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Glad you found us! 

I don't ski, I don't drink craft beer and I don't have a dog, but by golly I am a real Colorado native girl.  So now you can still believe in unicorns!  Here's my ode to motherhood, you know because all of us bloggers write like we were the first, only and last mama out there.

Making Bath Bombs with Buff City Soap

Making Bath Bombs with Buff City Soap

Yesterday the girls and I had planned a visit to the Outlets at Castle Rock!

We caught wind of their Chinese New Year celebrations and made a special trip south for a morning, and ended up there ALL DAY.  In a good way!  Now that the girls are nap-free, we aren't pressed to get home for lunch and a snooze like Cinderella after the ball.  It's a good thing, and also sometimes a bad thing, but mostly good.  No naps means bedtime is pretty decent.  No naps means LONG days, but we do get to explore more and linger a bit more throughout the day.  Our days are still pretty routine and structured for the most part, still getting home to eat lunch at home and then have some down time around 3 into that dinner-prep time and eating dinner at 5:30.  Every now and again though, special excursions or activities call for some flexibility and adapting.  I think the girls are far more malleable than I.  I am trying to be better at relaxing, ha, I know husband is probably eye-rolling now, but I truly am trying to be a little less rigid with routines as they are growing and changing and more and more interruptions are being flung at us.

So, our trip to the Outlets at Castle Rock was one such example!  We had a really good breakfast, and then I had found these dresses they are wearing online at Children's Place a couple weeks ago and snagged them for such a deal.  I had them not knowing when I would share them with the girls and today felt right.  After a hellish day yesterday, HELLISH, today I wanted to start the day off right and ready and happy.  It worked!  I surprised them and after breakfast when it was time to get dressed, they found them on their beds and were THRILLED!  Arlo had seen the panda dress online and really loved it and I was surprised at how much Remy liked hers because she had not seen it.  They are becoming very particular and intentional in their dress.  Part of growing up.  SO I was beyond happy when they GLADLY and WILLINGLY tore off their pajamas and out on their new dresses all on their own!  Win! 

Let's just say the girls have been running circles around me and WORKING me.  It was a trip to the grocery store I will NEVER forget!  A trip to get milk and some other essentials because we NEEDED groceries people, and when your husband works three jobs and you don't have a neighbor or a friend or a family member or a good acquaintance to call on to watch them for an hour you have to pack everyone up and go.  What was strange about yesterday was that they both NAPPED, ironically after what I said just before, but they needed one.  I needed one.  They woke up cranky and confused.  After a huge unforeseen, unwarranted, demonic tantrum from one daughter, calming down and having yogurt and fruit, and getting ready to leave, and then a crazy crying stubborn battle of will-powers between the younger one and myself, we found ourselves at the store.  I forced them.  They pushed back.  I pressed on.  I was going to show them who ran the show.  As soon as we got there, Remy had to go potty.  We found ourselves in the stall and even after pleading them to go before we left the house, here we were, after getting dried cranberries in our cart and right in the middle of getting bulk dry goods, w ehad to take a bathroom break, and this was AFTER an hour of tantrums from both girls before we arrived to this point.  Arlo refused to go potty.  She can and does hold her tiny bladder so well, but I knew she should probably try to go and she refused.  I snapped and blurted out for anyone to hear, "Dear heveanly father, give me the F-ING patience to deal with these kids!"  We went to wash our hands and I helped Remy up to the soap and water and was normal and calm, stern and discouraged, but still encouraging and reassuring as I helped this tiny person.  Out of another stall waddles a super pregnant young momma, adorable in her anorak and ankle boots and perfect bangs and in front of her shins is a tiny tot waddling along with her with big eyes.  I was so careless with my reactions and completely out of control of my own emotions, literally praying out loud to have god help me.  And I am in no way being blasphemies, I am TRULY asking for patience.  BUT, it is irresponsible for tiny strangers to hear, and I am sorry for that.  Unfair for my own TINY persons to have to hear and see my childlike fits as well.  HELP!  I have been blessed with not one, but TWO, stubborn, strong-willed, SMART,  opinionated, individualistic, autonomous humans who walk in the world like they are separate from me and competent to exist and succeed on their own.  They are 3.  And 4.  YES, I KNOW, I have heard about Love and Logic and the Strong Willed Child and all the books... yes all the books, but seriously.  When you have tried speaking softly and they get even more pissed because they know you aren't being yourself and cry and scream more, when you have tried time-outs and they don't stay put, when you have taken away things, when you have done and tried and done and failed so many things, you scream out loud to the air in the bathroom at Sprouts and SOMETIMES there are bystanders who think you are a shitty parent.  Do I like that strangers may think that about me, absolutely not.  Do I ever think, "Man, if they could just see me like this morning when I was singing that song as we got our undies on or when I buckled them in and we jammed out to T Swift on the way to school...or...or...."  But they don't, and they can't see you in every mom-moment, and you can't be ON in every mom-moment because you, me, we are HUMAN, and emotional and irrational.  Just.  Like. Our. Kids.


So, so yes to the dress.  In this case, dresses, because I screamed FAR too much and ridiculously too loud Monday.  So we did it up right yesterday.  I said, "yes," and "sure," and even sprinkled in a few, "maybes."  We went to the Outlets at Castle Rock and made Chinese lanterns for the Chinese New Year, year of the dog, and we cut and glued and they hung their lanterns at customer service and got a gift card when they returned it and they wished a, "Happy New Year!"  We had a treat after at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.  Out of the entire shop, Remy just wanted a, "flat piece of chocoloate, like normal," so we got her a milk chocolate bar.  She had a square and Arlo had a square.  Momma had a chocolate dipped Twinkie.  Amazing.

We went to Claire's Accessories, like their favorite place, and Arlo picked out a hand sanitizer with her card and Remy found the sweetest blue heart locket necklace.  She had looked at some other things, but the squeals and yips that erupted when she saw a row of shiny hearts dangling on chains was enough to just melt you.  She picked out a teal one on a silver chain and was so excitable sharing we could find tiny pictures to put inside of it! (She wore it as soon as we got home and told me she wanted to work on it after school.  She wants a photo of me hugging her inside. Dead.)

We had Subway sandwiches on the hearth in the Dining Hall, because that's where you'll find us having our food whenever there is a fireplace in the vicinity.  It's our favorite to be cozy and as close as we can possibly be to a warm fire when the opportunity presents itself!  

We also made it into Buff City Soap!  The girls had not been in yet, but I wanted to pick up another bar of All Hail to the Queen, and I had mentioned before that Narcissist was another scent that was SO GOOD, and this time Remy actually grabbed it and told me to get it and plopped it on the counter.  So I definitely didn't argue with her.  The girl has a great nose.  They also got to make bath bombs!  Megan was in the shop and about to whip up some bath bombs so she invited the girls to scrub-in, put gloves on, and help her measure it out and choose a scent, again with the Narcissist, and they mixed and played with the mixture and patted and molded it and got to take a little half-bomb home!  Thank you Meghan for your patience, sweet and encouraging voice and helpful heart on this- meant a lot to the girls and ME!  We realize this is NOT an everyday occurrence, although they are making product right there on the counter in the back, but it was a very special invitation to get to help out and the girls will probably talk about this for some time.

While the girls were soothed and zoned out with the grainy sand-like mix, look a those faces, momma was able to pick out some Valentine's gifts for her teachers!  They have some rad new scents for Heart Day!  Look at the Heart On one, tee hee, and the Netflixxx one, so funny... and they smell amaze!  I loved them all, even Main Squeeze- so fresh and juicy!  I found some heart shaped soaps in a variation of All Hail Queen and Rose, so nice, and some little pots of body butter in Heart On.  I thought this was more special and useful besides chocolate, although I would gladly accept chocolate any day any time any holiday, no matter.  But you know, when you have 30 kiddos, I thought Buff City Soap was the way to show our love for these incredible ladies.

Remy even found the sink on her own and they washed up all on their own!  Meghan was SO incredible with the girls and as they got a bit squirmy near the end, WHY is it always when you are literally putting your card in the chip reader that kids flip out and dash around like there's a fire and they have to escape?!  Just me?   Meghan gently called them over and again invited them to help her.  Perhaps this might be the magic trick.  Asking them to help ME more and getting them, LETTING them help and be a part of things more and allowing them to feel included and part of something.  Sigh.  They immediately piped down and ran over to help with the bags.  Thank you again Meghan...

After the soap store somehow, some way, we made it in and out of a candy shop, Fuzziwigs Candy Factory where we scooped up some glittery jewel tone Jelly Bellies, and did not EAT them!  We capped off the trip with a stop into Children's Place where we discovered the double-sided sequin tops!  Game changer in girl land.  We of course did not leave empty handed.  They were't cheap, but they were awesome.  Their behavior modeled was worthy of the reward, I felt.  Spoiled? No.  We went in and out of many stores and left empty handed.  In fact, in Claire's Remy self-monitored herself and after saying she loved something so much, she told herself, "Yeah, never mind, that's right, Ic an wait for Christmas."  I hadn't even told her an answer.  We left the ponies and the Pez behind at the candy shop, and I could have easily left without the beans, but I said, "Sure."  They didn't ask or beg or cry to eat them, we left with them, they saw them, and they were fine when I told them they were sweet treats for another day and time for home. Win!

So that's it, a shitty, bad, terrible, no good, very bad day, yes Alexander it happens to us parents too, and then followed up by a beautiful, smooth tantrum-free, super cool, groovy smoothie beautiful day.  A low, low, and a high, high.  Parenthood.  

Sunshine, blue skies, fresh air out there had us all happy and it felt good. More of these days, please.


P.S. The Outlets at Castle Rock will also have performers and dancers on February 18th for the Chinese New Year celebration- so don't miss that!  Check their website for more information. 

Daddy Daughter Pre-School Day!

Daddy Daughter Pre-School Day!

"D" is for Donuts!

"D" is for Donuts!