Wednesday, May 25, 2011

awe, shucks...

so, a little birdy told me that i knew someone being showcased on a blog. read it here:

do you know her?


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Prove It.

I am about to let all of you in on a little secret.

My child, Louisa is strong-willed.

Whoever would have known. Now that you are all giggling knowing full and well that was NO secret I will indulge you on some of her latest. Just look at this face.

This, this my dears is what I deal with on a daily basis. And what makes it so hard is the fact that we are JUST alike in the whole attitude/personality/strong-willed/stubborn/must have the last word/short fuse kind of sense. She may not look like me, but by golly - the child can hold her candle to me in the behavior department.

Now, one would think that since I realize this and know that she must be learning from me, that I would change. No way. That would mean that I was letting someone else (like a personality that had some sense) tell me my business. And for anyone that knows me, I cannot STAND to have people tell me what to do. How I EVER made it through 12 years of school, 4 years of college and then another 3 years for nursing school alive is beyond me.

Anyways. If I didn't feel the need to argue with my 4 year old I think things would be quite peachy at the Norris house. But I refuse. :) I will have the last word. And it will be on my terms. Geeze, who is the 4 year old now?

Take for example, the other day. I had asked Lou about a bazillionk times to clean off her craft table. Well, she did everything but for about 30 minutes. Then, when I went over there and started to clean it myself (ie. throwing stuff in the trash that needed to be see, my child has a slight hoarding problem...something I can assure you did NOT come from me, unless it pertains to fabric, then guilty as charged) she flipped her lid. I mean, the eyebrows turned red, all rationale went out the back door with two labradors that were so excited to be out of the middle of it. She screamed and she pitched a fit and she grabbed the trash bag from me, etc. Finally, I sent her to her room and told her until she could calm down she needed to stay in there. Well, off she went stomping and screaming at the TOPS of her lungs the whole way down the hall. Then I heard it. She slammed her door. Oh NO she didn't. Here is where my maturity level began to slip.

I opened her door and told her that she was not allowed to slam her door like that. I told her it was not acceptable and that she would not behave that way. She needed to stay in her room and think about her behavior. And, I closed her door and walked off.

Then, she opened her door, stuck her head out and said, "I am not gonna fink about my behabor. You are NOT gonna throw away my collection (ie. the crap on her table)" and with that she slammed the door again.

Oh hells to the no. I went back in there and opened it and told her once again she would not slam her door and that I am the boss and I made up the rules and she needed to follow instructions or she wouldn't be getting a star on her chart. I closed the door and walked off.

Then, she opened it back and said, "you are NOT gonna talk to me that way and I want you to leaves me alone!" and slams the door.

Do you see the cycle here? It is quite vicious. I try my best to count to 10 and cool down, but with both of us having to have the last word it gets quite out of hand. I thought at this point if I opened her door this time, what would I say? She needs to know she cannot talk to me like that but are we even getting anywhere right now with the two of us being hot-heads? No, we aren't. So, I let it go. I walked out into the den and sat down and tried to calm down and think of how we were going to address this later. She is 4 Amy, and she is going to test her boundaries. And I need to come up with a way to realize not to take it personal yet to guide her back on the right path, with the key word here being WHEN my head isn't so hot so we get somewhere instead of standing outside her door opening and shutting just to get the last word in.

This parenting, it sure is tough. Especially when you have such a strong-willed child. She came out of her room later and put on her charm and we had a talk and all was right in the world again. At least until the next meltdown...which for you mother of toddler girls know good and well it was only like an hour later.

And for a more humorous story about Louisa. We were eating dinner the other night and she was not eating very quickly and instead stalling and talking and carrying on (like every other toddler I am sure) and Byron said to her, "Louisa, if you don't hurry up and eat your dinner I am going to take away one of your stars from today." And do you even know what that little cracker said in response?

"Prove it."

Yes, you read that correctly. I thought I was gonna fall of the sofa (yes, we eat in the den in front of the tv, judge not). I was waiting for Byron to fly the coop with the look on his face. I quickly said, "Byron, I don't think she knows what that means!" And he asked her and she back-tracked and you could tell she quickly realized that she didn't know what she had said, but that she had used it in the correct context and it wasn't very nice. Wow. I was speechless for quite some time after that one. Prove it. Lawdy.

And now, after all that drama. How about some of my sweetness, because I just couldn't stand it!

Until next time hot heads...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Who Sent the Sushi Booties?

Okay, I am dying laughing. And I mean, dying laughing. My cheeks hurt and my stomach is in pain because I cannot stop giggling.

So, a friend discovered a package on my doorstep today. It was addressed to Mr. Norris and had a return address of "Sushi Ornaments." I thought..."what the crap?" I figured Byron had ordered something...but the whole "Mr. Norris" confused me.

Well, I opened it and this is what I found.

No note, no from so-and-so, etc. Just some Sushi Booties. Hehe.

So, I found the store on Etsy and emailed the seller to see who had sent it (I haven't heard back yet). I then proceeded to text Byron and ask if he ordered Nash some Sushi Booties to which he texted back, "does that sound like something I would do?" Which, that was the first giggle.

I then proceeded to text other friends to see if they had sent the Sushi Booties and this is when the hysteria began. My phone must be having an off-day. It kept correcting it to "Sushi Boobies." So, I would get some very confrused responses. Then, I was uber embarrassed and would correct it to "Sushi Booties" and still get the confrused responses. Here are just a few so that you can giggle too.
  • WTH?
  • Ummm, I have no idea what you are talking about....
  • Excuse me?
  • Are you drunk?
  • Seriously?
  • I didn't send the booties, but I ordered the boobies. :)
  • Did you mean to send this to me?
  • WTC?
  • Lay off the booze Ames...
So, if it isn't random enough that some Sushi Booties (which I had been super oblivious to before just now) came in the mail to "Mr. Norris" I have NO clue who they are from. But rest assured, I have laughed more over these things in the last 30 minutes than I have in a while.

So...did you send the Sushi Booties?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Cloth Diapering 101

Okay, here it is. FINALLY. The blog a lot of you have been waiting for, that I have procrastinated since I knew it would take a while to write. :) PS - I haven't proofed, so excuse the errors. The chirrens are now awake and unhappy hour is upon us. Time to go get in the stroller...

Now, while the title is Cloth Diapering 101, please note that this is NOT the only way to cloth diaper. This, is however, how we cloth dipe at the Norris house. So, this is what works for us. And one thing you will learn is that the whole cloth diapering system works differently for everyone. So, this is basically information and basic knowledge.

First, let me say why I cloth dipe. I am not completely sure. Hehe. I mean, yes – I do want to help the environment and save money, but I am sure I have other reasons, but I really couldn’t come up with them. Whoops. I do, however cringe every time I do a load of dipe laundry in my 1950’s washing machine that is not EVEN energy or water efficient. Maybe one day, but for now…oopsie. And as for the saving money aspect…cloth diapering is addictive. You always want to buy and get more. Oopsie. As long as you can keep yourself from save money for sure! When I calculated it all out, by the time that Nash is 5 months investment has paid off. :)

I will have to say that when I decided I would cloth diaper, I got the same reaction from like 90% of the people. A furrowed brow and a haughty “WHY would you do that?” Now, now people. It isn’t like I am falling off my rocker here, and I am not the only one! I have realized it is much more popular up north and out west than here in the dirty south. It would be so nice if there were cloth diapering stores actually here so that not everything I did was online, but hey – I have found some great websites, so no need to complain.

Now, the majority of the people ask, “How is it going?” In all honesty, it is going great. It is much easier than I ever anticipated. Honestly. The main difference is an added 2-3 loads of laundry a week. Not bad at all. And the cloth diapers are so much cuter than the disposables I will have to say. :)

So, I am going to try and make this as organized as I can. TRY being the key word.

Here we go. This is the cloth diapering system we use at the Norris house. Prefolds, covers & pockets.

In my stash at the moment I have:
24 Prefolds (maybe a few more???)
8 Covers (of various sizes)
6 One-Size BumGenius pockets
6 Perfect Size Fuzzibunz.

My faves….HANDS down the Fuzzibunz. However, some people cannot stand Fuzzibunz. It takes every kind of people….to make the world go ‘round.

Prefolds & Covers

Let me say that I was so intimidated by this system when I was first getting started that I almost didn’t try it. I thought it was too ‘old school’ and since there were other easier ways, why should I bother. Let me say I have eaten every word. I love prefolds and covers. This is what we use when we are at home. Here is a breakdown. The prefold

is a cotton/muslin type material that gets more and more absorbent the more you wash it. Crazy, right? Like when you buy prefolds – you need to prep them (wash them) like 6-7 times before baby wears so that you can increase the absorbency. This part of the diaper is NOT waterproof. Hence, why you need the cover. Now, there are many, many different ways to use prefolds in your cover – but I will show you my fave way. The angel fold. You fold the prefold into thirds

and then fan out the top edges and place in your cover.

You now have an angel wing fold. You place baby in the diaper and pull the prefold around to the front and fan out the edges here as well.

This creates a nice little gusset at the base of the leg to hopefully hold in any blowouts that may occur.

You then bring around the cover and Velcro it together. Word of wisdom – in the cloth diapering world, Velcro is called Aplix.

The skinny on prefolds & covers – this is probably the cheapest way to cloth diaper. Prefolds will run you about $1-3 dollars a piece (you can get bleached or unbleached, and the Indian prefolds are my faves) and a cover is usually no more than $15, depending on the brand. My favorite cover is a Thirstie. It has leg gussets that really, really, really contain any sort of pooey blow-out that could ever come up. You don’t need as many covers as prefolds as you can use the same cover all day - UNLESS there is a super-duper bad poopy that just cannot be wiped out of the waterproof inner of the cover. But, all day what I do is just replace the prefold and keep the cover.

Pocket Dipes

As I said earlier – I have 2 brands of pockets. Fuzzibunz perfect size and BumGenius 4.0 one-size.

The main difference in the 2 above are the closings (one is snaps and the other is Aplix, this is just a matter of preference…but Fuzzibunz only makes snaps – I haven’t found I have a preference yet on the snaps vs. Aplix). The other, you may notice that the BumGenius Aplix (on the right) also has snaps. This is because it is a one-size diaper. Meaning it will fit your baby from birth to potty training. Now, here again is preference. You can either buy all one-size dipes and then have them the entire time, or you can buy the sized dipes and just get new ones when your baby needs a larger size up. Personally…I have found that I think my problem with the BumGenius (mind you, this is a GREAT diaper and I use it all the time, but I just don’t love it like I do the Fuzzibunz) is because it is one-size and you cannot get the leg opening any smaller for those little newborn legs. Make sense?? The one-size pockets are usually a few dollars more – but as I said…personal preference. I will more than likely keep all of my one-sized BumGenius and then when Nash outgrows his Small Fuzzibunz, I will buy 6 more Mediums.

Okay, why is it a pocket? The anatomy of this diaper is a waterproof outer layer (just like a cover) that has an inner layer of a soft microfleece that will wick away moisture.

What the heck does that mean? Basically, it draws the moisture away from the baby and into the insert. Like, when I take off one of Nash’s pocket dipes, I wouldn’t know it was wet until I pull out the insert. What is the insert? Well, see how between the inner and outer layer there is a ‘pocket?’

This is where the insert goes. The insert comes with the diaper and is something that you have to ‘prep’ as well when you first get to increase the absorbency. You place the insert in the pocket, and I remove it when I take off the diaper and wash it separately and then replace after laundering.

The skinny on pockets. They are SO incredibly easy it is almost silly. These are close to a disposable in that there is no folding of a prefold or anything, just put on the baby and snap/Velcro and voila. This are the diapers that I use on the go. Reason being – you just take them off, fold them up and put them in your wet bag (details on this later). They are more expensive than your covers and prefolds – but obviously you are paying for convenience and quality. Fuzzibunz usually run around $18-21 a piece and BumGenius are right around there as well.

As for things you must have if cloth diapering – you need a wet bag for your diaper bag and a pail liner.

Wet bag for diaper bag. This one is mine.

Look at that Joel Dewberry gorgeousness. (PS - Summer Turner and Katie Puckett...look closely at Sambo and you can see our convos, hehe) I got mine from an Etsy seller called Monkey Foot Designs. I love this bag. This bag is lined with a waterproof material and has a zipper so that when you are out and have a diaper change, you just put the diaper in the bag, zip it up and take it home to put in your big wet bag…aka your pail liner.

What I did is buy a trash can at Big Lots and then got a Planet Wise pail liner. It is a waterproof bag that fits into a trash can and anytime I take dipes off of baby, they go in here. When I am ready to do a load of diaper laundry, I grab the bag out of the trash can and take it all to the washing machine. You can wash your pail liner with your dipes. I suggest having 2 pail liners so that you will have one to put in the trash can to line while your other is in the wash. I haven’t gotten a second yet…but soooo need to!

For wipes – I confess…I am still using regular disposable wipes only because I haven’t take the time in my sewing room to cut out my wipes. You can use regular wash cloths, old pieces of t-shirts cut up, etc. I just happened to have a piece of fabric that I want to cut up and serge to make wipes and haven’t gotten there yet. But you can buy a solution to soak the wipes in, or just make it yourself. This is what I have done…but just don’t have the wipes in it yet. Whoops. The solution I use is ½ cup baby oil, ½ cup baby wash and 2 cups of water. I am looking for some lavender oil to put a smidge in there for yummy booty-smell. :) With cloth wipes, just throw them in the laundry with your dipes and you are good to go.

Now the question that I know is brewing in MOST people’s minds by now, since I always get asked this question. What do you do with the poop?

Well, it really isn’t that much of a deal. I am fortunate in that most of Nash’s poops are fairly solid. So, I grab them with a wipe and put them in the trash. Every now and then when he has a bad one or a loose one, I will go to the toilet and swish the dipe around in there to loosen up most of the poo. Then, I put the diaper in the pail liner to be washed later. NOT a big deal. Promise. It isn’t nasty and it doesn’t gross me out, but then again…to each their own. I always have people ask if I have had a diaper yet that was so bad I just wanted to throw it out…not yet, and I probably wont. Those dipes are too expensive to just part with. :)

Laundering. Once again, not a huge task. Actually, the dipes are the only laundry that I don’t mind doing. Haha. I do dipe laundry about every 2-3 days. I usually will do a rinse in cold water, then add a smidgen of detergent (I use All Free & Clear…you HAVE to make sure to use a detergent free of smells, additives, etc and dryer sheets and fabric softener are a big fat NO-NO with cloth dipes) and wash in hot. Then, the only part that I will put in the dryer are my prefolds and inserts. All of my pockets and covers I hang to dry. Again, a personal preference…it just prolongs the life of your dipe. When it is sunny outside, I hang them all (inserts, prefolds, covers and pockets) in the sun. Want to know a magic trick?? The sunshine will bleach out any poo stain. NOT kidding. My dipes look brand new when they come in from a sunning. Brand new.

Okay, I think I may have covered all of my bases...but since my lovely computer just decided to take away my word document that was already 3 pages on this subject and I wasn't finished (seriously...where did it go??) I think I need to step away from the computer before I hurl it out the window. One thing I will mention, my fave place to buy dipes is at the BumRite Diaper company. The thing I love the most about this place is the customer service. When I call, I always, and I mean always get someone. The one time I didn't, I was called back within an hour. And, shipping is so quick. I always have my dipes within a few days. :)

I hope this helps to answer some questions or clear up any misconceptions about cloth diapering. If this is something you are thinking about doing, please don't hesitate to email with any questions at amysnorris (at) hotmail (dot) com. I know that I couldn't have done it without the input of my cloth diapering friends in the beginning! It may not be for everyone, but isn't bad! And there isn't much that is cuter than a big-ole cloth diapered booty!!!

Now, just to summarize with the sweetness asleep with his zeebs. So stinking cute.

And, another Norris that hasn't gotten enough face-time lately. :) This is the little striped kitty hiding in the bathroom. Wonder who she is hiding from. Hmmmm...

Any questions? :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Basking in the Rays

Okay, before I go any further...looky at what I got to wear.

Yep. On Mother's Day I was allowed to wear the macaroni necklace. And I wore it all day in fear I was never allowed to wear it again. Excuse the poor photo as I was taking it of myself in the mirror and my maid hasn't shown in like 6 months, and you know...mirror cleaning isn't on my daily agenda. Or, I could just say it is an antique mirror and that it is fuzzy. Yes, that is it.

This blog is random. I am supposed to be showering, or sewing or cleaning and instead, I grabbed another cup of afternoon coffee and sat down to blog since I know that nap time is almost over and there is no sense in starting something that I can't finish, right? Confession - I think I drink way too much coffee, but whatever. Between the coffee and Diet Coke, I think I get my 8 glasses of water in somehow. :)

But, I want to talk about one of the best inventions ever. This guy.

The baby monitor. Whatever would you do if you were not allowed to leave the house when babes slept? Don't get me wrong - I don't go anywhere, haha...that sounded kinda bad. I mean, when I am at Target and the kids are napping, I take the monitor....haha, just kidding.

But, if there is one thing I is sitting outside in the sunshine. I get it honest. Growing up, Mom would pack an entire day's worth of stuff and we would pile up in the car and head to Tybee for the day. And not because we lived far away, we were only 15 minutes from the beach - but she enjoyed staying all day. And I get it. First of all, the kiddos are entertained AND they get worn out so they will sleep that night. Second, toes in the sand with sunshine in the sky. There is no other drug like Vitamin D. I remember playing in the water and seeing the sky get dark for an afternoon shower and watching all the other beach-goers pack up and leave. Not us. Mom would huddle us under towels so we wouldn't get pelted by the raindrops and say, "Oh, it's passing over." And most of the time it did. Then, we would have the beach to ourselves. And there is something to be said about the beach after a rain, it almost gives me chills.

Well, I am not 15 minutes from the beach and never again will be - but I can improvise. A beach chair, baby pool, Pandora on the Blackberry & some sunscreen and I head out in the backyard. It is quite nice. I miss the ocean breeze...but I can sit in my chair in my bathing suit not worrying about what is jiggling or not looking great due to a very high privacy fence. I also don't have to worry about the sand blowing on me which puts me in a bad mood VERY fast. And I tote the baby monitor outside with me. And I sit and I enjoy the peace and quiet of nap time while I bask in the rays of the sweet sunshine. Nothing like it. It is time where I can gather my thoughts and figure out what to do and how to manage the chirrens the second half aka Round 2 of the day while soaking up some rays. The labradors join me, and Mallard always tries to get in my chair. He is so sweet. Oh, the joy of nap time. The monitor shown is Nash's. I don't even bother to bring Louisa's outside since I know she isn't napping, and if she needs me...she will come and find me I am sure. In fact, after nap time this particular day this is how I found her. Granted...she went to 'sleep' in regular clothes and managed to tell me that Nash woke her up.
She is just so darned cute that I cannot even get mad. I mean...the tulle tied up her legs. That girl...

Later that day, she told Nash, "You know buddy, I hope dat one day you will be as bootiful and smart as me. And a good drawer like me, oh and a good singer. And a good kicker, and a good painter. Ooooh and a good puzzle putter together...." Yes, I hope he is also as modest as you are you little cracker. :)

As I said...random blog - but there it is. I can hear over Louisa's monitor, "Mommy, I am frew wif my nap now. Why don't you come and get me? Mommy? Hello??" And with the volume of her voice, I know she is holding the monitor's receiver up to her mouth like a microphone. That girl...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tried and True

There are certain things about childhood that you think back on and smile. Things that are so trivial and silly almost but that still, make you smile. Some of the 'crafts' that are done in preschool and kindergarten and such are classics. Tried and true - over and again, they are always big hits with the kiddos.

Take for example, this beaut that came home from school with Louisa today.

The penne pasta necklace. Talk about a walk down memory lane. I remember making one of these. I can almost be positive that I was sitting in Mrs. Francie Browne's kindergarten class alongside of my side-kick Jennifer Sanderlin (she is now Jennifer Hall). Now, whether or not this day was before or after our infamous sad-gram, I am not sure - but I can remember walking home from school (yes, I walked home from school) with my pasta necklace clinking around my neck and being proud of my fashion statement.

I can also remember when I was a little older and my younger sister brought home the pasta necklace clinking and proud as can be. I remember thinking, "how silly is that? how baby-ish is that?" I mean, you know how us older sisters (and middle children) think.

But today, when it was around the neck of my favorite little fireball, I was almost brought to tears. How is it that a necklace made out of pasta and on a pipe-cleaner can bring about such emotions? I am not sure. But the smile on her face brought me back instantly to me bopping down the street with my very own carb-loaded necklace.

Here I am getting all mushy again. Crazy what a second baby can do to you. :) But before all the mush continues...I will fill you in on the convo in the car on the way home. I was oohing and ahhing all over her necklace and she said, "Why fanks, Mommy. I jes lub it too. I made it for you for modders day, but I fink I am going to keep it since I am much prettier in it than you would be probably. Otay?"

Hmmmmm, I might have to agree.

Love this child. :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Barnum & Bailey

It's official. I am now the ring-master of my very own 3-ring circus. Holy moles. My friend Erin always has me giggling when she refers to her 2 little boys as her clowns, but I don't giggle anymore. I totally get it. Geeze.

I really think I jinxed myself in the beginning. When asked how it was with two kiddos, I said, "Oh, it really isn't that bad. I think it was the hardest going from no kids to Lou than from Lou to two." And, I really still do think that is true. But I may have changed my mind on the whole "it really isn't that bad" as the past 3 days I have had my rear-end handed to me on a stick by my two chirrens.

First I will talk about what I refer to as "suicide hour." It is also known as "the witching hour," "unhappy hour" and "sundowners." It is inevitable. Around 5-6pm daily all shit hits the fan. And I am not kidding. NOTHING and I mean NOTHING can make baby Nash happy. And he is generally a happy-go-lucky kid. So, if you live in the area of see me out and about with the chirrens packed in the Uncle Bob, strolling....for hours. Not kidding. Some days I put the earphones in my ears and get my run on and worry not about the 4 year old running her mouth a mile a minute or the 11 week old that may or may not be crying. I know he is fed and dry...and as Dr. Smith says, I am letting him 'work it out.' But usually, as soon as I put him in the stroller and buckle him - he is good to go. Just don't stop the movement. I mean, if I ever questioned spending a large amount on a Bob double, I no longer. I have gotten every single penny out of it during suicide hour alone. Best purchase. Well, for some reason....suicide hour the last 3 days has made me twitch. Maybe because I know that the hubs wont be home until around 9 pm or so. But, as I type...I see the hour is approaching and I fear today as my 11 week old has YET to nap. Yep, 'tis true. Ugh.

Another thing about having 2 kiddos, I always said that it is more about being coordinated than anything for survival. This holds very true, as you have to be able to juggle what is going on with the 2 before you can think about going anywhere or trying to plan around something. This brings me back to my role as the ring leader. Maybe I am not that uber-stylish vest-wearing leader, but instead, perhaps I am that clown that is so uncoordinated, and falls down and has all these weird things happen to him and rides that super small bike and all the people laugh at. Yes, that is more of who I am these days. Humor for those who are watching. And speaking about I fill you in on the events of the circus today.

As I said earlier...the babe hasn't napped. NOTHING is seeming to make him happy today, just overall fussiness. I am thinking it is due to a different brand formula, so I make a note that I must hit up the Target (for the THIRD day in a row, mind you - and before I had 2, I wouldn't have it is always a race to see how quickly I can get in and out) to get formula today. Well, after I had gotten everyone fed lunch, dressed, etc. I figured we would go out to Dogwood to stroll and enjoy the beautiful weather and then hit Target on way home. Hmmmmm. Seems like a grand idea, right?

Enter TJ Maxx, I am almost drooling since I haven't been in one in like a year. Nash is being so sweet in his seat in the stroller and Lou is walking along-side singing to Nash. I am not minding the fact that she is singing "Poker Face" at the top of her lungs, but just glad no one is crying. So, I decide to be brave and walk down to Bath & Body Works to get more wallflowers to make my poor, filthy house smell nice. And this is when things started to go downhill. Nash starts screaming in Bath & Body Works, so I check out as quick as I can and try to get stroller out of store without knocking anything over. This is my Combi stroller that houses the car seat...the wheels and I are NOT friends if you catch my drift. Well, walking back to the car a certain toddler decides that she cannot walk anymore and that her legs are falling off so she just sits down in the middle of the sidewalk. And screams and whines and carries on. So, to avoid yanking her up by the elbow and getting stares from all those around and maybe even a call into child and family services, I tell her that if she gets up and walks the rest of the way I will buy her a new pair of flip-flops at Target. For everyone that knows Lou and her shoe-fetish, this perks her up real quick-like and we continue walking back to the car. By the time we get there, Nash is crying again and so is Lou. Sometimes it is just contagious. I fight the urge to cry myself and load everyone into their seats, get everyone buckled and now that 15 minutes has passed, I get in my seat and crank up Remy and head to Target.

We get to Target and Lou breaks down when I tell her she needs to ride in the buggy. I mean, didn't she remember her meltdown and Oscar-worthy performance in front of Belk when she no longer wanted to walk? Well, I gave in to avoid another Oscar-worthy performance and she got to walk while I put Nash back in stroller. I know that I have about 30 minutes before he needs to eat again, so I figure I can get in and out and then head on home - but I have a bottle just in case, so no worries. Well, I walk in and hear all the pretty voices singing to me like they do every time I walk in the doors, and I have a moment of not thinking and decide I want to try on a swimsuit. You see, those voices make you do crazy things. WHAT THE CRAP was I thinking? Not only because I am still all post-partum and jiggly and still a weird shape and size...but two kids, one on the verge of an eating-meltdown in the dressing room? Well, I did it. We stopped on the way to let Lou pick out some flip-flops and Nash melts in the shoe department. So, I get out his bottle and attempt to feed him while pushing stroller. This doesn't work since I have said before I am NOT friends with the wheels on this thing, so I sit on a shoe-tryer-on thingy and feed him while I let Lou have a BALL in the shoes. After Nash decides he doesn't want to eat anymore, we go to the dressing room. Thankful, of so thankful for the family-sized rooms! Let me back up and tell you a rule that I have at Target, grocery store, etc. Louisa MUST tell me when walking in the doors if she needs to potty. Get where I am going with this one? Yep...I get undressed and ready to try on swimsuit in my moment of losing my shizzle and mind. Lou decides to try on her flip flops, Nash is cooing away. Fun times. THEN it happens, "Mommy, I NEED to go potty." And by the way she is dancing around, I know that she cannot wait. Ugh. So, I put all my clothes back on all the while telling her I am disappointed since she didn't tell me when we walked into the store and get all my items hung back on the hangers (I must confess, I hate hanging up bathing suits) and get ready to steer the stroller out and back to the front of the store. Louisa is all but wetting her pants at this point she has to go so bad and then I realize that she not only took off socks and shoes to try on her flip flops, but her leggings too. WHAT the crap. So, I pull her leggings on her real quick and shove her feet into her boots and we basically sprint to the front of the store hoping that the family bathroom is open. Well, don't you know that little miss priss must help me steer and push the stroller, and I have her off to the side so I don't trip over her and apparently her shoes are NOT friends with the darn wheels of the stroller either as the front wheel hits her silver rain boot and bounces - almost knocking Nash who isn't strapped in clear out the side...and of course Lou onto the floor. I am having flash backs of running her over with a shopping cart but thankfully, she jumps up and hollers, "I'm okay!" Phew. Aha, the family bathroom! We go in and I realize that I have just brought all my merchandise into the bathroom. Not wanting to be taken away for shoplifting, I pull Lou's pants back up and run outside to customer service to drop off my items so I am not in trouble. Get back in the bathroom and try to pull pants down off a jitterbug and JUST barely get her up on the pot in time. Phew.

We leave the bathroom, grab my items and head BACK to the dressing room. I undress again and try on swimsuits and as I am looking at my reflection I am thinking this suit is very NOT flattering and although I am still jiggly, I am seeing some progress and almost get happy until... "Ewwww, gross Mommy! Put your clothes back on. That is not pretty on you." Again Louisa, thanks for your honesty. Oh, and Nash is melting by this I rush and put on all my clothes again and hang up all the stoooooooopid pieces of the suit while silently (maybe) calling it bad names and head to the checkout. On our way, I have a baby crying, a toddler singing "Poker Face" again at the tops of her lungs and what can only be a look of panic on my face. Definitely not the ring-leader, but instead the clown.

Well, we survive the screaming baby in the checkout line, and then sit down in the cafe area to feed him a bottle that he couldn't be more uninterested in if I tried. So, we take the 15 minute plunge and load up into the car and head back home. Nash has now decided he wants his bottle now so is screaming and Lou is screaming about being hungry too. I hand her a container with some snacks and get on the phone with a dear friend who will hopefully still talk to me after today when I had to yell at my toddler throughout the entire conversation. Because, don't you know that Louisa dropped her snack container. And obviously to her it is a natural disaster and so she screamed like someone was murdering her. Well, this caused a very flustered driver to almost wreck into the car on the other side of her. And, she continued to scream the whole way home. And then Nash joined in. And so did I. Maybe, I know I wanted to.

I am home now. And I have both of my chirrens in their bedrooms with the doors shut and the monitors turned down low for I need to have some quiet, non-stressful moments to myself before the next show is to occur.

Note to self....WHY do I venture in public with these two? Glutton I tell you, over and again.

For more humor, this is a quickie about a "Louisa-ism" that happened on the way to school the other day. There was a lady jogging that is very muscular and had short hair. Well, as we rode by her, Lou says, "Mommy, is that a man dressed up like a lady? What is that called again?" And I am in the front seat, coffee coming out my nose and shaking thinking my child is about to say the word transvestite and wondering what in the hell I am supposed to do if she does when she says, "Oh yeah, costume. That's what it is called." Phew. Oh my word. I can return to breathing.

On a sweet note, I do really, really adore my two kids. They drive me nutso, but they also bring me such joy. That is a mother's saving grace I think. If they didn't have those good moments, I don't think we would do it again. But I will talk about a favorite time of mine. Rest assured it is NOT suicide hour, although I do enjoy getting outside for a few hours and exercising. I usually will feed Nash a bottle after Lou and I have already eaten lunch. After the bottle, we all hang out in his room for about an hour before afternoon nap time. I love this time. Hands-down, fave time of day. Watching my two kids play together and just watching how Nash looks at Lou is like a drug. Nash usually thinks I hung the moon...until Louisa comes into the picture. He just grins at her like no other. And she is so good with him. She will read to him, teach him about animals and letters and tell him stories. Melting of the heart occurs instantly. I try and keep my camera handy during this time since this is the happiness that I need to remember when I am in the circus ring about to lose my mind. Just thought I'd share a few with you...

And this is why I am so glad to have my camera handy. To capture moments like this one.

He gets it honestly. His momma has been known to pout on occasion. :) I could EAT him. But the best part about this pic is why he is doing this....she is cropped out, but Lou was singing to him. Hehehehe.

I hear movement in the rooms, the show must go on...