90's music and failing at life...

Discovering late 90's/early 00's hit music radio has changed my life. No, seriously. I never processed how much happier I could be while cleaning, folding laundry, doing all the tedious tasks I hate-- when jamming to N*Sync, Britney, Destiny's Child and all the other songs that were my high school years. It takes me back to a simpler time... a time when my worries consisted of homework, dive practice and the next day's outfit. A time when food magically appeared in the pantry and fridge. A time when my schedule was mine and mine alone. A time when I didn't truly understand the meaning of stress and responsibility. A time when I listened to music that didn't have the name "Disney" or "Kidz Bop" involved. 

I miss that time. I would never change my current life, but there are definitely moments I wish I wasn't SO in charge of SO many things--- three small humans being my main schtick. 

Last season on Grey's Anatomy (yes, I still watch it), there was an episode where Meredith was supposed to go visit her husband for the weekend. Instead, she missed her flight, got a hotel room and did absolutely nothing, by herself. Her excuse was she just didn't want to be anything to anyone for a minute... not anyone's doctor, mother, wife, friend. But the problem is that life keeps spinning, even if we want to hide for a minute. 

I have said many times that I often don't feel mature enough to be a parent. The pressure (I put on myself) to give them the magical, carefree, wonderful childhood I want for them can induce panic/guilt/depression/endless adjectives. I vent to Matt quite frequently that I just feel like I'm failing in every aspect. Yes, I do have a perfectionist personality which is a challenge. Pre-motherhood, I went through life pretty much succeeding at anything I put my mind to. These days? The house always seems like a disaster despite feeling like I clean ALL the time. Laundry and dishes are my nemesis. Trying to make a quality dinner during arsenic hour is near impossible. I should take it back a step further... having planned and purchased all of the ingredients to make a quality dinner often times seems near impossible. Working out? HAH. How about giving my wonderful husband the time and energy he deserves? Being a good friend, daughter? Comical attempts. I find myself thinking, "Why do I even try?" My mom used to say the phrase, "Jack of all trades. Master of none." Basically it means that if you are going to do a lot of crap, you are only going to be mediocre at them all. That is REALLY hard for the perfectionist in me. 

The one subject that I would truly like to be a master of is, of course, my girls. But that is impossible, which is so very hard to accept. There are many, many moments when I think to myself-- Wow, am I utterly screwing up my kids? Am I creating monsters who will be incompetent members of society? What if what I'm doing right now is something they will spend countless hours rehashing in therapy? 

This past weekend we took all three girls to the Redskins game... and we won!!! Miracles happen. We actually all had a great time. 

Gooooo Redskins! 

A little parking lot football. You can see how far Liv threw it. 

In these pictures, we look like an adorable, loving family. Which we are... except when we're not. Not when everyone is whining and fighting and complaining and crying and interrupting and tattle-taling and hitting and shrieking "MOMMYYYYY" 20439834098 times a day. 

So. Despite the fact that I know that I will never fully master these three nuggets, I am quite determined to never give up trying. Some days are better. Some days are truly quite awful... on those days, while I don't disappear to a hotel room for a weekend, I do run off to Home Goods and T.J. Maxx by myself if at all possible to get my sanity back. It isn't a cure-all but it does help. Or at least it gives me enough energy to go home and start all over again the next day. What also helps is the hilariousness that this picture is (even though, shocker, it made a massive mess): 

Happy Thursday! 


Times are changing...

Times are changing. I always knew it was going to happen. You just never really process that it IS happening. 

I have left behind the era of diapers, bottles, nap schedules, massive carseats and cribs. 

I have entered the world of managing activity schedules, carpools, homework, sleepovers, and the PTA. 

I am of the opinion that the stage you are in with your kids never really gets easier, per se. The difficulties just change. Am I thrilled that I don't have to pack a diaper bag with an endless supply of snacks and multiple outfits in case of a poop explosion? Of course. Do I think comforting my daughter when a friend is mean at school, or becoming basically an Uber driver is a walk in the park? Obviously not. Am I utterly terrified of teenage years? No question. Despite my new, current stage of life, the ends of my days haven't really changed... utterly exhausted and quite often with a glass of wine. 

We had a fantastic, busy summer. Between swim team, family vacations, a few camps and lots of pool time, my girls got tanner and blonder than ever. Here are a few of my fav moments: 

Despite all the fun of summer, August always brings out the cravings of structure and organization in me. I have discussed in past posts my awkward obsession with the feeling of a new school year (and my hoarder-like pen collection). To me, even more than New Year's, it really represents a fresh start. With Summer going into 2nd grade, Layla starting Kindergarten and Livi in preschool three days a week, I started freaking out about the potential for morning chaos. Summer has one speed, and one speed only: that of a snail. A snail who gets sidetracked by ANYTHING that comes her way. Layla is not a snail, but she is my late sleeper who is no peach when she doesn't want to get up. Then I have Olivia who, on a daily basis, comes up with something she just doesn't know how to do anymore by herself. "Mommy, I just forget how to put underpanties on." 

Needless to say, I was concerned. I didn't want every morning to be running around, yelling, complaining, where-are-my-shoes chaos. I implemented a few things that (for these first few weeks) have actually worked gloriously. Like I kind of can't believe it. They do require upkeep on my part, but that is 100 schmillion percent worth it to have the decent mornings we have had. 

1. They pick out all of our outfits for the week on Sunday. I check the weather, they choose things, and I make adjustments on the really terrible outfits (no Layla, a purple tutu does not mean you need a purple shirt). It takes 10 minutes and saves me EPIC amounts of time and stress in the mornings. We drape them on hangers next to cute little day of the week labels I made (and laminated... obvi). 

2. They pack their own lunches. No, I don't care that they are only almost four, five, and seven years old. They are all perfectly capable of making a sandwich. They know the categories to fill: 
-dairy item (yogurt, string cheese, etc) 
-snack (goldfish, Pirate's booty, etc)
I try to prepackage the snacks and fruit/veggies in baggies so they just grab them but I haven't even done that 100% and it has been fine. AND no more coming home from school and complaining that I forgot that one of them doesn't like the Apple-Banana Fruit Squishems. And now they use it as a bargaining chip with each other... which is a risky move. 

3. Lots of easy breakfast options... but whatever I give them, that is what they eat. No one kid wants a waffle, one wants cereal and one wants peanut butter toast. A frequent phrase in our house is, "You get what you get and you don't get upset." I made a bunch of breakfast burritos (large batch of scrambled eggs slightly loose and whatever else you want--cheese, bacon, sausage, salsa, whatever. Roll up in a flour tortilla, wrap in a paper towel and then plastic wrap. Store in a freezer bag. To reheat, unwrap plastic wrap and put in microwave 1-2 minutes or until warm), batches of pancakes, stocked up on waffles, english muffins, you name it. I also wrote a list of ideas for those mornings that I just can't think. 

So. Up to now, we got off to a good start. And an adorable one. 

Happy Thursday!