Saturday, December 24, 2011

Now We Just Need Santa

Waiting in line for 30 minutes to see Santa is great when Tractor just carries you around the mall while Mommy waits with the most annoying kids on Earth and a creepy player piano. 

Stella did NOT get why everyone was waiting to sit on this man...but Cole was AWESOME to her.

He was so good to her she changed from terror to just looking at everyone like they were stupid.  She might have been on to something with the lady that took their picture.

This is Cole's imitation of the Elf smile.  Love.

Cole was a cranky mess before heading out to dinner.  He had a blast sitting next to Daddy though and eating his entire salad.  What is it about Japanese restaurants that makes my kids eat salad?

Aiden is such a joy to hang out with these days.  He LOVES going out to eat!

Japanese strawberry ball soda? Yes please.



My Mom and I love a fruity cocktail! Let the record show that she downed hers first. 


You can always count on Tractor for some amusement...

...and sort of awkward embarassment.  The kids loved it, but just wait until he takes them to Marsh to rent the VHS tape, Girls Just Want to Have Fun, in his slippers and torn pants with boxers peeking out and argues with the 15 year old about how he isn't a woman and doesn't carry a grocery card to rent a movie, just because he thinks he's hilarious.  I hope they remember how fun this moment was for them.



Cookies for Santa?  A decision to sample first was uninanimous.

Also unanimous?  Love of the cookie.

You know what wasn't such a love?  Twas The Night Before Chirstmas on the iPad.
I can't wait to see my three's reaction to Christmas morning. It gets more and more fun every year.

I wish each and every one of you a wonderful, magical, merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Our House Has Changed

Stella, Cole, and Aiden have been on multiple tractor rides.

M&Ms are delivered in 5 piece increments after dinner to each child willing to give Tractor a hug.

The laundry is folded without sitting in a basket for the regular two day minimum.

The garage and the baby smell like stale cigarettes.

There are six extra large wine bottles on the kitchen counter.

People are calling flip flips "thongs," and overalls "overhauls."

There are tissues filling the guest bathroom trashcan, as well as haphazardly scattered around the house with empty water glasses.

Actual music is coming from the piano.

The kids had their picture taken with Santa.

There is confusion about wi-fi, blu rays, and a different microwave.

The stockings are personally decorated, and hung.

Three Lego sets have been assembled.

Replenishing groceries?  No big deal.

There are five empty cereal boxes from the past three days.

Feet pajamas for a six year old were requested and purchased within 24 hours.

Approximately 30 books have been read in two days.

There has been zero bedtime panic due to lack of help.

Stella wants nothing to do with me, or Alex.

The blog world has been passed over for extra cups of coffee in the morning and a lingering dinner is tough to walk away from for a computer.

Crying for any reason, by any child, elicits immediate sympathy and a willingness to remedy the situation.

Errands have been run in peace.

The Christmas mood is amplified.

Lots and lots of joy abound.

Grandma and Tractor are in the house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Photos and a cookie recipe-ish to come in the next few days!) 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

If You Could Just Be A Little More Like My Aunt Carol

I love my Aunt Carol.  She's a wonderful woman for a lot of reasons, she has a huge heart, she's fun, she listens, she's not afraid of taking on a task, and she lives on the beach, which we all know makes you a better person. All those things are great, but there is one thing in particular that is truly a gift she has given to me.
She is the only person with grown children, and one of the few Mothers over all, that has not once belittled my frustration with life with three little kids.

She has continually told me it gets better, to hang in there, but she has never given me that horrid and dismissive response that is so quick to escape other Mother's mouths, "enjoy them while they're young. It goes by too quickly. You'll miss it."

She has written me a message to say she understands, she too was often alone with her three small children and the days are long and lonely.  She even has admitted the one thing that I truly believe, but no one else wants to say, "you'll enjoy them more when they are a little older."

Why is that so difficult to imagine?  Why isn't anyone else saying that? 

I get that the problems are more complicated, potentially more serious, but life right now isn't exactly emotional easy street.  It's tough to enjoy someone that screams loudly, and often while you are trying to do nice things for them like feed them and clean them. 

Why must they be mean when we are trying to be so nice?

I think of her quite often during my difficult days.  She is a bright spot of hope among the constant onslaught of dismissive and degrading comments I get from all directions these days.

As I was leaving the pediatrician's office last week with Stella still crying from her shots, and a very over tired Cole, a woman stepped in to the elevator and gave me a very sweet smile.  I smiled back, trying to ignore the beginnings of Cole's tantrum over why he couldn't play the iPad for the third hour in a row.  I finally gave him a stern look which I really hoped said, "for the love of God, shut your mouth and cooperate or I'm telling Santa to skip you this year and give all your gifts to Stella."

This woman then leaned over and touched my arm and gave me a disapproving yet sympathetic-ish look and said, "It goes by so fast sweetheart, just try to enjoy them." 

Seriously lady? 

I get it.  I do.  Your kids are grown now and no one is asking you to rock them to sleep or tickle their belly, and that stuff is painfully cute and to be cherished.   Possibly you are dealing with kids experimenting with drugs or being bullied, there is all sorts of tough stuff out in the big bad world that is rough for them, and for you the parent.  How though can you look at someone in the middle of a clearly frustrating situation that can often leave them feeling like a failure at the most important thing in their life and tell them to only feel joy that they get to have their kids with them ALL THE TIME? 

That's not very Aunt Carol of you.

We should all be grateful, all the time, for where we are in life.  The reality though is that life, regardless of where you are, gives you challenges...thank goodness.  I'm grateful that I have my children, and all their challenges, but I don't have to relish and delight in every exhausting moment to prove it, because I am a real life person instead of a joy robot.

Are you a joy robot?  I don't want to be one.

Can I get a little more Aunt Carol out there in the world?  Can you just smile and say, these days can be rough, it will get better?  Can you say that to me regardless of how old they are?  I am confident I will be frustrated by my children when they are 13 too, but it will be different and I am grateful for the way that my challenges are going to change, and all of us are going to grow and mature. I hope.

Wait...when am I going to mature? 

At Target today, (moment of silence for my return to shopping at Target and all the financial turmoil that it brings,) Cole broke a Christmas ornament before I even knew he was standing next to the breakables.  Wonderful.

I looked around and saw two women were giving me a less than joyful look.  Happy holidays ladies.

An older woman standing behind Cole said, "Honey, that's why you really can't let them out of the cart, or you just should come by yourself."

What a helpful suggestion!  I had never thought of going without my kids.  I LOVE having them with me for shopping trips, especially when I have a lot to do.  It never occurred to me to not have them experience the joy of shopping.

Oh....but wait...what the hell do you suggest I do with my kids lady?  When exactly do you think I should come on over to Target solo?  Around 10 pm when my husband is finally home?  That sounds super!

I felt more than a little frustrated with this oversimplification of my situation.  Here's a tip strangers, telling someone that you don't know how to live their life is not a helpful idea.  It's demeaning and sort of hurtful to throw out your solutions while someone is having a tough time.  You should be saying nothing, or asking how you can help.  That's it.

As I was reaching for the broken ornament, another woman came along and picked the ornament out of Cole's hand.  "Here, let me help you.  You have a lot to take care of here.  No matter how sweet, two little ones are a lot of work."

I instantly loved this woman.  She was channeling the sympathy and kindness of Aunt Carol.  I profusely thanked her, letting her know that her kindness meant a lot to me.  One last glance at the old lady know it all, a final thank you to the nice woman, and I was off to find the nearest red shirt to whom I could confess my son's merchandise destruction.

Everyone has something going on and no one is without some sort of struggle.  Help the overwhelmed mother shopping with her little kids because it will mean a lot.  

And if you have older kids, please try to remember how exhausting and lonely it can be have little ones, as well as how cute the kids are.  These two things have absolutely nothing to do with one another.  Your time with the challenges of little ones may be gone, but some of us are still in the thick of things, praising God for our children, but also praying for mercy at every tantrum, whine, and sleepless night.

Be the encouraging Aunt Carol, because everyone likes her more than the dismissive lady in the elevator, especially me.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Just Like Oprah

Is there anything more fun than gift giving?

Yes, receiving.  Totally kidding.  This time of year it is extra fun to surprise friends and family with gifts and treats of all kinds.  Unfortunately, sometimes figuring out what to get people can make your head want to explode.

I figured since you all are so nice to me, I'd be nice to you and share some of the my favorite things I'm giving and wanting this year.  Not all of them are super exciting, but some of them are pretty cool.

(Sorry for the late notice on these.  Hopefully they aren't too late for you all to at least get some good ideas.)

Also, disclaimer:  I was paid nothing for any of this and I'm a little pissed about it actually. 

Real Simple Magazine Subscription
This magazine just makes me happy. I feel more organized and prepared for life, even if I don't ever implement a single things in it. I keep forgetting to tell Alex that this would be the perfect gift for me, while keeping in our very meager budget for one another. Now, if only Alex read my blog and would have this information! Get it here.

Lots of Noonday Jewelry
If you have been reading very long you know that I have some deep love for Noonday Collection. Not only am I very close with the founder, it's amazing to feel that a purchase is supporting artisans trying to find their way out of poverty....and it's just all so pretty. Jessica gave me these for my birthday and I find myself researching for them almost daily. I'm also coveting these right now...and have wanted this for every day for the last few months. Alex? Where are you?  The main site is here.


SuperKid Capes!

These are so adorable.  Custom made and affordable at $20!  They can be made in "girl" colors or "boy" colors of your choice. I've been ordering them for birthdays and for Christmas presents.  They are fun for the kids and it's always nice to give something personalized.  Besides, nothing is used more in the playroom here than the dress-up bin.  It's a foul-proof gift. Email Andrea at crazynoodledesigns@hotmail.com

Steve Jobs Bio
Who doesn't want to read about this amazing man?  I plan to get this for my father since he enjoys reading the story of anyone that is on this level of success....except Hugh Hefner.  He just doesn't care.  Is Hugh Hefner more successful than Steve Jobs?  Has someone figured that out?  Check it out here.

The Silverlake Flap by The Sak
I have a pretty deep love for The Sak.  It started in 1997 when I was looking for the perfect purse to take on my college trip to Cancun where I drank yards of fruity beverages and passed out on a bus.  The love basically stopped there until looking for a fun baby bag last year, but then it was back with a vengeance. When looking for a new purse I put this at the top of my list.  I'm sick of having a bag slung over my shoulder while chasing a toddler, I think it might be giving me scoliosis.  (Yes, I realize this probably isn't possible, it just feels like it.) So when I got it for my birthday I was elated!  It has been everything I ever wanted in a handbag and more....oh so much more.  Love it.

Initial Tea Towels
Can you say teacher gift?  These are perfect for the teacher that has been given one too many loaves of my banana bread.  I get it ladies, you don't want it any more. Tie a gift card to Target on to this $6 personalized towel and I think your kid will be receiving special treatment for all of second semester. Score. Email Andrea at crazynoodledesigns@hotmail.com.  (Yes, I like her stuff.)

Leather Earrings
Laser cut leather earrings.

These are amazing!  I got some for my birthday and I can't stop wearing them.  They are so light that I feel like nothing is in my ears and look simplistic fantastic with almost everything.   They have my Mom's favorite quality of "dress them up, dress them down," that makes a purchase worthwhile. Love them, love them.  Order them here.

BeyBlades
Stupid or not, these things are cheap and occupy my boys for HOURS.  I didn't even know they existed until a week ago but I am so grateful for their presence in my life.  I can already feel what it will be like when my boys are fully engaged in their $9 toys for hours on end while I pour a glass of wine and write exciting commentary to you people.  Wait...I still have that little girl.  We'll work something out.  Order these here for hours of "peace," unless you have a toddler.

Lands End Pajamas, Coats, and Slippers
Someone invariably needs one or all of these things and I stick firmly, though slightly embarrassed by the fact that for the money there are few places that can beat Lands End. Quality, affordability, usually free shipping, and a classiness that I think comes from lack of labels, smart color choice, and traditional cuts with a modern feel.  Yes Lands End, I am for hire.  Go check out all their perfection here.  Or take it to the next level and fall in love with their Lands End Canvas line here

I'm a size 8 shoe, XS or small clothes if you are bored on that Canvas site.  Thanks!

A Goat
here.

Is your mind totally blown now? 

Tomorrow, back to blogging about the important stuff...like my lack of organization with the after school hours lately, Aiden's first time "getting in trouble" at school, my voyage into styling Stella's hair, and how I can hardly stand still I'm so excited for my parents to arrive this weekend.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Pultizer Prize Is Surely Next, Because What Else Is There For Me To Win?

I won an award.
I know, you are not shocked.  As my loving and faithful readers you probably have had a difficult time comprehending how I don't have thousands of followers and my own reality show by now....but that's just because you are nice and enjoy sarcasm, I'm actually pretty boring and would make a horrible reality TV star.  Oh well.

Boring or not though, the award has been given and I am probably only days, possibly hours away from being approached for a major motion picture. 

Brace yourself. Truth be told, I won two awards.  Allow me to break it down for you.

First, I was contacted by eCollegeFinder.com about whether or not I would like to be considered for their top parenting blogs list. I don't respond to a lot of PR requests because through my serious and in depth research (I've not really done any,) I've found that most of the opportunities are for me to give you all a chance to win a CD you don't want, or for me to get a whooping $25 in my PayPal account to mention a day care with which I have no experience within one of my "regular" posts. 

These just don't seem as much fun as me babbling to you all day long.  Right?

I do like a contest though so I answered a few questions and the next thing I knew I was contacted as a winner!  I'm a WINNER!  Apparently I am such a fantastic blogger that I am one of a mere 115 blogs on the list.  I'm fairly certain I didn't really enter a contest so much as sign up on a list, but I'm not one to turn down any award.  You can find the list, and my profound advice to parents who are students here.

The second award I received was the Tell Me About Yourself Award.  I received this award from Cynthia over at Commonplace Crazy.  Since she's relatively new to the blog world I feel sort of privileged to be included in her list of ten bloggers she included.  She didn't even make me fill out a form.  She's nice.

Thank you Cynthia!  Thank you also for your latest post on the use of the word lie vs. lay.  I'm not being sarcastic either, I love stuff like that.  Growing up, my father would actually interrupt me during an emotional outburst to correct my grammar. English is magical.

Here is how the award works.
  • Thank the person who gave the award. 

  • List 7 things that people may not know about you. 

  • Pass the award to 15 other bloggers and notify them. 

  • Post the badge on your blog.


  • Since I already thanked her, let's move on the part that is going to blow your mind...7 things you may not know about me.

    1.  It is not uncommon for me to sneak food behind my kids' backs so that I don't have to share if there is only a small amount of something left.  I'm food selfish.

    2. When frightened by something in my house, I always figure out how I am going to get away, but rarely include my kids in the exit strategy.  This probably isn't good, but feel confident that it is never anything like fire, but more along the lines of creepy sounds from the fireplace or a weird sound on the monitor.

    3. I dream about living in a city.  I feel like I could be really cool in a city, maybe even wear a fedora, or a head scarf! 

    4. I have a desperate crush on Ryan Gosling's character, Noah, in the movie, The Notebook and Justin Timberlake in real life.  I feel I have an equal chance at developing a serious relationship with either of these men.

    5. I only had one girl "enemy" (that I knew of) my whole life. She emailed me not too long ago because of my blog and now we're "friends"...and that still makes me smile whenever I think of resolving years of stupidity with a great girl.

    6. A lot of days I desperately wish I had a job to go to instead of staying home.  Unfortunately I think that 80% of that desire stems from wanting to simply wear nicer clothes.

    7. I just ate five Oreos while typing this list.  Is that bad?


    I think Cynthia had a great idea to only do 10 blogs because it can get a little out of hand.  I picked an assortment of blogs I don't know as well and some I frequent often.  So here's my ten.

    Prudently Painted Vintage
    House Unseen, Life Unscripted
    Emmy, One Day at a Time
    Mom Next Door
    The Random Blogette
    The Literal Mom
    Two Normal Moms
    Domestically Challenged
    Four Sea Stars
    Laura's Ramblings In Color


    You are welcome ladies.   Who doesn't want an award? 

    Friday, December 9, 2011

    Are You A Bonnie or A MaryAnn? I'm Apparently Both.

    My Mom is and was a rules oriented mother. When I was young, things had to be pretty bad for me to stay home from school.  Fever and/or vomiting were essentially a necessity in order for me to miss furthering my education and stay home.  My Mom, MaryAnn, was not having any "mental health" days or spontaneous fun in skipping school.

    Rules are rules...and parents can get arrested for letting kids skip school.  MaryAnn was not having that, there isn't a chance of a wash and set in the slammer and her hair shouldn't be punished because I didn't "feel" like going to school.

    In the second grade I was mortified when I was in a peer filled restroom and accidentally farted...loudly.  I was fairly sure I would never be able to show my face in the cafeteria, much less the playground again.  I remember crying to my Mom that night, begging her to let me stay home the next day. 

    She wasn't having it.

    She was sympathetic, reassuring, and very sweet about it, but was very firm that this was no reason to miss school.  I was confident that my two years of hard work climbing the elementary social ladder were ruined.  Surprisingly though, no one even mentioned it.  I guess I was cooler than I thought. 

    Farting and surviving?  People clearly loved me.

    Now that I am a Mom, I know I am a lot like my own Mother, minus the wash and set hair obsession. I follow the rules, sign up to bring things, don't allow my children to veer from the designated path too much.  It's how I run most of my life and I find myself even more restrictive with my kids. Breaking the rules makes me perspire, and who wants that?  Sweating is gross.

    My Mother-in-law, Bonnie, on the other hand, has always been one to make her own path.  Rules, other than those clearly for safety (more or less,) are just suggestions and can be changed, moved, and broken.  This gives me heart palpitations just thinking about it.

    Her children were not required to produce copious amounts of symptoms and social tragedies to be allowed to stay home with her, she didn't have any problem with them needing to take a day off.  She trusted that they were good kids, which they were, and didn't feel school or any set of "rules" should dominate their lives. 

    MaryAnn and I need a sensible glass of chardonnay after that.  Wow.

    Whenever Bonnie and I talk about the days when her children were little, it is shocking and hysterical for me to hear.  She and I both do a lot of laughing.  The contrast is amazing.  She had a totally different approach to, well, most things than how I was raised...other than the core values thank goodness.

    I'm fairly confident there is a lot of eye rolling from my husband when he hears me stressing over things like collared shirts and kindergarten "homework."   Remember, Bonnie would never worry about those things, but MaryAnn and I know the horror that could befall someone not wearing a collared shirt on the first day of school.  Drugs?  Gang affiliation?  Guns?  You just have to be careful.

    Earlier in the week I decided that I was saying no to my children too frequently.  It is almost always my go-to response, regardless of the question.  I don't even need to hear the entire request before I'm ready to shoot it down.  I'm an automatic "no-sayer."

    My list of reasons?  Too much effort from me, too messy, too much sugar, too much noise, too much potential for war amongst the siblings, or too desired by the children that have been annoying me all day, why would I want to make them happy when they are pissing me off?

    My maturity and lack of fun-having runs deep in my style of mothering.  I pray Aiden, Cole, and Stella are creative and kind individuals in the future so they find something to enjoy about me.

    In a moment of panic that I may be making it really difficult for my children to like me some day, I decided that at least once a day I would say yes, even if I wanted to say no.  It's actually been sort of fun to see them elated about hearing me say, "yes, of course you can have a bowl of cereal at 4:00!" Or, "Of course you can play the Wii right after playing the iPad for thirty minutes."

    I'm WILD!

    Last night though I made a bold, uncomfortable decision.  Aiden had been exhausted the previous two days when I woke him up and his behavior had been pretty horrific.  He was slamming doors when I asked him to come eat breakfast so he wouldn't miss the bus, and mumbling about how he didn't want to always go to school.

    Geez.  My first instinct about this behavior is to reprimand and discipline, but the more I thought about it, the more sad it seemed.  I mean, he's six.  He's smart and doing well in school, and until this week he had popped out of bed with joy about the prospect of being able to head to school to learn and play with his friends.

    Is his school spirit already crushed?  Should I be forcing his school logo sweatshirt on him more often? Does this mean I would be required to do laundry more often?  Is there another way?

    While talking to Alex last night I casually mentioned that I wanted to let him sleep in the morning, maybe even let him go to Cole's Christmas program and have a few hours of playing hooky and recharging.  Alex didn't really respond, only muttering a weak, "uh-huh."



    Surely CPS and the police care about a Mom letting her six year old be a few hours late to school, right?  We were doomed for even discussing!  Sweat Alex! Sweat!

    Oh yes, he's from Bonnie.  See, to Bonnie this would be a no-brainer.  Of course let Aiden sleep and recharge and have a few hours to relax a little. The truth is, I think that MaryAnn now would agree...but probably have a few questions about how the whole thing was going to go down because this feels so wrong.

    I went to bed resolved to be more Bonnie than MaryAnn for a night, and give in to what I felt my heart was telling me to do for my little boy.  He'd sleep, he'd enjoy his break and we all would feel better.

    At 7:05 this morning, I woke to Aiden shaking my arm.  "Mommy, why didn't you wake me?  I missed the bus."

    I smiled and hugged him, telling him I wanted him to sleep and we were going to take him to school later.  He definitely looked confused, and more than a little concerned about how that was possible when he was supposed to be at school. 

    Uh-oh, I was raising another MaryAnn. 

    I stuck to my Bonnie though, and explained we would go to school but I felt we all needed a little extra time this morning.  He went to his room to change and take advantage of a few extra moments to play Legos with his little brother, warming up to the idea that he could just be for a few minutes for a change.

    I ran through a list of possible excuses to tell the school when I called, but decided to go with the non-lie (slightly different than the truth,) because I am simply a horrible liar and didn't really feel this was a lie worthy situation.  The perfect meeting of Bonnie and MaryAnn qualities here.

    "Hi.  I'm Leslie Dadidakis, calling to let you know my son Aiden won't be at school this morning. He isn't feeling well."

    OK, not exactly a lie.  He's been emotionally unhinged for two days, and who feels nice when they are emotionally off balance and exhausted?  Not me.  We all know I can barely function when I am forced to be alone with all three of my kids for multiple days in a row, much less when I am short on sleep. 

    "Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that.  What's going on with him today?"

    What the hell sympathetic receptionist?  I have to give specific symptoms?  I started sweating.  I was completely panicked about being asked specifics.  I almost hung up. I'm not strong enough for this type of deviancy.  I'm so much more MaryAnn than Bonnie.  Why wasn't my mother-in-law here for this?

    I pulled it together though.  "I think he's just overtired and not feeling himself over all.  Please don't arrest me."

    OK, I didn't ask them to not arrest me.  I'm not that weak.  Well, I could be, but I wasn't this particular time.

    I didn't lie.  I felt the rush of getting away with it and went off to make breakfast, then go as a family to Cole's preschool Christmas Program.  We're so bad! 

    It was exactly what Aiden needed. He loved feeling part of everything for a little while, often feeling left out as the one that leaves every day, all day.

    He did ask me a few times through the morning, "shouldn't I be at school?" 

    To which I immediately replied, "you are exactly where you need to be.  You're with us." 

    I'm so happy to be a MaryAnn, but extremely grateful for the influence of Bonnie as well.  I'm basically the best Mother to have ever lived now.  Right?

    Tuesday, December 6, 2011

    So You Really Want A Baby?

    Dear Teen Shipley's Donuts Employee,

    Please forgive me if I am overstepping my role as a stranger by writing this letter, but I can't ignore what I have heard.  This might be rambling, and a bit all over the place due to my shocked and frightened state but please keep reading, I feel your life depends on it.

    I don't know if you remember me or not?  I was the mid-thirties lady with the adorable toddler and cute four year old that stopped by today for the donuts and chocolate milk?  I know, I know, you probably saw a lot of people like me throughout your shift,  but I was the one sitting near you while you were discussing wanting a baby. 
    Perhaps you don't remember because you were high or something, that would make so much of your conversation make sense and bring me great comfort.  Are you just doing drugs, or do you actually yearn to be a teen Mom? 

    Please say drugs.
    I'm fairly confident I was staring and ignoring my kids because I couldn't believe the words coming out of your Bieber loving mouth. Dear Lord, please say you were high on Scotch Guard or possibly taking 5 am shots of peach Snappes before your shift.  Do you people still drink Snappes?

    If you remember, you took my order of one strawberry sprinkle, one cinnamon sugar cake, and one blueberry cake, and you acted like a completely sane human being. You are really sneaky.  I bet you have been practicing acting normal for years now, because you were really convincing. 

    You did marvel at Stella's cuteness, which she is, and I can only hope that my baby's magical powers of adorable did not somehow lead you to believe that you should try to actually birth something like her, because it's not going to happen.  Your baby will never, ever be as cute as my baby was standing in front of the glass display of donuts with rain boots and a ponytail standing straight up in the air and squealing with delight at the joy of baked goods. 

    You know why? Because your child doesn't come out like that, it takes over a year to get them to the walk around in rain boots and make cute noises while pointing.  Your kid also won't ever be that cute because even if you did live at the donut store, they would get over being excited about seeing the donuts and inevitably start crying because they want to walk around the parking lot, or attempt to eat dish washing liquid, or because their teeth hurt. 

    You should wait to have kids for the sheer torture of trying to help them through the process of getting teeth.  You don't know how much work, blood, sweat, and tears goes in to your child's oral development...and then they just fall out a few years later and you have to pay them money for their tiny teeth that caused everyone so much strife to get in the first place.

    It's messed up.

    Seriously, nothing will ever be as cute as someone else's child at the donut display, especially when you find you can't even afford your Clinique makeup, much less Wet n' Wild anymore because your child can only wear their shoes for three months before you have to buy them a new pair.  Nothing is cute when you can't buy a $1 tube of gloss to wear to the Homecoming dance...not that you could probably find a sitter so you could go anyway since most of the sitters will be busy, doing high school stuff that you should be doing.
    A few minutes in to the conversation I heard the words, "oh but you don't want to get pregnant in high school!"

    It was your co worker with the half shaved-half pony tail hair that said those words.  She might look like the crazy one, but apparently she is wise.  She is really, really wise. You need to hang out with her more often because what I gathered from your conversation is that you really want to get pregnant, not that you had some sort of oops situation and are actually already with child, and of course that you are in high school.

    You make me sad.  You make me very, very sad.

    What the hell is going on with you?

    Do your parents not love you?  Did some sort of tragedy befall you in your sad and troubled teen years?  Are you abnormally attached to stuffed animals or dolls?  Do you need a pet?  A hug?   Are you simply watching too much MTV?

    F-ing Sixteen and Pregnant.  This is why my parents never had, and still don't, have cable.

    (Well, they really didn't ever have cable because my Dad doesn't want to pay for TV, or trash service, but I'm sure the range of programming options about destructive behavior wasn't something they were yearning for either.)

    Sweetheart, you are never going to be on the cover of US Weekly getting married, or even because you eat the shit out of your teen husband.  You are just going to be you, and no one outside of your little world is going to care much, especially MTV or any multi million dollar celebrity gossip publication.  It is not going to happen.  I promise.

    When I heard the start of this conversation my ears definitely perked up.  I wanted to run back by the flavored jelly filling and shake you, hug you, give you my kids for a trial period of sorts.  It's not going to be what you think it is going to be right now.  Every single aspect of high school, the classes, the routine, the cruelty, gym class, etc. is light years ahead of having a child at this point in your life.

    Funyuns.

    (At least I think so.  I mean, there is a chance I'm wrong, in which case if you find success with just those things please let me know so I can substantially scale back my child rearing efforts.)

    I feel like I should be dragging my children in during your shift when they are at their worst so that you can experience some of the annoyance of having children.  Do you like going to the bathroom by yourself? Do you like running around without peeing your pants?  How about sleeping?  Those things are gone.

    Have you figured out the logistics of this whole thing?  Is their a Mr. Teen Donut in the picture?  Are you aware that there must be a boy involved in all this?  Are you aware that most teen boys aren't psyched about having a kid when they could be out blowing up mailboxes, learning all the lines to horrible movies, and doing all sorts of things with a ball and/or balls?

    I did hear a lot of talk about whether or not your parent's insurance would cover the cost of having the baby.  I mean, while I am impressed that this is something you are thinking about, this is just not how you want the payment to be working.  I understand your part time donut job probably doesn't have full medical coverage, but I think that's a good place to start on the cons list for why waiting to do this is the best choice.

    Bottom line?  It's going to be amazing.  It's going to fill you with a love that you can't even comprehend until you experience it for yourself.  You will be awe struck, you will be humbled, you will be proud...but if you do this now you will just be screwed.

    Children are an amazing gift, but they are a gift that never, ever goes away.  They are a screaming, always awake, time, money, and energy drain like nothing that has ever happened to you.  They will rob you of you, especially at 16.  Being a parent is a selfless role and it doesn't not come without emotional scarring that is best experienced some time after you have lived away from your own Mommy and Daddy for at least a few years.

    If nothing else sways you, please remember that even Bella was married first.  She even had to turn in to a vampire for her baby.  Do you want to have to drink blood?  It's probably disgusting with donuts.

    Trust me, your freaky haired friend is smart.  Even is she's stealing prescription drugs from her Mother's bathroom and cheating on her Trig final, she's smarter than you about this. 

    You need to quit your donut job and babysit the hell out of a wide variety of children, because even the cute ones don't always stay that way.  I'll be following up, I simply can not let this one go. 

    Keep the cinnamon sugar cake coming and let's talk birth control.

    See you soon!

    Leslie

    Sunday, December 4, 2011

    You Know It Was A Good Birthday Party If You Find Lingerie In The Nursery and Smoke Cigarettes From China

    It's official, I'm 35.
    If you see me this week and you think, "Geez, Leslie looks older than she did last week, " you would be correct.  I definitely am going to look older this week for two reasons.  First, I am older, and second, my overindulgence at my birthday party caused me to seriously age.

    Not only was I up until at least 3 am, I went to bed with my makeup still on my face, (I know that was difficult for you to hear Mom, it will probably be the worst part of this recap for you,) shortly after I spent some quality time on my bathroom floor by the toilet. 

    (Oops, sorry again Mom.)

    Classy. 

    Let's back up though.

    The party was beautiful.  I unfortunately don't have a photo of the disco ball surrounded by inverted balloons in my skylight.  It was awesome. Sue's image and creativity in designing my house was beyond awesome.  It looked awesome...and tasted even better.

    Food table.

    The very dangerous bar. 



    Desserts - YUMMY!


    Good friends were there and it was fun.  Oh so fun. I didn't take nearly enough photos with people since the camera was mostly out at the beginning, but here are a few. 

    (Sorry I'm posting the photo while you were eating Amity!)



    That's the back of my dress that looks like I have a large mane, which is all the rage in case you don't know.




    Please note the two drinks in my hand in the photo above.  That's a problem.  That was a big problem.

    It all started with this man pouring the drinks. 



    An officer of the law who I basically believe was sabotaging me, just like when I was targeted by law enforcement and unfairly charged with doing something that I did and got that ticket last year.  Remember?  If not, check it out here.

    He made the choice to be in charge of making sure my drink was always full, and the drink was always strong.  Sometimes the police are not your friends.  He looks friendly and nice, but he totally sabotaged me. 

    Yes, I blame him rather than me because that makes me feel better, and that's what's important.

    The real gem though is that my boys spent the night at his house, in fact Cole ended up sleeping in between he and his wife.  His wife even came to get Stella in the morning since Alex and I were both not in any condition to take care of her.  He kept my kids until 1 on Sunday, so I guess, maybe I shouldn't blame him...but I still sort of do.

    I think the night started to get a bit odd around midnight.  I believe there is a video floating around somewhere of me dancing like I'm in a rap video, which we all know is the best way to dance, which was filmed around this time.  I'm sure it will appear just as I'm about to be elected to public service in some way. Damn my poor decisions!

    I remember thinking doing a tequila shot with Alex's friends and then having some Bailey's sounded like a good idea, so clearly I was very, very confused.   The party moved to the screened in porch and there were cigarettes from China, and I am pretty sure I agreed to be a surrogate for a friend's baby, even generously offering to do it at a third of what I heard someone is paid for such a thing. 

    I'm really nice after tequila.

    At some point, one of Alex's friends went in to Stella's room to rock here because she was waking up frequently.  Here is proof though that I was in fact trying to take good care of her.


    I was clearly concerned about what was going on in that monitor.

    For some reason, bringing her out on the porch seemed like fun, so I did.  This feels weird when I think about it now though, especially since I soon after had to give her to Alex so I could go throw up for a bit. Oh wow.

    I know that after that I shoved everything off my bed, put on sweatpants and went to bed.  Sometime after that Alex brought Stella to me to go to sleep. I love that he did that instead of just putting her in her bed.  So odd, but fine. 

    Almost as odd as the fact that neither or us can explain why his framed diploma is in our bathroom, next to the toilet.  Any answers to that mystery would be welcomed.

    Oh, or can anyone tell me who's bra was left in Stella's room? Insanity.
    Speaking of Alex though, he looked super cute for my birthday.

    Love, love, love my Alex.

    All in all, it was a great birthday, a wonderful party. 

    Oh, and I cleaned up on ear accessories.  You can feel confident that I will be wearing an array of amazing ear decorations for a while now.  Thank you Jessica (Noonday Collection earrings), Amity (who makes those amazing silver dangles from leather!!!!), and Shanyn!


    That was a fun surprise, especially since I specifically asked people to not bring a gift.  I love it when my friends feel that they should break the rules. Can't wait to wear them all.

    I loved the party and can not thank Sue enough for this amazing event.  No joke, if you have any catering needs she will blow your mind with awesome.

    I am very much ready to get back to normality though.  It's time to do some Christmas decorating, pour out the mixed drink remnants, and vow to never ever drink again.  I think one of the reasons this night was so very fun was that it is not the norm, at all, for our life and it was fun to cut loose and be silly. 

    It's also fun to not do it again for years. 

    Thank you friends for a great birthday!

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

    Topic Jumping, But Only To Avoid Head Injury

    I have a huge list of things I have written down during chaotic and horrible moments around here the last few days to turn in to blog posts. Finding the time to write full posts though as been impossible though.  Here's my brain dump so my head doesn't explode. 

    We do not want my head to explode. 

    It's my birthday on Friday and I think I should have a full head for my party. 

    I'm high maintenance like that.
     
    ***************************
    I enjoyed the entire two and a half day holiday trip, 90% of the time....which is a pretty huge success.

    There were sleep problems, of course, but they were mostly with Stella and it's easier to not get angry at her about sleeping than the boys.  I think because she's younger, but possibly because she is also cuter at this point.  I mean, she still finds great joy in finding her belly button and can play with a stack of cups for approximately 20 minutes, that's good stuff.

     There were lots of cousins, but since they are all getting a little older everyone plays pretty well together without interference. This is the area where Stella's cuteness earns her zero points.  She required a great deal of interference, like can't sit and eat all the delicious food type of interference.  Otherwise though, the kids ate and played independently and that was sort of fantastic.

    Well, except when Cole hit his cousin Emma in the head with a metal hoe.  That was sort of a horrible accident, but she turned out to be fine, and the good news was that I was able to make a series of jokes about Emma being in a rap video and getting hit by a hoe, etc. 

    It was all very exciting, trust me.  I'm super funny.

    ***********************************
    Apparently I'm married to a hunter.  We are gun owners, teaching our kids about different gun "tips", and Alex and Aiden  brought home a cow skull from their weekend hunting trip.  This is uncomfortable for me. This could only be made worse if Alex started dipping and using the word "fixin,'" both of which make me really uncomfortable unless I am talking to a character of some sort. Believe it or not, more uncomfortable than the cow bones littered next to my driveway.

    ***********************
    Stella has been sick since we returned from Houston, making life rough for everyone.

    (This is actually a lie, I'm pretty much the only one affected other than her trying to bite Cole more often than usual, and that doesn't really bother him.  I, however, am very bothered by her ailments.) 

    She just has a cold, as in a constant running of snot which invades all of her food, rubs on all my furniture, and giving her a kiss is disgusting, which is sad but true. The worst part is that her sleep has been thoroughly jacked, which thoroughly jacks my sleep, which makes me very unpleasant.

    ***************************************
    I am full of restlessness and sadness.  I'm lonely, I'm bored, I'm frustrated.  I'm Googling therapists and in general a big ball of tears.  I'm spending time in my closet reading my two year bible, weeks at a time and wondering what I am doing that causes me to hide from two small people that can't even make a sandwich.

    I think the culprits are: loneliness, too much trapped time with kids (especially Stella,) and my lack of sleep.  My solutions are: employment, winning the lottery so I can afford sitters, and sucking it up because I'm just so annoying. 

    *************************************
    Aiden and Cole have been arguing for the last two days straight about whether or not Cole was bitten by a black widow spider (with yellow spots,) as he claims.  The argument is equal parts annoying as hell and hilarious.  Cole adds more and more determination and very specific lunacy to his genuine belief that he was in fact bitten by a black widow, while Aiden reaches insanity trying to explain to Cole why this is impossible.  Each of Cole's details, involving aliens, special serums, actual death, and Jesus bring Aiden to the point of tears with his anger and frustration.  It's quite amazing to watch.

    *******************************
    I spent an hour sorting Legos by color this morning.  I actually fought with Stella over her tendency to disorganize my hard work, completely incapable of catching on to the system I devised with put blue and green Legos together, never blue and gray.  What is wrong with her?  I mean, me?  The most pathetic thing was that this was my favorite part of the day until my friend Jenn came over around 3.

    *********************************
    I think anyone struggling at all with what contentment as a stay at home Mom should read this.  It's just a great post of tips, things to think about, and how to move forward in your life as a stay at home Mom. 

    ********************************
    Over the last few weeks, Cole has been telling Alex and me stories about two little boys on the playground whom are "mean" to him. He calls them Lamb and Lambs.  These names are almost as insane as how his stories start with someone pushing someone else and then end with his favorite friend, Brianna, being spun and thrown over the fence, right before Cole runs out of the playground to get the police. 

    We had no clue what to believe and then he pointed Lambs out to us at the Thanksgiving Feast his school had.  Turns out Lambs is Vance, and after a quick discussion with his teacher, Lamb is Liam.  Cole refuses to accept these new names and is sticking firm to Lamb and Lambs, of course.

    Oh, and apparently his teacher has never seen Brianna thrown over a fence.  I wonder if Cole is just watching more closely? 

    ***********************************
    In case you forget what they look like, here is my photo dump as well. 


    I bribed them with Starbucks for cooperating during an intense visit to Origins.
    First ponytail!
    Stella loves her Aiden.
    Aiden always wants a photo taken.  He is still working on wiping his mouth after sandwich eating.
    
    She carried around her new shoes boxes with such joy.  Love having a girl.
    

    Peace out people! 

    Yes, I know I really can't say that.

    Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    If I Can Get Off The Bean Bag

    I have grossly overestimated my ability to accomplish things today.  It's only 11am and I have basically surrendered.  I'm watching a horrible version of Three Musketeers with Cole and typing about my unfinished tasks rather than trying to do any more of them.

    It seems like a reasonable solution to a to-do list.

    Cole and Stella both woke up around 5:30 and neither are in the mood to run to the grocery store, refill my skin products at Origins, or play quietly while I bake and cook and launder and pack everything that is sitting still.  I don't get it.

    We successfully made it through the grocery store, many thanks to the HEB Bakery for their delicious powdered sugar donuts.  I'm fairly confident I would have left without half of my list if there had not been baked goods to distract them.

    Side note:  Is it actually stealing to eat the donut while walking around the store?  I feel like I read an article somewhere about how this is a horrible thing to do, but I'm still doing it.  Sometimes I'm so starving when I get to the store that I have to eat a donut myself, even if the kids aren't with me just to curb my instincts to purchase everything I see.  I always feel guilty and a little dangerous while doing it though, I assume that makes it OK.

    We are heading to Houston for Thanksgiving with Alex's family.  It's two days of a lot of people, a lot of food, and mostly a lot of fun.  I have great in-laws.  I genuinely love hanging out with them.  I just hate dragging my kids in to the commotion for two nights and two days of whining as they progressively get more and more sleep deprived, sugar laden, and over stimulated.  I am by far the biggest whiner about this.

    Everyone else delights in the joys of seeing all the cousins frolicking together and sharing moments and the whole time I'm yelling in my head, "CALM THE HELL DOWN!"  I don't actually yell it though because I'm such a great person. It is fun to see them develop little relationships, I just wish they all were more inclined to spend their time together coloring, playing jacks (calmly), and reading books. 

    Wouldn't it be so fun for all the kids to sit and read stories for two days?  I can't think of a better image. They could form a little cousins' book club and discuss which Skippy John Jones book is the best.  I might try to initiate that this year. Best Aunt EVER? 

    Probably not.  There probably will be very minimal book reading or coloring done.  I bet they don't play the Quiet Game once.  That's some fun silence.

    I working on my positive attitude though about the holidays because I tend to be a bit like Debbie Downer when it comes to all the festivities and ideas that are "so fun for the kids!"  (Beware of that statement, it usually means trouble for the adults in some capacity.)  Geez, already slipping.

    I'm starting my new attitude with embracing the fact that all the things I wanted to make before our trip just might not get made, and that is OK.  My plan is to bake muffins, lots of muffins, two pies, and macaroni and cheese. It doesn't sound horrible when I type it but I'm still sitting on a bean bag, now watching Veggie Tales, and even making the pb&j which Cole is requesting sounds like a very challenging task. 

    Everything feels more difficult when you are starting from a bean bag.  Nothing about the bean bag inspires me to get stuff done.  Possibly this is why my children refuse to clean up, come to dinner, get their shoes on, etc. when they are in them?  Maybe I should be more understanding?

    I feel like I should confess something.  I'm not like Debbie Downer.  I am Debbie Downer when it comes to the holiday logistics.  Even with my own little family, anything sounding fun can only be done between the hours of 8 am-12 pm or 3 pm -5 pm and can't occur at our house, or involve any more than two additional children. 

    It's really a mental condition I have. 

    Or a talent, I could totally write Debbie Downer skits for Saturday Night Live all the live long day.  It's just a gift.  I can't deny that God gave me a fantastic talent. It's wrong to not cherish and develop what He gave to me. I'm also really good at picking up things with my toes, which I might have mentioned previously. God really loves me.

    It's happening though.  I'm feeling motivated.  I'm mostly motivated to go eat a zucchini muffin, but I have to make them before I can eat them so this might work out to get a few things done.  

    If I can get off this bean bag then I am officially challenging myself to be positive all the way through Sunday...even when Alex deserts me again to go kill Bambi, even when Cole is screaming and whining because Aiden ate his piece of bread or doesn't feel like going to the bathroom, even when Stella won't let me put her down or anyone else hold her because she is so exhausted, even when all the kids at Thanksgiving touch all the rolls before choosing the one that they want, even when Alex decides it's a good idea for Cole and Aiden to run through the mud in their only pair of shoes, or even when Aiden tells me he doesn't like me because I won't let him have soda.  Yeah, even then.

    What? 

    I had to get it out.  Nothing but holiday cheer from now on!

    Happy Holidays Everyone! 

    Saturday, November 19, 2011

    In Which I Turn Into A 12 Year Old Girl About My Birthday Party

    I'm throwing myself a birthday party.

    In a few weeks I'll be turning 35 and though I usually go out to dinner with a few friends or do nothing here with Alex, a long time ago I decided a party would be fun.  Turning 35 is worth celebrating, and I decided I was going to live it up. 

    My good friend and neighbor Sue mentioned that she wanted to cater it and decorate for it, and well it seemed like the perfect situation.

    Only, I hate parties for me.

    Actually, that is absolutely not true.  I LOVE parties for me, I loathe the work of planning and anxiety of people actually showing up that goes along with throwing a party for me.  Since Sue is taking over all the planning, that just leaves me to turn totally junior high about party attendance.

    I invited everyone in my yahoo address book and posted it for my Facebook friends too, because honestly I'd love to see all of them.  Some people I haven't seen in years and some I just met a few months ago, but I'd be happy to have everyone.  The more the merrier....but what if it's not more and it's just a lot of hoopla for me, but without the hoopla?

    I'm pathetic.

    I know a lot of people here in the Austin area, but it's still not where I'm from, I'm an Indiana girl.  I have amazing friends here and know LOTS of wonderful women that I adore spending time with...but it's different than having your best friend from the first grade in town.  It's different if my parents were in town, because I'm reasonably confident they would attend. Here I feel more fragile, less confident about sending out an invitation for the sole purpose of celebrating me.

    What if no one shows up except for Sue and me?  And maybe Alex out of fear that I'd cry?  Ugh, I loathe my fear of rejection.

    Every time I bring it up to Sue she responds that there are already at least 20 yes responses and even if it were just us it's going to be a beautifully decorated, amazing food, and glorious drink situation in which we can just get totally hammered and listen to dirty hip hop and dance.

    She's really smart.

    When I was in the fourth grade, my best friend Alissa threw me a surprise party and I will never forget feeling so loved, so celebrated.  I didn't feel like that again until my wedding.   I love that feeling.

    The truth is though that I was born in the month of holiday parties and family gatherings and since a majority of the people I know have kids, well that makes any outing a strategic planning session that take a LOT of effort, not to mention babysitting money to attend.  So, I brace for rejection and expect the worst because that's my tendency since I'm so fun.

    ...there are those 20 yes responses though.

    I keep reminding myself that 20 people is nothing to spit at in the slightest.  (Not that I'm looking to spit on any guests of course.) Twenty of the people that I like the most in this town said they want to come, and I'm elated.  I'm honored.

    I'm still nervous.

    I don't know where this fear comes from because it's ridiculous.  I have had it for as long as I can remember about just about everything from crushes on boys to inviting friends to dinner.  I'm eternally insecure about people wanting me...and it's a thousand times worse out of my hometown advantage.

    Maybe I have an over-active ego I'm afraid of crushing like some people have an overactive thyroid?  Maybe I need medication? 

    Maybe I had some scaring rejection situation in preschool that I have blocked from my memories which has led me here?

    Perhaps I never got over my eternal crush on Adam Peck and his love for my best friend in high school? 

    (Probably not, but it's something I probably need to get over at happily married with three kids and 35.)

    I know this party will be fun.  I know that I am over the moon happy about the people that are already able to come.  I know that even if everyone cancels at the last minute and I have to drink all the Bees Knees and Champagne Punch with Sue that it will be memorable and fun and all my worry is only an exercise in negativity that I need to quit.  It's like I've never watched Oprah or something.

    If you don't mind though, please send frequent reminders that I am a grown woman with lots of friends that needs to buck up and make herself a cocktail or three between now and December 3rd because it's going to be fun, however it turns out, it will be fabulous!

    Thursday, November 17, 2011

    I Brain Storm A Holiday Card and Other Random Events In My Head Today

    I finally have a photo of me without any farm animals on here! I can only assume that soon I will be paid gazillions of dollars for writing this blog now that I have upped the professionalism a bit. 

    Thank you to my favorite photographer and amazing friend Sara of Sara Morris Photography. 

    Check her out here.

    Sara took our family photos when we were in Indiana this summer and looking at them all again makes me sort of want to send out Christmas cards. I have never sent them out. 

    That's right, never.

    Some of you might have thought over the years that I had just been leaving you off the list, and while that could be true if there had been a list, there sadly has been no list to be left off.

    It just seems like a lot of work.  I mean, who's going to collect all those addresses?  Who's going to pay for all those cards and stamps?  I can't even afford new skincare products.  Why would I send everyone I know I piece of paper that says Happy Holidays if I can't even protect my face from sun spots?

    It's important to keep your priorities straight this time of year.

    This might be the year though.  I'm feeling oddly motivated to take on this challenge.

    I tried to convince Sara during our photo shoot to take a few photos of Alex and me kissing, because it always seems funny to say in the moment, but she wasn't interested in doing that.  She can be strange.

    I like to think that if she had taken me up on my idea, I would forgo the adorable photo of our three children with the word JOY across it and replace it with one of Alex and me making out, like really making out.  You have to admit, it would be gross, but sort of funny. 

    I just spent 15 minutes on holiday photo card sites imagining all the sample photos replaced with Alex and me while giggling to myself.

    Spread Holiday Cheer?
    Warmest Holiday Wishes?
    Making Spirits Bright?

    They are all funny when paired with an inappropriate photo of a couple making out.

     Why don't I feel like I have time to gather some addresses? 

    Maybe I should be employed. 

    *********************************************

    Speaking of photos.  Here is one of Stella's highlights this week.




    I had just turned around to walk to the stove and she climbed onto a chair, then the table and grabbed the jar of peanut butter.  She dripped a large amount on to her foot and then gave me this expression when I confronted her. 

    I'm screwed.

    ********************************************

    I found a gold star sticker on my butt last tonight in the shower.  An actual gold star. I have no clue how it got there.

    My mind immediately went to the Max Lucado book, You Are Special in which all the wemmick people are either given gold stars or gray dots.  Gold stars signify you are good and gray dots, nothing special. 

    I gotta tell you, I felt an irrational surge of pride as I looked at the sticker and thought about this book . 

    Clearly I need to read the full book a few more times because the full message of the tale isn't quite sinking in with me.  I really liked getting that gold star for my ass which is totally undeserving of positive recognition of any kind these days.

    ********************************************

    Sometimes you think you are really doing a good job teaching your kids about being kind, and then you drive by your neighbor's house and your four year old says, "there's the crazy people's house," and you feel like you may have some work to do, because it really is the crazy people's house and he maybe shouldn't know that.  Oops.

    ********************************************

    I realized earlier today that I haven't had my hair cut since June and it looks pretty horrid.  My friend Scott told me I think like Laura Ingalls, which is, surprisingly not the look I really want to have right now.

    I wonder how often JLo has her haircut?  I want to look like JLo.

    I bet she gets lots of gold star stickers on her butt.

    **********************************************

    Other photo favorites of the week so far. 

    I have yet to capture Aiden, but that at least gives me a goal for tomorrow.

    Found them watching cartoons like this.  Melted my heart. 
    First tights this season.  LOVE them.  Thank you Grandma!

    I'm off to clean my house, bake muffins, make a craft, sew a curtain, potty train Stella, and teach Cole to read!

    Fine, I'm going to eat leftover spaghetti. 

    Right now it feels equally important to all those other things. 

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    I Need New Sabotage Methods, I'm Totally Losing My Game

    My husband loves bread. He can devour an entire french loaf if given something to dip it in or spread upon it, no problem.  If I prepare a dinner with even the slightest bit of sauce, he'll almost immediately ask if we have any bread and proceed to use it as one of his utensils.  Loves it.

    His favorite part is the "butt" of the bread.  Where as I am always digging out the middle of the bread loaf for the soft, melt in your mouth goodness, Alex loves the crunchy end.  He especially loves when the outside is a little overdone so the ends get extra crisp.  It's weird, but it's what he likes.

    Last night, I hit a low point in my life.  It had been a chaotic two days of me over committing myself and not using the best of my time management skills.  Doctor's appointments, craigslist sales, dinner co-op, and bible study piled on top of regular kid pick ups and drop offs, tantrums, and laundry totally threw me over the edge. 

    It is during these sorts of days that my lack of Monday-Friday spousal support feels excruciating.  I am normally pretty good at handling breakfast through bedtime solo every day, but on the really chaotic days I tend to have breakdowns where I feel sorry for myself, while simultaneously building a lot of anger toward my husband's inability to ever be here to take over even one small aspect of this parenting stuff during the week. 

    It's not pretty.

    It's possible that while making spaghetti and meatballs from scratch (not the noodles) for three families and trying to tell Cole that he was just going to have to figure out how to turn his pajamas right side out by himself because Mommy can't handle anything else that I started to cry and say, "why can't he just come home once during a night like this?  Why am I always doing this all alone?" 

    Total pity party moment.  Oh it's so ugly and pathetic. 

    (It's not even entirely true...Sue came and cleaned up most of the kitchen while I put Stella and Cole to bed and Alex ended up doing all the dishes after he got home later.  But let's not focus on that because it detracts from how sorry I was feeling for myself.)

    After finishing the three meals though and getting everyone to bed, I was starving and totally depleted. I finally had a chance to pour myself a glass of wine and get my own dinner together, but I was still feeling frustrated and a bit angry towards Alex.  Though the wine helped, I still looked around for a way to ease my pain.

    I saw the loaf of bread sitting on the island, waiting to be sliced.  His favorite thing. I immediately grabbed the bread knife and sawed off the butts of the bread...and put them on my plate.  I don't even like it, but I wanted it for the simple reason that if I ate it, Alex couldn't.

    Mature?

    Possibly not.

    Passive aggressive?

    In a pathetic, not particularly imaginative way, maybe.

    I am not proud of what I did, but it did make me feel a little better and for that I have no regrets. 

    When Alex got home though, I remembered I had already been pathetically passive aggressive with his lunch.  I had intentionally packed him egg salad, knowing full well that Tuesday is a meeting day and that nothing smells worse in a lunch than egg salad. It's delicious, but foul.

    I remember actually giggling when I spread it over the bread that morning, thinking about what a horrible lunch to have on a day when you are around other people. I am so lame and apparently in need of more adult interaction and/or therapy.

    So after he arrived home I asked him about his lunch and you know what he had the nerve to say to me?

    "Oh yeah, it was good.  THANK YOU."

    What an asshole!

    Apparently he was really hungry around 9 am so he ate the egg salad then, and then because I had packed him enough food he had plenty to eat around lunch time too.  He was sincerely grateful.  He did mention that is smelled a lot, but only after my prompting and he didn't even mind! 

    He totally messed up my sabotage!

    Surely he would be disappointed when going for a slice of bread though.  I mean, spaghetti and meat balls is a meal begging for lots of crusty bread to go with it. 

    Nope.  All he said was how great it was and then did all the dishes. 

    Can you believe what a jerk he is? 

    He figured out exactly what I was doing and decided to kill me with kindness. He didn't want to give me the satisfaction of seeing him upset and frustrated by how cruel I was being with the food because he is so tricky!

    Or, he's always that nice about food and is eternally grateful that I prepare food for him and never, ever complains about it even if he is eating dinner at 10 pm because he's worked his ass of all day.

    I hate it when he turns out to be a better person than I am.  It just makes my pathetic pity party look selfish and immature and above all else, ineffective.  I need a new strategy. 

    What smells worse than egg salad?