Bramell, Party of Five: October 2012

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Name in Lights (Kinda)

If you are from around here, you may have heard about this nifty resource called NWA Motherlode; it's a blog about all things for families in Northwest Arkansas---community events, information, fun giveaways, recipes and much more. I've been a subscriber to the blog since it started a few years back.  They probably know my name from entering EVERY SINGLE GIVEAWAY that they post.  And I'm not the least bit bitter about not winning that front loading washer and dryer set last year. Really. 

I was totally thrilled to meet Shannon, who is one of the mamas and founders of the site, at the Arkansas Women Bloggers conference in August. Talk about a gal that shares my love of everything silly and sarcastic....

Anywho, I got an email from Shannon not long ago to see if could feature me in the Five Minutes with a Mom segment last week.  Of course I said yes! Here's the link to my interview if you want to check it out HERE.  'Cuz, you know, I'm kind of a big deal now.  These are good people, so go find NWA Motherlode on the web, on Facebook and on Twitter. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

I Heart Apples!

Once I got back home with my load of apples from my dad's apple tree, I almost panicked. I think I overestimated just how many apples that we could eat. Don't get me wrong; we eat a lot of apples...but this was a little much. See previous post for the photo of our haul.

Now let me start by saying I've never made an apple pie before. Actually, I don't much like apple pie either. Cooked apples just aren't my thing; I like them juicy and crisp with a little peanut butter. However, I have a hubby who likes apple pie, and I do like to cook, so I just went for it.  

If you have been reading for a while, this next bit won't surprise you at all.  I got my apple pie "recipe" from my mom, who apparently doesn't believe it recipes. Her directions were:  peel and slice the apples, pack them into the crust, add a scoop of sugar, some cinnamon and top with a few pats of butter. So that's what I did.  Oh, and I used a ready made crust from the refrigerated section, because who has time to make one from scratch, really??  And, I was baking during nap time so I needed it to be easy.  My foodie friends are probably rolling their eyes right now.  And laughing at my photos.

Here's what we started with.

My kitchen helper always ready to go! 

Before the top crust goes on.

Ready for the oven!

Finished at last! Isn't she pretty?

After the apple pie and apples for lunch, we still had some apples left for something else. Another pie?  Apple dip? So many things to consider....

I decided on the Apple Nachos from a Taste of Home magazine that I had dog-eared last fall. Yum! These require absolutely NO cooking at all!  You just slice the apples and pour on melted caramels and marshmallows, and top with peanuts and chocolate chips. The kids picked off and ate the chocolate chips; hubby and I took care of the rest. This would be a fantastic addition to a holiday party, but the trick is to make sure you serve immediately or else the caramel gets a little runny and gross.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fall Road Trippin' & Apple Pickin'

At the end of September, I decided to take the kids on a road trip to Wynne. Lee stayed behind to get some work done at the house--things that are much easier to do without kids and extra hands around---like painting and cleaning the garage.  

We had a great Saturday at my dad's house. We started out watching the Razorback game, but quickly realized that was going downhill fast.  So, outside we went to pick some apples from his apple tree. Seriously, I had no idea the man even had an apple tree! The kids loved running around in the yard and playing with baby Allie. We picked more apples than I knew what to do with.

Photo credits to my sister here as I did not even attempt to get out my camera. Also realizing we have no photos of Karen or baby Allie this time.

The kids had the easy job, while the adults did all the work.

This kid ate A WHOLE APPLE!

Here's our bounty...sent some to Big Sister's class for snack time, shared some with my co-workers, made an apple pie, made apple nachos and still had plenty left over.

Little stinkers!

The joys of life in the country...the mower is a toy!  Big Sis and Pop were all smiles.

Boy Twin taking his turn on the mower with Pop. Girl Twin was not interested in riding at all.

Little ones with Grammy. We also enjoyed a quick visit from Aunt Pam, Aunt Nanette and Remy this weekend.  There's never enough time to see everyone!

Kids with my Nanny--their GREAT-grandma. Oh, how they adore her!
Overall, we had a great visit with everyone. It's not often that I take the kids that far on my own, but I guess I was feeling a little adventurous. And maybe a little homesick.  Oh, and I never take enough pictures.  It's just too much work to chase kids, that's why I let the aunts and grandmas do it.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Am I raising juvenile delinquents?

It's been an interesting couple of weeks at our house. It seems that two-thirds of my children have been causing some trouble at school. There's nothing like getting a note from the teacher to make you feel like you are an incompetent parent.

Offender Number One:  Boy Twin. He is two years old.  He is a BOY.  In taking these two things into consideration, I know that his behavior is probably very normal.  Here's the DL. I got a phone call at work after Lee picked up the littles from daycare. Him: "Boy Twin got a police report sent home today."  Me:  "What?!"  Him:  "Well, it says incident report, but it looks like a police report."  Apparently, our angel-faced boy hit another kid with a SHOVEL....yes, a shovel.  I didn't ask, but I assumed that it was a plastic playground shovel, and tried not to think about the vision of Tony Soprano in my head.

So, how do you talk to a two-year-old about hitting? We sat him down and tried. He nodded and replied, "OK" in all the appropriate places. For punishment, I took away his new fire truck that he'd been playing with.  That certainly  made a point; he was so mad that he tried to hit me with a shovel. (kidding!)

Fast forward a couple of weeks.

Offender Number Two:  Big Sis.  She's five, and has been in a daycare/school setting since she was a toddler. I got an email from her kindergarten teacher.  Big Sis has always had a tendency to latch on to one kid and be "a follower," for lack of a better word.  She has a new friend in class, but now she's trying to keep the other kids from playing with them. Apparently, she's said some mean things to make her point to the other kids. Again, the vision in my head is not good---Lindsey Lohan in Mean Girls, anyone?  Her teacher assured me that she's a sweet girl, she just needs to watch her mouth.  As you know, we've been having this problem at home, too. The mouth! I didn't expect this kind of attitude for at least five more years! Oops.  So, we've talked to her this week. The teacher also talked to her.  I don't want my baby to be a Mean Girl!! We didn't punish her or tell her about the teacher's note.  I gave her a good talking to and a lesson on The Golden Rule....we will see how this turns out. She's a sweet and smart girl;  I don't want her blacklisted from the first grade. Good grief, the drama!

Note:  I am not looking for parenting advice or for anyone to tell me what a crappy parent I am. We are all learning as we go and doing the best we can.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It's Twin Tuesday!

For today's Twin Tuesday installment, I'm going to give you a peek in the window of my minivan to see what happens during our morning commute.  Every morning on the way to daycare, we drive past "the boot" on Highway 412. If you are from this area, then you know what I'm talking about---it's literally a giant cowboy boot that sits on the side of the highway--to direct you to the local western store. Every morning, this is what I hear coming from the backseat of the van....

Girl Twin:  There's the boot!

Boy Twin:  I sawed the boot.

Girl Twin:  No, I sawed the boot.

Boy Twin:  No! I sawed the boot.

Girl Twin:  No! I sawed the boot.

Me:  OK, OK, we all saw the boot.

This has been going on for at least two months.  Seriously, EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  I keep thinking they will get tired of it, or forget. But, no.  And they get really pissed if traffic is backed up and blocking our view of the boot.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Our Family Secret

This week, I'm participating in the Blogtober Fest Challenge sponsored by Arkansas Women Bloggers. Today is the last day of the challenge.  The topic is Favorite Fall Recipes.

I live in the South, and come from a family of good cooks and good eaters.  That's really no secret--have you seen me? Our way of doing big family gatherings is that everyone pitches in to bring a dish. Really, this is cool because that way nobody gets stuck doing all the work--we can have up to 20 people at any time. I, however, have been given a pass on the cooking lately since we are always traveling across the state with three kids in tow...but I digress.

Our #1 most popular family dish is my Nanny's cornbread dressing. Now, don't get this confused with stuffing; this is most certainly not coming out of a turkey's butt. Nanny's dressing is not just made for traditional Thanksgiving dinner; we have it during regular Saturday lunches in the middle of May. We can be cooking steaks on the grill and someone will make darn sure that Nanny is bringing some dressing! It's really kind of odd.  But here's the problem: there is no recipe, and nobody can make it like her.

The first Christmas after the twins were born, we decided it was wise to stay home instead of hauling it across the state (for obvious reasons). My sister and her husband joined us here instead. Immediately, we realized that Nanny would not be here to make the dressing and neither would my mom. Well, my sister did not get the cooking gene, and I do alright, so I said I'd give it a shot.  I emailed my mom for some directions. I will share with you what I got in return (I swear, I am copying this exactly):

"How to make dressing....

I'm like Nanny in that I don't measure b/c that's the way she taught me. THE MAIN SECRET IS THIS--DO NOT OVER STIR AFTER YOU ADD THE BROTH OR IT WILL BE GUMMY.

Start with 1 cup of buttermilk and beat in 2 eggs by hand. Add corn meal mix, a little at a time, until it is still pourable...not real thin, but not too thick or it will be heavy when cooked. If you get too much cornmeal, add a little more buttermilk until you get the consistency you want. Bake until it's nice and brown on bottom. There are also directions for making cornbread on the cornmeal package, if you prefer precise measurements. (duh!)

Finely chop celery (about a cup or so) and an onion. Boil these in chicken broth until almost clear and tender. Meanwhile, crumble the cornbread into chunks in your baking dish. Mash 2 boiled eggs with a fork until very fine and add to cornbread. When celery and onion are done, dip out with slotted spoon and mix into cornbread. Sprinkle on the sage and some black pepper. Mix gently with fork or your hands. Once combined, pour on the turkey broth, a little at a time. Again, you can stir gently with a fork but be careful not to do too much...just until combined.

Here is where you taste a little to see if it needs more sage, pepper or if it needs salt. The broth is usually salty enough if you salt your turkey well.  Shake the pan back and forth to gauge how much broth is in it. You will most likely need to add some of the chicken broth that you used to cook the celery and onion.

It should be moist enough to move back and forth but not be soupy. If you get too much, you can dip some out and you will need to cook longer to dry it up. Normally, it takes about 30 minutes at 450 degrees. Cook until it's brown on top. Save any leftover broth in case you need to add a little when you warm up the leftovers (only if it's on the dry side).

Good luck! Let me know how it turns out......"

I bet you are wondering how it turned out. Would these directions work for you??  Well, I gave it my best shot. Because she warned me 62 times, I was so paranoid about putting in TOO MUCH broth that I didn't put enough! It turned out fairly well, but on the dry and crumbly side. Nobody complained, but only because they knew better. A sleep-deprived, cranky lady cooking her first solo Christmas dinner....just shut up and eat it!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Unforgettable Moment

This week, I'm participating in the Blogtober Fest Challenge sponsored by Arkansas Women Bloggers. Today's topic is Fall Back--promote a post from the past.

With today's assignment, it was really a no-brainer on which post I would promote.  My twins are two years old now, but I still get asked the same questions today that I was asked when I was expecting.  Over and over, always the same questions. Today, I'm reminding the world just how we felt when we learned that our family was growing BY TWO!  Click HERE to read that post from February 2010. It's been a long time, but that memory will never fade. It was the single most shocking moment of my life.

If you are a new reader, or found me through the Arkansas Women Bloggers challenge, then you are in for a treat. If you know someone expecting twins, this might give you a little perspective on what's in her head.  And what not to ask her.

Along with my sweet five-year-old, I have two healthy, smart and active toddlers. They exhaust me, but they show me every day that some surprises turn out to be blessings.

First time at the park

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tradition, Habit or Strange Obsession?

This week, I'm participating in the Blogtober Fest Challenge sponsored by Arkansas Women Bloggers. Today's topic is Fall Traditions.

First, let me explain that my husband grew up in the tiny town of Yellville, Arkansas, a place I'd never been until I met him. In this tiny town, they have a fall festival called Turkey Trot; it includes a 5K race, turkey calling contests, a Miss Drumsticks beauty pageant and a parade. But the highlight of the festival has caused much controversy in the media in the past few years....they throw live turkeys from airplanes flying over the town square. Yes, you read that right. This little festival just celebrated its 67th year this past weekend, and we were there! Try not to be too jealous. I'm pretty sure this was my 5th year to attend, though I can't remember exactly.  

I will say that last weekend there was a collective heaviness hanging in the air around town, that I've not seen there before. I hate to tell this, but there were no turkeys hurled from planes this year. And, would have thought someone died. It was the talk of the town all day, as the Turkey Trot regulars walked around with their necks craned toward the sky. After many years of complaints by PETA to the FAA, it seems that the turkeys have finally been spared. I, as an outsider, do not have this strange feeling of sadness that's apparently shared by those who have enjoyed this insanity for most of their lives. I can say that it was definitely a sight to see and I'm glad that I got to witness it, or I might not believe it myself. 

Here is a little Bramell family pictorial of Turkey Trots from the past. You can see how my kids grew and multiplied over the years.  Enjoy!

Big Sis, age 17 months at 2008 parade

Always fun during election years--2008

Look closely between the first two power lines--a turkey!

See? I did not make this up. Dude got a turkey!
I forgot to mention that the ones who are lucky enough to catch a turkey are expected to walk around the town square to show off his/her bounty.  

The twins' first Turkey Trot--2010
Clearly, they are not impressed.

2010--Big Sis, age 3

YSHS Band--2010

Bonus points for creativity--2012 parade float

My sweeties totally digging the parade--2012
Twins, age 2 and Big Sis, age 5

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sweet Nostalgia

This week, I'm participating in the Blogtober Fest Challenge sponsored by Arkansas Women Bloggers. Today's topic is Halloween Memories. 
Every year at this time, as the nights turn cool and the leaves turn beautiful colors, I think about the good times from my friend Buddy's birthday hayrides.  This was one event that I looked forward to every year.  I mean, look--I'm in my upper 30's and I still think about it EVERY. SINGLE. HALLOWEEN.  I grew up in a small, rural farming community without a lot  of commercialized things for us to do.  But God bless Buddy's mom, Mrs. Ruth, for letting 30-40 teenagers trample into her home each October for this party.  I don't know how many years Buddy had this party, but I'm pretty sure it was through junior high up until we started driving. 

Just imagine this--Buddy's house backed up to a cemetery, which is creepy on any normal day.  But the week before Halloween, you bet your hiney that place was scary! We'd start out in the yard around a big fire roasting hot dogs and drinking way too many Dr. Peppers. After dark, we'd all pile onto a flatbed trailer and go for a hayride through the cemetery.  Now, I have always been a big scaredy cat, but this hayride nearly did me in every year.  But I kept going back for more! Buddy's dad, cousins and various neighbors would hide out in the cemetery behind tombstones and trees in bloody zombie costumes....waiting to jump at us for a good fright. After the first year, we expected this to happen. But was it any less scary? Heck no!

Although I don't really remember, I'm sure some years I had someone to snuggle with or hold my hand.  But mostly I remember our whole gang huddled together and our shrieks echoing out into the dark, haunted night air. I remember once when some kids thought it would be fun to jump off the trailer and run back to the house. Well, I wasn't up for that, but also didn't want to get left behind in the cemetery. So, off I went into the dark.  I swear, my heart was beating in my throat as I was hurrying through the tall grass toward the dim lights from the house in the distance. I'd been here so many times, so why was I scared? And why didn't we ever bring flashlights?

Image courtesy of

Image from Google Images--not Buddy's hayride.

After we all survived the hayride, it was time to hang out around the fire. We'd sit and chat, and watch the boys goof around.  Buddy's birthday is always during MLBs World Series. I have such cool memories of being the only girl hanging out in the family room watching baseball with all the boys and Buddy's dad. Maybe they thought I was cool, or maybe they thought I was weird. But I loved it!  Even now, when it's time for the World Series, I think about Buddy and those parties. I think about the friends that I grew up with, and rarely ever see anymore. These are all happy memories, and ones that I'll always have this time of year.

I looked for some photos of the parties to post on here, but didn't find any. I did learn that cameras back then were crappy; the quality of the photos I did find were very poor and dark.  So, if any of my WHS homies read this and have photos---please send and I will add to this post.  But I doubt any of us ever took our cameras with us, because we knew the zombies would get them!  Also, share some of your memories in the comment section; maybe I forgot something cool.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fashion Fun: Is she Five or Fifteen?

This week, I'm participating in the Blogtober Fest Challenge sponsored by Arkansas Women Bloggers. Today's topic is Fall Fashion and Decorating. 

When I saw the topic for the first day's challenge, I will admit that I was a little stumped.  Fashion is not really something that I stay in tune with.  I wear what I have, what's clean and what fits; and the "clean" part is negotiable. So, then I thought about focusing on the "decorating" part of the topic. Hmmm....well sure, I have a few pins of great looking projects that I'll never get to.  I have some decent fall decor ideas, but with two little grabbers in the house, that will have to wait a few more years. Right now my fall decor includes Matchbox cars, baby dolls, coloring books and random shoes strategically strewn around the floor.  Top it off with a plastic pumpkin, and we're good to go.

I finally settled on Fall Fashion featuring Big Sis, the sassy 5-year-old in my house.  I talked it over with her and she was more than willing to help out.  At least if I can't be a fashionista, then my kid can.  

Above:  Check out this green corduroy jumper that I found last week at the Goodwill store, of all places.  I went in to look for Halloween costume pieces, and found this sweet GAP dress in perfect condition for three bucks.  Score!  Below:  Something we threw together from her closet. We actually bought the super cute knee socks from the LittleMissMatched store in Orlando way back in May, and have been waiting oh-so-patiently for fall weather to wear them.  Yay!

And, favorite of them all.  I never, EVER buy the girl expensive clothing.  Mainly, because she is still pretty clumsy, messy and generally rough on clothing. When I saw this sale online for Vintage Couture way back in the summer, I jumped! Y'all, this dress cost me TEN BUCKS (I think reg price was $70)!!  Oh, how I've waited for the weather to be right for her to wear it.  And I can't find brown tights anywhere, wouldn't you know.  Nonetheless, it suits her perfectly and we love it!

Obviously, nobody will ever turn to me for fashion tips. But I appreciate this challenge because it caused me to think outside the box....and have a GREAT time with my little girl, who won't be this eager to help for long.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Kids on Wheels

Last weekend, we had our very first family outing to the skating rink.  I've taken Big Sis by herself a few times, and for birthday parties, but this was the first time for the littles and Dad to join us.  So fun!!  It won't be long before Big Sis can do it on her fact, she did it this time in small bits. 
Getting laced up, with help from Dad.

Look out, here comes trouble!

The twins hopped right into their skates without any hesitation. We took a couple of laps around the rink, with Dad and me wearing our shoes and holding their hands.  Girl Twin decided she wasn't crazy about it, and would rather walk.  I went to take her skates off, and when I turned around, little dude had grabbed "the helper thing" and was GONE!  So much for holding mom's hand!  He had a blast and never slowed down.  Can't you just see how hard he's concentrating?

So sorry we didn't get any pics of Girl Twin before the skates came off.  Well, there was one, but it was very blurry.  I do see lots more skating in our future, so there will be plenty of time for more pictures.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Fun in the Kitchen

As I've said before, we do a lot of cooking--it's just easier and arguably less expensive for a family of five.  The downside to cooking dinner most nights is that you will eventually find yourself in a dinner rut.  We are there now.  It's also no secret that I'm not very adventurous with my eating, so I'm probably not doing a very good job of getting my kids to experiment either.  I am trying to work on that, though.  I promise.  I know it will be helpful now that I've made some new food bloggy friends like Amy at Our Everyday Dinners and Debbie at Dining with Debbie to give me some fresh ideas.

Here is a little something that I whipped up one night last week. It was very easy and quick for a school night.  I will call it Pizza Bites, since I don't have a real name for it.  I also don't have a real recipe; it was just something the gals at work were talking about one day.  We discussed a few different variations, but I decided on this one.

I used canned biscuits, flattened out for the crust.  Next I put one slice of pepperoni down, stacked on a slice of a mozzarella cheese stick and topped with another slice of pepperoni.  Then I folded up the dough over the toppings and pinched it together to close.  Last, I gave it a couple of sprays of butter and sprinkled on some Italian seasoning.  They baked in the oven on 400 for about 10 minutes, until they turned a toasty brown.  Served with marinara sauce on the side for dipping.  It was a hit!

Hint:  I was tipped off not to use shredded mozzarella with this recipe. Apparently, the shredded kind will be too thin or cook into the dough.  The cheese stick worked well because 1) I already had some in the fridge and 2) it didn't melt very much, but still tasted good.

Note: I am not a food photographer, which you can probably tell by these pictures. But, hey, I did remember to actually take photos before we ate the dinner!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

BLOGtober Fest Challenge

Check in every day next week to see what's going on here.  I'm going to participate in a blogging challenge, issued by my Arkansas Women Bloggers friends.  That means I'll be posting on a new (assigned) topic every day next week.  This should be a real challenge, as finding the time to blog everyday is difficult.  But I am up for the challenge, and I want to do it!  I'll also give links to the other participants so you can see what ideas they have to share.  Happy Fall, Y'all!

It's Twin Tuesday!

*Goofing around the other day. I'm sure someone was just about to stick a finger into the outlet. Because, as you can see, one outlet is not covered.  Again, Mother of the Year.  

Here's a fact:  Boy Twin and Girl Twin have both been testing my patience lately. And my sanity. (The 5-year-old is doing her share, too...but that's for another post). They are always on the move--mostly running--and they are becoming increasingly more demanding. What can be more demanding than two infants simultaneously crying for a bottle and a diaper change, you ask?

Answer: two toddlers constantly saying, "I want a drink, I need a snack, hold me, s/he hit me,...." and so on.  Oh, and they fight--A LOT. Unless there is hair pulling or biting, we usually let them fight it out. In fact, the other night I found myself sitting on the couch yelling, "Push him back!" I know, right now you are thinking about what a great mom I am.

Girl Twin has become a very bossy bird.  When she's really feeling sassy, she calls her brother by his full name before shouting out her demand.  Really, it's quite funny.

Boy Twin has been super dramatic this week.  He's throwing fits and screaming in a very annoying, high-pitched tone.  Need an example?  I opened the fridge to put in his half-empty cup of milk.  As I shut the door, he got really agitated, threw himself onto the floor and cried, "My do it!"  When I finally figured out what he wanted, I had to open the fridge back up just so he could close the door himself!

Ahh, twins.  A pair of two-year-olds.  Some days they make me laugh and some days they make me cry.  But every day I wonder if this will be the day I lose it.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Have I told you lately?

Have I told you lately that.....I will be doing a sweet giveaway for FREE BOOTS from Country Outfitter?  I know it's been a while since I mentioned it here on the blog, but if you've been on Facebook at all over the last month, you have seen a flurry of links to giveaways out there in internet world. 

As you may remember, I got my free pair of boots when I attended the Arkansas Women Bloggers conference at the end of August.  Because Country Outfitter is such a progressive company, in touch with how we communicate in new media, they are also providing the bloggers with a $150 gift card to give away on our own blogs.  
No, it's not time for my giveaway. Sorry to be a tease, but I just wanted to show them off to everyone.  And, for all those who keep asking me, you can all get the same answer at once.

Check out the fantastic boots that I chose.  They are made by Ariat.  I. love. them.

Seriously, I've never owned cowboy boots before, so I didn't know what to expect.  I've worn them several times already, and I swear I'm not lying, they are very comfortable--and pretty!  "These are the tennis shoes of cowboy boots," said Evolved Mommy, when I picked up the boots at the Country Outfitter warehouse.  She was right!  I wore them on my recent trip to Nashville.  Right? I had to wear them to Nashville!  Even hustling through airports, the boots did not slow me down.  And I'm pretty sure I saw people admiring their awesomeness more than once.  Or maybe I had toilet paper hanging out my pants? I'll assume it was the boots. 

As you can see, even Big Sis and Fergie approve.  I'm sure the next pair I get will have to be in Mini Me's size 10 1/2.  Keep watching here for info on the big giveaway.  Hint:  it will be the perfect time to score a great Christmas gift for yourself or someone on your list.  I won't let you miss it!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

It's Twin Tuesday!

As I've been watching the kids lately, it's made me do a lot of thinking.  I mainly think about how different life is now compared to when they were babies.  People ask me all the time, "Is it getting easier?" My reply is always the same: "Not really easier, but just a different hard."  That probably sounds silly to most people, but it's the best way to explain our crazy life.  Hard is trying to simultaneously bottle feed two babies who can't sit up.  Hard is traveling alone with a toddler who needs to go potty, while also having to haul two infant carriers into the stall because you can't leave them in the car.  Hard is going through 2,400 diapers in six months.  Hard is paying for all those diapers and bottles.

Having gone from one child to three, I often stop to wonder what is really most overwhelming to me---having two kids the same age, or just having three kids, period.  Is everyone who has three kids this tired, or this busy or this stressed out?  Or am I just a wimp?  I used to have a clean house, we never left dirty dishes in the sink and always had time to watch TV at night.  Now, I'm lucky to even sit down between coming home from work and falling into bed way too late.  I'd be embarrassed for any guests to come over and see my messy house, if I wasn't too tired to care.  Any free time I have is spent playing outside, taking the kids for walks and reading lots of board books.  Is it easier?  No, it's just different.

Really, I'm different.  I know the short few hours I spend with the kids at night are so special.  I know that, even when they are being brats, they love me and they sure don't care if the dishes are washed.  And I'm OK with that.  The people in my office totally know what's up when I wear a dress three days in a row because that's all the clean clothes I have.  I know that there is sometimes work that I need to bring home from the office; but I also know that sometimes I just need to leave work at work and focus on being mommy at home.  At the end of the day, the diaper changing, butt wiping and breaking up fights is my number-one job.  It may not pay me with money, but I have a bank full of love.

Oh, and I'm glad that Lee hasn't gotten his fill of crazy and headed for the hills. Not yet, anyway.

Blogging tips