Thursday, March 28, 2013

Those are the moments.

Recently, I have read SO MANY awesome posts from people who have put my thoughts into just the right words.  Two posts that I LOVE this week are one from The Actual Pastor and one from Bad Parenting Moments.

They so effectively shared the same general message.  That message is that parents of young children KNOW that time flies.  We KNOW that we should enjoy every second.  But the cold hard truth is that we won't enjoy every moment.  We just won't.  I will not enjoy when the kids are fighting.  I will not enjoy when my 2 year old has an epic tantrum in Target because I won't open a yogurt for her right then and there.

I LOVE all of my kids more than life itself.  I chose to have 3 children and I have no regrets.

I can't get enough of my 2 year old right now.  Her voice is the cutest little mousy voice ever and she is talking more and more every day.  I LOVE IT! 

But when she wakes up at 3 am and wants to eat a pack of Keebler Toast and Peanut Butter Crackers on the sofa, I don't love it.  Not even close.  And I HAVE to let her come downstairs and get a little snack on those 2 to 3 nights a week that she gets up and does that...because if I don't, she will wake the WHOLE HOUSE.  And please...don't tell me what I should do.  I am not afraid to say no.  I say no all the time.  I let her cry and I don't give in.  But when it is 3 am and I have 2 other girls sound asleep, I can't risk it.  So I say yes.

This leads me to another thing I KNOW.  Having multiple children is very hard.  I am not saying having one child is not, so please don't get your grannies in a bunch.   I was the parent to an only child for over 3 years.  I thought it was hard at times.  But when she woke up in the middle of the night (which she rarely did), it was just her.  There was no one else to wake or disturb.  When she was sick, it lasted 2 days.  We didn't have to worry about it going through all the kids and becoming the epic stomach bug that lasted 12 days. 

When she was 15 months, my husband and I went to Mexico for a week. A WHOLE WEEK.  Since we have had our second daughter, we have only had 2 nights aways as a couple.  2 nights in almost 5 years.

Going back to that whole We went to Mexico for a week thing.  We did that.  We really did seems like a dream.  But it was reality.  We also took our daughter to Disney World for the first time 8 months later.  See, we had money for 2 vacations.  I still worked as a teacher and we had one child in daycare.  We could splurge on ourselves and on her.  Not that money wasn't tight at times.  It was.

But with each child (YES, each child that I CHOSE to have and I wouldn't have it any other way), it became harder.  Harder to make plans.  Harder to go out to dinner.  Harder to run errands.  Harder to make the money stretch.  With each child came maternity leaves, career changes, and thinner wallets. 

It's all good.  I wouldn't change a thing.  Not a single thing.

That doesn't mean it's not HARD. 

That doesn't mean that there aren't days when I want to sit and cry.  Or days when I need a break more than words can express.  Or days when the door breaks and it costs $200 for a new one...$200 we DON'T have and I don't know what to do.  Or days when bills come in and I just put them to the side and pray they can wait until next month.  Or days when I yell or tell the kids that they will have to live apart if they can't get along.  Or days when I feel like I am failing.

But then there are those other days...or even just those moments.  Those moments when the kids are so sweet and innocent.  When they say, "You are the best mommy ever".  Those moments when they share with each other or give an unprompted hug.  When they come home from school excited about a new library book and read 100 pages in a single day with such pride...and you are so amazed that this child is learning so much and growing so quickly.  Those moments when you hear them playing and they don't know you are listening and they say that they are each other's best friend.  Those moments when you are all cuddled together on the sofa, watching a movie and you wouldn't want to be anywhere else on the planet.

Those are the moments that make it worth it.

Those are the moments when you know that you will gladly take all the good with the bad, all the smiles and the tears, and all the laughter and the tantrums. 

Those are the moments when you can finally say to yourself...yes, time flies.  I wish I could slow it down just a bit.  Because I know someday I WILL, in fact, miss this.

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Easter Ideas from Pinterest that I WON'T Be Trying

I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest.  Many months ago, I wrote this post about it.

Now I have warmed up a bit and find it extremely useful.  I also find it extremely stressful and it has made me feel like a failure on many, many occasions.

But I keep going back, searching for fun recipes and craft ideas for things that I will never make.  I don't even bother checking out the clothes I will never wear or the home projects I will never complete.  Recently I have found some great suggestions for Easter...many of which, as usual, I WON'T be trying. 

Here are a few:

Monochromatic theme basket with painted Easter Eggs. 
Sure, let me get out my paint set and reading glasses to paint some eggs with extreme care and attention to detail just to have my kids crack them open and throw the shells all over the floor.

Beer themed basket.
Who would do this for a kid???  What kid wants Little Tree air fresheners and slim jims?  That's just cruel.
Oh wait, I think this is a basket for the man in your life...

Easter Basket Ideas for Crafters
Button themed Easter basket.
What the???  Fill a basket with eggs containing small items perfect for choking.  Kids will have fun opening eggs and finding multicolor buttons inside!  Just freshen up your CPR skills first. 
By the way, I am sure that this basket isn't recommended for toddlers.  But I don't know many kids who would be excited for a basket full of damn buttons.

Healthy Easter Basket Ideas
A real live rabbit in the Easter Basket.
Hell NO.  Unless I want to see this poor rabbit's head at my bedside next to my cold blooded killer of a cat, who will be waiting to be praised, no live rabbit for us this Easter. 

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Easter Egg Sensa-Dough.
No, no, no.  Just NO.  I have a hard enough time with Play-doh.  There will be absolutely no Sensa-Dough, which apparently comes in all sorts of "amazing scents".  Awesome.  At least my carpet will smell good when the Sensa-Dough is ground into it for eternity.

Easter basket ideas for adults
Ok, this one I might have to do.  I think I need this costume...and I KNOW I need the wine.

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Again, all images and ideas were found on the one and only site that inspires you to be creative while also making you want to crawl back into bed, pull the covers over your head, and pretend that you never saw a thing...Pinterest.
And you can feel like a failure following me on Pinterest at

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

This "Bigger and Better" World We Are Living In

Do you ever wish you were a parent 30 or 40 years ago?  Times were so different then and sometimes I long for that.

Today it seems like there is a lot of pressure on parents.  I don't mean the pressure that I have talked about
before with the judgy folks out there breathing down your necks with every parenting choice you make.  But in other ways, there is this pressure. 

I'll explain.

My husband is one of 5 children.  My best friend is one of 4.  When they were little, they didn't go out to dinner much at all.  My best friend would hide snacks in her room so her siblings wouldn't eat them.  My mother in law cooked every night.  There was no take out or splurging.

That was the norm.  That was okay.  It was fine for the husband to work 2 or 3 jobs so the mother could stay home with the children.  It was okay that the only vacation you took was at the beach a short 2 hour drive away.  I only went to Disney World once as a child.  I was in first grade.  Besides that trip, all of our vacations were to the Delaware or Jersey shore (shout out to Rehoboth Beach and Wildwood, NJ! ) Even
at the beach, you cooked some meals.  You packed lunch to take with you. 

But today it is so different. 

People have these big houses and upgrade when they have children.  One bathroom is pretty much unheard of...but yes, we only have one bathroom right now.  Oh, the horror! One bathroom and I have 3 daughters.  Whatever will we do.  We MUST move, of course.  That's what we are told.  But the funny thing is that the family who lived here first, the original owners, had 3 daughters and one bathroom.  I am sure it was fine back then.  Oh, but not today.  We better get on that...start checking out something bigger and better.

It seems like everyone is always looking for bigger and better.

Get the brand spanking new, big ass SUV.  Get the huge $3000 swing set.  Take the kids on the vacation of a life time when they are only 4 years old.  Better yet, take lavish vacations by yourself without the kids.  Buy the 5+ bedroom house.   Send the kids to the best preschool.  Who cares if you pay as much as you pay for your mortgage each month.  Get your hair done every 6 weeks.  God forbid those roots start showing.  Wear the best clothes.  Make sure your kids have the best clothes.  Buy all new furniture. 

Everything has to be just right. 

If not, that's ashame.  You must not be managing your money right.  You must not make enough.  Your husband must not make enough.  What are you doing wrong?

It's really starting to get to me. 

And maybe it's because I am in such a rut with this weather.  Maybe it's because I am ready for spring.  Maybe I need a little break.  But nonetheless, it is getting to me.

I long for a simpler time.  When kids wore hand me downs, when it was okay to not go on a vacation because money was tight, when it was okay to drive a car for 20+ years, when it was okay to have old furniture that you got second hand, and when everyone was just getting by and you made it work.

If this is what things are like this "bigger and better" society that we are living in, I am fearful for what my children will face in another 20 or 30 years.

I truly am. 

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Give Me 5 for Friday: St. Patrick's Day Edition

It's that time of year again. 

It's like the Olympics for Irish people, especially here in the United States.  They train for it.  They prepare.  They anticipate.  It's their favorite holiday.  It's St. Patrick's Day.

How do I know how much the Irish love this holiday?  Well, because I'm Irish.  And I was raised by someone who has more Kelly green that the average bear, including jackets and shoes.  She wears shamrock stickers on her face this time of year along with pins and shamrock earrings.  She is my mother.

Since I am Irish and my husband is also Irish and many of my friends are Irish, I have a great deal of experience with this culture here in America.  I know there are many, many stereotypes regarding the Irish.  And I am here to tell you something....

They are true.

So if you are looking to celebrate this weekend in true, stereotypical Irish style, here are 5 things you can do:

1.  Drink a Guinness.
Come on.  It's St. Patrick's Day weekend.  Even if you are not a dark beer kind of person, go ahead and enjoy at least one Guinness.  Hell, from what I hear they even tell pregnant women to drink one a day. 

If you really don't like Guinness, drink LOTS and LOTS of any other beer.  Just drink beer.  Got it?

2.  Drink shots of Jameson until you are red-faced and tearing up while listening to "Oh Danny Boy".
That song will get you every time.
Oh Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling...

3.  Hang out with someone named "Sully" or "Mac".
My mom's maiden name is I have known quite a few "Sullys".

4.  Eat corned beef brisket until your fingers are swollen like sausages from all of the sodium.
Yum, I can't wait to have some this weekend.  You can even cook it in Guinness than cross off both #1 and 4 from this list.  Jackpot.

5.  Go to a parade, eat Irish soda bread, drink some Bailey's in your coffee, or get in several alcohol-induced yet harmless arguments.
I put these all together because basically there are so many more stereotypical Irish things you could do than just 5.  Why limit yourself?  You can feel free to choose any or all of these.

After reading my list, I hope you are all well prepared to celebrate the St. Patrick's Day weekend.  And the weekend starts....NOW. 

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Unique Natural Products Review and Giveaway!

I don't do many reviews on this blog.  The ones that I do are for products that I would use in my real life.  And guess what, folks?  Having 3 young children and a home daycare certainly requires the use of cleaning products!

And NATURAL, SAFE, and EFFECTIVE cleaning products are even better!

When I was contacted by Unique Natural Products, I immediately went to their website to check them out before I agreed to do a review.  I wanted to make sure that their products were something that I would actually use.  The more I read about these products, the more excited I became to try them out.  So I agreed and waited for my shipment.

Some of the things that I loved about Unique Natural Products while checking out their site were:
  • They are inexpensive.
  • They are organic/green/safe.
  • There are a variety of products for all your home cleaning needs, such as stain remover, carpet cleaner, drain opener, and odor eater.
  • They are guaranteed or you get your money back!
  • The stain/odor remover can be used on anything that water won't damage.
  • The carpet cleaner can be used for small messes or for your entire carpet with a carpet cleaning machine.
First, let me say that the company was VERY generous with the samples they sent.  Check it out!

The entire shipment!

Wine stain eater.  Very useful...for wine stains and suchNot that I ever spill wine or anything...

The Pet Odor & Stain Eliminator.  I need to buy stock in this product!

So one of the first things that I did was use the Pet Odor & Stain Eliminator on a sticky, random, questionable stain that was on one small area of my carpet.  The directions say to saturate the area with stain remover, cover with a clean damp clean cotton cloth, and then let the product sit on the stain for 24 hours...but I am so impatient.  I did the first 2 steps but checked the stain about 2 hours later.  I was shocked at how quickly it started working!

After only 2 hours!

I also noticed a sticky spot on my hardwood floor, probably from one of the kids spilling juice.  I decided to wipe it up using the same Pet Odor & Stain Eliminator product since it says that it can be used on hardwood floors.  I was so happy with how it cleaned the floor that I kept going and going.  By the time I was done, my floors looked like new.

Well, look at that!!! 

Then, just when I couldn't love these products any 2 year old got the stomach bug and threw up on one of the sofa cushions.  Woohoo. 

I cleaned up the area with soap and warm water.  THEN I saturated it with the Carpet Shampoo and Stain Remover (which can also be used on furniture).  I covered the area with a clean white towel.  And what do you know?  The next morning it was clean and had NO ODOR whatsoever!  Seriously!!

I highly recommend these products...especially if you are someone who is into all natural, green cleaning products.

If you think that Unique Natural Products sound right for you, go check them and out place an order.  It is free shipping for orders over $50!


You can also enter to win an awesome giveaway of Unique Natural Products RIGHT HERE!!!  Yep, that's right.  You can enter to win the Pet Odor & Stain Eliminator, Super Digest-It Drain Opener, Unique Complete, Carpet Shampoo, and the Wine Stain Eater!!!!

Enter now! The giveaway ends on Sunday, March 10th! Good luck!

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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Just call my 2 year old "Rembrandt"

I don't want to brag or anything, but my 2 year old LOVES to color.  She is so creative.  I really think she is the next Picasso, or Rembrandt, or Monet. 

She loves to color in coloring books...with pen.  And on her hands with marker.

And on folders with marker.

One of her favorite canvases is the sofa cushion.  With a thick, permanent black marker.

And on the wall behind her bed.  She is a creative genius.

I personally love the splashes of color she added to my bedroom door.

Look at how she spiced up our "rustic" (a.k.a. horribly scratched but not going anywhere until I close my daycare) dining room table.

And personally I think these leggings were kind of boring as a solid pink color.  The lines of permanent ink that won't come out with even 4 washes and every stain remover possible gives these pants just the right "je ne sais quoi".

I'm guessing after seeing all of her work samples, people will be contacting me to hire her for various creative endeavors.  If interested, please see the contact info tab at the top of this page.

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