Monday, April 30, 2012

Mama Feels Preppy

Mama Feels Preppy

Dear Children...

Dear Eldest,

Yes. That's Grover. IT'S ALWAYS GROVER. Please stop telling Mommy. Mommy's ears are tired.
In other news, poop goes in the potty. Not your panties. QUIT IT.

Earless Mommy

Dear Boy Child,

Stop stuffing HANDFULS of Goldfish in your mouth. That is why you choke. Also, naptime is from 1-3. Plan accordingly. I don't care if you fall asleep at 2:50; I'm getting you up at 3:00.

Nap Nazi Mommy

Dear Sunshine Littles,

If you are done with your food, please simply wave your hands in the air. (Whether you care or not.) Do not attempt to decorate the floor within a 2 foot radius with your leftovers. It makes spaghetti night even more annoying.

Grateful-You're-Cute Mommy

p.s. Butt cream helps your butt. Please stop eating it.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Hold Me

I tried watching eye makeup tutorials on You Tube last night. I want to get more involved in my makeup routine of "moisturize-powder-lipstick-done".

After watching 4 middle school girls show me how to correctly apply Urban Decay Primer (what the?!) and then mix 19 different colors from a giant train case with 5 different brushes, I got scared and hid under my comforter with Zero Punctuation videos.

I'm sorry, Erin. I tried.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Seasons of Change

This post hit me hard this morning. The mother is talking about how all of her life it seems as though she's always waiting for the next stage.

When will I get married?
When will I have a baby?
When will the baby sleep through the night?
When will that kiddo get potty trained?

I read through the post and then stopped and looked at my babies. They're watching Sesame Street. Sophie is playing with her blocks. Milly is toddling around the room and screeching at Cookie Monster. Gideon is busily lining up his figures.

I'm impatient. I want Sophie potty trained. Like yesterday. FULLY. I want Gideon to start talking. I want Milly to stop freaking out when I leave her sight.

What am I missing?

They will never be this little again. Right now I can hold all of them. They want me to hold them. Gideon cuddles against my shoulder and wants me to sing his lullabye. Sophie curls up in my arms each night so I can rock her and sing her lullabye. Milly lurches over to me, climbs up me like I'm Everest, flings herself down on my shoulder and jams her thumb in her mouth. (No singing, please. Just rock.)

They say the cutest things. Gideon just learned how to say "rocket". He has rockets on his pajamas. Sophie can say anything you tell her to. It's really funny to make her say "Oy vey!" and then we both collapse into giggles. She calls pizza "peetzee".

Please don't ask Gideon to say "fork".

Their lives are so simple. A kiddie pool, some cups and a sunny day is the BEST DAY EVER. I'm the BEST MOM EVER for setting it up.

Lord, let me rest in this phase of life. Let me enjoy my children just as they are. They are amazing.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

How to Get Cheap

It's time to start cutting costs. It's time to start pinching pennies. It's time to learn how to be a housewife. Not quite Depression-era but no more buying processed frozen chicken nuggets because it's supposedly the only thing the kids will eat and it's easy.

Here's some ideas:

  • Breadmaker. Time to start making some simple breads. Limit the sugar and possibly go gluten-free. Can this thing do pizza crusts and tortillas?
  • Yogurt and kefir. All three kiddos love yogurt and two of them like the kefir smoothies I got on sale at the store. (Good thing it's the ones with the biggest need for Regulation.)
  • Jams and jellies. It's time to learn how to do some easy canning with in-season fruits. Then I can add it to the homemade yogurt and kefir.
  • Keep up with the freezer meals and meal planning. No more coddling the kids. They eat what we eat.
  • Time to grow some herbs. Probably the basic Scarborough Faire variety with some dill and oregano thrown in there.
  • Costco card. It is time to brave the beast.
  • Start cutting down on processed foods. I can make nearly all of them myself. It's just a matter of learning how to keep them.
  • Get a cow. These kids go through a lot of milk.
OK, so that last one probably isn't in the cards. Although I wouldn't have to pay for lawn care and I'm well-versed in cleaning large deposits of patties.

  • We already shop clearance racks and resale shops. I think I've got the clothing bill down.
  •  Ben is going to get Apple TV at the beginning of May and we'll start ripping our DVD collection. We're also looking into a Drobo to back everything up.
  • Homemade cleaners. My girlfriend gave me her recipes and I'm gathering up the basic ingredients. It's pretty cool how many overlap.
  • Potty train The Boy. *shudder*
Does anyone else have any suggestions? Give me your best!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Hair Raising Tales

I'm done with the meltdowns when we have to brush her hair, wash her hair, get peanut butter out of her hair, look at her hair...

So tonight I did something about it.

Ben: "Holy cow, you weren't just ranting about that!"

I put Sophie's hair in a low braid and cut it off. Then I trimmed it as best I could. Now my baby looks like this:

Dear Lord, ignore my messy living room.
Hopefully this is the beginning of the end of the Hair Wars.

Mama's Feeling Beachy

Mama's Feeling Beachy

Kelly's Man-Pleasing Chicken

A recipe has been lurking the interwebs. A recipe called Man Pleasing Chicken. My best friend made it and immediately texted me virtual drool. So I gave it a shot. Of course, I had to tweak it because that's just what I do.

The Stuff:

6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
6 pieces of center cut bacon
1/4 cup mustard
1/8 cup pure maple syrup
1 TBSP vinegar
kosher salt
black pepper
onion powder
garlic powder

First, let me explain the differences in the ingredients. My friend told me that the sauce could easily be cut in half and it's still plenty. The original author used dijon mustard but I didn't have any in my fridge. I just used the regular yellow stuff. I just grabbed my usual apple cider vinegar instead of rice wine vinegar. The kosher salt / black pepper / onion powder / garlic powder mix is a basic seasoning mix I put in nearly everything. I just grab a big pinch.

And how in the world can something be called "man-pleasing" without bacon?!?!

The Process:

Put the chicken thighs in a big freezer Ziploc bag. Pour in the mustard, syrup, vinegar and spices. Seal the bag and squish everything around. This can marinate for a few hours, overnight or be thrown in the freezer for a Freezer Bank Meal. The bacon is sealed in a separate bag and labeled to go with the meal.

When you're ready to make the dinner, thaw your chicken bag and bacon bag. Preheat the oven to 375 and mist a casserole dish with cooking spray. Roll each chicken thigh in a piece of bacon and lay them in the dish. Bake until everything is golden brown and the bacon is crispy. Mine took...I honestly don't know. I use my nose. 30 minutes? Glance at it after 25 minutes. Then again after 35. If it's been 45 minutes then make sure your stove is on.

The chicken was tangy and juicy. Eventually I'll give it a shot with the other stuff the original author added.

Do I even have rosemary?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I Just Don't Know

Sophie is having multiple nuclear meltdowns today. It makes her incredibly sensitive brother cry. I used to be that sensitive sibling hiding when the yelling started. Now I'm the Mama who has to simultaneously calm/redirect Sophie, reassure Gideon and keep feeding Milly who is wondering where her macaroni went.

Sophie goes in the crib to calm down. Gideon gets hugged and kissed. Milly gets her macaroni. Once Gideon and Milly are done with lunch, they go down for naps. Sophie continues screaming.

Pull Sophie out. Chores will have to wait. Put her sneakers on and grab the chalk.

She's alone and outside. I'm watching from the porch. She's a different kid. I see the tension flowing out of her every time she turns her face into the wind. Sometimes she stops drawing and just stands. She's quiet. Her long hair blows all around her head because she refuses to put it up. She squints in the sunlight but her face follows the warmth.

She can't tell me why she's angry but I can fix it. A little.

Chalk and sunshine. I wish I knew what that cured.

The Mama Uniform: Take Two

The Mama Uniform: Take Two

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Boogie Woogie Brain

I'm at a low point right now. I'm not even sure why it's happening. Yes, life is very stressful right now.

  • We're still trying to enroll Sophie into different therapies. GISD is dragging their feet and they keep asking for more paperwork. I've given them enough that they will at least put her case in front of a board to see if she qualifies for the PPCD program. She probably won't start that program until the next school year. We've been wait-listed for speech therapy at the Callier Center. So now we just have to figure out a schedule, find some classes and possibly go back to Mother's Day out for the summer. The speech therapist said that Sophie would respond very well to therapy.
  • Gideon is still showing autism red flags. He will turn 3 at the end of June. I've spoken to the GISD people and we're going to wait until he turns 3 and inevitably fails his pediatrician's developmental evaluation. Pair that with a vision and hearing test and we'll see if he can also qualify for the PPCD program in the fall. Again, we'll just look for some speech classes and maybe MDO in the summer. He is talking more and more. We're noticing that what originally looked like red flags are actually part of a shy personality. He's a quiet little introvert just like his Daddy. He can talk but a lot of the time he just chooses not to. He loves to sing and that makes my heart soar.
  • Milly is hitting all of her milestones. She's a feisty little thing. I wept tears of joy when I saw her stacking blocks at 14 months old instead of over 2 years old like her siblings. She walks all over and runs if she's getting into something. She laughs at everything and screeches if it's really funny. She eats like a teenage boy. She toots like one, too. She hates wearing bows and dresses. She loves watching the Ranger games. She's Daddy's Little Sunshine. I would love to see her in MDO, too. She's pretty firmly entrenched in the separation anxiety phase and MDO changes that quickly.
  • We're staying in the same rental house for another year. There is a lot of work that needs to happen in this house to make it habitable. The majority of the work is going to fall to me. Every room needs to be painted and trim needs to be added. 3 ceiling fans will be replaced and one will be added. Closets will be emptied and reorganized. The master walk-in closet will be turned into a very small office space. The kids will share one bedroom and have a playroom.
All of this is added to the day-to-day cooking, cleaning and general domesticated merriment of a SAHM. I'm still losing weight and inches on the Weight Watchers plan. I've boxed up a ton of my old clothes. There's not a whole lot left. It's irritating to buy new clothes right now for a few reasons and they are both ridiculous.

  1. I'm outgrowing clothes quickly. I don't like spending $60 on a pair of jeans that are going to be saggy-baggy in a month. I know. BOO-HOO.
  2. Everything is in pretty and bright springy colors right when I'm in a depressive funk. I want to buy all black but then I lust after yellow shirts and cherry covered purses. I know. GET OVER YOURSELF.
All of this rambling diatribe is basically to say that anxiety sucks, my life is actually going very well and I need prayers that God won't stop hitting me with a 2x4 until my eyes uncross and I see what He's given me.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Brain Dump

Last night I was lying in bed and listening to my husband snore. He has a really bad cold. I thought of something really funny about the kids for my blog but now I can't remember it because I was up all night. You'll just have to trust me. It was really funny. I'm going to have to get a notebook to keep by the side of the bed for when inspiration hits.

All of the kids have the cold, too. Gideon is the worst. I had to give him saline and his inhaler this morning. He's not too wild about me at the moment. He also had his first seasonal bloody nose on Friday night. Saturday morning scared his Daddy. It looks like Gideon is going to have some rough allergy seasons.

Milly has been waking up in the middle of the night with a grumbly tummy. A bottle of milk usually sets her to right and she'll go back to sleep. She's also eating a lot at meals. I think we've hit a growth spurt and I'm considering hanging a hamster bottle to her crib. I'm watching her stalk her siblings now. Whenever they sit their sippy cups down, she grabs them and drinks as fast as she can. Little thief.

I like cheesy monster movies. I stayed up last night watching Underworld. I loved Van Helsing. The Blade trilogy is one of my must-sees. Constantine was even pretty decent and I'm a fan of the comic books. (The books are better.) I think I'm going to try Resident Evil.


Gideon is saying words now. He'll repeat me on some things and others are spontaneous. I'm realizing that the selective muteism may not be spectrum-related but may just be his personality. He doesn't like to be the center of attention. He won't speak when his loudmouth sister is talking for him. Yesterday, he sat by me and quietly recited the whole alphabet. He started it himself and grinned at me as if to say "Are you hearing this?"

Yes, baby. I heard every letter.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mama's Walking on the Wild Side

Mama's Walking on the Wild Side

10 Things I Have Learned in 4 Years of Motherhood

  1. If I rip the delicate little tab off then I will reach for packing tape instead of another diaper.
  2. I can tell you which of my kids has soiled themselves just by the smell.
  3. I can walk down 3 grocery store aisles with my daughter hanging from my shirt, bringing the neckline down to my navel, and not notice a thing.
  4. Bubble baths are sacred.
  5. I can carry a boneless and shrieking 4-year old to the car and still remain cheerful in my tone of voice.
  6. I really don't care if they refuse to eat dinner one night. They're not going to starve. I just mentally make a note to be ready at breakfast.
  7. Poop, barf, spit, snot and other bodily fluids no longer gross me out. Bring on the nursing degree.
  8. My bed. MY. BED. NOT THEIRS.
  9. Cheapo notebooks are better coloring books than actual coloring books.
  10. Mothers are superheroes who believe that every single other mother is doing it better than they are.
Hug a mother today.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Girly Things

Usually I boast about how, even though I have prominent girl-parts, I eschew the usual girly parts of life. A small list:
  • makeup involving more than Bare Minerals and mascara
  • angst-ridden drama TV like Grey's Anatomy
  • reality TV like the Real Wives of NY or LA or Windsor or whoever is popular
  • gossip magazines or websites like Perez Hilton
and the biggie...
  • chick flicks
I like action, sci-fi and fantasy movies. Give me a good blow-em-up. I want to see superheros and underdogs. I want car chases or - even better - space battles.

However...I will make a confession here today. I have guilty pleasures. There are 5 main chick flicks that I honestly enjoy. Instead of hanging my head in shame, I will share them with you.

1) Just Like Heaven
Reese Witherspoon is a doctor. Mark Ruffalo is recovering from losing his wife. Reese gets in an accident and becomes a ghost haunting her apartment that Mark is now renting while he wallows in grief.

Wacky hijinks ensue.

2) Sweet Home Alabama
Reese Witherspoon (yes, again) is a Type-A clothing designer trying to make it big in the Big City. Her beautiful and incredibly well-bred boyfriend, Patrick Dempsey, proposes. She says yes but has to leave without explanation. She goes back home.

Because she's still married to the also beautiful Josh Lucas. And she's secretly from ALABAMA. She's a hick, y'all!

The hijinks. They ensue.

3) Life as We Know It
Boy (Josh Duhamel) meets Girl (Katherine Heigl) on a blind date set up by Besty McBesterfriends.

Boy: "You're too uptight and you don't like my rumpled hotness!"
Girl: "Don't make booty calls and get out of my Smart Car!"
Both: "Don't ever make us see each other again, Besty McBesterfriends!"

Cue the montage where Boy and Girl see each other all of the time because of Besty McBesterfriends. Baby is introduced and Boy and Girl both love her.

Besty McBesterfriends are lost and it is sad. Then Boy and Girl find out that they left the Baby for both of them to raise.

Here come the hijinks.

4) Moulin Rouge!

This one, I don't feel that guilty. The music is amazing. Ewan McGregor is tasty. Nicole Kidman can SANG. The sets, the costumes, the songs...

Even John Leguizamo can't mess this one up.

These hijinks are dramatic and sweeping.

5) Steel Magnolias
This is my favorite movie of all time. I saw it for the first time when I was in 6th grade. (Thank you, Melissa!) The cast is amazing. The writing is perfect. The story makes me laugh and cry every single time. I cannot wait to watch this with my daughters.

The best part? The quotes:

"It's got gray icing, I can't even begin to think how you make gray icing"

"I'd recognize this penmanship anywhere. You have the handwritin' of a serial killer."

"I don't like her. I don't trust anyone who does their own hair. I don't think it's natural."

"This is in the freezes beautifully section of my cookbook, and I wanted to bring something that freezes beautifully"

So there you have it. I have confessed!

(links and images from Wikipedia)


I'm not asleep.

I'm up and obsessing.

There's just too much in my brain.

What needs to be done to make this house habitable?
What does Sophie need next?
Does the pediatrician have all of the shot records for all of the kids?
Where does Gideon need to go first to be evaluated?
Did I put my delicates in the dryer?
How in the world am I going to do all of this house stuff by myself?
Why did I eat so many Reese's Eggs?
Should I feel bad for not taking the kids to an Easter Egg hunt?
The kids hate candy and crowds so why am I beating myself up?
Seriously, where are my delicates?
How clean does my house need to be before I can call in a maid service?
How do I get rid of those ants in the front yard?
How am I supposed to get myself to the doctor with three kids in tow?
Is there an eye doctor able to see my weirdo kids?
Is it really 2 AM?
Would anyone notice if I went to go get cigarettes?
How many lists can one person make in one night?

On and on and on and on...

I hate depression.
I hate anxiety.

I hate this.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wednesday Whine

You don't have to read it. Just let me get it out.

Yesterday, DFW was hit with a dozen tornadoes. I am so not exaggerating. I spent two hours in the small bathroom surrounded by toys, snacks, pillows and blankets with my three kids.

Going to the mattresses means something different in Texas.

That was two hours of telling the kids that NO we can't go watch Mickey and please sit down and how about we watch something on Mama's computer and PLEASE STOP KICKING EACH OTHER.

After about 30 minutes, I was ready for the tornado to take us. Praise God for wireless internet, laptops and You Tube.

Today we're all cranky and discombobulated. We can't go outside to hit their reset buttons. It's way too muddy and there are ants everywhere. Sophie took one look and said "No. Icky." Gideon headed straight for the biggest puddle of mud he could find until I yanked him back.

My head is killing me. Snot from Mars is trying to suffocate me along with the Texas pollen that was kicked up yesterday.

Milly isn't happy unless she is hunting down another basket of toys to upend and scatter to the four winds. Actually, all of the kids just want the toys spread in a fine layer on the living room floor. They don't really want to play with them. I guess they just want to see every single one.

If I step on that stupid giraffe Little People toy again then it's going to the moon.

I feel terrible complaining when we have it so easy. People lost homes, cars and were severely injured yesterday. My family is safe. The house is fine.

I just don't feel good and the kids are running me ragged. Sorry for the whine.