Sunday, February 28, 2010

Picture Day

About every six months, I go out of my mind and schedule family portraits. I am a lover of photography, and I can't wait for the day that my kids will cooperate enough for me to fork over the big bucks for a big, fancy professional photography setting. We're not there yet, so I do the next best thing, and schedule a studio appointment with an affordable photo-taking chain. That way, the bar isn't set too high when things don't work out, and your son screams the entire 90 minutes you are there.
Sloane was a beauty on this day...hamming it up for the camera, giving her toothy, perfect smile, being putty in the hands of the man behind the camera. We got some wonderful pictures of her, and I spent more than I had planned on hers just because they were so good. Her upcoming first birthday was justification enough for my splurge. :)
Sam....was not a beauty on this day. He was the inspiration of my blog moniker...a HOT MESS. If we were in the lobby of the photo place, he was peaches. If I could have gotten pictures of him playing at the lego table in the lobby, I would have. But, the minute we walked into the room with the bright lights and the fancy props, Sam lost his shit. No smiling, no cooperation, no sitting still. During our family photos, he kicked and flailed and shouted "No No NO!" The only thing that saved the photographer on this day was that the theme for the month is Easter...Sam loved the basket of eggs and the bunny, we worked with it, and managed a few good shots.

Word to the wise: Don't schedule your pictures at an affordable chain portrait studio on a Saturday afternoon. It was busy, and filled with families who had just walked in hoping to be able to get pictures. They were also booked with people who had scheduled their times. It took forever. I needed Xanax and large quantities of wine after that ordeal.
In 5 years, I will look back on these photos and laugh. But for today...I'm just glad they are over with for another 6 months...until Sam's 3rd birthday sends us back to the studio for another round of praying to the sweet baby Jesus for one good shot.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Grocery store chaos, and my renewed faith in humanity

I would like to first apologize to all of the shoppers at the Dillons store on 6th and Lawrence Avenue today. That crazy woman with the 2 screaming banshee kids and the full cart of groceries? That was me.

When I was young and stupid and childless, I used to roll my eyes and scowl at people who had carts full and screaming children. "Oh my God, someone control that kid!" I would think. Karma is a real B, Lindsey. A real B.

Fast forward to today, when I was racing down the aisles for groceries, with two upset, teething children (yes, both of them are teething. Fun times.) I don't often shop during the day, but we were out of pretty much all basic necessities, and since I'm fighting a cold and the cold weather, I didn't want to do the 20 minute dress for the frozen tundra just for a gallon of milk. So, I made my list and decided I'd just bang it out really fast. Really fast with 2 kids. HA. HA. HA.

The kids started getting upset, but I was halfway done so I decided to just press my luck. And the longer they lingered in the cart, the louder their whines became. I added the last item to the cart, and scurried towards the checkout area. There was only one checkout lane open, and there were 4 other carts lined up before mine. Great googly moogly.

So, we waited. And the kids whined and screamed. And the shoppers in front of me and behind me gave me those nasty looks. And I sat there, completely helpless, my face getting red due to the immense rage building inside of me. And then, an angel in the form of a cute little elderly woman came to my rescue. She came over, pulled a Kit Kat out of her purse, and said "I've been there. Hang in there mama, they grow up too fast." She cooed at Sloane, and told Sam he was a good big brother, and then she continued on with her shopping. The candy kept the kids quiet long enough to get checked out and to the car. I've never had anyone do something like that before. I'd heard of it happening to some, but I thought it was stuff of legend, like unicorns and good tasting fat free cheese.

Thank you cute little grandma angel. Your random act of kindness not only renewed my belief that there are good people out there, but it also kept my from selling my children to the gypsies.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


This is a blog I wrote during the Summer Olympics, but I love it so...and it still holds true today. :) Enjoy.

Inspired by the current Olympic Games going on, I've decided that there is another set of Olympic-style "sports" worthy of recognition by newscasters. Just like the Olympics, these sports test patience, strength, agility, and so much more. They require many hours of dedication, sleepless nights, and sacrifices. Theses, ladies...are the Mom-O-lympics.

1. Toddler Wrangling (Retail Store Style)- This event requires chasing your one year old, newly walking toddler throughout any retail store while trying to shop for a decent looking dress for your cousin's wedding. A dress that needs to be tried on and decided upon while your little one is crawling under the stalls of the dressing rooms, laughing and screaming at the top of his lungs. First one to check out with an acceptable piece of attire wins a spa day and an all-day, paid for babysitter.

2. Toddler Wrangling (Restaurant Style)- Also requires your newly upright toddler, but sans a morning nap and a snack. Did I mention it's lunchtime rush at your favorite downtown mexican place? And that your overbearing friend is the one who insists upon dining at said "hot spot?" The winner of this event will have fed, entertained, and restrained said toddler, all while feeding herself a complete meal, and futile attempts at conversation with said friend. Meltdowns will cost you angry stares from childless, fall rush sorority hopefuls, and meathead jocks from the college football team. Winner of this impossible feat will earn a shopping spree (sans children) at Nordstroms, where everything you try on will magically fit and look fabulous!

3. Nap time scramble- You just put your little one down for a nap, and you know you've got 45 good minutes of cleaning house. Your spouse is a slob, and it was your morning to host the toddler playdate, where other parents decide not to respect your "no food in the living room" rule. Your objective is to get the house picked up before the kid wakes up, and then once he does awake, keeping the house picked up until your spouse gets home to see that you actually "did" something today (roll eyes here). Hate to break it to you folks, but this feat is almost impossible. Winner will get a weekend away in Tahiti with her own cabana boy, while spouse stays home and attempts to "do something" while taking care of your kids.

These are only a few of the "events" for Mom-O-lympics. What else can you think of?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Zombie Day

Today is Zombie Day at Casa Taylor. That pretty much means I'm neck deep in questionable parenting techniques. :) Too much TV? Check. Junky, not nutritionally dense foods? Check. Pajamas? Check.

We've had a busy weekend, so we're veggin' out. I promise to do better tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I am tired of it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


My name is Sloane, and I love dog food. Even though my mom tells me 1,349 times a day to stay out of it, I can't help myself. It is delicious, and looks beautiful spread all over the kitchen floor. My mom is a buzzkill. I can only imagine what my teen years are going to be like.

Peace out,

Dear Sloane,
If I told you what dog food consisted of, you wouldn't be so anxious to shovel it into your mouth. I promise I am only looking out for you. And you don't have to worry about what your teen years are going to be like, because the convent you'll be going to has a structured curriculum, so I'm told.


Thoughts on life...

"People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost." -H. Jackson Browne

I read this quote today on True Mom Confessions. If you ever feel like you're having one of "those" days, go log on to that site. You'll laugh, you'll be appalled, you'll thank your lucky stars that things really aren't as bad as they could be. You'll also learn that most other kids are just as crazy as your own.

It's a very fitting quote for me today, as I sit here and wonder how I got to this place in my life. I'm a college educated woman, who had big dreams of taking the medical world by storm. And then I got hit by the love bug, and life changed, and situations occurred, and it became that I would put my career on hold to raise my children. If you'd have told me 10 years ago that I'd be a stay at home parent, I would have laughed in your face. And then I'd have to apologize to you today, and pay you the $20 I bet you that you'd eat your words.

It was one of the best choices I've ever made. It isn't a job for everyone (hell, some days it isn't the job for me!), but I'm fortunate to have the means to do it. It is a privilege to watch my kids grow up before my eyes. Every step, every word, every thing...I have been here to see. Making this choice meant that I would give up a part of myself...a part that I really loved. But it wasn't good bye, it was "see you later."

It's taken a while, but I have fully accepted that this is my life now. I made the right choice. Someday my road will fork again, and perhaps that day I'll choose to get back on the path I started on. But for now, I'm having a great time paving new roads--and memories--with my kids. I don't feel lost at all...I feel like I've finally found my place.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sloane is 11 months old today...*sob*

Today, Miss Sloane Elise is 11 months old. She walks. She says "mama" and "dada" and "book" and a smattering of other jibberish. She eats all by herself (mostly). She idolizes her brother, and can turn the world on with her smile. She reduces her daddy to mush with her bright blue eyes and her toothy grin.

Happy 11 months baby TT, we love you so much. We are so lucky to have you here. Stay out of the dog food.

Love, Mama

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Plague Food

The plague hit our house this week in a big way. There is nothing more exhausting, heart breaking, and pitiful than sick children. John and I were tired, crabby, and in need of some good comfort food. Enter beef tips and noodles.

I got this recipe out of Cooking Light Magazine. They have a section devoted to fast, fancy dinners in 40 minutes or less. It was rich, flavorful, and tasted like it had cooked all day, even though I literally slung it together in no time. And, I changed some of the stuff in it. Because when your children are sick and you look like you just got hit by a Mack truck, there is no need to run to the store for 2 tablespoons of minced shallot. Bitch please.

Steak Tips with Peppered Mushroom Gravy
-2 c egg noodles
-cooking spray (I hate cooking spray. Shit burns when you use cooking spray.Use olive oil. Trust me on this.)
-1lb top sirloin steak, cut into bite size pieces
-1 TBSP butter
-2 TBSP chopped shallots (or be ghetto like me, and mince half of a small onion)
-1 (8oz) pkg sliced bella mushrooms (or be ghetto like me, and use regular ol' mushrooms)
-1 tsp minced garlic
-1 TBSP soy sauce
-3TBSP flour
-1 1/2 c. fat-free beef broth
-3 thyme sprigs (or be ghetto like me, and dig waaay in the back of your spice cabinet for the Thyme that you bought in 1982).

1. Get some water boiling on the stove, and throw your noodles in.
2.Heat a big skillet to medium high, and throw your olive oil in, just enough to coat the pan. Add steak, and saute 5 min., or until browned on all sides. Remove from pan.
3. Melt butter in the pan and add the shallot and bellas (or the ghetto onion and buttons), saute 4 minutes, or until it looks done. Add garlic and stir a bit longer. Add soy sauce. Sprinkle flour over the mixture and cook for about a minute, stirring constantly.
4. Gradually add the beef broth, stirring constantly. If it looks too thick, add some more broth. We like it saucy around here.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste, and then add the thyme...about 1/2 tsp. Add the steak back in, and cook until warmed through. Hopefully you've cooked and drained your egg noodles by now.

I served it with a side of broccoli, because it's good for you and it's pretty. Oh, and a side of wine. Red. From a box. Because I'm classy.

So here's the final result: A nice meal that makes you look like you slaved over a hot stove all day, instead of a hot humidifier filled with Vicks Vaporub.

Red wine. I contemplated making this my dinner, but the food smelled too good to pass up.

JT approved.

Sloaney approved, too.
This is a rare sighting. Sam eating something for dinner other than Tyson Chicken Nuggets. I wrote it down in his baby book.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thoughts on love...

Nothing says "love" from your two year old more than sharing a piece of half chewed up chocolate. He even brought it to me and said "Wuv you mama...share?"

How do you say no to that? You don't. So, you mentally block out where that chocolate has been, and you let your son feed it to you. And you chew it, and swallow it, and tell your child you love him, too. And he wipes his chocolately hands and face on your shirt. :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Unofficial Mom Job #49823: Hair cuts

As I stumble my way through this thing called motherhood, I've learned that we moms have many jobs that aren't included in the manual. Like needing to clean out the cracks of your couch on a more regular basis. And checking the tiny hole on the booster chair when no matter how much you scrub, it still smells like something died in the vicinity of your dining room. And haircuts.

I love a good haircut. I crave a good haircut. There is nothing more relaxing in the world to me than having someone else cut, dry, and style my hair. My son does not feel the same way. He hates it. We've tried going to the barber, but when even the sweetest of old man barbers rolls his eyes when you walk in, you know you've got problems. So I started cutting Sam's hair here at home. I'm a decent scissor-wielder, and it's less stressful for me to do it here than for me to watch with wide-eyed horror as my son has a very public meltdown.

So here's my haircutting tip: Chocolate. Go buy it. Lots of it. I happened to have a box of Valentine candy a few days ago when I snapped and decided that Sam's Chia Head needed a trim. He still cried the entire time I snipped away at his mop, but he sat still, and didn't try to claw my eyes out. And because of the chocolate, he forgot that I nipped his ear. Oops.

I chalk that up to a Mommy Victory. Never underestimate the power of a good box of Russell Stovers.

Before: Scraggly. Verging on Bonnaroo hippy.

After: Neat. Ivy League prep. Mama likes.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Random Sunday thoughts.

Here's what's on my mind today. Enjoy a laugh at my expense. :)

1. If you really want Wheatfields bakery for breakfast, but you think your kids are going to be holy terrors, you should go anyways. You'll get a delicious breakfast. If you happen to have beautiful kids like I do (and let's face it, we've all got purrty kids), you'll also stumble upon a few friendly elderly strangers that want to hold and pinch your beautiful kid's cheeks long enough for you to shovel in your delicious breakfast. Win-win, my friends.

2. If someone tells you it's an awesome idea to wear a belt on your head Rambo-style, and you've had a fair share of wine and is indeed the most excellent idea ever. Rock that belt. Take pictures. Dance like a fool. Call a taxi home. It makes for excellent conversation at your next dinner party. :)

3. Today is the Super Bowl. I have no idea who is playing in it, and I do not care. What I do care about is that I've got 2 fun parties to hit, and I hope my kids aren't in Red Alert: Meltdown mode for any of them. *Please sweet baby Jesus, let them be good. Amen*

4. Sloane Elise, if you could please start acting like you like your food again, that would be super. You liked squash yesterday, what gives? I dont slave over a hot steamer for my looks, little darlin'.

5. And finally, thank you Sam for taking a nap today. It decreases the chances of Red Alert:Meltdown mode later. You get a pony. :)

Have a terrific Sunday friends! If we don't, you'll be sure to hear about it. ;)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A visit from Grammy Lindsey

I am one of the lucky few people I know to still have living grandparents. A lot of my fondest childhood memories revolved around visits to grandma and grandpa's house. I was also lucky to have such awesome grandparents. My grandma taught me how to drive, and how to cook, and how to sew. She also taught me how to laugh, how to love, and how to treat others. She is pretty much the bee's knees.

A few weeks ago, we were delighted to have her come for an extended visit. She doesn't drive anymore, so my aunt brought her up from Dodge City. The kids and I had three weeks of grandma bliss. She kissed boo boos, gave snuggles, spoiled kids, and helped me perfect my pie crust. She gave me reassurance that I was a great mom, wife and friend. We talked a lot about her childhood, my mom's childhood, and my childhood. She also got some much deserved rest and pampering, which I was happy to provide for the small price of having someone to talk to amongst all of my life's craziness. I cried when she left, just like my great-aunt Lola used to when we left her house. Our house has been missing something since she left, and we look forward to stealing her away again very soon.

My grandma is very special, and I cherish these moments she gets to spend with my kids, and with me. Each day we have her is a gift. And, because of her last visit, I no longer have to do the walk of shame down the pasty aisle of the grocery store for pre-made crust. :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Yes, I'm still here.

Hello out there. It's been a while since I've come to jot down some thoughts and give you all a few cute pictures to oogle. Well, my friends, the stuff of life has been keepin' us hoppin. Some of it fun stuff, some of it sad stuff...but all of it life.

JT and I took the kids to see Grandma Lolly and Aunt Marg one weekend. We think we finally got everyone their presents from the "Blizzard Christmas of 2009." Oh wait. I see a few more boxes upstairs. Darn. Well then, we're almost done. It was good for the kids to see grandma and their aunt, and Sam and Sloane got lots of grandma love. I'd like to show you a few pictures, but I forgot my camera that day. Bad mommy.

Let's see...what else is going on....OH! Sloane is walking. Everywhere. Up stairs and down, across rooms and down hallways. All while giving her mother a heart attack in the process. It's all bittersweet to me, since Sloane is my last baby (99.9% sure on this one)....and she's not a baby anymore. Pretty soon she'll be asking Daddy for that pony we've been promising her if she'll sleep through the whole night.

Sam continues to improve his language skills. A light clicked on in his little mind a few weeks ago, and he's begun saying tons of new words and phrases, one of them being "I love you mama." Makes my heart melt. Aside from the sweetness and words, his favorite thing to do lately is to run away when you're trying to dress him, change him, or get him in the car. You know, typical almost 3 year old stuff.

John continues to work too much, but we're still thankful that he's got a place to go to work, so I won't complain. :) We've been having fun planning out summer vacations, since this seems to be the year that all of my friends are getting married, all over the US. We look forward to some adventures in the coming months.

So, that's been our life in a nutshell. I promise to get back here more often and write, and of course supply the masses with darling pictures of my spawn. :)