Friday, November 30, 2007

O,O, Oprah...

So amazingly I had a few minutes this morning when I could sit down with my coffee and watch a taped episode of Oprah. It was the one about hairstyles and she had all these stylists for the stars on there who did normal people's hair for the show. It was very amazing and entertaining to see the transformations of these women. A lot of talk on this show, as well as pretty much every Oprah show, is about taking care of yourself and loving yourself and all that jazz. She always has moms on there who haven't cut their hair in years or are still wearing high waist tapered jeans or something like that. These sweet women come on there and go from zero to hero in a matter of minutes. Oprah always asks, "Don't you feel like a new person? What has been holding you back from taking care of yourself?". The answer they give is always the same..."I have three (or however many) kids." Then they chat about how important it is to take care of yourself, to not let yourself go, to do things for yourself, blah, blah, blah.

Here's the thing...I totally agree with the fact that us moms need to take care of ourselves. But seriously, who's got the time or MONEY to get that stuff done? I mean, I just darkened my hair so that I wouldn't have to have it colored anymore, and then the Mariah Carey stylist says that the most important thing you can do for yourself is to keep coloring your hair. All these women on the show had their hair pulled back in ponytails or buns or whatever and then they got their hair done and they looked amazing - not a ponytail in sight. Seriously, though, I HAVE to have my hair completely out of my face all day or else it will get a)pulled out from the roots by Zoe, b)filled with rice cereal and smashed peas, or c) pulled out from the roots by me when I'm losing my mind. I have thought over the past few days that maybe I need to just go short again. It's so much easier that way, but gals who need to lose 40 pounds really shouldn't cut their hair extremely short, if you know what I'm saying.

I know I'm vain. Never has this been more apparant than in the last few months. I guess it's because I wake up in t-shirts, shower (if I'm lucky) and dress for the day in t-shirts and pants with no zipper, greet my husband at night wearing my third t-shirt of the day (because the others have shoulder-puke stains), and then put on my sexy, you guessed it, t-shirt to go to bed again at night. Sometimes I try to trick myself and wear a tank top, but the "girls" (as Stacy London calls them on "What Not to Wear") really cannot be contained by tank tops these days. They need to be strapped in at all times by bras with thick straps and bands to lift and separate (heavy emphasis on the "lift"). By the way, all you mommies out I the only one who has to physically LIFT them into the bra ever since I've had kids? It's unbelievable.

But as I write these things I am reminded by that tiny little soft voice that I desperately love, but strain to hear, that I am exactly who I am supposed to be. Truth comes flooding in, trying to win the day over the other voices swirling in my head and all around me. Truth that says that I am crazy is that?

Oh God
help me
to believe
the truth about myself
no matter
how beautiful it is!
(Seasons of the Heart by Macrina Wiederkehr)
So I guess I'll take my saggy boobed, bunned hair, Beefy-T'd, beloved self upstairs now and get ready for my day.
Love to all in blogland!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

C'mon baby...kick them Daisy's...

OK, so this pic is from last month at a thing at church. I've been meaning to post it because it cracks me up. This is a picture of Maggie with our good friends Beth and Cassidy. Please look at my four year old daughter. What the heck is she doing? She is most definitely posing, but I mean, what the heck?! Hilarious. I think we've been watching too much "Dancing With the Stars".

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Christmas in Florida and Thanksgiving Pics

Tori and Nonnie

Ian naps with Num-Num

Maggie at her Thanksgiving Feast

Maggie and I meet sweet baby Sam

Aunt Susan and Maggie made special cookies on Thanksgiving Day

Cousin Amanda and Zoe

Uncle Matt playing with Zoe

So last week we were in Asheville and it looked and felt like snow. Today I am setting up Christmas stuff, which is quite a trip with a four year old helping. There's Christmas music playing on the ipod, Santas and nativities everywhere, stockings hung on the kitchen counter with care (no fireplaces in Jax)...and it's 70 degrees outside. No joke. I have my windows open, glass doors flung wide, and a short sleeved shirt on. I can't decide if I like it or hate it. I mean, I LOVE the fresh air year-round, but there's just something about snuggling up with a cup of hot chocolate in front of a roaring fire. Who am I I'd be doing that this year.

Tonight is the finals of Dancing With the Stars and let me just say that if Marie Osmond wins then I'm going to have to gnash my teeth or something. I mean, come on America.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Turkey Day

So we're here in Asheville with Ian's mom and his family and it's so great. Someone has literally been holding one of my babies the ENTIRE time we've been here. And I actually got to read part of a People magazine this morning...Sexiest Man Alive issue...even better. That's one of my favorite pastimes in coming to Nonnie's house - she always has great magazines and cool spa-like products in our guest bathroom.

Just to update you, Mom's out of the hospital and doing great. Jeannie had her baby and after two days of deliberating, they decided to name him Samuel Kelly McCormick. (Kelly is her hubby's name). He's so precious and little, though he's only a couple pounds lighter than Tori is at 6 months. I'll attach pics later.

One thing I'm so grateful for this year is my blog. It has helped me stay sane and given me an outlet to air my craziness over the past few months. Thanks for reading it - and even if no one's really reading it, I just love doing it. I love cracking myself up, and wish I could tell you all the thoughts that go through my head that I just can't or won't write about on this thing. Hey, I'm a mommy and don't want to embarass myself too much!

Hope you are all eating tons of Turkey, pie and Chardonnay today! Naps for everyone!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Smith saga continues...

I think we always have so much drama in my family because there are so many of us. Yesterday my Dad called to tell me that Mom was in the ER because she had her heart attacacardia (pretty sure I just butchered the spelling of that). She gets it from time to time, but this time it lasted longer than usual. So the doc sent her to the hospital and they got her heart rate back down pretty quickly. She is having to stay in the hospital for a couple nights, though, just to make sure everything's ok and there was no damage done to her heart.

Meanwhile, just a few floors away, my sweet sister, Jeannie, and her belly and her husband are checking into a room today to have that baby! Wow. The Sloans take over Baptist Hospital, which, coincidentally, is where my Dad works on the psych ward. Crazy.

Thankfully, we are headed to Asheville today for Thanksgiving and were already planning to spend the night in Columbia tonight. So, I'll get to see the baby and the sister and the mama. Whew. Praying everyone will be allright. It's one of those days you want to stay on your knees all day - but then you can't because how would you feed your children, pack your entire family up, and do all the other everyday stuff? Praying as I go...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I really resist "starting" Christmas until after Thanksgiving, but I just had to grab a taste of it yesterday. I was taking Maggie and some friends to a birthday party and had just enough time to run into Starbucks with my $25 gift certificate. There's just something about that place. Even getting out of my gacked up van and walking toward the door I started to take deep satisfying breaths as I smelled the scent that means happiness to moms with young kids. The coffee aroma just flows all around the outside of that store and I am seriously transported to my happy place. I know it sounds crazy, but it's true.

I've felt this way about Starbucks for quite some time. I remember after I had Maggie four years ago, I was out getting groceries or something and realized that the Harris Teeter had tacked on a Starbucks. I hadn't gotten out too much at that time and I remember thinking, "there is a world out there, and it's all happening at Starbucks." Seriously, I looked in at all the normal people grabbing their grande non-fat soy lattes and I knew that I had to walk in. So I did, and instantly (I'm not exaggerating, sadly) I felt like I was a person again. How do they do that? How have they managed to bottle up happiness, which I know, I know is circumstantial, in one little outrageously expensive coffee shop. I'm not sure, but they do it...and they do it well.

Back to the task at hand. This feeling still exists and is available to me just minutes from my little townhouse in Jacksonville. So, I succumbed to the desire for normalcy and I walked in yesterday to get a drink and feel the love. The Christmas part comes in here...they have literally the best drink ever right now and I inhaled them last year when I was pregnant. It's the peppermint mocha and it's divine. But somehow those genius baristas and their marketing friends have found a way to make it even more divine. Now there's the White Peppermint Mocha and I am not kidding when I say that it made me happier than a cup of coffee should. It's delicious. You gotta try it. It wakes you up, tastes like liquid candy, and goes straight to your thighs...doesn't get any better than that. (Thanks Jeannie, for calling me this week and tipping me off to this new treat. Coincidentally, Jeannie is nine months pregnant and is due TODAY, so she deserves all the mochas she can handle. Get them now while you still can waddle yourself in there without three children in tow!).

So Starbucks, I salute you. Real men of genius - Mr. "Transport you to Another Place with an Outrageously Good and Pricey Cup of Coffee" guy. And not just the coffee...the whole experience - it smells good, looks great, makes you want to bring your laptop just to look like you're working and cool, has cushy/chic chairs, mood music, and more choices than you could possibly want in coffee. I'm sold - you did it - I buy the whole package...hook, line, and cappucino.

By the way, "" is another "Sloan-ism" that just means "jidge", which is another "Sloan-ism" that means awesome. Use them with style and flair and at your discretion.

Friday, November 16, 2007

I'm a sucker...

Since Leslie, my sister-n-law, is my hero and I want to be just like her, I'm copying her idea and pasting this site onto my blog today. Also, if I do this, I get entered into a contest and could win fun stuff (yeah, right). Anyway, this really is a great site and I love to check it out all the time.

Cool Mom Picks Holiday Guide

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Whose house...

RUN'S HOUSE! Ok, it's 8 pm on Thursday night and if you're reading this, then you need to step away from the computer and walk briskly to your TV to watch Run's House on MTV. It's seriously hilarious and it makes me so happy. Ian's at a work dinner, all the kids are asleep, I've got a glass of chardonnay and a bowl of pasta, and Rev Run on the tube. A great end to a crazy day.

Seriously, you need to tivo this or watch it. It's really wholesome and hilarious.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

How to comment on this blog...

This pic has nothing at all to do with this post. It's just cute and I wanted to include it. It's Maggie and Nate and Watts at the park last week. How sweet!

So, we've been home all day every day this week. Maggie has a fever and sore throat so there's that. Also I have been trying really hard to keep the schedule going for the twins. It's going pretty well. I have seen a big change in Tori - she is eating more and napping better than before. And Zoe's just kinda rolling with the punches, as long as I keep her doped up on Tylenol and Baby Orajel. The girl's trying really hard to bust out a tooth and she screams her head off when the drugs wear off in the night.

To prove to you how much of a black hole I live in, Ian had to convince me the other night that Thanksgiving IS actually next week. I just didn't believe him and thought he was wrong. It's like I went to bed in May and woke up in time for the holidays. Except for the fact that I haven't gone to bed much at all since May, but you get the picture. So I'm frantically trying to make a Christmas budget, which never works, and figure out what to get for the Sloan/Hund/Smith masses this year. Anyone know a good gift for nieces and nephews for under $10? I'm serious. Let's help each other out! Let me know if you have any ideas, especially since I have 5 to buy for.

My Christmas tip for the day is this: has the cutest stationery and other stuff - and all of it is 40% off right now with free shipping! It's a cute site - check it out. Another tip for those of you who have to buy for kids - check out the Disney store this time of year. They usually have their costumes on major sale and those tend to be a flashy, big hit for Santa gifts.

So, if any of you have any great gift ideas, please comment and let us know. Share the love!

Oh, by the way, here's how you leave a comment, for those of you who have asked...
*Click the comments tab at the bottom of the post
*Type your comment in the space provided and include your name so I'll know who it's from
*Under the comment space you can either check the "anonymous" circle to post your comment, or if you have a google account then you can sign in there
*Don't worry when it doesn't show up right away. I have the comment moderator on so that some wacko won't post crazy comments that I don't want on my little site.
*Your comment will come to my email and I'll ok it and post it
Easy enough? Now get rollin!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sleep training

OK, so Ian and I reached our breaking point this week and we now have a "sleep plan" for our little family. It sounds so wierd to say that because we have always been people and parents who, well, don't really get with sleep plans. We just kind of do our thing and trust our instincts, and basically make fun of people who read these books and follow these plans to make your parenting life a breeze by scheduling your babies to death.

I wouldn't say that we're necessarily eating our words now, but we have moved into the "read a book because we're desperate" position. The voices in my head have been saying, "they're just babies...they're twins and they already have to cry a lot during the day...they're on antibiotics...Tori doesn't even weigh ten pounds yet...maybe if I feed them they'll go back to sleep so I can salvage some rest from this night...". But then the voices started sounding more like, "what the heck is WRONG with her...and what the heck is wrong with am I ever going to make it through the day tomorrow...why didn't I get some Krispy Kremes to make it through the night...these kids are almost 6 frickin months old and they need some sleep...I can't believe I'm almost 40 and I'm still getting up with children...come to think of it, I can't believe I'm 40, period."

So, to make a long story longer, I heeded the suggestion of a couple friends and got the book, "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child." I have to admit that I do like it because, as my sweet friend Harriet says, it covers all different scenarios. (When she came over the other day, she saw the book on my table and told me she'd read it cover to cover three times!) If something's going on with your child, it's touched on in the book. And, the author/doctor allows for different parenting types. See, that was my problem with all the baby books. It seems like the books want you to be so rigid about your child's schedule that you can't flex for anything. That bugged me, but now I am so desperate that I am willing to give up any semblance of a social life in order to sleep. That's not really true - we did get the girls a nap yesterday morning, but then dragged them to Maggie's soccer game and on to the Jacksonville Fair. But, point being, the book has at least gotten us to form a plan and try to stick to it.

Now we're getting them up at the same time in the morning, putting them down for a couple naps a day, and putting them to bed early - then letting them cry if they wake up at night (unless there's something wrong, of course). It's going pretty well. They have cut their crying time down to about 30 minutes and then they go back to sleep. Ian and I split up the night and one listens out while the other wears earplugs. It makes for some great sleep! Even if it's 4 straight hours, it's heavenly to not have to listen out.

Basically, now I am one of those annoying moms who when you ask how she's doing, she tells you her babies' eating and sleeping schedule for the last 24 hours. But the reason for that is because that's literally all I think about and focus on. It's like an obsession, but that's just the season I'm in right now.

Now that I've bored you all to tears, I'll sign off. I'll try to live some exciting life between now and the next time I blog, so that this will be a little more fun to read. Don't hold your breath, though.
By the way, here's a pic of my cute sister, Jeannie, and her adorable family on Halloween. She is due any day now with boy #3. Wow. And welcome to sleeplessness, J! Love you!

Friday, November 9, 2007

More pics

We had a great time seeing Nana and Papa last week too. Nana is doing you can see, she's at home and is recovering. My grandfather is like Baby Ambien - literally every time he holds one of our babies they fall into the most peaceful sleep. Seriously, it's the most adorable thing you've ever seen. And frustrating, because why won't they sleep that way for me? Maybe it has something to do with the humming, rocking, bottom patting and round belly to rest on? I don't know, but it's darn cute.

We also got to see Granny Franny and Lawton after Granny Lee's funeral. It was great to get to see them, and for the twins to meet Uncle Lawton! Sadly, I don't have the pics on my computer because we traded cameras with Sandy. I'll have to get them from her and post those pics, because they are pretty cute!

Pics from last week

Here are some more pics from last week at Sandy's and my mom's. As you can see, Maggie was Pocahontas - which cracks me up because out of all the Disney characters to choose, she chooses the one that looks the least like her. So funny with the wig. The twins were two peas in a pod, Nate was Superman, and Watts was the red Power Ranger - who I'm sure has a name, but I don't know it. We don't roll with Power Rangers around here. Unless the character wears pink and does pirouettes, I don't know her name. Anyway, enjoy!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

So much to update you on...

So hilarious to watch Zoe in this johnny jump up. About as hilarious as it is to see Tori try to get in there. I mean, when Tori's in the jumpy, it's literally like placing a newborn baby in there and expecting the baby to go to town. Only Tori can hold her head up and she's strong as an ox. Seriously, pound for pound she's stronger than anyone else in our family. She could easily slip through the leg holes, though. So funny...I'll try to get a picture of it.

It's been a lifesaver, though, with Zoe. Zoe is the most butterball-ish, kissable little kid, but she definitely likes to be held, which is a problem if you have two babies, a four year old, and only two arms to yourself. So needless to say, the jumpy has been a blessing.

Amazing how excited I get when we pull out a new toy for the twins to use. The exersaucer now has a porminent place in our den, though Zoe won't get with it yet and Tori's little feet won't reach the bottom. Seriously, though, there is so much gear in my house that in any given place in the townhouse you are just a few short steps away from another place to place the babies. I knocked the mess out of my leg the other day when I was simply trying to to get from the kitchen to the couch. There are car seats, bouncies, bumbos, johnny jump ups, exersaucers, swings, pack-n-plays, and other various baby-gear items everywhere! Not to mention Polly Pocket's numerous outfits dotting the floors of every room. Our vaccuum cleaner bag is full of teeny-tiny platform shoes that Polly has lost along the way.

By the way, I'm now a brunette, as you can see from my picture with pocahontas on Halloween. I'm going back to my roots...literally.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

What's up in blogland?

Hey folks. Sorry for the major hiatus, but we were out of town for about a week and a half. We went up to SC for Granny Lee's funeral, then we went to Asheville for the weekend to visit Ian's mom. Next, the kids and I spent the week at my parents' while Ian was on a business trip and then at a retreat. Whew. I'm exhausted, and so are the kids. We all have snotty noses, and droopy, sleepy eyes. I'll write more when I can, but for now, know that I have missed my times at the computer! My parents, bless em, are still using dial up, so it's tough to get online much. (Not dogging you, mom and dad...well, I guess I am).

Just a few bullet points that have run through my head over the past couple weeks:

*Hate to admit that Hillary is right about the village
*Grandparents are life-savers...literally. Not sure if the twins would be here if it weren't for the grands relieving me of my duties in the middle of the night.
*Note to self...don't try to drive home from the zoo in Columbia if you have twins in your car and President Bush is in town, or a 20 minute trip turns into a two hour sightseeing tour of the cotton fields in rural SC. ("Smiling faces, beautiful places...ahhhh!")
*The Johnny jump up is the greatest invention of the 21st century.
*Right behind Zanax, Zoloft, white wine and chocolate