Thursday, March 31, 2011

The product you didn't know you needed

"Are you a 24-7 mom?

Every time I hear these words on a frequently played commercial, it reminds me that I haven't yet written a post on it. At first I thought the makers of this product must have known something I didn't.

Pretty much all the moms I know would qualify as parents all day every day.... I mean, can you opt out of some of those hours or days?? If that is the case I would prefer to be put on the 16-7 plan instead, which allows me to check out for a solid 8 hour sleep break per day....

I don't think I am alone- this last week has been the first straight week for over a year that I have slept for more than 3 hours in a row. I am fairly sure that when you sign up to be a parent, you forfeit the right to sleep for about 15 years. Parenting is round the clock for sure- babies need to eat, toddlers need to pee and even the dog needs fresh water at 3am- to hell with my schedule. So yes I am a 24-7 mom, who isn't?

And there lies the appeal of this commercial- if we are all 24-7 moms, then we all need their product.... brilliant marketing actually. However, I think I would be more likely to buy a product that offered me the 16-7 option. When that hits the shelves wake me up, I'll be trying to cram in a 5 minute power nap while washing the dishes...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

feeling sorry for myself again

Today Sucks.
There- by me acknowledging it, I will have accomplished one of two possibilities, that A) I can move past the fact and forward with very low expectations or B) that my crappy mood is sure to make everything that much worse. So far, the latter seems to be winning out. My children are currently fighting over something behind me and I am non-parenting so that I can sulk- go ahead and judge. They have been whining and/or crying since they woke up this morning so I am starting to tune it out. N also dropped the new soap in the toilet and spilled sand from the cactus all over the desk.

Today is "supposed" to be a work day for me which means I drop the minions at the babysitter around ten and then alternate between seeing patients, commuting and teaching all day before retrieving minions around dinner. However, my babysitter called yesterday (at 3:30 PM) to tell me she couldn't keep the kids today because she had to go substitute teach. This loosely translates to "Can you not go to work tomorrow so that I can make an extra $20?" Our back-ups are college kids and they are unavailable today. We don't live close to family.

Soooooo here we go- I cancelled my class and since my voice is almost completely gone from a throat funk, the secretary probably thinks I have the plague so it works. I still have patients though, and of course they are scheduled during the usual nursing hours or when the minions are set to go down for naps- in other words, all of the convenient times. Let me reiterate- today sucks.

Of all days, why today when there is extra crazy in the air with my children. I think that we have a crack leak in the house because they are hopped up on something. At least most of my patients have several children of their own so I won't spoil their vision of motherhood or scar them into not having kids. Hopefully you all have a much better day- I am going to try to locate the source of the crazy so that I can have some, or else I won't be able to get through this day.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Magic Moments Monday

These sweet shots of my girl were actually from a few weeks ago....... but I am dreaming that this weather is coming back soon!!!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My handsome suitor

Today I went on a date with a very handsome man and he was not my husband. He does sorta walk, talk and look like him though he is about a third his size.

He did not hold the door for me but gave me multiple kisses. He did not buy me dinner but shared his dessert. In fact, he needed help into his jacket as well as his carseat.

Today N and I got some lovely alone time- all we did was go to the dollar store, the gas station and target (his choice actually) but since it is 30 minute ride, we had to stop at sonic for some happy hour slushies. I revel in these moments because when we are removed from the house (and the competition) I flash back to simpler excursions out and about- that used to be our very favorite thing to do together- just run around and it is much harder with little sister in tow.

So thank you daddy for being on baby duty and thank you A for being easy on daddy so that me and the sweetest little monster ever could have ourselves an afternoon date. He even told me I was pretty and  I have never felt more beautiful :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

time flies when you need crazy pills

We always say the same thing "I can't believe it's been (insert long period of time- 4 months... 2 years, etc). This week has been no different- my little monkey is almost a year old!
tear :(
One of my patients asked when her Birthday was and I replied that it was a couple weeks away and then later I thought "wow! or maybe next week!" How is it possible that it has been nearly a year since that little angel entered our lives on Easter Sunday (and over a year since my contractions started- yes she made it nice and stressful on her mommy before we really got down to birthing business)?!?!?!

First, let me state that my little girl has firmly entrenched herselves in our lives and i love her to pieces. BUT before she got here i was really really worried- that i couldn't handle two kids- that i couldn't possibly love her as much as my son- that she would put us into financial ruin...... i worry. alot. and i thought i wanted another boy.

Everyone confirmed my worst fears, that i was indeed crazy- unfortunately my psychiatric issues are confirmed almost daily by other means. this busy beautiful mess of ours has made me that way!

i LOVE this child- in fact, on any given day, i MIGHT "like" her more than N!  (that sounds terrible. please don't misunderstand- i love him more than life, but sometimes when the psycho comes out, he is not my friend ;) if you are a mother of a three-year-old you understand..... i digress.
she is charming in every sense of the word and it is so amazing to see her little personality coming out. her smiles could possibly save the world and i adore having another GIRL in this house. i didn't know that i needed her before she got here!

financially we are totally still kicking :) i had always heard that if you wait to afford kids, you will never have them and that is SO true. somehow it all works out.

and the last fear of handling two kids- of course i can't!
no i'm kidding, it IS a completely different story than having one- those first few weeks i cried and cried and i still don't know how i was back in my college classroom 4 days after pushing that girl out (thank goodness for grandmas) and how i got through two months as a "single parent" during aaron's baseball season or how N didn't need an ER trip for acting out for attention while i was nursing A. i. don't. know. but somehow weeks and then months pass and it just becomes easier (not easy of course- never easy).

one day you wake up after a reasonably good nights sleep and you know that you are frazzled and unshowered and have developed a nervous twitch but you are making it just fine- although your son will have peed his bed overnight and you realize that you forgot to feed the dog. at least time flies- there's always next year to get it right and maybe by then i will have found me a therapist :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

"..... those who matter don't mind" (repost)

I had to re-write the following post because in the original I sounded like a crazy person. It has just been a rough week and I got a little emotional- I think we have all been there :)

Oh “friends”. They are out there waiting to judge when they don't like something about your life. I doubt that my "friends" are reading this blog. OR maybe they are…. just to point out differences in opinion on something I say or how it is delivered. At the very least they are probably not blog followers- to do so would give me the satisfaction of having someone appreciate what I say. I am my own worst critic so please "friends" save yourself the trouble. I have plenty of real friends, as you all do I am sure and they love me for me. Those who judge need not apply.
So anyway, here I am being uncharacteristically (haha my husband and mom might disagree) bitchy and I do apologize for that. BUT I will not apologize for being me. I might give occasional unsolicited health advice- I can’t help it, it’s what I was trained to do. And I know a lot of random crap- what biology teacher doesn’t?? It doesn’t mean I think I am smarter than you- I promise I am not. I feel strongly about raising happy and healthy children and of course I am going to think my methods are best suited for our situation- if you parent differently, that is fine- I am not judging you.
And for the record, I wish all of my "friends" success. Unbelievably huge amounts of it- and happiness too- and tolerance. We can't be all things to all people, try as we might!

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."                                       -Dr. Seuss (probably)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Received a letter from Commerce Bank this morning which said "your account has been overdrawn in the amount of $ .29 for over 45 days now"
                  Note: I haven't banked with them for over 3 years except for my malpractice insurance that comes out every three months, so I never check mail from them (I know that is probably not the best idea, but I have other pressing matters to worry about).... PLUS I supposedly have overdraft protection  (in the form of a backup credit card) to avoid this situation.

"As a result of our unsatisfactory relationship, your account will be closed on 3/27/11"
Well thanks commerce, you have saved me the trouble! I hope that HUGE balance doesn't put your bank under.... maybe you should be more worried about people foreclosing on huge homes and/or not paying their car loans.

$ .29?!?!
I hope they can use the 30 cents in change I just sent them and buy some customer service.....

Monday, March 21, 2011

Vocal Repetition

I am so sick of saying the SAME thing over and over again.
“Nolan please be nice to your baby sister”
“Please stop yelling”
“Let’s share”  

It never ends.
Sometimes I wish he would act out in a more creative way just so I can mix up my responses….. I truly do not WANT to be a whiny nag of a mother yet- let’s save that for the awesome teen years that I know are gonna be so much fun. I try to pick my battles but at the end of the day I feel like all I have accomplished is hoarseness.
It is not just him but also the super smiley and hard to be mad at, little woman. 
“Aila stay out of the plant”
Of course said while moving her little bootie a “safe” distance away (as if that exists when you can crawl at the speed of sound). Her fingers are constantly in the dirt or pulling leaves.
We have a lot of plants in here but with spring hitting, maybe I will move them all outside and sacrifice the pleasant aesthetics and clean indoor air for sanity. Although if I do that, then the ONE thing she plays with that he doesn’t think he immediately needs will have vanished from the house…..
I need a drink
(of water for the hoarseness)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Coupon Crazed

Have you seen "Ultimate Couponing" on Bravo (maybe) or TLC or one of thise channels?? It is AMAZING! We happened upon it last weekend and saw several people go crazy with coupons in a good good way. These people have it down to a complete science, though I am fairly sure you wouldn't have enough time to go to work so you would HAVE to live off of your coupons. One woman bought something like $648 worth of groceries for just over..... FIVE BUCKS. I am not even exaggerating! Amazing- and it made me a little nauseous to think of what I "could" have potentially saved over the last ten years of grocery shopping.

I have gone through little stages where I'd clip some internet coupons and of course I'll use a good Kohls 20% off offer from the mail every now and then but that is about the extent of my savings. Every time I go through the checkout and the clerk asks "Do you have any coupons?" I tell him or her no and inwardly think "I really need to start doing that" or "It's a waste of time" depending on my mood.

Well- this show inspired me- we ran right out the next day and got the Post-Dispatch and I clipped and last week I saved $1, 240!

No I am kidding :) I think I saved about ten dollars over the course of the week- I have no idea how to stretch that out to nearly free purchases like the people on the show but ten bucks is ten bucks. Today I thought about it a little more and actually planned out a trip to Walgreens based on their in-store sales and the coupons I had available and I did better (and I only bought ONE item that I probably would not have usually bought and it was a lot of travel sized kleenex packages so it will get used). I actually spent $30 and saved $18 and that is enough to inspire me to keep going with this!!!!

You may see me as a coupon freak on TV someday- or..... give me a few weeks and I will realize I have no time to keep it up!
No really- I need to do this- what a money saver. is a great resource to get started. Somebody else do it to so we can remind each other how worth the time it is :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A (fake) snapshot of my life

N had a playdate this morning so it gave Miss A and I some sunny girl-time. I decided to just park and walk downtown in the little shops and thrift stores so as not to spend too much $$. She looked adorable in a new outfit and though my hair wasn't washed, my pants were clean and i had cute shoes on. From far away under my sunglasses, I "might" have passed for together :)
When we were done, I collapsed the stroller with one hand since the other was holding A, and tossed it in the back of my Escape, which was shockingly clean. Then I sat in the back seat and put her into her car seat as I simultaneously pulled the cardoor mostly closed with my foot. A though suddenly struck me- "I probably look like I am good at this mommy thing". I mean, there we were, mom and daughter out enjoying the day, effortlessly sliding into the car etc. etc. Then I smiled cause today is a fluke!!
Most days are more disheveled and intense with arguments, bargaining and stains and dropping things and crying babies and poop :/ In other words, appearances can be deceiving! Sometimes I think I have a pretty good handle on being a mom and usually about two seconds after that thought A pulls over an open cup of juice onto N's too worn DVDs and I am reminded that 1) we are not ready for big kid cups in the living room and 2) my kid probably watches too much tv.
BUT I try to remember that I am not alone and that the perfectly dressed and manicured mom had to have someone else watch the kids while she got that way. The perfectly behaved church kids probably even get yelled at when they are not in church too. Things are not always what they seem...
So no I am not perfect! I am constantly trying to be better and will never be the supermom I sometimes think I 'could' be, but every once in awhile, if I can fool the fellow moms at the park or the grocery store clerk, then that will keep me going :)

REAL photo #1

Real Photo #2

Real Photo #3

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Unschooling the Unschooled

When it comes to preschoolers, the best learning tactic is the random lesson- I am truly a believer in this, but not yet ready to jump into "unschooling". In fact, my children will not be homeschooled, mostly because i would go insane and they would hate me way more than I disliked even my mean high school algebra teacher (who taught me that I was bad at math). Plus my hubsand is a great great teacher and I know that there are other really great teachers out there that need to, well, teach!
Not that I think there is anything wrong with homeschooling, I know plenty families that really make it work, I just don't think it would work for me- unless someone would pay me really well to do it :) Anyway- for now though, I try to find creative ways to introduce Nolan to new concepts. This morning as we were cleaning up breakfast, my husband started laughing (really) at my rather adult explanation about what honey was. I said "I will not dumb anything down for him- he will learn it now and be a genius later :)" and then we went about our day.
Later as we were driving and listening to the Barenaked Ladies Snacktime cd (GREAT) they were singing about oxygen and Nolan asked what it was. Our conversation uncovered that 1) Oxygen is an invisible thing in the air that we must breathe to live and that 2) Oxygen is made by plants when they use the sun to make their own breakfast- he was pretty interested in the latter so we got into the process of photosynthesis. You probably couldn't care less about photosynthesis, I know my college students are not too amused with it AND I agree this may be a bit above a three year old's thinking, but I am a biologist so if I have an audience I am going to go with it.....
I thought we were doing pretty well and then suddenly he groans and says " photothenasis mom? what the heck?!" I busted out laughing- maybe I should be dumbing things down just a little :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Return of Fluff

I mentioned my blog hiatus but what I should have said was life hiatus. If you are all anything like me, when you feel crappy, the house should support that feeling. You want clean dishes and clothes and a picked up floor? Good for you- I want to stop vomiting! That is me during an illness. But I am back in full super mom mode in all its overrated and stressful glory.

And I am feeling inspired to jump back into cloth diapering. First off, let me say that I truly LOVE what it has to offer: a healthy, dry and happy baby, good for the environment, money-saving etc. etc. etc. but it is also one big thing that disposable diapering is not and that is time consuming. Not too much time, but extra time, nonetheless with the extra laundry. Like many moms, I am not a huge fan of laundry. Actually, the washing and drying is not bad, it's the folding and putting away part, and the cloth diapers don't really need this last step if you are short on time. The problem I have had lately is that it is winter and my lundry room is not heated and whenever I need to do laundry, I need to almost defrost the pipes before I start!! Not very conducive to almost daily washing.....
So our cloth diapering took a hit- we would wash and wear them and then use disposable for 4 days or so..... plus the diapers really needed stripped because they were started to stink. I switched detergents awhile back and the new one is good but still, a wad of cloth can only take so much pee before it starts to retain said pee smell. So I stripped them.
Diapers after the first round! Can't believe the soap buildup!

Diapers after the third rinse-- now we are getting somewhere!

If you have never stripped diapers before- it is easy, just tedious. Basically you wash them like regular and then you rinse repeatedly in the HOTTEST POSSIBLE water (even if you have to bring some in off the stove) until there are no more bubbles that come out. You can also add baking soda or vinegar etc if you are having trouble with smells, but this depends LARGELY on the type of water you have. What works for one person will probably not work the same for another.

Anyway, the whole point of this long post is that we are prepped and ready to recommitt to the cloth revolution :) It is warming up outside and the diapers smell fresh(er). Now three days in, I have only used one disposable and the stash is set to be washed tonight. This is good news for many reasons and lets face it- there is nothing cuter than a cloth diapered little bum (except "maybe" a ruffle butted bum)!

Bring On Spring!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Vacation Please??

This is sooooo the time of year that I begin to yearn for a vacation- just a simple change of scenery- some warmth- a break in routine. We love to travel. We LOVE it and we don't get to do it nearly enough (darn student loans and responsibilities).

Aaron and I were fortunate to have many years together before our babies were born and one thing we did every summer in college and beyond was to take a road trip- we started camping to save money and grew to really enjoy tent sleeping, especially in some of the amazing places we have been. In general we picked a National Park and centered our trip around hiking and mountain biking the area but we always stopped other places along the way. We also love to eat and make it a point to try "the" local dish while we are there.

So far, my personal favorite place ever was Glacier National Park- The air and light there were otherwordly and it felt so far outside of the usual. I will never forget trekking along the continental divide with baby mountain goats darting across the trail or finding a totally secluded glacier fed mountain lake. It was spectacular- Aaahhh I am so in the mood to travel!!

I have seen pictures from other people's recent trips and drooled over the white sandy places and then today a friend posted this article on Bucket List Trips:

Now I am absolutely restless!! So many of these places are on our own list and it seems impossible to ever make it to all of them.... (especially all of those across the pond). We like to go someplace new every year, but now that we have kids, I can also see enjoying the creation of a family spot that we return to year after year (ahem- Glacier). Plus, we have our best friends and some family spread all of the country so we need to visit them too- I guess that means we just need to vacation more :)

Here are some of my other favorites-
Beaches: Torey Pines State Park- San Diego, CA; Oval Beach- Saugatuck, MI;
Mountains: Trail Ridge Road (Rocky Mountain National Park); Lake Dillon,CO; Grand Tetons; Blackwater Falls, WV
Cities: San Francisco, CA; Charleston, SC

There are countless others- I could post on favorite drives, restaurants, experiences, etc. etc. but now I need to shower and go to work so I can make some vacation money!!

Where are your favorite places? Please share so I can grow my bucket list!!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

the other side of the plague

oh. my. goodness.
i have been on major blog hiatus, mostly because i am in full catch-up mode from being down with the plague for a week (i.e. the worst stomach flu this family has EVER seen). i feel like i will never climb out from under this mound of laundry and dishes and dusty floors- my house is disgusting :(
overall i must say we have been pretty lucky this winter- i think we all had maybe one cold so this bug was perhaps an in-your-face for an easy cold and flu season.... thanks for that. so stomach flu- a big misnomer actually since it is not the influenza virus at all, but instead a viral gastroenteritis. flu is easier to say.
i woke up in the middle of the night over a week ago and was hit with the first wave of toilet fun/"flu" in between nighttime visits to a needy baby girl. it lasted all night and then i had to get up and go to work amidst disgusting wretching- it was a test day and impossible for me to reschedule. in general, we dont medicate. fevers serve a purpose and unless they are dangerously high, we don't try to squash the body's immune response. we don't even own cold medicine- it just masks symptoms and makes the cold last longer (we actually do have some great homeopathic cough syrup called 'chestal' for the little man but i digress). the point is, that normally i would not have taken anything for my intestinal barrage but i had an hour commute followed by hours of testing so i did not want to risk any... accidents... breaks in test protocol...i don't know exactly. i took anti-diarrhea medicine and in fact i did not have any emergencies while testing! no one else in the family took anything and though nolan threw up off and on for a week and my poor husband went to work every day with a steady string of bathroom visits. however, they all felt 'okay' in between the madness- i did not. i developed a raging fever and chills, headache and fatigue along with nausea for a week- but i couldn't go to the bathroom to save my life..... thanks meds?? i am convinced that had i let my body fight it naturally that i would not have had the crazy response that i did- if all that mean virus action was making its way out of my body the way my body wanted, it would not have had to ramp up my response that way. i only took one dose!! so anyway- a week later, we all awoke on the other side of the plague- we are lighter and have a new appreciation for food :) and we still have personality and a penchant for sharing too much information.