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Friday, April 29, 2011

Take a peek inside… & Day 90. 275 Days Left.

First, I will begin with the simple fact that I despise clutter. The hubby on the other hand has a terrible habit of cluttering every inch of the house. Counters are littered with mail and loose change, dirty work clothes piled on the bathroom floor and clothes laying around on the chair, the wicker bench in front of our bed and exercise bike (at least it is being used) in our bedroom.

Every couple of weeks I set out on a mission. My sole goal: de-clutter. I pack bags full of clothes that have not see the light of day in months and toys that have not been brought from the bottom of toy boxes for fresh air; they are donated and out of my house. forever.

This obsession began in my childhood. I was a slob. Lazy. Disgusting.

My idea of putting my junk away was shoving it in a drawer and what would not fit shoved under my bed. My sister and I shared a room and this drove her nuts. She would come home and throw all my crap on top of my bed. I was a repeat offender so most of my childhood I never saw the top of my bed.
Fast forward to today. Now most aspects of my life are clutter free. I do a pretty good job of staying on top of the messes my hubby and toddlers make. But every one has a dumping ground; and I think, three years later, I have found mine.

I have mentioned in previous post of my diaper bag packing champ status. Perhaps this is why. I have everything imaginable in here.
(My diaper bag- my crutch... when children in tote, I never leave home without it)

Take a peek inside my diaper bag…

1. change of clothes for both Addison and Jackson. MUST!

2. Old Navy sunglasses… I lose or break a pair once a month.

3. cutest foe-zipper turquoise clutch wallet by Xhilaration for Target.

4. non glitz and glamour cell phone.

5. Huggies moist wipes. Needed for sticky fingers and dirty little butts.

6. diapers for Jackson and extra Pull-Ups and undies for Addison. I have learned. The hard way.

7. travel sippy cups. Buzz Lightyear and Dora. because obviously.

8. Munchkin no-mess snack container filled with our favorite Plum Organics Super Puffs and dried fruits.

9. sunscreen SPF 50+ for those spontaneous park days. Apply and repeat.

10. cute lil’ froggie notebook , happy meal stencil and assortment of color pencils, pens and crayons for Addison while in the car… and for mommy to jot down all my crazy ideas that come at crazy times.

11. extra camera and back-up battery which may or may not be charged… I am a pathological picture taker and refuse to miss any perfect moment.

12. tissues. Toddlers need I say more.

13. lip gloss and chapstick. My go to lipgloss: L’OREAL colour juice in raspberry mash- yum!

14. NIVEA hand cream … a must have. I am a cuticle picker- can’t let them get dry.

15. REVLON nail polish in Amber. Mommy with two toddlers therefore always in need of touch-ups.

16. miscellaneous hair ties Addison pulls out long before we reach our destination.

17. lollies I use for bribery while in the supermarket or any other public place.

18. Napkins from Mc D’s, DD’s and Starbucks from the various stops for Happy Meals and iced coffees.

19. first aid at its best. Toy Story band-aids, children’s Neosporin, Infant Pain Relief and Benadryl (which I will forever carry since the bee incident).

20. hand sanitizer. Again toddlers one of which is a thumb sucker and another potty trained.

21. Plum Organics: tots mish masheslove. love. love. Jackson agrees.

22. various tags and wrappers from new friends and snacks which have been opened, before check out, to prevent meltdowns; or new DVD’s opened for the car ride home.

23. a kazoo- which landed in the trash just after writing this post and bubbles to distract Jackson.

24. these adorable strawberries transform into reusable bags. I got them from a vendor while at a children’s event over Easter. They are awesome.

25. The true reason my diaper bag weighed 45 pounds…

I knew the hubby and I had a habit of tossing loose change into my diaper bag... but seriously?
Perhaps this is why the counter tops have been change free.

Best part about this post… my diaper bag is clean!

Have you done a what‘s in my bag post?
If so add your link to my comments… I would love to take a peek.

Day 90

While on the subject of clutter

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A driver’s aide & Day 89. 276 Days Left.

I have a problem. Well, it's not so much a problem for me as it seems to be a problem for the person sitting in the driver's seat; the hubby...

I'm a backseat driver.

It's an affliction I just can't seem to control. I feel this compulsion to help the driver the hubby by aiding him with helpful suggestions and warning gasps. I choose to view it more as being a driver's aide than a backseat driver.

A trip from point A to B will typically sounds much like this…

Me: "We need to be in the left lane."
Hubby: Than you drive.

Me: "That stoplight up ahead is red."
Hubby: Do you want to drive?

Me: "Are we this close to that car's bumper because you like the smell of exhaust fumes?"
Hubby: You can drive next time.

Me: “Why don't we get around this car.”
Hubby: Gives the "shut-up" look
Me: "Unless you like going 30 miles an hour."
Hubby: You know what… you are driving home.

Me: “Don’t change lanes now, there is a semi-truck… I don’t like being next to them.”
Hubby: If you can drive better than why are you not driving?

Me: “Is there a reason we are not going the speed limit?”
Hubby: Really? Every time?

Me: “I would have taken the other street.”
Hubby: I am going to pull the fucking car over and you drive!

Me: "Well, we are here now."

What he doesn’t seem to understand is that I am just being constructive and offering help. The problem is not always him… it is mostly the other douchebags cars I fear. We are, after all, traveling with precious cargo and I am just taking extra precautions. Extra percautions because these other douchebags cars on the road go fast. They go very, very fast. And I am a mom. I am a mom that worries about everything; especially when it comes to my children.

So for now, I will continue to aide those transporting my precious cargo.

Do you do anything that drives your loved ones crazy?

Day 89

Little Boys+Trucks= Pure Joy

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day 88: Easter {Part 2} 277 Days Left.

Day 88. Easter in photos...

Our Traditions

Easter Pie

Coconut Cake

What are your family Easter traditions?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mommy Confessions: How I maintain my Mother of the Year Status & Day 87. 278 Days Left.

Just a few of my not so perfect mommy moments...

1. I bribe Addison with chocolate, cookies, $1 toys and sometimes family… when I want her to do something like clean her room I will tell her she will get something above when she finishes and it has to be done correctly. So I keep these things in a secret place for when these "bribing times" arise.

(Note to readers: I DO NOT keep family stashed in a secret place~
they are NOT locked in a closet in my house. I simply tell Addison she will not be going to their houses or they will not be coming to ours.
Just thought I would clarify.)

2. I lie… really white lies but Addison does not know the difference. I am afraid of what I am teaching her… it is ok to lie. I tell her we will come back and get the toy or movie she wants to prevent a pint sized meltdown in the middle of a store. I need to stop this. Now!

3. When we are out running errands, at the mall or we are home and I am busy cleaning, I will give the kids sippy cups of milk so they “feel” full. This way I do not have to stop in the middle of what I am doing to feed them. I sometimes just need to get done without everything dragging on all day.

4. We are STILL co-sleeping. Not every night but a few times a week. And on those nights Addison comes into bed with us, if Jackson is still awake, I grab him. He has never been a co-sleeper but I love the comfort of them next to me so I force him to sleep in our bed.

I have come to realize, this is not good for me, not good for the hubby, not good for either of them, not good for our aching bodies and certainly not good for our marriage.

5. Most days, instead of doing the laundry or cleaning the house I surf the web. My favorite stops Zulily for sundresses for Addison and Gap for plaid shorts and Polo shirts for Jackson. I will also use this time to facebook, write a blog post or catch on my some of my favorite mama blogs.

Working on my Wifey of the Year status…

6. I truly do not want to send my kids to public school. This is a constant battle between the hubby and me.

7. I yell. I yell a lot. I yell loud. Many times, after being pushed too much by my two strong willed children and after being frustrated from a thousand times of telling them "No!" or "Stop doing that!" yelling seems all I can do to get my point across. It happens no matter how hard I try not to… before you point it out; apparently, I am not trying all that hard.

8. I feel isolated as a stay at home mom. Then the mommy guilt kicks in for feeling this way.

I hate mommy guilt… I feel it every second of the day.
I loved a post written by Cynthia at My life as Mom on this very subject: Not Guilty. Check it out and tell me what you think.
Do you have Mommy Guilt?

9. I read 15 books to both kids each day, I teach Addison a new spelling word each week (at three she is up to four letter words and spelling 10 different words), I taught her to count to 20 and how to recognize her letters and numbers and I still feel guilty because I feel as though I am not doing enough.

10. It really pisses me off when some moms say they are so tired and have no time for themselves, yet their kids are in school or daycare all week. Then there are the moms, after the work/school week, which ship their kids off to Grandma and Grandpa or just whoever will take them so they can go shopping, see a movie or eat out ALONE. Geesh, these moms really have no fucking clue.

What are your Mommy Confessions? I would love to hear them.

Day 87

Easter Photos

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Noisy blessings & Day 86. 279 Days Left.

I truly enjoy quiet moments. However, usually during those moments I find something my toddlers have, themselves, discovered.

While I am a firm believer in finding quiet moments for ourselves, I am also a lover of the day to day noises in my house. We all have them… whether you are a college student, just married, are enjoying the fighting giggling of your children or the pitter patter of four (or in my case, twelve) fur paws.

Whatever stage of life, we are all blessed with a routine of sound that is very much our own.

Most mornings I wake to my own noises; hubby getting ready for work, Jackson crying, dogs barking, Addison or Jackson or Pug snoring in my ear, and admittedly wish for a quieter wake up call. However, given the chance (most mornings) I would not trade it for the world.

My days are typically filled with children laughing- sometimes crying and fighting, the clicking of megabloks masterpieces being built- sometimes tossed, toddler requests- sometimes demands, kissing sounds that come from the countless smooches on chubby cheeks, dogs running around (sometimes barking) with squealing children, the hum of the air conditioner, the clicking of the keyboard, the occasional honking of a car or lawn people outside and sometimes the noise of a less than quiet neighbor- which with two toddlers and three dogs I certainly am not. And at the end of the day I enjoy; the giggling of two happy toddlers enjoying their bath, a room filled with once upon a times, happily ever afters, goodnights and I love you’s.

The music that inhibits our car has changed from my favorite radio station and cd’s, to the ever popular Backyardagins, Elmo or Yo Gabba DVD’s; and daytime television rarely sees Good Morning America or Regis and Kelly. And this is perfectly okay, because soon these noises will change and simply become a memory in time.

What are the unique sounds of your home?
Would love to hear what they include.


Day 86

spaghetti night... need I say more.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I am that mom & Day 85. 280 Days Left.

I am the mom who regularly bribes and negotiates for the simple purpose of preserving order. Otherwise known as the by WHATEVER MEANS NECESSARY method.

My sole goal is to avoid a major pint sized meltdown at. all. cost. I have employed both of these tactics (at times, simultaneously!).

I have fine tuned and mastered the art of child bribery. My finest moment as a mom.

Typically when out shopping I am already teetering with fatigue, keeping my sanity, I am alone with two toddlers, outnumbered and most often out smarted. Often, Addison or Jackson (sometime both Addison & Jackson) will get restless, start whining, even crying in the middle of the grocery store. As much as I would like to think I can handle it, in many cases, the bribery option makes the most sense and works most quickly. At this time, I tell them if they are quiet for mommy I will go to the bakery and get them each a sugar cookie. If I get the cookie before I begin shopping, they both have it devoured half way through my list. This way they are quiet while I get the majority of the items off my list while patiently waiting for that coveted cookie.

When it comes to dinner Addison is very difficult. I try to get through the meal with little chaos. Addison if you eat your dinner you can have a treat. I have recently found that this particular tactic backfired. Case in point the “I am mad and mad girls don’t eat” night and most recently, Addison was not eating her dinner. We told her if she finished her plate she could have a treat- an Italian icee. A few more minutes passed and Addison still had not taken a bite of her chicken…

Addison: I am ready for my icee.

Mommy: You did not eat your dinner. After you finish your dinner you may have one.

Addison: but I am ready for it now mommy.

Mommy: Addison what did I just tell you?

Addison: (after an extended blank stare) mommy? please? can I have my icee? I want the red one.

This back and forth went on several minutes.

Addison: Mommy you are wasting my time and making me mad. Mad little girls are not happy and don’t eat their dinner. Happy girls eat their icee.

Clearly mommy is outsmarted.

I think the problem is we all have an "ideal" world in which we have been socialized to base our parenting skills, but in reality, being able to keep up with this Utopia is impossible for even the most patient of parents. This is why I resort to bribery. But, I also think it teaches them a valuable lesson. That sometimes you have to work for the things you want and if you work for it you can be rewarded for your good behavior.

I think it's time that we as parents give ourselves a collective break - in other words, stop being so hard on ourselves and feeling so guilty. If it helps us keep our sanity and if it works than why the hell not?

Do you use bribery or negotiate with your children?

Day 85

Spring Fun... more bubble time