Girls Only Weekend of Fun...

So this past weekend was "Girls Only Weekend of Fun" in the Simmons' home. Matt was out of town, so I made the decision to just do it up right. We were going to have an awesome weekend. And we did. And I'm exhausted. I will say this a bagillion times... I truly don't know how single mothers/military families do it. They are absolutely amazing and I have ridiculous respect for them. Two nights without Matt and I am near breakdown mode. I know you just do it and it is life. I didn't want to dwell on the fact that I was alone and had no help all weekend... I wanted to have fun. Summer and Layla chose lots of activities that constitute "Girls Weekend" and Summer even made a chart. As I posted on facebook, I yawned at one point and Summer says, "Mom!! No!! Sleeping is not on the girls weekend schedule!!" I documented it psychotically with pictures because I really wanted to remember the days. Saturday morning started the major part of the girly fun. French toast for breakfast, and then a swim in mommy and daddy's tub: 

This was a super big deal, and after Olivia got out they even got to turn on the jets. There was constant shrieking, laughter, and "best day ever" comments.

Once they all got out of the tub, they got wrapped up like little mummies. Other than Olivia's super awkward facial expression, I love this pic:  

Next came getting dressed and of course a fashion show: 

Manis and pedis of course. Each nail had to be a different color with sparkles on it, obvi. 

You can't have a girls day without makeovers. Look at the eyelashes on Layla. I mean seriously!  

My original goal was no TV. Well, I failed. They watched a little. Give me a break. 

And played a few iPad games (yes, that is Layla's naked butt. I discovered that the only way to potty train her is to not put a pull-up or anything on her. No accidents yet!) 

There was some dog-cuddling (yes, the coat is on yet again. I'm telling you, she's obsessed in an awkward way). 

At the girls' request, we got Mamma Lucia's for dinner. 

I dare you to say Olivia didn't enjoy it: 

And I'm thinking another bath is in order: 

I was informed that a dance party was essential. And yes I think Layla is mid-nose picking.

We finished the day making oreo milkshakes. The smashing of the oreos was probably their fav: 

The tutu/socks/hair combo kills me: 

So delicious and SO happy. 

All in all, an amazing day. My house looked like a bomb hit it afterwards, but who cares. My girls (well, at least Summer) will never forget mommy throwing caution (or errands and cleaning) to the wind and doing WHATEVER they wanted. We made amazing memories, I think I gained 5lbs from all the carbs and junk we ate, but it was totally worth it. 

And finally, at the end of the night, after everyone went to bed... mommy could relax: 

Or take four sips and fall asleep at 9pm. 


Sleep is overrated...

So I'm tired. 

Yesterday I woke up at 4am and left my house by 4:40 to go to work. For whatever reason, I always get the gift of being stuck behind someone going out-of-this-world SLOW on a one-lane road that I am on for 12 miles. There are many parts of this road that the speed limit is 50mph. For whatever reason, everyone likes to go 30mph, the ENTIRE WAY. I am fortunate that I go in when I want (yes, leaving at 4:40am is what I want, shockingly enough). It's not like I am going to be "late," but every minute later I get there is a minute later that I will be staying. I leave at that hour so I will miss traffic... yet somehow that 12 miles hates me every time (Twice I have gotten behind someone with only one headlight (not the same car). I understand that you can't see well on a darkly lit road. Either get your headlight fixed or pull over and let me pass you. Don't go 12 miles an hour and slam on your breaks every time another car comes around the bend. For the record, one of them did finally pull over to let me pass. It just happened to be 11 miles into the trip). 

Anyway, work was fine. I have realized that I must have the type of face that people want to tell me utterly random stories right when I am trying to leave or need to do something. I didn't really want to hear about the woman in the nursing home who would fly around corners in her wheelchair to grab any old man in sight, pull down his pants, and do sexual things to him. The staff would have to tell both the woman's son and the families of the men she would do this to. You're welcome for the mental image. 

So all day I am sore in random places and I couldn't figure it out. Then, (how could I forget) I realized it must be from my very first Zumba class I took on Monday night. Now I was a dancer before (until I was 12), so it's not like I don't know how to move to a beat... but I have never felt more like a white girl in my life than I did for that entire hour. Great workout, super fun, and no one really cares how they look. Everyone is just frantically trying to make sure they have a view of the teacher and are making every effort to keep up. I'm pretty glad that I couldn't see myself in the mirror. 

So I left work last night around 10:30pm, and I needed to stop by the store to get baby wipes (since I ran to the store on Monday night for the sole reason of getting wipes and that is the only thing I didn't get). I spend far too long deciding which wipes to get and making sure the ones I am getting are the ones that are actually on sale. You'd think by the third child I would be a pro at this. I am a pro at nothing when I am at the end of a 17 hour work day. I go get in line, and of course the check out person has to tell me all about how they had no idea that there were stores dedicated to medical scrubs (I'm telling you, I must have an aura), and he had to whip out his phone to show me pictures of all of the different ones he thought were cute (no idea why he took so many pictures of scrubs when he works at a grocery store). I am not a rude individual (that may be debatable at times), so I smile and act interested while I stand there holding my keys and baby wipes, waiting to leave the store. I finally get home (around midnight) and I am starving. Like stomach growling out loud, I won't be able to fall asleep if I don't eat something type of hungry. I don't want to eat too much, so I just grab a little something to tide me over. Now it is a very delicate balance when you work for that long of how much coffee/caffeine to have to stay awake/function/drive home vs needing to be able to fall asleep at some point. I clearly went way overboard with the caffeine yesterday, because despite my utter exhaustion, I could not fall asleep. By 3am I am out-of-control starving again with a massive headache, irritated at the unsmoothness of one of my toenails that keeps snagging on the sheets, thinking of things I need to put on my to-do list. Toss and turn. Can't get comfortable. The last time I remember looking at the clock was 3:43am. 

All of a sudden, I am ripped out of sleep by the most horrid noise in the universe. Let me back up. When Matt and I first got married, he used this particular alarm because he is a very heavy sleeper. Now there are other alarms that have the awful beeping noise, but this one is to a new level. He would press snooze so many times (as I would wake up terrified) and I seriously could not handle it. I decided that for both our marriage's sake and my heart health, I would always set my radio alarm for whenever he needed to get up and just wake him up. We have been married for 6 1/2 years, and although there are times I am irritated that I have to wake him up, ANYTHING is better than that alarm. So, after being awake for 15 minutes shy of 24 straight hours, FINALLY falling sleep, I am woken by THAT alarm noise at 6am. I think I jumped three feet in the air and my heart was pounding out of my chest. (Another major reason that I was so anti the alarm from hell is because it would put me in the most foul mood when I woke up because it is such a traumatic experience). I realize that I was not home when Matt went to bed, but I kindly (or not so kindly) told him to leave me a note in the future and I will set my alarm. So, fortunately for everyone, I was awake early enough to write this blog (with cuddlebug Layla in my lap). Unfortunately for me, I feel like I have been hit by a bus to a new level. I may beat my coffee record today... not that I really even know exactly what it is because usually when I need to drink that much coffee, I'm not really focused on counting. I have dinner plans tonight with a wonderful friend that I refuse to cancel because I am really looking forward to it. Sleep is overrated... right?? 


Drawing on paper is no fun...

Anyone have any brilliant ideas on how to get this off the wall without stripping the paint? 

And this: 

And this: 

And yet another (after scrubbing): 

I'm terrified to look around the house any further... 


The Missing "Boy Titty"...

So let me preface this post by saying I am not an animal hater. I do believe that pets can absolutely be like your children. We have Emmie, our six year old yellow lab. Before kids, I missed Emmie when I was gone for long periods of time, I felt guilty when I didn't get home in time for her. She was showered with attention. Enter Summer, Layla, and Olivia... poor Emmie does not get quite so much love from me. Is she a fantastic dog? Yes. Do I have the time and energy to dote on her? No. 

Let me continue to preface this post by saying that I have never been a cat person. Nothing against them (and no offense to anyone who loves them and has twelve foot cat jungle gyms all over their house), I just never had any interest in getting a cat. Fast forward to several years of Summer begging for a cat, and my husband continually telling me that cats are super easy and you barely have to do anything for them... 

I relented. Big mistake. 

This past summer, we got Mr. Snuggles (also known as "boy titty" according to Layla and her inability to say the "k" sound. It was sort of hilarious to see peoples' reactions/confusion when she was talking about him). An adorable little grey rescue kitten. My heart (the cold and evil cat-disliker that I am) sort of melted for about the first day and a half that we had him. Then, the psychotic activity began. I found (and other friends who have cats confirmed this) that we had an abnormally crazy cat. He would crouch on one part of the stairs and as soon as one of the girls started going up, he would attack their legs or any other body part that he felt like scratching or biting at. The amount of blood I dealt with and the number of bandaids we went through was unreal. I'm convinced that Layla got cat scratch fever from one of her many gashes. I was told that he was a kitten and he wasn't neutered yet, so this could explain his aggression. Over the next few months he slightly mellowed out, and he would have his sweet times of sleeping on the corner of the couch, or wanting to be in your lap all the time. He also ripped up two inches of our brand new carpet in the basement, tore up several baskets, jumped up on the counter CONSTANTLY eating food or anything that was left out for more than 0.278 seconds. So, you might ask... why didn't you just get rid of him? Why go through the hell that this cat was causing? The girls were obsessed with him. Loved him, played with him, carried him everywhere... He was a major part of our household. So I dealt with him, got my water bottles out everywhere to spray him if he was up on the counter (which totally didn't work by the way. He would look at me and essentially laugh), and stockpiled bandaids. 

In the beginning of January, I suddenly realized I hadn't seen Mr. Snuggles in probably two days (and this cat was psychotic at all meal times). Sidenote... don't judge that it took me two days to realize this. I have a few other people to look after and things to do. Now he would get out from time to time (I only wanted him to be an indoor cat but he would sneak out when we were letting the dog out or opening the garage door). But he would ALWAYS come back. Quickly. This time, he did not. Initially we told Summer and Layla that he was on an adventure, because we were actually looking for him. (Granted, I did not post a bagillion signs, but I did look every day on the stray list and called when I saw a matching description which never turned out to be him). Was I devastated over the missing cat? No. Did I feel guilty? Yes. Did I remember him more of when he was sweet and cuddly? Yes. But then I go downstairs and see the carpet. So Summer finally says to me, "Mom. I don't think Mr. Snuggles is on an adventure. I think he is missing!" I felt horrible, but the fact of the matter is that Mr. Snuggles was not a good fit for us. My hope is that Mr. Snuggles is with a nice new family who does not carry him around and harass him constantly... or call him "boy titty." I REALLY hope the fox in the neighborhood did not get him... but if the aggression that I saw around the house says anything, I don't think the fox would stand a chance. Now, I am not going to post a picture of Mr. Snuggles because that is when I feel REALLY guilty... because he was stinkin' cute. 

So long Mr. Snuggles. Hope your adventure is awesome. 


Morning Activities...

So yeah. This has been our morning activity so far. I love that Olivia is looking back at the camera smiling (quite a difference from her tantrum pic). Well, we did make pancakes this morning. As a treat I put strawberries and whipped cream on top... and Layla proceeded to wipe the whipped cream off of every strawberry with a napkin. So strange. Matt took my car today, so I think these are the kinds of activities we will be doing all day. We may walk over to my sister's later (the joys of now living in the same neighborhood with our houses connected by a bike path). Happy Thursday!! 


Tantrums, Torture and Vomit...

Yes, it is true. My sweet, youngest child has begun: tantrums. She is actually the first of all three who has ever done the sobbing, throwing herself onto the floor, the end of the world is near type of tantrum. Don't believe me? Here is a little photographic evidence of when she didn't want to wear shoes:

I mean, seriously. All over shoes. I am a newby to these, and it is kind of horrifying. 

Moving on to torture (although tantrums are pretty torturous). So right when hockey came back, Matt told me about a few specific games he really wanted to go to. Now me, being the fabulous wife I am, said "Sure, we can make it work. Go relax, have fun." Fast forward to the actual days (two Sunday afternoons in a row when Summer has soccer and we have a million other things going on), and I am irritated. (Maybe we should erase that fabulous wife status). Now, I truly believe that taking younger children to a small, enclosed space where you need to occupy them for a period of more than five minutes could be used as a form of torture. I mean, it is bad. On Sunday I packed 120398129 snacks, toys, sippy cups, etc... got everyone ready, and took Summer to soccer. The first 20ish minutes, we were rolling. Olivia was eating in the stroller, Layla was eating and watching. Then it begins. The crying and twisting to get out of the stroller so you have to get them out or they will strangle themselves. The attempts to run out onto the field. The throwing of all snacks, cups, toys. The people looking on, either in pity or awkwardly asking if they can help you as you have one child over your shoulder, one hanging on your leg, and sweat dripping down your face. The minutes that go by SO slowly. It's not pretty. And it is miserable. What made everything worth it is when Summer had a one-on-one with a boy and scored a goal. A GOAL. SUMMER. That's nuts. She was so so thrilled and she says to me after, "Mom, I heard other people I don't know were even cheering for me!" The smile on her face made the horrific 40 minutes a distant (well, not too distant) memory. 

On to vomit. So on Monday, my poor hubby had been up all night with a stomach virus. It was bad. I am a nurse, and I was even feeling queasy after hearing seven hours of puking. He was so miserable, but me being terrified of having all of the girls get it, I quarantined him to the guest room (which thankfully has its own full bath attached). He was not allowed to leave it. I wiped down essentially the entire house with clorox wipes and bleach (apparently this superbug going around is only killed by bleach. I wasn't taking any chances). So far so good for the rest of us... 

Happy Wednesday!