Life Lately

I usually write in the evenings when the girls are in bed but I just didn’t have it in me last night. And so now I punch out these words while I allow the girls to make an absolute mess of my living room. Ah such is life.


I love how well the girls play together. What an amazing gift to have a friend for life. Sisters truly are the best. They don’t always see eye-to-eye but it is just fun to watch them interact and grow together.

A lot of disappointing things happened over the weekend but none that threaten our life or joy, so as the old adage goes: if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. And that was my plan for our usual weekend catch up post. I wasn’t planning to write one at all. But while surfing through the photos on my phone I wanted to add a few tidbits from the weekend.


It was disappointing circumstances that brought us to Charlotte Saturday morning, but while we were there we decided to make the best of it and treat it as a date.


Bagels and juice.


Saturday night was also fun. I made this great pizza recipe from Daily Garnish and then we headed out for the food trucks in downtown Mooresville to snack. We learned the hard way not to plan our whole dinner around food trucks. We usually end up hangry standing in long lines. So now we just go for snacks. We shared a plate of hand cut potato fries and deep fried Oreos.


Sunday night we capped off the weekend with a glass of red wine and this amazing dessert. You must run out immediately and make a skillet cookie! I topped ours with coconut milk whip cream.


Instagram-worthy shot versus how we really ate the thing:


That’s all folks. Hope you had a great weekend and the stress of back-to-school isn’t getting to you. We were treated with nicer temps yesterday and I can smell Fall in the near future. I know this is a stressful time for many but I’m just excited for the change of seasons and the promise of things to come!

Meal Plan Monday: finding my groove

This week’s meal plan included some incredibly delicious meals! I focused on easy meals that would create lots of leftovers and they turned out amazing.

meal plan monday.png

Sunday: Zucchini Lasagna

Monday: Chicken Foil Packets

Tuesday: Potato Salad and Hard Boiled Eggs

Wednesday: Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

Thursday: Chicken Sausage with Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts

Friday: Cauliflower Sweet Potato Burgers with roasted broccoli Leftovers

Sunday– this was one of the few meals that took a bit of preparation. Alex was home and helped me slice the zucchini and brown the meat so I could make the tofu ricotta. Once all the components were prepped I assembled this lasagna by layering sliced zucchini, pasta sauce, ground beef and tofu ricotta in layers. This recipe would work, only I used store bought sauce and tofu ricotta instead of cashew ricotta.


Monday– This was probably one of the easiest meals I have made in a long time. I threw the chicken in the foil packet with artichokes and Italian dressing and prepared brown rice on the side. Let it all cook and voila! Foil Packets for the win.


Tuesday– I felt like a cheater not making a “main dish” to accompany the potato salad but then I decided I didn’t care and served everyone some of our Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs with the salad. We all loved the pickles in this recipe!


WednesdayThis recipe took a little work to make the dressing but it was totally worth it. Homemade Caesar dressing > store bought! At the last minute I decided not to toss in the Romaine lettuce and added roasted broccoli instead. Because roasted broccoli is > Romaine! We had tons of leftovers of this meal which is awesome for lunches. And both the girls totally chowed down. Given they haven’t had pasta in months I am not surprised!


Thursday– Our go to week night meal. I worked an extra shift Thursday night so Alex was on his own to make dinner and feed the girls. Chicken sausage with sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts is one of our favorite 30 minute or less meals and the girls love it! We use Aidell’s Chicken Sausage in this meal. The apple flavor is especially good with sweet potatoes.

Friday– I really didn’t want to cook at all but resisted the urge to go out to eat. This is why having a meal plan is so key. Having everything I need in the fridge ready to go helps motivate me to stick to the plan. I pulled myself off the couch and tossed in all the veggies to roast in preparation for these veggie burgers and then my oven malfunctioned. I still have no idea what happened although the landlord claims it is fixed. In 10 minutes in the oven my vegetables looked like this. Not burned so much as smoked with toxic gas and fumes. Dinner fail. So instead we ate all the leftovers and carrots and guac and some pickles on the side. I was upset we wasted food, but even more upset that I wasted the energy to wash, peel and chop all the veggies!

Here is my weekly grocery list for the week including everything I needed to make these meals plus all the extras we use for breakfasts, lunches and snacks.

  • 1 lb Organic grass-fed ground beef
  • 2 packages Aidell’s Smoked Apple Chicken Sausage
  • 4 lbs Organic chicken breast (split between two meals)
  • bacon
  • 2 18 pack eggs
  • 2 lbs baby red potatoes
  • 6 lbs sweet potatoes
  • 2 ears of corn
  • basil
  • Brussels sprouts
  • ~4 lbs broccoli
  • 6 lbs bananas (we eat a ton of bananas!)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • extra light tasting olive oil (for mayo/Caesar dressing)
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • Romaine
  • baby carrots (2 lbs)
  • tomatoes
  • celery
  • red bell pepper
  • cucumber
  • lemons
  • 3 avocado
  • 1 lime
  • bread and butter pickles
  • dill pickle spears
  • anchovies
  • artichoke hearts quartered
  • walnuts
  • Italian dressing
  • gluten free pasta
  • frozen sweet peas
  • frozen fruit (for smoothies)
  • cashew milk
  • dishwasher soap

Our shopping total this week through Walmart online was $144. I am proud to say that we only ventured into Publix once this week and that was for a box of cereal, more milk, and a bottle of wine. I think staying out of the grocery store is going to be my number one way to stick to the budget in the coming weeks! Especially with fall approaching and all the pumpkin flavored everything!


A morning in Charlotte with kids

Want a fun place to play with your tots? We explored ImaginOn yesterday morning and had a blast.


Getting there was not a blast, however. Dumb 77 traffic gets us every time. I’m incredibly frustrated by this highway and feel like it takes away all the joy of living close to a big(ish) city. Getting to Charlotte is now such an ordeal! It is crazy to think that we are now making life plans that revolve around the traffic on this road and to know that it won’t be any better for a very long time (if ever) is highly disappointing.

Rant over. When we finally got through the traffic that held us up over an hour it was smooth sailing to ImaginOn. This unique library/museum is a haven for toddlers and moms. It is free (!) and incredibly fun. This summer’s open exhibit is The Adventure’s of Mr. Potato Head and my girls absolutely loved it.


We arrived around 9:30 and walked right into the Mr. Potato Head exhibit. Our friends Amanda and Piper came along too (thank goodness for friends who will brave traffic) and we all got to work creating our own versions of Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head. I think Eleanor could have stayed here all morning playing! I finally peeled her away so we could check out the rest of the exhibit. There were so many fun and interactive stations that a 3-year old could easily be entertained for hours. However, we only had about an hour to play before story time and that was the perfect amount for my 1 1/2 year old.


Story time in the library wasn’t much different than story time at our local library but the girls had a blast anyway. One of our favorite weekly activities is going to the library so it was awesome we got to do story time twice this week. After about 30 minutes of songs and books and activities we all walked over to 7th Street Public Market for snacks. Amanda and I each enjoyed a cappuccino from Not Just Coffee and we loaded up on muffins, croissants and pretzels (carb loading) from Local Loaf. The market quickly filled up with lunch goers. The public market is so different than anything we have in Mooresville that it was incredibly fun to just sit and people watch.


Nap time was creeping up so we headed out. I still had a few errands to run on the way home and of course we had traffic to contend with. Still it was an incredibly fun morning out of Mooresville. My stir-crazy ways needed to hit the highway this week even if we were only crawling along it.




A case of the Tuesdays?

I have a case of the Tuesdays. That’s a thing right? My attitude has been off all day and while I’d like to blame it on my children I know it’s me. The morning started off with a bit of pouting from my three-year old and it drove me crazy and instead of moving on and getting over it I decided to dwell in my self-pity…being a mom is hard, demeaning, ungrateful work. Nobody helps me with this and that, I’m all alone, I’m a servant, a slave. That kind of dialogue plagued my mind and ruined my morning.

A few things helped to turn it around…I ignored my children for about an hour and read a book. The girls terrorized the house while I happily sat on the couch doing nothing but read. Second, food. I ate my breakfast (finally) while my children watched, surely wanting a bite but too afraid to ask because mommy might really lose it then. Bless them. I was hangry. And last, while they ate their lunch I turned on a book to listen to and cooked dinner, once again basically ignoring them.

The irony is not lost on me that yesterday I was declaring how much I hate cooking and today it was my stress reliever. In the course of 45 minutes I whipped up a potato salad, Dump Mayo because I realized I used it all in the potato salad recipe but wanted some for the BLT I’m about to make for myself; then decided that while the food processor was dirty I might as well mix the Caesar dressing for tomorrow’s dinner. And last I boiled eggs to go with the potato salad for tonight’s meal. After I got the girls down from lunch I made them clean up the living room and get ready for their nap while I cleaned the kitchen. Now the kitchen sparkles, dinner is already to go and the girls are in their beds and it is only 12:30!

Can I also mention probably the number one thing that made my day…Eleanor made her bed. When I requested the girls pick up their toys from the living room in preparation for naps Eleanor went in her room and folded all the blankets, straightened the pillows and essentially made her bed. When I realized what she did I nearly cried. Making the beds is my number one way to feel better about the way my house looks and Eleanor went in and did it all on her own. I’ve never even asked her to do this before. She knew mommy needed it!

On Tuesdays I have been in the habit of writing about our weekend activities since I post our meal plan on Mondays. But today I’m a bit off track and just writing about the past 5 hours since we woke up. Admittedly it has been a hard day already but I’m now ready to turn that around and hopefully pay a little more attention to my sweet girls this afternoon…after they nap of course!


Autumn on my mind

Anybody else over the this hot summer weather?  Bring on fall y’all: pumpkins, apple picking, falling leaves and sweaters and jeans. We can’t wait for all of our favorite traditions!


I’m also desperate for some new structure and schedules. I really want to do some fun activities with the girls this Fall and have regular programs we attend each week. So far I have us signed up for Community Bible Study (CBS) but I am also considering dance or swim lessons for Eleanor and maybe Awanas. I might sign us up for Moms of Preschoolers this year too. I am needing some new mom groups to add to our social lives since so many of my friends’ kids are going to school or preschool this year.

I am also wishing it were time to start school with Eleanor. I think the kid is ready for kindergarten at only 3 1/2 years old! She asks to go to school all the time…probably because she hears the older boys and girls at boot camp talking. I keep resisting the idea of doing at home preschool or any structured curriculum but I think she would actually love it so maybe I will change my mind.

And can we just take a moment to remember what running in Fall weather feels like? I’m a little burned out of boot camps right now and have been slacking on my work outs this month. I keep wishing for cooler weather so I can start the day with a nice run. I don’t always love running but in the Fall it is my favorite!

I’m also anxious for all the consignment sales. Our community has so many great ones for kids and even one for women’s clothing. I just love shopping consignment for books and boutique dresses for the girls and sweaters and designer jeans for me!

What are you looking forward to this fall? I am really hoping we will squeeze in some hiking and maybe a camping trip as well as apple picking and a trip to the mountains this year.


Things I’d have to give up to really live small

give up to live small

In the last two years of apartment living we have learned how to live with less. We have an unspoken rule that when new things come in we must replace it with things going out. It is a constant stream of in and out, in and out, and we usually have a pile by the front door of stuff just waiting to go. But even with all our efforts we still have so much!

As we near the end of this chapter of our lives and get closer to moving back in to the house I am allowing the stuff to accumulate more and more. Knowing that we will have more space soon has made me less conscious of all the stuff. Bigger closets, more cabinet space, an actual laundry room…oh the joys of square footage! But I’m stopping to really consider what we will bring back with us. Will we fill our space just because we have it or will we be intentional with the things we allow in our life?

All that and our house living situation might still be temporary. We dream of the day when we can sell the house and pick a new place for our family to live. I secretly dream of Airstream trailers and tiny houses while we search for a home with a family room and space for guests. No matter where we decide to live next, living in this apartment has taught us that life doesn’t always have to be super-sized.  Our trajectory can be different than the typical upgrades most families make at this time in life. Maybe we will just continue to be different and keep going smaller. Maybe 900 square feet isn’t small enough. Maybe, just maybe, we will reach for 600 square feet. What would I have to give up then?

  1. Picture frames. Most certainly the endless amount of picture frames that I hoard would have to go. Luckily for us we have Instagram and Facebook to display our millions of photos.
  2. Books. Sadly my book hoarding ways would also have to end. I cannot help myself when I find kids books on sale for 50 cents or a dollar. The girls already have an extensive library and I cannot part with any single book. If we lived in a tiny house I would have to build shelves all over the place. You wouldn’t be able to open a cupboard or lift a cushion without finding books. Thankfully we will still always have the library…absolute heaven on earth!
  3. Our beloved Eleanor Rose dresses. (Did you see their latest sneak!!) Or maybe those would just be the only clothes I would keep for the girls. Although, if we lived in an Airstream they would be spending an exceptionally large amount of time outdoors and I’m not so sure I could handle those beautiful dresses being pulverized in the dirt and rocks and water. I think they would have to go. (Sniff. Sniff.)
  4. Shoes. We all have a giant shoe collection. Alex included. Eleanor has been in the same size shoe for two years and yet I still can’t stop buying the kid shoes. Alas, we’d have to pick out four or five of the prettiest most practical pairs and kiss the rest goodbye. Clothes and accessories don’t get me the way shoes do. They would be the hardest to part with.
  5. Small Kitchen Appliances. Can I keep my Vitamix? And my food processor? (They have different uses you know.) What about my bread maker, my ice cream maker, my back up blender, and my microwave? The toaster, the pizza maker, coffee maker, the Kitchen Aid Mixer…oh the Kitchen Aid Mixer!? I think this would be the clincher for me. I don’t know how I could live without my small kitchen appliances. Meal prep would be so different. We would have to eat much simpler. Our meals would have to be quicker and contain less steps. The prep space would be so much smaller. This would be the absolute hardest part of living in a small space, don’t you agree?

I have so many more I could include here…products, make up, toiletries, towels, dishes, board games, food, washer and dryer (!!), sanity, space, quiet…

The list goes on. What would be the hardest thing for you to give up?

Slow Summer Weekend

The biggest highlight of the weekend was the start of the Olympics. We stayed up late Friday night watching the opening ceremonies. Thank goodness USA came through alphabetically in the E’s so I could go to bed. Pretty much every day since, the Olympics has dominated our time. We wake up in the morning and turn it on. We hold our tired eyes open late at night to catch gymnastics and swimming. Gosh I love the Olympics!

After sitting on my butt all morning Saturday watching athletes race around, we finally decided it was time to hit the gym. I left the house with my weakest sports bra on and a regular old t-shirt because I wasn’t entirely convinced I would do anything besides scrolling Instagram while walking on the treadmill. As providence would have it, we arrived at the gym right as a cycle class was beginning. I stared through the window looking in having the debate to go in or not. A girl walked right up behind and said, “Oh just go in!” It was as if she read my mind…or my contemplative face.

You never regret a work out, right? I was happy it was over but I was also happy I did it. I would not have pushed myself to work so hard on my own. Alex was finishing up on the treadmill when the class was over and we gathered our girls from child care and headed out to complete errands.


The night before I sent Alex out to buy dessert and his car broke down! I guess that should teach me not to need dessert every single night. So Saturday after the gym we jumped his car and drove it to the shop. It was due for several other maintenance issues so we decided it was an omen to take care of those things. We also picked up our groceries (gotta love online shopping!) before we were home to shower for the day. We headed right back out so I could take Alex to work and then back home for a lunch play date with our friends Chrissy and Savannah.

We hodge podged a meal out of all the leftovers in her fridge and mine while the girls ran around and played. Before naps the girls all had a smoothie pop outside on the patio. When we make smoothies I try to save a little extra to pour into molds in the freezer for just an occasion as this. Healthy kid dessert. I actually can’t stand to eat cold popsicles but the girls love them!


Alex and I had grand ideas to get out of the house Saturday night, but after a long afternoon at work for him, and not enough sleep the night before for anyone, we decided to stay in, watch more Olympics, and have a good dinner.

You know the routine Sundays…breakfast, church, lunch and naps. Since we have so much time between the girls waking up (6:30am) and church (10:30am) I decided to give my new curling wand ($8.50 at Target!!) another go. I feel like I really figured it out and I got so many compliments all day! I felt like a mermaid! Now I just need to figure out how women make their curls last more than one day. After I sleep on them I’m not so in love anymore. Also I work out nearly everyday and they just can’t survive boot camp!


After church we decided to eat out since we had to take Alex to work again. I had delicious burger with peach salsa and goat cheese with sweet potato fries. We have to reign in our eating out and spending to stay on budget this month! I’m just so tired of cleaning the kitchen.


Back at home the girls took great naps while I watched cycling and spent the afternoon perusing Rent the Runway (<-affiliate link) for dresses for an upcoming black tie wedding. I’m getting so excited for a long weekend away from the girls with Alex and his family!


Sunday night concluded with more Olympics and a delicious dinner that Alex cooked. Ever since he offered to cook a meal a few weeks ago I have been passing off cooking duties more and more. I am just incredibly burned out on cooking and need a break desperately! The Whole 30 requires so much prep work to keep four people fed. We were up until midnight watching the women’s gymnastics so that made for a rough start to our Monday. I can’t help myself when it comes to gymnastics!

What is your favorite Olympic sport?

Meal Plan Monday- Letting go of the Whole 30


We are done with the Whole 30 and opening up the menu to a few new foods while still trying to maintain our healthy eating ways. Quite honestly healthy meals have never been the problem for us, it is all the snacking in between. This week alone I think we managed to eat ice cream four times! But all that is beside the point…here is last week’s eats:

Sunday: Turkey Tacos

Monday: Dinner out at Smoke Modern BBQ

Tuesday: Dinner out at Duckworth’s

Wednesday: Buffalo Tofu Lettuce Wraps

Thursday: Cauliflower Fried Rice

Friday: Crockpot Salsa Chicken Salads

Saturday: Sloppy Joe Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Sunday was the most relaxing day I have had in quite some time. Alex didn’t have to work and I really stepped back and let him handle most kid duties all day. We attended church and a birthday party and yet it still felt like a day off for me. He cooked all the meals and changed all the diapers. A quick meal of ground turkey tacos made it easy for him to do all the things. No recipe, just ground turkey, taco seasoning, salsa, lettuce and tomato.

Because of our unexpected Staycation we ended up eating way more than normal. I had originally planned to make spaghetti squash and meat sauce for Monday night’s dinner. Instead I cooked it ahead and brought it to the hotel with us so we would all have food for lunch the next day without having to eat out.

Wednesday I used up the rest of our sauce from the Buffalo Chicken recipe last week. I also made another batch of Dump Ranch and piled shredded carrots, tofu and diced tomatoes into a lettuce wrap. On the side I made sweet potatoes (surprise, surprise).

Thursday‘s dinner was a mash up by Alex and me. I prepared the cauliflower rice in the food processor ahead of time (so stinky!) and he fried it up with a few eggs, peas and carrots and Coconut Aminos. It’s a quick and easy meal and we make it so frequently that it is more a “throw together” sort of dish. But if you are looking for a recipe try this great one: Cauliflower Fried Rice

Friday was another family staple. We love this quick dish and it is another “throw together” meal. I toss chicken breasts in the crockpot with a can of salsa and slow cook all day. We use the chicken to top a salad of romaine, tomato, cucumber, guacamole and pico de gallo. Sometimes I will also grill up peppers and onions to include. We call this our “Chipotle at Home” meal.

Saturday was a crowd favorite. I used this Sloppy Joe recipe and just stuffed it inside a sweet potato. Can you see how much we love sweet potatoes around here? Fun fact: with both my pregnancies I could not stomach sweet potatoes. I couldn’t even look at a raw one without gagging a little. They are and always have been my favorite food except for those strange and hormonal periods of time.

I have found a great way to meal plan each week. I start on Pinterest where I surf through my Made it and Loved it, Dinner Ideas, and Whole 30 dinner boards. I then pick meals based on the meat (I try not to repeat meats too many times in a week) and cost. I repin the chosen recipes under my board This Week. I rarely use cook books anymore and rely solely on Pinterest for meal ideas. This system allows me to quickly find the recipes I need or to pass off cooking to Alex because he knows where to go to find the recipes. Once I have pulled up all my chosen recipes for the week, I hop over to where I order our weekly groceries and choose a pick up time. Most of the time I order groceries Friday night and pick up on Saturday morning after I leave the gym. This cuts back on eating out on weekends because our kitchen is stocked.

Last week’s grocery bill came in right at $95. We also spent about $50 at Target on other foods like milk, lemons, apples, tomato sauce and cereal. On top of that we spent about $100 eating out last week so it was a very expensive week of meals! I’m still working on getting our budget down but even this week’s Walmart bill is $145 and it’s still possible I will need to pick up supplies for lunches and snacks. I think a more realistic target would be $150 and I will just need to be diligent.

What is your weekly grocery budget and how many mouths are you feeding? I swear our girls eat more than Alex and me! They are and always have been amazing eaters.

Staycation in Huntersville, NC

My uncle came to town this week for a work training and stayed in Huntersville. We were looking forward to spending quality time with him and getting together for dinners after work but right before he arrived he called with a generous offer. He suggested we stay at the hotel using his points so the girls and I could enjoy swimming in the pool and getting out of the house for a few days. Initially the offer sounded a bit wacky. We only live a few miles up the interstate and we planned to spend plenty of time with him anyway. But then I remembered how much I have been itching to get out of town the past few weeks and I thought it sounded like a bit of random fun for our week.

I quickly discussed with Alex, then packed and arranged for my shifts at boot camp to be covered and we were off for a mini staycation. While Alex and Uncle Joey were at work during the day, the girls and I settled in for plenty of TV watching, vending machine snacking, and swimming in the pool. Because we were in Huntersville we also explored a few new-to-us parks and Birkdale Village.

Monday night we checked in to the hotel and met up with my uncle and we all headed to Smoke Modern BBQ for dinner. We have been talking about checking out this place for a while and jumped at the opportunity. The girls had BBQ chicken plates from the kid’s menu and the three adults shared an order of the ribs and the combo with brisket and sausage. We ordered the corn muffins, bacon wrapped shrimp and burnt ends as appetizers. We had so much food but not many leftovers which meant we all basically waddled out of the restaurant full of all the delicious BBQ. I’m so happy we finally made it there because the food was excellent. And it was half-price wine night!

Tuesday morning the girls and I jumped up and headed downstairs for breakfast. We feasted at the buffet before making our way to Birkdale for coffee and activities. We started at the fountains and I let the girls splash around for about an hour before they changed clothes and we headed to Barnes and Noble for lots of reading.

I may have mentioned it before but I started teaching Eleanor to read and it has been so much fun. She is a great student and I am so amazed and proud to watch her learn letters and sounds and words and sentences. Some of our favorite resources for reading:

The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading

Bob Books, Set 1: Beginning Readers

Now I’m Reading! Level 1: Playful Pals (NIR! Leveled Readers)

Back at the hotel we ate lunch that I packed from home and we all took a glorious three hour nap! I originally tried to get on the computer to work but the internet wouldn’t cooperate so I finally gave in and slept. It was the perfect staycation treat!

After we napped the girls and I went for a swim in the hotel’s outdoor pool and once the men were home from work we ventured out for dinner again. We ate at one of our favorite local places: Duckworth’s. I opted for a simple Caprese Salad for my entree since I filled up on all the appetizers. On our way home we stopped at Whole Foods for dairy free ice cream and wine. I also grabbed a Kombucha and Larabar for breakfast.

Tuesday morning we ate breakfast at a leisurely pace, watched PBS Kids and packed our bags. Ruthie had a doctor’s appointment which was conveniently in Huntersville and we stopped at Robbins Park on our way. The girls were brave climbing all over the tree house play structure and I just did my best not to yell out “Careful!” too many times (hashtag helicopter mom).

After a quick stop at a consignment store (where I found a set of the Bob books for $6!) and we were back in Mooresville and our little staycation was over. I honestly thought we would do so much more in the two days we had but barely made it through my list of ideas. If you find yourself in Huntersville with toddlers and time to kill, here are some other great options:

Have you taken your family on a staycation? What fun tourist attractions exist in your area?

disclaimer: affiliate links contained in this post.
Gymboree Sale On Now!

Parenting Three Year Olds

Everyone said three was harder than two.  I believed them fully. But I didn’t know just how hard it would get.


I feel like someone has stolen my happy little girl and replaced her with this emotional roller coaster. I can’t stay on top of the mood swings and the fits have me wanting to walk right out the door. I tip toe around everything, spell things out and avoid so many things simply because I’m afraid of the meltdown that will ensue. Somedays feel like one big fight from beginning to end. And I wonder if Eleanor’s life is any fun at all. How can being three be so incredibly hard?


I try to do fun things with her and it winds up hard and bad. I plan fun days and they end up all trouble. I reserve special treats for her and it always ends up in a fit. The more I try the worse it seems. I am consistent and fair and loving and everything is wrong. I am angry and threatening and I count to three and it is still all wrong. And I take a look around us and I can’t remember if Eleanor has smiled all day long. She whines when she wakes up in the morning, she fights anything we give her for breakfast, bed time is a nightmare and eating dinner never happens. I keep her on a schedule to help her adjust her expectations and it blows up. I try to be spontaneous and fun and that never works. I am failing miserably. All. The. Time.

Playing with friends is hard. But not having playdates is apparently a crime. Communication sucks. Negotiation is impossible. Compromise is non-existent. And crying is happening all the time.

Honestly, I think we are just in a down swing right now. We have been traveling so much lately. The girls just had a terrible cold with fevers and coughs. It was a holiday weekend with visitors and too many sweets and not enough sleep. It has been a perfect storm of environmental factors and three-year old tantrums. I miss my little girl. I feel like we haven’t really seen each other in weeks.  And I wonder when we will just be ok again. When will we start having fun again?

Parenting is so damn hard. Every day I count the mistakes I make. And even when I am not blatantly making a mistake I’m wondering if my choices and actions are right or wrong. There isn’t enough black and white in parenting. There are too many gray areas. It all feels so hard right now. And I’m just wondering when it is going to get easier.