Back to basics

I think somewhere along the way in BlogLand, I got lost.  I lost my way and my focus.  Then I read this incredible post at EisyMorgan here and started to find my way back.  It's a post about blogger self esteem, and it's just what I needed to hear.
Since I'm not shy, I will be totally honest about how I lost my way... I became fixated and obsessed with trying to out blog some pretty professional bloggers.  The kind that have mucho sponsors and like hit 300k page views in a month.  Uh, I'm lucky if I have 50 page views in a month.  So here I was trying to re-invent my blogging wheel, and try to get more "followers"... Doesn't the sound of that just make you want to gag?  When I really thought about it, I was making that gaggy face too.  Seriously?  What was I doing?  And for the record I don't consider any of you followers, I consider you readers, since I write...RIGHT?
So I admit I was trying to be someone I'm not, and turn my lovely blog baby into something it's not.  This is my place to bitch and complain, to rejoice and repent, to share and ask questions, of myself and of my readers.  Many of you are readers because you enjoy the ups and downs of motherhood, and the spin I try to put on them.  You like the fact that I can laugh at myself and at the daily trials of motherhood.  And I hope you like that I share and over share time and time again.
I also hope that you will forgive the occasional tutorial/crafty/baker posts.  All of which I like to do, but I'm no crafter, and I am certainly no baker.  But I do enjoy these things, so from time to time you will have to put up with me sharing a little of this and a little of that.  That said, they are now going to be because I want to do them, not because I'm trying to join a link party, or a posting contest, or a bloggy woggy do-hicky.  Ok I made up the last one, but I know I've been borderline OCD about these things lately.  And I'm sorry.
SO, I'm kicking my own ass, and getting back to basics.  It won't be kids, mom hellish day posts all the time.  I will get a little crafty and a little Easy Bake oven, if you will, but I want to write again about the things that brought me here in the first place.  My life, my loves, my total hate for X-Factor since it put Glee on hiatus for way to long... Seriously!!!  I need some GLEE!
I got a little crazy, trying to make a small name for myself.  Trying to fit myself into a mold, that everyone knows, I will NEVER fit into.  I've already made a name for myself, here, it's Absolute Mommy.  It's who I am, who I'm going to be, and I hope, you will love me and keep reading anyway.
Happy Blogging,

October FEST

This has been a great month... Ok, so getting the creeping crud of a cold wasn't so great, but I have always loved October!  The weather starts to get cooler, the leaves change color, and Halloween leads to Thanksgiving, which leads to Christmas.  This really is the most wonderful time of the year.  I guess Casey Wiegand thought the same thing, since today we celebrate the close of October with the Followers Fest.

I love everything that makes up Halloween.  I love the little pumpkins you can buy in the grocery store that can fit in the palm of your hand.  I love the plastic jack-o-lanterns that carry the candy loot after a great night trick or treating.  I love mummies, vampires, and ghosts alike.  I can't even describe the excitement I had on Monday when my oldest went on a pumpkin patch field trip with her preschool class... Her first field trip, and I was lucky enough to join her!
Caitlin at the pumpkin patch 10/24/11
If this is your first visit to Absolute Mommy then you will find that while I love crafting and sewing, I'm not a crafter.  I've made some real gems lately thanks to the DIY/Craft board on Pinterest.  Still, I'm a novice.  Here is an example of me crafting.  You can see the full post here.
Currently sitting at my porch... Welcome ghosts and ghouls!

I love baking, and I take pride in Gluten Free baking, since I live GFree, but I'm no baker.  I don't carefully pipe frosting on cupcakes, or make layer cakes.  I'm lucky if my GF baking trials are edible.  But I keep baking, because sometimes they are delicious surprises.  You can find my GF Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins here, and they are from a box mix.  And yes, they were a delicious surprise!
You should know I'm also a mom, in every flawed and blessed sense of the word.  I said in another post recently that I wasn't built for motherhood, motherhood built me.  It's still a work in progress.  I love being a mom, but sometimes would rather pull the covers over my head and watch Cougar Town or NCIS from my bed all day.  Sometimes my Kindle, my iPhone, and iced tea bring much needed relief and enjoyment.  I have my own brand of motherhood and truly believe that almost anything can be fixed with chocolate and Starbucks. 
I'm new to the blogging world.  Blogging is something I sat and thought about for a long time.  It's something that makes me feel so happy and accomplished.  It's just what I needed after 4 years at my current job, stay at home mom.  It's also introduced me to some really fantastic bloggers, with really great ideas.  It's been inspiring and motivating in a huge way in just a small amount of time!
So welcome to the world of Absolute Mommy.  Thanks for stopping in.  Casey and her bloggy friends are amazing.  The opportunity to link up today is equally amazing.  Are you linking up too?  Post a comment and let me know you stopped by with your blog info.  Then I can stop over at your blog and check you out...
Here are a few posts that will help you get to know me better...

Happy Blogging and Linking,

Hopes and Dreams

Today's post is inspired by EisyMorgan over here at her blog.  Today is Heart Therapy... Check it out and check her out!  It's very inspiring and thought provoking.

Picture via Eisy Morgan
My Hopes and Dreams

My hope is that my writing will evolve into a bigger and better voice.
My dream is to share that voice with others.

My hope is that I will continue to blog and be inspired by those around me.
My dream is that my blog will inspire others to share their stories.

My hope is that blogging will allow me to find a place for my voice.
My dream is that it will be just as satisfying as it is today.

My hope is that I will daily evolve into a better mother.
My dream is that my girls will consider me the best mom, period.

My hope is that my daughters will grow into smart and
beautiful individuals inside and out.
My dream is that they will do great things with both.

My hope is that one day my husband and I will look back and
wonder how we did it all.
My dream is that we are doing it while watching our grandchildren.

My hope is that one day our differences will be embraced and celebrated.
My dream is to help make that possible with every opportunity.

My hope is that I will always remember the basics on any journey.
My dream is that those basics will take me there.

My hope is that I will never lose myself, my voice, my sense of humor, my mind.
My dream is that I will never have to...

Happy Blogging,

Mamma Rookie

I thought I knew exhaustion.  I mean exhaustion and I are old friends.  We met about 4 years ago when Caitlin refused, out right refused to sleep.  So exhaustion and I would spend our days zombie like, watching CSI, NCIS, and CSINY on demand, ALL HOURS.  Not all hours of the night... BUT ALL HOURS as in ALL 24. 

Then we added Miss Mac, and exhaustion brought his great friend fatigue, which really is like exhaustion, but with a better wardrobe.  Fatigue is what you are when you can pass as put together, but really your body is now made up of 90% caffeine, instead of water.

Yet, here I am.  Exhausted, fatigued, and down right pathetic.  It's a fact that after this weekend I feel like a rookie!

Let me explain.  This past weekend, The Crutchfields tackled 2 parties on Saturday and a family dinner, then a Halloween party on Sunday.  This is not how the Crutchfields roll.  We are all about family days and parties, but usually we tackle one at a time. 

This is my fault, because I was always super nervous and on high alert when I had to take Caitlin anywhere.  Let's just say that since she cried or refused to sleep most of the time, I was always exhausted, or at least trying to pull off fatigued.  If I was invited to a party or a get together or anything, I usually came up with an excuse, because I was already having a panic attack at the invite.  Yes!  I was that mom, who put up a great front, but was really totally freaked on the inside.  It's gotten better since Miss Mac, but I know my limits.

Anyhoo... Saturday's Halloween school carnival was a blast!  It was the perfect opportunity for Caitlin to enjoy school without the tears and big production.  We did crafts (Dad included, I think he still has glitter hands!), we bounced in bounce houses, and we played with our friends.  We were really glad to see her interact with her classmates, and with the teachers.  Of course she was shy at first, but then when she recognized some friends, she was bouncing and laughing.  Awesome! 

We left the school carnival for a princess birthday party.  So we were totally decked out in our princess dresses, one Pocahontas, one Ariel.  Another bounce house, a princess castle, and lots of cake.  As a side note, I think Fresno lost the memo that it's almost Halloween since it was like 85 on Saturday, and at about 4 o'clock heat exhaustion set in... Just in time to mosey on over to my grandparents house to see out of town family.  It was great, and everyone had a blast, however by 8 o'clock, I could have sworn it was 2 am.

Did I mention the Halloween party on Sunday.  New costumes, one Barbie fairy princess, one witch...Lots of cupcakes, mud pies, apple juice, and 85 degree weather... More heat exhaustion and exhaustion in general...

Today, oh, my today.  Pumpkin patch with our preschool class, dentist for Caitlin, and Target... I really have no words other than exhaustion...

And I'm sure you are all thinking ROOKIE!!  Seriously you should, considering I don't even work.  So how do all you Mommas do this??  I can't even imagine how it would go if I worked.  I read your Facebook posts.  With your traveling softball teams, your kids at 3 or 4 different schools, your gymnastic meets, and soccer games... Any football or cheer moms?  And most of you work?  How are you not insane?  How are you not in a loony bin?  How are you able to leave your house showered and make-uped??? 

I am in awe of you all.  That you do this weekend after weekend and then return to work on Monday morning.  Even if you are a stay at home mom, you know that you also return to work on Mondays.  I know I've said this before, but I wasn't built for motherhood, motherhood built me.  The me I am today, and it's a work in progress I totally feel like a rookie, a complete hot mess.  I'm ready for a shower and clean jammies and BED...

But the laundry, and the dishes, and the...

Happy blogging,

GetYoCraftOn!! Pinterest Pumpkin

 From Pinterest to Pumpkin in minutes!!!
If you haven't noticed I'm addicted to Pinterest.  Like in a why won't this load to my iPhone, I'm having a panic attack, kind of way.  What can I say?  Pinterest has totally restored my inspiration to craft more.  It's also got unbelievable boards with food, all things geeky (Harry Potter quotes anyone?) and a women's apparel board that makes style look easy and attainable. 

I'm going to be honest here and tell you directly that I am a novice crafter.  I'm just learning the tricks of the trade.  Anything I do here on this blog, can most likely be improved upon, so feel free to drop in a comment on how to do something easier and better.  Also, I will not be doing this post tutorial style, because frankly, I'm horrible at them.  I've found a tutorial on tutorials, which sounds redundant and ridiculous, but it's actually really awesome info.  I just haven't had the time to... I know, soon, I promise.

Anyway, back to Pinterest and all things crafty.  It's got great holiday and party ideas.  The DIY/Craft board is so awesome, and very "why didn't I think of that" or "I could totally do that".  With that said, I stumbled upon these little beauties a few weeks ago...
Courtesy of Pinterest via
I checked out the tutorial and decided I could do this.  However, I do not own a Cricut/Silhouette or any other cutting machine.  So how on earth would I do this nifty little initial.  Answer a particle board "C" from Michael's!  Here is a list of the items I bought:
Particle board/Paper Mache/Wood Initial (I bought the particle board)
Black Paint
Scrapbook paper
Foam "brushes"
Ribbon (lots of different lengths and colors)
A pumpkin

I'm being quite serious when I tell you the longest part of this is the painting and ModPodging.  Seriously!  I painted the edges of the letter so that it wouldn't show brown after I mod'ged the paper.  Then I used the letter to cut out my paper letters.  I cut enough to cover both sides.  Then when the paint had dried (approx. 1/2 hour) and the paper letters were ready, I ModPodged.  This was my first time mod'ging, and let me tell you I was so impressed at how easy it was.  Have you mod'ged before?  If not, look here  for all your ModPodge needs.  And yes I found that link on Pinterest... I know time for Pinners Anonymous!

As, for the ribbons on top of my pretty little pumpkin, I can't make those beautiful bows you see on baby girl heads everywhere.  I've tried, and tried, and tried again, and it's just not something I'm capable of.  It's ok, because the "bows" you see above are like scrap ribbon "bows".  Basically I cut strips of ribbon in all different lengths, then laid them out on my counter criss-crossing them on top of each other.  Make sure the print side of your ribbon is facing up... Then I picked a ribbon to use to tie the group of criss-crosses, and slid it under all the criss-crosses, and voila! This scrap ribbon puffy thing that I think looks awesome... Right?

Finally I used another ribbon to attach to the back of my letter "C" and tied it to the pumpkin stem.  Again, it really was that easy!

The Crutchfield's are ready for Halloween!!

You can check out the link under the Pinterest original to do it the super expert crafty way.  OR, you can take the basic idea and go wild.  Either way, go out, and Get Yo Craft ON!!!

Happy Blogging (and crafting),

PS: This little cutie could not stand not being involved in today's blogging adventure... That's Miss Mac!

"Please excuse my hair, Mommy hasn't brushed it yet."
PPS:  I swear it's only 8:15am, just after Preschool drop off...I swear!

GD it's GFree! Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins!

Got to love my mother-in-law and her generosity.  Almost every Sunday she brings 2 gluten free box mixes with her.  If you have bought GF mixes before then you know they aren't cheap.  Now, these bad boys are filling up the pantry quick, so I'm trying to find recipes to adapt... With GF baking this can go one of two ways, and in my case the only way my baking goes is usually to the garbage...
To get started I used a box of King Arthur Flour GF muffin mix.  I've seen them at Von's, Savemart, and WinCo here in Fresno.  They most likely have them at Whole Foods as well.
Gluten-Free Muffin Mix
This is what the box looks like.
I made these muffins twice, once with not enough pumpkin and pumpkin spice, and a second time that made them taste like the Halloween treats I used to remember.  As a special request to my lovely chocoholic, I added chocolate chips, and I must say, it was a great addition.  Chocolate makes EVERYTHING taste better, and with GF baking, it makes GF a little more decadent.  Like we are eating something off the "grid". 

So if you have to do some GF baking this month, or even next month for Thanksgiving, or if you know someone who has to eat GF, enjoy or share this recipe.  As you may have figured out, I don't bake or cook if there are too many steps, ingredients, or if the whole thing is too complicated.  Also if it requires kitchen equipment out of my league of expertise, because I still have a food processor in my pantry, that is an unopened wedding gift.  What can I say, these days, the easier the better.  Have fun, enjoy, and Happy Pumpkin Season!!!
Happy Blogging (and eating),
Super Easy and Totally Delish GF Pumpkin Muffins
PS:  They are from a box mix!

1 Box King Arthur Flour GF Muffin Mix
3 Eggs
3/4 cup Canned Pumpkin (Plain with no sweeteners I used Libby's)
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice (I used McCormick)
1 cup Chocolate chips (totally optional)

Preheat oven 375.  Line muffin pan with liners, and spray with cooking spray (I use Vons brand)  Using an electric mixer, mix eggs, pumpkin, and spice in a bowl.  Blend well.  Next add the muffin mix batter, and continue to mix well with hand mixer.  Batter will be thick.  Add milk to thin the batter, and mix for another minute.  Add the chocolate chips here if you are adding them.  Fill muffin liners with 1/4 cup of mix.  Bake for 20 min at 375.  Yield approx 16 muffins.
Side Note:  These would taste great with cream cheese frosting with or without the chocolate chips.  It depends on how fancy you want to get. 

Tears, an update

I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who commented on this post.  It was good to know that I was not alone in the battle that is Pre School drop off.  I appreciate all of the sage advice from my fellow readers and mammas.

I can tell you that while Caitlin still cried the remainder of the week, we are slowly working to find out the source of the problem.  Caitlin told her daddy that she likes school ok, but she doesn't like the part where mommy leaves.  I can see that.  It's hard leaving your mom, anytime you really want her.  John and I both have reassured her that Mommy WILL come back and pick her up. 

I talked to her teacher and the director of the school.  They reassured me that this behavior is very normal.  It was also nice to know that Caitlin isn't crying all day.  Her teacher told me that by the end of circle time (1/2 hour max) she is happy and singing and ready for the next lesson.  I kind of knew that since when I pick her up she is usually all smiles and playing outside with her new friends.

A few things helped this week.  Your kind words and advice included.  Can you believe that "homework" helped us with the remaining two days of school?  Tuesday night, we needed to find five words that start with the letter V.  I will confess that a Google search happened since I couldn't think of anything past vacuum (I don't even vacuum, which is true irony).  So we found five words: van, vest, volcano, and vacuum.  Then I suggested that we find them in my magazines and make a picture collage.  Caitlin LOVES to cut and glue, so we were off.  She had a great time and it gave her something to talk about the next morning.  There were a few tears, but the homework helped.  I can't believe I'm thankful for homework.  I'm sure in the years to come it will bite me in the bee-hind.

When I picked Caitlin up on Thursday, she wanted to make sure I met her friend Zoe.  Then we (Mac included) said good-bye to all the little girlies that were playing together.  Such a nice group, who were all quick to tell me about their bows, bracelets, and new dresses.  All the things that are of super importance when you are four...

It's Friday, and we are playing and making messes.  We've only asked about school twice, and only whined that Tuesday is too soon.  Wow, wonder how she's going to feel about Mondays...

Happy Blogging,


This is another post that wasn't what I was going to originally post about.  But here I am at 10:02 am and I'm still second guessing, and tearing up, and wondering if I'm doing the right thing.
Caitlin cries.  Every day we have school.  That is every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  Beginning August 26th.  We have had a few tear free mornings, but I think the number of tear free mornings is actually 3.  Just 3. 
I have tried to be tough.  I've tried to be strong.  Today, it broke me.  Today, the tears introduced a crying jag that began as we turned into the lot.  The jag, turned into lots of "NO"s and "I'm not going" as I tried to get her out of the car.  Trying to get an uncooperative preschooler out of a 3-point harness booster seat with a 1 year old on your hip is really an act reserved for the circus... The jag, turned into wails, as I of course was becoming overwhelmed and frustrated.  I broke into a sweat as I felt the eyes of the other parents watching.  Waiting for my next move.  Will she scream?  Will she spank?  Will she give in?
Yes, I dragged my precious girl into school today.  Yes, I kissed her and told her I loved her, and I promised I'd be back soon... And yes, the delightful and kind, Ms. Teacher pulled and pried a kicking and crying Caitlin off my body.  She begged me to stay.  She begged me to take her with me.  She begged me for things I'm not even sure she knew she was begging for.  And I broke.  I had to pick up Mac, and stand at the end of the hall, listening to screams and pleas, as I let a few tears fall.
How do I know if I'm doing this right?  Was I wrong to tell her that her behavior was out of control?  Was it selfish that I was embarrassed? 
I know I can't give in.  If I do, she will just eat it up, and we will never go to school again.  Giving in isn't an option.  I'm sad because I loved school, and Caitlin tells me she doesn't like it.  How do I convey that school is a privilege?  That school and learning is awesome.  I can't bring myself to tell her that this school gig isn't a one year deal... Preschool is just the beginning. 
So as my other blog-goddess/BF would say, I'm bringing it to the blog.  I'm asking for help.  Help me, please.  Any kind words or suggestions will do.  Say a prayer, send courage vibes, light a candle.  I'm sure many of you have dealt with this or are dealing with this.  How did you do it?  How are you doing it? 
Today I broke.  After weeks of being strong.  I'm ok with that.  As I tell Caitlin, when I pick her up, after those tear filled mornings,
"Tomorrow is another day.  We can try again tomorrow."
Happy Blogging,

Saying Hello to Fall

I was going to blog about something else entirely today.  I had it all set up, in my mind, for days already.  Then we (all of us) woke up this morning feeling like crap.  We officially have the first creeping, crawling, snotty crud of the season. 

It really started on Thursday when Caitlin got home from school.  She whined about a sore throat and sneezed like a million times.  Then it continued on Friday, snot here, sneeze there, wheeze over here.  Then Saturday Dad woke up with the sore throat.  I assumed it was just seasonal allergies, since I wasn't feeling it yet.  We all know what happens when we assume!

So last night we went to the Fair.  It's fair time here in Fresno.  We did have a great time.  The kids loved the stinky animals.  We, ooh-ed and ahh-ed at the cows, baby chicks and piglets.  We (me excluded) tried amazing fair food. Giant corn dogs, fried cheese curds (Uncle Adam's request) and seriously the biggest (and according to the group, very tasty) pretzel that was a whopping seven bucks!  Yes, $7.00!

Sadly, our fun ended.  We all got up this morning feeling crabby and crappy.  It's awful when your kiddos are sick, but when the parents feel crappy at the same time, it's down right brutal.  You would think that since the kids feel crummy, they would slow down just a bit.  Not a chance.  They are just as hyper and mobile as ever, however they are ten times more crabby!  So as they are running circles around us in the living room they are whining and crying at the same time.  WOW!

Then us parents sit around like zombies trying to think of anything other than a nose we can't breathe out of, or our head that feels close to exploding.  All while wishing we could curl up in our own bed with a Harry Potter marathon (no? just me?).  Instead we a huddling on the couch, head pounding from screaming kids, while Yo Gabba Gabba and Peppa Pig play on loop.  Is it too early for NyQuil?

So my friends, it has been quite a Sunday so far.  I'm about a day behind everyone else and Mac is a day being me, so Monday and Tuesday of this week look pretty dim from here.  I'm sure tomorrow I'll be calling and whining to my momma to come and save me... Just like my kids have been doing all day.

Happy (cough, sniffle) Blogging,

Oh Snap!!

I had a hilarious email conversation with a friend a few days ago.  She is in her first year of motherhood, so I'm letting her in on all the trade secrets.  No one can tell how much TV your kids watch.  Oreos are often times acceptable breakfast.  It's ok to wish your coffee was spiked at 6:30 in the morning.  You know the important stuff.  Well the other night via Facebook message she had a major confession...
I snap at my husband ALL the time!  Am I crazy?  It's like he can't do anything right!  Then I feel guilty.  Is this normal or am I just a horrible wife?
Talk about LMAO.  I did actually LOL, because this is still going on in my house hold to date.  I still snap at John.  He still snaps at me.  However, I shared with her some of the things I've learned about fatherhood.  It's just like motherhood.  There is no right way or wrong way, there is only YOUR way to do your best.  In your husband's case there is only HIS way to do his best.  For better or worse I'll take it.  Extra hands, mean happy kids, and me being able to enjoy Glee uninterrupted.
The first thing I learned as a mother is that fathers cannot hear their children cry.  Even if their wife is standing over them, with said baby in arms, while the baby screams like 16 year olds at a Justin Bieber concert, said father will not move.  True story.  I was up with Caitlin for the umpteenth time.  She was like 4 months.  I just wanted a break.  I stood there for 5 minutes, then shook him for another 3... His bleary eyed "what?" was all I needed to confirm, that when world war three breaks out at least me and the kids will be underground.  You'll find the hubby in the bed.  It's not on purpose.  I blame the umbilical cord, which somehow is still attached after birth and continually lets you know if your child is crying, hungry, sad, etc.  Dads are without said cord... Not his fault.
As a mom, I've learned to tune out a lot.  I mean A LOT.  However, there have been times where I'm in the kitchen, and John is home but not visible.  I'll be making dinner and one child is yelling while turning in circles about ballet and My Little Ponies and why can't we have chocolate for dinner.  The other one is LITERALLY trying to crawl up my body using some kind of superhuman baby strength, and I'm just trying to reach the microwave with my incredibly short arms.  That's when the yelling starts, and then my favorite line to use (remember my sarcastic nature) "Hello - am I the only parent in this HOUSE?"  Not me at my best, for sure, but he can seriously tune this crap out.  However, I'm sure that comes from years of marriage practice of tuning me out... OR if I'm going to be honest, maybe he just didn't hear the little people striking like teamsters in the kitchen. 
Many times we snap at Dad because he's not doing it right.  You didn't put the diaper on right, mix the formula right, cut the chicken nuggets right.  Guess what?  He's not doing this wrong.  He's just not doing it YOUR way.  This was such a hard lesson for me to learn.  I nagged and bitched and used my sarcastic whit, and guess what happened?  John said fine since you do it better DO IT YOURSELF.  Crap!  So now, I just let him do it his way.  Because John bathing the girls means I'm on Facebook or blogging, or even better doing NOTHING!
An important lesson learned was the power of honesty and clarity.  You have to be honest with expectations.  For both of you.  What do you expect?  What does he expect?  Where do those two come together?  BE CLEAR.  Here is a little glimpse on the clarity issue:
John and I ask each other to do favors all the time.  Hey will you do me a favor and wash my work pants?  Hey will you do me a favor and empty the dish washer?  Hey can you change that poop diaper, because if I have to change another one today I will seriously slit my own throat...  You get the picture.  What I learned is I have to tell John that I want it done, tonight, or in the next hour, or next five minutes (not about the poop of course, we don't suck that much as parents).  I've explained to John, if I'm asking it's because it needed to be done 5 minutes ago, but the universe/environment/screaming poopy kids made it impossible.  So I've let him know if I ask it's because I really want it done now, and if you aren't going to do it now just let me know and I'll do it myself...
Ok, so to the average reader this may sound harsh and a little crazy, but I assure you this is how me and the Mr. roll.  It's really changed the way we tackle these favors.  You know why?  If he tells me he's not actually going to empty the dishwasher and reload it, I'll know I'll do it, eventually, and it will slide for the moment.  If it's not bothering him, then why is it eating me alive.  Let's be honest here, who really WANTS to unload/reload the dishwasher?  Like that scene out of the Break-Up when Vince Vaughn tell Jen Aniston that he doesn't WANT to clean up.  It's the same.  I'm tired from being the ringleader of the circus going down in my living room.  John is tired from working all day in support of my Target addiction. 
It's a nice change from what used to happen after he would say he WOULD empty/reload said dishwasher, and then forget/get side tracked before it actually got done.  What used to happen is I'd walk into the kitchen in the morning, say a few choice curse words, and then call him and say "So those dishes that you loaded got out last night and dirtied themselves right back into the sink?  How e-ffed is that?".  Yes, that's kind of a true story too.  Such honesty might not work for everyone, but it works for us.  Bottom line:  Clarity is key in any situation, especially parenting.
Finally out of all the lessons learned on my parenting journey so far is that it really is about teamwork.  Teamwork and compromise.  I couldn't do this without him.  Sure, I'll say, yeah I got this, but in reality, I couldn't.  And I don't want to.  Who else am I going to share this comedy of errors with?  Who is going to have my back during an epic battle of wills at Target with the Grand Supreme?  Who is going to laugh at their one year old as she tries to scale the entertainment center?  Their father that's who. 
So yes, we snap.  Sometimes more times than not.  My marriage, much like my parenting style is far from perfect.  In marriage, just like motherhood, there are no wrongs, there are no rights.  As long as you do it together.  For now John and I will do it this way, because for us, it's the only way... Until we are snapping about something else.  It will happen.  I'll keep you posted.  
Happy Blogging,

A little inspiration...

Do you know Casey Wiegand?   I didn't until just a few months ago.  I found her while cruising Little Miss Momma's blog. 

Here she is.  Beautiful right?  Inside and out!  You can check her out here at  She is beautiful, her husband is beautiful, her children are beautiful.  There is almost too much beautiful.  Then you go and explore her blog.  And read her story.  You realize she is just like you, and me, and all us mommas just trying to figure it out.
She is an artist.  She creates items that words cannot do justice.  She blogs about faith.  A faith that is strong and guiding.  She blogs about motherhood, which is a journey all on its own. 
Casey is so incredibly honest.  Recently, she blogged about her miscarriage.  It was heartbreaking and in your face in a way that your heart just tore.  Yet, there she was, out there, almost naked by motherhood and heartbreak and grief.  And still, she shared. 
Today I read a post from Casey after she attended the Blog Sugar conference.  She said that she was refreshed and inspired.  She was ready to be more honest.  To not try to please by anyone with her blogging.  I was under the impression she was already there.  This was her "no more apologies" list:
But when I left there I decided I wanted to try and say "no more apologies"...
this is who I am.

I AM that mom that hates being away from her kids, even for an hour.

I am NOT that mom that cooks amazing meals, in fact my kiddos eat waffles and sandwiches a lot of evenings.

I AM that girl that gets hurt easily.

I am NOT that girl that balances her time wisely.

I AM that mom that advocates co.sleeping and NOT letting your babies cry it out.

I am NOT that mom that is crazy about schedules, about dropping pasies/bottles etc etc

I AM that wife that chooses her husband through it all.

I am NOT that wife that does everything right
.-Casey Wiegand

And just like that you're hooked too right? 
I check in with Casey every few days.  She always has something inspiring to say, or she is wearing something totally fashionable.  So fashionable I'd never be able to pull it off.  I love visiting the Wiegands.  Casey talks about faith in a way that is not overwhelming or zealous.  She's not preaching to the masses.  She is just sharing her joys, faith and blessings.  Even during hard times.  It's something I both admire and appreciate.  I'm not always faithful, but I am never faithless.  It goes to show that inspiration can strike at any moment.  After today's stop I'm even more inspired.  Here is a quote that inspired this post about Casey. 
Use your voice. No apologies. 
We are all different and have been through different things, believe different things.... but whoever you are there is SOMEONE you can touch with your story.
Don't hold onto it
- Casey Wiegand

This is exactly what I wanted (and still want) for my blog.  I'm not perfect.  I (most times) use un-lady like language.  I'm too honest at times.  I over share.  It won't stop me.  My goal all along was to connect with people, to share my story, and to maybe, just maybe touch a heart or two. 
I'm going to use my voice.  No apologies.
Happy Blogging,
PS:  I posted to her blog to make sure I could use her quotes and her lovely picture.  This was her email back...
You are such a dear and made my day!
You can of course use anything you want love!!!!

Casey Wiegand
How nice is that?