Thursday, October 30, 2014

Week in the Life: Fall 2014 (Tuesday)

First we have the winner of the Coborns Delivers giveaway: Frugal Vegan Mom. Thanks to all who entered!

I'm now going to be posting two days behind...

Tuesday, October 28

Going to keep this one really simple because I am wiped out after a very long day yesterday (which was Wednesday and today is actually Thursday so it's all very confusing!)

Lousy sleep on this night, mostly because of Bella, actually. She came into our bed at 3-something and couldn't stop wriggling (eliciting a shout from Max). Then I was up an hour later when Lily cried and then again at 5-something for the day when Lily was up.

Lily watches her projector and I play on my phone in her room until she starts fussing.

Oliver and Max are up now, too, but Bella continues to sleep. Shhhhh! We let her sleep in as much as we possibly can because she is chronically never quite getting enough.

Lily demands to be held. Oliver demands waffles. Toonses demands attention. I demand coffee. Work demands emails. Supply meets demand.

Herpes of the craft world are this morning's tablescape theme.


Clean Max.

Bella comes down around this time and I get her set up with breakfast, too.

Lily continues to make it clear that she wants to be in my arms at all moments, thanks.
She is turning very high maintenance on me/us. Is it teething? Is something really wrong? The pooping thing? Ack, this kind of uncertainty and hours of fussy babies remind me of why I did not consider myself a baby person until recently.

I make Bella's school lunch (she is still too young and naive to balk at stinky food like tuna or eggs so I take advantage of that!) and when Oliver saw that I snuck in a mini 3-pack of whoppers he begged for a lunch, too. So I made him the same version and stuck it in the fridge for later.

Here are the notes I tucked in their lunches that day.

Lily is ready for her first nap so I get her settled for that. Love my baby but it's quite a relief to have these nap breaks since she is so demanding lately.

I have an organizing bee in my bonnet on this day and clean out our art cabinet while the kids eat breakfast. It is overflowing with drawings and half-done crafts and driving me crazy. I also pull out all the toys that need to go back downstairs.

I will secretly recycle a decent chunk of the art but I do find these keepers. Lots of story writing right now for B.
Still have yet to figure out how to manage all her drawings and papers coming home from Kindergarten. I also didn't plan on her bringing home an additional 2-4 pictures each day from friends (they make them for each other at "free choice" time). Suggestions to not keep these gift drawings is met with horror by B. I was punching and sticking it all in a three ring binder but that 2" binder is already full and we are less than two months into school. I need to cull and sort it and get rid of a ton but setting aside time for that doesn't really happen. So for now I'm collecting it in one area to deal with "later."

Bella is now pretty much ready for school but I have to convince her that perhaps I can re-do her headband. I re-do it using the same around-the-forehead technique she likes (but now without hair horns sticking out of the top) and show her this picture...
and she announces that looks silly. Ha! I re-do it once more in the traditional headband style and it is met with approval.

I would also like to note that she adores this shirt ever since her Nana bought it for her two years ago. She wears it in all seasons. I also like the Halloween flair on her feet. And her leggings are polka-dotted. I keep my feedback limited on her clothing as long as it's weather appropriate. I rather enjoy seeing what she comes up with.

I wake up Lily so we can drop Bella at school.

Less theatre-ready today with jeans and a sweater. Lily remains pajama'd per ususal. No shower today.

Cool. Totally wanted Oliver to put the broom there.

It's babysitter day! Like my birthday every Tuesday for four hours! My sitter's mom entered a random raffle and bid a dollar on some things and got this prize designed for a toddler. So now Lily has a Dora stool and a potty seat waiting for her down the line :) There were a few other random trinkets in there for Oliver and Bella. Lily was quiet enamored with the packaging.

Lily has been fed recently so I am able to get going right away once our sitter arrives.

Toonses is being an epic pest about trying to get out lately so once again he takes advantage of me heading out and scampers out quickly. I think he thinks the rustling leaves are all mice.
I pick him back up and get him inside. Remember when Toonses almost died in January? He's doing fabulously now, although both Oliver and I agree that he is much "too meowy."

I head to Lund's Kitchen to do some computing and eat breakfast. It's my first time eating breakfast there although it's a go-to location for lunch on babysitter days. I order biscuits and gravy even though I know it's not the best choice for my IBS/FODMAP issues. But I've been thinking about biscuits and gravy for weeks - it's a craving I seem to get every fall. Probably from the times I had it while visiting my sister in North Carolina in the fall.

Then my breakfast comes (after clearly sitting under a heat lamp for several minutes) and I'm horrified at the amount of onions going on and the way it's trying too hard to be nouvelle cuisine.

I try to push the offending onions to the side but it's the most oniony thing I have ever encountered in my life. (Hyperbole? Wha? Me?) I don't mind a small, reasonable amount of onions in things like soups or pasta dishes but here they are overpowering. They are undercooked and the entire dish smells like a freshly chopped white onion. It doesn't meet my craving in the slightest and I dislike raw onion taste and then there's the fact that I am supposed to completely avoid onions whenever possible because of the aforementioned IBS. Thankfully I used a coupon I had on me so this only cost me $2 but still... I am sad clown. A few bites and I give up and shove it to the side where it assaults me with onion breath until a server takes my plate 20 minutes later.

Yes, I did just devote that much blog space to onion thoughts. This is because Max was unwilling to let me go on and on about it.

Have to sneak home to nurse Lily midway through my morning and I switch some laundry while I'm at it. Lily is generally down with laundry watching for a few minutes here and there so that helps me keep up with it during the day.

Thankfully both kids do ok with me coming and going this morning. Sometimes they struggle to have to separate not just once but twice.

Impromptu date lunch with Raj! Whole Foods is our usual go-to since it's midway from his office and our house.

I admire the crazy gelato display, even though I'm not much of a gelato person.

I pick up some prune juice for Lily, milk, tomatoes, and our lunch items.
I also lurk around the cakes until Max gets all "We have plenty of treats at home!" Candy is not equal to cake, Max! And I am still getting over the onion upset! But I reluctantly admit he is right (I admit this only in my head, obviously) and walk away.

In very typical fashion, I gt sushi and ice tea and Max gets a sandwich and a cream soda. That cream soda is basically like carbonating the Torani vanilla syrup at a coffee shop.
I realize now I should have been all "MAX! We have plenty of sucrose-containing rootbeer at home." and perhaps added in a tsk, tsk.

*Funny story the sitter told me after we got home. For some reason Oliver told our sitter he likes sushi. And then he said that Bella and I liked sushi, too. So she asked what Max liked and he said sandwiches. Haha! Little guy knows us well. He can also identify which beer Max likes at Trader Joes with an accuracy that I don't have - I get mixed up but Oliver knows!*

We have a little time to kill so we wander into World Market next door to Whole Foods. I see some Pumking and decide I need to buy it one last time this season. And then I see these cat bottles and fall in love.
The cats contain riesling which is a no in my book, but the bottles! I am delighted. I ask Max if he would be down with me putting one of these bottles on a shelf and calling it decor. Max seems to be having trouble hearing me. Then the cashier tells me that the colors change with the seasons and soon they will get gold cats in. MAX! Christmas! Cat bottles! I want a gold cat bottle! I may also buy one for my mom, grandma and sister since our love language is cat.

I get home from our date and the sitter informs me she got both kids to sleep! (How come sitters are always able to get my kids to nap when we - the parents - can't manage to get it done? It was like that when Bella was dropping naps, too.) Having free time at home in the middle of the day is an absolute luxury. I lounge in bed and play on my phone and look at Instagram and Feedly and Facebook.

Lily does wake a half hour later but I bring her into my bed to nurse her and she snoozes for another 45 minutes. What a lovely, lovely day this is turning out to be!

Lily wakes and we do some selfies.

Around 3 pm I gently wake up Oliver and to ease the transition I offer him the chance to watch a show. He is always so happy to see me after a morning with the sitter. We spend a lot of time talking about how mommy needs a break and why that is important but both he and Bella remain vocal that they don't quite agree.

I dislike how much real estate this produce takes up. Git! And I think it's time to admit I'm not going to do anything with those green tomatoes my mom gave me from her garden. I also need to get those squashes cooked up this week. Maybe I will make squash soup and make Max take it for lunches since I'm not a big squash fan.

Lily pie lets me put her in her exersaucer for a few and having freedom arms in the kitchen feels amazing.

I tackle the dishes and then print off the new meal planning sheet and chore chart I made earlier that morning. Then comes some laminating. *insert heart eyed emoji*

Here's my current working grocery list. I have yet to perfect it, which is pesky.

I also use this pocket of time to get some tomato and roasted pepper soup cooking. I tend to cook things in stages, often cooking and freezing veggies that need to be used up. So the roasted peppers I cooked and froze a couple weeks back.

Time to get Bella at the bus stop! It's feeling really chilly.
Oliver's bus stop outfit du jour is the umbrella, snowpants, sneakers, and a fleece jacket.

Beyba's home! This coat is so cute.

The sitter left a little treat for B in the fridge.

All three kids play independently for a brief sliver of time and it's magical. I quickly work to finish up the soup.

Then I have the big kids help me make some applesauce muffins. I made homemade applesauce in the crockpot last week but then neither kid would eat it because it was too different looking. So I stuck it in the freezer until now. Of course, once they saw it again they were all "YUMMY!"

Oliver's face when he sees Bella licking the beater that he wants is perfect.

As I clean up I realize I'm out of my cleaning spray so we make some more.
Yes, I always line up all the ingredients just so prior to making it.

My current recipe is half vinegar and half water and then maybe 5-ish drops of each oil (lemon, orange, tea tree, and "Good Samaritan" which is essentially Thieves).  Oliver especially loves the mixing process and also spraying it. I use it to clean pretty much all counters and stuff but I do keep regular old bleach-containing cleaners for the toilets. And I let the cleaners use whatever during their monthly cleaning, which, to be honest, is the only time that floors are being mopped and showers and tubs cleaned...and bathrooms scrubbed...and carpets vacuumed...I do clean toilets one other time n the month, though, so that's something at least?

It occurs to me now that I should probably look up how much essential oils a person should be adding to these cleaners.

Sooooo much Ergo time lately. I have really gotten a ton of use out of that carrier with all three kids.

The kids are in really good spirits today (I'm sure Oliver's nap has quite a bit to do with it - he is willing to let Bella boss him around!) and they play around me happily while I take care of random things. Today is one of those very nice days where I feel so put together and on top of my shit. Then I remember it's because I had essentially 5 hours to myself. Yeah, that would make one feel like life is quite manageable.

Max comes home, greets us, quickly changes into his pjs (I so get that!) and offers to take Lily and finish cooking dinner. Hooray! I sit at the counter and pour myself a glass of chilled Pumking and feel happy.

Artsy photo of the soup. Turned out really good!
I had meant to make a turkey sandwich on GF bread to go with the soup but Max ends up cooking one too many grilled cheese sandwichs so I just eat that out of laziness/desire to not waste food/mmmm...grilled cheese. It's challenging having these dietary issues.

Then bedtime shenanigans start and I deal with Lily first and then get Bella to bed. Bella wants to do word games instead of reading a book. Points for being creative but sigh. I set a timer because she needs super strict limits when I put her to bed (and even then it's not enough mama time and she will cry as I leave and try to hang on to me). She wants me to write out some music, which is new. I should pick up a beginner piano book for her for Christmas and I can start teaching her some basics on our keyboard.

Finish up with B and go downstairs to get Monday's blog post typed up.

A couple hours later I go in to dream feed Lily and find she has gotten stuck in the crib! Hmmm...maybe g-fri can roll a bit?

I finish up my blog post while half watching an Aziz Ansari stand-up routine that a coworker recommended to Max. I also eat too much Halloween candy. I knew I shouldn't have bought it so soon ahead of time!

We head to bed.

Why am I still awake? This is way past my bedtime. I read myself to sleep.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Week in the Life: Fall 2014 (Monday)

Lily bleats out multiple times in the night. It never turns into a cry, but she fusses for a couple minutes every couple hours and it has me getting jagged sleep. And then she is UP at 5:44 AM. Grumble, grumble. #couldbeworsedotcom

I bring Lils into the master bathroom with me hoping she can entertain herself in the bouncy seat for a few while I shower but that is NOT happening. So I dump her on Max and then quickly shower. By the time I am done, Oliver is awake, too. Lily grumped and cried on and off the whole shower. This does not bode well for the day.

Husband uses cocoa butter lotion on his face and smells like cake and I cannot convince him there are other options in this world. Cake man. Bakery boy. Vanilla villain. #moisturizingonthecheapdotcom [Max's message:  I like to smell like cake and enjoy the thought of spreading butter on my face, just as I spread it on my toast.]

Here I am wearing what my bloggy friend Amy and I call stagehand outfits. All black and stretchy and ready to move large set structures in a quick slight-of-hand-type way at any given moment. This look may or may not have something to do with shifting postpartum weight. #theatre

Bey-ba, or actually Oliver calls her Bulla these days, is now up.

My HINT HINT post-it on the counter went ignored over the weekend so I move it to the fridge for further ineffective hint-hinting.
Pssssst - Husband - all those coats getting in your path in the mudroom last week? May have been further hint-hinting. Maybe. Or maybe that damn stagehand left them there. She's terrible with props! [Max's message:  Yes, yes, somehow you even find a way to nag me on the blog.  Points for you.]

Ooh, sunrise so pretty this morning!

The kids make art work for their teachers which is initiated by Bella. It's actually nice to have the older one be so into crafts and drawing and all that because then kid #2 goes along with it. Oliver's preschool teacher was talking to all the parents about some surprisingly advanced scissor skills in his class and I was all smug thinking "Yeah! My boy can scissor like nobody's business! BOOM!"

I should note here that I didn't buy Bella scissors until her 3-year-old preschool teacher mentioned that children should have them to practice cutting. #Smugballoondeflates

I suddenly catch the lyrics "heard the sound of a clown who cried in an alley" and what? No! Wrong! I quickly 'thumbs down' that shit. There will be no visuals of weepy clowns in dark alleys. NO THERE WILL NOT.

To keep the other soundtrack of crying baby to a minimum we Ergo it out, although I'm feeling frustrated at trying to do all the morning tasks with an 18 pounder strapped to my front.

I finally realize I can't hold off Lily from her nap any longer, especially since she woke up pretty early, so I put her down for a nap at 8:15 AM. This sucks because I will have to wake her at 8:45 AM. Poor third baby whose naps do not get respected.

The kids get to watch one episode of My Little Pony since they are mostly ready (my usual rule for them in regards to watching a show in the morning). I finish Bella's lunch.
 I bought some half-sized colored index cards for the purpose of lunch note writing and Bella seems to love it so I am happy to keep it up.

Then I style Bella's hair into pigtails and when I ask if I can take a picture she quickly does that school pose again. Oh Beyba/Bulla/Bella.

Get Lily up and try to rush us out the door (LOLOLOLOL), Three kids holy shitballs.

As I back out of the driveway I realize my hair is in a 1990s claw clip since I forgot to ever groom myself. At least I'm clean? And ready to move large set pieces at a moment's notice?

Drop Bella at her school, drop Bubba at his school (oh - and now that I have tasted true drop-offs, having to park and walk Oliver to his room is painful), Lily grumps and shows me she is not okay with missing out on a full morning nap. Oh baby girl, don't we all wish you could have napped longer.

Go home and nurse the angry bear.


So I take her upstairs and try to get some cleaning and laundry done.

Bella's room after cleaning...

And we go into Oliver's room, but...


Ok. New plan! We will go grocery shopping. Lily should be happier out and about. I consult my grocery list.

Too Tired McGee at Target.

Head to do our next errand. It's just a quick drive to the gym next so I can cancel swimming lessons. ("That needs to be done in writing, Ma'am." COURSE IT DOES! Also: when you cancel you pay for another month of lessons before actually cancelling. Right, right. Of course.)

Oh shit! No! Not yet!

Wake her up from her mini nap and take care of our gym paperwork. Sidenote - we decided to stick with our gym membership for swimming mainly. I have been too nervous about germs lately to drop Lily and Oliver at childcare (enterovirus and I suppose ebola on some level have me feeling a more heightened after two months of pink eye-related drama I'm tapped out) so we haven't gone much. However, if Lily keeps up weird napping hours then I might resume trying to go during preschool times. Maybe...we'll see.
Next we drive to preschool.

Shit! No! Not again!

Get Oliver from preschool and he's so cute and sweet after school. His brand of threenager is easier on me than Bella's brand of threenager. B could barely keep it together to get out of the school and was so so so sassy. O is just more whiny and scared of things. Both moody and unpredictable but very different.

Go home and eat lunch. I make a random plate of things for Oliver - cheese, turkey, pretzels, carrots. He begs for a sparkling water and I let him have one.

Pumpkin decorations the kids did with our sitter.

Now comes the most "chicken with its head cut off" time of day as I run from one needy kid to another. Lily seems tired once again so I see if she will somehow take a real nap (all fingers crossed). Oliver decides he needs to poo. I run from one to another for a while but eventually it seems all are settled. Anytime I am feeling overly frustrated by these moments I remember the months after Oliver was born and it was hours and hours each day of crazy chicken time. Now it's just in blips and spurts.

I get Oliver set up for his rest time and set his piggy timer for 40 minutes.

I look at my to-do list but meh. I'm tired. PASS!

I lay down to try to relax but Toonses gets up in my grill and demands attention. Oh pets.

Oliver wanders out of his room "duh timer ninged!" It "ninged" because he made it "ning" even though I set it high up on his dresser...don't want to think too much about how he got his hands on it though surely it involved some high climbing adventure. He does seem so sleepy so I see if I can maybe somehow get him to snooze in bed with me. (Haaaa, self!) I would love to take a nap. So I have him get a book and we read it. But instead of getting snoozier, he's just more wriggly. So I take the lazy route and tell him he can watch a show on the iPad. I get him set up in the bed with me.

I decide to nap during the 24 minute show. But then a brrrrrp, brrrrRRRRRRP, BRRRRRRRR noise that pauses and then repeats and then pauses and then repeats is assaulting my brain. Eventually I look out the window and there is an elderly man using a power blower on a yard full of oak leaves. He's leaf blowing in an elderly manner, hence the slow on and off and pauses and yeah. No nap for me. BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRP.

Oliver and I head downstairs after his show and I finally get around to unpacking groceries since Lily the Grumpy is sleeping.

Fun fact for food assholes that I just discovered today! Target's brand of organic tomatoes comes in BPA-free cans so it's a solid option for organic canned tomatoes. Yayyyyy!

I get Oliver set up with some pumpkin painting since I bought some mini pumpkins at Target. Look at the look on his face when he realizes he made green paint out of yellow and blue. Haha.

He wants me to paint with him and I feel guilty that I'm putting him off, but I gotta get dinner made. Chop, chop, chop.

I'm making a Mulligatawny soup recipe that Max brought home after a coworker gave it to him in exchange for a Rachel Ray recipe that Max loves and eats at work (Hungarian Stoup). It only occurred to me as I was cooking that it's kind of funny that two men were exchanging favorite soup recipes at work.  [Max's message:  I'm very modern like that.]

Lils wakes up and we head outside so we can start some glitter crafting on.

This is a great picture of Baby Leo.

Time to get Bella at the bus stop.

Still grumpy. LILYYYYYYY. More Ergo-ing.

But then I get her distracted by letting her sit and play with crunchy leaves. So daughter 1.0 requests the Ergo as a joke.


It's 5 o'clock-ish and I can't take another whine of "I'm hungry!" so I plate up the kid's dinners. I'm not really sure what they are going to think of this stew and I can't quite decide if I should be strict about it or let them have an option B. I decide to offer it and see what happens.

Bella likes it enough but doesn't want to eat that much and Oliver just eats his yogurt. I make the decision to let them eat more/something else once Max gets home from work and eats.

The kids beg to help give Lily her bottle of pear juice.

And then I get starving myself so I get some of the soup. I had already pre-planned on getting take-out or ordering in as discussed earlier via text with Max but I got so hungry that I just ate what was in front of me. It's like the reverse of impulse eating fast food or something.

Max is home!  [Max's message:  One more day of servitude done and nothing like coming home to kids who are happy to see you.]

So he gets to take his turn doing the (SLOWEST EVER) bottle feeding.

Their feet are the same size.

Baby bath time!

99th percentile head.

The bigs have a bath in the master tub while I take care of Lily's bath and bedtime.

Both kids are begging for me to put them to bed (WHY?????) so Max and I somehow decide to all do things together and split duties. First I get Oliver sleeping...

And then Bella.

And then wine. Insert more yaaaaaays here!

Hey - hot tip! Maybe don't bring the entire gigantic amount of candy to the coffee table at night.

Blog, blog, blog.

Max has to pay a bill and I notice the note in Max's wallet.  [Max's message:  There's really nothing during the work day that picks my spirits up more than thinking about how fortunate I am to have the kids we have.  There are times, yes, when my appreciation is absent but when I'm out of the house, I miss them more than anything.]

Bad lifestyle choices.

And then bed for another night of lousy sleep. Whew! These days are hard to type up. Onward ho!

Random bullet points -
  • My iphone is being a punk and draining its battery like crazy. This is annoying. Researching makes me think I need to totally wipe it and start again. Hiss.
  • My 5 year old behaves quite a bit like a 3 year old. Why? Please to inform me. Why was I not told about five-nagers?
  • I meant to start up my MuTu ab/diastasis recti workouts again on this day but...nope. Lily wasn't having it so I had to switch gears to more of a "survival mode" Rolling with it and also with my homies.
  • Bubby shredded three mums (flowers, not British mommies) that he had been keeping in his room (Me last Thursday: Aw, how sweet! He wants flowers by his bed!) during rest time and there were petals all over the carpet. Later was so proud at his solution to cover the mess with his pillow but then got mad when I tried to move his pillow back to his bed. Oh Bubby. And it's Tuesday night and those mums are still hanging out on his carpet. I don't vacuum ever so it's all too bad really.