A Year Of Mayhem

As I was pulling together the photo books this year, I realized something important.

Although its been a tough year with some definite trials, we have had a lot of fun.

This year, we sold a house, bought a house, lived with my parents for 6 months, and moved twice. John's job took him on the road full time when Bennett was a month old, he was promoted twice, and now he is taking a new job. After 4 months of only sleeping in 1 hour naps and screaming the rest of the time, B was FINALLY diagnosed with acid reflux and put on medication, at which point I started to become human again. We made the heartbreaking decision to find our rescue dog, Dodge, a new home when his MRSA resurfaced and we couldn't keep him around the babies. This came after a year of extensive treatment trying to get him healthy, and was much harder than either of us expected. John went to the Emergency Room and then later had his gall bladder removed. After a long time with failing health, my grandpa died. I was hit by a driver while walking and have had constant pain since. And we had the extra added fun of being the victims of identity and IRS fraud. Any idea how difficult it is to get a home loan approved while your records are all frozen from identity theft? Let's just say, it took several years off of John's life.

In short, this year has been a doozy.

Oh yeah, and I started this little blog to process my thoughts and get through some of the mayhem ;-)

Yep, it's been an exhausting, heartbreaking, exasperating, whirlwind of a year and I cannot count the number of times I thought I didn't have the energy for any more turbulence, only to hit another bump.

But in looking through the pictures, I realized something else.

It has been a year filled with laughter and love and happiness. There has been a *bit* of naughty mayhem, true, but for the most part, it's been the fun kind that made us (and you) laugh and shake our heads.

We have been lucky enough to be surrounded by loving and supportive friends and family who have helped us through many of the snags.

I honestly do not know what I would have done without them this year, venting to my girlfriends was sometimes the only thing that stood between me and the great black abyss of insanity.

I won't lie, I'm kind of glad to see this tumultuous, tempestuous year come to a close, but I'm also incredibly excited to see what the next year has in store for us.

Hope your new year is as wonderful as I know ours will be, thank you so much for laughing along with me this year, passing my links on to friends and family, and giving me an outlet to find the humor when I needed it most.

It's been a wonderful year :-)

The year started off with two sweet little munchies
Bennett quickly began asserting his opinion on,
well... just about everything.
Mayhem ensued.
And more mayhem.
Annnnnddd more mayhem.
You know how this story goes.

Bennett sampled lots of cuisines.
Some he liked.
Some he didn't.
But through it all, we had a lot of fun.
A ton of laughs.
And a ton of smiles.
Oh, and also a ton of naughty.
Good thing Santa's memory is short ;-)
Have a wonderful New Year's everyone,
hope it's filled with lots of fun and cheer!

Nuclear Oatmeal

As much as it makes my heart warm with motherly joy to see my kids sharing a spoonful of oatmeal and all, there is a part of me that shrivels in torment every time most of the bite lands on the floor (what can I say, that second part of me is a little bit dramatic).

The "torment" comes from knowing EXACTLY how hard it is to pry that sticky, incredibly resilient gunk up.

And because my kids have worse accuracy than a drunk frat boy trying to take a piss at spring break, I pry up a lot of oatmeal.

A lot.

Off the floor.

Off the walls.

Off of little hands and faces and out of little noses.

And because Bennett HATES anything that even vaguely resembles hygiene, it inevitably results in a meltdown of epic proportions.

Why feed them oatmeal you ask? Because its supposed to be healthy. And its damn cold out. And oatmeal is one of the 1.5 non crunchy/carb things that Sterling will eat.

So oatmeal it is.

Just gonna have to get myself a nuclear powered, industrial-strength jack hammer. I'm pretty sure the kids have been working on a power source to run it...

Slip And Slide Of Nastiness

As a mom, you quickly learn that hilarity often equals mayhem.

Bennett was whiny all day today. He was whiny as we snuggled in the bed this morning. Whiny at the playground. Whiny as he mowed his way through Sterling's grilled cheese at lunch. Just an all around whiny grump to be with.

So when he suddenly started laughing like an idiot with Sterling this afternoon, we didn't question it.

She was running and sliding on the marble floor of the vacation condo, and Bennett was laughing like an idiot watching her.

John and I started laughing at Bennett's deep belly laugh, and then when B got into the slipping and sliding, it turned into all out hilarity.

We were all laughing like crazy, the babies sliding and skittering like woodland creatures on ice, John and I laughing at their crazy contortions and hilarious laughter. Everyone was thoroughly enjoying themselves.

And then... John stopped and looked at me. "Huh, I wonder where all this water came from?"

"I thought you knew. How much water is there, I didn't think there was that much?"

"A whole bunch actually, and it's all over the place."

And as I looked around, with a thunderclap of doom I realized...

My kids weren't slipping and sliding and rolling in water at all.


Even though Sterling potty trained herself a few months ago, and I can count on one hand the number of accidents that she has had, she had indeed had the mother of all "accidents" in the middle of the floor.

And my kids had been playing in it for about 10 minutes.

Talk about bringing a good time to a screeching halt.

John grabbed one kid, I grabbed the other, and we both raced for the tub.

Yep, if John wasn't ready to go back to work before that, he certainly is now.

Wonder if Santa is bringing us a vasectomy for Christmas...

Oreo Orgasm

Evidently Na Na and Pop Pop have fostered in miss Sterling Rose a healthy appreciation for Double Stuff Oreos.

See, are on vacation. And we were stocking up at the grocery store when I added a package of Double Stuffs to the cart. That's a special splurge, not something I would usually ever buy.


At the top of her little 2.5 year old lungs S squealed "Oh shit, OREOS!!!", snagged the package from me, and hugged them fervently in her tiny arms for the rest of the shopping trip.

While I shared her sentiment, I thought I had thoroughly routed the term "Oh Shit" from her lexicon.

A little backstory is probably due.

See, "Oh Shit" was a phrase that saw a lot of play time when I was huge pregnant with Bennett, and S was bugging the ever loving crap out of me by performing death-defying feats on a near constant basis.

Back in the days when this blog was born, actually.

In fact, one of the initial titles that was kicked around for this blog was "Oh Shit", it was THAT common.

Once we reached a point of equilibrium (HA, I almost wrote that with a straight face), I stopped using the phrase *quite* so often and by proxy, it seemed to disappear from her everyday language as well.

Evidently not.

Apparently it just went into hiding for moments when she was SUPER excited.

Like when the Double Stuff Oreos come out.

Oh Shit indeed...

Never Nudging Again

Forget the Winter Solstice, today was the longest day in history.

See, a rule of thumb that always seems to hold true in parenting is if I play, I pay.

We get together with friends pretty often, and usually I am religious about getting home in time for the 1:00 nap.

Like crazy nutso dedicated religious.

You can set your clock by me, I am that on point with it.

But today was our final play date with our amazing friend M and her kids before they move, and so I fudged a little on getting home.

We were about 20 minutes late.

Doesn't seem THAT major, does it?

But I will let the photographs below speak for themselves.

As will the fact that for the first time in history, neither of my children took a nap.

Nope, for 3 hours straight, what they did was jump. And scream. And strip. And laugh maniacally. And destroy their rooms. And crap.

I changed 5 poopy diapers during "nap time" today.


Do the math. It's mind boggling.

So yeah, count me as schooled. No chance in hell I'm ever gonna jack with nap time again.

If the penance is changing poopy diapers for JoJo the giggling idiot boy for 3 hours while he feverishly tries to "interfere", and chasing Lady Godiva around her room after she has trashed it... AGAIN... I think I will just stick to nap time.

NOTE: Yes, this was officially the final straw for Sterling's bedroom furniture. The room is now stripped bare except for a bed.

Dust Pan Snack Magic

This morning, while I was getting Sterling ready to go out and meet up with friends, I realized that Bennett had gotten eerily quiet.

In that OhShit way that only a mom of toddlers can do, I leapt up from the sofa to see what he had gotten into.

As I raced around looking for him, my mind ran through a litany of ugly options. Was he sticking his tongue into electrical sockets, jumping off of ledges, poking his eyes out with sharp objects?

It shows how far we have come that the reality was actually a relief...

I came across homeboy... kneeling contentedly in front of the dust pan... munching pretzels out of it as if it were some special little Bennett snack trough.

To his credit, when he caught me watching him in a mixture of disgust and hilarity, he kindly offered to share.

Yep, proud momma moment right there.

Ain't No Rest For The Wicked

Dear God, this child is going to be the death of me.

And I'm fully aware that I've probably said that exact same phrase hundreds if not thousands of times before. But this time I mean it. Really.

It's nap time.

That single time of day when I have three seconds to myself and can pull the house back together in a little bit of peace and quiet.

Otherwise known as nirvana.

I was downstairs cleaning the kitchen, when there was a house shaking thump from upstairs.

Knowing Sterling, I immediately ran up to see what it was... and this is what I found.

According to her, she had decided to sleep in her dresser (suuuuuuurrre, thats TOTALLY a legitimate choice) and it had fallen over on her.


Contrary to the pictures, she was happy as a clam until I moved her bunny out of the way to take a photo. She then promptly melted down, hopped out and went in pursuit of said bunny.

That is the source of her tears.

Even I am not heartless enough to continue snapping merrily away while my child is trapped in agony.

Seriously. No. Stop laughing, I mean it!

But I swear, that is one incredibly lucky child.

So yeah, I officially declared defeat and turned the damn dresser around. The room is starting to resemble a sweet little girl's room less and less, and a mental patient's bunker more and more.

I guess this way, when I officially lose it, they have somewhere to keep me...

Ornery Thought Of The Day

Is it a bad sign if your kids yell "whee" and clap like they are on a roller coaster when you accelerate out of a stop light?

I ask purely for hypothetical reasons, not because my kids ever do this.


Man Teething

Today was one of those holy-fuck-thank-god-we-made-it-through-the-day-in-one-piece kind of days.

Bennett is man teething. If you aren't familiar with the concept, take teething, add a highly vocal, highly dramatic man, and you get the idea.

He is convinced it is a fatal malady that might well take him at any moment, and is bound and determined to scream about it until it actually does.

Imagine the whiny, baby version of Fred Sanford and you are close. I could totally see Bennett grasping his chest and talking about how he could see the light.

We even have a baby easy chair...

Meanwhile, I have my ever present friend, the post-accident whiplash headache. Any idea what a screaming baby does for a tension headache?

Imagine a frog, in a blender, on the highest setting. Now replace that frog with your brain. And add a few rocks. And whack the shit out of that bastard with a baseball bat like a piƱata for good measure.

That's close.

And not to be outdone, Sterling decided to use the afternoon as an opportunity to antagonize the two of us, snagging Bennett's bottle whenever it looked like he was really enjoying it (or was quiet for 3 seconds). Toppling his block towers. Screeching in those few moments when he wasn't. Wiping boogers down the legs of my pants.

Generally endearing herself to both of us.

Yeah, it was a beautiful, beautiful afternoon.

Which is why, when I finally tucked their hineys into bed, it was the single most amazing feeling in the world.

I swear, I heard trumpets *quietly* heralding, like I deserved a medal.

Or at least the largest, most salty margarita in the history of mankind. But the fun thing about the medication for the second kind of headaches from my accident (yep, there are multiple)?

I can't drink on it.

Nope, that's not a joke, I'm dead serious.

Two small kids, husband travels full time, constant headaches, and I can't drink.

So instead I am writing a blog post and then I am going to go downstairs to clean my kitchen. That's almost as nice.


Ornery Thought Of The Day

Sterling is perfecting the art of wiping herself.

It happens to have occurred at the same time that she has suddenly taken new joy in feeding me finger foods.

It is no coincidence that hand washing has suddenly taken on a particularly important significance in our household...

Party Magic

Last night we had a party to celebrate Bennett's first year.

It was our first big party in over a year. And for a couple who used to have parties every month or so, it has been way too long.

It was wonderful to surround ourselves with so many wonderful friends, both new and familiar. To hear their laughter, admire their children, reminisce with them over stories, joke and tease and flirt and enjoy their hugs.

There is so much love and joy in our group of friends. Something about our parties always seems to bring that out, release it into the night like a gossamer of enchantment to weave through the air around us.

It's magical, the spirit of these parties, and I have missed it.

It brings something to life inside of me. It awakens something vital, something vibrant and jovial and excited. Like a kid on Christmas morning, parties always leave me giddy and full of happiness.

I woke up this morning and even though I had my usual headache from the accident, I still had a certain peace, a certain contentment, as if something inside of me that had been empty, or maybe just dormant, had been filled up again.

For some reason, great parties always do this to me. The excitement, the energy, the effervescent joy, it all comes together and recharges my own inner happiness.

It's been a long year. It's been a tough year. But it was wonderful to get together with our friends and family and celebrate and share the joy and love together.

And I can't think of any better way to celebrate the first year of life of my beautiful baby boy.