No Heat and My Own Jekyll and Hyde...

Have you ever completely and utterly jinxed yourself, to the point that you just feel like a total idiot for even allowing the lunatic statement to come out of your mouth? 

Well I most definitely did. 

We have had a chilly last few days. The motor in our lower level heat unit decided to kick the bucket, conveniently in the midst of this insane polar vortex. Thankfully our upstairs has remained warmish (I would say chilly at best), but plenty of layers and a constant fire is essential for everywhere else. Olivia was none-too pleased over the cold when she had to eat breakfast with 47 layers on: 

I can't get over this face. She was seriously pissed. It made me fast-forward to the evil glares that await me during teenage years... 

Anyways, fires and layers on make it semi-bearable. On Sunday we wanted to get out of our chilly house and do something fun as a family. Normally I am so not a "go to the movies" type of person unless it is something I REALLY want to see (Katy Perry documentary: obvi). I just usually don't have the attention span, but I decided to bite the bullet to be with everyone to go see Frozen. We went to lunch, stopped by CVS for candy (I got five different boxes for $8... a much better deal than one box for $8 at the theater), and got to the theater about 15 minutes before movie time. We set everyone up, and prayed for the best. Twenty-five minutes of previews later, the movie FINALLY started. And it was phenomenal. It was seriously emotional, funny, suspenseful... just all-in-all really great. Livi was utterly mesmerized, and survived fantastically. 

That night when Matt and I were lying in bed, I spoke my deathwish... I said, actually outloud, "You know, it really is getting a bit easier to DO things with all of them. I'm excited to be going in this direction." 


The next day Layla had a field trip with her class to the library. I got Summer off to school and packed the other two up in the car. We arrived and made our way inside to the little 'barn' room where the activities would be held. All started out smoothly... Livi wanted to sit with Layla but constantly turned around to wave at me, clearly thinking she was such a big girl. 

They learned the chicken dance, and Livi was right in the middle of the circle doing her thing: 

So great, right??? Then they read a book and she kept getting up to run over and kiss me. Then she kept standing up, blocking all the other kids' views. Then she started to try and take the book from the library lady. Then she started running over to another baby in the room and touching his face and wanting to sit with him. Then she took off her shoes and was trying to take off her shirt (I guess living in a heatless house has made her intolerant to normal temperatures). Then she flipped out when I grabbed her to try to get her to stop. 

I took her outside the room to let her run around a little bit and play in the kids area. The class finished up inside the room and headed over to the cafe area to have snack. Of course she had to have everything all the other kids had, and proceeded to dump half of her goldfish on the floor and then try to eat them. I was still attempting to stay calm at this point but am slowly losing it. We all headed back over to the kids area where she just went buckwild. Spastically running around the kids, grabbing every book she could see, and of course screaming bloody murder when I tried to get her to stop. Did I mention that Layla's current teacher (who was Summer's teacher last year) will be Olivia's teacher next year? Yeah. So Livi is having a full-on blood-curdling screaming fit not only in a library, but in front of her future teacher. Awesome. I scrambled to get her shoes back on, coat on and zipped, hat in place, and then do the same for Layla... all while wrestling a screaming toddler. Of course there was awkward sweating. It seems to be the story of my life. 

It is really truly amazing how Olivia can be so so good one day, and so very bad the next. Yesterday after dropping Layla off at preschool, Livi didn't want to leave so I had to actually pin her into her carseat to buckle her as she was shrieking at the top of her lungs (we had oh so conveniently gotten the parking spot directly outside the entry door... what I initially thought was a score ended up not so much). A dad joked as he was walking by, "Wow are you beating her??" People probably think I do--- she had a nice fat lip from falling off of my bed the day before (a huge crash, blood everywhere, sobbing... you know the drill). The whining is like nails on a chalkboard to me. The constant out-of-control insistence on independence (ME, MESELF, MINE!!!!) is wearing on me. The crazy crying if I do something that she had wanted to do herself. I know I can't fix it all at once, but it is hard to even know where to start. Especially when she appears to have two different personalities. My own personal Jekyll and Hyde. The angel at dinner that people come up to us and make comments on how well-behaved she was... and the evil, screaming monster that would make people not want to have kids. She has to be way too stinkin adorable and face nuzzle me at the exact moment I am going to pull my hair out. This girl most definitely knows how to work her charm. 

Happy Thursday! 


Last Year's Resolution Failures and New Aspirations...

So I wanted to look back on last year's resolutions (since I put them out there), review how horrifically I failed them, and make new ones. My main problem with most of these is that I was working and psychotically miserable for the first two-thirds of the year, so I really feel like I didn't even make an effort. I don't understand what it is about the new year that makes you feel like it is a new chance to make major changes. I also feel this way when school starts... fun fact: buying school supplies is one of my favorite things in this world to do. C'mon, who isn't obsessed with a super fabulous pen that just writes smoothly and just enhances your handwriting??? Just me?? Moving on then... :o) After re-reading these, I pretty much want to do a repeat of them all (with a few minor adjustments). So here are last year's (and now this year's)... along with my excuses: 

1. Have special individual time with each daughter once a month (Layla gets way too excited to go to the doctor because that is essentially the only time she gets to be alone with me. I can't let her have these middle child issues).
---I did only so-so with this one. I would try to bring along one girl if I was running errands and whatnot, but I definitely want to make more of effort to do better this year, especially since Livi is getting older and gets it. Layla is my toughest to accomplish this with. 

2. Keep up monthly dates with the hubby.

---We most definitely were BUSY, but we didn't do phenomenal on the dates. We had them sporadically which were amazeballs but nothing as consistent as I would have liked. Whenever we try to go out by ourselves, we tend to always run into people we know and end up hanging out with them... or we sit next to the lonely, drunk old lady at the bar who talks our ears off (and sings us her elementary school song. Twice).

3. Wear a bikini this summer (I finally lost the baby weight but there needs to be some serious tightening before this becomes a reality). 

---Mission accomplished!!! Well, not the tightening. I decided to just screw it and go for it. It's all about acting confident. My add-on to this is to buy more suits :o)

4. Plan meals consistently.

---Bahahahhaha. This one is hilarious. I completely failed on this one. I am hopeful for this year though... we just got a bulk food delivery service and freezer so I am STOCKED. 

Everything also defrosts in like 15 minutes so I have been totes successful with the last-minute throw something together for dinner. Amazeballs. 

5. Start using coupons (I started this one last week. Between the weekly specials and coupons, I saved $73 at Harris Teeter!!! Amazeballs!!). 
---So I just started using them again this week. I got totally behind when I was working and cutting them was not even on my radar. Then I canceled the Washington Post because it was just annoying and I don't even watch the news, much less sit down to read the paper. I just resubscribed to the Sunday Post (I got a groupon for 79 cent Sundays which is phenom... much better than the living social deal I bought that I didn't realize was for the Washington Times...)

6. Not have dishes left in the sink at night (I know some of you may gasp at the mere thought of going to bed without a spotless kitchen. I, my friends, am not one of them. If I'm exhausted, I have been known to sneak off to sleep... but then I'm so completely irritated at myself the next morning. I need to remind myself... it is ALWAYS worth it to do it right away).
---Mehhh this was 50/50. I definitely did better, but not as well as I aspire to.

7. Start a blog (Woohoo! I completed a resolution already!).
---And I kept it going for a whole year! Woohoo! My adjustment to this one is I would like to consistently post once a week. I plan on posting on Thursdays... trying to get up early enough on Wednesdays to proofread, post, get dressed, make breakfast, pack lunches, get everyone dressed, take Summer to the bus stop (when Matt can't), then pick up two other kids for preschool carpool just isn't working for me. No need to make life more difficult. 

8. Write a note of appreciation to someone every month (I also need to resolve to buy more stamps, because whenever I think about doing this, I'm always like, "Well I can't mail it anyways..."). 
---100% failed. Not even a single one was written. I might nix this one until I can solidly say I accomplish responding to all texts and emails. 

9. Buy less clothes but nicer ones (My husband questioned this one. Since I'm my normal size now, I don't have to worry about the whole "I don't want to buy expensive stuff in a size I don't plan on being for long." Let's be serious... Expensive jeans just make your butt look SO much better. Hmm... I should use the money I save by couponing... ). 
---Mission accomplished, much to Matt's dismay. I just got much better at getting sale and clearance stuff ($23 for a $108 shirt? Yes please! $32 for designer denim normally $178? Hallelujah! I mean, I am basically losing money by not buying them.) I found a bunch of fantastic sites which has made this resolution even easier. Love you honey...

10. Put laundry away IMMEDIATELY after folding (There are few things that I get more irritated at than when a basket full of clean laundry gets confused with the dirty...aka peed-through pants get tossed in... and I have to re-wash everything). 
---Considering the fact that I am in the same room as a laundry basket full of clean clothes that have been sitting in the same spot for four days, I would say this one is a failure. I will keep working. 

11. Keep a plant alive (this may be the hardest resolution I am going for). 
---Another mission accomplished! I don't care that aloe is nearly impossible to kill, it is alive. Still. My add-on to this would be to get herbs for my empty baskets out on my deck and actually keep them alive this summer. We shall see... 

12. So this one sort of goes along with #1 but in a daily way. I was about to post this earlier this morning (without this resolution), but I woke up late (I worked for 17 hours yesterday, I'm sort of half-asleep as I type this), got Summer ready for school (thankfully Matt was able to drop her off) and discovered I have a flat tire (I will be walking to my sisters later to borrow her car to pick Summer up from school). I have laundry to do, bathrooms to clean, rugs to vacuum, etc. I usually try to get things done around the house in the morning while Olivia is taking her nap, so I try to set Layla up with toys, books, a show, something to keep her occupied. This morning, in my half-zombie state, I decided... screw it. The laundry will get done later. Who cares about a little toothpaste on the bathroom sink. I need my La time. So, we made brownies (she couldn't believe she was the one to put ALL of the ingredients in herself... and also, this will not help #3), read books, did a puzzle, and even now she is sitting in my lap while I type, looking at all of the pictures in my phone. A lot of times when I am this exhausted and try to get things done, my patience wears thin in about 0.237 seconds. Instead, we have had a fabulous morning. So, for 2013, I would like to have less of a task-oriented mindset (within reason... laundry won't do itself). My girlies and the hubs are the most important. 
---This is always going to be a struggle, because I constantly feel like I should be accomplishing something. Something I am very much excited about is this fall... we officially will have all three girls in school. Layla is going to do five-day Pre-K (I know, I don't believe it), and Livi will be starting two days a week in a turning 3's class. So from 9:15-1:45 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I am a free woman. Errands. By myself. Whaaaaaaaaaat. My goal for those times is to get all of the crap done with so I can enjoy the girls more when they are home! We shall see... 

The other things I wanted to add for this year are the following: 

13. Say no more. 
---We do too much. I realize this. It is awesome in some ways, but then I want to stab my eyes out in other ways. I think I would enjoy things more if we weren't so so so SO busy. At this point, the next available Saturday that we have is the end of March. I mean... I will almost be 30 then. That is ridiculous. I don't enjoy things as much when I am just sick of doing things. 

14. Do me more. 
---This may sound incredibly selfish to those of you in different situations/stages of life, but I have found since being a full-time "homemaker/stay-at-home mom/glorified slave," I really need ME time to stay sane. The problem is that I always feel guilty about taking said me time. The reality is, I am so much of a better mom if I have a minute. I don't care if it is drinking wine with my sister and watching trash TV one night a week after the kids go to bed, or going out for a quick happy hour... I know I need something. Matt works a lot, and playdates revolving around the kids only go so far. Adult time is essential. I need to remember the positive benefits on everyone and just get over the ever-present mommy guilt. I will 100% admit it: my girls are my heart, my soul, my world... but they make me want to stab my eyes out on a daily basis. The crying, fighting, whining, hitting, disobeying, mess-making, yelling, neediness, actually never going to the bathroom by myself EVER... all.day.long. I know the laughing, kissing, loving, learning, smiling, hugging, cuddling, sweet memories are my perfection. But I know that I need a minute away to be able to see it for the amazeballsness that it is. And it is amazeballsness. 

Happy Thursday!!!


A Whole Year...

So. My little blog turned one year old this week. It is hard to believe I have been documenting this craziness for that long. I remember starting it, thinking I was kind of insane for putting this stuff out there. 

My main goal is and always will be to try to remember the madness that is our life right now... and to be real about it. Things are not always rainbows and butterflies. While I never want to paint a negative picture, I do want to be honest. And express that all of the madness is so completely worth it. As much frustration as situations can be, it will be over so soon and I really really want to remember, and look back and laugh. It has helped me to remember to take pictures more. While I will always be paparazzi with my kids, this has taught me to capture all the moments, not just the cute ones. 

It was really hard to go back and decide which posts were my favorite. In no particular order, here are my top five (for the moment). 

-Girls Only Weekend of Fun
We had such a great time. There was something so freeing about having absolutely no plans and dedicating an entire weekend to the pure enjoyment of my girls. Matt being out of town totally sucked, but the smiles on their faces when we did nothing but awesomeness was so phenomenal. 

-A Big Decision
I really appreciated how supportive and non-judgmental everyone was when I quit my job. Obviously it affected no one but me and my family (and the inmates, of course), but everyone's comments and support made me feel so much better about my decision. It was (and still is) a difficult thing for me, but I know it is really what is best for my family right now. Despite wanting to stab my eyes out on occasion, being a stay-at-home mom has been extremely rewarding and I wouldn't change anything for the world. 

-Strawberries and the Mattress Pad Update
I don't know why this day remains to be so hilarious to me, but it does. I mean, Layla beating her cousin Tyler with a dead strawberry bush was like icing on the cake. 

I got so much feedback from this one and I cannot begin to describe my appreciation. It was a lot to put out there, but it was very therapeutic for me and I am so so SO happy that it made sense to people who never even knew my dad. 

-The Why
This is where it all started. It was short and to the point, but exactly why I started this in the first place. No offense to all of you, but I really am doing this for selfish reasons. And a year later, I am so happy I did.
So. Thank you all for reading. And it makes me feel SO good whenever I run into people and their first words to me are, "I love your blog!!" I am surprised and thankful for the people that do read and like it. I was expecting it to be more of a mommy-oriented read, but everyone from my little brother's friends, to grandmothers, to moms going through what I am, to people who don't have kids and don't want them... all have expressed their enjoyment. It makes me grateful that people get it, and get me. With my obnoxious lingo (I'm sorry, amazeballs isn't going anywhere) and run-on banter, I hope to get my point across. I love my family, love my life, and I'm doing the best that I can. 

Thanks for being a part of it. :o) 


Gingerbread Houses and Christmas Giving...

Happy New Year!!! Merry Christmas!!! Hope everyone had a great holiday season. I know it has been a while... the holidays are really just psycho. We had an absolutely wonderful Christmas. Christmas morning actually brought tears to my eyes... the girls were just good and happy. I was shocked. I had them buy each other a gift they picked out themselves and they all were SO excited to give their hand-selected presents. Summer was beside herself to give Matt what she picked out for him... shark socks. 

She was beside herself giggling. So the giving during our little family's Christmas morning was phenomenal... but whenever we were around extended family, all Olivia wanted was "More! More!" of everything. Overstimulation at its best. And of course Matt spoiled me ridiculously. I mean to the point that I was like okay, come on, now I feel like a total idiot with everything I got you. I am a lucky girl. 

Now for the last week I have had sick kids so I haven't been able to write any new posts. Too busy holding feverish/snotty/vomiting kids and getting essentially no sleep. Here is a story that happened the last week of school before Christmas break that I never got a chance to finish up and post:   

So it is Layla's last day of school before winter break, which is also the day of her class Christmas party. It is also my day to drive for carpool, so I get up extra early to shower before the girls get up. I see Olivia is already awake with her light turned on but refuse to get her so early. I throw on a pair of black skinny jeans, a sweater and boots. I realize that in the four seconds I have had them on, my jeans look like they have a nice dog fur coating on them... but vow to find the lint roller before I leave the house. Matt had to leave early for work so I had to get all the kids ready to take Summer to the bus stop. Slowness, spilled cereal, making lunches, random dog poop, etc occurred. I was putting Summer's lunch in her backpack when I see a note in her folder dated 12/17 (the day before) regarding a book for her reading program at school: 

 Dear Parent, 
           Your child Summer, has not returned Read to Me, Talk with me materials to school. The book titled Swimming was signed out on 12/13. Please return this book so other children may enjoy it. If the book has been lost, please make arrangements to pay the replacement cost so our book collections can be complete. The book needs to be returned or replaced in order for your child to continue to participate in the program. Thank you! 

Seriously? I don't even remember even SEEING this book in her bag. I am frantically running around yelling at her to find this book (I may overreact when it comes to doing something wrong school-related. I should work on that.) Then I realize the date... 12/17. She just checked it out 12/13. They have a week to complete these activities. WHY are they yelling at me when she only had it four days??? Grrrrr, now I am just irritated. I find the book exactly where her Read to me Talk with Me stuff is, and I am seething that this mistake has caused me undue stress and now we are running super late. I throw the other two kids into the car in pajamas and we get down to the bus stop on time. Race back up to the house, get the other two ready, throw them back in the car, remember the OJ I am supposed to bring to Layla's Christmas party (woohoo!), and am on my way to pick up the other kids we carpool with. I get slightly embarrassed as I look down at my jeans with the dog hair coating (definitely forgot the lint roller) when I arrive at school to see other parents carrying things that look like teacher gifts. CRAPPPPPPPPP! Someone in the class usually organizes and collects money for this kind of thing but no one did this year. And I have to be back at the school within 45 minutes for Layla's party. Okay, think fast. Everyone likes coffee. Especially if you have to deal with preschoolers all day. I will run to Starbucks and just be boring. I order myself a venti while I am there and see two Kelly Clarkson Christmas cd's at the checkout. Perfect. Grab those, run home, leave Livi in the car watching a movie, get ribbon, tape, scissors, a gift tag and pen and run out to the car. Throw together two of these: 

Boom. I make it to her school at 10:12 (party starts at 10:15). Success!!! They sang three songs, we ate, and then decorated gingerbread houses. 

Thank God they had an extra one for Olivia to decorate because she was borderline frantic when the other kids started. And I've never seen Liv focus so hard on anything in her life. I mean, it is food-related. I shouldn't be surprised. Then, of course, came the meltdown when I told her she couldn't eat all of the candy. And then came the one when the candy had to be put away. And then came the one when we had to go. And then Layla didn't want me to leave. Awkwardly sweating because I was trying to contain Olivia from ravaging the candy table and just not in the mood to deal with a sobbing Layla, I took them both home with me. The problem was, I had to somehow get them both to the car (I parked in the upper parking lot which has about a bagillion stairs you have to go up. I precariously am holding the two gingerbread houses on shockingly flimsy plates, along with all of Layla's crafts and whatnot I was supposed to bring home, while sternly directing my two and three year old through the parking lot and up the bagillion stairs without a) getting hit by a car, and b) falling down said bagillion stairs. It was not awesome. Then while I was driving home I realized that I needed to pick up for carpool so now I will have to get both kids packed up anyways. Ughhhhhh. And then I forgot Layla's lunchbox. Ughhhhhhhhhhh. It is not even noon and I am ready for a glass of wine. My sister was awesome and picked up for me so I didn't have to get everyone out of the house again. When I told her "No, it is my day for carpool, it's not your problem," her amazeballs response was, "You are my sister. If it is your problem, it is my problem." Family is phenomenal. 

So hopefully you had a disease-free winterbreak. Mine just keeps continuing between the sicknesses everyone is passing around. I am praying this is the final go-around. 

Happy Wednesday!!!