“Today, every girl is expected to have: Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits. The person closest to actually achieving this look is Kim Kardashian, who, as we know, was made by Russian scientists to sabotage our athletes. Everyone else is struggling.”
I'm all about breastfeeding. I'm also all about bottle feeding. I'm about doing what YOU feel is best for your baby. This, however, is not something I'm all about. Feeding, by whatever means, should not involve a zipper and a too-tight hoodie. This poor, poor baby.
And I have to say, I once nursed Lauren while talking on the phone and putting dishes away. But I never zipped her up in my clothes. That's just wrong.
The typical nighttime routine was taking place tonight. Dinner was finished, the kids went into the backyard to play/fight/scream/argue/jump on the trampoline. Drew yelled, "Mom! Come look at this in the tree!" I often ignore yells from the backyard but the tone of her voice told me this was something. All three were standing directly under one of our trees looking at this:
See it there?
Can you hear it through the picture? It's hummmmmmming.
Holy hell. This freaked me out more than I can tell you. Chris assures me it's a group of bees, that there is no structure underneath. He assures me they'll be gone by the morning. I don't believe him one iota so first thing tomorrow morning I'll be checking and if it's still there - and it will be - I'm calling Mr. Professional Bee Remover Guy to come take care of it.
Oh, and Chris got stung as he was walking back into the house from inspecting the tree and blabbering about how it was fine as long as we leave it alone. Uh huh.
No real topic but wanted to log in today and share a few things...
I may have found an alternative to baths...
Yes, it's a pretend knife BUT I have to explain. William is an orange belt in karate and this was what he chose to buy after filling up his first-time-asked chart. It came as part of a Ninja set. It really is appropriate for this little karate kid. And look at that stance. He'll totally kick your ass. That's after he finishes crying about having to put his shoes away, that is.
All three kids were being so cooperative this morning it was astounding. They calmly walked outside and held hands on their own when I asked if I could get their picture. And then... I jack it up by taking it as William blinks. Unbelievable timing. Oh, well. It's still proof they were cooperative and kind to each other. It's like seeing an albino alligator. RARE.
Ok. That's it. Fascinating blog today, I know. I was thinking, though - if you ever see anything that would be good for What the Hell Wednesday would you share it with me? My friend Kristen has shared some and actually tomorrow's WTHW post is something she sent me. If you ever come across something,send it to me on our facebook page. Thanks!
You know I love me some new products! Here are a couple I wanted to share with you. If you have any you'd like to share with me, please leave a comment!
I may have mentioned this before and if I have that's ok, it's definitely worth mentioning again.
This stuff works. Like after 2 applications you'll notice a huge difference. I won't go into detail about how the kids said I had wrinkles on my heels (cracks) and how they would bleed and be so painful. It's really not a good look, I promise. This stuff is the answer to all of that. I am barefoot at home 365 days a year and am out in sandals or flip flops 320 days a year so trust me, I know of which I speak. And this stuff is off the chain, as the kids say.
These are the stacked jewel flip flop from JCrew. I have them in metallic graphite and they're great. If you've got pretty heels you may as well show them off, right? Also! In the most recent catalog there is a 20% off any purchase code.
I love personalized gifts. I think that's why registeries always kind of bum me out. I want to get something special for you that is for you, something I thought about and spent a little time on. Etsy is so perfect for that and this little onesie is such a simple item but is so sweet, don't you think? This is from Chic Couture Boutique and I don't know her at all but the stuff she offers is so cute. The quality of this is great and it came so quickly after I'd ordered it. If you're looking for a sweet little special gift, check out the website! *And Hidie, if you're reading this, this is in the mail on the way to Baby Tommy!*
Now that Drew is this crazy insane big kid reader, I'm seeking out new books for her that at her level. It's not just picture books where she narrates based on the pictures and it's not story books that are for me to read to her. These are the greatest and I thank her teachers for making me aware of them. They are called "We Both Read" books and it's awesome. The parent reads the left page and the child reads the right page.
This is the parent page.
Then this is the opposite page, the one the child reads.
I love them, Drew loves them, and it won't be long before William will love them, too. They have non-fiction and fiction selections. If you have an emergent reader or a beginning reader in your home, check these out! You can find We Both Read books on Amazon.
Ok, so what's something you have or that you use that you love?
By the way, if you ever see something on this blog that is in bold green font, you can click on that and it will take you to that particular product or page. Just in case you didn't know...
As with Thanksgiving and Christmas, we celebrated Easter a day early because of Chris's work schedule. Saturday was our Easter and we had Nana, Auntie Sandy, and our very good friends the Richardsons come over. We had a little Easter egg hunt for the kids and then had a yummy, easy meal. It was a day spent with friends and family and was so nice. Today is the real Easter but just kind of like a normal day for us. We got up, had coffee, laid around in our pj's, watched the kids do karate in the livingroom, then got dressed and went to Panera for lunch with mom before she had to leave to go back home.
A pictoral summary:
The day started with evidence that the E.B. enjoyed the snacks left out the night before.
Tracy helping Savannah find eggs
The big kids
Nana helping Lauren
Drew was extrememly thorough in her search.
Counting time! Drew found more than William, something she made sure he knew. Over and over again.
Reading her new Junie B. Jones book to Nana this morning.
I hope your Easter was full of family, friends, and chocolate.
*Big happenings here tomorrow! I haven't been to the gym in 3 weeks and I'm starting back tomorrow AND we're having new windows put in the house. One I'm looking forward to and one... notsomuch.
My grandma died of cancer. My Nana died of cancer. My Grandpa had cancer. My only aunt died in July, 2010 of cancer. My mom is a cancer survivor.
The kids and I are walking in our 5th Relay for Life this year. I originally set our fundraising goal at $750 but when our generous friends and family put us beyond that I raised our goal to $1,000. As of right now our fundraising total is at $1,011. Isn't that crazy? I'm so grateful to every single person who donated and is showing their support in our efforts.
I was made aware this year of a really important study that the American Cancer Society is conducting called CPS-3. There is a little video that is a minute and a half long that explains the study at the bottom of this post. It's awesome because our local RFL is one of the locations at which you can sign up. I am going to be a part of this study and am so glad that I can contribute more than just time and money. My information will be compiled with half a million other people's to determine the factors that can help in the research of cancer prevention. Won't you consider joining, too?
What does the Easter Bunny bring to your house? Easter is NOT Christmas here. The Easter Bunny comes and leaves a basket full of goodies but it's not the insane basket of goodies that a lot of kids seem to be getting.
In addition to the dyed eggs that they find, their basket has eggs filled with candy, and a thank you note from the Easter Bunny for the carrots that were left on the hearth. Then there is ONE big gift that actually isn't all that big but it's not candy. This year the gifts are:
For Drew, who is capable of reading this book on her own, is months from being a first grader and has a front loose tooth...
For William, the lovah of bugs...
For Lauren, 'cause, well, she doesn't really need anything except a new toothbrush and she has every other possible thing she could want.
See? Sweet and simple. They LOVE their Easter baskets, love dying eggs, love finding them. It's not about coming downstairs and seeing a bajillion toys. Sweet and simple.
How 'bout you? What does the Easter Bunny bring for your kids?
I got to drive for over 3 hours by myself last night, in the dark. That was awesome. Not only could I listen what I wanted to without having to worry about little ears hearing it, but I could listen to it LOUD and I could sing and be dumb because it was the middle of the night and not a soul could see me. The kids and I rock out but not like this. I forgot how well I can sing (not) and it was so much fun! If you are ever driving by yourself in the dark I highly recommend 80's on 8 if you have XM radio or Adele's 21 album. I killed both of those last night for 3 hours straight. I'm actually a bit hoarse this morning.
Chris's flight was delayed 2 hours but after all was said and done, he had a safe trip and we made it home about 2:30am. Drew came into our room at seven zero zero and quietly crawled in bed to snuggle with him. William and Lauren came down a bit later and all were so happy to see daddy. William came down and said, "Hi, daddy! How was Hawaii? Did you have a good trip?" Drew said, "Is there something in your suitcase for us?" Those two statements absolutely summarize how each child is. So different, so loved.
Here they are with the goods that daddy brought back:
If you haven't heard Adele, you must. Here is her top single off her newer album. The video is neat and the song is great. She oozes talent.
I'm not complaining but c'mon. Someone got the short end of the stick, am I right?
Chris's cousin, Rebecca, married her honey, Rob, in a gorgeous Hawaiian ceremony on Friday. We were all invited but bringing a 2, 4, and 6 year old to Hawaii isn't our idea of a fabulous Peters Party of 5 vacation. It was a very easy and quick decision to make - I would happily stay home while Chris went to be there and celebrate with his family.
Chris left last Tuesday and returns today. TODAY! *cue the Hallelujah chorus* That's 7 night nights and 8 days. To be more accurate, that's 8 melt downs, 13 bouts of crying, 2 injuries, 6 karate classes, and 24 meals. I'm super self-sufficient but with three little ones, it's just easier with daddy home.
I'm fortunate that Lauren's favorite visitor, our sitter and helper, Miss Natalia, was available to help when I needed to be somewhere without a two year old (school function, doctor appointment, karate class). Lauren loves Miss LaLa so that was a huge help to have her come when I needed her.
When I think about all the things I did - in addition to the regular ol' daily things - I'm thinking that Chris leaving was a good idea. I seemed to have gotten a lot accomplished while he was gone. I picked up all three kids' birth certificates. What? You have your kids' birth certificates? Well, aren't you organized. I hired painters to come and paint Lauren's room a pretty soft pink instead of the weird white-ish/blue-ish that it was. I took Lauren to be fitted for this year's pair of Saltwater sandals. (That may not sound like a biggie but she's two so it is). I took the kids to have their passport photos taken. We went to karate everyday, did big grocery shopping, got all the Easter goodies for their classrooms, blah, blah, blah. I didn't get to the gym but I could only do so much and I had to set my priorities while he was gone and that wasn't one of them.
I am so thankful that Chris got to go. First of all, he works so incredibly hard, he needed time to be away from the firehouse and from his office. He still worked while he was in Hawaii, but it was a break from the normal 18 hour day he's used to. He needed time away from the kids and the pace he keeps while he's here. Secondly, he got to be with his family which, as we all know, is a rare thing once you become married and have your own family. It's rare you are with just your parents and siblings and extended family. That's a nice place to be without him having to be daddy. He could just be.
We texted and Skyped and he kept up with how school went, how karate went, and how I was doing. It was all good. And it went by really quickly. BUT, I'm really glad it's over.
The kids have access to our iPhones and playing them is a treat and it's something they look forward to. We have numerous games, some that are just fun and have very little redeeming value, others are educational games that reinforce all the new skills the kids are learning in school and at home.
I often will download a new game and as it's loading I hand the phone back to whomever it is that asked me for a new game. Then I read this tonight:
NEW YORK — Apple is facing a lawsuit from a Pennsylvania man whose 9-year-old daughter racked up $200 in charges buying "Zombie Toxin" and other game items on her iPod. The lawsuit seeks class-action status, saying Garen Meguerian of Phoenixville is among many people with bill shock after children went on buying sprees in iPhone, iPad and iPod games. These games are typically free to download, but players can buy items that speed up the game. An Associated Press story in December highlighted the issue. In many cases, it appeared that children bought items such as "Smurfberries" from "Smurfs' Village" without knowing they were spending real money. ITunes didn't ask for a password for in-game purchases if it had been entered within the previous 15 minutes for any reason. This meant that parents could download a free app, hand over their devices to their kids, and later find big charges on their iTunes accounts. Apple reversed the charges of complaining customers. It also tightened its password policy with a software update in March. Entering the password outside an app no longer triggers a password-free period for in-app purchases, which now have a separate 15-minute timer.
Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said the company does not comment on pending litigation. The lawsuit was filed last week in federal court in San Francisco. CNET reported on it earlier. "Tap Zoo," a kid-oriented game that's free to download but charges for items, was the top-grossing app in the App Store on Tuesday.
Can you imagine a $200 iTunes bill for Zombie Toxin? I got to thinking, I wonder if the kids have racked up any charges that I don't know about yet? I guess we'll see in the next few weeks. All I can hope is that I'm home to hear Chris when he gets a bill that says, Balance Due: $176.99, items purchased: Smurfberries.
I'm all about the conveniences that are available to make my life easier. Whether it's a baby item or a kitchen item or whatever, I'll spend the money for the convenience. But this, my friends, is the ultimate in crazy lazy. Oh! And it's free! This morning I sat on my ass in the comfort of my car in the Starbucks drive-thru and paid for my coffee with an app on my phone. Do we know about this? How come I didn't? I'm up on stuff but somehow missed the boat on this one. It looks like this on your phone:
You keep money loaded onto it from a credit card and you just pay from your phone when you've ordered. You drive up to the window and get your drink and drive away. It's pretty awesome.
We drove away and William yelled, "Mommy! You stole that coffee! I don't want to get arrested!" I explained how I paid this time and he didn't like it. He needs to see the money exchanged, I think. To keep his stress level down, I'll pay the old fashioned way when William is with me. Otherwise, I'm going to be super high-tech and crazy lazy. Oh, yeah.
I haven't made this yet but I am going to. My mom is the queen of cheesecakes - mocha cheesecakes and chocolate swirl cheesecakes are her specialties. At her school's fundraising auction, her cheesecakes go for hundreds of dollars each.
I've never made one. * Gasp!* It's time to change that and this will be the first recipe I'll try. If it turns out well, you're all invited over for a cuppa good coffee and some Bailey's chocolate chip cheesecake. Sound good?
Bailey's Irish Cream Chocolate Chip Cheesecake
1/2 cup toasted pecans, cooled and crushed 2 cups chocolate Oreo cookie crumbs 1/4 cup sugar 6 tablespoons melted butter
2 1/4 lbs cream cheese, at room temp 1 2/3 cups sugar 5 eggs, at room temp 1 cup Bailey's original Irish cream 1 tablespoon vanilla 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Coffee Cream Topping
1 cup chilled whipping cream 2 tablespoons butter 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder chocolate curls or Skor English toffee bits, for decoration on top
1.Make crust: Preheat oven to 325°. Mix all ingredients. Press into a 10" spring form pan and up the sides one inch. Bake for 7-10 minute.
2.Make filling: beat cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth.
3.Beat sugar in gradually, and then add eggs one at a time. Blend in Bailey's and vanilla.
4.Sprinkle half of chocolate chips over crust.
5.Spoon in filling. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips.
6.Bake at 325° approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes or until puffed, springy in center and golden brown. Place a pan of water on bottom rack of oven while baking to keep it moist.
7.Cool cake completely.
8.Coffee Cream Topping: beat all ingredients and spread over cooled cake.
9.Top with chocolate curls or Skor bits.
Make ahead: be sure to make and refrigerate at least one day before serving.
Most mornings here are a little chaotic. Organized, but chaotic nonetheless. We usually have about 40 minutes to get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, brush hair, put on shoes, and get out the door. It's almost as if we're all laying in bed and there is a "ready, set, BREAK!" that happens and we all jump up and start moving, sometimes at a feverish pace. The pace is what makes it chaotic, the organized part is that the kids' clothes are already out, the lunches are made, the backpacks and shoes and jackets are all where they are supposed to be so there is no hunting around for things.
If you were to stand outside my house you'd hear a lot of yelling in the morning. A lot of, "Sorry you don't like that today, that's what's for breakfast!", "Yes it does match, you've worn that before!", "You are not wearing flip flops, it's raining outside, for God's sake!", "No, you're not done yet, count to 32 in your head and then you can be done brushing your teeth!", "I'm leaving, is anyone coming with me?" and so on and so on.
This morning, however, was different. We had no place to be. I abandoned the typical breakfast of cereal or french toast or bacon or whatever. Instead I handed everyone a frozen yogurt popsicle (I just freeze the Gogurts) and we hudled on the couch and watched Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom about whale sharks. It was a yell-free morning. It was awesome.
This was just a few minutes after it happened. Can't wait to see it tomorrow.
I won't even bore you with the details of how this really happened but I will tell you it involved William going head-on into Lauren's chewie as she laid on the floor with it in her mouth. Boring, right? We need a new story 'cause that one could hurt even this four year old's pride. Thoughts?
I think I'm pretty smart. I was average in high school, went to a 4 year state school, graduated with a 4.0 my entire senior year. I went on to get my teaching credential. I love to read, love words and how they're used, and I can always turn a fun outing into a boring learning experience for the kids. Not only am I pretty smart, but my friends are, too. I'm lucky that way. But somehow every single one of us smart people didn't do the math when it came time for my family planning. When Drew was 10 months old and I found out I was pregnant with William it was definitely an "oh, shit" moment. But then I did it again. Not one of us stopped to think that someday it wasn't just going to be cute babies in this house. Why didn't anyone stop me?
I know I'm not the only one who is the mother to a 2, 4, and 6 year old but holy shit, ya'll. I'm going to continue to act as if I am and dwell in this, "OMG, what have I done" phase that I'm kind of falling into. I've always had a humorous approach to parenting and I've been lucky that that has worked for me thus far. For the most part my kids are good. And by good I mean manageable. I'm not worried about them liking me so much as I am about being their mom and that seems to be working for me. Or it has until lately. It's getting a little more difficult. Everyone is kind of in their own developmental stage right now and I am having to be in three emotional places all at once sometimes. That's becoming so draining. Someone is ALWAYS doing one of the following: whining, complaining, fighting, arguing, crying, yelling, asking me to watch them do something stupid (sorry, just being honest), help them, feed them, wipe them, or play with them. Always. Someone is always in one of these stages. Can you feel my pain?
I am not taking responsibility for being in this situation. I blame my smart friends for not stopping me when clearly they knew how to do the math and that someday these sweet little babies I kept having would be 2, 4, and 6. I'm too tired to take responsibility for anything anymore.
My Great Nana was a teacher, my Nana worked in a school, my mom is a teacher, and I was a teacher. It's what I've always known, it's what I've always loved.
I value my kids' teachers immensely. I know what they go through. I know what they sacrifice. I will always try my best to make sure they know how much I appreciate them.
This is for my mom who, after 27 years of teaching in the same classroom, the same grade, at the same school, has decided to retire in June. She's still in touch with many of her former students, all of whom have expressed their appreciation for what she provided them but I know there is no possible way she'll ever know the impact she had on so many. My brother and I are not her only legacies. She has many, many more. That's an amazing thing.