Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dear Jennifer Garner, Some Advice from a Mom of Three

Dear Jen,

I can call you Jen right? I mean out of all the celebrity moms out there, you seem the most down to earth and approachable.

The photos I see of you in US Weekly, are usually of you doing normal mom things like taking your kids to ballet or actually playing with them at the park. I like to think that if I ran into you in some weird hypothetical situation that we could dispense with all the awkwardness that is talking to random moms on the playground and actually have a nice discussion about raising children. Not sure if that would happen with say, Angelina or Gwyneth.

I will say that I feel like we have a little bit of a connection. You married a tall, dark-haired man, who seems highly devoted to the ladies in his life, and with the exception of that other Jennifer/Bennifer/Gigli time period, really seems like a guy who has his head on straight. My husband and I both enjoyed The Town with Ben and that guy from the Hurt Locker. Armageddon never fails to tug at my heart strings either. My boyfriend is back--indeed.

And like my husband, Ben said that he knew girls and was a good father to them.

"I would have thought [he wanted a boy]. At first...I really thought so," the Arthur actress told Jay Leno in January. "And then [Ben] kind of said, 'Well, we have girls. We know how to do girls. My girls love me. I'm the big guy in the house.' So, now I'm not sure."

Oh Ben.

Granted, I never had and will never have that kick-ass bod you sported in your Alias days, but we are both women in our 30's who sport a lot of jeans and t-shirts and who have three kids. More specifically, two girls and a little boy.

So, let me stop right here and congratulate you on the birth of your baby boy. I have been scouring for name confirmation and was happy to see that he is named Samuel and not Siren or Sailor or some other equally ridiculous nautical-themed name.

But what I really want to address here is some advice that I wish some of my moms of boys would have doled out earlier. Like me, I can only imagine you have lived the last few years adrift in a sea of pink princesses and glitter. Your girls may be all about ballet and crafts or even if they love cars and football, I guarantee you they never spend a great deal of time with their hands down their pants.

I have blogged before about Poo Foot and Other Daily Disasters, but what my moms of boys forgot to inform me of is that in addition to numerous instances of poo foot, that poo hand occurs so frequently that you will soon find yourself holding down your precious baby boy's arms, while Ben frantically tries to wipe him clean before he wriggles free and goes for his junk, again--only to have his hands, and anything else he can come in contact with, covered in poop.

Ah, the joys of raising a boy.

I guess I knew to expect that there would be some serious hand to the balls time. I like to remind QT when he reaches down to check things out that it is indeed, still there.  However, I didn't realize that there would be so much hand to the balls to the poop to the sheet and the changing table and the pj's...well you get my point. Consider yourself warned.

So, Jen, again I offer you congratulations. Enjoy every moment of these early days. Give your ladies big kisses and congratulate them on being big sisters. Inform them often to NOT get so close to his face and scream, and be mindful that at some point soon, you will find glitter all over Samuel and possibly your boobs.

Tell Ben I said "hi" and give him props on his Eastern Congo Initiative.

Yours in all things lovely little ladies and beautiful baby boys,


Monday, February 27, 2012

Pinterest Project One

I have to admit to being a bit anxious about committing to my little Pinterest Project. Sometimes, I type faster than my brain can comprehend things, which is why I have apparently given up chocolate for Lent and have vowed to turn all those pretty pins into a reality.

There really is nothing worse than staring at a half eaten bag of peanut M&Ms and knowing you will not get to finish them for 40 days. 

Anyway, I decided to go simple to start. No, I didn't just put iced coffee in ice cube trays and call it a day, although I will be buying a giant bag of Dunkies from Costco and starting that as soon as I transition back to daily iced coffees, but I figured I could do some of the practical or only slightly crafty projects first before I jump off the deep end into the Pinterest abyss.

Also, I wasn't sure of the timeline that I set up for myself. I know I said a project a week, but I wasn't sure if I was supposed to post something by the end of last week. . . really, I am just confusing myself, so below are a few projects.

The first one is my own version of this original pin:

Here is my version of the important dates in my life:

I am thinking of actually matting it so that there is a different layer between the text and the frame. Also, I might print it out on a cream colored paper, the white might be too bright. I chose to highlight our wedding date in red, because without it we wouldn't have the three dates beneath it. This was super easy to make, word processing site, color printer, frame from Target.

So, that leads me on to my next project, which isn't actually based on anything that I have pinned but rather a cross between some of the inspirational quotes I have seen and my desire to actually personalize my kids room.

Please note: None of these will actually hang on the wall in our current home because we just repainted it and are still hoping for a quick sell. Also, sorry, for the quality of the photos, I think it would have been easier to photograph if they were actually hanging up.

So for this project, I took some song lyrics that are meaningful to me and prettified them and then framed them. I used PowerPoint and I think they look pretty good. Might go back and add the name of the group or singer at the bottom, not sure yet.

"City of Blinding Lights" by U2. This was the song that was playing on my iPod when I held the Lady for the first time.

Ignore that little patch of dust behind the frame. Clearly, I didn't wipe the entire surface down. My wedding song.

For the Little Lady, who came out so fast, I have no recollection of what song was on in the background, but I do know she has beautiful brown eyes and she loves to dance. 

I didn't include the one I made for QT because it has his name on it, then I realized that was pretty ridiculous. His name starts with a Q. There aren't that many out there and most of them, if shortened, are actually pretty much the same, but whatever. I am sure you can figure it out.

As I type my crock pot is going full steam with this pin:

Will let you know how it turns out.

Also, I am constantly amazed at all the little things out there that are great for organizing. Since the Ladies go through about 100 rolls of toilet paper and paper towels a week (even more now that the Little Lady is potty training), we usually end up with a recycling bag stuffed with the tubes. However there are only so many things the Ladies can do with these things. Beyond hitting each other, yelling into or using as a musical instrument, there is also this great little idea--just cut the roll down the side and use to secure your wrapping paper. Super simple and easy to do.

I will admit that the Ladies and I spent entirely too much money and too much time in Michael's this weekend. I am not sure what I am going to do with the aerosol cans of magnetic paint and chalkboard paint, but I will figure it out.

Oh, and to the woman at Michael's who was locking up the all the aerosol cans behind a wire cabinet (I guess there is a lot of huffing of art supplies going on out there), it might not hurt for you to actually take a peek into that cabinet every once and a while, so that when, for example, a woman and her two daughters come up to you and ask if you carry the chalkboard aerosol spray and you say, without a moments hesitation, "No, we don't" and then that same woman says "What about that right there?" and points it out to you, you might not feel like such a jerk when you have to unlock that same cabinet and hand it over. Just sayin.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Pinterest Project

I am addicted people, addicted.

I see you out there. I am following you. You are following me. We are part of a big, beautiful, glossy world of ideas and inspiration.

The Ladies are pinterested. We have looked at every single pin that has anything to do with nail polish or fancy manicures.

We have planned the Lady's Angry Birds birthday party (yes, this is a departure for her, I thought we would be doing a fairy themed party this year, but alas, I was mistaken). Yesterday, she flipped through a few pins and decided what goody bags, what party hats and what cake she would like. Good thing I have until September to figure out how to make it all.

And that my friends, is what I am here to talk about. I love to pin. I love to look at all those things, like them, repin them and put them on my boards, but what I haven't actually done is make anything. I haven't taken those ideas off my virtual bulletin board and tried any of them.

That ends today.

I am starting my own Pinterest Project.

I am giving up chocolate for Lent and putting all my emotional eating efforts towards making  something that I find on Pinterest. I even have a few ideas of my own that I am going to try to create and pin.

For the next six weeks, I will post one Pinterest project per week.

In my mind this ends up with me doing one out of sight Easter celebration with glitter eggs and live baby chicks, but I am nothing if not a realist and can see this easily turn into me trying to get QT to stop eating fake, plastic Easter basket grass, while I dye eggs with kit I bought at the gas station and the Ladies get sugared-up on pastel colored M&Ms.

Either way, you will be able to read about it all here.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

There Were Three in the Bed and the Crazy, Exausted Mom in the Middle Said, "Roll Over, I'm Puking"

It has been an interesting couple of weeks.

I had to go into the big City for two nights a week or so ago. When I checked-in with my husband after a much needed almost full-night's sleep (I guess old habits die hard, there was still a 3 a.m. wake up, but without the usual mouth to feed), he told me that the Lady had thrown up (mostly water) on her way down the stairs that morning.

Mommy-guilt goes into overdrive! My poor Lady--and I could do nothing from the confines of corporate America except fret over her health and e-mail the school that she wasn't coming. I felt bad for me because I wasn't there to console her, I felt bad for my husband because he had to handle it and I felt bad for my sitter because as she was cleaning up after the Lady puked again, she also had to deal with the Little Lady's increased interest in potty training (diapers are "boring") and had to choose between cleaning up the puke or the poop in the Little Lady's hand.

OK, so maybe I didn't feel so bad that I wasn't there. . .

So the next afternoon rolls around, I get home from the City, the Lady seems to be feeling better and my husband gets on a flight to Florida for the next nine days.

By Saturday everyone seems fine. We pack it up and head down to spend the day with the Wild Ones. We put on pj's and head home around bedtime. The Lady is awake and I bring her in, then QT, who is sleeping soundly in his seat. Finally, I wrap the Little Lady in her blanket, walk her up two flights of stairs and as we are about to set foot into her bedroom, she pukes all over me. Fuck.

Did I mention my dryer broke? In the middle of the stomach bug. Ugh.

So, I handle it. I have to. I peel off my puked-covered clothing and set about cleaning up after the Little Lady. I convince her to sleep in my room on the floor, on a towel, with a bowl next to her head. This lasts all of three seconds and she winds up in my bed, with no towel anywhere near her and the pink, puke bowl on the floor next to her.

There is nothing like rinsing out your kid's stomach contents from their blanket and your clothes in the bathtub. What is that? Raisins? Purple fruit snacks? Oh, blueberries, right. We are trying to incorporate more colors from the rainbow into our meals each day.

Clearly, I feel queasy, but I am not sure if it is just because throw up is so gross or if I too, am starting to feel sick.

I finally get everything cleaned up (or thrown away--bye-bye bathroom rugs) and I get everyone to sleep.

Only to spend the rest of my night like this:

(Note: drawings not to scale. Also, I didn't want to imply that I was "stick-figure thin" hence the boobs and belly)

I think these drawings pretty much say it all. Not shown is me texting my mom at 6 a.m. after dry heaving for the second time.

Thankfully, she was able to come over and help me out because I spent about six hours passed out (by myself) in my bed during most of the next day.

The Little Lady got sick one more time that Wednesday, and QT followed up by puking Thursday morning and then again Friday morning at 5 a.m. all over my back. Luckily, we were able to drop our laundry off at my mom's while we wait for the part to repair the dryer.

Stomach bug aside, we have a ton of laundry going through that machine on a daily basis. I am surprised that dryer lasted as long as it did.

Here is to hopefully some healthier days ahead!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I'm Pinterested in Your Instagrams

Can you say time suck?

Since a lot of you readers link to me from my fb page, most of you have seen some of my recent photos of the Ladies and QT.

I am loving the instagram app on my iPhone and have been turning my everyday photos of the kids into my own tiny little pieces of art. I am not sure why I find this so interesting, but I do, and I will continue to make modern day photos of my children look like they were taken in 1976. (Or 1977, as one of the filters is actually called.)
Actual photo from 1976


The Lady

The Little Lady

In addition to whittling away my day by posting more photos of my children online, I have joined Pinterest.

Apparently, this is all the rage. 

I have seen some of you on there as well, pinning away with the hope that someday we will have a house big enough, a day long enough, and an appetite big enough to consume all that beautiful, beautiful eye candy.

If you don't know about pinterest, click on the big red, cursive "P" on the side of this blog and join the wonderful world of (what I can only assume is mostly) women, who create "boards" of all the stuff they want, love, and would like to be. I dare you to try and not spend two hours on this thing.  Also, I think it is virtually impossible to not come across something Hello Kitty-themed. I mean really? A Hello Kitty rifle? That is just weird.

I will warn you though, it is a bit addicting and one can get a little overwhelmed with the fact that they are never, ever, going to reclaim an old wooden ladder and repurpose it as a bookshelf in their children's room, or make any of the homemade crafts that adorn uncluttered spaces, or recipes that are so incredibly ooey-gooey your pancreas goes into overdrive just looking at them. Luckily, there is a humor section where you can read funny e-cards and giggle about the perils of auto-correct.

Pinterested? I'll send you an invite, right after I am done instagraming QT's 7 months pics.