Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving Y'all!


The rule in the house is whoever asks to eat first is the one to serve the others.  It started off as a way of getting the twins to share and slow down, but now it’s just an everyday thing. 

Yesterday Mercy walked in asking for lunch so I asked her to call Marshall in from outside so they could eat together (and so I wouldn’t have to make two lunches). 

As Marshall walked inside the house she pulled out his chair and said, “Sit down Marshall.  It’s time to eat.”  And without telling her she handed the first sandwich to him and said, “Here ya go Marshall.  Enjoy.”  He gave her a polite thank you and then jumped out of his seat to grab her sandwich and put it in front of her seat which she responded by saying, “Oh, thank you Marshall, you so sweet.” 

It was one of those proud mom moments where you think you might have this thing figured out. 

 

...and then before I could put the peanut butter away Marshall snatched Mercy’s sandwich and she grabbed his drink. 

The screaming and yelling was barely heard over my mental cussing. <sigh> 




Happy Thanksgiving Y'all!
Share the love with others, and keep the yelling to a minimum if you can. ;)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Don't Confuse the Truth with a Tantrum



I know it’s not popular to be polite. 

I realize that being a ‘bitch’ is in. 

But I was raised to kill others with kindness. 

And though that sounds weak and old fashioned. 

Every day I see proof of its value in the company I keep.


To me anger is a weakness because it’s easy.  It’s allowing your emotions to take over your mind and your morals.
Patience takes real strength.   You have to push the reactionary side of yourself back and think; “Is this person hurting and acting out.”  “Is this situation by chance my fault and not theirs?”  “What will resolve this situation so that we can both walk away from it unscathed?”  

We’re so quick to use our muscles (…the tongue being one of them) that we forget to engage our minds first. 

Yes, telling someone what is on our mind gives us instant satisfaction.  But when the smoke clears from our burning tongues and our minds take a deep cleansing breath, we’re left standing alone in the massacre of our own creation and no matter how much we’d like to think we’re better off alone… we’re not wired that way.


An independent woman isn’t someone who alienates herself from others. 
An independent woman is someone who knows her mind and is in control of herself. 


I’m not saying a woman can’t speak the truth, but don’t confuse telling the truth with having a tantrum. 


Wordless Wednesday: Dirty Little Boys

Time to pick up Karate Girl from school,
but no Little Man in sight.
It was a nice warm day, fresh tilled dirt
makes a great napping place.
 

My little green eyed monster is a big fan of dirt. 
 


I love my dirty little boy!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tuesday's Tea Party Blog Hop

The Blogger: But I don't want to go among mad people.
Alice: Oh, you can't help that. We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.
The Blogger: How do you know I'm mad?
Alice: You must be. Or you wouldn't have come here.
Welcome to Tuesday's Tea Party!!!
We all know blog hops are a great way to gain more followers, meet other bloggers and help each other out.  The daydreaming host:    Adventure Into Domesticland  and this weeks simply mad co-hosts:  Story of a Girl Moore Organized Mayhem 
How to do this nonsense:
1. Follow the host and 3 co-hosts (the first 4 links below).
2. Link up! - Your blog, Facebook, Twitter and/or Pinterest.
3. Grab the badge and post the hop on your blog.
Adventure Into Domesticland
Don't forget to return the favor to those who follow/visit you.  The party starts on Tuesday's and runs until the next Monday evening.  If you would like to be a co-host on this hop, email adventuresindomesticland(at)live(dot)com. Please be sure to link up under the right category! 





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Bladders, Blondie and Bosses


As you get older your bladder gets smaller.  I’m not sure that’s scientifically accurate, but in my mind… it’s fact.

Because of that 3:51 AM seems like a logical time to get up from a deep sleep to pee.  <bitter sigh>

At 3:52 I’m washing my hands and drying them off when I hear the kid’s bedroom door open.  I mentally cuss and wait.

3:52.5 Blondie walks in the bathroom complaining.  She rubs the sleep from her eyes like she’s mad at the world, flips the lid I just put down back up, tosses the potty seat on, rips her Pull Up off, doesn’t bother moving the step stool from beside the toilet to the front but instead just launches herself with one foot on the edge of the step stool and twists mid-air landing squarely on the seat. 

She pees immediately and says, without looking at me, “I need to wipe my butt.” It was funny two seconds after she said it, but that first second I wanted to give her a coming to Jesus speech.  Instead I tear her off a piece, she snatches it, wipes, jumps off the seat, flushes and grumbles, “I need a new diaper.”

I think at this point I salute her and told her to follow me.

It’s now 3:54 and as I’m walking to the kitchen to toss her old Pull Up in the trash I realize we’re out of them so I’ll have to go to the garage to get a spare.  (Let me interject that we were given some HUGE Pull Ups that fit children 60 to 100lbs.  Blondie is 32lbs… )

As I’m pulling out a spare from a cardboard box right outside the back door I’m assaulted by harsh florescent lights, about a dozen of them.  I have one eye closed and the other is no doubt in a bit of a scowl.  I turn around to find Blondie doing the same thing at me but with her hand outstretched for the Pull Up.  I hand the giant thing to her and she had the nerve to look at me with her one good eye and frown.

I snatch it back, put it on her and before she can complain I sit at the desk and told her to stand in front of me.  Now, we’ve used these before and I know that if I folded them down and use duct tape they’ll work in a pinch.  But the duct tape is in our bedroom (don’t ask) and I don’t want to wake the house pulling a large piece off.  I mean, you may not know this but you can wake the dead tearing that stuff.

So I use my MacGyver skills and staple one side and fold it down.  Don’t judge me, it worked.  Granted Blondie all but rolled her one good eye at me, but I told her not to complain and to go to bed.  She wasn’t moving though.  Instead she rubs her eyes again and says, “I’m hungry.”

“Child, it’s 3:00 AM, you are not eating.”

“But I’m hungry.”

“You are not, you are tired. Go to bed.”

“But…”

I pick her up, kiss her on the cheek and calmly tell her she’s sleepy.  (Every mom thinks she has the power of suggestion…) 

She's not convinced and starts to whine about how she can’t make it till morning.  So I start to whine that kids should be duct taped to their beds.

She giggled; I kissed her again and laid her down.

She was breathing heavy before I had a chance to check on the other two and shut the door.

…at 3:59 I lay down, recap the story to the husband interjecting things like, “She peed like a boss!”  “She scowled at me like a boss lady” and we both laughed like fools till he fell back to sleep.  JERK! 
I laid there till 4:15 then realize I wasn’t going back to sleep any time soon.
CURSE YOU OLD LADY BLADDER! CURSE YOU!!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

May I Never Be Too Busy


To my children:

 May I never use the excuse, “I’m too busy” because I’ve prioritized my life incorrectly.
May I find the time to make forts out of sheets, watch Disney movies and read silly books about smelly cheese, stinky dogs and curly haired girls who talk too much.
May I set aside a part of each day to hug you a dozen times, kiss your forehead, cheeks and nose, and steamroll you at least once a week for good measure. ;)
But most importantly, may I never forget that my time with you is only borrowed. And that one day we will leave this place… chances are without the other… and that neither of us looks back and says, “I wish I had spent more time with them.”

Love,
M.O.M.
















Advice is a form of nostalgia...


A friend of ours offered to watch the kids tonight as a gift for the work my husband did on his engagement ring.  (We have the coolest friends.)    

It was to be a simple date night, nothing fancy, dinner and a movie.  We wanted just a few hours where the two of us could be husband and wife again.  No interruptions of stories from the day’s activities at school.  No settling disputes over who gets to watch what show, what stuffed animal belongs to which sibling and no potty training… even if just for 3 or 4-hours. 

Two days ago the youngest had a sudden fever, 101, tired and fussy.  It goes down with meds so we keep moving ahead with our plans.  The next day the fever is back every 6 to 8-hours.  But it goes down with meds.  We’re good… no worries.  But last night she spikes at 104.  <sigh>  Cool bath, lots of water, more meds… fever goes down while she sleeps.  Surely this will pass.

At 6:15 my alarm goes off and my first thought is date night.  <squee!>

At 6:16 a knock at my door and a small voice is crying in the door crack.

At 6:17 I check for fever… 101.  Date night cancelled.  <sigh>

Now, this is where many will tell me to enjoy the moment; to snuggle on the couch and appreciate the time together… because it goes by so fast.  And I appreciate the advice, but sometimes… the advice… it just sucks.  I’m sorry, I know I’m supposed to cherish every moment… every parent knows that.  It’s been hammered in us from the moment we first conceived. 

“Enjoy the morning sickness and back pain.  You’ll miss it when it’s gone.”

“Cherish the 3:00AM wake up cries.  One day you’ll miss them.”

“Treasure the sick time cuddles.  It goes by so fast.”

And yes, I agree with aspects of these phrases, but I say don’t try to remember those times and ‘cherish’ but instead cherish what is cherish-able.

Like the moment they first say I love you. 

The belly laughs.

Those times when the siblings are all getting along. 
Enjoy the cuddles when the only purpose is to get closer. 

I think we feel like better parents when we cherish the un-cherish-able.  *Yeah, I’m pretty sure I just made up that word… enjoy it. ;)  But I’m tired of that mentality.  For me, and I only speak for myself here… I’m not going to.  I’m going to suffer right along with my kids and my friends going through this. 

Your back hurts?  I remember those days.  You will slowly forget, and a belly laugh will replace the pain.

The 3:00AM wake up cries are torture, they will make a long hard day even longer.  But when they look up at you one early morning with their arms stretched wide and saying, “I love you” for the first time… those 3:00AM wake up cries will be pushed back in your memory.

And when they are sick and you do your best to cuddle and ‘enjoy’ the moment, but your plans have been changed and your chores are piling up just know that one day, hopefully in the very near future, you’ll be on a date night enjoying yourself and while sitting across the table from your spouse you can remember the time together when your child crawled in your lap for a quick snuggle, told you that they loved you and ran off giggling like only a child can do.

Cherish your children… always.

And only cherish the moments that are cherish-able.

Forcing yourself to enjoy moments simply because others tell you to… it serves no purpose but to make you feel guilty.  And as parents, we have enough of that.  We’re responsible for a life not our own and many of us struggle with our own lives. 

One of my favorite quotes about advice was from an article in the Chicago Tribune back in 1997.  It struck me the first time I heard it on VH1 in 1999… I was 26, married, no children.  No doubt my advice then vs. now would be totally different.  But the advice she gives… perfect!

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.” Mary Schmich Chicago Tribune
I pray when I pull something from the ashes and try to make something beautiful from it that I remember that telling someone to enjoy the struggle is not helpful... but that pushing through it so you can enjoy life on the other side is worth it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: My Comic Book Collection

I've loved Spider-Woman since I first watched her Saturday morning cartoon in 1979. I had her Underoos and comics back then. Wonder Woman I watched with my dad, also had her Underoos, Halloween costume with creepy mask AND the Linda Carter Barbie doll.  My oldest and I now watch both shows together.  :)

Superman showed up at our door last Halloween with a bag of Dots. :) He's been watching the kids, cleaning house and laying around the house ever since. :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

One Last Taste of Summer Freedom

I would deem today a potty training failure. Blondie has gone through at least 5 pair of panties, Little Man 2 pair of undies. Both have peed on the floor and neither seem as interested today as the last two days. I know there are stages and sometimes they step back from it just to test us and themselves. I figure questions like these go through their minds:

 
"Is she for real this time?"
"Are we really done with Pull Ups?"
"Does this candy thing end when we master this?"
...and, “Is peeing on Superman really that big a deal?”


If you've read any of my stuff you know this potty training is nothing new. This is probably the 3rd try. The first lasted a day, maybe two. I would never have given up that fast with our first one, but one is the operative word. Not only are there two, but one of each gender. And no matter what anyone says... it ain't the same!
 
Now this is not the place for advice. I think y'all soooo much for all of it on my Facebook page. I really do, but like everything else what works for one doesn't always work for others. Even with other boy/girl twins. The truth is, much of it has to do with me. I'm 39 and most days I feel oooold! I run an online business. I'm lazy. I don't like the extra laundry. I hate cleaning bathrooms. Did I mention I'm lazy? Potty training is more fun when someone else does it for you. It's true. But no one is volunteering. Dang it!
 
This go around I’m doing my best to stick with it.  I figured November 1st was a good day to start and the Halloween candy has been a great incentive for them AND me.  We’re on a schedule, that sorta works.  And I’m still using Pull Ups at night.  Until they can wake up dry every night for like a month… I’m not washing sheets.  (Remember: lazy and doesn’t like laundry.) 

We’ve had a few really good days.  Several okay days, but today… it just stinks.  Not kidding.  I’ve pulled out the glass wash board and soap.  Side note, if you don’t have one get one.  They rock, especially if your washing machine is on the fritz like mine. 

Well, because today sucks I turned off the cartoons once the weather warmed up.  (It’s Texas, when it hits 60 it's considered cold.)  And I let them play outside as they were; Blondie in nothing but her panties and Little Man in his Batman undies and dinosaur t-shirt and tennies.  He would have been fully dressed but his shorts didn’t make the last accident.  Blondie… well… she could care less.  She’s my free spirit.  No doubt about it. 

As the two of them played in the freshly tilled dirt of our garden I went back inside to clean up lunch and start anther load of laundry.  I kept hearing squeals and laughter and decided on my way back out I’d snag my camera.  As I walked out to the garden Blondie yelled for me to watch as she pulled her brother down on the ground and the two of them started to wiggle in the dirt.  They both said, “Mama look we’re make dirt angels!” 

 
 
The look on their faces was pure delight.  Both grinning from ear to ear and laughing like they just did something totally remarkable.  And they did… they made me smile and trust me I didn’t want to.  I wanted to dwell on the dirt, the stains, the mess they would surly drag in to the house, but I didn’t.  I mentally slapped myself and started snapping pictures.  And it was fun for all three of us.

I eventually went inside to switch the clothes over and watched them out the back window as they played some more, but I could see both had managed to play too hard and forgot to come inside when they needed to pee.  So instead of getting frustrated at the now muddy toddlers, I grabbed their bathing suits, turned on the water as I walked down the back steps and moved their pool to the warmest part of the yard.  It was 75 degrees by then.  They had worked up a nice sweat so I figured it would be fun. 

Oh my!  They went nuts!  So I hurried back inside, grabbed my camera and captured a few more moments.  Only about 20-minutes could they stand, but it was 20 wonderful moments.  More giggles, more squealing, more belly laughs.  And one last taste of summer freedom. 


 

 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Lights and Angles!


Smile
 
Remember when your mama said, “Smile!” every time she tried to take a picture of you? It wasn't just so the recipient of the photo would think you were happy, but because it improves your face.

I don't care if you are toothless of sport a mouth full of teeth. Crooked or straight a smile lifts your face. (That was a totally lame rhyme.  Wasn’t my intention, but I won’t delete it because… well… it’s just cheesy enough it’s funny.)

Okay seriously, look at my first photo. See those hound dog jaws and sad lookin' chin? Instant face-lift with a smile, look even my cheeks have definition now. So do what ya mama told ya and SMILE!




Smile Dang It!!!



Angles
 
Next lesson is angles; you have to find your good angle or good side.  I remember watching an interview with one of the cutest country singers and she kept joking about not being photographed on a certain side; which I found silly because she looks cute from every angle.  <jealous font>  But nonetheless she was told by a stylist or imagine consultant, or whoever those folks are who tell you what to wear or not to wear, say or do, that she should always be photographed on a certain side. 
I used to rely on my mom, but she liked me in ruffled skirts and turtle necks which I have recently discovered flattens my already small chest and makes my large posterior even larger.  So I can see why the celebs pay money… no judgment here.  ;)
BUT since most of us aren’t celebs, we have to figure this stuff out on our own.  And really, it’s not that hard.  I did a little film strip or comic strip as I like to call it of my “angles”, and it’s REAL easy to see what I should and shouldn’t be doing.  YIKES!
 
Always smile... CHECK!  Tilt the chin down... NEVER!  Find your angle: #1... NO!  #2... YES!




Clothing
 
As I mentioned earlier I’m a bit small on top.  But no worries, I have a Poof Bra.  Forget the Wonder Bra; this bad boy makes my girls look HUGE!  Like 2 sizes bigger huge.  Skip the plastic surgery, spend the $35.  There are other variations of this bra, some cheaper some more, but I like the name Poof.  Like a magic trick, “Abracadabra, alacazoo, you have big boobs!  POOF!!” 
Okay, back to the outer wear… ;) pick what looks good.  Most profile shots are just from the chest up so a cute shirt or sweater is fine.  Matter of fact I would say don’t even worry with your skirt, jeans, shorts or pajama pants ;).  If you get too far away you can’t see your face and people really like to see who you are.  Too close and they can see that scar under you bottom lip where you bit through it when you were 9 because you ran in to a parked truck because you were too busy flirting to pay attention to what was in front of you.  Dork!  I mean… back up from the camera a bit, but not too much. 
So choose your clothes accordingly.  Small chest, were a lower cut… gives the illusion of something there.  Big chested (we’re not friends) you can wear pretty much anything (again, we’re not friends) but you have to decide do you want your girls to attract fans or do you want them to add you because of your intellect, funny prose and … oh forget it, use those girls! 

 
 



Too Far... she might need a mint.  Too Close... she might be a stalker.  Just Right...

  
 
 
To Edit or Not To Edit
 
I only just recently found a place to edit my photos.  I mean, not that there aren't TONS to choose from, but I like my editing to be stupid proof.  So I just leave my editing to cropping out the toddlers trying to get in the picture and my left leg pushing them out of the shot.  (You do what ya gotta do.)  But I just found PicMonkey.com and even though they don't pay me...yet.  I <3 them like a fat girl <3's chocolate... and coffee... and my Poof Bra.  Here's the final picture with very, very basic editing.  Cause I ain't all smart and stuff.
 
 



Basic Cam Photo  /   Basic Editing

 
 
 
Lighting

 
Actually, I can't help you out here. See, my computer backs up to a very large kitchen window. I can only regulate the light by using the blinds or the time of day. And since most of the time I'm online when the kids are playing... it's the middle of the day. And in Texas that means sun and lots of it. In most of my photos I don't have a nose. And I'm okay with that. A photographer could tell you what to do, but truthfully I like my too bright photos. They wash away the wrinkles, blemishes and that pesky scar. (Actually you can't really see it, but I like the story.)

So I’ll let you do what you want here. Oh heck, do whatever you want anyway. I just did this because nearly 4-years ago a friend asked how I looked so cute in my profile photos. At first I was like, "Woman! Whatcha tryin' to say?!" Then I was all, "Hey, thanks!" Cause I just don't have the energy to think about these things too long. ;)

Whatever you do, have fun. Show your personality. I smile… a lot, anyone who's ever been around me can attest to it. It's probably annoying, but damn it my parents were cheap which meant at 18 I forked out the money to have 4 teeth pulled, braces put on and a god-awful retainer that never fit right.  So I could smile with confidence. Oh and two laminates to fix the tooth that I mentioned earlier that went through my bottom lip… it chipped and discolored, I paid money to fix it.

I WILL SMILE DURING THE APOCOLYPS DAMN IT!


Friday, November 2, 2012

My 3rd AND 4th Liebster Award

I just received my 3rd AND 4th Liebster Award.  Saweet!!! 
Thank you Story of a Girl and Organized Chaos!! 
I love answering new questions!
If you haven't checked out their pages DO IT!  NOW!!  :)
 
 



 
Questions from Story of a Girl:
 
1. If you had to lose one of your five senses (taste, feel, smell, see, hear) or risk death, which would you choose? Why? 
Smell!  I’m potty training twins…
 
2. What's your favorite fall back recipe when you need something quick? 
Sauce-less Spaghetti:
1lb ground beef or turkey seasoned with Italian spices
Spaghetti noodles
1 can of diced tomatoes with Italian or chipotle spices
If I’m fellin’ fancy I add cheese.  ;)
 
3. Do you prefer being the host/hostess at a gathering or being the guest?
All the above.  :)
 
4. What do you usually have your thermostat set to in the winter?
68 at night, 66 during the day... I think.  I always forget.  I know during the summer it's at 72 most of the time.  Used to be 78.  But the house is small, we can splurge.  ;)  
 
5. In your own home are you wearing shoes or barefoot?
Barefoot before kids…
 
6. Someone calls you from an unknown number; do you answer it or throw the phone across the room as though Satan himself may be on the other end of that call?
I let most go to VM and call or text later.  Chances are the kids are too loud or needing something at that moment.
 
7. Do you believe in this Mayan Calendar, 2012, world's going to end, zombie apocalypse stuff?
Nope, I just think the poor guy chiseling out the calendar got tired or died.
 
8. You can only pick ONE. Reading or Music?
Reading… ‘cause my husband will pick music so I’m set.  ;) 
 
9. Do you need noise or complete silence while trying to fall asleep?
I can sleep through anything… as long as the room is dark.
 
10. What is your favorite carnival/fair food?
It was funnel cake till I learned how to make them.  Now I’m not sure.  I’m pretty well corn dogged out with the kids.  Maybe the cotton candy…you know… since the calories don’t count.  ;)
 
11. Do you shop on Black Friday?
Nope, I’m too busy eating the left overs and decorating for Christmas. 
 
From Organized Chaos:
1.      What is the accomplishment in your life that you are most proud of?
Next month my husband and I will celebrate 19-years of marriage.  It makes me super happy.  :)   

2. If there was one thing you felt your children HAD to know growing up, what is it?
God gives unconditional love, but mom and dad come really close. 

3. What is your most quirky and/or embarrassing personality aspect?
I turn everything in to a pun.  I’m super lame.

4. What is one thing you think we’d be surprised to know about you?
I can’t walk away from my closet without spacing the hangers apart evenly. 

5. Did you have a favorite toy as a child? If so, what?
Barbie!

6. If you could time travel, to when would you go and why?
Can it just be for a week… no more than a month?  I’d love to speak with Jane Austen, but the late 1700 to early 1800’s just don’t sound like a whole lot of fun to me.  :)

7. What is the most shocking thing you’ve ever done in your life?
Sold everything and moved in to a 27’ RV with my husband and our then 4-year old daughter. 

8. What did you want to be when you were in grade school?
Grade school Wonder Woman, junior high I wanted to restore old homes like Bob Villa.  And by high school I was set on being an interior decorator. 

9. What is the most daring (or out of the box for you) thing you want to do but are too scared to attempt? Can we encourage you to go for it?
Write a book.  YES!  Tell me if my stuff is crap.  :)

10. What is the one food you wouldn’t eat for a million dollars?
Most bugs.

11. What game show have you always wanted to participate in? (Oh come on…we’ve all got one! Or if really isn’t one…what TV show sitcom have you always wanted to guest appear in? You can answer both if you choose!)
We only watch Neftlix.  I’m not even sure what games and sitcoms are out these days. 
 
Since I just awarded this recently to others
I'm going to wait for a bit before doing it again. 
Hope that's okay.