Welcome to the fabulous and sometimes insane life
of a working mother who is trying hard not to
let her whole existence be determined by her
cute little munchkins, yet continues to be drawn
in by the adorable and sometimes annoying tiny people!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Oops! I Did It Again!

Let me begin by stating that I am not a frivolous spender. I mean, I am couponer for goodness sake and a good one to boot! With that being said, I must admit to a little spending as of late much to the dismay of my also thrifty husband to the point that he keeps a spread sheet of our household spending.

And to be honest I do not normally spend money on myself. If I do, I am so cheap I rarely will buy something that cost more than $20, be it a shirt, shoes, or (my fave) a flirty summer dress. Even if I find the perfect little dress, I refuse to spend more than $30 on it. I am the same with my kids. Lord help them when they get into the Aeropostale, Abercrombie, and Hollister stage because there is NO WAY I am spending $45 on a t-shirt!!

So I have recently met my downfall...Zulily.com I am quite certain that you have heard of this

delectable site and if you have not be prepared to meet YOUR downfall! Zulily is a temptress who focuses on providing busy moms with 50-70% off boutique brand prices.

At first, I resisted...deleting the e-mails. Then I looked but never bought withstanding the temptations. But then, as if it knew my weakness, they appeared. The prettiest pair of red shoes I have ever seen. I have been looking for red shoes ever since my sister found a pair (she paid *choke* $75) and I got caught trying to steal, I mean borrow, them from her closet by way of hiding them under my shirt. And they were half off!! Regular $49.99 and on sale for $24.99! I could not resist.
Aren't they sooooooooo pretty???

Then a couple of weeks later the cutest little dresses showed up. What was even better is that they were dresses that came in all three sizes I needed for my little female munchkins, which is very hard to do once one passes 6x. I was so sad the day she moved into a different department. And then a tragic event occurred...she grew out of Carter's! A travesty!!!

So that was it. No more. I was not opening any more e-mails!! I mean it! Well...I meant for a day or two. And then came today. I opened the "Big Summer Blow Out Event" email. And what did I find? The two cutest pairs of shoes!

In both shoes they only had one size and it just happened to be mine. Then I looked at the price. They were 75% off and only *GASP* $14.99. What to do, what to do? I wasn't going to give in again. But...I did need some brown shoes. My other pairs have seen better days. One is stapled together after the super glue stopped working and the other is so scuffed up it looks like it got in a cat fight. And they were only $14.99!

So what did I do? Well...I dipped into my pocketbook, pulled out my wallet, and in the words of Britney Spears "Oops I Did It Again". I swear this is it. I am not looking any more. Well, at least not any more tonight!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Spinach Ravioli Lasagna

My fabulous sister, Leslie, shared this recipe, and it rocked our world!! The first time I served it the munchkins turn their noses up. One even said that it looked like "boogers". But being the brave souls they are they tried it: starting first with my oldest who tentatively put a bite in her mouth while her little sister waited for her to give the go ahead. And go ahead they did. They ate and ate and ate. They literally had stomach aches afterwards. And I must admit, I had to make myself stop eating it, too. Now it is our favorite dish!


1 bag of Baby Spinach
4 oz of Pesto (green kind) sauce
1-15 oz jar of Alfredo sauce (I use reduced fat)
1/4 cup. chicken broth
1 (18-20 oz) package of refrigerated or frozen ravioli
1/2 cup Italian cheese blend

Finely chop spinach and mix with pesto sauce. Mix Alfredo sauce with broth. Pour 1/3 of Alfredo mixture into bottom of 2 quart casserole dish. Spread half of spinach mixture on top of that. Then layer half of raviolis. Repeat layers. Top with remaining third of Alfredo mixture. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Add cheese to top and cook for another 5 minutes. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Smell of Rain

Its raining outside. Oh how I love the rain! It is so calming, so refreshing, so cleansing. Earlier when I noticed the clouds rolling in, I literally got excited thinking about the possibility of rain. Then when Jim Cantore confirmed our 80% chance I was ecstatic. As I stepped outside to exit yet another poopy diaper wrapped in a grocery bag, I inhaled and was met instantly not by that oh so lovely smell of Nutramagin formula poopy diapers, but by the sweet, delicious smell of rain: the smell of promise and of renewal. 

Can you smell the rain? My oldest munchkin can. She can always tell when it is going to rain just by smelling the air. Maybe she will grow up to be Jim Cantore's assistant.

I wish I could say that my excitement of our impending showers was for unselfish reasons, like, because we really need the rain (which we do). But this was not the case. I was excited because rain meant no football practice which would result in my husband being home. And, more importantly, rain meant a calming and relaxing setting for some good snoozing!

Now if you have read any of my blogs before you should sense the foreboding lurking just behind the door. No literally, it is right behind that door. The one right down the hallway. The one that leads to the room of my 12 or 13 (I forget due to lack of sleep) week old. Because after getting everyone, including the baby, the two other munchkins, and my husband in bed, I tiptoe in to my bedroom, lay down in the bed, read a chapter or two from my book (Heaven is For Real, which is phenominal), snuggle down into the covers, and close my eyes.
Wait for it!




It starts quietly, but it starts nonetheless. The subtle whining of a little one who has been awoken from her slumber that has only been going for less than 30 minutes: the whining that soon blossoms into a full on wail. Reluctantly, I get out of bed and put the paci in  to no avail. She is not having it. So I do what any good wife of a husband who lets her sleep late everyday should do: I shut his door and let him nap to the hypnotizing sound of the rain. While I give up, fix a pot of coffee, and start to blog while waiting to see if she will drift back off, which she does before I am even half way through.

I think she just didn't want her mama to miss one of her favorite things: the smell of rain.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cheesy Enchiladas

Creamy Enchiladas

1-2 lb hamburger meat browned and drain
1 pack of taco seasoning
1 1/2 Mexican or Cheddar shredded cheese
1 pack of 10-12 inch tortillas
1 can Cream of Chicken 
16 oz sour cream

Mix together hamburger meat, taco seasoning, and 1 cup of cheese. Place 1-2 spoon fulls of mixture into each tortilla, roll it up, and lay seam down in a 9 x13 pan. Mix together sour cream and cream of chicken soup. Pour over top of tortillas. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of casserole. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. 
*You could use chicken too!

Taco Ring

Taco Ring

Okay this is totally not mine. I did not steal it. I just made it and ate it. I am sure many of you have seen it before, but I thought I would share. 

2 cans of crescent rolls
1 lb ground beef
1/2 c. shredded cheddar
1 pack of Taco seasoning

Brown ground beef and drain. Put back in pan and mix with 2 tbs of water and seasoning. Mix in cheese. Take crescent rolls and separate them into triangles. Make a circle with crescent rolls with flat side inside and pointed side facing out. It will look like a wreath. Press the inside down to make it wider. Scoop beef mixture around the wreath. Fold points back toward the middle so that they wrap around the beef. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Serve with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, salsa, and sour cream. 

Made it the other night and munchkins gobbled it up. Super Yummy! Thanks Pampered Chef!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tomorrow is Another Day

Currently I am "hold up" in my bedroom with the door locked, the lights out, and 2 fans on to drowned out all of the noise. I have left my husband to the wolves or in this case small female munchkins and have tried to run far, far away. Alas, the farthest place I could run was to my bedroom. 

Why, you might ask, are you hiding in your room ready to chastise anyone who might enter your sanctuary? Well because I have been on the edge of a mental break down for a couple of days. I mean, don't we all get there at some point in time. (I can feel you vigorously nodding your head). Yesterday, I literally felt like my chest was caving in. It felt as if there was an elephant sitting on top of it. 

It, of course, could have been that the night before I got less than three hours sleep. Or it could have been that I felt overwhelmed with the task of getting ready for the beach while also getting ready for the maid to come (you know how you have to clean up so that she can clean;). Or it could have been that I am at the end of the summer semester in my Educational Specialist program and everything is suddenly due. But most likely it is because I have not been away from my children in 7 days. 

When I say I have not been away from them, I mean not at all. Even when I sleep they tip toe in to tell me something. Even when I pee they come and stand at the door to talk to me. Even when I hide in the dark stairway with the door shut I can hear them running around the house calling my name until I am almost driven to the point of absolute insanity and yell, "Here I am!!!" leading them right to me. And where is he? At football practice, morning, noon, and night! Do I blame him? Heck no! I envy him, for even though he is at work he gets time outside with grown up people who have grown up conversations!

So when did it occur to me that I had not had one iota of mommy time in 7 days? Well, it was right about the time that my husband's doctor's appointment started. We all went together because we were going to Publix together and anyone who knows me knows that we go to Publix together so that we can split up and use more coupons (another blog later on how my children are forced to act like they don't know the other parent and sibling as we pass on the cereal isle). 

Anyway, there I was. Once again all alone with them and confined to a small space inside the car. And what happens? The blasted DVD player won't work and after trying 4 different DVD's we deem it broken and I deem myself in H-e-l-l. Especially when my 12 week old awakens, apparently hungry but after 2 ounces decides she is not and would much rather spend the time screaming at the top of her lungs!

Thirty minutes into this...torture...insanity....situation she is still crying after I have changed her diaper, tried to feed her, and given her Mylicon all to no avail. And now not only is she crying but the four year old is crying because her "sissy is upset", the seven year old is contemplating dialing 911 or at the very least her daddy, I have pretty much cussed my husband for everything he is worth (even though he doesn't deserve it) via text messaging and am now having an utter breakdown complete with heaving sobs. 

So I do the only thing I can think of...I buckle everyone back in and take off. As soon as I start driving most of the crying stops. All that is left is me. But even I can form a rational thought now. It was at this point when I realized I had not had any time to myself in 7 days. No wonder I was going crazy. Not crazy enough to drive off a bridge or beat my children (which I would never, ever do and think that anyone who does should rot in jail until kingdom come... but could now see how someone could get to that point) but crazy enough to feel like there might be some Zoloft or Lexipro in my future. 

Alas, some quiet time, breathing room, and a little retail therapy has made almost everything better. Plus, the 20 minutes I have been sitting here pouring myself out to people who I know will not judge me but will agree that we have all been there at some point has helped eliminate much of my stress. That and the knowledge that tomorrow is another day:a day that my husband will be home, a day I will start a new prescription :), and a day where I will count my blessings that God has blessed me with the most beautiful and loving (be it sometimes annoying) daughters in the whole world. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Stupid Rookie Mistake

I know I might sound cocky but I am pretty knowledgeable about many things. Now, of course if you talk to my husband he would say that HE is pretty knowledgeable about many things. These two facts coupled with both of our inherent needs to be right leads to, as I am sure you can imagine, some heated discussions that end usually with me fuming and refusing to speak because inevitably he was, OF COURSE, right!

That being said I AM usually right about anything having to do with pregnancy or babies. Chalk it up to my innate desire to read everything I can on any thing I am going through, which is of course the reason why every time I get sick I automatically Google whatever it is and as a result am convinced that I have cancer, am going blind, or will need an appendage removed. 

Anyway, my point is that I know a lot about the baby stage. Am I saying I am the end all of baby experts? NO!! I mean, if I was I would certainly be marketing my wares and not be stuck teaching school (which I absolutely love if you are reading this and are the parent of one of my children:-) But I do know a lot and am usually the person my friends call for advice about pregnancy and babies

My biggest philosophy is to "Start as You Mean to Go". In other words, whatever you do in the beginning. You better be ready to do it for the long haul, or at least be ready for an extremely rough transition when you decide whatever you did in the beginning is no longer what you want to do. 

For instance, if you want your child to still be in the bed with you when he is 4 then go ahead and cosleep when he is a baby. If you want to be rocking your 6 year old to sleep or having to lay down with her to get her to drift off into dream land, go ahead and rock her to sleep when she is a baby. If you want to have to run into a Minute Store and have to heat up a bottle in their nacho and hot dog encrusted microwave (like we did with our first), start heating up your bottle. Now we just use room temperature water. It was the best advice we ever got! If you want to have a child that is violent and hits other kids on the playground, go ahead and don't get on to him or her the first time they swat at you. Think it is cute or that he or she doesn't know any better, and I promise it will continue to happen. 
*****Disclaimer-if you have done any of these, I am not judging. You have to do what you feel is best for your family. I'm just sayin'.

So why, pray tell, did we not put our baby to sleep in her bed from the beginning! We did it with both of our other two, and they were sleeping through the night at 6 weeks. Why? Well, because we saw an awesome new invention called "The Nappy Nanny". 

It seemed perfect for us since the little one has reflux (of course our other two did also) and it would keep  her upright so her little throat would not burn throughout the night and, therefore, we would all get more sleep. Plus, there were so many testimonials about how great it was and how their children slept for 6-7 hours at a time, and we got sucked in. 

We did not think about what would happen when she started rolling over because that wouldn't happen until around 3-4 months. We did not think about when she started sitting up and what we would do because that wouldn't happen to around 6-7 months. And we certainly did not think about what would happen when she went to daycare at 12 weeks, because they are not allowed to have sleep positioners (they considered Nap Nannies to be such) at daycare. And of course, we did not think about that 6-7 hours really isn't that long when you think of sleeping through the night as sleeping from 9 p.m. to 6 or7 a.m.

So what have we been doing for the last 5 days? Transitioning. Transitioning from The Nap Nanny to the crib. The first day's nap times were "napmares"!! Our child who normally took 2-2 1/2 hour naps refused to nap. I mean, who could blame her? Ripped from the only bed she has ever known to be placed in a strange new place would be very upsetting. So after that we readied ourselves for a night of pure hell and put her down to sleep. 

And sleep she did! That girl snoozed it up until her normal 3 a.m. feeding. The next day the naps were better, not great, but better. However, that next night was a different story. She woke up a couple of times between 1 and 2  and we put her pacifier back in. She then slept until 5:15 and then, thinking we would be pressing our luck, we put the pacifier back in. Amazingly, she slept UNTIL 6:30 in the A.M.!!!! She is 11 weeks old and that was the first time she slept all through the night. 

Since then she has slept to at least 5 each morning. Of course, we have still had to go in and put the pacifier in a few times during the night. But, heck, we'll take what we can get! Plus, she now take 3 2-3 hour naps every day!!!

I am not saying a Nap Nanny is a bad thing, because it's not. It is a phenimonal invention!! One I wish I had thought of that way I would not have to teach (which I love so much if you are one of my student's parents:). But no... we, knowledgeable people that we are, strayed away from all that we know and did not start as we meant to go. Stupid Rookie Mistake...one that could have kept us from 4 weeks worth of sleeping. Stupid Rookie Mistake!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

I Love Coffee

As I sit here at 6:30 a.m. after being awakened at 5:15 by my youngest munchkin, all I can think about is...how much I LOVE coffee!! I mean, seriously! It is the only reason we have made it through the last 11 weeks with our sanity still intact. 

Our other 2 girls slept through the night at 6 weeks. This child...not so much. Of course, they were eating 6-8 oz. bottles by that point, whereas this little one was barely getting to 3. No wonder she was not sleeping through the night at 6 weeks. She was starving!!

So we have two choices: be miserable and sleep deprived (neither one of us do well without sleep) or be happy and sleep deprived. Either way, we are going to be sleep deprived. So what is the solution? How are we able to be happy even though we are getting virtually  no sleep at all and we are getting to that dangerous point in a marriage right after you have a baby when you start competing about who has gotten the least amount of sleep which is a competition that never ends well? The solution...COFFEE!

Coffee-that "Sweet Nectar of Life" to quote some very wise character off of Finding Nemo was the key. A few cups of coffee in the morning does wonders for the sleep deprived. 

Coffee in the morning and a nap do wonders for the body, mind, and soul. Alas, naps don't happen so much in our household. First of all, it is very difficult to get all 3 munchkins down at one time because inevitably someone needs water or the bathroom or a hug. Secondly, there are all kinds of things that beckon you out of your cozy bed...laundry, dishes, cleaning, blessed time alone without someone pulling on you. Lastly, you can almost guarantee that as soon as you get everyone down, complete any imperative task that can not wait, and start to drift off into dreamland you will hear something that starts out as a small whimper and gradually erupts into a full on wail. If you want a way to assure that your child's normal 2 hour nap ends early, lay down for a nap of your own because it is inevitable that as soon as your head hits the pillow and you begin to fall asleep she WILL wake up. 

So what is the answer? Don't do it. Don't nap. Forget all of those people who tell you to sleep when they sleep. That is for the very, very beginning when they sleep all the time and when they get much older and you can guarantee they are not going to wake up and if they do they can find a TV of their own and watch while you sleep. Therefore, the solution is no naps. All you will do is get frustrated and aggravated, which is no way to be with that precious darling who just loves you so much that she wants your attention even when she should be sleeping. 

So what do we do? We become old people. We drink coffee. We drink coffee all day long. At 3 o'clock in the afternoon, our kitchen is full of the deliciously enticing smell of coffee. And as the fabulous, heavenly nectar makes it way down your throat and eliminates your feelings of sleepiness you can't help but think, "Oh, how I love my precious darlings and oh, how I LOVE COFFEE!!!"

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Poisoning Happiness

I have often wondered is there such a thing as being too happy. I especially think about it when I am feeling exceedingly lucky. Isn't that sad? I let bad thoughts poison my good times.

For instance, life has been good lately. Now I am not saying it is perfect. Children still fight and throw fits and argue with me and each other. My husband and I still get that "Tone" with each other that leads to long silences. But life is dang sure close to being perfect.

Today was my husband's birthday, and it has been a perfect day. We spent it all together eating and playing and hanging out and loving each other. As I watched my children and husband playing outside while I cooked supper and talked to my 9 week old who was throwing me lots of her gummy smiles, I could not help but think how great life is.

Then it started. Thoughts creeping in. Poisoning my happiness with all the thoughts of things that could go wrong. This happens all of the time to me, and my husband has told me over and over again that I have an overactive imagination and to stop being so dramatic, but I can't help it. Thoughts of car crashes, freak accidents, fires, bad people doing bad things all poison my mind. I have actually gotten back out of bed after being tucked in and almost falling a sleep to go kiss my children again because I think "What if?". There are times I sometimes can't even breathe because I am so afraid of what could come and hurt my husband, my children, my perfectly happy life.

Why is that? Is it because I watch the news too much? Is it because I read books where bad things happen and for some reason I just can't let them go? Is it because I watched all those movies that my mom said would rot my brain and they obviously did?  Is it because I see horrible things that happen to others and selfishly pray to God thanking him for it not being me? Is it because I will never understand why bad things happen to good people? Is it because I don't feel like I deserve to be this happy?

Am I the only one who does this? I don't know. But I do know that every morning and every night I praise God for my happiness.I praise Him for loving me enough to save me because there is no way I could have sacrificed any one of my children for a whole bunch of sinners. I praise Him for my loving husband who treats me like a princess while also making me his equal. I praise Him for my girls who sometimes make me want to pull my hair out (especially the one who will not sleep through the night) but amaze me by how much they completely fill up my heart when I didn't think there was any more room. I praise Him for my family who will stand by me no matter how heated the words are we may sometimes exchange. I praise Him for friends who do not ask or expect me to change but accept me for my bluntness, dramaticness, and sometimes inappropriateness.

Most of all, I praise Him for not poisoning my happiness, for keeping those I love safe, and for loving my enough even when I truly don't deserve it.