Thursday, September 5, 2013

Stay at Home Mom with NO kids.

Day 1 of Child Abandonment: Going well. No tears from either party, which shows that both were completely ready for this separation. Now...what to do with all this extra time I have NOT doing "Mom" stuff...?

The twins are going to preschool, two days a week for a few hours in the morning. With Evan in 1st grade now, I have the WHOLE HOUSE to myself for a bit! Not a huge amount of free time, but it's so wonderfully quiet for those hours.

Think of all the stuff I could get done! If I was smart, I would kick my to-do list in the tush and be done with the whole house in a few hours! It would be sooooo clean!

Hmm...sounds boring. And I don't want my husband to get the wrong idea about what kind of housekeeper I am. I've set the bar low...I should keep it there.

Next idea? Go all Home Alone and jump on the beds, watch Supernatural on Netflix (ON THE BIG TV) while eating muddy buddies in the middle of the living room. "I'm eating dessert in the living room, for breakfast AND I don't have to share!!!"

Although, I just worked my butt off to fit into a size 6 pant...pretty sure I don't want to ruin that by eating my weight in muddy buddies.

I could work on my large list of hobbies and actually accomplish something that I've been storing for years. Knitting, a puzzle, a good book, stained glass projects or one of my painted signs...

I don't want to burn myself out with all that excitement. It's only day 1 of preschool. I have a whole year to have tons of fun. Plus, I want to spend time writing. Time to put on my bra and work on my book. (I know it sounds weird, but that's how you know I mean business. I put on my bra.) Not nearly as fun, but I do have a small dish of muddy buddies by my side. And it's quiet. What more could a girl ask for?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Whore House Officially Open For Business.

That title just sucked you in, didn't it.

Here's the story behind that title, for those interested in boring things that happen around here. (You are interested, so keep reading.)

Every Halloween, my husband and I tend to go just a little overboard with our decorations. It's fun and we enjoy going all out with holidays. Halloween just happens to be one of our favorites.

Anyway, during one Halloween, my husband decided to replace our porch lights with one red light and one blue light. They looked pretty awesome that night.

The problem is our laziness/forgetful factor comes into play here and we completely forgot about the lights. We turn them on at night without a second thought. At least, we did...

Our lovely, much older, neighbor came over the other day for a nice visit and decided he had to tell us something very important.

Apparently our "red light" is sending signals to the other neighbors that has them questioning our position in this neighborhood. We are no longer the "nice family, with 3 kids and a garden", but instead, "A whore house disguised as a nice family, with 3 kids and a garden".

The neighbors have even had discussions about us and what we are trying to tell everyone with our "red porch light". My poor husband was just a little confused when he was approached by our neighbor.

But then we looked it up on Wikipedia:

A red-light district is a part of an urban area where there is a concentration of prostitution and sex-oriented businesses, such as sex shops, strip clubs, adult theaters, etc. The term originates from the red lights that were used as signs of brothels.[1] There are areas in many big cities around the world which have acquired an international reputation as red-light districts.[2] Some red-light districts have acquired a touristic interest beyond sex tourism, and can be perceived as places of artistic, historic or cultural interest, whether or not they still serve the sex trade.



Isn't that awesome? No? I didn't think so either.

But not only do we have the red light, we also have a blue one next to it. Maybe that indicates a whore house blue light special? Either way, I'm sending signals that I'm available for cheap. Not exactly what I was going for here.

My days are pretty full right now, I'm not 100% sure I can live up to the standards expected of a red light district. So I asked my husband if it was OK if we removed the light, at least until the house is cleaner. He just turned it off...Halloween is just around the corner. Might as well just wait.

Thanks to my neighbors, who have been apparently looking at me in a whole new light, I've learned something totally new and now will be constantly aware whenever the kids decide to play with those light switches. I don't need any "surprises" coming to our door at night...

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I told a few people that I would share this recipe and I'm finally going to do it.

I didn't share before, because it wasn't quite ready. I needed to adjust a few things and I'm still not 100% sure about it. But, feel free to give it a shot and adjust as you feel fit. We all modify recipes to our own liking anyway so why not just go for it.

Side Note: I do not write recipes for a living. This is the best I can do.

Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps Recipe
 
Chicken Mixture:
 
1 rotisserie chicken, meat removed and chopped.
1 red pepper, chopped.
1 half red onion, chopped.
1 small jalapeno, finely minced.
1 Tbs olive oil.
1 clove garlic, or more to suit tastes. ( I add more, because I love garlic!)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tbs peanut butter
2 heads butter lettuce, rinsed and patted dry.
 
Slaw Mixture:
4 cups of bagged coleslaw mix
1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1/4 cup mayo
2 Tbs rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp ground ginger
3 green onions, chopped
 
Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add red pepper, onion and jalapeno. Cook until slightly soft, about 5 minutes. In the meantime, mix together peanut butter and soy sauce.
 
In skillet, add garlic and chopped chicken. Cook for 1 minute, then add your peanut sauce. Cook for another few minutes, until bubbling, then remove from heat.
 
Mix together sauce for slaw mixture in a medium sized bowl. Add slaw, cilantro and green onions, then toss until coated.
 
Take about 3 leaves of butter lettuce, add chicken mixture, then cover with slaw.
Roll up and chow down.
 
Very messy and very, very delicious.
 
 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I'm such a slacker!

Sorry it's been so long!

I've never been away from my blog this long before!

I have TONS of updates for you but I'll save some for later.

We are getting our roof redone today and it's utter chaos here, as you can imagine. BUT, it's providing entertainment for the kids, so I call that a win.

 
This is happening outside my window right now.
The way my kids were acting, you would think this was hired entertainment.
They should do birthday parties...

 
Evan finished T-Ball for the season...thank goodness.
It went well, but he's not a huge sports fan, so this might be his last year.
 

 
I know these pictures don't actually look like much, but you need to look closer at them.
The beams in the picture are from my patio ceiling that I was painting one night.
It was pretty late and I was SO CLOSE to being done.
Then something black starting moving near my hand.
I screamed and bolted down that ladder as fast as I could.
 
Jalon: "Seriously? Are you going to scream over EVERY spider? Quit being so dramatic!"
Me: "That's not just ANY spider! That's one huge tarantula that belongs in the Amazon somewhere."
Jalon: "Let me see."
Me: "Go for it."
Seconds later....
Jalon: "OK! I need my flashlight for this one", as he bolts down the ladder.
Me: "HA! Told you!"
 
Jalon, after coming back armed with a flashlight and gloves, "I'm pretty sure it's not a giant spider, but a bat."
Me: "Oh. Well then...that's adorable! We should set it free!"
Jalon: "Are you nuts?! I'm not opening a hole for it to fly out and bite me."
Me: "We are not letting that bat die inside our patio! What if it's a baby?! What if it's hungry!?"
Jalon: *insert long, slightly suffering sigh here* "Fine. But you're driving me to the hospital for a rabies shot if this goes bad."
Me: "Whatever."
 
He rips open a portion of my enclosed porch and, after a few minutes, a bat comes flying out.
I screamed. It was much larger than I anticipated.
I have this all on video.
But he has the video and he's keeping it hostage.
 
Sorry.
I'm saying sorry a lot today.
Hopefully it won't be another month before I get back to this.
It's been awhile because I'm focusing more on what's going on here and writing a book.
Wish me luck!
 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Random Update that Includes Arm Hair and Cold Feet.

1.
Evan has been bragging lately.
He tells everyone we see.
He's so darn proud and won't stop talking about it.
 
What is it?
 
His arm hair.
 
Yup.
He's super thrilled about growing long arm hair, just like his daddy.
He told me the other day that he didn't need an umbrella in the rain, because his arm hair is long enough to protect him.
 
Ick.
 
2.
The other night, my feet were frozen (as usual) so they wandered to the other side of the bed, in search of a warm spot to nest in.
My husband, less than thrilled with being the warm spot, squealed and told me to stop.
 
"Why are your feet so cold all the time?" he asked, after shooing me away.
"I have no clue. But warm them up. It's your job. Pretty sure it was in your vows." I said.
"NO! They feel like their dead."
"Trust me, feels the same here. Now warm them up." I said, pushing my feet back under his knee.
"I think you must have poor circulation or something." He told me, reluctantly allowing me give him chills with my frozen toes.
"Seriously? Why don't you just Google it or something?" I said, JOKINGLY.
But, he had his iPad handy. "It says that sometimes people put their feet over the edge of the bed and that helps with the circulation part."
"NOPE. Can't do that." I said.
"What?! Why not?"
"Duh...monsters." I told him, like he didn't already know. Who actually puts their feet over the edge of the bed? #1 rule of sleeping in a bed, is to never put any body part over the edge because monsters will come and eat it off. Am I the only normal one here?
He thought I was being ridiculous...whatever. 
The ONLY time it's acceptable to allow your foot to hang over the edge of the bed is after a night of drinking too much. You can put one foot on the floor when you lay down so the room doesn't spin. I learned that in the military. I came out of that 8 year enlistment with great advice.
 
3.
Want to know how potty training is going?
Probably not.
It's going badly.
In fact, they have been getting worse, if that's even possible.
 
Seriously.
Worse.
 
I. Can't. Do. This. Anymore.

That's it for my update.
 


Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Few Ways To Make Your Husband Mad:

1.
Make the house a mess.
Not a normal mess, but the kind where people mistake it for a break-in,
THEN tell him your ditching him for the evening to go out with your Mom and sister.
Because he worked all day and I know that spending quality time, alone with his kids, in a messy house, is the best cure for a long weekend of Guard duty.
 
2.
Call him on your cell, and when he doesn't answer, leave a very scattered message on his voicemail with no actual conclusion, because you suck at leaving messages.
Then leave the house.
Now, shatter your cell phone on the ground so he can't reach you.
(Cry a little, because you realize that you hold a LOT of stuff in there and it's now gone.)
 
3.
Now tell him you shattered your phone in another scattered message.
Say it super fast and hope he can't quite hear it.
 
4.
Also, tell him that you went WAYYYY over budget while grocery shopping in a blog post your hoping he doesn't read....
 
5.
Run for your life.
It's OK, he likes the chase.
 
I better get going.
He is supposed to be home soon...
 
Hopefully, I'll be back after this.
If not, you know where to start.

Friday, June 21, 2013

My Sweet Morgan.

My daughter is so adorable, I just want to smother her....with my love. =)

 
1.
I was washing Morgan in the bath, during which she screamed "I don't WANT to be clean!" the entire time, and the bathtub was filling up with filth, soap bubbles and other crud.
She grabs the cup from me, the one that's been in the bathtub to wash kids for the past 6 years, AND pick up the "floaters", and proceeds to fill it with the filthy bathwater.
I tell her, "You better not drink that!"
Morgan, "Mommy, you need to leave. Get out of here so I can drink water."
Seriously?
I know I give you plenty to drink that's of higher quality than that.
But if you are that desperate to drink your own filth and waste,
by all means, fill it up.
Good luck to you.
I'm just going to sit here and gag...
 
2.
During our potty training time, I've been doing flashcards for the kids.
The Flashcards have great pictures on them and are pretty easy for them to understand.
Morgan, however, gets mad at me when we pass one card.
Just one.
It's a card with a wrist watch on it.
She keeps calling it a clock, which makes sense.
I'm really not that picky.
BUT, I'm trying to get her to understand, so I tell her it's a watch.
All I hear is a low, creepy growl and then she tells me, "NO! It's a CLOCK.
I'm like, "Nooooo, it's a watch."
Morgan: "Grrrr.....noooooooooooooooooooooooo. Nooooooo watcccchhhhhhh."
(Seriously, she has a creepy, low voice when she is trying to freak me out. It happens to be working.)
Now, every time we pass that card, she just starts whining.

Here, I even have proof:

Video Proof on Facebook

I really hope this link works...

3.
During these flashcard sessions,
 Morgan also has a strange way of telling me she doesn't know the answer.
If I give her a card she can't remember, she calls it a "Uniporn".
I'm going to guess that means unicorn...
I really, really, really hope it means unicorn.
 


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I swore I wasn't going to do this...

I know that I said I wouldn't go into details about Potty Training.

I promised I wouldn't say anything gross or even bring it up. Anyone who's a parent, has probably already gone through this, or will go through this eventually. And if your not a parent, you probably don't really care. Understandable.

Unfortunately, this is my world right now.

Potty training has consumed every single minute of my day that the twins happen to be awake for. (They can pee/poop themselves silly while sleeping...one step at a time.)

I was excited for this moment. A little sad, of course, because it really means I will have no more babies in this house. But I'm so excited to not spend a FORTUNE on diapers anymore and not have to worry if that smell is coming from my kids rear end or if it's just the garbage.

I'm getting closer to just being responsible for having to wipe my own butt...first time in 6 years! Everyone else will be on their own, skid marks or not. That's what laundry detergent is for...

Potty training takes a lot of skill. Not from a child standpoint, but from a parents. You have to be on the ball every single second of the day. I haven't changed my clothes in days or brushed my teeth since Sunday. In fact, I'm pretty sure I don't even resemble a human woman anymore. My house is fairly disgusting. It's not really messy, but I smell pee everywhere I go. Could be because I'm wearing most of it, but it's making spray the house obsessively with Lysol.

I'm hyper alert to every movement they make, watching for those "signs" that indicate pee/poo is about to arrive and stain the underwear they are currently wearing, then try to make a mad dash to the bathroom before the bomb that is their bladder goes off. I hardly ever make it...

If I don't receive any signs, we just go by our schedule. Every 15 minutes we go sit on the potty for 10 minutes. All. Day. Long. So you can imagine that I have to get pretty creative in order for this to happen. Just getting them to get into the bathroom is taking some skill. I thought that receiving a sucker for every successful moment was reward enough, but NOOOOOO. They need to be enticed just to sit there.

Right now, my bathroom has 2 potty chairs, (one of which, Declan is apparently too good to use. He decided that the big boy potty was the way to go. Which would be wonderful, IF Morgan didn't have her potty chair directly across from the toilet. He is not that great with his aim, just yet, and has a tendency to douse her like she's on fire), a stack of books to read, a stack of coloring books with a few crayons, stickers, a bucket of cars, a bucket of dinosaurs and lots and lots of bubbles.

There's been a lot of good moments. Things are improving. Not as fast as I would like them to, of course, but I don't think I really have a choice in the matter.

I have to do laundry every day now. At night, I load it up with whatever is dirty, toss in the pile of gross undies and wash/dry that load so we have underwear for the next day. Sounds crazy huh? I wouldn't have enough underwear if I didn't do this. I cleaned 20 pairs yesterday and that's not counting the 3 pairs that I threw away because of poop. (Yeah...I know. But seriously, there just comes a point in your life when you have to make a choice between cleaning a filthy, disgusting pair of underwear after a LONG day of potty training failures, or just toss that crap out and hope for better the next day. My sanity won.)

You know what else I thought was brilliant (now, looking back, knowing how really, absolutely, stupid or desperate I was)? I bought these tiny recorders, that I found in the Target party section, as a "prize" when you get 3 good pee-pee's in a row. Just brilliant. Great incentive. The trick worked and the twins actually did it. Really early in the morning too. Now I have to listen to my own miniature, psychotic sounding marching band for the rest of the afternoon and into the evening until they go to bed and I can destroy all evidence of the ear-piercing recorders existence.

If you don't hear from me for awhile, just know that I'm slowly going crazy. I've been locked in a bathroom with a set of twins for just 3 days now and I'm not 100% sure I'm going to make it out. I just have my nook and some Prozac to keep me company.

Send help immediately.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Be Careful, That Parade May Send You To The Dentist

I love parades.

Well, I used to love parades.

Before they took almost 2 hours and tossed more candy than we can eat in a month.

(Ok, well, more candy than I can eat in a month. My husband, however, is completely thrilled to have this giant bag of candy in our home because I've been working on clearing our house of all the junk. And on that note, I just finished eating about a dozen Tootsie Rolls. Those delicious, tiny logs of squishy, warm*, chocolate just happen to be my favorite. If they hadn't thrown those, I would have had the strength to toss the whole wretched thing into the dumpster. Since the Tootsie Rolls were in there, my saliva glands went into overdrive and my better judgment was chucked away for some over-processed plastic that may or may not even have actual food product in it.

Totally worth it.

My pants may not agree with that statement tomorrow. 

*You may be wondering why I said warm there. Maybe you don't know this, but if you squish a Tootsie Roll long enough or keep it in your pocket, it becomes soft and malleable. That's when they taste the best. This might be just my opinion, but give it a shot. You might find out you enjoy pocket candy as much as I do.)

My city has a festival every year and the parade is usually the only part I attend. Why? Because the rest of it is pretty lame. I do like some of the events and the games, unfortunately, it's the over-priced food that gets me every time. We bought 3 corn dogs, 1 walking taco, 1 plate of nachos and played 3 games. $45 later, we decided it was time to head home.

Yes. $45 later. I could have purchased SO MANY BOOKS for that. We did come home with a teddy bear my son won...so there's that. So, $45 for a teddy bear and bowel issues from eating crappy fair food. Sweet.

Our parade is almost exactly the same from year to year. There are a few new additions that have extended the length of this amazing event, such as the multitudes of crowned royalty from every single pageant that takes place within a 100 mile radius and the oh-so-serious marching bands from the local high schools, trying to march in a straight line and play their instruments with sweat streaming in their eyes with the 100% humidity that is torturing our state right now.

The grand parade starts out with every fire truck that we have in our city. They line up, all clean and fresh from being recently washed, turn on the sirens and blast them until your ears bleed and dogs howl.

My kids usually scream and cry during this portion. Which is why I go. My plan is to use threats like this in the future: "Do you want me to call the fire trucks? I'll have them come here and blast those sirens until you all get along!"

(Just kidding! Kind of...my threats are cleaning related. Or I tell them I'm going to make something nasty for dinner, like tater-tot hot dish. Just that threat alone can have my kids in tears, making promises to be best friends forever. Nothing can band my children together quicker than having a common enemy. Me. And their combined hatred of my home cooked casseroles.)

We were also nervous about how well Declan would sit still for an entire parade, so we went there armed with some snacks, juice and electronic entertainment. We didn't need any of it.

Once those fire trucks starting crawling down the parade route, my kids sat entranced. Sure, they plugged their ears and checked to make sure no one else was crying, but never have they sat still or behaved so well, for so long.

I'm guessing it had little to do with the actual parade gaiety. I want to thank all the people that threw gigantic handfuls of candy at my children as to keep them gainfully employed for the entire 2 hours. Not only did my kids understand that smiling and waving was the way to achieve those fistfuls of sugary joy, but they fully comprehended that this was a battle against other parade viewers.

The second you heard the scattering sound of Tootsie Rolls and assorted suckers, my kids were out there like vultures attacking their prey. I've never seen them work so hard together. My oldest son, using his built-in military background, used tactics that can only be seen on battlefields during war time. He told which kid to go where, and when. He instructed them on when it was time to look calm and cute (using Morgan as our "adorable" factor- she had to be on the ball at all times, smiling and waving like it was pageant time and the judges were watching her)  and he made sure that everyone had an area that was considered "theirs".

Morgan was a little fighter. I'm pretty sure she would make a great pickpocket, had I a need for one. She looks so sweet and innocent, you would never guess she was out there, plotting to steal that candy straight out from under your feet, while you're hunting for pieces further away (that actually happen to be wrappers she placed as decoys to distract you).

Declan wasn't the greatest help. He had a leash that kept him from reaching the "good" stuff and he kept eating whatever did happen to make it into his 5 foot radius, ripping the wrapper off and shoving whatever it was in his mouth before I could even blink. Declan ate 5 suckers before we eventually cut him off for good. Once you start shaking from too much sugar, I'm afraid that's probably enough for you. Even his eyeballs were vibrating and there was blue raspberry drool making its way down his chin.

Here are some pictures of our awesome Saturday:

 
Before the parade started.
They look so sweet and charming.
Kids nearby, be warned:
My kids will stalk and hunt you down for a Laffy Taffy.
They haven't had sugar in the house for a month now and they are desperate.

 
The first vehicles are coming!

 
So loud!
Evan and Declan just plugged their ears.
Morgan just whined on my lap the whole time.
Until she noticed there was candy being tossed...
then she got over it.

 
Plugging one ear so he can wave with the other hand.
"I can't handle it! It's too loud...please toss suckers at my head?"

 
This is a picture of the military precision I was talking about.
There were kids on one side of us and their parents were calling out orders like drill sergeants.
I was scared, but my kids held their own.
I didn't raise no wimps.

 
The "loot".
My husband was thrilled to have all this candy in the house.
Along with the candy stash (that I slightly obsessively organized into categories before photographing), we even received tattoos, erasers, post-its, seeds to plant, whistles (right into the trash with you), necklaces, chap stick, a deck of cards and 3 chip clips.
 
(Woo-hoo on the chip clips! I think we fought parents for those. We all know what it's like to not be able to seal that chip bag properly and every parent was out there with their kids attempting to look discrete but trying to get their kids to pick them up. Chip clips didn't look like candy, so most kids wouldn't touch them. I scored 3 of those babies! My kids were like, "Can we eat them? What are they for and why did I waste all that effort grabbing something so stupid?" OK, they didn't say that, but I can read their minds.)
 
 
Seriously though. When did parades start throwing so much junk? We have enough candy here to last us until October. (Make that August...I forgot my husband could find the stash.) I came for the fun, not for the stomach aches and dental visits. But thanks anyway...although, I'm keeping the Tootsie Rolls.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Keep Calm and Garden On

Gardening used to be very difficult for me. I always assumed I couldn't grow anything and never really took the time to try.

There is so much to take into consideration, it's not just put the plant into the ground and hope for the best. Which is what I originally thought I needed to do...

You have to make sure your soil is good quality and is able to grow what you want to grow. I can't plant my blueberries until I get the right mixture of sand/soil for the pot. Then you have to keep your garden free of all the weeds. It usually takes a few hours each week to do this because it's a never ending battle. And then, once all that's done, you have fight off the animals and bugs. So many creepy bugs. It has taken me a LONG time to get over all the bugs. I still run if I find a spider. It's better than the year before when I was running after finding a worm...

Once you get past all of that, the garden might just produce something worthy of entering your kitchen. All those hours you spent hunched over, squatting in your garden for hours, plucking each and every weed that dared showed it's ugly, green limbs through the dirt, while you gain awkward tan lines and back aches. It's frustrating and exhausting work, but you come to realize it's all for something absolutely wonderful.

You realize that nothing tastes better than that juicy, red tomato, picked right off the vine, still warm from the sun. Those specific tomatoes, that you spend months weeding around and helping grow up their trellis, are probably the best tasting tomatoes you will ever eat.

Or when you get a handful of green beans, fresh from the garden and rinsed clean from the garden hose. They are so crunchy and burst with all that delicious "green" flavor that makes even the youngest kids pluck them from the bush before they even make it into the house.

Never will a strawberry be as sweet as the ones that you have grown from seed 3 years ago, taking care to keep them safe from birds and bugs. These aren't the ones that you ruin with sugar for strawberry shortcake, but eat straight so that you can savor each and every bite of that ripe, red berry that you worked so hard to grow.

There's a lot of work that goes into my garden, but I've never regretted my decision to do it each year. In fact, I've been trying to convince my husband to turn our backyard into a farm. Who needs grass when we can grow food to eat?! I do like flowers, but my favorite are the flowers that produce the strawberries, raspberries and green peppers. Those are the prettiest flowers in my opinion.

I took some pictures of the early stages of my garden. Just because I like to see the changes as the months go by. We've had a TON of rain recently, so things are looking very nice in there lately. We'll be enjoying green beans and strawberries in about a week. I can't wait!

 
My pepper garden.
I have two red pepper plants, two green pepper plants and one jalapeno plant.
Yummy.

 
My raspberry bush.
I love watching these grow!
So fun to watch them form each day into something so delicious!

 
My two cucumbers.
Never tried these before, anxious to see how they turn out.

 
My green beans!!
There are already so many growing, they should be ready next week.
Although, these rarely make it into the house, once the kids see them.

 
The strawberries.
Tons and tons of these.
This is their third year in the garden.
We should see some good ones.

 
So pretty. 

 
Rosemary.
I use a lot of this, so I have two bushes.

 
My tomatoes.
I didn't get many last year, so I'm hoping for better results this year.
I really want to make my homemade pasta sauce, but it takes SO many tomatoes.
I hope this will be enough.
 
 
Our grape plant.
I've never tried this before either.
We are thrilled to see it doing OK so far!

 
Look!
Baby grapes!
Aren't they cute?
 
 
I also have lots of assorted flowers and vines growing, but I think that's probably a big enough post for one day.

Gardening was never something I thought I could do well, but it doesn't take talent, just patience and time. Sunshine and water probably don't hurt either. It's so awesome watching it grow, day after day, and I can't wait to see how everything turns out!


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Twins Turn Three, Finally!

 
3 years ago, today, that was my belly.
This was Jay and I on the way to the hospital to remove the two giant "tumors" growing inside.
 
When I wore that shirt into a store or a restaurant, I would get so many questions and stares.
I think I made some people nervous.
I'm pretty sure it's rare for babies to just fall out of people, but you would have thought that was going to happen with the way people were watching me.
 
I waited 38 weeks to give birth to those babies.
They started asking me if I was ready at 35 weeks.
I kept saying, "When it's time, they will let me know."
 
At 38 weeks, I was done.
Wayyyy too much discomfort and pain.
I had to serve them with the eviction notice and get them out.
We went in with "faked" contractions, only to find out I was actually in labor.
I just didn't know it yet.
 
A few hours later, thanks to a nice, quick C-section, we had two beautiful, very healthy, babies.
And one exhausted, delusional mommy.
I don't remember much from that first day.
Not exactly surprising, I was so worn out from all the meds.
 
I remember being terrified about having to take home these two babies.
This was going to be so different from before.
 
When you take home your very first child, it feels amazing, but scary.
I was responsible for this tiny, sweet, precious life, all by myself.
It was all so new.
Every single moment was a tiny bit of fear mixed with so much joy.
With Evan, I remember thinking, "I can't believe the nurses are just letting me walk out of here with him. I have no actual experience with children and now I have to keep this one alive? What do I do and how am I supposed to know how to do it?"
 
But with the twins, it was a different fear.
With one child, things seem much more manageable.
It was hard, but it was just one baby.
One life depending on me.
With two babies, depending on me solely, it seemed overwhelming.
As if one would be neglected over the other.
When both started crying, how would I manage?
 
We must have done something right, since they are still here, alive and well.
 
People with twins kept telling us that the first 3 years are the hardest.
It will get easier once they are older.
 
I'm not 100% sure that's true.
We had amazing babies.
It was hard, I'm not going to lie.
But we had a lot of help from family and our twins were very easy-going babies.
 
Now that they are turning 3, I can tell you it's hard still, just in a different way.
Potty training for one, is taking its toll.
I thought I had it hard when I had one...now doing two at the same time is proving to be an extreme challenge that should be reserved for a game show where you receive a monetary award at the end.
 
 
Not that I don't miss these moments, holding tiny sweet babies in my arms.
Rocking them to sleep, or smelling that brand new baby smell.
 
These are my last babies.
I don't get to have anymore.
 Not that my husband would allow that to happen anyway.
 
 
Happy Birthday Babies!
You are no longer my babies and that breaks my heart, but still fills me with joy to see how wonderful you are growing up and what kind of people you are turning into.
 
I'm so lucky to be your Mommy.
We have been so blessed.
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

And then we have days like this.

I figured it was time for an update.

It's been a few days. I had other things planned, but, because I planned them, they were doomed to fail.
 
1.
Like my potty training week. I had planned on starting on Monday, but I had a child try to throw up on me. All is good, no sickness, but an unusual way to start my day. (I have 2 kids that get "sick" when they go to bed without eating as much as they need to. Or it's acid reflux? We've been trying fix this, but haven't had much success yet.)
 
I figured I would just give it a go this morning. But then I wake up to this:
 
 
 
My daughters eye was swollen shut.
Completely shut.
 
Apparently, it's just a reaction to mosquito bites and not a big deal.
You should have seen the faces/reactions when we walked through Target...
if she was older and understood, I would have felt bad for taking her out.
But she just smiled at everyone, like nothing was wrong.
 
I think the twins planned these events so that I wouldn't potty train them.
The timing is too perfect for coincidence.
 
Because of all this "stuff" that's taking up my time, I haven't been able to clean the house or finish the laundry. Instead of focusing on potty training, I now have to focus on getting my house back on track.
 
 
2.
 
We had a bonfire the other night and decided to let Evan stay up for a bit, as long as he didn't chat our ears off the entire time.
 
He just can't help himself. But sometimes he says things that are really funny, so I just let him ramble on and decided to write some of it down, for entertainment purposes.
 
Evan: "I like it when fire and sticks come together for a party."
 
I know it's not super funny, but he just cracks me up. Maybe it's because he's mine?
 
Evan: "Did you say Jedi? I thought I heard you say Jedi? Are there Jedi's here in Minnesota?"
Me: "Yeah, Evan! It's you! You didn't know you were a Jedi?"
Evan: "Is this for real?"
 
The force is strong in that one.
 
Evan: "Mommies have to do way more work than Daddies."
Me: "I TOTALLY agree with you!" (Jalon's eyes rolled so hard, the ground shook.)
Evan: "Yeah, daddy just has to go to work and sit there. You have to watch all 3 of us kids!"
 

3.
 
I did one last Pinterest project last week.
 
Source
 
I made a bowl full of bubbles.
A huge bowl full of super sticky, not long lasting nor magical, bubbles.

 
The kids did have fun with them.


 
And they worked just as well as the ones do from the store.
There really is only a few down sides to this recipe:
 
a.
Corn syrup in the bubbles, makes hair extra crunchy if bubbles land on your head.
 
b.
The Dawn soap I added, was very STRONG smelling.
Very, very strong.
I would use a non-scented soap next time.
 
 
 
 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Cloches- Pinterest Style

I found this on Pinterest:


I loved this idea.

My problem, as usual, is follow through. I get 90% of the way through, then quit.

Oh well, you get the idea.

I decided to try going to Savers (which is similar to Goodwill) just to see what I could find.

I found gold. Used, cheap, previously owned, gold.

 
I found the two candlesticks and the dish at Savers.
Paid about $8 total for all 3.
The two bowls I bought at the dollar store.

 
I cheated.
There's no glue here.
Just magic.
Not sure how long it will last though...

 
I also cheated here and just filled it with junk I found around the house.
I didn't go shopping for beautiful birds nests or adorable little houses.
None of this actually makes any sense.
It's just crap.
 
I didn't put any knobs on the top of the glass bowls.
Mostly because I didn't have any.
And I haven't been to the store.
But, if you could close your eyes and pretend, that would be swell.
Thanks.
 
It's Friday and we are in the middle of having a garage sale right now.
I would be thrilled with this, if people were here to buy the stuff I thought would sell.
Instead, everyone is here, practically in tears because my husband already sold his toolbox and air compressor.
 
Seriously?
 
I'm selling some awesome stuff here!
Come on!
I have a table full of old toys that may be missing pieces or some random kitchen accessories from the 60's that have never been used.
 
Where are all my hoarders that buy crap?
I need you guys here.
 
 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Bust Out Your Bandaids. Pinterest is Here.

I found a great project on Pinterest and just knew that I would have to make it.

(I'm known for saying that quite often. I just wish I didn't follow through on every single one. My husband is probably wishing the exact same thing right now. So is our bank account.)

This project worked. It took forever, but it worked.


If you know me at all, you won't be shocked when I tell you I didn't follow directions exactly.

I know. Super smart on my part. I thought I had a better plan. I was sooooooooo wrong. Learn from my mistakes and just follow the original directions.

Ok? Great.

Moving on.

 
My supplies.
Hit up the dollar store, as it tells you in the directions.
I didn't use the basket shown above. I found the one at dollar store that actually worked better.
The one above didn't have the hole in the bottom that is needed.
And I purchased WAY too many beads.
 
When checking out, I must have looked like I was going to have one heck of a party.
They come in packages of 8 and I think I grabbed 14 packages.
If I were in New Orleans, I would be quite popular...actually I have no idea if that's actually true or not. I've never been there. I just watch a lot of TV.
 
 
Do you see what's going on in the picture above?
I used a metal stick I found in the garage (it's used for painting houses...or it was, before I painted the crap out of it), extended it, put it between our garbage cans, then strategically put each strand of beads on there.
I even took time to make sure they weren't touching.
Let me tell you something about this picture: Do NOT do this.
Just put the chandelier together, then paint it.
I repeat- Do NOT do this.
I wasted soooo much time.

 
I wasted soooooo much spray paint (4 cans).
I did 2 white, primer, cans of paint.
Then, I did 2 cans of gold.
Even after 4 cans, it didn't cover all of it.
Just don't do it.
 
(I did, however, redecorate our garbage cans with my out-of-control spraying pattern.
My husband was less than thrilled with me because I did this.)
 
Most frustrating process ever.

 
The new basket all sprayed.

 
The beads halfway covered, but I didn't care anymore.
After 4 cans of paint, I was done.

 
Cutting up each necklace. 

 
This is where I sat, ignoring my children, while I hot glued each necklace to the next one, forming one large chain. I hated this part, but it was a necessary step for the construction process to go smoothly.

 
I did the bottom of the basket while sitting on the couch watching Star Wars.
You can kind of see how I started at the top bar, wrapped the wire around the top bead to hold it in place, then folded the chain at the bottom, using wire again to hold it in place.
 
But to build the top, I needed help holding it up.
Then I did the same thing, just kept a running chain, using wire to hold it all in place.
 
Lots and lots of pokey, painful wire.

 
Lots of blood...
 
These beads are gold with red speckles now.

 
The finished product hanging in my unfinished porch area.

(I know...I need to finish painting my walls and ceiling. I haven't yet because of bugs.)
 
If you don't look TOO close, you won't see the tons of wire poking out all over because I didn't wrap the ends up very well.
Hopefully no one will notice the scraped off paint on the basket.
Also, please don't pay any attention to the fact that the gold paint didn't cover all over the beads.

 
I'm going to have to hang it a bit higher so no one looks at all the flaws...


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The End is Here...finally.

As my "Feeling Pinterested" posts continue, this one is related to the end of the school year.

My son, Evan, is done with Kindergarten. Finally.

I started out the year as one of the best Moms ever. I made him lunches, set out his clothes the night before, made sure his homework was done on time and signed his folder every single night.

Now that we are at the end, I'm also at the end...of my super small attention span. I don't make him lunches anymore (he eats the school ones), I don't care if he finds his clothes on the floor now (or even if he's wearing Halloween socks in May), and I haven't checked his folder for anything in weeks. Oops.

I'm just relieved to be done with it all. No more cursing out the Mom in front of me for taking an hour to drop off her child in the school parking lot. I don't have to pack all the kids in the car, in the pouring rain, at 7:30 a.m. to get Evan to school on time. We are finally FREE! Although, this will change in a month, when Evan starts driving me nuts with all his chatter and I'll start wishing for school to start again.

I found a few questionnaires on Pinterest and decided try it out on Evan. Here are his responses to a few of them:

1. What was your favorite part about school this year? I like recess and lunch. It's even better if it's on a Friday. Seriously? This is starting already?  

2. What are you really good at? Math tests. He apparently doesn't take after his Mommy here. Mommy failed pre-algebra...twice.

3. What makes you really happy? Watching Star Wars. This, this here, is my kid. I think I felt my heart grow 10 times bigger just by hearing that. It might explode if he ever said Doctor Who. Baby steps...

4. What's the hardest part about Kindergarten? Not being able to talk. It's really hard for me to not talk. That's your Daddy too, buddy. Can't wait to have you home, full time, for the next 3 months...

We also found an idea on Pinterest, regarding "End-of-the-year Teacher gift". There are so many wonderful ideas. People are very, very creative. Too creative. Sit down and quit making the rest of us look bad.

I like to consider myself creative. But since I'm also lazy and a huge procrastinator, this is how my project turned out. Here's the idea I loved on Pinterest:

 
 
This is the result:
 
 
It was 9:00 p.m., the day before the last day of school. Not completely my fault alone, since my husband told me he would help. We both suck at this. We're going with "It's the thought that counts".
 
Plus, extra points for Evan making his own card to give the teacher.
Right?
Last day of Kindergarten smiles.
 
And, it's a good thing the school year is done.
I'm not 100% sure his supplies would have made it another day.
 
 
This is all he came home with.
He's a bit hard on those crayons.
I wish I knew what happened to the other half of that eraser.
I think there are actual teeth marks on it...
 
And, on final note, since this post is all about Evan, here he is performing at a play in school.
 
He did fantastic and was so, so very funny in it!
 
Evan had a pretty big role in this play as the fox and was surprisingly not shy at all.
 
 
Performance pose.
Very classy.

 
His "foxy" costume.
 
And now, for his actual performance:
(I know that most of you won't find this video as funny as I do. That's OK. But I need to put it out there anyway. I have family harassing me for this video.)
 
video