Tuesday, January 10, 2017

New Year, Blah, Blah, Blah

Are we done with the "New Year, New You" posts? Are we settling into 2017? Has everyone recommitted to something and are we all pursuing our goals? Yes? No? 

I have only made one resolution and that is to take more showers.

I feel that this is doable and may just be that initial first step towards implementing more change in my life. If I shower, I might wear actual clothes and not just sweatpants and leggings. If I wear actual clothes, I might notice that I they don't fit quite right. If I notice that they don't fit quite right, I might actually motivate to start eating better and fitting in a workout. If I workout then I definitely will need to shower more.

It is a little bit like "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" except I am trying to eat less cookies and have better hygiene.


I did take one of those Facebook quizzes that you are supposed to share on your feed, but that I never do. I like to know who would be my consigliere if I was a mafia boss and what is going to happen in the future dependent on a random algorithm and sites that I am pretty sure are just gathering all my personal information. I mean really what is the difference between some computer-generated output vs. something you may read in a magazine or that Oprah told you? If that site says that in 2017 I need to start to Let Go, who am I to say it is wrong?

I am starting with the easy stuff: Clothes, books, toys, etc., and hoping that repeating "Let it go" as a mantra that I don't get sucked into singing Disney songs on a loop for the whole of 2017. First big donation pick up is today. Let's hope the truck gets here before the kids get off the bus and start picking through things they haven't seen or played with in months. Wish me luck. 

Friday, December 23, 2016

Moms who say Meh

Christmas is coming and it is a crazy time of year.

I have been trying to establish some Holiday traditions and give my kids something to look forward to every year. I am also trying to keep them busy and active while all the chaos is unfolding around us.

This is the time I usually look to Pinterest to see what types of things I should be doing. Once that four hours of browsing is wasted, I try to take the easiest, most doable things I find and at least make an attempt to include them in the Holiday season.

Some things turn out better than others. It is just like the "eyes are bigger than your stomach" adage, there are so many amazing things out there to do for the holidays but where do you find the time and energy? Plus, it is kind-of hard to scroll your fb feed and see all the cute, crafty projects that are going on at other peoples' houses without feeling like perhaps you are failing at supermom. 

But let's be honest, there are some people who thrive at those types of things, who really commit to it. Then there are the rest of us, you know the Moms who say Meh. We want to do something, we are willing to try, but we aren't going to totally kill ourselves over it.

It is for you mothers out there, my people, my Moms who say Meh that I bring you three projects that you can accomplish with very little effort and in very little time. 

The Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt

This is an amazingly easy activity for the kids. If you live on the East Coast like I do, you know that darkness descends on us around 4:30 in the afternoon. It is brutal. Not only is it dark, it is cold and you still have to schlep everyone around in giant puffer hoodies while they would rather risk breaking a leg ice skating on the driveway than actually putting on gloves and getting in the car. If any of this sounds familiar, print out a couple of these Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt lists that I created and you might save yourself a few minutes of your kids screaming in the car or having to listen to Paw Patrol on a loop on the entertainment system. It is also just nice to drive around a little through the neighborhoods and see all the lights.

Christmas Printables

This idea I took directly from Pinterest. We love the movie Elf here, so I just found a free printable online, printed it out and framed it. I set it on the table in the hallway and voila, easy holiday decorations. If you are more crafty than I am you can just create your own using any movie quotes or songs you like. The original pin is here. Easy. Enjoy.

Homemade Snow

The Lady has been asking me for weeks if we have Borax. Shockingly, we do not. Does anyone? Apparently, she has been watching a ton of YouTube videos on how to make your own homemade snow and Borax seems to be the go to ingredient in a lot of these homemade projects. Eventually, she found a recipe that didn't include Borax and had only two ingredients: Shaving Cream (original, not gel) and Baking Soda. 

This is so easy, literally a two step process.

Step 1: Gather the shaving cream and baking soda
Step 2: Throw directly into your garbage can

See! So simple! So easy! So not worth it unless you want your house to smell like all your uncles did in 1985, and have a white, flaky mess to clean up. 

We will see what projects we come up with over the break, or maybe not because, well meh

Merry! Merry!

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!