Big Picture, Little Picture

I love weeks when I can see the big picture. I can see life for what it is and find joy in small things and have patience to turn bad behavior into teaching moments. I have the energy to tackle my to do list AND be a good mom. Get down on the floor and play. Get in the kitchen and cook together. Read books and go for walks. Make dinners and clean up the kitchen before 5pm. Get the laundry and ironing done. Clear my desk of bills, work and whatever else is lurking there. These are good weeks.

This is not one of those weeks. This is definitely a little picture week. I can’t see the forest for the trees.  All I can hear is a teething baby screaming, a puppy yelping and a smart mouth four year old. All I can see is the mess of toys, dishes and laundry. All I can think about is the pile of invoices that need to be created, put into envelopes, stamped and sealed.  All I want to do is look at the beautiful, smart, talented little girl in front of me and say “WHY??? WHY DO YOU KNOW WHAT MY BUTTONS ARE AND WHY DO YOU INSIST ON PUSHING THEM AALLLLL THE TIME?? WHY CAN’T YOU STAY IN BED AT NIGHT?? WHY WHEN YOU STAY IN BED DO YOU SCREAM FOR A PARENT TO COME TO YOUR BEDSIDE EVERY 2 HOURS TO FIX SOME NONEXISTENT PROBLEM??? WHY ARE YOU WAKING UP YOUR BROTHER??”.

Oh yeah, we aren’t sleeping right now. Again. It’s fun. I think B has a bet with Augg on how soon the men with the big butterfly nets are coming for mommy. It won’t be long little lady. It won’t be long.

My mom told me last week that I need to remember that her behavior comes from the fact that she’s bright. Actually, her quote was “It’s because she’s smart. If she were dumb, this would be a lot easier to solve”. And she’s right. Bay is no dummy. She’s capable of great things which is why I get so incredibly frustrated when she flat out refuses to do something. Or worse, pretends that she doesn’t know how (button pusher, party of one…). I’m not asking Hellen Keller to sign supercalifragalisticexpialidotious, I’m asking Einstien to add two plus two. So why can’t she just say FOUR and we could move on?!

I guess because she really wants to see if the men with the nets have white coats….

Joke’s on You

To the person who keeps stealing packages off of our front patio: when are you going to realize that we don’t order anything fun from Amazon? Just because it’s heavy, doesn’t mean it’s not shampoo. Or diaper rash cream. Or a fan for the dog crate.  So get it through your thieving little brain; we’re boring. We order boring things. Our kids are smelly and have diaper rash so we’re going to continue to order boring things. When you see a package on our patio, just keep walking. Unless you have diaper rash. Then you might want to consider snagging it.

Just Us and the Zoo

Columbus day was the perfect excuse to go to the zoo. I decided we would go just us – Baylor, Auggie and me. That way we could go where we wanted, when we wanted AND we would actually get some time to talk. We had the best time –  we saw all the animals we wanted, Baylor got to ride the camel (Augg is too little but when she heard she could go by herself? she was gone), we hit the petting zoo, playground, ate chips, rode the carousel and meandered until it was too hot and we were hungry. It was the perfect way to spend a holiday Monday morning.

Ready to roll. Bonus: pushing the flipping 100 pounds of double jogger up and down hills is a great workout

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I couldn’t believe that there were no nerves what so ever getting on this guy by herself! We’ve got to get her riding lessons. Horse riding, not camels.

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I love the playground at the zoo. It’s made to look like a life sized Little People Farm. It’s just so cute!

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These goats make me a little nervous – they are so laid back. I always get worried that when there is one laying down that he’s not breathing… This guy however was great. His name was Mini Muffin. I’m not really sure there’s a better goat name.

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There was just a hint of attitude about why we only road the carousel once and not a bajillion times…I’m going to chalk it up to being hot and tired…

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Yes, They’re Real

Lashes. I’m talking about eye lashes. Mostly because no one every mistook anything else of mine to be fake!

Have you seen the commercial for the new Benefit They’re Real! Mascara? I did, and I got sucked right in. My Loreal mascara didn’t seem to be cutting it any more so I thought I would try something new despite the steep price difference ($7 to $23).

Sephora was almost sold out of it so I’m not the only one who likes Benefit’s marketing. When I opened the tube, I was a little bummed. The brush is super spiky which normally means it’s not going to work well covering my thin, blonde lashes….

But oh was I wrong.

The mascara really does cover incredibly well. It does all that it promises: lengthens, volumizes and separates. I was wildly impressed. But I was still skeptical of how it would wear. The true test? Swim lessons. While I’m not under the water, Auggie does his best to splash me as often as possible. I was shocked – this is not waterproof mascara and yet it wears very similarly!

Side note; it is totally impossible to take a closeup with an Iphone and not look cross eyed. Not to mention the bags and serious lack of concealer…did I mention that this was a full 12 hours after applying, no touch ups and after swim lessons?? No smudges. No flaking and still really big lashes!

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The conclusion is that They’re Real! Is totally worth the money! Run to the nearest Benefit Counter and see for yourself – your lashes will thank me.

Wake Up Call

I snuck away for a pedicure and was reading Self Magazine which was all about breast cancer and awareness. I read the statistics and a learned more about the risk groups and realized as I am now in my early thirties, I’m now at a higher risk and that it’s time to start taking those self exams seriously.

The next morning I got an email from a very good friend of mine. It started out apologizing for the mass email – as it began, I thought she was about to write that she and her husband were getting a divorce – I don’t know why I thought that, I love her husband and they have a great marriage, but it seemed to be the only logical piece of bad news she could be sending out. I literally felt my heart stop when I read that she was writing to tell everyone that she had breast cancer. 32 years old. Stage 4 breast cancer. My heart is racing as I write those words.

The good news is that she is crazy tough. And she is married to an amazing guy and they have been battling this awefulness together and she’s going to be ok. The road to recovery is long – she’s already endured several months of chemotherapy and despite it being successful, she is having surgery and then radiation. And all the while she has been open, honest about her feelings and making jokes. I will never look at arm pit hair the same way after she told me how excited she was to see hers growing back!

The part that makes my heart happy is that as I forwarded her email to our massive group of Phis, they all jumped in. They started a Meal Train so for the next several weeks, they will have dinners brought to their house a couple of times a week. There have been gift bags, flowers, emails, cards, texts and love going out to her. I know sororities get a bad wrap most of the time, but I’m proud to know my chapter has an amazing network of women who come from far and wide to help when a sister needs it.

I hate that this had to hit so close to home in order for me to pay more attention to my own health and risk. Take this as your wake up call to get your annual exams, do self exams and contribute to a charity/non profit who is working on a cure for such a miserable disease.

 

Don’t Wake Me Up

I really love the song Don’t Wake Me Up – it’s really resonates with me and where life is at right now. If this is all a dream – don’t wake me up. It’s too good to stop dreaming it now.

I’m not saying that there aren’t some things that aren’t perfect – but those things are minimal compared to the great things. The frustration that comes with trying to secure / entertain two kids and a puppy in order to take a 10 minute shower are totally out weighed by Auggie padding around the corner in footy jammies carrying his sister’s necklace. The smile on his face is one of defiance and victory and it is priceless. Then watching him “run” as fast as his little legs can carry him, defying all the laws of balance, trying to get away from Baylor who is hot on his trail to her her necklace back is hysterical.

I almost always respond when someone asks how it’s going with “crazy! but good crazy” and I mean it. This life is nutty, overwhelming, frustrating, perfect, hilarious, imperfect, fuzzy, soft, smelly, gross, warm, snuggly and I wouldn’t trade any of it.

I read a great article on the Huffington Post about parenting twins. It’s hilarious how the dad describes the madness of caring for two babies – I can’t tell you how much I relate to the insanity. But he goes on to describe the freedom that comes with parenting:

“I can tell you that what people say about “losing your freedom” is bull crap. We’ve got a pathetically shallow notion of freedom in this country, and that’s perfectly reflected by this common claim that you lose it when you have kids. Sure, if “freedom” is merely “the ability to go places and do things with minimal hassle,” then, yeah, you’ve lost that. You haven’t lost it permanently, but for a good long while. This is a flimsy, flat, flaccid view of freedom. I believe there’s more to being “free” than vacations and financial flexibility. I’ve seen both sides of this; I lived completely alone for the first half of my twenties, so I know about this sort of freedom. I know about it, and I can honestly tell you that I feel more free now than I ever have before. If I didn’t have a family, I could go on a cruise, or move to Vegas, or see Paris if I so desired. In fact, I could go pretty much anywhere on the globe. But I’d only be “free” to travel laterally. Now, I can travel deeper. I’m free to go deeper into human existence and experience things that are much more life-changing, enriching, transformative and exciting than a thousand vacations to a thousand exotic locations. The greatest freedom we have as human beings is the freedom to change. I’m not talking about changing the scenery, I’m talking about changing ourselves. Having children is TRULY life changing; having free time is not. This is not meant to be an attack on people without kids and spouses; I’m just clarifying a point. They are not more free than you.”

The bolded section is the best way I could ever describe being a parent. Yes you give up the freedom to run out the door at any time, grab a drink with a friend on the fly, stay out late without an exhausting process of getting a babysitter, getting ready for said sitter and then actually getting out the door. But the freedom to really know what the best parts of life are through the craziness of being a parent is amazing.

So thank you my little banshees. You make me crazy and also crazy happy.

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Meet Mac

Meet The Mac Attack

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Yes this furry little face finally came home late one night last week. He immediately met the dog trainer which put him on a tight schedule of crate time, play time and potty time. Which is why I’m delayed in getting some pictures. Much like having a new baby, there has been a lot of timers, documenting and adjusting. But after a week, I think we’re finally settling into a routine and are well on our way to having a really well behaved dog! And good thing because he’s gained 3lbs in a week. I think he’s going to live up to the size of those feet…

Baylor, is of course, over the moon. And Auggie has warmed up fast. Thankfully I think we picked well because Mac will let them do about anything to him – including a ride in the swing. He just seems to take it as it comes and is always happy to play.

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