Six years ago.

Let's go back to 2005 a minute, shall we? I had been living in Arizona only a few short months. And I had my eye on this certain someone. I thought he was charming. And intelligent. And confident. And handsome. My roommate kept telling me I should ask him out. No way, I replied again and again. If he's interested he will ask me out. After a few weeks I decided never mind, I would ask him out. Or at least ask him for his phone number. Roommate and I rehearsed it over and over. What I would say. How I would say it. And then the moment came. I went to class and he wasn't there. The only day he was absent the entire school year.  Figures. But then the next week he was there again. And after class he said - "Ya know, the other day I was going to ask you to go to the Easter pageant with me a few of my friends." To which I quickly replied, "Really?! *trying to suppress high pitched squealing* Well... uh.. yeah that would have been fun! Maybe.. we could.. ya know... do something else sometime?" And he coolly said, "Yeah that'd be cool."  "So we should like, exchange numbers."  "Yeah totally." Remove cell phones from pocket. "So what's your number?" Caught up in my excited nervous frenzy I give Aaron my parents land line number. After he entered it I realized it. "Oh wait! That's the wrong number. My number is...." And Aaron began to think I was giving him a fake number. I got his number. I called roommate on the way home with my good news.  I arrived home to her and her boyfriend at the door demanding that I call him. They would not let me watch my favorite show at the time until I called him and invited him on a date THAT night. It was their only night off work for another week. I was way to embarrassed to call him that soon. But the pressure was too much. I called him. Hours after getting his number. 

There's more to the story, that's really quite embarrassing (as if the rest of this story wasn't embarrassing enough...) so I'll spare you those details (like the title of that tv show I so desperately wanted to watch, I broke every rule in First Dates 101). That night was 6 years ago today. And it was the start of something wonderful


Swag bucks

So I signed up for swagbucks probably two months ago. I'm not very hardcore about it. But I do use it every day. So far I've "won" $10 in Amazon gift cards.

I thought I'd do a little post about Swagbucks... and if any of you lovely readers wanted to sign up, well by all means feel free to use this link. http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/MesaMommy

So swagbucks is a search engine. It's not that great of a search engine for complex things like, "Why does my 16 month old keep making dinosaur noises?". But it works great for searching for any website you frequent. What I do is, before any website I go to, I first go to swagbucks and then type in "facebook" or whatever website I want to go to. Then I click the link from swagbucks and it takes me to my page.

I have found I usually win once in the morning and then again in the afternoon, and possibly again in the evening. I've never won more than 3 times in one day.

When I first signed up I tried doing surveys, and all that other stuff. But mostly I just do the search. Sometimes I will just search for nonsense in a hope to get swagbucks. Ya know in my free time.

There are also Swag codes. I have never gotten bucks from those. They are usually hidden in some random websites and takes too much time for too little bucks. There are also videos you can watch for 2 sb. And there games you can play that randomly award sb. There are also a lot of offer things - like if you buy a groupon, but do it through swagbucks you can earn a lot that way. I've also never done that.

And then there is the referral program. I have no clue how it works since I have no referrals. Well I have 2, but I haven't earned any swagbucks from them. My understanding is if you use that link to sign up, I earn points for every point you earn.

So I guess this wasn't really very informative about Swagbucks, and more of just a plea for you to sign up. My plan is to save up Amazon gift cards all year and then use it to pay for Christmas presents. Good idea, huh? Maybe you want to do it too?


Stole from Mel.

So I was reading my blogging friend Mel's blog and I loved this list she had.

1. Do something for someone else.
2. Do something for myself.
3. Do something I don't want to do that needs doing.
4. Do a physical exercise.
5. Do a mental exercise.
6. Do an original prayer that always includes counting my blessings.

I think this is something I could live by. The two things that will be the biggest challenge for me are doing something I don't want to do that needs doing, and physical exercise.  The other things come pretty easily for me. Anyway I thought this was great and wanted to share. I'll try to do an update post in a few weeks and let ya know how it's going.

Maybe I'm doing better than I thought...

(Please ignore my ever-changing banner... I'm working on it.)

I think I am probably the most patient mother. Even to a fault. I let my kids get away with way too much. It's something I'm constantly trying to be better at. Kids need boundaries, right? Usually my boundaries are - as long as you're not hurting someone you're fine. Climb on the couch, sure. Playdough in the living room, why not? I'm way too relaxed about these things. So today I asked Olivia and Abigail to clean up their room. This is the first time I've ever really made Olivia do a big job like that, so you can imagine my surprise when they hopped right to it. I was straightening up my room, and I took a break and stood in their doorway to check on them. Abigail was behind Olivia undoing everything she did. And then laughed her head off. Olivia turned to her and said,

"Abigail! Stop it! If we don't clean this room right MOM IS GOING TO KILL US!"



So sometimes Olivia hears a word, and then makes a connection in her mind to what that word means. I can't think of another example right now, but it's happened a few times and it's usually hilarious.

Today she was playing with Abigail and pretending she was cop. She'd yell "Stop!" and throw a tissue at Abigail, saying she was giving her a ticket. Then she asked me to pretend I was speeding in a car. Since this required no moving from my comfy spot on the couch I agreed. I pretended to be upset I was getting "pulled over". I asked her if I was going to have to go to jail. She said, "Nope, I'm just going to sit here with you until my badge-er gets here."

When I asked her what a badger was she went on and on with this long story that had nothing to do with answering the question about what a badger is. But my question was answered when Abigail toddled into the room and Olivia exclaimed, "There! My badger! He's taking you to jail!"


Olivia says...

"Mom, can I be in charge at the museum? So if I see anyone being bad I can bust them?"
"The hardest part about being a kid is... being a kid." 
"Yuck, these eggs taste so irritating." 
"If I drink my apple juice, will my boobies get big? No? What can I drink to make my boobies get bigger?"
I don't think any of this would be as funny if it wasn't for the fact that this child just turned 3! THREE!


A poop post

When Olivia was the age Abigail is now - I was ready to potty train her. In fact I'm pretty sure she was basically potty trained at this age. At least with pooping. I remember my goal was that I wanted her completely trained by Nursery (which she started at 18months). Abigail has been coming to me with a diaper when she's poopie. I'm thinking she might be ready. But I'm SO not. At all. But this morning she was crying to sit on the little potty. I have this fear that if I don't encourage it now it will be a nightmare when I am ready. So I took her diaper off and let her go bare bottom and see what happens.

She pooped on the floor. Right in front of me. If I wasn't so busy reading I would have realized it. I was a much less lazy mom when I just Olivia. She started tapping on my magazine, and yelling. I looked up and saw it. Poop. Awesome. Get her cleaned up. Get it cleaned up. And give up and put a diaper on her. Meanwhile, Olivia is just completely disturbed by this. She has been lecturing Abigail for the last 10 minutes about pooping on the potty. And she made Abigail a "chart" that says "No pooping on the floor". I can tell that's what it is because she brought me a piece of printer paper with circles drawn on it and told me, "Mom, I made Abigail this chart. It says NO POOPING ON THE FLOOR. Ever again!" It cracked me up and made me proud all at once. Maybe I'm onto something here though. Maybe I can leave the potty training entirely up to Olivia....


So this one time I thought I'd never be able to get pregnant. I really, truly lost all hope. And I bawled my eyes out. I told Aaron that he didn't realize how serious this was. That I really felt like my only purpose in life was to become a mother, and if I could not be a mother then, well, I felt like I had no purpose. And then I cried some more. I remember the look in Aaron's eyes as I said this. It was a cross of this unconditional love, and a fear that he might have to commit me to a mental hospital. I've seen that look a few times since, come to think of it. Anyway, my point is - I really, really, really really wanted to be a mom. Like forever. And now I am.  Sometimes I totally take it for granted. I forget that empty feeling. I get lost in the exhaustion, and refereeing that has become my every day. I need to remind myself sometimes, that yes it is hard. It is so hard. But my life has never felt more complete. My joy has never been more full. Have I sacrificed a lot? Yeah, probably (mostly sleep). Do I ever wish I could take it back? Never. And that's my beef with that stupid commercial. Motherhood is so much more fulfilling than fancy houses, vacations, and even degrees. Those things are nice and important, but to me, motherhood is the greatest gift I have been given. And it might mean a change of plans, but certainly not an end. I hope some day we'll have a fancy house, and go on a nice vacation, but right now I'm thrilled to be playing with my babies in our little apartment.

 Just like I always wanted.


This commercial angers me.

Okay seriously!! In case you don't have one minute fifteen seconds to spare, or if you haven't seen it on TV let me summarize for you. Women walking around this imaginary store looking at their dreams. A handsome guy, a beautiful house and car, a degree etc. Each time they start to grab their dream item, someone (representing pregnancy) comes and snatches it away. What are they implying??!? And then when the stork is chasing that lady and she turns her head and pushes it away and shakes her head no - I hate that part. Seriously.

Okay first let me clarify. I am in no way against any form of birth control. Please - if you don't want a baby use some kind of birth control. That's cool. But now that I've gotten that disclaimer out of the way, SERIOUSLY!! It angers and saddens me that they are telling women they can't have a career and a baby. Or an education and a baby. Basically this commercial makes me feel like having a baby will destroy all your dreams. I literally change the channel any time it comes on.

Am I alone in my seething hatred for this commercial?


Kodak Gallery

So if you have a Kodak Gallery account I think you can view these photos.


Otherwise, sorry. They are the only pictures I have of Olivia's birthday party. I totally slacked with charging my camera. My mom reminded me later I should have gotten a picture with all the kids. I totally should have. I'm kicking myself now. Oh well.

Right now Aaron is out with the kids - scratch that - Aaron just returned with the kids. Wow that went way too fast! He took the kids to the store and I guess I spent too much of my free time on facebook and loading the dishwasher. Because times up already.

It's been a good week. I can't really remember too many details but it's been good. Well time to make the donuts... or the dinner in this case...


So I'm really not feeling well. I don't have a fever - I don't think - but my throat hurts, my nose is a bit congested, and I just feel WIPED out. No fun. I hate feeling like this, because I don't feel like I'm really sick, and I should just suck it up and do what needs to be done. But all I want to do is lay on the couch all day and let my kids run a muck. And deal with it when I feel better. The kids woke up before 6:00am today. That doesn't help. So Abigail is getting a rare morning nap. Olivia is watching SuperWhy and I'm debating going to a birthday lunch for a friend. I really wish I was sick enough to not feel guilty for feeling like this.

We have been really busy lately. Olivia's birthday party was a blast. We are so grateful for everyone who came. And she definitely got more than spoiled with all of her gifts. We've been having a lot of fun playing with everything.

Yesterday we had fun for St. Patrick's Day. I made green eggs and ham for breakfast. We made a leprechaun trap. And went to a luncheon/play date thingy. It was a lot of fun. The girls were actually really pretty good. I define good by how much the cooperate when I tell them it's time to leave. They were good. And then Olivia could not stop hurting herself all afternoon. Anyone remember that scene in Little Giants when the little kid shows up and his mom has him duct taped in this foam body armor? Yeah, that was seeming like a really good idea after about the third bout of crying. She tripped and fell and cut her lip on the step up into our apartment. She bit her nails too low and made it bleed twice. She cut the side of her finger when writing with sidewalk chalk. She burned herself on the roasting pan minutes after I took it out of the oven. And who knows what else. There were a few more random things in there. Then this morning she walked into the coffee table and started to cry that she hurt her leg. I am honestly contemplating making her sit on the couch on all day. 


We interrupt this blog....

Every blog post I have started this week has been interrupted. It is frustrating. I started a post about Olivia's birthday party and then for the first time all day Aaron wanted to have a real conversation. (Not frustrating, glad he wanted to chat... just why during my blogging time?! I think I may have overreacted and he'll probably never initiate a conversation with me ever again.) Then I couldn't get back into my blogging vibe. I started this post about the Ides of March and Julius Caesar and all this smart sounding (not really) Shakespeare talk and my children keep interrupting. Apparently Sesame Street is only captivating if I'm sitting on the couch watching it with them.

Right now I am letting them eat snow cones with fruits snacks buried inside them. With music playing. And a bubble machine blowing bubbles. And I've still been interrupted 5 times while writing THIS post.

Some day I will let you all know about the party and the ides of March. Maybe in about 15 years.


Olivia says...

"Ah! I'm so embarrassed! Sebastian saw me with no shirt on!!" - Olivia, yes talking about her goldfish.

"Abigail! Stop it! You are IRRITATING!" - Olivia to Abigail in the bathtub, when Abigail probably was in fact being irritating.

"Uhm.. Mom? I think somebody put a commercial in this book." - Olivia, while I was reading her a book from the library about St. Patrick's Day. Apparently anything boring qualifies as a commercial.

Did she really just turn 3 a few days ago?


Emotions of a Mommy on first child's birthday

I think every time your first born has birthday there is that feeling of - "I can't believe I have a(n) [fill in age here]!!!"  For me today, can't believe I have a three year old. 3 years!! That used to seem like such a long time. I mean high school was only 4 years. Now it's a blink of an eye.

I can literally remember like it was yesterday, feeling like Olivia would never be 4 months. Ever. I read on some Le Leche League message boards that 4 months was some magical nursing number, and by 4 months almost all babies had figured things out. I told myself, if I made it 4 months and things were still the way they were, then I would quit. I don't remember when things got better with nursing, but by 4 months things were definitely  much better. That first year of her life was pretty difficult. She pretty much always had a cold. She didn't nap. And I nursed her to sleep every night for that first year. Getting her to bed was an hour long production and took its toll on me. Oh and I found out I was pregnant before her first birthday. Fun stuff. So her second year was shadowed by pregnancy and the arrival of her sister. And truthfully life is a blur from the moment I had Abigail. There are of course moments that stand out, but overall, in general, I can't recall much.

 I had a moment yesterday at her dance class where I teared up looking at her. She was trying so hard to listen and please me. She's the youngest in her class, and in this fleeting moment she looked like such a BABY. Her little face smiled at me, and gave me a thumbs up after she jumped over a mat. And I guess seeing her next to all these older girls, and not her 16 month old sister, she just seemed so little. I literally went back in my mind to when she was 4 months. Finally that magical 4 months I never thought we'd get to. And now here we are on her third birthday. I am so proud of the little person she is. I am hoping 3 brings more obedience. Maybe stop pushing the limits so much. I already know it means she's no longer free at most buffets and Disneyland. She will likely start preschool this year. She is so amazingly brilliant and funny and beautiful, and caring.

We got her a goldfish for her birthday. She named him Sebastian. Totally unprompted that's what she came up with. And she loves him. I hope he lasts at least a few months.



A friend posted a quote on my Facebook Wall. “A two-year old is kind of like having a blender, but you don't have a top for it.” - Jerry Seinfeld.

She then asked for me to "please tell her it wasn't true lol". I know this friend is a faithful reader of my blog, so it made me realize I must not post nearly enough about the messes I deal with every day. This post is for you, Laura ;)

Today the kids were taking a bath and having a "tea party" while I sat and played with them. Our laundry room is right outside the bathroom so while they were happily playing I decided to switch out the laundry. I came back into the room and the entire roll of toilet paper was in pieces in the bathtub. Have you ever tried getting little bits of sopping wet toilet paper off two toddlers? That was nothing compared to the tub. It was like a Papier-mâché nightmare. 

While I was cleaning that Olivia was dumping her cup of orange juice into her bowl of pretzels, creating a sticky, salty bowl of messiness.

While we were eating lunch Abigail reached a tube of acrylic paint I didn't realize I had left on the kitchen table. She bit into it. And white acrylic paint was every where.

Yesterday Olivia and Abigail filled up bags with clothes and socks. Then brought them downstairs and made "the biggest mess ever!". That was Olivia's intention. To create the biggest mess ever. She also got to learn how to clean the biggest mess ever. (Fortunately putting clothes back has become one of the easiest messes I deal with every day.)

As I type this Olivia is spreading out all the cards for Candyland all over the living room. I should stop her, but I'm enjoying blogging time too much.

We made playdough two days ago. I am still finding it in random places throughout the house. Not to mention the mess that was created while we made it.

Two days ago Abigail got a box of angel hair pasta out of the spinny cupboard that's impossible to baby proof. She dumped the entire box onto the floor. Not in one place. Scattered about through the kitchen and living room. And stomped on it. Tiny pieces of dry angel hair pasta is about as annoying to clean up as easter grass.

Yesterday while I was getting Olivia dressed in her room, Abigail found her way into the bathroom. She had a little toy bucket she put into the toilet. She got toilet water all over the bathroom.

.........and I think I'll stop there. Because as I write each of these I realize what I could have done to prevent almost all of them. I think that's why I never post things like this. The truth I really don't mind messes. We have fun, and messes can always be cleaned up.



Some things I need to get off my chest.

Some nights I "clean up" dinner by putting away anything perishable that was left out, and leave a sink full of dirty dishes. And I don't even wipe down the table or anything until the next morning. (What is the alive form of "rolling over in your grave"?  That's what Nanny would do if she ever saw how I left my kitchen tonight.)

Aaron and I purchased a funky looking copper pot type thing at Goodwill because it was cool looking and $4. It has all these weird pieces and a hole in the top... we have no clue what it is. Neither did the people at Goodwill. But we now have it sitting on our kitchen table. (I like to imagine bringing it somewhere to find out what it is and have them tell me it's rare, valuable ancient kitchen device that's worth like $10,000.)

I am addicted to taking pregnancy tests. My cycle is so irregular that I always think I'm late. And there is just such a thrill associated with peeing on a stick.

I recently found The Office on Netflix and have watched at least 3 episodes a day since I made that discovery. (Some days more like 6... maybe even 7....)

And I'm afraid I invited too many/didn't invite enough people to Olivia's birthday. I don't like anyone to feel left out. And then I didn't really know what to limit to. Quite a few people confirmed today they are coming. I have never thrown a 3 year old birthday party before and blogs like this make me totally insane and think I can't do enough. I wish I had unlimited fundage and a party planner. But then I remember she's THREE and it doesn't really matter. But it still matters. For me. It is all about me, right?

I think everything is about me. (Okay not really but it seemed like a good way to end this post.)


Wishes never come true...

So there's been a lot of birthday talk around here lately. I told Olivia when she blew out her candles she'd have to make a wish. And then whisper it in my ear so it could come true. And she replied in her littlest, saddest voice, "No I won't tell you. Because wishes never come true in our house." Coming from the child who has a playroom full of more toys she could ever play with, 2 tricycles, a pillowpet she wished for for weeks... from the child who has been to DISNEYLAND like 5 times. Good grief. I just laughed. And then asked her what she has been wishing for and she said, "A donkey."



Just in case you didn't know... today's Friday. And not that it much matters when you're a mom, and your husband is in school and still has to study on weekends... it really doesn't mean much. But still. When I was awoken by cries at 5:54am my first thought was -- it's Friday! And I smiled. And then Aaron surprised me by rolling out of bed and going to Abigail. (I was surprised again when she went back to sleep until 7:15. He must have the magic touch.) And then just as I was lulled back into sleep by the wind howling outside my window, I hear the pitter-patter of little feet enter the bedroom. I scooped Olivia up and cuddled with her next to me. Sometimes she falls back to sleep. No such luck this time. But we cuddled for a good half hour. And I was allowed to just lay there and think. I have often told people, "Olivia was never a baby!". She was crawling at 4 months. She was walking around 8 months. I can't remember exactly when she started talking - but I can barely remember a time when she couldn't. But this morning as she laid there curled up in my arms, holding my hand I realized what a baby she still is. Her hands felt so tiny in mine. I thought of what a sweet spirit she has, and I just loved that moment. Laying there with my baby before the sun came up. And then she told me a story. "Once upon a time there was a baby chick. Who couldn't find her family. And then a cow came and said 'I'll help you find your family.' And then the cow found another chick...aaaaaand.... IT WAS THE BABY CHICK'S FAMILY! The end."  She's something. I tell ya. And I can't believe she's turning 3 in A WEEK!!!


Twice in one day!

This entire day was just so nice. I want to make a schedule to make more days go like today. I did a bunch of things with my kids rather than tried to distract them so I could do something else. Usually I find I get frustrated with them and them with me, when I am trying to do something else and distract them with other things. Today I tried not to worry about doing other things. I did do quite a bit of laundry, so I still feel accomplished, but when I was with my kids I was engaging them in different activities? Is it terrible that this a new concept for me? 

My favorite thing we did today was put on this CD that my mother-in-law gave Aaron for Father's Day last year. It's songs he used to listen to on a tape as a kid. They are such fun songs. Anyway we danced for almost 20 minutes straight. We had a blast.

Then we bundled up and went for a walk outside. That lasted 30 minutes until they both fell into a huge puddle of melted snow. Which was actually 20 minutes longer than I thought it would last.

Abigail took a 3 hour nap. Olivia watched a movie for "quiet time" in the playroom while I folded laundry upstairs and watched The Office on Netflix. Which just dawned on me that while we live with my grandmother for 6 weeks this summer we will not have internet. AAHHH! No Netflix. No blogging. I am going to diiiiiiiiiiiieeeeee. I know I will probably spend a lot of time at my mom's and can use her internet but it's not the same. I love blogging laying on my couch. Have I mentioned that already, blog? For about 6 weeks this summer we'll be living with Nanny. Aaron has an internship thingy at a hospital by their house. Nanny boot camp, it will be. I plan on learning all I can from her during that time. Maybe some of her extreme non laziness will rub off on me. I am actually so so SO excited for this summer. 6 weeks at the Jersey Shore. Oh boy. It will be great. I can not wait. srsly.

Anyway so yeah. Today was awesome. I feel the winter blues lifting. And I learned an important lesson - my kids are really great when I'm not trying to ignore them. 

Best morning in a long time

Today both girls didn't wake up until 7:30. Bliss!! They woke up when they were good and ready and what a difference that makes. They were so happy. I got up before them and started to make myself breakfast.Of course as soon as I did that they woke up. So we all made breakfast together. And then read stories. And then played hide-and-seek. And then watched The Cat In The Hat. It's only 9:00, but I feel like it's going to be a great day.

To contrast for you - normally they wake up while it's still dark. And wake me up. And so they climb into bed with me and climb all over me until I sleepily bring them downstairs and plop them in front of the tv while I slowly wake up. They watch a good hour of tv before the sun even comes up. And I feel guilty about it all day. And they're usually grumpy because they are tired.

This is just such a nice change. Plus it's MARCH. And the sun in shining. And I saw a little red robin yesterday. C'mon Spring!!