Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Winter Survival Guide

I don't know about you, but I am over this winter.  It has been cold, not so cold, rainy, snowy but not snowy enough for a fun snow day.  Then we have had colds, snot, bleach, stomach bugs, vomit, and more bleach...

I was expressing my distaste for this winter season when my husband so graciously reminded me that it is far from being over.  We are just hitting February...which is always chock full of shittiness fun.

How will we survive?  How will we make it through without upping our doses of antibiotics and antidepressants?

I am here to help.  Much like my Summer Survival Tips, I give you my Winter Survival Guide.  And it couldn't come at a better time.  You are very welcome.

1.  Stock up on necessities...such as wine and beer.

2. You may need to grab some milk and such, if you have kids.

3.  Also buy some cheese balls.  Kids love cheese balls.  The ones that are orange and stain kids' hands.  Every time my kids are whiny, I say "Hey, do you want a bowl of cheese balls?"  Cheers them up every time.

4.  Buy the Just Dance game (any one will do).  Kids love it and it's also fun for adults when you have had a little too much of #1.  I have heard that you can also get a good work out from this.  See #5.

5.  Don't worry about working out.  You still have until March, at the earliest, to start worrying about bathing suit season and to start berating yourself for failing miserably with your New Year's resolution to lose weight.  See...that's why my resolution was just to NOT get any fatter

6.  Make a bleach and water solution.  Mix 1 tbs bleach and 1 quart of water.  Use that shit to clean EVERYTHING.  Forget about the other expensive cleaners.  This stuff works. 
Tip: Don't let the kids touch it.  It is kind of dangerous.  And it might discolor fabrics and cheap fake wood furniture from Target.  Not that I know from experience or anything...
Note to self: Do not buy cheap fake wood furniture from Target.

7.  If you have any friends going to a warm, tropical vacation destination, END ALL CONTACT with them.  This includes in person and via social media.  Trust me.  Continued contact will do more harm than good.

8.  Watch good television.  As much as I love summer, our television viewing options are limited.  So take advantage of the winter months and watch every damn show possible.  Also, DVR those bad boys and save them for later.  Feel free to delete crap like Wizards and Waverly Place and Oswald to make room for your programs. 

9.  Don't worry about working out.  Did I already say that?

10.  Look at the bright side.  You have a few more months to cover your muffin top with sweats.  Plus, humidity is low which helps with hair.  My naturally curly hair loves winter...even if I don't.

So there you have it.  You, too, can survive winter with booze, cheese balls, and television. 

And again, don't worry about working out.

Do you have any tips to add to my list?  Please feel free to share!

Also feel free to click that Circle of Moms button over to the right and give me a vote! ------->

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Dear Stomach Bug, Go the F*&K Away

Dear Stomach Bug,

We are done here.  Get the f*ck out of our house.  Seriously.

It was annoying when you interrupted my Saturday Matinee movie date with my husband by first making your appearance with my 2 year old.  That was real nice of you, a-hole.  We haven't been to the movies in maybe 6 years.  So just when we decide it's safe to go back in the water, you attack.  It's hard enough to get my husband to go see a movie.  So thanks for that. Oh, and did you know that the matinee costs $11.50?  What's up with that?  You are lucky we had a gift card.

Then you kept her up half of the night.  That, in turn, kept ME up half of the night.  Not cool. 

But the tricky little shit that you pulled last night was the worst.  I thought you were gone.  I thought you had your fun ruining our movie and screwing with my baby.  But noooooooo.  I started to feel sick after dinner.  I had a hunch that it was you.  So I thought I would go to bed and try to avoid you.  Then much to my surprise I was awoken an hour and a half later to the sound of my 4 year old gagging in my bed.  You are lucky I work out (okay, maybe not so much lately).  But you can bet your ass I picked her up and sprinted to the bathroom in record time.  And you were were nice enough to let me get her to the bathroom...but you couldn't wait until we got to the toilet, could you?  That clean up was fun.  I am still light headed from the bleach.

Just to top it off, you had to make the 7 year old sick enough for me to decide to keep her home from school but well enough for me to second guess that decision.

My hands resemble those of a 90 year old from washing and scrubbing.  I have spent countless hours cleaning and doing laundry.  And now my kids are watching Sponge Bob while I write this letter to you.  They have never watched it...but they are out there singing the damn theme song.  You have completely made me desperate and lowered my standards.  So be it.  It's only temporary.

I am over you, you nasty prick.  Please be on your way.
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PS.  The next time you visit, you could at least make me sick enough to lose a few pounds.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Give Me 5 for Friday: 5 Ways Working from Home Can Make You Hate Your House

Working from home has perks.  It really does.  You don't have to drive anywhere and your job comes to you.

BUT...there are some undesirable side effects. I like to call these "I work from home and now I hate my house" effects.  (Oh, and don't get all judgy on me and think I'm complaining.  Because I kinda am.  Sometimes I am hateful about it...but I am also equally as grateful that I have been able to successfully work from home these past four years.)

So anyway, how does this happen?  You make the choice to work from home and convince yourself that it will be wonderful.  And maybe it is.  Sometimes. 

For Give Me 5 for Friday, here are 5 ways working from home can make you hate, be disgusted by, or loathe your house.  Yes, those are some strong words.  But sometimes those are the only words to describe it.

1.  You can run or hide from the mess.
"There's nowhere to run to baby, nowhere to hide."
The mess is there.  Everyday.  Staring you down.  Taunting you.  The dishes in the sink, the laundry piled up, and the crumbs on the floor are just there.  You can't go to work and try to push the image of the mess back into the little corner of your mind that your reserve for such things.  You can't keep your desk neat and tidy and protect the image that you have it all together, when in fact you are a hot mess. 
2.  The four walls close in on after day.
The four walls of your home may start to suffocate you.  They close in on you and you feel like a prisoner.  There are days that you might want to run out of the front door...and never look back.

3.  You notice things that you may not otherwise notice.
In the bright sunshine of a Monday morning, you may see rooms of your house in a different light.  In the rays beaming through the window, you see dust floating in the air.  You see fingerprints, smudges, and dirt.  (Damn, I am really focusing on this whole mess thing.  You must all think my house is filthy by this point.) You also see projects that need to be done that very well may NEVER get done. 

4.  You are isolated.
Many days, you are isolated in your home.  For me, I am surrounded by 6 children under the age of 4.  But it can be isolating.  There are no adult coworkers.  It can get lonely...and being at home gets old.  This leads me to #5.

5.  Your home is work, Work is your home.
That's it.  Your house becomes both "home" and "work".  How would you feel to sleep, eat, and live at your workplace?  When I was teaching, I know I wouldn't like to eat all meals in my classroom and then sleep there each night.  I needed a break from that place.  Even staying late for things like open house and then returning 12 hours later for work was tedious.  So both working and living at home can get very, very, very tiresome. 

Again, I am grateful that I have been able to successfully run a daycare from my home.  But a girl can vent every now and then.  Working from home ain't all it's cracked up to be.  Actually, is it even cracked up to be anything great?  Not sure.  But if it is supposed to be great, then that's not always the case.  You see what I am saying here?  I hope so.  Because I am now confused.  I need a drink.  Good thing the weekend is almost here.

Thanks for stopping by and have a FABULOUS weekend!!!!

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Time flies...and now I have KIDS

Before I had children, I knew I wanted them.  I pictured myself with a cute little baby.  See, I said baby.  I didn't picture myself with a kid...that's not how it works when you are just starting a family.  You imagine a precious little cooing baby.  And that's where you get sucked in.

Now I am a parent to kids

One in 2nd grade who fights with me over what seems like every little thing.  And she fights even more with her little sister.  But she is also sweet and kind.  She is learning SO MUCH.  She reads and reads and reads.  Just last week, she had the biggest jump in the 2nd grade on her midyear reading benchmark test.  And she has tons of friends.  They call to have play dates, they have secret handshakes, and they write notes to each other.  It's just the beginning.

Then my middle daughter is in preschool.  She will start Kindergarten next year and I truly hope the school is prepared for her.  What a different child she is.  She is adorable and funny and outspoken.  She does her own thing.  Everyone says that she is the typical "middle child".  But I tell her that she is lucky to be in the middle...because she is the only one who is both a big sister and little sister.

Then there's my baby.  My baby is growing every day and will be two TOMORROW.  She is talking more and more and says almost anything we tell her to say.  Yep, you have to be careful there.  If someone coughs or sneezes, she says "okay Mommy?".  Yesterday she sneezed and said, "Okay me?"  to herself.  It was adorable.  At the moment, I wanted to freeze time.  Right at this age.  I forgot how amazing this age can be...tantrums and all. 

But truth is, you can't freeze time.  You can't even slow it down.

I think the best thing we can do is recognize how fast time flies.  Recognize it and accept it.  Then make sure we enjoy every moment we are given.

Even the moments when the kids are fighting and one has a bloody nose.  And when you don't have a clue what to make for dinner so you serve cereal with a side of cheese puffs.  Then add a banana for good measure.  Even the moments when there are toys all over your house, dishes are piled in the sink, and you haven't showered in over 48 hours.

And even the moments when you are out of wine.

Because the liquor store is open late and you can send your husband after the kids are in bed. 

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

"Me Birthday, Mommy"

When I ask my youngest who has a birthday coming up, she says "Me birthday, Mommy".

Yes, she will be two on Monday.  Two.  Two!  How is that possible?

It's so bittersweet.  On the plus side, she is becoming more independent and more willing to be away from me.  She isn't freaking the funk when I leave anymore.  This is wonderful.  But...she is no longer a baby.  She seems like such a big girl.  And now that's it for us.  We have a house full of "big girls".  No more babies.  No more newborn baby smell or gummy smiles.  No more first night sleeping in a crib or first time trying baby food.  No more bottles.  No more babies.

However, we have many firsts to look forward to in the future and I know this.  But it's still so bittersweet.

Two years ago, I was scheduled for a repeat c-section.  I was due January 27th so we scheduled it for Friday, January 21st.  I specifically chose the Friday because it would work out better with my two older daughters.  There would be more family to help out with them.  I would be 39 weeks, 1 day...exactly what I was with my other two daughters when they were born.  I had NEVER gone into labor on my own.  I was induced the first time...unsuccessfully.  And a repeat c-section with my second went off without a hitch.

So in August, we chose the date for my 3rd and final c-section.

A few days before I was scheduled, my husband and I talked about how we never had the experience of going into labor.  Which was fine by me.

I went to bed on January 20th expecting to wake the next morning and take my oldest to school.  Then I was going to vacuum, clean my hardwood floors, take a shower, and straighten my hair.  What?  Don't all people do that on the day that they give birth?  Around 11 am, we would drop off my then 2 year old at my parents' house and head into the hospital. 

On the morning of January 21, 2011 (the same exact day we had chosen 5 months prior), I woke up at 4 am to use the bathroom.  I felt a pop.  My water broke.  What the... 
This was not our plan.

I called my mother in law and she came right over.  She had quite a laugh at us.  We must have looked like first timers.  My husband was frantically running around, putting stuff in his truck.  I wasn't even packed...because I was going to do it in the morning.  It had snowed a little bit and the driveway was icy and slick.  He almost wiped out a time or two.

Then we headed to the hospital...with my contractions a minute apart.  I had NO CLUE what they would do with me because I was scheduled.  I had never dealt with this before.

They admitted me right away and said that they might still wait for my scheduled 1:30 pm surgery.  WHAT?! I was in labor and in pain.  This was not what I had expected.  They had the anesthesiologist come talk to me about an epidural.  I was pissed because I was supposed to get a spinal, have my c-section, and be done with it.  That was what I knew.  That was my plan.  It's hard enough to have major abdominal surgery in order to have your baby...being in labor all morning was not what I wanted.
Finally, I dilated 3 cm in less than an they went ahead and took me right back for my c-section.

At 9:53 am, on January 21, 2011...our final little baby girl entered the world.  She was seriously a beautiful baby.  She had a head of hair on her and was so calm and content.


She completed our family.  And that was it for us.  3 girls.  Closing up shop and happy about it (although I still have short lived episodes of baby fever, that thankfully pass without incident).

And here we are, 2 years later.

Her birth story is so much like her.  Just like everything about her...from the moment we found out we were pregnant, to the day we found out that it was yet another girl, to the little girl that she is now.  She is just as we expected...yet also so surprising.  She makes us laugh every day.  She is so much like her sisters, yet her own little self.  She is sweet and quiet but also loud and feisty.  She completes our family so nicely.  She is and will always be "the baby".

So when I ask her who has a birthday coming up...and she says "Me birthday, Mommy", I smile and hold back the tears all at once.  I say, "That's right baby, it's your birthday big girl!"

Happy 2nd Birthday, my sweet baby girl.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I'm an Equal Opportunity Eater

One of my New Year's resolutions that I can actually keep was to "NOT get any fatter".  I think I can really  follow through on this one.

Basically I am at the pinnacle of my weight gain.  I should not really be at risk of gaining any more weight...since I eat whatever the hell I want anyway.  And you can bet your bottom dollar that I won't EVER gain weight due to pregnancy again.  So things can only go down from here...and by down, I mean my weight.

I am thinking that I need to sign up for some 5ks and that might force me to get back into running consistently...not just the once every other week routine I have fallen into over the past month. 

Here's the problem. 

I am an equal opportunity eater. 

I can eat the hell out of a salad.  I love salads...even with a nice low cal dressing.  I love vegetables.  I love lean meats and seafood.  I eat oatmeal every weekday morning.  I love fruit. 

BUT I also like a nice fatty burger dripping in cheese.  I like fries.  I like to order take out. 

I love broccoli.  I also like deep fried broccoli dipped in full fat ranch dressing.

I like steamed veggies.  But if I go out to a restaurant, which is a rare treat, I sure as hell am not substituting my fries for veggies.  No way. 

I like a wheat tortilla stuffed with chicken breast and vegetables.  But I also like a mystery meat beef Meximelt from Taco Bell with a side of Nachos Belle Grande.  Damn, I haven't ran for the border in I am going to be thinking about that.

You see, I don't discriminate.  Call it a character flaw.  Or a gift.

So like the good old "W squared" (Weight Watchers) taught me...and Jessica Simpson...all in moderation.

Yes, some things do taste that good.
(Available at

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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Why yes, that's a tooth in my cupholder.

My oldest daughter found a tooth in our minivan today.  It had been in there since she lost it on our drive home from Disney World.  In August.

Don't all people leave teeth in their cars for months on end?  Oh, what's that?  You don't.

So anyway, she found the tooth in the van and she simply put it in the cup holder for safe keeping. 

I should have known it wouldn't end well.  I told her that if she put it under her pillow tonight that the tooth fairy would definitely pay her a visit. 

Just two hours ago we decided to take a ride to Target...because I have not been there in over a week and frankly I was having withdrawl.  I know that I made a resolution to cut my monthly Target trips by 25% and I really am going to try to do that.  I only spent $40 that's good, right?  Well, I did have a $25 gift card.  But still.  $40 at Target is like nothing for me. 

Ok, where was I?  Oh right, the tooth.

When we got home from Target, I reminded her to get her tooth out of the cupholder.

Then, ever so nonchalantly, my 4 year old said, "I threw that tooth out in the parking lot of the restaurant today because I wanted to put my lemonade in the cupholder.  And that tooth was gross."

Cue the meltdown.

But to be very honest, the meltdown wasn't nearly as bad as I would have imagined.  She cried for a minute because she really wanted her tooth but when I explained that we could leave a note and the tooth fairy would still come, she calmed down and the crisis was averted.

Now I can only imagine the poor person getting out their car to go to lunch today and discovering a tooth on the ground.  Yum, how appetizing.

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Friday, January 4, 2013

Give Me 5 for Friday: 5 Ways I Know I'm NOT Failing as a Mother of Girls

Being a parent is hard.  That's the truth, isn't it?

Trust me, there are days that I want a Mulligan...a complete do-over.  Especially those days that the girls are fighting and I tell them that if they can't get along then one of them will have to go live somewhere else.  Or those days when we just finish cleaning their room and then they proceed to make more of a mess then it was in the first place and I FLIP my lid and yell more than I ever should.  Those days are rough and I am thankful for another chance to do it again the next day.

But some days I get it right.  Some days I know that my girls are going to grow up to be well adjusted individuals...or at least I hope.

Here are 5 ways that I know I'm NOT failing as a mother of girls:

1.  They always think they look great.
Seriously.  My 4 year old can pick out the most hideous, mismatched outfits possible and she still thinks she looks fabulous.  My 7 year old thinks that everything looks pretty on her...she will even say, "Doesn't this look so cute?"  They are confident and I am going to do everything in my power to make sure they stay that way.

2.  They are well liked.
I don't give a rat's ass about popularity.  Being popular doesn't mean much.  But I do appreciate that my girls have friends and are well liked by their peers.  This indicates to me that they are kind to others and in turn, people like them. 

3.  They look out for each other.
Don't get me wrong, they fight almost as much as they get along...but they also have each other's backs.  My husband always tells them to look out for each other and stand up for one another.  And I think they do this.  The older two certainly look out for their almost 2 year old sister.  I pray that it stays this way.  I have a little image of them being close friends when they are all older and I really hope that becomes a reality.

4.  They are up my ass.
These girls will not leave me alone at times.  I am not saying this like it's a bad thing...but honestly, the youngest would probably permanently attach herself to me if she could.  So I can't be doing all that bad if they want to be around me.  Or maybe it's the fact that I am easily convinced to give them ice cream cones at 8 am on a Saturday morning.  Who knows.
People with older children say to enjoy this because soon enough they won't want a thing to do with me. I know with three daughters there will come a day when everything I say and do repulses them.  So until that day, I will try to appreciate all of the togetherness, all day...every day.

5.  They are happy.
They truly are happy.  All of the teachers at my 7 year old's school say that they never see her not smiling.  She is always happy to be there.  Now she might not always be smiling for me but she is a happy kid and her younger sisters are happy girls too.  My wish for them is that they remain as happy and carefree as possible...for as long as possible.

At the end of the day, all I can do is try to be the best parent I can be.  And if I fail, I can try again the next day.  I can also have a glass of wine when they go to bed.  So there's that too.

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