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Monday, November 10, 2014

Big Moves or.. Santa's Sneaky Surprise

If you've been reading for a long time... like, forever, then you may remember me talking about how we have rented out an in law apartment in our home for the past six years.

Which means, we have always shared a wall. Everyday that we have been here.

Can you just think about that for a minute?

Let it really sink in.

Think about your own life, with however many kids you have or don't have... and imagine SHARING A WALL... as in... always being careful not to be too loud, yell too much, be too crazy.

You get the idea.

Now that the kids are older... I am pretty damn tired of shushing everybody all the time.

Plus, I recently read this thing that said, "Let them be little..." And when I read it, my, "Mom Guilt," went into over drive...

Because for every minute that I let them, "be little," outside the house... I almost NEVER let them be little when they are near our "shared wall"... and that sucks for them.

I want them to have their own space to create, and relax, and learn... and also... I want all the toys in ONE PLACE.

So when our current tenant said that she has to move out we decided... alright, enough is enough, let's take back our house.

The very scary plan is to walk away from the added income, and reclaim that portion of our home as, our home.

Which it has never been for even one day since we have lived here.

We have never known our home to have it's full square footage, but we will soon.

Although we aren't 100% comfortable with the idea of no longer having that extra money every month, I am even more uncomfortable with having to interview tenants and a share a wall any longer.

The older the kids get, the less I like the idea.

And so... we have decided that Santa will bring a very low budget, "use-what-you've-got," play room.

I am absolutely 100% asking for your expertise in this area!! If you have a "toys only," play room.. PLEASE... tell me what works! And what is a cheap way to get it to function well for our kids!!

Our babies have never known a room that is exclusively for their toys, and instead have toys LITERALLY CRAMMED into every damn spare spot in our house.

But... Santa has spoken, and has suggested bean bag chairs, a wall mounted TV and all the cheap, second hand, toy storage he can get his hands on.

And so... for every single night of the month of December, if you need us... you'll find us quietly sneaking toys into the other side of our house, painting the walls, hanging window treatments... you name it.

And our sweet nosey little cherubs will never know, because we wont tell them that no one is living there.

On Christmas morning.... the plan... is to have big boot prints and Christmas Carols lead the way to a doorway in our home that has always been locked, and insulated with not one, but two doors.

Except on Christmas morning... I'm thinking ribbons... and Christmas lights hanging from the ceiling... maybe an art display and match box car storage.... old toys, new toys, long forgotten toys, wrapped toys, big toys, little toys.....



I honestly have NO IDEA where to begin to make this a functional room for all of us, but I am EXCITED to hear your ideas.

Annnnnnd..... lest I forget that reclaiming that part of our home will mean having my WASHER AND DRYER ON THE FIRST FLOOR... and a FULL EXTRA BATHROOM!!!

Annnnd... a HUMONGOUS CLOSET that has been hiding over there for year and years and is finally, about to become... all ours.

I mean... we might never move now. For real.

I can not wait, wait, wait.

We may be eating Ramen Noodles on Christmas Day.... but Gosh Darn it... our kids will be in a room just for them, full of all the toys in all the land and we... we... WE.....

Will not!!!!!!

IT'S A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!!!

At least.... I hope it will be.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Thunder Thighs & Bow Ties

Sometimes I come across a product that I just love so much that if I had the money, I'd buy it for all of you.

Seriously.

You all know that I am a sucker for all things photo shooty with my kids.

I love to find the perfect setting, the perfect adorable outfit, perfect backdrop... you name it, I like it.

But sometimes, let's be honest, kids can be a real pain in the ass when we want to take their pictures.

So, when I found these cool, like, ingenious bow ties that just SNAP ON AND OFF A ONESIE for Boo to wear for a photo shoot...



I was all... I need to tell my people!

I need to tell the world!

There is an easier way to take baby boy bow tie photos... it does not involve clasping, and unclasping... or pulling onesies on and off...

It's as simple as snap snap.... seriously.

The deal is, for the littlest ones anyway, you buy a onesie with snaps and then buy a few bow ties to go with it.

It's all super affordable too... For real you can trust this bargain babe on that one.

No one paid me to say this, I was just that happy with how easily and quickly this whole process went that I wanted to tell you all about this adorable little company that I found that makes... you guessed it, adorable little bow ties.

Lennon And Co. can be found on Etsy, and Instagram, and is currently having a sale... (save 20% on orders of $10 or more using code STUFFING20, ends 11/9).

Again, no one told me to tell you how much I love their stuff, I just think it's a cool product, and would make a great baby gift.

It was literally SECONDS in between bow ties... it took my friend longer to put out the new set than it did for me to change his bow ties, and we all know with babies and photos, every second counts.

See how much my guys love their stuff??


Boyfriend is wearing a clip on "Big Kid," bow tie to match Boo... I know.

When I found out that Lennon And Co will pretty much make anything you can dream of, I knew I had to have a hairbow for my Girlfriend.

Kids in matching outfits leave me dead on the floor from cuteness.

I.
Just.
Can't.


Check them out, they are cheap, and easy to change in and out... what's better than that?!

You're welcome!!!


**Special thanks to JCole Photography for always taking such great pictures of my monsters.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Boyfriend's Clothes

I'm going to admit that I have recently had an "ah-ha" moment... and my thoughts on this have suddenly changed...

BUT... before my recent "ah-ha" moment... Boyfriend and I have had some serious fights about clothes.

Listen, I'm not proud of the fact that my son and I are fighting over something as dumb as what he wears to school.

But, we are... or were... before my epiphany.

The kid is just such a woman about his clothes.

I'm sorry, I shouldn't make fun of my own child but for real, he freaks the eff out about what he wears the same exact way that I did... WHEN I WAS TWELVE.

But he's FIVE!!!

And also... I HAVE TWO HUGE CLOSETS BURSTING AT THE SEAMS OF RALPH LAUREN CLOTHES THAT NO ONE WEARS!!

Grrr...

You know what... sometimes it just feels fucking good to write in caps when you're mad about something, amIright?

I think I am.

Anyway... any time Boyfriend is rude, or fresh, or punches his sister in her head... I tell him I get to pick out his shirt the next day for school.

Mostly because it's the only thing that he cares about, he doesn't use an ipad, or video game....

He doesn't care about his toys enough to take one single one away, but take away a ninja turtle shirt and the kid has a damn heart attack.


Maybe I shouldn't go for where it hurts, but hey, a Mom has got to get a little respect ya know?

Anyway, here's the part where I throw myself under the bus.

I should just get the fuck over it.


Who cares what he wears.

I mean... he should respect me... but I'm sure he can do that while he's wearing a super hero shirt, ya know??


I'm on this tag sale page on Facebook... and this lunatic lady who is always trying to search for things to fill her house with, posted that she was searching for dinosaurs, trucks, and ninja turtles.


And then all these moms were like, "I have them!! I have them!! My son wont look at them.!!"

And that's when it hit me.

These damn super hero shirts that I am fighting with my five year old about every morning...

One morning, I'm going to wake up and he isn't going to ask to wear one.


One day, I'm going to wake up and he will beg for the GAP shirts that I'm pushing on him, for the Polo and Vineyard Vines.

Soon enough he will beg for expensive clothes and I will go broke trying to make him happy because by then, the hand me downs will have surely stopped coming.

Before long the Ninja Turtle phase will give way to something else...



And then my baby will be even more of  a child...

The toys will gather dust and I will want to punch myself in the throat for rushing things like striped shirts.

And I will be missing the times when all he wanted to be when he grew up was a super hero that married his mom.

So... I just need to get a freaking life... and let the kid wear whatever the hell he wants.



Except on picture day...

I may have had an epiphany but I have not lost my damn mind... the kid will dress normal on picture day.

Because I want to remember just one day of his kindergarten self without a turtle shell stomach..

But as for today, and for the rest of the year he can wear whatever the hell he wants, because if he's happy, I'm happy.



So... turtle shell it up kid (except on picture day).

But watch your Mouth and respect your Mother...

Or you're gonna find ME in your classroom wearing my own super hero shirt, AND cape, AND eye mask, AND UNDERWEAR...

And I'll be all, "Whose cool now, DUDE??"

Yeh, that's what I thought.

Word to your Mother.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Husband Said...

Husband went grocery shopping last week, and while I'm always trying to save a buck... there are some things that I just wont budge on.

Like peanut butter.

I opened the bag, and there was a tub of Skippy.

Me: Um... what the hell is this?

Him: (not even looking at me) Peanut Butter.

Me: How'd you know what I was holding?

Him: Cause I knew when I bought it that you were going to complain about it.

Me: Well, choosy Mom's choose Jif.

Him: Welp, broke Dad's choose Skippy.

And there you have it... broke Dad's choose Skippy.
 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Mah Girl

I grew up in your average American town, and did all the things that average American kids and teenagers do...

Nothing crazy, but I was fresh every once in awhile... I went to a keg party, or two, on a Golf Course... I threw parties in my parent's basement, that kind of thing.

Not to sound like a line from "Butterfly Kisses", but for all the things that I have done wrong ... there are just a few that I would like to think that I am doing very right.

And I am so proud to say that a lot of them are wound up in this ball of baby girl right here.


I often preach to my children lessons that I didn't understand, follow, or accept as a child...

Ones that would have made me an infinitely more likeable youth, I'm sure.

Alas... I missed the boat on the important stuff, like most teenage girls did... and I cared more about being popular than I did about being nice sometimes.


So as an adult, I try every single day to instill what is important to me NOW into my children.

And someone is listening.


My Girlfriend is just the sweetest, most out going, open minded, loving little dollop on the planet.


Ask her who she thinks is beautiful... go ahead, ask her, ask her, ask her...

She will say: EVERYONE!!!!

Ask her who her best friend is... ask her! Go on! Do it!

She will say: EVERYONE!!!

My Girlfriend, God love her, thinks that every person she meets is fantastic, and INTERESTING!! And exciting!!

She thinks every outfit is just the most wonderful expression of herself, and has the sass and class to prove it!


Even the kids who may cause a little bit of trouble, she loves to learn about them... to tell me why they are having a hard time, to talk out what might make their day better.

She loves all the animals, all the people, all the plants, books, trees, and THINGS!!! She just LOVES. IT. ALL.


Now trust me...

She is still a handful, and will without a doubt give me a helluva time when she is 15... she might hate everyone in her path in ten years... never leave her room and change her name to Elvira...

But for now, oh for now...


She is an independent, accepting, free spirited, pile of love for others....


And for that I am so, so very proud.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Eight Months.

Here we are... four months shy of  one year.


I have started planning what will probably be the very last first birthday party that I will ever throw for my children.

My guts hurt to even type that.

Why the Hell didn't I marry Jim Bob Duggar??

Give me all the babies... I want fifty more.


Boo gave us a scare this past month when he got very sick for a whole week with a bad virus that landed him in the ER.

He started his 8th month by cutting six teeth at once... only one has fully come through, leaving him with three full teeth, and eight little nubbins on their way in.

This past month brought sitting... which you know made my heart so happy because... hello... pictures!!


Now the nuggets can take pictures together in a little pile of love.


Let me tell you something about Boo.. he loves, loves, loves his siblings.

If he is fussing while I make dinner, I send one of the kids to stand next to his high chair and he is instantly happy.

Sitting brought the beauty of watching them all play together... be still my heart.


Also... he just decided that he is over being a baby... I mean, look at this kid he's all like, "Cheeese."


I know... he's like a toddler.


Siggh...

We are still exclusively nursing and I am loving the quick quiet two hours that we get together while Girlfriend is at school.


I make sure to snap pictures of all the little baby-ness that I know that I will miss as soon as we stop nursing. Like these little feet that stick out from under the blanket when we nap / nurse together.

I tell myself that unless he is sleeping I wont clean, or work, or do anything for anyone... I just look at my baby.

Being a third time around Mom means that I am smart enough to know that it doesn't matter what I look like in pictures with the kids, as long as there are pictures of me with the kids.


It is so freeing to not hide behind the camera and just instead say screw it... I'm all in... messy hair and all.

Boo started doing this raspy little dinosaur babble this month, which I just want to bottle and rub all over my face and ears.

I like to kind of pile fifty pillows around him and watch him just sit and smile. He just smiles all the damn time.


I have never IN MY LIFE known someone to smile as much as Boo... never ever.


He isn't super into food still, but I did give him chicken thighs last week (the perks of being the third baby) and if he could have said, "Hell Yeh,"I think he would have.

He was also a huge fan of taking a bath with both siblings...


Which happened once and only once because they were all so damn excited about it that I couldn't control all the chaos so..... that's on the back burner until bathing in life jackets becomes acceptable.

My very favorite part is that I am still his favorite.

He still makes a funny little noise and flails his little hands when I walk into the room... my little interpretive dancer, he has blessed us in so many ways.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Having Three...

A lot of people ask me what it's like to have three kids...

And since I never have much time, I usually resort to... "It's crazy."

But since they are all asleep, and I lack the ability to sleep... here I am, with time on my hands and thoughts on my mind.

Having three... that are close in age... is like a constant balancing act.

There is always, ALWAYS something going on... and always someone that needs my attention.

Two weeks ago we hit the Doctor two different times for two different kids, the ER for one... had a screaming match with another over a coat, which ended in him slamming the door into the wall and breaking the dry wall.....

Another threw a fit in the front of school when I picked her up, another got two teeth, I got my hair done while all three kids sat in the salon and waited for me, Husband traveled to VA for three days... another peed in both bunk beds in one night, another had a COMPLETE melt down at the park and ran clear across the parking lot... alone...

And to top it all off I SWALLOWED A TOOTHBRUSH BRISTLE and had to go to the walk in.

Oh yes I did have to say that to the receptionist.

For real... I could not make this shit up if I tried.

I used to spend my evenings blogging about my days, but now I spend them either passed out by 8 pm, doing laundry, working for my dad's business, or cleaning... all while sitting next to my husband, who I'm sure would love some of my time too.

Three kids is hard work... it is way more than two... especially if you have real life kids like we do.

Not those kids that don't make messes, don't play with toys and have nine million rules.

We have rules but we have a real life home too... we let them play and live.

I am grateful every single second of every single long day of my life for my babies... because I know that there are people out there doing everything in their power to get pregnant, stay pregnant, have babies... you name it.

I don't take one inch of this life for granted... but I am only human and get frustrated when I pick up spilled juice and crunched cheez-it's fifty times a day.

When I had only one baby, I was a lot easier to push around... I was a lot more impressionable and let a lot of people give me their input on my parenting style.

Even people with no kids.

Since then I have removed those people from my life and I have to say that as crazy as life is with three... I like MYSELF as a WOMAN and a MOTHER so much more.

I am more confident in my decisions, I don't let people tell me how to do things and I don't care what people think about the way I do things.

Having a third child taught me to be proud of myself and more understanding with myself.

To forgive myself for bad days, and to be proud of myself for the great ones.

Having a third child taught me that this shit is no joke... it is hard work!

I respect myself as a woman and as a mother 100 times more because having that third kid is like the next level... and I like to think that I am doing a pretty good job holding everything together.

These are life lessons that girls can not understand... you need to be a woman to understand that you are enough and are doing enough at every corner and turn.

So for all the times that I don't do things exactly right... I know that within the four walls of my home, there are three little people that thing I am doing things absolutely perfect.

And that's what having three has taught me...

How to be a better, more understanding, less judgemental person...

One that doesn't care how you're parenting, as long as you are doing just that... parenting.

One that doesn't care as much about the little things... because the little things will always be little things...

But little people... won't.

The difference between two and three is that you will be tested, how far can one human stretch to keep all the other humans happy...

With two there is extra hours in the day...

With three, at least right now, at this point in our lives... there are no extra minutes, let alone hours...

And because I know that in a few short years they will all be in school full time, and the house will suddenly be quiet and no one will need more from 8-3...

I am loving this crazy life... and I'm savoring every last squishy, smelly, messy minute of it.


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