung as we all chatted away. And that infant went into sleep-land. His mama watched and started crying. She said she felt like a dumb mama who did not know her child. He had been on tummy drops the doter prescribed, as he was diagnosed with severe tummy issues. Told her son was not adapting to her milk, and she had him on formula. She had only been two weeks post nursing. I assured her she could get her mild production back. ( p.s. doctors get HUGE perks for promoting formula). I gave her about 3 days supply of my frozen breast milk and told her some of the "Mama Traub" secrets of learning her son's rhythms and guess what?  Her milk production came back. And in two weeks she had a sleeping infant who's awake time was happy.

I use to say I am, "five for five" with happy babies and babies who sleep through the night by 2 months. And if you have sleep trained your baby around a schedule you actually can plan a wonderful life with your children. I refused to succumb to the, "I have not slept in two years" because my baby does not sleep. I have come alongside those mama's, out of desperation and assisted many young mama's who are desperate for sleep. Over the years I have gone to strangers's homes to assist for a day or an afternoon evening. I am only sharing this today on my blog, because after two requests this week I am truly thinking maybe it is time to offer a different perspective of learning our baby's rhythms rather than showing up in a pediatricians office pleading for a remedy.

The other thing that has charged this blog today is sitting over a luncheon with a pediatrician a week ago. She is a very good doctor, but she does not own the clinic she works in. And here is the sad truth, as she explained it and I am paraphrasing here. ...A lot of clinics are losing a tone of money over insurance. So a high revenue source is pharmaceuticals. We are told almost every day, "prescribe, prescribe prescribe." She said the sad truth is parents are so sleep deprived from sleepless babies they are desperate for a remedy and prescribing a tummy med is a regular daily, several times a day prescription. Because parents do not want to hear or put the work into actually learning how to help their babies. She said, deep down of course parents want to help their babies, but rather than face the hard work a pharmaceutical is prescribed as I am instructed by those who work over me. She went on to say that 20-30 years ago, a pediatrician would sit down and help a new mom learn how to help their babies with excellent advice and those days are few and far.Image result for images of sleeping babies

As I listened I had to agree with her. My oldest is 31 and my youngest is 13. Not one of my children, as infants, were  prescribed a pharmaceutical as a remedy. As a matter of fact, well rested infants are healthier infants. All my kids ever had were well-baby check ups. The doctors were always asking how I keep my kids so healthy. My kids drank from hoses, never used hand santizer in public places, and even shared germs.  I had no secret remedy. I just learned by practical analysis that when I am sleep deprived my immune system does not function and I get sick. When I am sleep deprived I drag, and am not happy. When I am sleep deprived I can not think straight. When I am sleep deprived I am cranky and moody. When I am sleep deprived I do not even eat well.

As a young mama, with my first one I considered all these things and thus developed a personal program of training my kids to sleep well. And ALL, regardless of personalities were big time sleepers. Happy babies. Learned early, excellent students in school and no learning disorders as the habits of rest continued through out their primary grades. And to this day, now with grown children and teenagers three have never had a prescription in their life. And the other two, one who is deaf with cochlear implants, during surgery was given the obvious meds for surgery. And one who drank gasoline was given a hospital stay and meds for obvious reason.

As I write this blog i am going to break it down and maybe it may help one or two new mama's go off into motherhood with happy healthy babies. And happy healthy sleeping babies produce happy healthy sleeping mamas. And happy sleeping babies and mamas produce the most delightful parenting experiences you could imagine.

Our First Skip To My Room GivewAWay Starts Now!!

Stole this blog post from

Our First Skip To My Room GiveAWay Starts Now!!!
 Woot! Yay! Best of luck to each of you.

Let's just get right down to it. Here is a picture of our first give away.

One very Red @philandteds "airlight carrier". Light weight and easy to store. Tucks easy into any handbag or diaper bag.

Here are the details of this weeks Give Away.
Giveaway starts on March 7th, 2019 at 12:01 am PST
Ends on March 13th, 2019 at 12:01pm PST.
Limited to US residents only.
Winner announced March 15th at 6pm PST on Instagram.

1. You must follow @skiptomyroom & @elizonthego on Instagram
2. Like this weeks "give away" post a comment on each account on Instagram.
3. Tag two friends in the comments on Instagram.

Be sure to follow these hashtags to keep up with this giveaway and future giveaways.
#skiptomyroom #skiptomyroomGA

BONUS entry if  you LIKE on Facebook & Follow On Twitter @skiptomyroom & @elizabethtraub

EXTRA BONUS  Share this post to your Instragram stories for another extra entry!

Per Instagram rules, this promotion, giveaway, contest is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with with Instagram. Nor is this a sponsored giveaway by the @phil&teds company. By entering, entrants confirm that they are 13+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram terms of use.

If you have a product or service you would like to add to future giveaways please message us and let's get the conversation started.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Skip To My Room Give Aways is Coming

If you follow this blog, you may know that I have been involved in the kids retail industry for well over 25 years. Even when I took a break from the actual brick and mortar stores I was selling on Craigslist when it first started out of my garage. I guess you can say that my hands can not keep out of the retail cookie jar of kids products.

In summer of 2017 I said good bye to the last brick and mortar store. There was no way this small boutique girl could compete with the online giants. I kept trying. Trying new ways to get out and into the communities I lived in but it is the same story for many retailers large and small in my situation. Customers would come into my store, touch feel, ask questions and then buy from the online giant. There was no way I could offer a better price. Why?  Manufactures have levels of buying. The fewer quantities you buy, the higher the price. Also a little thing called rent, and utilities and employees. And so I closed my doors and put whatever was left in boxes and started selling a bit here and there on Etsy. HERE: Skip To My Room   However I know my weaknesses and I am terrible about promoting my own business. Which is crazy because I have also worked as a Brand & Marketing consultant and can hit it out of the park for my clients. Being my own client never really works for me. If you need help with the marketing stuff here is where you can find me.... Check out the links that are highlighted.

I closed down my last and final storage unit last month. I found friends and family to give stuff away to reduce stock. After being packed up and stored it was time to figure out what to do with all these bins of left over adorable products. I took one box out last week and uploaded a few more things to Etsy. I will continue to do that as time allows, but then today I was sitting here thinking...why not give away some of this stuff. Brand new, and vintage darling kids stuff. Why not host online give aways? People have been doing this for years. I could do that, right?  Why not? I then went through all the reasons why or why not. And the why's of "yes" have out-weighted the why's of "no".

I decided to share this outward process on my personal blog. As I have to sharpen up some of my skills and learn the curve of how to and when to. I started reading up and think I am ready for running give-ways on Instagram @skiptomyroom . I am actually kind of excited about this. I think I am more excited to have the space back in my garage. Each week I will promote a new item for a give away. Post the give away on Instagram and write a post about it here with all the necessary links. I will share the give away on both my personal blog as well as on my Skip To My Room blog. This is going to be fun. Join me in first following along by clicking and following all the important stuff. LIKE Instagram where you can follow the give away. Here it is again. And this important hashtag will help you find the giveaway fast #skiptomyroomGA  @skiptomyroom 

Stay tuned as I begin to unpack boxes and bins. It's like Christmas here unpacking all the cool kids stuff.  Please join me over the next year of giving. It is my pleasure and joy to serve you.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Today I Licked A Brownie

Today I licked a brownie. There I said it out loud.  This is not the most flattering picture of me. But admitting that you licked a brownie is not exactly flattering either.

Allow me to go back 36 years.

Perhaps in going back 36 years I might redeem my sense of pride. Thirsty-Six years ago I attended a Young Life camp called Malibu.  I was on Work-crew for the second half of the summer. It was a full three weeks of serving at camp.  As I was getting settled into my bunk room, along with a few other gals, I noticed that we all had our stashes of candy, chocolates and gum. We giggled that we were set for the entire three weeks to ration out the sweet goods.Then we cleverly hid our sweet snacks so others would not help themselves.

The day went on, and later we gals were back in our cabin ready for bed. As girls might do we all circled up on the floor gabbed and gabbed about our day while sharing and eating our sweet treats. My mom was very generous in shopping. Making sure I had enough to share with others. The conversation turned to our simple addictions to sweets or salty treats. We even did a poll of who liked sweets and who liked salty treats. I of course was two hands up for sweets. Then the challenge. The unexpected challenge.

One of the gals asked if any one of us could go three weeks without sweets?  Funny the saltier treat challenge was never presented. Well I was pretty sure I was not addicted to sweets, preferably chocolate so I opened my big mouth and said, "Oh that would be easy." And that night ten girls challenged to NOT eat sweets for their entire time at camp. Three full weeks starting the minute our feet hit the floor the next day. I was up for the challenge as I finished another handful of peanut m&m's. And then took another handful. Oh yes I was up for the challenge.

Now let me explain something. If you have never been to a Young Life camp you should know one thing. All, as in ALL the desserts are homemade. The biggest and yummiest home made chocolate chip cookies, cakes, pastries and might I also mention that the ice-cream shop is another sugar house of yum. What on earth was I thinking?

As we gathered the second night in our bunk room, with an entire day under our belts,  we went around and asked who had had a successful no sugar kind of day. There were only four of us left after one day. I was one of them. But with a box full of all kinds of candy my mom had bought I was ready to throw in the towel and start the bedtime routine of gabbing away while snacking away. Instead I put my box in the middle of the room and said, "I am surrendering". We all laughed and I watched my sweet treats be divided up among the other gals.

The four of us who were left decided to pair up and become accountability partners during every meal. Often we four would sit together, but never alone a table. Mealtime was family style with many tables. I was always tempted to get lost in the crowd and go to a table where no one knew me. It was no easy task cutting sugar out of my diet. What eighteen year old does this? It consumed me. All I could think of were ways to sneak, cheat or surrender. I did none of these. I remember praying and crying out to God that something must be wrong with me to put so much through and angst into just giving up sugar.

After the first week I noticed that my shorts were getting loose. Each day we gals would check in with each other. And each day we were one day closer to success. One afternoon, during free time we all decided to go out the outer dock which was removed from camp. It would take the temptation of getting ice-cream, or snacks. As we lay in the sunshine we began to share just how hard this was. We shared deep and sorted feelings which quite honestly angered us to think we were so addicted to sweets. We shared how each of us were sooooooo tempted to go to the bunk room and sample someone's treats. It's not like they were hidden, but the temptation was there.  It was during this time on the outer dock that we all realized our straight up addiction to sugar. (Coffee had not yet been introduced to my system). We talked about how much we ate at home on a day to day basis. I admitted that I ate an entire big bag of M&M's almost monthly and that it was nothing to go into the pantry and snack away on sweets. I shared how my friend and I went into the pantry and ate an entire box ( 10 pounds) of chocolate. Only to learn my mom had bought it for a party. So I quickly replaced it without her knowing. I shared how this same friend and I would return from tennis practices and make HUGE bowls of ice-cream. I was not aloud sweets after school  but if my mom was not home she and I would indulge. One day my mom came home and we went running hid our bowls of ice-cream in the living-room fireplace.
We all shared from our hearts just how hard it is to give up sweets. Here I was with girlfriends with the first week behind me and my shorts getting loser by the day. A true success and still could not stop thinking of chocolate m&m's calling my name. Call our names.

By the end of three weeks I had lost nine pounds. My friends lost similar amounts and we were finishing our success with a big bowl of homemade ice-cream. And later that day I was sicker than a dog. Having purged my body of sugar the ice-cream was a really bad idea. Yet we did it. We actually did it. And to this day I remember those three weeks. I was working in the laundry room and I would pray, read my Bible and journal begging God to take this stupid desire from me. And back then I knew nothing of cravings and really how sugar is like a drug. Anyone ever have kids of their own will know this when you tell your child they can not have a piece of candy.

Every since that summer in 1984 I have tried to be mindful of food like addictions. And yes sweets in the form and taste of chocolate are my guilty pleasure. That is until I go three weeks and cut myself off. For the past 36 years at least once a year I will go without sweets and sugar for three weeks. Just to remind myself that I can and to ensure I own the addiction and it does not own me.

Well ladies and gentlemen, it is much harder today than it was 36 years ago. Especially with teenage boys here at home. I was doing great as I finished my first week. And I decided that tonight for our dinner out with friends, which I was bringing desserts, that I would buy prepackaged sweets so I would not be tempted in baking. However I baked these brownies last week and low and behold they jumped out of the fridge. I took the lid off and the smell of chocolate had me. So today I licked a brownie.  I was reminded of a "Will & Grace" episode where Grace and Jack were on a diet and trying to keep each other from licking a crouton. Here is that clip. I cannot believe it was on youtube.  So funny, and how many of us have faced this at one time or another?

Oh my goodness I could have used those guys today to keep me from licking a brownie. But I licked one.

This all reminded me of why we need people in our lives. Friends. really good friends to hold us accountable through the things we are trying to change, or harder times of temptation. As I stood in the kitchen I was reminded of being 18 years old, away at a camp and girlfriends holding each other to the decisions of withholding. Today I have many close friends whom I can go to. I even have my children. And I will now go to my boys and let them know I am refraining from sugar. They will not be gentle or kind. They will most likely yell across a crowded room, "MOM!!!  DO NOT EAT THAT!!!" But I shall enlist them for the task.
Fortunately I traded one lick of a brownie in for some celery and spinach Parmesan dip. And I will continue onto day 8 of no sugar with success. The good news is I know I can be successful because I have been success for 36 years. I have even challenged myself to give up coffee once a year for two weeks. That one is easier these days than many years back when I would drink 4-6 cups. Now I barely have two cups so less of a challenge. Cheers to kicking the cravings, addictions and bigger cheers to friends and family who cheer you on.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Amazing and Complicated Joy

Today I woke up after pressing the snooze button three times. My bed was warm and cozy. Although I was well rested I could not dip my feet into the start of a new day while being so warm and cozy. Needless to say after the 3rd and final snooze I was up starting my day with a nice French Press coffee and a mountain of dishes waiting. We went to a friend's for dinner the night before. Making cupcakes, fresh quac, and lettuce I decided, upon our late evening return, the dishes could wait.

I looked out on the rainy day, washing away, French Pressing and thought of the amazing and complicated joy there is when walking close to the heart of our Heavenly Father. A daily moment to moment walk with Him as life unfolds. I was reflecting on the simple fact that three people from Sunday to Monday shared how they see this “joy” in me. And in hearing the words, each time taking a deep breath, I smile. Wondering, “ how on earth is there joy in me?”

I thought,"Wow joy it to be both amazing and complicated". And if this is what people truly see, then only through my close walk beside God is this possible. Joy!!

One man said, “When I see you, you have so much joy that it makes my knees go week.” Oh this precious 70+ year old man made me blush. And I said, “ The only way to have and experience this joy is through God's Divine TLC.”

My employers regularly tell me how happy I am and they, too cannot understand my joy when they have walked closely with me for over a year and a half with the sadness I face daily in not seeing my son. And I may have said to them that while alone in my car sometimes few bad words over the situation. Ultimately I come before God and know that He knows all of this. And there is sadness, heartbreak and disappoints in ALL our lives. It may be packaged differently but we all experience the hardships of life.

For me it is wrapping every hard and sad thought in prayer. And when sadness tries to rob my sleep I open the Bible and start reading. And always Good meets me. His Word pours truth, with that truth comes hope and with hope comes a deeper sense of joy that makes every single moment and day worth living.

In every day ordinary tasks I have learned to find that peace and joy. When the unexpected tears come I let them fall out of control and even in my moments of sobbing I give thanks to God because He knows. He knows something I do not know and I can rest in that truth, which leads to hope and then joy. A friend will offer comforts for that moment. I have experinced many compliments of being filled with Joy. It is God's heart adopting me inro a joy in knowing Him.

And in James 1:2 that popular passage starts out with, "Consider it ALL joy...." And thus I am called to consider it ALL. I have. And in considering it ALL through the Holy Spirit joy wins.


Sunday, January 13, 2019

It Has Been A Looooong While...

It Has Been A Looooong While since I had any kind of consistency in writing, blogging, and more writing. As a matter of fact I have written more blogs in my head in my long commute each day to and from work. I even had the idea of dictating while driving, but then the daunting thought of transferring it all was more than I wanted to wrestle. Then one day, more like 42 days ago my office space became two hours a day closer.  How did that happen? I moved back into town. My commute is now under 15 minutes and I gained that time to be creative, to think and to write. Yay!

I have lived, for the past couple of years, out of town which meant my drive to and from work was long and tiring. Due to those circumstances and a few others my blogging became sporadic. And with a commute my bedtime was earlier and like most writers those booming thoughts to write come in late hours or wee morning hours. As it's 2:27am as I write this.  I can say that extra hour on both ends now yields 2 extra hours back in my day.

I have been working on a writing outline. It's been a process to decide what direction I want to go and what I want to share. I am still finishing the design and layout of my work space. I am not a minimalist when it comes to my work space. I love lots of colors, pictures, and treasures gathered over the years of raising five children.

I thought that since I was able to connect all the wires with my desktop I should pop on here. Only to realize that my printer has an error and I will not be fixing that at this hour. I am just stopping here to simply say, "It' has been a looooong while" since I have blogged consistently.

I look forward to writing more, reading more and sharing some of daily life. Until the next post, cheers. ~ elizabeth