Wednesday, August 31, 2011

~ What the Hell Wednesday ~ REMIX!

I'm revising this to WHY the Hell Wednesday.  You know when you see a product and you're like, "Why the hell didn't I think of that?"  I've seen two in the last 24 hours where I've asked myself that question.  In fact, most baby products beg that question but I'll spare you that list.  These two are just... well, genius.  Why the hell didn't I think of them?  Why the hell didn't YOU think of them?!

We're not a big S'more family but when I saw these I thought maybe we will become one.  


A Kitchen Aid mix attachment with scrapers on the sides.  Um, genius!  I ordered one here and you can, too.  This will arrive just in time for all the fall baking that will soon be taking place! 
*Thanks to Melissa for sharing this discovery!

Wanna add to Why the Hell Wednesday?  Leave a comment and share!



 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Mommy intuition

Without going into great detail, I'll just say that I have struggled tremendously with a decision regarding William.  I knew something wasn't right for him and I wanted to change it but the long-term ramifications may not have been all that desirable.  That long-term stuff is the only thing that kept me from changing his situation immediately.  After 10 full days it was clear that the current situation had to change regardless of what it may mean for him next year.  So I went with my gut, my mommy intuition, and changed it.

Today was William's first day in his new situation and he declared it "the best day of his whole entire life."  I told him that made my heart sing with happiness.

There is something to be said for sticking it out.  Or for sucking it up.  Or for getting used to it.  Life isn't always easy or as you expect it to be.  I get that and I do expect my kids to learn that earlier rather than later.  BUT - some situations are different.  This was one of them.  I just knew in my gut, in my heart, it wasn't right for him.  It just wasn't.  It wasn't anyone or anything's fault, it just wasn't right for him.  So after 10 days of knowing it wasn't right I fixed it and he had the best day of his whole entire life.  

Thank you to those who have helped to make it so great for him and for those who listened to me as I processed this whole thing.  I may look back a year from now and think how silly it all seems but for now, it's paramount in William's life which means it's paramount in mine. 




Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sweet


A sign in front of a book store in Virgina.

I love this. 

Now only if they had a coffee shop with a similar sign. 


Friday, August 26, 2011

No joke

A horrible sore throat, hot, stingy eyes, and a headache have been my constant companions for the last 2 days.  I'm all about taking meds but wasn't sure what to take.  No coughing, no fever, no congestion.  Motrin wasn't doing it.  I finally decided to take some Nyquil thinking that it was no biggie, it wouldn't effect me during the day adversely.  I can drink a pot of coffee and go to bed.  I can take two Benedryl and not tell a difference.  I figured Nyquil would be the same.  WRONG.  Within 25 minutes I felt like I'd had a 6-pack.  It was brutal.  Lauren was napping so I laid down to sleep off my drunk head while the big kids went into a TV coma.  I woke up and said, "Hey, where is Lauren!?" in this mini panic  Drew said in her DUH tone, "You put her down for a nap after lunch."  Oh, crap.  That's not good.  Nyquil should be wrapped in a neon wrapper with warnings all over it.  That stuff is NO JOKE.  Moms who are home alone with their children should absolutely not be able to take it.  It's 5 hours later and I feel a little hung over.  And my throat and head still hurt sooooo it was all for not anyway. 



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

~ What the Hell Wednesday ~

What the hell is up with 2 year olds?  You don't have to feel sorry for her.  This was because I wouldn't let her walk by herself across the street. It just sucks that everything is so dramaaaaaatic and traumaaaaatic.  I've dealt with two 2 year olds before her, I just wish she knew what a pro she was dealing with.  She'd cry uncle and stop all the nonsense.  Honestly, I'm kind of over it.    


How did you spend YOUR Wednesday morning?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

College text book rentals - genius!

What's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear these words?:  COLLEGE TEXT BOOKS

I think of the word EXPENSIVE

I graduated from college in 1997 (OMG) and even waaaaaay back then it was easy to spend $450 a semester on books, if not more.  Then at the end of the semester, because this was before ebay and the internet was so much a part of everyone's world like it is now, we'd stand in line at the bookstore and sell them back for pennies on the dollar.  It was painful.  A necessary yet painful part of going through school.

Now the young folks of today have options.  Like this!  Have you heard of Campus Book Rentals?  This site is awesome.  If you know of anyone who is going through school, please pass this along to them, all the info is right there on the website and it really couldn't be easier - or cheaper.  The best part of the whole thing, I think, is that they partner with Operation Smile.  Here is what part of their website says, "We're ecstatic to announce our 2011 Making a Difference Program. We have officially teamed up with Operation Smile, an out of this world, awesome organization, that performs life changing cleft lip surgeries on children whose families could not otherwise afford it. The long term Improvement in quality of life for the children that receive these surgeries is almost incomprehensible. We have committed to donating enough to cover a minimum of 1,000 life changing surgeries. We hope To beat that number, but it's a significant commitment.
So for EVERY book rented starting now, we will donate a portion of those proceeds to Operation Smile with our sights set on meeting and exceeding our goal of 1,000 lives changed. So add that extra book to your cart, and consider this goal as you go back to school this year. Thank you for your support."

Really, if you know a college student, pass along the website to them.  (Click here to go to their home page).  It's a win/win!






Skittles!

Bedtime is a bit less strict than it used to be and by that I mean if they are in bed at 7:51pm instead of 7:45pm I don't have a heart attack like I used to.  We don't waver too much, though, so we must keep to our schedule for bath and all the pre-bed stuff.

I'm noticing that around 7:00pm all three of the kids kind of lose their minds.  They begin chasing each other, playing crazy rowdy games, all the opposite things I'd like in the 45 minutes before they go to bed.  It's not as if they haven't had a full day of busy-ness and togetherness.  

This is my new thing:  "If you have your clothes in the basket and your shoes in your cubby by the time the big hand is on the 2 you get a penny!"  It's bribing and I'm ok with that.  It's time management of sorts, too.  They can play and do whatever for the last few minutes before it's time for bath and if they keep their eye on the clock and manage their time they get a penny to get Skittles!



Sunday, August 21, 2011

My Hokey Pokey


Leapfrogging

Worth getting itchy


Tossed around

Sunday morning paper.  William was too busy watching Spongebob.

This is a very rare weekend of all 5 of us being together with only family fun things to do. 

That's what it's all about.

Hope your weekend was fulfilling.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Do your kids eat well?


Do your kids eat well?  I mean, do you feed your kids well?  And I don't just mean all organic, I just mean you cook or prepare 3 meals a day for them.  Do you?  I used to.  They ate very few things that came wrapped in any kind of shimmery package.  It's been a while.  I feed them, obviously, but not nearly as well as I'd like.  Maybe that will be my New Year's Resolution, to be more conscious of what I buy and what I choose to feed them.  We eat out too often, even once a week isn't necessary really.  It's just so easy to run through In N Out after karate when it's 6:30pm and I know they'll eat it.  For the first 3 years of Drew's life she had a homemade hot breakfast everyday.  Now I'm shoving a granola bar in her hand as we get into the car.  And Lauren, poor Lauren.  By the time she came along a hot breakfast was special! and infrequent.  Chicken nuggets from the oven and green beans is a common dinner for her.  A cheese stick or pretzels is what she knows for a snack.  Infrequent are the days of fresh fruit smoothies with flax seed (magic powder!) as a snack.  

I'm disappointed in myself for not putting more energy and effort into their diet.  I really should start.  It would benefit everyone in this house.


Oh, crap.  We'll have to start tomorrow.

    

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

~ What the Hell Wednesday ~ #2!!

The following is copied from this link here to the original article but rather than sending you to a different website, I copied and pasted it below.

GTL ... but no A and F!


Abercrombie and Fitch has a bad, bad Situation on its hands.


The clothing company (famous for its ads of nearly naked hunks) is worried that "Jersey Shore" star Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino has been wearing its wares out and about. So worried, in fact, that they're willing to pay Sorrentino, 29 — plus his "Jersey Shore" castmates — a "substantial" amount of cash to cease and desist rocking A and F gear in public.


"We are deeply concerned that Mr. Sorrentino's association with our brand could cause significant damage to our image," the company said in a press release Tuesday (via CNN).
"We understand that the show is for entertainment purposes, but believe this association is contrary to the aspirational nature of our brand, and may be distressing to many of our fans," the statement continued.
"We have therefore offered a substantial payment to Michael 'The Situation' Sorrentino and the producers of MTV's The Jersey Shore to have the character wear an alternate brand. We have also extended this offer to other members of the cast, and are urgently waiting a response."
No word yet on The Situation's response — or how "substantial" the company's offer is.



WHAT THE HELL?  This is the SAME company who makes padded bikini bras for girls ages 7 and older. "We are deeply concerned that Mr. Sorrentino's association with our brand could cause significant damage to our image."  BWAHAHAHAHA!  Obviously!

*Remember that?  I mentioned that story here?

 





 



~ What the Hell Wednesday ~

What the hell happened to my little babies??


Lauren is now the age that William was when she was born.  How the hell did that happen? 

William is such a complex little boy - sensitive and sweet and snarky and smart.  He used to just overflow with joy.  Overflow.  He still is joyful, unless he's not.  And then he's not.

Here he is, the same age Lauren is now.  Little Lauren is in that carrier next to him, just days old. 





Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

blah blah blah

Watching a child eat frozen chicken nuggets makes me nauseous.

William, the master of crying and throwing fits, is annoyed with the kids in his kindergarten class who cry.  He claims they are too loud and there is really no reason to cry.  I wanted to say, "Are you f'ing kidding me?!"   Welcome to my world, little boy. 

I've taken numerous classes at the gym, all are only an hour long.  I have never gotten through one of them without the staff having to come get me because one of my children has to go to the bathroom.  I threaten the kids with death if they make me stop my class to come take them to the bathroom but apparently they are calling my bluff.  Everytime.  Damn kids and their potty.

So I think I may be rethinking this whole "OMG, afternoon kindergarten is so awful" thing.  After I drop William off I come home and put Lauren down for her nap and the house is... quiet.  And seemingly empty.  And quiet.  For at least 2 hours.  Know what that means for me?  WHATEVER I WANT.  Holla!

I propped my water bottle up on a ledge at the gym tonight and I put my iPhone underneath it on the ground with my keys.  Apparently I'm not the only thing that sweats and drips because now my iPhone is f'd thanks to being under the water bottle.  I need to perform a little iPhone surgery tonight and see if I can make it right again.  Since I'm not even sure where the battery is I'm guessing that's a NO but I'm going to try.

I'm 2 weeks in to my Strivectin regimine and I look like I'm 35 and spent 20 years in the sun with no sunscreen.  I still have hope.  I still have hope.  I still have hope.








Funny! Yet very sad. Yet still funny.









Monday, August 15, 2011

Not just new to us

Drew walking to her classroom with Little Miss not far behind.


Ready for kindergarten but feeling a little "nuhvous".


So happy that Daddy was home today for the first day of school.

The 1st grader.  The kindergartener.  The wannabe.

The kids started at a new school today.  Not just new to us, but new to everyone.  It's a little scary, exciting, and nerve-wracking.  The morning went smoothly for both kids.  Drew was a pro, William was a bit more apprehensive but there were no tears and no one hung on to me.  I'm really anxious for the next 2 hours to pass so we can go get them.  Can't wait to hear how it went.

Tonight we're having a favorite dinner, each got to choose.  Drew chose chicken salad and William chose fish sticks.  When a 5 year old chooses fish sticks as their favorite dinner, it means only one thing.  The mom is ghetto.  GUILTY.
  

How did this happen?

First day 2009 (preschool, Jr. K)


First day 2010 (K, preschool)


First day 2011 (1st grade, K) 


Here's to a great school year for all the kids and all the parents.  It's going to be a good one!








Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tonight I will sacrifice my sleep with a smile

Tonight is kind of the last night of summer.  The kids begin school on Monday and tomorrow night will be a hairwashing, in bed on time, get a good night sleep kinda night.  Tonight is it.   I think I'm going to let the kids sleep in our bed.  Some parents allow their kids to sleep with them whenever.  We are not those parents.  Our bed is our bed, always has been.  The kids can sleep with us on their birthday and on Christmas Eve.  It's nice that way, it keeps it special.  They are in our bed every morning, but not for sleep.  Anyway, tonight may be a fun camp out kinda night.  That means we'll have fun 'til they fall asleep, I'll get up, do my thing (usually that means watching crappy TV while neglecting laundry) and then I'll climb back in while having little limbs all over me all night and faces all up in my grill and I'll sleep like shit and I'll be a wee bit cranky tomorrow because of it.  BUT!  It'll be fun for them, a way to bid farewell to our great summer.






Do you know what this is?


100 points for the first person who guesses correctly.

 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

~ What the Hell Wednesday ~




She's 10 years old. 

Here's the article which accompanies these pictures:

What are your thoughts?


*Thanks, Kia G., for passing this along!


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Just 3 things


Sneakers!  Do you need new sneakers for your kids for school, or even for yourself?  I just got a slammin' deal at Famous Footwear.  I bought 6 pair of sneakers, 4 of which are Nike, for just a little over $100.  They are having their buy one, get one half off promotion plus on their website there is a coupon you can print out for 20% off your entire purchase.  You can't beat it.  Click for the coupon if you're interested:  AWESOME COUPON!




Do you Groupon?  If not, look into it.  If you don't have the app on your phone, get it.  I bought a Groupon to my hair salon for a wash, cut, and style - a $75 value - for $29.99.  I'm taking Drew to my hair salon tomorrow to use it.  I'm letting her get her hair did before school starts.  No color, no adult cut, no extensions (all of which she's asked for), but a grown up experience nonetheless.  Should be fun!


I found the best new snack for the kids.  They are raspberried and strawberried and graped out and I don't blame them.  The, "Can we have some Cheezits?" is always answered with, "No, but her is a big bowl of fruit!" gets old and I get it.  The last two days I've served toasted frozen pancakes and frozen yogurt (like real yogurt that I've frozen, not like the ice cream stuff).  They love it and half of the snack is nutritious!


The slogan here is "Every batch made from scratch!"  That lessens the guilt tremendously.



Have a good Tuesday evening, friends.
 


Monday, August 8, 2011

Afternoon kindergarten should not exist

William got afternoon kindergarten for this school year.  Drew is entering 1st grade.  Lauren is 2 and is still home with me for another full year until she begins preschool next fall.  What does this mean?  This means an entire school year of at least two children with me all the time or being housebound by a sleeping child.


I'll be the first to say that there are much worse things.  Obviously, I know this.  BUT, I was really looking forward to my last year alone with Lauren, doing some shopping with just one child, taking her to the toddler reading time at the library, paying just $3 at the gym daycare for 1 child instead of having to pay $6 for two children EVERY SINGLE DAY.  This whole afternoon kindergarten thing has thrown a wrench into my vision of a peaceful school year.

To school at 8am for Drew, to school at 11:45 for William, home for nap for Lauren, back to school for both at 3.  It's just going to be KIDS with me all day or me home while the little girl sleeps.  GAH.

I'm having a hard time thinking of some 'cause I'm too wrapped up in the ohmygod he got afternoon K right now but I know there are worse things - please forgive me if this sounds trivial or dramatic.




Sunday, August 7, 2011

How much is a cup of frozen yogurt with gummy bears worth to you?

Sunday.  No obligations, no playdates, no appointments, no karate, no gym.  To some that may sound delightful.  To me it sounds scary.  That's a a whole lotta day to keep the kids from killing each other.  It goes like this:  breakfast, tv, play, play, play, yell, cry.  Play, yell, play, play, cry, lunch.  Play, cry, cry, play, yell, play, snack.  Play, cry, cry, dinner.  We are currently in a play phase but you can guess how it will end.  I did manage to fit in a trip to the grocery store, a trip to the car wash, and one other place.  I told them if between 1pm and 3pm there was no fighting, no arguing, no crying, we'd go to Chiliberries after grocery shopping.  They did it and I was amazed.  And once the 2 hour deadline was up they were right back at it.  BUT, for 2 hours it was quite pleasant. 

And the bribing thing?  I'm not above it.  Not at all.  It buys me some peace sometimes and since it's not a way of life I'm cool with it. 

Do you bribe?  What do you bribe with?


Hard to believe she is part of the fighting nonsense already but she is.


Mmm, the taste of peace.


Puffy and wrinkly and tired, oh, my!

I used to go to bed, sleep my mandatory 9+ hours, and wake up pretty much looking the same as when I'd laid down.  It seems like all of a sudden that's not the case any more.  My eyes are kinda watery and a wee bit puffy when I get up in the morning, I have at least one crease on my face, either a wrinkle from the sheet or the pillow or just from another wrinkle on my face.  My hair is atrocious, not straight and silky like it used to be when I'd wake up.  I feel kinda heavy headed and tired.  After about 10 minutes I'm good to go but those first 10 minutes aren't pleasant or pretty.  What happened?  Is this what it is to get older?

I'm not freaking out about wrinkles or anything (yet) but after spending the first 25 years of my life swimming, laying out, and lifeguarding all with zero sunscreen it's time to try and slow down the damage that is inevitibly coming.

I started using this product yesterday.



In 8 weeks I should look like I'm 22 again.  No?  Well, I'm hoping to see a little difference by then.  A little more rested if nothing else.  We'll see!  If not I'm out $50 and about 40 seconds every day.  I can handle that.

Oh, and something that's super important in this fight against being puffy and wrinkly:


Saturday, August 6, 2011

A day at the zoo. Literally.


Chris had a rare full day off (no fire, no teaching) so we spent the morning all together at the Oakland Zoo.  We've been there numerous times before and it's really not all that big so it's not an all-day activity but with lunch and a few rides it's a couple hours at least.  I knew if we got there when it opened at 10am we'd be able to get through it before Lauren turned the corner of crazy (aka, naptime).  We almost made it but not quite.  She was a hot mess by the time she and I left (we had two cars since we'd met Chris there so she and I left while the big kids and Chris went on to finish the zoo).  Before she hit the crazy wall we had a great time.  I wish I'd taken more pictures.  I actually was so busy paying attention to where I was and who I was with that I forgot to take pictures.  Kind of a nice to not be snapping away the whole morning!


A pictoral summary:

Lauren and Chris while looking at the elephants.  He would ask, "Do you want to ride on the elephant?"  She would say, "Noooo."  He would ask, "Do you want to take an elephant home?"  She would say, "Noooo."  He finally said, "Do you want to kiss the elephant?"  She cried, "Yes, daddy!  Peeeez daddy!"  Then she cried and cried as we walked away making the kissing sound the whole time.  We're so mean, not letting her kiss those elephants.


We took a 15 minute train ride around the zoo which took more than 25 minutes because of this.  Can you see it there on the tracks?  That's an emu that wouldn't move and get out of the way of the train so we just had to creep along as it strutted its stuff in front of us.  For the first 5 minutes it was pretty neat.  After that, not so much...


Lauren and me on the train while we waited for the emu to move.  I see three things in this picture:  crooked glasses, freshly cut bangs that are slammin' because they are so straight (yeah, me!), and the fact that she's smooshing me into next week. 


Chris and the big kids enjoyed the kiddie roller coaster.  Chris will play it off but he really enjoyed it.  Here is proof.

She was the one who asked to go on this.  I knew it wasn't a good idea, I should have trusted my instinct.  She went not even 1/4 of the way around before she absolutely fell apart.  She honestly never recovered.  It was a few minutes after this that she and I left. 


Before we were even out of the parking lot.  I am a SCHEDULE NAZI and it has a thousand benefits but one of the down sides is that my kids are not flexible when it comes to changes in our daily routine.  This was 1:00pm.  If she'd been at home she'd have been down a little before noon for her nap.  That one hour difference made her turn into a crazy girl and really, that benefits no one.  There is a reason for my madness, my crazy attention to the clock with my kids.  It prevents hitting the crazy wall, it prevents restless sleep, and it prevents unpredictability of pretty much any kind in behavior.  

*On a different note, I totally spaced on WTHW last week.  Sorry!  I've gotten a few things from readers/friends of ideas for WTHW.  If you have anything, please pass it along!  Join our facebook page and message me with it. 
 


Thursday, August 4, 2011

T-shirt tiiiiiime!

I have 4 years of college, a B.A. in Sociology and Criminal Justice, with one additional year to get my teaching credential.  I am a reader and a wannabe writer with an affection for words and how they are used.  I'm also a huge lover of all reality tv which I'm aware possibly kills my brain cells.  It's a paradox, I know, but it is what it is.  Just don't judge me.

Tonight, my friends, it starts again.


Jersey Shore, season 4. 


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I HATE LAUNDRY

I've complained about laundry before and I know I'm not the only one who loathes it.  My issue is that it's never ending.  I enjoy the washing part, it's the folding and putting away that I dread.  It's pretty much one of my only jobs so I have tremendous guilt about letting it lapse, and by lapse I mean having clean laundry sit in a basket for so many days that it's so wrinkled I just wash it and dry it again.  Terrible, right?

This is what I went to bed to last night.  I couldn't fathom doing it at 10:30pm last night so I carefully picked all of this up and put it on the floor, where it still sits this morning. 


Wait.  Didn't I just write a few days ago about how lazy William is and that I don't understand where it comes from?  Oh, man.  Maybe now I know.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

It almost killed me - in a good way, though

So tonight I did a powerblast/step/weights/killyou class at the gym.  It was awesome, it was what I needed, and it was unexpected.  I thought I was just going for a step class.  You know, like left foot up, right foot up, right knee, left knee, triple knee! triple knee!  I'm all about that and can hang like nobody's business.  This was waaaaay more than that which, like I said, is what I needed but not what I thought I was going to get.

There was one part where this was what was being said inside my head:  "Well, I may just stroke out.  My last statement to Lauren was, "Be good for daddy."  My last statement to Drew and William when I dropped them off at karate was, "Do your best."  Those aren't terrible last words in case I actually do stroke out and die.  Am I supposed to feel my heart beat in my eyeballs?  That seems weird."

Just then I heard the instructor say, "Your heart rate shouldn't be too high at this point..."

Ummm... what?! 

Can't wait to go back.  For reals.  Only 1,273 more of those classes 'til I hit my goal weight.


 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mood thermometer today reads THANKFUL

It's not quite November yet, the Month of Being Thankful, but I'm feeling thankful for lots of things these days.  I go in spurts of being super appreciative and attentive and thankful which inevitably swings into dismissive and bitchy and contrary.  I'm not sure why that is but I'm pretty sure it has to do with the beauty of being a woman.  Anywayzzzz, I'm feeling thankful today and thought I'd share just a few of those on my list.

The perimeter of our backyard is lined with mature trees which gives us complete privacy from the two story house behind us.  This crape myrtle, however, stands in the dead center of our large grassy yard.  It is too weeny to provide any shade and is a great obstacle when running through sprinklers or throwing a baseball.  It's pretty worthless.  Except for now.  For these two weeks out of the year it's pretty and serves a purpose.  The other 50 weeks of the year it's just kind of... there.  I am thankful for my crape myrtle that is finally providing us with some pretty.


I woke up the other morning singing the What The Hell Are We Going To Do Today blues.  Then I came up with the genius idea of going to the park for breakfast!  We were there by 8am, ate breakfast and played for a solid hour before it got hot.  Not only were there no dishes to clean up, they were pooped and productive by 9:30am.  I am thankful for situations that end in a win/win.


If you look up summer in the dictionary I'm pretty sure you will find this picture - a nakie kid eating a dripping ice cream cone.  I am thankful for nakies and drippy ice cream.


This is Lauren on the Huntington Beach pier a few days ago while we were down spending a week with the kids' Grandma and Grandpa.  She disapproved of something I did and let me know it.  And all the passerby people as well.  I am NOT thankful for two year old fits but I am thankful for my ability to not let this bother me at all.  As you can see I stepped away from her and took pictures.  Without a sense of humor this could have been a day-ruiner.  I am thankful for having a sense of humor in all situations.


17 years ago this month we met in college.  I am thankful for that and everyday that has followed.

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