Saturday, September 26, 2015

Vacation part 1

The townhouse we rented is great.

I may not survive a week with my kids.

Elle is in love with the beach. She threw herself in fully clothed in a regular diaper (I.e. not a swim one) and we didn't have a camera.

That's just day one.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Ready for Vacation!

So, we are going on vacation next week. Leaving Saturday and coming back next Thursday. Not a full week, but that's actually because our dog sitter (my mom) wasn't available after Thursday. My Big M has some aggression issues so we can't just board him or have a doggie sitting service.

I am mostly excited for this trip. A little anxious too but after the long weekend with Ali for the wedding I'm feeling a little more confident in my ability to hold on to sanity outside the normal schedule.

Elle might be a whole other set of complications but this year for our beach trip she's at least over the morning nap phase and we can head out all together at first light for some serious beach play.

I'm hoping the weather holds, it's looking a little rainy but really, this far out, there's no way it's accurate right now.

Right now I'm trying to come up with a meal plan that will fit a vacation lifestyle and make it all an easy experience. I'd like to try and keep it healthy too, with lots of veggies for my poor Ali's sensitive digestion. Trip like this mess her up when we're eating too much take out or comfort food.

Right now I'm leaning towards a chili, a big pile of marinated chicken, an even bigger pile of steamed broccoli, green beans and peas/carrots and then a few things that will cross into breakfast/lunch too; zucchini bread, blueberry muffins, muffin tin mini quiches.

Ah, fun, family vacation planning. Not stressful at all.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Two many cooks in the kitchen

I love, love this recipe that I found on for mini lasagna cups.

It is easy. It is good. My hsuband loves it and Ali can basically make it by herself which is just awesome.

So Sunday night was 'Dinner by Ali' and it turned into quite the family affair.

Elle's basic take on anything is 'If she can do it, I can too'.

Sometimes this gets us into trouble, like Sunday after lunch while I was attempting to unclog my bathroom sink (insert gross visual here) Ali decided to start jumping on my bed.

At four years old, she's pretty stable.

Elle climbed up to join her.

At 20 months old she is not so stable. Elle promptly fell off the bed and hit her head. I had to wash the yuck off my heads real fast and run out to make sure she was ok.


However, sometimes, this 'me too, me too' attitude goes fairly well.

Here's my Ali in the kitchen making dinner by herself Sunday evening. I did sautee the beef for her but that was it.

Picking the basil leaves off the stem.

Slicing basil

The pretty pink paring knife she got for her birthday.
(yes, I got my four year old a knife for her birthday!)

Making Lasagna cups

About halfway through the process Elle decided she wanted to cook too. So she did.

She stuffed the little wonton wrappers in the tin.

Loaded them with cheese and basil.

Attempted the marinara sauce but

soon realized that eating the sauce was more fun.
Sorry the picture is blurry. I was laughing while trying take the photo.
Literally just shoveling it in.

Overall we spent quite a lot of time hanging out in the kitchen together. Everyone was happy, productive and at the end of it we had a wonderful dinner that Ali was so proud of herself for making.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Texas Superfood

To say I've been dragging lately doesn't quite cut it.

I've been sleeping fairly well but am waking up sluggish and not at all rested. I spend my whole day in a fog, feeling like I just can't get moving.

I've been wanting for a while to add some supplement to my diet to help give me a little bit of energy and a boost but have not had a good experience with most of these products in the past. Typically they either make me nauseated or give me such severe gas, bloating and discomfort that it's just not worth any actual benefit.

One of my friends on facebook recently posted a picture of her morning smoothie saying that the kids had been sick and she was 'getting her health on'.

Someone else immediately asked what the supplement was and I started doing my research too.

It looks pretty ideal. No chemical names. No added sugars for taste.

I guess it's one of those things where you have to try to and see what happens, but I've been so tired for months now and I just have to try something. If it works, great, if I end up gassy and bloated, oh well.

I ordered my first month and we'll see what happens.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Weekend travels

Well, we all survived the weekend, which is fairly impressive all things considered.

We even survived without too much stress or general crankiness.

Last Wednesday Ali woke up with a 102 degree fever. Elle had the same cold the week before so I knew how it was going to go.

Day 1 is fever and misery.

Day 2 is low fever and feeling fairly good while medicated.

Day 3 is 100% back to normal.

Thankfully, this whole process started on Wednesday since 'day 3' was the day Ali and I were scheduled to fly to DC for a wedding. We just squeaked in under the illness radar.

So we spend Wednesday snuggled up together watching Mickey. Thursday running errands and packing. When Friday comes, Ali is thrilled to be going on an airplane and so excited about all the other pieces of the adventure. We load up and head to the airport.

She LOVED the flight. LOVED IT!

The whole weekend was wonderful. She got a little cranky Saturday afternoon before the reception but she ended up not napping at all that day and really was a trooper through the whole thing.

She loved seeing my cousin in her wedding dress. He jaw literally dropped when the bride came down the aisle.

She loved dancing at the reception. We both danced and danced. It was so much fun. I love dancing and she was such a great little sidekick for the night.

The next day we enjoyed a beautiful walk outside.

And then Ali crashed on the way home. HARD.

We sat in our seats on the plane and had a snack while others were boarding. Before the plane was half full, she laid her head down on my lap and was asleep.

She slept the whole flight home. Take off. Turbulence. Landing. All of it.

I had to wake her at the gate when we arrived back in Atlanta.

It was a great weekend and some wonderful quality time with my girl.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


Sometimes it's been more of an effort than others. But I have not yelled at the girls since my last post. That's not to say we haven't had arguments and that no one has been in trouble, but I have not lost my temper or felt out of control.

This weekend, with the holiday weekend my husband and I took Friday off as well and had planned a quiet kid free day, which didn't last long when Elle woke up at might night Thursday night vomiting and running a fever. So I spent Friday snuggled with my baby girl. We had a nice day together and as long as she was on Tylenol she was ok.

Saturday my husband woke up not feeling well. Two sick 'babies'. I put them both down for naps after lunch and took Ali to the pool.

Somehow we managed a four day weekend mostly 'stuck at home' days without too many tantrums, from them or me.

This coming weekend Ali and I are flying to my cousin's wedding and I'm half excited and half nervous for the trip. My parents are driving up (they don't fly) so technically I won't be on my own at the hotel/wedding with my four year old. I am not concerned about managing Ali on the flight, she'll be ok for that part. It's only two hours. However, I am a little worried about keeping her occupied during the non wedding time we'll have over the weekend.

We're going to Old Town Alexandria, Virginia and it looks like a fantastic little artsy place to spend a weekend... if you're an adult who likes lounging on patios with a drink and walking through art fairs without touching every single thing you see...

For a four year old, this could be tough. Thankfully she likes walks, and I'm planning on bringing a few art supplies for some crafting. Between that and the games on her tablet I'm hoping we can keep her occupied.

Thursday, September 3, 2015


There's something wrong with me.

I have been losing my temper with my kids every night.

Every night.

Pretty much after about 6 pm I lose my ability to be a rational parent/person.

I hit my limit. It's all I can take from the day and I'm done.

Every whine. Every 'mama'. Every tear. Every tantrum magnifies in my head.

The skin wants to crawl of the back of my neck.

I can't handle it.

I can't handle anything.

All of it makes my blood boil.

Last night I was desperately trying to do a class homework project with Ali and I couldn't. I flat out could not even communicate with her without getting so frustrated and annoyed that I had to scream.

My husband had to come and take my place. He sent me into the kitchen to finish up cleaning from dinner (normally something he does each evening).

I couldn't even do that. Elle was under my feet wanting to color or paint or sit on my feet, I don't even know what. I didn't care. I just needed her to stop whining at me. I kept pushing her away telling her to go play in the other room. I had set out crayons and paper. There were toys out, I needed her away from me and she wouldn't stop whining.

I finally grabbed her up (picked is too light a word) and practically flung her into bed.

I screamed at her to stop.

I couldn't stop.

My husband came to the stairs to see me fleeing Elle's room and told me to calm down. I said I couldn't.

I ran to the garage and cried. Sobbed.

I was so frustrated. So angry. So overwhelmed.

And I was taking it out on my girls.

I cried myself out and then went back inside to see my husband and Ali about done with the school project.

I went upstairs and got Elle out of her crib and sat on the floor with her for 10 minutes or so and played with her before calmly putting her back to bed.

I went downstairs to get Ali and apologized.

We went through our normal bedtime routine.

A couple times I started to get worked up again and forcefully had to continue to maintain the calm.

It was hard.

When I kissed her goodnight I apologized again for having a bad evening. And she said that I needed to not yell so much.

That hurt. So much.

She's right.

Today, I saw that terrible photo of the boy who drowned. He was three.

I have to get control of myself.

I have to look at my children and appreciate them.

I have to know that they are little.

They are learning.

They are learning what I show them.

I have to not yell, but instead hug.

Do not yell, hug.

I even made myself a reminder.

I don't think this is going to change what it wrong with me. I really think there is something off balance. I don't know what to do about it though.

But I have to stop turning that on my girls.

I have to be a better parent. A better me.