Tuesday, December 6, 2016

All I Want for Christmas is My Van Detailed

Seriously, a full car clean out is on the top of my list this year. Why? Well, how about I tell you in song. .  .

The Twelve Days of Christmas (A van-themed edition by The Three Bean Salad)

On the first day of Christmas my Minivan gave to me
A cracked and scratched DVD

On the second day of Christmas my Minivan gave to me
Two beach pails, and a cracked and scratched DVD

On the third day of Christmas my Minivan gave to me
Three French fries, two beach pails and a cracked and scratched DVD

On the fourth day of Christmas my Minivan gave to me
Four juice box straws, three French fries, two beach pails and a cracked and scratched DVD

On the fifth day of Christmas my Minivan gave to me
Five goldfish, four juice box straws, three French fries, two beach pails and a cracked and scratched DVD
A few fallen goldfish

On the sixth day of Christmas my Minivan gave to me
Six lollipops sticking, five goldfish, four juice box straws, three French fries, two beach pails and a cracked and scratched DVD

On the seventh day of Christmas my Minivan gave to me
Seven fruit snack wrappers, six lollipops sticking, five goldfish, four juice box straws, three French fries, two beach pails and a cracked and scratched DVD.

On the eighth day of Christmas my Minivan gave to me
Eight bottle caps broken, seven fruit snack wrappers, six lollipops sticking, five goldfish, four juice box straws, three French fries, two beach pails and a cracked and scratched DVD

On the ninth day of Christmas my Minivan gave to me
Nine Arcade Tokens, eight bottle caps broken, seven fruit snack wrappers, six lollipops sticking, five goldfish, four juice box straws, three French fries, two beach pails and a cracked and scratched DVD

On the tenth day of Christmas my Minivan gave to me
Ten little Legos, nine arcade tokens, eight bottle caps broken, seven fruit snack wrappers, six lollipops sticking, five goldfish, four juice box straws, three French fries, two beach pails and a cracked and scratched DVD

On the eleventh day of Christmas my Minivan gave to me
Eleven popcorn pieces, ten little Legos, Nine arcade tokens, eight bottle caps broken, seven fruit snack wrappers, six lollipops sticking, five goldfish, four juice box straws, three French fries, two beach pails and a cracked and scratched DVD

On the twelfth day of Christmas my Minivan gave to me
Twelve Dunkies napkins, eleven popcorn pieces, ten little Legos, nine arcade tokens, eight bottle caps broken, seven fruit snack wrappers, six lollipops sticking, five goldfish, four juice box straws, three French fries, two beach pails and a cracked and scratched DVD


MiniRu could probably stand an external wash as well
I did clean out MiniRu yesterday, and by clean out I mean removed a ton of crap ranging from Laffy Taffy stuck underneath the Little Lady's booster to a single strand of uncooked spaghetti. Car detailing is definitely on my Christmas List. What is the craziest thing you have found in your car?

Thursday, March 3, 2016

On #Throwback Thursday

My father called me a few weeks ago to tell me that he was cleaning out his storage unit and would I want my lacrosse jacket from 1994 and a Pop Warner softball jacket from what I can only imagine was 1986.

I said I would take the lax jacket, but I was all set with the other. The next time my mom came over both jackets were with her. The softball jacket was so faded you could barely read the writing on the back. It promptly went into the donate bag. The lacrosse jacket, I hung in my closet. It was in pretty good shape for being almost 22 years old and I thought even though I haven't seen or worn it in that long, why give it away?

Later, a bin of stuff showed up.
  • A scrapbook from senior year full of programs from sports dinners, my college acceptance letter
  • A Far Side collection of comics that when I leafed through it contained an envelope with my original birth certificate in it
  • Photos from senior year and prom
  • Ticket stubs, a lot of pictures from nights that I don't have much recollection of (probably for a myriad of reasons!), but filled with the young, young faces of friends: The first boy I ever loved. The last boy I ever loved. Girls who turned into almost 40-year-old women who I am grateful for everyday.
Say my name, sun shines through the rain, my whole life so lonely then you come and ease the pain. . . I don't want to lose this feeling. . . Do you like the special effects I put on this pic? I thought it was very eternal flamy.
I pulled out a shoebox that contained letters written by my high school friends to me freshman year of college, all tinged with a bit of homesickness, before some of us drifted apart, when we were still trying to maneuver in that new environment, still trying to hold onto the ties of the past. On top of those letters were cassette tapes, and not only were there mix tapes and full albums of music, but there were cassette singles. You know, like you bought it for one song, I am imagining it was more than the $1.09, iTunes charges, but still. I am embarrassed to tell you what they were. Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" (a classic, really--oh The Bodyguard), The Bangles "Eternal Flame" (totally necessary), Jesus Jones, "Right Here Right Now" (I have no excuse for this one), Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians, "What I Am" (a song that till this day reminds me of sophomore year in high school) and finally Bonnie Raitt, "Not the Only One" (I am at a loss here).
A few ticket stubs, I think I can toss these.

But what of all this stuff? Can you donate cassette tapes to Goodwill? Will they even take them? As nostalgic as it was to go back through all this, what can I actually do with it? Put the scrapbooks on the shelf. Toss out a photo or two for #tbt? When do the memories become enough?

My father called me again a couple of days ago. Do I want my writing from college? Yes. Do I want my drawings from kindergarten? I don't even want my own kids' drawings from kindergarten. I have bins full of photos, of artwork from preschool on. I have that constant dialogue in my head will we need it someday? will my kids want these memories of theirs? will my kids want this of mine?

I can't get rid of that thought that if there is no proof then it is forgotten. And isn't that what we all want? Proof of our own lives, a life well lived?

My kids won't have much of a box to sort through. Most of their lives have been documented, written about, filtered, posted and shared. There is something to be said about the endlessness of the Internet, where all you have to do is type something in and up it comes, but there is also something to be said about handwritten letters tucked in a Gap shoebox, the photo negatives, a note written on yellow legal pad that wrapped a $20 bill from my dad, the reminder that tucked in all those photos were the people and events who made you who you are.
I am not embarrassed to say that he still slips me $20s every once in a while.

So the cassette tapes will go, the photos I will hold onto for a while, the letters I will read and re-read. Not because I am trying to relive some glory days or hold on too tight to the past, but because those are the faces, the voices of the people who mattered the most to me at that time and that place, and there is something to be said for remembering.

I try to live now for the present, for my babies and to do all those things I said I would then. I try to follow through, in the immortal words of Jesus Jones, right here, right now.

P.S. if you went to high school with me, expect some texts/emails with photos to come your way. I have hundreds.

P.P.S. there was also a Richard Marx, "Right Here Waiting" single cassette tape in there. I said it. Go ahead and judge, but I guarantee you are singing that right now.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Motherhood: A Timeline

Monday, February 1, 2016

8:35 a.m.: I go down into my home office to check some work emails before the final push to get everyone out the door. 

I found this note from the Little Lady on my desk. The photo is one of my grandfather I keep there. He died when I was in third grade. GG is my grandma who died this summer at almost 91. We talk about her a lot in our house.

Had to cut this off for a few reasons: 1. my grandpa is dressed as Baby New Year and while I love this photo the Internet doesn't need to see that. 2. The Little Lady signed her name. 3. The black blob is covering our home address, apparently she felt the need to use our address stamp as part of this.
So, clearly there are tears.

I go upstairs give the Little Lady a huge hug and tell her how much I love her and think "I must be doing something right."


8:55 a.m.: I pull the Little Lady off of the bottom bunk into a small package and carry her, yelling about how she doesn't want to brush her hair or go to school, through the hallway, down the stairs and out of the garage before depositing her in the booster seat in Minnie-Ru where her brother and sister are waiting. She isn't wearing any shoes.

I run back inside, grab her boots, a jacket and a hat, throw them at her, throw the car into the reverse and peel out of the driveway. Late to school again and all the while thinking "what am I doing wrong?"

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Deck the Halls

Oh dear me, it is December!

Our Elf the Shelf, Lightning McQueen, showed up and on the second night I almost forgot to move him. Might be a long month of this, especially now that the Lady and her girlfriends text each other photos of their elves.

Moms--you are killing me! I am doing the bare minimum of remembering to move this thing at night and now I have to scroll through the Lady's texts to make sure that Lightning is up to par with Chippy or Lulu or Buddy! I am literally putting this elf on a shelf. And really do they need clothes? What a freaking racket!

After the stress ball that was last December with packing and moving and trying to get it all together, I was thinking that come December 1, I would unpack my carefully organized Christmas decorations and deck the halls.

This is what my mantle/fireplace looks like right now.

A few things you may notice:

1. Lightning McQueen in a vase
2. A Halloween pumpkin painted like a black cat that hasn't started rotting yet so I haven't tossed it in the woods.
3. Two gingerbread Turkeys
4. Some fall artwork by the Little Lady
5. Two out of our 5 Advent calendars (I have a really cute wooden one in the attic)
6. QT and the Little Lady's school photos (yes, the Little Lady is wearing a leather jacket)
7. Some Uggliest Pet Shop dogs, which are disgusting but very important to QT
8. The shattered hopes and dreams of a mom with three kids who thought that she would be living with a garland draped mantle and cinnamon-scented air

Oh well, I guess I could get it all out tonight.

Have you started decorating for the Holidays?Fa la la la la. . .

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Weekend Wrap Up

We had a busy weekend. We got together with our old neighbors. Luckily, we have both moved on to better living situations, however it is not on the cul de sac we planned and it is unfortunately in two different states. Still, so nice to see everyone and to catch up!

The old gang back together!
After the Little Lady had a meltdown about attending a Daisy meeting, I bribed her with some lipstick from CVS, forced her to come T-back bra shopping with me and finally got her to her first Girl Scouts meeting, an hour before my hubby and I had to go to a wedding.

Full disclosure, I got a little drunk. Perhaps too much wine was imbibed, but it was a beautiful day, a beautiful location, and I have the luxury of knowing that my hubs will drive me home safe.

Me and my hubby, probably only one glass of wine in, maybe two!

The 6:30 a.m. alarm that went off the next morning so he could fly out to Dallas came way too quick and my only saving grace was that my sister had the kids. We met up with her and my aunt at hotel the next town over where my aunt was staying after going to a different wedding.

What is it with my kids and hotel lobbies? It is like they have never seen furniture before. They jump from couch to couch, feel the need to touch everything and runaround like it is some sort of playscape. The Lady told me she wanted the lobby to be our house.

We took advantage of that space for a while and then moved on. It was mid-day, I needed coffee and couldn't quite fathom what I was going to do with the Beans for the rest of the afternoon. My ideal version of events for the rest of the day would be me sitting on the couch not getting anything for anyone and catching up on the DVR, while the kids prepped meals and put themselves to bed at 7:30.

But I know a body in motion tends to stay in motion and we needed to keep moving for at least a few more hours before I could sink into a DVR-induced coma on my couch.

It was a beautiful day so we headed to the pumpkin patch. The kids ran the maze, we took a hayride, I finally got some mums for our porch, which I will also admit I was entirely too excited about. Mums! Fall! Yay!

The Little Lady and QT

Mazing it

Is that Bieber's penis pic on the right? No, just pumpkins for our porch!
We loaded everything into the car and when we got home, my kids actually went outside and painted their pumpkins. The hour or so of quiet I had was glorious. Yes, I was left to clean the brushes and spot clean the couch after QT sat down with a still slightly wet mini-gourd covered in blue paint, but I also got to search out my go-to shows on weekends, which are anything about Alaska (seriously, there are at least 100 shows out there about Alaska) and anything related to Little People and their families. I am just waiting for TLC to come out with "Little People in the Last Frontier" it will be television gold.

Hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Hot Cross Hell and Other Happenings

We are well into the swing of the school year here and to say that we have been busy would be an understatement.

Of course, these are The Three Beans we are talking about here so no new activity starts with smiles and skips, it is more like screams and storming off into other rooms.

We started Religion, which consisted of the Lady standing outside her classroom facing the wall telling the Director of Religion Ed “But I have been coming here for two years!” before she was bribed with some candy and the escorted into the classroom by the very sweet assistant from her Communion class last year. 

You would think the Little Lady might be more open to things, this being her first year of Religion and having nothing to compare it to, you could imagine that instead of standing at the bottom of the stairs with her arms crossed saying simply. “No. No.” and then after finally seeing her sister go into her classroom having to be carried in by me, placed next to the teacher on the floor where they were gathered before immediately popping up and running out of the classroom.

Pick up went much better, the Little Lady came out with a new friend and everyone got candy from the Director. The Lady now doesn’t give me a hard time about Religion at all, partially because of the candy and partially because she has moved all her angst onto going to dance class.

Seriously Lady, this was you just a few short months ago, full of confidence before your big recital and now you are giving me a hard time about dance?

The Little Lady loves dance, swim not so much, but we are adjusting.

Where is QT in all of this? Happily getting up and going to school, going to swim, you know going with the flow.

Hot Cross Hell

The Lady turned 8 this week. 8! I can’t believe it, not only have I now been blogging for 7 years, but the Lady is two years away from 10. Third grade is a big year and she has a good group of friends and another good class this year. Know what else she got this year? A recorder.

I like to think there is a special place in Hell for the lowest of the low, criminals who are reprehensible, child abusers and molesters, rapists, murderers, you get the picture. And these awful people are subject to the constant loop of third graders blowing into their recorders the first day they get them.

The Lady took hers into the car (on the way to dance) and just blew into it along to the beat of the music playing on the radio. At least I think that is what she was doing, it could have just been mimicking the sound of a dying animal, can’t be 100% on that one.

Now I am a staunch supporter of music and art in schools. I think it is necessary and I think that kids should be exposed to more of it, but at this point I think I would rather the Lady have brought home a set of drums covered in glitter.

I remember getting my own recorder in elementary school. Our music teacher, Mr. Potter actually carved our names into the back of them and we wore it around our necks on a string. I remember learning Hot Cross Buns. I can still play Hot Cross Buns on the recorder. Know what the Lady came home playing on Monday? You guessed it. And my did she practice. I will say it got better. However, not only did I get a turn playing it, but so did QT and the Little Lady. And then there is that stick thing they clean it with. My gag reflex is going into overdrive just typing this. Ugh. Recorder spit.

On Organization
I have been a bit more organized this year. I know it is a combination of being in a bigger space, having some flexibility to work from home some days and the fact that all three kids are in the same school. Part of me really wants this to be a lifestyle blog along the lines of Preserve or GOOP or Martha Stewart, where everything is pretty and organized. And some days I am a very, very cheap knockoff of that, I have bins that hold all their snacks for lunch! I created a homework station that keeps everything in one place! I have a giant expandable folder that has a few folders for each kid and all the good stuff goes in and all the rest gets shredded! But lets be honest here, some mornings are still pure chaos. And if you are looking for a lifestyle blog that revels in that type of chaos, doesn’t post anything for months, and sometimes uses swear words, I think you have found the right place.

Hope everyone’s having a good start to the school year!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Back to School

It is September! That means back to school, pumpkin donuts at Dunkies, me trying to once again gain control of my life and get organized!

All three beans are in the same school on the same schedule. At least until dance and religion and possibly soccer and maybe swimming start.

But right now it is 97 degrees out and the kids are getting released early from school because of the heat.

Deep breaths!

Summer was crazy busy and a ton of fun.

The Lady is a fish in the water, she tackled the water slide at the pool, rode the waves at the beach house, the Jersey shore and OBX.

 The Little Lady got on roller coasters and rides that made my feet tingle by just looking at them, she turned 6 and went to camp with her cousins.

QT and I spent A LOT of time together this summer, but he got out and about. He turned 4, went to camp, spent time with his feet in actual sand and took a few bike rides in his Ninja Turtle helmet.

I got pretty tan, started training for my second 1/2 marathon this year and experienced all the highs and lows of working from home 4 days a week in the summer!

My husband tore his Achilles tendon the last week of school, got surgery, spent some time in a boot and is finally able to carry sleeping kids out of the car and drive a few balls off the range.

All things considered we had a pretty good summer.

Back to blogging!