Thursday, January 31, 2013

Coffee Talk No. 20

1. When eating a taco, do you turn your head or do you turn the taco???
I think I turn my head. If you turned the taco wouldn't everything fall out? I only really like the soft shells so I guess it doesn't matter much. I want tacos now! Nom. 

2. Chocolate chip cookies or Oreos?? 
Chocolate chip. OOOORRRRR! An Oreo inside of a chocolate chip cookie. Yeah. I pick that! 


3. What's the craziest thing you've ever been asked to do and DID?
I can't think of anything - I am sure I've done some crazy stuff, but for some reason I can't remember any of it. I must of been drunk.

4. Never have I ever__________________.
Played "Never have I ever!" Ha! 

5. Would you rather be broke and happy or rich and sad?
Broke and happy! 


Monday, January 28, 2013

{Project 52} Rise Early

Week four of {Project 52} is Rise Early. If you have no idea what I am even talking about, head over to Awesomely Awake and check out her new series.

It's funny, how this is one of the challenges - this is something that I have been trying to incorporate into my life for some time now. Unfortunately, the last few days the boys sleeping patterns have been all over the place. I've been up at 4am for three nights in a row. Not by choice - because children have been sick, or teething or just decided 4am was a great time to get up and party. So my sleep has been broken up.

Sigh...such is life as a mom.

I haven't always been an "early bird" I'd much rather stay up late, but when I stay up late, I try so hard to be quiet that I don't get anything else done. Especially if I have been taking care of the kids all day, laying on the couch after everyone is in bed sounds much more enjoyable than anything else. So I have been forcing myself to get to bed earlier and so I can get up before everyone.

I do some of my best writing in the mornings when it's just me awake. I must have vivid dreams during the night because my mind has so much going on, that sitting and writing it all down relaxes me. I also find the early morning is when I come up with some great crafts, remember this? It was a thought I had when I woke one morning and realized we had a ton of diaper boxes.

I touched on waking early in the previous weeks, which you can read here. So I will keep it simple - waking early works for me. It makes me feel more prepared for the day and more balanced. I suggest you try it.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

{Project 52} Set a Daily Intention

Week 3 of {Project 52} is to Set a Daily Intention. I try to do this a lot. I find that when I write something down and put it out into the universe, the day tends to go better. I write it big at the top of my to do list so that I can see it though out the day. Then I say it a few times, mostly when I feel myself getting overwhelmed or annoyed. I stop, breathe and just repeat my intention until I feel better. Sometimes, just reading it over and over -- helps. Seeing how you intend the day to go, makes getting there seem a little more possible, even when everything around you is saying otherwise.

For this specific day, I wrote "Enjoy the little things" a simple statement can have such a major impact on the day. Our days are chaotic, I won't lie about that. Oliver needs (wants) one thing and Landon needs another. Sometimes I am rushing from moment to moment that I don't really have time to just sit...and enjoy the little moments. The little things. Like having lunch together, at the same time. Making jokes and singing songs. Those moments don't last long -- when the dog steals someone sandwich or the cup of milk spills over. The moment is gone. Poof, never to be had again. Staying present during those brief moments, helps putting it all into perspective. At least for me. I think that's why I take pictures of everything, even the most mundane or random -- to me they are the things that I don't want to forget.

I love sitting at my dining room table to write out my to do list and my intentions. That's the quieter of the rooms, even though the dog spends most of her days in there. I feel better sitting at a table to write things out.  Sometimes I can get it done in the morning, like I talked about the other day. If the kids are awake, I usually do it after breakfast - I send them in to play and I can 'sometimes' sit at the table, drink my coffee and plan my day.

Some of my favorite intentions, that I tend to use a lot are:

Let it go
Just breathe
Enjoy the little things
Find beauty around you
It's Okay
Just say yes (I keep making myself use this one, Its hard to always say yes!)

Do you set intentions? If so, do you do them daily, or weekly? Before you have something important to do? Share some of your intentions in the comments, and make sure to check out Awesomely Awake!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

{Project 52} Start Where You Are

Week 2 of Project 52 is Start Where You Are. This was difficult for me because I am always looking ahead. To the things that need to get done, the to do list, the things I want to do and the things that are always looming over the horizon.

To say I am a worrier is an understatement. I am the biggest worrier. And its something that I know I need to just let go of. When or if it happens is when it needs to be dealt with, not now. Right now I need to Start Where I Am.

Looking in the living room this morning, this is what I see. I am learning to be okay with the chaos. Its not dirty, its lived it and the things that have gone on in here this morning are making my children happy. Making them happy, makes me happy. The dishes can wait, the laundry will be there later. Right now, this is where I am.

It's easy to become overwhelmed with all the things, but looking at my living room, full of toys and pictures and comfort - I am reminded that this life that I am living is the life that I have always wanted.

 Where I am -- is where I am meant to be. 

{Project 52: Stay Awake} Sleep

I was playing around on Pinterest the other day, and I came across Project 52 A Challenge to Stay Awake. I clicked on the picture and went to the blog. Hmm, I thought - this is something that I need. Something that I have been looking for - something to help me be more present in the everyday.

Each Monday, they will give a new prompt to think about and answer. So I am going to do it. Every week, (I'm a little behind) I am going to blog about my journey and document it with pictures.

I am behind so I am going to catch up by posting the first three weeks now!

Week 1: Sleep

I love to sleep. It is one of my most favorite things to do. However, now that I have children the luxury of going to bed and waking up whenever has been lost. I am on their schedule and even though they are great night sleepers now, they do wake up very early. Mornings come fast when I spend half the night up, playing around on the computer having 'me time.'

For awhile, I was staying up until midnight 1AM, and I know me, my body does better with more sleep - so going to bed so late like that, and the kids waking up at 6, I was waking up so very tired and grouchy.

What I read instead of sleeping
Lately, I have been forcing myself to go to bed earlier, to give up on that mindless computer surfing, book reading, catching up on the DVR and just go to bed. I can feel the differences. Most mornings, I am awake before the boys now, and that time is better than the time I spent staying up late. I find myself happier if I wake up on my own, if I have even a small amount of time to give myself a pep talk for the day. I make coffee and get the dog taken care of. I plan my to do list and sometimes I even get a shower. Those things make me feel more prepared, and less rushed.

For so long I believed that 'me time' meant that it was something that I needed to do. Clean, craft, make jewelry, read etc. But now I believe that me time is more of a taking care of me thing. Sure I love all of those things (minus cleaning) but sleep is something that makes me feel better. Makes me a better mom. A more patient mom. A less grouchy mom.

So now, instead of staying up every night I stay up maybe 2 nights out of the week sometimes three and the other nights I make myself go to bed earlier. For now, it's working.

I encourage you to go check out Awesomely Awake  and {Project 52} play along if you wish. It's fun!

Friday, January 25, 2013

S.P.E.L.L It Out

We're at the point in our lives where Ryan and I need to spell certain words out when we are around the kids. Well, mostly Oliver. Landon is still in his own little world.

If you're a parent, or have been around kids you know that they pick up on everything once they are past a certain age. Its hard to be discrete with them when they understand what you are saying. Thats why spelling it out is nice (until they learn how to spell and realize what you're spelling - then you better take up pig latin). Oliver is almost 3 so he has no idea what we are spelling - it works nicely when we're talking about B.E.D.T.I.M.E or if I can't wait until they are asleep so I can have some I.C.E C.R.E.A.M.

The concept isn't hard, pick a few words and spell them out - apparently Ryan missed the memo on how this little game works because this was our conversation the other day...

Me: I found some new S.T.A.R W.A.R.S sheets for his new B.E.D
Ryan: Cool. I. F.O.U.N.D A S.T.A.R W.A.R.S P.O.S.T.E.R T.H.A.T I........


He didn't even finish spelling out his sentence because the look on my face said, WTF are you even saying. He was spelling out the whole freaking sentence!!

Not only did Oliver have any clue what his father was talking about -- I didn't either. It was hilarious and annoying all at the same time.

So for now, we're going to continue to spell it out and I'm going to T.E.A.C.H Ryan how this game actually works.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Coffee Talk No. 19

1. Do you drink the milk after eating cereal or do you dump it out? 
Vomit, I hate milk to begin with so I just use a very little in my cereal - if there is any left over, I dump it. I can't even be around someone who drinks the left over milk out of the bowl. The thought of it makes me want to throw up! True story.

2. Do you share drinks/food? 
I have two toddlers, I share my food but not by choice. I won't share my drinks though, that is disgusting.

3. How often do you replace your toothbrush?
Probably like every 3 months or so. I don't really think about I just change it.

4. How often do you wash your hair? 
Every other day, or every 3 days if I use a dry shampoo. This all started since I became a mom, prior to kids I couldn't imagine going a day without washing my hair. Now its not so bad, and most of the time my hair looks better on the 2nd day. Kids really messed with my hair texture, its all over the place.

5. Do you use a dishwasher or do you hand wash your dishes? 
It depends on what the dishes are. Most of the time we will use the dishwasher because its easier - but I have a few things that I like to hand wash. I really don't mind washing the dishes if there aren't that many. I like to pretend that I am in a TV commercial about dish detergent.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

There Was That Day I Dyed My Hair Red

Some of my best ideas are a total bust. I know this, and yet I do them anyway. Like last night when I had the bright idea to try to dye my hair red. Now my hair is pretty much black. You know what happens when your hair is black right? Anything other than black won't take and you end up with black hair and red roots.


Im not even going to water mark it, because - really? 

That's what the stylists call "hot roots" also known as, you totally effed up your head and look ridiculous.

Its sort of punky and a whole lot of, nope.

Ryan was real nice about it at first. He came up while it was still wet and our conversation went something like this....

Ryan: Hi! Oh, hey! You um, colored your hair? It''s
Me: Yeah, it totally didn't work. Just on the top - cool huh?!
Ryan: Yeah, its...its...nice?
Me: I know it looks like shit - I'll fix it tomorrow.
Ryan: Okay, good - I wasn't exactly sure I should say anything. I didn't know if you noticed or not.

Like I wouldn't notice. It looks like the purple people eater pooped on my head.

On a better note, Ryan is home today. Its not ever Saturday that he is off so when he is, its a grand occasion. He made pancakes this morning and we did the whole 'create your own' pancake. Oliver picked  gummy bears and sprinkles. You know what happens when you mix gummy bears in pancake mix and cook them? Yeah, that idea was about as smart as trying to color my hair red. Big sticky mess. However they tasted like Candy Land, or how I imagined candy land would taste.

I created the chocolate chip coconut pancake. There is no recipe for this concoction just a handful of chocolate chips, a sprinkle or two of sweetened coconut (because unsweetened is disgusting!) and a whole lot of love.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Just Keep Spinning

I joined the gym months ago. I was so determined to go at least three times a week. It was going to be the start of something new, the new me. the me that actually took some time for herself and put in a little effort into her. the one that stopped putting everyone and everything first and started taking control of her own life. Its so much easier to try to control those around me, instead of focusing on my issues. (though, not very healthy - for anyone)

I was doing so well going, I still am not where I wanted to be when I originally wrote this post. And that is depressing. So signing up for the gym was going to be it, this was the time. I started taking a spinning class, and I was happy that I made it at least 2 sometimes 3 times a week. I loved the way I felt. I took all my frustration of Oliver refusing to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner and pushed it into those bike petals. I took all the annoyance of the dog, the kids, my husband, the dishwasher and pushed it into those miles on the bike. I felt fabulous. Clarity. I felt calm and happy.

And then the holidays happened and sitting home with the twinkling Christmas lights drinking hot cocoa and eating cookies with the boys seemed like more fun. Sitting on the couch online shopping in my yoga pants was more exciting to me than actually going to the gym.

And I felt myself slipping again. Going back to that dark place that I never wanted to go to again. After I had Oliver, I had a hard time coping with my new roll as a mom. The anxiety was taking over and I knew something was wrong, someone should cry this much over nothing. This was all happening again. The feelings were coming back, that I was just overwhelmed and couldn't handle anything. I would stay up late, because sleeping was so hard - I would become anxious and it was hard to breathe. The thought of something happening to my kids or husband would creep into my head just as I would almost be asleep. It would wake me up and I would lay there for hours, drifting in and out of sleep. Ryan would always go to bed before me, asking me to come up with him but I would sit on the couch and watch TV and play around on the computer, mindless Pintrest pinning kept the thoughts at bay.

The mornings weren't any better, I was grouchy and annoyed the minute I woke up. The lack of sleep from the night before made my 6am wake up call from hungry toddlers that much more crazy. I tried to be happy for them, but it was hard. And I would be in tears by 7:30am. I knew this wasn't how I wanted my life to go, I knew the only way to make it better was to talk to my doctor again and see what she recommended. I kept putting off the appointment, out of fear or finally having to admit to myself that this was all bigger than me. That there was something chemically wrong going on upstairs and that its not failure to go back on medicine if need be. When I had PPD she prescribed Zoloft for me. I knew that it worked so she prescribed it again. The doctor and the pharmacist both told me it will take a few weeks until it started to build up in my system and I notice a difference. But I'll tell you, I noticed it the first day.

The main thing that all this has helped with is my desire to get off the couch and go back to the gym. I went spinning yesterday. It was hard, seeing I haven't been there in a few months. I walked into the room and it was like I was reminded how helpful this is to me. How much I actually love it. And if you know me, you'll know that anything really physical isn't my cup of tea. I know I should like it for my own health but I've never been real athletic. But there is something about spinning that gets me. I don't feel so exposed in the class, the room is dark and no matter who is riding a bike, everyone looks a little strange. It's the feeling I get after that makes me want to go back for more. Its like I found something I am good at. As silly as that sounds.

So I am just going to keep on spinning. I know that its good for me, and for my sanity. I love this job of mine, but the older the boys get - the harder it seems to get. Oliver has his own needs that are completely different than Landons. The moments of quiet that I had for so long are getting shorter and shorter. Somedays its not quiet at all until they go to bed. So this hour to myself, means so much more to me now. I finally appreciate the time alone and I am doing something I love.

And for something completely unrelated, but totally adorable. Oliver got to meet Sabretooth the other day. Thankfully hockey is back now, all the testosterone in the house will be happy - Ryan took Oliver to the Sabres scrimmage and not only did Oliver get to meet Sabretooth, he was also on the Jumbotron. Lucky little shit, I have been trying to get on that thing for like 7 years. :)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Surround Yourself

I'm not going to lie, life has been hard on me. Things that have happened have molded me into the person I am today. I don't trust easily and I have a hard time putting myself out there in fear of rejection. Some may say that i am lacking in the self esteem, self confidence department. I have come along way throughout the years, but I still struggle. 

I am an introvert, always have been and always will be. When I was younger I would wish that I could be more outgoing and extroverted, I would pick the seat in the back of all my classes, I would wait for someone to say hi to me first before I approached them. Even now, I communicate better though a computer screen, than I do face to face. I have compared myself up and down to those around me, always thinking of the grass being greener. 

But tonight as I sit in the quiet, I find myself accepting not only who I am but who I want to be. Because all along there were people who have loved me, flaws and all. And I have pushed at them and fought with them and tested their trust to see if they would stick around. Sure, there is an abandonment issue floating around under all of this, That is pretty obvious and I think those who know me the best, know that it is one of my greatest fears. Yet, they have stayed. The true ones. 

Being open and honest is scary, and sometimes I would rather hide behind the 'i'm fine' and 'its okay' rather than facing those emotions. To really put it out there, that I am hurting and longing for something more is scary to admit. Because I don't want those who are around me to think that what they are giving me isn't good enough. Ryan works so hard for this family, and I am beyond grateful for everything that he has given me. But I will admit that there are times when I am mean to him or say hurtful things. or make him feel guilty for things that are beyond his control. Its not something I am proud of, writing it out hurts, but it happens, and to realize it, is bringing it to my attention, so I can change it. so I can see all the things that he has done for me, for us and for this family. 

He has always believed in me, more so than I have believed in myself. He has never thought an idea was stupid or a waste of time. He encouraged me to push 'publish' on my very first post all those months ago. when I sat on it for two whole day and was afraid of what people might think or say, he believed in me. He believed in my words. And when I felt like I couldn't compare with all the millions of other blogger on the Internet - he brought me back to reality and showed me that it's not about everyone else, its not about the numbers or the comments or the followers - its about my story. And just to share, because even though its all different - someone out there may just need to read it and can relate. 

There was a situation after I started blogging that crushed me. It hurt me badly that someone would read my words and try to discredit me and my feelings. I never talked about it, but after that day - I felt my guard go up. The wall was built a little higher and as much as I tried to fight it, I held back and only shared small clips of my life. That was never my intention when I started this, it was to use this blog as a place to share my life, so my kids could look back someday and read all about the things their mom was going though. But there were people on my side though it all, the true ones who knew where my heart was and that my words were mine. 

There will be people who wont like you, there will be people who try to bring you down and hurt you. There will be people who try to steal that joy from your life. But I have realized that its not about those people. Its about the ones who see that light, that spark, that see something so great in you - even when you don't see it in yourself. Those are the ones that matter. 


Friday, January 11, 2013

A Tantrum In The Bathroom

Oliver doesn't sleep. Like ever. Well that's a lie, he does sleep though the night but he is wide awake kicking his door at 5 most mornings. So we've been cutting back on his naps, hoping that will help his sleeping patterns. Or whatever it is he does from 7pm until 5am.

Unfortunately when my sweet little cherub doesn't get a nap, he begins to melt down around 4pm. I try to stretch out that time with fun things like, dancing and food. At this point, it is hit or miss on if he will actually like the food or use it as a weapon, it all depends. This particular day, he was happy with his fruit snacks. I made dinner and he ate all of it, no sneaking it to the dog or meltdowns over 'I don't like chicken!"

However, after dinner was when it all went to hell in a hand basket. Earlier in the day I was organizing the bathroom, I had taken some of those gems that are used to fill vases and put them in a cup to hold my make up brushes. Thank you Pinterest. Anyways, he was sitting on the potty, sorry, toilet and he asked to see one of those gems. I gave it to him and he dropped it in the toilet. Right in his shit water.

"Get it!" he said to me.

"I'm not going to get it, there is poop and pee in there!"

"GO GET IT!" he scream at me as he threw off his Elmo potty seat and almost decapitated his brother who was getting ready for the tantrum that was brewing on the floor next to me. [front row seats to my brother melting down over a rock! - I can totally hear him saying that.]

"No. I'm not going to get it, we'll just flush it and I'll let you see a new one!"

I literally had to stop him from reaching his hand into the shit water to grab this stupid gem. At this point he is in full meltdown mode. "YOU GET THAT ROCK FOR ME!" He screamed. I just kept telling him I wasn't and then I did it, I flushed the toilet. Down went the poop, down went the gem. [sorry town of Tonawanda]

After that, I saw my life flash before my eyes. Seriously, 28 years flashing in front of my face - they say that happens in near death experiences. Well it happened to me.  And I saw my sweet cherub faced toddler turn into the Incredible Hulk. His voice deepened, and he let out his rage like a body builder on  steroids. He pushed at me and the cabinet. He opened the drawer and threw some nail polish on the floor. He kicked at the stool I was sitting on and when he was satisfied with the mess he made in the bathroom he moved on to the hallway, where he attempted to throw my lotion through the cat door [he succeeded on the second try], knocked over a laundry basket and his bin of Star Wars guys.

He was pissed!

Like a good mother, I recorded his tantrum. How else am I ever going to get him to clean his room, take out the garbage or mow the law.

When he is 16 and wants to go out with his friends instead of chores, I am going to pull that shit out and show everyone. Oh you have a date? I'm sure your new friend would love to see you throwing a tantrum, and trying to knock over a toilet.

While I was sitting on the floor trying to calmly [at this point its almost 6:30 - I'm not sure where the patience was coming from.] console him, he would get more upset, so I walked away and he followed me like I was the one in trouble. Like I was the one who was being punished. YOU FLUSHED THE TOILET AND NOW YOU MUST LISTEN TO ME SCREAM AT YOU!

I sat on the floor and waited for him to tire himself out and give up. I started sending parts of the video to Ryan. I had to actually turn the video on at one point, and over comes Linda Blair pre-possession. My sweet faced, blue eyed boy was back. His face tear stained and eyes red. His hair a little messed up and he had a small quiver in his lip, but he was back. He sat down on my lap, looked at the video for a moment then looked me in the eyes and quietly said, "I'm a hot mess!"

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Word of the Year: Balance

Last year I chose a word that I wanted to define my life, My word of the year, if you will. This year, I am moving on to a new word. Balance.

A few weeks ago I broke down. It felt like I cried the entire day, and no matter how hard I tried to shake it - I would just end up crying harder. In the end, I did end up feeling better but those big crocodile tears are hard to hide, especially from a curious two year old.

The day started as any other, I got up with the boys and I made them breakfast like I do every morning. I gave the dog her food and let her outside. It was cold and rainy. The cold part is normal for December weather in Buffalo, but the rainy part isn't. We're usually covered in snow. It was dark and gray and just plain crappy. While I was cleaning up our breakfast dishes Oliver was watching Oatmeal play in the back year. He looked at me and said, "It's a beautiful day!" He smiled as he said it, like he couldn't see the rain and the gray, dampness in the air. Unless of course, he did think that the dreary scene was indeed beautiful. And that was it, that's all I needed to hear to send me into an all day crying fit.

He doesn't see the imperfections. He doesn't see that the house is complete chaos and that its 3:30 and I still haven't figured out what were having for dinner. He doesn't see the mom with messed up hair and no make up on. What he sees is beauty. In everything. But mostly in the things that many of us would see as crappy.

I've been finding it hard to find a balance in my life. I want to be the best mom that I can be, but it feels like i am being pulled in 42 different directions. Landon has needs that need to be met, and Oliver has completely different needs that need my attention too. I feel overwhelmed in my quest to find the time to give them all of me, and yet have some of me for my husband and myself.

I look at my house and I see all the things wrong with it. I see that there is no pantry and all of pinterest is talking about how to organize your pantry. Well what if you don't have one? I get frustrated because there is just not enough space for everything. Yet, we have so much. I could kick myself for getting upset over no closets downstairs, coats hanging off chairs where Oatmeal can chew on the sleeves. I want to paint all the things and decorate all the things, but I get kicked back to reality when my favorite picture frame is knocked off the highest table I have and the glass breaks. Then I remember that all those crafts and home decor that I want so badly is going to have to wait because the two little kids that live here, this is their house too and it needs to fit them. Decorate lanterns filled with Christmas bulbs won't work on my coffee table, it needs to be clear for Oliver to line up his star wars guys.

So during my freak out I cried to my friends and something my friend Elyse said just stuck out, she said, "No one can be and do everything all the time" and that was it. That was my problem, I was putting too much pressure on myself to do all of the things. I wanted to be the mom that does all the things with her kids, had the house that was clean and cozy with handmade this and that. Dinners made from freaking scratch - yeah it was exhausting wearing all of those hats and tying to juggle everything. And instead of actually accomplishing all of those things, I was just getting overwhelmed and felt really -- defeated. 


Does any of this even make sense? 

I felt like I was failing my children. That I wasn't giving them the best of me. But the reality was, the only person I was failing was me. I had set this bar so high that I was disappointing myself. Everyone else was okay, they were being taken care of, fed, played with, they were happy - but because I wasn't happy with me, I thought everyone else wasn't happy with me either. 

It was a huge slap in the face. And to be honest, it felt good. Because after the chat and once all the tears had been cried, I felt better. Freer. 

I knew that there would have to be some kind of balance in my life. That is okay to say no sometimes and to ask for help. That taking a break for myself, doesn't have to lead to that dreaded momma guilt. 

It's a new year and I just really not only want to be the best momma I can be, but I want to be the best Lindsay and I know the first step in becoming that person is by creating some peaceful balance in my life. So now is when I start. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Walk This Way

Guys, Landon is walking. I knew it was coming, honestly I thought it was going to be before his first birthday but apparently he had other plans. He found his legs and he is using them! It started off slow, he would hold onto the table and take a step and a lunge towards the chair, but after practicing that for a few months, he is actually taking steps.

He's still a little Frankenstein-ish but he's trying! He has a lot of things going on to help him with his balance. Oliver's 'land mine' of toys. Oliver loves to dump everything out of his toy bin all over the floor and then leaves it there for me to step on or for Landon to practice walking around. He apparently thinks its a game.

Then there is Oatmeal. She loves Landon, so whenever they are in the same room she will run around him. It's almost like she's playing a game of Chicken with him. He doesn't know if she's actually going to run into him or around him. She plays fair most of the time and he's starting to catch on and not fall down.

One of the best things about Landon walking is how excited Oliver gets when he sees Landon walking. Well, most of the time he gets excited. Unless he is on a mission for one of Oliver's toys and he will hip check him down to the floor. However, most of the time he claps and says, "Momma! Look, Landon is walkin'!" Then we all get excited for Landon and he laughs and usually falls on the floor.

So grown up. I look at him and he is a little boy now. No longer a baby. But still my baby. I am so grateful for these two precious children. They annoy the ever living daylights out of me, but I wouldn't change any of this.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Holiday VoxBox

A few months ago I joined Influenster. What is influenster? Well, I am glad you asked! According to their website,

"Influenster is a free-to-join community of invited trendsetters who live to give opinions of products and experiences. Influenster creates links between brands and members to reward participation and influence future products." 

Fun huh?! I thought so too. I've been going on there and taking little quizzes to unlock badges and leaving reviews on products that I have already tried. 

They rewarded me by sending out a Holiday VoxBox. I'm not going to lie, I was pretty excited when I got the email that I would be receiving on of these. It was a nice, pre Christmas gift! 

When I opened it I was pretty amazed to find some unbelievable things. I was expecting samples sizes of stuff - what I got was the real deal. If you follow me on instagram you may have seen the photo I posted a few weeks ago, when I first received my box. 

Do you see all the stuff they packed in there?! Let me break it down for ya! 

Quaker Real Medley's Oatmeal: This is delicious. I shared it with Landon the other morning. I loved it so I went to the store and bought more. Super good, and filling. The peach is really yummy.

NYC Liquid Lipshine: My first thought looking at this in the package was, it's going to be too dark. However, once I put it on, its sheer and shiny, with a hit of color. definitely not overpowering like I thought it was going to be. 

Kiss Nail Dress: Cute right? Here they are on. 

I love them! Like seriously love them! It actually makes me want to make my hands happy. And they last forever. I put them on before Christmas and just took them off yesterday. That says a lot seeing my hands are so busy making sandwiches, wiping butts, washing dishes, making dinner, picking up toys etc. etc. I wash my hands a lot and those suckers held on! Like I said, love them! 

Goody QuickStyle: I was really excited to try this brush. Mainly because I just threw my brush out and I was sick of trying to brush my hair with a little travel brush. It was like the hair gods knew I needed some help so they sent this fun little brush to me. Do you know about this brush? It has these microfiber bristles in between the regular bristles so when you brush your hair while its wet, the little microfiber clouds of wonder trap all that water and make your hair dry faster. Now I don't have the thickest of hair, but this brush would be awesome for the girls with the thick hair. I love it, and I am so glad for it and it pretty much dries my hair for me - which is nice because I really hate drying my hair. I suggest you check it out. 

EBOOST: I love these little packets. I've had orange before, but this time I was sent pink lemonade. Its really good. Sometimes these little energy/immunity packets can take "medicine-y" (just go with it) but I actually like these. I have no idea if its in my head because the packet says it will give me natural energy or if it really does, but I do feel better after drinking a glass of water with EBOOST in it. 

Sole Society: I had never heard of this site before but holy momma I am in shoe heaven. I mean seriously, who doesn't love shoes? They sent me this nice little card for $25 off my first purchase. And because they are so amazing, they said I could share the code with you too. So, you must order before January 31, 2013 (totally wrote 2012) use INFLUENSTER25 to get $25 off your first purchase!! 

So that is that. Influenster and my Holiday VoxBox in a nutshell. If you're interested in  joining Influenster I have a few passes left to give out, the first five people to email me who are interested I will invite you. You must email me at Littlemudpies [at] gmail [dot] com. 

Coffee Talk No. 16

Coffee Talk No. 16 

1. It's 2013! What will be the first thing you do that is memorable?
We're taking our first family vacation this summer. And by family vacation, I mean following Ryan to Pennsylvania so he can run in this. Then we're going to the Pittsburgh zoo! I'm just excited to get away for a few days!

2. It's also income tax season... what do you plan on doing with all that $$$? 
Well, we're going to use some of it to fill in this!

Yeah that was where the hot tub once lived. We sold the hot tub and it left a nice hole in our deck, that should of been taken care of last summer. But we're not going to get started on that!

3. What are your 2012 pro/cons 
2012 was good to us. I don't have anything specific that happened that was wonderful, but nothing bad either.

4. What are you looking forward to this year? 
Spending time with family and enjoying the little things more.

5. What is your favorite movie, cd album, book of 2012? 
Movie: Breaking Dawn/Magic Mike ;)
Book: Bossypants (I think its older, but I read it in 2012 so that counts!)
T.V Show: Homeland, The Walking Dead

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Peanut Squash Soup Recipe

Have you ever made a dish and thought to yourself, I could eat this every day and never get sick of it? Yeah, that's how I feel about this Peanut Squash Soup. At first I will admit I was skeptical. It called for things like peanut oil that I didn't have on hand, so I knew I'd have to buy that and if it was terrible I'd be stuck with a $5 bottle of oil. Sure I could use it for other things, but really. I actually stood in the store and contemplated buying it. I didn't necessary need the oil, I could of used something else but I am so glad I bought it.

Yes, I have conversations with myself in the grocery store. It's nice when the kids are with me because I can pretend that I am talking to them. But when I am alone, I may look a little crazy. Whatever, I've seen others do it too - so I know I'm not the only one!

Back to this soup, hold onto your hats because its that good. I found it over at 100 Days of Real Food. There are tons of recipes over there - It's the new year so of course I'm with everyone else who's making resolutions to eat better, yadda, yadda. We're making lifestyle changes - not just resolutions.

Peanut Squash Soup

1 Tablespoon Peanut Oil
4 cups (1/2 inch) cubed, peeled butternut squash
1 cup chopped onion*
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon cumin 
1/4 teaspoon coriander
3-4 cups chicken stock/broth** 
3/4 cup peanut butter
2 Tablespoons tomato paste 
Crushed red pepper, to taste 
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped 

* I used one cup of onion, Ryan said it was too overpowering. I would recommend using 1/2 of cup or if you are an onion lover - use all of it. Just be warned. I thought it was fine, but I like onion. 

**I used 3 cups of chicken broth. It was on the thicker side, which is the way we like it. If you like your soup - soupier (yes, just go with it) add more stock/broth. 

1. heat peanut oil in a large sauce pan over medium - high heat. 
2. Add squash and the next 5 ingredients 
3. Saute until the onion is tender 
4. Add chicken broth, peanut butter, tomato paste, crushed red pepper, stir. 
5. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the squash is tender. 
6. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve. 


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