Friday, January 27, 2017

The Angst of Almost 40

"Do you realize that we are the oldest people here?" my husband whispered in my ear.

"Yes!" I replied. "I was just noticing. When did THAT happen?!?!"

We were attending our niece's third birthday party. As David and I stood together looking out over the rest of the scene, there were swarms many little ones running around dressed up in princess dresses and superhero costumes. There were moms wearing sleeping infants and dads bouncing or bottle feeding babies. Meanwhile, our three daughters were the "big kids" who were helping with princess hairdos, temporary tattoos, and painting tiny fingernails. On the way there, we had been discussing the oldest one's impending Driver's Education classes. Now, as we stood there, we found ourselves in some kind of alternate universe.

Age never used to bother me and I always used to say that people just need to relax about birthdays and turning the next big number. Until recently, anyway. 

You see, my 40th birthday is just around the corner and, suddenly, my "age is just a number" attitude has turned into a  "Screw you, 40!" outlook. I want to flip 40 the bird, cuss it out, and punch it. It's messing with my mind and my emotions and I really just want to fast forward a few weeks to my birthday and get it over with - or, better yet, to a few weeks after my birthday when I can look back and say I survived. 

What makes 40 so bad you ask? Well, I'll tell you.
For starters, I started gaining weight a couple years ago. Despite dieting and a gym membership, I gained more (and didn't lose any). Good news - after two years, it seems that perhaps I have "settled in" to my new weight and stopped gaining. Bad news - that weight is 40 pounds and 3 pant sizes larger than I want to be. 

Next, is the crazy hormones. I get so grumpy that I get on my own nerves and the next minute I'm tearing up over some song on the radio. It's not just once a month, either. It's ALL. THE. TIME. It's like I have PMS 24 hours, seven days a week! ðŸ˜Ŧ I'm sure my husband and kids think that I'm completely losing my mind. Maybe I am. 

Also, it's like my biological clock has morphed into a ticking time bomb. After having my third baby, I was completely done having kids - never any doubt about it for me. I've never had any desire since then to have another baby and I've enjoyed the changes as my kids got older. In the past, if I was at a birthday party surrounded by a billion toddlers and crying babies, I'd be thinking "Better you than me!" Now, it's not so much that I want to get pregnant and have another baby (Heck no!!), but that I really, really miss when my girls were babies instead of the moody, surly tweens and teenager they have become. I miss my days being filled with dirty diapers and nap times, instead of precalculus, teacher conferences, and slamming doors. I want to zap my girls back into squishy little nuggets of pink and cuddles again. 

Then, there are these stupid hearing aids. Yep - you read that correctly. Early onset hearing loss runs in my family. Two years ago, I started having a constant ringing in my ears. When I went to the doctor, I was told that it was because I had some hearing loss and the ringing was actually my brain trying to replace the sound frequencies it could no longer hear. The only way to fix it was with hearing aids. I wasn't even remotely ready then, but after 24 months of the incessant ringing, I was seriously losing my mind. So, I decided that I had no choice but to at least try the hearing aids. I've had them for about 3 weeks and so far, they are not helping (as far as that tinnitus is concerned) and pretty much every minute of every day I loathe the discreet little devices and the fact that I need them. The timing of it all is like rubbing salt on the gaping wound of turning 40. (Also? I deleted and re-typed this paragraph three times because it's something I totally avoid talking about and try to hide as much as possible. Ultimately, I left it here out of spite and contempt for the whole thing.)

Finally, there's the ironic slap in the face that my 40th birthday will fall on Ash Wednesday this year. Seriously?!?! I work at a church so my schedule pretty much revolves around the Christian seasons such as Advent and Lent. Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent - a season of 40 days that traditionally involves the giving up of something (fasting) in preparation for easter Sunday. While Easter is a joyous Christian celebration, the time of Lent leading up to the celebration is considered a time of reflection, penitence, and darkness. On Ash Wednesday in particular, the tradition is to have ashes imposed on the forehead in the shape of a cross while a pastor recites Genesis 3:19, "You are dust and to dust you will return." So, hearing that repeatedly as we enter a period of darkness on my big 4-0 day will just be AWESOME!!! 😜 (Ok - maybe this is being a little overdramatic, but please reference the previous paragraph about perpetual PMS.)

For many of my friends and family, turning 40 is a memory in their rearview mirror. They all survived, perhaps with the help of some new reading glasses or vitamin supplements and the addition of a few extra pounds, but they survived. I'm sure I will, too. I will conquer 40 and everything that comes with it. I'm hoping to discover that the angst of being almost 40 is actually much worse than the reality of being actually 40. Eventually, I'll hit 50 or 60 and, then, 40 probably won't seem so bad. For now, though, I'm going to wallow in self-pity, keep cursing under my breath, and go apologize to all the people I ever said "Age is just a number!" to.

Have any big birthdays been hard for you to swallow? 

Friday, January 20, 2017

40 Totally Random Questions and the Answers You Never Knew You Wanted To Know

Last Monday, my girls were out of school for Matin Luther King Day. Since the kids can't seem to drag themselves out of bed before noon these days (there's another blog post about that percolating!) and my hubby had left early that morning for a business trip, I had some quiet time all to myself. I wanted to write, but, once again, was struggling to find a topic. Ironically, I remembered that a couple years ago, I wrote a post about how to keep your blog content "fresh," so I decided to dig it out. As I was searching through the archives, I stumbled across this 48 Questions post. That type of post seems to periodically make its way around the blogosphere and I always think they are fun, so I decided to create my own. 

I did a little internet searching of some lists of random questions and used several lists I found to compile the following list of my own 40 completely random questions. Then, I answered them! 

Check out my questions and answers, then join the fun by copying and pasting into your blog (if you have one) and filling in your own answers instead mine! Give me a shout in the comments or on Facebook when you do -I'd love to see how others answer these questions, too! 

Do you usually see the glass as half full or half empty? 
I think I have a tendency toward the "half empty" perspective, but I make a concerted effort to have a more "half full" outlook on most things.

What is something that would be really hard for you to give up on?
My kids or my husband. I'm proud of them and can't imagine how they could possibly disappoint me enough to cause me to give up on them. 

Would you give a homeless person CPR if they were dying?
Last year, I took a CPR certification class through my job. One of our trainers was extremely adamant that you should NEVER put your mouth on someone else's mouth without a protective shield (unless they were an immediate relative) and told some horror stories about diseases EMT's and police officers had contracted by not following this advice. So, with that in my mind, I hope I would have the courage to do the chest compressions, but I would not do the breathing. 

What makes you bored?
Ha! What is this "bored" concept? I haven't been bored since my first daughter was born over 14 years ago! 

What is your favorite four-legged creature?
Of course, our dog, Sophie! I've always preferred dogs over cats and I'm allergic to cats. Two of my daughters ride horses and they are pretty spectacular creatures, too. I also love giraffes because they are so quietly graceful.

Do you like spicy food or not? Why?
Not especially. I can handle a little heat, but nothing crazy. It gives me indigestion!

Do you consider yourself old-fashioned?
Yes. I am pretty conservative in many ways which, these days, is often equated with being old-fashioned.

What is something or someone you miss from childhood?
My paternal grandmother, MamMaw. We had a special bond, but she passed away shortly after my first daughter was born. I've always wished she could know my girls. 

Are you usually early, late, or right on time?
Before kids, I was always early. Now, I am usually a little early or on time.

Are you happy with your life - at least for the most part - right now?
For the most part, yes. There are always things I wish I could change, but overall I am happy.

Who is someone you envy.
Carrie Underwood. She is beautiful and she can really, really sing! 

What is your all time favorite book?
My favorite kids' book is Guess How Much I Love You. My favorite adult book is The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. It is amazing! 

What is something you are proud you have achieved?
I'm not perfect, but I'm a good mom with good kids. They will always be my greatest achievement. I also have a strong marriage and I'm proud of that, too, because it's not always easy, but we make it a priority.

What was the worst punishment you received as a child?
I don't really remember anything specific. My parents would send us to our rooms when we misbehaved and on very rare occasion we were spanked. I remember spilling fingernail polish remover on my mom's dresser which took off the varnish when I tried to clean it up. I think that's the most scared I ever was and probably the maddest my mom ever got, but, ironically, I don't even remember how or if she punished me! 

If you could change one thing, ONLY one thing, about your appearance, what would it be?
If I could only change one thing, it would definitely be my weight. I'm not overweight, but I'm certainly not skinny and I've gained more than a few pounds in the last couple of years. I have a very difficult time losing weight, too. I'm at a better place with it emotionally speaking that I was a years ago, but if a genie in a bottle could magically alter my metabolism so that I was slimmer and could more easily maintain that size, I certainly wouldn't refuse! 

What are three things in nature that you find beautiful?
Snow, sunsets, beaches, and mountains. (Yes - that's four!)

If you could do it over, would you choose the same career? What else might you choose if you did it again?
Probably not. I was a preschool teacher, then stay at home mom, and now work part time in children's ministry. I love kids, but if I had it do do over, I think I might have chosen something different. If I was going into college now, I would probably be looking into graphic design, marketing, or journalism.

What is the hardest thing you have ever had to do?
Saying good-bye to my MamMaw, saying good bye to Squirt, becoming a mom, and telling our girls their great-grandmother had passed away would be on the list. There will be harder things to come in the future, I know. 

When was the last time you lied? Why? To whom?
Hmmm . . . I honestly don't know - no lie! It was probably something to do with my kids' Christmas presents. I purchased a family gift certificate to an escape room activity which was so much fun (you should try one!), but not inexpensive and I didn't tell my hubby. Does that count?

What are you listening to RIGHT NOW?
Pandora Today's Country Radio station which is playing "Nothin' Like You" by Dan + Shay.

What is the last thing you ate?
Breakfast - Nature Valley Baked Oat Bites Cereal. Getting ready to eat some of last night's  leftover Chicken Pot Pie for lunch.  

What is something you would happily do again if given the chance?
Go to Paris or Key West! 
I love a good snow day, but this is pretty nice, too! 
What are your five favorite foods?
Pizza, pasta, chicken, Mexican, cereal

What is your astrological sign and do you fit the description? (Click HERE to find out!)
With a March 1st birthday, I am a Pisces. I have never put much stock in astrology, but, overall the description is pretty accurate. Some things that are correct: I am compassionate, overly trusting, faithful. I also like being alone, sleeping, and music. I don't handle being criticized well and I cringe at cruelty. Some things that are incorrect: It says Pisces are artistic, especially musical. I like music, but have little to no musical aptitude and I am one of the least artistic people I know. It also says Pisces like swimming (of course), but I don't like water and only call myself a swimmer when I'm wearing al life jacket! It also says that Pisces are nonjudgmental and tolerant, but I am not nearly as much those things as I should be.  

Do you have a lucky number? What is it and why is it lucky?
When I played high school sports, my number was 12 and I got married on 12/12, so that would be the closest thing I have to a lucky number, but I've never been superstitious about it. 

If you could have two super powers, what would you choose?
Invisibility and super speed. I could do things (like cleaning) and get to places super fast, but when I wanted to be left alone, I could just disappear! 

What is the last dream you remember having?
I rarely have dreams I remember, but for some reason I've had a couple of them in the last week. In the most recent, most vivid, I dreamed that I was in the car with my oldest daughter. (She's 14.) In the dream, she was driving and quite obviously pregnant! ðŸ˜ģðŸ˜ģðŸ˜ģI was in the passenger seat and, of course, very upset. I kept asking her "when did this even happen?!?" She wouldn't tell me who or when and just kept saying, "It's not a big deal, mom!" (All very ironic since she has been getting emails from colleges lately and stressing herself out about choosing a major. She currently says she has no desire to ever get married or have kids.) 

Where did you get married? If you've never been married, what do you envision?
I got married in the church where I grew up. It was a small church and a small wedding. Because it was in December, the church was already decorated with white poinsettias - their tradition - so, all the bouquets and boutonnieres were white roses and the bridesmaids dresses were dark green. We had a small reception in the fellowship hall with heavy appetizers and, of course, wedding cake. No DJ, band, or dancing.

Have you ever been hospitalized for anything other than childbirth?
Just once for gall bladder surgery in October 2003 when my oldest daughter was about 14 months old. 
**My mom reminded me that I was also hospitalized when I was three years old. I was being tested for leukemia, but, fortunately  did not have it. I have always known about it and heard the stories, but I do not actually have any memory of it - probably a good thing as it sounds pretty traumatic! 

What is the appliance you would most hate to live without?
Probably my washing machine. Lately, the kids have been out of school a lot for Christmas break and snow days, and I swear I run my dishwasher at least 2 or 3 times a day, but dishes would be a lot easier to wash by hand than clothes! 

What is the last movie you saw in a theater? Was it good?
During Christmas break, I took the kids to see Sing. It was cute!

If you could ask your future self one question and get a truthful answer, what would your question be?
I go between wanting to know everything and not wanting to know anything! I think if had only one question, it would probably be, "are my kids okay in the future?". 

When was the last time you dressed up in "fancy" clothes and what was the occasion?
It's been so long, I don't even remember! I dress up for church regularly, but the last time I wore a cocktail dress was probably on a business trip with my hubby. This one is the last "special dress" I remember buying and the picture is labeled 2012! Has it been that long, really?!?!? I did go with him to a business conference in New Orleans last spring, but everything there was pretty casual.

How do you like to eat your eggs?
I'm not a huge fan, but if I eat them, I eat them scrambled.

Is there anything stuck on your refrigerator door? What?
Ours is stainless steel, so magnets don't stick to the front. I do stick stuff on the side including a calendar, a small dry erase board for listing groceries to buy, and various appointment reminder cards.

What is the last picture on your phone?
Ha! A picture of the dry erase board that is on the side of my refrigerator so I knew what to get at the store! 

Can you speak a second language? If not, what language would you like to learn?
I took two years of Spanish in high school and remember some words, but I certainly don't speak it. If I was to learn a language, I would probably continue with Spanish.

If you were playing Monopoly, which playing piece would you be most likely to choose? (topcoat, thimble, Iron, shoe, battleship, cannon, racecar, purse, scottie dog, wheelbarrow)
For some reason, I always used to choose the thimble.

Are you good at keeping secrets?
No! Having a secret is like money burning a hole in my pocket. I find myself desperately wanting to tell someone! 

Rollercoasters - love them or hate them?
Hate them! I don't like heights and I don't feel safe on them. 

Whew! That took quite a while over a couple different sittings, but it was fun! Did any of my answers surprise you? What would your answers be?

I'm linking up with Finish the Sentence Friday this week. FTSF is hosted by Kristi of Finding Ninee and this week's sentence was, "If I could only change . . . ".


Monday, January 16, 2017

My Books to Read in 2017

In January 2016, I posted a list of 10 books I wanted to read las year. Confession - I only read three of them. I started a fourth, but just couldn't get into it and watched a fifth in movie version which was really good, so, then, I didn't read the book. 

I did, however, read a total of 15 books on 2016. That number is tiny compared to some of my friends who read 50+  books last year, but it's a pretty good number for me. Part of the reason I didn't read all 10 of my original list was because I kind of went on a Liane Moriarty tangent reading four of her books. 

My favorite books of 2016 were: 
  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (BEST BOOK EVER!!)
  • Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
  • The Light of Paris by Eleanor Brown. 
My least favorites were:
  • Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris
  • After You by JoJo Moyes (Sequel to Me Before You which I loved. The sequel fell very flat in comparison).

I've been researching and checking out other lists of best 2016 reads and upcoming 2017 reads to compile this list of 10 books I'd like to read this year. Hopefully, I can stick to my list for this go-round! 

Books that will become movies in 2017
  • The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman - This is a true story in which Polish zookeepers who, after their zoo is bombed, save hundreds of people fleeing from the Nazis. The movie will star Jessica Chasten and Daniel Bruhl. Click here to watch the chilling trailer.
  • The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin. I'm reading this one now. In short, two strangers, Ashley (a writer who is trying to get to her wedding) and Dr. Ben Payne (trying to get home from a medical conference), have their flights cancelled and share a small charter plane in a last ditch effort to get to their destinations. Inevitably, the plane crashes and the two are stranded in the wilderness. Injured and alone, they must depend on each other to survive. The main characters in the movie, set to be released in October, will be played by Kate Winslet and Idris Elba.
Books that will be released in 2017
  • The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian was scheduled to be published on Jan. 10. Annalee is a chronic sleepwalker whose disorder has led to some crazy scenarios and, now, she has gone missing. As her daughter, Lianna, tries to uncover the mysteries surrounding her mother's disappearance, she is attracted to the detective on the case, but also unearthing many, many questions. The New York Times deems it "a spine-tingling novel of lies, loss, and buried desire."
  • Swimming Lessons by Claire Fullers set to be published on Feb. 7th. Ingrid writes letters to her husband, Gil, but she doesn't give the letters to him. She hides them inside her thousands of books. Twelve years after Ingrid's disappearance, her daughter, Flora, returns home to care for her father and attempts to finally discover what really happened to her mother. She doesn't realize the answers she is seeking are all around her. 
  • Into the Water by Paula Hawkins is expected in May 2017. You may remember Hawkins as the author of the oh-so-popular The Girl On The Train. In this novel, also a psychological thriller, females keep turning up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. When that leaves a teenage girl alone and parentless, her aunt comes to care for her. But, her aunt had previously - and purposefully- run away from this place, vowing that she would never return. 
Books from 2016 (and beyond) That I Want to Read
  • Small Great Things by Jodi Piccoult is not a plot line that I would usually be drawn to, but it has gotten such high praise, I decided to give it a try.  Although Piccoult is an extremely popular author, I have actually never read any of her books. In this one, an African American labor and delivery nurse, Ruth, is told that she is not to touch one of the white infants in the nursery. But, when that infant goes into distress, she has a difficult choice to make. Her decision leads to a court case that becomes a media spectacle and requires people to reconsider things they have been taught their whole lives. 
  • The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer is reminiscent of a female Jason Bourne novel, based on the synopsis. An ex-agent with a very specific skill set, is on the run from her former employers. However, she must take on one final case in an effort to clear her name. Goodreads calls it a "gripping, page-turner."
  • Commonwealth by Ann Patchett was on my friend Dana's list of holiday season reading suggestions and I was intrigued by her description. When Bert Cousins and Beverly Keating have a little rendezvous, their marriages are dissolved and their families are forever intertwined. Years later, when daughter Franny Keating becomes involved with author, Leon Posen, the story of these two families - four parents and six children - becomes the basis for a book that brings him great success and forces that family to face their feelings head on. 
  • The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams is described on as "a story of love and intrigue that travels from Kennedy-era Manhattan to World War I Europe." Vivian Schuyler is an up and coming professional in 1964 Manhattan when she receives a package that leads her into her family's past and the life of her aunt, Violet Schuyler Grant in 1914 Berlin. Violet is enduring a terrible marriage to support her position as a female, American physicist, but, when a British Army Captain enters the picture, she must make some difficult choices. As Vivian delves into the life of an aunt she never knew, she realizes how much they have in common.
  • The Memory of Us by Camille Di Maio is the story of Julianne Westcott, a well-to-do young woman in prewar Liverpool. Julianne learns that she has a deaf and blind brother who was institutionalized since his birth. When she secretly visits her brother, she meets Kyle McCarthy, a groundskeeper studying to become a priest. As war encroaches, Julianne is forced to leave her life behind to protect her loved ones, but after twenty years of hiding from her past, it finally catches up to her. 
There's my list! Putting it all together, I realize that it's quite a bit of historical fiction and suspense. I can't wait to get started!

Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think? What books are on your 2017 reading list?


Monday, January 9, 2017

Currently - January 2017

I used to think of these "currently" posts as a bit of a cop out - just a way to write something when you couldn't think of anything else to write. Maybe they were. Maybe they still are, but, now, after a few months of really struggling to write, I don't see anything wrong with that. Sometimes, what you need to get back to writing is to JUST WRITE no matter what that looks like. 

This new year, after being away from this space much longer than I intended, I have had a burst of ideas and a stronger desire to write. However, I feel sure that will wain at some point and I fear getting "stuck" again, so I'm trying to pace myself. I think that giving myself something consistent, but "easy" will be beneficial in the future if I again find myself in a writing lull. 

Another thing - I really love when other bloggers do these posts. We often write about motherhood or share recipes and books reviews, but sometimes the posts about daily, mundane things are few and far between. I consider many of the bloggers I read to truly be my friends, but because we are spread out all over the country, it's not as if we can sit down together and catch up over a cup of coffee. These "currently" posts are kind of like doing that. So, instead of viewing this kind of post as a last ditch effort to just write anything, I'm viewing it as a chance to have coffee with friends and chat about what's going on in our lives. 

So, I'm currently . . . . . . 

Thinking about my "word of the year" for 2017. The word that keeps coming to mind is "CONTENT." At first, when I kept circling back to that word, I thought it wasn't a very good word to choose - it seemed too complacent. However, defines the word as "satisfied with what one has; not wanting more or anything else" and I think I'm okay with that. I've spent too much time thinking about how I should be (skinnier, more stylish, more social), how my house should be (more updated/renovated, cleaner, more organized), and what I should be doing (more traveling, more family time, more blogging). With my 40th birthday quickly approaching, I think it's time for me to stoping wanting more; wanting different. I think it's time for me to learn to be content with where I am, who I am, and what I have. I also think I'm a lot closer to being content than I have been in the past, so I'm going to strive to continue down that path this year. 

Reading - The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin. I've had it on my Goodreads list for a while, but recently found out that it will be made into a movie this year. In short, two strangers, Ashley ( a writer who is trying to get to her wedding) and Dr. Ben Payne (trying to get home from a conference), have their flights cancelled and share a small charter plane in a last ditch effort to get to their destinations. Inevitably, the plane crashes and the two are stranded in the wilderness. Injured and alone, they must depend on each other to survive. The main characters in the movie, set to be released on October,  will be played by Kate Winslet and Idris Elba.

Loving this new recipe I found for sausage and potatoes. It is so quick and easy, plus super delicious! Here's what you do:
14-16 oz smoked sausage
1 large onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
3-5 potatoes, peeled and diced (or red potatoes quartered)
olive oil
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese.

Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice sausage and place in large bowl with chopped onion, chopped pepper, and diced potatoes. Pour in a couple tablespoons of olive oil and mix it all together well. (Add spices as desired - I just add a little salt and pepper.) Pour onto the cookie sheet and bake for about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese (which, of course, will melt.) Yum!!!

Enjoying winter. Yes, that's right, I like winter. We got our first snow of the season on Friday/Saturday (Jan. 6-7) and it was a doozy - almost 10 inches! That's a lot for North Carolina! The kids had so much fun playing in it and it was absolutely beautiful. My sister in law cam with her two little girls (because her hubby was stuck out of town on a business trip), and that made it even more fun. All three of my girls are out of school today. The two who attend a private school might go back tomorrow - definitely by Wednesday. I wouldn't be surprised if the oldest (who attends a special public high school program) doesn't go back until at least Wednesday, maybe Thursday. 

Listening to "Hallelujah" by Pentatonix. My youngest daughter is obsessed with Pentatonix and I think they are pretty amazing, too. This song was on their third Christmas album. I don't really think of it as a holiday song, though, so I'm still listening to it and it gives me chills every time. Check it out for yourself! 

Writing a lot more than I have been. It feels good to be back to blogging!

Compiling a list of words to use for "Currently" posts. Well, actually, I've already compiled a list and I thought I would share with all of you! 

Contemplating making this whole "currently" thing a monthly linkup. Would you link up? Very general guidelines- use any words you want; as many or as few as you want. Maybe the second Monday of every month??? I've added a linkup below. It will be open for two weeks (thru January 23), so if you would like to link up, please do. I'll see what kind of interest it gets and decide whether or not to make it a regular thing. 

I hope your 2017 is currently off to a great start!


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Five Things That Really Haven't Changed as my Kids Get Older

When my kids were little, I remember thinking that some things would be so much easier when they were bigger. When they could dress and feed themselves; when they could use words to express their feelings instead of just melting down; when the bedtime routine wasn't such an ordeal life would be so much simpler. 

Are you laughing yet?

The truth is that, even though my kids are now 14, 12, and 9, there are some struggles that still haven't changed much at all!

  • We still argue about clothes - When they were babies, they couldn't express what they wanted, so I dressed them in clothes I thought were cute. As soon as they could talk, though, they let me know their own preferences. Only dresses or no dresses; leggings but no jeans; no pink or all pink - and the list went on and on. Now, of course, they dress themselves, but I find myself frequently saying (or at least thinking), "THAT"S what your'e wearing?!?" They are still super picky in different ways and shopping for them is just short or torture. I'm asked multiple times a week if there's any clean laundry and they can NEVER seem to find any clean socks!!!

  • We still argue about sleep- When they were babies and toddlers, I would put them to bed and pray they would fall asleep quickly so I could go to sleep myself. Now, I send them to bed at 9:00 or 10:00 and they argue about going to bed "so early" and I'm still left hoping they will fall asleep quickly. In the mornings, we have a problem opposite of the one we had years ago. I remember Saturdays and holidays past when they were calling, "Mommy!" at 6:30 in the morning and I was silently begging them to go back to sleep. Now, I am begging them to get their backsides out of bed. During summer vacation or holiday breaks, it's a miracle if we can leave the house before noon because it's unlikely they will get out of bed before 10:30. And school mornings???? Don't even get me started! ðŸ˜Ą
  • Our schedule revolves around food - My oldest was exclusively breastfed partially because, no matter how hard I tried, she would never take a bottle. So, as a new mom trying to figure things out, my schedule revolved around where I would be at three hour intervals so I could nurse her. I was a little more relaxed with the next two, but still had to think about when they would need to eat. And, have you ever tried to tell a hungry toddler they need to wait for lunch? Now, they ask what's for dinner as soon as they get in the car after school. I spend hours planning dinner menus, making grocery lists, and figuring out when/how to put a meal on the table in between our crazy schedules. Even choosing a restaurant is like an act of Congress and at least one person always ends up pouting.
  • It still takes forever to get everyone out the door - I used to always be a very punctual person. When I had kids, like many people that changed. When they were little, we had to make sure we had diaper bags, get everyone fastened into car seats, and, inevitably, someone would have a dipper blowout just as we were finally heading out the door. Now, we need backpacks and devices, nobody can seem to find their shoes, and then, they argue over who sits where in the minivan. 
  • They still have temper tantrums - The only difference now is that the tantrums involve eye-rolling and slamming doors along with he crying, whining, and stomping. Fortunately, the tantrums usually happen at home now instead of in the middle of aisle 5 at Target. 
Now that the girls are older, life is still chaotic - it's just a different kind of chaos from when they were little. But, one other thing that hasn't changed  - I still love them just as much as ever!!

Got kids? Did you think it would get easier as they got older?

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