Saturday, December 3, 2016

Piles of Laundry


There is a heap of clean clothes sitting on my bed and another on my dresser. They have been there for two or three days now. That's how you know that I've been rather busy lately. It is unheard of that I don't fold and put away clothes as soon as they come out of that warm dryer. I mean, letting them cool down before folding is just asking for stiff, wrinkly clothes, right? But the wrinkles all over my clothes are a sign that we are nutty busy with life and adjusting to new schedules. Let me give you a peak into what kind of madness I'm talking about....Thursday, for example, I woke up at 5 am and ran my fingers through my messy, not washed for 3 days hair. It would have to do for now. I threw back a coffee all while making 2 super nutritious breakfasts and packing lunches/snacks for the kids. Somehow, I didn't remember to make my own breakfast.  The kids got organic, free range, whole grain, Non GMO breakfast and I grabbed a poptart.....I wrangled one child down to give him a dose of ever-so-tasty antibiotics for the double ear infection that he managed to get his first month at daycare. Child number 2 cried because she didn't have a straw for her juice. Ty rushed around to help get breakfast cleaned up while I dressed the crabby 5 year old. Ty grabbed Maxwell, air-kissed me goodbye and flew out the door so he wouldn't be late. I grabbed up my belongings and made my way out as the morning sitter made her way in. I got into work for 7 am and plugged away. At lunch time, I decided I would go get something to eat since not only did I manage to forget breakfast, but I didn't bring my lunch. As I drove up to the sandwich shop, I looked down into my bag and frowned. The night before I had bought something online and I could envision putting my wallet down on my desk in my office. At that same moment, the gas light came on and the lovely little "Low Fuel" voice chimed in. Really?! So I drove back to the house (luckily I live right down the road from my work), grabbed the wallet, got the gas and....didn't eat the lunch. Headed back to work.

At 2:15 pm I got a call from Scarlett's school. The nurse informed me that Scarlett was complaining of an ear ache. She was sending her back to class but wanted to let me know. Being the intuitive mother that I am, I called the Dr right away and let her know we would be coming in for antibiotics for yet another child. Forty minutes later I got another call from the school nurse and I made my way out to pick up Scarlett. As I walked in to the nurse's station, I saw a teary-eyed little girl hold open her arms for me. I gave her some Tylenol and carried her back to the SUV.  We made our way to pick up Maxwell at daycare, on the other side of town, and then headed to the Dr's office, back where we just came from. Of course it was a 45 minute wait for the Dr to do a quick look over and say, "Yup, it's a bad ear infection. I'll send some antibiotics to the pharmacy." So I loaded up the kids and then headed to the store because ALAS, I remembered that Maxwell had only ONE diaper left at home. How that even happens without me ordering another supply online, is beyond me. Guess I've been busy....or something.

After taking two hungry children into the store and letting them snack on whatever they wanted so we could get through our quick shopping trip, we finally piled back into the car to go HOME. Ty text me to let me know that he had a meeting and it ran late, (surprise, surprise) but that he was almost home and was going to start dinner. Hopefully by the time we got home, dinner would be ready. Sounded amazing to me! And then I looked up to see a very long line of red brake lights.....
I had forgotten that it was the Victorian Festival downtown and they had closed the roads. Since I didn't take an alternate route in time, I was forced to sit in a car with two miserable, crying kids and blasted some lovely Christmas tunes, to try and drown out the cries, for 25 minutes. After getting home from the ride that took 35 minutes longer than it normally would have, I carried all of the bags and kids in and started to pick up the mess of a house. I picked up some clothes in an attempt to clean, but then dropped them on the floor in defeat because the kids both needed to take meds and get ready for bed. Ty and I team tackled them and after flailing children finally swallowed the last of the medicine, we managed to get them both to sleep. I stood there looking at a plate of cold food and the messiest house I had seen in months and tried to decide what was more important. Should I eat or take a shower? My grumbling stomach answered for me and I sat down and ate some food for the first time since 7 am.

Then I stood in the shower with the water pouring down on my head, transfixing my mind and I thought, finally, a moment of peace. Then I heard a cry from Maxwell's room....


And that is how the days have been lately. I am just trying to get into the swing of working full-time (set hours) and be a mother. There isn't much room for anything else at the moment. And I'm ok with that for now. I know that life is like this for a lot of people and I know things will calm down. They always do. But, I'm pretty sure there will be piles of laundry scattered about my house quite some time. ;)







Monday, November 21, 2016

Halloween 2016: Presenting Your Royal Princess & Her Dragaon

Presenting.......Your Royal Princess Scarlett and her ever so loyal Dragon. This year, I wanted (once again) to be the Addams Family. I mean, that would be kinda perfect wouldn't it? Scarlett in 2 dark-haired braids, Maxwell in a striped shirt? I can see it. Mark my words, next year, I will get my way. 

But this year, I caved and let Scarlett be....this. And I must admit, they were pretty cute. We attended Scarlett's first Costume Ball at school. She guided her little brother around like the Protector that she is. I always remind her that one day, he will return that favor to her. I'm positive of this. 
We went Trick Or Treating in our neighborhood this year and I was impressed with how many people were out and about. Little people dressed up running around everywhere. All while adults roamed with red cups smelling of caramel and Irish Cream. They sure know how to do it. I was also impressed with how well Maxwell caught on. He would set down his pumpkin bucket in front of each door and then as I said, "Take one piece Buddy..." , in typical Maxwell fashion, he grabbed two big fistfuls of goodies. ;) 

2016 was a fun Halloween.    

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Empty Trees, Full Trees.

As the leaves continue to fall and the bare trees stand solid, I can't help but relate. I've done a lot of shedding (of junk STUFF) over the past couple of weeks and now there is a clean palate in our home. Just in time for Santa to bring more...

I am finished with my Christmas shopping. I began in October and I was done by November 1st. You can applaud now......;) Now I enjoy the decorating, the holiday movies, taking rides to look at Christmas lights, wrapping my gifts, spending time with family and all of the good stuff that comes with this November and December. My sister is having Thanksgiving at her house this year. I'm excited for some time with family and getting back to old traditions that we've skipped the last year or so. We are actually celebrating 2 Thanksgivings this year. Ty's family will have one this coming weekend, which I am also looking forward to.

I started a new job this week. After careful consideration and thinking about all sorts of different scenarios, I decided to join one of the top single agents in Saratoga to grow a team. While I'm still in Real Estate, I'm now filling the role as her Executive Assistant. With so much growth to pursue, I am really excited to help her make an even more successful business and build a team. The job is a perfect fit for me and along with the flexible hours, it is truly the place I want to be right now. Maxwell started his first day of daycare last week. I cannot believe how quickly time has gone by. Just yesterday it seemed that I was dropping Scarlett off in tears as I began a new job. Now, here I am doing the same thing with my Maxwell. Although, I will say, even though he is younger than she was, he is doing great and transitioning so well. Scarlett is thriving in school. This week she is Star Student. Last Friday, she jumped off of the bus and ran to tell me, "Guess what happened today Mama!?" With eyes wide I asked, "What!?" "Guess who's Star Student?" she questioned with a grin. I couldn't be more proud of my little, real live Merida....(for those of you who are wondering why I say that, I can't help but think about Merida every time I see Scarlett running around wild with that untamable mane of hers ;)

It seems it's a new season for all of us lately. Ty started a new position this month. He is enjoying that as well. Every now and then, change is needed. A few posts back I wrote about a stirring that I felt coming up .....and I was spot on. Our lives are a bit more busy these days. Still, it all feels right. And with the holidays upon us, I'm feeling as festive as ever.

I love the cozy feelings that come with the cold weather. The urge to snuggle on the couch with a hot beverage and watch countless Holiday movies. Or watching the kids help put out decorations. We already put out some decorations, but this weekend, we will try to put up our tree. Between an early Thanksgiving, visiting family and 2 birthday parties, I'm not sure how much of that we will accomplish... I love to turn on the Christmas lights that I dress around the house and sit with a glass of wine listening to old Christmas tunes. To me, there is no better time of year...As the trees outside become bare, we, quite literally, start making our indoor trees full for one of the best times of the year! 

ps. I hope to catch you up on our Halloween this week :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Date Day: Polo Match.

I realize that this post is coming out wayyyyyy later than I anticipated. It got buried in the other posts and somehow, this September post is now a November post. Ty and I went to the Polo Club in Saratoga for a date day awhile back. We packed a picnic and brought some drinks to enjoy. There were two options for the Polo Match. We could tailgate on one side or sit table side and have food and drinks served to us. We opted to tailgate and be more casual. We did the typical Pivot Stomp that was straight out of "Pretty Woman" and had some laughs during the break. I enjoyed this date day SO much. I can't believe we have been living in Saratoga for 5 years or more and have never been! We'll definitely be going again next summer.

Ty and I have begun doing date nights again. We take turns planning something fun each month. Last date night, Ty took me to his favorite restaurant and we had cocktails on the patio afterwards. It was chilly but the heat lamps warmed us up. The patio string lights were romantically twinkling in the dark night and the atmosphere was just...perfect.  I am planning this November date night and I'm thinking it will have something to do with a movie I've been wanting to see. A silly comedy as always.
I always say how important it is to do date nights, ESPECIALLY if you have kids. I know that having kids makes it harder to get out but it's crucial to a healthy relationship. It revives the love and often gives us a chance to remember that we are still in love. I know that sounds terrible, right? Well, those of you in long term relationships with kids are nodding. You know what I mean. I adore Ty and I know he loves me. But it takes more then knowing that. I takes some spark every now and then to light the fire again. And if you are just too tired to spark anything, then at least go out alone and have some laughs. The times when I get to have Ty to myself alone and we can be silly and laugh are the best times! Much needed times. And then those times end and we go back to the Mommy and Daddy roles and we love that just as much in a different way. We often feel revived and have more energy to give the attention that our babies desire. Balance. 
I'm hoping to post more of our date nights as to encourage others to get out as well.
  

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Sometimes I Suck At Being a Mother.


Being a mother to an elementary student and a toddler is a lot of work. I had no idea! I feel like Lynette in Desperate Housewives, (yes I'm going wayyy back...stay with me). That time when Lynette struggled to keep up with the other moms in the neighborhood and PTA moms. Only I'm sure I won't fall back on abusing my kid's prescription meds to keep myself going. Ha! Those of you who have never seen DH are saying, What in the hell is she talking about???? 

Anyhow, I had no idea that there would be so much involved! I mean, I knew that there would be fundraisers and paperwork, but I didn't realize I'd need a calendar JUST for Scarlett's stuff. There's bake sales and Costume Balls, Fundraisers and Parent/Teacher conferences, field trips and half days, PTA meetings and movie days....the list goes on. Which, can I mention, that yesterday I forgot Scarlett had a half-day and the bus driver had to bring her back to the school since I wasn't out there waiting for her.... #momfail

I felt horrible walking into the school to pick her up. Poor thing was sitting pathetically in the office and jumped up to yell, "You forgot me, Mama!" Instant mom guilt. But I made up for it when we got home by letting her eat candy before dinner. I did manage to volunteer for her next field trip and I also volunteered to take photos for their Grandparent's Luncheon. I have to remember to bring Apple Cider to the Bake Sale and a treat to the Costume Ball....or was it the other way around? I have to make sure I get Scarlett ready for her, not one, but three Halloween parties and also try and get her into Girl Scouts like she requested. Meanwhile we attended her very first Horse Awards dinner this week (which she loved) and we have to keep up with her horse lessons each week as well.

I guess I will eventually get it all together and it will come more easily. Then there are the evenings when I scramble to get dinner ready and keep a 16 month old out of every. single. thing. in the house! I swear this boy wants to give me a heart attack! I found him standing on top of our turned-over, very tall hamper yesterday. I have no idea how he climbed up onto it without falling. And then I find him inside of our cabinets, on top of the table, up the stairs, etc, etc. While I make dinner and multi-task Maxwell, Scarlett will usually want my attention to tell me about what she learned at school. So I try to "blend words" with her in between doing the other two things. Often I cave and put them both in the living room and give them permission to tear the couch apart and jump on the cushions. After dinner, baths and brushing Scarlett's mane, (which is a 1/2 hour project in itself), and clean-up, I'm so exhausted that I don't even want to read any books. And I usually feel guilty for that. Some days we do read, some days we don't. I'm sure my kids will forgive me.

God bless all of you mothers of school age kids. It's a talent for sure.  Maxwell is going to be starting at Daycare this November. Work is getting busier and I need longer care. As I packed up some of the things that were on his check list, I got teary-eyed and it was deja-vu all over again. It wasn't that long ago that I was packing up Scarlett's things for her to start a learning-based daycare. And now she's in Kindergarten!!! How can that be? My sweet Scarlett. She is such a loving little girl. Sometimes I'm so hard on her. I go to bed many nights and think, Why couldn't I have more patience with her today? I barely saw her all day! I watch her sleep as she cuddles up to her favorite blankie and I think, she is such a good, loving little girl. She's going to be something grand one day. I hope I'm not crushing her spirit when I lose my temper. And then the tears come.

And my sweet Maxwell...My little Buddy loves his Mama so much. He's going through this phase where he insists that I rock him to sleep. I think it has a lot to do with the 4 teeth coming in. I don't mind one bit. I rock him as his little head lays on my shoulder. The smell of his hair makes me miss the days of nursing him. Didn't I say I'd miss that one day? I did. And I knew I would. Once he slips into a slumber, his little breath becomes heavy and I feel it on my arm. You best believe I soak up all that goodness. Spoil him with cuddles, I most certainly will. And I think, I hope that I am not putting him into daycare too soon. I'm going to miss out on so much! And then the tears come....

So I'll say it. Sometimes I feel like I suck as a mother. But ya know what? There is NO perfect mother. There isn't. I know this. I am not so naive to believe that there is. Do you know how I know that despite my flaws, I am making good people? How I know that even when I fail at being the mom I really want to be, that I am still doing a good job? Because each morning when I wake up, I have a little girl with big, dark eyes and the most amazing freckles standing over my bed asking in a sweet voice, "Can I cuddle you, Mama? I really want to. " And when the bus comes in the morning she kisses and hugs me three times and says, "I love you Mama!" Her teacher tells me that she is doing such a great job at including all friends and being a good example to her friends. And yesterday when she said to me, "Mama, do you know those boxes at the grocery store that have food in them? (Referring to the Donate-A-Meal Boxes), Can we buy some of those for the families that need food? I really want to do that."


I know that I'm doing ok when a little boy, whose chubby cheeks melt every heart that sees him,  runs to give hugs to everyone. When I pick him up to hold him and he pats my back like I do to him every night. And when his sister is crying, he goes to her with such concern.

I'm doing alright. I know that sometimes I suck, but hey, don't we all? The thing that matters is that we learn and grow and do our best. That we instill values in our children and when we do fail, we use it as an example to show our children that this is life. Often we make mistakes but here's how we fix them. Here is how we say sorry and here is what we do when we are wrong. That we teach them to be respectful and honest. That we show them that love is really the one true things that matters in this life. If we can do these things, then I think we're doing pretty good. Maybe I don't suck so bad after all.....








Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Stirring.


Every now and then, I feel seasons changing for me. A stirring that starts out mild and quickly grows into this abundant urge. I felt this right before I left my long time boyfriend for Ty...right before I switched careers, before I found out I was pregnant with Maxwell, and prior to our last move. I guess I am the kind of person who loves new adventures. Although, I think life has tamed down quite a bit over the last few years as we built a family.

Lately, life has been anything but adventurous. It's been filled with the same old: work, clean, eat dinner, sleep pattern....Snooze fest for a wild soul. I try to balance the joy of raising my little ones and the desire for adventure. I know that my little babies are growing quicker than I want them to. I celebrate each new milestone all the while mourning the last stage. Balance is often tricky.  I try and think of what it is that my life is craving. What food can I feed is my soul? I know travel is an answer to that but Ty has taken a new position and has very little vacation time at this time. And so we hang onto that one for now. I do know that I need to travel more when the time allows. We never did it before having children and it is a choice we made. Well, maybe not a choice....but it's how things happened. I know that season will come for us again.

I have read now and again about how others want to live a simpler life and that that is the key to a happy life. I agree that when I simplify my life of material things, that stands true. However, I don't think that is the case for me in every other aspect. Every person is different. Their wants and needs, their personality. For me, I need spark. I want adventure and excitement. Over the years I have found ways to balance this with reality. I'm a Leo and there is something to be said about those zodiac signs. I am the epitome of that Lion sign. I have mentioned plenty of times that life is full of chapters. A book with a beginning and an end- the middle full of plot twists and excitement, happy moments and other times, blue pages. In the past I've thought about naming my blog posts by chapter....something to contemplate in the future.

Change is coming very soon for me. I started writing this post about a month ago and never finished it because I just wasn't sure what my point to the post was or where I was going with it. But now that changes are starting to make an appearance, I revisited this post understanding it much more. A few changes are on their way in the very near future. I'm not sure how long or what that will mean for us, but I feel it's time and whether I'm really ready or not, onto the next chapter we go.










Thursday, October 20, 2016

My Search For All Natural Beauty Products

First off let me tell you that this is NOT a paid ad. I've been on a mission to find some beauty products that are more on the natural side, or even better....safe! For years I've wondered what is in my make-up and if it's doing more damage than good to my skin?? I was sent some Beauty Counter samples of by Heather HERE. I had been wanting to try for awhile but you know how life goes.... too many things to do, not enough time in the day. After trying some of these products, I WILL be purchasing some products. The fact that there are no scary ingredients in them is enough by itself for me to buy some.

Here is what I tried and my thoughts on them........ (click on names of products to view)
I'm going to start with the lip glosses because they are my favorite! I tried Fig (which is what I am wearing in the photo above) Buff and Ruby. I tend to wear plums or nudes so Buff and Fig were the ones I used until they were gone. They felt dewy and nourishing on my lips. They have a nice gloss to them too.

Next, I tried the Dew Skin which is like a tinted moisturizer. This worked as well as the ones that I currently use from Sephora or Ulta. It is very light with not much coverage, but they add a little color and vibrance to my face. With the word Dew in the name, I knew it would be a favorite of mine. I like this for an every day wear or underneath a foundation for a fuller make-up day. I ended up using a couple shades darker than I thought I would need....so it is hard to tell what shade you should pick. I would ask a rep for some samples or use their "Find Your Shade" link.

The Tint Skin Complexion Coverage Foundation was equally good. It was thicker, creamier and the coverage was better than the skin dew. However, it isn't a heavy or matte finish. The smell of all of these products are very distinct. It doesn't smell of perfume (which it shouldn't) but more of a natural scent. Something I had to get used to at first but now, I don't even notice it. I was so used to the scent of the garbage products.
The Lustro Balancing Face Oil.....Winner!!!!! This oil made my face dewy, radiant and kept moisture in all day. Just how I like it.  I used make-up over it and it blended nicely. Although one day, I used just the oil and it made my skin not so pasty and dry looking. (See below) I also tried the AM and PM rejuvenating creams and the eye cream, but it's a little early to tell if they have significant results. They do moisturize and don't seem to cause breakouts which I am prone to. The Charcoal mask was better than the one I bought at Ulta. The peppermint smell is really nice too. I found that I loved the smell of my face after I was done with this mask. I dried quickly and after I rinsed, my pores seemed less full for sure. I even used this on my chest that was breaking out after all the hormone changes from weaning. I have noticed a difference on my body skin from it. At first I thought my pores looked bigger, but then I realized that they were just free from junk in them. After my face dried and cooled off, my pores shrunk up and my overall skin tone was more even.
All in all, I was impressed that none of the products gave me a breakout or any kind of reaction. I often have to test products because my skin is somewhat sensitive. I'm sure that has to do with some of the harsh ingredients in a lot of the products. Again, the fact that there is no regulation of make-up, which is skin....skin absorbs everything, is something to think about. I've been on a quest to find some natural make-up and products and I think that I've found some. I spotted some of their products in Target yesterday which was exciting too! I will be purchasing more! If you want to try some of these products or purchase some of the ones I tried.....go HERE.