I’m here but not *here*

Writing? Who has time for that?!

*raised hand*

You guys. Life is insanity.

Soooooo much happening in a teeny tiny amount of time.

Buuuuuuuut

I am making attempts to post stuff on Instagram over at littlechickenbees.

If you’d like to keep up with the insanity, that is where I’ll be. For the time being, my brain can only manage sharing small snippets of information in square form.

(How’s that for alliteration on a Saturday?)

See you there!!

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the grapetastrophy

Some of you may have been around for the $20 watermelon….or maybe you forgot about the $20 watermelon.

Either way, I'll wait for you to refresh your memory or make a new one. It's important to have this background knowledge.

Ready?

Here we go.

Apparently, history repeats itself in the produce department. We like to find the things that are ridiculously expensive without realizing it until after we make it through the checkout.

And by that point, knowing how Tim refuses to be shamed by fruit, it's too late.

I partially blame this particular expenditure on doing the GET IT AND GET OUT mad dash that was grocery shopping on Saturday. We were dealing with a baby who wanted to graze any and all items within reach, edible or not, and a child who wanted to be in charge of the grocery list and got upset if we didn't go line by line down the list versus in order of what each aisle had.

I tried to explain how it would not be efficient to go back and forth, up and down the same aisles over and over again, but I don't think it really sank in. At all.

Why, you ask? Well, I was talking to Kellan AND Tim at the same time about completely different things, so instead of giving an important, coherent lesson, it sounded more like, "We need to get all of the things…DID YOU GET THE BREAD?….all of the things in one aisle without having to…YES TWO LOAVES….without having to go back and….ALSO GRAB SOME MILK….forth…MILK? THE HAPPY COW KIND…I know the list isn't in order….YES A WHOLE GALLON….I didn't have time to put it in order….Kellan did you check off bread and milk??

I usually organize the list by aisle but we made one on the fly *as* we drove to the store from a park. I realized we were close to Whole Foods and made a split second decision to go as we drove out of the parking lot.

Looking back, we probably made a whole bunch of errors that led to this expenditure, but hey. That's how we roll. Sometimes. Most of the time….goodbyeeeeee type a trying to take over.

Anyway, Kellan wanted to be in charge of checking things off the list and Hunter wanted to be held and sample anything, whether we put we put it in the cart or not. Kid eats everything. All the time. By the time we left it looked like Hunter had gone into battle with a buffet table and lost…handily.

So, anyhow, the entire time we are grocery shopping my brain is in four places at once and really I cannot ever concentrate fully on one thing. I walk around feeling hectic. I don't know any other way to describe it. I actually feel hectic. Like a swirling dervish of questions and items and what was I doings.

After we filled our cart with mostly things not even on the list (which Kellan protested and then added to the list because details are important, people), I left Tim to handle the checking out on his own. I decided I was getting a smoothie because I was starving.

Kellan spent this time running back and forth between the two of us (straight shot, visible the whole time) to relay information.

Mommy is getting a smoothie.

Daddy asked what size smoothie.

Twelve ounces.

What's in this bag?

Cookies.

Apparently an hour long hike wasn't enough to wear him out.

By the time we got everybody and everything strapped into the car, we sat in the front seats and just stared at each other like what even just happened? Did we even buy anything on the list?

Tim then started going down the receipt to see what all of the "high ticket" items were. Apparently he didn't get to watch the register during checkout, so this was his way of doing it…albeit after the fact.

"What was $10.81??"

He traced his finger along the dotted lines ……what is this……GRAPES?

We bought $10.81 worth of GRAPES???

How many packages of grapes did we buy??

I looked at him all, "One."

This was too much information…or maybe too little information, for Tim.

Why on earth were they ten dollars??? What kind of grapes are ten dollars???

They were organic?

(Apparently that's my go to excuse for expensive produce)

Tim stuffed the receipt in the cup holder all, "These $10 grapes are right on par with that $20 watermelon."

In its defense, it was a really good watermelon….

He kept going under his breath all, "They better be really fantastic grapes for $10. TEN DOLLARS. For grapes!"

And he left it at that until we got home and I tried a few of the grapes.

I looked at him and smiled and said, "These are really good grapes! Totally worth the $10!"

(Because they actually really were)

Tim looks at me dead in the eye and says, "I better not see one. single. grape. in the trash. Not a one!"

Produce: 2
Tim: 0

weighing consequences

One small child alone in a room is never a good idea.

FYI.

*except*

Sometimes you have to weigh the consequences of above statement to make sure the other child gets a taped slate and commercial audition done that requires a very quiet background.

Note to future self: if you truly have a completely quiet background, you're doing it wrong. Or something is wrong. Mischief is being managed.

After Kellan finished up a pretty good take, he was all, "We should check on Hunter!"

Instead of heeding his internal Hunter Alert System I was all, I know but we only have so many minutes of silence.

And then I actually heard the words coming out of my mouth and I jumped up and ran out of the room like a firecracker had just been lit under my nether regions.

Except Kellan beat me out and I hear him laughing and saying OH NO! at the same time.

Obviously I start filming, like any good parent would do.

And so I walk out and here is Hunter.

He Who Has Crashed The Plant.

This is a picture from the video (hence poor quality) and in the video I was all, "Huuuuuunterrrrr……whaaaaaat haaaaaapened?……."

And every time I asked he'd look away from the camera all, "….doh dee doh doh….nothing to see here….la dee dah dah…."

And he knew!

He's only eight months old!

He already knows the system!

I am in so much trouble!

This is not a random, happenstance occurrence.

Oh no.

This child bucks the system every chance he gets.

Literally this blog is going to turn into You Won't Believe What Happened Today.

Thankfully my safety patrol was the firstborn.

something from nothing

I want to write something funny but really I'm too tired for funny.

Apartment life with intermittent Sasquatch upstairs tromping around until the wee hours (what even are they doing?? These apartments aren't that big. How much walking and forgetting what you walked over for and walking back and raiding the refrigerator and whatever else is happening doing up there??) along with an almost eight month old who is going through some things like probably teething and trying to figure out how to sit down after pulling up on every single thing within reach leads to no sleep.

When Kellan was this age I read about how babies will literally roll over and put themselves into a crawling position in their sleep because their brains cannot stop making the body do all the things, even whilst unconscious, until they master the task.

With Kellan I waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And it never happened.

Not once.

He woke up and practiced every letter sound there is, over and over and over, but there was never any of that crazy getting up to try and crawl away.

So, the other night when Hunter was totally zonked and out of nowhere rolled himself over and got into a crawling position and then started trying to pull up on me to stand all with his eyes closed, I was like ohhhhhhhhhhhh. So this is what they're talking about.

Yah. That was quite the surprise for ye olde mom over here.

I mean during the day Hunter will get himself standing, holding onto whatever, and then after a bit he will start crying because HOW DO I SIT DOWN???

He falls, pretty much. Not the slightest bit graceful. I guess the letting go and also getting into a sitting position is pretty technical if you actually think about all the steps you need to take.

I think that's what we're working on which is resulting in terrible naps and fitful night sleep.

Coffee me.

ALSO I'm basically one million percent mom + errand runner + chef + teacher + scheduler + house cleaner + whatever else it is I do all day because Tim + new job = crazy hours and incessant phone interruptions every day of the week.

It's difficult for everybody.

I appreciate all of his hard work to allow us to live the way we do where I can stay home, but that comes with sacrifices.

And so now I apparently just did something that made the font smaller and I have no idea how I am too tired lazy to fix it so FYI. I'm sure it'll fix itself after I publish it. Or it won't and we'll all be reading the small print from here on out (haha…punny).

I'm supposed to be making dinner, now.

Guess I better jump on that task because hangry is a condition every single one of us has and it's zero percent fun to have three people getting upset about nothing and a baby crying at everything because all any of us want to do is EAT but we are all too delirious with hunger to actually see that that is the issue and instead start blaming each other for ridiculous indiscretions that aren't even real.

I am *that* mom

I am that mom who lets her kid wear whatever he wants. Mismatched socks. Shoes on the wrong feet. Shirt purposely backwards. 

I am also that mom who has no problem letting her kid wear costumes on any day he so chooses, to any place we happen to be going.

The grocery store was Gotham City today. Kellan made sure everyone knew the Night Stalking Vigilante was there along with Batgirl and Bat baby.

One grocery store employee was like, “I’m impressed you can even say vigilante.”

And I was just like, “You have nooooo idea what kind of vocabulary gold mine you’ve stumbled upon.”

If the store isn’t busy, Kellan will run in the open areas more than he will walk.

He will find the villains.

He will have complete conversations with people as Batman. I smile and play right along.

If we are all in, then we surely aren’t breaking character.

I am that mom and I have zero issue admitting to it. I encourage it. I allow it. I am not at all embarrassed by it.

I am proud of Kellan’s ability to bring the real world into his imagination and manipulate it in so many amazing ways.

Maybe once upon a time, before Kellan, I would have been appalled at the mere thought of one of my kids running around like that.

That sure was a silly thought.

Without having children, I would have missed the magic of a child being allowed to be himself and play freely.

The only way I can do that is because I stopped caring what others think. After a few days of mom life, I realized that trying to force a baby to do what “they” say he should do was not going to work. Kellan doesn’t play by those rules, and because of his determination to go against the norm, I’ve also thrown all of the books and advice columns out the window all, “This is not my kid. This will never be my kid. We are going to do this our own way. To hell with advice.”

And since then….life has been peaceful in that department. 

Though I’d be a millionaire if I had a dime for every time I heard:

“Your shirt is backwards.”

“Your socks don’t match.”

“Your shoes are on the wrong feet.”

“You’re wearing two different shoes.”

And to all those we just smile and say, “Yes, they are. That was the plan.”

Kellan picks out his outfits very carefully every morning. Every single item, head to toe, is planned out and has a reason and a purpose.

It is one of my favorite things for him to come out of his room to declare who he is for the day and see how he has decided to express that in his outfit.

There is no way I am ever discouraging his imagination and his desire to be who he is, regardless if society agrees.

Society has it completely backwards, if you ask me.

And really, I should know.

I live with Batman, afterall.

the picky eater vs the foodie

When Kellan was starting his transition from solely boob juice to people food, I had all of these really hairbrained ideas like purée-ing up a variety of veggies and making all sorts of fun meals and doing all kinds of fun stuff with food!

First purée Kellan tried?

Nuh-uh.

Second, third, and all of them went that way. He looked at me like, “If this is what people food is, I don’t want anything to do with it.”

(Really what I wanted to say was what his actual look said, but we are trying to be PG here)

I learned pretty quickly that there was this thing called baby led weaning and it basically went like this: put a food on the tray and see what happens.

The only acceptable foods were blueberries that I had to cut into quarters, a very specific brand of wheat toast with butter and cinnamon, yogurt with no fruit pieces, Cheerios (not the organic kind. General Mills, yellow box only), and probably one or two other things I am forgetting.

And during all of this I was thinking we were making progress and having some success and this is just how it works with  toddlers. They’re picky.

Then we went on play dates and lunch dates with friends the same age and OMG YOUR KID JUST ATE THAT??? HOW DID YOU DO THAT???

You don’t have to pack a special separate lunchbox of food?

You didn’t have to cut your apples a certain way???

They eat sandwiches????

You can order right off the menu?????

It was like seeing an impossible magic trick.

Not even kidding.

It took me ohhhhhhhhh probably until Mimi cut up Kellan’s toast “wrong,” to the point he wouldn’t eat it, even though it was made exactly the same way, for me to admit we had a picky eater.

Like level twenty when there are only five levels picky eater.

And nothing has changed except his repertoire of food. It has grown evvvvvvver so slightly.

It’s not like we don’t have him try new foods…over and over and over again. He still will not get on board with asparagus or grilled chicken or potatoes (unless they’re French and fried), or a large swath of other foods.

And we are brand specific, people. He knows the difference. He can smell if I used something other than what I usually do. 

This morning he told me his pancakes tasted different. Like “smoked pancakes” he said. And sure enough, because the temporary apartment we are living in doesn’t have a microwave (I know), I had to heat them up in a pan (barbaric), and one of them got a little too hot and burned ever so slightly with a little bit of smoke involved….and his astute senses sniffed it out.

The other day I tried using a new kind of bread and it had small seeds – completely undetectable if you’re having a sandwich type seeds – and he took one bite and was all, “Does this have….seeds in it?”

Yes.

I don’t like it.

Well okay then.

The only vegetables I can get him to eat are baby carrots and snap peas. Both have to be raw. The only acceptable meat is crock pot BBQ chicken and “sloppy beef” (sloppy Joe’s). Sometimes deli ham but only a specific kind from Whole Foods and it has to be sliced to a certain thickness. Oh! I can put spinach in smoothies and he’ll drink those. Or if we make juice with beets and carrots and spinach and apples and cucumbers he will drink it. But he will legit gag eating a spinach leaf. Or a cucumber.

He’s tried broccoli, asparagus, squash, tomatoes (reallllly doesn’t like those unless it is marinara), zucchini, salad style lettuces….salmon, shrimp, steak…..and he will protest and make the most detestable faces every single time they are presented to him.

We are pretty diverse with fruit…well really okay, let’s be real. Apples (no red or golden delicious or Granny Smith), watermelon, pomegranates, Asian and Bosc pears, peaches and nectarines, sometimes bananas and blueberries and grapes. That’s our diversity. We don’t eat bananas unless they are at that perfectly ripe phase. No soft blueberries or grapes and no grapes that “taste funny.”

I’d say he likes carbs but again….only certain kinds. We are specific with our mac and cheese brands, style of pasta for “pasta and Parmesan,” and he will sometimes have toast and a PBJ or grilled cheese.

He also only really likes a very specific kind of cheddar cheese. He says others are too salty.

Only some kinds of pizza places are okay. There was one restaurant in Arkansas where Tim loved to get the pepperoni pizza but Kellan would leave the table or ask him not to order it because he couldn’t deal with the smell.

So, if the point isn’t clear yet, Kellan is really particular about food. And we have just kind of accepted this as his normal. We always make sure we have a snack packed for him because eating at a restaurant is really a lost cause because he just eats his apples and milk and cheese we packed.

I want you to know and understand that that was the level where my bar was set regarding adventurous eating when Hunter came along.

Kellan knows what he likes and doesn’t and as long as I don’t forget the lunchbox, everybody will be fine. 

And so now, as we begin embarking on people food with Hunter, it turns out that he plays by a completely different set of rules.

Hunter is not at all interested in wondering what he’s eating. 

He just wants to eat it all.

Whatever it is you have, he wants it, even if his body is not physically or developmentally prepared for it.

He will yell at you and get very upset if you don’t share.

Sharing is caring, mom.

He loves eating all food.

He does not discriminate.

Just today he ate everything that Kellan loathes: oatmeal, cooked broccoli and carrots, and bananas waaaaaay past the perfectly ripe stage.

Now I experience the complete opposite ends of the spectrum at every meal and I am still shocked every time like what?! 

You want to eat that???

And you want more??

You like it????

You mean we get to order off the menu?????

(While Kellan happily eats his apples and cheese and milk) 

where’s the money tree?

I know I briefly mentioned we were moving into a new to us house.

Honestly I feel like we keep moving into houses, making them nice, and then handing them off to someone else to enjoy as their forever home.

It’s like we are the home fixer fairies.

You’re welcome, families in Georgia, Colorado, and Arkansas.

Really though. It’s kind of nice to be able to give that kind of “gift” so to speak. It’s hard because we have to leave the lovely house we made, but it’s also fun to be able to give the joy to someone else.

At this point in our, “No, we aren’t a military family we just get moved around a lot” life, I’m fairly confident we can make a nice house. It’s kind of the obvious knock on effect when you have two super type A personalities living under the same roof who have ticks about certain things and cannot deal until they are made whole.

Each house we have owned has sold faster than the last. And by faster I mean one took two weeks. The next 1.5 weeks. The last a week exactly.

I’m going to be kicking myself in a few years if the house we are buying now takes longer than that to sell. Fingers crossed it doesn’t. 

Anyway, we are currently in the throes of figuring out what we want to do to this new to us house. There are lots of things we could do, but because we aren’t staying here forever, we have to be selective.

Selective means we can’t put more money in the house than we can get out. Don’t get upside down. Make money on the sale, don’t lose it.

I told Tim I wanted to make the coat closet by the garage door a makeshift mudroom because that area was really poorly designed, entirely too narrow, and who puts three doors in a tiny space within five feet of one another??

I needed a functional space for the boys to take off and store their shoes and such and I had to get rid of a door. 

Enter mudroom in a closet, aka remove the door.

And then Tim was all, “Take off the door???!”

I am a creative person. I think in ways Tim cannot conceive. I have learned I need to communicate in pictures.

I showed him the magic of Pinterest. 

His fears were pacified.

Project mudroom was on.

I even made a terrible drawing with even more terrible handwriting. I have never had nice handwriting and well, it is what it is, people.

I am beginning to realize that I really enjoy two things about moving. I like staging our house when we have to sell it and I like fixing it and making it nice when we are moving in. 

Really I would stage anyone’s house if they’d be able to deal with me and my “yes you have to take pictures of yourself down and yes you have to declutter like you’ve never decluttered in your life” mentality.

Hey…it works. It might be a PITA but it works.

However, I do not like packing or unpacking. Let’s be clear about that. I like beautifying. Finding the perfect spot for things. Making the house feel like a home.

Right now we are in a holding and planning pattern until we close on the hazmat house. Yesterday we had a marathon day with inspectors and carpet and flooring people and paint and handyman and security and fence people…along with me having a small conversation with our realtor to make sure that she communicated what we (read me) expected in a professional cleaning we are requiring. 

Because you guys. It’s serious. The amount of grime and dirt in places is…we cannot figure out how it even happened. It’s like they took a mixer, filled the bowl with mud and bits of leftovers, picked a random outlet in the house and flipped it on high. Or they just took a sock and dipped it in brown water and went around flinging it against whatever wall they could reach.

And then there are things in places I have no explanation for. Like caked smudges on wall mirrors that require scaffolding to reach.

But that’s not the point. Doing all of this tedious stuff means we are moving closer to getting stuff done!

We as in not really Tim or me directly but still.

Yay!

The day of contractors definitely was not an easy one for Kellan. He had to do a lot of waiting around and in the rush out the door, I forgot his snacks for the hours long event. Really, I always forget something unless I put a post it on the door with all the things to remember…and still sometimes I forget. 

I told Kellan I would take him to the grocery store as soon as I thought I had a window. Then, when I thought that window was open, I handed Hunter off to Tim while he was still dealing with the floor guy and the inspector.

Kellan and I headed out the door and then the painter and handymen drove up right as we were walking to the car. 

I just looked at Kellan as said, “I’m really sorry but you’re going to have to wait.”

Let me just say he didn’t like that answer at all.

Ensue lots of tears and him reminding me how absolutely hungry he was (let’s pretend we forgot about how we talked about eating breakfast and how he’d be hungry later).

Luckily our real estate agent helped distract him while I went around showing the painter and handymen all the things we wanted painted and fixed. 

I also told them upfront, “Look. We are really particular people. We like everything to be neat and tidy and god forbid there be a crooked line. Hell hath no fury like a crooked line.” 

I think I made my point. Or I scared them. Hard to tell.

I asked Tim at the beginning of this particular relocation process if he thought we were high maintenance, fully expecting him to say, “Us?? Noooooo.”

YEP.

“What??? No we aren’t! We just know what we like!”

EXACTLY.

Since then, I’ve just embraced it and have been upfront like, “We are difficult people. We know we are difficult people. We like stuff a certain way. Just a heads up.”

So, back to the STARVING child, by the time I was ready to take Kellan to the store, I’m pretty sure he forgot about eating because he was perfectly happy running through the aisles, picking out stuff, and telling me he wanted it to take a loooooooong time.

Probably because we were retuning to the house of no fun (yet). When we got back I had him go upstairs to the kid room to read the books that were there. I figured it was at least something he’d enjoy so he didn’t have to think about how hot it was. Apparently the owners don’t believe in air conditioning or watering their lawn and plant life.

Anyhow. Wow am I going all over the place. Once we knew our offer for the hazmat house was accepted, Tim made a spreadsheet of estimated costs before we started getting quotes and actual costs.

Anyone have a money tree growing out back because we need to pluck a few dozen or so benjamins.

Apparently I need to get into the handyman and carpet business. I’m not interested in the paint business because I don’t like to paint. Actually if I’m being honest, I’m not interested in the carpet business, either. But I can definitely get excited about some one off creative work requests.

I do think I’m going to have to start teaching myself how to do some things. Maybe go to a few Home Depot workshops or something. Then Kellan, Hunter, and I can build and create all sorts of fun! And save some dollars because WOW.

Obviously Hunter still has some major baby milestones yet to accomplish before he gets down and dirty with construction materials and I am not rushing those baby things at all. He’s already trying to grow up too fast and I’m just over here like wait! How are you almost at the age where you’ve been out longer than you’ve been in???

Dear Time: slow down.

Dear Money Tree: Kellan says you’ll grow if we just plant a dollar in the ground, cover it with dirt, and water it.