Here it is, Ladies! The latest Giveaway!

Alright, ladies, here it is! The moment you’ve all been waiting for! The new giveaway announcement is here!

I have teamed up with the LOVELY Kathy at The Jamlife with Kathy for this one and we are excited to share this amazing giveaway with you! Kathy is a long-time friend of mine and she is not only amazing in real life, but she is also a fabulous Jamberry consultant!

Ladies, meet my dear friend Kathy:

My life is nothing but crazy chaos every single day. I am a 7th grade teacher and a mommy of a 5-year old and 2-year old. I know….What the heck was I thinking.  I see nothing but kids EVERYDAY!! Between the attitudes of pre-teens and the constant screaming of “MINE” from my kids at home, I wonder why I am not in a straight jacket. I will say that the kisses, hugs, and I love yous (from my little ones) make my days seem better. Don’t get it twisted….I still like to tell the whole truth to those who are looking to jump into the deep end that is the pool of parenthood. If you jump,  make sure you bring you coffee and wine!!!! You will need it. 
I also lead an alternate life as a Jamberry Independent Consultant. I love the fact that I GET PAID TO HAVE PRETTY NAILS. Since I have no time to get my nails done at the nail salon. I apply my Jamberry wraps after the kids go to bed. Once they are on I don’t have to worry about drying or smudging. I can go to bed and rest easy that my nails won’t look like crap when I wake up. On top of that, they last up to 2 weeks on fingers and 6-8 weeks on toes.
I have just recently started using these nail wraps, after winning a giveaway at one of Kathy’s Facebook parties (which, by the way, are awesome because you literally just get all the perks of having a consultant explaining things to you without having to get out of your yoga pants. And you know, I don’t get out of my yoga pants…) They are INCREDIBLE. No kidding. I have spent years NOT doing my nails because I have to wash my hands 4,073 times per day (because toddlers) and I don’t want to deal with all that chipping bullshit that happens. ALL THE CHIPPING, you guys. Anyway, they’re durable. No drying. Literally, NO WORK at ALL. I love. So, Kathy and I are sharing!
Here’s what you can win!
Jamberry Mini Heater –  Provides the right amount of heat for Jamberry nail wrap application.
heater
Application Kit – Everything you need for the perfect manicure. Kit includes: • 2 alcohol wipes• 1 pair of nail scissors•
1 pair of nail clippers• 1 buffer block• 2 orange sticks• 1 rubber cuticle pusher1 nail file
App Kit
 White and Pink Tint Tip wraps – The French Tip collection has something for everyone. Whether you want to be classically chic or super trendy, you’ll find the right tips for you. Lasts up to 2 weeks on fingernails and 4 weeks on toenails.
Pink Tint
Sunday Brunch Wraps – The Garden Party collection features any and all things garden inspired and feminine. From floral to lace, these designs embrace femininity.
Sunday Brunch
This is over a $60 value! You will NEVER go back!
To enter: “Like” Broken Condoms Blog and The JamLife with Kathy on Facebook. (Must be a US resident.) Contest starts at midnight! Winner will be announced on March 1, 2015!!! Mobile friendly entry HERE: http://gvwy.io/zql1m3
GOOD LUCK!

Not Enough Coffee in the World (And Your Chance to Win RAD SWAG!)

I don’t know if you guys are keeping track, but in exactly ONE WEEK, L is turning TWO FREAKING YEARS OLD. Two. I can’t even believe that I am going to have a two-year-old. And then three weeks later, Baby O will be turning ONE. And then I will have a nervous breakdown. I honestly do not know where the time has gone with these two. I went from not wanting kids, and then getting pregnant (on accident) and having a baby girl and falling so in love that I felt my heart might explode, to getting pregnant 35 seconds after she was born (on accident) and then having my little dude, to now having TWO TODDLERS! What in the holy hell is going on?

The amount of noise in my house at any given time is sort of insane. I mean, there is no escape. Someone is constantly yelling around here. Most of the time, it isn’t even angry yelling. Just yelling and screeching and all of those cute baby noises. You know, like amplified by a million because my son has some sort of complex about no one hearing him. He is trying to make sure that everyone can hear him over L’s tantrums. Because we have had some pretty epic tantrums lately. I am amazed that I haven’t broken down and invested in earplugs. I guess I am a glutton for punishment.

L’s birthday party is next Saturday. We decided to just do a little party at a playground because O’s party is about a month from now and I don’t know how I could stand to plan two giant parties at the same time. And we have a pretty big family and circle of friends, so I really just can’t handle all of that. I would have just had one giant party but I didn’t think that would be fair to O, since L got her big first birthday party with the smash cake and everyone celebrating just HER. (She did not smash that cake. I had to buy her a cupcake to smash on her actual birthday. Which may not have been the spectacle I had envisioned because no one was there to see it, but I loved every second of it. And so did she!) So, it is going to be a busy month. I am excited for everyone to come and play with us though. I love parties. LOVE. And guess what! I WON’T BE PREGNANT! SO THERE WILL BE COCKTAILS!

(I heart cocktails.)

L’s potty training is not so much happening. I have been trying with her but she seems more interested in sticking her head in her potty than sitting on it. I don’t understand this. But it is probably better to wait for right now anyway because she is on antibiotics for the second ear infection in two months and it is making her little tummy a battleground. I would rather not have her running around without a diaper at this point in time. (Read: I don’t own a dog because I don’t like poop on my floor.)

O is finally doing some crawling. He is not as lazy as L was when she was this age. He has WAY more desire to get around than she did and I wouldn’t be surprised if, like her, he decided to skip REAL crawling altogether and just start darting across the house. I have a bunch of friends who had babies around the same time as O was born and their babies are crawling and cruising and all sorts of stuff. One is even walking. If I didn’t know how L was at this age, I might be a little worried. But I’m not concerned. He actually CAN cruise a little bit and does whenever he is given the chance. So, there’s that.

As usual, I am exhausted. I feel like my head sort of lives on a cloud somewhere because forming a complete sentence, especially before a cup of coffee or after 7pm has become nearly impossible. But…people tell me that this will get easier. And I am choosing to believe that. And if it doesn’t, everyone who has ever lied to me about it will be getting a throat punch. That is all.

One of my children is currently covered in something that looks like chocolate and the other one is rolling from one end of the living room to the other. So, I guess I should just wrap this up and go ahead and remind you that you have one week to enter the Giveaway over at my FB page! All you have to do is be a resident of the US, “like” my FB page, and then click the Giveaway tab to enter! I won’t give away what the “rad swag” is, but I WILL tell you that a $10 Starbucks gift card is up for grabs and who doesn’t want free Starbucks goodness? (I could use some RIGHT NOW, in fact.) So, go and enter! Thanks and GOOD LUCK!

 

Maybe I’m Doing it Wrong?

I don’t know whether or not being a stay-at-home parent is the hardest job in the world. I haven’t had every other job in the world. I have had my fair share of jobs. Jobs that I was fairly successful in. Jobs that I was pretty confident in. I know that, in comparison to those jobs, this one is definitely the hardest. Definitely.

Staying at home with my kids is undoubtedly the most rewarding thing I have ever done. It is also the most thankless, frustrating, lonely, isolating, and lowest paying thing I have ever done. And I know that I just made being a SAHM sound like the worst thing that anyone could ever do. And it isn’t. But it is, to me, definitely all of those things. But, obviously, that’s just the stuff that makes me want to stick my head in the oven.

Having a toddler is like trying to ride across country on a stationary bike.

I wake up, change her, feed her, play with her, clean up after her, try and deal with 17 tantrums before lunch, feed her again…you know…lather, rinse, repeat. But no matter how much I clean up, she is one step ahead. Destroying some other part of the house. And all that food I just swept up from under the high chair? I think someone just retrieved it from the garbage and placed it right back where it just was. And there is screaming about nap time. And the Today Show. And tooth brushing. And rain. And a closed door. (Like, if there is a closed door ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, my daughter knows about it and she HATES it. Which reminds me of this giant, orange cat I used to have.) I, now, fully understand these “Terrible Twos” I have been hearing so much about. And I hate them. (And then people tell me that THREE is worse. Which is SO AWESOME, because by the time I have a three-year-old, I will also have another two-year-old. I really screwed myself here, didn’t I?)

But this whole merry-go-round of crazy is sort of what I expected to happen with her. I mean, I have met toddlers before. I know they can be pint-size jerk-faces with wicked tempers and strong little wills. I knew that. What I wasn’t expecting, and what I couldn’t have expected not knowing exactly everything about everything, was how hard it was going to be to do all of this toddler stuff, while somehow also managing to keep a very large infant alive. You know, and sometimes even HAPPY.

What I’m saying is that I do all of that toddler stuff. And sometimes I do it while carrying a 25 lb infant. And sometimes there are two VERY unhappy kids in my house, both screaming for me at the same time. One is screaming because “OH MY GOD, THE TODAY SHOW!” and the other is screaming because “OH MY GOD, THAT OTHER SHORT PERSON IS HARSHING MY MELLOW*!” And then I want to cry. I try to hide in the bathroom for sixteen seconds but as soon as the door closes, almost to the point of the click of the knob, there is more screaming. Then more screaming from the other one. I have been discovered trying to sneak away. A door has almost completely closed. GASP!

There are still infinite bottles to wash and fill and feed to the baby. And there are infinite Cheerios and there are infinite tantrums and faces full of spaghetti sauce and diaper changes and nap-time battles and night wakings and sometimes, Mommy just straight LOSES HER SHIT. And sometimes I just wish that I could have A WHOLE DAY wherein no one spoke to me. No one asked me for anything. No one bothered me at all. I would sit by a pool with a book and a cocktail. And I would remember what those days were like when I didn’t have someone attached to me every second of every day.

And then I know I would miss all of this stuff. Because the babies laughing, you guys? The best sound in the world. And I’ve never had a job that paid in baby laughs. (I am not sure I would have accepted that job, though? I mean…that’s a confusing thing to think about. Because I really also like to get paid with money.) And okay, maybe I wouldn’t miss diaper changing. And temper tantrums. But I would TOTALLY miss playing and giggling and hugs and kisses and all the twirling I get to do with my little lady.

But seriously, you guys…hardest job I’ve ever had. And the noisiest. Holy shitballs. The noise.

*Seriously, if you know which movie this is from, you’re as sad as I am for quoting it. Yep. I said it.

**I just read this post by AM and this is absolutely not a rebuttal. I laughed my face off when I read her post because I was halfway through this one and thinking, “Dammit. What am I doing WRONG?! And I wonder if she would come over and show me how to work it! Ooooh! And maybe she’d bring booze!”

Elvis was Booked This Year

Elvis-impersonator-martin-fox-01-1-

Elvis-impersonator-martin-fox-01-1- (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, internet, one year ago yesterday, MB and I got married. In Vegas. With an Elvis impersonator. Yep.

I can hardly believe that we have been married for a whole year. Not to say that this year has been particularly easy. Because it has been a total mindfuck. Right after we got married (L was 5 months old), we found out we were expecting ANOTHER baby. Then we moved into a house, had a baby boy, MB changed jobs, I had to learn how to be a mother of two (still working on this one) and we have had to combat a LOT of hard shit. With MB working more at this new place, he is gone more than he is present. He misses things that the kids do every day. He missed the first time L gave a kiss (which was the cutest thing ever), the first time Baby O laughed, and COUNTLESS things already in the two months that he has been working this new schedule. And it is heartbreaking for him. And for me.

And our relationship is sometimes strained. He goes to work, day in, day out and makes money so that I can stay home and be driven completely mad by raise the kids so that we don’t have to send them to daycare. (Daycare totally terrifies me. And I am not judging those of you who don’t have a choice in sending your kids there, I am just lucky enough, because of my husband, that I can be here with them myself.) Sometimes I feel resentful that he gets to leave the house and see adults and have conversations that don’t involve babbling or made-up words.  Sometimes, I get angry that I am here all alone with no support from him. And I am sure that sometimes he resents me for being able to stay home with the kids and be there with them while they learn and grow and discover. Because I know that has to sting.

But I am wrong in being resentful. And I do check myself when I feel that way. Because I appreciate him. For every single thing he does for me. For us. He makes this life possible and I love him infinitely. And I am so lucky. Sometimes I need to remind myself of that.

On our anniversary, we saw each other for about two hours when he got home from work before he passed out from exhaustion on the loveseat. I always regret not having the time to say the things to him that I think about when I have time to think about our relationship. And my gratitude. We get lost in a sea of to-do lists and last minute chores and taking the trash out before we forget. And our anniversary was no different.

He came home with a bottle of wine, a card, and flowers. After working a 13 hour day and not having had lunch. After sweating in the hot sun. All for us. All for me.

And I just love him, internet.

I have never met anyone so kind and gracious and generous and loving. IN. MY. LIFE. And he has made this life possible for me. And I am eternally grateful. Even if I rarely can find the time to say it.

He never has time to read this blog. And I am writing as a reminder to myself that he is amazing. And I am one lucky gal.

(Happy ONE YEAR, MB. I hope you read this sometime when you aren’t busy making our family work and know that you are my everything. I love you.)

Notes on Week 38

Okay, internet, if you have been following along, you know that I am not a giant fan of pregnancy. And you might also remember that my first one was full of fun and craziness. You know, with losing my job, fighting with Medicaid to even get prenatal care and then just feeling generally miserable for THE WHOLE EFFING THING. I have been lucky this time. Baby O hasn’t given me nearly the amount of physical agony that Baby L presented me with during my pregnancy. You know, until NOW.

NOW?

Now I am not sleeping because, between trying to maneuver this giant belly and keeping Baby L from actually sleeping ON MY FACE, I have barely enough time for that sort of shenanigans. Sleep is for the weak, they say. They do say that, right? Anyway, if this is true, then I hereby declare myself, The Incredible Hulk of Insomnia. I do not turn green, though.

Except, wait. Yes, I do. Yesterday, I was taking out the trash and something smelled really awful and I turned green, and hurried and puked in the bathtub. Yep. 38 weeks and still puking. I guess there just wasn’t enough of that in the beginning of this whole thing for it to be over.

Then I took 45 minutes to effortlessly (read: with great effort and discomfort) ease on my maternity pants and haul my giant ass to my 38 week check up. Where I was told that nothing had changed. I am still pregnant and will remain that way until the time should come wherein…I am no longer pregnant. The good news is that my doctor praised me about my weight gain (only 17 pounds, which feels more like 850), which, you know, made me hungry.  And when I realize that I am hungry, I usually do so because MY CHEST IS ON FIRE.

The heartburn has returned. And with a vengeance. I am not a fan. I am not a fan at all. I can’t even drink WATER without wanting to kill myself. Water = sandpaper. Bread = fire. Hot sauce? Well, hot sauce is expectedly hot. But since I love it and it has the same effect as ANYTHING ELSE EVER, I eat it. Have I mentioned to you, internet, how before I was pregnant, I got heartburn like ONCE PER YEAR and now I have it 36 times per day? No? Oh. Well, yeah. That’s what is happening in my esophagus. You’re welcome for the enlightenment.

Baby O is officially kicking me in the ribs. This is the kind of discomfort that one can never describe to someone who has not experienced it. I never had this experience with Baby L and, up until two days ago, had not had any trouble with Baby O. But now, he loves my rib cage. LOVES. That’s all I am going to say about this. Because it is so annoying that I feel like if I talk about it too much, it will happen again and I will either cry or punch something. Or both.

I am WAY too emotional. I have cried three times today and two of the three times were about nothing. I mean, probably not nothing exactly. But definitely stupid things. Like, that I didn’t have any more bottled water in the refrigerator and all that was cold was Dr. Pepper which, (if you can IMAGINE) gives me super bad heartburn. Then I decided, since my mom had my kid for the day, and my husband was out doing man things (or getting a massage. Yes. Seriously.) I would finish watching “Sophie’s Choice” (because I have this fascination about WW2 and the Holocaust and things of that nature, because I am a total dork and that stuff is interesting) and then I watched Meryl Streep have to CHOOSE between her CHILDREN. And then I had a breakdown and felt the need to punch a German soldier. Luckily for them, there aren’t many German soldiers around my neighborhood. And MB wasn’t home. (Sidenote: I did have a flash of the diploma that hangs on the wall in the house of the old man that I take care of sometimes that states that his middle name is Adolf. But I didn’t punch him either. Come on, that would be mean.) I am tired of crying for no reason. And I am tired of wanting to punch imaginary Nazis. (I mean, I would probably want to do that anyway, but I am WAY too serious about it today.)

(Another sidenote: Is there some reason that “Beaches” is ALWAYS on? I mean, I loved this movie when I was a kid (which may also be weird, but my best friend loved it too…) and I have a really hard time NOT watching it when it is on but how many times can a pregnant lady watch “Beaches” without sticking her head in the oven? Honestly.)

Also? The PEEING. I cannot stop peeing! That is all.

My point, internet? I am SO READY to feel like a normal person again. But I am SO NOT READY to have a baby. I just need a pause button. And that pause button should not only pause the progress of this pregnancy when pushed, but sort of make the pregnancy nonexistent so I can have beer. You know, until I push play again. I swear, I would push play again, you guys, I just need a break. Then I would need a bring me beer button. Because that would come in handy forever.

 

35 Weeks and a Reminder of Things to Come

Last night, I decided to stay up a little later than usual to get some “me time” and watch a little “SVU” and play Candy Crush Saga (you might be familiar and if you are, you know that playing this game might as well be a full time job and that it will take over your whole life if you let it) so that I didn’t go completely insane from all the baby-chasing I’ve been doing. So, I took an hour. I relaxed. I watched some good TV drama and I headed to bed. And then, as I was lying down next to my snoring hubby, it hit me.

I have to deliver a fucking baby again. In, like, FIVE weeks. And I don’t want to deliver a baby, you guys. I know, I know. I have done this before. And I rocked it. But I also REMEMBER it. So, that whole, having experienced it thing? Not such a comfort. I am not necessarily scared. But I am not necessarily NOT scared either. I don’t want to vomit into that weird green container again. And I don’t want to spend 22 hours sleeping in 4 minute increments between contractions. And I don’t want to eat nothing but ice chips (which will make me vomit MORE).

I started having these horrible flashbacks of gushing water and hospital beds. And pitocin. And nurses who made me want to break things. (Namely, their faces.) And I guess this has all started to set in now because I usually am so preoccupied with trying to lasso Baby L into standing still for 45 seconds so that I can hoist my fat ass off of the floor that I forget that I am actually going to have to DO THIS THING. The fact that I have to hoist my fat ass off of the floor in the first place is somewhat of a reminder, but it is fleeting. Because I have a 25 pound outside-the-body baby to attend to.

But, I have definitely entered crunch time. I have also definitely realized, despite having just done this less than a year ago and knowing what to expect, I am totally not ready for this new meatloaf. I don’t have my bag packed. I don’t have a plan on what to do with Baby L when I am in the hospital (besides, you know, freaking out that she won’t be with me for SEVERAL DAYS! What the hell will I do?!). I haven’t toured this hospital that I have to deliver in. I don’t even know where the maternity unit IS. I need to get ON this, internet. I need a big slap in the face and a “GET IT TOGETHER, WOMAN!”

First, I’m going to have a cup of coffee.

Until I return, if you need a refresher on my first birthing experience, you can read it all here, here and here.

Gigantic

Okay, so I don’t know if I told you guys or not. But I’m pregnant. I know. It is shocking. Don’t worry though, internet, this pregnancy isn’t nearly as bad as my last one. When I was pregnant with Baby L, my world was a pretty dismal place. It was a world where people, including MB, could NOT POSSIBLY have understood how uncomfortable I was. Or how much peeing I was doing on a daily basis. Or how painful getting up to make it to the bathroom to DO all this peeing had become. With the back pain and the hip pain and the headaches and the giant belly, my life was hell. And I was SURE that if I left the house, some stranger would tell me how fat and hideous I looked and that I would either burst into tears and vow never to leave home again or punch them square in the neck…Or both. Because I was a total lunatic. And I make no bones about saying it. But I was miserable. And I needed a drink.

This time around, I have experienced heartburn and back pain and headaches. And I have avoided mirrors on certain days for fear of slitting my wrists at the sight of myself in this state. But I have fared pretty well here. I mean, I have been violently and deathly ill on FOUR occasions and have thought that I might never be able to eat anything again. (These illnesses weren’t your run-of-the-mill, pregnant lady morning sickness illnesses either. They were BRUTAL and lasted DAYS.) But once these days passed, I was able to go back to semi-normal, feeling like a regular lady instead of one who is baking a baby. You know, because if you avoid the mirror and there are no real pregnancy symptoms, it is really easy to pretend that none of it is happening at all. And I was blissful in those moments.

Over the past few weeks, my belly has started to take over my house. It has grown quickly and with a fury that I could not have expected. And I can no longer ignore it. I am the size now (at least, in my head) that I was when I delivered Baby L who was full-term. (I don’t really know for SURE that I am the same size, just that I FEEL it.) I can’t see my feet anymore. And those lovely comments I got during my last pregnancy about how I looked 5 months along the whole time…well…those aren’t coming this time. So, I have accepted that I look like a pregnant lady. And today, internet, I tried on clothes. Like, in a store. Under terrible lighting. And a few days shy of 8 months along. And to top it off, these were NOT maternity clothes. AND I HAD TO TAKE PICTURES OF THIS EXPERIENCE. (That’s really another thing altogether but the long and the short of it is, I did a “Sample and Share” Market Research study, wherein I had to try on some clothes, take pictures and have a friend do the same, and then we got the clothes for free…but maternity clothes were not an option.)

I don’t know when this happened, internet, but I am GIGANTIC. And now there is photographic evidence. TWICE IN THE SAME WEEK. (you know people didn’t even refrain from photos at my SPRINKLE?! THE NERVE!) And now, here I am, wondering if I could make it the next two months without actually ever leaving the house in order to spare myself the shame of possibly not fitting inside my Volvo. (Yes, I drive a Volvo. And this should give you an idea of how large I am. Or at least how large I feel. Because I drive a tank.)

What’s a girl to DO?

(Interested in getting some free “Sample and Share” goodies? You can sign up here! It’s free…and sort of awesome!
http://crowdtap.com/invitations_landing