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Archive for the category “Family”

Jason

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A few weeks ago Michaela (our 2 year old) began hinting there was another person in our family.  His name is Jason.  At first we couldn’t figure out who Jason was.  He would show up in odd moments and our nanny was convinced SHE was being referred to as Jason.  After inquiring it became clear Jason was Michaela’s imaginary friend.  Jason was a trouble maker sometimes.  Jason is not simply pronounced “Jason”.  Rather you must pucker your lips and express a deep drawn out ”JAAAASSSSSOOOON”.

Bailey (our 5 yr old) had never mentioned any imaginary friends.  Growing up I had my BFF Tiffany so it has tickled me to have a kindred spirit in Michaela.  As our family has become more immersed in Jason’s personality we have begun adding him to our daily questions.  “Hey Michaela where is Jason?”  From what I have surmised he is potty trained, a voracious reader, and an avid jokester.  He loves to make messes, hide at bedtime, and cause trouble.  He is her imaginary friend and her alter ego.  Jason is awesome sauce.

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Three weeks ago my dad was diagnosed with kidney cancer.  It was a shock as I am sure it is to any person finding out there dad is not invincible.  The doctors were quick to get surgery scheduled and within days we had the date.  March 29.

My world shook the moment I knew something was wrong with my dad.  Realistically we know our parents will get older and have health problems.  However it is just something we take for granted until a test result slaps us across the face.  My little brother (Rob) and I immediately launched into action making plans to be there.  Logistics wise we both had a ton on our plate but within 24 hours we had travel coordinated, work off and spouses taking over at home.

The family plan was to meet the day before surgery, stay together the night before then do hospital shifts.  Between my mom, Rob and I my dad would never be alone. The doctors felt confident the cancer was only in his kidney. Everything sounded rational and on paper it made sense.  However I knew I wasn’t alone with the feeling of complete and utter fear.

Tuesday I left my girls, Mike and our animals and got on the train.  I spent 5 hours thinking about him and honestly dreading my arrival.  What do I say? How do I act? Do I cry? Make jokes? Will they cry? My role in our family has always been the planner/cheerleader.  I typically take charge (even when they don’t want me to) and lead.  Armed with the team bracelets my daughter had made us I arrived ready to do anything to help my parents.

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The first hour was a little rocky.  My dad was understandably very nervous and my mom was trying to be a comfort while managing her emotions.  He wasn’t allowed to have any cocktails and he didn’t have much of an appetite.  We chatted about surface subjects and idly waited for Rob to get into town.  When he did we headed to a quick dinner in anticipation of our early morning.

I’m not sure when the subject of Jason came about but it did.  My family giggled at the Jason stories and we started making up new stories about Jason.  Everyone pronounced “Jassssoooon” with the deep voice and curled lip I showed them and it just kept getting funnier.  For some reason Jason brought out the child in all of us.  By the time we went to bed we had spent most of the evening laughing and swapping stories.  We bunked in the same room and my brother started cracking jokes in the dark.  We were laughing so hard I was in tears.  I honestly can’t remember the last time I felt like such a little kid hanging out with my parents.

The next day was LONG.  We checked in a 6am, dad’s surgery was at 9 and he remained in solitary recovery until almost 5pm.   At one point the nurse allowed each of us to individually visit him.  While walking back I was anxious. I wasn’t sure what he was going to look like and wanted to make sure I seemed confident and encouraging.  I walk back and in his drugged state he looks at me and says, “It went good honey. “Jaaassooooon” was in there helping out!” I cracked up.  Good ole Jason had been there watching over my dad the whole time.

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Over the next few days Jason continued to be a theme.  In the patient room next to my Dad’s there was a sheriff supervised patient.  We joked Jason would protect us.  When dad started walking we would say, “Have Jason go with you”.  Even when I left this morning I told dad I had to bring Jason back to Michaela.  Our faith was always present and Jason served as our angel.  He made us all laugh when we really wanted to cry.  He encouraged us to have fun rather than worry.  Jason brought out the childlike banter we had been accustomed to and gave a light in the scary darkness.

My dad was discharged today two days ahead of schedule.  He exceeded the doctor’s expectations with his strength and determination. I heard the nurses talking about him saying he was fun and a joy to have as a patient.  We won’t know the final results until next week but his surgeon felt confident they would be positive.

As I sit on the train riding home I can’t help but smile.  Watching my dad exude the qualities I love most about him filled me with pride.  At 77 he is focused and optimistic.  He is ready to tackle anything and is stubborn to get back to his active lifestyle.  He is serious about his health but can giggle with Jason.

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Jason provided the senseless relief we needed and I can’t help but feel so much admiration for my children.  We wore the bracelets my daughter made us through the whole process and my parents implored us for more grandchild stories.  THIS is the reason for family.  The knowledge and love we receive from our elder’s passes to our children.  Our children provide purity and unabashed wonder to us.  It is absolutely awe inspiring and I travel home with a heart full of love and hope.

Sending the essence of Jason to all our readers!

Xoxo

Mari

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The Evolution of Friendship

In 5th grade our teacher tasked us with an in class assignment.  Whom do you admire and why?

My first thought was my Mom.  She was and still is the best mom and friend a girl could ask for.  However instead of writing an essay about my mom I looked to the girl seated next to me and asked who she was writing about.

“Madonna! Of course!” stated the popular girl wearing head to toe Esprit, oversized plastic hoops, and three layers of color coordinating socks.

Instantly I was insecure about my choice.  Perhaps Mom was the wrong role model.

I replied, “Oh cool, I’m writing about Cindi Lauper.”   Esprit girl nodded in approval and smiled at me.

The problem was I didn’t know anything about Cindi Lauper.  I knew “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and I had definitely belted out an impressive version of “Time after Time” in the shower on numerous occasions.  The front of my cassette tape indicated Cindi liked crazy hair and lots of bracelets.  She wore neon colors and her MTV videos were cool.  Other than that I knew NOTHING.

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Luckily I have always had a ferocious imagination and managed to write an entire essay expressing my devotion to a complete stranger.  I received an A.  I still remember the sick feeling in my stomach when my Mom saw the title of the essay and then the reaction of my subject.

5th grade is my first memory of choosing friends over family.

Looking back I can remember disappointing my parents with my consistent worship of school girls.  I would fight to spend time with them, sneak out at night, and put virtually all loyalty aside to be accepted.  I consistently made poor choices and changed who I was to be accepted and part of a group.

Fast forward to my early 20’s and I began flourishing at making girlfriends.  We had a BLAST.  I had lots of best friends and I loved them dearly.  I picked them for holiday getaways, nightly phone calls, and even developed an official (almost famous) group people called a Blonde Coven.   Luckily I could always dump my pesky responsibilities on my parents so I could devote more time to “my girls”.

By my mid-twenties I thought of myself as the life of the party circuit.  I had scored an amazing job working for Budweiser and they paid me to make friends and buy cocktails.  My expense allotment had no ceiling.  I could spend 10,000 dollars in one evening and would be given a pat on the back for doing a great job.  Can you imagine how many friends I made with an unlimited bar budget?  People followed me everywhere.  I always had tons of girlfriends wanting to hang out with me and everyone was so accommodating!

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During the peak of my social career I stumbled. Literally.  I was dressed as Rainbow Brite for Halloween and had found fabulous stripper height rainbow shoes.  With my entourage behind me I managed to crack the heel and fall face first into the gutter.  Luckily my “friends” picked me up and graciously offered to carry me to the cash only venue boasting the best Halloween Party of the year.  I felt so lucky to have such amazing people supporting me.   It never occurred to me the 5,000 dollars in my purse and pre-paid VIP area could have been the motivator.

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The next day my ankle was blue and I could barely walk.  I grudgingly went to the doctor who immediately told me it was broken.  I was given a cast and strict orders: Stay off your ankle for 8 weeks.

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After one week of replying to texts and phone calls with, “I broke my ankle and can’t go out” my phone fell silent.  Really silent.  Some days it never rang or pinged an incoming text.  Most of my friends disappeared.  My own roommate (who loved the perks of my job) became annoyed with me and started leaving things in the way so I couldn’t get down the stairs or in the kitchen.  It was horrible but enlightening.  I didn’t get angry with the people who left me.  I have never been good with grudges and my anger dissolves quickly.  However I did learn the lesson of true friendship.

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Shortly after my realization I met Mike.  He became my best friend and the center of my universe.  I left my job and moved on to a better position albeit less money to spend in bars.  The pseudo friends I had disappeared into the beach bar scene and probably attached themselves to the next alcohol funded wallet.  When Mike and I married my mother was my Maid of Honor.  Two of my three bridesmaids were from my childhood.   Our wedding was small, only 49 guests.  I had learned my lesson and although I had groups of friends I knew how fleeting it could be.

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I became a bit more cautious with making friends.   I had girlfriends but began focusing my energy on starting a family and spending time with my core group.

Over the past eight years my social circle has been quietly rebuilding.  I have a few small circles of friends encompassing every facet of my life.   It isn’t flashy.  I don’t talk to most of my friends daily. Some I speak with weekly-some even monthly and everyone seems fine with this.   I used to pride myself on being the leader or social chair of all of my girlfriend groups.  Now I am thrilled if someone can squeeze in a coffee date.  Priorities change.

Last Sunday I wasn’t feeling well.  I didn’t sleep most of the night and knew something was wrong but couldn’t decide if it was the flu or just a bad case of cramping.  It continued through Monday and at my mom’s urging (It might be Endometriosis! It runs in the family!) I made a doctor’s appointment for Tuesday morning.  My doctor took one look and said my abdomen was swollen and I needed to go to ER.  I thought she was crazy and drove home first.  After all I had the girls’ car seats, needed my work laptop, and should probably pack a lunch.  By the time I got to ER I was annoyed and embarrassed.  After all who shows up to ER with their laptop, a packed lunch, and Starbucks?  Granted I didn’t feel like eating or drinking but I certainly wasn’t on my death bed! After hours of waiting I was ushered into a room, given a CAT scan and told my appendix needed to come out.  Immediately.  I was in shock.  Mike was home with the girls and we both assumed I would be coming home.  I was hooked up to an IV and a few hours later was wheeled into surgery.

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Aside from Mike and my parents only two people knew.  My lovely Hannah (who is almost 9 months pregnant) and my bestie Molly who I had been chatting with earlier in the day.  Hannah wanted to come to the hospital and kept texting me.  Molly wanted to pick up my children.  I kept telling them no and they bugged me all night.  I didn’t need their help but their insistence tickled me.  I kept imagining my hugely pregnant Hannah pacing away in ER grossed out by all the nasty sick people and demanding to know what was going on.  Meanwhile Molly and her husband Scott would be wrangling our children in their fabulous penthouse apartment.  My kids would definitely be negotiating ice cream and all night snuggles with them and their doodle Sandy.

After the surgery I recouped and then Mike brought me home.  My friends heard the news either through me or a mutual friend.  My phone began ringing and my text message pinging.  Friends called to check in but also asking if they could take our girls on play dates.  Friends offered to drive them to school.  Friends wanted to know what they could do!  Dinner gift cards arrived.  Flowers.  Desserts.  I was loving the post-surgery weight loss but luckily my friends felt I needed to fatten up by sending sugar cookies, brownies, chocolate chip cookies, etc.  My FRIENDS are still checking in to see what they can do.  My group of friends range from single mid-twenties bikini models to experienced mothers of 5.  Everyone has contacted me to see what they can do.  Over the past year I have made friends with a few phenomenal women in our neighborhood.  These women immediately jumped in to help with my children and offer their support.

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What a difference.

I have never felt more blessed than the circle of people I know now.  The friends I have made over the past few years have encouraged me.  My best girlfriend Eva had always been suspicious of new girlfriends. Looking back she was probably right.  She never liked a large group and told me not to trust others.  I didn’t listen and was often burned.   She still loves me and sent me cookies thank goodness 😉 Lately she has found a group of girlfriends who cherish her.  We don’t live near one another so our journey is an individual experience.

Adult Friendships are AWESOME!!!

Holy moly this is what all knowing adults talked about!   I have friends who want to hang out with me without alcohol or my expense account.  I have friends who offer to help with my children, my health, and my mind.   For the first time I have friends who help me more than I help them!  To be honest I don’t know what to do.  I am not accustomed to people giving without any type of expectation of reciprocation.

For those of my friends who read my blog, thank you for everything you do.  I feel so blessed to have a support system in my life and know I am beyond lucky.

While writing this our two year old has been organizing plastic cups.  Every few moments she says, “LOOK MOMMA” seeking my approval.  It is adorable and I cherish the short amount of time we have while our girls care most about our opinion not their peers.   My hope is we can try to impress the importance of family and character on them during the impressionable years.   I know people will hurt them and it tears me up to know it is inevitable.  However I am filled with happiness knowing if they put forth their best there will be a day real friends will be there.

Happy Friday!  xo Mari

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Who Pooped In The Tub ?

Monday is bath night for our girls.

Bath nights are every other night and the kids get their hair washed, body scrubbed and are allowed to play with the obligatory toys cluttering my once pristine bathtub.  The whole process takes about 20-40 minutes depending on who is in charge.  Dad is infinitely quicker but his attention to detail does not compare with mom 😉 .

It’s easy right?

Some nights Mike and I choose to make the girls their dinner first then eat after they are in bed.  We are at our limit of Mac n Cheese and Turkey Dogs(never thought it would happen).  Plus not shovelling food in and having a conversation is a nice break from the chaos of full family dinner. Mike was planning to BBQ spicy sausage mixed with Caribbean Rice – Delish! Neither kiddo would be impressed so we went with the “kids before parent’s plan.”

They ate their turkey dogs. Drank their applesauce pouch. Sipped Chocolate milk. Refused veggies.  Bath Time!

What could go wrong? After all we are pros at our nightly ritual.

Mike and I put the girls in the bathtub and launched into auto pilot.  Both little people are clean and Mike pulls out Michaela (our 1.5 year old) and gets her ready for bed.  While lotioning Michaela, Bailey(4.5 year old) starts screaming. “There is POOOOOOP in the tub! Mom?!! Come quick there is poop in the tub!!!”

There is a large deuce floating in the tub. A colon cobra slithering in the sudsy jungle.  One ominous brown floater sashaying its way through the bubbles and toys.  It was chasing Bailey. I was sure of it.  She squealed and bounded out of the bathtub.

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I have heard of this. I know it happens. I just didn’t think it would happen to us.  On house keeper day. My freaking bathtub is finally clean and there is a sphincter spear hovering.

Dry Vomit first.

Then move to success driven execution. Both girls are hustled to the shower.  We repeat cleaning measures. Actually we doubled up on cleaning measures.

Then the bathtub. There are bubbles everywhere.  I have to push bubbles aside to find the turd and scoop it out with a bag. Then I bleached. And bleached.  What about the bath toys? Are they safe?  My germ paranoia was sliding off the Richter scale and visions of poop contamination were taking over.

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Just when my crazy thought train was chugging out of control Bailey interrupted my thoughts.

“Guys, I can’t believe Lucy or Elway thought my bathtub was the toilet! Bad Puppies!”

Bailey actually believed one of our dogs pooped in her bathtub(Logistics?).  I can’t handle it. I laugh until I snort. There is no way we will ever tell her that her sister pooped while in the bath with her.  Bailey was so annoyed the dogs got confused and pooped in HER bathtub.  If she knew it was Michaela….. well I just don’t know how that would go.

The bathtub is disinfected. The kids are clean. The dogs have been reprimanded in front of Bailey(and given cookies for not telling after she went to bed).

Just another Monday.

UPDATE…. Tuesday, 7:45am

As I was proofing this to post Bailey interrupted me.

“Mom next time it is bath night can I just take a shower?”

Fainting Couch STAT

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I haven’t written lately because I have just been SO busy.

I work Full Time. Tend to two children. One husband. Two Dogs.  Hundreds of models. 5 States worth of event staff. Girlfriends.  Family. Charitable causes. Attempted work out regime.

My kids have been sick so I haven’t slept much.  My dog gashed open his head.  Traveling for family obligations has been stressful.  My friends are pregnant/engaged/divorcing/partying/depressed. I am exhausted and stressed and being pulled in every direction.

Do you feel sorry for me yet?

If you do. Don’t.

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I decided to write on an area of abuse I see running rampant in many places of my life (sometimes mine).  It is one of the few common personality traits that knows no ethnicity, religion or gender.  It does not exclude any age, occupation or socioeconomic class.  In fact this affliction may be the most contagious disease I have seen of late (Except for diseases once abolished. Thanks anti-vaxxers).

The “disease” goes by a few terms:

Victimhood.  Playing the Victim.  Self Victimization. Victim  Playing.  (Cousins with Martyrdom)

Definition: fabrication of victimhood for a variety of reasons such as to justify abuse of others, to manipulateothers, a coping strategy or attention seeking.

Playing the Victim is useful.  It works in most situations.  You can use it to win a fight.  Elicit sympathy.  Gain praise.

I would be lying if I said I haven’t played the victim before.  It is usually to throw someone off in a fight (I have married an attorney but my dad always assumed I would be one) or to get out of something I don’t want to do.  I think everyone should get a few free victim cards per year.

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I am not speaking of the occasional overwhelmed feeling of a person needing a moment of praise.  Heck we all need some snaps every once in a while!

IMAG4976_3(My snaps cup of praise given to me by my fabulous friends)

 This blog is geared to the perpetual victim.

The card toting year around victim who literally feeds off the attention and praise devoted to their plight.  You can find the greatest offenders of victimhood in various arenas.  These are just a few I have seen this week:

1. The Social Media Abuser – Facebook, Twitter, Victims.com (OK I made that up).  Good Lord the victims use social media as a personal soap box for their need for affirmation.  These offenders post weekly but most often daily.  They share inspirational quotes about how they are wonderful in a passive aggressive way.

They write about being stressed. Over worked. Over tired. Can’t sleep. Trying the best they can as a (insert lifestyle). The posts literally BEG you to say, “You are AMAZING”, “Keep your head up!”, “You deserve the best!”, “It will get better”, “We are in AWE of how awesome you are!”… you get the picture….

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I should preface.. the Social Media Abuser probably falls into the following categories as well….

2. The Over Achiever- We all know this person.  This victim is cloaked in a shiny coat and often not categorized as a couch fainter.  This person pushes to be the lead in everything.  The class President. Head of the Pismo Beach Disaster Fundraiser. Cheer President.  The Soccer Mom, Carpool director, Team Captain- All in one week.  The over achiever is the individual others are immediately drawn to because they appear to “have it together”.  Months or perhaps years pass before one realizes the praise of being an “overachiever” is the Heroin of choice for this person. Keep praising or this hidden victim will crumble.  This person does not take on one or two areas.  They demand to be in charge of everything.  They headbutt their way to the top then wait for the praise to flow.

3. The Public figure- UGH probably the most offensive to me.  If I read another celebrity complaining about their public comments being taken wrong…. Some celebrities love to talk about how hard it is to be rich and famous.  The horrible problems they deal with and how we should pity and celebrate them.

4. The Plight I Overcamer- “Overcamer” is not actually a word but you know who I am talking about.  The person who overcame the horrible (insert situation) and is reformed… but not really.  They remind us of their past plights constantly, passively begging for us to praise them over and over and over and… well you get the picture.  They want applause for becoming better. Unfortunately they haven’t actually overcame anything because they compulsively seek adoration. Daily.

5. The Never Follow Througher- Again… I might be making a new word but this person tells everyone constantly how they are starting (insert plan).  It never actually happens but we are supposed to praise them for their thoughts toward awesome.  The “never follow througher” is the quintessential beacon of hope wrapped in a soft victim blanket.  They are letting us know they have been through EVERYTHING but are still willing to (insert-go to school, run a marathon, build a boat, become vegan, get a medal, host a speech, break up with bad person, start a freaking revolution). Obviously they never actually complete their goal(or come close) but as a victim encourage others to say YAY!! Way to go!! We never see any results because the ego is fed until the next proclamation.

It is fine to play the victim every once in a while.  We all need a dose of confidence to remind us we are amazing. Capable. Phenomenal. Awe worthy.  However, is this your crutch? Is being a victim your go to? Do you beg for affirmation regularly?

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Maybe I am crazy but why not ask for praise when you need it? Or better yet why not count one’s own blessings?

This past weekend I was in my home town and blessed to see my oldest and most dear friend Rachel.  She is the same age as I am. She has 4 children and is divorced.  As soon as she arrived to meet me her first question was, “How are you?? You have so much going on I need to hear everything”.  I rambled for an hour.  When I inquired about her and her family she shrugged it off.  She mentioned she had been a bit frustrated getting the kids out in the morning but otherwise life was great.  She doesn’t have time for Facebook or social media.  She doesn’t complain or bitch.  She is AMAZING.  If she had a fainting couch I would buy her pillows.  But she never will.  She’s not a victim.

Yet another of my best friend’s volunteers with children.  She devotes her time (quietly) to provide positive opportunities for those in need.  The stories she has told me of visiting orphanages in Mexico and being a “big sister” to two special kids…. hopefully she will guest blog- Unicorn you know who you are…

Remember when this video went viral?

The people who have the most tend to need more.  Those who could actually BE A VICTIM choose different.  Some of the most confident individuals I have met are those with little to nothing.  More important people who actually need our support don’t publicize it.  At what point does the need for praise and affirmation become an actual addiction?

 

 

 

Unresolved Resolutions?

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Happy New Year!!

Did you make resolutions??

Making New Years Resolutions has always been a great way for me to ready myself for January.  I would write them, print … sometimes even laminate and bedazzle my goals to make me fabulous everywhere.  The bathroom mirror, sun visor in my car, the refrigerator.. you get the idea.

My après Christmas routine began the same as most years and I thought about what goals I would like to accomplish.  Although I didn’t have time to write them down I decided to focus on balance this year.  I figured this would be the year I would successfully balance healthy eating, frequent exercising, moderate drinking, increased children’s activities, more giving and of course better organization.  No big deal right??

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New Year’s Day came and I was much too hungover to think about any type of balance.  Instead I got Chick-Fil-A, put kids’ shows on repeat and took a nap.  “After all, who starts resolutions ON New Year’s? I am pretty sure they begin the following Monday,” I said to myself.

Sunday morning started strong.  We cleaned out the garage (Organization!), I made breakfast  (Healthy Eating!) and we donated children’s clothes and toys (Giving!).  I booked my Pilates classes for the week (Exercise!) and made plans for a play date at the park. (Kids Activities!) By afternoon I was exhausted keeping up with balance and poured a glass of wine  (or three).  I had unfinished phone conversations to tend to and before I knew it the sun had set, the kids were dirty and everyone was hungry.  I did what any mom would do. I zapped some hotdogs in the microwave opened a can of mandarin oranges and hastily wiped their feet with baby wipes. BOOM. Clean and fed!

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As I settled into bed I promised myself Monday was the real start of New Year’s and convinced myself I was right on track.  Just as I was dozing off my phone beckoned me and I saw the message every working mom dependent on child care dreads.  “I am so sorry but I am sick and can’t work tomorrow”. UGH. My first Monday back to work after two weeks off and I didn’t have childcare.

Monday was not the successful first day I envisioned.  Neither was Tuesday.  I have a strong feeling Wed and Thursday will not go as planned either.   In order to maintain my sanity I jotted down a REVISED list of resolutions and couldn’t help but think others might benefit from my more realistic list.

Enjoy!

REVISED New Year’s Resolutions- 2015

  1. Feed Children three times per day. Feed Husband as needed.
  2. Keep Laundry from overflowing on the floor.
  3. Integrate more fruit and vegetables into dinner to ensure healthy food options. Frozen counts!ny6
  4. Bend knees on stairs to increase glute exercises.
  5. Walk briskly at Legoland and Animal Park for Cardio.
  6. Hang out with friends who have children for increased kids’ activities
  7. Only drink wine when frustrated, overwhelmed, happy, or busy. ny8
  8. Organize one drawer per month.
  9. Try to go to Church sometimes.
  10. Feed Dogs and give them baths.

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OK, I might be exaggerating a bit but doesn’t my new list seem a bit less daunting?

Next Monday I will attempt to kick start my “balanced” resolutions but chances are my perfect plan will be derailed.  If you are anything like me give yourself a break.  Remember resolutions are merely a guide to improved behavior not an unbreakable outline of how one’s life is supposed to look.

If your first week sounds like mine pour a glass of wine give yourself a hug and eat a cookie.  Next Monday we can try again 😉

Xoxo Mari

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P.S. This image didn’t really work for my “walking through Legoland for Cardio” but it tickled me 🙂

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OMG. Did I just say that??

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Juggling my life has been a bit hectic and my blog has been ignored.  I apologize for the lack of posts but hope the admission of the demise of my youth is enjoyable enough to make up for it.  I’m not sure when I first noticed something was off but a few months ago I started noticing a change.   A shudder worthy change.  Clearly it was coming from my mouth but I couldn’t place why it was so abhorrent.  Last week, it came to me.  I am sounding more and more like…..wait for it…. MY PARENTS.  Or someone else’s parents.  Basically, an old person.  I was so taken aback I spent a week trying to dissuade myself from believing so.  It was of no use.  My struggle is real, friends, and I am mortified.  Once I realized who I sounded like I began noticing statements I made and jotted them down.  Here are a few gems from just the past two weeks.

You are done? Did you know people are starving in Africa?

OK, this was horrible 20 years ago… who says it now?? It slipped out of my mouth when my toddler refused to finish her food

What time does the concert start? 8pm? Ugh, sorry too late for me!

Remember when 8pm was early? In my world 8pm is unwind and take a shower before Law and Order is on.

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OMG Babe guess what I saw today? A grape slicer!

Who needs a grape slicer? Apparently me. Best part, in true parent fashion is when I explained to Mike it was rip off at Target so I would Google it to find a better deal.

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If you eat anymore mac n cheese you will turn into a noodle.

Kraft Mac n Cheese used to be a staple and something I ate for multiple meals- sub in tuna for guests, hot dogs for low budget months etc.

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How did I live without a coconut opener? The coconut water is so much better freshly opened!

I have a coconut opener. Enough said.

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I’m so excited, for Halloween this year we are organizing a kids group in the neighborhood

Kids exist on Halloween? I thought it was just for a great night out!

Do you have the non slutty Elsa? I don’t want slutty ice queen, just the Disney adult Queen Elsa

I need a non slutty costume? When did slutty become inappropriate in my world??

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Please stop standing in front of the refrigerator with the door open

What is it about kids standing in front of the refrigerator? More important why have I always done it and it is now bothersome?

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You don’t have Amazon Prime? OMG it is a life saver!

Amazon Prime is an actually life saver? Vodka is supposed to be a life saver

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I’ll just have an iced tea.  Sorry guys, I have a ton of work to do today.

When did I quit drinking at lunch work meetings??

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If you will be quiet for just a few minutes Mommy will get you a special surprise

Before kids I thought parents who bribed their kids or dumped them in front of TV were horrible. I do both. Daily.

Babe I can’t do another party.  We have had way too many parties this month and I am done.

Above all I thought there was no such thing as too many parties

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It’s Charlynne’s Birthday! Let’s do a kid friendly dinner at 5pm on Sunday!          

Charlynne’s bday has always been a week long booze fest

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Can we focus on more ab workouts? My glutes and arms are on fire!

Glutes? Abs? Arms? Workout? I actually requested more ab work to my Pilates instructor

I want to increase our vegetable intake. I found some great recipes to add spinach to our diet

  • This does not include French fries… eeck

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OMG I can’t believe I have said any of these, let alone all of them in the past two weeks! What is happening???  Is anyone else suffering from the horrible realization they are getting more concerned with health and finances and overall old people stuff???

Good Lord That’s a Lot Of Liquid!

JuiceCleanse

Mike and I just completed a 3 Day Juice Cleanse (Disclaimer: This cleanse was accompanied with light dinner). We were not the annoying people who post their updates to Facebook and tell everyone incessantly about it… (except for my daily voxing to Keri, Megan, Holly and Molly – oh and my mom. And my friend Shana. OK, maybe I was the annoying juice person!)

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Thing is, if you know me you know I don’t do diety stuff.  Or sporty stuff. I like my wine and my cheese and of course my bread.  In fact my favorite hobby is “wining” with friends while eating delicious appetizers!

If you think this post is about how fabulous we felt on a juice cleanse you are wrong.  If you are assuming I am going to talk about how easy it was and how I can’t wait to do it again you are incorrect.  The point of my juicing blog is to talk about something entirely different.

The night before we began our cleanse Mike got us an obscene amount of our favorite takeout. I decided I should probably drink more wine than a group of 6 would drink and I completed the night with a few Twix bites.  After all a cleanse was beginning.

The first day was gag worthy.  It could have been the hangover or possibly the chunks of radish and celery.  It certainly didn’t help that something in the juice had a sand like texture so drinking it was a bit like sanding my throat.  8 ounces every hour, 16 ounces of water every hour, fluctuating every 30 minutes from 9am to 5pm.  Then in the evening we were able to have a light dinner sans carbs, sugar, dairy, fat, alcohol… umm did I forget anything? Basically grilled chicken and plain vegetables.

By the time 5:30 came I had the table set and was waiting for Mike to finish making the chicken.  I was literally salivating at the sight of steamed veggies.  In a matter of 12 hours I had morphed from a completely rational human being to:(photo cred: happyorhungry.com):

hungry

I tore into the chicken like a dinosaur and inhaled my steamed vegetables.  And they were the most delicious morsels I can remember eating in a long time.  Just one day prior I would have considered this bland dinner the low point of the week.  However, fasting for almost 24 hours reset my thinking to be so damn thankful for any morsel I could put in my mouth.  The broccoli was so tender, the simple spices on the chicken beckoned me to lick the plate.  It was amazing.

Over the next few days we continued to drink our 64 ounces of juice and 128 ounces of water every day.  Mike and I would wait patiently for our boring chicken and vegetables and clamored about how delicious the carrots were (we did have a little hummus on day 3).  We were just so damn appreciative for the food in the evening.

Now that we are finished I have been thinking a lot about the effects. The cleanse didn’t just reset my body but also forced me to acknowledge the reset in my mind.  I had to admit I don’t like going without. I had to think about what a baby I am and how much I complain about the most trivial crap.  But the most interesting take away was how quickly we adapt to survive.  I was shocked how thankful and satiated I was with so much less and that when we “reset” our lifestyle and needs we can see past ourselves.  The things we take for granted on a day to day basis should be appreciated.

Honestly, I don’t know if I will do a juice cleanse again.  But I would recommend everyone to try it. Taking time to not grant yourself everything you want is good practice for life.  Going without your favorite vices for a bit forces you to think inward and more important think of those who are not blessed with what we take for granted.

I have done my time, and my day 4 cleanse (pic above) is calling my name 🙂

Best,

Mari

And we’ll collect the moments one by one. I guess that’s how the future’s done.

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When Mari and I first found out we were having a girl I spoke with several friends that had daughters for advice and input.  I remember quite a few of them remarked on how great it was when they came home from work and their daughters squealed “DADDYYYYYYYY!”  They were right.  I love coming through the door, and after surviving the initial greeting of the dogs(who go from barking at the intruder to dancing and wagging their tails) hear our girls.  Our youngest is usually in a walker or bouncer and she gets a huge smile, screams and bounces at an increased pace. Our oldest does the “DADDY!!” squeal and (usually) jumps up for a big hug.  It’s an awesome way to feel validated for going out and doing what a father does for the benefit of his family.  But it’s not the highlight of my day.

The best part of my day happens shortly after I come home from work.  Our oldest either informs me that we should go upstairs so I can get in comfortable clothes or I remind her that I’m going up to change.  We used to walk upstairs holding hands so I could help her up the stairs. Now she is older, faster and chooses to hold my hand (and my heart) about 1 in 5 times, but that one time is because she wants to.  We head to the master bathroom and I sit on a low chair.

“Daddy, I’ll untie your shoes,” she begins.  Then she’ll pull on the heel of the dress shoes.  If she remembered to loosen the laces, they’ll come off.  “Daddy, these go in your pile.”  Compared to my wife’s neatly arranged shoe section, my side definitely looks like a pile.

“Daddy, pull your socks down.”  I then pull the socks down over my heel.  She does NOT like it if I take them off myself.  “These go in the hamper.”

“Take off your watch Daddy.”  She can’t manage to get the clasp undone yet.  “This goes in your dish.”  She climbs up on the chair and puts my watch in a little dish next to the sink.

“OK Daddy, give me your belt.  This goes in your belt drawer.”  She has to get up on her tippy-toes to put it in the drawer.

“Take out your collars and give me your shirt.”  I have fewer collar stays than I should so I take them out to use (a paper clip works well in an emergency, as an aside).  “Your shirt goes into your shirt pile.”

“Daddy, now you can hang up your pants, OK?”  She usually hands me a hanger and then goes and sits on the chair while I change.  I ask her about her day and if she was a good big sister.  Sometimes she’ll ask for some music and start dancing.  Sometimes she asks me where I was and if work was OK.  It’s nice quiet time for us.  I know the routine will fade away.  But I love that little slice of time with her so much.  I’m looking forward to a different routine with our youngest as well.  Or maybe the same one.

Geez, daddy-blogging sure is sappy.  🙂

8 Realistic Clues You Might Be An Adult.

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I am a sucker for articles with lists. When I was younger I would eagerly turn to the “5 signs he is into you” article in Cosmo.  After I was engaged I clicked every “10 ways to have a happy marriage” and “6 tricks to look fabulous”… I would be lying if I said I hadn’t peeked at the “10 signs you are an extrovert”, “20 ways to live a zen life” and countless other blogs promising to help me understand myself my kids and the universe in a simple amount of steps. (Above picture is from one of my favorite blogs about Becoming an adult)

Most of the time I really enjoy the orderly fashion of explaining the subject at hand. However I have come across a common theme in list making articles.  They are constantly using boring generalizations or obvious points.  Recently I was reading an article telling me the signs of being an adult. Examples included:

  • You have a resume with more job skills than a Subway sandwich artist
  • You have a bank account
  • You have internet, water and gas bills set up in your name

Guess what? If you don’t have a resume or a bank account you are simply a loser.  Having actual bills and a few dollars in the bank does not mean you are an adult. It means you have moved past the age of 18.

That being said, I have come smack in the face with the realization … wait for it…. I MIGHT be a bit of an adult.  I am shocked at this newfound reality but a few clues have encouraged me to look further into the possibility.

If you are like me and have had a bank account a car and a job way before one would ever consider you an adult my list might be more your speed.

1. Smoke – Last week I came around the corner to our kitchen and there were puffs of smoke billowing in the air.  Over the years there have been various types of smoke wafting through my car, my house, my sorority parking lot. Heck there may have been a few public bathrooms, concerts and walks in the park with a smoky haze.  None of the aforementioned types were emitting smoke in my house.

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Instead the source of my glorious smoke rings mimicking Snoop Dog’s man cave was a diffuser. With essential oils. The current blend is Doterra’s Elevation blend which paired with coffee does wonders for my energy level.  It isn’t illegal or only for people 18 and over.  My smoking kitchen is actually healthy and good for me.

2. Glitter – I absolutely adore sparkles.  Glitter, Swarovksi, Diamonds… love them all.  Makeup with glitter was integral in my going out arsenal for years.  You know who else likes glitter? Exotic dancers, go-go dancers, bottle service hostesses and plenty of female bartenders (And male in some neighborhoods).  All of which I encountered often while starting my career in the liquor industry and having a very active social life.  Now that I am a corporate gal I don’t frequent my venues at night nearly as much as I did when I was younger.  This morning, Mike had glitter on his forehead.  For a fleeting moment I felt confused.  What did we do last night? Where did we go? Am I hungover? After a moment I quickly remembered the reality. We didn’t go anywhere, I was not hungover and I did not have remnants of glitter eye makeup on my face.

The source of the party glitter?

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Mike had helped Bailey open her newest mini My Little Pony containing Junebug and played with her and the other ponies on the floor the night prior. She is currently my favorite pony. For obvious reasons.

3. Vomit – I may have purged from alcohol once or twice in my youth.  It recently came to my attention I have only dealt with my own vomit during pregnancy or illness for quite some time.  The past few puke incidents were dog related and my vom drama last week was whether or not my sick toddler would hurl.  Further, vomit isn’t as repulsive as it used to be. I am not afraid to clean up other’s vomit and have actually put together a game plan for when Bailey has her first puke.  I even have a blue kitchen bowl delineated for bedside when the time comes.

4. Dirty Movies – I don’t have a lot of time to watch movies but when I do I like a good R rated movie as much as the next girl.  I used to get so annoyed when USA or FOX would play a favorite movie because the cuss words became ridiculous terms no one would actually use.  After all, booger flinger and dang jerky jerk just don’t cut it in Pulp Fiction.

 blogpulp

Guess what? I am thrilled when USA plays my favorite movies now because it is edited and all the cuss words turn into words my toddler can repeat. Yay! A break from Babies First TV and La La Loopsy to watch Bridesmaids!  Further, when Bailey looks at me and says poop or booger I feel like the coolest mom ever for being so responsible.  MY child didn’t say shit!!

5. Spices – I lived with roommates and on my own for almost 10 years.  During that time I had everything from a huge kitchen to a barely functioning stove and refrigerator crammed into the size of a closet.  Luckily, my parents gave me their old pots and pans and silverware.  I had matching glasses and two matching plates so I could easily host macaroni and cheese for two.  Fast forward to present day and now not only do I have matching plates and bowls, but I have casserole dishes and neat serving trays for chips and dips and just about any appetizer.  While kitchen items seem like an “adulty” thing to have they really don’t represent being an adult.  Often your kitchen was the recipient of one’s wedding registry and the fancy mixing bowl stays in a box.  However, I recently noticed a person who has a shitload of spices might be an adult. I try new recipes for my family weekly and have approached the glorious place not necessitating an extra trip to the grocery store for the spice.  I have SO many spices I can actually make a new recipe without a special trip.  I don’t know about you but this is a huge advancement in my kitchen maturity level!

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Before you get too excited about my blooming adulthood you should know I stole the Red Robin seasoning. In my diaper bag.

6. Swimsuits – My favorite swimsuit is a tiny bedazzled bikini with tie strings.  Shockingly enough it is also my husband’s favorite.  I have a lot of bikinis. Before you roll your eyes please remember we live in San Diego and have always vacationed in tropical locations.  Last summer I wore what I had deemed boring bikini (black swimsuit, no patterns and no frills) to Legoland Water Park.  I quickly realized only a few other women were wearing bikinis and they fell into three categories.

A. Single and ready to mingle mommies with newly purchased boobs.blogbikini     B. Uber hip moms who wanted everyone to know where their latest tattoo or piercing was.

blogbikini5     C. Fitness obsessed moms touting their overly toned bodies.

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I am none of these. One lone mom in a two piece looked my direction and we shared a nod of understanding. We were the two left who weren’t looking for a new husband, didn’t have perfect abs or had had our necks pierced with the newest bar bell triple trend. Ugh. I bought a tankini for the kids water parks because I don’t want to be the slutty mom.  Before you send me an enraged note telling me that you are fabulous and belong to one the above 3 categories, take the point of emerging adulthood. Of course I am rocking my bikini at other places and you should too.  But when I was younger I would have never noticed the appropriateness of my attire and would have assumed the side eye was jealousy, not pity for my lack of self awareness.

7. MLM (multi level marketing) – When I think of MLM’s I think of my mom’s friend who always had Avon samples at her house for me to play with.   My childhood was built on purchased Tupperware and stinky candles my mom had bought at yet another party (probably wine fueled and being a good friend).  Fast forward 20 years and I am everyone’s target MLM customer.  The past month alone I have been asked to host three different parties for jewelry, clothing  and essential oils.  I am not sure which of these clued me in I might be adultlike… is it the fact that I know so many people doing MLM (almost always stay at home moms) or that I have a home equipped to adequately handle parties? Before now the only parties I hosted were staff events to polish off the leftover booze from past programs.

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8. Being reliable – The reason for this article actually revolves around this point.  Our toddler has been sick for the past week and I have been a mess. I don’t care about anything other than making sure she is ok. She tells me she needs me and we have conversations about dumb shit in the middle of the night. I didn’t sleep much last week because I was freaked about her temp. I am really tired but when she looks at me or calls my name I pop up like a person who has been sleeping for weeks.  All week she would wrap herself around me and get really upset if I went anywhere.  On about the 3rd night of her fever she looked at me and said for the 50th time,”Mommy I love you. Please keep snuggling me. Don’t leave ok?”  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  She actually thinks I am strong and powerful and have it together.  I am HER safety.  I am HER adult. I couldn’t believe it.

It was at that moment I knew I would never miss any moment my girls need me. I will pretend to be strong and confident and all-knowing.  I think this makes me sort of an adult.

Happy Wednesday 🙂

xo

Mari

So this happened today.

Typically I don’t post/write on the weekends.  However in honor of Mother’s Day my nonfiction story needed to be told.  As with my last post on the follies of motherhood this blog applies to everyone.  Feel free to laugh, shake your head knowingly or simply cringe at the thought. Whichever emotion my blog elicits, enjoy.

Yesterday morning I got my hair highlighted and cut.  Relaxed, blonde and happy I returned home to find flowers from Mike and an adorable card from Bailey(our toddler).  While I was gone Mike and the girls had gone grocery shopping and planned breakfast and dinner for Mother’s Day. Further, Mike asked me what he could do to make Mother’s Day awesome for me.  I told him to just take the girls in the morning so I could sleep in.  Done and done.

Around 6:30 a.m. our baby awoke and was giggling in her crib.  Mike wasn’t quite awake so I jumped up to get her for snuggles and a quick diaper change.  As I went to change Michaela I sensed something was off… she was holding on to a gooey wad and it seemed to be all over her; in her hair, her onesie, even smeared on her face- what was that?? It looked familiar and smelled familiar but I just couldn’t quite place it. All of a sudden my groggy mind clicked into place and I recognized what the squishy clear balls were.  My heart sank as I quickly surmised her diaper must have been faulty.  It had emptied the contents of the absorbing gel typically sealed inside the crotch of a diaper all over her body.

For those of you lucky enough to not know what I am talking about here is a visual of what the gel beads look like:

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This is the amount in one diaper:

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Michaela was playing with it.  She was smearing it.  She was covered and playing with urine filled gel balls UGHHHHHHH. I yelled for Mike,”Babe we have a pee situation. I neeeeeed you. Quick!” Mike came stumbling down the hallway and didn’t miss a beat.  He started a bath while I attempted to peel the urine soaked onesie  and the remnants of the diaper off Mich.  Did I mention the poop? Yep. Amidst all of this she had pooped and I hadn’t noticed. Now I have a naked, gel covered, poop smeared baby.  I step backward in shock and my foot sinks into the squishy gel balls that are now all over the floor. I look down and I am covered in miniscule urine droplets.

It was 6:45 a.m.

I take all the dirty blankets downstairs and shake them in the backyard only to realize I had stepped in fresh dog pee. Sigh. I wiped my foot with the soiled blanket while our Maltese walked through the puddle and happily trotted back in the house leaving pee pee paw prints.

By 7:30am I was showered and back in bed with a clean baby, cuddly toddler and sheepish husband.  Mike kept apologizing, saying he just wanted to me to sleep in and relax.  I just laughed and snuggled in with my favorite people.  By 8 a.m. Mike had both girls playing downstairs and I sipped delivered coffee while perusing facebook.  I knew I was supposed to sleep but the sounds of a dance party and giggles downstairs were beckoning me to join. The best part about being a mom are the moments not intended to be awesome.  Listening to Mike play DJ to Bailey’s favorite songs and hearing the shrieks of laughter from both the girls and Mike is the best gift I could ever receive.  My heart was exploding just thinking of the fun happening downstairs and there was no way I could sleep through it. Just then Bailey came upstairs to find me and asked me to help her find clean “pony choanies” ( our term for my little pony themed underwear). I told her I didn’t have to because it’s Mothers day.  She looked at me and said,” But mommy who is going to make dinner??”

9ish a.m.??

Michaela was ready for her morning nap and Bailey and Mike were downstairs making me French Toast.  I took Mich to her nursery and remembered the bedding was gone. Oops. I quickly changed her crib, fed and changed her so she could sleep.  By the time I got downstairs the tired protests from a too tired baby were waning and the delicious smells of bacon and french toast were wafting through the air.

Happily I walked into the kitchen to see my phenomenal husband flipping french toast with Bailey stirring the egg mixture.  I planned to sit down and begin sending notes to my favorite mom friends and glanced at the video monitor to ensure a sleeping baby.

Instead, I saw this:

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O.M.G.  What is my 6.5 month old baby doing standing up??? When did this happen? Shocked, I yelled to Mike to look at the screen while simultaneously telling Bailey to not spill on her new dress.  At precisely this moment Bailey dumped the majority of the french toast mixture down the front of her, completely soaking her new dress. The sticky, eggy mess sunk into the hardwood floor and coated the snouts of my dogs licking it up.  Bailey lost her shit and started screaming.  Michaela was standing in her crib.  Bacon was sizzling in the oven.  The french toast smelled amazing and my dogs were thrilled with the taste of their face fur.

10 AM

Bailey was no longer crying and Michaela was sleeping soundly.  Bribed with the promise of another mini my little pony she happily ate all of her french toast.  Mike made me another cup of coffee and apologized again saying, “I tried so hard to make this morning just right for you.”  He made it more than just right.  He made it perfect.

Mother’s Day is a day to appreciate the mothers in one’s life.  It does not mean that chaos won’t ensue.  It does not mean the day will run smooth.  It just means you are loved and admired.

Happy Mothers day to our phenomenal mom readers!

 

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