The Popcorn Shirt.

If you measure a holiday by gifts and flowers, then 2015 will go down as the okayest Valentine’s Day yet.

Robbie didn’t get me anything. No flowers, no card. I kind of pitched a fit at the end of the day and he managed to pull it together, but overall our day was really simple. This is fine with me — shhh, don’t tell my husband — because honestly I don’t recall last Valentine’s Day or any other ones before that. My life is essentially becoming one big blur.

However, I’ll remember this Valentine’s Day because it was the day that all 5 members of our household tried on the popcorn shirt and my husband let me take a picture of him in it to atone for his lack of romanticism on the Most Romantic Day of The Year.

What’s a popcorn shirt?

WELL. It’s a magical shirt that is elf-sized, but will stretch to fit almost anyone. My father-in-law won it in some kind of raffle and gave it to my mother-in-law, who in turn gave it to me. The extent of the shirt’s capabilities is impressive, and I’m not easily impressed.

So here’s how we spent the evening portion of our Valentine’s Day:

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Behold.

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Popcorn shirt on a 20-month-old.

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Popcorn shirt on a 3.5-year-old.

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Popcorn shirt on a 6.5-year-old.

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Popcorn shirt on an average-sized female.

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Popcorn shirt on a big-and-tall male.

This shirt will literally fit ANYONE. I have decided that I need a whole slew of teensy, stretchy articles of clothing that I can cram into a “go bag.” Isn’t that what the con artists and CIA people call them? Except mine would just be packed for a super-last-minute girl’s trip, and I could share my clothes with all my friends and people on the street.

Because they would fit.

Is everyone else having sex right now?!

DAMMIT.

Black Santa.

Today, Robbie and I put our marriage on the line and brought a live tree into our house and put stuff on it.

10635993_1558811224354024_4394608826743847270_nJust like everything else, accomplishing this with three kids running and screaming and undoing everything right after you JUST DID IT was pretty freaking miserable. I know I’m not supposed to say that, and we did take cute pictures of the kids to post to social media so everyone could see how much we’re rocking Christmas … but … wow.

Yeah.

However, all of that stress melted away when I found my Most Favorite Ornament Ever. One of the kids ripped the lid off a plastic tub, and I was in the middle of yelling “FOR THE LOVE, STOP STEPPING ON THE LIGHTS!!!!” and there it was. My black Santa.

Me and Santa, 2014.

Me and Santa, 2014.

If you’re a long-time reader of this blog, you should recognize it. For a refresher, read the short background story.

This is the ornament no one can touch because it’s my favorite. Yes, oldest child, you can play with the plaster hand print we made when you were tiny. But don’t you dare touch Black Santa.

This thing brings me infinite, indescribable joy. I couldn’t ask for a better conversation piece of holiday decor.

Always Original.

It has been FAR too long since I’ve done a “Things That Make Me Happy” post. Today’s the day to make that right.

I finally have a daughter to dress however I want, but because I’m always short on time (and money) she normally ends up wearing stuff from Target. Which is fine. But … you know. It’s not fab. So, when an old friend contacted me and asked if I would be interested in putting her clothes on Pepper, I said YES. PLEASE HELP US.

Elly Belly Style by Melissa is couture clothing for children. Note: I just looked up the definition of “couture” to make sure I was using it correctly, because this is unfamiliar territory. I’m a T.J. Maxx-er and a bargain hunter, and has always mistakenly assumed that “couture” was synonymous with “overpriced, frilly shit.” Now I am more educated and I know that it just means it’s the only one like it out there, and it doesn’t have to be overpriced or frilly. Who knew?! (Not me.)

Melissa asked me to take Pepper’s measurements, and it’s a shame no one has that footage on camera. Have you ever measured a wiggly 16-month-old? I don’t recommend it. It’s hard — way harder than dealing with tights or pigtails. I definitely broke a sweat and stress-ate a bag of M&M’s when we were done.

Based on the info I gave her, she created this adorable Halloween-themed dress and the panel (which is the part with the characters on it, I learned) was created exclusively for Elly Belly customers. The dress is made from organic, European fabrics, and don’t tell Melissa I said this, but when I opened the envelope and pulled out the dress it smelled so good I buried my face in it. Weird? Yes. I don’t get out much, you know.

Wanna see the dress?! Of course you do!

20141017_094116 20141017_094123 20141017_094223 20141017_094445 20141017_094446 20141017_094452 544924_10203299178420066_8006976742753994307_nYes, it says “LET IT GHOOOOOOOOOST!” That made me laugh. Pepper loves playing with the shiny ruffle around the bottom and got upset when I finally took the dress off her.

If you are interested in seeing more amazing creations from Melissa, you can find her on Facebook!

 

Technology, Schmechnology.

I’m one of those people who can’t do math, like, at all. I also do not understand satellites or radio waves. I have just now, after several years of owning a smart phone, begun to understand how to use it for real. As in, how to download an app without help.

I’m seriously challenged when it comes to all things technology. This includes all of our TV sets which I always seem to mash the wrong button on, resulting in a phone call to Robbie where I yell “HOW DO I MAKE THE STUPID TV WORK?!” Because if it’s technological and I can’t seem to operate it, it’s always his fault. I yell and he answers and then I hang up. No goodbye, no thank you for helping. I just. hang. up.

So, a few weeks ago my friend Laure totally revamped my blog.  As you can see, she did an A-M-A-Z-I-N-G job. Every time I look at it, I get a little giddy.

If you have been with me for awhile, I’m sure you recall the weird grandma’s-wallpaper thing I had going on over at Blogger for (ahem) 4 years. If you don’t remember, allow me to jog your memory:

modern mommy madness

Laure kindly suggested once or twice that a redesign might be fun, but I’m sort of always overwhelmed with my life and I had to table that idea until I felt ready to deal with the realities of moving four year’s worth of my writing, photos, and links from Blogger to WordPress. There was also an issue with my domain name, which I can’t say I completely understand, mostly because I am disorganized and never have a complete handle on anything that is going on in my life. I just keep moving forward with the assumption that it will all work out. The signs say CARRY ON and that is what I do. I IGNORE AND CARRY ON.

Anyway, one day I was trying to add a widget to my Blogger blog and it wouldn’t let me and I just … snapped. THIS, I decided, THIS was the day I was moving over to WordPress. So, I did what made sense and Googled, “How do I move my blog from Blogger to WordPress?” Pretty quickly, I realized I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. Robbie was no help — he’s a gadget guy but he doesn’t know the first thing about what I was trying to do. So I texted Laure. Once she figured out what was going down, she probably gasped aloud and said “OH NO! SHE DOESN’T KNOW WHAT THE HELL SHE’S DOING!” But who can say for sure, she lives in Thibodeaux and I live in Baton Rouge.

What I do know is that she immediately offered to help me, and she somehow saved my domain name from being sucked into the black hole of the internet. She took stock of everything she knew about me and created an awesome design that makes me happy just to look at it. I can’t praise her enough; she is amazing. So if you’re like me and need help with your website and don’t know what the hell you’re doing — even after you’ve seen a ton of YouTube videos on how to do this or that — get help.

If I were you, I’d get Laure. You can find her here.

She also has a fun blog about finding local, fresh food and every time I read it I feel both embarrassed about the Totino’s pizzas in my freezer, and inspired to get my butt in gear and make it to the produce stand more often. Baby steps. A girl can only handle so much in a day.

Mother’s Helper.

Type A people are cursed. We always see everything that is still waiting to be done, and it’s exhausting. I’m not a perfectionist. I’m a workhorse. I come from a long line of industrious workhorses. Nothing makes me happier than to do something. But it’s quite tiring, really, and that is why I am sitting in front of the computer right now writing this blog — to avoid the work. 

One day, if things go as planned, I will avoid the work to such a degree that I’ll produce a book. It’s a win-win because I’m not being lazy at all. I’m doing something here … it just happens not to be laundry or dishes.

Without making it sound like I’m crazy or depressed, because I’m neither of those, I need to express that I’ve been deeply struggling over here. Like, from now on when I hear someone say they are “drowning,” I will totally get it. Drowning is the perfect word to describe the constant feeling that serious chaos or danger is RIGHT THERE ABOUT TO HAPPEN, everyone including you is hungry, and you have to pee but you’re scared to leave the room so you just bring them all with you.

I am supposed to be in charge of our family finances. I can’t even tell you what an absurd situation that is. Things (bills? important paperwork?) are piling up and I just arrange them in neat piles so the house looks orderly, because I have to have order, and then I carry on.

THAT is why I got myself a “mother’s helper,” and now I feel hopeful that I’ll at least be able to tread water again instead of drowning. My enthusiasm perhaps rattled her a bit. I wanted to jump up and run around my kitchen yelling “HOT DAMN, I’VE GOT HELP!” but instead I sat in one place in a controlled manner and motor mouthed about how excited I am.

Apparently there is a whole world that is just now opening up to me involving nannies and baby sitters and mother’s helpers. Each title carries a different amount of responsibility and pay grade. I had to do actual research to figure out what was what because I am clueless, and I still am clueless, but I’ll tell you what … I’m clueless with an extra set of hands and right now that is ALL I CARE ABOUT.

I’m not going to drown.

This makes me so happy. 

Things That Make Me Happy.

It’s been entirely too long since I did a Things That Make Me Happy post. I think I’m slipping into an obnoxious mode where all I do is take pictures of my kids, talk about my kids, think about my kids, worry about my kids … you get the picture. Not that my kids aren’t cute and important, but EW. Let’s get over them for awhile. 

I bought these plastic place mats at Target for $1.99 each yesterday. They’re fun and can be wiped clean, and that makes me very, very happy.


Things That Make Me Happy.

Man, it’s been too long since I did a “Things That Make Me Happy” post. Here are a few of the latest things that make me smile.

1. This article from the New Yorker. A friend of mine posted it on Facebook, and I heard myself saying aloud as I read it “FINALLY! Someone wrote something about red shirting that makes sense!”

2. I woke up to find this scene in my living room this morning. They are two snoring peas in a pod.

3. My new shirt.

4.  Sack racing children.


Things That Make Me Happy.

Since I don’t know what kind of chaos will befall my home once #3 arrives tomorrow, I figured I better write one last Things That Make Me Happy post. You know … in case my hormones get all out of whack and I sound very UN-happy for the next few months, and people start e-mailing to see if I’m alright. 

Right now, today, I feel very happy. I’m going to hold onto that feeling and hope that it sticks around.

Flowers from my super-sweet baby shower.

One of the last pictures I’ll ever take like this. Love that Maverick is kissing his sister.
Love their opposite expressions.
This is seriously the cutest cake I’ve ever seen.
I have a whole series of these.

Truthfully, the thing that makes me the most happy is just knowing that tomorrow we will welcome our third and final child into this world and she will be loved, loved, loved.

Things That Make Me Happy.

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a Things That Make Me Happy post, probably because I’ve been too busy bitching about pregnancy, but I’ll make up for it today! I have so many things to share I don’t know where to start.

Here are some things that are making me happy right now:

This cool necklace I picked up in Chicago during my trip.     
New placemats!  
That’s a real, live rabbit there. I have to give ONE’s preschool props for this one … that’s brave. On several counts.
The “grumpy cat” meme on the internet. Husband is way cooler than me because he knew about this first. OMG. So funny.

Tiny shoes.
It’s empty. But still FUNNY.

I got TWO a baby doll that looks like him to help teach him about babies. He loves it, and I can’t stop taking pictures of them.

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And … I’ve saved the best for last. 

I’ve been dealing with a situation at my house for the past week. TWO figured out he was able to climb out of the Pack N’ Play he’s been sleeping in, and all hell broke loose. I tried everything, but he was really fighting his naps. I put a childproof knob on the inside of his bedroom door, but that little Houdini figured out how to break it off and escape, and I was in Mommy Hell.

I’m actually thankful we have him in the Pack N’ Play right now instead of the crib, because that would be a farther fall for him. We knew it was only a matter of time, and totally expected this to happen because he’s such a climber, but I needed a fix. Fast

I was venting to some friends about my problem, and my girlfriend Lila said her friend Laura who has 4 children found a solution and would I like to hear it?

YES. NOW.

Laura, who I don’t know, but I’d hug her if I did, said she put her child in a toddler-sized “sleep sack” that prevented him from getting a leg up and over the side of the crib. He sleeps soundly and happily in his soft blanket bag. BRILLIANT! 

If you ever have a problem you can’t figure out how to solve, ask a group of moms. One of them will have an idea you haven’t thought of, or maybe someone will know someone who has 4 kids. Anyone who has 4 kids knows what she’s talking about, therefore, you should definitely try whatever she says works.

So I went to the store yesterday with my mom, and we found exactly one sleep sack that was big enough for TWO. 

It’s bubblegum pink.

I figured as long as it keeps the kid cozy and in his bed, it didn’t matter what color it was. Husband was really upset with me over the color … I think it’s because he hasn’t experienced enough of TWO when he‘s fighting his naps, tired and screaming and throwing himself out of his Pack N’ Play. Which is why I completely ignored Husband’s complaints.

IT WORKS!

He’s happy! I’m happy!

 
It reminds me very much of this poor little guy

 

 And all of that, my friends, makes me HAPPY.

 

It’s My Birthday!

I’m 33 years old today and honestly, not having the greatest of days. Well, I wasn’t

And then, the flower man came! Beautiful flowers from five of my beautiful girlfriends. I’ve said it so many times, and I’ll say it again today: I have amazing friends. This delivery totally turned my day around! I was so excited about the flowers I didn’t even take the time to be mortified about answering the door in a nightie and argyle kneesocks. 

Yes. That is what I was wearing.

Here’s to turning 33 … and fancying myself to be 23! I will forever feel a decade younger than I am. Hopefully.