Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Birthday & the beach

35 years & 3 days ago I was born into this world!

And 12 years & 3 days ago, I married my best friend!

Getting married on your birthday is something I definitely do not advise!

But this year I have absolutely NOTHING to complain about since this is how I spent my 35th birthday...

I spent the entire day & night with 12 amazing friends.  Who could ask for more?  We lounged at the beach all day long, got ready for dinner & then spent the evening eating & dancing on the white sands of St. Pete Beach.

We did all of this absolutely distraction free since the kids were all home!

My sister was so incredibly sweet to come up Friday evening, hang out with us & watch the kids as we were beach bound early Saturday morning.  Not only did she watch our kids, but also Matt & Kelly's as well as Lauren's dog Romie who happens to share my birthday!  So, my sister spent nearly 30 hours with two 2 year olds, 2 five year olds, 3 dogs & 2 cats!  Wow do I owe her!  I had such an amazing day & feel so lucky to have such awesome people in my life!!  And to top it off, it was a holiday weekend so we had an extra day to relax at the pool & grill with friends.  What a weekend!

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Two year olds rule!

Every time I pick Reese up at school her teachers cannot say enough good things about her & her sweet behavior.  Yes, she is insanely sweet & cute at home, but she can also be very feisty & moody which is not at all the case at school.  I guess she just likes to save up the attitude for me!

Having a snack

I have the hardest time after work with the instant & never ending demands that begin as we walk through the door.  I normally have a bunch of groceries sitting in the back of my car, the dogs are whining to go out & I'm looking at the mess from Mike's shift with the kids in the morning.  Mom, I wanna watch Mickey, I'm thirsty, I want a snack... I want another snack.  I allow them to have a small snack & cut if off so they're hungry for dinner.  Well, Reese does not like that.  So after applesauce & fruit snacks, she wanted a cheese stick.  Um, no.  After hearing no, in the most passionate voice she could muster, she declares, You don't say no to me!  The bad mood had begun.  After explaining that I was the mom & she was the child, she told me, I'm not a child, I'm Reesey!  Oh boy. Soon after she, while watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse she got upset that Cameron was saying Oh, Toodles!  before she could.  As he continued to do it, she smacked his arm while shrieking, No, I say Oh,Toodles!!!!  After telling her that we keep our hands to ourselves & don't hit, she declares, We DO hit!  Um, no. 

But as quickly as the bad mood comes, it goes & sweet, adorable Reese returns!  I always tell her, Reese, I can't take it,  you're too cute, and she'll tell me, Yes. Mommy, you can take it!  This picture was taken at the doctor's office for her 30 month well check.  This big little girl is in the 77th percentile for height & the 92% for weight!  Wowza!  I think she'll have my stature though & I was always tall until I abruptly stopped growing in about third grade!

Reese loves sitting on the counter shoving food into her mouth watching me cook dinner.

It's fun chatting with her & explaining what I'm doing.

I look forward to cooking with my little girlfriend as she gets older.

Speaking of cooking, I learned from my friend Lesli that Panera has a secret menu! Who knew?!  Maybe I shouldn't be sharing their secret, but I'm going to anyway.  Well, the Power Chicken Hummus Bowl sounded so good to me, but I didn't feel like going to the store or spending the money so Mike ran for a few ingredients & we recreated it at home.  I've really gotten into making "health bowls" as Real Simple refers to them.  You pair a protein & a grain with veggies & cheese. Click here for some mix & match ideas.  Not only is it healthy, but it's easy.  For our Panera recreation, we paired grilled chicken with tomatoes, cucumbers & baby spinach leaves with cilantro, a squeeze of lemon & some hummus.  It was so tasty & took less than fifteen minutes to whip up!  As Mike grilled, I chopped the veggies.  Not only did we have dinner that night but leftovers for the next night.  Anyway, that's what's been going on around here, hope you're all having a great week!

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

An organized kitchen

I've been on the rampage today, cleaning out my kitchen cabinets & lining them with the cheerful, turquoise chevron paper I mention in this post.  In our last house, we had limited cabinet space & everything was a disaster at all times, so I'm much more insane on top of keeping things organized.  I think I have PTSD after living in a mess (my fault) for over five years.

I don't know about you, but I find that keeping our tupperware cabinet in order is nearly impossible.  Everything is mismatched since we collect things along the way so nothing matches up; you find a lid but can't find the container, you find the container & not the lid.  I picked up an inexpensive wire basket from Marshalls & a wire riser to I could maximize space.

As with our tupperware cabinet, our baking cabinet is also filled with oddly shaped pans that I find are hard to keep in order.  I took everything out, wiped the cabinet down, lined it with contact paper & loaded back up in a more effective way.

I forgot the before on the above pic, but I assure you it was a hot mess.  I got rid of appliances we no longer use like the air pop popcorn maker & this old spice rack from our wedding shower 12 years ago.  Both took up a lot of room so that made a big difference.  I'm all about purging & keeping things minimal since I loath clutter.  We also store our liquor in here & our takeout menus are all together in a red folder that you can sort of see off to the far left.

With all the organizing going on, I've still managed to enjoy the day with Little Miss Potty Training.  I've still yet to see the gal pee in the stinking potty.  One of this days it will happen.  It has to, right?!

We ran to Target before getting Cameron & a woman asked me how old Reese was.  It dawned on me that she's officially two & a half today!  Happy half birthday, Reese Elizabeth! 

Speaking of Target, I picked up this rug to pull in more of the turquoise color I so love! 

I mentioned in this post that during the week, I mostly cook very simple meals with a protein, starch & veggie simply seasoned & cooked.  Yesterday I threw brown rice in our rice cooker with some spices & while that cooked, I roasted tofu that had marinated for thirty minutes in a teriyaki sauce at 425 degrees for about forty minutes.  During the last twenty minutes of cooking, I slid a pan of asparagus seasoned with olive oil, salt & pepper into the oven & dinner was done.  I always line my pans with foil since I don't have the time or patience to scrub pans after dinner.  Easy peasy & healthy too.  And if you think you don't like tofu (I'm talking to you, Lesli!) it probably wasn't seasoned & cooked properly!  Anywho, hope you're all having a happy hump day!

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Celebrate good times

Hope everyone is having a good week so far!  We were away this past weekend, celebrating Mother's Day with my family in Sarasota as well as Maddy & my mom's birthdays.  Speaking of celebrations, today is my parent's 42nd wedding anniversary!!  They've been dating since they were high school sophomores (HS sweethearts just like me & Mike) which is very special to me.

Happy anniversary, Mom & Dad!!!

 We had cake coming out of our ears this weekend!


Through the daycare, we purchased cakes from our local grocery store for the kids to decorate for Mother's Day.  For some reason, I was expecting a petite cake instead of the two we actually received.  Since the scale has been on the rise for me these days, I'm doing my best to avoid them!

In other news, Mikayla's teeth are dropping like flies!  It's amazing how different a child's face looks once they lose their front baby teeth.  My baby boy is soon behind.. waah!

The many faces of Reese

Man alive, this little girl is surely something else.  She is so full of piss & vinegar, it's not even funny.  Poor thing takes after me so how can I get upset with her? After a bedtime fit tonight over Cameron vs. Reese turning her fan on, I said, "You're all better after letting out the rage?  Mommy can relate!"  We had a couple of doozy tantrums today & I seriously cannot help but laugh at the lack of control a two year old possesses.  Can you imagine if everyone acted that way?  We'd be living in anarchy! 

As much as these two nuts can test my patience with their non-stop requests & demands, I love them more than anything in the world!!  It's funny how a kid can drive you up the wall at the end of the day & then you look at them sleeping like angels in their beds & it's completely forgotten.  Sometimes I have to stop myself from going into Reese's room & picking her up since she looks so ridiculously innocent on the video monitor.  Then the next day rolls around & the devil horns come back out!  ;o)

Mommy & me

It's so funny how you don't realize just how hard your parents worked when you're a kid.  Now that I have my own, I'm so thankful for all that my mom (and dad) has done for me. There is nothing like a mother's love & devotion. 

Mommy & Reese

Speaking of crazy kids, this is how Mike found Cam last night after getting home from the gym.  The stinker has a habit of getting out of bed to go to the "bafroom" even though five minutes earlier he assured me that he didn't have to go.  Well this time he had the urge to read on the toilet since apparently that's what Patrick on SpongeBob does.  Mmm... good example!

I never buy fresh flowers because they don't exactly fit into a strict budget, so I've been enjoying the heck out the flowers my sister got me for Mother's Day.  So cheerful!!

My clean fridge is also very cheerful to me!  Today I came home from work & on a whim, decided to scour my fridge.  I had just gone grocery shopping & couldn't bear to add more stuff to the mess we'd created.  I find that I work best when a project is unplanned since I dread it less.  I'm off tomorrow & I have a whole lot more organizing in mind, so I wanted to tackle the fridge to get a jump on things.  Mike does not share my love of cleaning & organizing, so over the years, as I'm in the midst of cleaning, I say in the most deranged voice as I manically wipe, "A clean house is a happy house."  And he looks at me like the nutcase that I am.

Last but absolutely not least, the kids' school pictures came back & they're positively adorable!  It's very rare that I buy more than one print, but this year I seriously couldn't just do one because they were all so cute.  With Cam graduating pre-K, I had to buy his cap & gown picture which just melts my heart!  And the pic of Reese clutching the flowers?  Fuh-get-aboutit!  The one of the two of them is equally as precious since they're sitting there holding hands.  L-O-V-E love!

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Tree hugger

I recently watched an old episode of Grey's Anatomy on Netflix where a girl was injured after falling out of a tree that she was protecting from being cut down.  Well, I nearly considered doing that today because sadly, our homeowner's association has decided to remove the trees that are planted in front of each & every house.

Apparently some genius chose this type of tree to line the streets of our entire subdivision & it turns out that their roots are gradually causing the sidewalks to elevate.  For some time we've been in the voting process of whether to keep or remove the trees & the majority chose to remove them.

I've dreaded seeing our healthy tree be put to death & of course it had to happen on my day off so the noise of the cutting has tortured me all day long.  I had a pit in my stomach as I watched them slice it down.  What a waste of a good tree.

Other than being tortured by the cutting of trees, I've been doing laundry non-stop since Sunday morning.  My friend Jill & I swapped clothes since I had a boy first & a girl second & she had a girl first & a boy second.  I have barely bought Reese a scrap of clothing because Jill has given me so many nice clothes.  When we were together Sunday, she gave me another huge amount so I've literally been buried in laundry ever since.  I have to admit that it's been a little overwhelming but I'm happy to say that I officially have all of it washed & put away.  All of her 3T clothes are out & replaced by 4T which means I won't have to arrange her drawers again until she's nearly five!! Yay.  I'm a definite minimalist so I was quite blown away by the vastness of 4T clothes I was given but I'm definitely thankful!!

Every May 5th we celebrate Cinco de Mayo by having a Mexican inspired meal washed down with a margarita.  We always toast our Chihuahua's people as she looks up at us like, what the hell are you talking about?!  We made crock pot chicken tacos which are delish & take all of 3 ingredients: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, jarred salsa & a packet of taco seasoning.  I always make mine into a salad with shredded lettuce, fresh tomatoes, avocados, shredded cheddar & plain Greek yogurt with a hefty squirt of lime juice over top.  The chicken is salty but it's balanced out by all the other fresh ingredients.  So tasty!

Yesterday I headed to the salon for a much needed cut & color & requested some bold highlights & lowlights.

And that's just what I got!  I'm always drawn to dramatic vs. natural hair color so I was excited with the change.

This morning we had a parent/teacher conference with Cam's pre-K teacher & it went really well.  We're very proud of how well he's done in pre-K!!  Ms Erica did mention that his attention can wander during group/circle learning & while working on homework during school.  We definitely struggle with that at home too, so I wasn't surprised to hear that.  But overall, it was mostly positive, so I was very happy.

And I've been enjoying my day with this sweet little gal!   Speaking of sweet little girls, today is my niece/God daughter's 11th birthday!!!

Happy birthday, Madelyn Ann, we love you so much & can't wait to celebrate with you this weekend!!

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Saturday, May 3, 2014

It's always interesting!

Once you have kids, you never know what to expect.  You can't anticipate their moods, how well they'll sleep when you're taking a trip, how they'll cooperate when you're out in public.  They always keep you on your toes & things are never dull!  Well, I had no idea what to expect when starting to charter the territories of potty training Reese.  I ended my last blog post saying that her undies had been dry for two hours & she was yet to go on the potty, so it was going to go one way or the other.  She would go on the potty or she would go in her undies & all over the floor.

Well, I'm sure you're all just dying to know what happened!  We took yet another potty break & then headed outside to clean out her water table when the dam broke & she peed all over herself while hysterically crying.  We were 0 for 1.  Later in the day, she was fresh off yet another potty break, totally naked while digging around in her toy box in the living room as I sat in the other room on the laptop.  The peace & quiet suddenly ended as Reese shrieked, Mommy, I'm POOPING!  Well, normally she has very loose BMs (another thing I just know you were dying to know), so I threw the laptop to the side & shrieked, Reeeeesseeeeeee!  As I desperately ran across the house to stop her from going all over the light carpet.  Well, I was too late & there on the rug sat a nice little turd as more was about to come out.  I'm painting such a pretty picture, I know.  Well, I ran across the house, rushing her to the potty so she could finish her business.  We had random turds laying throughout our path, but not one made it to the potty.  0 for 2.  Oh well, we'll keep trying.

My kids sleep with ten million things in their beds.  The newest addition is the sword my Aunt Joan so sweetly bought the kids when we were at Legoland.  I don't know how they can stand rolling around with rubble under their backs while they sleep, but they do!

This week was an exciting one because not only did I replace my nasty, ripping scrubs, I also finally got a new pair of kicks.  I have back pain issues & often need to take Advil because of sciatica which has gotten a lot worse since I've had Reese.  It was especially bad when she was a one year old & wanted to be held constantly.  I'd start Mondays with a horrific backache with pain radiating down my leg after a weekend of lugging her around.  It's recommended that your gym shoes be replaced every six months, but who can afford it?!  Shoes are NOT cheap.  Well, not only has my back been hurting, but now my feet are too.  It's hell getting old, I tell ya.  Well, I finally sucked it up & ordered some new shoes.  Mike told me about 6pm which sells discounted shoes, clothes & accessories & I picked up a pair of Brooks Ravenna.  Brooks has been my go-to brand after buying my first pair over a year ago... well, that first pair finally got replaced this week! 

Anyway, it's the best day of all, Saturday!!  Yay for weekends!  And it's also my bestie's birthday, so it's extra exciting.  Happy birthday, Lauren, love you!  Not only will we be celebrating Lauren's birthday today, but also Tay's third birthday which was on Thursday.  But we're starting the weekend by watching Frozen for the 305th time.

Fun fact you may or may not know, but Rupunzel & Fynn Rider appear in the scene of Frozen when they finally open the gates.  Frozen & Tangled are Reese's two favorite movies, so she loves seeing the two collide.  Anyway, I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

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