Much Better

Alright, alright, alright everyone. Listen. It was a horrible car ride down that first day, and my kids got the best of me. They won. We’ve all forgiven one another and moved on.

First to a “castle” – also known as the Biltmore Estate. We had a slight change in plans, and D and I ended up taking both girls on the tour. Get this – they were great. I know, right? I’m not sure what happened, but I’m pretty sure we shall not speak of this again. We don’t want to curse our good luck.

Then we had the 5 hour drive from Asheville to Hilton Head, and it went pretty well (although, let’s be honest. The car-ride bar has been set pretty low).

We hit some traffic, so the girls got to have their windows down. It’s sort of ridiculous sometimes the things that will entertain kids.

Then we got to the house. Oh, this wonderful house. The set up is perfect, the bedrooms are plentiful and the bathrooms are huge. Each bedroom has a TV (see how the Feldmanns judge things as perfect? It ALL comes back to the availability of televisions). Paige is sharing a room with her oldest cousin, Gracie, and she is so excited about it that she LITERALLY has been jumping around like a maniac. In fact, they’ve been in there working on projects and ‘crap’ the majority of the time they are inside.

Blair seems to have realized her cousin Nate is friend, not foe. She stopped hitting him (for the most part) and has started giving him smooches and playing with him.

Okay, maybe she could be a TAD more gentle, but we’re moving in the right direction here…

And, get this. There’s a pool here. You know what that means? EX-HAUST-ED kids. Sure, a little bit of crabbiness and a few fights over pool toys. But 100% worth it. We’ve already played ‘Marco-Polo’ (and, yes, to answer your question – I do regret teaching them the game already). During naps yesterday the grown-ups sat outside in the pool with the big kids and listened to Pandora. I could get used to this. I’m just saying.
How fun is getting to live in a house for a week with family? This fun (see above). 
LOTS of shenanigans.

I guess it all boils down to one thing. Even though my kids are loud and ill-behaved (my sister-in-law, EJ, disagrees. I’m pretty sure she’s either crazy or is confused about which ones are my kids). I’ll take all the bad days for the good days that fall in-between.
It says “I ❤ Paige & Blair” See? I actually DO love my kids, for those of you who doubted


Sometimes blogs are therapy. This post might be one of those times.

Friday was Day One of our yearly family vacation with Nani, Botsie and the rest of the Whitacre side of the family (minus my little brother this year. Boo.) It was the first leg of a two-day drive. The long, 8-hour variety kind of first leg. With 2 toddlers. Let’s just say I had low expectations for how this day would go.

Our morning started at 5:15 am when Paige woke up, so excited that she couldn’t stand being in bed one second longer. Off to a great start.

I will spare you the details and fast-forward to the end of the day. Both girls were napless. We were 30 miles away from our hotel, and I made the entire caravan pull over so my poor niece, Gracie, (who was sitting between the girls in the backseat) could escape our car and climb in with someone else. Why, you ask? Because Paige kept hitting and kicking her. And Blair had been screaming. For an hour and a half. Straight. And her scream sounds a heck of a lot like a large animal is being tortured. And said animal is plugged into an amplifier.

So, we get back on the road. Both girls are a train wreck. Paige has already had swimming in the hotel pool taken away from her (which broke my heart a little, because it was all she had been talking about for days). You can imagine how well that went for my little drama-queen pterodactyl. The decibel level multiplied exponentially.

I may or may not have screamed “SHUT UP!!!! JUST SHUT UP!!!”

Okay. I did.

And I am sitting between them. Sobbing. Seriously – crying like I haven’t cried in a long time. Which, if any moms out there are looking for an ace-in-the-hole way to get your kids to quiet down in an instant, is the way to go. I think it scared the shit out of both of them. Blair was even patting my arm.

It was NOT a proud day. I’m pretty sure the rest of my family was scared to make eye contact with me the rest of the evening.

Both girls went to bed without dinner. I broke my vow for a “health cation” and had a healthy glass of wine instead (really – what the hell was I thinking to try to cut calories by not drinking on vacation?!?!?). I watched about 10 minutes of a horrible opening ceremonies for the Olympics. And I went to bed.

Game over. Throw in the towel. Call it a day. There are few worse things than going to bed and feeling like you have had an absolute fail. Not only a shitty day at work, but a fantastically horrible failure at the most important job ever – raising other human beings. Who I just taught to deal with stress by spanking, screaming and crying. I absolutely LOATHED the mommy I was today. And that just sucks.

Yep. Take notes other moms. This is what NOT to do.

I slip into sleep hoping knowing that tomorrow will be better. Wondering if it will ever get easier. Knowing it will most likely only get more difficult.

Oh well. At least they’re cute, right?

I was worried we left Paige at McDonalds, but then I found her. Under this blanket. Phew!

Silly Bun-bun wanted to sit on Blair’s head. At least that’s where she kept putting him.

Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Etc.

It’s 7:15 am – do you know where your children are? I sure do, because I just tripped over one of them. When I tried to simply turn around.

I longed for years to hear a little voice call me “Mommy” (preferably a child of mine, otherwise that would just be weird). What I didn’t realize was that there would be days that I heard the word “Mommy” hundreds of time before breakfast. Which, around here, comes pretty freaking early.

Here’s an example: Picture dinnertime last night. It’s the time of day when sweet, endearing children turn into stark-raving crazy people. And my children weren’t that sweet and endearing to begin with. Not lately, anyway!

I was trying to slice a watermelon while the rest of dinner cooked in the oven. Paige was a train wreck (let’s just say the no-napping days aren’t going so well). She was bouncing between the kitchen bar and my side begging for pieces of watermelon. In the meantime, Blair was grabbing onto my leg yelling “Mama! Mama! Mama!”They were like little birds in the nest begging for food. (Don’t worry, I didn’t chew the watermelon before giving it to them, a la Alicia Silverstone.)

This is not a joke – they were so all over me that one of them actually pulled my shorts down. And I couldn’t even tell who was responsible. And there are only two of them.

Fast-forward to this morning. Paige seems to be broken. At least, she seems to be skipping over and over again. “Mommy. Mommy. Mommy.” (Actually, as I’m typing this in her bed she is yelling at me. Informing me that “Mommy! This is not funny!” It’s a little funny…).

So, after breakfast we all went back upstairs while I got us ready for vacation. I thought the girls were watching TV playing nicely and probably looking at books while I put some laundry away in my closet.

Mind you, this is NOT a walk-in closet. We live in Broad Ripple, okay? The only person that can actually fully stand inside my closet with the doors closed and not knock anything off the hangers is Abbey. And she’s not a person, she’s a cat.

So, I’m standing at the doors of the closet and Blair is sitting on my feet. While Paige is pushing her out of the way so she can grab me around the legs and bury her face in my side. I heaved a sigh and said, (calmly, I hope), “Girls! Can I get a little freaking space?!?!?”

“Oh. Sure (pronounced ‘shu-ah’), Mommy,” Paige replied.

And she moved about three inches to the left and grabbed me around the legs again and buried her head in my bottom instead.

Oh, thanks. Much better.

I Love My Job

It’s been a shitty week. No, really. Not in my typically-dramatic “what a horrible week! None of my shows are new!” fashion. A bona-fide, craptastic week.

While at Gramma and Grandpa’s over the weekend, poor Blair spiked a fever that hovered around 102-103 for the weekend. A trip to the pediatrician Monday morning told us that she had strep throat. Strep throat!! In the middle of July!!!

A couple of doses of antibiotics didn’t seem to be helping – in fact, it seemed to be making her grouchier (if possible). A quick-spreading rash earned us a second trip to the doctor, which confirmed poor Blair is allergic to penicillin. New medicine. New day. Rash is getting worse, ANOTHER trip to Target for another new medicine (only my second, actually, thanks to a kind-hearted mommy friend who picked up her new antibiotic!!!! God bless girlfriends). This time a steroid for poor Blair (who now has red bumps even in her ears and all over her scalp).

Blair hasn’t slept through the night since Friday (it’s now Wednesday). I haven’t slept in a bed/easy chair without her since Friday. We are exhausted. We are crabby. Even Paige is getting in on the crap-tion (see how I did that? Action? Craption? Ha!) by acting out and working on my last nerve.

And last night Blair projectile vomited all over the two of us. And a basket of clean laundry.

Oh, and the cat puked on our new carpet (seriously, cats?!?!? I’m on your side! Why choose one of the 20 square feet in our house WITHOUT wood floors???).

And Derrick is out of town. For the week.

FOR THE ENTIRE WEEK. (If my parents’ friends weren’t reading these posts, I’d have tossed an f-bomb in there.).

Um, duh. You don’t even need to ask. Of course I cried the entire way to Target today.

So, I was taking some time to decompress from the week thus far. I finally got everyone to bed and looked through some social media, and saw that ‘Parenting’ magazine is looking for input on what is the best (or worst) thing about being either a stay-at-home mom or a working mom.

And, here’s the thing. I may be a tad sarcastic and occasionally my kids are toe the line on good versus who-the-hell-do-these-kids-belong-to? But, I only could come up with one thing. One, little negative thing about being a stay-at-home mom (or, ‘homemaker.’ Thanks again, IRS.).

I get a little claustrophobic. Not even necessarily like earlier today when I was using the bathroom and had a child on each knee and our (80 pound) dog sat down on my feet, while our cat stared at us all in disgust from the bathroom door (don’t judge us, hallway puker!). It’s just that sometimes I need a little space. Sometimes I need a little ‘me’ time, and I don’t really get it all that often.

That’s it. That’s my main complaint (granted, lots of little complaints stem from this, but they all point back to lack of personal time).

The pros of my job are too numerous to list – though here are a few:

1. I LOVE my ‘co-workers.’ My friends I’ve had forever who are now moms? It’s only made us closer. The new friends I’ve added to my bunch of girlfriends came into my life because we had one thing in common: we had kids and we stayed home. Now? I’m not sure what I would do without them, even though I only see most of them a fraction of the amount of time I’d like to. They are women I wouldn’t have known otherwise, and each of them has added innumerable laughs, bitch-sessions, advice, etc. to my life. Also, if I don’t like said “co-workers,” I don’t need to go to HR. I just need to stop seeing them!

2. I HEART my girls. Duh. They are my kids, so of course I love them. But even when they are stinkers, which is a lot of the time for one of them in particular (whose name may or may not rhyme with “Sch-mage”), even when I lock myself in the laundry room for half a minute for alone time – I am pretty sure I’d pick these kids out of all the kids in the world. They are wicked funny, even Blair who can’t talk makes me laugh hourly with her antics. Paige is so freaking clever that I can’t wait to hear what comes out of her mouth next (the other day, she walked up to me and said “speaking of walruses, Mommy, I have a great idea! Let’s go to the park!” And walked out of the room again. I laughed out loud and looked around, half expecting a live studio-audience to join me).

3. Shock and awe. That is what most of my days are filled with. The other day Blair just decided to pick up her spoon, put it in the yogurt and take a bite. Seriously?!?!? Homegirl is 14 months old!!!! She picked up my phone the other day, held it to her ear and yelled “EH???? Dada!! Baba!!!” She finds Ramsey multiple times a day just to give him a kiss on the head and a hug around the neck.

Paige asked me to “hold your applause” during a rousing performance of ‘The Three Bears’ earlier this week. In our downtime today during Blair’s nap, we worked on rhyming words and she counted backwards from 10. This is in our downtime, people!!! Listen to that – in our downtime today, we worked on fine-tuning and developing a part of another human’s brain, preparing her for success in the world!!! Especially in careers where it’s necessary to rhyme and count backwards! A rapping rocket launcher! Fame and fortune, here she comes!!

Holy shit! I made these little miracles! They are amazing, and they are all mine, all day long! Yes, they drive me crazy and there are many times a day I feel like I might be on the list of world’s worst moms. But in all reality, the world’s worst moms don’t even care if a list like that exists, much less if they are on it.

Don’t worry, the sarcastic posts will keep coming. I’m not a moron – I don’t expect every day to be great, or probably to even realize most days how lucky I am. But now I have it in writing, and I can remind myself how lucky I am to be a “homemaker.”

I wouldn’t change it for the world – or even for a paycheck.

Dress for Success

(Warning to the faint of heart: this post contains the word “vagina.” So, if you’re a wimp tad squeamish, skip to my next post. Or, honestly, probably just stop reading this blog altogether.)

I’ve been really lucky up until the past few weeks. Paige wasn’t at all interested in picking out her clothes, and was ready and willing to let me dress her. Now, she’s decided she wants to get dressed “ALL BY MYSELF!” That is, until about 3 seconds in and she loses it and decides she does, indeed, need my help. (She still doesn’t pick out her outfits, but only because her clothes are hung too high for her to reach them. Sue me – I may be “stifling her creativity,” but I’m freaking sick of picking up clothes and hangers all day. I get enough of that with my husband around.)

So, now that she’s dressing herself, more often than not her clothes are either inside out, backwards, on wrong (more on that in a second) or missing altogether.

Inside out and backwards, I’m sure you get. These often occur at the same time. If we try to help her “fix it” she loudly let’s us know that she likes her clothes that way. Fine. Not worth the fight, and honestly she looks more than a little cute with her clothes like that. With her personality, she can rock it.

Missing, you wonder? Here’s a story to illustrate: We were at my parents for the Fourth of July, and Paige was downstairs visiting with her Botsie. He loudly called upstairs for Derrick and I, and then let us know that Paige had decided to not wear panties that day. And she was wearing a tutu. And practicing handstands. In front of the television. Yikes. Poor Botsie. We quickly remedied the situation (albeit with my 6 month-old nephew’s swimsuit – her amazing parents forgot to pack both extra panties and a swimsuit for her).

And now for the issue of clothes on wrong. Looooots of times we end up with two legs in one pant leg. Or one leg through the waist and one leg through a leg hole. Or, perhaps, like the situation we encountered today. Both legs through the waist, one leg hole around the waist, other leg hole just hanging out – unoccupied.

Normally, I would let this slide (again, TOTALLY not worth the fight) and hope she learns her lessons by the massive amount of wedgies she ends up with throughout the day (she typically does not learn anything, except how to expertly pick a wedgie while running/swinging/jumping/etc.). However, we were on our way out the door to the park. And Paige was wearing a dress. I was not about to let her bare-ass it down a slide or on a swing in a public park.

Needless to say, the next five minutes did not go well. After much chasing, arguing, threatening and screaming, I had had enough. I looked at her and yelled “Paige! Come on! We are not leaving until I fix your panties! Your vagina is hanging out!!!!”

Yep. Let’s just hope that’s the last time I ever have to say those words out loud.

To anyone.

Sleeping In

Listen. I get it. I totally understand that my kids get up early, and I’ve come to terms with it. And I know I’ve complained on this blog before that my sleep habits and my girls’ sleep habits don’t really “mesh.” I’ve bought a Keurig so I can make as many cups of coffee as I want/need each morning. But, good Lord it’s early!

For example, Paige was up this morning at 5:30 am. We are at Gramma and Grandpa’s, so she is sharing a room with D and I. Which means she was in OUR bed at 5:31 am. “Whispering” about how hungry she was (isn’t toddler whispering a joke – I mean, I’m pretty sure changing your voice to “raspy” mode and talking louder than normal doesn’t qualify as whispering). Oh, and she also wanted to know where her sippydip (lipstick) purse was. I certainly don’t love my kids any less this early in the morning, but I’m probably not the friendliest mommy in the world.

Here’s what I don’t understand. People who say their kids “sleep in.” People who say “oh, we let our kids stay up until 9:00 or 10:00 pm sometimes, and they just sleep and sleep and sleep the next day.”

You know what I say? I say you have one of three situations on your hands here, parents of “sleepers ins. That doesn’t sound right. Sleeper ins? Sleepers in? kids who are still asleep when the sun rises:

1. You are liars. And you are doing so to the detriment of other moms who constantly second-guess themselves….aka, every other sane mom on the planet. We already feel bad enough about ourselves and worry about making good decisions. Don’t make shit up.

2. You are so drunk all the time that you can’t hear your monitor. Or you just turn your monitor off. Or you don’t even HAVE a monitor in your room. I’m not judging. I don’t blame you. In fact, we might be making some changes at our house (except that I’m WAY too ridiculously worried about everything to not have monitors. Blair’s room is less than a foot away from ours, and I have a monitor for her next to my bed).

3. Your kids are perfect. No, really. I’m not being smarmy or a wise-in-heimer. I believe there really might be a select few kids out there who roll like this. However, I recommend you probably not have any more kids. That bar has been set WAAAAAY too high. I can promise you Babies 2, 3, 4, etc will be a huge disappointment to you. Just save those imaginary kids their imaginary money on imaginary therapists now.

Me, I plan to just keep procreating until I get that one perfect child. Then I’m going to rub all my other kids’ faces in it and probably just name that child “Favorite.”

Over The River and Just Downhill …

I knew it was not going to be great. This is how our morning looked:

And this was AFTER an unusually-long morning nap…

And then this is how our afternoon looked:

And this was after a THREE HOUR afternoon nap…

And we STILL had a drive from Indy to Gramma’s ahead of us. And then we hit traffic. And then we hit traffic again. And again. And … well, you get the idea.

Oh, and another milestone has been reached. Paige has now entered the “Are we there yet?” phase. Awesome.

Eventually (5 hours later) we made it there. No one slept in the car. Lots of people cried. And I think I climbed from the front seat to the back seat about 300 times.

And it’s already been worth the trip. Great Grandpa Joe is here from California, meeting Blair for the first time and seeing an almost-preschooler Paige for the first time since she was about 6 months old. Aunt Tricia and Uncle Brian are here. And, obviously, Gramma and “Jim-pa” are here. It’s going to be a fun weekend, as this morning’s activities prove:

**Because every little girl needs her own chair with a canopy … and apparently a tiara, where Paige is concerned

Now, if only the girls would sleep past 5:15 … I’m sure I’ll be posting lots, since I’ll obviously be sleeping little.

**Quick update – this picture was taken at about 8:24 am. At 8:28 am Paige dumped Blair out of her chair and pushed it on top of her, Mommy took both chairs away, Paige threw a HUGE tantrum, and Blair went back to bed.