Thursday, September 15, 2011

Keeping up with The Joneses

You've lived there.  You know, next to "The Joneses."  The place where you are always trying to keep up with them and in some cases compete and surpass them.  I've lived there.  No, really, right next to them, our neighbors were actually Mr. and Mrs. Jones.  And we kept up with them.  Then we moved. 

The thing about "keeping up with the Joneses" is such a waste of time.  I've been there, I know.  The grass is always greener and your life will always be better and you will always be happier "if only we had...."  That is a bunch of hogwash (insert worse word here).  We had the hand-scraped hardwood floors, stainless steel kitchen with the granite counter tops, fabulous staircase, study with bookshelves, fancy dining room, valuted ceilings, outdoor fireplace, and more square footage than we actually lived in.  No kidding, I lived there.  The fact is though is that it did not make me happy.  I thought that once we moved into that house I would never again utter the words "wouldn't we be happier if we had....."  Truth is, things don't make you happy, people make you happy.  That house cost more and my kids still spilled apple juice on the hand-scraped hardwood floors just like they did on the other floors in our other house.  The granite counter tops got sticky just like the laminate countertops at our other house.  The kids still made a mess of their bedrooms just like they did at our other house (only this time I had to climb a fleet of stairs to clean them).  You know what wasn't just like our other house?  How much longer it took me to clean that square footage that we couldn't live without and the amount of money that it took to heat and cool the rooms with the vaulted ceilings.

That was then, this is now.  Like I said, we moved.  This time we got a more "sensible" more our style.  We don't have hardwood floors, we have carpet (even though when it is time to replace the carpet my husband is pushing for hardwood floors), our counters aren't granite and our appliances are white.  There is no fabulous staircase, it is all on one floor (so yes, I have gained 5 pounds because I'm not doing stairs a hundred times a day anymore).  I can stand on a stool and touch the ceiling (this fact alone dropped our electric bill $200).  You know what else?  We are a happier family because of it.  We love our house, we love our life, and we love each other.  There is no more "keeping up with the Joneses," we keep up with ourselves (this is a big enough chore with all of the extra-curricular activities).
Madison watching tv....I think it was "The Fresh Beat Band" (notice her complete pause and awe of what she was viewing)

Audri and Tim: Pelican Cove

Molli and Morgan: Pelican Cove

Madison eating her morning Cheerios (maybe it was lunch or supper, she eats Cheerios all day)

Maddie the dog...once again proving she has a hard life.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Designer Jeans and Honesty

I saw a woman in the Wal-Mart parking lot the other day that was getting a stroller out of her van. I commented to her that she must be a mom too (at the time I was getting Madison out of her car seat). She laughed and said yeah, she had four girls with the oldest being 9. This woman then went on to say that she was lucky if she got a shower three times a week (note: she was wearing gym shorts, T-shirt, ponytail, and a visor....I was too, just in different colors). She was honest. I don't think most women are honest about it. Some are, I am. I don't have a job (one that pays me anyway, although I'm waiting for the someone to pay me my $100,000 since the national survey says that stay-at-home moms deserve this salary...check still hasn't come but I keep holding out hope) and I find myself with no time to take a shower every morning and get decked out in my designer jeans. I don't even think I could find my designer jeans in my closet if I wanted to, I'm sure they are in there under all of the stuffed animals that are waiting for their "stitches" and the clothes that need ironing. I'm also sure that they will still fit, never mind that I wear elastic-waisted shorts seven days a week so my view of my "size" is probably not the same as the size reflected on the tag in my designer jeans. I've always wondered how (and really why??) stay-at-home moms get up early, get their showers, put on their make-up, do their hair, get dressed in the latest trend to take their kids to school and then go home to have the baby spit up on them or finger paint smeared on the legs of their designer jeans or the bleach to dribble down the ruffled shirt or twist their ankle cooking in the kitchen while wearing the latest wedge sandal. These people exist, I have met them. Or I have met what they want people to believe they are. I am not this person, I am not like these people; nor do I want to be. I get up, hair goes in a ponytail, gym shorts and a t-shirt are my wardrobe, and flip flops are on my feet. If I have to go out in public, my red visor is on my head (even if my shirt is pink, I still wear the red visor). There are exceptions such as doctor appointments (which the kids go to every week it seems and I always get spit up on or a snotty nose wiped on my shirt because they can't stop crying due to the fact that their finger got pricked; which means the blood from the finger is on the back of my shirt where the kid is holding on for dear life while wiping their snotty nose on the front of my shirt) and trips to the school. But for the most part I only get to take a shower around midnight when everyone is asleep. I'm not complaining because I wouldn't want my life to be any other way.  

This past week was the beginning of the school year. Morgan started 3rd grade and Molli started kindergarten. Madison has been sick all week which has made the week that much more stressful. I haven't slept in a week. I haven't slept more than four hours a night in a week (and these are not four consecutive hours). So if you see me in my gym shorts, t-shirt, and visor, don't look at me as if I could have dressed better because for the love of God, there is no way that I could have had the energy to pretend that I care how I am dressed.
Morgan's 8th birthday (Morgan and Molli)

Morgan and Molli at the Bernice Pool

Madison, Morgan and Molli

Madison's 1st birthday

Morgan: first day of 3rd grade

Molli: first day of kindergarten

Morgan and Molli

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pictures and Not Much Else

Let's has been one month and 18 days since I last posted.  Really, I can't believe that much time has passed.  Not much has changed, Tim's car probably needs to go to the shop, my house is still a mess, and I am still eating candy in the closet.  Madison had tubes in February, Molli had tubes in March, Tim had an appendectomy in the rate we are going, we are averaging a surgery a month...let's hope that the trend stops soon since May is approaching.  Which also means that school is ending soon....thank God.  I don't know who is more ready for summer, the kids or me (I think more car pool lines!).  I have to go do laundry so I am going to post some pictures and write more later.

The 3 Goofballs: Molli, Morgan, and Madison

The lazy pets: Samantha (cat) & Maddie (dog)

Morgan & Molli dying Easter Eggs

The Easter Loot

Morgan & Molli anxiously waiting to see what the Easter Bunny brought.

Madison wanted Tim's glasses more than the bunny.


Molli and Morgan reading the letter the Easter Bunny left them.

Morgan and Molli

Morgan, Madison, and Molli

Morgan, Madison, and Molli

Morgan and Molli



Morgan, Madison, & Molli.  Madison was attacking Molli's dress....she wanted the red bow.

Morgan, Madison, and Molli

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Hiding out in my closet...

My den looks like a toy store exploded in it.  My kitchen looks like, well, let’s just say the dishes need to be done.  My laundry is piled to the ceiling.  Madison hasn’t slept in three nights (neither have I).  Molli got tubes in her ears yesterday.  Madison went to the doctor this morning (she has a sinus infection).  Morgan’s stomach hurts.  Tim has a sore throat.  And I just sat on the floor in my closet (with the door closed and the bathroom door closed and the bedroom door closed) and ate a cookies and cream ice cream bar (at least it was Weight Watchers) with 3 closed doors between me and the world……And then I opened all three doors (mainly because one was being banged on) to rejoin the world of the messy house and whining kids.  At the mere mention of the fact that I might not feel well sends my kids into a panic attack.  They immediately start asking who is going to take care of them and cook supper (why the name “Daddy” doesn’t pop into their heads, I have no idea).  It’s amazing, I can look around the house and think I am not doing a good job of anything really, but they think I’m Super Mom.  Strange how different our perspectives are.

Tim’s car is back in the shop (seriously, I’m not kidding) for the fourth time.  This time his wiper blade wasn’t working.  For those of you who own an American car, that thought may not phase you.  For those of you who own a foreign car with tons of stupid sensors and motors for things that should be simple and straightforward, you can probably commiserate with me on the amount that this piece that is making the wiper blade work incorrectly costs.  I’ve renamed his car, it is no longer named Zoe, it’s MP (money pit). 

Madison feigned interest in sitting up this morning.  After 10 minutes of it, she won’t do it again.  At least I have the pictures to prove that she did it.  Maybe she can fit this into her schedule again tomorrow. 

Molli got tubes in her ears yesterday.  This was the second time (the first time was when she was a baby).  The main difference is between a baby getting tubes and a 5-year-old:  babies cry afterwards, big kids are drunk afterwards.  It did give me some perspective on why the babies cry, though.  Apparently they feel drunk and confused.   It was actually somewhat amusing to listen to Molli talk.  Every time she made a sentence she would follow it with “but I don’t know what I mean.”  To be honest, I had no clue either; nothing she was saying was making any sense.

Morgan says that her class gives her a headache because they talk too much.  She is the only one this year that has not gotten in trouble for talking during class.  I often wonder how any child of mine can achieve that.  I remember my “conduct grade” from elementary school; let’s just say it wasn’t good because I couldn’t keep my mouth shut.  It’s amazing that my kids can, go figure.

Now I am off to wave my magic wand to make my house clean….

Madison sitting up

Madison still sitting up

Madison is beginning to get tired....

....and she got tired.

Molli shopping at Toys R Us

Molli playing with Madison


Molli and Madison

Morgan and Molli drinking their "coffee" (mostly milk and sugar with a tiny bit of coffee)

Morgan and Molli


Molli and Morgan watching a movie in Morgan's room


Madison....back at the doctor's office

Molli at the doctor's office

Morgan and "Cha Cha"

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The thinks we think...

"These people need to learn how to drive!"  That was not said by me, that was said by Molli, the 5-year-old in the back seat.  She said this while we were driving home from school today because I was mumbling something about how I got cut off in traffic.  Oops, I wonder what else she has heard in the car while Tim or I are driving?  When Morgan made the comment, "They  need to get better crossing guards, this one sucks!" on the way to school this morning (Tim usually takes her to school), I realized that maybe our kids listen to us when we think they aren't.  I need to make a mental note to check what I say before it comes out of my mouth before my kids tell someone something I said about them.  I know this sounds bad, I try to be a good role model, but people in cars make me mad.  They really don't know how to drive.  And the cashiers at the grocery stores are not friendly.  And the baggers at the grocery store are clueless (I mean, really, who doesn't have the common sense to not throw the canned food on top of the bread??).  And the people who work at the drive-thru don't ever get the order right.  However, that being said, maybe I shouldn't say things in front of my kids that I wouldn't want them to repeat in front of others.  We'll see how that goes, I will add that to the list of things to do.  After all, I am sure that at some point, somewhere there are good drivers on the road other than me, friendly cashiers, conscientious baggers, and smart drive-thru workers.  If y'all find them, let me know.

So today was Dr. Seuss's birthday.  Molli wanted to know if that meant we had a doctor's appointment.  When I said no, she wanted to know how she was supposed to tell him happy birthday.  Oh the thinks that kid thinks (I'm hoping you got the Dr. Seuss reference there).  Because today was being celebrated at Morgan's school, I had to make cupcakes.  Unfortunately I only had to take 6 cupcakes to round out the people that had already volunteered.  Which means that there were 18 cupcakes to be left at home.  Believe it or not, I didn't want to eat those 18 cupcakes so I took them to Molli's school so that her class would eat them.  I came home and had a piece of the chocolate pie that I made last night.  But at least I didn't eat 18 cupcakes.

Morgan and Molli got haircuts today.  Molli got a little trim, but Morgan got three inches cut off her hair.  She has been walking around like a runway model.  She said that she hoped that her Daddy would recognize her because she looked so different (good news, he did).

We are having company for dinner (in about an hour) so I guess I had better go clean the kitchen, bathe the kids, feed the kids, take a shower, and cook dinner.....let's hope I can get that done in the next 58 minutes....

"One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish" cupcakes

Molli going to school

Morgan and Molli.  Morgan was reading Molli a "good night" book.


Morgan and Molli playing in Molli's room.

Molli being Molli

Sweet sisters

Morgan's new haircut:  3 inches cut off!

Molli - I wouldn't let her have another cupcake.