Just "Shhh" and All Will Be Okay...

Does anyone else ever feel like they just want to crawl in a cave sometimes and not come out for like... a week? Just zero responsibility for anything, anyone, at anytime. This speaks to parents and non-parents, because honestly... being an adult can kind of suck. 

Matt makes fun of me because sometimes when I just don't feel like dealing with something that he has brought up, I just start saying, "Shhhhhhhhhh." Not harsh or bratty, just a nice, calm, "shhhhhhhhh." I just don't want to deal with it. I know I have to, but sometimes I just need a minute... or a few days, even if it seems like a minor task or responsibility. 

I have discovered in the 6 1/2 short years that I have been a parent is that at no time ever, can I actually relax. I can never truly turn my brain off. Someone, something is ALWAYS floating back there. You would think on the several trips Matt and have been able to take these last two years or so that I would be able to relish the time and just chill out. So wrong. The build-up to actually going away is completely anxiety-ridden and task-oriented. Packing for the girls, making lists, leaving information sheets, packing for myself, organizing drivers, activities, etc... it really seems endless and oftentimes not worth it. It always is in the end, but the giant task of prepping to leave can be utterly overwhelming.

Growing up, I always knew that my mom would just get stuff done. I never realized the behind-the-scenes of my entire life that made it go so smoothly. The birthdays, Christmas mornings, Easter egg hunts, countless dinners, I don't need to go on... they happened. And without me truly knowing the stress and difficulty behind them. 

If I don't pick up that piece of fluff on the stairs that I pass by 2908328 times a day, no one will. If no one fills out the school forms, they won't get done. If no one goes to the store, we won't have food. If no one makes those doctor's appointments, they won't have them. I am now the one who has to get up hours before everyone else to even be able to shower, then to do all the things that need to get done and to get everyone else ready. 
I. Am. Responsible. 

It oftentimes seems like this endless life of duties. I am responsible for not only myself, but three small humans, a house, a dog, and my husband (well, sort of).  Now I'm the mom that never seems to be able to stop and put my feet up without knowing I really have 10984309 things to do. I am absolutely terrified of screwing up my kids. The problem is, I know I will in some way or another. Everyone makes mistakes. That's life as parents. Now in no way am I saying that Matt doesn't help me. He does, enormously. Actually far more help than I see in plenty of other relationships. When the counter is stacked high with dishes and the dishwasher hasn't even been emptied yet, he'll absolutely do it. He is an incredibly hands-on dad with the girls. He reads to them nightly which I really think is one of their favorite times of day. He will go to the grocery store if I need him to, he will cook dinner far better than I can. He actually is the best laundry folder I have ever met in my life. So don't think I am saying I get no help from Matt. Sometimes I just don't want it though. He works his butt off for me to be able to stay home and supposedly get all this stuff done. I hate the fact that he has to help me as much as he does. The truth is... mommies and daddies are different. I get the whiny, sad, tired, sick, grumpy kids 9.9 times out of 10 as opposed to Matt. #Fact: Whenever you are miserable, you just want you mom. But they seem to listen to him better, respect him more. And that drives me insane because I don't know why moms get the short end of the stick in that respect. 

Recently there was that video that went viral about an interview for "The World's Toughest Job." It is posted below if you were actually in that cave above and haven't seen it. 

When it comes down to it, I felt fantastic after I watched it. To actually hear the true job description made me feel like my exhaustion and overwhelmed feelings have merit. But the pressure that we, as mom's, put on ourselves is just plain silly. 

A friend posted another article (found here) a few weeks ago that also made me feel better. These quotes pretty much sum it up:

"Today, parents are being fed the idea that it benefits children to constantly be hand in hand, face to face, "What do you need my precious darling? How can I make your childhood amazing?" You can't walk through Pinterest without tripping over 100 Indoor Summer Craft Ideas, 200 Inside Activities for Winter, 600 Things To Do With Your Kids In The Summer. 14 Million Pose Ideas For Elf on The Shelf. 12 Billion Tooth Fairy Strategies. 400 Trillion Birthday Themes. 

A childhood without Pinterest crafts can be magical. A childhood without a single vacation can be magical. The magic we speak of and so desperately want our children to taste isn't our creation, and therefore is not ours to dole out as we please. It is discovered in quiet moments by a brook or under the slide at the park, and in the innocent laughter of a life just beginning."

I am a total culprit of this because it seems like I am a crappy mom if I don't. But the truth is, I find that my girls really appreciate the little things I do far more than my attempts at greatness. Case in point: Easter morning. I was so preoccupied with making them pancakes in the shape of bunnies that I completely forgot to double the sour cream which is the main ingredient (ridic delish recipe can be found here). They were just not good. The girls were excited for the nanosecond before they ate them... 

We had a simple, no frills egg dying session last week (I had to hard boil a second dozen eggs because I didn't even think twice about the first dozen which were brown eggs... Just not good for my sparkly, bright girls). 

They loved their baskets that we didn't go TOO over the top with (and I feel like I need to confess that I have been totally stealing their candy during the day. Oops). 

We had celebrations with both sides of the families and egg hunts full of fun: 

We had a great, not over-the-top weekend and we spent it with our loved ones. Some Daddy wrestling was involved as well:

So. I will continue to "shhhhhh" things as I see fit. I tell the girls quite often during the delightful arsenic/witching hour while everyone is melting down and I'm trying to make dinner... "Go to the basement. No one comes in the kitchen unless there is blood." If I just can't handle it at the moment, I'm just not going to. End of story. I'm the mom. I'm allowed to. 

Happy Thursday!


Spring Break Fun Attempts...

Mission Get-Your-Life-Together-If-You-Can't-Handle-It-Now-You-Have-No-Hope-For-The-Future has not begun. Whoops. 

Yeah. So sorry. My life is nowhere near together, nor is it on track to be. Actually it may be a bit worse.  

It is spring break. Meaning this will be short and sweet, so don't worry all of you... holy crap how much can she write/aka ramble... people. I have once again failed and it is now Wednesday night, I am tired, two lemon drop martini's-in, and have nothing groundbreaking to say. Not that anything I say is ever groundbreaking, but I don't feel like getting deep right now. 

All I want to do is be happy and positive, which is what I have tried to do this week. The quick recap begins with last Thursday. Olivia was in preparations for her first big sleepover with Nana (Matt's mom) all by herself. She has sat by for her sisters leaving on many occasions. This was her time, and she couldn't have been more excited. Despite the fact that she was being picked up around dinnertime, this girl was packed and ready to go by 11:30am with her new backpack courtesy of our amazing babysitter Valerie. (How we got a sitter that loves our girls so much and actually buys them gifts on the side that they would actually like is beyond me. We really hit the jackpot). Anyways, the Minnie "bapack" is now ever-present, and was filled with her stuff for her first sleepover: 

She couldn't leave me fast enough. Nana's car pulled up and she barely gave me a kiss and a "bye mommy." It does make me happy that she is like that... when I was working, she would sob at the door. Ever since I have been home, I swear the child cherishes time away from me. 

Anyways, on Friday night Matt and I got to go an oh-so-heavenly date night. The wine fairy came to visit me (SO not a bad thing) and it was just a delicious night out. My sister watched our girls and two of them fell asleep in my nephew's bed: 

And Layla wasn't tired at all on the ride home through the neighborhood from my sister's...

The rest of the weekend was filled with a baby shower for my sister-in-law Katie, and then the latest activity addition: soccer. Last time we tried this out it didn't go so well. This time (with the addition of a friend on the team), Summer is a fan. 

Then this week began. I had high aspirations at first. Then I just wanted to have fun. 

We had swim lessons Monday where Layla swam completely by herself for the first time ever (huge), and Summer swam a half-length of freestyle by herself and an entire length of backstroke by herself (also huge). 

We got haircuts by the phenomenal Charity: 

I had an incredibly horrid (albeit cute) trip to the store with all three that made me have a minor breakdown of how difficult this summer is going to be: 

We made Gak: 

And I am exhausted. Yet my house is a disaster and we very nearly have no clean clothes to wear. 

Today we are off to the Baltimore Aquarium. Woohoo! 

So more next week of actual substance. I promise (maybe). 

Happy Spring Break!!!


The Potty, Schedules, and Softball...

Let me begin this post with expanding on the biggest event our family has experienced in a very long time. Olivia peed... IN THE POTTY!!! Celebratory dance is occurring as I type this. It happened last Friday night. It hasn't happened since, which I totally don't care. It happened once. Which means... dun dun dun... the end of diapers is in sight. In all honestly, I wasn't even going to broach the idea until the summertime when she could just run around naked all the time. If you have seen a lot of my pictures, you will realize that February or July, it doesn't matter... lack of clothing abounds in my house. I guess I should just say I was going to wait until it was more good-parent-appropriate for her to be naked. I shared this picture on Instagram and Facebook with the following hashtags: 

#theendofdiaperscouldbenear-- (I already explained above). 

#sixyearsstraight-- We have been in some type of diaper (we had a pull-up period with Summer before Layla was born) since 2007. I would really love to do the math as to how many diapers I have actually changed (clearly not enough, considering I let my child get to this point the other day: 

Terrible, I know. 

#ParentTMI-- I realize that no one else really cares about my child's genitourinary system accomplishments, and I figured more than ever that no one would want to see what was actually in the potty. It is just a milestone that felt necessary to document. Non-parents out there... just wait. 

#ihatethewordpotty-- I really really really do. Yet I use it 12309885 times a day. Like it is one of my least favorite words in the world. I cringe when people say it. But it is a major part of my life... as soon as everyone can say the word "bathroom," that horrid word will be banned from my home. 

So I know it very well may be months more of diaper-changing, but just to know that there is this potential end in sight is just so.incredibly.exciting. (Yet sad. I'm very nearly 97% sure). 

From our schedule this past weekend, It came to my attention that we really haven't experienced an extensive amount of combined and conflicting activities. It hit full force on Saturday, much to my stress and annoyance. Matt had a softball tournament, with games at 8, 9 and 11am on Saturday. Their performance would determine if/when their games would be on Sunday. (Sidenote... why the tournament started at 8am, I will never know. An hour later makes a HUGE difference). So Saturday morning rolls around and Matt's alarm goes off. Since these were the first softball games of the season, he did not have all of his normal clothing out. Now I love him with all my heart, but as he was opening every.single.drawer in our entire bedroom in search, I had evil, somewhat violent thoughts towards my dear hubby. Add several times in and out of the house (the alarm beeps each time), and the garage door opening twice (I never asked him what he forgot), waking up on the wrong side of the bed is a bit of an understatement. I really shouldn't complain... with my insomnia/bizarre sleeping habits, I keep the poor man awake far too often. Love you honey :o) 

Already tired and annoyed with the day, I got up, showered, prepped Summer for ballet (remembered again! On a roll!) and got the other two dressed. As we huffed and puffed up the two flights of stairs and entered the studio, tantrum #1 occurs from dear Miss Olivia. They have a giant dish of lollipops, which she zones in on in seconds. I swear she has a radar for anything sweet. I contain her as we pass the dish, get Summer ready, and nearly sprint past said-dish to leave. Her class is only an hour, but the studio is five minutes from our house so I go home and have an oh-so enjoyable 30 minutes of attempted bike riding in the surprisingly windy but sunny outdoors. I load them back into the car, already regretting my earlier promise of walking down to the bagelry (in the same shopping center) after we pick Summer up. Tantrum #2 occurs at the original location: Lollipop dish. I manage to get all of us out the door, down the stairs, and we start walking over to the bagelry. We are just steps away from the door when I realize I had left my wallet in the car... and I had parked in the lot behind the shopping center. My little crew turns around and we trudge back, what feels like a mile, to my car in the back. Instead of repeating that long, windy haul, I throw them all in the car and park in the closest spot I could get to the bagelry. I grab my wallet, unload the crew yet again, and we go in... only to be met with the line all the way to the door. I pull a mommy no-no and renege my prior offer. This just wasn't going to happen today. So we leave. Some whining occurs in the car but it really could have been a worse reaction. 

We get home, and now I am in the dilemma of our next activity that we had really not planned properly for. Layla had a birthday party, but Matt wasn't going to make it home before I had to leave. It was at a BounceU (giant moonbounces everywhere). I know from birthday party experience that there is a specific number of kids that you can have, so bringing Summer and Olivia was just not something I was going to do. Like I said, we really did not plan well. I'm actually not sure what planet we were on. I am frantically calling and texting people seeing if I could get coverage for the girls. What I finally ended up doing was driving to the softball fields where my sister was, dropping Summer and Olivia off there, then taking Layla to her party. I grabbed coats, snacks, sippy cups, the gift, blankies, hangers, jackets, extra clothes, puke bags... you name it, I believe I put it in my car. 

The rest of the day went much more smoothly. 

What made all of the madness so completely worth it was getting in the car with Layla after her party. She said to me, "Mom. I had SO much fun." For the middle child that I don't get to spend enough one-on-one time with, I was thrilled. She even got me to go down the slide with her a few times. 

We grilled out that evening (yay outside!!!!) and thankfully Matt's games on Sunday did not start until 12. I actually took all the girls to the (first) game where unfortunately the major events included some type of flying insect getting stuck inside my shirt (stung me three times!! I have a pic, but I will spare you) and Olivia being her usual crazy self and actually pouring gravel and dirt on top of her head. Just a taste of what awaits me during the regular softball season...

My major "Aha" moment this week occurred when I randomly found out that I missed my day to bring in snack for Layla's class... two weeks ago. And also when the only reason I knew to bring in plastic eggs filled with treats on Monday was because of a lovely email reminder on Sunday. Mission Get-Your-Life-Together-If-You-Can't-Handle-It-Now-You-Have-No-Hope-For-The-Future begins now.

Happy Thursday!! 


Shopping Addiction, Running, and Nature...

So it happened. I'm officially 30. My true birthday came and went. I actually feel older... but perhaps that is my body telling me to stop doing what I did to it last weekend. In a nod to my youth, I was very irresponsible. More than irresponsible... Idiotic is a better word. So Friday night we had dinner plans with the family of an old preschool friend of Summer's. It was an absolutely great time. We overstayed our welcome (proof below): 

It was just a nice, relaxed evening with a great family. The absolute only downside of the evening was that they had a cat that Olivia was utterly obsessed with, and Matt kept hinting. No. 100% absolutely, positively no. We don't need another Boy Titty disaster. So after a great evening we come home, put the girls directly to bed, and Matt and I settle down on the couch to chat and have a nightcap... until 4 o'clock in the morning. I told you it was idiotic. At one point we looked at the clock and were like, "Oh wow, it is 2am. We REALLY need to go to bed." Then it was like, "CRAP, it is FOUR IN THE MORNING. WHAT ARE WE THINKING?!?" It was just so so VERY nice to sit and chat and relax with my hubby. Too often it really seems like those times are few and far between. I won't say it wasn't worth it (any quality time with the hubs is major priority)... but it did set us up to be insanely exhausted for the entire weekend, which was totally booked (per usual). We did get Summer to ballet in the morning (don't ask me if we have ever forgotten about that... twice), and then attempted to rally to go to party #1- a two year old birthday party. The dad is our friend from high school, and they just moved to a gorgeous new home. They also had super delicious food, a shockingly good cake (Wegmans... yellow with a chocolate pudding layer if I remember correctly), and lots of our good friends. The girls had a great time as well... despite a rather unfortunate diaper blowout by none-other than dear Olivia. A moonbounce just exacerbated the problem, and I had to borrow pants. 

Party #2 was an annual Saint Patrick's Day party hosted by great friends of ours. They actually changed the date of their party to accommodate mine, which was so incredibly nice of them. They are always fantastic hosts and have tons of great food (Rice Krispie Treats at all of their parties... you have no idea how amazing it is to be able to rely on that when attending). Party #2 was cut semi-short for us. I forgot to show Layla where the bathroom was and she had a minor accident. We got home by 8:30 and I nearly collapsed in bed. Sunday was the random blizzard, along with a "Mad Scientist" kids show we had signed up for at our country club (Sidenote: that sounds so snobby, I know. Our country club. I usually try to avoid that phrase, but I had no other option when trying to explain why we went to a science show). The girls enjoyed it, I got out of cooking dinner for the evening because there was a buffet provided, and shocker... we got home and collapsed in bed.  

In other news, I have gone temporarily insane. I decided to sign up for a 10K, something I initially laughed out loud at when a friend was trying to convince me. For you runners out there, that distance may be one of your quick jogs on the weekend. For me, my friends, it is a near impossible task. I am not a runner, have never been a runner, never will be a runner. I blame this, in part, on the fact that I cannot breathe. I broke my nose in my tween years, which not only created the most unfortunate bump, but (in my opinion) caused a deviated septum (which is why insurance should pay for my nose job that I have dreamt of for years and years. I told Matt that it can just be part of my mommy package in a few years... I don't want major adjustments or enhancements. I just want things back where they started.). Anyways, being a college athlete, working out was my life. The difference with diving is that although you need to be in shape head-to-toe, it really is so much more about core strength, toning, body control. Another problem with being a lifelong athlete is that I can really only work out when someone is yelling at me, telling me what to do/to keep going. I also have absurd expectations of what a workout is, so even if I do get to the gym and I am not completely drenched in sweat wanting to vomit, it doesn't seem like a real workout. Being sore is one of my favorite feelings ever. I feel accomplished. Instead of having realistic expectations of a regular workout schedule, I just usually don't do anything. Or I have aspirations to go several times a week and I make it to one spin class per quarter. So you get the point. I barely work out. I most definitely don't run. I have always been impressed/jealous of those who do. I may or may not complain of my lack of drive to workout... so (probably to get me to zip it) Matt baited me with something I couldn't refuse: $$$ for new clothes. I have written before of my love for clothes, particularly nice ones. I have been cursed with expensive taste. I'm not talking the need for particular labels. I'm talking give me an entire page of boots on Zappos without knowing any prices, and my favorite ones will without a doubt be one of the most expensive pairs on the page. You could say I have an online shopping addiction. I know it. Matt knows it. The UPS guy knows it. Do I buy $108 shirts? No. I buy the $108 shirt when it is on sale for $24. There is such a feeling of satisfaction when I find good deals online, or find that random coupon code to get that extra money off. And also the excitement when something is delivered. 

As I have said before, given the fact that I have been a schmillion different sizes over the past six years and am finally at my relative normal, I want new clothes. I did a first run of cleaning out my closet. I don't wear 80% of it, probably more. Project organized closet/only-own-things-that-I-actually-love-and-wear-and-that-fits has commenced... which is a major reason I fell for the 10K race money incentive. No questions asked, I can spend it on whatever I want without feeling guilty?!?! I will crawl 6.2 miles for that. 

This leads into one part of my actual birthday that was unexpected. Part of our awesome shooting guns/fab lunch/massages day that I enjoyed with Matt was a little shopping spree. We dropped the girls off at my sister's and he drives me to the mall. We go to Nordstrom and Matt says, "Okay. What do you want?" You may think that this would be a dream come true... but instead I felt anxious, uncomfortable, and nearly embarrassed. This is Matt, my hubby of going on eight years. I never ever feel this way around him. What is my problem? Why can't I think of what I want? Why can't I make decisions? I know he knows that I like stupid expensive jeans, but I can't justify why I need them right now. If I am going to make a bigger purchase, I usually do my research and essentially agonize over exactly what I want and find the best price for it. That is usually why I can explain away my spending in my head (Matt rarely actually gets mad at me for this... he gets more annoyed by the hidden bags/boxes). Given free-reign, I am way too overwhelmed and feel strange. Fear not, I was able to sort of conquer this... with a pair of Tory Burch sandals (I never thought I would ever actually get. I just couldn't justify them), jeans, a few tops, and a couple other things that I had on my list (Yes, I have a list. My mother makes me). I really should have had a lot more fun, but instead I just felt bad. I really had thought that my party was my gift. I'm not just saying this because we went shopping for fab stuff, but the party really would have been enough. 

So other than my bizarre shopping anxiety, my actual birthday was delightful. These little nuggets were thrilled to serve me breakfast in bed: 

 We picked the girls after our adventures and Matt cooked me a delicious meal of steak (with a phenomenal rub he makes), twice-baked potatoes and sauteed squash and zucchini with parmesan cheese. Matt is amazeballs in the kitchen, I am a lucky lady. Layla gave me her gift that she was quick to explain she had found all by herself at the Dollar Store with Nana... totally adorable socks.

We had cheesecake for dessert and put the girls to bed... which then I followed promptly. At 8:03. On my 30th birthday. Before you judge, I had two beverages at lunch followed by an hour-long massage... and stress from shopping must have just taken so much out of me. :o) I was a zombie and I couldn't recover. And it was fantastic. 

Life continued yesterday as it does. Somehow I completely missed the memo that Layla had a field trip to a nature center. As I said on Facebook, the closest I prefer to get to nature is drinking wine on my deck... but for my little nuggets, I will withstand anything (Well, almost anything. No cat. And no camping. #resortkindofgirl). 

An hour of walking around in mud and getting near things I don't like, we were done and I wouldn't have missed it. 

So I think I will order some rain boots and new running gear... I mean, I need them if I am going to become a nature-loving marathon runner in my 30's. 

Happy Thursday!!!