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

harvest and halloween…

halloween is over and i always feel a little sad when it’s done.  i leave our decorations up until almost thanksgiving, and the skulls stay out year round, but i’m a little sad that the spooky season is done for the year.

this year, the boys wanted to be a pumpkin and a skeleton, so i was thrilled that i could make their costumes.  this is the first year since their very first halloween that i made their costumes.  i got a black shirt and leggings from target for the skeleton and just painted some bones with white fabric paint.  the mask is a paper-mache skeleton face that i found at craft warehouse.  i painted it  white, used a sharpie to define the teeth and eye sockets and punched holes in the side for an elastic strap.

for the pumpkin, i got a large orange t-shirt and painted a jack-o-lantern face on the front.  i sewed some elastic to the bottom so we could stuff it with a pillow to make a fat pumpkin.  we layered a green shirt and some striped leggings underneath.  i used felt to make the pumpkin top hat and threaded a headband through the bottom.

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harry was “scary harry” the skeleton and jack was “jack-o-lantern” the pumpkin king.  he wouldn’t let me stuff his shirt because he wanted to be a skinny pumpkin like jack skellington.  the boys said that daddy needed to be a ghost, so we made a very traditional ghost costume for christopher.  we went to downtown kennewick and walked down “treat street” where all the businesses hand out candy.  we had to pit stop at home before trick-or-treating our neighborhood because the boys already had full buckets!  then, we stopped by our neighbor’s house for a little halloween gathering and had a wonderful time before i had to go to work.

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my costume was kind of chosen for me.  at work, the theme was that the men would be hunters and the ladies would be the animals.  i wasn’t too keen on that thought (but since this is not a post about the rampant sexism inherent in society, i’ll skip the diatribe) so i decided to go as a raven.  i couldn’t pull off a jungle cat costume in my 20’s, let alone my late 30’s, and i figured “gothic raven” was more my style anyway.  plus, i found these wicked-cool feather false eyelashes, so i was pretty happy with the way it turned out.

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we harvested the pumpkins from our garden and the boys went to a pumpkin patch on a field trip at preschool.  they love picking the pumpkins.  they drew faces on their pumpkins and christopher and i carved them into very happy jack-o-lanterns and we put them on the font porch to ward off the evil spirits.

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this has been a really fun halloween season.  i’m looking forward to thanksgiving.  i think we are going to host at our house this year and i just love the idea of having all our family here to share the meal.  christopher’s mom is living in washington now, and it will be the first thanksgiving, since we’ve been together, that she will be with us.  it’s time to get planning!

how was your halloween?  i would love to hear what you and the kids were dressed as!

cheers,

e

that maddening season…

do you ever think “if i can just make it though these next few weeks, things will slow down and get back to normal?”  i do, but now i am starting to think that there is no such thing as slowing down and going back to “normal.”  fall is here and that means that halloween, thanksgiving and christmas/new year are just around the corner.  this is the maddening season:  obligations, parties, gifts, crafts, buying, cooking, going, doing…

i am trying to prioritize some “me time” in my days, which just really means that i struggle with feeling lazy when i decide to get a cup of coffee (the most incredibly large cup of coffee-cue mike myers voice, hello!) at my local coffeehouse in between dropping off and picking up the boys from school, because i should be at home cleaning and cooking instead of visiting with my lovely neighborhood barista and reading the newspaper.

but, i’m trying not to be too hard on myself and remember that i can only do what i can do and that i need to make time to enjoy the boys and my home.  i’m learning to say “no” to some obligations and to say “yes” to things that i want to do and to things that will make life easier and more enjoyable for me and my family.

here are some things i’m doing to make this maddening season a little less hectic (starting with that coffee on school days):

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i accomplished one project, in that i think our halloween decorating is done.  bats, tombstones, pumpkins and skulls are all placed strategically around our house and they boys are delighting in the season, which, really, is what it’s all about.  bring on the spooky, i say.  i’ll be leaving all the skulls out after halloween and incorporating them into the regular home decor.  something else i don’t have to put up next year.  i also especially love halloween because all the spiderwebs in my home the rest of the year look like very delicate, handmade-from-etsy, decorations.  yay spiders and yay me for being too lazy short to clean them!

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jack and harry are happy we can still spend some time outside and that it’s not too cold yet.  the little cat loves jack jack and lets him snuggle her and pack her around.  she is so patient.  i’m loving watching this special bond they have and i’m really having a hard time with the fact that we need to find a home for some of the stray cats that have come to live on our porch lately.  maybe some cats will be a part of my holiday “giving.”  watch out, peeps.

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also got my hair cut again.  i’ve come to the realization that i am not good at doing my hair, especially now that it’s gotten much thicker and unwieldy after having the boys.  i went back to my pixie cut and i’m way happier.  i can just run my hands through it on the mornings i have to get the boys to school and i don’t look like the mom who just fell out of bed.  even though, i am the mom who just fell out of bed.  chalk up one for making a good hair decision and doing something for myself that i know would make life a little easier.  it’s not the best picture, but hey, that’s what you get when i take a quick selfie just before i walk in to work.

oh, and a good friend of mine has started selling nail wraps, so i’m jumping on that bandwagon too, because a) no drying time, b) two week wear time, c) i like having my nails done and these are cheaper than going for a manicure and easier than me doing it myself and d) no nail polish smells, which drive my husband batty.  it’s a win-win and i’ll talk about them more when i have given them a good trial run.

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finally, here is a sneak peek of the boys’ halloween costumes.  something i love is crafting, and i was thrilled when they asked for costumes i could make.  harry’s is completely different and i’ll put them both up on the blog when i make some time to take pictures.

how do you deal with the “maddening season?”  i’d love to hear your tips and tricks for making life easier and more enjoyable.

cheers,

e

lately…

lately, i’ve been getting into the swing of things with the new job at the taphouse and getting used to a schedule that gets me home way later at night (ok, really, way early in the morning.)  i’ve also been feeling old.  i think it’s just one of those times in my life when, all of a sudden, i realize that i’m not actually 25, like my brain thinks it is.  i found out that i’m the oldest person at my new job and i’m only 36.  plus, i’m running around like a chicken with my head off at the new job and i am totally not used to moving this fast for this long!

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because i’m not one for remaining static or keeping things how they’ve been, i needed a change.  something personal.  something to perk me up.  something a little drastic, so, i chopped all my hair off.  well, i didn’t do it this time.  i had someone else do it. i’ve been growing it out for nearly two years and i had gotten to the point of not wanting to do anything with it.  then i decided i needed some highlights, which i did do myself.  they didn’t exactly turn out as highlights as much as light caramel-colored streaks, but i like them and that’s all that matters.

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i didn’t know how it would turn out, so i didn’t take pictures, but next time, i definitely will.

the boys have been a bit out of sorts lately, too, so we’ve had some lazy days around the house. we’ve had some storms the last couple days and i think the barometric pressure is messing with all of us.  i’ve been playing around with the look of the blog and the boys have been playing around the house, doing art projects, and watching movies.

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monday, when we heard about robin williams passing, we watched jumanji as a family.  i think we will watch hook next.  this has all reminded me how fragile people can be and how we are all fighting battles, and how important it is to be kind to those we meet.  having struggled with depression i know what it feels like to be that low.  i am thankful that i haven’t felt that low in a long time, but i am mindful that it can come back when i least expect it.  so, i keep a close watch on myself and take measures to make sure i stay healthy.

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today i am snuggling with the boys, watching pbs kids, making homemade canned pizza sauce from our home-grown tomatoes and working on my writing.

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next week we are taking a family camping trip to wallow lake in oregon.  just the four of us for four days.  we plan on fishing and hiking and i don’t plan on doing much of anything else.

cheers,

e