Tuesday, January 31, 2012

been there, done that

times two.

i have to admit, i quelled a lot of my fears about getting pregnant with stella when the twins were eight months by repeating the following.....

"you're good! you just did this! with two babies! you won't have time to forget! you'll know what to do!"

first statement: not true, second and third: true, true, last: not true and not true.

we are in crisis mode, people.
stella not sleeping is taking a toll on my already fragile mind and dilapidated body.
and, i feel like i got punked by a two month old.
how do you sleep for two and a half months and then decide to wake up every hour?
so rude.

i'm at a loss.
we got to the point with the twins where we had no option but to let them cry it out.
it's torture for me.
but, being sleep deprived is torture.
i see words dangling off of my tongue and sometimes i don't even no what they mean.
or what i'm saying.
i am getting so little sleep that i wake up angry.
and i take it out on my babies. and husband. and probably my family?
do i?
i'm sorry if i do.

last night i decided maybe it was time to unswaddle stella.
she rolled over while swaddled the night before so i thought "that's it! she wants to sleep on her belly!"
bad move.
she was up probably twelve times last night.
at four o' clock i couldn't take it anymore.
i swaddled that little burrito and got and hour and a half of sleep.

i just had two babies.
i don't know what i'm doing with the third.
do i swaddle?
break the swaddle?
does she cry it out?
i can't live like this.
my twins don't stop.
i need to stop.
i need to sleep.
if my husband wakes up one more time and says "how was stella last night" i'm going to punch him.
or better yet, i will keep the monitor on so he can hear for himself how she was.
he sleeps through everything.
when i wake up to stella's body wiggling around i turn the monitor off, start crying, and just watch the video monitor.
so he won't wake up.

and i sit, and punch my pillow, and whisper scream "what do i do?"

what do i do?

this morning i feel asleep on the couch while i was snuggling with the twins.
i couldn't stay awake.

i woke up to them sitting on their little couches that they had somehow put on the big couch.
i can't believe the house was still standing.

i'm getting desperate. help me.

does this post even make sense?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

a day in my life

wake up for the fourth time since midnight, at seven.
put baby in my bed begging for another hour of sleep.
8:00 get twins.
find my son naked, with one shoe on, in a crib that has no sheet and a pillow, with no case.
how did he take off the sheet?
make coffee.
forget about coffee.
change diaper.
change diaper.
change diaper.
cuddle with twins for twenty glorious minutes. it's the only time they sit still.
feed twins.
sit on couch.
close my eyes for three minutes.
remember coffee, but don't get coffee.
tell colton to stop whining.
tell chloe not to throw food.
end breakfast for chloe for throwing food. again.
step over her limp, sprawled out, inconsolable body.
get boy out of highchair.
vow to eat healthy for the day.
eat their leftovers so i have one less dish to wash and less meal to prepare.
bathe twins who are filthy because they eat like ravenous monkeys.
tell them to turn water off.
time out for not listening.
come back to find twin in bath is no longer in bath.
find twin hiding in living room.
put twin back in bath.
get time out twin out of time out.
put back in bath.
other twin gone again.
go get twin.
other twin slips on wet floor from wet run away twin.
pee or water? your guess is good as mine.
both twins are now screaming.
decide bath is over.
put down screaming baby.
hide under blanket and dream of somewhere quiet.

tell colton to stop whining.
tell chloe to stop hitting.
x's 2.
swear if they wake up sleeping baby i will run away.

go get screaming baby.
decide to run away tomorrow, not today.
hold baby so she stops screaming.
feed baby.
start to change baby.
chloe gets jealous.
change baby.
chloe gets more jealous.
chloe hits baby.
put chloe in time out.

clean up stella's pee.
tell myself for 4,784,268th time that i will never leave a baby diaperless again.
get chloe out of time out.
tell colton to stop whining.

find colton standing on stella's upside down carseat. sorry, no picture.
get everyone dressed.
go to throw clothes in washer.
find yesterdays clothes in washer.
rewash moldy smelling clothes.
remember coffee.
chug cold coffee.
load kids up.
go to publix.
cry a little bit when i realize none of the car carts are available.
it's not going to be a good trip.

go to deli.
get meat and cheese.
hope deli worker realizes the potential for a screaming disaster and gives me extra food.
give twins food in small bites.
rush through store hoping for a quiet trip.
feed twin one.
feed twin two.
make sure to save food for check out line.
twins are like octupuses. (it's right, i googled it)
must have food to keep hands in cart.
answer twenty three questions about twins.

yes they are.
22 months.
no they don't.
neither side.
yes, they were spontaneous.
at our first appointment.
we were completely shocked.
oh, tell your sister's, best friend's, cousin she will be fine, twins are actually a lot of fun.

push cart forward.
answer another three questions once cashier sees third baby.

5 months.
no, we're done.

insist i do not need help to my car, it means more questions and confirmation of my filthy car.
load up groceries.
load up kids.
get home.
unload everything loaded ten minutes prior..

tell both twins to stop whining.
cook lunch.
realize i never cleaned high chairs from breakfast.
make coffee.
feed twins.
feed stella.
change colton

twins nap.
play with baby.
promise myself i will eat healthy tomorrow and promptly make a cheese and pickle quesadilla.
swaddle baby.
eat quesadilla careful not to drop food on baby.
put baby down.
count down the minutes until i can watch trashy tv.
remember cold coffee.
drink it.
sweep. watch trash.
baby is up.
feed baby.

twins up.
play outside.
break up a fight over a paint brush.
step over two screaming, theatrical bodies to put paint brush away.
realize quickly that they have decided to make up and team up against me.
say stay out of the street fourteen times.
on the fifteenth time say play time is over.
call matt. beg him to come home.
realize it's dinner time.
what are we having for dinner?
throw dinner together.
feed twins.
matt gets home.
feed stella.
put down stella.
twins bath.
dance party.
stella up.
bath for me.
feed stella.
put down stella.


oh yeah, that reminds me. i left the laundry in the washer again.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

wordless wednesday; baking with four chillins two and under

i can't say i'd like to do it again any time soon.
two of the monkeys would have rather been climbing around on the counter.
one of the monkeys asked 64 times if the cookies were ready.
the last monkey happily bounced in her saucer.
please disregard the marker on colton's face.

one monkey spent half of the time in time out.
guess which one?


the monkey in the middle decided to stand on her blankee.
the monkey on the right followed suit.
eventually, the monkey on the left did, too.


really ready.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

just a few things.

here's what is going on around heeya.

+ i feel like every person, whether they want kids or not, should have to take a child into a public establishment with a list of things that must be accomplished. that way, the next time they hear a screaming child (read:: chloe) while they are shopping, they can feel the sheer embarrassment instead of rolling their eyes. i may look like i am confidently strolling through the store pretending i can't hear her. but trust me, i hear her, too. in fact, i hear her all day. every day. and i am dying inside. i wanna cut you people when you look at me like that. trust me, i beat her when we get home, i can't do it in public. i kid, i kid. i don't beat her, she gets cut off from eating, which hurts oh, so much more.

+stella is legit sick. she has lost her voice and it is the sweetest most sad thing you have ever heard. i have slept probably an hour and half in the past twenty eight hours. i want to die. and this little baby is still unhappy even after her night of binge drinking. she got free drinks at the bar last night. no rules, no last call. the bar was hers. anything to make my angel baby feel better.

+you all will be happy to know i have really taken new year rezzie post very seriously. the word of the day around here is purge. i am getting rid of everything. we are going to have a garage sale. and if i sell everything for two cents, we should make close to one point two million dollars. i don't know which i am more excited about, making one point two million dollars or not having anything for the twins to break/throw/eat/steal or for me to put away/clean/find/fix.

+when people say it is harder to lose weight the second or (second/third in my case) time around they ain't lyin'. physique 57 is becoming less impulse buy and more reality.

+remember how i said i would skip the details about the cesspool of germs that is my house? i changed my mind. if i have to live it, you have to read it. the boy twin has had diarrhea for two weeks. two weeks. every three hours for two weeks. do you know how many diapers that is? too many. in addition, i have two more kids. i'm kinda over diapers.

+back to fat girl stuff. i make the french fries in the world and they are baked.



thank you, ma'am.
350 for 30ish minutes.
and if you like them crispy? broil them for a few.

they are amaze.

+oh. what's that? whose oven is that? mine. yes, it's mine. when we bought our house almost two years ago our range broke. it took me two years to get a new one. AND the only reason we did is because of my in-laws and father. my mother in law was over last week and said "enough is enough." she said she was buying one for our birthdays and christmas for the next five hundred years if that's what it would take. she was right, we needed an oven. and miraculously, my dad, who is in the biz, found us a great deal. and voila, we have an oven and my in-laws get unlimited cookies for life. thank you gran and papa! it's kind of weird now that i think about how long we didn't have an oven. the cooktop portion worked so we weren't a total lost cause. but, i am baking and cooking non stop to make up for lost time. i suppose physique 57 is now a necessity.

i suppose that's all for now. catch you on the flip.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

help a sista out

everyone is still sick around here.
i'll spare you the details.
you're welcome.
we've been going strong in the sick dept. for almost month.

stella and i have been the strongest.
just getting half sick and such.
however, last night she joined the dark side.
she's a snotty, watery eyed, sniffly mess.
poor peanut.

good thing she has a sister that has
been there
done that.

i walked in the room and chloe was blowing stella's nose.
i die when i see this sweet side of her, it doesn't happen often.

i also died when she ran in the room wearing my bra yelling "bwa, bwa" and shimmying her little shoulders.
yes she did, my friends, yes she did.

they're so flippin' cute when they aren't screaming.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Quicky

Oh Chloe James.
You are one of a kind.
You dance to the beat of your own drum and you couldn't care less if anyone is watching.
Miss Independent.
You took your nickname and ran with it.

Chloe has her "things".
Right now, her "thing" is screaming.
She does it purely for a reaction.
Typically, I try to ignore it, she stops sooner that way.
If you tell her not to scream sometimes she will whisper scream.
She makes a face like she is going to scream so loud. She puts her hands by her face for a little extra flair, and she whisper screams.
I don't know how else to describe it.
It is a whisper
with the facial expression of a scream
and in the pitch of a scream.

Today at the grocery store she was in rare form.
Screaming up and down all the aisles.
I knew we had to get to the deli counter. And fast.
If you want to shut girlfriend up without making a scene? Put food in her mouth.

We finally made it to the checkout line and she screamed. Loud.
I always try to be a little more strict in line because, well, let's be honest, people can hear me.
If they hear me discipline in a calm and deliberate fashion, they think I am a better mom.
And it is really important to me for strangers to think I am a good mom.

So I sternly turned to her and said,
"If you scream one more time I will take that salami out of your mouth and you
will not
get more. This is your warning."

Sister took the chewed up salami out of her mouth,
threw it on the floor and screamed at the top of her lungs.
She then looked at me, shrugged her shoulders and lit.era.lly looked at me and said
your move.
she really didn't say that but, I swear, her face said that.
I don't think I won the affection of strangers with that display.

a woman did turn to me and said to me "you've got your hands full."
Of course she did.
Of course she did.

Well played, Chloe.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

my last five month old and her first five months.

I am not in a realistic place with Stella being five months.
I typed the title to this post and wrote four months.
I thought it was true.
I had to correct it, she is five months.
Right now.
It's 9:09.

Five months ago at this very minute I was in the hospital holding her for the very first time.
Knowing it would be my
last time
holding one of my babies for the
first time.
Well, 99% sure it would be my last time.
I ate lots of St. Joes chicken fingers and caaaa-rushed that ice for three days straight.
The chicken fingers are probably not even real chicken.
But they are good. And the ice is better. And I knew I wouldn't be back.

I've spent so much time the past five months focusing on what I'm going to do to savor it.
This was my last baby.
I've spent so much time thinking about it, that I haven't been doing it.

Stella isn't even a baby, baby anymore.

How did that happen?

The same way this happened, I guess.

This baby:
::Chloe:: July 2010

is now this girl.

Ya know,
I spend so much time wishing the days would be over because they are so long.
And they are so hard.
But, the years are flying by.

I know time is fleeting. And precious.
And you can't hit rewind.
How do you say it in a way that hasn't been said before?
It's so cliche.
But, it's so cliche, because it's so true.

I have become lost in time.
How has five months gone by?

This little baby gets up on her knees already?
She came out of my belly yesterday.
She screams.
She smiles like no other baby on the face of this earth.
She loves to hear herself talk.
And she loves to hold things. Anything.
She is an official hip baby.

But, I still hold her close to my heart telling myself she needs it.
Telling myself my heartbeat still soothes her. She's so used to it. It's what she knows. What she needs.

She jumps all over the place in her jumper and she sits up unassisted for a short time.
Tomorrow she will sit longer..
And then she'll just sit there. Like a big kid.
And the next day she will be walking.

I crave silence.
And calm.
And not being hit.
Or pulled.
Or pushed.
Or being eaten off of.
I want to wear something clean.
And spend an entire Saturday watching Lifetime.
And pee with no one banging on the door.

But, it will all be gone one day and I'll want it back.
So bad.
I know this.
Yet it is still so hard to keep my eyes on the big picture.
Funny how it works that way, isn't it?

Sweet Stella, I sure wish you could stay little forever.
Just like every other mommy and daddy.
I tear up thinking about it.
I know so many beautiful things are still to come
I love holding you.
Swaddled up like a little burrito.
You smile at me like there is no place you would rather be.

The feeling is mutual, girlfriend.

I know that will end. And it will probably be sooner rather than later.
I tried to swaddle your twins, they weren't having it.
Maybe I should try a bigger blanket!

You bring this family so much joy.
I wish you could see your brothers eyes light up every morning when I bring you into the room.
He runs to you.
He hugs you and he literally sighs a sigh of relief.
And that, sweet girl, is a true story.

My hearts flutters every single time I watch it happen.
It is one song that I will never get sick of.
In fact, the lyrics get sweeter every time.

And Chloe?
We have hope for her.
Yesterday you flung yourself out of your Bumbo while I was putting laundry away with Colton.
And Chloe?

She came running in with a look of panic saying
"Baby!, Baby!"
I walked in the room and sure enough, you were crying and flopping around like a sweet little fish. On the tile.
How can you get out of your Bumbo already, baby? You were just born?

Your sister is still a little jealous of you.
She says "my mommy" or "my daddy" when we hold you.
But, after yesterday?
I think you two will be just fine, she's got your back.

I love you my angel baby.
Just slow down, ok
Just slow down.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Years Rezzie

I am the Queen of Ideas.

Follow through?

I am more of the
"we are so disorganized. ohmygoooooodness I have"
type of girl.
Why follow through when you could move on to planning the next bigger, better,  most glorious project.
I'll tell you who. My husband.
The euphoria I get from planning? My husband gets from finishing a project.

The newness.
The excitement.
The fresh start.
Researching what we'll need to make this project perfect.
The supplies! Yessss! Buying the supplies that will change. my. life!
My heart beats faster just thinking about how amazing it will be.
The possibilities are endless.
Endless I tell you.
Instant gratification, baby.

Not going my way immediately? Peace, I am out.

I truly have great intentions.
Like last year when I decided I was going to keep the twins clothes organized so it be easier to rotate appropriate sizes in and out of their closet.
That's the best idea!
Where is the computer?
I need to make sure I'm being practical about this.
I need to research to make sure I find the best system. 
After all, this is going to make my life so much easier!
C'mon kids.
We have to go.
Cardboard storage boxes??
I'll take sixty.
Oh my gooooodness they are going to have the most organized closet evvvver.!!!


The majority of these bad boys are still in wrappers. And just for your peace of mind, sixty might have been an exaggeration.

Every month is going to be the month I get myself in check.
This month I am going to be so organized people are going to throw up.
I will be that annoying organized girl.
I should get a planner.
A planner.
And I will cut coupons.
So I need one of those coupon organizer things.
Marissa! you are a genius! You could save so much money!
You could be like those Extreme Couponing ladies but totally skip the whole hoarder stockpile room.
And a calendar.
Oh my gosh.
You so need a calendar.
We have to get to Target or the world is going to end!
How have I gone so long without a coupon organizer and a calendar!
No wonder our lives are in such disarray!

As you can see it looks like January is kind of a slow month. On paper, that is.

I really did have great intentions in the exercise department.
But how do you jump back into cardio without a new pair of shoes?
Yesss! Shoes!
Marissa: "do you think $74 is too much to pay for overnight shipping?"
Marissa: "No! We need these shoes, Marissa. How could we possibly take a lap around the block in old shoes?"
Marissa: 'You're right. If we are going to get serious we need shoes now. Like, right now."

They aren't even running shoes.
But, we did make it out for a little cardio.
We walked to my sisters house.

But after that walk I think I decided that wearing Stella for a jog hurts her neck.
She bounced all over the place the whole time.
Maybe pilates?
Yes! Pilates!
That reminds me, I so need to order a pilates dvd!
And that Physique 57 stuff that Kelly Ripa does.
I could have a body like Kelly in like four months.
I definitely need that dvd, too.

And, you all will be happy to know I talked myself off the cliff and opted for the free shipping.

Oh, and my recipes!
I'm a mom now.
I need to make sure all of my good recipes are written down!
My recipes will be part of my legacy.
I need a recipe organizer asap!

It actually has two recipes in it. Thankyouverymuch.

To clean? Must have new sponges! And another cup of coffee.
I should drink this cup of coffee, let it kick in and scrub this house from top to bottom. It is so ON when these babies go to sleep. And a new flavor of Method spray. The cucumber one is so 2011.
My new face care regime? Can't possibly start without new moisturizer.
Stella's room? How could I possibly put things away without a closet organizer? I mean, it doesn't even make sense, right?
Laundry? I can't wait for tonight! I will drink a glass of wine and fold all thrity six loads. It will be so nice to drink a glass of wine in bed and fold laundry. Yup, I'll wait until tonight.
And Pinterest!
I will get so many great ideas from Pinterest and my life will become so seamless.
I feel better already.

These are the conversations I have with myself daily. More like hourly.
It's exhausting being me.

So this year?
I resolve to implement a little more follow through.
I will do it.
But, obviously I have to blog about it first.
I'll blog about it and then it will be out there for the world to see.
I guarantee that if I blog about it I will actually follow through.

See? I'm already off to a good start.

the former Queen of Planning

Monday, January 9, 2012

Big Steps.

She came out of my belly.
She slept next to my bed.
Now she has moved to her own.
At least for naps.
She's a big girl now.

First nap in her crib. 

The twins had their cribs ready to go probably four months before they were born.
Stella's got put together yesterday.

Maybe it will make her sleep again?
Whattaya think Stell Bell?

Friday, January 6, 2012

and she saved the day

I'm banging this post out as Matty is holding the baby in the other room.
He thinks I am getting a "load of laundry ready" so I've got to be quick.
Having him off for two weeks has been bittersweet.
He's a drill sergeant, that Matty.
"No sitting down" around here says the man who gets a full nights sleep.

I have been trying to blog more.
And I wanted to blog yesterday.
Or today.
everyone in this house minus Stella Bella and I have been sick.

And guess what that means?
You are spared a detailed post about throw up and the twelve loads of laundry I have done in the past day.

But you still get a post.

My cousin, the queen of crafts and the creator of the most uh door uh bull food art you have ever seen, Amy, from Buggie and Jellybean does the most fun post every month.

I love them. And guess who she asked to share her deets?
And I vowed not to take anything out once she requested my presence.
But, I did throw away like four receipts and a Heineken bottle top. Because I just thought that was too trashy being that I already had a wine bottle opener. And I don't think that top was mine. I think it was Matt's. Yup, it was Matt's.

Anyways, she usually asks for a short list of contents and poses a few questions.
Apparently my list was long. I know. Can't stop talking. Story of my life.
I thought that list was just my email to her and she went and threw it on her blog.

So hop over.
And enjoy.

And Aim, I think you should do your purse next month and I ask the questions, capiche?
And no cheating unlike the last two you had. Or is that really how other peoples purses are?
I'm a mess.
Matt's yelling for me. He needs to get better soon because this whole taking care of a fourth child stuff is for the birds!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

my very first pinterest project

that i actually finished.
i've started many of them.
but you can give me a big fat check mark in the completion department.
and my husband is thaaaaa-rilled.
he hates that i start projects and don't finish them.
so annoying to a crafty free spirit such as myself.
can i get an amen?

i know crayon art is so four months ago
that is when i started this project.
and i finished it saturday.
an hour before our new years eve party started.
so without further ado, here she is.

i sorted 6,893,787 crayons into like colors.

peeled the labels off until all my nails broke and bled.
and made sure dark colors were actually as dark as they looked.

and melted.

i wanted four canvases, not just one so it definitely took a lot of trial, error and time but i'm happy.
not as happy as my husband is that i actually finished, but happy.

and everyone who says it is quick and easy is lying to you.
unless you leave the wrappers on, and only do one canvas. i wanted them off. and i wanted four.
my hairdryer turned them into liquid almost immediately making them splatter all over the place.
which meant new canvases, more peeling and insurmountable discouragement.
but i started over.
and i used a heat gun.
remember, slow and steady wins this race.
happy crafting, my friends.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

to make a long story short.....

oh lawd. through 2011
i don't know how, but we did.
and this post is anything but short but i'm covering a year, yo.
and she still loves to eat.
so does he.

his auntie jessy taught him "touchdown!"

she taught her, too.

life started to get really interesting once he started running. henever walked, just ran.

we confessed our little secret.

i was sure our sonogram would look like this.

thank goodness it looked like this.


he got his very first, second haircut.

and i started to get a belly.

she took her first steps.

and we spent a lot of time here. to clean up and instantly squelch sudden meltdowns.


he turned one.

and so did she.

and she was born. ruby james lewis. chloe's best friend.

we hit up after hours pediatrics for the first time.
breathing treatments and coughing. ohmy.

we spent a most days in our bathing suits.

and the craziness began to take on a life of its own.

we stayed cool with popsicles.

and they had a birthday party.
you were there?
and you never got one of these?
you're right, no one did.
i'm a terrible person.


we asked your opinion on names. and you know now, we listened.

we had a happy easter.

mostly because he was born. on easter. brandon michael pantaleo.

i continued to grow.

nap time became play time.

this little girl turned two. emma adley rodriguez.


we celebrated mothers day.

and i kept growing. and growing.

we frequented busch gardens. a lot.

and she began her mad love affair with watermelon.

we had a memorial for my grandpa, vincenzo pantaleo.

and my cousins and i honored him by making ravioli from scratch.

the baby liked the pasta.

and so did i.

we celebrated my daddy's birthday.

the same night as the memorial. bittersweet.

we realized it was time to babyproof.

we spent time with our cousins.

while aunt jaime was in alabama taking care of her. bethan grace james.


my family and sweet friend threw sweet pea a little sprinkle.

my mom made a beautiful diaper cake.

and my friend kelle, er, lauren gave me the

sweet girls.

we hit up my dads beach house for a few days.

and i kept growing.

apparently we forgot to babyproof.


they officially became water babies.


we celebrated this sweet woman, we call gran's birthday.

and you guessed it. i kept growing..

i wanted one last hurrah with my twinnies so we spent the day at the beach.

luckily i was able to send them home with bana so matty and i could spend the night and enjoy this.

she learned to swim.

and so did he.
and just when i thought i couldn't get any bigger,

she decided to make her debut. 11 days late. 11 days..

what an angel. stella maris stratton. born 8.12.11.

i love her.
but things got tough. i ran out of places to safely store her from her siblings while trying to get things done.

they adapted into their roles as big brother and big sister.

some better.

than others.

they took their first big step and started school two days a week.

she got to meet her great grandma.

both of them.

we made it out to the park for the first time as a family of five.


they became fast friends.

and i realized quickly how difficult life would be watching three under one and a half.

we had a girls night.

to listen to them play in the park.

we celebrated her birthday.

and picked pumpkins.
and became pumpkins.
and ate a lot of sugar. a lot.

he terrified us by turning blue and spending the night in the hospital.

we had a beautiful party honoring her.

and they got some time sans baby, with parents.

we ate turkey.

and popped these.

with them.

they stayed up way too late.
and we got another turkey day with them.

his love for her hasn't changed.

we had a dinner with gran and papa before they left for tennessee.

she played with lights.

while we decorated the tree.

 we went to see mickey.

and spent most of the night here. dodging the rain.

we rode rides and watched fireworks.

some of us didn't like them.

some of us did.

we made it through the night and ate the best cookies i've ever had.
what a year.

bring it 2012.
we're ready.
we're going to do big things this year.
but, we will not be adding another baby, that i can guarantee.