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!