I’ve been MIA for awhile because, well, life has been unusually hectic. Our schedules could be likened to the Twister sequel, so I haven’t had much time to update much of anything. If you follow me on Instagram, you likely know where we vacationed over the weekend. If not, this past Wednesday we decided enough was enough and that we all needed a change of scenery. We didn’t have much room in our budget for a huge vacation, but we still wanted to do something that all of us would enjoy. A beach trip sounded like the ticket and, with that, off to Biloxi we went.
The boys had a blast on the beach and they love “camping out” in hotels. Mason did surprisingly well even though he did battle “travelers tummy”. Luckily, we found a Walmart near our hotel for a remedy and that seemed to fix his tummy woes.
We hit up some great new-to-us restaurants (Slap Ya Mommas BBQ) and some family favorites (lookin’ at you, Waffle House) and took in the sights over the pier. Evan even found a train & Lego museum just outside of Biloxi in Gulfport and the boys were in love.
After a long but enjoyable couple of days, we headed back home for The Boot. It was a nice, much needed break and the little guys can’t stop asking when we’re going back.
Family vacay for the win!
Hit me up with all of your family adventures below! I’d love to hear from you.
the time at which a normal person usually goes to bed
the time at which my children shift gears to FULL. FLIPPING. TROTTLE.
Bedtime around here has always been a bit painstaking. When Gabe was first born, he had serious acid-reflux that, of course!, always triggered at nighttime. His tummy finally settled as he grew and when he was about two he would put himself to bed. He still does this (thank God!), but now he wakes up during the night to either a) pee or, B) have a full-on night terror. Good times, y’all. Connor has never, I mean NEVER, been a good sleeper. Not even now. He’s four and an acrobatic, ass-kicking ninja from the fiery ball pits in the sky. Co-sleeping with him is less like co-sleeping and more training to kick Chuck Norris’ ass — with your eyes closed. To date, Mason has been by far and away my easiest to put to sleep and the most likely to stay asleep — until lately because: erupting teeth. Can’t really fault him for that, and most nights he still sleeps pretty well. HALLELUJER.
Those of you who are parents know my plight well. You probably read all of that and pictured your own sleep-anxiety-riddled spawn and experienced a cold chill down your spine. No, that’s not winter coming; it’s bedtime. In t-minus eight(ish) hours.
For those of you childless individuals, I have a pretty graphic example of what bedtime is like — around here, anyway. I’m sure there will be some Betty Badass momma who is scoffing at my inability to keep my children in their beds (we’re not even going to talk about their pajamas). But this example is coming from a real, live, nannyless parent.
Imagine, if you will, a less-chaotic opening scene from Titanic. “Rated E for Everyone” Rose and Jack are enjoying each other’s company playing, I dunno.. freaking Rook. And then, out from nowhere, an alarm sounds. A band of pirates (read: the children) ram into the ship, causing it to collide with an iceberg (read: your patience). Your recently thought “unsinkable” vessel plummets into the abyss.
THEN SHIT GETS REAL.
I’m gonna let you guys in on a little secret: there is a way to train for bedtime. It’s painful and a bit legendary — but it’ll save at least a few hairs from being ripped from your noggin. If you’re still hangin’ in there, then follow along:
Journey to the worst part of your town and find a group of stray cats.
Pick the leader of the cats and bring it home (make sure you’re up to date on your shots).
Give said stray cat laughing gas and a wine cooler.
Now try putting that cat in a bubble bath.
THE FLOOR IS LAVA.
If you can survive that, then there’s a 62% chance that you’ll survive putting children to bed. Notice, please, that I said survive. I didn’t say you’d be successful in getting your kids to stay and sleep in their beds. I mean, I’m not a miracle worker here and Jesus has bigger fish to fry than making my kids stay in bed.
I’m not going to lie to y’all, though; there is something infinitely more terrifying than sleep-allergic children that exists (and oddly enough, my preference). And that is when the kids who never put themselves to bed… PUT THEMSELVES TO BED. Gah, y’all — I just made myself dry heave a bit.
When Connor puts himself to sleep it isn’t because he’s trained himself, or that he’s super tired, or just needs some quiet time (what is that, anyway?!). No, no. It’s because at 1:15AM he’s going to be puking. In his bed. And down the hallway. And then in my slippers — in my room. I mean… I just can’t even. And then after the puking?! He’s totally fine and ready to roll, leaving me a gagging, half-asleep, pants rolled up to my navel hot freaking mess.
You may be thinking, “There’s an obviously better option here, Sarah; pick your battles!”
Oh no, friends. It may seem obvious. Sure, most people would rather be a bit sleep deprived than swim in an ocean of Kool-Aid vomit. But I’m not necessarily one of those people. I can’t say I’m one of those, “If I don’t get my eight hours of sleep…” people, because let’s face it: I haven’t gotten more than 4 hours of sleep (not consecutively) in going on nine years. But I am one of those, “If I can get at least forty-five minutes of sleep I won’t hit anyone with chicken nuggets at Walmart” people. Y’all — I’m not trying to go to Walmart jail for assault with frozen foodstuffs. So as terrifying as it is to watch my kid’s head spin around like he’s in need of an exorcist, all the while spewing what I can only hope was something he didn’t find off of a public restroom floor, I’ll take puking kids over sleep-deprived Mombie any day. Because kids are going to throw up, anyway, and I’d rather be somewhat alert to deal with it.
I can’t be the only one here who deals with that bedtime struggle. Hit me with some of your favorite bedtime stories below!
**The above post was written entirely out of humor. No animals were trapped and given wine coolers or laughing gas, nor were children harmed in the making of this post. I, on the other hand, might possibly have a bruised lung courtesy my ass-kicking ninja child. All crappy, can’t-take-a-joke comments will be kept on this page so that people with a sense of humor can see what a turd you’ve been.
A SAHM’s take on her three-ring-circus and the three Converse wearing monkeys who live there.
I’m going to go ahead and give y’all fair warning: there is TMI ahead. Most of you reading are mommas, so there may or may not be such a thing as “TMI” for you. Been there, done that, had spit-up down the t-shirt sort of thing. But on the real, we’re about to venture into what some of you might classify as gross or unsavory. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
I had our caboose baby in December of 2017. We decided that we were done and did not wish to continue trying for a girl because: our luck. I mean, hell — I’m wildly outnumbered as it is and am not a super firm believer in “what’s one more”. Birth control is not an option for me; the side-effects pretty much destroy my already whack hormones. Hubs didn’t want to venture towards the vasectomy route, and really, who could blame him? We decided that it just made sense for me to have a tubal since I was already having a c-section anyway and you know… easy access. So immediately following Mason’s sweet arrival, all exits were shut down. I made damn sure that my OB sealed everything up so well that even Chuck Norris couldn’t break down that barrier.
Now, look. All of my boys have been section babies. Gabe’s section was not by choice, for those of you who were wondering, it was by necessity. The following sections were for safety precautions, as well. Luckily for me, the maternal genes really kicked in and I can see through walls with my back turned. But I digress. Like I said, all of the boys were section babies. I was up and walking around not even a day later after Gabe and Connor were born. This was not the case with Mason. I don’t know if it was due to my age or if it was because of the tubal, but it took me a solid two days to move around without everything hurting. And hurting is an understatement; I felt like everything in me was going to hit the floor. EVERYTHING. And all my poor husband could do was listen to me bitch and hold my hand. Looking back, he was really a trooper. I got used to the pain and I could finally feel my legs in the way God intended. But nothing and no one prepared me for the horror that was going on “downstairs” after having my tubes tied.
I’m writing this to prepare those of you who are considering a tubal after delivery — not to shock and awe. Y’all need to be prepared for the freaking crime scene that you’re going to witness. And not just immediately post-partum either, guys. No, no. Mason is 4.5 months old and I’m here to tell you that this mess seems like it is here to stay. And man, oh, man is it getting old fast.
I’m sure some of you are shaking your heads, “Nah. It can’t be that bad. Someone’s being a drama queen.” Go ahead and take several seats, because no. It’s awful. Thinking about grabbing a box of tampons a month post delivery? Think again, Nancy. Go ahead and buy all the maxi pads from all the Targets within a hundred mile radius and you might have enough to get through the first month. Don’t even think about wearing cute underwear unless you’re okay with them looking like they survived a zombie apocalypse. “Oh, but I’ll buy the super plus tamp–” NO YOU WON’T. Oh, honey, no. Mother Nature beats the hell out of those things. So just get used to the idea of wearing a diaper for at least the first six months if not longer.
There was a time in my life (about a year ago, actually) that my heaviest period lasted three days. I never even thought about buying anything other than regular strength tampons. In fact, I vividly remember gawking at the S+ boxes and wondering who on earth could possibly survive a period that crazy. Y’ALL. I AM NOW THAT WOMAN. So go ahead and stock up on granny panties (they’re comfy as hell, guys) and a truckload of the biggest maxi pads you can find. Also, Midol isn’t going to touch the cramps you’re going to battle. Go to your local pharmacist, slip him a $20, and ask him on the DL to take the strongest stuff they’ve got and add about 100MG to it. You’ll thank me later.
What you’re going to experience, believe it or not, is normal. You’re not bleeding out, you’re not going to die, and if your kids are like my kids, your offspring will learn to sense when you’re at that time of the month (sorry, boys!). No kidding, my kids volunteered to unload the dishwasher, fold laundry, and bathe the baby for this last visit from my heavy-handed Aunt Flo. And. it. was. INCREDIBLE. Sure, I had to go back and relocate a few dishes and refold a few towels. But beggars can’t be choosers, and I think it’s safe to say that my boys’ wives will one day be very happy, indeed.
Side note, the hospital you use will give you a ton of those massive pads if you ask for them upon leaving. My nurse gave me six unopened packs, y’all. Talk about not all heroes wear capes! She officially made my Christmas card list. So be sure to ask for those as well as the mesh undies. They’re definitely not attractive and they do nothing for your backside, but they won’t irritate your incision and, believe me, you’ll be glad to have them.
If you instinctively answered, “Tool Time!”, then you might be a product of the nineties, or you’re at least familiar with sitcoms from that era. I grew up watching Home Improvement with my dad; it brings back good memories and it’s a show I don’t mind my own kids watching. Coincidentally, the things I remember laughing at as a kid (things I likely laughed about because my dad was laughing, too) are things that I laugh at now because they are so relatable. The other day, my husband and I were talking about one of the episodes. It hit me when Evan was mimicking a scene from Tim’s bit that we are, in fact, living out in our own version of Home Improvement. In this particular scene, Jill is complaining to Tim about their eldest boys’ incessant bickering and is trying to come up with a logical way to correct the issue. Tim’s response? His trademark grunt, a quick room switch, and all’s well that ends well. Naturally, Jill wasn’t very happy to be kept out of the loop, but even she can’t deny that the problem at hand is, well, no longer a problem.
All of a sudden a flood of H.I. episodes came rushing to the forefront of my brain with one very clear thought: WE ARE THE TAYLORS. It could be worse; we could epitomize the Conner family from “Roseanne”. No thanks.
I’ve been putting an enormous amount of time into thinking about my theory, because, you know… I’ve got a lot of time on my hands (*snort*), and I think most of us mirror if not a full-on sitcom then at least a character, or group of characters, from a sitcom. You think I’m kidding? Go ahead. Think about your favorite show or a popular show from any era. The odds are, if you’re honest with yourself, that there is something out there that you can relate to at least a little.* Hell, a good friend of mine is practically living out “Everybody Loves Raymond”. Now that’s a show that’s great on a screen, but Lord have mercy am I ever thankful that I’m not living across from Marie, Frank, and Robert!
I think that’s the key to good writing, though. A good writer has to pull his or her audience in enough to get them invested. Generally speaking, an audience member becomes “invested” when he or she can relate to a character’s personality or situational moments.
For me personally, I can relate to Jill. I’m married to a (not-so-idiotic) Tim and I have three boys who are all wildly different and who make me crazy. Her days of being a SAHM really hit home for me as far as her feeling she isn’t living up to her potential, but I’ve also been a working momma. Like Jill in later episodes, I know what it is like to juggle work and home life, hoping everything comes down in relative calm, only to wake up to a souped-up toaster gone horribly wrong. Talk about being a chaos coordinator. Yikes!
My boys even fit the Tool Time bill. Gabe is very much like Brad — likable, funny, and a little spacey. Connor is the poster child for middle-kid syndrome, much like Randy. He is smart and quick and, somewhere down deep, a sweetheart. Mason is only four months old, but I’d be willing to lay a bet he’s calm, mild-mannered Mark. Someone who just wants to fit in and be involved. Most importantly, they are all mine and I love each of their unique personalities — even the crazy parts.
I’m not completely deluded; I know it’s just a TV show and we’re obviously not living in Detroit next to a know-it-all neighbor. But somehow, on a super weird level, it’s sort of nice to know that there’s some writer out there making up storylines about a life that, I’m just being honest, really stacks up to my own real, off-screen life. So think about it; what characters remind you of you and yours? I’ve shared with you my weirdness — now it’s your turn.
* Side note: if you’re relating to things like The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, or Game of Thrones, you’ve got bigger fish to fry and perhaps you should scale it back to Barone level. Just saying.
As you all know, I am a momma to three wonderful boys. What you all might not know, is that I am a momma to at least two boys (the third is out for debate, still) who are wonderfully whiny on occasion. And by “on occasion”, I mean here lately — they’ve been ON AROLL, SON.
rhino graphic courtesy sarah ward
I’m not sure if it has anything to do with end-of-the-school-year restlessness or the fact that none of us are adjusted to the time change yet (yeah, none of us have any clue of time management), but I’m over it. Done. Finito. The Give a Damn Train has left Whinytown Station.
Granted, this year has brought some pretty big changes in not so necessarily big forms. Mason was born in December, smack dab in the middle of Con’s first year of pre-k, which in addition to a baby bro was another HUGE change for the middle boy child. Having another sibling wasn’t as big deal to Gabe — he’s been there and (literally) has the tee shirt. But he started 3rd grade this year and that brought all kinds of changes for him. Now instead of being in one class with one teacher all day, he’s in three classes with three different teachers. Now for most, the shock would have dissipated a month or so into the year. But since Gabe struggles with sensory issues as well as other minor “problems”, it takes him quite a bit longer to adjust. Case in point: he’s just come around to keeping up with seven different notebooks for each of his subjects. It’s April. So, yeah; we’re pretty much done here.
Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been a bad year. Connor is blossoming and is so eager to learn and for the most part, Gabe’s grades have been great and he loves his teachers. But I’m still coming down off of pregnancy hormone highs and lows and I’m not getting much sleep these days. Hormonal, sleep deprived momma = scattered patience and chaos E’RYWHERE.
So it’s no wonder that I keep a bottle of wine or some margarita fixins in my fridge. I’m a mom of three now (read: lightweight), so I have just enough for a nightcap on evenings that I feel I could climb the walls and contort my body Exorcist style. Call me crazy, but I don’t think the hubs could deal with his wife pulling an Emily Rose twice a week.
I think this time of year brings out the crazy in all of us, though. Over the years, I have found that in addition to spring cleaning my house, I also need to spring clean the old brain box. It’s a lengthy process, particularly if you have the attention span of a gnat like your’s truly. But it’s worthwhile. Sometimes our brains get bogged down and cluttered with stuff that we need to let go of. In the garage sale of thought processes, we wouldn’t put most of that junk on the front lawn — if you get my meaning. So if you can’t unload on a friend or loved one (and choose wisely), then toss it in the bin. Don’t put it where you can go dumpster diving later and put it back on the shelf. Toss it. Burn it. Do what you have to do to let all the junk go. And breathe a sigh of relief that you can start putting more crap on your now relatively empty shelves.
I’ll be taking my own advice over the weekend. In the meantime, Wineocerous out.
Yesterday ended our school’s spring break, or as I like to call it, “Summer Vacation Rehearsal”. Y’all, I need all the drinks.
Was it all bad? No. But my boys have both reached those spectacular ages that leave them arguing with one another incessantly. These days they even argue over the attention of the baby! Sounds cute, right? Wrong! More like infuriating. Add to the arguing the time change and a full moon over spring break, and it’s really a small wonder that my liver has not been fully pickled.
Our first day of the holiday went off relatively well but quickly spiraled into the abyss not-so-fondly known as “sibling rivalry”. In an effort to keep my sanity, I took the boys bowling this past Wednesday. Our local lanes offer great discounts during school holidays, so we took advantage of the lower prices. I’d be lying if I said that the day didn’t go by smoothly. We ran our errands, grabbed a bite to eat, and finally made our way to the bowling alley. Gabe and Connor were beyond excited (this was Con’s first time ever bowling) and were eager to start our frame as soon as we got there. Connor was so excited, in fact, that he took off for a lane and nearly slid all the way down. Luckily, my momma Puma-like reflexes caught up with him. I explained to him the importance of staying behind the line, but of course, he is my button-pusher and line-crosser so I had to reiterate several times that his head would get stuck in the ball return and that I’d rather not make our monthly trip to the ER over spring break, so if he could please just stick to rolling balls down the aisle instead of his body that would be swell.
We had a great time once we finally got to the activity at hand. My boys had a blast and for one hour there was no arguing, “he-said-he-said”, or jabs to the eyeballs. Because I don’t agree with just letting kids win for the sake of keeping whining to a minimum, mama came away with the high score. Was it a fair game? Not really. But I feel like it is my job as their mom to teach them good sportsmanship in winning as well as in losing. I’m no bowling rockstar, though, and I didn’t win by a landslide; Connor was a mere four points behind me. Gabe, bless him, rolled a 65. He could have scored higher had he not insisted on using a fifteen-pound bowling ball. I tried telling him that the 9 or 10 pound would probably be a better fit, but he let me know in no uncertain terms that he was, in his words, “strong enough for a man-sized ball”, so I let him have the damn thing. Naturally, after all was said and done and once Connor was out of earshot, he asked why I let him use such a heavy ball. Freaking really, kid?
All in all, I enjoyed my day out with my boys. It was nice to get out with all three of them (even though Mason slept the entire time), and that one day made our relatively hellish spring break worthwhile.
With that said, I am certainly mom and woman enough to admit that I was relieved to drip their little butts off at school this morning. Have I missed them? Please. I’ve gotten more done today than I did in the five days they were home. I love them, but my cleaning routine needed to get back into a routine. I will see them tonight with their homework stations (and a ginormous margarita) at the ready.
Anyone who knows me knows that since becoming a mom, I am constantly on the lookout for a good deal. Which, if I’m being honest, is not-so-secret-code for: “I’m freaking cheap”. What good mother on a budget isn’t at least a little cheap? But y’all, I’m here to tell you that I would spend all the money on a microwave that doesn’t sound like it’s being murdered at 5 o’clock in the morning. You know the sound I’m talking about.
It’s the buttcrack of dawn. You’re up because: mommy bladder. You know that even though you’re not hungry at such an early hour, it would behoove you to grab a quick bowl of oatmeal before the scavengers children wake up. All is well and you’re wrapped up in cleaning the sticky off the floor from the night before — and it happens. The sound of a thousand mom souls dying permeates within the pit of your stomach. The bleeping microwave has ratted you out, your oatmeal is done, and, coincidentally, so is your “me” time. Oh, sure; you could eat your breakfast in the pantry like an animal. Lights off, door shut, hunched over the bowl riddled with guilt. You could even throw a towel under the crack of the door in a feeble attempt to keep the smell of cinnamon-y goodness from wafting up the noses of your hangry offspring. But realistically, it’s over. You’re finished. They’ve heard the song of their people and they’re coming for you.
It happens to the best of us. All we want to do is clean up the, what the hell is that– chocolate milk covered rice?!, from underneath the fournado’s chair. Maybe wash a dish or two or even wipe down the counter before the heathens enter and turn your backsplash into a milk-splash. But all hopes of a semi-clean, baby wipe scrubbed kitchen are dashed. All because of that noisy-ass microwave that we just had to have.
The pants I’m wearing were bought on clearance for $8 and my top is from two kids back. I’m all about the Target dollar section and I never, but never, buy full price cereal. I don’t need a refrigerator that can tell me the weather or order a gallon of milk, and I don’t give a crap about a self-cleaning dishwasher. But a less angst-sounding microwave? A SILENT microwave? Take all my money. LG, I’m yours for the taking.
Mom of 2 Toddlers writing about experiences, things I wish I knew before, and sharing some of my favorite products. Being a mom is hard, there are so many tricks and lessons out there and we all need to support each other.