Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Resolutions for one and all

New year's resolutions are a sham.  Basically, it's shit we should already be doing, but are too lazy to for whatever reason, and we use the "new year" as an excuse to say "Yea, I'm finally going to _____!" Whoo-hoo!  But, I usually jump on that bandwagon as well, trying to pick a few things I'd like to do more or less of to help make me a better person (is that even possible?!?) I advise you to make a few different ones, just in case you can't keep them all, and then you don't feel like a total failure!  I made a list of ten things I want to work on a few posts back.  This way, statistically I have a decent chance of keeping a few through out the year.

I decided to ask the peas what their New Year's resolutions are going to be and after attempting to explain what that meant, here were their responses:

Hannah: "I want to play doctor more." (as she was actually playing doctor)  Good choice

Jacob: "I want to do more science and finally become Spider man."  Lofty goal, my son, but I'll support you.

Abigail: "I want to do more grown up stuff like bake and run with you." What the heck??  Doesn't she know that these two are my sacred ALONE time activities??  Blah!

Here's what I would've like for them to have said:

Hannah:  "I'm going to stay in my bed when you tuck me in because I realize that you are ready for your alone time."

Jacob: "I'm going to whine less and quit grinding up my bread on the table when I eat a sandwich so that I will minimize your clean-up time after a meal."

Abigail: "I am going to stop constantly whistling, because I know how aggravated it makes you."


As for Mr. Pea, he's usually quite good at keeping a resolution if he makes one.  Two years ago, he vowed to floss everyday and two years later he still is.  If I were to make one for him this year it would be "I will plan more date nights, on my own, and not say 'I don't care what we do' when you are trying to plan a night out."  That would be super, thanks! :)

If I had to make a resolution for the world it be a two-parter: one: Ladies, stop taking self-pics.  It's super annoying. Ask a friend to do it for you.  And two: people need to stop being such self-centered ass-holes.  It's getting old, people.  Take care of one another and our Earth. We are all that we've got.  We don't want end up like the tubs o'lard living on the Axiom on Wall-e because we couldn't take care of the things that were the most important, do we?!?  I didn't think so.

So happy New Year's everyone!  2012 wasn't my most favorite of years, so here's to wishing for a better one, filled with happy days and peaceful nights (unless I'm going out, then a party-riffic night!); glasses constantly full of wine and houses that magically clean themselves; kids that don't argue nor whine and that sleep into 7:30 on a Saturday and that, most importantly, everyone that I love stays put. :)

It's almost 2013, bring it on, year!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Potty Training 101 {again}

I hate potty training.  I really do.  I was saying to my good friend Courtney the other day that someone should just create a "potty training camp" where you are enroll your child, they stay for a few days, and come back all ready to go!  Bye bye diapers!  Wouldn't that be great?  But, until that glorious day comes, we have to suffer through it.  I liked training Abby.  Jake was fairly easy too.  Hannah, on the other hand, is a different story.  I tried training her in the late spring.  She did ok, as long as I was taking her to the potty.  It never "clicked" for her though. I always had to take her.  She never went on her own.  Then we went on vacation and she completely regressed and I got frustrated and decided we BOTH needed a break!  So now we are giving it another go. 

Two days ago, I gathered all the essential supplies:
Adorable pee and poop potty chart.  What's the best thing about potty training??  Saying POOP and PEE-PEE a hundred times a day!!
Doggy stickers, of course.
Bribes of choice.  I like m & m's.  Easy, small and on holiday clearance. :)

And, of course, a timer, stain cleaner, soaking bucket, a trillion pairs of undies, venti chai's for the daytime and venti glasses of wine for the evening.

 Here she is.  Big girl coloring in her big girl undies and leg warmers (a personal must for pt-ing).
I haven't left the house yet.  That's the scariest part.  And the heaviest. All those extra clothes, undies, plastic bags for wet stuff, travel potty seat.  Never did I see myself carrying a foldable TOILET SEAT in my KATE SPADE bag!  Ugh!  Oh well, comes with the territory, I guess. 
Hopefully she "gets" it this time and I can move onto the stage of no diaper.  Do you know I have had a child in diapers for 7+ years STRAIGHT?!  That's a lot of diapers. 
Come on Hannah, let's get this sh*t together.  Mommy's ready, are you?? Let's rock and roll!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Saying goodbye to Hermie

Today was Hermie's last day with us.  Tonight is he suppose to fly back with Santa to the North Pole and then he will come again next year.  I will have to say, I'll miss Hermie.  He has been a fun addition to our Christmas tradition and the kids just loved finding him every morning.
Since he was so special to the kids, I wanted to do something fun for his exit.
Last night, I wrote a little note to accompany his hiding spot.  Here's what it said:
"Dear Abigail, Jacob and Hannah,
Today is my last day,
I must say good-bye,
Tonight I must go
to the North Pole I'll fly.
But Santa will be here
with gifts and good cheer,
and I'll be back again next year.
So remember to behave and take care of yourselves,
and remember all the fun times you had with me, Hermie the Elf!"
and just for an extra special touch, on the bottom I added:
"at 12:00, Santa will lift my magic, only for a few minutes, so you can pick me up and say good bye!  Remember to say the magic words: Snowflake, snowflake, snowflake!"
So all morning, the kids were anxious for noon to come.  Finally, at 12:00, we got to hug Hermie and say good-bye.

I cannot express how excited and nervous they were.

Pure joy.

Abby was nervous and didn't want to hold him for too long!

One last picture with The Herm!

Then tonight, we said our final good-byes.  They seemed to have mixed emotions about him leaving, expressing how much they will miss him.  I explained that now was the time for Hermie to go on vacation with his elf friends so that seemed to help!

Next to Santa's cookies, Hermie is leaving these chocolates and coloring pictures of himself!
He left a note saying how much he will miss the kids until next year :)
Merry Christmas Hermie. We will miss you!  Tell Santa hi from the Thomas Family.
Now it's back to following up with my own consequences for bad behavior...great ;)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Confession

So, before you are a mother, your head is full of visions of how it will be someday when you become a parent: lazy days full of snuggles, joyful crafts sessions where the mess doesn't matter, little angels falling asleep peacefully in their beds without fuss.  Then you become a mother and you realize that, while these moments do exist, most days are full of mini triumphs and many small struggles.  Instead of lazy days; your days are filled to the brim with things to do and not enough time to do them...instead of crafts, there are more just messes...and very few evenings end the way you plan.  Now, this doesn't mean that these days aren't memorable and full of love, they are just a bit different then they were with your rose-colored glasses on.

Before you are a mother, there are certain events that you are led to believe are a MUST to do AND enjoy with your kids.  Things like crafts, reading, walks, bike rides and building blocks fall into this category.  We all do these, but do we really enjoy ALL of them??  Probably at one time or another we do, but if you are like me, then you may have days that these sort of obligatory events are less than pleasurable.  But, rare is a mother that will admit it.  Who me???  NEVER!  I LOVE doing things with my kids ALL day.  I am a perfect mother, didn't you know??? 

Well, I am going to be the first to make a confession.  Loud and online.  Permanent and for all the world (or at least the anyone that reads my blog) to see.  There is one of these obligatory events that really can't stand doing {most days} with my kids.

Ready?  Are you going to judge me? 

I'm sure some of you will....

BAKING WITH MY KIDS.  Ugg!  I can't stand it!  Phew, that was liberating to say!

Yes, I LOVE baking.  I really truly enjoy it.  It's fun trying out new recipes and new techniques.  My kids, however, ALWAYS want to help.  I know this seems terrible to say, but I'd really rather they didn't.  I know they mean well, and it isn't really their fault, but I just find them to be in the way when I'm baking!  Our kitchen is an ok size, but not nearly big enough for all of us to be at the counter at the same time.  They usually make 3x as much of a mess as I would do and it'll take me 3x as long as normal.

And the worst thing is they are ALWAYS trying to lick all the ingredients!  I mean, come on!!!  Just because the butter is there on the counter doesn't mean you stick your finger in it!!  It's a guarantee that if I have ever baked something for you and I let the kids help, their fingers and spit were in the dish before it baked. (Sorry Santa!)

Now, of course, I will let them help sometimes, and it is fun for all of us {sort of}.  It does build memories they were cherish forever and messes that take equally as long to clean up....

Do some of you think I am a bad mommy?!?  Maybe.  Oh well, can't please everyone!  I have to share everything I do.  I can't pee, shower, sit on the couch, shop or have a snack alone.  I really enjoy baking and running alone and I'm keeping it that way!

Well, that was a weight off my chest!  Am I alone in this??  Does anyone else have a confession they want to make??  Feel free to share...and as all us mommies know, sharing is caring :)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Go the f*ck to sleep

Have you seen this book???  It's so funny and spot on.  I don't actually own it but I'd like to someday.  If you haven't heard it, you can listen to it here on you tube.  It's narrated by Samuel L. Jackson and is as funny as the title sounds.  Seriously an lol-er. 

My kids have come up with their share of excuses of why they can't go to sleep.  Here are some of the better ones that I can think of.

The usual ones:
- I have to go potty.
- I need a drink of water.
- I need some more water.
- I can't find my {monkey, blanket, stuffed dog, Blue's Clue...}
- My blanket is wrinkly
- I need more milk (Hannah).
- My pillow fell off my bed.
- My blanket is untucked
- I can't here my window.
- I had a bad dream. (How is that even possible since you actually haven't even gone to sleep yet!)
- I have a boo-boo {enter any place on their body}
- My stars turned off. (night light animals, even though they do have a regular night light)

Some of the more exotic ones:
- I have too my spit in my mouth.
- I heard my bad-guy siren and I need to go sling a web out of my window.
- My body is cracking in half.
- I have something sticky on my finger. (oh great!)
- I need to go poop.
- I forgot to feed Biscuit.
- I didn't brush my teeth. (yes you did)
- I didn't floss. (too late!)
- I need some medicine.
- I don't like the song on my radio.
- There is a cat in my bed (no there isn't)
- There is someone talking to me (no sh*t, Hannah said that to me once, SCARY!)
- My blanket is upside down.
- I want to watch this show with you.
- I forgot to tell Hermie {the elf} something.
- The stars are too bright.
- I have wax in my ears.

I know there is more than this....I'll have to begin keeping a running list of the hilarity.

Hopefully they are FINALLY asleep so I can wrap Christmas presents!!

What's your kid's favorite bedtime excuse?? Please do share!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Snowflakes for Sandy Hook

Today marks one week since last Friday's horrific tragedy in Connecticut.  I'm sure like every mother or teacher, I have felt a hole in my heart since this day.  Even though I didn't know these babies or their families, I still can't help but thinking of them everyday.  It could have been my daughter's first grade classroom.  It could've been anywhere.  It's a scary feeling. 
It was hard to put Abby on the bus the following Monday.  Not because I am worried about her at school.  She goes to an amazing school with amazing teachers and in an amazing district.  But these kids, too, went to an amazing school with amazing teachers.  This type of event, brings to light the harsh reality of how short life is; and of how quickly it can be taken away.  One of the things I would like to keep in the for front of my life for 2013, is this fact, and to really cherish every moment with my kids. 
I have prayed every day for these families.  For the families of the babies lost, for the families of the teachers and for the families of the kids that survived, since they know have had their innocence taken from them far too soon.  I pray for all of them to find peace some day. 
I didn't tell my kids about this and haven't let them watch the news about it.  I think they are just too young and I didn't want them, and especially Abby since she is the same age, to have fears going to school.  Plus, Mr. Pea and I plan on shielding them from these any all horrors as long as possible.  No child should have to know these tragedies, which is, of course, which makes this one especially difficult.  I have, however, been wanting to do something to help.  I didn't know what do to.  Then I saw this post on the blog The Handmade Home and I knew this was something that we could do.

When the kids from Sandy Hook go back to school in the new year, they will be going to a school in another town.  The Connecticut PTSA is wanting to decorate it in a winter wonderland of snowflakes for all the kids to have some joy as they attempt to progress on in their life.  They are asking for people to help make paper snowflakes to hang in the school.  I think this is wonderful idea.  Hopefully these little snowflakes sent from far away, will help remind these kids and teachers that they are not alone in their grief; that the whole country morns with them.
This afternoon, I plan on making some snowflakes with my kids to sent to Sandy Hook.  I haven't quiet decided on what I am going to say to them on WHY we are doing this.  I'll probably say something to effect of "there are some kids at a school far away that were hurt and these snowflakes are going to help to make them happy again." and leave it at that. 

If you would like to make some, here is some info on their PTSA website:

The address you will send them to is:
Connecticut PTSA, 60 Connolly Parkway, Building 12, Suite 103, Hamden, CT 06514, by January 12, 2013.

Here are some more places for ideas for snowflakes:

I will be working on these this weekend, and pics will follow!!  I hope this small thing can bring even one smile to any of those little boys and girl's faces, because that is the least they deserve after all of the sadness they have endured.  If you make some, send me some pictures and maybe I'll make another blog showing everyone that helped!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Top ten Tuesday (again, a day late)

With 2013 quickly approaching, I've complied a list of things I'd like to work more on in the new year!

Top ten things I want to do better or more of in 2013:
1. Lose 10 pounds, seriously!
2. Run at least 3x a week.  Life gets busy and my stuff is usually the first to be put to the side.  I'd like to focus on this more!
3. Drink more water. Not in replace of wine or chai though....that would just be crazy!
4. Work on making freezer meals.  I've had a pinterest board full of freezer meals for a year and haven't made a single one!
5. Make it to Disney for the first time with the peas in the fall.
6. Have more occasions to go out with my husband and wear clothes with buttons.
7. Take more pics WITH my kids.
8. Blog more often and on time (hence, no more Top Ten Tuesdays on a Wednesday)
9. Be more patient; for being a mama can be tough some days.
10. Focus on the importance of everyday blessings and to take nothing for granted.  It's easy to wish for days to end, to be exhausted and annoyed.  We all have those days and nothing can change that.  If the tragedy in Connecticut has taught us anything, it's that it serves as a reminder how precious life is and easily it can be taken away.  I vow to make every day count and to treasure every hug and kiss from my peas.  Will I still blog about the stressful realities of motherhood?? Sure.  But that won't ever change how much I love my peas and that I wouldn't trade a single one of those stressful days for anything <3

I'm looking forward to the new year!  What are you going to focus on more??

Monday, December 17, 2012

Easy holiday snack mix

As you know, I made the teachers wreaths for Christmas, but I needed something for Abby's "helper teachers" so I decided to make an easy but yummy snack mix.
To make this, you will need:
3c. Honey nut cheerios
3c. rice chex
2 c. mini pretzels**
two bags of holiday m and m's
1 c. peanuts, unshelled
2 bags of white chocolate chips
2T shortening
**note, when I bought this stuff, Fry's had some strange pretzel shortage and the only bag I could find was ONE bag of unsalted, but normally I would've chosen regular

I found these cute canisters at the dollar store and will used some green ribbon to tie around them.

Mix all the ingredients together, except the chocolate and shortening, in a large bowl or pot.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave and when it's almost done, add the shortening and mix it in.  This will help thin the chocolate.
Stir in the chocolate into the snack mix and let cool on a large piece of parchment paper.  Now, when I made mine, I mis-judged how much I would need to fill the containers, so I had doubled the original recipe.  I had TONS left over!  Ooops.

I filled the four jars for Abby's teachers and will have her hand write hands when she gets home from school.
What did I do with all my leftovers?!?  Well, I will take them to the preschool, and let those lovely ladies share it.  I wish I had more cute jars, but I don't, so this container will have to do :)
This snack mix probably took me 20 minutes to make from start to finish.  It is also fairy inexpensive to make so it's nice for when you have to make gifts in bulk.
I will be delivering all my gifts tomorrow, so hopefully everyone will like them!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Christmas Wreath and a Distraction

Tonight, I am still so sad about all these babies in Connecticut.  I can't stop thinking about them, having a daughter the same age.  I decided I needed a distraction, so I made myself a Christmas wreath.

Pretty, huh??
I think so!  And after making so many wreaths lately for other people, I was glad to make one for me; since I did not have a Christmas one yet.
I am also excited because I made a NEW flower for my wreath!  A poinsettia!  So pretty and easy to make.
Here's what you will need for this wreath:
- red, green and white yarn
- red and white striped bakers twine
- red, beige, and green felt
- red and white flower bulbs (I chose sparkly white and solid red)
- large wreath (I chose a straw wreath, since it's wider)
- glue gun and hot glue

A few weeks ago, I knew I wanted to make myself a holiday wreath, after I was done with the teacher wreaths.  I bought a straw wreath to make this, since it's fatter.  It is, however, not a smooth surface, so it gives a slightly "bumpy" look to the wreath, so keep that in mind.  You can choose a Styrofoam one if you'd prefer a smoother look. 

I had some left over red and white from the teachers wreathes so I used that and then got a pretty green from my friend Vanna.  It's a bit thicker of a yarn from the red and white so was quicker to wrap. 
After wrapping each color, I had some red and white striped bakers twine that I have been wanting to use so I decided to wrap that in between each section.  I forgot to take a picture of that, but you will see it in the final picture. 
To make the adorable poinsettia, I cut four strips of red felt and then cut 8 large petals, 16 medium petals and 6 small petals.  I also cut a 2 in diameter circle out of red.
After cutting the petal shape, out of all the strips, I glued the large ones down first, and the two layers of medium ones and one layer of small ones.  I cut a small beige circle to place in the center.
It's sort of hard to see the layers, but you can see it on the finished one.
I glued my beads down and then tied with some green yarn.
To make my leaves, I used two colors of green and glued them on top of one another. I hot glued these down behind the flower.
Glue the flower on top of the beads and then the leaves behind it and you are done.  I tied some green ribbon on top to hang it.
It's a very pretty wreath!  I'm excited to hang it in my house :)
I hope you find inspiration in my new endeavour.
Happy crafting!
Currently Linking up with "Made for you Monday" by Skip to My Lou


Friday, December 14, 2012

Prayers for my children

Prayers for my children:

I pray my children always know how truly loved they are.
I pray they are blessed with the ability to make the right decision, and the ability to admit it when they do not.
I pray they grow to be good natured and caring adults.
I pray they always treat others equally, regardless of gender, race and religion.
I pray they grow to be honest.
I pray for them to be hardworking and take pride in what they accomplish.
I pray for them to not to be judgemental of others, because everyone has a story.
I pray they never have to feel pain, but if they ever do, I pray for them to be able to deal with it a proper manner.
I pray they know they are never alone.
I pray they know their parents would never judge them, and always will love them no matter what.
I pray they know they can always talk to us; confide in us.
I pray they know that violence is never the answer.
I pray for them to be blessed with patience and humility, when needed.
I pray for them to know that we as humans, need to care for one another.
I pray they know it's ok to ask for help.
I pray they always try to see the good in people, even when it's very difficult.
I pray they know that they can always count on their sisters and brother.
I pray they always try their best.
I pray they are always try to be kind.
I pray they do not ever feel so desperate, they do something they will regret.
I pray they always know they are worth the time of others.
I pray they always feel as blessed as we do right now <3

Thursday, December 13, 2012

25 lessons from motherhood I have learned {the hard way}

 I've learned a lot of these 7 years of motherhood, some easier learned than others....

25 lessons I learned from motherhood:

1. Never let a kid hold a tube of super glue, even for a second.
2. Even if they say they don't need to, ALWAYS take the kids to the potty before you leave to do errands.
3. Carry an extra set of clothes with you per kids, no matter how old they are.
4. If you are going out, be sure to check your bag for diapers!
5. Keep all sharpies out of your kids reach.
6. Mr. Clean Erasers are a god-send.  Keep a nice stock of those.
7. It will take you "x" number of times longer (x equals the number of kids you have with you) to do an errand, such as "running" into Target or the grocery store, than it used to take you.
8. Walk away from temper tantrums, it's not worth your sanity.
9. Never start a "project" when the kids are up.  You know you aren't going to get it accomplished!
10. All kids will eventually eat. Stop stressing out.
11. You will never have any privacy again.
12. You will constantly look "tired".
13. Messes will always just seem to "appear" out of thin air.
14. Your kids will 97% not eat that awesome new dish you found on Pinterest.
15. If you think your shaving razor is high, it's not high enough!!
16. You can never have enough wine or caffeinated drinks in the house.
17. It's best to tell a kid about an exciting thing you are doing or that will be happening exactly 2 minutes before it's about to happen.
18. No TV for the kiddies too close to bed, or else your bedtime visits will multiply exponentially.
19. It's not the best idea to take your kid's lovey out and about with you, especially in a place far from home.
20. You will never get a response from your kids the first time you ask.
21. A quiet child is most likely getting into trouble.
22. You can never have enough hand soap, toilet paper, paper towels, or concealer.
23. It's a good idea to keep a hidden stash of candy or stickers for bribing purposes.
24. Kids will always repeat what you say.
25. If you had a "not-your-best-mommy" day, you can always try again tomorrow. :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (a day late)

Yea, I get that it's Wednesday but this week and next are crazy busy for me.  I have taken up a second home at my kid's school, so I am a bit behind on my blog...don't worry, I'll catch up :)

Here's my Wednesday Edition of Top Ten Tuesday:

Ten things you would never hear my kids say:

1. I know it's bedtime, and you are tired and want to have a glass of wine so I am going to get in my bed and not get out until morning.

2. I am going to play with all my toys all day long because I love them so much and I'm not at all bored with them.

3. I just heard you say "please clean up your toys" so I did it the first time you asked.

4. You made a new supper tonight??  I can't wait to eat it all up!

5. Since it's Saturday, I am going to sleep until 8:00 am, ok?

6. No, I don't need any band-aids tonight, but thank you anyways.

7. I was finished with my blocks but wanted to play with my dolls so I put them away before I took my new toy out.

8. No thanks, I don't need those (cookies, crackers, toys, stickers, candies, popsicle...etc...) right now, you can save your money.

9. You want to do THREE errands in a row?!?!  I can't wait!!!

10. I am not concerned with how many days until Christmas there are...I know the true Christmas spirit is about more than presents...

Happy Wednesday all!

Friday, December 7, 2012

No, Target security guard, I am not shoplifting...

I have been having trouble lately with getting Abby presents.  She's sort of in between stages; too big for "baby stuff" but not quite ready for some "big girl" technology stuff.  There's these new toys on the market this year that sort of fall into that "in-between" stage: The Fijit and The Furby. (and yes, I realize that Furbuys were out forever ago as well!).  These strange toys are part robot and part stuffed animal.  I had seen them and thought that Abby may like one, but they were like between $45 and $55!  Ummm, no way.  I don't even spend that kind of money on myself! So I had put it out of my mind, until today.  This morning Target was having a daily deal with The Fijit being on sale for $15!  I think, "Well for $15, I may as well get it!".  I quick log on, add it to my cart and begin paying.  As I am submitting, it's suddenly becomes sold out. :(  Oh well, not meant to be I guess.  So I go on with my day, house stuff, run to Joann Fabrics, come home.  After lunch, the kids are "resting" and suddenly I read on one of my trusty coupon blogs that The Fijit is actually on sale IN STORE as well for $15, only for today!  I also had two get a $10 gift card when you spend $50 coupons that expire tomorrow, and I really wanted to use them.  The problem was the two peas in the next room!  They notice everything, so how am I going to get Christmas stuff with them in the wagon?!?  I decide to figure it out on my way, knowing that these types of deals usually sell out quick and also I didn't have too much time before school was out. 

"Who wants to go to Target with me?!?!?!" I say with a huge happy face.  I knew they weren't going to want to because they already had to go to a store with me earlier. I bribe them with a mystery lego toy and bring the ipad.  In the car we go.  I think that if I could get the big wagon, the basket part is more blocked off, so I may be able to hide stuff, but if I wanted to use the coupons, since I still had Christmas stuff to buy anyways, I was going to have to hide it.  MY REUSABLE BAGS!  Bingo!  I can just put the stuff in the bags in the wagon and then they won't see them!  So we rush into the store, me holding Hannah horizontally, my coupon binder, my reusable bags and my own bag, with Jacob trailing behind.  We have to rush to both sides to the store and FINALLY find a big wagon.  I get everyone buckled and rush to the toy section.  I find The Fijit only in green (it'll have to do) and hide it in a bag.  I bee-bop from aisle to aisle getting the few things I wanted, hiding them all in bags.  Soon, I feel like someone is following me and I turn around to see a Target security guard watching me.  Oh great!  I think.  I get a few more things and am ready to check out, but then, there is the security guard again!  Ahhh, so annoying!  Doesn't he get what I am doing!?!  I walk near him and I say quietly "I'm not hiding things for the fun of it...I have two kids with me, don't you understand?!?  Don't you get it??"  The guy, or should I say "kid", looks at pea #2 and #3 in the wagon playing "I can be Barbie" on the ipad and finally puts two and two together.  I rush past him and to the check out lines.  After fumbling through two transactions, all while hiding a whole wagon full of toys, we check out and score some pretty good deals.  I sneak the toys in the back, cover with the blanket and make it out in under 25 minutes with no kid the wiser.  Sneakily shopping with kids isn't easy, but I did it!  Hooray for me!  And now we are the proud owner of a Fijit.
It seems more like a glorified Alfie:
Yea, you remember this guy :)
So hopefully she'll like it and at least play with it for two weeks.  Hopefully...

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Pulling a starbucks

Tonight was dinner and a movie in our house...we rented Santa Paws 2 and got Papa Johns, since it was pizza night for Abby's school.  Tonight was a different type of night, so the peas weren't making me as crazy as they usually are.
So tonight, I didn't need rush along bedtime, but sometimes I have one of those days that bedtime just can't come soon enough and THAT'S when I sometimes have to "pull a starbucks".  Little known fact about me: I worked at Starbucks for 7 years. I started there in 1998, a junior in high school and worked there until I was 6 months pregnant with Abby.  I even worked there at night during my first year teaching!  When I worked there, we weren't always the nicest to customers.  I closed a lot, especially when school was in session.  Obviously I had more awesome stuff to do afterwards so I had to get out of there ASAP!  So, on those types of nights, I would, like I now refer to it as, "pull a starbucks".  We'd get everything ready to close: machines washed, everything put away, only the necessities out.  We'd get the lobby all clean and wrap up all the outside furniture, before we actually closed.  We would still be open and obviously would do our jobs if someone came in, but to help less people come in, my favorite thing to do was dim the lights and close the blinds so it looked like we were closed. I couldn't get in trouble for this since it wasn't like I actually locked the door early.  It just gave the impression that we were closed to pass-er-byers!  It was genius.
Now, as a mom, I will sometimes use the same technique to get the kids in bed early.  Its starting to work less now that Abby can tell time, but I'm sure I still have some time left for my trick.
So to pull a starbucks, you have to start a few hours before bedtime would normally be.  No tv, no computers, only some music, preferably something quiet. Keep the shades closed.  This works best if you have darker shades and also when it's fall or winter. Then just start pushing everything up earlier.  20 minutes earlier for dinner, early bath, right into pj's, stories and into bed.  Just act natural, just like you normally would.  It's the same schedule but earlier and they are none the wiser.  It's great.  You should try it some time.  The best bedtime is an early bedtime :)
As Abby gets older, this won't work anymore, I realize.  I'll shed a tear when that happens, but until then I will do it as much as I need.  Thank Starbucks!  You not only paid for all my college expenses, party money and awesome purses; but also taught me a nifty trick for getting my kids into bed early!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Liar, liar pants on fire

So this adorable boy, is a BIG fibber...
Oh yea...this kid can tell some stories.

He has quite a vivid imagination. 

Lately, he has been telling these stories about school.  We eat lunch fairly soon after he gets home from school and while we are eating, that's when the stories usually come out.

Me: "How was your day Jake?"
Jake: "It was good.  Let me tell you everything I did."  Then he starts talking about what he did.  It usually starts off normal. "I played with play doh.  I painted.  Ms. Debbie read me a story"  But then he sometimes will start off with this outrageous tale.
Jake: "Then, we went outside and a HUGE boy came late to school and he stomped on all the playground!  He was so mean, Ms. Courtney said he couldn't come back.  So his mom had to come pick him up but she was so huge too that she couldn't drive a car so she had to walk and it took her forever to come and he just kept stomping until she did."

What the what?!?  Really Jake?

Another gem:
Jake: "I was building an awesome block tower and then a super mean boy came and punched me and knocked down all my blocks.  I was going to be sad but then I just put my Spiderman suit and trapped him in a web and Ms. Debbie put him in a closet until his mom could come and take him home."

Sounds like an average day at preschool, right???  Sure.

One last one...
Jake: "I was painting at school today and then I stopped because I heard a noise.  I told Ms. Courtney about the noise and so we went outside to look at it, but then it was recess so we all went outside and the noise was a hairy dog running on the playground!  He was going down the slides and in the tires.  My teachers caught him in a net.  Then I went down the slide and then you came to get me."

Too many super hero shows, Jacob?  Perhaps, just a tad...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Top ten things I love about wine in a box!

Welcome to the first edition of Top Ten Tuesday!  I thought it would be fun for every Tuesday to share ten things, some that I love and some that I hate.  Who DOESN'T want to know my opinion on everything?!?

Top Ten Tuesday, Boxed Wine Edition
Ten things I love about box wine

1. It's cheap!  $12.99 at fry's for 5 liters of wine!!
2. The box tells me I am saving the Earth by using less packaging.
3. No corks to open.
4. Who doesn't love squares?!
5. It has an easy to pour twisty spout.
6. Less trips to Fry's because it lasts me longer.
7. Less noise when the recycling truck comes to pick up my barrel every week.
8. It doesn't taste bad, if you find the right kind!
9. Simple to choose the kind you want: red or white, pick one and you are done.
10. They actually sell purses you can carry around the bag from your boxed wine! No joke, right?? I don't own one of these but it is a nice and classy way to bring a box of wine into a party or perhaps a place that doesn't sell wine.  Can't do that with a bottle!!
**please note: I still very much so love wine in a bottle but when a girl's on a budget, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do ;)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Morning in the Thomas House

It's no secret that my kids go to bed early. I have always believed in routines for my kids and try my best to stick to them.  My kids have ALWAYS been early risers, no matter what time they go to bed they get up early.  Always.  It's just my peas, that's how they roll.  Occasionally they'll go through a lovely stage where they will sleep until 7:00.  It's doesn't happen often.  Most days they are up at 6:30, which is early, but is when they have to get up for school anyways so I deal with it!
Mornings are funny in my house.  Each pea has their own morning personality.  When we don't have any place to be, it's nice.  We can get up, probably still at 6:30, and relax. When we have to get up and be someplace by a certain time, that's when all hell will break loose.
I set my alarm everyday for 5:30, in hopes of having some "me time" before I have to get the kids up. Jacob has some uncanny ability, though, to sense when ever I get up, no matter what time.  He comes in our room and just breathes weird.  It's rather annoying. I usually tell him to go play in his room so I don't have to have an audience while I pee and brush my teeth.  I will now only have about 10 minutes before he starts whining for juice and cheese.  Yes, cheese.  Everyday.  Super annoying. 
Now we enter the living room, I'll attempt to put the water on for some tea, while Jacob is still following me with more whining.  I'll get his crap then usually have to wake Abby.  She is becoming increasingly more difficult to get out of bed.  She's not too bad yet, but definitely wakes up with an attitude!!  It's like 12 hours of sleep aren't enough for her.  Hannah will wake up on her own at some point, prpbably crabby.  I try to do a quick and easy breakfast and the kids have a snack table in the living room that I let them eat at.  Here's where the fight begins. For like two years, Abby always sat in the "middle" of the couch.  Jacob and Hannah never really said anything until recently.  Now suddenly EVERYONE wants to sit in the middle.  I have had to make up a "middle" schedule so that everyone gets a turn.  It is probably one of the most ridiculous things I have ever has to do as a mom!  If I forget who's turn it is, everyone is crying and throwing fits.  Usually I've barely had time to drink 3 sips of my tea. 
After breakfast, I get three bodies dressed, three mouths of teeth brushed, three sets of shoes on, diffuse a few more tantrums, find some missing item that someone needs so desperately that one cannot live without, and hopefully are out the door to school on time, not forgetting anything.

About 20 minutes after everyone is up, I am already looking forward to bedtime again :)