no need to convince me

i don't need the excruciating 24 hours of labor followed by an emergency c-section to convince me that ge is my son because this morning he said this :

"mom, butter is my best food."



captain control

have i mentioned before that my 3 year old is controlling? well, he is. he is the leader of the bossy cow gang. the captain of control. the handler of all things decision. he has advanced far enough in his need to control all that is around him that he has decided it is he alone who decides people's favorite colors. mostly he has decided that he alone has the power to decide his daddy's favorite color. and so it often goes like this :

"what is daddy's favorite color?" "brown." "but daddy's favorite color is green." "no, it's brown. it can only be brown."

but a few weeks ago he shot out of left field and, for 48 hours, daddy's favorite color was green. i should mention that we talk about colors so much because ge loves to remind us that his favorite color is blue. blue is everything awesome. he will not take his vitamin unless it is blue. he likes to point out blue things and remind us that it is his favorite color. and he loves to remind me that green is my favorite color. that's right. i own green, perhaps he is just looking out for my best interests. he knows that daddy is my bitch. but i digress.

so for those 48 hours ge allowed his dad to make his own choices. did he love green? sure dad! develop a sense of control in this relationship because in 2 days time i am going to smack you down and remind you that i own your choices! me! and he did. and the conversation went a lot like this :

"look. this is green. and green is my favorite color!" (very seriously) "no, daddy, brown is your favorite color." "but, but, you said it was green." "nope, it's brown. brown is your favorite color."

and just like that, it was decided. and ge went back to micromanaging our personal choices and decisions. and he loves to remind us that it is he who decides.

it's like we always say - he is going to make some girl with low self esteem very happy one day, and then sad, and then happy again.


i am so not dad

the kids and i are playing in ge's room with his giant basket of balls. he decides to make a game of the activity. you have to put a hand on your head and then place the ball on your head so it rolls down a certain way. i do as he asks, but apparently i do it wrong because he scolds my actions and repeats the steps. i do it again, fail again, and an exacerbated ge takes the ball from me and says,

"mom, we're going to have to play another game because you're just not good at this one."

so far

11 : 27 am

chunk's 2nd meal of the day. the same apples she had yesterday - today she refuses to eat them. fickle baby. i think she just wanted to eat her fake cheetos.

i have already had this conversation - "look mom, i can lick my window!" "ugh, no, please don't lick your window." "why mom? i have an awesome tongue!"

1 of 2 baby naps has been taken. 1 lean cuisine has been quickly had for breakfast. dancing. singing. reading. toy box (a.k.a. my house) is .13% cleaned. this life is so far from glamorous.

i need a recipe for a low fat high delicious apple pie / cobbler thingie that can satiate my need for a pie without giving me 40% of the saturated fat i need for the day. i don't even like sweet things that much, but dieting is killing me and for some reason i think i want all the cookies and cake in the world. i don't. i really don't think i do. i just need to know that they still exist.


9 months of chunk

Little Charli, 

I can’t believe you are 9 months old. I can’t believe that time has gone as quickly as it has, and I am still pretty angry that I can’t seem to slow it down. I am terrified that I am going to wake up tomorrow and you are going to be 18 with a boyfriend I hate and an attitude matched to yours right now – an attitude that I have now named divatude. You are just sooo opinionated. Most of the time you are screaming because you want to go play in your brother’s room, you love playing with him and all of his cool big kid toys. The two of you have really developed a relationship over the last week. Yesterday you sat in his room and watched Sesame Street and played his drum while he draped you in blankets; I could hear the two of you giggling and it brought tears to my eyes. I know I have said it before, but that little boy loves you, and I know he always will.

You love your Eggo Waffles for breakfast, a fruit or veggie puree for lunch, and a cereal for dinner. You, my beautiful little girl, are a creature of habit. Long nap in the morning, short nap mid afternoon, and bath and bed at 8; you will not let your dad put you down for a nap and you hate when I try and put you down at night. See? Opinionated. You almost always have a smile when you are being talked to, even if it is a stranger that is shoving their face in yours, which happens a lot. You and your brother get so much attention that it drives me crazy sometimes, especially when we are in a hurry. Little old ladies just flock to touch your fat little feet and tell me what a precious little girl you are – and they are right.

This week you started clapping, and what I love most about that is that you started clapping for two reasons. The first reason is, “yaaaaaay!” as in, “mom! I touched this button and my kitchen light went on and it is singing me songs now – yaaaaaay!” The second reason is, “now!” as in, “mom! I am on the ground and I don’t know words but pick me up now or I will throw a tantrum!” Both of these reasons are wonderful and delightful and you always have a smile on your face while you are clapping. Poor little girl, you are still stuck in reverse, but you can stand by yourself while holding things and you can get to sitting from crawl. You want to be mobile so badly, but you just can’t figure it out. Honestly, I am so sick of getting screamed at, and my arms are so tired from carrying your giant babyness around, that I too hope you figure it out soon. I thought I was going to be nervous about you walking, but really I think I want you to as much as you do.

I hear the words, “that’s a healthy baby” a lot. And you are. You are a giant, happy, and healthy baby. You are wearing clothes that your brother fit into last year. We visited your doctor today and he said my favorite thing to hear from a doctor, “She’s perfect. Keep doing what you’re doing.” The nurse measured your head while you were lying on the table and went to measure it again thinking that she must have got the measurement wrong, I laughed and said, “nope, she just has a giant head like her Dad.” It’s true, you also have his love for cheese, his allergy to the sun (you sneeze every time you see the sun), and his amazing smile. Your 9 months stats are – weight : 21.8 pounds (90%) height : 28.5 inches (93%) head : 19.25 inches (97%!).

You may have a giant head, you may scream at me in demanding ways, you may take poops that literally overflow your diaper and lead me to cleaning the carpets, and you may make crazy growling noises at me, but you are beautiful and you are life changing and you and your brother have been the most amazing blessings I have had in my entire life. You keep us all laughing and when you are in that moment, claiming the center of attention that you and your brother fight for, you clap your hands and look up at us with those big blue eyes and we would do anything in the world for you. You constantly amaze me and fill me with pride and love and unicorns and rainbows. Our tagline for you is, “I’m Charli and I’m just happy to be here” because when you are happy, you are just sooo happy. We are all just happy you are here, too. Thank you for an amazing nine months, I can’t wait to see where you go next.



all the noise, noise, noise, noise

something about it being hotter outside makes me not able to blog. that and the screaming 9 month old that won't let me put or her down. the same one that thinks i am an idiot for not understanding what she needs when she throws up her divatude every 120 seconds. she is so the opposite of ge, who was a nice baby.

we had a wonderful father's day weekend. we celebrated the weekend by doing a lot of nothing. saturday the husband took the kids off of my hands so i could spend 7 hours cleaning the house. hoorah! yesterday the husband got his presents and ge unwrapped them all, telling him what he was getting as the process went down. ge doesn't necessarily understand the word "surprise". books, a tie, comfy shorts, an i <3 my baby daddy cross stitch, and a "world's coolest dad" shirt courtesy of walmart - quite possibly the coolest shirt you could ever get for $5.64. the husband loved all of it, and he loved his day. we left the house to buy beer and steaks and then spent the remainder running around like crazy people playing basketball in ge's room and laughing until our sides hurt. we could have been a hallmark television special yesterday.

and now it is monday. and chunk woke up screaming at 4:30 and has a belly ache and my hallmark special has just turned into some sad indie flick or something like a horror film, but without that creepy doctor that you think you could trust but it turns out he is murdering everyone in the town and that crazy guy down the street knows, but you didn't believe him and now, well now it may be too late. something like that. i am praying to mark wahlberg that we are going to have a better week than last week, which sucked. hard.

it's funny, i had this post all written up about how everything had been so stressy and i finally felt like i was getting on top of this whole 2 demanding kids and 1 dirty house day in and day out thing and they saw me relaxing a bit and pulled the rug out from underneath my feet. being a stay at home mom can be so difficult sometimes. my bosses are unreasonable and they scream at me for no reason. and one of them doesn't even know words and she is the one that screams at me the most. i am hoping that we pass this little block in the road soon because it might turn into a movie a lot more like girl interrupted.



today i was inaugurated into a very special parental club. the kind of parental club where other parents who have experienced this situation look at you with pity, and the ones who haven't look at you with concern / disgust / judgyness. ge gave me the chance to carry him out of the zoo, kicking and screaming, all while i tried to hold my smile on my face and not breakdown due to the overwhelming sense of embarrassment that i felt. oh, the fun you can have on a tuesday morning.

this all began as innocent as could be. an hour and someish into our zoo experience we had seen most of the animals, played at the park, laughed and had fun. over by the wood turtle that you can stick your head into to pretend to be a turtle, something that ge loves to do, i asked him to put his head in and we would take a picture for daddy. ge said no, with a smile. and so, i though, this would be a good time to offer him some ice cream in return for his smile. bad idea. worst. idea. ever.

this is the point in the day when my beautiful, cheerful little boy turned into a demonic, evil little monster child that decided to scream, and scream, and scream some more. no, he would not be taking that picture, but yes, he wanted that ice cream. and what do you mean that i don't get everything i want and don't get to act out like a crazy person when i don't get it. so he became stuck next to that turtle. screaming and carrying on and being completely unreasonable. he didn't want me to leave the turtle, but he didn't want to do anything by it, either. and so i picked him up and carried him out. i also had to drag him by his hand a few times, and keep him from trying to push the stroller backwards. such fun! and it's only tuesday! other words!

we drove home, ge screaming the entire way, and when we got here he calmed. i took him directly upstairs, turned on sesame street, and walked away for some minutes so we could both think about the next move. i calmly walked into his room, sat on his bed, and we discussed the events. we both agreed that his behavior was unacceptable. we both agreed that mac and cheese would make for a delicious lunch and that we would try the zoo again another time. and as i got up to make his lunch, he wrapped his arms around me and told me he was sorry.

mom shoots. she scores. she wins the battle!! crowd goes wiillllllld!!

that moment confirmed to me that i am pretty good at this being a mom job. i never flipped out during the entire time. i stayed calm, i carried that embarrassment and that screaming ge with my head held high. when we got in the car i turned on music and i listened to that and drowned out the screams. i never folded. i never fought back. i taught him that his screams were ineffective and were not going to get me. and they didn't. and in that moment where he hugged me and said that sweet little apology, i was filled to the brim with pride for both myself, and for him. and i have to spot the kid, he can throw one hell of a tantrum.



today i found myself completely inspired by counting on me to make a list of new adventures that ge and i could go about accomplishing this summer. i tried to modify her list, but gave up after a while. her list was perfect for a toddler, and even for a normal child, but ge is anything but normal and he makes creating days incredibly difficult. i literally laughed out loud when i read the dress up in mom and dad's clothes idea. if i tried to get ge to play dress up he would slap me back down to size reality with a comment that would most surely be, "mom, those aren't my clothes. i am not a growed up. i won't put those clothes on. put dad's clothes back, mom"

but i love the idea. and i now have a resolution to create a new day and share an activity with ge for four of the five days that we share while daddy is at work. i would say five, but mama needs her cleaning day and so does the house. and so, inspired me took the kids out for a walk to the river today. we are spoiled to live right next to the beauty that we do. i so often forgo taking advantage of being able to walk out of our door and be in the most beautiful area i have ever seen, and counting on me reminded me to stop shutting myself in. tomorrow we are getting up and heading to the zoo to visit the animals. one of these days i would like to pretend that i am crafty, again.

it's funny, i steal people's craft ideas at least once a week in hopes that i, too, might become a crafty person, but i am not. i know ge doesn't know, and is unable to judge me, but that is one of those chicky things i get down on myself for sometimes. i have such respect for you crafty women out there. ge is quickly getting better than me at all of that stuff and i am sure one day he is going to rip the glue gun out of my hand, bitch slap me, and tell me to step aside while he makes the crafts his bitch. you think that is crazy talk? spend five minutes with the kid ... you'll be scared of him, too.

schuykill river trail

 our personal clover field

 ge's favorite stream


holy crap!

dear diary,

charli slept until 9 am this morning. i don't know who to thank, but i am so incredibly thankful.




today was the day

every once in a while one of those days comes along that redefines perfection - today was that day for my little family. the last 3 + weeks we have been in a funk. my cooking has suffered, husband's work has suffered, the kids have been miserable in the heat; it just hasn't be noteworthy in so long that i think we started to give up. and today, today we didn't even try to turn it around, but it naturally fell into place and today i am so grateful, because i needed that ... we needed that.

the kids loved the phillies game. when we first got there it started to rain, heavy rain, but the clouds parted and our seats stayed dry. ge was worried at first, but he quickly warmed when the players and the sun came out. we got a game, a good game. we left during the top of the 7th after the score reached 4 - 1, phillies. a perfect time to leave because when we came home the kids were bathed and happily put to bed and the husband and i ordered ufc 131.  (phillies over cubs, 7 - 1 in the end.)

my husband and i, we work together for so many reasons. the most important, and cliche reason, is that we are best friends. we are, best friends. we share passions, and when we don't we remain involved no matter what. we share a love for ufc and it energizes us and brings us to a great place. tonight we were not going to order the fights, but we did, and we made the right decision. tonight has been nothing but conversation and smiles and my jaw bones are sore from the happiness that today has brought. this has been one of those days where i feel lucky, and these days are the moments i carry because i know we will always be back here no matter what.

this is the day i have needed for weeks. today makes all of the previous day's tears worth it. this life, this life is beautiful. i thank my husband and my kids. i thank my family. i thank the east coast. i thank my sister, my friends, my mother, and every good person i have had the opportunity to meet. i thank the bad times, because without them, i would have never known good. i am just thankful.

cheesy? yes. but i would write it again, and again.


and then there was loud

her royal fatness, princess of cupcakes  has decided that she doesn't want to be my sweet little baby any longer. she has decided that she would like to scream at me, often. the poor girl is teething, angry at the heat, and stuck in reverse. she wants to be on the floor so badly to crawl, but winds up pushing herself backwards every time and having a nervous freaking breakdown because she cannot figure out how to move forward. i never had this problem with ge; his problems were always solvable. he never just sat and screamed at me.

i feel bad for the chunkers, but it is honestly stressful to be screamed at and not know how to fix it. even when ge teethed he just wanted a cuddle and would stop screaming. i remember this being a tough age for ge in terms of becoming a toddler instead of a baby, but i don't remember it being this tough. and she is so big. carrying around a 26 pound sack of angry baby potatoes that screams at you while it's hotter than hell outside is not my idea of a fun day, but it seems to be the norm this week. my arms hurt, i am super tired, and obviously i am super complainey. i think if chunk was my mom i would probably be screaming at her, too.

turkey meatloaf goodness

i know that what i am about to tell you to cook immediately may sound crazy, but seriously ... put it into the oven for dinner, soon. kids will love it, grandma's will love it, people who love meatloaf so much that they would cry for it (that's me!) but want to be healthy will LOVE it! adapted as a hybrid of my grandma's meatloaf (my fav) and this recipe.

2 lbs ground turkey
1 box o' stove top (unprepared)
1 egg white, one whole egg
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 packet meatloaf seasoning
splash (about an 1/8 cup) of milk
minced garlick (i like a lot, you might not!)
1/4 to 1/2 an onion, chopped up all nice like
salt, pepper

mix that all together, divide it up into a muffin pan that has been sprayed with non stick goodness.

wait, we're not done!

in a separate, much smaller bowl, mix up :

1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp dried mustard
3 tbs brown sugar

put about a spoonful of this delicious, harvene-ish, mixture on the top of each cup of meat and cook them at 350° until your thermo-meter tells you the insides have reached 165° (which took about 25 minutes in my oven)

i paired these little meat lovies with some blue cheese mashed potatoes (yukon gold potatoes, skin on [i cook mine in half broth, half water.] cut them up, cook them until they are soft. drain, return to pan to cook off some of that water. butter, fat free cream, 4 ounces of blue cheese, and a hand masher = yum!)

my husband seriously said, "i can't wait until you make these again next week!" slow down, bossy husband. slow down!

the nice thing about these is that they are adaptable to different flavors. sage stove top + marinara sauce topping would probably be all sorts of awesome and win. cornbread stove top + jalapenos + i am still thinking of a sauce = delicious! they really are good.

cup of meat cheers!!


so all over the board

* I have been trying to write this blog for 2 days and am pretty much failing miserably. I have been so busy with the kids during the day and the Husband and I have been enjoying each other's company and a bit of relaxation teevee during the night. And I make no promises for finishing this because the heat is rising back here on el east coast and I am so not built for heat. Maybe speed, but most definitely not heat.

Last night my 3 year old chastised me for not getting around to scrubbing the toilets. This after a long day of unpacking, grocery shopping, and jumping in to what will be a week long cleanse of our home. My Husband looked at me and said, "did he just tell you to clean his toilet?" And I wanted to say I am surprised, but that sums up Ge; he isn't doing it to be an ass, but he honestly cares about the clean and he knows that I am the one who gets it done. And, like I say, if the Bossy Cows were a gang, Ge would be their fearless leader.

Conversation with Ge go a lot like this lately,

Ge - Do such and such thing or give me such or such thing

Me - I can't hear you

Ge - Do such and such or give such and such, please

Me - Good, now say it all together

Ge - Mom, pllleeeeaaaase can you blah blah blah?

And there is always a thank you. He loves to get underneath my feet, almost tripping me, and then say excuse me so he can be a polite little annoyance. He still eats like crap, but he is getting better with choices. He refuses to drink water, which worries me because it's getting ridiculous amounts of hot back here. He is still so little. To put his size in perspective he is 3 and a half and is 28 pounds - his sister is 26 pounds at 9 months. At 9 months ge only weighed 18 lbs.

Chunk and Ge are such different little kids so far. Ge was independent even as a baby. He crawled early and talked late. He loved his alone time in his room and with his toys from the word go. He was thoughtful and payed attention to everything going on around him. Ge was a shy baby and didn't like anyone to talk to him that he didn't know even then. Chunk is needy, she is so dramatic and emotional, she will smile for strangers, and she is just barely starting to try to crawl. Chunk wants to be carried all day long, which is nice because I am looking for ways to work out and lunges with a 26 pound baby seem helpful.

We are headed into a 3 day heat up back east and I can already feel myself getting all cranky and complainy. The heat and I don't get along. I think that 70 is hot, so heat indexes of 105 + are just unbearable. I know that I am supposed to be grateful because our weather could be worse, but I am too hot to be compassionate and I reserve the right to be a whiny bitch whenever I please. Plus, we are suppose to go to the Phillies game Saturday and now they are calling for rain. Nature is screwing with all of us. I blame Anthony Weiner.