Thursday, October 23, 2014

Write On

I just got back from my graduate fiction workshop class.

I am always so energized when I leave there and think I will come home and just write and write. But then I look at the clock and see that it is after 10, and I remember that I am old and tired, and there is laundry and backpacks to fill. There is an envelope of Box Tops that came in the mail that I have to tape to paper now or it will totally throw off our already pretty shaky morning routine. There is some packing to do for a quick trip to Boston this weekend, the dishwasher has to be run, a few emails need to be checked.

So, I will blog here instead. A few words that make the statement "I am writing everyday" actually true.

Blog a day baby, blog a day.

 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Nada

I got nothing. 

Well, I might have a few things but it is late and I got sucked into the TV show Stalker, except that I have to turn the channel anytime something remotely scary or any potential pop out comes out, so I have missed half the show. 

So I think I might just turn off the TV, try not to have anxiety field dreams about stalkers and hope that I get blogging a bit earlier tomorrow. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Guest Blog: Dear Dad at the Lego Store

Here is another guest post from another dad. 

Enjoy!

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

Dear Dad at the Lego store with a 6 year old and 3 year old daughter in tow....

My friend, when I saw you steering your 6 year old away from her desire to purchase a $90 Lego Cruise ship, I thought, what a salesman! 
Your enthusiasm and expertise espousing the virtues of a $24 Lego set aimed at the fairer sex was nothing short of brilliant. Mad Men have nothing over you. Hell, I was getting ready to buy the same set you were so expertly selling to your oldest little princess! With your littlest (and clueless) beauty in tow, you strode toward the check-out counter and handed the set to the clerk. You were beaming with supreme confidence, a man who stuck to his guns and got the job done...........until........ ......."IT" happened. 

You were SO close.

I am not sure if it was the tears, the screaming and frantic pointing to the upper shelves, or the dramatic, Oscar worthy performance replete with a drop to the knees, that triggered your next utterance. Whatever it was, it made this old man and parent of similar aged kids cringe, when you said, "ok-is that what you want?" You looked beaten. Little Princess stopped crying, and found a smile to melt your heart. A resounding "YES!" sealed your fate.

Awww buddy. You were SO close. I hope you enjoy the 6-8 hours it will take you to put the Cruise Ship together, not to mention the next 5 years or so of stepping on the remnants of the Showdown @ the Lego store in the middle of the night as you tuck in your Little Princess. And, of course, the next performance, which is sure to come to a Toy Store near you.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday

I don't even have a photo for today. 

Sometimes the weekends just get crazy.

There are religion classes and birthday parties, Fall Festivals and impromptu play dates, and that was only today. There are baths, instead of bed, at 8:00 and three kids eating carrots and watching Ninja Turtles at 8:30, the only point in the day where they were both quiet and still.

There is a week coming up with class trips and class photos (fingers crossed those come out ok), more birthday parties and hopefully a few blog-worthy situations that I can share here. 


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday

There is nothing like hanging out with some friends who knew you when. Nothing like 15 kids running in a backyard, kickball and glow sticks. 

There is nothing like remembering the old times but allowing for the last 15 or 20 years to define you instead of the the four you spent together in a high school classroom. 

There are fall evenings and the the smoke of fire pits in your hair, old friends and good times. 

Happy Saturday. Happy! Happy! 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Pics of the Week

It's Friday, I slacked off for two days with guest blogs and see no reason why I shouldn't do it again tonight. Here are a couple of pics from the week just to show you what goes on around here sometimes. 


The Little Lady in full on leopard print. I suggested black leggings and was told no. 
The Lady gets a few extra Box Tops!!!
How QT lunches. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Guest Blog: Sign of the Times

So excited for my guest blogs and excited that I have such a range of readers.

This next one is out of the mouths of babes and is from a great mom friend.

Enjoy.

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

A Sign of The Times

Last night I was driving in the car with two third grade girls, a preschooler and me, a 40 year old mom (2 kids of mine + a play date.) We were on a short car ride to literacy night at school.

We were discussing were in the building the event would be held. I told them literacy night was being held in the media center, and they wanted to know why they call the "library," the media center. I explained that books are only one kind of media, and newspapers, TV, and movies are also forms of media.

Our third grade play date pipes up and says "what's a newspaper?" Totally serious. Then she says, "oh I think that's what those things in plastic that they leave at the end of your driveway are?"

I am stunned! The end of and era. I have been hearing about print media dying off in favor of online sources, but has it already happened?

Kids want to know what this strange thing you call "Newspaper" is?  They will never know about getting gifts wrapped in old newspapers. They will never use silly putty to make transfers of the Sunday funnies. They will have no good excuse to hang home on Sunday mornings drink coffee and read their favorite section of the Sunday Times in their PJ's all day long. 

I think I'm going to subscribe to the Sunday Times again. I feel it's my duty to pass on to one more generation the joy of a newspaper.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Guest Blog: Fall TV Preview Guide

It's been a while since we had a guest post. Some of you may remember a few previous posts from the following contributor. If not check them out here and here.

Enjoy!

**********
For many years my Fall TV preview guest blog on 3Bean had been a calling.  It came natural to me, and something I would accomplish without thought or reason.  Much like a blue tick coonhound must bay upon the tree of its cornered prey,  I felt instinctually obligated to this task.   Then two years dried up without a single submission.  The public decried this lapse and demanded an answer.  Why would I abandon Aileen and refuse to temporarily unburden her?   Was I truly drowning in a pool of my own retarded sexuality?  Well I am back, baby, and here now to redeem both my reputation and my manhood.

New Fall TV lineup:
 
Things I have seen: SpongeBob Squarepants (all episodes).  Paw Patrol.  Peppa Pig. 
 
I will now crawl back under the rock from where I have been hiding. May God judge me accordingly.
 
Dylan    

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Some Housekeeping

Halloween

The Halloween costumes arrived today. I ordered them online because I thought it would be a ton easier than dragging three kids into Party City and watching the chaos unfold. Also, the Ladies' school had some sort of promotional code to a random website that saved me 30%. 

I was also able to have each kid pick out exactly what they wanted and was able to make sure we got everything we needed. In a rare moment of clarity around the Lady's birthday, I picked up the Elsa wig at Target for the Little Lady. Not going to get burned trying to find one of those as the days of October dwindle. 

The Little Lady sometimes has buyers remorse. She originally wanted to be a character from Monster High. A show I have never seen and neither has she. I was fine getting her the costume if she really wanted it, but she eventually changed her mind to Elsa. I knew there might be a supply problem and there was no way I was buying the $120 dress she saw in the Chasing Fireflys catalog. The costume she got is great, but alas, covered in glitter.

The Lady wanted to be a character from Ever After High, some new set of characters based on the offspring of fairy tale characters. She wanted to be Raven Queen, the daughter of the Evil Stepmother in Snow White, who rebels against a fate decided for her. The costume is mostly black and purple, comes with what looks like fishnet stockings and I had to spring extra for the wig. The Lady thinks this costume couldn't be any cooler. I am just hoping to make it through the second book in the series. 

QT is Leonardo from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Can I just say that when you type in "teenage mutant ninja turtles" into the search area of a costume website the kids costumes should outnumber the adults. Sexy Leonardo for women? Really? I am all for women going as Ninja Turtles but come on.
He also got a katana, which is Leo's sword. Only one, not two like he really has and we are already prepping him that weapons aren't allowed in school. He has not been deterred from swinging the thing all over the house though. He also wanted to know where his other costumes were (ghost and purple minion). One at a time QT, one at a time. 

Box Tops

I casually asked the Lady about the Box Top collection at school. They now have 344. I am feeling proud, but am hoping some of the other moms step it up. I can't suffer the same letdown as last fall. 

Guest Blogs

There are a few of you out there who have mentioned interest in guest blogging. Now is the time. Seriously, I can't be expected to keep this up, we are only on day 14! I do have one guest post ready for tomorrow. There is nothing sweeter than knowing that all I have to do is copy and paste. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Box Tops Baby!

It is time for the first Box Tops contest of the year. I just spent the last 25 minutes taping them to photocopied handouts complete with the required Halloween theme.

I had some hard decisions to make. How many would I send in with each kid? The Little Lady is in kindergarten, the class seemed to have a lot of first time elementary school parents, not sure they have been saving the Box Tops. The Lady however told me how many Box Tops her class already has, her teacher keeps count on the white board. Have I mentioned how much I like her teacher?

I think we know where most of them are going.

Now, I have to be fair and send some in with the Little Lady. The handout that came home said something about "If each child just sent in 40 Box Tops. . ." so I went with that number. The Little Lady has 40 Box Tops in her bag. The Lady, well her crazy Box Top-mom is sending her in with 180. Her classroom total so far? 164.

That is right. I am more than doubling that number. There better be some hot chocolate in the Lady's future. The best thing about it is that the contest doesn't end for another two weeks. I can see where the Lady's class sends and then scavenge around my pantry for any labels I may have missed.

Will keep you updated of course.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Fall Pose

And here is one of the Little Lady. Always posing. . . 
The kids picked some pumpkins today and then we painted them. Tried to get the Halloween decorations out, but they are tucked so far into the recesses of the attic in the garage, I am thinking we might have to buy a few new things this year. 

Hope everyone enjoyed this beautiful day. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Accessorized!

I think I am in a little bit of trouble here. 

The Lady in Claire's. We didn't leave with the glasses (too big for her face) or her ears pierced like she wanted. But we did leave with some money left over on the gift card she got for her birthday so we will be back. 


Friday, October 10, 2014

Hero in a Half Shell

I am counting Friday as a weekend day. 

Enjoy. Found it at Costco. QT loves it.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Night Posts

So I should apologize for the 10 pm posts this week. The days are kind of getting away from me a little bit and as much as I don't want to half-ass it, sometimes the best I got is a #TBT post of the Lady and the Wild Man posted on a Wednesday.

I am feeling the crunch of this little exercise, but I am not willing to give up yet. 

I could tell you about the Bamboo breakdown that QT had when he realized he wasn't taking him home this week, or that in the tub tonight he sang a song about Jesus that he learned at chapel, and followed it immediately up by a song that went something like this I am sitting on a football with my dirty butt. Which was in fact exactly what he was doing in the tub.

I can tell you about the picture the Little Lady drew for a boy in her class, who she only mentioned one other time and that was Tuesday. It said I love you. 

Or I could just tell you that today was a good day when homework and tubs got done early, a day I actually saw the Lady eat a vegetable and almost, almost stay in her seat for all of dinner. 

It might not be the best blog material, but it's the best you are going to get tonight. I mean I could have just thrown up another pic, but I am saving that for the weekend. 



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

TBT: The Lady and the Wild Man

A little TBT from some apple picking adventures.

2010


  2014



Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I Scream, You Scream

I seriously have to say things like this about a hundred times a day.
I am convinced my kids think that bloodcurdling screams are the most effective way to deal with things such as:

1. My sister is standing on the stool and I wanted to stand on the stool!

2. American Girl dolls DO NOT belong in my bed!

3. My brother put his hands near me.

4. I HATE books.

5. Milk! Milk! Milk! 

Each incident expressed in a volume so incredibly loud and intense that I have had to start saying things like "use your inside screaming voice, not the one that makes the neighbors contemplate dialing 911."

I am pretty sure they aren't getting the message. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Projects in our Pjs

This is how we do pre-school projects. 
Not sure if the project is Pinterest worthy, but I will say I have been pinning every apple-based recipe I can find for that bowl full of apples on the table. 

I have to say I am a little sad to see Bamboo go. However, I think we can keep ourselves occupied with the 8,000 other Beanie Boos my children own. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sunday Funday

It was a glorious fall day today. Took the kids to the beach to ride scooters and bikes then play at the park. Headed up to hang with my brother and nephew after that. Of course, Bamboo came along for a few pics.

The Little Lady

The Lady, minus a few teeth


QT
An attempt at a cute pic of the three of them. QT can't keep his eyes open in the bright sun. Bamboo had no such problem.
 Hope everyone enjoyed the weekend!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

A Happy Medium?



I've decided to forgo the Mandarin lessons and try to capture Bamboo in QTs more natural state. However, I have decided everything looks a little nicer with a filter so Bamboo's adventures will be at the very least, Instagrammed. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Second Grade Fashonista

The Lady is 7 now.

I can't believe it.

And all of a sudden she is a big girl and second grade seems very mature to me.

I am pretty sure I was rocking sweatpants in the second grade.


Me--circa second grade
 The Lady wants only to shop at Justice.


If you aren't familiar with the store Justice, just head to your local mall and find the store with the most embellished, sequined, bedazzled clothes that you can find and walk right in. That is Justice.

The thing is that I don't necessarily have a problem with some of their clothes, it is just that I feel like some of these stores are trying to sell a very adult fashion sense to a very non-adult crowd. Also, they like to make you think that you are getting a bargain by marking everything down by 40% every single time you walk in the store, but really at the end of the day you are still walking out of there with a $20 sequined t-shirt that will probably start disintegrating in the wash.

What I also find super annoying is that in addition to selling clothes and some accessories, bags, shoes, hair stuff, they also sell a ton of useless items that are very, very, appealing to the second grade crowd. There are blinged out diaries, candy, stuffed animals, and my personal favorite--the modern day version of Teen Beat magazines that have up to 12 posters of One Direction, R5, 5SOS that the Lady wants to hang on her wall.

Don't know who those bands are? Don't worry, I am pretty sure the Lady couldn't pick out one of their songs either, although Ross from R5 is on the Disney Channel show Austin and Ally and was in Teen Beach Movie, a soundtrack we know all too well at our house.

The Lady. Granted none of these clothes are from Justice, but still, I think you see what I am saying here. Also, please ignore those fuzzy socks on the floor and the sparkly Hello Kitty high-tops the Little Lady is wearing.

It is amazing to see how much the Lady has grown up in the last year, but I am still wanting to pick her clothes out from Baby Gap and the more basic the better. I have to learn to let go a little, without letting her grow up too quickly. A very precarious position nowadays.

Oh, and I just got an email from the store "Brothers" the companion store to Justice geared towards boys. I can guarantee you QT will never be shopping there. However, everything is 50% off!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Bamboozled


So QT came home with the class mascot today. And while I am super excited that it isn't an actual alive pet, we do have to hang out with this little panda all weekend, photograph him doing things alongside us and then print said photographs and write about his panda adventures.

Did I mention we are the first ones to host him? That means I am looking at a blank binder filled with empty pages and left with a choice: do I take a few photos of Bamboo at the park and playing with trucks, a shot of him eating some carrots and call it a day? Or do I go all Pinterest-mom on this project and really set a high standard? 

Since I have nothing to go on, do I burden my fellow moms with an unreasonable amount of adventure? 

There's Bamboo in a paper mâché hot air balloon, there he is at the Chinese-American cultural center learning Mandarin, Ni hao Bamboo! There he is yachting on the Sound. 

Suddenly our low-key weekend doesn't seem so great. At least last weekend we went apple picking, Maybe I can photoshop him in a pic or two. I mean in all honesty, I am not sure Bamboo wants to be photographed with a near nude QT as he plays, pants less with his trucks. Pretty sure he doesn't want to show up in the photo where I am dragging the Lady to religion on Sunday, and am damn sure Bamboo wants no photographic proof of his involvement in any of the Little Lady's adventures, including, but not limited to, her hiding in her closet eating Smarties and applying lipstick. 

We will see what the weekend brings for us and for Bamboo. But let me tell you, I am feeling like making some paper mâché. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

This Stinks

Minnie-Ru smells like poo. That or something is decomposing in the way back.

A leaky cooler is the real culprit but I can't believe spilled water could smell so bad. I was half expecting to find a full glass of curdled milk beneath the seat.

We have been driving around in rainy weather with the windows down. I have been sticking my head out like some sort of dog. The Little Lady held her nose the entire ride to school on Monday. My husband told me he threw up a little bit in his mouth after getting into her on Tuesday after she sat and baked in the sun.

Would a wet vac work? We tried Fabreeze. I had visions of me blindfolding my husband and leading him unsuspectingly into a fresh smelling trunk (stay with me here, this isn't some 50 Shades fan fiction or Criminal Minds episode) where he would think he was in some meadow of windflowers before removing the blindfold and throwing his head back in disbelief while we both laughed and inhaled deeply that sweet, sweet air.  You know what I say to that? Fabreeze you are full of lies!

It didn't work. Our neighbor knocked on our door yesterday to tell us that the back of the van was open, we had to nod and smile, thank him for the concern, all the while hoping, praying that leaving it open for a couple of hours would actually do some good. 

I'd like to think that after four days the smell has dissipated or maybe I am just getting used to it, or maybe my nasal cavity has been so badly damaged by the smell that I am considering hanging a pair of smelly jellies from the rear view mirror just to brighten it up a bit. 

Any which way, we are still violated daily by that rank odor. Any suggestions to save us from the stank?


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

When September Ends

Did everyone make it?

Did you make it through September? The new schedules, the new shoes, the new ways your children have found to prolong getting out of bed, complain about going to school and cause you unwavering anxiety in only the first month of school after a summer of sleeping in and doing pretty much whatever they wanted in the morning?

Did you send them off for the first time? For the third? To a new school? To one you love?

I did.

We are finally getting into some sort of groove at our house. We have double the homework at our house, although the Little Lady's is still pretty much coloring at this point. It has made the evenings go by much quicker. I will admit to nights of wishing my children to bed and clock watching starting at 5:45 when I walk in the door from work, but now, I find myself realizing that after dinner, homework and the occasional bath that it is 7:30 before we have a minute to breathe.Then we have to do reading log.

Oh Rainbow Fairy's how I have missed you and your trite, plot-less adventures.

QT is enjoying school. Did you all see his cute face on the first day? Oh you did? Here is another pic just because. . .



The other night, he crawled into my bed after his sisters were asleep and I was half asleep, put his hands on my face, turned it towards him and said "Let's talk about school, I love the snacks." I love snacks too, QT but it is 9:45 and momma's tired. (I do realize that 9:45 might not seem that late, but I had been a dirty stay out Saturday night and really needed to catch up on some sleep!)

I hope you all are getting through the endless piles of handouts that come home each night, have written your checks for school photos, the $10 wrapping paper for the fundraiser, and the book fair. I hope your kids are liking, loving, managing with all the new that was thrown at them this September and I hope that you, like me, are making the adjustments necessary to send them off every morning ready to start their day. 








Friday, August 29, 2014

On Orientation

Today was kindergarten orientation for the Little Lady.

And all of a sudden I have two kids in elementary school.

I think it is safe to say that I operate on a daily basis with a fair share of anxiety. I think it is also fair to say that all the unlike two years ago when I took the same bus route to the same school with the Lady, that some of the anxiety was lessened today.

Yes, the Little Lady is my second, is a different personality than her big sister, and this isn't her first time in "school" or away from home. She started in a 2s program, made her way through pre-school, summer camp, drop off playdates and parties. She warms up a bit sooner to new experiences and people, but she has also been exposed to more situations than her sister ever was at her age.

I know that the amount of concern/anxiety/typical mom craziness I feel about sending my kids out the door is the same as it was for her sister. I am still anxious for her, for those mornings on the bus trying to find a seat, for a classroom full of faces and names she doesn't yet know, for all those hours where she will be part of something much bigger than she ever has. Will they know that even though she is quick to anger that it is fleeting? Will they know that behind a sometimes stubborn stance is a very sweet, incredibly funny, little girl who brings me such joy?


Her teacher seems super nice. She is experienced, she has a guitar, there are yoga poses hanging on a poster on the wall, she screams kindergarten, but will she cherish my little girl? I still have all those questions and we will see how this year plays out, but the thing that is different this time around is me.

I am no longer new mom. I am seasoned mom. I am (dare I say it?) confident mom. When the Lady started school, it was like I started too, I had to find some mom friends, I had to figure out how the school and the bus and the schedules worked. I fretted over packing the right snacks and how many things I should volunteer for. I wanted to do everything I could to make her transition smoother, but at the same time I was having a hard time orienting myself.

It was all so unknown.

And now its not. And that makes a huge difference.

Today, I gave a mom sitting next to me my phone number when she asked if she could call me with any questions. I have no idea what her name is, but her daughter sits at the Little Lady's table. Will she call? Probably not, but I am sure it makes her feel better knowing that there is someone she can if she needs too. I am happy to make things easier, to ease another mom's anxiety, to describe what my experience has been so that they don't have to start off feeling so untethered.

"It is hard giving up your children," the Little Lady's teacher said this morning. Indeed it is.

I will still cry in the car as I follow the bus to school on the first day because it is a new beginning and my babies! My babies! But I know I can handle it. I know they are in an environment where they can thrive, and I know that I have given them what they need in order to do so.

I like being this kind of mom.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The One With QT at the Movies

I left a grey and raining beach mid-day on Sunday only to drive into 90 degrees and sunny as we made our way home.

We had made plans to see How to Train your Dragon 2 with my sister and her kids but the only showing was at 1:30 and there was no way that I was making it out of the beach house and back home by then, but there was a 5:00 showing of the new Planes Fire and Rescue movie in 3D and it seemed like it was something we could get to if people just learned how to drive on 95 and if QT didn't have to stop to go to the bathroom.

Well QT did have to go to the bathroom but by the time I pulled off the exit he had stopped screaming about it. I went to get him out of the car and he asked me why we were stopped. I said so that he could go to the bathroom, he said he already had. Great. Luckily, we were only 20 minutes from home.

After stripping the car seat and taking a quick shower we headed out to the movies. $88 later (and this didn't include paying for QT because he is 3 and under) we headed in.

I just want to say that I didn't really enjoy the first Planes movie and was trying to figure out if it would be possible for me to take a nap during this film, because I had zero interest in actually watching it. No worries though, I think I saw a full five minutes total.

After sitting down, putting on 3D glasses and eating way too much sugar, QT got out of his seat. He climbed over the row of seats in front of us and walked towards the aisle still wearing his glasses. He then made his way back to his empty seat after some not so hushed directions from his mother.

Then he had to pee.

I ushered him out of the theater and towards the bathroom. It was set up where you are supposed to enter on one side and exit on the other. I went towards the entrance, he went towards the exit. When I went back to get him, I realized he had run out of the bathroom. I found him sneaking into Theater 10 with what I can only describe as a devilish grin on his face.

I finally drag him back to the bathroom. Now, he is still not tall enough to pee standing up in a woman's bathroom. I think when he is tall enough, he probably won't have to be in the woman's bathroom with me but until then he has to sit. What he didn't have to do was use his 3D glasses to direct the flow. (Insert your own penis joke here.)

We wash hands, head back to the theater and sit down. This lasted for about three seconds before he was once again climbing over the seats and hanging out in the aisle. That was it for me. I left my sister with the Ladies and headed out with QT in my arms, 3D glasses on my head.

As we leave the theater I tell him he has to recycle the glasses. He feigns putting them into the bin two or three times, each time looking over at me like he is getting away with something, before he finally drops them into the cardboard box and then immediately drops to the floor crying "My glasses, my glasses." And I though the Little Lady was high drama.

We spent the next 10 minutes looking at the life size cardboard cut outs of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles before I realized that we would not be able to wait out the ending of the movie by naming each Ninja Turtle over and over. So I did what any other mother would do and we headed towards the huge escalator. What I probably should have done was insisted that he hold my hand. It clearly says to do so, but QT wanted to do it himself, so that is when I found myself riding backwards down the escalator while my 3-year-old waited at the top. He then decided that instead of taking the escalator he would take the 45 stairs down to meet me all by himself. Ugh.

I did finally get him to hold my hand and we rode the escalator for a time or two before that wore out its usefulness. Now what? I had no idea how much more time we had to kill before Dusty Crophopper finally finished what I can only imagine was rescuing someone during a fire. We took one last ride to the top and exited the theater at the top of the parking garage.

I briefly considered taking him into the shoe store. He needs new sneakers, but then I had a vision of him just running and hiding behind all those stacks of shoes and me just losing my mind. Then I remembered the pet store. Now, you know things must have been dire for me to want to enter a pet store. Granted, there was the possibility that we would see a puppy or two wandering the aisles, but really what types of pets do they have there? None I want in my house.

We got into the elevator that reeked so horribly of piss that I had to cover my mouth with my shirt to breathe, while simultaneously trying to get QT to not touch one thing in there. "Why?" he kept asking. "For the love of God kid--can't you smell the rank, malodorous stank emanating from this metal box of germs?"

Finally the doors opened and we walked towards the pet store.

The pet store has its own type of gross smell. That kind of cage liner/pellet food combination that is immediately nauseating and turns one into a mouth breather.

But QT loved the fish and we watched them for a few minutes before heading over towards the ferrets, the birds (the birds!), the hamsters, gerbils, mice and rats, before making our way over towards the reptiles. I am always on edge in these stores, I can't believe that all the animals are caged. I am just waiting for some sort of lizard to crawl up my back or something. Breath Bean, breath (but only through your mouth), but I am conscious of the fact that my kids might actually not care and that they might be interested in the things they are seeing. I rattled off the names of the geckos and the lizards, we talked about what types of food the reptiles ate. We were happy to run into a dog in the aisle, an actual real pet, we contemplated the best type of cat house/scratching post and when the text came from my sister that Dusty was finally done we headed back up that urine-soaked elevator and met up with everyone else.

Three things I learned from this outing.

1. QT might be in that sweet spot of an age where you should never, ever take him to a theater. Perhaps when he is 4 he will have a better attention span.

2. Instead of trying to find a rest stop on the way home, just stop at the closest elevator. Clearly, the two are interchangable.

3. Sometimes it just isn't in the cards to see a subpar Disney film, sometimes you just have to talk about Geckos and pretend that 5 ferrets sleeping on top of each other is cute, but whatever it is that you are doing try to engage and interact with that incredibly active kid of yours but for the love of all things good and holy do not let him touch anything in that elevator.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Part III: Sunday

The soft bray of the foghorn woke me. I sat up and pulled the shades down hoping that it would allow everyone to sleep a little bit longer. I had no idea what time it was, my cellphone was charging in the outlet across the room, but it felt early.

I got my bearings, QT at the foot of the double bed he and I were sleeping in, his head facing the end of the bed, his feet at my hip; the Little Lady almost completely covered in her green blanket on the single Aero bed on the floor; the Lady, her back to me, on the single bed against the wall. I pulled the top sheet over me, rolled over, tried to ignore the chatter of the early birds, the bark of dogs and fell back to sleep.

When I woke later, after sending all three kids downstairs and trying to ignore what sounded like them dumping every single thing out of every single bucket, container and bin in the sun room onto the floor, I slid on my new bathing suit and beach dress (thank you Old Navy) and headed downstairs.

There is nothing like the first day at the beach, packing the sandwiches and snacks, spraying the suntan lotion and grabbing the toys. There is nothing like having your kids throw on some bathing suits (Oh, you aren't going to wear a cover up at all and I won't notice until we actually get to the beach? No worries.) and head out full of excitement. There is nothing like setting your flip-flopped feet into the warm sand and not hearing anyone complain. There is nothing like watching the Ladies in the water, QT building in the sand.

It was Sunday. It was gorgeous. It was good.



Part II: Saturday

Saturday

8:30 a.m.: The phone rings. It is my husband. The van is ready to be picked up. QT is still sleeping and one of the Ladies has at some point crept into my bedroom and taken one of the iPads.

8:45 a.m.: Pancakes for everyone. I prep the kids that we are going to have to leave soon to go get the van. I tell them I am not sure exactly how we are going to get there. The Lady suggests the Trolley. (Our city has a free Trolley that loops around and connects the area where we saw Frozen on Friday night with the downtown, near where the van is.) I have been talking about taking this Trolley for weeks. We have a plan.

9:10 a.m.: I Google the Trolley. I find out the closest stop to our house and see that they have a mobile app where you can follow the Trolley in real time. I throw on some yoga pants, promise donuts and start barking out commands to the kids, "get dressed, brush your hair, put on shoes we will be walking. . ." The Lady insists on wearing a nightgown with shorts. The Little Lady puts on a peasant skirt with a pair of leggings underneath, a t-shirt and a headband that she keeps at the very front of her head. They both wear flip-flops, nobody brushes their hair, however they do brush teeth.

9:21 a.m.: I check the app, the Trolley will be at the stop in 23 minutes. We can totally make it.

9:25 a.m.: We are in the garage, I grab the umbrella stroller because QT has a tendency to run. The Little Lady insists on riding her scooter. She grabs her helmet and we are off. We make it about a half a block before the Little Lady gives up on the scooter. I am visibly annoyed. I throw the Barbie scooter over the handles of the stroller and loop the helmet around them too. The Little Lady tries to keep up but is insisting that we are leaving her too far behind, the Lady and her long legs are about 10 feet in front of me.

We finally round the corner towards the Dunkies. I have already explained to them that we will be stopping on the way back because we have to catch the Trolley, although I am in serious need of some caffeine.

QT jumps out of the stroller, throws a mini basketball that he was carrying into the road. I stop everyone at the corner, get the ball and check the time. It is 9:50, we are not making it. Dunkies is in sight and I tell the kids that we will go there first. QT starts to squirm, he starts itching his whole body. He is covered in ants.

I am now standing on a street corner with three kids, a stroller covered in ants because it had been lying on the floor in the garage and there was some leftover granola bar in the seat from the kids' trip to the zoo earlier in the week. QT rode for a full 10-15 minutes sitting in that ant-infested stroller. I start picking ants off his feet, the back of his neck. I give him a full body check. I am grossed out. It is hot, I need coffee. We limp into the Dunkies parking lot. I pull the stroller up along side of the building and send the Ladies in for napkins.

(The problem with being a regular at places is that you just can't anonymously wipe scores of ants off a stroller on the side of a building in private. No, the owner of the establishment has to come over and offer to watch the stroller for you so that you can go inside, and you have to tell him that "something spilled" on it and you are just going to leave it outside, but thanks so much!)

10:05 a.m.: Stroller de-antified. Everyone is sitting down enjoying a donut and I have some coffee.

10:15 a.m.: I check the mobile app. We have 13 minutes to cross four streets. We head out.

We cross one street, we cross the next. We cross the third street. The Trolley stop is on the next block. All we have to do is cross over and make a left. We arrive at the corner. The Trolley arrives at the light directly across from us. I make some gesticulations with my hands trying to get the conductors attention. Did I mention this is the longest light in Stamford? We wait for the walk sign in the crossroad. The Trolley turns, we book it across the street. I yell for the Ladies to run ahead, the Trolley stops, the Lady is running in her flip flops and nightgown, her long unbrushed hair flapping in the wind. The Little Lady is close behind her, her ankle-length skirt billowing in the breeze. I am following behind with QT in the (hopefully) ant-free stroller, the Barbie scooter on top with the Dora the Explorer helmet banging against my fingers, the Trolley doors open then close and he drives away without us. I make a half-assed attempt at following him on foot. We will never catch up.

We take refuge on a bench at a bus stop.

10:28 a.m.: I call my mom.

10:31 a.m.: QT has to go to the bathroom. Luckily the mall is not far, in fact we are pretty much at the exact spot one of my early blog posts took place and I know the Barnes and Noble bathroom pretty well at this point. We soldier on. Both Ladies are complaining about their feet hurting from the flip flops. We make it to B&N. On a positive, there is one of the benches from the Art Around Town exhibit right outside of the mall. It is painted with birds though, so obviously it isn't my favorite. We sit on that for a few minutes because the Trolley isn't coming back for another 15 minutes and then make our way to the Trolley stop.

11:00 a.m.: The Trolley arrives. The doors open, we stumble in. It it cool and clean and wonderful. Everyone takes their own seat.


We start off in the opposite direction of where the car is. After about 13 minutes aboard the Trolley, we finally get to our stop downtown. We unload. QT insists on riding the scooter, the Little Lady would like to be in the stroller, the Lady runs into one of her classmates on the street. We only have to cross two more streets. I can see the awning of VW up ahead. I convince QT to give up on the scooter.

11:22 a.m.: I park the stroller outside the entrance, I send the kids in through the front door and point them to the waiting area. They each take a seat in a large, black leather chair. I give some guy my name, he tells me everything is ready and he will bring the van around. At that point, I like to imagine what it looked like from the inside of VW as the four of us arrived, as we crossed over the parking lot and into that front door, a little sweaty, an empty stroller with a scooter on top, three kids dragging their flip-flopped feet. I wonder did they have any idea of what it took for us to get there?

I will say they had some pretty good customer service though. The kids all got some water and another guy came by with a candy bowl. Of course they can have double bubble gum and gummy worms, it just took us two hours to get here. The guy who went to get the van came back and said that there was a car blocking it and it would just be another minute. Take your time guy, wherever we are going next, we are driving there and it can't possibly take as long as this excursion did.

Then, there she was in all her glory, Minnie-Ru.

11:37 a.m.: The kids scrambled in the van, I threw the scooter and the stroller in the trunk, took the last sip from the dregs of my coffee, blasted the ac, got in and drove home.

In retrospect, I realize that I probably could have just put QT and the Little Lady in the double stroller and power-walked the 1.2 miles to the dealership with the Lady in sneakers, perhaps switching out with her sister or brother for a spell, but the double stroller was in the top of the garage and on Saturday, it just wasn't our journey to take.

Part I: Friday

Did you know dusk in the summer is 8:45 p.m.?

Me either. That is why I was at the park with my three kids, two pizzas, four blankets, sweatshirts, and a cooler at 7 p.m.

Summer is wonderful. Frozen gets shown on blowup screens in parks and you meet your friends and your neighbors and it is great. Except that QT likes to wrestle his sister on the grass and everyone has to go to the bathroom at a different time, and there is only one bathroom for a park full of kids and the line is long and there is a possibility that your 3-year-old pees on you while you are holding him, and there is a possibility that one or more of your children pull a Britney Spears and walk into a bathroom with no shoes on.

There is ice cream at 10:00 and trying to pack up by the flashlight app on your phone. There are three very tired kids crammed into the green car because the van is in the shop and you aren't quite sure how you are going to be able to pick it up the next day because of said three kids and your husband is away, but for now you are grateful that you decided to meet up with friends and neighbors because without them, there would have been no way that you would have been able to navigate the bathroom situation, chasing QT around in the dark, the ice cream, the park, the pizza.

And once again, you got to hear the majority of the movie, without actually seeing it, and it was pretty amazing when all the songs came on and everyone was singing, little kids, big kids, dads. And this is what summer should be about, big outdoor movies, late night ice cream and pizza. And sure, you will pay for it the next morning, but for now, between the bathroom breaks, under the summer sky, the music playing, the crowd singing, QT still for a moment in your lap, you are grateful for the experience and for the fact that you have friends in the crowd willing to keep an eye on every combination of kid you leave behind and you think this is good. This is good.

Monday, June 16, 2014

QT turns 3!

Happy, Happy Day to my QT!

He is getting a little bit naughty, becoming very much a big boy and is still my biggest snuggler.

Love you. Love you. Love you QT.




Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Lost Lunch

There is a strong possibility I drove out of my driveway with my lunch bag still on the trunk.

I have a vague recollection of carrying it out of the house along with my smoothie and iced coffee. I think I might have put it on the trunk when I moved the cars around.

I know that I took careful care to prep and organize a snack and lunch for today and that I left the Tupperware containers in the fridge last night.

I also know that I had to go out to the car this morning to retrieve my lunch bag because I left it in the backseat last night.

I remember packing the bag.

Note: Not my actual lunch bag, but I am thinking about trying to track one of these down!

I texted the nanny to see if she saw it in the house. No reply.

I guess it is better than leaving my coffee, a wallet or an infant seat on top of the car, but still. 

I am baffled and hungry and 100% sure I am losing my mind.


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Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Little Lady Graduates!

I can't believe I am sending another kid to kindergarten.

Today was the Little Lady's moving up ceremony at pre-school.

She woke up, got dressed fancy, applied a little lipstick on the way out the door (her father and I nixed the need for coverup!) and then there she was singing and dancing along with her class until they called her name to cross the bridge.

The best thing about the graduation ceremony at their school is that the teacher says something special about each child as they walk over the bridge. It is incredibly sweet and may have caused a tear or two.

The popsicle reception that followed was just an opportunity to have one last chance to run around with her friends. It was a beautiful day and she deserved it.

Here are some pics of the Little Lady!

Ready for the last day!


Crossing the bridge


Hangin' with her friends


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Supermom? Superwoman? Super Morning?

I got up early this morning. Really early. Like, 40 minutes before I even set my alarm, which was about 45 minutes earlier than I usually set it for because I have kind of turned into one of those people who has to fit in a workout at some point during the day and the early a.m. was going to be it for me today.

This morning I didn't even have to hit snooze, I was up, out and working out. Done.

I emptied the dishwasher, ran a load of laundry, showered, got dressed and even had time to moisturize, which rarely happens before I hit the office and make it to the bathroom and realize that I actually left the house looking like the reflection that is staring back at me in the mirror.

My lunch? Already prepped the night before. The Lady's lunch? Done. Milk in cups waiting in the fridge for the kids? Did it.

Homemade pancakes? Batter prepped and ready to go stove-side.

I really started to consider becoming a morning person. All that extra time to actually get things done with care and concern instead of in a flash of crazy panic.

House clean for showing this morning? I even sprayed down the bathroom mirrors.

TV tuned to the Today Show and not some inane kids show? There is actual news happening in the world!

Oh Bean, what a wonder you are. What a modern mother. You certainly have it together don't you? Getting fit, getting organized, let's not forget getting clean, you can have it all.

Until. . . the kids woke up.

QT needed to be carried down the stairs, the milk I poured for the Lady was fine but the Little Lady wanted water. As the pancakes cooked on the stove, I had to wipe a butt, empty a potty, wash my hands (twice) all in the time before I flipped them over.

The Little Lady didn't want pancakes. The Lady didn't want syrup ON her pancakes but she wanted a bowl of syrup to drown them in. I took the syrup covered pancakes and handed them to QT who also told me he didn't want syrup ON them, so I did what any other mother would do and flipped them over and put them on a new plate. Done.

The Little Lady barely ate the egg I made her. The Lady's hair was akin to a rats nest and apparently the shirt I gave her was too tight. (Geez, Mother Nature what happened to that 85 degree weather you gave us yesterday, the Lady was super psyched to wear her full on matchy-match tank top and shorts, now she is giving me a problem about shirts with any sleeves.)

I left QT crying on the top of the stairs, gave a big kiss to the Little Lady who I would see later at her school and got the Lady to the bus stop. As I started the car for the drive to work, I realized I forgot my phone. Rather than go back to the house I just headed to the office.

Did I mention I didn't have any coffee at all yet and there is some sort of black smudge on my new pants?

An hour and a half later, I turned back around and headed to the Little Lady's school for a glorious 30 minutes of an end of the year party where we got to look in her binder of laminated work and go over all she has accomplished this year. It was a little emotional and I was so proud of all the work she did and so happy that she had such a good year. I can't believe she is graduating from pre-school tomorrow.

The k-turn I made in the middle of the ride home to hit the McDonald's' drive through wasn't a proud moment, especially since the Little Lady was going on and on about how she didn't want to go home and how I never do anything fun with her. I am sure rewarding her bad behavior with an American Girl Doll toy from McDonald's isn't really going to curb that behavior but I had to get back to work.

Did I mention I couldn't find my phone once I got home? I had the sitter call me twice, nothing. Granted, it is on vibrate but still. I had a moment of wondering if it was indeed in my bag the whole time. Alas, it was not. Finally, after searching for 15 minutes, I found it under the ginormous stuffed dog on the Lady's bed. My husband had called in the middle of the mayhem and I guess it just got overlooked. Although, fortunately the Lady's hair didn't and it eventually did get brushed. 

45 minutes in traffic to get back to work and here I am, drowsy, a little sore from my cardio fix, slugging back some Earl Grey tea and hoping my husband's flight takes off within the next half hour because if I beat him home those kids are going to lose it.

Might be super snoozing it tomorrow. 
 



 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Birds of a Feather. . . Freak Me Out

I think it is safe to assume that most of us have done something for our kids that places us a bit outside of our comfort zone.

In all honesty, just showing up at kids birthday parties and talking to parents I don't know gives me a little bit (more) anxiety. I can't wait until they are all drop offs.

Anyway, I also think it is safe to assume that most of you know that I hate birds. I have mentioned it here a few times. I just don't like them. At all.There really isn't anything I find redeeming about them and the fact that people keep them in their homes as pets weirds me out.

So on Saturday when we met up with a girlfriend of mine and her family at the local Aquarium, I wasn't really expecting a full-on bird exhibit.

I paid $3 for a cup of nectar and for birds to land on me. On my arms and my shoulders and my head. My head! Although, I did tell the girl in there with the stick that maybe it would be in her best interest to remove the one off the top of my head before I had a literal freak out.

Granted, the birds were very colorful and vibrant up close, non-withstanding their creepy claws in my skin and hair. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.  But it was way outside the comfort zone.

Not sure how I ended up in there with the Little Lady and QT in there by myself, but I tried to show them that I wasn't afraid/freaked out/totally skeeved by winged creatures and tried to even say things like "Look at the beautiful feathers, see how they are drinking the nectar. . ." all in what was probably a voice in a much higher pitch than my regular speaking voice and probably conveyed not one lick of confidence.

Then of course someone got pooped on. There were signs that warned of this. The really chipper guy at the front of the exhibit also warned us about it as he told us to Purell before we got in there. Like, the birds should be worried about getting something from me?

I have to admit I was super psyched it wasn't me and it wasn't in my hair. Poor QT though!

Thank goodness the poo consisted of what I can only assume was mostly nectar and was obviously being drunk in high quantities by these birds. It also only got him on the foot, but it was reason enough for us to leave that bird enclosure and I am 100% sure I won't ever be going back.

Waiting for his feet to be de-poopified
Not sure what was worse for QT the bird poo or the sand he got on his foot when he briefly stepped into a sandbox area. I was having flashbacks of last summer, luckily, we spent some serious time in another sandbox yesterday afternoon and we have found that as long as he isn't wearing any shoes he can handle it.

I for one am looking forward to an amazing summer, that hopefully is pretty bird-free. Hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Day 2/5 Five Photos of my Day

Day 2/5: Work. Work. Work. Not very exciting, but I had a project to finish so I was busy, which is always good since it was still pretty crappy out yesterday morning. I didn't go outside at lunch so I was super psyched to pull out of the parking garage and see a beautiful afternoon.


I had to pick up some prescriptions at CVS and then I was headed to a quick meeting after work. Hey CVS? Any reason why when I refill my prescriptions online for pickup at 4:00 that I am still waiting 15 minutes for it to be filled when I get there at 5:15? Yeah, didn't think so. 
I still had some time before my meeting so I took a very quick 25 minute run to the beach and back. There is nothing better than some sand and sun. Also, the meeting was with a yoga instructor who is volunteering at the Komen CT walk next weekend, so it didn't matter if I looked like a sweaty mess, which I did, but it was well worth it. 
Ahh, Costco. . . 4 gallons of milk is about average per visit. It is scary when only three out of five of us actually drink milk. Oh well. I picked up some milk, bread and some new undies for QT (they had Mike and Sully on them!) and headed out. 
Lady in front of me fishing your receipt out of your pocket (your pocket? This is Costco, you buy the stuff, you keep the receipt in your hand so you can hand it to the checker guy on the way out) while eating a churro and holding a speaker phone conversation, while trying to pull your very full cart with one hand. DO NOT STOP in front of the exit. I will hit you with my cart!



Finally, home. Three kids in the tub is a good thing to walk into. The chaos that follows is not. Let's just say they all eventually went to bed. 


Thursday, May 1, 2014

1/5 5 Photos of my Day

Ok, so in addition to posting on fb. I thought I would post my 5 photos in a day challenge pics here on the blog as well. I took a personal day yesterday to get some stuff done.

1. The Little Lady got to have a friend over and we took this one after dropping her off.

2.We then headed out to the doctor so that she could get a couple of shots so she was up to date and ready to enroll in kindergarten! Won't make the mistake of showing up to registration two shots short again!

3. Had to fit in a workout. I was able to find the time, but not necessarily the room as the three kids were super excited to get involved. The Little Lady was the only one who made it to the abs at the end.

4. Trains. Trains. Trains. Thank goodness QT doesn't actually make us watch Thomas the Train Engine. He is just content to set up the tracks and then leave them there while we all have to step around them.

5. I love to read. I hate reading for reading log. Sometimes knowing that we have to read just sucks some of the joy out of it. Couple that with the Rainbow Fairy collection of chapter books that we have started reading that lack a strong story arc and are all essentially the same, and you can see how  it sometimes becomes a tedious to-do at night. However, what is great is snuggling next to the Lady and spending some time with her.


Running a few errands in the rain
Waiting to get shots for kindergarten.
This was ridiculous. The kids were already bathed and mostly in pjs and yet took the time to work up a sweat. I promise I only stopped for like 5 seconds to take this pic!
QT loves his trains.
Reading yet another Rainbow Fairy book. I think we are on like book 100. Next up Scarlett the Garnet Fairy. Wish me luck tonight.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Wrap Up

Easter weekend was pretty busy and thankfully, incredibly beautiful. There is nothing like getting the kids outside to just play.

We dyed a few eggs, had a big egg hunt, played some baseball and blew some bubbles and by the end of the weekend had three very tired kids. I'd like to tell you that this morning was an easy transition back to our routine, but I am pretty sure you know my kids better than that.

Some pics. . . 
Because, why wouldn't you do this?
Modeling.
Cheese face

QT

Getting the eggs ready. . .

The Muttz

The Little Lady

Not sure how much worse we could get for a group shot. . .
Bubbles, bubbles everywhere. . .

The joy of being 3 (and almost 3!)