Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Look at Some Children's Christmas Classics

During the summer I discussed some children's television programs and wondered WTF was up with them.  You can check out those posts here if you want to refresh your memory:

As of late, I have found myself equally as dumbfounded when watching some children's Christmas classics. 

First, let me discuss Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer...
A true classic...I will give it that.  BUT Santa is just mean in this one.  He is so judgemental and prejudiced against poor little Rudolph about his nose.  But when he needs something...who comes crawling and begging? Yes, good old Santa. And Rudolph's dad is cruel too.  Why would a father think that using mud to cover something up on a child's face is a good idea.  But they are reindeer, so who knows.
The elves are mean as well.  Since when is becoming a dentist worse than working in a toy factory.  Uhhhh, never.  They are all just MEAN.  I love it though...but just have been noticing how vicious and ruthless the characters are in this one.

Next is Frosty the Snowman...
This is another cute one but if you watch and pay attention, you will notice that none of the kids have pants on.  They have coats, hats, mittens, etc...but no pants.  Why is that necessary?  Also, the little girl hops on the freight train with Frosty. That is just a bad message to send.  Sure, go with someone that you have just met and hop on a one way train heading to god knows where.  He seems sweet enough.  Jesus! Not acceptable.  And that magician.  His skin is so yellow.  He either has hepatitis or is in liver failure.  Terrible.

Then Frosty Returns...
I won't even give this the time of day.  It is like the creators/writers sat down and knocked this one out in about 30 minutes.  It is downright awful.  Couldn't they have thought of a better villain than an old man who found a way to melt massive amounts of snow using an aerosol can?  And I love John Goodman...but he is the voice of the snowman in this one and I feel like he is so irritating for some reason.

Even though some of these "classics" may be a little questionable, ridiculous, whatever you want to call them, I am sure my children will continue to watch and love them for years to come.  And I guess that means I will too...yay for me.

What about you? Are there any "classics" (I use this term loosely) that you love??? Please share.  And feel free to share your critiques as well:)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Happy Freakin' Holidays

So there was this birthday card that I use to think was so funny.  It was this fat guy looking all miserable on the front and when you opened the card, it just said "Happy Freakin' Birthday".  I got the same card for several friends over the course of approximately 3 years.  Looking back, I don't know what was so funny  about it but that is besides the point.

I was thinking today as I was in line at Marshalls that that card would pretty much sum up how I was feeling, except the sentiment would be about Christmas.  Not that I don't like Christmas...on the contrary, it is one of my favorite holidays.  But I was looking at everyone in line and I was getting more and more annoyed.  I can honestly say that I had never seen so many carts filled with so much crap.  It just seems like people buy to buy these days. 

Then there was a lady in front of me with 2 snowmen decorations and she was waiting on a price check.  The manager came back and said they were $1.99.  She was standing there for a good 30 seconds trying to make a decision on the purchase.  Now I know 30 seconds is not that long...but it seemed like an eternity.  I wanted to scream at her.  Come on lady, they are 1 freakin 99!!! You are not deciding what to do to deal with our nation's unemployment problem or balancing our budget, you are buying two godawful, unnecessary snowmen decorations.  Take them or leave them.  (If you are wondering, she bought them.)

As I was driving home, I was so relieved that I don't have to go out to one more store to shop.  I am done.  All except for alcohol purchases, but my husband will take care of that.  My part is all that is left is wrapping.  This will most likely be the time I discover that I, too, am guilty of buying to buy.  I am fully aware that many of my purchases for my kids were unnecessary.  But the ones that were necessary and are being passed off as a gift (like snow boots and underwear) are sure to disappoint. 

So I am ready for the holiday to just get here already.  My kids are so excited and it is going to be fun with them this year.   But this prep work is for the birds.  And that is why I got the image of that card in my head today...and I had to laugh.  Happy Freakin' Holidays.  (I am going to have to start looking for that card and see if they still make it.)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree...

Let me start by saying that I LOVE Christmas.  I really do.  I love spending time with family.  I love that my girls are so excited about Santa and I can't wait to see their faces on Christmas morning.  I love eating (who doesn't?) and drinking wine (again, who doesn't?).  You get my drift.

But I must say that I have been getting really, very, excessively annoyed when I log on to Facebook and I check out people's perfect little posts.  "Great night decorating with the kids" or "presents all bought and wrapped".  Seriously people.

On Friday evening, we will be getting our Christmas tree.  I must wait until as close to Christmas as possible to avoid destruction of the tree.  I have a home daycare and every year I need to strategically plan on how to keep the kids away from the tree through a series of obstacles, baby equipment placement, and traps (well not traps, but it may come to that).  I want to say that I will have a post that goes something like this, "Great night singing Christmas carols, sipping hot chocolate, and watching my children gingerly place decorations on our beautiful tree!"

In reality, this is how the whole scenario will play out...We will get the tree, it will take about 30 minutes to trim the bottom to fit it in our tree stand.  Meanwhile, the girls will whine about how long it is taking.  Then we will get it in and there will be needles all over the floor.  I will have to vacuum immediately so the baby doesn't eat them.  We will open our ornament container and begin to place the ornaments on the tree.  Some will break.  Again, I will have to vacuum so that the baby does not eat them.  I will be overly fixated on making sure no tree hooks fall on the floor.  (If you haven't gotten the idea here, the baby puts everything in her mouth.)  We will finally get the tree decorated after at least 3 altercations about who will place what ornament on the tree.  Then it will be time to put the Irish angel on the top of the tree.  This will most likely be the mother of all fights...who will get the honor?  I am sure that my husband will just do it to avoid a problem...or each girl will get a chance.  This will involve taking the angel off and putting it back on 2 times.   

Whew...I am exhausted just thinking about it.  But it will be another great memory and I am sure I will get a picture of my little cherubs in front of the tree smiling like it was a breeze to get to that point...and I will be sweating on the other side of the lens.

A picture of my 2 little angels last year with our tree. 
(before Bridget was born in January)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

God of Sickness, Have Mercy On Us

As we get closer to Christmas, I am keeping my fingers crossed that our family remains HEALTHY.  We have had a couple of weeks of sickness and I am over it!

After thinking that my 3 year old basically ruined Thanksgiving with her crying and screaming, I found out 4 days later that she had an ear infection.  Yes...4 days later.  My mom guilt kicked right into high gear.  I am not going to lie, I was annoyed with her because of her Thanksgiving antics.  I thought she was tired and just being fussy and difficult.  The next day she seemed better.  It wasn't until the Sunday night after Thanksgiving that she decided to wake up screaming about her ear.  The next morning she went to the doctor and we were told that she had a "severe" ear infection.  Did the doctor have to add the word "severe"?  It just made my guilt-o-meter go through the roof.  Here I was thinking that she ruined the holiday and kept me from drinking my standard bottle of white wine...and the poor thing really was legitimately sick.  And to top it off, I waited 4 days to get her checked out. 

After a day on antibiotics, she was a new child.  It was right about then that my 6 year old came home from school with a stomachache.  This required 2 days of her being home from school (which is enough of an added stress with 2 younger children...and did I mention a home daycare?)  Our "stomachache" situation parlayed into 2 doctor's office visits and a visit to A.I. DuPont Children's Hospital.  Good times.

The baby could not be left she decided to get a runny nose, a cough, and to go on a mini hunger strike.  We got her checked out as well and it was just a cold.  But I wasn't going to let that go and end up with even more mom guilt. 

I must also add that in the midst of all the fun, I got a nasty 24 hour stomach virus.  It was terrible.  However, the upside to that is that I just might make it to my 20 lb weight loss goal this week.

So everyone is on the mend and I am praying that it stays that way until at the very least December 26th.  I have too much to do before then...not to mention too much wine to drink to make up for the Thanksgiving debacle.

Has anyone else been dealing with nasty sicknesses?  If so, disinfect, air the house out, take your vitamins, wash your hands...and remember a little alcohol might help as well.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Holiday Money Savers

As it gets closer to Christmas, I am always looking for ways to save money.  So far, here a few things that I have been doing this holiday season...

It's simple.  I clip coupons regularly.  Each Sunday morning, I go through my coupon organizer and throw out expired coupons and add my new ones.  I save as much money as I can by buying items on sale and using a coupon. 

Target Debit REDcard-
LOVE IT!!! I got the Debit card so it is linked to my checking account.  No credit to pay off after the holidays.  I save 5% every time I shop at Target (which easily amounts to at least $5 each trip).  Plus, use it online and get free shipping plus your 5% off.  It's a no brainer.  If you go to Target and use your debit card, why not get a REDcard and save money while you are at it?

I have talked about it before but I just love Ebates!!! When you sign up, you get to choose a gift card deal.  I got the $10 Target card (can you tell I LOVE Target?) and received it at the same time that I received my first cash back check.  I got my first cash back check last month.  It is legit.  So check it out and sign up.  There are so many stores on there...and you can buy what you were planning on buying anyway but receive cash back.  It's great!
If you sign up, use me email as a referral (!
Amazon is the best.  I ordered a toy for my girls the other day.  It was almost $10 cheaper on Amazon and it was shipped the SAME day for no charge.  Shop from home...gotta love that!

Groupon and Living Social-
I love or  I always get deals that I can use at some point in the future.  So when we are broke after the holidays, at least I know that my husband and I can go out to dinner using the Living Social deal I purchased months ago!

If anyone has any great money saving tips for the holidays (or for any time of the year), PLEASE share!! I just love good deals:)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Beyond the First Born

Let's face it...if you have more than one child, you understand that it is a whole different animal than when you just had your first.  Your time and energy are now divided between 2 or even, in my case, 3 children.  Certain sentiments and standards that you had with your first go to the wayside...

Here are some examples:

First born:
When we have the baby we want to limit visitors because of germs.  Plus, I am sure that I will be so exhausted that I will need the time to rest.  All visitors must wash their hands and use the hand sanitizer that I placed conspicuously by the door.  I have masks available as well if you seem to be coming down with a sniffle.
Beyond the first born:
Please come visit whenever you want.  The recovery room after my c-section is fine too. Oh, and if you come to my house bring your kids so they can entertain my kids while they are here.  Maybe just wash your hands real quick.

First born:
These cute little stuffed animals and toys for the baby are precious.  I can't wait for him/her to play with them!
Beyond the first born:
We really don't need any more toys.  Diapers and wipes will do. Gift cards are good, too.  BTW, my 3 year old refuses to get potty trained but won't wear diapers, so pull-ups are also appreciated. Size 4t, thanks!

First born:
I need to sterilize all of my bottles after each use.
Beyond the first born:
Sterilize after each use? Seriously? I just boiled them after I bought them...then hand washing or top rack of dishwasher will do.

First born:
I will only use Pampers Swaddlers on my newborn.
Beyond the first born:
What diapers are on sale and where? and what coupons do I have?

First born:
I really want to limit TV time for my child or avoid it altogether until at least age 2.  Studies suggest that children who watch TV have delayed speech, higher incidence of behavior problems, are more at risk to not graduate from college, and will most likely enter a life of crime by their early 20s.
Beyond the first born:
PLEASE go watch your favorite show for at least 30 godforsaken minutes and give me some peace.  You can even watch it twice if you love it that much.  And I bought your favorite show on DVD, which includes 3 episodes and has a running time of approximately 109 minutes.

First born:
I really appreciate all of the visitors that have come to see the baby.  I just love showing him/her off!
Beyond the first born:
I really appreciate all of the family/friends that have visited and then proceeded to take my other children for a few hours.  It is godsend to be able to rest with only the baby here.

First born:
I hope I can fit back into my old clothes in a month or two.
Beyond the first born:
I hope I can fit back into my old clothes in a year or two.

There are so many more examples that I encounter on a weekly, if not daily, basis.  Do you have any examples of how things changed beyond your first born child? Please share, I would love to hear!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

'Tis the Season to be Sickly

So here we go again, it is that time of year for baking, cooking, shopping, decorating...and wiping snotty noses.  I feel like at least one of the kids is coughing or sneezing on a daily basis.  So how do I prevent this? I would love any suggestions that people may have.

So far, I have used the following methods to prevent or reduce sickness in my house/the daycare:
  • Wash my hands until they are raw (Seriously! They are cracking and bleeding and wrinkled like I am 80 years old.)
  • Wash everything not nailed down in bleach/water...especially toys that kids love to chew on like little rabbits
  • Crack windows even when it is below 40 degrees out in the morning and the heat is on and I am fully aware of the fact that I am basically letting dollar bills float out of the windows
  • Give my 2 older children their vitamins on a daily basis (that they wash down with a few pieces of Halloween candy and chocolate milk)
  • Get flu shots for the kids (I need to get one but I swear my arm was sore for a month last year after that damn shot)
Even after all of these methods, someone is still catching some kind of cold.  I know it is the time of year and there is not much I can do, but it is just plain ANNOYING!
So please, if you have any suggestions, feel free to share.  What I would not like people to share are their nasty germs.  Yes, lady that was at Super G the other day barking like a seal with your nasty cough, I am talking to you! Please stay home if you sound that horrible.  Thanks.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Some More Weight Loss Realizations

I am trucking along on this weight loss journey...slow but steady.  Week by week I am seeing some progress.  However, I am also learning things here and there along the way. 

What have I learned?  Well, it is your lucky day.  I will share some of these ground-breaking realizations, revelations, whatever you want to call them, with you.

  1. Fiber one brownies taste pretty good...but they are not, I repeat, not as good as the real thing.
  2. A bowl of lettuce with some low fat dressing is not that filling, but I can convince myself that it is.
  3. One piece of pizza is usually enough, even though I want another one more times than not.
  4. Mayo on a sandwich from Panera Bread can more than double its fat content (WTF!).
  5. A pair of pants can add about a quarter of a pound when you weigh yourself.
  6. Weighing yourself in as little clothes as possible (and as acceptable while in a room with about a dozen other women) is the way to go.
  7. Throwing out my kids leftovers is helpful.  After all, I am not a dog and therefore should not eat people's scraps.
  8. Carbs are not the enemy...excessive amounts of them are.
  9. Its okay to drink beer all day...and just not eat anything.  Maybe just save that for a Saturday though.
  10. My daughters don't care how much weight that I lose (or gain).  It's as simple as not wearing sweats for them to think that I look nice. 
I am sure that the realizations will keep coming and I will be sure to share them.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I Wasn't Expecting That When I Was Expecting

There are certain things that I expected when I became a parent.  I knew that I would not have much time to myself.  I knew that I would not be able to sleep as late as I wanted.  I knew that my child would become my first priority and everything else would come second. 

However, there are things that have happened since I became a parent (some immediately and some took time) that I truly did not expect.

Here are just a few:

1.  I did not know that I would rarely be able to use the bathroom or shower by myself without a child knocking on the door (they knock if I am lucky) or barging right in.

2.  I did not know that I would have to share almost everything I ate...someone is always eating off of my plate (whether they have permission or not) or asking for a bite of what I have. 

3.  I did not know that I would buy all brand name clothes for my children and then purchase a pair of Faded Glory jeans from Walmart for myself.  I just NEVER saw that one coming.  But I only did that once after my second daughter because I refused to spend a lot on a pair of "fat" jeans.  I guess the joke was on me because the jeans still fit...but I rarely wear them because they have a rip in the crotch.  That's what you get when you buy a pair of jeans for $12.99. 

4.  I did not know that I would easily spend at least an extra $20 at the grocery store when my kids were with me.  How them being allowed to pick out one extra treat each turns into 10 extra things by the time we check out is beyond me.

5.  I did not know that a child smiling, laughing, sitting up alone, saying "ma ma" or "da da", crawling, walking, running, riding a bike, etc...would be such a big deal.  But it absolutely is a big deal.  Each milestone is a big deal.

So clearly there are certain things that a person might not be prepared for when they become a parent.  I know I certainly was not prepared for all the day to day "surprises" that came along with parenthood.  You just learn as you go.  And in my opinion, it is probably best that you didn't know all the gory details beforehand. 

So what about you?  Have you learned anything after becoming a parent that you did not expect?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Unsolicited Advice for Parents (from people who aren't parents)

Have you ever been given unsolicited advice?  Isn't that just the best?

Well if you have not, you may find it hard to believe that there are people out there who give unwanted advice about things that they have no clue about.  Here are some things that some parents (not me, but someone that I know) have been told by people that have no children:

1. "You just have to be consistent with your kids when they misbehave."
Really, no shit Sherlock.  I know I have to be consistent (again, not talking about "me" personally, but someone I know might feel this way).  So at home there are consistent consequences for bad behavior, such as a warning followed by time out.  What do you do if you are somewhere and you just need your child to pipe down so you can get things done?  I know, I know...if they are being bad, you should just leave where you are immediately and tell them that it is because of their unacceptable behavior.  BUT what if you are at the store to get necessities and that is not an option?  When that happens, consistency goes out the window and you should always resort to bribery.  Whatever works, right?

2.  "You still need to make time for yourself and get out without your children."
Should I? Because I would never DREAM of doing that.  I couldn't imagine going out to a nice relaxing dinner without the kids in tow.  That sounds like torture.  OF COURSE I would like to get out without the kids, but wait until you have 3 children and see how many people are knocking down your door to babysit on a regular basis.

3.  "You should treat yourself to a day of shopping."
Awwww, so sweet of you to say that.  Are you going to pay for it?  No?  Well, then maybe you can pay for my kids' clothes or new shoes, or give money for this field trip or that book fair or picture day, or diapers, or formula, or groceries, or the MILLIONS of other things that I need to buy.  So sorry but no, a shopping spree is not on the agenda for me at this point.  You must have forgotten that a home day care is not a multimillion dollar corporation.  Thanks for the tip though;)

4.  "I am sure an large SUV would have given you the same amount of room as a minivan."
Well, I am sure it would have... if I wanted to climb over a whole row of seats to get to the third row.  Or I am sure that a nice large $50,000 SUV would do the trick, along with a $600 car payment.  So thanks but no thanks, I will take my minivan.  Good looking out though.

5.  "Just try to get everything done at night so you are not rushed in the morning."  
Honey, I have news for you, I would STILL be rushed in the morning.  That is just the way of life when you have children.  And here is some more breaking news...when my kids go to sleep, that last thing I want to do is get ready for the next day.  I am too busy keeping up with the Kardashians, checking out Rachel Zoe's latest "major" styling event or photo shoot, or checking in with my favorite Housewives.   I will accept the consequences in the morning.

So there you have it...just a few pieces of unwanted advice that might have been given to someone I know by people that need to keep their well meaning but useless words of wisdom to themselves. 

How about you? Has anyone ever given you unsolicited advice that made you want to dropkick them square in the teeth? Please share!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

So you know the old saying...time flies!  As much as you may want to slow it down, it's just doesn't seem to happen.
People are always telling me to enjoy my kids when they are young because, well you know, time flies.  I completely agree with this.  But when I sit down and think about it, I truly believe when I look back on this time I will be able to say that I enjoyed it and that I had my fill.  I really have.  When my second daughter was 1 year old, I resigned from teaching and started a home daycare.  This way I could work and also be with my children. 
I am with my 3 year old and the baby all day, sun up to sun in and day out...every morning, every night...okay, you get the picture.  The 3 year old will start preschool soon (that's another post for another day...I'll just say that potty training this one is for the birds!), but I have been with her every day for the past 2 years.  I taught her colors, numbers, shapes, letters...and I have to think that my excessive talking has at least slightly contributed to her large vocabulary.
A few months ago, someone said to my sister-in-law Danielle, "They grow up so fast" (in reference to her sons who are 12 and 14).  Her reply hit the nail right on the head.  She said, "Well, I think it's just about right."  The second she said it was like an awakening to me.  I couldn't agree more.  And I am not a bad mom because I don't want my kids to stay babies forever.  I am not a bad mom because I want a little of the independence that comes with having older children.
I don't want to wish it away.  I cherish every second I get with them.  Every age is my new "favorite" age.  But I look forward to going on vacation with the kids when they are a little older and independent.  I look forward to taking them out to a nice dinner that doesn't involve a menu they can color on.  I look forward to grabbing my purse and heading out the door with them for a day of shopping or running errands and not worrying about forgetting wipes or a bottle or pacifier.  These are things that I look forward to in the future...while also enjoying them in the present.  And I think that it is completely normal.
So when the kids get older and they are arguing with me about driving or going out with friends, I will think back to when they were sweet little babies.  I will miss doubt about that.  But I will also be able to say with 100% certainty that I spent as much time with them as possible and enjoyed every (well, almost every) second.

Do you agree?  Does time go at a snail's pace for you or is it flying by faster than you would like?  Do you, like me, love the time with your kids but look forward to a time of some independence in the future?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Who Is Your "Favorite"?

If you have more than 1 child, which one is your favorite?
Hmmm....that is a bold question, but did one of your children instantly come to mind?

I read an article this morning about parents of more than 1 child having a favorite. I thought it was a very interesting read.  The article said 99% of parents have a favorite and the 1% that don't are lying.
I was pretty shocked...but as I read on, I got a different perspective on the meaning of "favorite"...
It doesn't mean that a parent loves one child more at all.  It just means that parents relate differently to each child.  Each relationship you have with every one of your children is unique.  That is basically human nature.  There might be different aspects of each child's personality that you favor. 
So as I was reading, I realized that I don't necessarily have a favorite...BUT I can pinpoint things about each one of my daughters that I tend to favor.  My oldest has always been very easy to discipline and she is so helpful.  She is "by the books", enthusiastic about everything new, and is a great sidekick for things like shopping.  My second daughter is hilarious.  She makes us laugh everyday...and she is such a talker.  She has a wonderful vocabulary and the cutest personality.  And the baby...well so far, she is so happy and laid back.  She has been a joy since birth.  So you can see that there are things that I relate to and love about each one.  I don't really have a "favorite".  I might have a "favorite" to go shopping with, or a "favorite" to read a book with because of her funny input. 
What I do know for a fact, is that I don't love one more than the other.  The love is all the same...and it doesn't change whether you have 1 child or 3.  I think it is great to recognize the strengths and uniqueness of each child.  It is normal to favor certain things about different people...
I just wanted to comment on this article because I thought it was super interesting.  Please follow the link below to read the article and share your thoughts about this one!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Being a Mom is Hard Work. Period.

So I just read an article about someone who stayed home for the week with their children and they realized how hard it was.  Well, that's just shocking.
Seriously? I read these things sometimes and I wonder how people even function with children.  In the article, the woman talked about going to the grocery store with both of her children. GASP.  Lady, get over it.  People do it all the time.  Kids cry and is not enjoyable but moms get it done. 
She also talked about her son not wanting to eat his lunch. NEWS FLASH...your son will NOT starve to death.  I can assure you.
This is a topic that gets me all hot under the collar.  I think the reason for that is that I would absolutely LOVE to be a stay at home mom.  I worked out of the home as a teacher until my first daughter was over 4 years old and my second daughter was about 10 months old.  Then I decided to stop teaching for a few years and I started a home daycare for teachers (so I would have a similar schedule).  Either way, it is work.  Now, I just work from home. 
No matter which what you slice it, being a mom is hard work.  If you stay home, you don't get a break.  You are with children all the time.  However, if you work out of the home, you still have your kids with you in the evening and on weekends, PLUS you have to find the time to get everything else done.  There is no "I will throw the wash in tomorrow during nap" or "I will run to the store after I drop the kids off at school".  
I am somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. I am home with my kids...but I am HOME.  This is where I work.  There is no running out during the day on my lunch break. 
Some days I wonder what it would be like to drop my daughter off at school.  Since she started preschool over 2 years ago, I have probably taken her to school no more than a dozen times.  I can't imagine dropping her off and taking the other girls to the store, or having the day to putter around the house, or meeting up with friend.  I have my summers to get a little taste if that...and I love it.  We do play dates and swim and "relax" as much as one can with 3 children.
Bottom line, there is no "easy" answer when being a mom.  My friend and I always say that working part time and being home part time is probably the best of both worlds.  But for now, I will continue to work from home.  And you know what, it will be hard work. And so is being a mom who works out of the home...and so is being a stay at home mom.
Being a mom is hard work. PERIOD.
Yet, it is all worth it:)

Monday, September 12, 2011

I Need to Step it UP!

Today my 6 year old told me that I need to wear high heels more often.  She was looking in my closet and said, "Why do you always wear flip flops?  You should wear these (holding a high heeled shoe) more."

Maybe she is right.  But then again, do a pair of heels really fit into my day to day life? Let's see....daycare, laundry, dinner, baths...these are all very glamorous I know, but they don't really call for high heels.

So then I began to think that because my day to day life doesn't call for high heels doesn't mean that I should just let them go to waste.  Why don't I dust them off on the rare occasions that I do get out?  The standard "momiform" that I am usually rocking these days needs a break.  I think most of my solid color tees, capris, and flip flops have about had it.  Thank god cooler weather is just around the corner.

So tonight I made a pledge to myself to try to step it up every now and then.  I will put makeup on AND curl my hair...imagine that! I will decide to go with the heels instead of the comfortable, more sensible option.  I will treat myself to a pedicure.  I will buy something for myself and not feel guilty about it.   

Maybe I need to start looking to my 6 year old for direction when it comes to fashion.  After all, she is always looking to me for everything else.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Obstacles to Weight Loss

It is time for me to stop making excuses and start making changes to my lifestyle in order to lose the "baby weight" that I have accumulated over the past 6 years and 3 babies.  I have been running since May and have lost a whole 3 whopping pounds...not quite what I was hoping for.  This week, I will begin to change my diet in order to really get the ball rolling (via Weight Watchers...because apparently I need to pay for someone to weigh me each week in order to lose weight).  I have been thinking about it lately and have realized that is doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what the problem is here.  There are a few glaringly obvious obstacles to my weight loss.  Here they are:

1.  Eating what my children leave behind
I need to tell myself that is is okay to throw out what my children don't eat.  It is not a waste...what it is is throwing out trash (scraps of food that I should NOT feel the need to eat).  I am not doing myself any favors by eating those last few bites of mac and cheese.  The little bit of a hot dog that was left behind is better off in the trash (after all, those few bites would probably be about 5 grams of fat that I clearly don't need).

2.  Cooking on the fly
When I do not plan out what we are going to eat for dinner throughout the week, I usually just decide to make whatever is easiest...and sometimes this does not mean it is the healthiest.  This leads me to #3.

3.  Being unprepared with food/ingredients
I must make sure that I have everything I need for healthy, easy dinners.  This means sitting down and making a grocery list that clearly lists everything I need for the week.  Making sure I have everything I need will cut down on ordering out. Sometimes I go to make something for dinner and I find that I am missing something I need.  Instead of running to the store to get it, I find we run for the nearest take out menu.  It needs to stop.

4.  Sheer exhaustion
Sometimes I am so tired at the end of the day, that I decide to say "screw it" and I just eat whatever the hell I want.  I may be tired but making myself a nice salad doesn't have to take that much energy.  I can always make a big salad ahead of time and have it available when I am hungry.  Some people say that they are too busy and tired to find time to eat...why don't I have that problem?

5.  Life
The last obstacle seems to be life.  You only live once and I am sorry, but I refuse to be the person who comes to the party and doesn't eat or have a drink.  I remember going to Weight Watchers meetings in the past and people would talk about their Thanksgiving plans and how they were going to make a special low-cal dish to take to their family dinner.  To be honest, I would tell someone to go take a freakin' hike if they did that at my house on a holiday.  It is great to eat healthy on your own time, but seriously, sometimes you have to just let it go.  I think that as long you are exercising and eating well on a regular basis, you should feel free to splurge on occasion.  I just need to cut back on the splurging whenever the mood strikes me.  Yes, going to a fantasy football draft and having half a dozen beers is fine (in my book)...what is not fine is chalking up the whole weekend as a wash because of one event and have a  free for all with the snacks and booze.

So if I can get past at least 4 of the 5 obstacles, I think I will be successful.  Here's to hoping...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Irene postpones 1st day of school, disappoints parents everywhere

This is what the headlines should read in my opinion.  Please, before you think I am being harsh, let me say that I am not implying that parents are ready to give their school-age children the boot.  However, I think both parents AND children are ready for back to school time.

My daughter was due to start first grade on Monday and she was so upset that it was not going to happen.  She is ready.  Her bookbag is packed, her uniforms are now washed and ready to go, her lunch bag is sitting on the counter.  She is so excited to get started...and now she will have to wait at least one more day.

On another note, that means one more day that she is home.  She will most likely be fighting with her younger sister at least 50% of the day.  The other 50% of the day will consist of her wanting constant snacks, asking to go somewhere or do something because she "is bored", or just flat out complaining about all the injustices that 6 year olds must face in the world.

I do get sentimental when I think of how big she is getting...and I remember her being a baby like it was yesterday.  But there is a time for everything, and it is her time to start 1st grade.  I know she will love it and I am eager for her to learn new things and meet new friends. 

So I really think Hurricane Irene screwed most parents...oh, I meant KIDS.  Forget torrential rains and flooding, forget strong winds and extensive power outages...I will forever remember Irene as the storm that postponed the first day of school (and my oldest daughter's first day of 1st grade) in most of Delaware.

Thanks a lot, Irene, thanks a lot....

Uniforms at Lands End

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Back to Bedtime

It's that time year again. Kids everywhere are going to back to school (moms everywhere are rejoicing) and summer is coming to an end.   That means that I must get my children, mainly my oldest (who is starting first grade on Monday!) back on her bedtime routine. 

Generally, I like her to be in bed by 8 pm on school nights.  This way she can wake up without being hateful the next morning.  Not that she wakes up all cheery and chipper, but at least she tolerates my constant requests for her to get out of bed and get moving when she is well rested.  And as a side note, why does she get up bright and early when she doesn't have to, but I have to basically harass her to get up on school days?

Let's be honest, anything goes in the summertime.  If the kids are sleeping (and I am still awake) by 9:30, I consider that a good night.  I pat myself on the back and have a glass of wine.

But now, we are back to bedtime business and I have been trying to get started with it this week.  Tonight, I felt like I was going to lose my mind.  My husband gave the older girls baths while I gave the baby a bath and fed her a bottle before bed.  She was out like a light as usual...BUT the older ones were a different story.  After baths, they got ready for bed.  Then the shenanigans began.  If it wasn't "can we read one more book?" (even though we had read dozens),  it was "can I have some water?", or "the sleeves on my nightgown are too tight" or "are earthquakes really bad?" or "are hurricanes worse than earthquakes?" (my 6 year old has an obsession with natural disasters and today's little earthquake opened up a whole new can of worms).  Finally after about 30 minutes of excuses, requests, and questions, it was lights out.  After another 10 minutes, all was quiet.  I checked the clock...9:37.  Not great.

So we have some work to do...but I am hoping by Sunday night, all will go smoothly.  I am sure that I will be the one up all night thinking about my daughter starting first grade.  How did that happen?  Wasn't she just a baby?  I know she will love it. But to me, first grade seems so much older than kindergarten.  She is big time now. 

Tomorrow is a new day and tomorrow night will be a new chance to try to get them ready for an earlier bedtime (while not losing every last little tiny bit of patience I might still have these days).

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Please take a hint...thanks!

At what age do children start to pick up on social cues? I would really, really like to know this. 

When do they start to recognize a facial expression and know that it means to get their behavior in check?  When do they start to realize that certain behavior is not acceptable in some social situations?  When do they stop saying embarrassing things or asking uncomfortable questions in front of people?  When do they begin to see that perhaps they are being a tad unreasonable when they overreact after things don't go their way?

With each passing year I think maybe that will be the year that my oldest daughter will really "get" it.  She shows such promise most of the time...then something happens like I get a phone call and she continues to try to have a conversation with me while I am talking to someone.  Even if I whisper that it is the doctor's office on the phone and I place my finger over my mouth and say "SHHHHHH" almost silently but VERY forcefully while my eyes are bulging out of my head, she stills doesn't get it.  I am not sure how much clearer I can be.

Then my other daughter (who will be 3 on Sunday) does the same sort of thing but the intensity is magnified by a million because she really can't take a hint.  She will ask for the most unreasonable things while we are in a place where I can't possibly accommodate her, like asking for strawberry milk while driving to the beach.  I guess water or a juice box are not acceptable alternatives.  She will whine about it and pay no mind to my death glare.  She will continue to carry on about it...and I am convinced she would do so even in the presence of "Supernanny" Jo Frost. 

So when do they start to realize that they need to be on their best behavior in public places, such as stores or restaurants?  When do they start to get embarrassed or ashamed of their behavior when complete strangers are staring at them?  I know I, for one, am most certainly embarrassed. 

I am sure it will happen sooner or later...and I will wait patiently for the day that I don't have to give one "look", squeeze one arm just a little tighter, or whisper a small threat into an ear while out in public.

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Dinner Without Kids

The other night my husband and I were out to dinner without the children (yes, it was wonderful...thanks to my great in-laws!).  We were at a restaurant/bar at the beach and almost all of the tables were filled with adults only...except one table in the corner (maybe they strategically put that family in the corner because they had a child).  It looked like a couple with their little boy that was about a year and a half old and a set of grandparents.  The dinner started out peacefully enough.  I was just enjoying my time away from the kids and hardly paying any attention to the table in the corner.
Then I saw the little boy out of the corner of my eye as I was setting down my 2nd pint of beer.  He had clearly lost interest in his little bowl of snacks.  Obviously, he's getting to the age where sitting endlessly eating excessive amounts of puffs or cheerios is just not an option.  So as he began to go into a tantrum, I caught the eye of the mother.  She was lifting him out of the highchair as he was arching his back and screaming. We made brief eye contact and in that couple of seconds, I tried to convey to her that I understood her pain.  I wanted to go over and say, "It's okay, I have 3 kids and I understand."  I wanted her to know that we were not some fancy free couple out for a night of partying like it was our normal nightly routine.  We were usually in the same predicament as her...except times 3 (even though we try to avoid this situation by forgoing restaurants altogether these days).  I really did feel bad for her.   
Then I am assuming her mother (the child's grandmother) asked the mom if she liked the wine that they ordered.  I heard the mom snap back, "I haven't even had a chance to try it yet."  She was getting very frustrated.  Still, I felt bad for her...but another part of me was thinking, why did you even take him out of the highchair? Now you will never be able to put him back in without an even bigger tantrum.  I was also thinking, if you are this frustrated with the one, PLEASE do not have more.
So as the crying continued at that table, we promptly finished our drinks and paid they bill.  I was not annoyed by the crying, but I was in no mood to listen to that when I hear it on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis at home.  I am all for taking kids to restaurants...and to be honest with you, I love being out without my kids and seeing suckers at other tables trying to keep their little ones happy and quiet.  But sometimes I have to think, why do parents even bother?  Is going out to eat so imperative that you must bring your child who clearly has no interest in sitting in a restaurant unless there is a clown making balloon animals or doing tricks for them personally throughout the meal?
After paying our bill that evening, we checked in with my in-laws and got the report that they kids were fine.  So...we moved to the bar area and had a few more drinks while the happy hour prices were still in effect (I have never been one to turn down a good deal when I see one).

Have you ever been out to dinner without your children and seen someone else with kids?  Did you feel bad for them or just think "thank god we got out alone!"?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

It's Lights Out

So in the wonderful storms that zipped through North Wilmington yesterday, our power went out.  It went out at approximately 12:40 pm.  I called Delmarva Power around 4:00 pm and they said that it was estimated to be restored by 5:00 pm.  To my understanding, I think the word "estimate" means to calculate something roughly.  Wow, that was really a rough estimate.  Every time I called, they just pushed the estimated (there's that word again) restoration time back by 2 hours.  But I am sure they were doing their best.
By 8:45 last night, the darkness was setting in and the kids were losing their ever loving minds.  My 3 year old went from thinking the power outage was fun and "exciting" (she loves that word) to wanting to move to a new house with lights and TV.  She was unhappy with every aspect of our situation.  There was a cute bunny in the front yard that my 6 year old tried to point out to her.  She informed us that she didn't like bunnies anymore.  She said she didn't like anything anymore and just wanted to watch a TV show. 
Finally we decided to pack it up and head over to my sister in law's house.  The kids acted like we were going to Disney World.  They were screeching and cheering about a sleepover at their aunt's...because she would have lights and a TV there.  All they cared about were the damn lights and TV (I started thinking maybe, just maybe, they were becoming a little too dependent on TV...hmmmmm). 
It got me thinking about how they are so accustomed to modern technology that they were melting down after less than 12 hours without electricity.  (I was also melting down...mainly due to the fact that the temperature in the house was climbing and I loathe humidity.)  I highly doubt that either one of my 2 oldest daughters would ever last as a contestant on Survivor.  The baby on the other hand, could have cared less. But give her 2 years and I am sure that she will be jumping right on the "complaining and whining about things out of mommy's control train".
All in all, it was fine and we came home early this morning to every light in the house on and the TV blaring.  The funny thing is that the girls watched one movie this morning and haven't really watched TV since.  Not once have they asked for it to be turned on and they are quite content playing.  But I am sure that if there was another power outage, it would take t-minus 2 minutes until the complaining started. 

Anyone else have any problems with the storms yesterday?  If so, did your children act like you were doomed to live in the darkness forever?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Some "Me" Time

Last night, I was listening to some excerpts from Tina Fey's Bossypants with a couple of friends...and I was literally crying.  I laughed so hard that I definitely had to wipe a few tears from my cheeks.  We listened to her suggestions on how to get some "me" time.  I think I laughed so hard because every single one of those suggestions had entered my mind.

The one I liked the most was to say you were going to get diaper cream and then just stand in your child's room alone as long as possible until your spouse comes and asks, "what are you doing?".  I also loved how she said to go to the bathroom as much as possible or stand at the kitchen sink and eat the rest of your child's meal while they pull on your leg and cry.

This got me thinking about how I try to carve out a little "me" time each day...okay, maybe not each day but as often as possible.  I realized that I do try to get some down time for myself quite often...and I might even venture to say that I do things without realizing it because of the possibility of being alone.

One thing I might do is purposely forget things at the store.  This guarantees another trip.  I also get things that I might not like thinking that I can just return it.  Again, this will mean another trip to the store, hopefully flying solo.

Sometimes I say I am going to put laundry away and then I just lay on my bed for about 10 minutes in silence. When I hear someone coming up the steps, I just jump up and get to work.   

Doctor appointments are another excellent way to get some "me" time.  I really enjoyed my doctor appointments when I was pregnant with my youngest daughter.  I would generally go to these appointments alone and I really didn't mind the ridiculously long wait.  Sometimes I would  get there and they would tell me that my doctor was running 45 minutes to an hour behind.  I would just grab a magazine and settle in for a blissful hour of mindless reading.

And a hospital stay is the jackpot.  I can't even tell you how excited I was to spend a 3 day "vacation" in the hospital after my 3rd c-section.  I bought new pajamas and packed for it with the enthusiasm of someone going on a 3 day cruise to the Bahamas.  By day 2, I was bored to tears and ready to come home...but man, that "me" time recovering from my 3rd major abdominal surgery with a newborn in tow was ultra relaxing. 

Of course, there are always the times that I just come right out and say I need to have some alone time.  I definitely cherish that time...and I love the time that I do spend with my kids.  But everyone needs to carve out some "me" time and I think however you need to make that happen, then go for it!

How do you make time for yourself?  Please give me some tricks ideas.

Monday, August 1, 2011

How long will it last?

Every time we get something new, whether it is a computer, a car, a new piece of furniture, or a new kitchen floor (as we did today) of the first questions that pops in my head is "How long will it last?"

How long will it stay in that condition?  How long until one of the kids spills something, colors on it, spits up on it, or ruins it in one way or another?  The over/under on that is usually about 1month.  I always like to hope for the best and be prepared for the worst (like a same day disaster).

Tonight I almost told the kids that they couldn't walk on the new kitchen floor for a few days.  If they objected, I was thinking of some reason that I could give them that would keep them off of it would burn their feet because there are chemicals on it, or walking on it could break the floor and they might fall through it into the basement.  Then I decided against it.  I don't want to scar them for life. 

Instead, I just said to be very, extremely, extra, extra careful when in the kitchen.  Approximately 2 minutes and 10 seconds after saying this, my oldest daughter spilled a few drops of apple juice on the floor.  I saw terror in her eyes.  Right that moment, I showed her how easy it was to clean it up (just like the other floor) and told her it was no big deal.  Well, now that I think about it, I really went and screwed myself.  Trying to make her feel better just guaranteed that I will get about a dozen spills in the next week. 

So tonight I was thinking that maybe we should not get new things when the kids are little.  Maybe we should just deal with everything as it is and we can work on getting new things in about 15 years.  This is the same thought I had when we got our new van, or when we got the new laptop and my then 3 1/2 year old wanted to play a game on it, or when we got a new sofa.  But I never learn my lesson and I continue to add to my anxiety by getting things that I know will eventually be shot to hell within a short period of time. 

Have you ever gotten anything new that ended up getting ruined by one of your kids? I know I can't be the only one. Please share!!!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I didn't need to see that "Post Baby Body"

Do yourself and favor and do NOT google the term "post baby body".  You might mistakenly think that it will give you links to articles about good exercise or dieting tips to get your body back after baby.  Or you might think it would lead you to sites that tell you what changes to expect after you have a baby.

If you think are wrong.

What you will get are lists of article after article about different celebrities' post baby bodies.  There will even be images of celebs in bikinis on the beach with a baby on their hip (that are sure to boost your confidence). 

My daughter is 6 months old and I can tell you now I sure as hell don't look like any of them.  Yes, I don't have the time to work out with a personal trainer on a daily basis.  I don't have a personal chef to prepare the perfect balance of low carb, high protein meals.  But somethings gotta give here.

How is it even physically possible to sport a completely toned stomach 4 weeks after having a baby?  (I thought that I was being ambitious trying to lose it by the baby's first birthday...and by "it", I meant the weight.)

How can Heidi Klum walk the runway in the bikini after having 4 children?  Ok God, she is beautiful, successful, and wealthy...can't you just give her some stretch marks or something?

Not only did I get blessed with stretch marks...I got this lovely skin condition on my face called chloasma or the "mask of pregnancy" with my second daughter.  It's fabulous.  Looks like I have the shape of Australia on my right cheek and my left side looks like a map of Caribbean islands.  Just a freakin' mess.  And I still have a cool thirty pounds to lose compounded from my last two pregnancies.

So when I see these chicks who lose the weight ridiculously fast and bounce right back, I feel both inspired and disgusted.  I can't help but get the feeling that my children will be in high school and I will still be using the "I had 3 children" excuse. 

But I will continue to try to work on my "post baby body"...I just won't be googling that phrase anytime soon.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ready for Baby? Probably not...

Sometimes people ask, "Am I ready to have a baby?" or "Am I ready to have another baby?"

The answer is probably NO!  When is anyone ever completely ready to do that?  I am convinced that the very reason we have to carry a child for about 9 months is so we can mentally prepare ourselves.  And even then, you will still not be ready.  The baby will be born and you will bring him or her home from the hospital, and you probably STILL will not be ready.  But you will figure it out and make it work.  And everyone will be fine. 
I honestly believe that you can't wait until you feel completely ready for a child.  If that was the would probably just never have one.  And if having a baby is not for you, than that is fine too! 
I just always found it funny that we spend the majority of our lives trying NOT to have a child.  Then when you decide you are as "ready" as you are going to be, all you can think of is getting pregnant.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  Sometimes you get pregnant right away, sometimes it takes way longer than you expected, sometimes it is a surprise, sometimes things don't go the way you wanted to and you have to start over.  Trust me folks, I have been in EVERY one of those situations.  I just always would tell myself that everything happens how it is supposed to happen.  But I could not help seeing the irony in the situation...the one thing you tried so hard to prevent becomes the one thing you want to happen more than anything. 
So I don't think you can ever know when you are "ready"...but I think when it happens, you will never imagine life without that child.
I did find a very funny series of "tests" that you can take part in to see if you are ready for a baby.  I will share it with you.  It gave me a good laugh... Enjoy!

written by Daniel Cortes @
Smear peanut butter on the sofa and curtains. Now rub your hands in the wet flower bed and rub on the walls.
Place a fish stick behind the couch and leave it there all summer.

Obtain a 55-gallon box of Legos. (If Legos are not available, you may substitute roofing tacks or broken bottles.) Have a friend spread them all over the house. Put on a blindfold. Try to walk to the bathroom or
kitchen. Do not scream (this could wake a child at night).

Borrow one or two small animals (goats are best) and take them with you as you shop at the grocery store. Always keep them in sight and pay for anything they eat or damage.

Obtain one large, unhappy, live octopus. Stuff into a small net bag making sure that all arms stay inside.

Obtain a large plastic milk jug. Fill halfway with water. Suspend from the ceiling with a stout cord. Start the jug swinging. Try to insert spoonfuls of soggy cereal (such as Fruit Loops or Cheerios) into the mouth of the jug while pretending to be an airplane. Now dump the contents of the jug on the floor.

Prepare by obtaining a small cloth bag and fill it with 8 to 12 pounds of sand. Soak it thoroughly in water. At 8:00 PM begin to waltz and hum with the bag until 9:00 PM. Lay down your bag and set your alarm for 10:00 PM.Get up, pick up your bag, and sing every song you have ever heard. Make up about a dozen more and sing these too until 4:00 AM.  Set alarm for 5:00 AM. Get up and make breakfast. Keep this up
for 5 years. Look cheerful.

Obtain a large bean-bag chair and attach it to the front of your clothes. Leave it there for 9 months. Now remove 10% of the beans.
Purchase a newspaper. Go home and read it quietly for the last time.

Find a couple who already have a small child. Lecture them on how they can improve their child's discipline, patience, tolerance, toilet training, and table manners. Suggest many ways they can improve.
Emphasize to them that they should never allow their children to run wild.
Enjoy this experience. It will be the last time you will have all the answers.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Background Music to My Life

As I was driving home this morning after a run, I noticed that I was listening to Pebo Bryson and Celine Dion's version of "Beauty and the Beast".  The sad part was not that it was on in the car (or should I say "van"), but that I had hardly even noticed it and I was actually singing along.  It was not on the was coming from the DVD player because my daughters have been watching this movie in the van for months.  Not that I make them sit in the van to watch movies.  When we are driving somewhere, they always have it on.  BUT...maybe that is not a bad idea.  I could set them up in the van with the movie and some snacks.  Hey, I would leave it running with the air conditioner on and I would leave my front door open so I could keep an eye on them from my sofa.  Hmmmm...something to think about.  But I am pretty certain that it is illegal.

So I was driving the short distance home and thinking to myself that this is basically the background music to my life lately.  Whenever we drive somewhere, I must listen to that movie...I bet I could recite each line and I know every word to every song.  That Lumiere is something else (Jerry Orbach was a genius).

Then when we are not in the van, I still have background music at home.  It is usually the kids playing (or arguing), a show on the Disney Channel or Nick Jr., or some children's music CD.  I was washing baby bottles the other day singing along to a very lively version of "I've Been Working on the Railroad".  The kids were dancing around and saying "DANCE PARTY"...I think it's time that I put on a little of my own music to show them a real dance party.

Just last night I was trying to read a book...and yes, it was Tori Spelling's Uncharted Territori.  But I need to get that baby back to the library by Friday and I am sure that other library-goers are anxiously awaiting its return.  There may even be a hold on that one.  It is a summer classic.  So anyway, I was reading it and I had to reread the same paragraph about 4 times because I was interrupted by my daughter.  It is pretty sad that I had to reread it more than is not like I was reading War and Peace or anything.  Finally, when I realized that my dream for her to just go back upstairs and continue playing with her Magic Kingdom castle with her sister was going to be unrealized, I gave in and put on her show.  I tried to get back into the book but I could not concentrate on Tori's retelling of her trip across country with her family and extra annoying and creepy husband.  Why?  Because the background music of my life was interfering...and it happened to be Dora, the Explorer at that moment.  I marked my page and closed the book...completely defeated.

Then my daughter sat right next to me and said, "Mommy, I want you to watch this with me" and she moved my arm so it was go around her shoulders.  It was so adorable and my distaste for Dora began to fade as we had the most quiet and peaceful 25 minutes of the day watching that show.  I definitely feel like the background music to my life has changed drastically in the past 6 or so years...but hey, I think I can deal with it.  And when I am out by myself cruising in the van, I can still sneak in a little Garth, George Strait, Dave Matthews, or Biggie.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

It's ALMOST too quiet...almost

My  two youngest daughters are napping and the oldest just went to my mom's.  It is so quiet...complete and utter peace.  I was just thinking, "It's almost too quiet...almost".  Then I started to think of things I could do with my free time.

1.  Take a shower
2.  Actually do something with my hair (Imagine that!)
3.  Watch mindless TV, namely something on TLC, Bravo, or E!
4.  Read my newest "novel" Uncharted Territori by none other than Tori that is some classic literature right there
5.  Paint my nails (because the state that they are in now is shameful).
6.  Finish folding laundry (and putting away the 2 loads from this morning)
7.  Clean the kitchen
8.  Water my plants (that are barely hanging on out there)
9.  Take a nap
10.  Have a glass and wine and relax

These are just 10 things that I thought of in about 2 I am sure the list could be endless.  It is is crazy what I can get done in a mere 2 hours now, because I honestly think that I will try to do most of what is on this list.  I make every last second of alone time (bliss) count!

What do you do when you get some free time to yourself?  I would love to hear so I can add it to my list for the next time (most likely months from now) that I get this opportunity.

Friday, July 22, 2011

And then there were 3...

In the beginning, anyone who has children was a first time parent.  Even Michelle Duggar had only one child at some point.  I really believe it's all relative.  This post is based on my experience having more than one child. 
When you have your first child, you are usually almost annoyingly more than well prepared.  The nursery is fully decorated with a bedding set (even though you discover that you can only use about 20% of the set, so the bumper and comforter that you just HAD to have collect dust).  You have every accessory with all the bells and whistles, clothes are already washed and put away neatly, and you have enough diapers for about 3 to 6 months.  The first night home from the hospital, you think, "what the hell do we do now?" You are exhausted when the baby hardly sleeps that night, although I am sure that they were wonderful in the hospital (news flash- MOST babies are good in the hospital...they are just as traumatized as you are by the birth experience).  However, you can squeeze in a nap or 2 during the day.  Most likely, you are inundated with visitors who bring gifts, cook you meals, and offer babysitting services. You carry a diaper bag stocked with every and anything that  is useless the baby might need...because I am sure you will need about 3 changes of clothes, 5 toys, 2 teething rings, a dozen diapers, diaper rash ointment, Tylenol, teething gel, wipes, and hand sanitizer for that 2 hour visit with a friend. 
And speaking of leaving the house with your first can generally still look acceptable.  You can put on some makeup and you have the time to do your hair so it looks at least like you at least took a comb to it.
With each passing day, you learn more and more and become more confident. 
Then, things start to go so smoothly that some people decide to have another child.  This could be relatively soon...or it might even be years after the first.  Whatever the case may be, along comes another baby.
You quickly realize that this is a whole different ball game...
You are pretty much already prepared for the second baby.  After all, you have the crib and many people just keep the nursery as is and put the new baby in there.  At first, you are lucky to get a few hours of sleep at night, and then napping the next day while the baby sleeps...that is almost comical rare.  It really doesn't happen too often. Why?  Oh, that's have another little person to think about this time.  You are not only making bottles and changing diapers, you are cooking lunch and potty training, or maybe still changing a second set of diapers.  It's double duty and double the insanity fun.
The baby might get a few new gifts, but most likely, it is hand me down city.  Especially if you have children that are the same sex (I have 3 girls, I am quite familiar with that).  You and your spouse are usually the ones that handle getting odds and ends that are needed with baby baby shower this time:(
You will still have visitors, but maybe not as many and I can tell you now...the babysitting offers will dwindle.
Then, after much practice and experience, you learn to handle 2 children quite nicely.  It is man on man defense, one child for each parent.  You get into a routine and all is well.
It is at some point after this that some people decide to take the plunge and have yet another baby.  Hey, what's the difference? You already have 2... 3 can't be that bad.  And to be honest, I mostly agree.
And then there are 3...
However, things with the 3rd are even more different.  It is definitely hand me downs for this little one (especially in my case with the 3rd girl).  They might get a few new things, mainly because the others have been discarded due to wear and tear. 
I can also tell you that with three, the babysitting offers are most likely a thing of the past few and far between.  And instead of the well stocked diaper bag that you carried with the first one, you might throw a few diapers and wipes in your purse this time.  You can now effectively make a bottle and feed the baby, while talking on the phone and making a grilled cheese.  Napping while the baby naps is just not going to happen not always an option.  And you generally look disheveled on an almost daily basis (unless you have to go out, and then maybe you can get 15 minutes to apply makeup and put your hair in a pony tail attempt to style your hair).   
There is definitely a progression from being a new parent to having 2 or more children...and it changes you as a person and your outlook on life.  Each child is unique and amazing.  And with each baby I have had, the day that they were born was a complete miracle.  Although you get more accustomed to having a baby and what it entails, in my opinion, it never gets old and you are always learning something new!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sometimes "Yes" is Easier

If your child wants their fifth consecutive candy bar or they want to run with a knife or paint on your walls, you should definitely (I repeat, DEFINITELY) say "NO"! If they throw a complete tantrum in the middle of the store because they want a certain toy, you should NOT buy that toy.  If they cry because you did not give them what they want, you should not always (notice I said "always") give in...because then every time you say no, what will you have? A big crybaby!

However, there are many times when it is just a little easier to say "yes".  And I have convinced myself that it is perfectly acceptable to do this and give in...sometimes.
If you are making a dinner that you know your kids might not want to eat, and they want a bowl of cereal...let them eat cereal.  If they want chocolate milk instead of regular, big whoop.  Is it really going to hurt them to have some chocolate milk?  If they want to watch a movie on a beautiful day and you know they should be doing something outside (but you have a few things you could get done if they watch that movie), I say go for it.  If you go to the store and you tell them they can not get anything that day because you are just running in and out, but they ask for one little 59 cent candy bar at the check out and they have been good on the trip, why not?  When you are out at a restaurant and they want to eat a whole bag of M&M's while waiting for their dinner, then I say "whatever works".  You have to keep the peace, especially if you are at a crowded restaurant.  You don't want to get the evil eye from other completely unsympathetic, anything BUT understanding patrons.  Hey lady, don't go to Charcoal Pit if you are expecting a quiet, candlelit is a freaking ice cream place. But I digress, that is a story for another day.
My point here is that sometimes it is just so much easier to say "Yes".  Easier for you and for everyone else involved.   It does not mean you are a bad parent or a pushover.  It means you are doing the best you can to survive when you are expected to be on duty from sun up to sun down every single day. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. 

Do you all agree? Is it easier to give in sometimes? I know I sure as hell think so...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I Love this website!

I am obsessed with the website
I mentioned it before in my posts about sunscreen, but you can search thousands of different cosmetics and find out the ingredients in them and any concerns about those ingredients.  Hopefully, one day all cosmetics will have to meet the same standards...but for now, you can check and see the best ones for you and your family on this site!!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Household Items that I Couldn't Live Without

There are many items that I use around that house that I just LOVE.  I could not live without them.  Well, I am sure that I could...but it would make life a whole lot harder.  Here are my top five most used/most convenient/most enjoyable household items:

My Dust Buster- Now I know that these little guys were popular back in the 80s, but mine is still an everyday necessity.  I vacuum at least once, sometimes twice, a day.  I have a large dog that sheds, 3 children, and a home daycare.  So it should not come as a shock that I have quite a few messes to clean up on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis.  However, this makes it so much easier.  If I have already vacuumed but a child spills cereal on the floor, no problem. I get out my trusty dust buster.  If they proceed to walk on that cereal and smash it up...again, NO problem at all.  If they eat it off the floor before I get to it...well, then that's their problem.  Although with the dust buster within an arm's reach, chances are I will get to it and clean it up in time.  I just love that little sucker!

My Swiffer-  There is nothing that can clean a floor better than getting on your hands and knees and using some good old elbow grease.  BUT, the swiffer wet mopping clothes can help keep the floor cleaner for a longer period of time in between those deep cleans (and who I am kidding, I generally just use the swiffer and am lucky if I do a thorough cleaning 2 times a year).  There are always good coupons for Swiffer products, too!  I must admit, I am pretty wasteful when it comes to these though.  I will use at least 6 wet mopping pads just to do that kitchen (which is only about 12x10 ft).  I can't stand when they get dirty.  That is why I steer clear of traditional mops.  I feel like they just spread the dirt around. 

My DVR-  I HEART my DVR!!! I can record my shows...gasp, how dare I try to watch anything that would be of interest to me?  But when the kids are all in bed and there is nothing else going on, I can sit down and catch up on whatever Bravo program that I missed (because about 75% of what I watch in on Bravo anyway).  Then when I get about 10 minutes into my show and someone walks to the stop of the steps to request water, I can pause it and continue when I get a chance.  Sometimes it may take me up to 3 days to watch one 60 minute show.  But at least I know it is there when I am ready to watch it. (Plus we have Direct TV, so no On Demand for me...)

Baby Wipes-  Yes, I have a baby.  And yes, I use these when I change her diaper.  But it does NOT stop there.  I use baby wipes for SO many things.  If something falls on the floor, I use them to wipe it up.  I use them to wipe down my woodwork when I see a spot or mark.  I use them to wipe sticky hands and faces.  I even use them to get the mascara off from under my eyes...on the rare occasions that I actually wear mascara (I am sure they do wonders for the skin under my eyes, but whatever works at this point).  Baby wipes have an endless amount of uses.

My Laptop computer-  We had a desktop computer until 2008.  When I had our second daughter, we decided to get a laptop...1. because our other computer completely died, and 2. because it would be much more convenient.  We had our desktop computer up in our finished attic and it was a pain to go up to use it, especially with a 3 year old and a new baby.  The laptop has been wonderful.  We can take it around the house and use it wherever we want.  It is sometimes my only connection to the outside world, so it is wonderful having it with me when I need it.  How else would I be able to have the time to check email, find out every little detail of people's lives on the wonderful world of facebook, or see what's happening in the world?

I must add that there are some items that deserve mention...these items are my Keurig (it is it and use it every morning, more than I probably should), my vacuum (I run those babies into the ground), and my crock pot (which I use quite often in the winter).  I am sure that there are numerous other items that are escaping my memory at this moment, but I will be sure to add them to the list. 

What are your favorite household items??? And is it sad that I get excited enough about household items to write a blog entry about them? Please share!!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

More Children's TV show madness...

This is a continuation of my post from the other day, "WTF is up with some of these children's TV shows?".  If you have not read it, make sure you do before or after reading this.

There are oh, so many children's shows that boggle my mind.  I have already touched on many of them but I realized that I have only scratched the surface.  Here are some other little doozies that have me asking, ''What the hell is going on here?" on an almost daily basis. (I will continue where I left off with #10).

10.  Ni Hao Kai-lan
So this girl is supposed to be Chinese, right?  However, her eyes are shaped in perfect circles.  That is just not a realistic representation.  Please do not take this as a stereotype or being racially offensive.  I just want it to be more realistic or accurate.  That's all.  Also, her head is about 3 times the size of her body.  It is creepy.  And this is another show with only a grandparent present.  There is no other supervision while she plays with her friends which happen to got it, strange animals.  Her friends are almost as whiny as Caillou and every thing is a big issue with one being mad or upset in each episode.  Needless to say, I was less than thrilled when my daughter expressed her wishes to have a Kai-lan themed 3rd birthday party.  The only thing that gets me through is the variety of food, decorations, and activities we can have.

11.  Blue's Clues
Let's start with Steve.  He was the original "owner" of Blue who lived alone with his dog and other random objects that happened to be alive.  These friends included Salt and Pepper...who had a baby, Paprika(WTF?), shovel and pail, and mailbox, to name a few.  Steve was a grown man with very little interaction with the outside world.  Then Steve left for college (although he was easily in his mid 30s) and was replaced by his "cousin" Joe.  Please don't get me wrong...I am all for furthering your education but they made it seem like Steve was off to go live on a college campus somewhere.  And as for Joe, does that really happen? When one man goes to college, another man basically assumes his identity and lives his day to day life as if he was that person.  It's all odd.  I found it very interesting to learn that Steve is actually a musician and that he was once named one of People magazine's most eligible bachelors...

I will now take a little bit of time to discuss Nick Jr.'s fabulous late night programming.  If you have ever been channel surfing and come across Nick Jr. after 11pm, I am sure you were as intrigued as I was.

12.  The Upside Down Show
This show is based on the trials and tribulations of 2 Australian (I believe that they are from Australia) brothers who live in a strange (to say the least) house.  In every episode they must find some room or destination and they have all of these crazy wrong turns along the way until they find it...which happens after 3 wrong turns and some kid helping them out.  It is freakin' weird and I don't get it at all. period.  If you ever happen to catch a glimpse of this one, I am sure you will feel the same.

13.  Oobi
Oobi has to take the cake for the most bizarre children's show.  It is a bunch of hands that talk (with the thumb mimicking the bottom lip).  They all refer to themselves in the 3rd person, like "Oobi, friends, Uma".  This basically means that Oobi is friends with Uma.  I am not sure about other parents, but I think it is GREAT to teach your child to speak in simple sentences with very limited vocabulary and to refer to themselves in the 3rd person...again, WTF?  I discovered that this was the first show to air on Nick Jr.  How the channel survived after that is beyond me...
It now airs at midnight. It appears that poor Oobi got the shaft.

Finally, one of my daughter's faves...
14.  Bubble Guppies
This is actually a cute show with really catchy songs.  I just don't get the whole guppy thing.  They all live underwater but there are other non-marine animals on the show as well.  To make it legit, it seems like the creators simply put fish tails on all of the animals.  For example, there is an episode where a cow has a baby.  The cow, and its offspring, both have cow bodies with no front legs and fish tails.  It is pretty frightening...
Mr. Grouper is the teacher of the bubble guppies, but to me he seems a little too involved in all of their lives and he is basically the father figure of the show.  In one episode he lets them get a "bubble puppy".  If one of my children's teachers let them get a dog,  I am pretty sure that I would not appreciate it.

Please share with me if you have any other "favorite" children's shows! This list will always be a work in progress.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Just want to put a little disclaimer on here...
Although you may not know it from my posts, my kids are actually pretty good and they get along the vast majority of the time.  Yes, my 6 year old is bossy and the almost 3 year old throws an occasional tantrum.  But in general, they are wonderful.  The 6 month old is fabulous...she is so laid back and happy. 
Even this morning when I asked them to go check on the baby while I made her a bottle, they did the cutest thing.  I was on my way up the stairs and I heard laughing...the 2 older ones had climbed in the crib with the baby and they ALL that is was the funniest thing.  The baby was cracking up and it was adorable!!!
But you will not hear much of that on this blog...because to be perfectly honest with you, I think people would much rather here all the gory details of day to day life with 3 kids.  It makes for a much funnier story too.  So that's it, I just wanted put it out there:)

Thanks to everyone who has been keeping up with the blog!!! I can't believe that I have had close to 2000 views so far. I really appreciate all of your feedback, too!

I hope everyone enjoys this BEAUTIFUL day!

It's Official! I have finally lost it...

I realized this morning as I was in the shower and my 3 year old kept pulling the shower curtain back and yelling, "Surprise!"...that I have finally lost it.

And by "it" I mean several things.

First, I have lost my privacy.  That was glaringly obvious this morning when I couldn't take a 10 minute shower in peace.  Even when I am trying to get dressed, it is like a game of 20 questions...what are you wearing? why are you wearing that? What shoes are you going to wear? Please wear high heels. I want to respond, "PLEASE give me one god forsaken second to myself."

In addition to my privacy, I have lost any time to myself between the hours of 7am until about 9pm (on a good night).  Let's face it, it is all about the kids.  I am lucky if I can shove half a sandwich down my throat at lunch time.  I do, however, manage to get about 4 cups of coffee in before mid morning.

I have also lost the luxury of being spontaneous.  It is a very rare occasion that we can plan something at the last minute.  Everything has to written on the calendar or it is forgotten.  Sometimes, I swear that I have short term memory loss.  And gone are the days that we can pack up and head out at a moment's notice.  It takes a good 30 minutes to get ready for even the simplest of trips.

As I have mentioned in a previous post, I have lost all control of my television.  I attempted to watch an episode an "Rocco's Dinner Party" last night...and even though the girls were playing barbies, they would come in the room and reprimand me for changing the channel.  Sometimes, I just have to lay down the law and tell them too bad.  I send them up to their room to play and I take about 30 minutes to watch something in complete silence...but who am I kidding, that lasts about 5 minutes then my silence in interrupted (usually by blood curdling screams due to an altercation involving a toy that no one ever plays with anyway but for some reason they both want it at the same exact moment).

So this morning in the shower, it became crystal clear to me that I had finally lost "it". But hopefully I will find it about 10 years or so.  Here's to hoping!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Please Don't Judge Me

When I am out in public, there are times when my kids are not on their best behavior.  I am sorry.  That is just how it is.  Do you think I want them to act like that?  I can assure you that I do not. 
Sometimes people look at me and I can read their mind by the look on their face.  If they are a new mom with a baby, I just love it...sometimes I see actual fear in their eyes.  It is at the moment that I want to say, "Yes, your precious, innocent little baby will do this one day".  But instead I just smile and go about my business. 

So when I am at the store and I have opened a bag of goldfish, a box of fruit snacks, and a package of graham crackers just to keep my kids quiet (while both the 6 year old and 3 year old are crammed into the back of the cart snacking like it is an all you can eat buffet), please don't judge me.

When I walk away from my screaming child at the park and act like I am leaving her there (because I know that she will eventually follow me), please don't judge me.

When I laugh at my daughter's off that charts tantrum because I actually want to cry at that moment, please don't judge me.

When my 6 year old is wearing an entirely too dressy, bedazzled, velvet Christmas dress in the middle of summer because that is one battle I did not want to fight that morning, please don't judge me.

When I give my almost 3 year old a binky because she has asked for it about 100 times (and YES, I know she is too old for it but I usually only give it to her at nap/bed time at home but I can't take ONE MORE SECOND), please don't judge me.

When I put the TV on in the morning and let them watch a few shows in a row because I have about a dozen loads of laundry to do, a dishwasher to empty, and kitchen to clean, please don't judge me. 

If you don't have children yet and you are planning to at some point in the future, then definitely please don't judge me because you may just be ME someday...and I promise you that if I see you out in public and you are doing any of the above, I will NOT judge you.  I will probably go buy you a bottle of wine.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Interesting potty training tools...

As I was searching online for potty training tips and books for my daughter, I came across this little gem...
Is this for real? Just what my daughter has always wanted...a stuffed droplet of urine or a plush piece of crap.  Do people really buy this?  Apparently the answer is yes and you can check out all of their merchandise at
They even sell stationary. Nothing like sitting down and writing a letter with your pee and poo paper, then adding the finishing touch with a nice sticker featuring your child's favorite pee or poo character.  And if traditional letter writing isn't your thing, you can also send an e-card.

One other little interesting find that I came across...

Oh yes, you are correct if you think that these are chocolates made to represent deer crap.  If your little one is successful on the potty, consider rewarding them with a delicious chocolate terd.  Now, that is just not right.  (They are made in Japan...and I will tell you, while doing my "research" I have noticed that Japan has an odd interest in feces.)

So maybe this is why my daughter has not expressed much interest in potty training.  Clearly, I haven't been using the proper potty training tools...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Luvs at Target

This week (July 10-16) Luvs big pack diapers are on sale at Target for $16.  If you buy 2 boxes you get a $5 Target gift card!

Did you know???
You can use Pampers coupons for use the $1.50 off coupon that was in last week's paper to get 2 boxes for $30.50!
Also, if you go to the Luvs website  ( and sign up, you get another $1.00 off coupon.