Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

the cogs

This post is for mom-friend, LeAnne, who's been asking how the cogs have been doing.
The cogs are adjusting to life in L-town. They love the huge backyard; it's bordered by a field, so there's always a mouse or a bird lingering by the fence. The weather is nicer and they are spending more time outside.
Doc loves sleeping in a chair, a newfound luxury at my Mom's house. Schatzi still prefers sleeping on the floor next to our bed.
They are adjusting to being a 3-dog pack instead of just a pair of Brittanies. Mom's dog, Moka, is a 12 year old Akita-Lab mix, who has some aggression and dominance issues. One night, I woke up to Moka biting Schatzi. Schatzi was yelping so I just started yelling to break up the fight. This woke up Joe, who jumped out of bed in his underwear and started yelling nonsense. (Later, I asked him why he started yelling. He said, "You were doing it. It just seemed like the thing to do.")
Fortunately, the three of them are working out whatever pack issues they may have and are getting along better. UNfortunately, this has led to Doc marking his territory a little, and I was very unpleasantly surprised to find he'd peed in the toy box to mark it. I really, really thought about calling American Brittany Rescue as I fished pee-soaked stuff animals out of a puddle of standing pee. Yuck.
But, who could stand to give this dog away?

Monday, March 28, 2011

off in Lala-land

Mom bought me a Coach purse for my Christmas present. I love it. I've never had a nice purse before and it's kind of nice.

However, just because I have a designer bag, it doesn't mean I don't have to use it for real life purposes.

Mom: Really?
Me: What? What's the matter?
Mom: Look at your purse.
Me: I know. It's the one you got me. What's wrong?
Mom: Only you can take a designer bag and make it look like a diaper bag.
Me: Oh. (looking down at my beautiful purse that is overflowing with diapers, a case of wipes, and two sippy cups).

Sunday, March 27, 2011

babies in a basket

Some bedtime snapshots, just before bath. Andie and Sam discovered an empty laundry tub, something of a rarity at our house where laundry is perpetually waiting to be put away.
"This my boat. Me going to Spokane."
Andie giggled with glee the whole time...until she and Sam accidentally flipped themselves out of the basket while going over a "wave". She was startled and stuck her lip out for a second...then climbed right back in again. This mama is reveling in the delight of watching her two babies play together. Their giggles make up for all those sleepless nights...almost.

Friday, March 25, 2011

shopping spree

I splurged on a new work wardrobe whilst on my Flirty Thirty trip, so I had no qualms about letting Joe attend a gun show with his uncle, brothers, and dad last weekend.

I was only mildly surprised when he showed up with this new rifle.
Me: Um, why did we need this rifle?
Joe: It's a deer rifle.
Me: And how is this rifle different from the other rifles we own?
Joe: Well, this one shoots deer.

I'm not really sure why one rifle can't multitask and shoot a variety of animals, but I'll accept Joe's statement as fact.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Flirty Thirty: the problem with camera timers is...

...I'm just not fast enough!

Fortunately, a fellow tourist took pity on us and offered to take our picture. This was the day after our photo shoot, during which the photographer told us her trade secrets for looking thin in pictures. See how we're standing slightly to the side with our front leg popped? Don't we look 20lbs lighter? Did you mistake us for supermodels?
Ok, not really.

And no one would mistake us for supermodels if they judged us by the way we ate that day. We partook in the Old Town Scottsdale Food tour, where we walked around Old Town Scottsdale, stopping at local restaurants, shops, and wine bars to sample delicious food. It's a good thing we spent 3 hours walking around...we needed to burn some calories in between stops. Deanna does such a fabulous recap of it, I'll refer you to her blog.

Good food, good friends, good wine and sunshine. That's my idea of a perfect vacation!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Flirty Thirty: pretty girls

After we unpacked, we got prettied up to go out to dinner. For me, this meant slapping on some deodorant and a little make-up, wetting down my crazy hair, and changing into a cooler shirt. We set off for Olive & Ivy, which got rave reviews, and added our name to the 60 minute waitlist. We did a little browsing at a nearby Urban Outfitters, but our hunger became all-consuming and we returned to the restaurant in the hopes of getting in a little earlier.
As we waited, we soon realized that our definition of "prettied up" didn't really match Scottsdale's definition of "prettied up". Beautiful, model-thin women came in groups, with perfectly straighted hair, magazine-cover make up, and super chic dresses. We felt frumpy...well, mostly, we felt hungry...but frumpy, too.

Our frumpiness was soon forgotten when our food arrived. Our dinner was delicious. If you ever go to Scottsdale, make a reservation and go to Olive & Ivy. Yum. Good food, good wine list, good sangria. We had bacon-wrapped dates for an appetizer and I had pear-cranberry cheesecake for dessert. Amy said, "I've never seen you eat so much." I was stuffed, but oh-my! it was worth all those calories. It pretty much ended our night, though; I had to head back to the condo to sleep off my food coma.

We weren't meant to feel frumpy for long. After a day of shopping, we scheduled a spa day to have our hair and make-up done for a Flirty Thirty photo shoot. I freaked out a little when the aesthetician started putting on Amy's make-up. For a girl who doesn't wear a whole lot of make-up, I thought it was over the top and couldn't stop myself from butting in. The aesthetician, Amanda, a super cute pregnant woman, kindly told me that it wouldn't look so dramatic on film..and, basically said in a very nice way, to pipe down and watch the process unfold. She was right, of course. Her make-up looked good in the pictures.
I told Amanda I wanted to look like Halle Berry and she didn't even so much as snicker, just unfolded her make-up case and got to work. I like that girl. At the end, I asked her, "Would you seriously take medical advice from someone wearing this much eye make-up? Really?". And she said, "I would" with a smile, cleaned up her brushes, and led us out of the spa.
I stole some pictures from Stacey Kay here, to entice you all to stumble on over to her blog for some true pretty girl pictures.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Flirty Thirty: flying to Phoenix

While Deanna caught her flight as scheduled, Amy and I hung out at the Spokane airport. Then we hung out some more. There is just nothing like hanging out with your twin sister, sipping your Starbucks, and chit-chatting without any interruptions. No diapers to change. No sippies to fill. No tantrums to mediate. We had nothing to do.

Well, I had nothing to do. Amy was supposed to be studying for her boards, but I put a stop to that right away.Finally, we boarded our flight and rushed off the plane, only to wait for our ala carte items in the rain. We missed our connection. After making arrangements for a new connection, we were determined not to let the change in plans ruin our fabulous vacation attitude.
So, we did what any two thirty-year-olds might do in a similar situation:
We started drinking.
I honestly can't remember the last time I've been boozy at 10:30am. (That's probably because I never have before...).We also ate a fabulous lunch with a fabulous dessert. The fabulous lunch was made a little less fabulous when we found a hair in our salad at the end of the meal, but that made our lunch free, so we were feeling fabulous again.
Drinking at 10:30am will make you feel fabulous. Did I say that already?
Then, still-a-little-boozy, we both had fabulous naps on our connection to Phoenix.

Monday, March 21, 2011

just your average night

Amy was visiting this weekend and we got the Co-op Kids down for bed and looked forward to a relaxing evening ahead.

It was not to be had.

While Joe, Mom, and I cleaned up the chaos from the day's play, Amy laid down with her children in an effort to coax them to sleep.

9:30p, she texted Mom from the basement: "can you come save me from 2 naked babies?" Mom & Joe gathered up the Eddy kids (Kate & Glory were delightedly half naked and dancing around the living room) and we settled in for an episode of Backyardigans.

10pm: we sent them downstairs to sleep.
12:30a Doc got locked outside and was at my window, baying woefully.
2:00a Andie wakes up and is coaxed back to sleep with a bottle of milk. (Don't judge me).
Somewhere between 2:00a-4:00a, Amy wakes up to find Kate missing. She can't find her anywhere. After frantically searching the bedroom and the basement, she comes upstairs and finds Kate...peacefully sleeping between Moka and Schatzi.
4:00a Another bottle for Andie (again, don't judge).
6:00a Sam starts calling, "Mom! Mom! I'm awake!" In an effort to doze a little in my nursing chair, I send him out into the living room where Lala is sleeping on the couch, and tell him to turn on a movie.
6:05a Instead, he goes downstairs and starts shouting, "Dad? Dad! Where my friends? Where my friends?"
6:07a His "friends" (Kate, Glory, Noah, and their very tired mama) wake up and shuffle up the stairs.
Some nights are just too short.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Flirty Thirty

I'm back from my "Flirty Thirty" (or "Dirty Thirty", according to Tancie) trip with Amy & Deanna. Five years ago, the three of us pledged that we would celebrate our thirtieth birthday with a girls-only trip. No one could be pregnant or nursing. And, all of our wonderful husbands agreed to take care of the kiddos.

It was a fabulous 4 days of sunshine-filled girl time.
  • We talked and talked and talked.
  • We drank wine...and Carolans...and rum & Cokes. Amy & Deanna drank part of two over-priced margaritas. That's $20 bucks I'd like to have back!!! :) (Just teasing, girls).
  • We shopped for eight hours straight. Deanna got sunburned. I spent at least one of my children's college funds on a new work wardrobe, but it was sooo fun to dress my lighter, fitter body under the advice of two girls who know my style intimately. I bought some awesome can ask Amy & Deanna about it.
  • We ate. And ate. And ate. I would highly recommend Olive & Ivy to anyone in the Scotsdale area, as well as this awesome food tour.
  • We were lazy. We laid by the pool. (Well, I ran in the pool in an attempt to exercise. Advice: always wear Aquasocks. I ran the skin off my poor little feet...then I just laid by the pool). Amy studied for her boards by the pool. We slept in. We went to bed late. We watched a movie.
  • We got our make up and hair done. Then, we dressed up in our newly purchased clothes and had a photo shoot done. I felt fabulous. Sexy. Beautiful. We all did. What a way to celebrate 30 years!
  • There is something about spending some girl time in a warm, sunny place that makes me feel like a college kid. Footloose and fancy free. Goofy and light-hearted. I spent zero seconds thinking about my work worries, or my undone taxes, or whether Sam will ever be potty-trained (well, maybe I spent a little time worrying about that one). We're planning another one in 10 years. I can't wait.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

off in Lala-land

Mom and I were drinking hot cocoa together, enjoying the post-bedtime quiet. Suddenly, Mom sighs.

Me: What's wrong?
Mom: I was just thinking. I hope that none of my grandchildren ever gets divorced.
Me: Really? Really? Mom, they're not even in kindergarten and this is what you spend your energy worrying about?
Mom: Yeah. I just can't help myself.

Friday, March 11, 2011

lesson learned

2 hours,
9 towels,
1 can of salt,
1 cup of vinegar,
a kitchen full of suds,
1 laughing wife later,
Joe learned his lesson:

Dish soap is not the same thing as dishwasher detergent.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Ash Wednesday

Today marks the beginning of Lent. In childhood, I would spend weeks getting ready for Lent, thinking of what I would give up for my Lenten sacrifice. One Lent, I gave up candy. Another, Amy and I gave up TV together. As I got older, I became less disciplined about this.

This year, I've decided to give up my non-fitness. Before Andie was born, I wanted to really try become a runner. So, I'm dedicating 15 minutes every morning to exercising, with the hopes of being fit enough to start running by Easter.

What are you sacrificing for Lent?

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

the Co-op Girls

Cheeks McGee

Sunday, March 06, 2011

thou shall not covet thy neighbor's frozen Go-gurt

Hi. Andie here. Mom keeps frozen Go-gurts in the freezer for emergencies, like fat lips, tantrums, or post-nap crabbiness. All the Co-op Kids love them...except me. I've never really liked cold stuff. Or hot stuff. I like "just right" Baby Bear.

The other night, though, Sam whacked his face on the floor and got a big fat lip. Mom whipped out a Go-gurt and all was well.

Until I spotted it.

First, I eyed it from a distance, my mouth open in anticipation. Sam didn't even notice me coming, he was so enthralled with Backyardigans. Then, like the good big brother he is (and because my persistent shrieking was making it hard for him to concentrate on the Backyardigans), he shared a bite with me. I loved it! I made sure to push Schatzi away because she wanted some Go-gurt, too, and I wasn't about to share it with her. I thought Sam and I had a good thing going...I wanted to eat the rest of that yummy Go-gurt and have my awesome brother hold it for me so my hands wouldn't get cold.

Turns out, Sam had other thoughts about me eating the rest of his Go-gurt.
Needless to say, I was not happy. I'm pretty sure the neighbors heard about it. Mom had to get me my own Go-gurt to calm me down.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

brother from another mother

Sometimes, they get along. Especially if there is a tire swing involved.

Friday, March 04, 2011

the Sandman Chronicles

Since we are living in the two upstairs bedrooms for the longer-term, Joe and I decided it was high time we had our own room. We've been sleeping with Sam while Princess Andie slept in her own room...because we all know what an awful sleeper Andie is and we were desperate to not disturb her any more than she already disturbed her own sleep.

But, it was time to get back into a room of our own. We were tired of sneaking in after Sam went to sleep, getting dressed in the dark, elbowing Joe when he snored too loudly for fear he might wake up Sam.

So, a week ago, Phil & Joe swapped all the bedroom furniture and put Sam & Andie's cribs in the same room. We feared for the worst, but hoped for the best.'s been a dream. I think Andie might have been lonely by herself. She has been sleeping like a champ (also, she is on her 5th round of antibiotics for a recurrent ear infection and some pricey Singulair, so maybe that helps, too). Sam's been sleeping well. And, their parents are sleeping well.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

off in Lala-land

I have a feeling this column will be getting more blog-time than it has in the past. Why?

Because I'm almost 30 years old, a parent of two, with my mother.

It was supposed to be a temporary arrangement until Joe moved up. We'd planned to either buy or rent a place (depending on when our house sold, which, as of yet, it has not) once Joe arrived. We did some house-hunting and nothing seemed right. The thought of being tied to another mortgage while we still had our old mortgage hanging over our heads made renting seem all that more appealing. And, we found an old friend who had the perfect rental for us. I told my mom we'd found a place and we'd be moving out March 1.

She strenuously objected to the very thought. It was impractical for us to pay rent someplace else when we still had to pay our mortgage and could live with her. When would she get to see her grandchildren and all their milestones that occur in our daily living? How did we ever come up with such a ridiculous plan like worrying about imposing on her and wanting to be on our own? Who else would fill her big empty house the way we had with all of our little-kid-chaos?

We all had some worries about how living together was going to work out, but Joe and I liked the idea of getting to spend more time with Mom (well, having the kids spend more time with Mom....we're pretty sure if we didn't have Sam and Andie, she would have booted us out long ago) and setting up a mutually beneficial living arrangement. She was right about having a big empty house that was going to waste and we were happy to fill up the upstairs for her. In return, Joe can help with handy-man projects and I can help with dog-care for Moka while taking care of Schatzi & Doc.

We've been slowly reorganizing the upstairs to accommodate us a little better. Mom has lots of treasures (and other random items) buried away that we're going to have to store or donate. I never really realized my mother was such a hoarder...perhaps it comes from growing up in the Great Depression.

(Just kidding, Mom. Ha ha. Laugh with me now).

So, we're my childhood least for the next 2 years until we figure out what our next step is. Thanks, Mom. You always take good care of us.