I’ve Been a Bad blogger!!

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Over the last two months my blog has been yelling at me to write, but I’ve been ignoring you blog! Life has been overwhelming and I just don’t seem to have the energy or whit left to put into posts. I’m hungry, grouchy and tired. So stop judging me!

Maybe we’ll get back in the groove of things with a little update in the life of Stark Raving Mom!!

For the last year almost every weekend and evening has been spent remodeling a 1950’s home. The project turned out much larger then we had anticipated. My husband and I both work full time and tend to our three children so our “remodel time” has been very limited. Now, a year later, the main floor is in it’s final touches and we are starting the moving process! If you’d like to follow some of our process on this home like our page WDYN https://www.facebook.com/edvhomes/

Moving sucks. Especially after you’ve been crammed into the same tiny house for a number of years. We are now in the phase of boxes and messes, EVERYWHERE!!! Half of the furniture is in each house. Sorting through storage. Getting rid of that extra junk that’s been collecting for unknown reasons!!

As if working full time, being a mommy of three, remodeling, and moving aren’t enough I feel like I’ve been living at doctor’s offices lately. I was diagnosed with Osteoarthritis after the birth of my first daughter in 2008. I was 28 years old. Since the birth of our third child in December 2014 it became much worse. Other symptoms exhibiting themselves and after a TON of tests we are finally getting an idea of everything that is going on. (This story will have to be a post all of it’s own once we have a few more answers!) You know you’ve had enough tests and appointments when your health insurance deductible has been met before February 1st!!

Anyway, enough with my unraveling stress. This is just an update to let you know we are still here plugging away and that Stark Raving Mom hasn’t fallen off the face of the earth!!

 

Procrastination by Kisses

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Yes procrastination by kisses is a thing! When you have lovey-dovey kids who have found the most effective form of manipulating their parents. Welcome to our house. This method is especially used by our 3 year old daughter. She can stall anything with “kisses” or as she pronounces it “pisses” which makes the whole method all the more irresistible!

We’ve tried to get her to pronounce it correctly and bless her little soul she really tries. Any other “K” word works but for some reason “kiss” always comes out “piss”.

The procrastinating kiss especially comes alive at bedtime. “It’s time for bed sweetie”. ” I need to give pa pisses”. Then she needs tucked in, usually three or four times. I finally have her all tucked in, her blankets just so, stuffed kitty snuggled next to her and then the kissing session begins! “Mom, I need snuggles”. I bend down and hug her tight for a long drawn out hug and start to stand up… “I didn’t get pisses” I bend down to kiss her goodnight. “I need to piss your cheek” and by cheek she of course means both cheeks at least twice. I start to stand up. “I didn’t piss your forehead”, bend down again and of course then she slips a quick kiss to my nose as well.

Then there is the daycare drop. Mornings are early, crazy and hectic with two whiny toddlers and a lolly-gagging 3rd grader in tow. By the time we’ve dropped sissy at school and are at daycare for the two littles I’m usually already at least 10 minutes late for work. Then the hugs, tears (if it’s been an especially tough morning) and kisses ensue. I give both toddlers a hug and kiss good bye and head for the door. Then my little miss kissy starts in, “I didn’t piss your cheeks” and as you can imagine the whole bedtime scenario re-enacts. Five to ten minutes of kisses later I’m able to get out the door.

Kisses and snuggles are becoming procrastination techniques more and more. They are used to try to get out of chores or anything else the toddler doesn’t find desirable!

Personally, I’m going to take these snuggles, hugs and kisses while I can because life flies by too quickly. Who cares if I’m 30 minutes late to work because of sweet little kisses or that bedtime is delayed. At least my children know they are loved and I know they love me!

One of my all time favorite quotes is: “There’s nothing worth stealing except a kiss from a sleeping baby”! I’ll procrastinate getting up in the morning for a few sleeping snuggles and to steal a few kisses off these little ones!

Terrible Twos? What about Three!!!

Today our youngest turns two. It’s kind of bittersweet that the baby of the family is growing up. Of course with this birthday comes the barrage of comments about the “terrible twos”! However, since he is our third child we’ve been here before and are totally convinced that whoever coined the term “terrible twos” never had a three year old!!

Well, we now have a 2 year old and a 3 year old in our house so we’re getting the best of both “terribles”!! I cannot disagree that there are some monstrous, bratty tantrums that start in the twos, but what is added at three is a whole other story.

At 3 they can now talk in full sentences. They can start to reason, manipulate and plot against you! They can outright defy you. They can say NO and defiantly stand behind their NO. They have and can express their own developed opinion. They can also love you to the moon and melt you with their sweetness.

Now they don’t just have a two second scream fit or throw themselves on the floor for a momentary tantrum (mind you I know that at two they do sometimes last longer). At three you get to argue on and on and have repeated tantrums because they keep coming back at you from another angle. When their new approach doesn’t work the tantrum ensues AGAIN.

Why does raising kids have to be so difficult. Why can’t they be those cute little melters of our heart ALL THE TIME!

 

What I Really Feed My Kids!

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It’s not “junk vs healthy” its more like a “junk AND healthy” diet. I’m tired of the “perfect mom brigade” making “real moms” feel guilty about what we feed our children. I feel like it’s all a facade. There is NO WAY you ALWAYS feed your children the perfect diet.

I’m going to come right out and level with you about how I feed my kids. Life is hectic. We don’t have time to fix gourmet organic meals three times a day. I do love to cook and I try to feed my family a “balanced” meal as often as possible but the reality is a LOT of hot dogs and Mac & Cheese! Our life has been especially busy lately as both my hubby and I are putting in 40 hour work weeks and then 35-40 hours a week renovating our new house. (this explain the long gap since my last blog entry)

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Every evening on the drive home I ask my kids “what do you want for dinner?” “Macaroni and cheese with hot dogs” pipes up my three year old from the back seat. It’s what they want, it’s what they’ll eat and it’s easy after long stressful days when you’re already exhausted. In all honesty, with two toddlers, I’m just happy when they actually eat.

Sometimes all our two year old will eat is hot dogs. At least I’ve upgraded them to “fancy” hot dogs instead of those skinny little tasty pieces of rubber! My kids now beg for the cheesy hot dogs. I really dislike hot dogs but I can tolerate the Better with Cheddar!

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Oh sometimes we make it a well rounded meal by adding scalloped potatoes, stuffing  or broccoli with our hot dogs. 🙂 Our own “simple gourmet”!!

My kid’s breakfast consists of Cereal or Bagels. That’s all the food groups right? Whatever, they’re eating.

Snacks on the go are all beautiful, healthy and organic! That’s a LIE! The kids have a large plastic jar they keep in the back seat full of Cheez-its. Yes, Cheez-its! Ok, sometimes we mix it up with a granola bar or two. You know, those really “healthy” ones that are dipped in chocolate. 🙂

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes we do have healthy meals, but I’m not going to feel guilty about survival meals. Or that lately we’ve been surviving on survival meals!

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“Do what you can, when you can so that when you can’t you don’t have to worry”~~ I love this motto. Don’t let all those preachy, uppity articles about “what you shouldn’t feed your kids” or the blog posts about “how perfect I feed my kids” fool you. Do what you can, at least they are eating!!

Driving Pet Peeves

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I know we all have certain things that just “drive” us bananas while we are out and about dealing with other motorists! That one thing that just makes you want to scream at fellow drivers or just plain makes you to loose your cool! I’ve narrowed down to a few of my top bad driving pet peeves. Hope you can relate, enjoy the humor or maybe learn something! 🙂

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#1. It’s called a BLINKER…. Yes, you know exactly what I’m talking about. It would be nice to know why you’re suddenly slowing way down! I just loved wasting extra time waiting at that stop sign because I thought you were going straight. It would have been nice to have a  fare warning before being cut off. You get it, USE YOUR DAMN BLINKER!!!

#2. Pull over already…. I absolutely hate it when drivers don’t pull into the passing lanes on freeways when you’re entering via the on ramp. Really, there is absolutely NO ONE in the other lane but you feel the need (or are so oblivious) to make me to come to a complete stop where the on ramp meets freeway just to let you pass? How rude of you!

#3. Are you passing? PULL OVER…. The left hand lane is called a “passing lane” for a reason. Did you not take a drivers test? What makes you think you can just putt along in the left lane at 5 below the speed limit? Or those drivers who truly are trying to pass but are still only going 2 below or right at the speed limit and ride abreast with the vehicle they are passing for half an hour. Speed it up and get around or slow down and pull over. Don’t be a lane hog!

#4. Yield means nearly stop OR completely stop when necessary…. It does not mean, don’t look and plow through because the person with the right of way will watch out for you. No, you don’t look and see there’s 1-2 car lengths before the car with the right away comes and goose it cutting them off. Wait your turn!

#5. Break again, you’ve sped up to 15 under…… Seriously frustrating on 2 lane highways. I hate getting stuck behind that driver who is driving between 35-45 in a 55mph speed zone. There are no hindering weather conditions but they still drive this slow. I am especially perturbed by their constant need to ride the break. It’s not even a corner but God forbid their speed has might have gone up 1 or 2 mph so they hit that break AGAIN! We’re going so dang slow there is NO NEED TO BREAK. Heck, now I need to break just to keep from running them over. What the heck. Speed it up, driving to slow is also dangerous.

#6. Careless Motorcyclists…. Driving around motorcyclists just scares me. Or more so I am scared for them. They have no safety barrier. How much more so when they drive carelessly. Do you really feel the need to tail gate me? Or drive dangerously fast? I’m always afraid they are going to wreck right in front of me and I’ll hit them. Do they have a death wish?

#7. Cops on Cells…. Really? With all the cell phone while driving laws why does it seem that cops are “above the law” for this rule? Almost every time I see a cop driving around they are chatting away on their cell phone. You know they have radios for dispatch so if they are on their cell phone they truly are chatting… plain and simple. Get off your phone and do your job. Or if you have an important call… PULL OVER like everyone else!

#8. Inattentive driving… Pay attention while you’re behind the wheel. Get off your phone, don’t do your make up, don’t send that text. Have your navigation system lined up before you take the vehicle out of park. I know it is inevitable that you may cross that double yellow line from time to time but by all means correct your self as soon as possible and definitely if you see an oncoming vehicle. Why should that oncoming vehicle need to go on the shoulder to give way for you in their lane?? They shouldn’t, maintain your own lane. Drive with prudent speeds and always pay attention.

End of rant! Did I miss one of your pet peeves? What really gets to you?

My Favorite Child

I always tell each of my three kids that they are my favorite! I love the way their eyes sparkle when feeling so special. I have found a special way to let them know they are my favorite with out making their siblings feel less superior!

There are moments when one definitely outshines the other. There are moments when one or more of them definitely pisses me off. There are moments when they can have me frustrated beyond my limits. There are moments when they can totally melt my heart. There are moments when one might be a little more in my favor then another! There are moments when I don’t feel like they’re my favorite at all (but I still tell them they are)!

All these moments combined, they are still all my favorite child. I have my favorite oldest child, my favorite middle child and my favorite youngest child. I have my favorite oldest daughter and my favorite youngest daughter. I have my favorite boy! I also call them by name and tell them they are my favorite (insert child’s name here)!!

They beam, sparkle and shine in the pleasure of knowing they hold such a special esteem in their mommy’s eyes. Love and cherish each moment and hold your favorite child close!

Fishing with Toddlers

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We are not a family of fishermen but this summer our girls ages 8 and 3 kept asking us to take them and their little brother (20 months) fishing. Our second daughter turned 3 in July so we bought her one of those toddler fishing poles for her birthday.

After work one day we all met at the local fishing pond to try our luck. Well as you can likely imagine chaos ensued! Ever tried managing three little kids and their fishing poles along a very rocky waters edge? Our two toddlers were especially difficult but I can’t really say the eight year old was much easier. The constant need for help with casting, getting her hook stuck, and nearly slipping into the water numerous times because she couldn’t stay in one place.

Fishing requires patience! Patience is practically nil in small children. They are constantly moving. Fishing requires you to sit still and wait. Wait, what is wait? I have three impatient children they don’t understand that word!

The 8 year old’s hook is stuck again. The two toddlers are fighting over a fishing rod and almost fall in. Mom is untangling two lines which got twisted together. Dads fishing a hook out of the weeds. Oh look at all the tiny fish swimming around the bait… yeah.. they’re too little to even bite the hook but they mesmerize the children.

We last about an hour. Everyone is frustrated. We give up. No fish today, except those tiny little buggers swimming all around the ends of the rod the kids are sticking down in the water. Yes, the whole tip of the rod is in the water. What else do you expect from a tiny little creature!

Needless  to say, summer passed and we didn’t try again. The kids never asked again either. There’s always next year! Maybe we’ll be better prepared for our next fishing adventure! 🙂

7 Types of Friends

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We all interact with different types of people every day. Some will just be strangers, some  acquaintances and others will become “friends”. I use the term friend rather loosely because there are many categories into which a said “friend” could fall! I have narrowed it down to 7 categories with which I’m sure we can all relate! Keep in mind that said “friends” may fall into a couple of categories (IE: your bestie may sometimes be a flake or may also fall into the “low-maintenance or historical categories).

  1. The Bestie: Almost everyone has that special someone who is always there for you no mater what changes in your life. This is someone close to you. You love them and spend lots of time together. They’re your “partner in crime” and you probably share intimate life details. This would be a “long-term” friendship. They could be a friend or for some your significant other!
  2. Social: You’ve become friends merely because of  related topics in life. You hang out because your kids are classmates, friends or teammates. You’re friendly because you go to the same gym or other activities. You may work together and begin socializing because work events throw you together.
  3. Superficial: You don’t actually spend time together but they act like your best friend when you see them in a public place. The superficial friend is more of an acquaintance who’s pretending there’s more going on!
  4. The Flake: These friends are always late and usually unreliable.They rarely follow through with plans, or they may continually cancel plans. Many times it seems that they make excuses and cancel plans just because “something better” came up.
  5. Historical: You’re friends because your families were friends while you were growing up. You were friends all through your school years. The bonds you made when you were younger have tied you together over many years.
  6. Low-Maintenance: These friendships are typically long distance. You may have been besties (and still are when you’re together) but life, circumstances or distance have separated you. When you do get to see each other the friendship always picks up where you left off. You can continue this level of friendship without having to constantly be calling, texting or spending time together.
  7. Online: These are the friends you have met through your network online. You support each other and can develop friendships on a casual level but will most likely never meet in person!

Any “friend” could change “type” at anytime throughout your “friendship. You may spend enough time with a “social” friend that they soon become a “bestie”! I’m sure there are still many other types we could add into this list. I tried to stay away from categorizing the friends by personal characteristics, (IE: the quiet one, the loud-mouthed, the ring-leader, the gossiper, etc) and base the list more on the characteristic of the actual “friendship”.

Mozzarella Stuffed Sausage Meatballs

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I recently made up some meatballs and my eight year old told me “Mommy, these would be so yummy with cheese inside”. Well, I took her advise. The family was eating them almost as fast as I took them out of the skillet so I though I’d share!!

You will need:

1 package Jimmy Dean Regular Sausage

2 eggs (beaten with salt, pepper and milk as if you were making scrambled eggs)

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 Tbs minced garlic (I used the jarred kind but fresh would work too!)

1 1/2 to 2 cups Italian bread crumbs

1/2 lb Mozzarella cut into 1/4 inch squares

Mix together the sausage, beaten eggs, chopped onion, garlic and bread crumbs until you have a meatloaf textured mixture. Take dabs about as big around as a quarter and roll into a ball. Press your thumb into the ball making a deep indent. Place once square of cheese inside, pinching the mixture closed over the cheese. Roll into a ball. Complete until finished.

I placed all the meatballs on a cookie sheet which was covered in saran wrap and let them sit in the refrigerator a couple of hours. This step is completely optional but I’ve found that it helps them hold together in the cooking process.

Lightly oil a hot skillet and place meat balls inside. They will not all fit at once. Cover skillet to insure they cook all the way through. I like to “toss” the skillet to rotate the meatballs. You can use a spoon or spatula if you prefer.

Serve however you desire. You do want to eat them while they are still pretty warm or the cheese begins to harden. Leftovers are even tasty ran through the microwave!!

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family!

 

LuLaRue Selfie

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Okay, I know this will ruffle some feathers since Lula Rue has recently taken a lot of mom’s by storm, but please don’t get your panties in a bunch! Or, maybe it’s best to say “don’t get your leggings in a bunch”!!!! HAHA, I’m on a roll today!

I’m very happy for you that you’ve found a line of clothing that works for you and you consider yourself comfortable. Although we know the bright, dramatic patterns on your leggings is just a phase. This too shall pass! Remember last year when the big phase was the Jam berry Nails? You hardly hear of them anymore and I feel that the Lula Rue phase will be similar.

My biggest issue is the Lula Rue Selfie. Since when did it become the fad to flood your friends news feed with a daily picture of what you’re wearing along with a detailed description. I really don’t care what color your leggings are today. Or that you can wear your dress both frontwards and backwards. You don’t see anyone else posting a daily diary of what they bought from Macy’s, Ross or Target. Your clothes are no more special. Do you think you’re better for shopping Lula Rue?

Do we care that you just received yet another package containing your most recent purchase? No, not really. Follow up with an immediate selfie modeling session. Yeah, really don’t care! I just got my Walmart shipment with the kid’s new super cute pajamas and I’m not posting pictures! You really think we want to see more of this?

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Yeah, you’re getting the point! Stay warm, stay comfortable but I don’t care what you’re wearing. I’ll still love you!