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!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Good Times! Good Times!

This was one of my first posts. I decided to re-post it after my most recent gyno visit. Dr. Novak: This is dedicated to you!

Disclaimer: Not sure if you want to read this if you are a man, but maybe you should so you can see what we women must go through. 

So today was my fabulous appointment with my gyno. You know the one I am talking about. The one where you have taken more time to prune and clip than you did on your wedding night. The one where you actually take the time to paint your toe nails since they will be on display in those oh so lovely stirrups. The one for which you tirelessly shave your stubbled legs (which is now a gymnastic feat what with this ever growing belly)  that may not have been shaved for days upon days, yet as soon as you take your clothes of become immediately stubbled again. The one where you feel like all of your goodies are on display for all of the world to see even if that world is only one person with some scary instruments and thankfully some Vaseline. 

Now this event is not pleasant for any woman, but it is especially not pleasant for a pregnant woman. I mean our bodies are already doing all kinds of crazy and many times disgusting things. And now all of that will happen with someone's face mere inches away from Ground Zero. The thought is paralyzing, and if it is for me I can only imagine what it is like for my Gyno.

But I arrived today ready and willing to have my "area" invaded and my mounds prodded. Part of it was ...I mean, whatcha gonna do? Run away screaming? I think that is frowned upon. Plus, the gown doesn't close in the back and that would lead to a-whole-nother embarrassing experience. The other part was that my midwife is the most fabulously cool chick that has ever existed and makes the whole experience feel like we're at a bar having some drinks and chatting about our lives.

Ahhh....that is how they could improve this whole unpleasantness....offer drinks. I can see it now "Pap Smears and Pina Coladas" or "Scraped with Schnapps". You could even go for "Mammograms and Martinis". I really think someone should run with this. It is GOLD!

Other improvements for any office that performs these extremely uncomfortable procedures:
1. Turn up the heat-hello we are naked!
2. Cloth dressing gowns-not only are they better for the environment, but they are better for my ego, too! Nothing depresses a pregnant woman (or nonpregnant woman) more than putting on a gown only to have it instantly rip in all the wrong places. I get that I have gained weight there is no reason to make it worse. (Now that I am not pregnant any more you would think these lovely paper gowns would fit better. Alas, it does not. In fact, it provides an awesome view of my....ass-ets for anyone who enters the room!)
3. Provide some form of distraction-not elevator music, but a TV on the ceiling or better yet pictures of Edward and Jacob gazing down at me.  Oh how I wish someone would bite me.....wait a minute, that is for another blog.
4. Bikini Waxes- If we are already naked and already extremely exposed and uncomfortable why not throw in a bonus service "Free Wax with Scraping".

All in all in was not that bad of an experience thanks to my super awesome midwife and nurses. I just think that men should have to go through the same thing. Having someone grab your manhood while you cough is not the same at all. Really all I can say is ....Good Times! Good times.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

United for Awesomeness

Liz: My sister and I are almost mirror images of each other. In fact, my husband says we have some "serious issues" because if one of us does something the other one does. She starts to lose weight. I start to lose weight. I start a blog. She starts a blog (although she sits next to me calling BS because I am the one who made her start it and also stating that while she does have over 15 views on her various posts, one could hardly count her a blogger when 13.5 of the views are from our Mother). I get my hair cut. She gets her hair cut. Sometimes these things happen so frequently that we have begun to complete not just each other's sentences but also each other's thoughts.

Leslie: (my husband is currently serving a self-inflicted timeout due to our craziness and need to ignore others when we are together) Ok I'm taking over....the fact is we are pretty much
twins....except for the intervening 4.5 years between us (she is OLDER of course). Frequently one of us will start a conversation and the other will say, "Seriously!!!! That happened the other day" as if the universe is in on the little copycat game we play. So it is quite curious that today a situation illustrating aforementioned events should occur today, this day we celebrate our parents Pseudo-birthday (Their real Date of Birth is the 28th, same day 2 years apart, look it up).

Liz: When we get together some funny things happen, and they usually revolve around our munchkins who are without a doubt cookie cutter copies of us. They had created a "restaurant" and we were their customers. We were handed the menu and a shocker! The following drinks were available: water, coke, and "bear". Now we all know there were no polar nor brown nor black nor grizzlies on that menu. "Bear" was beer! Way to go mothers of the year!

Leslie: ok, at the risk of being terrible - i found it hilarious. And we're walking......we were seated at the Munchkin Diner and after receiving our orders of Cake and soup w/ pancakes and green beans, our table requested ketchup. Our snarky waitress (no relation) provided our entire table with but one packet. A reasonable amount of complaining ensued, complete with talk of never patronizing this establishment EVA again.

Liz: I mean this mess happens all of the time. In fact, just last week I was in the drive-thru of the best fast food restaurant ever, The Chick-Fil-a where I ordered a #1 with fries and a coke, yet I was not permitted any ketchup. Granted, I didn't ask for it, but come on! Why do you have to order ketchup if you are ordering fries? 99.999999999% of the population eat their fries with ... mayonnaise? No! Mustard? No? Ranch dressing? Nooooo! Ketchup! They eat their fries with ketchup! So why must we ask for it?

Leslie: Fools! come on! I will crawl through your drive-thru window McDonald's Style! And here's the kicker: If you should have enough sense to request ketchup even though the wonderful team member neglected to foresee the need even though I just ordered FRIES, guess what folks....you will only receive 1 read it again ONE packet. Honestly its like a baby spoon of ketchup...not even a dollop.

Liz: Once I even had to tag in and out with people while rotating who went to the counter at Wendy's to ask for ketchup because they would only give you 1 packet of ketchup at a time, even though we had a table of 4 all eating fries.

Leslie: You get the point: there are many stupid things that annoy me and telepathically my dear sissy, thereby forcing me to waste time blogging and you to spend your time reading said rants. So you are witness the birth of a tradition: Our Plus 1 Posts.

Liz: Look for it every time we are together and unite for important issues (lack of ketchup), unite for annoying our husbands, UNITE FOR AWESOMENESS!!

Check out my super awesome website.

Zesty Zucchini

We try to be healthy and eat a lot of vegetables in our house. I try to add variety but sometimes that variety just comes from finding different ways to cook the same thing. We like zucchini but sometimes when I cook it like I do yellow squash (in a pan and sauteed with olive oil, a chicken buyon cube, and sprinkled with garlic salt it gets slimy because there is clearly more water in zucchini. So last night I tried something new and I thought I would share it with you (the 3 of you who are reading this blog:my mom, my sister, and ______):).

Zesty Zucchini

Zucchini (amount is up to you)
Garlic salt
Dried Basil (Sure you could do fresh)
Shredded Parmesan cheese

Cut the top and bottom off of zucchini. Slice in half long way. Slice zucchini into about 1/4 inch slices. Place in greased glass baking dish. Sprinkle garlic salt (I like it a lot so I use a lot) and basil. Mix and repeat the sprinkling and mixing. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake another 5 minutes.

Delicious and nutritious!

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Red Elephant Must Be a Daddy!

On Saturday night, I got to go somewhere I have wanted to go for a long time...The Red Elephant. Don't ask me why we have never gone before. It is such a kid friendly place and you can't beat the pizza with a stick. It is delicious!

We were there for my niece's birthday party. Four seven year olds, 2 four year olds, and an 8 month old made it pretty interesting. I am not going to lie...I was a little apprehensive. Especially, since it was our first time out to eat with the smallest munchkin and you just never know. There could be unhappiness. There could be sleepiness. There could be screaming. There could be explosive poopies!

There was no need to worry! First there was a game room, a.k.a Kid Occupying Money Pit, which occupied the girls and my sister-in-law's wallet while we waited. There was a small bar that didn't feel like a bar where we could sit and wait without the fear of someone quoting Reese Witherspoon in Sweet Home Alabama, "You have a baby...in a bar!" And it was loud, which any parent of small kids knows is a life saver because you don't have to worry about people shooting dirty looks at you because your children are disturbing their meal and that means you can enjoy your time without constantly shhhhing them as your blood pressure begins to sky rocket and you just snatch them up without ordering and hit a drive thru on the way home. (Hey! It happens!)

But the most amazing thing of all was the high chair! I know you are like...what? (Well, I did say I don't get out much!) Seriously, it was amazing. Right after we asked the waiter for a high chair, we realized our rookie mistake. We forgot the highchair cover and had no Clorox wipes with which to vigorously sanitize everything she may touch.

No need to fear..Terrance is here!! He was our waiter who rolled out the most awesome thing ever: a highchair completely wrapped in plastic. And I was not the only one amazed. As he sat there unwrapping the high chair like a fragile piece of art, all around us people were staring in amazement. Not only was it wrapped in plastic, but it came equipped with a container of Cheerios and a plastic place mat that adhered to the table. I am still flabbergasted at this!

I mean...I have never seen such! We were thrilled. And he catered to her as much as he did us and the big girls. Not to mention that he brought the girls free tiny appetizers. Now maybe this is not standard. Maybe Terrance was just the man. But either way, The Red Elephant Must Be A Daddy because he knows just how to make a mama happy!

Friday, January 13, 2012

We're Going on A Trip In Our Favorite Rocket Ship...

When my middle child turned 2, a few years ago (sniff,sniff) she was totally in to Disney's Little Einsteins . Therefore, there was I did not even have to think what to do for her birthday party.

First I worked on the invitation. I always start with the invitation because it can guide you in your party planning. I also always design and print my own invitations. Sometimes this means making it completely by myself, or using clip art, or even using an invitation I found somewhere and modifying it (I know...). So here is the invitation I made for the party. Just found the pic in the web and then used Microsoft Publisher and Paint to make it.

Then I found the cake.
I searched online for a Little Einstein cake and found a similar picture. Then I took it to a girl in my town that makes cake. It was her first really elaborate cake, so I got it for a steal. It was so delicious and Rocket was made totally out of Rice Krispie treats! Needless to say, Rocket was an adult only treat...I mean come on...it was way to much sugar for the munchkins. We are all about decreasing childhood obesity over here. (now as for adult obesity...).

Then I planned the decorations.
Starting with the sign, which I painted. Of course, we hung a multitude of streamers, which my husband usually cusses at me for.
In fact for one recent party, he tried to forbid me to hang streamers. Hmmm....that did not work out well for him.

Then my sister had the awesome idea of making life size paintings of the characters and hanging them in the living room, and we couldn't do that without painting their clubhouse, too.

For food: cheese puffs, pigs in a blanket, little sandwiches, and a fruit platter.
Drinks: Capri Suns and water

The Little Einsteins is all about teaching children to love and appreciate the arts, so all of the activities centered around that. When the children first arrived, I had a huge roll of paper, stickers, crayons, markers, and stamps and they were asked to create their own master pieces.

Then we sang like Annie to traditional children's songs like The Itsy Bitsy Spider and I'm a Little Tea Pot.

Next we broke out every instrument in the house and played like Quincy and conducted like Leo.

After that we, "dancey, dance, dance, danced" like June.

After that we ate, had cake, opened presents, and played outside. And finally it was time to go home. For their party favors, I found Little Einstein cups for $1 each and filled them with candy and trinkets.

It was an awesome party and with the multitude of activities the kids always had something to do!

"I hate this #$@#%@! place!"

We are old pros at going to the Emergency Room. I mean seriously we should have had frequent flier miles with our oldest. During her first 4 years of life, we went to the ER for several ear infections, the flu, a nurse's elbow, pneumonia...you get my point. We should really be at the point where the next visit is FREE.

So we were only waiting on the day when it was time for #3's ER coronation. Apparently January 12th was that day.

When my husband got home with her at about 4 in the afternoon, she was really fussy and fell asleep while she was drinking her bottle. This is highly unusual seeing as she had just woken up from an afternoon nap about an hour before and never takes late afternoon naps any more. At about 6 he woke her up (I, in the mean time, was running the other two munchkins to dance and gymnastics and then back to dance).

She was burning up. Her fever was 102.3 and she wouldn't drink or eat. SHe just laid there on his chest. So he gave her some Tylenol, but an hour later the fever had actually gone up. On my way home, I stopped and got some ibuprofen. After having that, the fever still didn't seem to be going down and she was lethargic, which is something that is terrifying for even us old pros! So we called his sister to keep the other 2 and headed to the ER: our least favorite place. In fact that might be an understatement! My husband's exact words were, "I hate this #$@#%@! place!"

Now why oh why such strong words for a place that is supposed to offer nurturing and solace to those who are sick and in need. Well...

1. The random people you encounter-We are by no means snobs, but come on!!! Why is it that every
time we go to the emergency room we meet these people. You know the ones. First there is the one who is moaning and writhing in the chair from pain yet when her phone rings she is able to answer it. Then there are those with no teeth who loudly discuss Billy Bob and Norma Jean's latest falling out. Then there is the person who clearly has the flu but decides to sit beside you even though there are about 20 other empty seats. And how about those girls sitting there waiting on ...whoever...and can not talk below a 100 decibel level. Or how about the people who say...well..just stupid stuff, like "Man, I need a breathing treatment and a cigarette!" (Our roommate last night actually made this statement even though she sounded as if she needed 10 breathing treatments and had smoked a carton of cigarettes every day for the last 20 years!)

2. The wait-There were 2 other patients there last night when we got there and we still waited for over 30 minutes just to get back in a room. Then once we were back there with our sick and tired and irritable 8 month old, we waited for an hour and a half before we could ever see
anyone. It made worse that we had to wait with Smokey McSmokey and her husband named Bubba as they got into a fight and she told him he could walk home and if he looked at her again like that she was going to knock his teeth out! (Seriously...I can't make this stuff up!) And what are they doing any way to make you wait for so long. They weren't busy...not by a long shot.In fact, every time Smokey commanded Bubba to look out the window the only thing they were doing according to him was "not sh_t!". They were eating or talking or ...who knows what else, but what they weren't doing was taking care of patients.

And after all of that waiting...double ear infections and a sinus infection. Some saline drops, 2 shots, and a suppository later, we finally leave...at 11 p.m., 2 and a half hours after we arrived. I have to agree with my husband, "I hate this #$@#%@! place!"

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Dig the Wig

A few years ago, my sister and I banded together and donated our hair to Locks of Love right before Christmas.

That was 2 years ago! In those 2 years I have had my hair cut, literally probably 2 times. I just don't do it very often! It is hard for me to make appointments what with the multitude of munchkins that I tote around with me, especially during football season when I have the Single Mom experience.

A couple of days ago I realized that I had not dried my hair in almost a month. I also realized that I had done nothing but wear my hair in pony tails and buns in the last month. Having noticed this, I knew it was time to cut my hair. And if I am going to cut then why not make good use of it.

So I got on the most awesome invention EVER, Pinterest, where I had already created a board entitled "Hair-rrific" for an occasion just like this. I called yesterday and made an appointment, and today I got my CUT on!!

I love, love, love it, and it is soooooo much cuter in person! And I feel so wonderful knowing that it is going to an AWESOME cause! I encourage anyone with long hair to go for it! DIG THE WIG and cut it off!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Best Football Movies Ever

Today, I accused my husband of not loving me...

Have no fear! This is my dramatic way of saying, "You need to pay me more attention."(I know you are all shocked to find out that I am in fact a self proclaimed DRAMA QUEEN!) Does that mean he hasn't been giving me the proper amount of attention? To the contrary...he has been doing
overtime duty as a father and a husband. Busting his tail, doing double duty as a parent seeing as I can't pick up or bathe our little one yet, getting the girls ready by himself in the morning,taking them to daycare, school, dance, and gymnastics, preparing meals, laundry, laundry and more laundry.

Luckily he understands my strange, sometimes crazy Drama Queen language, because what I meant to say is, it is time for some US time. However seeing as THAT to is out of the question for about 4 more weeks,I thought we could try some good old conversation for a little while. Conversation that does not involve diapers or baby food or grades or ...anything having to do with the girls.

Anyway, as we were scanning through the channels and stumbled upon Remember the Titans, which I then proclaimed as the best football movie EVER (said as if being proclaimed over a loud speaker in a stadium as it reverberates off the walls). Brian disagreed saying there were others that were better. Hmmmm...I sense a conversation coming on. And what is more perfect than the two things we both love the most: him-football and me-movies.

So without further ado, here is are our top football movies (the order is still up for debate):

Remember the Titans
The Blind Side
Varsity Blues
Friday Night Lights
Any Given Sunday
We are Marshall

What would be on your list?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

30 Day Mom Challenge

Some days I am lazy. Granted given my recovery those days have been quite frequent lately. In fact, yesterday I realized I had not tucked my children into their beds in over a week. That is AWFUL! I know I just had 2 organs removed, but there is no excuse for this! How long will it be before I am crying because they don't want me to love on them or because their bed is no longer in my house but off at college some where. Needless to say, I went to bed feeling very guilty and did not miss the opportunity and privilege of tucking my darlings into their beds tonight.

So as I was perusing my latest addiction of Pinterest today, I found the 30 Day Mom Challenge from imom.com Not sure when they posted it but it was definitely pinned today for ME!The way it works is whatever day of the month it is you start on that day and just continue on until you have completed all 30 challenges. What I question now is...why is it considered a challenge? Is it because it is hard to love our kids? Is it because it is hard to focus on our munchkins with all of the craziness in our lives? More likely, I think, it is a challenge because it is just hard to remember to each thing on each day. I am going to print it out and put it on my fridge. I will get back to you in 30 days to let you know how it went!

Monday, January 2, 2012

No Scalpels in 2012

Every year I make many New Year's Resolutions, most of which are forgotten about by January 15th (don't know why that day, probably because it is the 2 week mark). I have different resolutions each year but there is always an underlying theme: LOSE WEIGHT AND GET IN SHAPE.

Luckily, due to wanting to have a super somewhat hot body for the cruise I have already accomplished the whole losing weight thing. Plus, due to the fact that I am laid up in the bed post hysterectomy, I think the whole get into shape resolution will have to wait a little while to even get started.

So I am left to think about what kind of resolution to make. I know which one my husband would
like me to make: I resolve to spend less much less money in 2012 thereby not purchasing any items of clothing for myself or munchkins, especially munchkin number 3 who has 2 sets of hand me downs coming to her. And seriously not purchasing any more shoes of which I have a serious fetish for. I will therefore only pin things that I would like to purchase via a fabulously addictive invention called Pinterest instead of pinning them down with my wallet.

However, given my current situation, laid up in bed post hysterectomy,I can think of another more pressing resolution that needs to be made: NO SCALPELS IN 2012. You might think this a strange resolution and to the average passerby it may be, but let me reflect upon the year of 2011 in order to better acquaint you with our surgeryprocedure-fest which was 2011.

In February, Brian had his second knee surgery in 2 years. I swear the boy doesn't seem to understand that he is not 18 years old and playing basketball with said 18 year olds can be detrimental to one's health.

In May, we welcomed baby girl number 3 into the world via a somewhat painful birth supplemented by an episiotomy. I know a little TMI, but you needed to understand that there was in fact a scalpel involved in order to understand the desperate need for this resolution.

In June, it was determined that my deteriorating vision which was thought to be due to pregnancy
but was then determined to be due to a macular bulge, which normally does not happen to those under the age of 50 but which made an exception for me (YAY!)And of course the only way to fix such bulge before it causes my retina to detach was by undergoing eye surgery. Not fun at all given the fact that you are slightly awake as they stab your eye and are then made to look like a pirate (arghhh!) for a few days. And made even worse since I could not pick up my then 8 week old.

In July, our 4th procedure of the year! After having to take care of all 3 girls by himself, Brian decided that he was good with his 3 darlings and in no need of trying for number 4. With
this decision he made an appointment for a vasectomy. This was by far our least invasive procedure but as any woman who has dealt with her man after undergoing one knows a very sensitive one, where one must be babied for a few days.

At this point we thought we were good. Done with procedures and surgeries and, for sure, births. But then in September my pains returned. These were the pains that I had prior to getting pregnant that were discovered to be caused by ovarian cysts. These were the pains that put me out of commission for hours after the onset of an attack. After another round of meds and ultrasounds it was determined that the problem wasn't my ovaries but my uterus, and due to the fact that I no longer needed it (revisit procedure number 4), it was decided that it should just come out.

And this is where I sit now. A week out of a surgery that took my uterus and left ovary due to the fact that they were both eaten up with endometriosis, which is strange seeing as I had never had a problem with it. I could definitely think of worse things than never having to worry about birth control again and never having to purchase tampons again (see I AM trying to save money).
That being said, I would really like for my family to avoid all "procedures" in 2012. Let's just have a surgery free year. So my resolution for this New Year is No Scalpels in 2012!