Easter Leftovers

It was just last week that I stood at the kitchen counter after all of our Easter eggs hunts and family gatherings. I popped open the plastic eggs and poured the kids’ candy into a community candy bowl; jelly beans, Reeses’ cups, scrunched up packs of Skittles and Miniature m&m’s. My eyes glazed over in a sugar coma as I looked over the sea of candy.

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Holy Crap! These kids have a shitload of candy!

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Let’s do the math. 4 kids + 3 Easter egg hunts (home and both grandparents’ houses) = 8 chocolate bunnies and waaaayy too much candy, probably enough to hold us over until Halloween (I will throw it out way before then). There is so much candy my eyes are turning into jelly beans. I just can’t believe how much candy there is. They got other stuff too; bubbles, bouncy balls, sidewalk chalk, books…but I’m still amazed at the amount of sugar.

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Why do we do this each and every year?

We fill and hide eggs from the “Easter Bunny,” they gobble up as much as they possibly can and bounce around on a sugar high until I take it away, declaring “Easter egg hunt is over. Hand over all your eggs. You are not eating Peeps for breakfast!” Such a mean mom… but I do let them eat a little bit.

The twins, they suck at hunting for Easter eggs. They each found three or four eggs and promptly sat their diapered booties on the steps and ate up their goodies. They refused to find anymore. They were content with popping jelly beans in their mouths and watching the boys collect the rest of the eggs. When they wanted more, they held out their hands and grunted and Collin would deliver an egg to each sticky hand.

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That’s why I decided next year I’m filling eggs with cereal; Captain Crunch, Lucky Charms, Fruit Loops, Cocoa Puffs – all the kinds of cereal I rarely ever buy. Then, instead of taking the time in the morning to feed them breakfast, I can just send them outside to hunt for their meal. Win win situation. It kind of reminds me of a Family Guy episode where the babysitter threw a bunch of crackers in the yard along with Stewie. “There’s your lunch. Go get it.”  I’ve always wanted to do that. Here’s my chance with a good excuse, Easter!

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Until they get older…I can picture it now…them throwing the plastic eggs at me, a blue egg bouncing off my head and spraying cereal everywhere. Orange and purple and hot pink eggs hitting my arms and sides and legs, leaving little welt marks and breaking open, crunch berries and fruit loops littering the yard. “What the hell?! What kind of Easter bunny leaves cereal?! Where are the real eggs?! Where is the damn candy?!” The rebellion.

But I actually did fill a few eggs this year with cereal. After I took the eggs away, the girls just went into a fit. They didn’t understand. They screamed and whined. They turned into the evil twins. It was horrible. So I took a couple empty eggs and filled them with Cheerios and they were happy. Problem solved. Crying stopped. Phew!

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But I was really happy this year. The kids were so good helping each other find eggs. They didn’t push or shove or get stingy. They were so helpful and nice to each other. Bradley, still on crutches with his broken leg, couldn’t even bend down to pick up the eggs off the ground. Collin was so nice and helpful. Bradley would say, “Collin, see that green sparkly one? I want that one.” And Collin would get it for him and pick one up for himself. They were so good, which rarely happens for that amount of time, especially when candy is involved.

So glad it’s over. Time to go eat the ears off one of those bunnies.


A Story From Our Day

“Bradley, keep an eye on your brother and sisters. I have to run downstairs and switch the laundry,” I told Bradley. I also yelled over my shoulder to them before the basement door shut behind me, “Bradley’s in charge! Be good!” Ha! Like that is gonna happen, but I’ll test my luck just to get a little bit done.

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I hurried down the steps and switched the laundry over like a mad woman. I turned shirts right side out in lightning speed. So much can happen when I switch laundry, which is why I never get it done and always have humongous piles of it. What are they doing up there? I stopped in my fury of clothing and listened; no panicked footsteps, no screaming, I”m doing good,” I thought to myself and finished up quickly.

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When I went upstairs Bradley had a piece of paper and pen. “Mom, I wrote down everybody’s names of who was being naughty,” he told me. Collin’s name was down three times (go figure), Elsie and Mallie’s once each. “What did they do?” I asked. He listed all the things they did and he didn’t cut them any slack. Wow, he really takes his job seriously and couldn’t help laughing to myself.

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It has been a crazy week here with the kids. I’m usually working, so we are not in a routine and as soon as we get one, it will be time to go back. But right now…right about nap time when I really need a breather…well, it just doesn’t happen. The twins think nap time really means party time and wont sleep for anything! Collin thinks it is time to go to the bathroom, get a drink, anything to get him up from laying still. There are times I just want to cry. Please just go to sleep! Mommy needs a break.

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And then I take a step back…letting all the fighting and bickering and crazy screaming with joy around the house go into the background. I take deep breaths and focus on the little things…like when Collin ran Mallie over with a car and knocked her down, he stopped and helped her up and tried to giver her a hug. Bradley offering to brush his sisters’ teeth in the morning. Elsie puckered up for a kiss. They really can be sweet, despite all the havoc they create.

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I captured one silly moment with the girls. It is now one of my favorite videos. I am so happy that they actually play together, even though Mallie seems a little unwilling. 

I love being home with them and I can’t wait to go back to work. I wish I could do it half and half…a little bit of this and a little bit of that.


Vacation is a Relative Term

So we are on our Christmas “vacation” or holiday “break” from school. And as I do dishes two or three times a day, fold four loads of laundry, bake cookies that stick to the cookie sheet, chase the kids around the house, “Get down! No jumping on the couch. Have you lost your mind?!”…I wonder when the “break” will begin because I think I’m losing my mind.

christmas 2012 022  When you are a mom, the term “vacation” or “break” doesn’t really mean time off to relax or get things done. That term is deceiving. It means chasing the kids around the house, being a referee to the fighting and bickering, “Mum, Bradley said ha ha to me” and “MOM! Collin threw a car at me.” It is thinking (and really believing) you are going to get all kinds of things done with this “extra” time, like organizing the closet and cleaning out the cupboards and then get all stressed out because you barely got anything accomplished and are counting down the hours until daddy gets home because mommy is really starting to lose it. Where is my break? And why wont these children nap?!

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I will admit, the first week or so was fun; waiting for christmas, baking cookies, wrapping presents, playing games, making crafts, admiring the christmas lights. But ever since New Year’s…well, I am totally over it. I am ready to get the hell out of the house!

I need to work for my sanity. I need to see people. I need to talk to somebody over the age of 3. Now, Bradley (my 7-year-old) is pretty good company and we have some great conversations…but it’s not the same as seeing people “out in the real world.”

I love my kids. I just don’t want to be home with them every day, all day. I will lose my mind…sweet and cute as they are. I really don’t know how stay at home moms do it. It’s just not for me. I find myself wishing for work so I can have a “break”…oh, the irony.

Must be time for a mommy night out…or a drink, either one or both will do.

How do you make it through “breaks” and “vacations” from school?


A Letter to Santa

The other night Bradley sat down with a pencil and paper and wrote his letter to Santa. I love his first grade handwriting and creativity. I love the fact that he put directions on how to open the letter – that is the “rip” at the top of the page and an illustration!  But I think my favorite part is that he asks if he has been good or bad. Shouldn’t he just know? I thought most kids just said they were on the good list no matter what. He just cracks me up. I can’t help but laugh. I think he thinks there is some kind of chart, like the clip system at school.

santa letter In his letter he did list all of the nice things he did, like helping his sisters put on their shoes in the morning and working hard in school. On the other side was his list. Surprisingly it was a really short list! And at the end, he wrote “I am 7,” and circled it, just so Santa would know.

I “mailed” it to the North Pole this morning, which is basically dating it and putting it way in my cedar chest where I store all of my favorite keepsakes. I can’t wait to give him that pile when he is older.

I wonder what my Santa letters were like when I was little.

How do you save your Santa letters? Which ones are your favorites? I would love to hear your stories!





Gone Crazy for Crayola

We did some major cleaning over the weekend. We went through all the toys and arts and crafts stuff. And we have WAY too many crayons and colored pencils! It’s ridiculous. THOUSANDS! And I can’t bear to just throw them away. There may be kids with no crayons somewhere…

I need to part with some. Or ask Pinterest for something crafty to do with them. I could even donate them….but to who?

My collection is out of control! It’s so bad, I think some of them are from my childhood crayon collection. Really.

I guess some people collect shoes…I collect crayons, colored pencils, pens, notebooks, books. I am a nerd…but totally loving it.

If you have any creative or crafty or donating ideas let me know in the comments. I am up for just about anything!

And what do other people do with all their kids’ crayons? Do you just throw them away?

And don’t get me wrong, we use them. We just don’t need this many. (And I’m running out of space.)


A Cry for Fiction

It was really quiet at work today. So since I was by myself I propped up my Kindle and turned on my audio version of “The Hunger Games” (thanks Dad, he always has the best audio books). *Note: Yes, I am that much of a nerd – I rather listen to audio books than the radio.*

I have already read the entire series (book/Kindle version) and I watched the movie, both of which I loved, and I normally don’t reread books, but it is a whole new feeling listening to it instead of reading. And it’s been a while since I have read the books.

So I know the story well, but I still found myself putting down my work and reaching for a tissue. I get emotional sometimes, even over fiction. I can’t help it! It was the part where Primrose’s name was called at the Reaping. That part always gives me the goosebumps and tears stinging my eyes. And then when her sister, Catniss, takes her place- well, then the faucet really starts flowing.

I blinked real fast, trying to hold back the tears, as if I was there witnessing the whole scene. I took three deep breaths to ground myself back into reality and also so I wouldn’t start the all out bawling and snot fest. Thank goodness no customers came in at that time.

I know it’s just a story…but darn it Suzanne Collins, you really know how to pull on the heart-strings! She really knows how to tell a story.

I paused my audio book and decided to eat lunch to take my mind from the immediate scene that kept replaying in my head. I started to talk to myself, practicing my Capitol accent.

I was so ready to push play as soon as I sat back down. It’s one of those books that is so hard to put down, even the second time around!

How many times have you lived “The Hunger Games”?

***Note: I also cried in each one of the “Twilight” series. And I really was an emotional wreck watching the “last fight scene” in second part of “Breaking Dawn.” I took part in the collective gasp of the entire theatre. ***


Still My Thanksgiving Miracles

I always get reminiscent this time of year. I enjoy spending time with family and the holiday meals together. And I always think back to two years ago and how blessed and thankful I am.

It was the day before Thanksgiving that I got to bring the girls home from the hospital. No more NICU. I still can’t believe they were so little, weighing two and three pounds. Thanksgiving turkeys weigh more than they did when they were first born. I remember being able to hold each tiny little bundle, one in each arm.

And here we are now. They are running around like crazy little two-year olds. They are healthy. They are happy. I am thankful.

There are some days when I don’t know which way is up. There are some days when I fall over from exhaustion. There are some days when everything just works out great and I feel like we should be a sappy family sitcom. But everyday I am thankful and I am kissing my blessings, each and every one of them – Bradley, Collin, Elsie, and Mallie. 

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!


When Customer Service Gets a Little Creepy

I appreciate good customer service; a friendly smile, thanks and come again, that sort of stuff. But there is one store that I now avoid. I thought I would share my experience because in the end… it was funny, even though I didn’t start laughing until I was in the safety of my car.

I wont tell you the store, but it is one of my favorite stores and it seems that I am there at least once a week for diapers. But next time I’m going to the other one down the street, because they do have them on every corner.

So it all started a while back when I ran out on my lunch break for a major necessity. I was in a hurry. I went directly to my aisle and grabbed the pretty pink and green package and immediately headed for the check out. I didn’t stop to look at the clearance items. I took the shortest route to the check out.  I only have a limited time for my lunch break and there are some errands and necessities that you must rush for, and this was one of them.

I go to check out. I’m the third person in line. I start to get irritated. The cashier, who sort of looks like Napoleon Dynamite but with less hair, thinks he has to start a conversation with everyone and is overly friendly. ‘C’mon, dude,’ I complain in my head, ‘I don’t care what they are doing this afternoon. I don’t care what they think of that brand of toilet paper. Speed it up.’ I shift my weight. I try to distract myself with the magazines and with the gossip about the new Twilight movie coming out.

When it is finally my turn I avoid eye contact and pray that he does not try to start a conversation about the weather or what is coming on prime time tv tonight. I answer simple questions with short responses and grunts. I do not make eye contact. I do not smile. I am avoiding as much conversation as possible with this man. I just want to get my feminine hygiene products and go back to work.

But then the cashier totally confuses me with his question. He asks, “Do you want your pads in a bag?”

Huh?! I say no, but I wasn’t really paying attention. I look at his pale skinny hands holding my pads out to me. “Yes. Bag, please,” I say flustered, changing my mind.

He kinda threw me because normally people don’t ask if you want your items in a bag, they just put your crap and receipt in a bag and you go. And he’s a guy and he’s asking me about my pads. Just weird. Just give me my pads so I can get out of here. And please don’t announce anything else about my period. I’m not embarrassed about buying these type of items, I’m just not use to a man commenting on them.

“Here you go,” he finally says, holding the bag out to me. 

In my car, slightly irritated and very confused, I ran the conversation over in my head. I couldn’t help but laugh thinking of the situation; his dorky friendliness, my confusion. But he might as well have announced that I was on my period. What a strange one.

Next visit. I buy diapers. “Looks like you have a little one at home,” he says.

I want to say, ‘No, I just like throwing my money away on diapers for no reason,’ but I don’t. But really, why else would I buy diapers? Then when I’m waiting to swipe my debit card he comments on my nails. “Your nails are really nice. Are they yours?”

“Yep. Grew them myself,” I say, maybe a little sarcastically. I don’t feel like talking about my nails when I just want my stuff and go. 

“They’re really nice,” he says, reaching for my hand. Ick! I pull back. “Is that red polish or some other shade? What is it called?” he asks. Like I would know the shade anyway. Now I know he is just trying to be friendly, but he’s trying too hard. My nails, which are really super long right now and painted a deep burgandy, do stand out a little bit, but I just figured it was because I rarely ever paint my nails, maybe once every three months or for special occasions, which seem to rarely happen.

“Don’t know,” I reply. “Just something I had in the cupboard,” I say, trying to discourage him from further conversation. I look away. I don’t know the technical color, the brand, or anything like that. Your job, as a checker, is to scan the items, put them in the bag, smile, be nice, and say come again. You don’t have to get to know every single person that goes through your line.

Then he asks if I want my diapers in a bag. Yes. Geesh! Let me outta here! It should not take this long to check out. Shut up. 

Think I’m getting my diapers at the other store next time. I can’t imagine what he will ask for some of my other purchases.

Do you need some Midol for that pms?

Do you have any crazy cash register stories to tell? Please! Leave them in the comments. I need a good laugh!


Wake Up! Let’s Go to the Park.

Before I was even all the way awake this morning I was thinking of a way to get out of the house and procrastinate some chores.

Who else might possibly be awake this early with kids? So I texted Brandi, my partner in crime with things to do with the kids.

Me: Wake up! What are u doing today? I got a shit load of laundry and haven’t showered yet, but I think I’m gonna throw my hair in a pony tail and put on some clothes and take the kids to the park. Wanna go? Supposed to rain later. So we gotta hurry.

Brandi: Ur text just woke me up.

Me: Haha! Wake up. It’s nice out and prob not for long!

Me: I’m just jealous I can’t ever sleep in past 8.

Brandi: I don’t have any kids here. lol.

Me: How that happen?! Lucky!!

Brandi: I made it happen. lol.

Me: Can I borrow your magic wand for next weekend?

Brandi: My magic wand was a birthday party and my dad. lol.

Me: 😀

Me: So does that mean u don’t want to go to the park? haha

Brandi: Yes!

I would have loved some other adult company, but the kids and I made it anyway. It wasn’t too cold, considering that it is November in the midwest. But it was windy. We had a great time. I let them run loose and wild. AND I knew that they would take a good nap when we got home and I could probably get some “chores” done.


Sometimes you just gotta get up and go. Forget the weather forecast.  Forget the makeup. I can wash my hair later. With all these kids, if we don’t just go….we will never make it out the door. And I just wanted to get out before it rained on us. What a great morning! Love the spontaneity of it all. Those are usually the best times. 


I’m Not Too Old for Twilight

The trailer for the new Twilight movie came on. I was mesmerized. “The epic finale that will live forever.” I cannot wait!

“I am so there!” I told Brad, who has not watched a single one of the movies with me and could probably care less. I also vaguely remember him nagging me several years ago because when I was reading the series I just couldn’t put it down. “You always have that damn book in your face.”

When I finally unglued myself from the tv I said, “It looks so good. And it’s the last one! I am going!”

“How old are you?” he asked, sarcasm dripping from his voice.

“What is that supposed to mean?” I asked, slightly offended.

“Well, it’s not like you’re 13. You’re 35, 36? It’s just a movie. Aren’t you a little too old for that?”

“Really?!” I asked him, exasperated. “Aren’t you a little too old for those movies you watch with the super heroes in capes?”

It was silent. Both of our wheels spinning.

He grinned. His dimples deepened. I could tell he didn’t want to say anymore, but he admitted it anyway.

Guess there’s not that much of a difference!

Are you ready for some more Edward Cullen? I am!!!