Reading nook fun

Our oldest daughter is severely dyslexic.  She’s struggled with reading for years and finally as she nears the end of 4th grade, she seems to be reading on level and actually enjoying books rather than dreading reading time.  I wanted to really nurture her newfound love of reading as well as that of her little sisters so I decided we needed a designated reading area.  I initially planned on a cute little teepee or something in the corner of the playroom with pillows and blankets (hint: hobby lobby is now carrying super cute teepees for $100 and you can use a coupon!) but our playroom looks over our living room and kitchen so it isn’t always the quietest of places.  Then it hit me!  The “secret” closet under the stairs.  The door is in the laundry room and it’s pretty quiet with the exception of the lull of the washer/dryer when it’s on.  We were using it as storage for our cleaning supplies and some boxes of Christmas decorations.  The girls and I got started on clearing it out and moving the boxes up to the attic.  We are so pleased with the way it turned out and it’s been used daily since.  Aside from the little book rack and a new rug, it cost me next to nothing as we used items we already had around the house.  

The only rules are to be quiet and have fun.  Everyone has to pick a quiet activity while in there, doesn’t necessarily have to be reading.  

   
 

The reading lounge seating is actually an old ottoman top that no longer matches my living room.  It’s padded so pretty comfy to sit on and the back is a rolled piece of foam for a bed we had laying around.  I had an extra set of queen size sheets that I used to cover  both items and I used a little duct tape to secure them to the bottom without having to actually cut or sew anything.  They’ve held up great so far!  We had the battery operated lanterns and pennant banner leftover from a party and I got the rug from garden ridge on clearance for under $20.  The cloth book rack is from Walmart.com.  It arrived in days and was inexpensive.  I used chalk pens to doodle a Dr. Suess quote on a chalkboard we already had and hung it for decor.  

  

I wanted some color on the walls but didn’t want to commit to paint so I was ecstatic to find the little circle decals on clearance for $4 at target.  

  
We filled the area with quiet activities like magnets and magnet boards, (an oil drip pan from the auto part store and cookie sheets from dollar tree), I-spy bottles we made a few years ago, and books.

  
We got the idea from Pinterest of course and the girls love them!  Super easy and fun project.  They’re made using voss water bottles, rice, and little trinkets from around the house.  We took photos of the items before putting them in the rice, printed them out, laminated, and numbered them and the bottles as a key.  They use dry erase markers to mark off the items as they find them.  

  
The girls aren’t allowed to have electronic devices upstairs because I like to be able to monitor anything with internet capability so we created an “iStation” with all our iPads, iPods, and innotabs.  We added headphones so that game and electronic stories didn’t disturb others enjoying the quiet space.  We had such a fun time creating this reading nook together and the girls love having a secret quiet hideaway to unwind and enjoy a good story.  Can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner!  

New years resolution. Yep I made one, yep I’m keeping it. So far anyway…

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If you know me personally, you know I am simultaneously the most organized and the most unorganized person you will ever meet.  lol  Let me explain, I love my label maker, organizing bins, color coding, and labels that all face … Continue reading

20 Random kitchen products you had no idea you would need/want!

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I’m a bit quirky.  I like unique things that’s for sure.  My kitchen is no exception, I strive to find the funnest and funkiest kitchen gadgets around.  I’m going to share with you my top 20 adorably fabulous kitchen gadgets … Continue reading

Apple pie and baked apple cups

Everyone is always raving about my apple pies so thought I would share my process with y’all. The greatest part is, you can use your leftovers to create an additional goody: baked apple cinnamon cups. Yummmm!

I think everyone is going to be shocked by how easy this is. Seriously, everything I make is easy and quick even if it doesn’t look like it at first glance.

I do sometimes make my own crust but I’ll be honest with you, I despise rolling it out. It frustrates me beyond belief. This is also why I hate working with fondant when I make a cake.

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Sorry, couldn’t resist! Anywho, more often than not, it’s pilsbury to the rescue! My OCD really loves how the crusts are perfect circles when you roll them out unlike my own hand rolled crust. But I digress…

You’ll need:
-1 box of refrigerated pie crust (2 crusts per box)
-4 apples. I use 4 different kinds of apples: Granny Smith, golden delicious, red delicious, and gala. You can use any combination of apples you so choose or all the same kind if you prefer. I personally like the different tastes the variety provides.
-1 pie tin
-1 small mixing bowl and 1 larger mixing bowl
-cinnamon, brown sugar, sugar, apple pie spice
-vanilla flavoring and caramel flavoring
-1 stick of butter

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Preheat your oven according to your pie crust packaging instructions for 2 crust pies. Usually 375.
Peel and core your apples and slice them as thinly as possible. I put the slices in the large bowl as I cut.

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Line the pan with the first pie crust and trim edges with a knife or kitchen shears if needed. I use my hands to mix up the apple slices so that the different types are evenly distributed. Once mixed well, fill your pie crust and place the stick of butter in the small mixing bowl.

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Microwave butter for about 45 seconds or until fully melted. Add about 1 tbsp of sugar, 5 tbsp brown sugar, and a sprinkle of each cinnamon and apple pie spice. Mix it well and pour about half of the mixture over the apples.

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Lay out your second crust on a cutting board and use cookie cutters to make a design or cut the crust into strips to make a basket weave design if you want. Place the crust on top of the apples, press firmly all around and trim edges if needed. I like to put the crust cutouts back on top. Looks nice and the crunchy crust pieces are the hubby’s favorite part. I then take a fork all around the edge and sprinkle top with cinnamon.

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Ovens will vary but you’ll need to bake it for about 20-30 mins or until your crust looks golden brown.

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It’s best served warm with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top. :)

Now, I usually have some leftover crust trimmings, sliced apples, and buttery filling on my hands. We don’t let that go to waste! Take an extra apple, (I used a golden delicious here) and use a knife to cut around the core. Use a spoon to dig the insides out. I rinse the apple and pour a little of the butter mixture inside it. I twist it around to make sure the inside is coated. I line a pan with foil and place the apple on it. I then take a handful of leftover apple slices and dice them before placing a handful on the pan. Drizzle a little buttery/sugary goodness over the apples and mix around. I use the cookie cutters to cut out a few shapes from the pie crust trimmings and place them in the pan as well.

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I bake the apple next to the pie for about 10 minutes or until it’s nice and soft and the pie crust shapes are nice and flakey. Place the hot apple on a plate or in a bowl, place a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream inside and top with baked cinnamon apples. I sprinkle a dash of cinnamon over the top and add a pie crust shape for garnish.

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Grab a knife and a fork and enjoy! Delicious!

BBQ bacon cheddar balls

Going to quickly share one of our favorite quick easy meals with you. My kids can smell these a mile away and always get super excited when I make them.

You know the drill, gather your supplies:
-1 lb lean ground turkey
-Shredded cheddar cheese (about 1/4 cup)
-BBQ sauce of your choice. (About 1/2 cup). I use sweet baby rays sweet and spicy sauce. It’s ah-maze-ing!
-about 1/2 cup of bread crumbs, crushed crackers, or oatmeal (I used bread crumbs here)
-bacon bits jarred or fresh
-1 egg
-seasonings of your choice (optional). I use my old trusty garlic powder and onion powder.

We often choose asparagus and white rice or cauliflower rice as our sides. I start by chopping the ends off of the asparagus and laying it out on a cookie sheet. I then drizzle some coconut oil and squeeze a small lime wedge over the top and use my hands to toss and coat it. I then sprinkle a little pepper and sea salt and toss them in the oven at 425 degrees.

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While those are busy getting extra delicious in the oven, toss all your meatball ingredients in a mixing bowl. Only use about 1/4 cup of the BBQ sauce and save the rest for the pan. Mix well.

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Pour the remaining BBQ sauce into a pan, add a little water, and mix around before turning the heat on medium. While your sauce begins to warm, use your hands to roll meatballs and drop them into the sauce.

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You can add more sauce and water if needed/desired. Turn meatballs often for even cooking and sauce coating.

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While these are cooking, you should start on your rice. I don’t think you need an instruction on how to make instant white rice do you? Lol

By now your asparagus should be perfect. Remove it from the oven, serve it all up, and enjoy!

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A space of my own

When we bought this house, I got very excited about all of the exciting possibilities the front office held.  I thought maybe it could be a studio someday but I’m not a huge fan of studio work so scratched that.  We decided to leave it an office for the time being but I had visions dancing through my head of a craft room as well.  5 months later, it had become more of a storage room for boxes I didn’t feel like dealing with at the time.  Our computer desk and filing cabinet were in there as well as some cube shelving that I needed to organize but had yet to find the time or desire to do so.  This week, I decided it was time for me to begin scrapbooking photos from our Disney World trip.  I began to rummage through boxes looking for paper, stickers, and trimmers but I soon became overwhelmed with the disorganization of it all.  I decided it was time to whip this space into shape once and for all.  So my friends, I began a 3 day extensive overhaul of this small room  to turn it into something fun and colorful yet inspirational and functional at the same time.  If you know me at all, you know I would rather spend a fortune on designer shoes, handbags, and children’s clothing than expensive home decor.  I get bored easily and I like knowing I can change the look of something on a whim and not worry about how much I spent on it.  Welcome to my new office and craft space.  Come on in and have a look around!

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I wasn’t even sure where to begin with this huge project but I knew I needed a craft desk to be the heart of the room.  A place where I could spread out whatever crafty project I was working on at the time and not worry about having to move it out of the way to eat or something like my current workspace (the kitchen table).  Years ago, before I married Dave, I did cakes out of my tiny apartment.  I needed more counter top space and so I built some using cube shelves and plywood.  I had seen this done on a larger scale many times on pinterest so figured it was probably my best bet.  This way I could make it the perfect size for my space and store craft supplies in the sides.  I moseyed on over to my friendly local Target and picked up two 9 cube shelving units.  These are super affordable normally but I was pleasantly surprised to find 2 on clearance for only $25.88 each!  They were easily enough assembled with detailed instructions and I probably only spent about 30 mins on both of them using only a screwdriver and a hammer!  I spaced them apart accordingly and then measured for the top.  At home depot I decided on a smooth piece of plywood for around $25 as well and had them cut it to a 3×5 tabletop for me.  I had to purchase the whole sheet so still have leftover wood for a future project!  I purchased black paint for the top to match the shelves but haven’t yet completed that task!

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I also knew I wanted easy access to my stickers, pens, ribbons, and other craft supplies and I thought pegboard would be a great option.  Craft stores sell pegboard and accessories specifically made for craft supplies but I wasn’t fond of the price tag on those!  Instead, while at Home Depot, I snagged 3 sheets of plain pegboard at $7.97 each.  I asked an employee to cut one of the sheets in half for me to fit a thinner space and they did so at no extra charge.  I also stocked up on pegboard accessories while there.  Each long peg was about 90 cents and then I purchased a package of baskets (2) for $9.99, and 2 packages of mixed hooks (probably about 15 per pkg) for under $4.  The assorted hooks and pegs also came with screws to mount the pegboards to the wall!  I swiped some colored paint samples from the paint section for under $2 each while I was there because who likes boring ole white pegboards?  I painted them with a small roller brush made for trim without incident.

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Then came the fun part of filling the pegs and organized my goodies!

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The little pails I actually stole from my children’s playroom closet.  They were from Easter or other holidays mostly purchased in the dollar spot at Target.  We later found some others at Michael’s as well for more storage fun!  I used the thinner cut pegboard to designate a special “kids section” of crafty supplies and goodies they’re actually allowed to touch.  I used the other half as a gift wrapping area with ribbon, tape, scissors, and gift bags.  I’ve been using this old upside down $2 garage sale stool as a wrapping paper caddy for years so it went perfectly over in the gift wrap corner!

Now it was time for some Wall decor.  I had this big ole black frame sitting in the garage.  My mother gave it to me a few years back.  It had a really old fashioned flower print in it originally but I saw potential in that frame.  I spray painted it lime green and then grabbed some rainbow ribbon trim, nails, and tiny clothespins to create a fun way to display my instagram photos.  Did you know Walgreens will print your instagram photos in an hour?!?!?  I don’t normally advocate supermarket photo printing services but they’re just insta photos not fine portraiture so I made an exception.  I nailed the ribbon trim to each side of the frame and then clothes pinned the photos across it.  I need to lift that bottom string a little but for now it’s fine.

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I found the giant buttons on clearance at Hobby Lobby for $4.  They were green and pink originally but it was nothing a coat of spray paint couldn’t fix!  The canvas my oldest daughter painted and I just used a paint pen to add the word “create” to it because I love the colors so much!

I found the turquoise bulletin board at goodwill for $1  brand new in the package and pinned some pages I cut out of an Anne Taintor coffee table book to it.   I looooooooove Anne Taintor!  I found this fabulous magnetic frame and the magnetic ransom letters at Tuesday morning and the little magnetic containers at Michael’s.  The frame was on clearance for $3, the letters were $3.99 per package, and the little containers were $1.50 each.

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I needed somewhere to keep myself organized with to do projects, calendars, etc.  I picked up these pizza pans at dollar tree for $1 each and spray painted them bright colors.  I secured a strip of ribbon to the back of each using E6000 and then nailed them to the wall.  I used sticky back magnetic paper to create some fun magnets of funny ecards and photos as well as some sticky notes and slapped them up there too.

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I had originally gone into goodwill looking for an old filing cabinet.  I saw one on pinterest somewhere that had been painted in chalkboard paint and I thought that would be a fun addition to the room.  I didn’t find one but I found something even better!  This large commercial type scrapbook organizer is structurally in great shape.  It was only $5.50!!!!!  So excited!  It needed a good cleaning and has a few chips in the top and bottom but they will easily be filled with wood filler later and then the whole thing will likely be painted.  I put the kids to work color coding my papers.  Solids on one side and the corresponding print on the other!  So in love with this!!!

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I found these 2 fun colorful artwork prints at Garden Ridge.  Each one was under $12 and I love them!

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I used this shutter by my garage door in the old house to store the girls backpacks and hang onto the many many party and event invitations that came our way.  Now that we have a hall closet for backpacks, I moved it into my office to hang my many many cameras.  The shutter was originally purchased for $4 at a thrift store and I added the hooks to the bottom and spray painted it.  The hooks were under $4 each.  The peacock I painted at a painting party with friends.  Artist I am not but it’s a fun little piece anyway.

On top of my scrapbook paper organizer, I have a plastic drawer system to catch still useable paper scraps and I added some fun things to the top.  LOVE these cameras and the pink lightbulb!  Got the camera on the black stand at Home Goods last year and that huge new metal camera at Ross yesterday for $10!  The pink glass lightbulb came from Michael’s as did the giant green clothespin.  Can’t wait to pin something on it!  The dream bigger block also came from Michael’s for only $3.  Last year I helped my mother’s friend with some computer work and she made me this cute little cross stitched “God is Love” sign as a thank you.  I switched it to a pink glittery frame and it’s perfect!

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I took my computer desk out of the room to use as an accent table in the front living area and decided I only needed a small area for my computer along the back wall.  I found this black unit at goodwill about 2 years ago in perfect condition for only $20.  It was a shelving originally but I found that if I removed the middle shelf it worked out perfectly as a small desk!  Got the small lamp and lampshade at Garden Ridge.  Under $15 for the lamp and the shade when it was all said and done.  Found the bronze camera at Ross yesterday for $7 and my sister bought me this cute little notepad at Pier1 years ago.  I found the porcelain paint buckets for 50% off at Michael’s yesterday and thought they would be great on my craft table to store brushes and pens.  I used a plastic storage basket that I already had to display 12×12 scrapbooks for easy access since they don’t fit in the cubes.

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I still need a fun colorful rug, a few finishing touches, and to paint the desktop and scrapbook organizer but this little room has come a loooooooooong way in the last 3 days.  Indeed I think I will be spending a lot of time in here!  When it was all said and done, I spent around $300 to transform this space.  Not to shabby at all!  It’s fun and it’s functional and I’m in love!  In conclusion, you don’t need a ton of money or anything fancy to create a cool place of your own.  You can do a lot with a little when you use some vision to step out of the box and sometimes a little goodwill hunting luck!  I may not be changing the world anytime soon but I’ve rocked my own space with a little spray paint, pegboard, and cube shelves!

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Diary of a zoo keeper errr… uh… stay at home mom.

Last week while at the gym, I met a lovely older gentleman on the elliptical machine next to me.  He offered up some banter on how he had just recently found himself back at the gym after being very inactive for many years.  He asked if I worked out often and I truthfully admitted that I didn’t go near as often as I intended to.  He asked if my work schedule was demanding and thus kept me from keeping my desired gym schedule.  I sort of chuckled to myself and said, “you could say that”.  He asked what I did for a living and when I informed him that I was a stay at home Mom he looked taken aback.  “What does your husband do that he can afford to keep you at home all to himself” he playfully asked me.  “He’s in oil”  I vaguely replied.  “Well, it’s nice you get to spend so much time at home with your kids” he stated.  I hesitated a moment and then said half way convincingly “it is.  I’m very fortunate.”  He smiled sweetly and then said, what many, many, MANY a dumb male before him after have said “Well, if you don’t have to work, you should have plenty of time to go to the gym, see your friends, and get your nails done.”  I briefly glanced down at my mangled, dry, unmanicured nails and tried to imagine the last time I had lunch with a friend and I wasn’t quite sure if I wanted to smack this sweet old man or break into tears.  Now ladies and gentleman, I’m not often stunned to silence.  In fact, I can almost always find something to say but I had absolutely, positively nothing to say in response to such an ignorant comment.  So I smiled sweetly, nodded politely, and ran like hell to the leg press.  It occurred to me that to someone who has never actually stayed home full time with small children, it might look like quite a luxurious job but to those of us who know the truth, it is nothing short of exhausting.  Rewarding?  Yes.  Fulfilling?  Mostly.  Boring?  Never.  Relaxing?  Hahaha Easy?  HELL NO!  Truth is, most days, I don’t sit down much at all.  Some days I don’t get to shower until the kids are off in dreamland.  But even though I know that I work hard.  Brutally hard all day every day, I felt as though I had to prove it to myself.  So today, I woke up with the idea to log my day.  Every last minute of it and share it here with you.  Maybe you can relate.  Maybe you will just learn to appreciate the tough tough work that motherhood entails.  We may laugh, we may cry, who knows what the day will hold!

6:45 a.m-Woke up, brushed teeth, washed face, strapped on bra

7:00- Walked upstairs to wake P up for school and then returned to my room to make my bed

7:15-  Rounded up all the trash and set it outside on the curb for pickup then came inside and sat at the bar to begin the intro to this blog entry

7:25- Loaded children in the car to drop P off at school

7:35-arrived back home and unloaded children only to realize Sadie had escaped again

7:40- Re-loaded children in the car and perused the neighborhood looking for said rouge Yorkie-Poo.

7:50- Located Sadie.  She ran from me when she saw me get out of the car because she knew she was in trouble.  I bolted down the street after her in my pajamas while my children, still in the running vehicle, giggled loudly

8:00- A demanded Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and some milk.  I took this time to unload the dishwasher and then reload it with the remaining dirty dishes from last night’s dinner.  A hugged my leg and told me she loved me.

8:25-The girls said they were hungry.  I offered to make them scrambled eggs for breakfast but they wanted frozen waffles instead.  Winning!  I served them their breakfast.  T wants “pink bunny” to drink.  I explain why strawberry syrup in her milk is a bad choice given the syrup on her waffles.  She doesn’t necessarily agree but cooperative none the less.  Unfortunately, she’s now implanted the syrupy milk idea in A’s head.  She doesn’t give up the matter without a fight.

8:40- Coffee.  I need Coffee.

8:55-I gaze out the window longingly.  It would be nice to drink my coffee and read outside this morning.  The kids would want to come out too though.  It’s chilly out this morning and the ground is still rather wet from the rain.  My mother would not approve at all.  Visions of pneumonia dance through my head so I decide to drink my coffee on the sofa instead and have a gander at social media.  A thought this was a good time to use me as a jungle gym and climb on top of my head.  I disagreed.  She got mad and threw a fit.  I decided sitting was a bad idea.  It’s time to switch out the laundry anyway.

9:20- I wrapped up towel folding and distributed them amongst all 3 bathrooms.  I can’t find my coffee.  T helped me look and told me she loved me.

9:30- Found my coffee.  It was in the laundry room on top of the dryer.  It’s cold now.  I microwave it.  Now it is too hot to drink so I set it on the counter to cool.

9:40- Crap!  My friend keeps telling me I need to remember to eat 6 small meals a day to boost my metabolism.  I forgot to eat breakfast.  It’s time for my mid-morning snack though.  I grab a greek yogurt from the fridge and sit down on the sofa next to the girls watching Disney Jr.  A demands to have my yogurt.  “You already ate your waffles, this is Mommy’s breakfast” I explain to her.  “But I want it” she demanded.  “You don’t like this kind of yogurt” I tell her.  “Yes, I do!  I like it!  I really like it and I want it!” she exclaimed.  “Fine” I agree defeated and push a spoonful in her mouth.  She looks disgusted and begins to spit it out all over me and back into the container of yogurt.  Good thing I’m almost done.  I toss the remnants in the trash.

10:00- I need to go to the gym but I have several errands to run as well.  So, I’m debating whether or not to take a shower now or do it post errands and workout.  I’ve got yogurt in my hair and really I can’t wear gym shorts without shaving these legs anyway so shower time it is!

10:15- Whhhhhhhhhhy can’t I shower alone or get dressed without an audience man?!?!??!  A stood outside my glass shower doors singing “I see your booooooty, I see your boooooooty” and dancing a little jig.  I lost my cool and yelled at her to please go away and let me shower alone.  “Whhhhhhhhhy?” she whined before throwing herself on the floor crying and then reluctantly leaving me in peace however short lived it may have been.

10:20-I just remembered I never drank my coffee.  It’s cold again.  I pour it out, it’s a lost cause.  T gave me a wonderful hug!

10:30-The girls are asking for a snack.  I slice apples and serve them with pretzels and PB for T and Nutella for A (She’s allergic to PB)

10:40-A was running (even though i’ve repeatedly told her not to) and face planted.  Big surprise.  It’s the end of the world you would think by the way she’s wailing.  I need a drink but it’s too early for booze so I settle for some Advocare Spark.

11:00 Frantically searched for T’s shot record for Kinder registration this afternoon.

11:25- Still haven’t found it.  Need to make some phone calls but it’s time to start thinking about what to feed these wild animals for lunch.  Taylor wants chick-fil-a.  Sounds delicious but I have GOT to make lunch here today.

11:30- Discovered crushed up pretzels in the rug so busted out the dyson.  Figured since I had it out I may as well cover all the downstairs rugs and carpeted areas.

11:50- Had such fun vacuuming the rugs I decided to continue the party with the broom and the swifter on the wood floors {insert sarcastic eye roll}.

12:15-A can’t find her milk.  Someone send a search party.  The kid.can’t.find.her.milk!!!!!!  She’s in full on panic mode which puts me in full on panic mode.  Find the milk.  FIND.THE.MILK!

12:30- New pediatrician’s office says they sent for shot records in January but never received them.  Old Pedi office says they never received the request.  Someone dropped the ball here and for once it wasn’t me!  Hooray!  Meanwhile, i still haven’t fed my children lunch.  Whhhhhhhhhhy did I stop buying bread and try to be all “low carb”?!?!?!  Now I can’t even make the kids a PB&J!  My shoulder devil is seductively whispering “chick-fil-a” in my ear.  Shoulder angel sweetly says “feed them something  home cooked and nutritious”.  Shoulder devil chimes in again “if you take them to chick-fil-a to eat, they can play and you can read for 20 mins.”  Sold!  Sorry shoulder angel, shoulder devil makes a compelling argument!

12:45- Start bath for children.  They have impossibly messy curly hair that must be tamed before public viewing.  I put them in my bathtub so I can put makeup on and do my hair while they splash and play.

12:50- Even though I told A to go potty before I got her in the bath and she insisted she didn’t need to go, about 5 mins into the bath she suddenly needed to go.  I scooped her out and ran her over to her princess potty chair with seconds to spare before we heard that magical reward chime.  Back into the bath to wash the shampoo out of her hair quickly and then up the stairs to get everyone dressed.  T insists on picking out her own outfit.  Greeeeeeeeeaaaaaat!

1:00- T emerges in something not spectacular but semi-cute and surprisingly coordinating so I don’t battle with her.  Meanwhile I’m debating if workout clothing is acceptable for kinder registration or if I should attempt to look “put together”.  I settled on changing out of my nike shorts and into yoga pants.  If I throw a dress on and look too nice, I’ll never venture to the gym today.

1:15- On the way to Chick-fil-a, Dave called to tell me he was bored.  I halfway wanted to smack him through the phone and tell him what a gift it was to have time to be bored today but I refrained.  I do feel sorry for him, I really do.  I know it’s tough and lonely to be away from your family so much.  I was just a little bitter in the moment that’s all.  3 different people complimented me on how cute and well behaved the girls are within minutes of us arriving so that made me feel pretty good.

1:30- The girls ate and ran into the play area excitedly.  I too was excited and dug my iPad out of my purse to read.  Super excited to get lost in my book for a bit.

1:55- I’ve managed to read like 3 pages of my book in the last 25 minutes.  I sat by the door to the play area thus find myself getting up approximately every 3.5 seconds to open the door for a child (often my own) to either enter or exit said play area.  I’m sort of the unofficial protector of tiny fingers at chick-fil-a today.  Reading is clearly a lost cause so I rally up the troops and load them in the car.

2:15- Pulled up to the school.  Sat in the car a few minutes trying to mentally prepare myself for this.  My baby.  My tiny baby girl is registering for Kindergarden!  Bittersweet for sure!  While holding my hand crossing the street, A looked at my hand and said “mama, you need paint yo nails”.  Sure kid, I will mentally file that away under things I need to do in my “spare time”.

3:00- Stood in line for 30 minutes but we still didn’t get to register.  Our electricity is automatically drafted out of our account.  A few months ago, Chase bank suspected fraudulent charges on Dave’s debit card, cancelled it, and re-issued a new one.  This caused lots of problems for our automatic bill pays.  Long story short, the electric company wasn’t able to process the payment like usual so issued a disconnect notice.  I was able to clear the whole sorted mess up and give them the new billing information long before the cut off date but wouldn’t you know the unopened bill I attempted to use for proof of residency happened to be the disconnect notice?!?!?!  “We can’t accept a disconnect notice as proof of residency” the lady told me when she opened the envelope.  “Disconnect notice?”  I questioned confused.  I have never had my utilities disconnected.  I am ridiculously meticulously responsible with bills.  I glanced over and indeed she was right.  Of course the one bill I happened to grab was this!  I wanted to die of embarrassment and immediately started stammering out the story of the debit card.  But too late.  All the people behind and in front of me heard the sorted story.  “We will be here till 6, you can go get a current bill and bring it back up to register her before then” she sort of scoffed at me.  I wanted to crawl into a hole.  Back to the car we go.  It’s time to pick up P anyway.

3:15- P gets in the car and I explain we need to run home and grab a new bill then return to the school with it to register T.  However when I pull into the garage, I glance back and A has fallen asleep.  I’m not waking her to go back to the school I’ll tell ya that right now!!!

3:30- I successfully transfered A from her car seat to the sofa and drew all the blinds so it’s nice and cozy.  I set P up with her homework and T on the computer to play on abcmouse.com.  I’m going to read until this kid wakes up!!!!!

4:15- Dear Lord she’s moving around an awful lot.  She’s restless.  She won’t sleep long.  Nooooooooo!  I’ve only been sitting long enough to read 5 pages!

4:25- The girls want a snack.  They’re also bored and would like to go out front to ride their scooters.

4:45-  Game over.  A is awake. She wants fruit and milk

5:00- Cleaning up and everyone is loading up to head back to the darn school.

5:20- Not so patiently waiting for Kinder registration part 2!  Ready to get this done!

5:51- DONE!  Finally!  It’s raining again and oddly cold.  I have zero motivation to go to the gym.  According to the pedometer on my watch, I’ve exceeded my 10,000 steps per day goal for an active life.  I feel like that entitles me to skip the gym.  No?  I haaaaaaate the gym at this hour.  It’s the most inconvenient time ever to haul 3 kids to a crowded gym.  Kicking myself for not going earlier this morning instead of cleaning floors!

6:00- Just pulled up to the gym.  Just as I suspected it is unbearably packed.  I drag myself upstairs but can’t seem to get into a workout so only halfway through,  I throw in the towel (literally) and head down to get the kids.

6:45- Just got home.  Need to make dinner.  Don’t feel motivated to make dinner.  Feel motivated to sit on sofa and watch anything but Disney Jr.  But alas these children will not feed themselves.  Whipped up some quick spaghetti for the girls with “zoodles” (zucchini noodles) for me.

7:15- Just got invited to have a few drinks with some friends.  Text our sitter, she can come.  Hooray!  Social interaction.  The girls want me to play a card game with them.  I already feel guilty that I’m venturing out tonight and I haven’t even left yet.  I set up the card game and we play but I feel distracted battling with myself on wether or not going out is a good idea.  I’m not leaving until their bedtime anyway I decide and finally let myself have fun with my pretty princesses.  T won the first round but was disappointed to lose the second.  These kids are insanely competitive like their daddy!

8:00- Help the girls have a “fashion show” of princess dresses.  They want to play with my shoes.  I let them.  Trying to find something to wear.  I don’t have any jeans that fit.  There is literally no medium ground between athletic clothing and dresses in my closet!  I get A’s PJs laid out for her and then do my makeup quickly.

8:45- Ashley has arrived to watch the girls.  I try to straighten up the kitchen while we chat and wait for friends to arrive to drop off their girls and pick me up.

9:00- A needs to go potty so I escort her to my bathroom where her princess potty awaits.  She goes “tee tee” in the potty and I tell her to hang tight for a second while I grab some toilet paper to wipe her.  I emerge to see her picking the potty up (full of tee tee mind you) and attempting to carry it into my bedroom.  I frantically grab it from her but it is too late, we are both covered in pee.  I take her princess dress off and call for Ashely to help me clean her up so I can clean myself up.  Friends are here waiting for me so we can leave.  I toss on another dress and some wedges and we head out.

9:20- Sweet relief.  Feels like I haven’t so much as spoken to another adult (besides Dave) in a week!  Feels nice to joke around and talk with someone about anything other than bowl movements, snacks, and school work.

12:20- We’ve found our way back to my house.  I pour the girls a glass of wine and we banter a little bit before they head off.  I crawl into bed and finally I am alone with my book and my thoughts.  I try and read but I can’t stop thinking about the billion things I didn’t get around to doing today.  The post office, home depot, the grocery store.  None of it got done.  There’s always tomorrow.  I get lost in my e-book until around 2 when I fell asleep.  I know it was around 2 because I was holding the iPad above my face reading and when I drifted off to dreamland mid sentence, I dropped the iPad on my face and awoke only to check the time, place the iPad beside me, and roll over.

*Disclaimer.  The day was absolute full disclosure.  I Kept a running log in my phone and kept notes throughout the day.  I was hesitant to even include the whole drinks with friends portion because that does NOT happen often but I wanted to be honest.  It was my only glimpse at sanity yesterday.*

There were a lot of hectic moments in my day.  There was a lot of frustration and rushing and work.  But there was a lot of laughter and happiness as well.  It’s an exhausting job but I wouldn’t want any other job.  I love these sweet girls of mine.  I’m so blessed to be their Mommy even if they often drive me bonkers!  The days are long but the years are short.