Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Funny Family Ecard: 'Im so sad all the kids are back to school and the summer is over'. Said no stay at home mom ever.

It's probably a bad idea to write a post when I'm feeling totally spent and at my wit's end, but I think it's
cheaper than therapy, so here goes.

I am done with this week. The two small people who I am simply trying to mold into good human beings are driving me up a wall. My patience is gone, my nerves are shot, and I just feel in a funk. Even scoring some crazy good deals in the Lilly Pulitzer Endless Summer Sale hasn't perked me up,.

It hasn't been any one thing. Just a culmination of things. Like Davis pushing other kids at the gym this morning. Or Ava saying she wouldn't clean her room. Or  Davis yelling at Ava. Or vice versa. Or one of them hitting the other. Or even Davis hitting me. Argh. How did it come to this? I don't think I'm a total failure as a parent, but that's how I'm feeling these days. It's as if the harder I try, the worse things get.

The night ended badly for Ava. Davis was wiped out and went to bed with no problem. In fact, the last couple of hours of the day were quite pleasant with him. He wanted more books than I was willing to read, but that's normal, and frankly, expected. No negative response when I said no.

Ava, however, got her bedtime knocked back 15 minutes when she copped a 'tude about cleaning her room. It wasn't even all that messy.....just a few things on the floor that needed to be put away. She said she would like for me to help her. Well, I was bathing Davis, so I couldn't. Plus, I felt quite confident that at age 7, she could handle it. There was lots of sass the whole time, and after a threat or 2, I backed her bedtime to 7:45.

So, things go well until then, and that's when the drama began. She didn't balk at the actual hour. In fact, she seemed fine with it, which leads me to believe 7:45 needs to be her bedtime now that school is about to start. She wanted me to read her a book, but then got so ugly about it. I gave her several chances to correct herself, and when she failed to do so, I announced that there would be no reading, and that it was time for lights out.

Cue massive eruption. Think Vesuvius. Ugly. REAL ugly.

She settled down, but by the time all that was over, I just felt DONE.

It all makes me sad because I hate to wish the days away when the years go by so quickly. Really, though, summer has now lasted about a week too long. My kids need separation from each other, and they need the routine that the school year brings. I need the breaks that their being in school gives me. Maybe that's not the nicest thing to say, but it's honest, and I know that those breaks make me a better parent.

I'm trying really hard to enjoy these last few days of summer and make things fun, but I can't help but think it would be easier with some high doses of anti-anxiety medication.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Happy Birthday, Ava

This post is going up a little late, but I've spent the day celebrating my little girl's official birthday. It's such a cliche, but I seriously can't believe she's seven. That sounds really big. Like, not a baby at all anymore. So, in keeping with blog tradition, here is my birthday tribute to Ava:

Ava, your Daddy and I are so proud of the little girl you are, and the big girl you're becoming. You are nothing if not headstrong, and while that may make us crazy at times, it's also something that is going to serve you well as you grow up. You don't worry about what your friends are doing, or what they think. You are comfortable just being you, and that is something I hope you never grow out of.

You are so bright, and oh-so smart. I love to read the stories you write, and see the creative things your mind comes up with. I enjoy watching your dances, listening to you sing "Call Me Maybe", or reciting scenes from your favorite movies, like The Wizard of Oz, or Madeline.

You are a wonderful friend, and kind to others. Most of the time, you are a great big sister. We all know you have your moments, though. Then again, who doesn't? A little brother can be tough! When I see you and Davis playing together, or when I see you teaching him his ABCs, or reading him a book, I feel so proud that you want to help him.

Mostly, Daddy and I love you because you're you, and for the love you bring to our family. We'd just like it if you wouldn't grow up quite so fast.

Happy 7th Birthday!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Living the dream, 7-year-old style.

We're back from our busy American Girl weekend, and we had a blast. Having only one child on a trip is incredibly easy, especially when that child is getting to live out her fantasies all weekend long. She was so much fun, it was hard to believe she's often such a drama queen.

We started out by checking into our hotel, where Ava was not impressed with the size of our room. She was, however, impressed with the bottled water and  glasses on the nightstand.

I had let the hotel peeps know that we were celebrating a birthday, so they sent some cookies up to our room. That was nice. Please note Ava's multi-colored nails. 

We went to Tyson's Galleria that night and perused the pricey shops. Ava knocked down an entire display of boots at Neiman's, and also tried on some sparkly Jimmy Choos. If only we wore the same size, then I could justify the purchase. Just kidding. 

The next morning, it was time to hit the American Girl store. This girl was beyond excited.

She loved the store, but was intensely focused on purchasing McKenna, which we did. Then we met my aunt and sister for lunch in the AG cafe. Morgan is a good sport for hanging out with all the girls and even wore pink to show his love for American Girl. Or, as he said, "I have a limited number of shirts that are acceptable to wear in public." Hmmm. Sounds like someone needs to go shopping.

Ava pretty much looks at Laura (my sister) like she is a big celebrity. It's very entertaining to watch.

My aunt, my sister, Ava, and McKenna. (Please note McKenna appears to be drinking wine. She probably needs it after hanging with all of us).

The girls. I wish we could do this every weekend.

We spent the rest of the day doing a little more shopping (Disney store, Lululemon), then saw a movie, and finally went back to the hotel around 9. Yesterday we went to my aunt's house in Alexandria, where we all had brunch at Carlyle, which was super yummy. 

We drove into DC for a bit, then around Old Town Alexandria. We headed back home around 3, stopped briefly at Ikea, and finally made it to Raleigh around 9:30. Based on today's mood, I would say I have one tired little girl on my hands. Ah, the aftermath.

Davis was with my parents all weekend, and is coming home around lunchtime today. I think he's going to have some adjusting to do since he pretty much got to have his way all weekend, and appeared to have an unlimited supply of popsicles:

 Hope everyone has a great Monday.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Birthdays Continue.....

Now that my birthday has come and gone, it's time to move on to the next one. Ava turns 7 next Tuesday, and we're kicking off the celebration a little early. Davis is packed and headed to my parents' for the weekend, while Morgan and I are taking Ava up to Tyson's Corner to the American Girl doll store for her birthday. We convinced her that this would be more fun than a party. And it will be. Because she gets to shop here:

And we get to stay here:
Located in a prestigious business, shopping, and dining district, minutes from the Nation

The weekend rates at the Ritz Carlton were better than just about anywhere else we would have considered. It doesn't hurt that it's connected to Tyson's Galleria, home to upscale shopping galore. 

We'll also get to visit my sister and my aunt, who both live in the area. Now, I wonder if the Obama girls are in town. Ava would love a playdate if they can spare the time.

Hope everyone has a good weekend. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Not Quite Over the Hill

Well, it's my birthday today. I officially crossed the mid-thirties line. That's right. Thirty-six. Ouch. Hurts a little to say that. Doesn't help that I'm ringing in this new year with a pulled back muscle that will just not get better. I'm sure my reluctance to take a few rest days has nothing to do with that. 

It's been a good day so far. I started off with yoga (thinking it would make the back happy. It did not.). Then it was off to my tennis clinic - also bad for the back. Met friends for lunch and Prosecco - good for the back and the spirit. More Prosecco would have been better, but it's daytime, and there are children to tend to. 

While out and about, I saw three tween girls (okay, maybe 13ish) shopping, and all were in head to toe lululemon. Granted, I was, too. But I had been at tennis. Also, I'm 36, so if I want to overspend on workout clothes, I can. I've earned that right. One of the girls had on the same skirt as me, but in a different color. She looked absolutely appalled to see that we were practically twins. I would imagine I looked equally appalled.

Anyway. I bought my own birthday present a couple of weeks ago, which was a gorgeous abstract painting from my friend Jen at Gilded Mint. Here are a few of her latest creations, any of which I would also like to have:

31 Rue Cambon Chanel Inspired Abstract with Gold and Pinks

Lacquer Love Chanel Inspired Gouache and Acrylic Abstract Painting

But, if I hadn't done my own shopping, here are a few things I would want:

New Wunder Unders from lulu:
Wunder Under Crop

This new lululemon Swiftly long-sleeved tee. Currently not available in the US, so I'm hoping it comes out soon. I love the zigzag pattern. And the color. 

One more lulu item - these Studio Crops. These are not something I would really ever think I wanted. But I tried them on the other day and they are oh-so-comfy, so I'm thinking I need them. 

New Jonah dress from Lilly Pulitzer:

This necklace from Baublebar

Pinned Image
If pressed, I bet I could come up with some more things, but that seems like a good list to start with. 

Hope you all have a good Thursday!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Not In the Mood.

Dinner. That's what I'm not in the mood for. I don't want to think about it. I don't want to plan it. I don't want to cook it. I don't know what's wrong with me, but I am in a major cooking rut. It's like I can't even wrap my brain around planning meals for a night, much less a week.

It's not that I don't like to cook. I actually love to cook. I hate planning meals, though. HATE. And for some reason, I don't have a tried and true menu that I always cook from. I think that's the the problem with loving-to-cook. When my schedule was less hectic that it is now, I used to love to experiment with new recipes, making something new and different several times a week.

 Pesto Stuffed Shells
via here and here

Now? I'm happy to just scramble some eggs and call it a night.

I have tons of yummy-looking recipes pinned on Pinterest. I have a huge collection of Bon Apetit and Cooking Light magazines. I have some amazing cookbooks.But motivation? I have none.

And, I'll be honest. This is what I'd really like to make and eat:

I'm actually a lot better in the winter, which is sad because summer food is so much better. But some of the easy factor goes away with the yumminess of summer's bounty. Who wants a hot cassrole in the middle of August? Not me. And frankly, I don't even like to buy produce from the regular grocery store in the summer.  Tomatoes from Mexico? That's just silly. I live in North Carolina. I'm a stones throw from miles and miles of farmland.

I'd rather get fresh, local fruit and veggies from the farmer's market. But, of course, that is kind of a haul, and it's hot out there, and I have the kids, and blah blah blah. Just another excuse to order take-out.

So, here I sit, at 2:30 on a Monday afternoon, with no idea what's for dinner. NO IDEA. At this point, it's a toss up between cereal and a frozen pizza.

Anyone know what wines go best with Honey Nut Cheerios?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Flying Squirrels and Crazy Parents. Must be the Olympics.

Like the rest of you (presumably), I am loving the 2012 Summer Olympics. And I am especially loving the US women's gymnastics team, as well as both the men's and women's swim teams. My Ryan Lochte obsession is no secret, and I'm not alone in my lust huge respect for him.

Here are a few Olympic-related things that have been on my mind:

1) Can I train my kids to be Olympic athletes? If not, can I instill in them the kind of drive found in those athletes? Because seriously? Dedicating your life to your craft is kind of an amazing thing, not found in most of us. I want my kids to watch these athletes and WANT to be like them. I want to light a spark in my children that is even a fraction of what the Olympians have. I don't think that's something you can teach, though. I think it's something you either have or you don't. I envy those that have it.

(On a side note, how do the gymnasts even figure out that they can do all those crazy moves? Insane.)

I watch Jordyn Weiber with nothing but awe. Let's put aside the fact that she didn't make it to the individual finals. She's still a champion. You can just look at her and see her drive, her determination, her desire to be the best. She seems so focused, so in the moment.

image via
PHOTO: Jordyn Wieber of the United States of America performs on the floor exercise in the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England.

Of course, seeing her disappointment the other night was nothing short of heartbreaking. When she was in  the audience of the individual final, though, she was all smiles, happy for her teammates, cheering them on.

2. Gabby Douglas is nothing short of adorable. I personally think she looks like she could be Michelle Obama's child. And she's got some massive talent:

3. The other night, Morgan pointed out that McKayla Maroney always looks like she's up to no good. Of course, that's all I can think about whenever I see her now, and I find that infredibly endearing. Take a look and tell me you don't agree:

McKayla Maroney Photograph 

Adorable. Love her. 

4. Ally Raisman's parents are nuts. Stage parents extrordinaire. Then again, I can't imagine the anxiety involved in watching your child try to achieve an Olympic medal. But still. If you somehow missed this, please watch below:

And, just to change gears to wrap things up, here's something I came across on Facebook the other day. Truer words never spoken: