Monday, December 29, 2008

The glamorous life

Today I cleaned up pee off my kitchen floor, dug a booger the size of a small marble out of my baby's nose with my own bare hand and ate cereal for dinner.  Ah yes my friends, THIS is the glamorous life...

Friday, December 19, 2008

I suck

It's true, I do.  Sometimes I just suck at being a mom.  I lose my temper after picking up toys and shoes for the bazillionth time.  I yell a little too loudly when I get tired of not being heard.  I crave solitude probably more than I should considering the number of children I have.  And this week, I was the slacker mom that forgot that her #2 and #3 princesses were supposed to bring Christmas snacks and a book to exchange to preschool.  So, while other little girls were running into their classrooms toting beautifully wrapped packages that were no doubt thoughtfully purchased, tied with ribbons and tulle, my princesses walked in with books from our own stash (yes, it's true) and were followed by a bedraggled mommy carrying a $1 roll of wrapping paper purchased from the local grocery store a mere 10 minutes earlier.  And the Christmas snack? Yeah, that didn't happen at all.

To say I walked out of the preschool feeling like total crap would be an understatement.  I know it's so little in the grand scheme of things, but failing at stuff like this just takes the wind out of my sails.  It's silly to want to be the perfect parent, and I'm not even sure that's really good for the kids anyway.  But is it too much to ask to at least have the capacity to remember when it's gift day at preschool?  

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What was I thinking??

It sounded so simple and made so much sense.  The cabinets were bare.  Starving Princesses were grating on my every last nerve begging for food.  We'd just run to the store for a few quick things.  Nothing major, just the essentials.  Your Majesty started making a list (maybe overkill for just a "few things", but I know that I do much better with the old bottom line if I stick to my list).  Milk of course, then cereal, and bread... so far so good.  Oh and we're out of paper towels, and nearly out of toilet paper... and I should get a few extra things to make the Princesses' lunches with... and maybe I'll be able to grab a few things off my stocking stuffer list....

We finally make it out the door, with a much longer list than "the essentials" would require.  But that's ok.  I'm organized and ready.  We'll hit Super Wal-mart so fast we'll be out of there in no time.  All the Princesses have gone potty, a fresh diaper is donned, My Little Ponies are in tow for amusement - we're good to go.

One small, teeny-tiny detail:  It's Saturday.  December 13th.  A mere 12 days before Christmas.  Before you break into song about swans a-swimming and partridges in pear trees, let's analyze the ramifications of going to Super Wal-mart in the middle of the afternoon on a Saturday just 12 days before Christmas:

1.  No parking spaces.  Ever wonder what the entire perimeter of the Wal-mart parking lot looks like?  Go on a Saturday afternoon 12 days before Christmas.  You'll get a chance to drive around it several times, watching every single car in front of you get lucky and snag a spot - only to leave you to drive on, circling and circling until your Princesses are complaining of getting dizzy.

2.  No shopping carts.  Really, I'm not sure what the problem is with keeping the cart corral stocked with carts.  I probably passed 50 out in the parking lot - don't they pay teenage boys to push those suckers back to the building?  Next time I'll grab one on my way in.

3.  More than enough people.  You would think that Wal-mart is the place to be on a Saturday afternoon.  It's like being on a gigantic bumper car ride, except you are pushing your cars instead of driving them.  And as time goes by, more weight is added to your car which makes it even more difficult to steer.  Add in of course a Princess or two and then it really gets fun.

4.  Lack of common sense.  One would think that in a place like Wal-mart, swarming with people and nearly out of control shopping carts, one would take care to see that they stay within their own "space" and offer the simplest basic courtesy to others around them by not blocking aisles, barreling around corners, allowing their kids to  swerve in and out of people on those blasted tennis shoes with wheels in the heel... one would think.  But one would also be mistaken.

5.  Murphey's Law:  no matter what you do, you will always, ALWAYS choose the wrong check out lane.  (just a PSA here:  if you have a line 3 deep behind you and you're nearly done checking out when you discover that you forgot to grab some ornament hooks for your precious ornaments - do everyone a favor and come back another time to grab the hooks.  Really, it's not that big of a deal.  And it's not worth making everyone behind you in line wait an extra 10 minutes while you try to snag down a Wal-mart employee to have them go fight the crowds to bring back hooks for you.  Use paper clips for crying out loud!)

6.  No matter how well behaved, even Princesses can only stand Wal-mart for so long.

We're lucky we made it out alive.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

All I want for Christmas

Today Princess #1 told me that all she wanted for Christmas was a laundry person, so that I can spend less time doing laundry and more time with them....  I'd say that's a reasonable request!  Oh Santa....  :-)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Paybacks

I'm sure that living in the land of Pink may sound like fun to alot of people who don't have the option of experiencing it on a daily basis.  And yes, it IS alot of fun... at times.  But I'm also 98% certain that being proclaimed Your Majesty of Planet Pink is also alot about PAYBACK.  Payback for all the drama I caused for my parents while I was myself, a Princess.   It's almost amusing at times, the amount of drama that courses through this home's veins at any given moment.  And we haven't even made it past the age of 6 yet!  Check back with me in another 10 years to see if I still find it amusing.

Case in point:  a few days ago, I was in the kitchen peacefully preparing dinner when Princess #1 entered, begging for a cup of soda.  Call me mean, but I told her no, not until after dinner.  I'm not sure why this response surprised her, since it's the same response she would get over and over no matter how many times she asked, and yet this time it sent her into a full fledged tantrum.  Now, temper tantrums from 2 year olds I can tolerate, but when my 6 year old tries to manipulate the situation by falling on the floor, she gets sent to her room.  And so off she went.  I went back to making dinner.  Not more than a minute or two later, Princess #1 comes back to the kitchen screaming something about her tooth and her mouth was full of blood.

Now, ordinarily I might have panicked myself, but since just a few days prior we had discovered that a permanent tooth was poking through behind her bottom right baby tooth, I immediately assumed that her tooth had fallen out.  I was a bit surprised by the amount of blood, but didn't feel the need to overreact.  So I took the hysterical Princess #1 to the bathroom to clean her up.  The amount of drama oozing from her little body was amazing.  Nearly to the point of hyperventilation, eyes popping out of her head, sobbing uncontrollably, the works.  It was quite a sight to see.  It took a great deal of self control to not laugh at my amusement over the whole situation.

But it gets even better.  Once we got the bleeding stopped and I got her calmed down enough, I asked Princess #1 to tell me how it happened.  Remember that temper tantrum?  Well, apparently she was SO MAD at me, that when I sent her to her room she grabbed a blanket and was biting on it.  At one point she ripped the blanket out of her mouth, and the tooth came with it.  As Princess #1 was retelling me the story, I'm ashamed to admit that I did NOT have enough self control to keep myself from laughing out loud.  It was totally a "serves you right!" moment (although I did have enough restraint to not say THAT outloud).

The hysterical Princess was convinced she had swallowed the ill-fated tooth.  Fortunately, You Majesty knows *just enough* about physics that I was able to assume that if she had ripped the blanket out of her mouth, the tooth most likely projected across the room in the same direction.  So then I began the painstaking task of searching for the tiny tooth, lest the Tooth Fairy would skip over our home that evening.  I had Princess #1 show me where she was sitting and what direction she was facing at the time of the extraction.  In a miraculous turn of events, I stumbled across the tooth, sitting neatly in the middle of her little sister's pillow.  

If that wasn't enough drama, the rest of the evening was filled with overreaction about eating, drinking, brushing teeth, etc. with the new hole in her mouth.  I'm not sure how many times I had to reassure the Princess that people went on to eat and drink like normal after loosing teeth.  The whole evening was one of those very profound moments where I realized: This is my life.  Going from managing one drama to another.  I think I may need to invest in Prozac.  

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Hostess

Well, I've survived Thanksgiving.  I've decided that I am not a good hostess.  I make a MUCH better guest.  I enjoy having people in my home and would probably enjoy it more if my home were bigger and had more space for people to spread out.  But that's not an option at the moment, so this year I was faced with the inevitable: hosting Thanksgiving dinner in our tight quarters.  Even though Planet Pink is always bustling with activity, I'm typically able to mostly stay on top of it.  But add 3 extra adults and another bouncing pink baby and well, you've got Your Majesty running in circles.  

I've washed more dishes in the last 24 hours than I probably did the entire week prior.  I wouldn't be sad if I never had to peel another potato again.  Ever.  I fought to keep the Princesses on some sort of a routine.  The laundry piled up so high that today (the day after) I have literally done 5 loads of it and probably have another 5 to go.  

Certainly this aftermath can take the joy out of any holiday celebration.  It's sorta hard to feel thankful for much of anything when you're vacuuming, washing, sweeping, washing, etc. etc. etc.  But then those Princesses bring it all back around.   Princess #1 asks me to tell her Daddy how thankful she is that he works so hard for us, when he gets home from working Black Friday.  Princess #2 tells me in her sweet voice that she wants to be my friend forever because she loves me so much.  And Princess #3 comes running so willing to just plant one on me at any given second.  And that somehow makes it all worth it.  The mind-numbing exhaustion, the clutter, the pruny dishwater hands.  I'd do it all again in a heart beat.  And I do, every day.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I'm baaaaaaaaack!

Did ya miss me?  Time flies when you're having fun, huh?

My sincerest apologies for dropping my pee-on-a-stick bomb and then dropping the blog altogether.  I kinda lost my mo-jo.  But I'm feeling the inspiration again, so I thought I'd dust off the writing side of my brain and start exercising it again.

So, let me kick off my return with this little interchange I had with Princess #2 this morning:  I was getting ready for the day in the bathroom, drying my hair, when Princess #2 came running in with a very concerned look on her face.  I stopped the hair dryer and asked her what the problem was.  VERY seriously she asked me if we had a "converner box".  Appropriately confused by this question, I asked her to repeat herself.  She asked again, very slowly and enunciating every syllable as though I were a small child, if we had a "converner box".  Still not understanding I asked her why she wanted to know?  And she replied that it was very important that we have a "converner box" or our TV was not going to work anymore.  

Ah, thank you PBS for making sure my children are properly prepared for the digital transition that is to take place this February.  

Friday, July 18, 2008

The planet has been rocked...

and it came in the form of a little + that appeared on a little stick.  Ah yes.  Now how did that happen?  haha.

Apparently God feels we're decent enough parents to bless us with one more.  I just hope we're up to the task...

Now the wait begins to see if the planet pink is going to be infused with a little blue...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sucker

Alright, I'll be straight up with you:  I'm a total softie with my babies.  I mean, not when it's *REALLY* important of course, but in any average sort of situation, I'm constantly fighting with myself over whether or not it's really worth it to hold my ground.

So, today I realized that Princess #2, at the tender age of 3, has TOTALLY caught on to this and has learned to work the system.  I've been battling a cold/sinus crap for the last week.  Princess #3 started it and of course, I had to catch it from her.  I've been watching the other 2 girls like a hawk, waiting for their noses to start running or for a fever to hit.  So far, so good.  We were eating dinner around the table and catching up on the day.  Princess #2 scarfed down her helping of peas, but was being quite hesitant about actually ingesting any of the main meal - Chicken Fettucine Alfredo.  She started saying she was "so tired" and was laying her head on the table.  Concerned about her, I encouraged hubby to help her eat her food while I started on the dishes.  He coaxed her to take a bite, but just barely.  I finished the dishes and decided it was time I stepped in.

I tried to get Princess #2 to take a few more bites before her strange behavior convinced me to carry her away from the table and hold her on the couch.  She wrapped her arms around me and told me how sleepy she was.  Her head, which was laying on my shoulder, was heavy and her arms were droopy.  I was getting a little concerned.  Perhaps I'm a little bit of a hypochondriac when it comes to her (she had a febrile seizure last October), but I began to panic a little inside.  I lifted her head and tried to get her to look at me.  Her eyes were heavy and she would barely lift her head.  That's when I called hubby into the living room to get his opinion.

He looked at her, then at me and rolled his eyes.  I told him I really didn't think she was faking.  I mean, I know my baby right?  And she's only 3.  It's not like she could be *that* cunning.  Hubby, in his infinite wisdom, decided to test her.  He asked her if she was still hungry.  She lifted her head just a little and nodded.  Then he asked her what she wanted to eat.  Instantly she popped up from my lap and bounced into the kitchen proclaiming "let me show you!" as she headed for the refrigerator.  Hmmmm.... so much for being SO TIRED.   She concluded the evening with no signs of her previous ailment and thoroughly enjoyed her apple for dinner.  Oh yeah, I'm not going to live this one down for a LONG time.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Perfect Homemaker

Ugh, why do I just not feel like blogging lately?  I'm in less of a funk these days, but still not 100%.  My parents are visiting right now, which is good and bad at the same time.  I love my mom and dad.  I have a great relationship with them.  But I am very very different from my mother, and in alot of ways I feel very inadequate when I'm around her.  

She's "SUPER housewife".  You know, the kind that has the clean dishes emptied from the dishwasher before they've stopped steaming from the heat.  The kind that only has about a days worth of dirty laundry sitting in the laundry baskets at any given moment.  The kind that plans meals way in advance and always has a pantry full of food.  Seriously, I used to make fun of her because before she could leave the house she had to make sure the cushions on the couch were straight.  Contrast that with me - who's lucky if I remembered to turn the dishwasher on before going to bed.  Who's seriously lucky if I can go a week without the laundry monster taking over my house.  The kind who waits until about 5:30 to worry about what to eat and then opens up the empty pantry and announces it's cereal for dinner night!  And couch cushions?  They make GREAT trampolines on the floor for the Princesses.

Now, on most days, I'm very comfortable with my housekeeping skills.  No, my house is not spotless, there will always be a toy underfoot.  Often there are dirty dishes sitting in the sink.  And there is ALWAYS laundry to be done.  But for the most part, no one complains and I feel like I'm doing my best.  But when my mom comes to visit...  I dunno.  I know she's just trying to help.  But the first thing she does is inspect my refrigerator and pantry and make out a shopping list.  Then she tackles the laundry.  And it's not at all uncommon for her to begin reorganizing my tupperware drawer or my linen closet, just for kicks. 

Why does this make me feel so much like a failure as a homemaker?  I mean, I know my reality.   I have 3 small children.  I work part-time outside the home.   My husband is not a neat-freak and thus I have no pressure to keep a perfect house.  I don't need to hold myself to such high standards.  I am not my mom.  And I really don't think that my mom does these things to make me feel badly.  She's really doing it out of the goodness of her heart and because it's her gift.  I know I need to just get over myself.  Stop feeling sorry for myself.  Let my mom love on me this way and stop taking it so personally.

Monday, June 2, 2008

In a Funk

Hello friends.  Its been awhile I know.  I've been in a funk lately and haven't felt much like blogging.  I get in these moods periodically and I have yet to figure out if it's cyclical or not.  But whatever the case, it sucks.  Just seems like very little is going our way these days.  I refuse to settle for the status quo, I refuse to just suck it up and accept that this is what our life is.  I am bound and determined that we are going to do what we have to do to get to the place where we are happy and fulfilled.  But I'm growing weary in the process.  

Things are just really hard right now.  I hate when I run across someone and they ask how things are going or how I am.  I'm a horrible liar.  What I want to say is "are you just being polite, or do you really want to know?"  Because if you really want to know, let me tell you about my husband who is working SO hard in a job that's not fulfilling his calling in life, just to barely get food on the table and the bills paid.  Let me tell you about all the schooling he's gone through, the certification he's received, to qualify him to do what he really WANTS to do and feels called by God to do - and yet cannot seem to find the right job that's going to pay him what he needs in order to support us.  Let me tell you about the HUGE amount of debt we incurred while hubby was in school, that we're still held captive by, that we can't seem to get out from under, and that's holding us back from pursuing our passions.  Let me tell you about all the other things in our life that need to be tended to but can't because they cost money we don't have.  Let me tell you about how there's just not enough hours in the day for me to feel successful at running a home, working parttime and mothering 3 small children.  And finally, let me tell you about my darling Princess #3 who's suddenly discovered she can have an opinion about things and has decided to declare it by screaming... often.

I'm just spent.  I'm tired of treading water.  I'm tired of being a slave to our debt.  I'm tired of not feeling like I'm doing a good job at much of anything.  Hubby and I keep struggling to take each step forward because we know if we're not moving forward we're moving backwards.  I just wish that the steps right now in front of us weren't so hard to take.  And I wish they "felt" more like steps forward, rather than steps to the side.

I was recently reminded of this song that we sing in church alot, and it's been running through my head over and over.  The words are below:

If You say go, we will go.
If You say wait, we will wait. 
If You say step out on the water, and they say it can't be done,
We'll fix our eyes on You, and we will come.

Your ways are higher than our ways.
And the plans that You have laid are good and true.
If You call us to the fire, You will not withdraw Your hand.
We'll gaze into the flame and look to You.

I feel like we are SO there right now.  Especially the "wait" part.  I have no idea why we are where we are.  It's always easy to look back and see God's hand.  It's the looking forward that requires patience and faith.  Two things I feel like I'm barely holding on to right now.  I'm not even sure what to pray for anymore.  I'm just holding on with the small amount of faith I have left and trusting that at some point I'll look back on these days and see very clearly God's hand in it all.

Edited to add:  I feel like I need to add that there are SO many other things in my life that I'm thankful for.  So many things that I've been blessed with that I don't deserve.  I hate that at times the bad stuff clouds the good stuff.  I try to not hold on to these bad days for very long.  There are times I just need to get it out.  Then I can leave it behind and move on.  

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Pomp and Circumstance

It's official - my baby is going to be in Kindergarten this fall.  Oh, I knew it was going to happen, but as long as she was fully engaged in Preschool, I was easily able to ignore it.  But today, Princess #1 walked across the stage in a miniature white graduation cap and gown complete with a tassel.  As her baby pictures were displayed on a giant screen, I was forced to face reality.

I'm not sure I'm ready for this.  The first one is the hardest, right?  I mean, after I get Princess #1 through Kindergarten and we gear up for Princess #2, It will be old hat, right?  

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Day for Moms

It's Mother's Day.  This morning I woke up in my brand new bed - my Mother's Day gift.  For 8.5 years hubby and I have slept on a queen mattress and box spring on the floor.  So, for the first time in our entire married lives I slept in my OWN bed, complete with headboard, footboard and rails.  Whoo hoo! I actually feel like a grown up.  And I do realize that I am getting old when household items and furniture gifts actually rate on the excitement scale.

I received two lovely homemade cards from Princess #1 and #2 before heading out to church.  There's not much sweeter than painstakingly placed stickers and chicken scratches from your babies.  I cherish those.  Princess #1 was particularly proud of her card in which she very neatly wrote her name at the top.  She is just getting too big.

Following church we went to what is becoming our Mother's Day lunch spot - The Elephant Bar.  Two years running now, this restaurant is the place to go on Mother's Day.  I don't know if people don't like it or it's not well known or if it just doesn't get the throngs of people who are primarily leaving church because of the word "bar" in the name - but whatever the case, it makes for an excellent spot for a young family to go.  We waited about 15 minutes tops for our table and during that time were treated to samples.  On the way out our waitress handed me a pink carnation and a gift card for a free appetizer at our next visit.  Not bad, eh?  Try the Crispy Honey Orange Shrimp - it's marvelous!

And then, upon returning home, my Mother's Day miracle occurred:  We all took naps!  Well, Princess #1 and #2 read books quietly in their room - but I'll take what I can get.  Hubby and I dozed on our new bed for well over an hour.  Heaven I tell you.

Of course the rest of the evening ended with a bloody nose (Princess #2 - running into a wall) and a rug burn (Princess #1 - falling down while playing chase) and general drama and overreaction.  But all in all I'd say it was a wonderful Mother's Day.  I'm so blessed.  Yes, many times (several just today) I wish for earplugs or a tranquilizer or SOMETHING.  But then those Princesses crawl into my lap and whisper that they have a super secret surprise for me and then give me the biggest hugs ever... and it makes it all so worth it.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

When a child that you don't know is playing with your children in a public area (ie, a playroom at a children's boutique), and she is holding on to one of your child's toys (a Snow White Barbie doll) and won't give it up even though you are trying to leave and you've asked for it politely, at what point do you expect said child's mother to intervene?  AND, when said child's mother does try to intervene (5 minutes later), but does so in the form of a weak "it's not your toy sweetie. Let's see what mommy has in her purse for you.  Give the toy back.  No baby, it's not yours.  Here, I found a little doll thats yours.  Can you give the dolly back to the little girl?  Sweetie, it's not your doll.  No, sweetheart.  You can't keep it..." and this continues on for FIVE MINUTES while the stubborn toddler refuses to part with the toy, at what point do you cut your losses and leave without the toy?  

I know.  I've been there.  I'm all for trying to remedy a situation as quietly and calmly and with as much respect for my child as possible.  Especially in a public place.  But is it really necessary to give your 2 year old THAT MUCH respect?  Seriously, I would have been removing the doll from my Princess's grip after 2 requests to return it on her own, tops.  The mother seemed to show no embarrassment over the situation whatsoever.  I really think that she might have stayed there all day asking her 2 year old to give the doll back.  Fortunately, her grandmother was mortified and finally managed to pry the hostage from her granddaughters fingers.  Snow White is safely back in our home, where she belongs.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Just call me Dorothy

I know, I know.  It's been awhile.  Hey!  How are ya?

So, tonight I'm struggling with a major fear issue.  I'll admit that I'm not the most courageous person in general.  Alot of things frighten me.  As a kid, I was scared of the dark.  I always slept with the hall light on right outside my bedroom.  My dad would come and turn it off when he went to bed, but I would nearly always wake up and turn it back on.  In fact, I spent nearly every night sleeping in my parents' bedroom on a little couch in my sleeping bag.  I was just too scared to sleep in my room alone.  This probably explains why my own princesses sleep in their sleeping bags in MY room most nights now.

I've outgrown my fear of the dark (but maybe not so much the sleeping in my room alone, fortunately, hubby doesn't travel without me much).  But another one has surfaced that's most likely been in the works since those early, dark-fearing days.  I'm scared of tornadoes.  Not just a little nervous.  An all-consuming, check the weather constantly if there's even the slightest hint of anything nasty, get upset in my tummy, lose my appetite, get paralyzed fear.  Yes, it is something I most likely need meds for.  

I've been trying to analyze this fear lately, given that it's tornado season and I live in the heart of tornado alley.  Now let me be the first to admit that I have statistics working in my favor.  In all of my 30 years I have never been within, oh, 2 miles of a tornado.  I can count on one hand the number of times I've actually had to take cover from a storm.  And yet, all of that logic flies out the window the second I even hear of the slightest chance of severe weather.  

I suspect it has much to do with the fact that I now have 3 little lives depending on me.  Suddenly it's about more than just me.  The decisions I make don't just effect me.  And that's overwhelming where this particular fear is concerned because I feel completely out of control with it.  I can't stop bad weather from bearing down on us.  We don't have a proper storm shelter, so I can't adequately protect them the way I'd like to.  I just feel helpless, and that is not a comfortable place for any momma to be in.

So, I honestly don't know where to go from here.  Tomorrow is supposed to suck, weather-wise (although one station reported online that the main risk would be South of where we live - God bless you Frank Mitchell!  You've given me hope!).  I can't run, I can't hide.  I have to work.  Princess #1 has ballet. Life has to go on.  I've been praying for peace and a release from this fear - at least the irrational aspects of it.  Beyond that, I have a catalog coming from Family Safe Storm Shelters.  If I can buy some peace of mind, I might just try.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Follow up to my "green" step 3...

I forgot to mention that I googled around today and found a single, private company that does curbside recycling pickup twice a month!  It's the only one in our city and I'm thrilled to start recycling again.  Yea!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Four Things About Me

I stole this from my friend Emily, hopefully she doesn't mind.  :)  I needed some help with blog material and this was perfect!

Four Places I Go Over and Over
1.  church
2.  work (which happens to be at church)
3.  Princess #1 and #2's preschool (which also happens to be at church)
4.  Reasor's grocery store

Four Movies I Have Watched More Than Four Times
1.  Notting Hill (so many good one-liners in this one!)
2.  You've Got Mail (I'm a sucker for Meg Ryan chick flicks)
3.  Shrek
4.  Barbie Fairytopia (hey, I live with 3 little girls....)

Four Places I Have Lived
1.  Atlanta, GA
2.  Overland Park, KS
3.  Bend, OR
4.  Ithaca, NY

Four TV Shows I Watch
1.  The Office
2.  Greek
3.  American Idol
4.  Project Runway

Four Places I Have Been
1.  Sydney, Australia
2.  Papua New Guinea
3.  Toronto, Canada
4.  Sofia, Bulgaria

People Who Email Me Regularly
1.  Aaron, my boss
2.  Melissa
3.  Nichole
4.  My grandma (she LOVES political forwards)

Four Of My Favorite Foods
1.  Pepperoni Pizza from Brothers Pizza
2.  Spinach Artichoke Pasta from Zio's
3.  Mongolian Beef
4.  Sushi!

Four Places I Would Like To Visit
1.  Disney World
2.  Hawaii
3.  Paris
4.  Ireland

Four Things I'm Looking Forward To In 2008
1.  Starting a new career
2.  Becoming an aunt
3.  Launching a new church
4.  Watching Princess #1 go to Kindergarten (this also makes me very very sad).

And that's all!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Green Is The New Pink

Today, in honor of Earth Day, I thought about being more green.  You have to understand, that in a family of 5, even THINKING of giving up a few conveniences in the name of the environment is a big deal.  There are so many things I'd love to just DO, but the reality is much, much harder than it seems.  Cutting back on my shower time, for example.  I mean, that IS one of the few times a day I'm alone.  To cut it back seems almost cruel...  So today I tried to not beat myself up over being only "sort of" green and tried to think of things I can do that won't send me to the mad house.

About 6 months ago a friend of mine organized a reusable bag bulk buy.  She purchased tons of these cute Turtle bags from Monde Ami and many of us were able to split the difference for shipping, etc.  I got 20.  I figured with the amount of diapers we were dumping into landfills on a daily basis, the least we could do was cut down on our plastic bag contribution.  And they have been looking LOVELY in my garage the last 6 months.  I promise I had the BEST intentions!  Finally, just this week hubby divided them between our car and minivan and put them right in the front seat where I'm sure to not forget them the next time I venture out to Target or somewhere.  So, my first step towards being more green is to remember those bags!

The environment and being green has become such a hot topic lately.  I don't remember EVER hearing about it when I was in grade school at all, and yet just today Princess #1 came home from preschool singing (to the tune of BINGO) "E-A-R-T-H, E-A-R-T-H, E-A-R-T-H, The earth we need to care for".  And as she and her sister played on the swingset in our backyard she casually informed me that if we didn't take care of the world, it would DIE (said in her most dramatic voice).  Obviously, no matter where a person stands politically in terms of "being green" - if you have small children, the topic is bound to come up.  My second step towards being more green is to educate my children how to care for the world God created for us (yes, I know this is broad - but it was a big enough feat to just convince her that the world was not going to DIE while she was sleeping tonight).

And with 2 under my belt I sort of feel like I need a third step to round things out...  I guess I'm still working on that one.  Living where I do, we're sorta slow to jump on the "green" bandwagon.  They don't exactly make it easy to do things like recycle, for example.  When we lived out on the West Coast it was a no-brainer.  The City gave each home a trashcan, a paper recycle bin and a glass recycle bin.  It all went out on the curb on trash day.  Easy peasy.  Not so the case here... Oh oh!  I know what my third step will be.  I will research local recycling groups to find out about policies and terms and how to get connected so that we can begin to reduce our waste again.

So there you have it.  Not exactly Kermit the Frog, but even he said it wasn't easy being green.


Friday, April 18, 2008

That nagging feeling...

Well, I should have known.   After having several days pass by with nothing interesting to blog about, I should have known that a doozy was coming.  If only I had been prepared...

I ventured to the mall today with all 3 princesses in tow.  Hubby was working and I was sick and tired of being stuck in the house, so I thought, why not?  Before heading out we did the usual routine:  First we changed out of the mismatched shorts and tees from our "crap clothes" drawer and into something better suited to "going out" (which, if you know me, you know our "going out" clothes hang from wooden hangers in the closet and are reserved for, well, going out.  Today's choice:  Matilda Jane.  Seriously, if you have a princess at home, you MUST indulge.).  Secondly, hair was combed and fastened in twists and pony tails and whatnot.  And finally, princess #1 and #2 sat on the couch and listened to me give my speech about turning on listening ears and obeying and the promise of fresh store-bought cookies and pretzels if the above two expectations were met.  And with that, we headed out to the van, with a freshly changed princess #3, stocked diaperbag and 2 stuffed animals.

The outing started out well.  We made our first stop at the Apple store to play on the kids computers.  We met up with hubby while he was on his lunch break and toured the Disney store (which we miraculously made out of alive without purchasing a single Princess-laden item!).  After hubby returned to work, I decided it was time to reward the Princesses (and myself) by stopping off at Mrs. Fields for cookies.  Against my better judgment, I allowed Princess #1 and #2 to get the M&M sugar cookie with the huge HOT PINK icing princess crown.  10 minutes later Princess #1 had finished her cookie and Princess #2 had quite (UN)appetizingly licked the entire crown off her cookie leaving a soggy mess.  Yum.  With the soggy leftovers deposited in the trash, the Princesses and I continued on to Gymboree where I labored for way too long over whether or not it was necessary to purchase all 3 Princesses something just so they could match (the Gymboree vortex I tell you), and instead settled on a single romper for Princess #3 that was half paid for by a store credit and coupon.  So far, so good. 

At this point, a nagging feeling began to pound in my sub-conscious.  There was something I was forgetting.  But of course, this is not at all uncommon and usually is nothing serious.  So, we continued on.  This time to ride the elevator up to the second level where the food court was waiting for us.  By this point it was near dinner time so we stopped off for Auntie Anne's pretzels (I SWEAR, I normally do make my children eat healthy meals... but sometimes I like to treat them too).  Those were polished off in no time.  By this point Princess #3 was beginning to get rather antsy in her stroller and was no longer interested in doing anything with the bites of pretzel I was giving her other than tossing them onto the mall floor.  I took that as a cue that it was time to get moving.  

As we're strolling along, I make a last minute decision to stop in The Gap (note to self: last minute stops are NEVER a good idea).  There were a few things I had seen online that I wanted to check out in person and although it's never fun to shop for myself with all the kids along for the ride, I thought I'd just make a quick stop.  HA!  The Princesses were beginning to get a little rowdy....  most easily blamed on the sugar high from the cookies I let them eat.  I instructed them to stand in front of a mirror to amuse themselves while I sifted through a rack of tank tops.  And that's when IT happened.  IT.  The very thing that had been nagging me.  The one thing that I SHOULD have thought of.  Before we even left the house.  Before I let the Princesses share a drink with me.  Before I ignored the nagging feeling and walked into The Gap.  

Pee.  All down Princess #2's beautiful Matilda Jane leggings.  Into her shoes.  All over the pristine Gap wood floors.  And we're not talking a *little* bit of pee.  We're talking a PUDDLE.  An "oh dear God make it stop" puddle.  A "mommy hasn't made you sit on the potty to try to go for at least 3 hours" puddle.  For a moment, I froze.  I mean really, nothing can prepare you for a fiasco like this.  In a matter of nano-seconds, Princess #1, who is beginning to develop self-consciousness, shrieked and covered her eyes and hid under a rack of clothing.  Princess #3 thought it would be the prime opportunity to declare her dissatisfaction with being belted into the stroller and began to scream at the top of her lungs.  And Princess #2, standing in a puddle of pee, began to well up with tears.  

At some point, mommy-mode kicked in.  I grabbed the nearest employee I saw and hissed to her that we had had an accident.  Her eyes got huge as she surveyed the mess and left to get some supplies to clean it up.  I stood there for what felt like an eternity while waiting for her to return, all the while saying to Princess #2, "This is not good.  Why did you not tell me?  This is not good!"  The poor (no doubt childless) employee returned finally with an arsenal of paper towels, disinfectant and rubber gloves.  At that point I REALLY was just ready for the floor to open up and swallow me.  I stripped Princess #2 of her leggings (thankfully she had a skirt on as well - there's a reason behind layering people!) and shoes and stuffed them into a Gap bag.  We somehow managed to get the mess cleaned up and I made a quick stop at Baby Gap and purchased a pair of flip flops and a package of clearanced panties in Princess #2's size and got her changed.

I have no idea how we made it out of the mall.  It's all such a blur.  One of those profound mommy moments when you realize how TRULY important it is to listen to those nagging feelings.... I KNEW there must have been a reason I came thisclose to buying the Princesses some panties at Gymboree earlier that day.   I will say that this little outing has cured me of the need to go to the mall anytime soon.  And I'm not sure I'll ever be able to walk into The Gap again...  And you better believe I will never ever let Princess #2 walk out of the house without sitting on the potty first.  Lessons learned.

Friday, April 4, 2008

On Second Thought...

Perhaps I shouldn't have cut myself so much slack so soon.  Today was a particularly crummy parenting day.  :(  Ah well, you win some you lose some.  Hopefully no one was scarred for life.

A Vote of Confidence

Well, maybe I'm doing something right...  a few nights ago we headed out to Princess #1's ballet class.  Normally it's a very busy day and we usually arrive exhausted, flustered and a few minutes late.  Sometimes (most of the time) my husband is able to come with me which helps with the child wrangling, but every once in awhile he has to work and I have to haul all 3 by myself.  Then I have the fun job of occupying the younger two while #1 is in class.  This is no small feat.  The ballet studio is in a strip mall and the waiting area is very very small - only room for about 4 to 5 adults to sit comfortably.  In addition the waiting area is open to the main studio where usually a breakdancing class or private lesson is taking place.  The shiny, expansive dance floor proves to be too much temptation for my newest walker and I spend most of the hour trying to keep her off of it most days.  And to top it off, the 4 year old daughter of one of the dance instructors thinks she owns the place and has a serious problem with understanding the meaning of "personal space".  Perhaps my own hang-ups, but annoying nonetheless.

So, at the most recent class, husband and I were sitting in the waiting area, doing the usual child wrangling, personal space blocking and adult small talk with the other parents.  The father of a little girl in #1's class was talking to us about our family and asking the typical questions of someone who has just met us (it was his first time to accompany his wife to ballet): how many kids we have, how old, all girls, going to try for that boy, etc. etc. etc.  The topic turned to ages, and we were asked how old we were, which as of yet I haven't figured out a good way to get out of just answering honestly.  At our response my husband and I were both pronounced as "SO YOUNG" - which is good I guess.  At least they didn't look at us like we had one foot in the grave already.  As we were answering I jumped up to prevent Princess #3 from joining in on the private lesson in session on the main dance floor.  At that point the man's wife, who has been to every class and has seen my child wrangling on a weekly basis, made the comment that she was SO impressed with how I handled my kids.  Saying something about how at my age she didn't even HAVE kids yet and wasn't sure she would have been ready for them  (Let me point out right now that I'm not 17 or something ridiculous like that and many people my age DO successfully raise children, so I don't really consider myself to be an exception or anything.  But anyway, I digress...).  She continued on about how patient I was with them to which I mumbled some lame response about how she must have just caught me on a good day, blah blah blah.  But honestly, inside I thought to myself: did she REALLY just catch me on a good day, or am I really maybe just a better parent than I give myself credit for 95% of the time?  Oh I know I have my bad moments, more than I'd like to admit.  I lose my patience, I yell more than I'd like to, I don't engage in frivolous play as often as I should.  And yet, maybe, just maybe I AM doing something right...  I'm beginning to think that maybe I should be a little easier on myself.  Maybe it's time I start cutting myself some slack.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Fun in the Sun

My dear friend and fellow blogger, Beth, left today for a 2 week long vacation to Hawaii to celebrate her 10th wedding anniversary.  To say I'm jealous would be an understatement.  Besides a small weekend trip to Wichita, KS, USA on our first wedding anniversary (to a lovely B&B I might add that was nicely appointed and even came with a private hot tub, which was and continues to be the topic of many interesting memories... if you've never tried to go hot tubbing outside, in the snow, a week before Christmas, you should try it), my doting hubby and I have never truly "gotten away".  For many reasons, namely, 3.  There just never seems to be a good time.  I've had a nursling attached to me for the better part of the last 5 years.  Jobs are stingy with vacation time and the majority of it has to be reserved for the obligatory trips to see family over holidays.  Kids get sick or get over involved in activites and school.  Church events take up spare weekends.  Money never seems to stretch far enough to make it through the month without being tight, let alone socking away anything extra.  And so on and so forth.

And so that brings me to now.  We are a mere 1 year and 9 months away from celebrating our own 10th anniversary.  In a word (or two), this is daunting and amazing.  I know I've carried on before about how quickly time flies.  You see it in kids most easily.  But lately I've been reflecting back on my relationship with my husband, and to see how we've grown and changed and loved over the last 8.25 years is amazing.  In some areas I feel like I've been sucessful in being a loving and doting wife, and in other areas I've failed miserably.  I've been making an effort recently to not overlook the little things, the things that make our day-to-day life pleasant, easy, wonderful.  The things that are easy to forget in the grand scheme of things, but impossible to live without in the small, daily existence.  

Whether or not we are able to get away for some fun in the sun in another year or so, doesn't really matter I suppose.  Don't get me wrong, we NEED those times away.  And now that our child-bearing and infant caring days are coming to a close, we will hopefully be able to carve out more time for US.  But even if we don't, I know that ultimately it's what I do on a day to day basis that is going to make the difference in our marriage.  And while a lovely vacation can do wonders to restore the soul and rest the mind, it's not essential to a happy relationship.

I know that I'll still feel that stab of envy when I look at Beth's pictures of long sandy beaches, extravagant dinners and lazy relaxing.  And that's ok too.  I hope she's enjoying herself... and her husband.  They deserve it.  :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Such an eventful day...

I forgot to blog about it!  Shocking, I know.

A week ago Monday, my sweet little Princess #3 turned one.  I'm really not certain how it happened as I'm POSITIVE that I stopped time at some point over the course of the last 12 months.  At least I prayed really really hard for time to stop.  I need it to stop because my memory is not so great.  And I'm afraid with the breakneck speed at which time is going, I'm going to forget all the beautiful, wonderful things that make my baby, my baby.  Her sweet breastmilk breath and her drunk, milky smiles.  Her peach fuzzy head that is just now beginning to turn out longer locks of dark hair.  The way when she stands and walks her little legs bow in a bit and she looks like a mini sumo wrestler getting ready to match.  Her tiny little rolls on her thighs, not too much, not too little.  Someday, when those return, she'll lament them.  Right now I love them.  Her babble of "mamamamama" when she wants me, and how she squeezes with all her little might and nuzzles her head in my neck when I pick her up.  I love how she makes me feel complete when I look at her, when she looks at me.  Such unconditional love.  Such sweet innocence.  Definitely worthy of stopping time for.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Spring Fever - literally

Sorry, I haven't been in the blogging mood lately.  The princesses are sick.... again.  I'm so over it.  Bring on Summer and no more germy bugs!

Spring fever has definitely hit (no pun intended) and we are making plans to get. stuff. done.  We've been in our home for 9 months now and so far have only painted one room.  I really loathe painting simply because of the time involved in the set up (taping) and clean up.  The actual act of painting itself is rather gratifying.  I painted the nursery basically by myself, including a horizontal stripe around the middle.  I'm pretty darn proud of that room.  I slaved away at meticulously measuring the stripe and marking and taping it.  Painted it a shade of pink only slightly darker than the pink that graced the rest of the walls.  It only took me a week - HA!  (hey, I was limited to nap time and after bedtime, I'm lucky I got it done as fast as I did!)  The painting projects next on our list should be quite as time consuming as Princess #3 will be the ONLY person in this home getting a stripe.  I got over that real fast.  lol

Our other project involves landscaping, which should be interesting since we know nothing about it.  When we bought our home it had the builder-generic landscaping out front:  small flower bed with 3 random bushes and lava rocks for added beauty (see me rolling my eyes here?).  I've spent the last 2 gorgeous days outside removing rocks from the beds.  And scattering numerous spiders and other bugs in the process.  Ick.  What exactly do we pay our pest control for?  I'm thinking I'm going to ask for gardening tools for Mother's Day.  My poor nails have seen better days.  I'll keep you updated on this progress.  Once we get the rocks out we'll be adding mulch but beyond that I'm pretty clueless.

Monday, March 3, 2008

So Help Me...

Can the potty training fairy come visit my house and teach my 3 year old to TELL ME when she needs to go?  I would be forever grateful.... because if I have to change a pair of wet panties and clean up another spot on my floor or sofa one more time I might just pull all my hair out.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Noise Police

To the individual that felt it necessary to complain about my baby during the convention in which YOU chose to seat yourself close to the "Cry Room" which had no working sound and thus required that we kept the door open in order to be able to hear the speaker:  Find a different seat FAR AWAY.  The auditorium seats 4,200 people.  I'm pretty sure you'll be able to find a seat where you won't be within ear shot of my baby.  Oh, and by the way - babies make sounds.  Even when they're not crying, they're usually not silent.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Stars Have Aligned

My dear hubby and I are planning on a semi getaway this week.  I say semi because part of the time we will be with my parents and part of the time we will be leaving the two older princesses at my parents and going 4 hours away for 2 nights with princess #3 in tow.  So, not a true getaway, but hey, I'll take what I can get!

Anyway, in preparation for the week long vacation from work, hubby has been putting in long days, working 6 days straight.  While he comes home exhausted, I'm about to pull my hair out!  There's something maddening about not having a day off, God created weekends for a reason!  

My only saving grace has been this: miraculously the past 4 days IN A ROW I've been able to get all 3 princesses to take a nap, AT THE SAME TIME!!  For two blissful hours I'm left to my own peace and quiet with the freedom to do whatever I please.  Not only am I able to fill the time with mindless activities, but I'm even able to squeeze in a little housework and meal preparation that makes me look like the most awesome housewife ever.  I am at this very moment loving life.  Naptime - it does a mama good!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Miss Independence

It's official.  Princess #3 is walking.  She's been standing on her own for what seemed like forever.  The last few days she began to take little shuffling steps to the side.  And today, I'm not sure if it was the highly appealing looking toy her sisters were playing with or what, but she took off.  A solid 6-7 steps in a row without falling.  And then she did it again.  And again.  And again.

And I'm thrilled.  And at the same time, heartbroken.  Walking means new independence.  Walking means that now all 3 of my children can run away from me.  Walking means I no longer have a baby.  Instead I have a toddler who is quickly growing into her own personality and discovering her world on her own terms now.  And while watching her experience life on her own two little feet brings me much joy, inside my heart hurts a little, because with each new tentative step we get further away from the "baby phase": a period of life I've identified with the last 6 years.  I'll eventually be ready to embrace the next phase, but just not tonight.  

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What a coincidence...

All 4 girls who attended the infamous Chuck E. Cheese birthday party last Saturday morning are ALL now sick, including Princess #1... hmmmm....

Sunday, February 10, 2008

'Tis The Season

3 little kids.

2 stubborn fevers.

and a partridge in a pear tree....






it's gonna be a loooooooong day.....

Saturday, February 9, 2008

I Survived

OK, so Chuck E. Cheese today wasn't completely horrible.  Note to self (and anyone else reading this):  IF I ever get suckered into hosting a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese, PLEASE remember to schedule it at 10am on any day, as that is the time that Chuck E. Cheese opens and therefore has not yet had time to become completely inundated with germs and packed to the rafters with people.  DO remember to bring a stroller for Princess #3 so that I don't have to carry her around on my hip for 2 hours straight for fear if I put her down she will find the nearest crumb and crawl to it at lightening speed and put said crumb into her mouth before I can react.  DO bring enough money to buy Princess #2 (who isn't invited to the party) her own beverage and DO purchase it before a line gathers at the counter.  And finally, DO allow the princesses to waste their tokens on rides and the picture drawing station which doesn't give out tickets, so that the amount of random plastic crap that returns home with us is kept to a minimum.

Ah, lessons learned.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Quirky Me

I've been tagged!  Wow, this is a new one for me.  I've never been tagged in the blogging world before...  My first thought after discovering the lovely Jeri had tagged me was "Oh crap.  Now I gotta think of something smart and witty to say."

So, here you go, my attempt at being smart and witty and not the least bit dull while fulfilling a tag assignment:

6 Quirks About You

Rules

1: Link to the person that tagged you 
2: Post the rules on your blog
3: Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself
4: Tag at least 3 people at the end of your post and link to their blogs
5: Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog
6: Let the fun begin!

Here goes....

1.  I do not start the day without coffee.  This habit is due to my lovely husband who spent the better part of 3 years following college living in Europe which is well known for creating coffee connoisseurs.   Although I blame my morning addiction on him, the fact is however, that I am a complete crab and pain in the youknowwhat until I get my "fix" which leads me to believe that I would have discovered this vice on my own at some point without his help anyway.  My husband and I were meant to be, as he is also a complete pain until he gets his morning coffee as well.  In fact, at one point, early on in our marriage, we agreed that nothing "counted" until we had had our coffee - in an effort to give ourselves a "get out of jail free" card with each other.  And it's worked.  I swear it has been the key to a happy marriage!

2.  I don't mind that our princesses still get in bed with us at night, even though I might say I do.  My husband and I talk a big talk with each other about getting the girls to stay all night in their beds and we even come up with rewards and what not.  But when it comes down to it, neither of us ever follow through.  If I wake up in the middle of the night and one of them is lying between us, I'm more likely to snuggle up to my baby than force her back to her bed.  Something about how peaceful and sweet and nearly angelic they can be while asleep... makes me want to bottle it up and keep it forever.  They're only little for so long...

3.  I hate folding laundry.  Hate, hate, hate it.  So much so I have to force myself to finish one load to completion (meaning washing, drying, folding AND putting away), before I can start the next one.  Otherwise we will have a mountain of clean (wrinkled) clothes in our living room that we pull out of everyday to get dressed.  In fact, at this very moment I have one such mountain staring at me as it has for the past two days.  Husband and I just keep walking past it.  I suppose it won't fold itself, huh?

4.  I have a hard time reading books all the way through without skipping ahead to see what happens.  I'm not sure when this bad habit started, but probably at some point while I was suffering through AP English and frantically trying to get all the reading assignments done.  Mrs. Ward would probably retract my "B" if she knew about my skimming.  I got REEEALLLY good at picking out the important stuff.

5.  I get most annoyed by the sound of someone crunching ice.  My husband is the worst and he's passed this lovely trait on to Princess #1.  Seriously, the sound of ice cubes scraping and grinding over teeth makes my skin crawl.  It's crawling right now just thinking of it.

6.  I don't make my bed.  There, I said it.  Good thing my mom doesn't read this.

Alrighty, there you have it.  Now, who shall I torture?  Beth, Shannon, and Kari, you're it!  Have fun!   







Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Stop the Madness!!

Today, Princess #1 got another birthday party invitation...

On Saturday...

At...

You guessed it...

Chuck E Cheese...



just knock me out now.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Miss America Judge

Tonight I sat down with the Princesses to watch one of the greatest contests of all time - The Miss America Pageant.  Thank goodness for DVR, we were able to fast forward through the silly stuff and get down to the nitty gritty.  I had promised the Princesses a glorious hour or so of beautiful, sparkly gowns and tiaras.  Instead what we got were 52 women strutting their stuff on stage in tank tops and blue jeans. ???

By the time the top 16 were announced, Princess #1 in particular was getting antsy.  Where were the sparkly gowns?  Just then the swimsuit competition began.  I promised Princess #1 that things were about to get more interesting.  One by one the top 16 entered the stage wearing very boring, black bikinis.  Princess #1 stared at me rather accusingly, as if it were my personal fault that there was no sparkle to be found.

Just then, Miss Mississippi filled up our TV screen.  Wearing, yes, a black bikini.  BUT, to the delight of Princess #1, it was adorned with a shocking pink sparkly trim.  And just then Princess #1 leapt to her feet and exclaimed, "Now THAT'S more like it!  That's what I'm talking about!"  Miss Mississippi didn't make it past the swimsuit round, and the title went to the lovely Miss Michigan.  But to Princess #1, Miss Mississippi will always be a winner.

I'm telling you, they don't call our planet PINK for nothing.  ;)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Party On

I've recently been to hell and back.  And on Planet Pink, hell goes by the name of Chuck E. Cheese.  At 6pm.  On a Friday.

Seriously, WHY would anyone schedule a birthday party at 6pm on a Friday night at Chuck E. Cheese?  Your Majesty got the lucky job of chaperoning all 3 Princesses at this joyous occasion as my loving husband had to work (lucky dog).  Let me just paint this picture for you:

SIX birthday parties crammed into one tiny section of the restaurant, in front of the stage containing the sub-par automated animals somewhat resembling rodents that Princess #2 is terrified of.  An at capacity entertainment area full of games that are out of tickets and scores of unattended children running around in their stocking feet begging for more tokens off of any adult who happens to look at them.  A salad bar that has been ransacked - bits and pieces of lettuce and tomato are strewn all over the floor, which is already sticky from soda being spilled and not cleaned up.  A bathroom that... well, I'm just not even going to go there.  Use your imagination.  Now add in Your Majesty, desperately trying to keep tabs on all 3 Princesses since I don't even come close to trusting the teenager at the door to actually CHECK the invisible number that they stamp on your hand and your children's hands as you walk in and am pretty convinced it would be darn easy for some stranger to waltz off with my children.  I've got Princess #3 balanced on my hip (WHEN did she get so heavy?), Princess #1 and #2 running around from game to game, winning one ticket at a time and me running after them, silently cursing myself for not bringing along a bottle of hand sanitizer.  

After 30 minutes of game torture, the party gets underway, and Princess #1 (the actual INVITED) joins the group of kids squeezed around a party table, while Princess #2 throws a fit about wanting to sit at the table too.  Your Majesty sheepishly asks the mom of the Birthday Girl if they can spare a piece of pizza for Princess #2, which occupies her for 2 seconds and allows me to find an empty seat at the end of the table.  Within 5 minutes Princess #2 is begging for a drink.  Feeling bad about bringing her to the party but not being able to participate since she wasn't really invited, I cave and haul myself and the 2 littles out of the party area and toward the counter to order one kids drink.

Now, this should be simple, right.  Stand in line, order the drink, restore order to Princess #2's life.  Ha.  We join the line at the counter which is about 10 deep.  That should have been my first clue.  We stand behind a rather interesting family, specifically the dad who is sporting a wicked awesome mullet.  While I'm busy admiring his 'do, I fail to realize that the line is not moving.  Meanwhile Princess #3 is growing heavier on my hip (seriously, WHEN did she get so big?).  My arm is about to fall off when Mullet Man turns around and declares to me that there's only one register open.  Now I'm not in food service.  I have no clue what it takes to run a restaurant.  But really?  On a Friday night?  At an obviously VERY popular restaurant (God knows why)?  When there are FOUR registers on the counter?  And they're only working 1.  

We FINALLY begin to move a bit.  We're 3 people away from the counter (including Mullet Man) when Princess #2 starts tugging on my pants.  Yep, you guessed it.  Sometimes having a potty trained 3 year old sucks.  At this point I'm thinking I want the floor to open up and swallow me whole.  No way in the world I'm leaving my place in line, which has consistently grown longer behind me and a line has in fact begun OUTSIDE the door to the restaurant, of people just waiting to get into this torture chamber.  I express my frustration outloud and thankfully the woman behind me hears and offers to hold our place in line while we make a potty break.  I grab Princess #2, hike Princess #3 higher on my hip and make the brave trek to the bathrooms.  Let's just say that was the fastest potty break ever.  And I'm cured of EVER using a public restroom again.  EVER.

We rejoin the line and about 10 minutes later reach the counter.  A somewhat frazzled looking teenage girl apologizes for the wait and informs me that it will be a hour until pizza can be ready.  Thank God we were only in line for a kid's drink!  I place my order and she very graciously hands me a kid's cup and says no charge.  The one bright spot in the whole night.  We return to the party area where thankfully the present opening is nearly done.  I snag a leftover piece of cake for Princess #2 and polish it off myself when she only eats the icing.  As soon as the last gift is opened, I collect Princess #1 and we make way for the prize counter.  Ah yes, the magical wonderland of cheap plastic toys and Stuff That Will Be Thrown Away.  We count our collection of tickets - 57.  Just enough to buy one plastic pony tail holder and Tootsie Roll for each girl.  Lovely.  Even now, 3 days later I'm not sure where those stupid pony tail holders are...

Finally, FINALLY.  The party is over.  We leave the cacophony for the peace of our minivan.  I have never been more relieved to be driving on the highway, headed for home.

Now honestly, no offense if this is your idea of a great birthday party and are currently planning one yourself.  By all means, party away at Chuck E. Cheese.  But you might consider a different day or time.  Perhaps at 2pm on a Tuesday afternoon?  You know, when the employees have more time to attend to things like cleaning bathrooms and keeping up with the salad bar.  Just sayin'.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Wait

Today, I'm feeling reflective and I find myself back at my old roadblock:  Is it possible to enjoy the present while looking to the future and remembering the past?  I tend to be a futuristic sort of gal, always planning and dreaming and hoping.  I also tend to be a "rose-colored glasses" person too, remembering events and times in my past with such fondness and nostalgia.  But where does that leave me in the present?  Often wishing I was in the future or the past.  And how silly is that?  Time is so fleeting.  My 3 princesses are growing up before my eyes.  Princess #1 will start Kindergarten this coming August, something I am not sure I'll ever be ready for.  Princess #2 is making strides towards a diaper-free existence and Princess #3 is growing at an astronomical rate, learning new things every single day.  How can I allow myself to miss out on all this, being too worried about what our next steps should be tomorrow or wondering why we didn't do things a little differently yesterday?  I guess I'm just struggling with The Wait again and how that fits into Life.  Not even sure what I'm waiting for.

I am a Christian. I know what I live for.  I know Where I'm heading when this life is over.  But how do I live THIS life to the fullest?  Still pondering that one...

Monday, January 7, 2008

Everyone In The Whole Wide World

This morning Princess #1 and Princess #2 both climbed up in my lap while their daddy was vacuuming the floor.  They both have an unnatural fear of the vacuum, so this event was not unusual.  Spurred on by the irrational fear that the vacuum might suddenly suck them both up, they began declaring their undying love to me.  A chorus of "I love you mommy" fell on my welcoming ears.  Princess #1 then began extend her list to the rest of our family:  "and I love daddy and sissy and sissy and Max (the planet's pug)... "

And then she ended with this: "...and I love everyone in the whole wide world.  Even though I haven't met them yet, I still love them."

Ah sweetheart, if only more people in this world felt the same way.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

New Year's neglect and other stuff

So, the prodigal blogger returns.  Christmas/New Year's is always a hectic time of year for everyone and is especially so on Planet Pink.  Our new year has already been wrought with illness (stomach virus for Your Majesty, strep throat for Princess #2).  It seems to me that it should be impossible for Your Majesty to be inconvenienced with such things as bowing to the porcelain throne while still having to maintain other functions such as nursing Princess #3 every waking moment, shuttling Princess #1 to ballet and school and cleaning up after Princess #2 who has yet to find it within herself to deposit #2 into said porcelain throne.  Fortunately for ALL of us, this inconvenience was short-lived, and Your Majesty is back to normal.

It always seems so daunting to me, to begin a New Year.  So much promise, so much hope, all wrapped up in 12 calendar pages.  It's almost too much pressure.  I typically don't really make New Year's resolutions, because I'm sure to break them.  In fact, I made them last year and yes I forgot all about them by about Jan. 15th.  This year, I'm approaching it differently.  Not with a resolution per se, but maybe with just a determination to not end 2008 year in the same place as 2007.  And I don't necessarily mean same place geographically (although that would be fine with me), but I mean personally, physically, emotionally and perhaps most important: spiritually.  It's still a tall order, but being less bound by specifics makes it feel more achievable in some ways.  I *hope* I won't forget about this by Jan. 15th.  Sometimes getting wrapped up in running The Planet makes details like this fall by the wayside.  But I know in my heart that it must be done.  In some ways, the Planet Pink depends on it.
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