Category Archives: Lindsay Maddox – Silly Mom Thoughts

Among her many useless talents, Lindsay Maddox is fluent in Whinese and can also speak a few conversational phrases in Gruntandpoint. Published author and creator of the popular humor parenting blog Silly Mom Thoughts, Lindsay finds inspiration and humor for her stories thanks her five-year-old, three-year-old, and a set of one-year-old twins. (No, they´re not identical. Yes, twins run in her family. No, they don´t have the same personality. Yes, she has a favorite… whichever one isn´t throwing a tantrum.)

In her free time (ha!), Lindsay stares blankly at the wall. She has also recently discovered an addiction to running that allows her to guiltlessly succumb to her other addiction to Starbucks. She is backed up by her parenting teammate and Superman husband, Clint, who actually does the dishes and laundry more often than she does. (Back off, ladies, he’s taken.)

Her outlook on parenting is simple: If you can´t laugh in the face of stressful parenting situations, you´ll surely go nuts. She recounts stories of her own parenting horrors, always transparent even when she´d rather not be, and always with a humorous twist. Her goal is for other moms join along in laughing our way through motherhood and realize that they aren´t alone in the struggles they face.

Follow Lindsay on her blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

When Toddlers Get a Hold of Pens

Here’s the back story:

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My two year old twins, Wyatt and Zander, have decided that they’d rather play than nap at naptime. They’ve been crazy. There have been more poop stories. They’ve been jumping around the room and falling off of the bed. It has been stressful, especially since two two-year-olds minus naps equals craaanky toddlers in the evening.

Since today is a crazy day from start to finish, I needed them to take good naps. After 20 minutes of them playing like nutcases in their room, I decided it was time to separate them.

Zander stayed in their room, Wyatt went into our room. After about 5 minutes of them yelling through the door, “Wy Wyyyy!” “Zannner!” “Are you?!” “Are youuuu?” Everything went quiet.

Sweet.

I was feeling sleepy, so I decided to head back and lie down with Wyatt.

I was expecting to find him like this:

Instead, this is what I found:

It took almost all of my energy not to melt for those big, wanna-be innocent eyes and maintain my Mom Voice.

Did you catch that “Who Me?” Look? No? Well, let’s see that again!

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So, I made him clean it up. But wait, it gets worse. I turned around and saw this:

Aaaahhhhh!

It’s my own darn fault for forgetting that all of the art supplies were in our room. Thankfully, the colors came off the guitar and Wyatt’s arm fairly easily. I’m not so sure about the bedspread, though.

Note to self: Do not leave a toddler in the room with a pen.

Little stinker.

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When she isn’t cleaning up the many messes of her four small kids, Lindsay Maddox contributes to My Life Monday on The Balancing Act Blogging Community. She also contributes to her own blog Silly Mom Thoughts. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter, too.

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Glimpses…

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Sometimes, I get glimpses of my life and my children; glimpses of what’s to come. Glimpses that give me hope that Clint and I are on the right track in our parenting. Despite nearly a week of all of us being stuck at home with a nasty virus, despite the fact that we’ve been at each other’s throats because we’re so stir crazy, I had some huge glimpses today.

Glimpses of Obedience

Zander was parked in time out because he didn’t listen to my demand to “Get off of the TV stand, Zander, that’s not safe.”
When his two minutes in time out was up, I walked over to do the usual “Why are you in time out?” spiel.
“Okay, Mister,” I said, kneeling down to him. “Why are you in time out?”

This is the part where I usually have to fill words in for him.

“A’cuz…” Zander began. I opened my mouth to give him the reason, when he continued, “I no dit down da TV.”

In my head, I was absolutely floored. On the outside, I made it look like this was a totally normal thing, that he was supposed to be talking to me in a full sentence despite the fact that he never had before.

“That’s right. You didn’t listen and you didn’t get down from the TV stand. That was dangerous and disobedient.”

“Sowwy, mommy,” he said, patting me on the head.

I didn’t notice that Wyatt had been standing beside me, holding a snack cup. He offered the cup to Zander and smiled.

Wyatt gave up his snack, voluntarily, to his twin brother who just this morning had brought him to tears at least twice.
Zander sat for two straight minutes in time out without so much as a peep AND was able to tell me why he was in trouble.

Wow. Wow.

Glimpses of Compassion

Earlier today, I took the kids out for a short walk to get us out of the house. Wyatt fell while running and Colby and Lily ran to his side, helped him up, hugged and kissed him, asking if he was okay.

A little while later, I was hacking up my lungs, thanks to this stupid cold, and Wyatt was on the couch next to me. When I stopped coughing, he leaned into me, wide eyed, and said, “You ‘k, mama? You ‘k?”

Last week, Wyatt, Zander and I were in the kitchen when Wyatt tossed his cookies. Zander, who had been on my lap, wiggled down. “No, Z, don’t go over there, I need to clean that,” I said, but to my relief, he was running the opposite direction. I began peeling Wyatt’s clothes from him when I turned and saw that Zander hadn’t run far. He had merely gone to the linen drawer to grab some towels. He bent down and was mopping up Wyatt’s puke from the floor saying, “Oh, Wy Wy! Oh, Wy Wy!”
Glimpses. I live for these glimpses.

For all of the terrible, difficult times, for all of the parenting tests that I absolutely fail, these peeks into the future show me that it isn’t one mistake or even two that will prevent our kids from being loving, respectful individuals. What matters in the long run, is that they witness compassion, they know love, and they are respected, so that they can turn around and do the same to others.

My kids are amazing. They are the most difficult challenge I have faced in my life (and they may be screaming at each other and tattling right this second), but they are good kids. I pray that they will always know that.

Overestimating my abilities?

Occasionally, I get a wild impulse to take on some do-it-yourself project, as was the case in my bathroom facelift last year. It’s funny, this concept of impulse. Truly, the way it works is that something has been bugging me for too long and finally, one day, I can’t take it anymore, so I decide to fix it. So really, it has been stewing in my mind forever, but the actual act of taking on the project is impulsive.

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Ever since we moved into our house four years ago, I have hated the colors in our kitchen. I don’t like the 80s beige-y fake wood cabinets. I despise the flat-painted off-white walls that hold on to every finger print and piece of food.

10 days ago, I stood in my kitchen looking out at the fall weather and realizing that we’re coming up to the “dark months” of the year. I knew that I would be stuck inside a lot. I knew those walls were simply going to get finger printier. I have come to grips with the fact that we can’t afford to move out of our tiny house any time soon, so why not change what I can about it to enjoy it a little more?

A trip to Home Depot with three totally tantruming kids later, and I had a gallon of paint for the walls and a kit to refinish the cabinets.

I tagged Clint in this picture on Facebook with the caption “Clint, you’re wife is up to something…”

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That’s one awesome thing about my husband. I can start crazy projects like that and he just smiles and nods in that humored, “I’m married to a nutcase” kind of way.

I got the impulse to start this project at 10am on September 14th. Swear to Bob… I thought I was going to have it done, or at least mostly done, by the time Clint came home from work that night.

Uhyeahright.

I didn’t take into account the fact that the cabinets would need nearly five friggin’ coats of paint. I also failed to account for whine breaks. Not wine. Whine. Like this:

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So, my project took about 9 days longer than I had anticipated. I had wanted to do the whole thing by myself, to say I had conquered this sweet DIY project on my own, but on day 4, when the kitchen still looked like this:
And my entire body looked like this:

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…I asked for help.

And by asked, I mean begged.

A friend agreed to come help and he and Clint took on the wall painting while I touched up the base. It was like I had cloned myself twice, but my other two clones were taller than me. And dudes. Together, we got more done in 3 hours, than I had accomplished in about 3 days.

Score!

It took me a few more days of touching up, fixing boo-boos, protective coating, and being way too OCD about clean lines, but in the end, it turned out friggin’ awesome. Wanna see?

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I have a curtain that will go on the back door and some white floating shelves to install on the walls, and I absolutely despise that light fixture, but I think it turned out pretty great! The best part is that everything in my kitchen is now wipe-off-able. Even those white cabinets have a special protective glaze that lets me wipe off those gooey kid prints. Yippeeeee!

I’m not sure if I overestimated my abilities so much as underestimated the time it would take to do this job. Thank goodness I had some help, or I’d probably still be chipping away at the project, one brush stroke at a time.
Have you ever taken on a DIY project that turned out to be more work than you expected? Do you have any DIY horror stories? I’d love to hear them!

A Weekend of Bliss

Oh my gosh, you guys. I have to tell you about the weekend I just had.

Here’s how it started:

  • Received invitation to one of my best friend’s weddings and saw that was a whole weekend family-friendly ordeal in May
  • Got excited about the whole idea, RSVP’d immediately
  • A month before the wedding, realized that taking 4 small kids to a place for the weekend that would likely involve late nights, partying, and fun, did not, in fact sound like a fun time
  • Tried to book a flight for my mom to come up from Arizona to watch them
  • Realized that airfare on Labor Day weekend is re-donk-ulous
  • Gave up hope
  • During a conversation with Clint’s mom, I mentioned our failed plans and she cheerfully said, “I’ll take them! Saturday through Monday? Yeah! Is there anything going on on Friday? Yes? Okay, I’ll take them on Friday through Monday.”

Not even kidding. My mom was stoked to do it, but since we couldn’t get her up here, Clint’s mom stepped up. How freaking lucky are we?!

So, Friday, we handed the kids off to Clint’s mom and left. I was genuinely concerned that she was going to have a rough weekend based on how the kids were acting when she arrived.

Friday night, Clint and I went to my friend’s house for a low-key bachelor/bachelorette party and crashed in the living room. Early Saturday, we met Clint’s dad for breakfast and then caught the ferry to our destination: Fort Worden on Port Townsend. We arrived early and decided to get lunch. At 1pm, we sat devouring fajitas and sipping margaritas kid-free. I ate so fast that I ended up having a serious stomach ache for the next several hours. I realized it was because I’m so used to stopping to feed kids, to get kids drinks, to wipe someone’s face, that I’m not used to having a whole uninterrupted meal to myself. Glorious.

It got better. We were still there too early to check in, so we sat on the beach. It was in the mid-70s and there was a refreshing breeze. I laid down on my stomach, Clint dropped handfuls of sand delicately on my feet, and I quickly fell asleep. On the beach. In the sun. Heaven.

People began arriving and Elli and her soon-to-be-husband handed out our room keys. We drove up to where we’d be staying: A house that’s bigger than our own, where each couple had their own bedroom and we shared a common living area. We claimed our room and  took another nap.

The sun was beginning to set while we all gathered on the beach for dinner. We chatted with some friends of Elli and Roddy’s that I had met before and a friend of mine from growing up arrived, who I hadn’t seen since graduation. It was way too much fun to catch up with her and throughout the weekend, I found myself thinking, “Why the heck weren’t she and I better friends in school?!” Seriously, this lady is a riot.

Most people remained at the dinner mingling, drinking beer or wine, and hanging out on the beach. Clint and I decided to stroll down the beach alone. We chatted. We giggled. We talked about how refreshing it was to be gone from the kids together. We’ve had our own breaks separately, but I don’t even remember when we had a true break together. We snapped a photo at sunset and then headed back to bed…. and then to sleep.

Sunday, we slept in and went for a run. Again, I don’t know that we’ve ever been able to run together, so that was awesome. It wasn’t my best run, I was nursing a throbbing headache from my beer consumption the night before, but it was pleasant weather and the beach scenery was to die for. We ran out to a historic, beautiful lighthouse and then back for showers.

With several hours to kill until the 3 o’clock wedding, we decided to head back into Port Townsend for lunch. Since I picked Mexican the day before, Clint insisted upon burgers the next day. We bellied up to the bar, had a drink and waited for our burgers to arrive. No kids. No whining. Just us. We took our burgers to go and had lunch on one of the piers overlooking the Port Townsend waterfront.

Bellies full, we headed back to Fort Worden to get ready for the wedding. If the entire beautiful weekend hadn’t already clued us in for what was to come, nothing else could have. We walked about a quarter mile through woods and then came to a small grass field. Immediately, we discovered that we were on The Bluff. A stunning view of the ocean and far-off neighboring island stretched out before our eyes. The sky couldn’t have been bluer. The view couldn’t have been more peaceful. It was breathtaking.

Always the non-traditional one (which I absolutely adore about her), Elli’s wedding continued on that same vein. The wedding party consisted only of the bride and grooms’ sisters. The officiant was Elli’s aunt who spoke beautifully about the couple and made us all laugh.

The part that choked me up, though, was one brief moment at the very beginning. Elli’s dad, Clyde, dressed in Scottish garb, played the bagpipes as the wedding party walked down the aisle. Then, when all of the party had traveled down, Elli walked up, linked her arm in her dad’s and they walked together down the aisle while he still played the bagpipes. It was beautiful.

Their vows were unique and as “awww” worthy as they were funny. I am so excited to see what happens for these two. They truly are wonderful, and you could see it in everything they did at their wedding. There was careful thought put into every guest invited, every detail attended to, every last unique aspect of the weekend.

Following the wedding, the bride and groom exited, led by Elli’s dad, and we all followed back to the USO building, Clyde bagpiping nearly the entire way down. It was too. Freaking. Cool. When do you ever get to be a part of the wedding, instead of merely a spectator? It truly added to the collective “You’re here because we consider you our family” aspect of the weekend.

The reception initially seemed pretty wedding reception-y. The slideshow was beautifully done, the food was delicious, and I was getting sleepy. I honestly began thinking, “Well, you’ve seen one reception, you’ve seen ‘em all…” and I actually considered calling it a night at about 7pm (sorry, Elli!). I am SO SO glad I didn’t. I mean, I should’ve known better, anyway. I know my Elli-o and I should’ve known the night was only just getting started.

They hired a band called The Tallboys, a fantastic Bluegrass band to play some, well, Bluegrass. Not generally my genre, but hey, it’s a wedding. BUT then… they started doing some group dancing. Then, it became square dancing. Before I knew it, several hours had passed, my dangly necklace had broken from all of the swinging around, my calves and balls of my feet were on fire from standing tippy toe to dance with a lot of different much-taller-than-me dudes, and I was sweating profusely. We all were.

I looked around several different times and nearly everyone was on the dance floor. It is a feat to get merely a few people out there at a wedding, but the majority of the guests, young and not-so-young? Unheard of. But, there we all were, do-si-do-ing, swinging, ducking, twirling, promenading, sashaying… It felt like I was smack in the middle of a country hoe-down.

After the band left, the iPod DJ emerged. Clint and I Riverdanced. We did The Twist. We acted like we knew how to grind and I did a lot of jumping around and running man moves. We left the party around 11pm, dripping with sweat, giggling, and incredibly exhausted.

Monday morning, we hopped in the car and left for home. I read a book aloud, something that we love doing together, and we talked about the wonderful weekend. We arrived home an hour before the kids (Clint’s mom had taken them down to their house after the first day), and when the kids arrived, we greeted them with lots of kisses and hugs. We said belated “Happy Birthdays” to Wyatt and Zander, who turned the big 2 on Sunday.

And life returned to normal. Tantrums ensued. Diapers needed changing. But suddenly, we felt like we could tackle it with a little bit more patience. For me, in the midst of those trying moments, I find my happy place, where I’m lying on the warm beach, dozing off to the sound of waves and the feeling of sand on my toes. Ahh.

It was a wonderful weekend, indeed.

(For those who might be wondering, Clint’s mom survived the weekend mostly unscathed. She did have a poop fiasco similar to this one and did have one morning of crazy early risers, but for the most part, it seems like it went okay. Whew!)

Who knew, a little gray bar could be the answer I’ve been searching for to get rid of my pimples?

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When my peeps at Lifetime Network’s The Balancing Act asked if I wanted to try out the Comora Beauty Bar, I thought, “Eh, why not?” I didn’t really get what it would do, but I like trying new things, so I thought it would be interesting to try. It came in a pretty purple box, but the bar itself was pretty unexciting. I quickly learned not to judge an all-in-one beauty bar by its looks.

I skimmed the instructions and saw that it could be used as an on-the-go shaving cream. Since I have 4 small kids and everything is on-the-go in my world, I decided to try that out first. The cool thing about the Comora Bar is that you’re supposed to lather up the bar and put the suds on dry skin. I was leery at how it would work, but after some lather, a couple of drops of water to make it more shaving cream-y, and a quick shave later, my legs were crazy smooth and moisturized (which is a big deal for me, because I tend to have dry skin).

I admit I was also leery to try the Comora Bar on my face, because the instructions say that sometimes more breakouts can occur initially. I didn’t have anywhere important to be for a while, so I decided to give it a shot. As a back story, I have recently had the worst breakouts along my jaw line and have tried anything and everything to get rid of these painful, ugly pimples. I don’t want to sound like a cheesy infomercial, but I crap you not, after the first use of the Comora Bar, my skin cleared up. I used it again, and again, and again. Within a week, there were no more nasty pimples along my jaw line. My foundation went on smoother and I found that I needed significantly less foundation than I had previously.

Who knew, a little gray bar could be the answer I’ve been searching for to get rid of my pimples?

I have since tried using it as a mask, have continued using it while shaving, and, of course, to wash my face in the morning and at night. I think I am hooked. The best part, is that small bar goes a very long way.

The Comora Bar is made of all natural stuff, which I think is super duper, but when it comes down to it, all I care about is that it clears up my skin. The naturalness of it is merely icing on the cake and makes me feel like I can brag about my all-natural beauty products. Makes me feel all health-conscious and hoity-toity or something like that.

I’ve since read that Comora has a whole line of natural products that I think I’m going to have to check out. I can’t go back to those nasty adult acne jaw line pimples again. Yuck.

In accordance with FTC guidelines, I’m letting you know that I received the Comora Bar with the intent to review on this blog and received no further compensation. The opinions are all mine.

Thanks to the Comora Bar, Lindsay Maddox is currently pimple-free. She contributes to My Life Monday on The Balancing Act blogging community and shares stories of parenting hilarity on her blog Silly Mom Thoughts.

Auntie Anne’s Pretzels at Home?! Seriously.

When I was asked to try out Auntie Anne’s at-home pretzel making kit, my mouth automatically watered. I immediately thought of the delicious aroma that surrounds my favorite snack spot in the mall and was excited to have the same delicious, buttery scent wafting through my own house. For fun (and because I am totally insane), I decided to bring my four kids in on this culinary adventure.

Here’s how it went:

Step One: Pose for camera.

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I determined that my kids were neither patient nor buff enough to do the heavy mixing of dough, so I mixed it together with the promise that they could mush it a little bit, too. Of course, one of my two-year-old twins decided that eating the dough sounded like way more fun:

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Mmm. Yeast.

There was some drama over whose turn it was to knead the dough, but my six-year-old maintained control over the situation while looking over the easy-to-read instructions:

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The instructions called for the dough to rise, which none of us had the patience for, so I popped it in a warm, moist oven for about 30 minutes, which worked perfectly.

When it came time to roll the dough, I had hopes that my kids would be able to handle it. After all, they are Play-Dough masters; I figured this wasn’t all that different. In actuality, rolling the dough was not their idea of a good time.

Wyatt poked at his and gave me a look of, “You’re kidding me, right?”

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My four-year-old, Lily, got a lot more into it, and actually wanted to learn how to make a true pretzel shape (which was a lot simpler than I had expected it to be, thanks to the instructions).

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In the end, I ended up doing most of the pretzel creating, but it definitely was fun to get messy with the kids. On the package of Auntie Anne’s, it recommended creating your own pretzel letters, so that’s exactly what I did:

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Lemme tell you, The Balancing Act never tasted so delicious.

The kit made about 7 decently-sized pretzels, plus The Balancing Act creation, and came with cinnamon and sugar and salt to top them with. They turned out as delicious as the mall’s Auntie Anne’s and made my house smell yummy and buttery, too.

Delicious? Check.

Easy-to-read-instructions? Check.

Quick snack? Notsomuch.

Fun project to do with kids? Check.

Did I mention delicious?

Lindsay Maddox wanders through shopping malls drooling over the scent of Auntie Anne’s Pretzels. She also contributes to My Life Monday on The Balancing Act’s blogging community and is the author behind Silly Mom Thoughts, a blog dedicated to chronicling the hilarity of raising four small kids (including twins). You can stalk her here and here.

One month down.

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Last month, I confessed that we’re broke and told you about how we’re going to fix it. This past month has been eye-opening, to say the least… and has sucked, more than a little. Here’s an update on the first month of our Total Money Makeover:

We budgeted everything out to the “t” and realized that we have way more expenses than income. Not a good thing. So, we decided to make some cuts.

First up, Starbucks. Ouch. Yeah. To fill the void left by a lack of Starbucks deliciousness, we have been making coffee at home. And, since hot coffee in the summer isn’t usually appealing, we make a pot of hot coffee, add some sugar, and put it in the fridge. Then, when we want a cold coffee, we pour it over ice, add a little milk or creamer and voila! Caffeine on ice.

(And it cost pennies for an entire pitcher of coffee as opposed to $4 per cup. Win.)

Next, going out to eat. We used up a gift card for a Father’s Day dinner (and made total dorks of ourselves). We have been eating at home, and inviting friends over. We have cut back on the alcohol purchases by settling for the super cheap stuff, and only on occasion. (Did you know that Mojitos are just as delicious with the bottom shelf rum? They totally are.) Of course, there are times when it’s lunch and the kids are screaming to eat and I don’t have the energy to make lunch after spending the morning at the park. In those occasions, we roll through McDs and settle for the Dollar Menu stuff, instead of getting those darn Happy Meals that cost a fortune.

Gas. We got kind of lucky on this one. Clint started a new job this month that is all of 5 miles down the road, instead of the 30+ miles he had been commuting before. We have been staying around home more, and I have curbed (most of) my whims to take long drives to visit friends and family who live a couple of hours south of us.

Credit Cards. Our current credit card has a 0% APR until September. We knew full-well that we wouldn’t be able to pay off the $7,000+ that was on the card in the next month, so we started looking at other options. We decided to divvy up the balances between three different credit cards that had 0% APR offers (and one that had free balance transfers, to boot). It sucks to pay balance transfer fees for basically nothing, but it would suck more to pay back-interest on $7,000. We’ll take the fees, thanks. So, now we have bought ourselves another year of paying off our debt and have vowed to not add any new debt to the cards.

Cutting the Cord. My hugest vice is my Costco credit card. I love Costco and I love finding things I didn’t know I “needed” when I’m there. With a family of 6, I can’t cut Costco out of my life, but I can cut up the card. I won’t impulse buy at Costco when I have a specific amount of cash in my hand, so that’s how I’ve had to force myself to face the big C. It is tough, but totally necessary.

This past month, we have turned down several different opportunities that would end up costing us money. We have gone through the highs and lows of making our way to financial freedom. Right now, it feels like we’re trapped, but I know that if we keep doing what we’re doing and stay smart, that things will turn around.

Our bank account looks slightly better than it did this time last month, which is funny, considering that we have been spending more money out of it, since we’re not putting anything on the cards. We still have a ways to go before we’ll see a significant balance, but I believe it will get better. It has to.

I have had a recurring dream that I can only attribute to the stress of our finances. In every dream, I am immobilized and can’t move, no matter how much I want to. Sometimes, I’m stuck in a very small space and start to hyperventilate because I don’t know if I can get out. Other times, I’m walking and have a place that I’m focused on getting to, but my legs give out beneath me.

These dreams are frequent, vivid, and disturbing. I really want them to go away and I am certain that they all reflect what I’m feeling about our finances. We can see where we need to be, but we can’t get there as fast as I want us to. Unless we have a windfall of thousands of dollars, paying off our debt and building savings is going to take a very, very long time. I want us to be able to splurge. I want us to decide to take a weekend roadtrip and have it happen without stressing us out financially. I know we will. But for now, I feel trapped.

Another month has begun and we’re still at it. We need to sit down and reevaluate our budget, compared to how it worked out last month, but I think this month is going to be even better. We have our Costco card and Macy’s card to pay off, and then we’re cutting them up, and that will feel awesome.

Until next month…

Lindsay Maddox sips on her budget-friendly coffee while she writes for My Life Monday on The Balancing Act’s blogging community and on her own blog Silly Mom Thoughts. Since you won’t find her racking up credit cards at the mall, you can find her here and here.