Tuesdays {ten twenty eight fourteen}

You would think that a Tuesday would serve us much better than a Monday. Today proved otherwise. I realize that our week is jammed packed with not much wiggle room. We are so tightly scheduled that one little misstep could derail the entire week. That misstep was today.

I got up at five. To prep food and lunches, to make sure I was showered and make-uped for work and a seven fifty a.m parent teacher conference. Before seven this morning I had baked six pieces of chicken and 12 Paleo pumpkin muffins. I was on a roll, rinsing dishes because of the smell, and taking out the trash. Just about six fifty I woke up the girls.


Caitlin had a headache and stomach ache last night. That tends to happen after a weekend of binging on fast food and ice cream and cake. Between going out of town and then celebrating two birthdays on Sunday, her body and tummy had had enough. Add in the fact that crying before seven in the morning is on the short list of things that drive me bat shit insane. So I was already sparking with a short fuse. Also Daddy had an important meeting he had to leave for at five this morning. So here I was, trying to get everyone dressed and ready to get out the door in time to make the parent teacher conference. 

But the more I pushed and prodded those littles to get out of bed and get dressed, the more they cried and carried on. So I resorted to yelling because that is what all good mothers do when they are desperate and balancing on the tightrope of morning mid life crisis. The yelling only made matters worse, and then when I realized that the chance of Caitlin going to school today was slim to none, I broke out in a cold sweat because I was without child care. Remember that schedule I was talking about? Well my mother and mother in law's schedules were just as tight. Add in Dad already on the road, mom due at a meeting and then at her actual job, and I was ready to call it a day.

Instead I called my mom. Oh, Linda. The Patron Saint of Mothers. I actually said, "Mom, None of us can even". I ranted and raved about all my goings on and then she said calmly, "Just bring them to me". It wasn't even seven fifteen. So we all went to grandmas, with teary eyes and scowls, where we were met with a smile and open arms.

On the way to the Parent Teacher conference the guilt set in. I'm pretty sure my daughters felt like Mommy was mad at them. I'm pretty sure they felt bad about that. I could see it on their faces as I kissed them goodbye. As usual I wasn't mad at them, I was just mad at the circumstances. This week is scheduled within an inch of it's life. There is no room for sick days or forgotten lunches or as luck would have it, running out of Nutella. We don't have room to be late or early or to "skip" it all together. So I was mad that I couldn't just stay home with the kids myself. I was mad the Hubbs couldn't do that either. I was mad that I had to call my mom to bail me out, again. I was mad that my conference had to be so early in the damn morning. I was mad that even though Mackenzie had school, I let her stay with my mom, because she cried because it wasn't fair that Sissy got to go to grandma's and she didn't, and I didn't have any fight left in me. I literally couldn't even if you paid me.

I made it to the conference. Straight A's. Best Behavior. Have a nice day. It took all of ten minutes. Then I made it to work, and that wasn't so bad either. It wasn't until mid day that I realized why I was so upset this morning. Why I get so upset every time.

Because I had this morning by the balls. I was ready. 
I had made muffins for fucks sake. 
And then, as quickly as I was struttin' my stuff,
I fell, flat on my ass.

I think that's as close to defining motherhood as I'm going to get. The day wasn't the worst. It would have been nice for it to have run smoothly, but it would have been nice if I would have found a million dollars today too. We don't always get what we want. But can I just say that if it could go to hell in a hand basket today, it did. 

Of course I let every single bump in the road get to me. It's my own wavering confidence that makes me run to the edge of life and threaten to jump. Because in the thick of it, I revert back to that other Megan, white knuckling the sides of the ledge, trying to survive one day at a time. I forget, in the moment, that I've grown. I've learned. I've survived. Some days are easier that others, sure, but motherhood is still a battlefield. And you can bet your ass I'm still fighting.

So that was today. Unfiltered. Unedited. And surprisingly enough, not a Monday.

Try, try again, and then try again later

I find myself right in the thick of it tonight. Mac is recovering from a sinus infection. I have to be at work at six forty five tomorrow. Dishes have been begging to be done for two days. The Giants lost last night. Add in Family Pictures tomorrow night in Salinas, hair that is three weeks past a dye job, and I still need to pack. Oh, the thick of it.

After Girl Scouts I decided that breakfast for dinner was the only way. The girls thought the "pack your own suitcase" was a really fun game. Although I had to double check for socks and underwear, and in Mac's case pants. And now as I email one last form for scouts I've decided to sneak in a little break here. So here I am.

Today was a bitch. I had to cancel two appointments in order to get a feverish Mac to the doctor. So long dentist appointment, farewell waxing appointment. Both have been rescheduled twice. Meds were picked up, hair dye bought, lunch was Chick-Fil-A. But of course with a list ten miles long, I sat down just for a minute with every intention of doing them all. Until three of my favorite movies were on, all with about fifteen minutes left before they ended. Just my luck. So I watched the end of Leap Year, Baby Boom, and Warm Bodies. Because the endings are just the best. Because Amy Adams is flawless. Because Diane Keaton kills it as a working mom. Because "R" is zombie eye candy. And so the to do list became the "to do later" list. Okay, fine I give.

With Mac at my mom's so I could tackle the troop meeting, I put on Pandora to get ready. And there it was, a fifteen minute dance party staring me in the face. Devo, Duran Duran, and Billy Idol. Don't mind if I do. I always admired Christina Yang and her thirty second dance party. I always wondered if they work. I'm here to tell you they do. It was just what I needed to make up my face. To get my pony tail high and tight. To get my ass in some red skinny jeans. Dancing and singing alone in my bathroom was just what I needed to make me "try". Today I just needed to "try" and have a good day. "Try" and make the best of it. "Try" and survive.

And I did. Sort of. I'm off to slap dye on my head. Then it's off to do dishes. Then bathe the kids. Pack. Prep food. Set double alarms for work. Make sure I have work clothes.... Oh, and Greys and Scandal are a must.

Maybe I should turn Pandora on again. 

If at first you don't tackle every single thing on your to do later list, try and try again. And if you are anything like me, procrastinate some more and try again later.

Life Lately {october twenty fourteen}

I realize October doesn't end for another week, but I feel like if I don't get this post up now, I never will. So here is to the October that was here one day and gone the next.

You know how you can tell that you are the second child? You wear your sister's hand me down dress and hair pretty for school pictures. In my defense, she had the same dress, but she out grew it. After arguing with her about wearing a dress that is two sizes too small, I pulled sisters out of the hand me down pile. She was happy and I didn't have to spend any more money.

A Sunday off. Tis a luxury. So much so that I didn't even shower, wash my face or brush my teeth. The Hubbs said let's go and so we went. I did manage to wear pants that buttoned. But it was a luxury to have the day with my favorite people.

These two. Trying to sneak a peek at Daddy trying on pants at Old Navy. He kept yelling to keep the curtain closed. I was dying!

I swear to Anne of Green Gables if I see that October quote one more time...

Picture day for my big girl. Oh the style. Yes, a string of pearls are perfect for second grade pictures. And can we talk about the pose. She has asked for a fashion blog. I don't think my ego can take all the hits she would get!

Bulldog foot ball style. It was over ninety degrees when Fresno State decided that a night in navy blue was a good idea. I bought this shirt at Walgreen's and took the scissors to it. I kept cutting and cutting, until I think I got it right. Fashionable, but not slutty. I should take a picture of all the slutty t-shirts at the game.

I wrote about my farewell committee, but I just had to post this picture again. I mean look at these girls. Fresh out of bed. The Hubbs too, I'm pretty sure he's wondering who's idea this was.

What you don't see in this picture is me laughing so hard I'm crying. The Hubbs hates when I make him take selfies when we are just having a regular day. So here we are running errands and I keep trying to snap a pic. I'm trying to be all sly, when all of a sudden he grabs my arm and starts pulling me so my other hand with the phone will shake. I'm laughing so hard, trying to tell him to keep his eyes on the road. Still got the picture though... Nailed it.

This happy girl. Hey Caitlin want to take a picture. She only answers with a pose.

One of my insta-friends tagged me to Stop Drop and Selife. Don't mind if I do.

Hey Mackenzie, ear muffs are not necessary when it's still ninety in Fresno. Also check out that Olaf photo bomb. When we go to Target, we bring our A game.

Yeah I know. Just a picture of my bags. But this is some real life shaz. I'm eating my breakfast in the car. In the school parking lot. Because I've tried to eat and drive and it gets a little scary. Also it's a rare moment that I can slow down. It begged to be documented.

Pizza night with the Girl Scouts and well, what can I say. The man tries to get out of every picture. I take them anyway.

As many of you know I work at Pier 1. Awesome right. Except when you get your first official shipment of Christmas. This is after we had been opening things for an hour. There are also boxes inside the building. This was the weekend to end all retail weekends. I've never been so tired in my life.

It's been awhile since an #ootd, so here goes my preppy look. It's also my Saturday and I have to close look. It's also an I haven't done laundry in two weeks look.

So daddy took these two kids to the fair and they won three fish between the two of them. Let's not talk about how much was spent trying to win said fish, but fish were won. I used the hashtag #deadinaweek to which the Hubbs replied the next day #deadin24hours. We lost poor "Golden". Daddy had to flush him the next day. We then made the kids wait an entire week before we bought a real tank, because they were thirty dollars. Thirty dollars and what if they died a week later. They are still alive and in a new home. A beautiful thirty dollar home.

They love doughnuts. A lot. The sprinkles really do it for me though.

Hey Mac. Let's take a selfie and show off those piggy tails. OKAY!

The sweetest blogger in the world sent me a little piece of Arizona, since I can't be in Arizona with her. Chrissy, from Let me See You Sparkle is the kindest most inspiring blogger I have met, and yes, we have met in real life at Elevate. I'm a sucker for mug swaps and so The Freshly Brewed hosted one and as luck would have it I got Chrissy. It was so fun to send a package to her.

Little Miss in her apron with the Sunday paper. "Mom, I'll walk you out". Thanks baby. Love you too.

I loath birthday parties at bouncy places. So having to go to one on my only day off at six thirty at night no less was not the business. But then motherhood took over, and watching this one over come her fear of the "Big One" was totally worth it. By the end of the night she was going down the big slide alone. 

A sweet afternoon lunch on a Saturday with these lovelies. After a trip to Old Navy, and a nap while watching Harry Potter, which made for an amazing day. I could stare at their faces all day.

Friday after school selfies are my jam. We are so happy to be out of school and work for the weekend. And a promised trip to Target ain't half bad either.

This kid is circling things in the newest American Girl catalog. Just in case Santa needs it. She was here for over a half hour. I hate to break it to her, but Santa bought Disneyland tickets...

October has been very good to us. Even if it seems like I blinked and it's almost November. Honestly I work in retail so from the looks of my store, it's the middle of December. How was your October? Link up your October recap in your comment.

The Fair {2014}

Lunch with dad at the horse races. And a selfie!

The Fair. I dread those words. I’m not a fair kind of girl. I mean, I like the exhibits and stuff, but the rest of it not so much . I can’t eat fair food, I don’t dare ride the rides, and the concerts are always overpriced and the free ones are ridiculously crowded. So every October, Fresnans go crazy that the fair is in town. The draw of deep fried Twinkies and the famous cinnamon rolls, the exhibits of everything “as seen on TV”, we even have Horse Racing. I rarely go crazy to the fair. Years ago I felt like it was a parent’s right of passage to take your kids to the fair. Then we took the kids to the fair and it exhausted us and the kids cried about everything. All the food they wanted but then didn’t touch. All the balloon animals that we bought for 100% mark up that popped before we got to the car. All the games we didn’t win. The fair always seemed like a good idea until it wasn’t such a good idea.

This year, the Hubbs and I figured we would let the fair pass us by. I had to work both weekends of the fair and the kids only had a mild interest. Then the third grade classes at my kid’s school decided to go to the fair. And since there is a second and third combo class, some of Caitlin’s friends got to go and came back with a full report. Awesome. For the remainder of last week all Caitlin could talk about was the fair.

The Hubbs said we should try to go. I didn’t want to go at night. And since he couldn’t leave work early on Friday I decided that he should take the girls on Saturday while I worked. Really? He was a little surprised. You won’t feel bad about not going?

Not. At. All.

And you know what? I didn’t. They left Saturday afternoon before I even left for work. I waited for the guilt to set in. While I put my make-up on. While I got dressed. While I drove to work. While I worked. I even sent him a text to send me pictures, and even when I got those pictures I didn’t feel an ounce of guilt. Most likely because I didn’t really want to go to the fair in the first place, but even when I don’t want to go places, at some point I get that “missing out” feeling. Not last Saturday.

I was really proud of myself.

I may not always feel that way about things the girls and the Hubbs get to do without me. I’m sure at some point there will be a weekend where I will have to work and they will get to do something fun. Nobody is perfect.

At the same time, I’m so glad that he took them. They had so much fun. They won some fish. They won some hilariously large plush doughnuts. They had lunch at the horse races. But they mostly had fun with each other. It’s something they will always remember. When they think about the fair later in life they will think about that time they went with Daddy and he spent our life savings trying to win fish and doughnuts bigger than their heads. They will think about the horse races and the horses and the huge cinnamon roll that Daddy brought home for dessert. And they will most likely forget that Mom had to work, and that mom really didn’t want to go anyway. Hopefully.

They won fish, that I predicted would be dead in a week.

Everyone needs giant plush doughnuts. Right?

The fair closed on Monday, and I silently thanked it for all the memories it created. Not just for The Hubbs and the girls, but for me as well. I didn’t have to go to the fair this year to really enjoy it. All I had to do was see the smiles on these faces.

Some Real Talk {ten nineteen fourteen}

Time for some real talk, m'kay?

Let's have some real talk shall we?

I've been trying to write since Saturday night. My little Chrome book that could, has decided that it cannot. I'm trying to reset the entire thing as we speak, but Saturday night was a big cluster of me cussing and crying about all the writing I wasn't doing.

It's been tough since I took this full time gig to get any kind of writing done. The plan was to spend Saturday writing, since it was my first Saturday off in almost a month. But then when Saturday got here I realized that there were one hundred and one things that needed to be done as well. Like buy some new work clothes, make a trip to Trader Joe's, and a the last minute a birthday party we forgot about. We never made it to Traders, but we did have lunch at the Habit, as a family. The Hubbs idea, and it was an excellent one. So my Saturday was spent running the errands that I didn't have time for during the week. And then, at nine o'clock last night I sat down to hammer out my thoughts and, BAM. No laptop. I fought with that thing for almost an hour, gave up and turned on the episode of The Mindy Project that I had missed. Because of work. 

I realize that for most people, not blogging or writing on a daily basis seems like no big deal. And I guess when you boil it down, like say in comparison to saving the world, or at least making a dinner that doesn't use a microwave, it's small potatoes. Unless you are a writer. Because when you are a writer, your brain never stops writing. In fact it continues to write until you can no longer sleep, or make a decent to do list, because your brain is full of stories. Fiction or non-fiction. It doesn't matter. Soon all the stories take over.

I try to write out the ideas. I try to make lists. I try to keep a schedule. But life. Life is so full and chaotic. When I'm not working I'm momming, and when I'm not momming, I'm sleeping. I even contemplated starting to work out again, and then realized, when? When I'm supposed to sleep or eat or watch TV with the Hubbs? And in case you are wondering, watching TV with the Hubbs is one of my favorite things to do.

I was talking to my best friend the other day and I told her that I'm really proud of this blog. Lately, you probably couldn't tell. It seems kind of desolate after the last three years. Still, I'm proud at how far my writing has come, but I'm and I'm proud of the fact that I'm still writing it. Even if it's only once a week. Because it's rare that I stick with something for so long. That's how I know it's more than a hobby or something fun that I I like to do. Writing is now a part of me. A part of my life. Something that I want to do, but honestly something I must do. Like breathing and eating, I also must write.

Which brings me to now, Sunday night, after an eight hour shift at the store. A late dinner of soup and grilled cheese. The kids need a bath, we need to read stories, and I really want to watch Thursday's How to Get Away with Murder. I have blog posts to write, ideas to flush out, but honestly, I'm tired. I'm taking this twenty minutes to write my heart out before I set up some "posts": the "Instagram" re-caps, the "life lately"s. Because my brain and my heart are currently in two different places. And for now that has to be okay. My hope is that I will find the time to write, just a little every night. If my laptop cooperates, maybe I can edge out some fifteen minute moments. Some days that is all I need. 

But I do need to be here. Even if it's for just twenty minutes. These days I'll take what I can get.

The Farewell Committee

A weekend selfie before mom leaves for work.

I’ve got my own farewell committee. For the last few weekends that I’ve had to work, the girls have decided that they want to wake up with me. So as I’m getting dressed I’ll wake them. I tell them that I’m going to get dressed and eat breakfast and that they can join me if they like. Usually Mac asks for “five more minutes” and Caitlin will pop out of bed bleary eyed and disoriented. They will follow me into the living room and sit with cartoons while I prep my lunch and eat a quick breakfast. They will follow me around and tell me funny stories about their plans for the day. They will ask again and again when I’ll be home, and what we will do when I get home. It takes everything I have not to respond with sleep. Because sleep is always on my to-do list.

They are crying less and less as I’m leaving, which is a very good thing. The first few months after I went back to work were the hardest. Leaving them during the week is one thing. Leaving them on a beautiful Saturday morning is another. But most days we have smiles and cuddles and promises of things like dinner out, or watching some of our favorite cartoons on DVR when Mommy gets home. The working weekend mornings are changing and so am I.

It’s got to be strange to have a mother who works on the weekends. Actually the entire family has had to re-think how we weekend around here. The Hubbs and the kids were a little shell shocked when I had to start putting in eight hour days on the weekends. It’s strange for me too, but in a different way. I don’t have to worry about child care on the weekends. Dad takes over and rallies the troops. I don’t have to worry about lunches to pack or breakfast to make. So it’s with some ease that I’m able to walk out the door most Saturdays and Sundays.

Saying good-bye to their little faces is still hard. I’m not going to lie. The girls totally understand weekends now. They know that they have no school and can waste the day away if they want to. And for the most part they do, but now they don’t get to waste the day away with me. They waste the day away with dad. It’s taken me a bit to get okay with that. In the beginning I was super jealous of their weekend adventures, but not so much anymore. It has been so good for The Hubbs to have those adventures with the girls. Not that he didn’t have adventures with them before, but their lives have been very mom-centric. When you stay home, it’s unavoidable. It’s always been, “Dad’s got to work so we will go without him”. Now lately it’s been, “Mom has to work, so we will go without her”. It seems weird to type that, just like it’s still a little foreign to live it.

So imagine my surprise and delight when Mackenzie decided that she wanted to start walking me out on Saturday and Sunday mornings. "I want to wave to you from the door mom", is what she said. Since there weren’t any tears, I decided why not? Even if she is rocking miss matched pajamas. Even if her hair is a mess. Big sister had to get in on the act too, in her undies no less. The Hubbs came out to see what the big deal was, and I snapped a picture. This is my farewell committee. They may not be super excited for me to be working my weekend away, but they are trying to make it easier. They are trying to distract me from thinking about “missing out” and “mom guilt”. They do a fantastic job if you want to know the truth. Plus it makes my job as a mother easier knowing that they are happy. Happy even if mom couldn’t go to the pumpkin decorating party on Saturday morning. Happy even if mom couldn’t go out to lunch after, or shopping for a new door lock, or just to play in the yard with the neighbors. Knowing that they are happy makes me happy and makes me better at my job, both at home and at the store.

Trust me, it’s not picture perfect. This was the day Caitlin combed her sisters hair with Moroccan oil, and it looked like Mac hadn’t had a bath in a month. It was also the Saturday that mom came home too tired to do anything but sit on the same spot in the couch for an hour. Or that we had “whatever we could forage” for dinner. And all of those things are okay, as long as we are happy.

Tuesday was my Saturday

The truth about retail is that the hours suck. When you work at a store that is open seven days a week, your “weekends” are never traditional. Ask anyone that works retail and they will agree with you. It’s not a secret, it’s just a fact.

Last Tuesday was my Saturday. Minus the sleeping in part because I had to take my kids to school. Minus the slow morning where we lazed in our pajamas. Minus the part about spending the day with the kids. Still I made it my Saturday. I refused a shower. I wore clothes from yesterday that were miss matched, and then proceeded to sit in the recliner and talk to my bestie. Then when that was done, I watched Homeland on my DVR which was amazing. Also did I mention that both kids were in school? So again, it was my Sunday, but the kind of Sunday where the kids do their own thing.

Mackenzie took a three hour nap after preschool and I filled that time by laying on the couch flipping between Grays Anatomy (duh) and Twelve Years a Slave. Twelve Years a Slave was a little heavy, but it was still pretty amaing. I started the laundry, decided that grilled cheese was a good dinner anywhere, and took a sleepy Mac to pick up Caitlin. With dirty hair and cutoff shorts.

I just couldn’t do it on Tuesday. I was tired, or more to the point, I was exhausted. I tried really hard to be productive, but why? Other people laze and lounge on their weekends. Why having my Saturday, actually be a Tuesday make any difference? Because it’s still Tuesday and you still have to an adult and do adult things like pick up and drop off and feed your family. You can’t just give up and lay in bed all day, which if I’m honest I tried. But days of during the week are just an entirely different animal.

By the end of the day, Tuesday felt just like any old regular Tuesday. The kids had to be fed. There was homework to do. We all needed baths (including me, because well, um). We all had to get to bed at a decent time, since mom had to be at work at six. Yes. Six in the morning. But that is just a special schedule because all our Christmas stuff came in last week. Yes, Christmas stuff.

Retail ain't for sissies, let me tell you. But I knew that when I signed up. I wasn’t shocked to learn that I’d work most Saturdays and Sundays. But I won’t lie to you, it’s hard leaving your family on those days. But when I do get a cherished Saturday or Sunday off, it really pays off. We may not do something “fun” by definition, but we are changing the definition of fun. Fun is now going to the grocery store all together, getting lunch somewhere we wouldn’t normally go, or even getting hair cuts. I’ve learned to really be in those moments on the weekends when I have them. And when I don’t, I’ve learned to relax on the Tuesdays and Thursdays. Usually my mid week days off are jammed packed, but every once in awhile I’ll get a day where I can relax and pretend that it’s a Saturday. 

Like today. It’s Monday and I’m off with no where to go at the moment. Still I got up at six and got the kids out of the house by eight. Then we went to dance and Costco. Now I’m home and writing, and soon I’ll have another kid to pick up. Not a load of laundry done. Dishes are still in the sink, and who knows what we we will have for dinner. And of course I rolled out of bed to do all of this. My hair is crazy and I’ve got bags under my eyes. Maybe I’ll shower before it’s time to get Caitlin. Maybe I won’t. All I know is that doing the minimum right now feels good. In fact it feels like a Saturday. Almost.