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.
 
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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? 

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Do Something Good and Then Laugh At Someone, Because That's Good Sometimes Too

Have you liked Noonday Collection on Facebook? 

If you haven't you are crazy, possibly even selfish.

Or not selfish, just not thinking about the Rwandan women.  Why aren't you thinking about them? 

Enough of my badgering.  Just go to Noonday's Facebook page and like them.

Today is the last day to enter to win a $300 shopping spree from Noonday Collection and send a Rwandan woman through sewing school...if you like them on Facebook.  This means the winner will get to receive emails and the Rwandan woman's first creations.

Win!

Stop messing around the internet and go change the world!

Oh, but wait.  First, you should do this.....

In other less important and more hilarious news, sometimes laughing at someone else really is a "good" solution.




Only topped by the song version.


Friday, November 11, 2011

I Might Make Really Good Pulled Pork - Seriously, It's A Recipe-Ish

When my heart broke upon hearing that Kim Kardashian was filing for divorce, I immediately thought I should write to her, comfort her, steer her toward perseverance.  Then I thought, I already wrote to that bitch, even giving her marriage advice, and now 10 weeks after saying I do she threw in the towel.

No more help from me Kimmy.

You need someone stronger than I to teach you perseverance Kim.  Marriage number two, done in 72 days?  I think you need to hit the pause on any future nuptials.  You and JLo need a serious sit down chat with some therapists.  You don't have time to be making my pulled pork, but other people do and they need my help.

A couple of weeks ago, I took my friend Jessica some pulled pork and coleslaw to help her family during their time of adjustment after returning from Rwanda with their new son, Jack.  I was elated to receive a recipe request and feedback from her that the family not only liked it, but that Jack ate the coleslaw, his first raw veggies since arriving home!

I'm a culinary genius.

Or, Real Simple might also be genius because I totally got the whole recipe from them.

I'm giving credit where credit is due, but I still like to think I add that extra dose of love that would really make the dish scrumptious.  I was going to write to Jessica, but then this gem of an individual was introduced to me by Sara at Domestically Challenged, and I couldn't turn away. 

Well, I had to squint and felt a bit nauseated, but I couldn't abandon her.




I'm sure you all know who she is, right?

No?

Classy points all around.  (I'd also like the record to show that I had no clue who she was either and assumed she was in playboy this October or something when I saw this photo.)

Since I've been "researching" her I am both fascinated and disturbed.  She is a train wreck.  I'll put a few clips in here so that you can experience some of her yourself.  I do not want you going out on your own to study her.  It's difficult to stop and it's probably worse than watching or reading about Kim Kardashian and Lindsay Lohan combined.

I keep thinking though, maybe if she just knew how to make pulled pork in her crock pot, she would be OK. You know? 

We have no choice but to try.

Dear Courtney,

I'm not sure how you've escaped my radar for so long, but you were unknown to me until just last week.  I'm sure this disappoints you since it appears you are one for enjoying attention.  When oh when is your reality show coming out?

First things first, what is wrong with your mouth? 
I don't intend to appear mean, but you constantly look like you are preparing to eat your husband when you both are in an interview.  This is disturbing. 

I realize you are only 17, so you probably aren't checking out the sitcom my Grandmother loved, but did you ever see that Everybody Loves Raymond episode where Robert goes out with a woman that seems really great, but then turns out to be obsessed with frogs and eats flies?  Yeah, you remind me of her when you do that. 

Do you eat flies?  You probably shouldn't.

You know what else you probably shouldn't do? 

Start a romantic relationship with a 51 year old actor online, met him, and then marry him at age 16. 

Have you ever seen this little show called To Catch A Predator?  It's pretty inspiring, and really creepy.  The blossoming of your online love with a man older than your father sort of reminded me of that show. 

In case you don't get a chance to check it out, sleazy old men try to meet in person underage girls they met online and then they are arrested.  I wonder how many marriages like yours that show has coming out of it?  It's like Match.com for the sexually perverse.

I won't ask you what you were thinking, because after researching you for a little while it seems that your brain synapses must not be firing appropriately.  It seems thinking might just not be your thing. 

I've read several interviews with your Mom also, who claims to be, "totally cool with the marriage," and I guess thinking just isn't your family's go-to move.  

You know what else is totally cool?  Your music video on a boat.
Well, it's not really cool so much as sad and homemade looking, which is fun when talking about from scratch pies and scarves, but isn't the best thing for music videos.  I really admire your bold choice of color though.  It's nice to see confidence in a young woman today.

It's also nice to see a young couple so happily married...well, half- young couple.  Perhaps you could talk to Kim Kardashian and JLo about all the secrets of your satisfied and blissful union?  I can only assume your tips would include matching Halloween costumes, lots of lip licking, and a commitment to constantly talking about your strong Christian values in a twisted and strange manner.

Side note:  Please stop that.  As a Christian, you are really jacking up our image, especially with your Jesus chatter on Twitter.  You can't say this:

"Gratifying our glorious Lord for all the beauty that He continuously blesses each and every one of us with.  Thank you Jesus! XO's ;-x"

And then this:

"I desperately need to be locked up in a cage tonight because I am feeling wet...wild...and passionately frisky!  Meeeowww! XO's"

I could basically type most of your Twitter feed here.   It's an amazing display of your brain-ish.

If you could stop tweeting, perhaps you would like to make some food? 

Pulled pork seems like something you would like to discuss and twist around into something disgusting. Try to refrain from doing anything other than cooking the meat.

Here is what you need.

Please, for the love of God put some sweats or something that fully covers both your breasts and ass before going to the grocery store.  No one there purchasing food wants to see that much of your business.

That's right, it's your business.  Put it away around the food.

2 pounds boneless pork shoulder or butt  (I'm guessing you want the butt.)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 garlic clove, chopped
salt and pepper
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
4 cups coleslaw mix
1 cup barbecue  sauce

First, mix the brown sugar, chili powder, garlic and salt and pepper.  Rub this mixture all over the pork.  This might be difficult for you to do without being aroused in some way, this is something you probably need to work on immediately.  It's just food.

Also, keep your mouth in check while doing this, especially if anyone else is around. No one would be able to eat this later if you are drooling and contorting your mouth all around it.

Put the pork in your slow cooker.  Wait, you have a slow cooker, right?  I wouldn't normally ask a 17 year old, but since you are married to a man in his fifties it seems like you probably would.

Add 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup water to the crock pot.

Cover and cook until the meat is tender and shreds easily, on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours.

The coleslaw should be dramatically easier for you to handle.  I know that the pulled pork is littered with words that you could, and probably did, turn in to a sexual innuendo of some sort.  Even the word crock probably made you think of crotch.  Again, synapses aren't firing correctly.

(Full disclosure, I don't even know if synapses fire, it just seems like they should.)

Now, take the mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, and 2 tablespoons of vinegar and whisk them together.  Sprinkle with some salt and pepper and then whisk some more. 

Never mind, you probably find all of this very sexual too.  One of your tweets said that the wind blowing on your skin aroused you, clearly there is something VERY active about you. 

Mix the coleslaw mix into the mayonnaise mixture, cover, and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

When the pork is cooked, transfer it to a bowl, leaving the liquid in the slow cooker.  Use two forks to shred the meat.  If it seems dry, add a little of the liquid, but not too much, the barbecue sauce will help make it moist too. 

(Moist is a horrible word.)

Mix in the barbecue sauce.

Serve it up with rolls, slaw, pickles, onions, chips, and for the love of God (which you profess to have so much of) please wear clothing when serving this. 

Amen.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

If You Think Whole Wheat Won't Change Everything, You're Confused...Or Maybe I'm Confused?

I have been a Mom for over six years now, and it still shocks me how quickly things can turn from happy and sweet to full blown tantrum and anger. I'm shocked at how quickly I, as the adult, can feel wrapped up in the joy of my children one moment and then feel emotionally unhinged when things fall apart in the next.

It happens though.  It really happens.

Yesterday was day two of waking up to a pleasant, fully rested Cole.  It's life altering to have him sleep a full night.  It changes everything about the way our family functions and it is so lovely. 

After a breakfast of yogurt and muffins, (made from scratch by me with whole wheat flour because I may fail at checking my emotions, but I excel at feeding my kids,) we skipped to the playroom to play blocks and color. 

(Fine, we didn't skip, it's dangerous to do indoors. I actually wanted to be with Cole and Stella though instead of feeling a sense of dread about the drama Cole would bring to our play.  Did I mention sleep changes everything?) 

After we colored and built a tower we all got dressed, tear-free and happily.  There was even an actual dance break involved.  Honestly, I don't know how I could have been a more fun, loving, and wonderful Mom.  Dancing to Joe Cocker and Black Eyed Peas after serving whole wheat pumpkin-banana-nutella muffins?  Parenting success.

Oh yeah, until I freaked out when Cole refused to go to the bathroom so we could get in the car to go to preschool and I could make my oil change appointment on time.  Yeah, I totally screwed up there.

I was feeling so optimistic and secure in our morning's momentum that I waited until five minutes before we had to leave to ask Cole to pee and get his shoes on and get in the car.  This was such a rookie mistake, something my husband would do.  It could take five minutes to find his shoes some days. 

(Hell, it could take hours to find his shoes some days if Stella is in one of her particularly intense shoe hiding phases.)

Once I asked and he fell to floor, telling me, "I can't!  I lost all my energy.  I'm just not going to school."  I knew it was going to go badly.

I lost my shit people.

I know Cole.  I know him well.  I know that once this line of talking starts with him there is no going back.  There are going to be tears and screams and at least 15 minutes of full blown tantrum before something clicks and he decides that he's over it, he'll just go pee and get his shoes, something that in my head I will never understand as a challenging, tantrum worthy task.

I wasn't in the mood for that.  I was still delighting in the wonder of my parenting glory.  Remember when I fed them whole wheat muffins and weird things like almond milk and they loved it?  Remember when I was such a good Mom that my children actually wanted to dance with me to ridiculous hip hop songs, as well as classic rock/blues?  It was supposed to be an easy morning, but I was betrayed.

I yelled.  I might have threatened to never let him play with anyone, ever again, or something equally ridiculous.  My voice went to that weird place where I actually feel a burning in my chest and it tickles my throat when I shout. I can only assume this is because actual particles of rage are rising up and attempting to hurl themselves at my poor child. 

I initially walked away like I almost always try to do.  I initially went to my go-to method of dealing with any tantrum, ignore then speak when they are ready to turn back in to a functioning human. 

I also do this for every one's protection because I have a tendency to want to scream at my kids when something like this happens, but I am intelligent enough to know that screaming is probably not the best method of eliciting long-term, positive behavior.

Unfortunately I'm apparently not intelligent enough to ignore and restrain my shouts when there is an oil change appointment on top of my crushed expectations on the line.  It only took a few moments and a slight increase in Cole's volume to push me to the edge and the rage rose right out of my mouth.

Eventually he got up, he peed, he found shoes, and we left 20 minutes after it all began, officially LATE.  I was shaking with my frustration with Cole, and with myself, for the entire ride.  It was a silent car ride to preschool, unfortunately things weren't the same inside my head.

I felt washed in guilt for how I handled the situation, countered with my complete exasperation with Cole's repeated outbursts over having to dress, SLEEP, pee, pick-up, or wash his hands.  It is excruciating to maneuver through the days, especially with two other children, and deal with one that is freaking out because he has an itch on the bottom of his foot...but refuses to articulate that, preferring to scream and shut down. 

(I can only assume Cole believes I am so intelligent and all knowing that I can figure out any ailment or irritation without the assistance of actual words or gestures.  Sadly, I can not. It sure would be handy though.)

Why did I feel betrayed by a four year old because he was throwing a tantrum? Why did I feel like my child would be thinking about how great his Mom is because she dances around the living room and therefore decide he'll cooperate immediately with my every instruction?  Why oh why didn't that whole wheat change everything?

It's convenient that I know the answers to these questions. 

I felt betrayed because I still think things should be, or simply are, about me even when most of  the time that's just not true.

Cole wasn't thinking about how great I was because he's four and I'm all he knows, he won't realize I'm spectacular for another thirty years.  (OH NO!) 

And no one really gets excited about whole wheat and there is probably something wrong if they do, especially at four.

I selfishly think that my children's behavior is my behavior, and while that may be sort of true in that I am responsible for teaching them and helping them learn appropriate ways to handle situations and behave, I will never be them.  I will never be able to control their every action or reaction.

(Dammit!  They could be such fantastic individuals!)

I have to keep helping them and keep my emotions in check. 

Yeah, that's probably not always going to happen.  I will freak out again.

Once we pulled in to the parking lot, I took Cole out of his seat, leaving Stella in hers for a moment alone.  I sat on a curb in the parking lot and pulled Cole on to my lap and hugged him close to me. 

There is a good chance this was scary for him....and all I could think about was that I failed him....again.  Instead of staying calm, I shouted and probably made a difficult situation worse.  Ugh.

After 15 minutes of silence in the car he looked sullen and very much aware that Mommy was mad.  I wrapped my arms around him and apologized for my yelling.  I told him we are a team that needs to talk to one another when we are having a rough time or we won't be able to help each other.  I told him I expect him to cooperate though and there isn't any negotiation on that.

I explained that Mommy used to put on pretty clothes and get paid to go somewhere every day where she used her brain and now she is unhinged in her sweatpants and hair that hasn't been washed in four days or cut in four months because a small person doesn't want to pee.

Fine, I didn't say that, but it's possible that thought did cross my mind. 

He apologized and said, "I'm so sorry Mommy.  I'm never, ever going to do that again."

Liar.

I thanked him though and hugged him closer.  We said a quick prayer for both of us and then skipped in to school.

Fine, we still didn't skip.  It would be really challenging to skip while holding a four year old's hand and carrying a 25 pound one year old, it's not my fault.  We'll skip when it makes sense and not before.

I bet you are thinking that he cooperated the rest of the day. I bet you are thinking we were both better people after our challenge together.  I bet you are thinking he and I both learned a lesson.

Wrong.

His teacher called me later that afternoon because he refused to cooperate there.  Again.

The good news though is that I was able to wash my hair last night and we still have plenty of whole wheat muffins to fix this problem right up.  Turns out I am a wonderful Mother.

Monday, November 7, 2011

You Hunt, I'll Gather Ear Wax

Yesterday, I found a used q-tip stuffed inside the straw of a sippy cup.  When I write "used," I mean both ends covered in nasty orange-brown wax.  It was in the drawer I fill with clean cups for the kids, which means one of my children found a dirty q-tip and stuffed it inside the straw, then put it back in the drawer. 

Or it means my husband has lost his mind and is now abandoning any attempt to act like the adult along with me around here.

I was lying in bed last night reflecting on finding this q-tip and marveling at the fact that it wasn't even the grossest part of my day, when I feel like something like that clearly should have been. Unfortunately, an unlimited access to a bag of raisins placed too low, and two meals in a row served with corn meant that changing Stella's diaper trumped dirty ear wax in drinking straws. 

Kids are gross.

Alex went hunting this weekend, leaving me with the three kids solo for the weekend.  I genuinely wanted him to go, I really did. I complain about how often he is gone, particularly about having to cover dinner, bath, and bedtime solo every night, but the truth is that he is always working and never, ever does anything enjoyable for himself.  He needed it. 

I however, did not need more time with the kids.

Me wanting him to go, and me hating the fact that I was left with three kids by myself for the weekend are two totally separate things.  I have spent way too much time with my children in the last few days, making my appreciation of them dip a little lower than it should for a loving Mother. 

We need a little "absence makes the heart grow fonder" type of thing around here. 

I'd particularly like a little absence from Cole and his inability to sleep.  He's pushing the whole family to the edge.  I bet Aiden was the one that put that q-tip in the straw because he's so traumatized by the stress of a brother that just won't go to sleep and insists on screaming and crying instead. I'll probably soon find Stella and Aiden in the backyard eating sand or rolling in dog poop. 

I really don't know what either of these things have to do with having a brother that won't sleep, but both seem like fairly insane choices that might be made by someone that is being kept up or frequently awoken by the cries of a sibling. I'm confident this must be in a medical book somewhere.

I'll go look that up, just to be sure I can protect them from things getting to that point.  Meanwhile, here are some photos from our non-stop Mother and children time over the past few days.  They are a bit Stella intense, primarily because she is the most adorable, though definitely not the most easy going, that award goes to Aiden for this weekend. 


Stella has an obsession with finding the moon, even during the day.  Cole earned some serious big brother points by trying to hold her hand to get her to go inside for dinner.  He has some good points.  :)

This is how I wish the whole weekend had gone.  Aiden reading to his siblings and the dog.  Love it.
Turns out Stella really likes pudding and I love seeing her get messy enjoying some chocolate.
Another example of how I wish the whole weekend had gone, but it did not.
Despite her blanket being dropped in poop, Stella was traumatized by having to have it washed.  She spent the entire wash cycle like this and crying hysterically when it all got to be too much.
A little bible reading and stroller pushing.
Watching Aiden's soccer game.  A lot of snack eating to elicit cooperation. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Since I Haven't Been Blogging

I have so much to say, but I'm basically saying nothing.  I have about five posts in varying degrees of completion, but nothing can be finished lately.  A recipe-ish about pulled pork to that scary Courtney Sodden, Ten Things to Smile About that I was supposed to post this morning, some thoughts on marriage, and an entire post wondering if Cole will ever be my favorite child are sitting in my drafts folder.

Not that I have a favorite child or anything.  I have a simple photo ladder on my fridge and rotate the kids' photos depending on who is doing their best to win me over each day, winner at the top. 

Winner, not favorite.  No favorite children favoritism here.

Joking Mom.  There is no such ladder in real life. 

There is totally a ladder in my head some days though.  ,

It would be a total lie to say that I don't find some of them easier to delight in than, oh say the ones begging for Pink Floyd music, refusing to sleep and pretending to smoke pretzel sticks.  I fear for my future with that one.  Soon he'll be sneaking out to drink and get a tattoo and we won't even notice because we'll be so happy he finally let us sleep.

Currently accepting all prayers for Cole. 

I do plan to eventually get back to blogging, and reading blogs, but for tonight you can have some photos of the last few days, because I am just not at a good point for getting a real post out right now.  I'm going to bed, I'm cleaning, I'm caught up in all sorts of life, but maybe tomorrow I'll get something done.

Maybe.

A cold snap in Austin made soccer practice that much more adorable.

Cole got to take home his class stuffed animal.  Writing in the Hippo journal was not my best work, by far.

Our bee LOVED the trick or treating. She followed the big kids and cherished each piece of candy like it was gold.

Cole nor Stella lasted very long though.  They were much happier sharing Skittles at home.

These are the things that I love about having a kindergartner.  It's just melt-my-heart cute.



And just so you know what I'm spending so much time doing these days.

I can't figure out why it's turned, I did actually try. 

She throws a HUGE fit the second I try to take something from her, including cereal that she stole out of my hand.  When I have the time I find myself engaging in this type of thing in order to avoid a 30 minute screaming session.  Not ideal, but it does eventually work.