The Real Hunger Games :: Meals with Toddlers

Dear fellow parents,

I don’t know about you, but there are three times of day that give me more problems than the other 21 hours of the day: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I don’t know why, but my previous easy-going, “eat everything with no complaint” children have morphed into miniature people that have new-found opinions about meals and scarf down any and all food that they like. The Wierder combinations of food the better. And they let me know very quickly if what I make sucks.

The thing is, some of the time they are right. Granted, I like to cook and part of me found cooking a type of therapy before I had children. There was something soothing about being in the kitchen and creating a masterpiece of a meal to be savored with a nice glass of wine over dinner with my spouse. Now, meals feel like an episode of the Hunger Games, where I am literally trying to stay alive and not be pushed into a pot of boiling ravioli or hit with flying bananas.

They want me to be a short order cook. Today’s menu as follows: for one child its peanut butter with no jelly, a pineapple (whole with the spiky things on it), plates of brownies, four cups of ice, and half a leftover burger from last week. For the other it’s hummus with “crackers that have white spots on them”, 3 carrots, some Sour Patch Kids, an apple with seeds (WHY?) and peanut butter sandwich that has jelly on the corner and no where else. If it’s ANYWHERE else, an entire meltdown will ensue and I will be forced to walk the plank along with Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Sigh. (Can I tell you how many times I’ve walked the damn plank today?).

No matter what I make, they end up hating it, not eating it, throwing it all over the floor, themselves, me, our dog, or the carpet. Currently, their bedroom looks like a person was murdered in there because a few (make that four) strawberry nutra-grain bars are smashed so deep into the carpet, I may never get it out. I actually miss the days of spit up (what am I saying?) because it was easier to clean than 4000 goldfish crackers that have been crunched into a glass of milk to show me what “they have been cooking for MY lunch”.

And when it comes to me eating, at this point, it’s a lost cause. It’s pretty much the most violent part of the day when I know some small, tribal person will sneak from behind a couch or out of the pantry and creep towards me wielding a kids broom set and a Superman cape. They lunge – I duck, and still they seem to fly through the air and land in my lap, my perfect salad or the guacamole and chips I’ve been eyeing for the last 72 hours are now theirs. This is the real Hunger Games here, folks, and I’m literally just trying to survive, till Daddy comes home at least.

XoXo,

Lace

 

 

The Best Fashion Idea Since Yoga Pants :: Stitchfix 

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Now you can have your own personal stylist!

Dear mutual top-knot wearin’, yoga pant mama,

You know the mom uniform: yoga pants, cheerio-plastered oversized tees, barefoot because you’ve misplaced the matching pair of running shoes you ALWAYS use {AS IN the ones you use to run around the grocery store and not the gym} and the infamous “top knot”.

It’s a glorified symbol of motherhood and half the time, when your hair is messier, the better. You wear it with pride to the pharmacy and PTO meetings, but occasionally it’s nice to feel human again and wear… DUNNN DUNN DUNNN .. Real Clothes.

A problem for me has become actual shopping. I have a hard time finding time to get away, to the mall, in a store, in a dressing room, in some new clothes, and in line to check out- without twin toddlers in tow or a meltdown on the horizon. Plus, I can be out of touch to what’s in style or current trends due to hearing endless Paw Patrol and Princess Sophia shows.

There are some AWESOME options for the mom like me who can’t find the time or right outfit and it gets shipped right to your pretty little door. You got it, it’s STITCHFIX.

STITCHFIX is a subscription-based personal styling service tht allows for the user to go online and create a style profile that is quick and easy to use. You get to choose when the package gets delivered, the price point of items (average is around $55 per item), and a variety of styles, sizes, and brands. A personal Stylist will then handpick five items that they think you should try and mail to your house.
Once you recieve your “fix” {and calm yourself from sheer excitement}, you try on the selected five items, keep what you want, and mail back the rest in a prepaid packaging. The best news? If you love EVERYTHING in your fix, you get a sweet 25% discount on the total of all items.

Seriously, mama. Give it a try. You deserve it! Tell ’em Lacey sent ya.

Happy Shopping! xoXo,

Lacey


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Maria Shireen Hair Tie bracelet :: LOVE!

(image credit: Maria Shireen, http://www.mariashireen.com)

Dear mama friends,
This is LIFE CHANGING. I am in love with this Maria Shireen hair tie bracelet! How ingenius since we all slap that ponytail or top-knot holder on our wrist and go about our day. Her bracelets are stainless steel and hold your hair tie so that you always have it with you. Wanted to share with all my top-knot wearin’ mama friends!

Want one? (i want about thirty of these!!)   GET IT HERE AT LIKE2HAVEIT

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My Twins Are Not Circus Animals :: 3 Ridiculous Things to Ask Moms of Multiples

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Dear random stranger,

You know when you go to the circus and you see the animals in the cage, it’s different than seeing them at the zoo. It’s not like you haven’t seen at least 400 Bengel Tigers in your life, but when you see the circus tiger, well.. That’s got to be the most AMAZING THING you’ve ever seen! Right?!

For the record, my twins aren’t those tigers and this ain’t the circus, lady. Given the fact that the girls are two (almost three), surely I thought that people would get over the fact that they are twins and not stare at us like caged animals they’ve never seen before. It was even worse when they were infants. Sure, I get the fact that twins draw attention when you see them together, and I know my girls are adorable (I’m a tad bias) therefore it draws more ooohsss and aawwwwww’s from the crowd. But, honestly, as a mom of multiples its SO annoying. I’ve been asked plenty of insane questions being a twin mommy, but these are the top three most ridiculous things to approach a twin mommy and ask.

  • The dreaded “ARE-THEY-TWINS???”- I think its universal when I say this annoys us more than anything. No, they just look alike and resemble each other identically. I know that you also “know someone who knows someone who had twins and they looked like this and acted like this and did this.” Ok let’s stop there. Yes they are twins. Yes they look exactly alike, and resemble each other’s mannerisms. Yes they are cute. Yes they are their own people though. Move along.
  • The unanswerable “WELL, HOW DID YOU HAVE THEM??” – Let’s get this straight. You don’t know me, but you want to know my fertility chart and about the birds and the bees? How do you think we had them? To your dismay, I’m actually open about the fact that my husband and I did go through the process of IVF and our twins were the result of that. I’d be happy to talk to you about it – one on one- over coffee. But, being this is the second sentence you’ve said to me since you approached me at the gas station, I dont think it’s appropriate to chat about when I’m pumping (gas that is).
  • The almost understandable “I BET THEY SAY AND DO EVERYTHING EXACTLY THE SAME”. This one doesn’t annoy me, but I feel I should remind you that although they are twins (remember that first question you squealed at us?) they are also two different little girls. As a mother, it’s important to me that they celebrate what makes them special by being a set of muliples, but I also want them to remember they are amazing and different individuals too. Our girls are as opposite as night and day. And just as they are opposite, they have so many similarities that make them so alike. It’s a beautful combo.

At the end of the day, dear stranger, the ridiculous comments and questions are annoying. I never am bothered by those who approach us with kind smiles and brief “hello’s” for our family. Being a mom of multiples IS AWESOME and thank you for taking the time to acknowledge that, but let’s not stop traffic anymore.

xoXo,

Lacey


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This Crap is For The Birds :: Why Potty Training Sucks

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Dear awesome potty-training momma,

I so envy you. I suck at this. I dont know if it’s the fact that I have twins, or they are girls that really could care less about going to the potty, or maybe it’s that I just am not good at this, but this crap is for the birds. I hate potty training. There, I said it.. And I’m not ashamed to say that it was a lot easier when my twins were at daycare and the teachers could pretty much do this for me. That sounds bad to say, but it’s true.

We’ve tried everything and for the most part, they have the hang of it. We’ve made some random charts that do nothing but collect a zillion stickers when I’m not looking and we’ve eaten our weight in skittles. I’ve tried to do the whole “potty dance” and watch potty shows and movies – but honestly, it’s annoying. I know, this is my job, and now that I’m staying at home (on day 3 mind you) I realize how important this is, but let’s be honest they aren’t going to college in pull ups, right? One of my twins is halfway there, and gets the whole “If I go I can get a treat” which results in her going thousands of times in a row and her sister losing her mind thousands of times a day because she didn’t empty her bladder 400 times but deserves a snack too. {SIGH}. It’s not fun in stores or public places either when they touch EVERY GERMY THING in the bathroom, cry when the scary, loud toilet flushes, and we end up leaving to go buy more pull ups. And its exhausting when we distracted and brush our teeth for the tenth time in an hour, wash our hands again, pull toilet paper all over the floor, decide to take our dinosaurs for a swim in the sink… It’s endless.

I’ve heard that boys are easier because you can let them just pee outside or hit Cheerio’s as a target in the toilet. That actually sounds like fun. My girls are dainty and sweet, enjoy being creative and playing but care less about peeing in a pull up and just grabbing a clean one instead. And I’m ready to quit inflating  Target’s stock of pull ups and stop buying them all together.

So tell me this gets better. And easier. And lie to me and tell me that overnight, they just wake up one morning and are past this phase, because I’m tired of washing thousands of princess-themed panties and towels after pee covers our kitchen floor. I’m ok to admit that I’m not good at this potty training thing, because I am awesome at making grilled cheese and having impromtu dancing parties with my girls at night. Until the toilet flushes, I’ll just eat all the skittles and keep missing our former daycare teachers who got us HERE. You are the unsung heros! Gotta run – someone fell in the toilet (again).

xoXo,

Lacey
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“Drink Your Juice, Shelby” :: And other reasons your co-workers are actually some of your best friends

(above picture: http://www.countryliving.com. References to the movie Steel Magnolias as used below)

Dear Reader,

Have you ever seen the movie Steel Magnolia’s ? You know, the one where they make Shelby a.k.a. Julia Roberts drink her juice while she’s getting her hair done at Truvy’s Beauty Shop? Yeah.. THAT movie. You know it made you ugly cry too, just admit it. Aside from the tears and the amazing movie quotes, there’s a lot to be told from that chick flick. I love how everybody in their random group of pals goes to the hair salon where half of the friends work. They are quite a dysfunctional group, yet in the mist of the arrangement, they complement each other in such a way it just makes you love them.

Just as the gals at Truvy’s are best buds, you have best friends of this nature too. Of course, you have the kindergarten and college best friends, but another group exists in your work family. You see, the reason why your coworkers are actually your secret best friends is because they know everything about you. They’ve heard you tell story after story that nobody else wants to listen to because you’re there with them eight hours a day (or more). They let you cry on their shoulder, they’ve covered your tail when you missed days at work, and hated your boyfriend when he was mean to you the night before. Some days, you annoy the crap out of them but Hey – that’s life. I’m not going to say that every co-worker is going to be your “ride or die” best-friend-buddy but I will say that you should give a chance to the coworkers who can become your best friends because, whether or not you realize it, they probably already are. Your kids will be friends with their kids. You eat lunch together and they know you hate mayo more than anything. Plus, they are always going to be the people to tell you your top-knot does not look cute and looks more like a bird nest… but that’s real friendship right there.

One of the hardest parts for me to transition from working full-time to staying at home is leaving my co-workers. We joke and say that we are TRULY a dysfunctional family but in the heart of it – that’s all true. When I first started my job I had no idea the effect that working with a diverse group of people would have in my life. I thought it would be just your regular job. And, although I am looking forward to having more time with my children, I can honestly say then I’m going to miss that weird, crazy work environment because of my co-workers.

I know in my case, those folks that I spent almost 6 and a half years with, became and will always be some of my absolute best friends; My family actually. And every time their children are selling a box of chocolate bars or one of them gets engaged on the top of Mount Everest with a ring the size of a boulder, I’m going to be there to celebrate them. In my case, they have celebrated my transition into giving time to my family and for that I am grateful. So, do yourself a favor and at least indulge a little into some people that you work with. Just shut up and do it; I promise you’ll thank me later. Now, go drink your juice, Shelby.
xoXo,

Lacey

One Underdog You Gotta Root For 

Dear reader,

I hate to cut this blog short but I’m soaking up every second of some precious family time with my sisters at the beach {yay!}. I wanted to share an article thats truly a great read from The Clarion Ledger Newspaper. 

THE CLARION LEDGER {Wingfield QB refuses to let his past beat him}

( http://on.thec-l.com/2caOGvU )
As I rode in the car with my kids thinking of all the luxury we have {which isn’t much to some but more than enough for us}, I couldn’t help but tear up a bit at the resilience this young man has. Being married to a coach, I get to see young athletes from all walks of life. It’s when you see these kids turn into young men with such heavy burdens and woes some of us can’t imagine. This kid is amazing and I can’t wait to see where his grit and grind take him.
xoXo,

Lacey

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Grocery Cart Wars

Dear random guy at Wal Mart,

Hey. I have a serious bone to pick with you. See, here’s the thing, I just watched you drive down the completely wrong aisle of the parking lot, talking on your cell phone, yelling at your teenagers in the back and acting kinda frantic as you almost hit my car whipping your ride into the closest possible parking space to the door. You were still on the phone as you raced inside and left your kiddos (who were teens and *disclaimer* old enough to be in a car alone) to sit and also text and fight on thier phones. When you came running out with your bag of groceries in hand and still on your cell phone, you PUSHED YOUR CART INTO THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD AND LEFT IT THERE. Then hopped into your shiny silver bullet and drove away leaving a heap of metal right in the way for the rest of us to either move FOR you or just, I dont even know.


REALLY? Really.

There are a lot of things that I really cannot handle: snakes, can’t look at them. Someone coughing up mucous makes me want to vomit. And people who cannot put the grocery cart in the stall. To some, it may seem so very small but when you really break it down, it tells a lot about a person. It takes literally two extra seconds because your friendly grocer has already talked to thier marketing guru team who has strategized and mapped every inch of that parking lot. They know how far you’ll walk to put that cart back and the stalls are actually very accesible to most parking spaces.

It also sets a tone to how you value others and yourself or your time. We are all busy in this world. The World is amost too busy for itself, and as a mom I am always running in and out of places (no joke) looking like I’m escaping jail. But, by over looking others and not taking the time to PUSH A CART IN A STALL, I’m basically saying my time is worth more and everything else is quite insignificant. Often, I’ll watch a group of people just push carts into each other and follow the leader – never stopping to be different and go against the crowd. One reason why I love my husband is he ALWAYS gathers the left over carts up and puts them back. It can be raining or 10,000 degrees outside, but he’s going to take the time to stop and just – help out. Something so small, but I bet you notice him when you’re leaving the store.

I say all that to just end with this – be different. Push the cart to the stall. Invest a little more time. Help someone out. You’d be suprised who notices the small and (maybe) insignificant things that other people take pride in. I married the guy who I watched pushing those carts and he’s not let me down. Rain or shine, he always takes the time to go the extra mile. Be that guy.

xoXo,

Lacey

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A Tale of Two Mothers : SAHM and Working Moms

 

Dear moms,

Recently I’ve taken a change of heart and am transitioning from a working mother to staying at home with my twin girls. With my anxiety feeling at an all time high due to the transition, I have worried myself to death about all the details of this change.

Being a working mom has been great. It challenged me in ways that reminded me how much I loved serving others in my healthcare career. I felt for a long time that I was able to have so many of the things that I wanted – parenting my twins and showing them how strong women in the workplace can make a difference. But, recently I’ve had a void. I’ve missed so many things with them. Weekends and after work seem to be the only time I have to manage my house and that is leaving little time with my family. Then there’s the cost of DAYCARE. Well, it’s absurd for any childcare cost to exceed your mortgage and with two, I basically need to sell a kidney.

Therefore, I’ve prayed for months and discussed it over and over with my husband (trust me, he’s heard all my worries) and have decided to officially stay at home. My heart is very excited and I know this time with them goes by fast. One day I’ll miss it, but I don’t want to miss it while I’m in it. As the time to stepping out of my clinic and back into my household approaches, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. Am I going to go crazy and feel like I have nothing outside of my house? Will I drive my kids crazy? They’ve done great in a learning environment for a while, but can I do as good of a job teaching them and helping them learn? And FINANCES– is my wallet ready for this budget I’m about to be on?

I’m the type of person that plans. My life is quickly planned out in a perfect little way that fits in my perfect idea of how it should be. And how often I am reminded that it’s never, ever, ever worked the way I wanted it to. Each time I think I had it all planned out, God tossed me for a loop. I know this is going to be great and positive. I know change can be hard and scary. And I know time with my children is so important, just as time for myself is too.

In the words of the great Leslie Knope from one of my favorite shows, PARKS & REC, “In times of stress or moments of transition, sometimes it can feel like the whole world is closing in on you. When that happens, you should close your eyes, take a deep breath, listen to the people who love you when they give you advice, and remember what really matters”.


xoXo,

Lacey