Monday, February 28, 2011

Living with an addict ain't easy

So.  Lauren.  She's has this addiction.  It's to her pacifier, lovingly known as The Chewie.  William had one, too, but he was never addicted the way Lauren has become.  It's intense, this addiction she has.  We've decided to make the chewie strictly a bedtime thing.  That means no more chewies downstairs.  Lauren is having a helluva time with this.  Today is day three.  We actually have to lock her bedroom door because she goes upstairs to climb into her crib and get them. 

Her withdrawl symptoms are painful for us all because it's so out of character for her.  She's whiny, fussy, pissy, moody, and generally just not all that pleasant.  After 23 months and 3 weeks of being such a happy girl, she's turned into a moody toddler and I'm not liking this very much.

Today she hit a new low.  You know how alcoholics may resort to Robitussin or Nyquil to get their alcohol fix?  Lauren showed me that if she can't have a chewie, she'd find an alternative for her addiction as well.

I found her twice today sucking on a sippy lid.  She has never done this before.  And those tears?  A constant fixture these last couple days.


Her 2nd birthday party is on Saturday and I'm hoping she is her normal sunshiney self and not this mopey thing that's been wandering the house for the last three days.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Letters

Dear Jenny from the Block,

I think you're great on American Idol.  And your skin is so flawless, I can't stop staring.  You better watch out, though, because I think Steven Tyler is striving to be as pretty as you are. 

Te Amo,
Ashley


Isn't he pretty?  I mean she...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Nivea Touch of Sparkle,

I am all about smells and am always on the quest for the best smelly anything - candle, lotion, perfume, body wash, soap, laundry detergent, etc.  One rare afternoon, as I was dragging my feet through Target ALONE and milking every single second, I spent probably 20 minutes in the soapy aisle.  I smelled everything there was and came across you.  I LOVE you.  The whole "touch of sparkle" thing freaked me out a little and honestly I was afraid I'd kind of come out of the shower looking like I was covered in stripper glitter but it's not that way at all.  In fact, there is no sparkle at all, which is good.  My whole bedroom smells of you after I shower and I love that, too.

xoxo,
Ashley


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Bohunky Guy at the Gym with the Flowery Towel,

Your security in your own manhood is astonishing because no matter how big your muscles, the fact that you wipe the sweat off of them with your wife's (or mom's?!) flower kitchen towel is hilarious.  Next time you go to a hotel I suggest you steal one of the plain white hand towels.  They work great for the gym.  And yes, I'm speaking from experience.

Sincerely,
Ashley



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Year 6,

So far you've been good to Drew.  You've given her even more confidence than she already had, you've allowed her to apply for and get her own library card, and the most exciting thing of all, you've allowed her to sit in a normal seat belt for a couple trips out.  I don't dislike you as much as I thought I might.  Keep it up, my friend.  You're making my little girl feel special.

Lovingly,
Drew's mommy



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Yoplait Smoothie Mix,

You are so yummy, so easy, so fast, and somewhat nutritious.  I love you!  You are the kids' new favorite treat and thank God you are sold at Costco.

Adoringly,
Ashley



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Dear Terrible Twos,

I'm afraid you may be beginning to show your face around here and I just want to let you know that you can bite me.  I'm not in the mood.  I wasn't yesterday, I'm not today, and I can tell you for damn sure I won't be tomorrow or the day after that.  You are not wanted here and I'd appreciate if you'd leave my happy baby girl alone. 

For reals,
Lauren's mommy


This super cute hat was made for Lauren by my friend, Amanda.






Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

All things blonde

I love all things blonde and I have to admit that I think this is the 4th most delicious blonde thing I am capable of creating.


Blonde Brownies

3/4 cup softened butter
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups chocolate bits

Hand beat the butter, sugars, and vanilla until creamy.  Add eggs and stir.  Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add chocolate bits.  Put in a greased 13x9 pan and bake at 350* for 25-30 minutes.


When you're done and it's in the oven, licking the bowl isn't a bad idea...


Monday, February 21, 2011

Heaven

L goes to bed between 6:45pm and 7:00pm every night.  Tonight, at 10:30pm, more than 3 and a half hours after she'd been asleep, I went up to scoop her up out of her crib and rock her.  I just felt like it.  She's almost as in love with her crib and her sleep as she is with her own daddy so I knew that doing so would be no biggie.   

I rocked her in the quiet dark for nearly 20 minutes and then put her back to bed.  As I laid her back down, she opened her eyes and smiled at me and asked for WoWo (William).  I told her that WoWo was asleep and that was that. 

I had left my camera on her bureau earlier in the day so I snapped a goodnight picture of her.  She didn't even mind the flash and she was asleep by the time I even got downstairs. 

That girl is pure heaven.


4-ingredient cookie recipe, a la Ashley!

Need a quick homemade chocolate cookie recipe?  Well, it's not completely homemade, it's what Sandra Lee would call Semi-Homemade.  It's super quick, they freeze well, they are very chocolatey and they are tasty!



Ashley's semi-homemade cookies

1 pkg. devil's food cake mix
1/4 cup softened (not melted!) butter
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
A huge handful of chocolate bits

Beat together all the ingredients, adding the chocolate bits at the end.  Drop by the spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 375* for ~ 12 minutes.

This is a good recipe for the kids to make because it requires so few ingredients and it's quick. 

Enjoy your Monday holiday today!


Sunday, February 20, 2011

New feature!

I've added a new feature to the blog.  Under each post I've added the beloved "like" button from facebook.  If you like and you want to share that you like, just click it after you've read the post.  I know, it seems a bit obnoxious, but it's handy and it's an easy way to let me know you've liked what you've read without having to - OMG, leave a comment.  Are you feeling me on this?  I hope so!

Oh, and how 'bout the new background?  You like?  I don't even read my blog and I was tired of that green background so I switched it up a bit.

If your kids have tomorrow off from school, try and do something different and enjoy them.  Don't pretend to be going to the bathroom for 15 minutes just to try and get some alone time.  And no, I didn't do that today.  Ok, I totally did.  Don't judge me.

NPJTBCOM workout is working out

It's been almost a month of going to the gym and making healthier choices and the no-pressure, just-take- better-care-of- myself thing is working for me.  I feel better and hopefully by the summer I'll look better, too. 




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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Yeah, 'cause I do nothing.

This morning Lauren dumped her cup of trail mix onto the rug.  I said, as I always do, "Uh, oh.  If you dump it out, you must clean it up!  Put it back in the cup, please."  Then Lauren bends down and does just that.  *She's the perfect child, have I mentioned that before?*

William was watching all of this and he said, "When I'm a daddy I'm not going to make my kids ever clean up."  Drew said, "Oh, I totally am.  That way I don't have to do anything ever.  Like mommy."





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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Plan B may become Plan A

I wrote this post a few months ago about being one of those parents, for evident reasons.  By one of those (italics indicate a snarky tone) I mean a parent whose children will not be going to our neighborhood public school.  As I've stated before, I totally support public schools and being a teacher and the daughter of a teacher I want to make it known that I do support public schools BUT not as they are today.  With class sizes what they are there is no way I could be excited about sending my kids into a classroom where, despite the best intentions of the teacher, they wouldn't learn as they could/should in a classroom with a smaller class size.  That's why we researched our options and chose a new charter school that is being built.  We signed them up in the fall and it went to a lottery and thankfully their names were chosen.  The only obstacle at this point is the actual charter being accepted.  Thus far it's been denied.  It was denied by the school district and by the county.  Now it's going to the state level.  Detailed information about why it was denied can be found here if you're at all interested.  

I'm very excited about this new charter and all it has to offer - academically, socially, creatively.  I hope, for all 530 children who are currently enrolled, as well as for its administration, that it is passed at the state level and early this spring we can all get started to make the school the best it can be when it opens in August.  In the meantime, I think it's wise to start thinking of a Plan B, you know - just in case.  Plan B is going to be a private school with a hefty bill of nearly $6,000 a year per child OR our neighborhood public school.  You know, the one with the huge class sizes.  It's frustrating and scary and disappointing to think that Plan B may become Plan A if the charter isn't passed.  My job is to give my kids the best education - at all cost. 

I wish those on the County Board of Education understood the true need our community has.  All we want is for our kids to have a chance to learn in the best environment possible.  It doesn't seem fair that they are denying us of that.

Crap.  I hate this.





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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ass-kicking anniversary

5 years ago today mom was diagnosed with cancer.  It was stage 3C.  On March 7 she had surgery and shortly after that she began chemo AND radiation, which she did on her lunch hour.  She never stopped teaching through it all.  It was amazing.  No matter how hard some of us tried, we just couldn't keep her down to rest and relax like she deserved.  She had the cancer, the cancer didn't have her. 
William was born in September and I have pictures of her holding him in the hospital at just hours old and they have exactly the same 'do.  Those pictures speak volumes to me.  So thankful she was there to hold him. 



Happy 5 years to mom.  Supermom.  Superhero.


It is quite possible that coffee has helped to cure her.  If you knew the quantity and strength of the coffee she drank, you may start to believe it, too.






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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

It's really not that hard.

...and he's wearing a Red Sox hat.



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Monday, February 14, 2011

Getting deep

William and I have been having conversations since he was about two.  Not chit chats, but conversations.  I wish I had every single one of them recorded because each is fabulous in its own and way and I want to remember every single one of them. 

Tonight we had yet another great one and it made me realize something.  He is starting to ask questions and think about things that I don't immediately have the answers to.  I know that's ok, but it's new to be stumped by my child.  My 4 year old child, no less.  Tonight went like this:

William:  How come you don't ever use my name?  You only call me Honey or Babe?
Me:  I can call you William if you'd like. 
W:  No, I like it when you call me Honey.
M:  I'll call you honey for the rest of your life.  Even when you're grown up like daddy and even if you have a wife who calls you Honey, I'll call you Honey, too.
W:  And I'll still love you and think about you when I'm grown up like daddy.
M:  Well, geez, I hope so!
W:  Mommy, when you die, will still think about me?
M:  *blink*  *blink*
W:  Like when you're dead, does your brain still think?  Does your heart still love people?
M:  I think when you're dead you can still watch over people you love but I don't think your brain thinks like it does when you're alive and yes, your heart will always love the people you loved when you were alive.  I will love you forever and ever, even when I die.  And I'll always be watching over you, too.
W:  Oh, ok, that's nice you still love people, even after you die.


*HUGE SIGH*  It's getting deep in here, yo.  He's only 4.  Time to brush up on my Nietzsche, I'm afraid.



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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Birth story #4

I've had three kids.  Two of whom were huge and one of those was with no drugs.  Paper cuts can bring me to my knees, sore throats make me want to crawl back into bed, but hard core primal pain I have done.  Not well, but I've done it.  3 times.  Wait, make that 4 times.  Meet baby Peters #4:


Holy hell.  Sorry if it skeeves you out but this is my kidney stone, born at 10:32am today.  He (she?) started to made its presence known about midnight last night and by 4am I said to Chris, "Honey, let's pack our bags.  It's time!!"  After an hour of labor, I got some drugs which took the edge off.  The drugs made me loopy, sloppy, and nauseous but it also made things a little more tolerable.  After about 40 minutes of laboring and before the drugs I kept moaning to Chris, "Get on your phone and google how long this mf'er is going to take."  It wasn't pretty.  I wasn't pretty.

Long story short - went to the hospital, got drugs, stayed for about 6 hours, came home, had baby #4, slept off the drunk drugs, and am now up at 4pm.  There were three amazing blessings in all of this:  Chris was home and not at the fire station.  My mom was here visiting.  The Peters were here visiting.  Chris was home to come with me and our parents were all here to care for the kids.  Oh, and my mom was here to put me to bed when I got home.  Doesn't matter how old you are, that makes things better.

Huge thanks to the Peters for manning the fort all day so I could do nothing but sleep and sober up.  

Thanks to mom and Drew for the pretty flowers.  And no, they aren't for Valentine's Day.  They are for having a kidney stone.  Woot, woot!

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Friday, February 11, 2011

What do you loooooove?

Valentine's Day is coming!  We don't do gifts for each other but we make stuff.  Well, the kids make stuff.  We all wear pink or red and eat candy and it gives me a reason to annoy William by always saying, "It's February.  The month of looooooooove."

Aside from my husband, kids, and family - here are some things I loooooooove.

I loooooooove...

  • when I think there are clothes in the dryer and I go to unload it and it's empty.
  • looking at the calendar on a Sunday to discover Chris has a day off that week with nothing planned but us.
  • a dentist, doctor, or hair appointment for me because I get to go alone.
  • when Lauren helps me put the dishes away and we name each. and. every. item.
  • Pauly D
  • going to bed sore from a good workout
  • naptime
  • storytime
  • listening to Drew read
  • my iPod
  • clean sheets
  • baking for the kids' birthday parties
  • watching the weather report on the news
  • my laptop
  • that Target sells Icees and that a small Icee lasts just long enough for me to finish my shopping
What, besides the obvious, do you love??




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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What's for breakfast?

Our Party of 5 tradition is to have birthday cake for breakfast on the morning of someone's birthday.  This, my friends, is why I continue to have children.  Anyway, here is our breakfast for tomorrow.  6 years ago tonight I was in the worst pain of my life and here I am tonight, 6 years later, licking a bowl of frosting before I get ready to go to the gym to work off the same damn baby weight from that 1st pregnancy.  Or maybe it's all the birthday frostings.  Either way, here we are.  My baby now needs two hands to show you how old she is.  WAH.

Mmmm.  Breakfast.

I'm going to take a slight internet break for the next 4 days or so.  Be sure to join our facebook page if you haven't already!  I'll letcha know when I'm back on.  Thanks and have a great weekend coming up!



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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Wonder how this will effect their SAT scores?

When Drew was a baby, I made almost everything she ate.  I had this wonderful cookbook and I steamed and pureed and froze just about everything for her.  With the exception of canned green beans (which she LOVED) everything was fresh and mostly organic.  Her first chocolate was the cupcake she ate at her first birthday and the second chocolate was her cupcake at her second birthday.

Can't you just taste the yumminess?

When William was a baby, he ate a lot more "normal" things, but I still made some of the same baby foods for him that I made for Drew.  I didn't do it very often, but I did do it.  I made a hot breakfast for both kids every single morning and made sure if William was going to carry something around the house to nibble on it was something homemade and nutritious.  His first chocolate was his cupcake at his first birthday party.

When Lauren was a baby, I made sure she was fed.  Somehow.  She learned very early to eat by herself and by 15 months was out of her highchair completely.  She sat (sits) at the counter for breakfast with the big kids and sits at the table for all other meals with the rest of us.  She, like William, would walk around nibbling on something only it was often a toasted frozen waffle (gasp!) or a granola bar.  I would look at her with chocolate on her mouth from her chocolate chip granola bar at 7:30am and think that she would have been the kid I'd use as an example as I would rant on about unfit parents.  SHE became that kid.  I became that mom.  Sad, but true.  Her first chocolate was... not at her first birthday party.

Then today.  Today we hit a new low. 


Can you see the shame in her eyes?  Even she knows how terrible this is.



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Monday, February 7, 2011

I'm no Nate Berkus but she loves it anyway

I'll keep it simple. 

This little girl...


has become this little girl and on Thursday she'll be wearing this...


and she'll no longer be 5.  She'll be 6. 


And this will be me (tears with a smile), because although we've celebrated 11 child birthdays so far I still haven't gotten over the fact that they are going to continue. to. happen.

Drew is having a party on Saturday with some of her friends from her kindergarten class but Chris and I wanted to give her one of her gifts early.  We decided to redo her room.  Not completely, but just something new and fresh.  Honestly, I was the one who was tired of looking at her mess of a room.  It was just kind of a mish mash of stuff which has worked fine until now but I thought it was time to get it all pulled together for her.  When she left for school today I redecorated a little and when she got home from school I sent her upstairs to get something out of her room for me.  She, unlike her brother, is a child of few words so although she said little, she loved her room.  She spent a long time in there after the rest of us went downstairs and on the way home from karate tonight she said she couldn't wait to go home and go to bed in her new room.

Before


After


On the wall


Bedside


Sister loves it!


$24 lamp I got for $1.97.  I may or may not have done that legally.


The reveal:



Although I threatened to cancel her party and not celebrate her birthday so that she'd remain 5, I think I'll reconsider.  I'll let her turn 6.  I'm beginning to like this big girl phase.  I may even get her a New Kids poster to hang in her room.  Yeah, that'd be awesome. 


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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Special delivery

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I speak for 99% of stay-at-home moms when I say, "Why the hell doesn't Starbucks deliver?"  For reals.  Think about it. 

I can't count the number of times I've spoken the words, "OMG, I'd love a coffee right now."  Very few things prevent me from actually going to get one but sometimes it's just not practical.  And I usually think about it in down time which means it's after bedtime and I have sleeping children so I can't leave.  There have been many many times when I've hustled all three kids into the car at barely a moment's notice - barefoot and in pj's - to go run through the drive-thru.  *I know, it's crazy*  But like I said, sometimes that's just not practical.  If they delivered, they'd get so much business they don't otherwise get.  How does Starbucks not know this?  Where are their spy/research people?  Clearly they aren't talking to those of us who are addicts yet are bound to our house by our children sometimes.  AND, there are so many freaking Starbucks around, it's not as if the delivery area for one particular store would be that large.  For example, there are 4 Starbucks all within 2 miles of my house.  If they split up the areas each store would have a relatively small delivery route. 

I know what Chris is you are thinking.  This could get so incredibly pricey and what a potential waste of money.  I completely disagree.  My children's happiness is the number one priority in my life and this, my friend, would bring happiness to me which therefore... well.  You get it. 





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