Thursday, May 31, 2012

Moving And The Chaos That Ensues (And Precedes)

I did the math the other day, and realized that I have moved an average of once every 18-24 months since I was born.  Now, not all of those moves were across the country or anything, some were just down the street, but still, that's a lot of moving in my lifetime.  As a result, I think you could say I'm becoming an packing expert.  

I have one tip for you guys: go to the liquor store to get moving boxes.  They are free, sturdy, clean, and a very good size.  Plus, many come with a cardboard bottle separator insert which is perfect for packing glasses without having to wrap them in tissue paper.  The only problem is that the people helping you move might suspect you are an alcoholic, or may be angry you aren't offering them a margarita for their troubles, since it looks like you have a case of Jose Cuervo somewhere.

Anyway, Cam took the kids to the park twice this weekend, for 1-2 hours each time, and I managed to get the entire kitchen and 75% of everything else packed in that time.  Like I said, I'm pretty much an expert, at this point.  

Here's another quick packing tip: don't have much stuff.  It's the stuff that takes so long to pack.  I figure, if it could be in a box for 6 months without me remembering it, it's not worth keeping (the only exception being my box of Christmas decoration).  Unfortunately, my husband has slight hoarding tendencies, so we aren't quite as spartan as I would like, but that's what marriage is...a compromise.

We get the keys to the new place tomorrow.  The apartment manager is showing the apartment we are currently in this evening.  We have to be out of here by Sunday.  My sister-in-law and her two boys and big dog are all stopping by on their vacation travels.  My sister is coming to stay with us for a few weeks.  It's a little crazy here, let me just tell you.  I'm also not sure how smoothly our internet transition will be, I can't guarantee uninterrupted service so you may not get an update or a movie critique or pictures of my super cute kids for a few days.  Don't cry, though, I'll be back soon enough, until then, here's a random picture for you, of gigantic Hobbit-y kid feet, and mine.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Snow White

I saw this poster today:

Or, wait, what about this one?

Oh, and how 'bout this one?

I'll tell you what the biggest scare for me is, regarding movie advertisements.  It's when the single most important thing about the movie, the thing they put at the very top of the poster, is a reference to the last movie one of the Producers threw some money at that did halfway decent...two years ago.  You know it's the most important thing, because it's at the top of EVERY movie poster that comes out for this movie.

I guess it sounds better than putting, "directed by a guy you've never heard of because this is his first movie," at the top of the poster.

This, my friends, is what Snow White and the Huntsman has going for it: that girl from Twilight, Thor (are they ever going to let that poor guy shave?), Charlize Theron, some imagery created by someone who's watched "The Crow" too many times, and a producer of Alice in Wonderland.  

Oh, and not to mention the sudden influx of all things Snow White.  Let's see, there's tv Snow White:

Oh, and did-you-know-Phil-Collins-had-a-kid Snow White:

Oh, but THIS new Snow White is edgy, you say?  Oh, they've NEVER done that before.  Oh, wait, there was that one with Sigourney Weaver and Sam Neill, "Snow White: A Tale of Terror," from the Producer of "Save The Last Dance 2."  Hint: it didn't do too well.

Yes, I'm being critical, but I'm pretty sure "Snow White and the Huntsman" will do just fine.  Do you know why?  Because it has that girl from Twilight, Thor, Charlize Theron, some imagery created by someone who's watched "The Crow" too many times, and a producer of Alice in Wonderland, not to mention a pseudo-feminist girls-kick-butt thing going on.  That, my friends, is enough to ensure that teenage girls will drag their boyfriends which, in turn, equals box office ka-ching.  

And what else really matters in the world of movies?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pinterest Perfect

It's a bit after 9am, and I've had 2 rather large mugs of coffee, started a load of laundry, taken a shower, and made a pan full of mushrooms and eggs that the kids refused to eat.  This is a productive morning, for me, usually I'm lucky if I've finished my coffee and managed to pour the kids a bowl of Cheerios by 9am.  

I guess I'm not exactly what you'd call Pinterest Perfect Mom/Wife.  As far as I can tell, these are the qualifications:

1. You have to be able to make a healthy gourmet meal using fresh, local ingredients.  Bonus points if you make all your month's meals all in one day and freeze them.  Extra bonus points if you can make cute little  landscapes and bunny scenes on the plates for your kids to enjoy.

2.  You have to have a perfectly decorated and clean house.  The furniture and decor should be mostly refurbished thrift store/garage sale/dumpster diving finds, accentuated by clever copies of etsy prints/crafts.  You should not use commercial cleaning products, unless you find Method or Mrs. Meyers double coupons you can stack and add to a sale for a overage.  Otherwise, if it can't be cleaned with white vinegar, borax, baking soda, and essencial oils, it's probably not worth cleaning.

3.  Speaking of coupons, your groceries shouldn't cost more than $75/week for a family of 6.

4.  Your family's clothes have to come second hand, or should be homemade.  This includes, but is not limited to, making little girls dresses out of men's dress shirts and baby creepers out of old tees.  Clothes can be worn as long as they can be patched or hemmed.

5.  You have to have rock hard abs.  No excuses.  If those children with peg legs can run 12 miles a day, so can you.

6.  You have to cultivate your relationship with your husband, including clever weekly dates that cost very little money.  To do this, if you have children, you'll either need to trade for babysitting or have your "date" at home after the kids go to bed, paying for babysitting is a big no-no.

7.  Speaking of finances, if you are spending $100 on something, it should be Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University.  You shouldn't have any debt, and you'd better be paying cash for that car and home.

8.  Your kids have to be homeschooled, or, at least, you should be supplementing their education with (free) printable worksheets and summer trips to the museum and zoo and Colonial Williamsburg during family free day.

I'm sure there's more, but I'm bored and forgot the point I was trying to make.  Oh yeah, I was just trying to say, that's not me.  Not a single one.  Especially #5.

I also have a little secret to share.  I can't sew.  Not even a tiny bit, not even a stitch.  That's a sewing word, right?  As far as I can tell, this exempts me from being both a Proverbs 31 wife and a Pinterest Perfect Mother.  You wanna know another secret?  I probably won't ever learn.  First, because I don't want to, second, because it seems boring, third, because I'm bored easily.  Thus, I will NEVER be a Pinterest Perfect Mother.  And that doesn't bother me.

At first I was kind of upset about it, because I really wanted to make these pillows I found online:

But then I found this pillow at World Market.  Sure, it probably cost 6 times as much as the material would've for the other (if I was being super frugal), but it took me a fraction of the time.  In fact, I just walked into the store, loved it, bought it.

Pinterest Perfect?  No.

Generally happy?  Yupper-doodle.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Some Thoughts On Or Before a 3-day Weekend

This morning I was woken up rudely by a 3-year old who insisted "I poopy, mom.  I STINKY, mom."  Oh, and indeed she was...she had pooped in her Pull-up, taken off her Pull-up to sit on the potty (rather ineffectually), and then tracked poop throughout the house.  What a way to wake up, though it only reinforced my belief that moving next week to a home with tiled instead of carpeted bathrooms is indeed the right decision.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to this 3-day weekend.  First thing on the agenda is to take advantage of some of the Memorial Day sales and try and find some t-shirts for me.  All mine have been stretched out by little hands who like to grab and pull while playing "horsey."  The Gap is having a sale on v-neck pocket tees so I'm gonna to pick up a few, probably.  Is it just me, or are all moms the last ones to get clothes?  Jubee and Sam are super well dressed, always, and Cam is as well dressed as he wants to be, but I always look like a crazy slob.  Haha.

I'm pretty convinced Sammy could be a babyGap model...

...and Jubee can be awfully cute when her hair is under control...

...but pictures of me, well....

Like I said, maybe a new t-shirt will help.  Er.  Maybe.

Anyway, the rest of our weekend is going to be spent packing and cleaning, most likely.  We don't have a grill here, yet, and so we won't be able to celebrate Memorial Day the traditional way, but I'm reasonably sure we'll have a good time anyway.

P.S. I know those are older pictures of the kids.  I have newer ones to prove that what I say is still valid:


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Disregard This Post

Ben Franklin once wrote: " this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."  I'm not so sure I agree.  As a Christian, the death thing is fairly uncertain depending on how one sees "death," and taxes depends quite a bit on income and allowances and whatnot.  

There is only one thing regarding parenting I feel absolutely certain of, and it is this:

The things I was pretty sure were true yesterday are naive and/or idiotic today, and the things that I'm pretty sure are true today will seem naive and/or idiotic tomorrow.

In other words, if I ever say anything that sounds like parenting advice, ignore it.  I pretty much ignore all advice by anyone who has less than 3 kids or whose kids are younger than 5.  I mean, how much can we possibly know, right? 

This post is starting to sound a lot like parenting advice.  Ignore it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Confessions of a Stay at Home Mom

Hey, have you guys seen this Gallup poll "Stay-at-Home Moms Report More Depression, Sadness, Anger"?  It's been making the rounds 'round the net the last few days, with responses ranging from "of course stay-at-home-mom's are more depressed, why the heck would someone do that?" to "well of course being a stay-at-home-mom is hard, but does that make it not worth doing?"

I thought I'd address the other side of it, as a stay-at-home-mom who would, at this moment if anyone asked me, report a rather low worry/sadness/stress/anger/depression level, but on the other hand, really hated working a full time job when I had one and no kids.

My two kids (3 and 4) wake me up somewhere between 5 and 7am every day, and, just so you know, I would much rather be woken up by raspberries being blow into my hair than an alarm clock beep-beep-beeping at me.

The kids potty, and then watch cartoons for an hour or so while I set up my french press and drink the whole thing while I try to wake up.  We finally get cleaned up and breakfasted, and, if the weather's nice, head to the park/playground, where we stay until lunch time.  Yup, that's three hours where the kids play in the warm sun, and I sit on a park bench and, while I keep half an eye on them at all times, I sip coffee and read.

We come home, eat lunch, and they go down for "nap time," though only one of them actually sleeps. This is when I get stuff done, I clean whatever needs to be cleaned, I pay my bills, I write a random blog article, look up Ryan Gosling get the idea.

After nap time, we play Candyland until my three-year-old starts screaming that she wants to be on the ice cream square NOW, and then we color or play with lego or something like that.  We discuss ABCs and 123s and talk about Life, the Universe, and Everything.  Eventually, they go play by themselves, and I make dinner...if they are all up in my business, I turn on a cartoon to distract them.  No guilt here, I'd rather they watch an extra hour of tv than burn themselves trying to trip me while I cook.

Family dinnertime when hubs gets home, and then I clean up while hubs plays Donkey Kong or Mario with the kids, and then we take turns going for a walk/jog/run.

Now, I don't know what it's like being a working mom, but I did work full time before I was a mom.  My day consisted of alarm clocks, bad coffee at work, uncomfortable chairs, harsh florescent lighting, irritated customers, ineffectual managers, and take out for dinner.  We had a perpetually messy house, and no energy to do anything.

I was worried about money, even though we had two incomes neither were very good, and I didn't have time/energy to work on a budget or even learn how to do a budget, plus we ate out so often since we didn't know how to cook and both of us came home starving.

I was sad, my whole life revolved around spending most of my waking hours in a place I disliked with people who I didn't care for and didn't care for me, for the most part.

I was stressed, yes.  I was angry occasionally.  I probably wasn't depressed, but I don't lean in that direction naturally.

What I took away from this poll is that there women who are staying at home with their kids when they obviously need something else, just as there are women who are working who would rather be with their kids.  Being a working mom isn't for everyone.  Being a stay-at-home-mom isn't for everyone.  It does work for me, though.

Disclaimer: I am mostly in the "of course being a stay-at-home-mom is hard, but does that make it not worth doing?" camp, but I also think if you're miserable, do something else.  "Do something else" doesn't necessarily mean send the kids to daycare and get a job, though; I think most of our mom stress comes not from what we are doing, but the preoccupation that we are doing it wrong.  If you file a piece of paper wrong at work, who gets hurt? but if your kid eats too much gluten, doesn't get visually stimulated by a Sophie Giraffe, watches too many episodes of Yo Gabba Gabba, and then knocks over a 7-11 on your watch, that's all on you.  That's stress, my friend.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Concerning Toothbrushes

You know that moment, the one when you realize your toothbrush is simply too old?  I had a moment like that last week.  I wrote "toothbrush" down on my to-buy-next-time-I-get-to-a-store list, between aluminum foil and laundry detergent.

It's a bittersweet emotion, new toothbrush buying.  On one hand, it's sad to lose something as intimate as the bristly stick I have shoved in my mouth at least twice a day for the last few months, but on the other, there's something so exciting about picking out a new one. And there's so many questions:

What color should I get?

Should I get one that's simply bristles, or should I get one with the rubbery things sticking out of it that I'm pretty sure don't actually do anything except for make the toothbrush cost more?

Does cost = worth in the case of toothbrushes?

Should I go for the simplicity of a simple stick, or do I need an ergonomically-designed toothbrush with rubbery pads that I assume are there to make sure that my fingers don't blister with all my frequent and intense brushing?

Yes, it's a gradual build up of emotion, from the realization to the choosing, culminating in the final, irrevocable moment when the old toothbrush is removed from it's place of honor in the toothbrush holder, replaced, usurped, by the new.

For a week, every time I notice it, I am shocked by the change in toothbrush, and irritated by the difference in bristle stiffness.  Soon, though, I get used to the new toothbrush, it becomes a comfortable old friend, until the cycle begins anew a few months later.

I'm starting to think I may have a slightly obsessive personality.

Monday, May 14, 2012

I'm baack.

Yup, I'm back from my mini vacation in Utah.  As I threatened, we took the kids to the bounce houses, ate at In-and-Out Burgers, and went to Ikea.  But our trip was so much more than just that.

I realized that my in-laws coffee pot looked just like Darth Vader:

The kids got to sit in an airplane at their grandpa's work:

Jubee danced in grandma's living room:

Sammy took an occasional nap:

Jubee made an Ellen Ripley pose with a nerf gun:

And I bought these throw pillows at World Market:

Now, I know this may seem a little dull for a vacation, but that's what I think a vacation should be; Coffee, food, resting, shopping, hanging out with awesome people.

And I know, I know, the owl craze is getting a little old.  I still like them, though, they remind me of Glimfeather in The Silver Chair.  Actually, I'm really into all the woodland creatures right now, because of Narnia...every mouse is Reepicheep and every beaver is Mr. or Mrs. Beaver.  Haha.  I think I'm about full up on owls, though, this throw pillow is probably going to be it, I just couldn't resist because I love the colors and the buttons on the eyes and everything.  I love the green pillow, too, because of the same kind of buttons, and the orange-y pink pillow is yellow on the other side, and the blue pillow is green on the other side, and I love the color combinations here.  I'm renting so my walls are white and I need all the color I can get.

FYI...I don't want owl tchotchkes for Christmas.  Please.  I think I now have enough now.  I have a terrible mental image of having to buy a curio cabinet to hold hundreds of little ceramic owls.  The only exception is something handmade, if you are going to buy/make me a illustration like this...

...I'll take it.

Friday, May 4, 2012

May the 4th Be With You

Happy Star Wars Day everyone!

Stay away from Rancors...

...always shoot first...

...may your Tauntaun always be warm...

...these aren't the droids you're looking for...

...and remember, there is never a bad time for a Princess Leia hat.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Apartment Hunting Update

We signed a lease on that townhome yesterday!  I'm so excited to be getting out of here, and we feel really good about the decision.

In less than a month, we'll have easy-to-clean bathrooms, a garage, and a backyard.  It's going to be so awesome!  I'm also going to have a stove that isn't glass top, so I can use a cast iron skillet again.  This may not seem like a big deal to you guys, oh, but it is.

Also, even though this place is super boring, it does have one thing going for it: an amazing master bedroom!  It's going to look so great with our new Ikea bedroom furniture!  I really love this set, it's super sturdy (something I was worried about), and I love the simple lines and the grey-brown color.

It's funny, though, every time I move I think, "jeez, I hope I don't have to move again for a long time," but then by the time it's time to move, I'm really excited about the change.  I'm not sure what that says about me.

Anyway, I have my 'rents-in-law coming tomorrow to celebrate Mother's Day early (we haven't lived close enough to my Mother-in-law to celebrate with her in years), and then the tots and I are going back to Utah with them to escape the apartment showings here next week.  I really love my in-laws, so this isn't a  stressful thing like some of you are probably imagining, it's actually going to be a blast!  We are going to Ikea and World Market to get some stuff for the new place, and we are going to take the kids to this indoor play thing they love with bounce houses...

...and go get In-and-Out Burgers...

...and let them snuggle their grandparents...

...and take them to this park Sammy loves with a swinging thing on a track he can actually reach...

Long story short, I need to start cleaning.  My devoted fans (all 5 of you, you know who you are) will be devastated to know that I won't be blogging for the next week or so.  Rest assured, though, I'll be back, with lots of toddler pictures and stories about kids pooping in their pants in the middle of Ikea, or throwing Swedish meatballs at each other, or eating the buttons off throw pillows, or something like that.

I just realized how many of my stories involve toddlers pooping, not eating what they should, or eating what they shouldn't.  I apologize sincerely, and will try to convince my kids to do non-digestive things that are noteworthy.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hobbit Feet and Chocolate Pudding

I feel like someone needs to address the elephant in the room:

What is with Sammy's huge hobbit feet?  I know, right?  I need to grow his hair out all floppy again and start calling him Samwise, people won't even be able to tell the difference.  Of course, I may need to break out the Sharpie to draw in some fake hair on his'd be embarrassing to be a bald-footed (feeted?) hobbit.

We've actually been experimenting with hair drawn on with Sharpies.  Sammy walked up to me yesterday before Cam got home from work, put his fingers under his nose, and said he was daddy.  I thought that was so funny, I drew a little mustache on his fingers.  He thought it was funny, too, until he realized his fingers were "dirty," and demanded I "clean up, mommy."

In other news, the tots and I made chocolate pudding for breakfast.  Yeah, it was pretty much the best breakfast ever, and, considering we ate two avocados between the three of us, pretty healthy.  Of course, it was totally caloric, and now I feel a little sick.  You know what would be good in it, though?  Some orange zest.  I love a chocolate and orange combo.  Oh, or ginger, chocolate and ginger is a great combo, too.  Or almond extract.  Or mint.  Or maybe a little rum for a post-toddler bedtime dessert.  The possibilities are endless.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Naptime Adventure

This afternoon something amazing and wonderful happened: Sammy took a nap.

Wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles.

I'm not really sure what happened, I told him to lay down when Jubee went down for her nap, he asked if he could lay down in my bed, I said, "why not? As long as you're quiet," and then he was asleep.  It was pretty much the most amazing thing that could've happened to me today.  No, I'm serious, I could've won the lotto and been less excited.

This is Sam at 12:45pm, when I noticed he was asleep:

This is Sam at 1:45pm:

This is Sam at 2:45pm, which is when I started to get a little nervous about bedtime this evening:

This is Sam at 3:05pm, finally awake:

So, what did I do with all this blissful free time while both kids napped?  I did what every good housewife would do...I cleaned the bathrooms and then watched House Hunters.  That is, I watched House Hunters until about 2pm, when Jubee: 

1. woke up
2. took off her pullup
3. pooped on her bedroom floor 
4. walked into the living room 
5. crawled onto my lap

Bliss gone.  Well, that was the bad news.  The good news is she didn't poop in her pullup.  That's what you call a successful potty training day.

You guys should consider yourselves lucky, I very nearly posted pictures of poo incident, but decided against it last minute.