Saturday, July 31, 2010

Belly Jelly

Today my awesome friend Sandy and I took the three kids to the Jelly Belly Factory. (Or the Belly Jelly Factory if you ask William).  It was a fun day of getting out of the house but because the factory isn't in production on the weekends *oops!* we didn't get to see much at all.  We did take the tour but to a 3 and a 5 year old it wasn't all that interesting.  The gift shop is one big fat candy store so that, on the other hand, was well worth the trip as far as they were concerned.  We ate lunch, took the tour, bought a couple swirly straws and and 3 lollipops, and came home.  Everyone was well behaved which makes the day a complete success!  We will definitely go back, but this time we'll be sure the factory is in production.  We want to see some Belly Jelly action!

William, can you see him?

3 goons

For reals.

Gettin' ready for the tour

The obligatory picture

me, Lauren, Mr. Jelly Belly, Drew, William, and Auntie Sandy
I know you didn't even notice but I must put it out there that I am NOT wearing a Jelly Belly t-shirt.  It's the little logo guy on the border of the picture.  I swear it.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Being bothered

I'm just gonna say it.  My kids have been nothing but a nuisance to me today.  Not because their behavior has been any different than it normally is but because I woke up wrapped up in my own thoughts with my own agenda for the day.  That agenda didn't include refereeing, helping with shoes, playing frisbee before breakfast, packing a swim bag, sitting an hour at swim lessons, blah, blah, blah.  But really, that is what is on my agenda.  EVERYDAY.  I guess today I just wanted to check out and not do any of it so I have acted as if I've been put upon completely by these little people who have to have their needs met by me, their mommy.  Today I just feel like I  have too much to do to be bothered by them.  I don't often feel guilty about stuff but I'm feeling guilty today that I've kind of treated them as a nuisance today more than anything else.  Right now I've got the girls playing in the mud in the backyard and William is looking at books so I'm free from being bothered.  No one needs me.  Within minutes William will be done with his books and will want a tv show on (which is sooooo fine by me right now) and the two girls will need to be throwin in the tub.  Then it'll be dinner time, shower time for William, stories, then bed.  I'm holding on with white knuckles today for the clock to say eight zero zero.  Today, however, the clock is not my friend.  And I'm trying my best to be pleasant.



Sunday, July 25, 2010

Letters of thanks

Dear Mint Oreos,
   Have you always existed?  Because you are conveniently placed at the eye level of a 5 year old I have just discovered you.  You should feel special because aside from you, all desserts in this house are homemade.  YOU, my new friend, are special.


Dear Irish Spring with Moistureblast and Hydrobeads,
   You are a far cry from your boring green cousin and I love you.  You make not only my bathroom smell good after a shower but my bedroom, too.  How do you do that?  I love going to sleep with a baby monitor humming in my ear and your scent filling my room.


Dear China,
   Ok.  I'm totally for reals.  She's 5 and it is not ok that she looks like a hoochie.  I need you to make some clothes that are age appropriate, don't blind you in the sun due to the amount of sparkles, and that don't shrink to Lauren's size after one wash.  It really doesn't seem that hard.  Oh, wait.  Nevermind.  I only buy Made in the USA.  


Dear Downy Wrinkle Releaser spray,
   Thank you for making my 3 year old say, "Mommy, what's that big thing?" when I pulled out the ironing board recently.  Being able to spray away the wrinkles in my clothes every morning is so fabulous, I really can't even explain it.  So thanks.


Dear Amoxicillin,
   Thank you so much for making my baby girl better in a matter of 24 hours last week.  Man, before you showed up we were worried.  Now she's better, her ear is better, and it's all because of you.  Plus, your pink bottle looks pretty sitting on the top shelf in my fridge.


Dear loving friends,
   Thank you for the words of comfort, thoughts, and prayers during this time of loss in our family.  We're all doing ok but the support of friends has made us stronger.  

Much love,
All of us  

Why I hate little toys

Saturday, July 24, 2010

lovely, special, only, favorite


My two cousins lost their lovely mother
My uncle lost his special wife
My mom lost her only sister
My brother and I lost our favorite aunt



Friday, July 23, 2010

Honey got a booty like pow, pow, pow

You know how obnoxious it is when people share the LAMEST videos of their kids?  You think, "Oh, it must have been much different in person because this is LAAAAME."  Yes?  Good.  Here's mine.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Holymotherofgod tantrums

William will turn 4 years old in two months.  He's at the tail end of his 3's but he's just now begun tantrums.  Like TAN TRUMS.  He's always been emotional, I've blogged about that many times.  I think because he's capable in so many other ways, he gets really frustrated and pissed when he's limited in others.  It's like when your brain knows how to do something and your body just can't follow through with that.  Something isn't in sync and that's when emotions take over.  Also, he's lazy and doesn't like to clean up if he isn't in a helping mood. 

This last week and a half has been intense.  Our days have gone like this:  wake, normal, normal, normal, holymotherofgod TANTRUM, normal, normal, normal, whinecryfuss, normal, normal, bedtime.  There is no connection to sleep, hunger, time of day, etc.  I'm sure there are lots of things that create an environment for a tantrum but honestly I'm too busy and he's too old for me to sit and dissect every considerable factor.  He knows if he's tired or hungry.  And I can certainly tell if he's tired or hungry.  These tantrums come out of the blue that the frist one actually scared me.  The topic or catalyst is always something so seemingly minor, too, it's almost laughable when he goes into full breakdown mode.  I'm thinking, "Really?  Because Lauren ran by and snatched your sunglasses you're doing this?  Really?"  That's the inner mommy.  The outer mommy is saying, "Go ask for them back and tell her they do not belong to her, they are yours."  He usually doesn't hear that part, though, given the psycho screaming that's taken over.

This morning was the longest tantrum yet.  It lasted 45 minutes exactly.  I did secretly get some video, just to show his wife what a spaz he used to be, but I won't post it.  He literally hopped up and down, cried, screamed, shouted demands at the three of us girls, and hooted for 45 minutes.  I went up after about 25 minutes and told him he could either pick up the checkers as I'd asked and stop crying, or go back to bed.  I was calm and it pissed him off.  He went on for another 5 minutes before I stood at the top of the stairs and repeated his two options and to make a decision now.  He decided to pick up and stop crying.  It took him 10 minutes to pick up 20 checkers but whatever.  

It's so hard because I wanted to scream how ridiculous he was being and how noisy he was and how bothersome the constant stomping was but I let him have his tantrum and paid him no attention (we were downstairs, he was upstairs).  He had to apologize when he came down after he showed me he cleaned up.  I said, "That was such a waste of time, don't you think?  We've already eaten breakfast and watched some Curious George.  I hope next time you make a better choice much sooner."  What I wanted to say was, 

for reals.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I think being a parent is the most awesome thing ever.  Some days totally suck, some days totally rock, and other days are just days I don't give much thought about.  I'd say the latter is the most frequent with the sucky days being the fewest, thank goodness.  I know I'm fortunate to be able to be the mom I want to be and to me that means staying home and being with the kids.  That's not for everyone or not a possibility for everyone and I get that, I don't judge at all.  I'm proud do be a SAHM, though, even when on a form I feel a twinge of ehh everytime I write MOM in the occupation box.  I'd like to write "raising kids who aren't assholes and who appreciate all they are given and earn" but the box is just too small for that.  Doesn't that sound better (and harder!) than just MOM?  Oh, well.  MOM will do. 

I've always considered awesome things the kids do, make, say, or give as a paycheck since that's the only paycheck I get.  Sometimes I'll go to bed and say to Chris, "I got paid big time today."  And yes, there have been days where I've said, "Dude, they withdrew from my bank all frickin' day today."  I'm always looking for things I can consider a paycheck and often times it's little things like when the big kids say, "Thank you" to the receipt guy at Costco when he draws them a happy face without any prompting from me and things like that.  So really, I pretty much get paid everyday.

Oh, and my coworker is pretty hot.





Monday, July 19, 2010

Dear China, She's five. Please make some clothes appropriate for her. Thanks.

School shopping.  It ain't what it used to be.  Thank God for the internet because I can sit in the comfort of my own home and order hundreds of dollars worth of clothes, have them delivered to our door, force the kids to try them on, then send back whatever doesn't work.  I don't have to load any children into the car or the stroller or deal with any whining or bullshit from anyone.  It's great.  There are times, however, when we're out and I try and get someone to take interest in looking at clothes.  Now that Drew has such an opinion (who the hell told her she could even have one yet?) I'm done even pointing clothes out in the stores to her.  She wears a 6x and so many items are completely inappropriate for a kid who wears such a size.  I can just imagine how this is going to get worse and worse as all the kids get older, especially with the girls.  Oh, Lordy.  Some of the girls I see walking home from the high school look like straight prostitutes.  I'm going to hang this on our front door.  Whadaya think?


Saturday, July 17, 2010

One is back, and the other is gone

I'll spare you the exciting details but Lauren has been extremely sick, all from an ear infection.  Today was the first morning in 5 mornings that I picked up a cool little body out of her crib.  She's back to being her active, happy self and I'm oh, so glad.

I'm baaaaaaack!


Chris is taking Drew to the annual Kiddie Camp that the Oakland Fire Department puts on.  All the dads take their kids up to the lake for a week.  Drew went last year for only one night and had a ball.  All she talked about when she got home was how she ate 100 marshmallows, ring pops, and heard a man say "fuck" a lot while at the fire pit.  William isn't going this year because, as William puts it, "I'm still three and cry a little bit too much still."  On the frickin' nose, buddy.  It's too bad because when he's not acting like an emotional 15 year old girl, he's the kind of kid who would just eat up being in that environment - the lake, the kids, the cooking outside, the bugs.  Oh, well.  Maybe next year when he's 4 he'll have more control of his emotions and he can join them.  No one is holding their breath...  Anyway, I'm giving Drew 2 disposable cameras to take along with her.  I've asked her take pictures of all the things she loves about camping so that I can see.  Mommies aren't allowed on this trip so I need pictures and she's my photographer.  She's so excited.  Now she can eat crap, hear swear words, AND take pictures with her very own camera.  It's like little kid heaven.  And what will we do here on the homefront?  Being a mommy of just a 3 year old and a 16 month old is going to seem like a dream...  imagine the quiet.  And the amount of Candy Land games and car races and McD's visits.  Don't judge.  I'm gonna make the most of being Peters Party of 3 for a few days.


Friday, July 16, 2010


Today was one hundred degrees.  We don't have a pool quite yet so the big kids went ghetto swimming today and they loved it.

Mappy room

Growing up my brother had a map of the world next to his bed.  He knew all the countries and their locations at a very young age because of it.  When I was a kid we had a map of Lake Winnipesaukee on the wall across from the toilet and I tell you what, you need to know your way around that Lake, I'm your gal.   Not because I cared, but because I stared at it a couple times a day and it just seeped into my brain. 

When Chris and I travelled this summer, we decided to put a big US map up in Drew's room. (Thanks, Jay, for the gorgeous map!)  It's on the ceiling above her bed.  She loved it as she could track our travels.  Manteca to Atlanta to Boston to Salt Lake City to Fresno.  We marked everything with a pin so she could see where we were.  I figure by just looking at it everynight, she'll get to know the geography of the US in no time.

This is my dream room for the kids.  Some kids would totally dig it.  Like William, he'd love it.  Drew?  I'm not sure.  And Lauren is being groomed this way but who knows.  Anyway, isn't this awesome?  And it's just pretty in it's own way, don't you think?


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Keeping perspective amidst sadness

This week Chris's great uncle passed away, my aunt began receiving Hospice services, and Lauren has had a high fever for 4 days.  I realize that all of these are on a different level but it's been a long, worrisome week for us here.  As the temperature outside continues to rise above the century mark and we stay indoors more to play all while Chris is working, I am committed to making this a great last month of summer for the kids.  Afterall, my baby girl begins kindergarten one month from today.  Even amidst hard emotional times...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A few more favorite finds

These are a few of my NEW favorite things...

Genius!  Gosh, we've had more fun with these.  For my emergent readers, these are great. 

Magic Shell!  Remember?  The nutritional value is nil, in fact it probably kills brain cells but what a treat for the kids.  They'd never seen it before and I did a whole "Abra cadabra!" schtick as I poured it and I swear to God they think I'm magic.


This mini vertical fan sits on my nightstand.  Chris doesn't like the ceiling fan blowing on him all night and I don't like to be not cold when I sleep so this is my personal air conditioner at night.  I love it.

This isn't new but it's worth mentioning.  If you haven't tried it and you like smellies, you should.  I don't do lotion really, but I have the soap and the shower gel and the lotion for guests.  It's just nice and summery.  Mom wears the perfume and it's really nice.

Free balloons at the grocery store.  I take all three kids everywhere I go just about.  I don't have the luxury of waiting until Chris gets home because with his schedule that could be three days away.  We don't put anything on hold.  If it needs to be done, the kids and I do it.  Sooooo, big grocery shopping with all three kids isn't exactly my favorite activity but it's not a big whooptey.  I do have to have somewhat of a plan, though.  This shuts the kids up keeps the kids busy while I shop.  It's less calories and cheaper than a big ass cookie and it lasts the whole day long.  Even Lauren loves her balloon now and depending on whose day it is (Drew is even days, William is odd) depends on who gets to choose which color balloon Lauren gets. 

My kids wear rash guards whenever they swim.  They are SPF50 and they're awesome.  We buy all our swim stuff from Lands' End and they'll last a lifetime.  This means all that nasty rubbing sunscreen all over kids that then gets all over their carseats and your clothes, etc. doesn't ever happen.  I paint their face with a sunscreen stick and put on their rash guard over their suit and send them along their way.  No more sunburns!

What are some of your favorites?  C'mon!  Share!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Family time

Nothing better than family time. 

Ever seen a drunk man walk, then walk a bit crooked, then fall into some bushes, and then get up laughing?  That was Lauren in the 2 feet deep pool today. 


William loves to swim, especially since he's getting so much better at it but honestly, it was all about the snacks for him today. 

Drew took a snack break, too, and decided to play lifeguard at the same time.  She's good at both.

Oh, and the mom behind the camera?  Yeah, she had the best time ever.  In her bathing suit.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Taking my short ass to the water park

I wrote last week about how I'm kinda tired of being short. I'm proud to say, though, that being short doesn't impact my life one single bit. If I was taller I would do the same things I do now and I am really proud of that. Even 2 years ago that statement would not have been true. I've found such a sense of peace about how this is just how it is for now and if I allow my life to be dictated by my height I'd be fucked. I've been really thin, thin, kinda thin, notso thin, and NOT thin so many different times and honestly, I've never been happier than I  am at this point in my life.  You can't measure that with a scale or a ruler so I think it's all good.  Tomorrow we're taking the kids to a water park and I absolutely can't wait. I'm going to be the mom in the pool with the kids, walking my fat, white, dimply thighs up the hill at the water park (you're welcome for the visual), and skiing in the lake and in my bathing suit on the boat.  Life is good.  I'm not settling for being short forever, but it will not stop me from living life and having fun in the meantime.

'Cause this is what it's about...


Stepping it up a little

You know how the kids earn pennies in the morning if they follow the SEVEN ZERO ZERO rule?  (if not, you can click HERE to catch up).  I'm ready to expand on this.  They've been earning and spending for about 6 months now and it's time to change it up a bit.  I'd been thinking about this but then my friend Tracy called to tell me of something she'd found and it's perfect.

Instead of the decorated cup with their name on it, their pennies will now go in here:
Instead of two pennies for staying in their bedroom until SEVEN ZERO ZERO in the morning, I'll now give three pennies.  I'll let the kids decide which slot to put each penny in.  I'm unsure about the investment slot.  That's a bit much at this point.  I may just put a piece of tape over it or something.  Ideas for that? 

The idea of saving has been discussed because sometimes they want something big (read: too expensive) with their twenty pennies and we've told them that that particular item costs thirty pennies and if they'd like to buy that, they need to save their twenty and keep earning before they can afford it.  That's not a new concept so the save slot will make sense right away.  Also, every Thanksgiving and Christmas we go bigCostcoshopping and then drive right to the food bank (Thanksgiving) or to the local fire station (Christmas) and donate all we've bought.  We've had many great talks about how lots of boys and girls don't have the same things they have and how great it is that we can buy them and help them, especially at a special time like the holidays.  When you can help someone, you do.  Always.  It's a lesson they already understand so the donate slot will be an easy one, too.

I've ordered each of them their own bank and am looking forward to receiving them in a few days.  We'll start the new system then.  I'm anxious to see who chooses to put how much where.  I've decided I'll never interfere, they can choose how much goes where and then for the donation money I'll let them choose what to buy to donate when it reaches ten pennies.  It could get interesting...

If you are interested in this bank, you can click HERE to buy from Amazon.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Why I'm here. Well, one of the reasons.

William is kind of a complicated boy.  He's very sweet and thoughtful.  He's also very sensitive and emotional.  Most of all he is insightful and he just seems to always get it.  I love that about him.  The downside to that, though, is that he gets it but he's not capable of some things given he's only 3 and his abilities are that of a 3 year old.  I'm able to usually give an explantion for things that frustrate him which can quickly bring down the frustration level and disappointment.  

William and I just had one such discussion that I think I'll always remember.  He was trying to get the straw in his juice box and couldn't.  More often than not he can so he was getting pissed that he was failing this time.  He grunted and I said, "If you want me to help you, I'd be happy to."  He tried and tried and then slammed the bent straw down on the counter.  I said, "You know, God put grown ups here so that when kids get frustrated with something we can help you.  You have to ask us, though, otherwise we can't do our jobs to help."  He smiled and said, "That's why you're here!  I kinda thought so." 

I sort of felt the need to explain that we really are here for other reasons, too, but I figured it best to just leave it at that.  I didn't feel like explaining all the other reasons and I think it's ok he believes I'm here to help with problems he faces.  It is one of the best reasons I'm here if I really think about it.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ninja Baby

Lauren has been a Ninja baby from birth and she loves it more than ever.  The kids do, too. 

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Poor Chris

There is this website that a friend sent to me where you can upload a pretty picture of yourself and then it will show you what you'll look like in 20 years.  I did mine and all I could think of when I saw it was, "Oh, shit.  Poor Chris."

Click HERE to see yourself in 20 years.  Hope you look better than I do.  For all our sake.

Pretty place setting

I saw this and just thought it was so great.  Love the whimsy of it.  I would love to sit at a table and be served a chicken salad, fruit, and one of Nana's brownies at this place setting. Oh, what a great meal that would be, don't you think?

Monday, July 5, 2010

I'm kinda over being short

We visited some of mom's oldest friends while in New Hampshire.  We stayed at their lovely home for 2 nights and just had a wonderful time.  As we were leaving, Marty asked me where my height came from since neither mom nor my dad is all that tall.  I told her that actually when I am thin I appear much taller and get comments often about my height.  Being just under 6 feet means that I am normally taller than the other women I am with but I think the thinner I am, the more it shows itself.  Anyway, I told her that actually I am shorter than I've ever been in my life and by the time she sees me next summer I hope to be taller. 

Today I'm making a commitment to become taller.  The gym is my friend but I can only get there once or twice a week, it's just how it is when you have 3 kids, a gym with limited kid hours, and a husband with a 24-hour shift job who also owns a business.  No sense in beating myself up about that, I just can't get there enough to make a difference.  Today is a good day to start a new endeavour.  I will also commit to using my blog to give updates since I need more than William as an audience to keep me accountable.  

Can't wait to be tall again. 

Friday, July 2, 2010

Vacation sweet vacation, home sweet home

I am back from my week-long vacation without the kids.  We had such a great time, somewhat bittersweet, but full of good friends and lots of laughs.  Chris and I started in Atlanta to celebrate David and Teni's wedding and then mom and I went on to Massachusetts, through Vermont, and onto New Hampshire.  Rather than write a summary of it all, here is a pictoral summary.  Lots of friends and activities weren't photographed, but here's an idea of how the week went.  Amazing time away, great to be back. 

Chris relaxing at the Atlanta hotel.  A rare sight, indeed.

Just hanging out in the lobby

My sister-in-law, Amy and my niece, Emily at the rehearsal dinner.

Cousins!  Jennie, David (the groom), Brandon, me

Good friends, good meals.  Lots of them.

I love being Auntie Ashley


Mom and Aunt Debbie before the wedding

One of my favorite pictures.  Jennie and David (brother and sister) smiling at each other before the ceremony begins.

Beautiful bride, Teni

Chris fanning me during the wedding.  It was in Hotlanta, after all.  He's a good husband.

Mr. and Mrs. Brown

Stepped outside during the reception to sit by the fountain

Some of Teni's family (from Nigeria) in their gorgeous wedding outfits.

Two of my favorite people after the wedding

Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, MA.  This was a shelf in the general store where women would buy ribbon and thread and shoes.  I just loved this.

A Revolutionary War era home

Hello, Vermont!

On the deck of a friend's house for lunch in New Hampshire.  So beautiful.

Serene garden of the house of good friends where we were visiting.

My great Nana's gravestone in Sudbury, MA.  This is where Drew and Bennett (William's middle name) comes from.

The Walker headstone, my grandparents.  Walker is Lauren's middle name.

Goodbye, Boston.  See you next summer!  And I'll have a 6 1/2 year old little girl with me who will visit you for the first time!!  I can. not. wait.



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