Weekly Chuckle...

This weekly chuckle is dedicated to my new dishwasher that will be arriving TOMORROW. #fact... you know you are an adult when you are really excited about getting a new appliance. We have been replacing the appliances one-by-one since we moved almost two years ago. Other than the stovetop (which will be thrown out the window and switched to gas when we finally commit to redoing the kitchen, aka have an extra schmillion $$$ to spare) the dishwasher is the last on the list. It no longer dries anything, so not only do I have to essentially fully wash each dish before it goes in the dishwasher, but then I have to completely towel dry each dish before putting it away. I kind of like to think of the actual dishwashing cycle as just a little break for me, since it would technically be more time-efficient to wash everything by hand. The picture above truly defines my dishwashing determination. I find my dishwasher-loading prowess pretty high on my list of skills. It is kind of a sense of satisfaction to get everything in there when it seemed impossible just a few minutes before. It is the little things, people. 

Happy Monday!!!


Beach Traditions and a Busted Tooth...

So if you haven't hid me due to overposting on Facebook and Instagram this past week, you will know I have been at the beach. My apologies for this being a day late... I just couldn't get it together. The beach was a great time with my family and phenom weather. What you don't see in all those pictures (proves my point even more) is me in agonizing pain because I broke a tooth (A molar. On a sub. Yes, you read that correctly. A sub). I refused to let it completely take over my vacation, so I slathered orajel on it and took ibuprofen on a pretty much constant basis. At one point my tongue kept catching on the tooth/root/something that made me so utterly nauseous I could barely function. It pays to have a dental hygienist as your mother-in-law, because she directed me to a kit at CVS that could at least cover the throbbing part. Pina Coladas helped as well. 

If you read last week's, you will know I had a difficult time packing. Well I did a terrible job, but we got through the week. I always think to myself, "I need to remember to bring X next year" but then I always forget. What's funny is I already kind of forgot. So much for this blog being helpful. 

On our drive down, my oh-so-adorable husband decided to pull out a pair of sunglasses that he knows I detest. The White Oakleys. Now I realize there was a point of time in his life when he lived the beach bum life in Florida... But that time has passed. He is now in his mid-thirties, with a (lovely) wife and three children, and is a very responsible VP of a company. The white sunglasses era is GONE. My opinion is that if you are over 30 and not an actual surfer dude, you should not wear them. We put it to a vote on Facebook and Instagram. Alas, my hubby's many supporters came out of the woodwork. While I did get plenty of nays, I relented and permitted that the white sunglasses may only make their appearance at the beach. There are far more arguments to be had, and he always is my sexy man. 

So this beach trip is with my side of the family. I am one of five (second to youngest), and all but one of my siblings have multiple children. There are 11 (almost 12) in total, with the following ages/genders: 13-boy, 11-boy, 8-girl, 6-girl, 5-boy, 5-girl, 4-boy, 3-girl, 2-girl, 2-girl, 2-girl. My oldest sister is due with a boy next month, so we will have a baby yet again. All of the cousins get along amazingly, and it is just a chaotic several days of fitting traditions we grew up with. 

One of these traditions is going to the horse races in Delmarva. Now this is no Kentucky Derby but it is fun to watch the harness races and make bets. Last year Layla threw up as soon as we pulled in the parking lot, but this year we were wiser... her motion sickness bracelets and half a tablet of dramamine saved us from vomiting, but after a long day on the beach she was passed out. This was my attempt of a pic of all three. Livi clearly thought she was big stuff since she was awake and her older sister wasn't. 

Everyone had a great time and my grandma did come out $9 ahead. The boys stayed longer, and I don't think I ever asked what (I assume to be) the final loss was. I don't want to know. This next picture just warms my heart, because these three guys (along with my brother and my other brother-in-law) are just awesome, family men. They are all about putting their little girls up on their shoulders and experiencing these moments with them: 

Melts my heart. 

Another yearly tradition is the girls all-day outlet trip. We go from the time the stores open (9am) as long as possible. We get Christmas gifts, school clothes, the occasional personal item (I would probably say more than occasional but who's counting?). It is a marathon day. This year, since we had a nearly nine month pregnant one and a nearly 90 year old, we took it slow and did a slightly shorter day (only until around 6pm, that's nothing). 

We also USED to go out together for a nice dinner at a restaurant every year. We went to the same place for all of eternity. As our family grew and more and more kids (aka stressful dining) came along, but we still tried. The last time we went was a few years ago and one child who I won't name (but actually wasn't Layla) was dead asleep because he/she wasn't feeling well, and then woke up puking everywhere. That was not a pleasant experience to say the least, and it coincided with the restaurant actually closing (so not our fault. I hope). This year we did a mini-version, which amounted to only a few of us going and the rest stayed back with the kids. I got the most delicious dessert in the world... Mary's Delight to be exact... and my passion for this dessert is evident from the writing on my leftovers box: 

My sister had to be the annoying saint and be all, "I'm not going to be protective of my leftovers, whatever." Make me look bad... which in all honestly, wasn't that difficult of a task. 

All-in-all, we had fantastic weather and a great time. 

Not conducive to getting sun but amazeballs in its own way. 

Sleeping on the beach = heaven. 

Adorable beyond belief. Look at her huge smile. 

This last picture absolutely KILLS me. It was a random shot among my attempt to get a good one, and I just could not get over their poses and how much it looks like a sunglasses ad. Livi is looking off into the distance with her "blue steel" look. Layla is doing the straight-on with the sassy arm. Summer is just like... ummm what are they doing. 

***A quick sidebar on traditions. I LOVE traditions. We had a million growing up as a kid for every holiday, event, you name it. Now that I have a family of my own, I think it is so challenging to carefully tread your traditions, your significant other's traditions, and NEW traditions to make as a family. And traditions can put such pressure on you that sometimes they aren't even enjoyable. I find traditions that my dad loved to be equal-parts wonderful/reminiscent and sad/stressful because I don't want to let him down or something. Alright, sidebar is done :o) ***

I'm nearing the end of today's ramblings... but I will add that I went to the Katy Perry concert my my sister and two of our friends (we were in the midst of teeny-bopper central), which was SO fun. The pomegranate margaritas at Rosa Mexicano calmed my tooth pain (I spent all morning at the dentist. I currently have a temporary crown and he had to "excise" some tissue that had moved over my teeth. Translation? He had to hack away at my gums). They also helped with the stress after we were on the ridiculously slow/broken metro for over an hour (at one point, it sounded like the train actually died and the lights went off. Underground). 

The floor seats helped as well. 

And we have only almost lost these stupid hermit crabs ("Princess and Lullaby") approximately 11 times. 

Happy Friday! 


The Hatred of Packing and What "Old" Really Means...

This is going to be a short one. I am currently in the midst of packing... Which is one of my all-time LEAST favorite activities in the universe. I know, I know, #firstworldproblems, I'm a terrible, ungrateful person, yada yada yada. I'm aware of all that. It just makes me stressed out and need an adult beverage. Just the thought of not only trying to figure out what I need, but what three other small humans need... Ugh. It's just such a process. It's not like we are going to the middle of nowhere, and we aren't even going for very long. Don't ask about unpacking... there have been times that suitcases sit out for a month. 

Anyways, I digress. The major event of this last week (other than Father's Day, which I will cover in another post) was that Layla told me I was old. Now I am aware I am not old in the conventional sense. We were sitting at the dinner table discussing the pool when it came out. She said, "Mom. You are old. You don't put your head under the water." 

"Who is older, me or daddy?" I asked (he is five years older than me). 

"Daddy." She replied simply. "But you're old. Daddy's not. He goes under." 

Despite her rather confusing logic, I was offended by my almost four year old. And determined to show her that I was, in fact, not old. The next day before heading to the pool, I scrubbed off every last ounce of the poor performance waterproof mascara I have (a feat in itself. People know I will wear in on my deathbed). We went to the pool, and I went under. This isn't a strange thing (I do go under, just not always... You have seen my hair, it is difficult at best. And diving my whole life I was wet constantly. I earned my right to stay dry on occasion). 

So actually the nanosecond after I went under, I asked Layla if I was old. Her response? "Nope." So simple. And so ridiculous.

The other event that I need to acknowledge is the dress-up situation that occurred the other day. The girls were playing inside for a little bit while Olivia was asleep and these little people appeared... 

I really had no words for Layla. That teeny face under that shock of ridiculously bright hair. I couldn't contain myself. We then took a trip to get the mail: 

I die.

The only other comment I have to say today is this: how does anyone get anything done in the summer? Between swim practice, pool, (packing for the pool), laundry (which is towels ALL the time now), baths... I mean I drop in bed every night exhausted. I have zero desire or motivation to get anything done. Which is not good. I mean, making dinner seems like a majorly difficult task in the summer. 

Since I'm continuing to sound like a total brat right now... oh the pool, I'm so exhausted... I'll sign off before all of you think even less of me. 

Happy Thursday! 


Weekly Chuckle...

You may think I have gone ecard crazy. Sort of. They are awesome, I make no excuses. So I have a feeling today is going to be this kind of day... I had child #1 come in bed at 1:45am after a bad dream. I then proceeded to sit there awake stressing about all the things I need to take care of (stupid ants before we go on vacation, remembering to ask someone to watch the dog, babysitters for future things, the current chaotic state of my house, etc). Then child #2 came in at 2:30am because she couldn't sleep without child #1 (I was still awake). Then child #2 must have had a dream about gymnastics because she drop-kicked me like 17 times (no exaggeration) in the FACE throughout the night. I actually was getting seriously angry. Like I kept spinning her around and just pushing her across the bed in the direction of child #1 and Matt. She kept making her way back to me... 

So for today, my coffee is more like, "Come on, you can make it through! Only a few more hours until bedtime!" And then wine will be, "Great job, now you can sit down for longer than 12 seconds." 

Happy Tuesday! 


The Social Media Depression Epidemic...

The topic of this rant has been coming up more and more lately in different discussions I have had with friends: The Blessing/Curse of Facebook, Instagram and social media in general. 

I love social media for so very many reasons. I actually vividly remember starting my Facebook account way back in 2005 when it still required a ".edu" email address. I certainly didn't have a clue how much it would eventually permeate my life and society in general. I love it, I really do. I love it because I can keep up or reconnect with friends from a lifetime ago. The fact that I am friends with and actively talk to a group from my ballet class at age 12 amazes to me. It is hilarious when you run into someone you haven't actually seen physically in years yet you know every major life event and where they went to lunch last week. As you all are very well aware, I put my whole life out there on this blog, and when old friends who have never even met my kids before feel like they know them... its just a funny phenomenon. Sharing pictures with relatives across the country. Wishing old friends happy birthday and feeling the love on your own birthday. Finding out exciting news like engagements, pregnancies, new jobs. Reading interesting articles people post... all of these things are part of the positives and blessing that is Facebook. 

Now the curse... 

Everyone has annoyingness in their feed. I'm sure I am someone's source of annoyance in their feed. I have categorized these people according to their posting tendencies: 

The Negative Nancy's-- Seriously there must be nothing positive in their life. Ever. Like, for real, ever.  

The Vague Vera's-- Random statements posted with no explanation. There are inevitably those who comment on these asking what is wrong.

The Rainbows and Butterflies Betty's-- Which is where one of my favorite e-cards comes into play 

The Foodie Fred's-- Pics of every meal with the perfect fork and knife placement. You make me hungry.

The Active Allen's-- I am so happy you just ran 10 miles but I am sitting on the couch watching Real Housewives with a bag of Dove chocolates. 

I know I have been all of these people on any given day (well, not so much the Vague Vera. I tend to overshare). Instead of getting worked up or wasting energy on these people, I have just started to hide them. No need for the awkward defriend (because you will inevitably, randomly run into them shortly after). Just hide them and you will never have to deal with it again. 

What it all comes down to is comparing our actual, real lives with teeny snapshots of others. It is like having your own reality show with full control of editing so you never appear in a way other than how you want. People typically put either the best or the worst out there. There is no in between. A picture, post or status needs to be "news-worthy." It needs to get likes, comments, retweets, etc to be validated. Since when did someone you knew 15 years ago liking your random, witty status or funny picture mean anything? Since Facebook, that's when. 

I love Facebook for what it is, but I also hate it for what it is. I hate that it makes people feel terrible about themselves and the place they are at in their lives. 

You are desperately trying to have a baby and every nanosecond there is someone's sonogram picture or newborn baby popping up.

You just broke up with your significant other and have no prospects, and wedding pictures (that you weren't even invited to) are taking over your feed. 

You are having a hard time losing weight and skinny-mini's in bikini's are smacking you in the face. 

You can't afford a weekend beach trip and pictures of tropical paradises are everywhere. 

I could go on and on. 

I have no wise statement to end this rant on. I'm just putting my frustrations out there. In most times, people aren't being malicious in their posts. It is unfortunate that it is so easy to compare what you think is crappy about your life with what seems fabulous about someone else's. Next time you are tempted to feel bad about yourself... remember this is an epidemic. And don't get sucked in. 

Happy Thursday! 


Weekly Chuckle...

This encompasses mom-life before going out better than anything I have seen. Matt and I had this problem for a while, which would usually turn into a fight... which was really not fun. After a convo explaining exactly what I needed (aka him not taking a shower 10 minutes before we were supposed to leave), we have made huge strides in this department and he is incredibly helpful now. Sometimes spelling it out is all that is needed. Shocking, right? 


Sprinkler Drama and the Inside/Outside/Dinner-Making Daily Debacle...

Warm weather + one still in school + one too young to play outside by herself = me going utterly insane. 

Don't worry, I am not complaining about the warm weather. I have been reveling in it. What I am complaining about is the complicated position I am in this year. I am perfectly comfortable having Summer and Layla play in the front or back yard without me hovering over them. We have a no outlet street, I open the blinds for a better view, and I pop my head out every few minutes to check on them if I don't have a visual (I usually can hear them). They have strict instructions that they are not to leave the driveway or yard without asking, and (so far) they have always complied. 

Now Olivia. Dear Olivia. That child is one I have ZERO trust in. Like I get nervous when a car actually does drive down our street because the child would run out in front of it if a bubble went that way. I'm serious. She actually semi-did this the other day when Emmie's ball rolled out into the street. My neighbor had pulled out of his driveway but was stopped in front of our house to say hi and out she ran. 

Needless to say, she is concerning. 

The one thing I have been able to do is block her into the top part of our deck by barricading the entry to the stairs and putting the sand table up there. I have full view of her from the kitchen and it is perfect... but only lasts for so long. 

So with Summer still in school, I really like her to spend her afternoons outside since she was cooped up all day. Olivia is usually sleeping during that time, so Summer and Layla get some time outside while I get a few minutes to actually do a dish or (gasp) put away laundry. Then... the daily debacle begins: Olivia waking up and wanting to be with her sisters + Summer and Layla wanting to stay outside + me trying to make dinner + the ever-so-familiar arsenic hour. If I can possibly get Olivia calm by luring her into helping me make dinner (except sort of impossible when I am cutting an onion or doing anything on the stove... the child doesn't understand heat as much as she doesn't understand that cars are dangerous) it only lasts until the next time one of the other two come bursting in to go to the bathroom, get water, tell me that there is an ant, etc. Then I have Olivia go into a screaming, pathetic, devastating fit with her trying to claw her way out the door while I physically restrain her. It is kind of an impossible situation. I have to cook dinner, and not everything can be prepped earlier in the day. Granted, making something that required caramelizing onions for 40 minutes was probably not the smartest choice this week after I discovered this problem (but they were soooo good). That was a different night than the one when the girls were ridiculously, anxiously awaiting the UPS man to deliver our new sprinkler. I can't properly explain the anticipation/devastation when every car coming home from work was NOT Mr. UPS. I'm pretty sure someone else took over Summer's body because she lost every ounce of patience and turned into this creature I had never seen before. Considering the fact that she usually is a relatively calming force with the other two, it was definitely a "everyone down to the basement and don't open the door unless there is blood" night. Then I had to add on, "if I can hear you sobbing on the basement steps over the sprinkler I will hold it hostage even after it is delivered." Mean mommy? Dude. You have no idea. 

So I am optimistic that once Summer gets out of school, I will feel better about bringing them all inside while I make dinner because they will have ALL been outside ALL day. Here's hoping... a mom can dream. 

In other news, Matt and his brother Scott did amazeballs in the member-guest golf tournament last weekend: 

Layla got extremely involved in her cupcake frosting at a birthday party: 

And I failed yet again and forgot to send in a dollar with Summer and have her wear a hat on Monday (spirit week or cancer fundraiser or something like that???) I got all the way to her school to drop off the dollar but then remembered the hat and got concerned there was something else in that stack of papers that should have been due. Went back home, tore half the house apart to only find her Redskins hat she wore as an infant. Took the dollar and hat back (the other papers were due Wednesday, phew) to find that only like five kids in her class were even wearing hats. Oh well. I give myself an "A" for effort. 

On a totally separate note, I don't know if you saw that I posted a "Weekly Chuckle" on Monday. I am hoping to slightly evolve the limitations I somehow put on myself (just doing one super-long post on Thursdays). We shall see what that turns into! 

Happy Thursday!!!  


Weekly Chuckle...

Extra thought... a college professor told stories how she would just have a tantrum back, regardless of the public arena. She said, "You always want your kid to think you are just a little bit crazy." 

Her other words of wisdom: 
"Nothing good happens after 2am."--- totally agree
"Always know clean bathroom options on your route."--- Amen.