Cheez Its, Renovations, and Dark Under Eye Circles

Exactly one month ago, I received a text message from my contractor, “I’m coming tomorrow, starting at 8:30 am, ok?”

“Yes. Of course, ok,” I enthusiastically messaged back. We were having our guest powder room redone – most expenses paid from my parents and in laws.  Awesome housewarming present!  (Thank you so much!)

About six months ago, we thought our contractor was going to start, let’s call him big D, and we rushed out to purchase the vanity and toilet, picking it out and purchasing it in one day, the very same day that we bought a new car- How’s that for cramming it all in! Well, it was a mistake, and as much as my husband will try to convince me, you cannot pick out something major for your house in one clean sweep.

Fast forward to the present time, and Big D, puts in the vanity, which I hadn’t even thought about or re visited since it has been sitting in our garage for the past six months, and I hated it! Well, Big D was not happy and neither was I, which pretty much summed up how this past month went.

It has been one hell of a month, with a major snowstorm every week, school closings, delayed openings, freezing temperatures, stir crazy children, big D trying to complete this project which would have taken a week but took an entire month. 

There were blips along the way like the awful vanity, which I will repeat, caused anger and frustration on his part and severe anxiety on my side…Picture my face, frozen in fear, white as a ghost when told I needed to get a new vanity in a day or two so he could continue his work.  In a past life, that would have been an exciting adventure…latte in hand, gabbing to my Mom about ideas,  (Mom has been in Florida on vacay for the past month so no help there), perhaps popping in to the nail salon for a little mani – pedi pick me up, meeting a friend for lunch, and browsing in stores to find the perfect vanity..

SCREEEEECH! Stop this fantasy right now- I don’t even think I ever even had that sort of an experience, and probably never will, well, not for at least twenty years!

So back to reality – as I look down at my grandma hands- yup, I’m only 37 but these hands look like they have been through the war..rough, red, wrinkly skin, sorry looking cuticles, and the nails actually look like they have had animals gnawing on them at night. These hands are truly a tragedy.

Right, so me and my sad hands had to corral the girls into the car, get on my way, and just start shopping.  I forgot snacks, I forgot shoes for Arianna, and I forgot that I was a real person for the next two days.  I felt like I lived in a car, in stores, and only ate Cheez Its.  I cannot tell you how many Cheez Its we ate in the past month… Between my nervous munching and my desperate choice of lunches and dinner for these girls as we drudged along store after store, aisle after aisle, looking for items for this bathroom.  I feel horrified thinking about what that yellow cheesy fakeness has done to our poor digestive systems!

The Cheesy Truth

There were many kind people along the way, the sales clerks who frantically tried to calm down my two year old during her temper tantrums and meltdowns about wanting a certain candy or wanting out of the shopping cart, the kind woman at a local plumbing store who let the little one run around her showcase without her shoes, leaving a trail of crumbs, while touching everything in sight, and the friends who listened to me moan and complain about what a hard time I have had this past month.

I did, finally, find a vanity that I liked, I found a mirror, a chandelier, and the bathroom is essentially done, minus a few personal touches like a window treatment, and hand towels, but it was certainly not easy.

Every time Big D was working, my little Arianna was screaming and crying bloody murder from every sound that he made with the power drill, his compressor, staple gun, hammering, and even his mere 6’ 5” presence, it truly has been an exhausting experience, a mom friend even said to me the other day, “You look so tired,” and another friend was like, “Oh Jill, you need a night out,” and another Mom was like, “Oh you just bring those girls over to me and we’ll have a glass of wine.”  OK- stop right there- a glass of wine? This lady doesn’t really know me- It’s going to take a lot more than that!   

I feel like there is so so much more to write about than just the bathroom getting redone… this past month, every day seemed exactly the same. Groundhog day over and over, same screaming, same routine, same guilty mommy with the snacking, and the lack of stimulating, fulfilling activities, same feelings every morning, I lie in bed thinking to myself – “Today, I am not going to lose my temper, today we will do fun things all day and I will get the laundry done and the maybe mop the floor, and we will start eating better.” Same complaints to hubs every night, same apologizing for takeout or a hodge podge of a dinner, same scenery outside, snow, clouds, gray, dismal sky, and the same Jill, yoga pants, tense, stuffing my face with Cheez Its (those crackers are like CRACK, I never had one in my life until this past year and holy hell, those things are the death of me and my ass! It keeps getting bigger and bigger and the only saving grace to this complete disaster is Kim Kardashian- thank you girl for making the junk in your trunk look fashionable! One part of my body I do not have to pay money for! (Now, picturing all of my readers wondering, hmm, what plastic surgery has this hot momma had- you can tell I’ve been boozing a bit when I start calling myself a hot momma- like my friend and I used to do in the bars in our twenties, ok, probably in our thirties too, after lots of wine…looking at ourselves in the mirror- “damn girlfriend, we are so hot!” wink, wink, remember those days Arianna- my friend, not my daughter )

So- the point is I just have not been in the mood the write this blog lately, but I miss writing, and a few people have said to me, “Hey, I haven’t seen a post in a while.” So here it is.  I will try to write more and so what if life is boring and stress producing- it’s life, right? And at the end of the day, I have these amazing, spirited, awe inspiring, heartbreakingly adorable little girls to cuddle with…AND THAT THOUGHT JUST MAKES ME WANT TO GET INTO BED, PULL OVER THE COVERS, LIE MY HEAD DOWN ON MY PILLOW, SMILE, AND THINK HOW LUCKY I AM, and let’s be honest, sleep, sleep, sleep because sleep is amazing…

Frustrated Stay at Home Mom

Just yesterday I was thinking to myself, you know what, being a stay at home mom is easy- I mean, truly, I don’t have any deadlines, I don’t have a boss breathing down my back, I don’t have annoying coworkers to deal with, I don’t have to commute, I don’t have the stress of having to bring home the bacon…

But after a day like today, I am in shock that I even had those thoughts…

The morning started out with a broken glass, shattered on the kitchen table and all over the tile- glass and liquid everywhere.  I frantically tried to sweep it up, clearly disturbed, and Gia says to me, “But Mommy, your taking too long and I’m huuuungry!”

I looked at her with anger saying “Do you not see what I am doing? Cleaning up the glass that you broke so you don’t step on the slivers that will have us running to the hospital where you will have to get a needle so big….”

“Mom, you left the glass there so it’s your fault,” she retorted.

This statement so eloquently spoken by my daughter was the beginning of my day.  We have a contractor here doing work and my daughter is petrified of any noise that he makes, whether it be banging on the walls , a drill sound, or just his mere presence causes her to scream and cry and run for Mommy- sounds cute doesn’t it but not while you are trying to get two girls dressed and fed and out the door and forget about brushing teeth!

After music class which was still very early in this long day – a 9:30 am class, I temporarily lost my keys- its freezing cold here in New Jersey, I have the two year old in my arms, and I can’t find my car keys anywhere, I am embarrassed to admit I started to tear up, AGAIN…It must be my hormones but I cried a little on the way to music class, Pink’s Just Give Me a Reason blaring in the car, which always makes me cry, just blubbering about how is this my morning over and over again- the rushing, the crying, the frustration, the TOO SMALL clothes- these kids are growing like weeds!

Thank goodness for my friend in music class who actually got out of her car to help me look and she said, “You need another set of eyes.” After searching high and low, she found them in my daughter’s winter coat pocket.

I must have absent mindedly put them in there while busy moaning about my life…

We had a few errands to run in the morning while Gia was at school and it was the usual temper tantrums and such …the day moved on with crying and hysterics on the garage floor, refusing to come inside because I un – snapped her myself.

At this point I was already pooped out but I was invited to a play date- someone I never had a play date with before so I couldn’t cancel on her- first impressions are the most important ones, right? Well, I screwed that one up or rather my two darlings did…get back to that in a second.

In the few hours that we had before heading over to new friend’s house, my daughter, who tortured us with non stop vomiting for a year and a half straight when putting her to bed, decided to revert back to her old ways and hurl the contents of every thing she ate all over my kitchen floor- the reason- I yelled at her, yup, I lost my temper on her, after she insisted on icing the cookies that I made for the play date herself- but the problem was that she was icing and then licking the spoon and the bowl and telling Arianna that she couldn’t help which resulted in major screaming and crying…just writing this is making my heartbeat faster! This is so hard! How do moms do this???

Oh right…they have their children in school for more than two days a week and only two and a half hours at that- I am the only Mom that I know who is basically home all day with these children, and by that I mean children of this age- I know that there are moms who are doing the home schooling thing but they must have some secret, or help, or a husband who comes home at a decent hour!  

We cleaned up, Gia took a mega fast bath to clean off the puke- made it to the play date – the girls were terrible! Arianna screamed and cried when she didn’t get her way and Gia flat out hit me with her dress up magic wand when I said we had to leave…Arianna threw her typical kicking and screaming and thrashing of her legs when I tried to change her diaper, which is always fun at someone else’s house!

The day didn’t get much better and the icing on the cake was the call from my husband saying first he was going to be late and second, his car was dead at the train station.

I didn’t even feel like writing this post because I am tired, frustrated, and to be perfectly honest, sick of writing about these sort of days which seem to happen ever so frequently- I love these girls, I hate these situations.

Something has to change…



Forget me Not

After I finish writing this post, I am going online to purchase some dish towels.  Sounds thrilling, doesn’t it? But we need them. I don’t know where they went. I used to have an entire stack of thirsty dish towels but they just disappeared.

What is going on in my life and home? These are not the only items that have mysteriously vanished.  Plastic measuring cups are gone, socks, and various pots and pans…but the most astonishing disappearing act of all is my with-it ness, my former knack of remembering small details, and my short term memory.

It’s really bad, I stand in the kitchen, open a cabinet, and have no idea what I am looking for! I think I’m too young for this sort of problem…oh wait, I think I read about this phenomenon somewhere, it’s called- The Saga of the Brain Cell Sucking Children.

Today, upon entering my favorite store, Target, it’s actually not my favorite, it’s just those red carts are a nice size and the plastic seems softer than other stores for my toddler’s precious behind. I’m kidding- I’m not that obsessed with my child’s utter comfort ( for some reason, I am envisioning those tiny dogs that people tote around – they are called sleeve dogs, and no amount of pampering is too much.)

I’m nothing like that- you should see us hurdling down the sidewalk on a freezing, winter day- kids have no hats, no gloves, coats opened, summer shoes with no socks! I’m telling you, it’s next to impossible to get them out of the house- I am lucky the kids are wearing clothes at all…There’s something to be said for fresh air- it does wonders for your soul- who cares about frostbite?

So after entering Target- for a return, just a return, but on that topic, who can seriously go to Target for just a return?  I always have at least one thing I need or could use.  Take this afternoon, for example, we needed saran wrap, so on the journey to the paper products aisle, I see all of this unnecessary merchandise that I suddenly have to have.

To go all that way to the store, struggle with the very exhausting act of getting my girls ready, out the door, in the car, into the store, and not buy something would seem silly and wasteful of my precious time. Right?    

Within seconds after barreling through the automatic doors, Arianna just took off running. I think she thought we were at the gym and she was going to make sure she got her sprints in before we hit the weights.  That girl saw a Valentine’s Day display of neon pink underwear and made a run for it…

I was in shock, she has run off on me before but never at the onset of the trip. Gia and I went running after her and found her sprawled out underneath a table of clothes.  It really was pretty comical- she is a crazy little girl. She was just laughing and rolling around, come to think of it- maybe she thought she was in music class.

I got her up and we made it back to the cart area where she acquiesced to sitting with the promise of a cookie.   The rest of the outing was typical- a typical trip to Target with little ones…the whining, the asking for treats, and the embarrassing comments.   

“Mommy- why did that girl say hello to me? I don’t even know her,” exclaimed Gia repeatedly.

“You know what, my Mommy said that Daddy is a bummer head,” said an informative Gia to the cashier.

“Do you need tampons?” said Gia loudly.

I put my head down and push the cart as fast as I can to where I have to go…in fact, I was practically sprinting to get out of there today as my head was spinning, my mouth was hurting from the frozen, permanent smiling, that is often plastered on my face when shopping with the girls.  I have truly mastered the calm mommy appearance while out in public.  In fact, I actually was told from a salesclerk once on my way out of Kohls that she and her coworkers were admiring my peaceful demeanor as Arianna was banging on the glass doors screaming “Go, go, go…”

If they only knew what was going on inside my head…”Please God, give me the strength to make it out of here without falling down.” Or “Please help me bypass those chocolates that look so delicious and would in fact give me at least a two minute mental break from the grips of this temper tantrum!”

Once home and reassessing my trip, I realized I forgot the dish towels! Ugh! Darn it- it’s like the worst feeling ever to have forgotten something after all that trouble! It feels like watching a show on my DVR and finding out the tail end of the show was deleted! Just leaves you so let down… and that is how I felt about these dish towels!

Today its dish towels, tomorrow its toilet paper, yesterday it was toothpaste.

What’s next? I’ll most likely forget to feed my children, oh wait, I sometimes do do that.  “What do you mean you’re hungry? Didn’t we just eat?”

“Mommy- I’m huuuungry….” Oops, I totally forgot we left the house, went to dance, music, and CVS, lured Arianna away from the Hallmark cards…the girl loves a good cry, started a craft, and never ate!

So, my second Mommy truth is…drumroll please

Write everything down; develop an organizational system to remember things you need, obligations to be met, and dates to remember because children occupy all the corners of your brain!  Even when you think you have it all together, you’re organized, you’re on top of things, you totally have this mommy thing down pat, your strolling about in Macy’s feeling exceptionally light and free, and you hear a page, “Jill, will you come get your lost party.” 

Gee- what an irresponsible parent losing their child, you think to yourself… Jill, Jill, Jill –  that name sounds awfully familiar.  Oh My God- that’s me!