have a great weekend…

IMG_2257things are just as busy as ever here at the house of mayhem and chaos!  last weekend we went to portland to the oregon museum of science and industry and then to hood river.  we had a blast!  IMG_2280 IMG_2296i have work tonight and tomorrow night but on sunday, i am hosting a little gathering for my best friend’s 3rd annual 29th birthday (see what she did there?)  i’m looking forward to friends and food and kids running around!   then, on monday, christopher and i are thinking of taking the boys to see the new minion movie.  it should be a fun, action-packed weekend with a little relaxing mixed in. IMG_2331

i hope you have plans for a fantastic weekend!

happy 4th of july!

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happy 4th of july, everyone!  we are having a wonderful day hanging out at home.  it’s been lazy and just what we needed as a family.  i got to sleep in and the boys have spent all day outside playing with their magic sand.  i got some tie dye kits from target on clearance and we just finished an epic tie dye session!  we are all so colorful (we don’t need no stinkin’ gloves!)  it looks like a bunch of hippies live here!

IMG_2246 IMG_2229 IMG_2235 IMG_2231 IMG_2243anyway, i hope you and your families have a fantastic weekend!  stay cool and Happy Birthday, America!

cheers,

e

 

embracing the mayhem and chaos…

i often hear, when people find out that the boys are twins, “oh, double trouble” or “you must really have your hands full!”  while i’m sure their intentions are good, i can’t help but think, “why are you assuming that my boys are too much to handle?”  why would you think that having twins is anything less than totally awesome?  i’m sure it’s no different than the experiences of anyone else.

it’s true that there is a lot of chaos and mayhem in our home.  i have no idea what it would be like to have just one kid at a time but i don’t assume that our chaos and mayhem is any different than anyone else’s.  our routines are all i know and since we are not having any more kids, i will never know any different.

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i have learned to embrace the chaos and mayhem and love it for what it is.  so what if my house is never all the way clean.  there’s almost always some mess or weird smell.  it’s never totally organized.  so what if they dug a giant hole in the middle of our yard to make themselves a sandbox. i have two little boys who are happy and messy and blissfully unaware that this isn’t the way it is everywhere.

and isn’t that what really matters anyway?

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i guess what i’m saying in a very roundabout way is that we do what works for us and that is the best and only thing we can do.  i recently had a woman at costco ask me if the boys were twins and she happily said that she is expecting twins too.  she asked me if i had any good advice and, without even thinking about it (there was a long line behind us,) i said, “yeah, don’t listen to anyone else’s advice!  do what works for you.”

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i read a lot about different parenting styles and theories on how best to raise children and while there are some really good ideas out there, at the end of the day, i find that christopher and i really just come back to what works for us and the boys.  we don’t have many rules in our house.  we believe strongly that the boys should be able to express themselves freely, whether it’s in their artwork, clothing choices, or in their speech (occasional profanity included.)  i get that this does not work for everyone, but that’s ok.  i don’t need it to.  i just need it to work for us, which right now, it does.

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i say “right now” because we also believe in changing our minds.  christopher and i make sure the boys know that we aren’t perfect and sometimes mommy and daddy make mistakes.  we try to emphasize the importance of respecting others, apologizing when we are wrong and being mindful of the world and others around us.  our goal is to try to raise loving, caring, empathetic boys who care for themselves as well as those around them.

and that’s the best we can do.

and that’s good enough.

have a happy weekend, people!

cheers!

e

 

back with a fresh start…

i decided to take a break from the blog for the month of january because we had a lot of family stuff that needed my full attention and i needed a little bit to recharge my batteries after a very hectic holiday season.

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but, i’m back with a fresh start for the year.  i  began by moving some things in my house around (of course!) and instead of resolutions, which i never keep, i made a list of intentions for the year.  just some things i want to focus on.  already i’m seeing a difference with the boys.  i am trying to speak with kindness and a calmness in my voice when i address the boys.  so far, they are doing really well in response.

they are back in preschool after winter break and i am gearing up to do some observation at the school(s) where they might attend kindergarten this year!  we need to decide if we want to waiver them to a different district (if we even can) and whether or not we want them in the same class.  honestly, the idea of them in school full-time is really bumming me out so i’m looking into half day kindergartens.  i don’t like the thought that they will be in a classroom setting for 6+ hours a day.  harry will do fine, but i’m worried that jack won’t be able to sit still for that long and will get in trouble and burned out on school.  i’m sure these are the things all parents think about, so i guess it’s my turn!

anyway, thank you for sticking with me and this little blog.  i’ve got some fun things planned for this year, so stay tuned.

cheers!

e

merry christmas…

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merry christmas and happy holidays from everyone over here at the house of mayhem and chaos.  i hope your day is filled with joy and love and everything on your plates and in your glasses is absolutely delicious.  may you find peace, calm, serenity and love during this crazy-making time of year.

much love,

e

from the top: super buddies | the best damn bloody mary | jamie oliver’s comfort food – best. gift. ever. | mid-afternoon snack

around the house…

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things have been crazy around the house over the last six weeks and i have not been posting like i have wanted.  the holidays tend to stress me out as it is, but with everything going on, it’s been a bit more stressful than usual.  holiday decorating is not my favorite, but the boys love it and i do it anyway.  right now, it looks like christmas threw up in my house and i can not wait until january, when i can put it all back away in the garage and have a fresh, clean house!

from the top:

pFriem beers on our way to the fleetwood mac concert in portland before thanksgiving

red cross turkey trot on thanksgiving morning

first snow of the season

hand lettering my chalkboard door is about as into christmas as i like to get

realized this is the first time we’ve taken the boys to see santa!

making soft things for loved ones for christmas

contrary to common belief, elves are grown ups and enjoy a beer now and then (santa would never use child-elf labor!)

gingerbread a-frame

ballast point bloody mary and my favorite hopworks hoodie on tree decorating day (they don’t carry the one i’m wearing but this one is similar.)

jack jack the pirate king

i hope you are weathering the holidays.

cheers,

e

on thanksgiving, family and other s%*t…

i realized that my last post was quite a while ago.  blogging has not been my priority lately.  we have been having some family struggles and we are doing our best to help, comfort and support.  i know i’m being cryptic, but it’s not my story to tell.

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however, i have been thinking a lot about how i interact with people.  a long time ago, i was very much a pleaser.  someone who put my own stuff on the back burner (or pushed it completely off the stove) in favor of other’s needs.  i was super nice.  always happy (actually, not at all) and willing to do whatever was asked of me.  after going through my divorce nearly ten years ago, i realized am realizing that i am much happier with myself if i adjust how i interact with others in my life.

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a couple of the ways i have adjusted my thinking are listed below.  and just to be clear, i am not writing this post to give any instructions because i have it all figured out.  just the opposite; this is more a reflective post for me and maybe to give out a little encouragement during this time of year.

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the worst case scenario: i will win the zombie apocalypse because i have a plan.  i always have a plan for the worst case scenario.  however, i am learning that i can’t continually let my mind travel to the far reaches of all the horrible things that can happen to my kids, my husband and my family or in my work.  instead, i repeat the polish proverb: “not my circus, not my monkeys.”  really, i am learning that there are things outside my control and i neither need to be nor should i worry about being in charge of those things.  it gives me a moment to breathe and say, “is this really my problem?”

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literally: i used to spend a lot of my time thinking that what people said to me was not really what they meant.  i would replay conversations over and over in my head until i was not sleeping, like ever, and i was sure that person totally hated me.  something like “i can’t meet up with you that day” would turn into “i have never ever liked being your friend and i can’t believe you haven’t figured that out yet and i wish you would never speak to me again.”  messed up, right?  finally, i was just too exhausted to deal with that anymore.  during my divorce, i lost most of my friends.  i have one that stuck with me and we are very close.  she is amazing.  but, in making new friends, i have learned to adjust my thinking.  if someone says something to me, i believe them.  maybe that’s naive, but it works for me.  i will not be held hostage by trying to interpret someone else’s thoughts.  and on the flip-side, i say what i mean.  i don’t want anyone to have to guess.  i have a few more really good friends now and there is no bullshit with us.

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the holiday season always brings so much shit along with the cheer and wonder.  families can sometimes be the most cruel because the normal societal rules don’t seem to apply.  we often say the worst to the ones we love.  we often turn our backs because we assume forgiveness will always be there.  we crack and break under the stress of creating a perfect “holiday experience.”  we expect more from others than we are willing to do ourselves.  and, this is just awful, damaging and heartbreaking.  i am certainly guilty of this, but i’m doing my best to change my thoughts, actions, expectations and behaviors.

try kindness

during this holiday season, i challenge you to speak with kindness and intention.  say plainly and clearly what you mean and expect that others will too.  reach out to those who need comfort and compassion.  give someone some help and maybe a break before they lose it.  do not expect the moon without offering the stars.  and remember, sometimes it’s not your circus and these are not your monkeys.

but if they are your monkeys, please ask them to refrain from throwing their shit.

cheers,

e

 

image at top courtesy of the museum of the city of new york