Approaching 30...

So I began this post a few weeks ago with incredibly mixed feelings about turning 30. It was a very wah wah wah post that now as I look back, sounds utterly ridiculous. The first part is how I felt prior to last weekend. The second part is how I feel now, after this weekend. Here we go. 

Part 1: 

In the last several weeks, I have been to elementary and preschool parties, had parent-teacher conferences, considered joining the PTA (decided to do that next year), dealt with doctor's appointments, soccer sign-ups, swim lessons, signed up to be a field trip chaperone, and planned a mom's night out for Layla's class. 

Who am I? 

I oftentimes don't feel old or mature enough to do these kinds of things. I have spoken of this before, but quite frequently I feel like a child with children among all the other adults with kids. This post may make many of you roll your eyes for many reasons. My apologies ahead of time. 

In just a few short days, less than a week, I will be celebrating a milestone birthday that always seemed so far away. Thirty. 30. Three.Zero. 

So I have nothing really against turning 30. It's just that my 20's were the most insane, busy, crazy, life-changing decade of my life... so I have mixed feelings about leaving them.

I remember my 20th birthday, just being relieved that the past year was over. My dad had passed away, I transferred to UMD and had a very rough first six months there. My 20th felt like a fresh start, and I could move forward from the pain and negativity that had been the last year. 

Just a basic, slimmed down timeline of my 20's:
  • 21 years old
    • Started dating Matt
    • Graduated college
    • Did an internship in Australia
    • Got engaged (in Australia... Matt came to visit)
  • 22 years old
    • Got married
    • Moved in with Matt (obvi)
    • First pregnancy
  • 23 years old
    • First baby
  • 24 years old
    • Started nursing school pre-req's (I needed two)
  • 25 years old
    • Started nursing school
    • Second pregnancy
  • 26 years old
    • Second baby
    • Third pregnancy
  • 27 years old
    • Third baby
    • Graduated from nursing school
    • Passed the NCLEX (nursing boards)
  • 28 years old
    • Moved to a new house
    • Started first nursing job
    • Started a blog :o)
  • 29 years old
    • Quit first nursing job
    • Began life as a stay-at-home mom
I had really an amazing decade of life. I experienced SO many major life events. Thirty just sounds so much older than I feel. So with such an epic decade of craziness, what's left?

Part 2: 

If last weekend is any indication of what my 30's are going to be like, BRING.IT.ON. I was blessed with the most amazing, fun, phenomenal surprise party in the history of the world (in my humble opinion). 

I really just felt so incredibly special. Around 90 of the most wonderful people in my life lied to me for the past several months. Like, really lied to me. And I fell for it. 100%. If you know me well, you know that I am nosy and will get to the bottom of anything. Fortunately for everyone, I have been very busy these last few weeks and probably disregarded a lot of things because my mind was in other places. 

The whole ruse that I fell for started a few months ago when my sister and I planned a beach weekend. We did it last year, it was phenomenal, and we would love to make it annual. Since that was the only open weekend we have until nearly August, I agreed and majorly looked forward to the time away. A week or two ago, my sister apologetically informed me that she needed to attend her husband's grandmother's birthday brunch. She is in her late 90's and is really most lucid in the morning (apparently not true, but I believed it). We decided to still go, but to come back Saturday evening. To help make up for our shortened weekend, our hubbys were planning a fun night out for the four of us. Perfect, right? So they got me out of the house for Friday and Saturday, AND made sure that I looked presentable when I arrived at the house. Had we not had the night out planned, I for sure would have showed up in sweats and a top knot. 

Clueless as all get-out, we get to my house and I go to open the garage door. I hear the motor go, but it doesn't open. "That's weird." I commented, but fiddled with the door and tried the code again. The second time worked, and I make my way in the house. Apparently, Matt had attempted to disable the garage door to force me to come in the front door, but I foiled that plan. 

Poor Matt hiding behind the door as I miraculously fixed the garage.

Everyone started pouring into the kitchen as I stood there in disbelief, laughing hysterically/crying. Between Matt, Stacey, BFF Liz, and plenty of other friends and family, they pulled out all the stops to give me a party I would remember forever. There was a DJ (love Mattie Fresh!!). The couch was moved to create a dance floor. There was catered food. There was sushi. There were Georgetown Cupcakes (I die for red velvet. Thank you Scott and Karli!!!). 

There were personalized napkins. 

There was a new mural on my chalkboard area AND my own hashtag... #stephsimmonsflirty30. 

There was a photo booth set up with props. 

There was a book made by my mom, little brother Tim and Liz that lots of people signed.

There was a margarita machine. I repeat, a margarita machine. With two flavors. Yes, you read that right. A margarita machine in my house. With two flavors. Everything was thought of. 

As if I wasn't already shocked enough, I had another amazing surprise. If you remember 'The Bostons' you will remember that I love love love them. Well, they CAME!!! (One couldn't because she is a rockstar and is training for the marathon... We missed you Chrissy!!!) They actually flew to MD to come to my party. I really could not believe it. For people I love to take the time out of their lives, to come party with me... I just could not ask for anything more. 

The night was perfect. Pretty sure I was on cloud nine and didn't stop smiling for a second. Everyone was dancing like crazy (there was a legit conga line at one point), drinking, and having a blast. 

I have never felt so loved and special in my life. I have the absolute best family and friends. Who cares about turning 30??? Not this gal. 

The older I get, the more I am aware that age is truly just a number. If you look at my friends, their age range spans many decades. And I don't even process that. 

I can't explain how grateful I am for Matt. He worked like a maniac to pull off an absolutely perfect night. He said to me, "I wanted to give an amazing party to the person who is always throwing parties for everyone else." I love him. I don't deserve him... I really don't know how I got so lucky. I love my girls. I love my family. I love my friends. 

So, what else is left to do in my life? ENJOY IT. Cherish my relationships and the time I get to spend with people. Be grateful for everything I have. I have a husband who really, truly loves me for all my quirks and crazy. I have absolutely amazing girls who are healthy, happy, and (for the most part) sweet and good. I have wonderfully supportive friends and family. I live in a beautiful house with awesome neighbors. 

On my 20th birthday, I could not have even dreamed of being at this place in my life just ten years later. No wah wah wah here... I know how good I have it. And I'm sure I will look back at this post a few decades from now and scoff at my stupidity and how young I was. 

So here's to my 30's... Let a new, amazing decade begin (on Tuesday)!!!!

Happy Thursday!!! 


My apologies...

So I fail this week. I got nothing. This is going to be a fake-me-out post. I know that no one really cares if I post or don't post, but I was just trying to be consistent for my own goals. I kept sitting down to write, and while I have two posts in limbo, nothing was really giving me the oomph to finish them. Instead, I got an annoying cold and cramps (sorry if you consider that TMI. Clearly I don't). I have actually gone up to lie in bed at 8pm the last two nights (which is always my prime writing time since that is really the only time of day that I don't have three adorable little girls climbing all over me). After the last two weekends of craziness (the shower and then we had an awesome annual Saint Patrick's Day party at my neighbor's the next), I just sort of crashed and burned. And I just felt like being lazy as much as insanely possible. And Matt basically forced me to watch True Detective (I have two episodes left, don't say a word!!!!). 

So I am utterly thrilled to be leaving tomorrow. My sister and I are going on a super quick beach weekend where pretty much all we do is shop, laugh, eat fatty foods, and sleep. I can't explain the phenomenal-ness. Burnt out from this winter doesn't begin to describe the way I (and I'm sure everyone else in this area) am feeling. I need a minute. I need to get out of this stinkin house and away for my kids for like a nano-second. I will be a better mommy when I return.

So anyways, I didn't create this blog to cause stress on myself. If the words aren't flowing and I feel like crap, my apologies. It isn't happening. I will, however, leave you with a few pics from the week. Not too much that hasn't been posted already, but here you go: 

This one totally creeps me out because it looks like the legs could be either Summer's or Layla's. 

The only pic I got of the leprechaun balls I made for my neighbor's party... pretty potent (Jameson and Bailey's were involved) but good: 

A paper I found in Summer's school folder. Melted my heart (and made me want to plan a mommy/Summer day stat. This girl knows how to have a good time!): 

Dance party... I don't think her tutu could get any higher: 

I'm thinking the girls are getting to know my sleep style... they were so excited to match me. 

Livi has no care about the camera. All she is worried about are those pancakes. I'm obsessed with her expression: 

So. My apologies again. I promise to be back with a vengeance next week. But for now...

Happy Thursday! And HAPPY SPRING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Another Baby Shower, A Non-Surgery, and Red Vomit...

I can't wait until the day that I begin a blog post saying, "This week was completely calm and nothing eventful happened." Actually I can wait, because that would mean I am dead. And I would prefer to stick around for longer. 

I hosted a baby shower at my house on Saturday for my sister-in-law who is having TWIN boys. I did the old fashioned paper invitation which I think turned out absolutely adorable, in my humble opinion (I cut out my personal info, sorry!): 

While decorating, we did have one laugh-so-hard-I-am-on-the-floor-possibly-peeing-my-pants moment. I had ordered a bunch of decor, one item being an extremely large (supposely) ball to hang. This is how it opened up: 

I mean... yes. My mind goes there. I die. I apologize for my immaturity. But that is stinkin hilarious. 

So then I had like 85 people at my house. Fear not, I had help from my sister, mom, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and friend Liz. I did get lots of comments on how much everyone enjoyed the open house style of it. A bit unconventional, but I thought it would be so much nicer than sitting there and having an already uncomfortable pregnant gal open 23049838 gifts and try and ooh and aah over them all. It just isn't fun for anyone. The gifts are always appreciated, but let's be serious. It is torture for the opener and the viewers. It was really just a nice time for everyone to be able to visit and hang out with no pressure or games. Definite success. 

In the busy-ness of the day, I failed to take pictures, so I will post them at a different time. The only one I did take was the absolutely amazeballs chalk drawing that my sister did on my new addition above the entertainment center. After redoing my gallery wall and hanging the massive clock, that space was asking for something. I painted a big rectangle of chalkboard paint to appease my decor ADD. I can write anything I feel like up there, whatever the season. It was the perfect spot for this: 

Ridiculously adorbs, right? My sister is out-of-this world talented.

I was an utter lazy mess on Sunday and Monday from sheer exhaustion. One hilarious moment occurred while I was vegging on my sister's couch. The two little ones happened to get into some...er... womanly items she had gotten recently (For free actually. Yes, she gets those ridiculous CVS deals). I die. Again. 

We also spent every waking moment possible OUTSIDE because it was finally WARM ENOUGH!!!! 

So despite all the absolute craziness of the weekend, nothing beats the mania of yesterday. It was a downright horrid morning. Let me begin.

Yesterday we had a procedure scheduled for Layla. Apparently the enamel on several of her teeth did not form properly either in utero or if she had a high fever as a baby. She basically has zero protection on these teeth, which is quite a problem. So she needs two molars capped and due to several factors, they said it would be best if she was put under general anesthesia to get it done. I initially hesitated, but decided it was better than her being terrified of the dentist for the rest of her life (like I am). She actually told me a few days after her most recent visit that she wants to be a dentist when she grows up. Score for one dislike that I am not passing on to my children! In all seriousness, I am selfishly happy that it wasn't something that I failed on... you never want to be the mom that doesn't brush your children's teeth well enough. But then I feel utterly horrible that this is happening to her and there is nothing we can do about it except monitor her teeth. 

Anyways, we were scheduled to get there at 11:30 with the procedure occurring at 1:30. She could have clear fluids (popsicles included) up until 10:30am but nothing else. I prepped her for the no-eating situation but she was utterly thrilled to be able to have a popsicle in the morning. (She had her pre-op appointment at the pediatrician last Thursday where they noted that she was congested but said there was no issue with it for anesthesia at that time. She also puked on the way home from there. Fun times. I swear over 20 minutes and we are done-zo). So yesterday we tried to have a leisurely, relaxed morning to calm her nerves. That idea sort of failed when I received two emails from PayPal that were my receipts for iPads I apparently purchased that are being shipped to England. Sorry Brits. I will not be buying you $1000 worth of iPads. I dealt with the resolution center, fraud department from my credit card, etc. While I am writing this, one charge has been resolved. The other is still being investigated. 

At 9:55am, my phone rings and I see that it is the hospital is calling. I am already nervous (being an RN, I dislike the knowledge I have of possible complications) so I answer it quickly. It is the pre-op RN asking me where I was. I panic, explaining that we were told not to be there until 11:30. (Sidenote... I am uber paranoid about time and being late to important things. I swear Matt and I get in a fight pre-weddings because I am psycho about being on time. I think it is the epitome of rudeness to be late to a wedding. He doesn't understand the passion). She then asks me if I am on my way to the hospital. I re-explain that we were told to be there at 11:30. She sort of explained that they are trying to move people up and can we get there by 11? With my heart racing from the initial panic, I say yes. She then asks me about the food/water thing. I told her Layla had apple juice and a popsicle around 9:30am. She then starts chiding me on how I wasn't supposed to do that. I calmly explain, yet again, that we weren't supposed to be there until 11:30. Our original time was 1:30, and we were told that she could have clear fluids until 10:30. Basically, it is not my problem that you are annoyed she had juice. I am following our pre-op instructions to the T. You could tell she was annoyed when she just sort of hung up exasperated. Now all previous experiences with pediatric nurses have been phenomenal. I didn't know what was up this particular one's butt. I was nervous, Layla was nervous, usually all people going into this type of situation are nervous... be nice. Don't be annoying and stress me out further please. 

Anyways, I hurry us up to get out the door. Matt had arranged to stay home from work to watch Livi. We are on our way, just a mere 1/2 mile from the hospital, and the inevitable happens. Red vomit. All over her puppy, jacket, pants, AND the floor. Awesome. I disregarded my note to self from last week like an idiot. We pull over into a random parking lot for her to throw up a tad more on the pavement. My last two baby wipes later, we are back on our way with red stained pants. We check in and get rushed back where I meet the lovely nurse from the phone. No additional friendliness exuded her as I had been hoping. She is doing her thing and I inform her of Layla's congestion. I explain that it had been a non-issue before and the pediatrician had completely cleared her, but she just seems pissed off. She hears some congestion in her lungs and I am apologizing because obviously had I known this, we would have rescheduled... but I purposely try to be fully mommy versus RN mommy in these matters. Sidenote- I didn't tell her or anyone I was an RN. It didn't really come up and she was already making me feel like an idiot. I just wasn't sure what to do at this point. She calls the anesthesiologist down (a totally sweet and lovely man) to evaluate Layla who then determines he wants to postpone the procedure. 

Let me clarify a few things. I have ZERO issues with them postponing. Did it suck? Yes. Was it a complete waste of time? Of course. Would I rather them postpone than have a complication occur during anesthesia? I don't need to answer that. I just wish in this situation that the nurse had been a bit kinder and not so blaming and weird. I have been congested this past week because of the weather change and allergies. Layla had not been coughing or acting sick in any way. She had a stuffed up nose. End of story. Don't treat me like I am a mom who doesn't know when my kid is sick. I am with her every waking moment. I know when she poops or sneezes. Then the nurse tells me that I should "really take her to the doctor because she doesn't sound good." Thank you. So very much. I am officially on defense mode. Which is not where I like to be. Just be pleasant and happy. That is all I am asking. You should be rainbows and smiles and an Elmo stethoscope. I have always been of the opinion (which is a reason I went back to school) that nurses can truly either make or break a situation. They can make it so so SO much better, or so so SO much worse. I am not making this woman out to be the worst nurse ever. She just wasn't very nice, warm, or friendly in a department that I think requires those attributes in spades. 

After we were told we could go (and she made it abundantly and very rudely clear that she took no part in rescheduling and just call my doctor), I literally start racing to the car to try to get out within the free parking window. I am down to minutes here, so I am holding Layla and running. Of course there is a massive, awkward traffic jam as everyone is trying to clamber for my parking spot... and I miss the cut-off by three minutes and have to pay $3. Clearly not the end of the world, but just par for the course. Oh, what do you know. Just a 1/2 mile from HOME, Layla is throwing up again. Oh, what do you know. I forgot to mention that (a different) nurse gave her a RED popsicle before we left. Because that is awesome. And now more red vomit is all over my car. I am pulled over and holding her teeny little shaking frame trying to throw up in the grass. My poor baby. She was such a trooper. And I really really don't know what to do about this car sickness thing.

The procedure is now rescheduled. The most important thing is Layla is still untainted by it all. I will have to say, probably top 10 worst mornings though. So very happy it is over. And so not looking forward to attempt #2. 

Happy Thursday!! 


Note to self...

Note to self: Always look to make sure you purchased the correct replacement light fixture prior to taking the other one down. It is extremely unhelpful having no light when trying to reorganize and clean a room. On the same note, always take said-light fixture (in this case, a fan) down in the proper way. It is not helpful to be standing on a ladder, holding up the base of the fan, while trying to unscrew the blades and unwire the fan. AKA... Think. First. Please. 

Note to self: ALWAYS bring the diaper bag or have an extra diaper in the car, even if you are only running to the gym for a 45 minute class. You will be summoned 17 minutes into the class because your child pooped. And you will have to go home, wasting all the effort it took to get there. But you broke a sweat, so going anywhere else requires another shower. Diapers. Always. 

Note to self: Keep a puke bag in the car at ALL TIMES. I repeat, ALL TIMES. You will become a ninja at getting it to the correct child in the nick of time, but only if you actually have one. 

Note to self: Do not attempt to open the plastic cover on an Ikea frame by intensely stabbing it with your thumb. You will break through the plastic and gouge said-thumb on the bendy metal piece, resulting in a gushing wound that probably should have had a few stitches (but since you are a nurse and don't go to the hospital unless you are dying, you will just wrap it up and continue on with your life). You will not realize how critical said-thumb is to your life until it affects you doing absolutely everything-- from putting your hair up, to wiping your kids' butts, to building the latest Ikea shelves you bought. This incapacitated thumb is not helpful to the endless to-do list prior to the large party you are having at your house on Saturday. Just get the freaking scissors out.

Note to self: Do not start massive projects in the days before hosting a large party at your house. You will curse yourself in the midst of exhausted reorganizing/painting/hanging frames/installing new light fixtures/whatever idiotic thing you have decided to attempt at this point.

Note to self: Always keep wine in the house. Just do it. 

Note to self: Always talk to your hubby prior to said-major projects, especially when it includes more money than you were anticipating. The hard work won't go quite as appreciated when he enters the closet and everything is everywhere. And he was previously clueless that this was even something on your mind.

Note to self: Seriously, get the scissors out. Your thumb will be the bane of your existence. 

Note to self: Move to a location where snow days don't exist. Because until kids are older, the cabin fever is excruciating.

Note to self: Wait until your hubby gets home (after talking to him, of course) to attempt to move two large boxes containing Ikea Expedit shelves from your car, all the way upstairs to your closet. Your freaking thumb is still bleeding. What are you doing?!?!

Note to self: Seriously, stop with the projects.

Note to self: Avoid Ikea. At all costs. 

Note to self: Don't wait until the last nanosecond to write a blog when all you can do is rehash your utter stupidity from the past week with a gimpy thumb. 

Note to self: Go get stitches when you need them. 

Note to self: Count your children when you go inside, particularly when you have friends along with them. That is all that will be spoken of this. But just count them. 

Note to self: Keep the blog post short. Your thumb is bleeding again. 

Note to self: Enjoy your girls. They are perfection. 

Chocolate wasted

I'm ready for the snow, mom!

Happy Thursday!!!