Tuesday, December 4, 2012

While I Work On My Future, I Hope Stella Isn't Working On Hers

No parent wants their daughter dancing on tables, but for now...


So amusing.

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I'm having a Holiday Extravaganza for my new Pampered Chef business! 

If you live in the Austin area and feel like celebrating with me, learning a bunch of new recipes, and would like to have the chance to win a LOT of free Pampered Chef, send me an email themommytherapy@gmail.com and I'll send you the info!

If you sadly don't live near me, but you are still interested in free Pampered Chef products go ahead and send me an email and we'll work it out!

If you don't care about free Pampered Chef, go to my website and just buy a bunch of stuff. www.pamperedchef.biz/leslied  Because that seems like a good idea!

Have a good week everyone!!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Who Thinks Brenda Walsh Has A Gratitude Journal?

Remember yesterday when I was all "ah-ha" moment-ing it with Oprah's gratitude exercise?

That was nice.

You know what wasn't nice?

2:00 AM

You know when your two year old starts crying and moaning for no apparent reason?  Then you try to console and check for fever or sharp objects impaling them, and when you can't figure it out after an hour or so and you sort of feel like starting to cry too, but you can't because more than sad you feel really annoyed. 

And that lasts until around 4:00 AM.

Then after you have successfully placed your newly appointed least favorite child back in her crib, and you've peed because it's difficult to make it through the night without doing that at least once since birthing three children, and you settle in to bed and let your mind race a bit about how you're going to make Brussels sprouts and kale look good and sell a lot of Pampered Chef. Then you wonder if you should buy Tom's new wedge booties, and then suddenly it's 4:30 AM and you think you might scream.

(By the way, you should totally buy Tom's new wedge booties, you would know that if you weren't so tired.)

You know?

It seems annoying, but then 5:00 AM comes around and your five year old wakes you up from your thirty minutes of sleep to let you know he's going to go poop, because this is the type of information you must be involved in when you hold the title "Mom." 

You may, or may not, start to poke your slightly pointy toenail in to your husband's leg to see if he wakes up from the sharp pain, because even though there is no reason for him to be up other than to share your pain, that sort of seems like a good reason at that point.

(You may be more mature than I am, if so skip the previous paragraph, I never claimed to be mature.)

Then it's 5:15 and there are strange noises coming from your bathroom so you have to get of bed to investigate.  Then you feel filled with rage because the strange noises are actually just your five year old making funny sounds because he's "bored" pooping and wants you to talk to him about ninjas, which makes your head explode because you hate all things ninja with every fiber of your being at this point. 

Then you decide that perhaps God just doesn't want you to sleep because he obviously forgot that you turn mentally unstable without at least six hours of sleep, or simply wants you to be off your rocker all day in an exercise of personal and spiritual growth that is just going to leave you feeling pissed. 

So you get up and think that this would be a good time for one of Oprah's gratitude journal entries to make you feel better by remembering how blessed you are in life.

Are you following me?

But, then you remember you didn't get enough sleep for that crap.

So that's sort of how things started for me this morning.

The good news is that the day ended with this birthday celebration for my friend Jessica.


(Suzanne, I know you don't like that you aren't facing the camera on this one, but I had to go with the three out of four of us looking at the camera and you have that hip new haircut to carry you through any photo.)

Oh, also good news is that none of us are Shannon Doherty, aka "Brenda Walsh," whom I just saw starring in an ad for schoolplease.com where she had to act out all the trials of attending an actual school.  That was depressing. 

Dylan would be so embarrassed.

I hope she has a gratitude journal.






Sunday, December 2, 2012

Oprah Told Me To Do This

I turned 36 today. 

Unlike last year, there is no big party, there is no pressure for major celebration.  I'm just sitting by my fresh Christmas tree, listening to music, and reading the insane number of Facebook birthday posts I've received. 

(If you aren't on Facebook, I truly believe you should be for your birthday alone.  I can not describe how awesome it is to have people from all areas of your life, family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, all wish you well.)

I have put Stella down for a nap and informed the boys that if they want any chance at celebrating me tonight (their only concern is cake,) they have to stay in their rooms and be quiet for at least an hour. 

An hour of peace is a gift I can use, and since I've accepted that they have zero desire of their own to celebrate me, I'm using birthday cake to get them to do everything today.

Alex took my shopping list and took off for the grocery store.  We might not ever see him again, but this is a wonderful way for him to go out if he isn't able to navigate the horrors of Sunday afternoon grocery shopping and make it home alive. 

I assume there is a good chance he will return home with all sorts of junk food he wasn't aware even existed anymore, but as long as he also gets what is on my list, I'm fine with that.  Not having to go grocery shopping is seriously a gift, well done Alex.

Earlier in the week I had put together a very mature scheme to make him feel badly for not planning anything for my birthday.  I booked a sitter in secret and planned to keep my lips sealed about doing anything for my birthday, despite my very real wish to go out. 

This is the part where you shake your head at me and say, "Leslie, don't play those silly games. You'll be the loser and no one will be happy. You're better than that.  I love your bangs."

Or something like that.

Then this is when I say, "But I want Alex to do something, plan something, and I don't want to spell it out for him because I'm irrational and believe it's possible for him to read my mind." 

Probably exactly that.

Fear not though, my friend Renee took matters in to her own hands and texted Alex, warning him of my evil plan and thereby ruining all chance of all of us being miserable all weekend. 

She's so mean sometimes.

I guess I'm sort of grateful though.

Fine, Renee is wonderful and she's 100% right, I was being ridiculous.

So we went out for a nice dinner last night.  We were relaxed and had a good time.  We came home early, despite Alex's offer to stay out, because that sounded better.  Apparently it's more fun to just relax and enjoy than turn in to a martyr....I know, I was confused at first too.

I consciously chose to enjoy my birthday, even if I'm wiping up poop and cleaning dishes.

The truth? 

I'm overwhelmed by how good I have it. You know how Oprah always says to start a gratitude journal to track what you are grateful for every day?  I'm sitting here doing that in my mind.

(What? You don't do everything Oprah told you to do ten years ago?) 

Well, I assume this is why.  I am taking a minute to think that even though 36 is starting to sound a smidgen older than I would like, I am over the freakin' moon about my awesome life, and being a martyr about anything right now seems like more pain than I need.

Despite their ability to drive me completely bananas, seriously wanting to stab myself in the arm just to focus on another type of pain than the pain they emotionally inflict on me, I have pretty awesome kids.



 
 
Stella screamed a lot of today, mostly requesting Alex and refusing me. This is usually just fine with me, but today Cole was kind enough to come up to me, huge me and say, "Mommy, I'm sorry.  It's your birthday and Stella hates you."  
 
 
I love that Cole thinks of things like this.  He is hilarious.  Hilarious.

I'm also grateful for Alex. I have a marvelous partner, assuming he hasn't been killed at the grocery store, in Alex.
 
He even loves me in goggles, which I feel says a lot because I look ridiculous.  I'm so glad I didn't go in to a career in something that requires me to wear protective eye wear.  Or a jump suit.  Or spandex.

Holy hell, I am really fortunate.

I have insanely wonderful girl friends.  These women sustain me, support me, call me out when I'm being crazy, and love me regardless.  I would be LOST without their presence in my life.  You know who you are, but Alissa, Anne, Sara, Julie, Kathryn, Amity, Jessica, Renee, Jenn, Nicole, Jennifer, Amy, Suzy, Kerri, Madge, Michele, Sally, Sabra, Jen, Suzanne....geez I feel like the list could go on and on.  I just love you all.  So grateful for good, solid women in my life who bring me joy.

Why don't I have photos of my friends?  That seems wrong.  Who wants to do a friends photo shoot with me? That sound cheesy, but it would be fun, surely it would be fun.

I also have awesome blog readers turned friends.  Example A below:

 
So fun!

Oh, and I have my dog.  But I'm not super keen on my dog lately because she pees when she gets excited and has taken to humping my leg, and only my leg, and that makes me uncomfortable.  Does she like me more than other people?  What is she thinking while humping?  Surely she's confused?

I don't think I can figure it all out tonight. 

At 36 though, life is good. In a few short weeks my parents then my brother and sister in law will be here and we'll be celebrating Christmas and it's all just a little too much.  It's all just so fantastic. 

Tomorrow I'll go back to sarcastic, but tonight I'm happy.

Happy birthday to me!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Bra Changes Everything

I try to parent with natural consequences to my children's actions. 

Choose to not take your jacket?  You'll be cold later and hopefully think twice the next time.

Leave your toys on the floor?  The dog will chew them, or they will disappear to toy jail.

Delay starting your power errands with all three kids and choose to get the deep clean at the car wash even though you arrive late?  You will be tortured both mentally and physically at said car wash.

Fine, that last one is my punishment.  It  was painful people.

Since I wasn't thinking clearly Monday morning, and worked yesterday, I waiting until today to run three crucial errands before the holiday.  All three kids are out of school today so I knew it would be rough, but I had a plan and was feeling irresponsibly optimistic.  

No Mom heading out with three kids under seven and a plan should EVER feel optimistic.  EVER.  She should feel focused and motivated and cautious, but not optimistic.  Optimistic leads to epic fails.

Mistake number one was not getting dressed the minute I woke up, and immediately getting food together for my kids. Whenever I feel inclined to leisurely linger over my morning smoothie and delay putting on a bra, nothing happens for hours. 

Despite my extraordinarily small chest size, a bra is key in getting me going in the morning.  I think my brain somehow assumes if I'm not wearing a bra, there is no reason to kick logical thinking in to high gear.  This is dangerous.

Delaying breakfast for my kids is essentially telling them to go get interested in something else, like cutting up 20 pieces of perfectly good printer paper to make fake money and open a store to sell one another things they all profess to hate, until someone else is willing to pay $30 in tree-killing money for it.  There is no pulling them away from their cut-throat sales this time of year.

Since we were already working at a slow pace, it seems logical that I worked myself right in to mistake number two.  Facebook, ruler of most of my braless time wasting.

Damn Facebook and it's ability to capture me in a web of humourous e-cards, heartfelt links (like this one from my sorority grand-daughter who is going through an amazing time, read it here and start at the beginning of the blog,) and general shenanigans from my closest 500 friends.

After I got dressed, I started to feel a bit of panic about getting out the door since it was a little after 10.  I sort of have a rule that I have to be out the door before 10 in order for sanity to have a chance while running errands.  Unfortunately, I then allowed myself to make mistake number three...calling my Mom. 

My Mom tends to be full of both helpful and obvious advice, so she did get me off the phone faster than usual.  We finally rolled in to the car wash around 10:50, late, but nothing tragic. 

I thought.

I wanted a thorough wash and vacuum, as well as a really good wipe down inside.  I don't remember the last time my car was really wiped out, but I did find two pieces of chewed gum and something rotting in one of the back cup holders, so it had been at least a few weeks.

Fine, I'm 99% sure it's been a year.

A year people.

Shameful. 

As I chatted to Mr. Carwash Man through my window he suggested I get a deep clean, which I thought sounded good for ridding my van of any science experients growing in the crevices.  I'm not sure that I properly calculated the hour and a half wait time for the service in to my day. 

Mistake number four...which rolls in to mistakes 4-200.

We started out OK.  My children aren't savages, they are generally pretty well behaved in public, especially before noon.  We sat outside and watched cars go by, Stella wowed the older crowd with her charm, and Aiden and Cole created some sort of count the car game that seemed really educational and creative. 

I found myself thinking I can totally do this for an hour and a half and then go to the grocery store and Orgins.

See how happy and adorable they look during the first few car wash moments?


(Insert mocking laughter.)

After about 30 mintues Aiden and Cole lost interest in counting cars and were encouraging Stella to dig through my purse for quarters, which apparently are readily available.  I was planning to stop them but it seemed harmless and I was caught in a very serious discussion with an older gentleman about adoption through the foster care system.

Somehow he had misunderstood me and thought that I was in the process of adopting.  He was giving me lots of advice about kids sneaking food and hoarding toysa and backpack checking.  After a few minutes of attempting to interrupt and correct him, I gave up and starting talking about my fictitious foster child, whom I found myself explaining was with my husband. 

I clearly have issues with these types of encounters with strangers.

The next time I turned around I saw Cole dropping a can of Orange Fanta, which fizzes, partially explodes, and rolls accross the crowd of people waiting for their cars, leaving a trail of high fructose corn syrup for everyone.  Next to Cole is Aiden, giggling with manic delight at his firm grasp on another can of the usually forbidden drink. 

I thanked the man for all his help with my fake foster child situation and hustled off to confiscate sodas and reevaluate how much money in quarters Stella had found.  The foster care man informed me that I would, "really have my hands full with our new addition." 

I simply smiled, there's just no going back from that kind of a miscommunication.

(I am an awful person.)

This is when Alex calls and says he can meet us for lunch next door to the car wash.  Thank God for the new Taco Market.   I had already been trying to figure out how I was going to ever make it to the bathroom without dragging all three with me, so I was very relieved to hear he could join us.

Lunch was uneventful, but returning to the car wash to find my van was no where near done was a profound and sad revelation.  All three kids were done, ready to go home and completely unsympathetic about my car not being finished.

They each colored in their Taco Market coloring books and then realized that they would much rather torture one another.  As I broke up a fight between Cole and Aiden I realized Stella had decided the grey stone bench looked far too drab, choosing a vibrant yellow crayon to liven things up on the seat.

We had been there too long, far too long to be sane anymore.

Which brings me to mistake number five, suggesting we all go inside to the "gift shop" and play eye spy.

It worked for a few minutes and then Stella realized there were all sorts of things within her reach, like a glass candy cane wine stopper.  I took it away from her twice and then as I was apoligizing to a woman for Aiden and Cole's life size chess game which caused Cole to run in to her, Stella grabbed the wine stopped and simply dropped it on the cement floor.

My fake child would have never done that.

$13.99 of shattered candy cane.

I redirected Stella to a basket of plastic trash bags for people to put in their cars, which she proceeded to carry around and hand out to all the other waiting customers.  With Aiden and Cole captivated by my phone and Stella working for the car wash, I decided to go check on my van....now at the two hour mark since we arrived.

I was promised it would only be thirty more minutes and I went back to break up the latest Aiden and Cole fight and rescue an older gentleman from Stella's insistence that he take a free bag.  She was overdue for a nap and not taking no for an answer from anyone. 

One man kindly asked me if I had momentarily blacked out when I decided to bring them all with me to the car wash.  I found the comment to be equally insulting and funny, probably because I felt like he was judging me, but I thought it sounded like a good excuse for my clearly very poor decisions of the day.  I suprisingly refrained from explaining to him that I didn't put a bra on right away and it caused the entire demise of my day.  He didn't seem as kind and willing to help as foster kid man, who would have probably sympathized with me and made me feel better. 

I missed him.

By 1:40 I was about to just take my vehicle home.  I figured surely it would be in a much better state than it had been, regardless of completion.  Mercifully, that was when I was told it was ready.

Mr. Carwash Man, attempting to do me a favor, pointed to a spot in the parking lot where he said he could park my van so we could pile in and go. 

Apparently he parked it right next to a crazy curb island though...which I ran over, scratching the bottom of my front fender again, while several carwash men waved and shouted at me. 

It would have been more helpful if they had told me to stop instead of making me think they were the friendliest bunch of car wash hands I'd ever seen, waving enthusiastically and mouthing words I didn't understand.

I drove off as fast as I could and headed straight for home.  There was no grocery store, no Origins to be had today.  I had little chance of surviving another outing with the three of them today, much less two.

Surely we've all learned a lesson here, right?  That's how the natural consequences work, which is why my parenting system is working out so fantastically, unless we're at a car wash. 

Bascially, bras are just as important to your brain as they are your breasts, and the car wash men aren't that friendly, so pay attention.

Have a wonderful, safe Thanksgiving! 

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And just so you know....


Pampered Chef BLACK FRIDAY SALE!!
The holidays are fast approaching! Why fight all the crowds when you can shop from your home, sipping coffee, while in your pajamas?
Beat the clock on my 1st annual Black Friday Sale and you might even win the host benefits!
Friday, November 23rd h
Between 6:00 AM and 10:00 AM

You can purchase any of our terrific products
(as many as you want) from 10% to 30% off!
Here's how (It's SOOO easy!)
There are three ways to order:
  • Call me at (512) 653-0884 and leave a message.
  • Email me at lesliek_76@yahoo.com
  • Go to my website: Click on Order Products; Put Black Friday in as the host
 
Visit my website at www.pamperedchef.biz/leslied
to view our beautiful online catalog!!
For the sale discounts to apply you MUST email me, call me or online order between the specified hours. I will call to confirm and finalize your order total before the orders are placed.  The discounts will not show when you place your order, I will call you back to confirm your total.  Individual orders placed through my website MUST be entered be ordered as part of the BLACK FRIDAY show…be sure to put the words BLACK FRIDAY in as the host.

6:00 AM - 7:00 AM--Receive 20%
off anything from our catalog7:01 AM - 8:00 AM --Receive 15% off
8:01 AM – 10:00AM --Receive 10% offPAST HOSTS who had a show within the last year (12/1/11 – 11/30/12) will receive their 10% host discount in addition to this percentage!!
NOTES:
  • Everyone calling in or emailing me during this time will receive an entry for the host benefits (FREE STUFF) from this show. It's that simple.
  • Just place your order on my voice mail or in an email and receive a fabulous discount!
  • Orders will be shipped to my home in Round Rock within approximately 2 weeks, just in time for the holidays. I will notify you when the orders have arrived and work with you to distribute
  • Or if you would like to pay a slightly higher shipping charge, you can have the order shipped anywhere in the US!
Please be sure to leave ALL the following information (either on my voice mail or in an email) when you place your order!!
  • Your name
  • Your phone number
  • Your address (if you want me to ship it directly to you or a gift recipient)
  • Time of your call/email (Note for emails -date/time stamp on email will indicate what discounts apply)
  • Which payment options you want to use: your credit card or by check (please do not leave your credit card information on my voice mail OR in any email. To protect your privacy, I will get that info from you when I call to confirm your order.)
    • The item numbers, item names and quantity

      That's it! I WILL verify ALL information with you before sending in the order! You can be assured of no hidden "surprises." All payments must be received by 12-1-12.
    • EXTRA BONUS ALERT!

If you book a January or February cooking or catalog show at the same time, I will give you $15 of Additional FREE products at your show! January is the BEST month to host a cooking or catalog show becauseJanuary hosts will earn EXTRA Free Products. My open dates are going quickly. Just mention that you want a January show and I'll call you back for a date. Plus, if you book a January show during this special sale you will receive an extra entry in to the host benefit drawing!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Instagram Can Tell You

If you follow me on Instagram, you know there's been a lot going on around here.

First, I decided Stella didn't look French enough.

So cut her hair in to an adorable bob, with bangs.  Yes, bangs like mine.

(I'm going to stand firm that she insisted she have bangs like Mommy, because it feels less narcissistic than admitting it was totally my idea.)


Let me clarify, I did not cut her hair myself.  Wouldn't it be fantastic though if I had a chair like this in my house? 

Or if I could cut hair?

Other than the fact that she should probably close her legs in this particular photo, isn't this haircut the cutest thing in the whole world?  I couldn't handle her hair in her eyes all the time, catching all manner of snot and food from everywhere. 

She's taking her smart new look to a whole new level by being a vet.


We've decided to stop saving for college tuition and just concentrate on her looks for a while.

(I'm just kidding Mom, she's not an actual vet based on her cuteness...yet.)

In addition to making Stella cuter, Alex and I felt it was important to finally enclose our master bathroom toilet.  I think Alex is more happy about this than the birth of any of our children.  He won't stop talking about how life altering it is. 

I have yet to see how it's greatly impacted me, other than the fact that Stella and Cole now have an additional door to play with, mostly while I'm using the restroom. 

Oh, and now the bathroom looks like this.



I fear this is how our bathroom will look for years now, complete with the smell of sawdust and laziness.  Classy.

I spent a lot of time at home this weekend while Stella napped, which led me to this photo.


It was only three years ago, but it feels like another life.  This was me and two of my best friends, Sara and Kathryn pretending to be the band at my Alissa's wedding. 

That was such a fun, amazing night.  I only had two children and I wasn't totally exhausted by the idea of putting on a little dress and being fun.  Am I even fun anymore?

Alex and I had a babysitter last night and we went to Pei Wei and a movie. 

(Argo is awesome by the way. Mom, you would even like it.  They do drop the f-bomb a lot though, so if you see it, you are not aren't allowed to complain to me about this.  I had absolutely nothing to do with the production of this movie, to the best of my knowledge.)

Though both the movie and restaurant were delightful, I didn't even shower before we left.  Maybe the bathroom will be left unfinished forever at my currently level of extra energy I'm exerting to get things done. 

Remember how I got Stella's haircut though?  That took some energy.

We were also too lazy to go to the elementary school movie night, so we stayed in and bribed our children with a fire and a movie at home.  I was ready for complaints, but instead we got cuddling.



See how it pays to be lazy sometimes?

I think we've all learned a lot here.

Have a good week everyone!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Competition For Favorite Kid Was Won By a Baking Dish, Of Course

There has been a strip mall under construction near our house for months now.  We live in a nice neighborhood, but unfortunately we are in close proximity to a WalMart, a Whataburger, and a variety of pawn shops, so I was excited at the fact that this strip mall looked nicer than most. 

I had been day dreaming of all sorts of upscale food options and adorable shopping for this new location.  Something classy like a stationary store that personalizes or a fancy soap place, changing my life forever. 

(The soap lady and I would be best friends.  Forever.)

Nothing says classy like paper and soap which I would most likely never purchase.

(My best friend is going to just give me soap.)

Yesterday morning though, I spotted a sign in the window of the strip mall. 

Great Clips

Freakin' Great Clips.

That's not changing my life at all.  There's zero chance that the owner of the Great Clip franchise and I are going to go grab drinks or braid each other's hair, even though that might be her job.

Then today, a taco "joint" put a sign in the window of another part of the building.  Really?

This has nothing to do with what's on my mind, but I am really sad about the loss of my soap lady best friend and all the fun, yet sentimental, letters we would have written one another on our new stationary. 

You're probably thinking, "Geez Leslie, things must be great if you are mourning fictitious friends and taco restaurants."

Well, you're wrong.

Well, you're not really wrong.  Things are fine in that I-have-three-kids-under-seven sort of way. 

The new retail businesses near my house have actually nothing to do with, well anything, but I thought it was important for you to know.

I'm in one of those phases when Cole is on my last nerve. It's like last spring all over again.  He's whining and screaming when he doesn't get what he likes.  He's sad and negative about every.single.thing.  It's exhausting and toxic to the whole house and most importantly really hard on me. 

(Fine, that's not the most important thing, but it feels like it when I rehash it all in my head.)

I honestly don't think I can even write about it.  There's just not much to say.  It's a constant battle between my fierce love for him and my very strong annoyance. 

I'm praying the love keeps winning out, and that he continues to be this creative with his stories so I have something fun to counteract his very strong personality.

Cole's preschool news of the day, none of which had happened like he said.
 
In the meantime, this one is scoring all sorts of favorite points.


Aiden's diligently working on homework, practicing piano to no end, cooperating and eating whatever I put in front of him....even if it looks "a little weird."  Despite a brief tantrum over a brownie at the end of last week, and who can really blame him, Aiden's been awesome. 

This is how it works though, right?

One of them is pushing you so close to the edge that you might fall at any point, so the other ones rally a bit and bring their "A" game so Mommy doesn't have to curl in the fetal position and cry at the back of the closet. 

(Not that anything like that has ever happened here.) 

(Fine, it's never happened more than quarterly.)

It brings a small sense of balance in this chaotic mess of parenting multiple kids.

Unfortunately, this one is her own back and forth balance of adorable and maddening frustration.

Sequence and being told NO are not her best moments.

There is no constant for who is the easy one, or who is the favorite. 

There is this gem though.

The Pampered Chef, Deep Covered Baker

I know it just looks like a red pot.  I've been reading a lot of Disney books though and I know it's possible that even a donkey could pour gold coins out of his ear or brooms could clean by themselves....this is sort of like that.

I was recently told you could microwave a whole chicken and vegetables in this and it would taste like it had been roasted in the oven for over an hour.  I was a huge doubter because microwaving meat sounded nasty to me....but then I did it on Sunday and it was awesome.  It was juicy, evenly cooked, browned, and delicious. 

I, of course, promtly researched the health of microwaving food because who cares if it tastes good if it's really just radiation chicken that's ready to give us all cancer?  I mean, dinner would be done but it sort of doesn't seem worth it.  Turns out microwaving in stoneware (not BPA laden plasic of course) is better for the nutrient composition of foods staying in tact. 

Insert a lot of science words here.

Bottom line...not bad for you.

So, I guess I can microwave meats? 

I don't even know what to say anymore.  This doesn't make up for the disappoint of Great Clips, and the loss of my pretend friend, but it does make dinner a lot easier to prepare while riding out this rough patch with Cole.

Who's going to play Sequence with Stella though?  It's really awful.
******************************************************

Linking up with Shell's Pour Your Heart Out check it out here.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Six Things Since Last Week, I'm Out Of Control

Since it's been a week, and the last time I wrote I told you all about how I'm going to take over the world selling pots and pans, you probably assume I had no time to write because I was wildly filling orders for pizza cutters and salad spinners. 

Not so.

Fear not folks, my move to The Pampered Chef world has not tamed my wild side.  Not that Pampered Chef isn't wild, I mean, they have an herb keeper and everything.  Bad. Ass.

Let's run through some of the highlights of my time away from the blog in the last seven days.

1. A ROCK Concert...On a TUESDAY Night

That's right.  I'm out of control. 

My friends Michele and Sommer invited me to an Allanis Morissette concert almost two months ago.  Since it was all the way near the end of October, I said yes! I love Michele and Sommer so the idea of spending a night on the town with them sounded great...until a few weeks before the concert.

I still loved the idea of seeing Sommer and Michele, but I think I started getting nervous about the logistics and the exhaustion of being out on a Tuesday night approximately two weeks ahead of actually going out. 

I'm cool like that.

As it turns out though, I totally rallied.  I threw on some tight black jeans, big earrings, and dark lipstick and attempted to perform all the hits from Jagged Little Pill for my children before I left.

Turns out I don't sing them very well, and Aiden was just confused about why someone would have to remind another person about them loving them?  He's deep, but he just doesn't get Allanis like 1996 me did.

Sommer, Me, and Michele Rockin' It


I would like to officially say that Allanis is still every bit of the rocker with an amazing voice that she was through the speakers in my dorm room at Purdue.  She was awesome.  I am fairly confident that I would have fallen over if I had to throw around my body in leather pants like she did, maybe not if I were properly hydrated....it's really difficult to tell until I'm in the situation. 

(I'll follow up on this later with you.)

I did get to see Allanis VERY close up when I made my way to the ladies room.  She smiled at me and said she wants me to be her Pampered Chef rep for life.  We were seriously connected.

I spent a majority of the show trying to figure out what the story was on the man in the blue bandanna, sort-of pictured below.


I loved him.  He had awful dreds out the top of that bandanna, a moustache, glasses, and a light up shirt.  He knew every word to every song and had the coolest head shake while dancing to all the hits.  He was just great.  I never got the courage to go talk to him though.  I mean really, what could I have said to someone like that? 

He was awesome.

I was awesome for attending a concert on a Tuesday, but not as awesome has he was.

2. Halloween

Let's start by saying that Halloween blows.

I mean, it's fun and all, but not when you've had a regular day of school, with a regular day of school to come the next day.  If Obama or Romney would just take a stand on changing Halloween to the last Friday of October or something spectacular like that, they would win by a landslide. 

I should be in politics.

It was fun to see the kids dress up and be so excited about going around the neighborhood.  I have one picture of Cole.

And zero pictures of Aiden because he couldn't be bothered to stop and pose for photos when there was candy to be had.  He basically looked like a taller, darker version of Cole though since they were both ninjas.

(When is the ninja phase going to end by the way?  I am beyond over it.) 

This year was Stella's first year of understanding trick-or-treating and was beyond adorable as a bumble bee. 
 
Cole was the sweetest big brother, waiting for her to walk to the door with him, holding her hand, and making sure she was OK at the door.  He must have endured countless adults cooing over his little sister while he waited patiently for it to be over so he could walk her back. 

That kid is sweet.  So sweet.

Halloween still blows though because the next day was ROUGH.

3. Arbonne

People, am I the only person that didn't know how great this stuff is?  I'm a little obsessed with their protein shakes, detox powder, and energy fizz drink now. 

(Fairly certain I didn't give you the appropriate names for any of that stuff.)

I went to a party last Thursday night for Arbonne.

Pause and take note that this would be night THREE of me leaving my house for something.  I am unstoppable.

For some reason I had it in my head that Arbonne was some sort of healthy makeup and skincare cult.  I was fully prepared with my safe word and exit strategy should things start to feel awkward or weird mid-party.  Turns out though, it was really fun, informative and delicious.  I'm sure I'll tell you more than you ever wanted to know about the protein shake once it arrives at my door.

Something to look forward to, right?

4.  Pampered Chef

Saturday I had my first official Pampered Chef event, courtesy of Samantha, reader of this blog! 

It was fun to pack up all my kitchen goods and get out of the house, but it was awesome to meet Samantha and feel connected to someone that reads this in real life.  So, so cool!

You can check out Samantha's blog here.

You can check us out here.



5.  Grocery

Yeah, the grocery store was as exciting as it got today. 

Oh, we did get frozen yogurt too.

My wild streak continues.

It feels weird to end the post on that lame of a note though, so how about you check out Stella's explanation of how she didn't actually eat the candy I told her she couldn't have.


See what I'm up against? 

Have a good week everyone!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

GIANT NEWS!

Big things are happening.
 
HUGE. 
 
You should totally be part of it. 
 
First, on Saturday I let Aiden talk me in to purchasing Jell-O Pudding snacks.  It was a weak moment and I was really done with the entire shopping trip.  In an unexpected turn of events though, these are the most delicious treats ever. 

I thought you should know.

Also, last Friday I sent this email to a lot of my friends and family.  Then it felt odd because I didn't send anything to you.  Yes, YOU. 
 
In the interest of time and my ability to go prepare fish tacos for my family, I figured I'd just send it to all of you too.  This might seem like I'm just copying what I already did, and I am, but let's just call it effective time management. 
 
Here you go....
 
You know how you are always talking about how much you wish you could hang out with me more?
 
And how cool it would be if I could just come over and make you dinner and just talk because it's just so fun to listen to me babble about food, randomness, and whatever random shiny object is put in front of me?
It can happen, your dreams really can come true.
I've decided to become an in-home drug dealer.
But instead of drugs, I'm going to sell Pampered Chef goods.
And instead of giving you gateway drug samples, I'm going to lure you in with quality kitchen goods you actually want and need. My gateway drugs will be pizza cutters and garlic presses and then soon you'll think that you too need to have a party so you can get a free covered baker or chopper. I'm going to be the best kitchen supply and food/menu assistant you ever had.
Promise.
In all seriousness, not too long ago I attended a Pampered Chef party and discovered that I needed to buy the entire catalog. Since Alex is super uptight with money I instead chose to host a party. I was really surprised by how much people loved their products, and how much fun it was to have the party...and I didn't even get to talk all that much. I ended up paying $30 for a boatload of goods and romanticizing me being in charge of that cooking demonstration, possibly choreographed to some of my favorite rap and/or classic rock hits, I haven't figured out all the details, and I allowed myself to think about working with Pampered Chef.
This is something totally new for me, but I am excited to try it and see where the journey takes me.
Sidenote: That phrase feels exceedingly cheesy, however there really isn't any better way to describe my decision to do this.
I know your primary question is, "But Leslie, I thought you were running Noonday?"
Yes, it's true, I am an integral party of the Noonday machine, those earrings don't ship themselves, and will continue to be until my Pampered Chef empire takes over the world and I can supply batter bowls to every artisan in need.
I know your second question is, "Leslie, how can I support you?"
Obviously, you could hop on my website, which should be active in the next few days, and buy four of everything. That would be super. Thank you!
If you feel that's asking too much, I'd ask you to consider letting me come over and cook for some of your friends in the near future and let you earn boatloads of all the stuff you couldn't afford on my website because you didn't feel it was important to buy kitchen supplies instead of eating. Why must you be like that?
Fine, I'll come cook for you and help you get free stuff.
What I really need is some practice in these early days to figure out my mojo, perfect my "routine", make sure my unitard fits*, and try out a bunch of recipes. Let's not pretend that we wouldn't have fun. We're too good for that. If you think you can help me, please email me and let's figure this out.
I'll also be hosting a few parties at my house and need some honest people to come and tell me where I sort of need some practice. Fine, you can eat and drink here too, so let me know if you want to be on the rolling list of invitees to watch me try to figure this out.
If you don't live in the area or you're a hoarder who can't have me in your home (know I would love you regardless of your potential to be on a reality show,) there are online shows, Facebook shows, and simply contacting me the next time you need a recipe idea and/or cooking supply for you or someone else.
If you hate cooking or don't believe in food then just pray for me and be nice to me because this is so new for me to try. I'm excited, but I'm nervous that this is ridiculous and maybe I'll cook too much.
Ok, that's not really a thing, but it's the most dangerous thing I could think of in the moment.
Thank you for your support!
*there isn't actually a unitard, but there could be a unicorn.**
**that's a lie, unicorns aren't real, but if you believed me I think you are extra fantastic

 
The big reveal though is that as of 15 minutes ago my site is up!  I don't know how it all exactly works, but I promise I'll figure it out.  You can check my personal Pampered Chef site out here.
 
I'd love to host a Facebook show or online show for you, or whatever you may need.
 
Fear not though folks....I'll still be here mostly talking about life and parenting and being a wife and babbling about meth.  How could I possibly give that up?  I have a feeling this might include a return of the Recipe-Ish.  Remember those?

If you don't, you can read one here, or here, or here, or here.
  
Thanks for letting me share!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Reader Wants MY Advice, Don't Be So Surprised

Not too long ago a reader emailed me to ask this question.

"Could you write something giving me ideas on what to do and how to
continue feeling like a normal person even though I will be home most
of my time?"

She is a Mom getting ready to leave her job to stay home with her almost two year old TWINS.  

(I feel the need to type TWINS in all caps at all times because I am consistently in awe of those able to handle two of any age under four.)

She wants to continue to have a sense of self despite no longer having a job outside the house. She wants to stay active, not trapped in the house. She's concerned about staying attractive for her husband.  I assume these concerns are related directly to keeping up her self esteem and self worth without a job. 

Self esteem can totally falter if she should happen to find herself in sweats every day eating mac and cheese and watching unhealthy amounts of Yo Gabba Gabba or Max and Ruby while trying to "talk" to two small people that don't understand toilets, time, or even know why they should care about tough decisions like bangs versus no-bangs.  Kids suck sometimes.

(I also would pay an insane amount of money to know where in the hell Max and Ruby's parents are during all their shenanigans?  Ruby shouldn't have to shoulder all the responsibility for Max, and they definitely shouldn't be taking city buses anywhere without an adult. That Grandma is in and out, probably running a high end bunny escort service while her grandchildren are losing their minds trying to figure out how to catch a bus to her house or make $5 stretch to pay for overalls and a shirt.  Who writes this stuff?)

(That was possibly an example of how my passion for life has been altered, some might say crushed, by staying home for the last seven years.  I shouldn't feel this much about two fictitious bunnies, but I do.  I won't apologize for it.)

I feel I should say that I think she's making the right choice to see how she likes being home with them.  It isn't the right choice for everyone, but it's great that she has the option to be with them while they are so young.   It's priceless, it sucks, it's awesome, it's torture, it's heartbreaking in a good way, it totally freakin' blows. 

I feel many emotions about being home.  But I wouldn't change it.  No way.

I think we can all agree that I, as the person currently obsessed with all things meth, lives in fear of any weeknight commitment which might last past 9 pm, pees her pants when doing any physical activity more than a walk, and still firmly believes there should be someone starting a fundraising campaign to end the cruelty of adult acne is the perfect friend to give tips on normality amongst the pitfalls of life as a stay at home Mom. 

Fine, the truth is I've lost some of my mojo since leaving the workforce and pushing out three children that somehow have enslaved me, but I'm still me.  I recognize what I need to do to stay sane.  I know how important it is that I feel connected to the world outside of my kids and that my husband and I are top priority, or everything fails. 

I don't even think a dry erase board could save me if Alex and I were in a bad place.

Here are my top ten tips, in no particular order of importance because I'm not that organized.

1. Don't Drink and Try to Read Fox and Sox

A glass of wine while preparing dinner, or while consuming dinner, is great, but keep in mind that just because you don't have to get up for "work" in the morning doesn't mean you won't be asked to read the most challenging tongue twister book ever written.  Keep things in check.  Your kids won't let you put your head down on the desk and pretend to be working.  They will mess with you and make life awful if you indulge.

2. Hire a Cleaning Lady

If there is any way you can financially swing this it will change your life. I know it's not easy on one income, but there is nothing that makes me feel more sane than the knowledge that every other week my house will be organized and clean...and I don't have to do it. 

When I don't have help, I feel like I am forever trying to squeeze in time to clean the toilet or mop the floors and it makes me want to scream. 

Well, to be honest I want to scream pretty often anyway, but it's just worse if I'm the one in charge of removing soap scum. 

As the person in charge of the running a home full of kids under 7, I still clean my fair share of everything.  I clean the toilets periodically because it's just not sanitary to let them stay for two weeks with someone trying to figure out how to use the toilet. 

When do they learn how to use the toilet?  Lower your expectations about that, whatever they are.


3. Get The Rock Out Of The House

I don't care what you have to do, but sweet Jesus, grab those kids and run to the mall, Starbucks, the park, the art museum, whatever. 

OK, don't go to the art museum, it will be awkward unless your kids are asleep or are the best kids EVER....and let's face it, they probably aren't. 

It is super important to balance staying home with the right amount of getting out and about in the world with all the functioning people.  It might be awkward to be among them, since most of them will look like they regularly sleep and shower, but it will be good.  I promise.

4. Go To The Gym

This is less about staying fit and more about finding a place that will accept your children at a moment's notice for two hours.   Though I think keeping yourself healthy makes everyone happier, most importantly you, the gym is a fantastic escape.  Find a gym with good childcare included.  It's great to make this a routine at least a few times a week, but it can be your sanctuary.

On the rough days I almost always take my kids to the gym so that I can be alone.  I've sat in the locker room, fully dressed and played games on my phone for an hour just to be away from them.  I've watched Ellen or HGTV while walking more slowly than I usually do behind an elderly person....in my regular clothes. 

It's pretty awesome to drop your kids off and just walk away when you really need it.

5. Don't Start Doing Meth

I hear it's popular with stay at home moms, but overall it seems dangerous...and think of your teeth.

Despite the fact you could totally save money on a housekeeper because you could just stay up all night and clean since you'll have all that extra energy, it won't be worth it because you have to pay for all the meth.  It's so tricky to figure these things out.

Unless you can make it yourself....

No, seriously, it's a bad idea. Don't do drugs of any kind. Just watch Breaking Bad and see how awful it looks.

6. Get A Pet And Stalk Some Friends

I actually followed one of my first stay at home mom friends through the dog park for three days before I talked to her.  She looked normal, had a kid about my son's age, and I was so freakin' lonely at home all day with someone that wouldn't talk to me. I was totally cool with stalking her and then basically introducing myself and demanding she hang out with me.

I don't necessarily recommend that all the time, but it worked in this instance because she happened to be just as desperate as I was.  Finding a desperate person is a goldmine for someone to join you at the drop of a hat when you desperately need some adult conversation at the Chick-fil-a indoor playground to prevent you from drowning your sorrows in peach shakes.


7. Get Dressed More Days Than Not

It's fine if you are more comfortable in yoga pants, but for the sake of feeling human, put on a bra and a comfortable, but well fitting top with them the majority of the time.  Wearing yoga pants frequently doesn't have to mean the same thing as wearing pajamas.  The truth is we all feel better when we look a little better. 

8.  Get a "Hobby" 

This sounds really cliche, but it's important to have something that you enjoy doing just for you.  I write this blog and shop at the Gap.  The Gap might not really sound like a hobby, but that's why I put the word in quotes and have fun intonation when I say it out loud. 

Amity and I have an obsession with all things Gap and it really does fill up a lot of time, and credit cards.  Speaking of credit cards, I was just promoted to Gap Silver, an honor I'm sure only bestowed to the best shoppers.  So far only Amity and Alissa have congratulated me on this new success, but I bet the emails, calls, and texts will be rolling in after this blog post.

9.  Don't Be Afraid to Make It A Lazy Day

It can feel like you should always be teaching and interacting with your kids when you are home, but there's a lot to do.  Don't feel badly making your kid play by themselves for a while or putting on a movie while you fold laundry...or read your favorite book while sitting next to your kid. 

We all need time to get some stuff done or just check out, and your child doesn't need every moment of you just because you are there.  There will be days when in addition to that, you just are over it and all you can do is pour cereal, order pizza, and help with TV selections.  It happens. They will live and so will you. 


10.  Enjoy It, Even Though It Totally Blows Sometimes
t
One day you'll find yourself with a vomiting kid, trapped in the grocery store while someone screams and someone else crys because they have to poop and you'll wonder why you ever felt reproducing was a good idea, much less staying around them all day. 

Then you'll find a way out of the store and you'll climb into your trashed, overpriced minivan to endure the worst ride of your life and you'll probably be crying when you pull in to your garage. Then all your kids will be hungry, except for the vomit one, and you'll have to prepare food while cleaning poop and vomit. 

Then you'll find a way to painfully separate all of them and put them in their own beds to rest and try to sleep their way sane and they'll have their favorite music playing with their favorite blanket in their own cozy space and it will work, and you'll wander to your bed to fall down and cry and rejoice.

You'll cry because your kids suck so much that it seems damn near impoossible that you could salvage their terrible ways so that they have a chance of being functional, rationale humans later in life that you don't have to feed anymore.  You'll rejoice because you suddenly feel washed in gratitude that you are giving them the coolest gift of their own space on a rough day, their own Mom when they feel down, and you don't have to answer to anyone but yourself about the fact that you earned the right to lie on your bed and cry and watch bad TV for 45 minutes before the next shit storm errupts. 

Sometimes staying home is all about the balance of horror and joy.  It's a fine line, but I'm so glad to walk it.  I hope you enjoy it too!

I hope I could help! Good luck!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

False Alarm, Mothering Skills Still On The Rocks - PYHO

Remember the new found peace with my poor mothering I discovered at the end of yesterday's blog post?  No? 

Read it here.

It was profound.  I was elated to realize, some might say, rationalize, that all my mistakes and forgetfulness might actually be turning my kids in to better people.  An example for how to move past mis-steps, forgive, and grow.  I was making the best people ever. 

Yeah me! 

Then yesterday I spaced what time I was supposed to pick up Aiden and he had to sit in the school office until my friend Jenn called me and offered to grab him.  Not in a mean way, like pinch him or anything, she's really pretty nice.  Well, unless you're playing a game.  Or, making a craft.  She's sort of competitive.  I'm pretty sure she wouldn't assault my child though. 

Pretty sure.

At least in this instance, she brought Aiden home.  Thank God for good friends.

Aiden didn't even talk to me when he first got home.  I don't really blame him. I think I would be sort of peeved to be abandoned too.

To be clear though, it's not like I left him in an alley or something.  I mean, he goes to a nice school.  I think there might even be candy in the office.  It's more like I let him sit in a candy room, what kid wouldn't love that?

I was able to blow off my mistake in picking him up, but a few hours later there was a knock at my door while I was preparing dinner.  It was a neighbor informing me that Stella had walked down to his house a few minutes ago.

What? 

I could have sworn she was washing her hands in the bathroom.  I had just been yelling for her to hurry....not that I would ever rush one of my children's quest for sanitary hands.  Unfortunately, as with many things these days I was way off. 

Apparently my two year old daughter left out the garage door and sauntered down to the neighbors. She ran to my friend, told her I was cooking, and then shouted greetings at her "friends" on bikes.

Awesome. 

Maybe my mistakes and flakes aren't so helpful.  Could I be turning my children in to better people by losing them?  I don't think even I could spin that.

The good news is that I trimmed my own bangs and they don't look completely awful. 

I know that doesn't really tie in to how I'm going to stop making these mistakes, but it was about all I could think of at the moment.  I'm too lazy to go have them trimmed and it's important I don't look even more insane than I'm acting. 

Surely I'll sort all this out soon.  High bolted locks will be installed soon and I have a dry erase board on the fridge to track the week's events. 

Dry erase board people.

Nothing can get by me now.

****************************************************
Linking up to Shell's Pour Your Heart Out!  Check it out here.



Monday, October 22, 2012

Perhaps My Inadequacies Are Just Wonderful In Disguise

As a Mom of young children, it's not unusual for me to be up in the middle of the night. Though it isn't every night anymore, let's take a moment and reflect on how awesome it is to not be there anymore, but it does still happen more than I would like. Someone's scared, sick, or simply awake and wants someone else to be too. 

I'm almost always the lucky winner to be awoken as company, probably because I'm so awesome to hang out with during the day. That's it, right?

Going back to sleep isn't always easy, so I pray. I usually pray for other people in my life, a struggling friend, my children, my neighbors, etc. but the other night when I found myself lying over the side rail of Stella's crib at 1 am, singing Blackbird for the 10th time, I prayed for me, just me.

Selfish perhaps, but necessary.  I have had a difficult few days.

In all honesty it has been building for a while. Since the return of Alex and Stella, I have felt overwhelmed by the chaos around here.  Their presence makes my family feel whole again, though Stella also makes it infinitely more challenging.

Oh and there is a lot more screaming too.

An example you say?


This was a few Wednesdays ago, moments after I should have been meeting with Aiden's first grade teacher.

I arrived a full 15 minutes early for my parent-teacher conference, fully aware that I might have to take a few extra minutes getting Stella from the school office to the classroom.  I did not, however, anticipate a full blown freak out when I printed my temporary badge and Stella insisted she also required proper documentation. 

I can be so short sighted sometimes.

She screamed while I paced and prayed for peace and strength, periodically checking to see if she would snap out of her meltdown.  Finally she decided she was done, looked at me with the most sad eyes ever, and asked for her pacy and blankey and took my hand to walk to the classroom.

Just inside the school doors, a woman had been hanging posters in the hallway during this entire episode.  She gave me a sympathetic smile and told me I was doing a wonderful job.  She told me I was a good Mom.

I, of course, instantly started bawling and couldn't even look at this kind woman. 

I don't deal well with kindness when overly stressed.

My nerves were raw and I could not have felt further from the title of good Mom, except for the fact that I didn't just abandon my screaming daughter, hop in my minivan, and blow off Aiden's teacher for a mid-morning cocktail...because that thought actually went through my mind and since I was praying I assumed there was a chance that God had actually suggested it, which would make it OK. 

Right?

I am reasonably confident Aiden's teacher is now concerned about my mental state since I walked in to her room for the conference late, still crying, mascara under my eyes due to a recent switch to non-waterproof mascara which Origins forced me to buy, and a still very uncontrollable toddler. She essentially wrapped up her discussion about Aiden and offered her time to talk to me about anything else I needed, probably because she feels I must not have time for proper psychological assistance. 

She is a very, very nice woman...thank goodness.

I've essentially been continuing on a string of parenting mis-steps ever since.  I can't seem to remember anything.  I've forgotten to send notes to school for Aiden to participate in running club, forgotten to pick him up from running club, neglected homework assignments and follow up on school work for Cole,   I haven't sent games for game day, orders for art fundraisers, or show and tell selections.  I abandoned Cub Scout cookie sales for days on end and last weekend I watched several newly released episodes of Gossip Girl on Netflix instead of completing four very simple tasks involving super glue that the boys have been begging me to do for weeks.

What the hell?

I've been feeling guilty and wallowing in my frustrations for weeks now.  I've run a recording for too long about how I'll never measure up in the Mom world, and I should definitely commit to permanent waterproof mascara and screw the natural stuff that makes me look strung out.

My mistakes and laziness are breeding more mistakes and laziness.  It's a really ugly life cycle that I am sure could be ended if I could just find time to find mental health assistance from someone other than my son's first grade teacher, though she really did a great job that day. 

Perhaps I should just start emailing her?  Including notes with thoughts, emotions, and questions in his take-home folder?

But then, this morning, my cleaning woman took her hands and placed them on my shoulders after I was playing in the backyard with my kids.  She had the kindest voice and said, "you're a really good mother." 

I hadn't mentioned anything to her about my recent feelings of inadequacy, and I don't think she caught me crying in the corner, but I can't be sure.  I do pay her, but I am reasonably confident she isn't a mental health professional....unless Alex somehow worked it so that we could have our house cleaned by a licensed counselor for fear of me. 

It really isn't important.

Her words meant the world to me, and for a little while at least, I believe them.  She is here in the thick of it all, watching me make them food and tame their tantrums.  She sees my laundry and my less than ideal methods of dealing with the mass amounts of school art (mostly bury in trash except for the really special ones.)  She knows. 

I am going to forget stuff, maybe I'll forget a lot of stuff all at once like recently.  I'm going to lose my temper and make a poor decision, like giving Stella a blue lollipop when she would have been just as happy with a non-staining clear one, or choosing to let Cole play Wii for two hours straight, but that's OK.


Previously mentioned, ill-advised blue lollipop.



I'm a mostly fantastic Mom, with some crappy moments mixed in to teach my children about making mistakes, apologizing, and how to solve problems like getting gum out of your hair or asking for an extension because you had to watch Gossip Girl. 

So really, when you think about it, even my mistakes are making me awesome because I'm giving them skills.  Geez, I hope I'm not being too wonderful.

That could really screw them up.




Hair with gum from 2 year old gum addict.





Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sometimes An Email Just Takes Over The Night

I swear I was going to blog tonight.  I was.  I had a lot of very emotional and life altering things to say....BUT instead I just spent the last hour typing an email reminder about my Pampered Chef party this week and watching TV with my husband so I have nothing left for you, again.

I know, this is mean.  I'm not mean though, right?

I have decided I'll just give you my Pampered Chef email, because it seems like it could be mildly entertaining and if you are here you might be bored.  Are you bored?

You should be cooking.  Too bad you aren't coming to my Pampered Chef party....or are you?

If you live in the Austin area, you should.

It might be fun.  Or it might be lame.  But there will be alcohol. 

I promise to actually write soon.

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

Dear Pampered Chef Party Acceptor and/or Ignorer,

Congratulations! You have been elevated as one of my most favorite people on the planet by saying you will attend my Pampered Chef party and putting me one step closer to my coveted sharp knives. I just wanted to remind you that it's this Thursday night at 7:30 and it's going to be a JAM. Bring your A game people, because this is serious.
I have bought a bottle of Cristal for each of you and have arranged an appearance by JLo and P-Diddy, the two coolest people I know and regularly hang with late night.
Unfortunately, the last paragraph was a flat out lie.
I'm still excited to see you though!
OR
Congratulations! You were invited by me to an awesome party that could change your life but you seem to be hesitating on your commitment. What are you doing? Why aren't you responding to my Pampered Chef party? Are you having a difficult time deciding whether or not a relaxing evening at my house with free wine, snacks, and tips on how to be a better cook/wife/mother/person of the world sounds good enough to say yes to?
Let me help you.
I know you might be concerned about the fact that my house is located near buffalo, donkeys, and Hutto, but this is really not something you should be worried about. The truth is this is a big opportunity for you. Buffalo are a vital part of a journey through life, ask any Native American and I think they can tell you the truth. No life is full without buffalo.
And donkeys? Donkeys are one of the most important animals for fighting wrinkles. Scientists aren't 100% sure how it works, but studies have shown that having a closer proximity to donkeys can actually erase fine lines. Estee Lauder has been trying to figure out how to include donkey's in their line for years now, but PETA is really a bitch to work through on this. This might sound fictitious, but I'm serious.
(Also, have seriously been around way too many children today, it may or may not be affecting my ability to make sense.)
You might be worried about snack options. There is nothing worse than putting on extra deodorant to go out at night, only to be met with tasteless, lame snacks, like popcorn or sesame sticks. (Not that there's anything inherently wrong with either one of them, I like them both, a lot, but I think we all know I'm classier than that after 5:00 pm.)
Fear not ladies, fear not.
I don't want to spoil any surprises or anything but today I bought cheese...and crackers. I could have just gone chips and salsa, it actually might pair better with the planned meal, but I think too highly of all of you to take the easy route.
I went complicated, I went cheese AND crackers. You might be thinking about cheese cubes or something pedestrian like that. Oh no, not out here by the life-giving buffalo. To give a hint, I did purchase some French cheese that rhymes with FREE, and some Spanish cheese. It's basically going to be an international dairy feast.
I even bought water crackers. You're probably thinking, "Leslie, you probably bought generic water crackers, that hardly counts." Which is true, these aren't Carr's, because I bought organic water crackers. That's how much I love you. I don't want to take any chances of serving any of you any pesticide laden crackers.
And more importantly, I bought almond crackers for all of my gluten challenged friends, because I am just that considerate.
(Lactose intolerant friends, I did not buy you any special cheese because that's too difficult. You can have some grapes. Sorry about your luck, brie is the best thing God ever invented.)
Now, I don't want to get you all excited this many days in advance, but if you are on the fence this might be the fact that tips you in the direction of "Hells YES!!!!"
I have boxed wine.
I know, you are probably trying to think of the last time you were invited to something this high brow. Or, perhaps you are trying to figure out if this was actually a black tie event. Box wine? I mean, I am clearly sparing no expense. It's not Franzia, I wasn't brave enough for that, but it is boxed and it will be spectacular. I promise.
I also have sparkling red blood orange Italian soda....just in case you fear the long, hard journey home after being out here near Hutto.
If none of that twists your arm, perhaps you will be interested in the large quantity of stolen Noonday goods I've lifted while working that I will be selling out of the back of my minivan to anyone purchasing a pizza cutter. I know it sounds cruel to steal from such a consciously good company, but really, what could be more important than a good turn out at a Pampered Chef party?
OK, that's a lie. There isn't any Noonday loot.
I once found a Hello Kitty lip gloss in Stella's stroller that we had inadvertently stolen from Old Navy TWO weeks prior, which costs a whopping $2.95 and I drove back and paid them for it. I'm just too honest to be a bad ass. It's a blessing and a curse.
The good news for you is that you are apparently friends with someone with a high moral code of conduct. Clearly I'm worth hanging out with, unless you were looking for some sort of partner in crime, then I'm probably not your gal...unless it involves meth, then my fascination might turn me.
Are you in? Are you scared?
OR
This is awkward. Is this the first time you are hearing about this? Totally my oversight. I meant to invite you, obviously something snapped in my brain to make me forget. It's probably because I've been eating a lot of rice and I just got an article from my children's pediatrician about all the arsenic in rice. Stupid poison is making me be mean. I'm sure you understand.
So....want to come over and hang and talk about kitchen stuff? Yes?
 
love, Leslie