I'm the kinda girl who...

could eat chocolate with every meal. Chocolate chip muffins have already happened. Chips Ahoy yogurt (uh huh) is about to happen within the hour

leaves clean clothes in a laundry basket beside the bed for...months (?) but the second the dogs track in mud, I turn into a mop-wielding Hulk

lives for the change of the seasons but would give them up to live for one season called THE BEACH if I could take my job and my parents with us

but at the same time, loves to make the most of this city, exploring new restaurants and kid activities every chance I get!

hates everyone's feet except my daughter's. They're currently on the keyboard as she is trying to "help" me type with her heels

would hire a weekly house cleaner in a minute, if only in that minute did I not think about how much money that would cost

is down to one regular show: The Bachelor! Now that Lesley and Des are gone, I think I'm on Team Lindsay. Thoughts?

puts on my makeup at stoplights on the way to work. Anything that gets me a few extra minutes of sleep!

instagrams her food all the time. Can't help it.

can't get through a few minutes without thinking about this girl who stole my heart almost 2 years ago
Her hair isn't wet. It is full of 3 kinds of syrups: Prednisone, Amoxocillin, and Aunt Jemima

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Are you there, Spring, it's me...

Being an Easter baby, I am very cognizant of Spring's arrival. I anticipate it with every fiber in my body but know that our Ohio weather will play out the same way every year. We will get a little warm spell in mid-March, everyone will get all excited and bust out the flip flops and then at the end of the month, they will grumble and wonder "Where is Spring?" when it snows. I cannot tell you how many birthdays I spent searching for Easter eggs or going to Baskin Robbins in the snow.

But that doesn't keep me from daydreaming. Let's talk about Spring fashion, shall we? Here are some of my Pinterest favorites that I'd love to buy this season...

Colored jeggings

Leggings aren't quite enough substance if you aren't pairing them with a long top. I bought some hot pink FMI jeggings from Boho 72 and can't wait to try some pastels!

Colorful shoe inspiration
1. Converse (sold out!) 2. Sperry for J. Crew  3. Havaianas  4. Kate Spade (also sold out)

I don't seem to have luck with finding the sources of the clothes I pin. But I love the sheer trend because it lends itself to layering. Seriously, that dress would not come off all summer!

Fun accessories
1. Free People feather pendant  2. Pure Vida Salty Sea set (I love their concept and all their bracelets!) 3. Loft scarf

Chambray shirt 
Again, Pinterest will not take you to the source. I have tried two shirts at Target and returned both. I have my eye on this one and this one, if they ever go on sale!

 Purpley-pink polish
Splash of Grenadine by Essie

Oh it's the 21st? Where have I been?

As the 21st of every month nears, I get excited about Larkyn turning another month older. I start to think about what she will wear when I take her "official" picture. However, we are in the land of THIS right now...

The Starbucks was not prescribed, but should have been.
If you follow me on Instagram (Which you should, because I am relying on it more and more as a sort of micro-blogging!), you'll already know that we have been fighting a "cold" around here lately. It was a little annoying at first, Larkyn was moody (we thought), and the humidifier/Benadryl were our saviors. Benadryl because you can't give kids under 4 cold medicine. You basically have to "let it run its course", elevating their head, drying out the sinuses, and basically doing nothing that helps get rid of the cold.

Finally getting to use her wiwwow to elevate. That does nothing, FYI.
Until that one night. When from 12-2 am, your baby is screaming bloody murder, thrashing and throwing stuffed animals like they are on fire and acting like she is possessed. And your husband has to wake up in 3 hours to go to work and is less than happy with this situation.  This is not my kid.

It had been one week. The "lost week" we shall call it, because I couldn't tell you what I taught at school, what was on TV, what we ate. Everything was revolving around this so-called cold. After talking with some moms at school (thanks, Amber!), they immediately said "Ear infection". And Amber even went as far as to say "I have some breathing treatments if you end up needing them." I had no idea what she was talking about.

One hour after school, we left the doctor's office, both shaking, her still screaming, and probably everyone in the office needing a beer. Oh, and a breathing treatment nebulizer tucked under my arm with 4 prescriptions stuffed in the abyss of my mom-purse. Yep. Those experienced moms know what they're talking about.

The breathing treatment in the office was absolute hell. Hands-down most stressful experience of my life. The poor nurse...I kept thinking "I need to send her flowers". And the doctor (not our normal doc) kept shouting instructions handing me papers over the shrieking and flailing limbs. Does she have asthma or bronchitis? I have no idea. I just did what I was told and left a message with the nurseline to please reiterate WTF is going on because I heard none of it.

Anyway, THAT is where I've been. And Larkyn is 22 months old today!
This is her unimpressed face. She's watching her shows and wearing the outfit SHE wants to wear.

Funny things you are doing: Singing The "I love you" song from Barney, Twinkle twinkle, and ABC song but adding very random words (subway? walnut?) , putting anything on your head to be a hat

Your vocabulary is growing with: "NO-wuh!" to very assertively resist, "Oh-KAY!" which is a total mimic of your mother's gung-ho way of getting children up and at 'em, "Yo-git" is your New Yorker way of asking for your favorite snack, "Whoa-ey" to call Zoe to her cage, "Me-meow" for oatmeal (ha!)

We love it when: You do sweet things like giving the dogs their blankets, sharing your food with us (Mmm, mushy Kix!), count to 10 on your fingers, say thank you/you're welcome/bless you, AND I almost forgot that you started saying I LOVE YOU! (Yuh-you) Best sound ever.

We are on the mend here, hoping to be back in the real world sometime soon! In the meantime, we are proud of daddy and his first radio spot with Fire & Ice Sports in LA. You can listen here, fast forwarding to 10:15. And FYI, Shane Larkin is not the namesake of our child.


Have you found it?  Does it exist? Just when I think I am doing fine, it is made clear that I am not. Let's just cut to the chase. Being the employee/teacher/mother/wife/friend/daughter that everyone is happy with all the time just isn't happening. I guess? How do you make yourself OK with it? From my earliest memories, all I can remember is wanting to please. But at the same time, there are the opposing forces calling for me to stick up for myself. Sometimes it feels like I have 2 choices: make them happy OR do what I think is best for them/stick up for myself.

Is that how it is? Where is the gray area I love so much...where we can both be happy?

I know my sick kiddo requires medicine. Part of life, you know?  Choosing to just not give it to her because she is currently throwing punches and screaming every time it gets near her face would be irresponsible. But I can't explain that to her.

Because I have worked with children my entire life, I know that a tantrum is never solved by giving attention or giving in. It will not stop and the behavior is reinforced. Anyone who took psychology remembers Skinner and behaviorism. Yeah, it sucks to deal with it for 5-10 minutes, but the every time I give in, I am creating a child I do not want her to be. I do not want her to be entitled, in control, or not know how to deal with her emotions when she does not get her way. I could go on and on about this particular topic for days, but I'll stop there.

Work. I have demands. I have 45 "clients" and their parents to keep satisfied. They need to be loved, challenged, safe, and God forbid I forget a birthday crown. It is an awesome job, but there is little room for error. There are daily standards to be met, performance measures to track, paperwork out the yingyang, and having my daughter sick on professional development day did not help me feel like I am "safe" in this area either.

Every individual needs time with friends. I try to see them at least once a month. Is that enough? I don't know if it is in their book, but I sure hope so. The weeks are flying by so fast that it seems like a month goes by pretty quickly. To arrange childcare and be fair to my mom/Matt is not easy. I am walking that line of asking too much. But I miss this part of my life (don't we all?) and again, I feel that internal tug of war between pleasing 3 different parties.

Is it just me?

And the rest of my existence is the everyday CRAP. From the minute I leave work, I am getting groceries, putting them away, cooking dinner, and cleaning. And yes, our house needs cleaned every day because it is small, we have animals and a kid. And it does not clean itself. I have to be careful here because I don't want this to sound like a "rant" or a complaining post. It's not. It is stating that I am a piece of chewing gum that is being stretched in so many directions and feel a destructive guilt as a result.

It's like...how do I find peace with letting someone down almost on an everyday basis (it seems). How do I reconcile that me going out to buy birthday gifts for everyone else DOES take me away from home but what the hell else am I supposed to do?  How do you say "Throw a fit because I gave you milk instead of water" and not be viewed as a mean mom?  Or do I just do what I know is right and have to grow thicker skin?  What do you think?

A Valentine's Day tradition...

You are probably thinking that there is some sort of neat idea you could use with your loved ones every year on this blessed day of happiness. Nope. We are 2 for 2 on having a sick baby on Valentine's Day. Last year, it was the first ear infection. This year, the poor thing has an old man cough:( So, in lieu of a Valentine photo shoot and showing the adorable things I would have loved to have made with my little one, let's focus on the ways I see love in my everyday life...

Spending time with PawPaw today. She has started calling every older gentleman we see "PawPaw?"

Quiet times with daddy. Typically you will see this duo kicking a ball, out at a hardware store, or sharing some sugary snack mommy that wouldn't approve. They say you fall in love even more when you see your husband as a daddy. True, true.

Valentines Day in kindergarten is absolute CHAOS, but look at all the tokens of love I receive. In addition to their sweet hugs, crayon portraits of me wearing triangle dresses, and constant poking of my butt, they know I love chocolate!
This. My mom and my baby. That's it. My mom made Valentines Day into a huge holiday for me, and I feel a little bad that I haven't quite measured up. I guess that's why we have Nana!
So there you go...a few glimpses into the everyday love around here. Happy Valentines Day everyone. You are loved.

Chocolate-dipped Nutter Butters

I'm not sure if there is a quicker, more delicious Valentine recipe out there!  When I started these, I intended for them to be completely chocolate-covered. More power to you if you can succeed at this, but I lost my patience and almost my mind with that task. Oh, and do you like Tagalongs? If so, here is your answer. Enjoy!

Chocolate-dipped Nutter Butters
recipe told to me by a parent at school:)

2 package of Nutter Butters cookies
2 bags of semisweet chocolate chips (I used one Ghiradelli and one store-brand)
Valentine sprinkles (or any sprinkles, really!)

1. Dump both bags of chips into a glass bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments until it is smooth.
2. While you wait, prepare a surface with either wax paper or (lightly) Pam-sprayed foil if you don't have wax paper.
3. Dip the Nutter Butters halfway into the melted chocolate with your fingers, then gently scrape off extra chocolate. Don't scrape too closely so that the cookie shows, but make sure you get a good amount off so they don't become big blobs on the pan!
4. Lay the dipped cookies closely together on the pan, adding sprinkles after every batch of 6 or so (don't let the chocolate dry without them).

*You could try just one bag of cookies, but you need more than one bag of chocolate chips for dipping or it is not deep enough to coat the cookies.
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