Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What's Up Wednesday

Some internet friends that I don't actually know in person are hosting a "What's Up Wednesday" party together so I figured I'd link up because... my Wednesday has been perfectly mundane so I know you're all dying to hear about it.

Cool Ranch Doritos currently (don't judge).... Grocery day is almost here so tonight we're eating a bunch of stuff put in a crock pot and then baked into Southwestern Egg Rolls. I LOVE recipes like this that don't have to be precise. I can add and take away based on leftovers, frozen foods and canned items I have and it still taste great! Tonight, I added chicken that I needed to cook. It was delish... and didn't look a thing like the picture in the recipe.
Pinterest pictures lie.
What I'm looking forward to:
We're going snow tubing for the 9th anniversary of my 21st birthday on Feb. 27th.  My actual birthday is Feb 23rd but ever since my sister and I moved out and became big girls, my parents have crazy busy social lives so we moved it back a few days. It reminds me of the Toyota Venza commercial. I'm in bed by 9pm and they're at concerts at the Biltmore House in Asheville and having wine with friends on pontoon boats at sunset. I want to be them when I grow up. I'm really looking forward to a day of snow tubing with the kids!

What I'm loving:
Toddler clothes... as usual! Matilda Jane's new pink roses big ruffles may be my favorite pair of pants Avery has ever owned! 

She could have gotten away with murder yesterday in those pants.... thankfully, the only crime committed was that she and Parker self served themselves ice cream cones at 9:15am while I was at the dentist and my husband was on a conference call watching them. I couldn't even be mad... I probably would have done the same thing if I were them. Opportunistic little boogers. 

What we've been up to:
We finally have a contract on our house! So what I HAVEN'T been doing is obsessively cleaning! We spent the majority of the weekend finalizing new house plans and making excessively too many trips to Lowes. During the week, the kids and I are into a pretty good groove of school, planned activities, play dates and general housework and I'm loving not having as many "showing request." It's a HUGE weight off my shoulders! 

We usually do our stalking from the comforts of our minivan parked up the street because...hello.. DVD player!
What I'm dreading: 
I'm not dreading packing since we're doing it progressively, but I AM dreading cleaning the house in between moving out and closing. Last time we moved my mom did it because she's AWESOME.... and because I pulled the cancer card. Those cleaning solutions can't be good for me ;) This time, I'm going to beg my husband to hire a cleaning crew.... or hope Oprah sends me one.

What I'm working on:
I'm working on a wreath for Avery's room in the new house. Every closet door needs a wreath, right?! It's taking me FOREVER because I ran out of materials and it's meticulous but I really like how it's turning out. 

Her new room will be navy, pink, mint and gray with silver metallic accents. I'm pretty excited about it! Ask me the color scheme for the rest of the house..... Yeah, I haven't a clue.

What I'm excited about:
Parker's birthday party! He has been planning his party since March 22nd of last year. 
Last year's party was a hit!
Parker is just like his daddy. Nothing gets him too excited and nothing gets him too down. They're both very even keeled so when Parker gets REALLY excited about something, I am too. I've spent the last 2 days planning his Spiderman party and I think it will be everything he's asked for... even if I've had to jump through hoops like a circus lion to make it happen. How many phone calls does it take to plan a fairly simple Spiderman party? For me, the answer has been 14. Between the location, cake lady, neighborhood HOA and finding someone to dress as Spiderman, do a magic show and twist balloons, this party has been no easy feat.

 What I'm watching:
Currently, I'm keeping up with Pretty Little Liars (seriously though, who is A?!), Scandal, The Blacklist and Revenge. The last 3 are hands down the best shows on television and you can't convince me otherwise.  I didn't watch the last season of Parenthood so I'm playing catch up now on the iPad laying in bed at night before I fall asleep. Don't we all want to be a Braverman? 

Daniel and I both love "period shows" like Rome, Spartacus, Downton Abbey, The White Queen, and The Tutors. We recently put on "Reign" and I'm hooked... Daniel not so much. I did a quick Google search and just realized it airs on the "CW" which may be why Daniel called it quits after 2 episodes. It's basically a teenage version of "The Tutors"...except with the French Henry, not the English one... and amazing costumes.

 What I'm listening to:
 Overwhelmed by Big Daddy Weave is on repeat at my house right now.

What am I annoyed by:
Realtors.  Does that need an explanation?

 What am I hoping for:
 One good snow day then spring. High 60's - High 70's for the month of March, April and May. Is that too much to ask?

What am I wearing today:
My winter mom uniform! Eggplant sweatshirt tunic, olive green cable knit leggings and dark brown boots. I wear some combination of sweatshirt tunics, leggings and boots at least 5 times a week. It's like wearing pajamas but socially more acceptable.
What else is new:
I'm appliance shopping for a new refrigerator and washer & dryer. I'm pretty excited about gifting my current ones to the new owners of our house. Do any of you LOVE your fridge or washer & dryer?! There are SOOOO many to choose from!
What's up with you?

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Case of the Non Existent Chicken Pox

Let me just start off by saying "WOW!" You guys are incredible! I wrote a spurt of the moment soapbox post yesterday about life choices and the risk of cancer for World Cancer Day. You guys read it, "liked it," "shared it" and encouraged this mama in the process! I was blown away by the support and I can't thank you enough for that. 

I spent last night attempting to watch the most recent Pretty Little Liars episode (I'm leaning towards Toby, Mike or MAYBE even Aria being A, thoughts? Why is this SO hard to figure out?!). I say attempting because Avery is battling us BIG TIME about going to bed again. This has been a struggle since she was, I dunno... 6 weeks old?! If it's not one thing it's another. She's hungry. She needs water. She needs a book. She's afraid of the dark. Her fish is swimming too loudly (Hattie, her beta, must only be vocal at night) Her doll needs me. She's afraid of monsters. She hears noises outside. She needs to go potty. She needs clean sheets.  She needs to brush her teeth again. Her baby doll needs to brush her teeth. Her baby doll needs a pull up. She needs to make sure we're in bed..... We thought we had heard it all.


Avery has now diagnosed herself with chicken pox. Thanks Doc McStuffins.
Don't you see all those chicken pox?! Yeah. Me either.
The last 3 nights she says she's covered in red bumps, they're itchy and she has a case of the chicken pox. She will even scratch herself. Did you know that the cure for chicken pox is that you can't go to sleep?! My 3 year old told me so, so obviously it's true.

We have tried baths, lotions, giving her "medicine" (her nightly vitamin), talking to her about it like she's a tiny adult, looking up pictures of chicken pox and comparing her non-poxy skin and even time out for being dramatic and not listening. 2-3 hours for the last 3 nights have been dedicated to convincing my child that she does not, in fact, have chicken pox. I'm not gonna lie, it's a little bit cute. I know this will pass so I'm laughing about it behind her back but by hour 2.... mama's gonna need you to go to sleep. 

We finally resorted to calling "Dr Smolen's nurse, Susan" AKA my sister, Kelly, in Brooklyn who advised her to put on some lotion and sleep it off. It worked the first night but these darn chicken pox flair back up at 7:30pm the next night. It's that the craziest thing?! Thankfully, nurse Susan works late.

Once Avery falls asleep, she'll sleep until 9:30am which continues the late night cycle so today, I woke her up at 7:30. She's a sleepy, cranky, pill today that I've had to dress extra cute with a big bow to tolerate. I've seriously considering shipping her to anyone's house that will keep her alive for the day but I'm gonna tough it out and try an earlier bed time tonight. I'm pretty sure the mini bundt cakes and cupcakes on today's list of things to make will turn that scowl upside down ;)

I tell you this for a few reasons. 1. Because it is ridiculously cute and hilarious.    2. It is equally annoying and exhausting     3. I want to remember these days and her imagination     4. HELP!!!

Has anyone ever successfully broken a pattern of increasingly imaginative excuses? Do I want to break the pattern of excuses? Do I just secretly enjoy this precious time with her being young and adorable? I vaguely remember Parker having a hard time going to sleep but never with this much dramatic flair. Now, I could tell him at 4pm to go sleep on a bath mat and he would. They're just different kids. Motherhood can be so conflicting!

Am I the only one battling night time excuses? Commiserate with me... or encourage me... or give me your phone number and become a fake night nurse... Nurse Susan isn't as available on the weekends. 

On a totally unrelated note, I'm hosting a Matilda Jane party at my house tomorrow, Friday the 6th at 6pm-the bundt cakes and wine run out. I'd love for you to come! Absolutely no pressure to buy anything! Grab your kids and come over for a night of juice boxes and cupcakes for the kids and wine and bundt cakes for the ladies.  Email me at for more information. If you can't make the party, you can still order through my trunk keeper. I've linked the new line here. Let me know if you see anything you'd like to order! 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

World Cancer Day Soapbox

Today is World Cancer Day. I'm not entirely sure what that means. Are we raising awareness of cancer? Celebrating survivors? Remembering those who fought the fight but didn't make it? Facebook was vague on the details but one thing is for sure. I had it. It sucked. You don't want it. I strongly suggest preventing it. 
Port Surgery
If you've read my post before, I don't regret my cancer. It was a growing experience for me, personally. If you've never read "my cancer story" they're linked here and here and various places throughout my blog but I think those best sum it up. Though I don't regret my cancer, I can't say it was my favorite season of life, either. It was my 1st year of marriage, my 1st year of my "big girl job", it was EXPENSIVE, it robbed me of fertility (but PRAISE GOD for my MIRACLE BABIES!). Yes, it took my hair but let's just be honest.... I rocked it Sinead O'Conner style. Who wore it better?!

 Don't answer that.

What cancer didn't take was my faith. My hope. My joy. My marriage. My will. I never gave it that power.

I had Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Doctors aren't sure what causes lymphoma but as most of you know, there are many things that we DO know that can cause cancer. 

This is Derick's soapbox...I'm going to borrow it from him for a moment. If I knew how to use photoshop, I'd photoshop my own little soap box but since I don't, I'll steal Derick's. I bet he won't mind.
Cancer can happen to you. It happened to me at age 23 and I learned a very valuable lesson....I am not invincible. Not all of you have figured that out yet. Be informed and make your own decision based on your knowledge of facts. Not all cancer can be prevented but many CAN be! Other cancers can be cured with a high remission rate with easy detection. Tonight, I beg you to inform yourself of your risk and decide if your choices are worth it. 

Smokers, here is a black lung vs a healthy lung. Have you ever seen someone die of COPD? I have. It's awful watching someone struggle to breath. I don't want that for ANY of you. Is your cigarette worth it?
 For those of you who like stats and math.... I'm no math wizard but I'm pretty sure this means 90% of lung cancer is attributed to actively smoking. That seems like a pretty good reason to not smoke.

Tanners, I was once one of you. The best naps of my life occurred for 20 minutes at Palm Beach Tan. Fact... Tan fat is prettier than pasty white fat. I get that. Thus the reason I got the BEST SPRAY TAN OF MY LIFE for these family pictures. 
We all know tanning beds can cause cancer. I have a friend currently going through a YEARS worth of treatment for melanoma. A YEAR. A whole year of her life feeling sick, fighting for her life.  I'm sure she would be happy to talk to you about her experience with skin cancer and how she also thought it would never happen to her. It happens to 1 in 5 Americans. Wear sunscreen... the good stuff  and get out of the tanning bed, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE. I will rub sunless tanner on you for free. You're welcome. 

Terrible Eaters, I too love M&M ice cream cookie sandwiches. Yes, Cool Ranch Doritos are absolutely considered a meal on Super Bowl Sunday.... but on Monday, eat some kale. Fact with no merit or link to prove it but I'm pretty sure it's true.... Americans eat awfully. We consider this food:
Apparently these are McDonald's Chicken Nuggets...not strawberry yogurt as my husband thought
I'm fairly certain (with once again no facts to back this up) that the majority of us who have had cancer have put it in ourselves by the crap we (including myself!) eat. Would you eat the cleaning solution under your sink? You'd be surprised that most chemicals under your sink are in the food in your pantry, 

 Don't get me wrong, I currently have NO interest in curbing my once twice a day Dr Pepper but be smart about it. Dunkin Doughnuts for breakfast, Taco Bell for lunch and McDonald's for dinner isn't food. Just go drink some 409.... it's got the same nutritional value. 

Get Groped.  Get Naked.  The survivor rates of all cancers are infinitely higher when detected early. Be in tune with your body and it's changes but make sure to get checked. Men have a lower survivor rate of cancer because they wait so long to get checked. It's once a year. It's the doctor's job. What may be awkward for you isn't a blip on their radar. Strip for a dermatologist. It may save your life. Have your breast smashed in a machine. It may save your life. I've never had a prostate exam and nor do I want to google it but you should get one... whatever that entails... just do it... it may save your life. 

Some of you may not like this post. It may make you feel guilty. Good? I mean, I'm NOT judging. I have tanned. I sometimes eat Doritos chased with a Dr Pepper and one time I smoked a cigarette in college... I choked. (sorry mom & dad) I Googled facts and graphs from websites that seemed legit... who knows if they are... but what I DO know is that cancer is real. It happened to me. It can happen to you. I care enough to make you feel uncomfortable and my life from 2007-2008 gives me a platform on which express these opinions.

My hope is that each of you will take your health into your hands. While much of this post is written in jest, the message is serious. Reduce your risk, get checked yearly and live a long and healthy life. 

 OK, OK, little squirrel. Off my soapbox! Happy (?) World Cancer Day, friends!