An Utterly Endless Halloween...

Halloween is over! I'm so excited! Don't get me wrong, I love Halloween. It just seemed like it was never going to end. Now if only we could skip over Thanksgiving and get right to the good stuff... CHRISTMAS!!! Before you yell at me, I just don't like how Thanksgiving is basically on top of Christmas and then everything is mashed in and you can enjoy nothing. Fear not, no decorations are going up yet... but I am planning them, AND I have begun shopping. December is quite the month in the Simmons household. Summer's birthday is the 5th and Olivia's birthday is the 7th... so needless to say with the addition of Christmas, it is quite the expensive month and requires much planning. 

So before I start humming Jingle Bells, let me recap the Halloween that never ended. We decided to have our second annual Halloween bash. Just like last year, I had my wonderful friend Robyn decorate the house with all of her stuff (I can't explain how much amazing, non-cheesy stuff she has accrued over her lifetime). Instead of being psychotic and decorating all in one night like we did last year, we spread it out over several nights (all of which included wine, which is completely essential when spider webbing is involved). 

In addition to decorating, planning the actual party, and oh-the normal chaos of every day, I must mention that Matt had several out-of-town work things. So he was pretty much gone for the three days prior to the party, and then for three days leading up to actual Halloween. Not so lovely. 

So costumes!!! I knew it was going to be pretty hard to beat last year's... I mean, Richard Simmons? Epic. 

I wavered between a few things, but them committed. Matt and I would be,.. drum roll... a couple of boobs. I saw a variation of it online, but I just wanted it to be better. I purchased my supplies from Joann Fabrics (I'm pretty sure every person that helped me asked what I was making. I should have just lied), ordered what I thought would be appropriate sized beach balls, and got to work. After attempting to make these costumes, I now have new, incredible respect for those people on Project Runway. It is hard to make something with no pattern or real idea of how you are going to go about it. Like, really really hard. The difficulty was increased for several reasons. 
-I was alone, so trying to drape and pin it around myself in the proper places was just downright impossible. 
-Matt was essentially gone all week, so making his with very limited time to try it on him/re-pin/etc made it ridiculous. 
-I don't sew, so using my no-sew tricks (stitch witchery) was a big pain in the booty. 

Fast-forward to 30 minutes before party time. It is crunch time. We go to put our costumes on in the midst of all of the last minute details and what happens? THEY FALL APART. Like ACTUALLY. FALL. APART. So all of the time that I would normally be putting out food, doing everything that you can only do right before a party starts... I am frantically taping us into our costumes. SO not awesome. Here is the best pic from the evening, that doesn't show the ghetto-ness that was the back and sides. The left boob's nipple placement is perfect, whereas the right boob is near nip-slip status: 

Another problem?? If we weren't standing right next to each other, no one really got what we were. And try maneuvering and hugging/greeting your guests with a beach ball in front of you. Half-way through the evening I did a self-boob reduction and was far more comfortable. :o) 

So somehow I managed to take ZERO pictures the entire night. And my house was utterly picture worthy. I managed to corral some pics from some amazeballs party-goers. Think multi-level webbing, perfect candlelit ambiance, phenomenal beverages... 

Witch's Blood Punch with a few stray fingers... 

Jello Shots in syringes? Check. 

Post-party I emailed myself a list of things I would change for next year, just for my own sanity. Number one on the list? NO HOMEMADE COSTUME EVER AGAIN. 

Sunday brought about a consistent cycle of sleeping and cleaning. Remember Reginald? My steam mop? Well, he saved my life. The love affair continues. 

Life continued post-party. About a schmillion years ago, I randomly found a special code to get tickets early to Disney on Ice: Frozen. I vaguely/not at all remember my thought process for the specific show I chose, but nonetheless our tickets were for the night before Halloween. After an extremely long day consisting of all the girls' school parades and parties (three parties in one day would drive anyone to drink, I swear), I set off on our crazy night. I had somehow been able to keep it a surprise from the girls. I worked it so that we met dear Aunt Lizard (my bff) near her house for dinner, proceeded to pick Matt up from the airport (BWI), and then went straight to the arena in Baltimore. I meticulously planned my timing and route: Pre-bought a parking pass for the garage nearest to the arena. Stealthily packed their costumes in case they wanted to wear them. Printed out our tickets. Somehow, someway, it worked out perfectly in EVERY way. Timing was fantastic. We waited until we had parked to tell them what we were doing. The pictures of course cannot relay the shrieks of joy that occurred. But it was awesome.

We got them changed in the car and went in. They perused the shockingly expensive toy/doll/random annoying light-up spinner station. 

We found our seats (which I had forgotten were ROCKIN. I'm talking like five rows up from the ice) and I forced them even closer to attempt a pic which just did not work out. 

I snagged a pic of a ridiculously adorable moment with my wonderful hubs. He was such a trooper, despite being exhausted from traveling all day .

The second it was over, Livi started flipping out saying, "I wanna see it again! Let's do it again!" A phenomenal family night that was seriously needed. 

So after what felt like the most endless Halloween in the history of the world, it finally arrived. The actual day was here. We obviously had to start the day out with orange pancakes: 

And I attempted different Halloween-related activities throughout the day (when in doubt, printing out random pics related to the holiday seems so exciting to them). 

For the bagillionth time, I put on their costumes and wigs (I'm shocked they all survived) for glorious trick-or-treating. 

I know the entire world were these characters (there were six Elsa's in Summer's class alone. SIX), but they look so stinkin cute. And their wigs are the best, if I do say so myself. China pulled through on that one. 

So I finally (and happily) put away the last little piece of webbing from all the decorations. My house looks completely empty... which is yet another reason I can't wait for CHRISTMAS!!!!



Pimples and 'Nuggling...

Dear Skin on my face, 

I have a bone to pick with you. Actually three bones. Three bones that are red bumps, also known as pimples. NOT okay. Now I understand and most definitely appreciate how well you stuck by me all these years, relatively blemish-free. I can only really remember you failing me roughly five times, most of which were near my hairline and the week before my monthly friend. My best friends in high school would try to smash my face in greasy pizza to try to get something to show up (all in good fun). You stayed strong then. Yes, you have been good to me. You saved me so much typical teenage angst, and for that I will be forever grateful. 

Which brings me to this past week. If it happened to slip your mind, I am thirty. AND a half. I know you didn't forget that because those fine lines are appearing (which are so not okay either!). These three little bumps. Yes, two are near my hairline and I realize my oftentimes maniacal mane can cover those acceptably. The third-- I mean did you really have to go for my nose? It already has its issues, there is NO need for additional attention. I realize I am making a big deal over this which is silly-- and clearly I am more vain than I thought-- but why now? I have no experience covering these up. I have zero products to serve them. I don't know what to do. So please. Can we go back to the way things were? If I am overreacting, I apologize. I just thought we were friends. So stop.


See??? I didn't fall off the face of the earth! I have been busy getting pimples! I have questioned many times in the last few weeks why I can't seem to get a stinkin moment to write. And I finally figured it out. Her name is the Livi Monster. So Layla is in school 4 1/2 days a week, and Livi is there for two. On those two blessed days that I have a few hours without children, I try to cram every errand and task in that is humanly possible. Which means I get like three things done (Sidenote... a mom friend totally warned me about this phenomenon and she couldn't be more right). So the other three days a week, it is just me and Olivia... which would seem like a simple task. One kid? Pshaw. That is like so four years ago. The difference between my one kid then and my one kid now is that my one kid now has almost no experience being by herself. There is always chaos, sisters, cousins, madness. You'd think she would enjoy the downtime. I mean, I would imagine she would. But her enjoyment comes from requiring-- no, demanding-- all of my attention. ALL the time. I'll try to make things I HAVE to get done like laundry or cleaning the bathroom into a game with her, but she gets over that real quick. So I have the ever constant, "Mommy look at this." "Mommy, need help here!" "Mommy, I want you so bad." "Mommy, I wanna 'nuggle you." 

So. Forgive me for my sporadic posts. Just know that in addition to not getting anything done, instead of getting a chance to write, know that I am 'nuggling with my nugget while I still have the chance. 

Happy Thursday!!


Unexpected Tears and Some Big Moments...

So a few major things have happened around the Simmons home these past two weeks. Here is a list of them, in no particular order: 

1. Livi (and Layla) started school. 

Layla started on Monday of last week, and she is doing a 5-day Pre-K program (half-days on Fridays). I wanted to do the 5-day program for several reasons... one being that Kindergarten is REALLY long days and I didn't think she would transition well if we went from three days a week of 4 1/2 hours a day, to five, 7-hour days next year. She is also on the younger side of her class, and I just think she is going to need a little bit more. The second reason is that Livi's program is Tuesday/Thursday, and the 3-day program is Monday/Wednesday/Friday...so I would still be driving someone to school every day and I would always have a child, which is just silly. She wore a beyond adorable peplum top and white bermuda shorts. 

She acted like an old pro and l(thankfully) no major issues have occurred (yet). 

So Olivia's first day of school was Tuesday of last week. From the person who was literally rejoicing over the fact that I would have a few hours to myself each week, I certainly was not expecting to cry... TWICE... over this milestone. I really thought I was going to do the happy dance... but, sure enough, I woke up with a lump in my throat. She is my baby. She is growing up. SO fast. A tutu was obviously essential (she would wear one every day if she could), and she was SO excited. The photobombers in the pic are beyond amazing. 

They were super excited to go together: 

She marched right into her classroom and that was that. No tears, no hesitation, no nothing. That obviously made it a fantastic transition, but I walked back to my car with a slight feeling of emptiness and like I was forgetting something. I guess I can still surprise myself sometimes... 

2. I got a new steam mop. 

If I could steam-mop my entire world, I would be a very happy camper. Just putting it out there. Matt witnessed me cleaning our floors with this the other day: 

He looked at me with an amused expression as I hunched over, fumbling with the top half to push the button to spray, and said, "Go buy yourself a new one." If Matt actually tells me to go BUY something, he doesn't have to say it twice. I ordered what I had been eyeing for months... The most amazeballs Bissell Steam Mop in the history of the world. I love him (I'm talking about the mop, but I obviously love Matt as well). He is so simple, so wonderful, so effective. He makes everything so shiny and glisteny. I think his name is Reginald.

3. We booked a trip to Mexico for January. 

This summer, we failed to really schedule a vacation that was longer than four days. If you have kids, you know that the hassle and ordeal of packing everything and everyone up. You also know that the third or fourth day is when you actually, finally start to relax. A few years ago when Livi was just a few months old, we took our first official family vacay to St. Thomas and we had the most phenomenal time. St. Thomas Steph emerged... meaning-- a totally laid-back, not a care in the world, go with the flow, I love everything and everyone-Steph. She has had her moments where she surfaces, but she was there to stay for the full week. I need her back. We happened to find DIRECT flights at an amazing price (having to pay for all the girls now is a doozy), so we just went for it. I am beyond excited. 

4. Livi decided she was over diapers. 

This is clearly huge. Like, amazingly huge. Like, I don't quite believe it so I'm not quite processing it, huge. The ONLY caveat to this hugeness is that she hasn't really gotten the hang of the whole poop thing... which is a slight/major problem. She will go pee by herself no problem, without me asking or reminding her. Once we get the poop thing down, maybe I will believe it. It is hard to process that I may have bought our last pack of diapers ever. Okay I'm not going to cry because that would be utterly ridiculous. 

5. Football season began.

If you know me and Matt in the slightest, you will know that we are diehard Redskins fan. It isn't always fun, but we are committed. Opening day (post-going to the Maryland Seafood festival), we had everyone over to watch the game. While the outcome was disappointing, the little ones were thrilled to have some quality time with my grandma. She told them stories and taught them how to do a push-up (seriously). 

So it is a joke that the two reasons I married Matt were for his air conditioning (I grew up without it... I know, I'm sweating just thinking about it), and his Redskins season tickets. We have tailgated in the same spot for the last nine years together. The group has evolved over the years (it used to be like 50 people and two kegs). Now it is a smaller group and we make super delicious food each week. For the home opener this past week, it happened to fall on Matt's brother Ben's birthday. It was epically amazing weather for football and we had a wonderful day. 

Summer had probably a top-10-of-her-lifetime-amazingness quote which I must repeat. She was going to sleep over at my mother-in-law's house the night before, and as we were packing she says to me, "Mom, I don't want to bring my wallet to the Redskins game tomorrow. It's purple, and people might think I'm a Ravens fan. Ugh, that would be awful."

I love that kid. 

6. My grandma got her own buzzfeed article.

My little brother Tim meets random people, and I don't really ask a lot of questions how. He somehow met someone who writes for BuzzFeed and was telling this person about my grandmother. I have previously written about her (links--->her surprise 90th birthday party and her 89th  birthday as well). But this is just downright awesome. Here is the link to the article. It's pretty cool. 

Ooma's Buzzfeed Article

7. I survived my first Wednesday of the fall season.

Back when I was arranging my life and planning activities (---> link <---) I made the decision to do multiple activities on Wednesdays. This involves picking up Layla from school, taking her directly to gymnastics, entertaining Olivia for 45 minutes during what is normally her naptime, race home to make it to Summer getting off the bus, feed them all a snack, pile back in the car to go to Summer's swim clinic, entertain both an exhausted Layla and delusional Olivia for another 45 minutes in a steaming hot indoor pool, drive home and attempt to get some semblance of dinner on the table. Yeah.... I don't know what I was thinking either. And I am too tired to expand. 

8. I purchased my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season. 

I know, I know. #whitegirlobsession, along with Uggs and instagramming pictures of sushi. But it just needed to be acknowledged. 

So there you have it. Never a dull moment! 

Happy Thursday!!! 


Regaining Structure and a Whole Year Home...

School!!! It started!!! Well sort of. Layla and Livi's preschool doesn't start until next week but this week has been full of back-to-school nights, orientations and whatnots. Summer is happy and cruising in her second official week. First grade apparently demanded a fashion show. 

Day 1- A new maxi dress (that was too big and I sewed MYSELF to make it work. Yes that was a Tim Gunn reference.  

Heading off. 
With her sad sisters at the bus stop. 

Day 2- A neon pink chevron skirt and white tank top. I didn't snag a picture.

Day 3- I want this shirt in my size.

Day 4- I totally can't remember right now. 

Day 5- A leopard print tutu and pink tank top. 

So all-in-all, quite an adorable week. 

I vowed I would stop apologizing for not posting consistently, but I do have an excuse... endless amounts of school forms and getting my life together. The fall/a new school year is always such an invigorating time for me. I don't know what it is, but it feels to me like even more of a fresh start than New Year's. Structure begins. School supplies are bought... quick sidenote: I am awkwardly obsessed with all things related to school supplies. My pen collection in extensive colors is borderline embarrassing.

 There are few things that get me more excited than an aisle with endless arrays of adorable notebooks, bright-colored pens, and just plain college-ruled paper. Alright. I'll move on. 

Anyways, few things get me feeling like there are endless possibilities than the start of fall (like my yearly plan to feel comfortable and confident in a bathing suit next summer). I also have an additional obsession with expensive jeans, and knowing that weather is around the corner is SO exciting. I hope my annual aim to get some sort of handle on my life will stick one of these years... but I kind of doubt it. 

While attempting to work out some kind of cleaning/working out/staying sane schedule, I also get renewed excitement for new projects around the house. I am currently obsessed with redoing parts/finishing my kitchen/family room area, dealing with the debacle that is our master closet (an entire shelf has broken off the wall and is currently on a precarious slant), and creating a gift wrapping/crafting organization station in the guest room. Sidenote... I have a passion for gift wrap. I cannot go to Home Goods without selecting a new roll of cuteness (they have the BEST paper). 

I have an odd amount of respect for people who wrap beautiful gifts, which is not a talent I have... but it is a talent I am striving for. I can fold and tape the paper perfectly... bonus points if I can line up the patterns. It's just the other accoutrements that make everyone else's gifts look so much prettier. If you have the supplies (REAL ribbon is a must), the possibilities are endless. So my mind is being pulled in 17 different directions... and I just need to commit to one and go for it. But when it involves other people (like getting a paint quote or a closet design estimate) I tend to drag my feet. We shall see... 

Now that the girls are getting older, choosing and juggling activities is a major part of my life. And choosing what I am willing to put myself through was something I needed to consider. The knowledge that I will be having to entertain Olivia during Layla or Summer's stuff is a major game changer. I also feel like because I didn't do a ton of different activities as a child (being the 4th of 5 didn't put me at the top of the scheduling or $$ priority when I was super young), I want my girls to do and try everything. When I really sat down with my weekly schedule, their desires, and prices, I did myself a favor and didn't go crazy. I limited them to essentially two activities per season. Summer is doing an art class after school once a week and also a weekly swim clinic. Layla will be doing swim lessons and gymnastics. Olivia will be doing nothing until she turns three in December (yeah... we did a mommy and me gymnastics class last winter and I'm over it), but school is new for her so I don't feel bad. There was a dance class that I really wanted Summer to do, but Sunday afternoons in the fall just don't work... AKA we still can be a tad bit selfish and I didn't want the stress of logistics with our Redskins season tickets. That class or maybe lacrosse can wait until the spring. 

In doing all of this getting-my-life-sorted out, I realized that I recently had a major anniversary. In August, I have been a stay-at-home mom for a WHOLE year. Here <--- is the link to last year's post about my decision. Crazy how quickly it has gone by. Since I have been home, my girls have not miraculously become little angels (I swear they behave the worst for me and me only). I'm pretty sure my house is even more of a disaster (nixing the professional cleaning, not wanting to just follow them around cleaning, as well as knowing later is an option just kills it). I haven't always done the things for myself that I know I need to stay sane. I most definitely feel like a failure on a daily basis, I'm exhausted, and my patience wears thin more than I want to admit. I am really sick of playing Candy Land. I can quote Disney Junior to an awkward level. I never get to go to the bathroom in peace. Matt gets my short temper at the end of the day far more than he deserves (he actually never deserves it). 

But despite the many MANY days of wanting to hide in a closet and cry... I wouldn't change anything for the world. For me and my family, this works and is what is best for us. I noticed a definite change for the better in everyone... since I previously had funky hours and we didn't have super-consistent childcare, I could tell my girls were on edge every time I would walk out the door. Their behavior in general was all over the place because they had several different caretakers who all handled things differently. Everyone who watched my kids was absolutely amazeballs (they wouldn't have gone near thing if they weren't), but the overall inconsistency of each week was tough on them. Now they are more settled and I can tell they feel secure in everyday life. 

So I have absolutely zero regrets about committing to stay-at-home mommy life. I got these napkins from my sister-in-law for my birthday: 

Yes it can be totally mind-numbing... yet I realize how incredibly lucky I am that I have the option to stay home. Like I said when I quit my job-- staying home, for ME, is a far more difficult task in many ways than going to work. The constant stress of childcare logistics, making sure I had off for field trips or class parties, etc... that is something I will never look back on with anything but anxiety. But I have come to realize that as a mom, the balance is impossible. There are few things I hate more in life than the battle between stay-at-home moms and working moms. We are all in this together, and we are just doing the best that we can. And may we all have dance parties as awesome as Olivia...

Happy Thursday!! 


Weekly Chuckle...

How true this is... which only adds to my making-phone-calls-anxiety-disorder (a total medical diagnosis. I'm a nurse, remember?). For any sort-of phone call other than my family and closest friends, I end up locking myself in the storage room in the basement... which gets awkward when one of the girls inevitably starts banging on the door screaming for me or crying over something, which distracts me even more than I am naturally (which is significant), which then requires me to frantically run upstairs and do the silent glare/manic hand signals/SHUT YOUR MOUTH routine, which usually is not effective and results in a sobbing child in my arms, which is not conducive to ANY type of phone conversation, stranger or not. It gets awkward when you have to shriek, "YOU MAY NOT GO OUTSIDE NAKED!!!" in the middle of asking how someone's weekend was. 

The comedian Jim Gaffigan nailed it with his talk about the stress of ordering food... You call up, they answer so fast that it doesn't even sound like English, you totally freeze and are like, "Umm. Do you have food there?" The absolute only place I will call to order is the Thai restaurant near our house. I realize that may sound contradictory, but I just have my order down pat so they can't trip me up with all of their trick questions. Online ordering = Amazeballs. Since I have probably convinced most of you that I am a total wackadoodle, I'll sign off now... 

Happy Tuesday!! 


A Case of the Mondays...

The following is a description of this past Monday. It was long. It was rough. It was a doozy. It really started on Sunday evening... we got home from the annual Simmons Family Rose Haven Weekend which will be covered on a later date. I will say that it includes an excessive amount of Orange Crushes, several of which were imbibed on Sunday (did I even use imbibe properly?). So after we got home, I decided to sign Summer up for a Lacrosse camp all week. It is a decision I don't regret, but to say that it added some chaos to the week is an understatement. 

Let me begin.

3:03am- Summer comes bursting in our door just to say, "It's okay, don't worry. It was only Emmie coming in our door." She then promptly shuts the door and goes back to her room. My confusion of the matter only aids in waking me up more. Insomnia is a B. 

4:49am- The last time I remember looking at the clock before I actually fall asleep again. 

5:53am- Wake up again when Summer actually comes in bed (I don't understand, she has been doing fabulous for MONTHS). 

6:47am- Alarm goes off. Press snooze despite the fact that I am already sort-of awake and drift in and out. 

6:58am- Olivia starts yelling for me. "Maaaaaaaa. Moooooooooooom. Moooooooommy!! I neeeeeeeed youuuuuuuuu!!!!!" 

7:23am- Finally get out of bed to respond to Livi. Wake up Summer, go downstairs, chug coffee, throw some frozen waffles in the toaster. Layla shows up. Feed all of them, chug more coffee, eat the last bite of Layla's syrup-soaked waffle, and throw the plates in the sink. Washing them is not even a thought. 

7:41am- Get everyone's sticky hands washed, herd them upstairs to brush their teeth. Try to find some sports-activity-appropriate clothes Summer could wear (a task in itself). 

7:48am- Go into my room, find some not-dirty-ish clothes from my still-packed suitcase. Wash my face and slap on some tinted moisturizer. Have heart palpitations when I don't immediately find my eyelash curler, thinking I left it in Rose Haven. Take deep breaths and calm myself when I find it. Curl my lashes, put on mascara and chapstick (I will never leave the house without these items on). Go downstairs to finish getting the girls ready.  

8:19am- Start shrieking because Summer's tennis shoes are MIA. And NO ONE is getting in the car. Finally find her shoes in the guest room. Get out of the house. 

8:49am- Arrive at the field, suddenly uncertain that it is the right one. Look on my phone and see that it is indeed NOT the right one. Frantically search through my phone for the right field. The girls are asking 12309843 questions until I just scream, "STOP TALKING!!!!" Silence occurs. 

9:03am- Arrive at the RIGHT field (thankfully it was just a mile or two away from where we were). Get the girls out as fast as I can. Apologize to the camp coordinator while wiping the sweat off my brow. Explain that we don't have eye protection yet since I signed her up in the heat of the (Orange Crush) moment the night before. She is very nice and says it is fine. Ramble on to the friend who told me about the camp (and who I called the wrong name for two months... but that is a different story). Gather the younger two back up and in the car. Olivia screams bloody murder. Everyone stares. 

9:17am- Miss a critical turn driving home. Blood pressure rises.

9:31am- Arrive at TJ Maxx to get a present for the birthday party we are attending that morning. Layla and Livi go nuts in the toy section. Livi shrieks, "MINNIE!!! "MINNNNNIEEEEEEE" over and over again.

9:38am- Layla does the potty dance (aka grabs her crotch and flits around). The bathroom in TJ Maxx is in the basement, so we put our merchandise in a location I hope it won't be taken and take the trek down. Shockingly they take amazing turns pressing the elevator button. Olivia decides (because it is the perfect moment) that she wants to go potty. She is denied. 

9:44am- Go back upstairs with more amazing elevator-button-turn-taking and our merchandise is still there. Do a happy dance in my head. Go to checkout and leave without additional incidents. 

9:59am- Arrive home. Leave the girls in the car with a Dora Christmas movie on to run inside and wrap the gift for the party and grab bathing suits, towels, etc for the possible sprinkler action. Leave for the party. 

10:37am- Arrive at the party. Break up a few fights but have a great time chatting with friends and watching the kids run around. 

11:29am- Apologize that I have to leave the party so soon. They offer to keep both kids there while I go pick up Summer. Wisely decide to take Olivia with me. Smell poop, but she claims, "I not done yet!!" Strap her in her carseat because I refuse to pull the trigger too soon and change multiple nastiness. 

11:57am- Arrive to pick up Summer. She lost her pink hair band, but she goes to look for it as I change Olivia's nastiness in the back of the car. Head back to the party. 

12:39pm- Get back to the party. Summer stuffs her face with a hot dog. I steal every pink or red Starburst I see AND have a piece of Bumblebee cake. 

1:01pm- Apologize that I have only been back for 20 minutes and now we need to go again. Corral the girls and get in the car, not realizing the oh-so-precious "Pink Minnie" has been left behind. 

1:19pm- Arrive at home, sprint inside to find swim lesson-appropriate bathing suits, goggles, towels, change everyone, find my checkbook, etc. 

1:40pm- Get back in the car. All the girls agree that our timing was, "Mission Accomplished." Leave for the swim lesson. 

1:56pm- Arrive at the pool, get the girls set, collapse with Olivia at the baby pool. Instigate a fight with Olivia and another little girl because I didn't realize the floating kickboard was the little girl's and not just the property of the pool. Feel incredibly guilty that this little girl is in time out because I told Olivia to go get the freaking kickboard. 

2:33pm- Leave the swim lesson, actually holding Olivia over my shoulder to drag her out of there. 

2:47pm- Get home, put Olivia in bed (not without crisis since "Pink Minnie" is MIA, then start the task of finishing summer reading with Summer. 

What's funny is I don't even really remember what we did for dinner, or what happened the rest of the day... I'm pretty sure Matt came home and took over because I was borderline non-functional. 

The next day, Olivia was reunited with her true love (thankfully my friend found it at the birthday party and dropped her off in our mailbox):

And Matt was able to go buy Summer some lax goggles, that obvi must match her stick: 

In other news, I have discovered a newfound love for jelly-filled munchkins from Dunkin' Donuts. I would also probably be bankrupt and weigh 400lbs if I lived too close to a drive-thru. There is one on the way home from Summer's lacrosse camp, which I may or may not have stopped by every day this week... And purchased a large hazelnut iced latte, as well as an assortment of munchkins. Day 1- an 8 cup. That is child's play. Hah. Day 2- A mixture of 25... which is when I discovered my new love. Growing up I remember eating jelly donuts-- mehh, no big deal. I'm honestly not a major donut person in general. But... on my way home, I stuck my hand in the box and came out with the deliciousness. And then I kept reaching. Feeling for the sugary coating. And eating. We got home and I opened up the box for the girls... "Yum, I want a jelly one." Summer said. Crap. "Moooom, where are the jelly ones?? It is the weirdest thing, there is jelly everywhere but no jelly donuts?!?!?" My response? "Huh, that is so weird. I wonder what happened to them."


Happy Thursday!!! 


Four Minutes of Alone Time...

I feel like I have a trend with my posting. I go from "woohoo, fun, busy times"... To "kumbaya, all is well in the world, my kids are growing up too fast"... To "arrrrrgh I want to hide in a cave." Then back to "woohoo, fun, busy times." Don't expect that to change. It is clearly the cycle of my life. 

So it is officially the last few weeks of summer. And I am officially exhausted. I'll say it... Ready? WHEN DOES SCHOOL START?!?! I AM LOSING MY MIND!!!!!

As I am writing this (on Wednesday afternoon), I am currently hiding in my bedroom with Tardy for the Party on in the background, while trying to block out Olivia's dreadful high pitched screams because she doesn't want to go to sleep for her nap. This is just several minutes past the major crisis of the day (so far)... I won't touch on Tuesday morning when I woke up looking like Quasimodo from an unknown eye situation. 

Let me begin. 

I woke up early for the sole purpose of having some time to myself. Matt had a softball tournament last weekend, so it kind of feels like I haven't had a nanosecond without the girls in WAY too many days in a row. Just 10 minutes after I woke up and went downstairs, after sitting down at the computer with my coffee ready to have a minute, I heard the first one... which means all the rest follow momentarily. With that plan foiled (and already being tired), I set out on the day attempting to have some fun despite the yucky weather. We had failed cupcakes (I didn't fill them up enough to actually create the flowers):

Along with some fun vacuuming in winter pajamas: 

(That's not all we did, but my phone is at its storage capacity, so it has limited my picture taking. I need to sit down and delete the schmillions of pictures of the floor or Emmie that Olivia takes). After lunch, we hadn't had the TV on at all (glorious) so the time was right: All I wanted to do was have a few minutes to myself for a quick shower. I set them up with a tv show... that gives me about 12 minute of uninterruptedness (the show is 24 minutes long, at least one of them only lasts for half). I could handle that... 12 minutes is a solid start to a shower and changing. I hop in, and what felt like seconds later... the doorbell rings. The dog starts freaking out, and I freeze, knowing full well that two out of the three of my children don't have clothes on (There is no in between... it is either winter footie pajamas or nakedness). I frantically scramble out of the shower to at least attempt to stop them from running to the door (there are windows on both sides of the door... SO not helpful when trying to hide the fact that you are home). During warm months there are lots of door-to-door people which I never deal with, but no such luck this time. It is our pest control guy (also a friend of Matt's from softball). I come to a screeching halt upstairs with my towel barely around me-- soaking wet with soap still in my hair-- and whisper loudly for the girls to back away from the door and I will deal with it later. They obey (I am happy and somewhat shocked), but the dog continues to have a conniption while I attempt to at least get the shampoo out of my hair. So long story short, the 12 minutes I was HOPING to have to myself just jumping in the shower was cut short by eight minutes. So basically I got four minutes that included heating up the shower. And stress on top of that from pretending that we weren't here even though he saw at least one of my children, AND Emmie sounding like she wouldl bust through the windows and eat the "predator" outside. 

So if you are shocked and horrified by my school statement above, let me explain. I am up early as it is. I am running around as it is. I am constantly making lunches as it is. What I have mentioned before is that Olivia will be going to school TWO DAYS A WEEK!!! That is two days that I can do something by myself. I repeat, by myself. I mean, go to the grocery store, by myself. Go run errands, by myself. Make any appointment I want without worry because I don't need a sitter and can just go, by myself. 

This summer we have been to the pool, done the sprinkler, been to the library, rode the train/carousel, the park, done nails, made cookies, created fashion shows and makeovers, read books, played games, been to the park, made cupcakes, played with shaving cream, gone on picnics, and so much more... umpteen times. 

I.Am.Tired. I didn't realize these last few weeks of summer were a thing. I am so conflicted because I feel like I want them to have a super fun summer and I didn't accomplish a lot of what I set out to, so I am still at least trying to go strong. Matt was talking to my mother-in-law and he mentioned I was getting a little tired lately and she knew right what it was... These last few weeks. That just made me feel sane. Like okay, I realize I will be regretting this just a few weeks into school-- only I kind of don't think so. Most people don't know how suffocating it feels to not be able to just up and go somewhere anytime. Everything is a production with not one, not two, but three children and their current personalities and mood which can make or break any moment in time. And after almost two months of daily said-production, I repeat. I.Am.Tired. 

So to attempt to make myself slightly feel better, I may or may not have done some online shopping and bought new shoes and a few fall items (Matt if you are reading this-- Love you!! Heehee). Seriously, sometimes that is all a gal needs. Oh and an actual shower. And maybe some prosecco.

Enjoy the following pics from the last week or two: 

Some serious cupcake commitment...

A pathetic excuse of a Minnie Mouse Pizza... 

As previously captioned, "That moment when Layla realizes she doesn't like her ice cream..." 

Mini-Monsters Meet! 

Fun on the train (post-Olivia meltdown)... 
Happy Thursday!!!


Weekly Chuckle...

And sweeping under your coaches is a downright terrifying event. Today's finds? They include but are not limited to: socks, bowls, earrings, blocks, doll clothes, cookies, money, underwear, puzzle pieces, post-it notes, pencils, books, game pieces. Oh and dirt. So much dirt. 

Happy Monday!