Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Blog Day!

Hey All – Looking for your daily Dollop? Well in honor of Leap Day, we switched things up and I am actually guest posting on Tiaras and Tantrums. To read up on what I learned after being away from my family on a mini vacation, you’ll need to click here, but before you do make sure to check out Cathe’s post below. For those who aren’t familiar with Tiara’s and Tantrums, Cathe is a fun, witty, honest, hardworking (as in outside of the house!) mom of two. She is new to blogging and I already love her (maybe that’s just because she breeds red heads and I’m biased). So check out her post below and while you’re at it, why not follow her new Facebook page as well? See you back here tomorrow for our regularly scheduled program and don’t forget to head on over to her page today to see my post!

I am SO happy to be guest posting on Dollops of Diane!  I was thrilled when she agreed to swap blogs - and can't thank her enough for her guest post as well.  

Truth be told, I am a procrasti-planner.  That's someone who likes to plan things but usually ends up doing everything the last minute.  For example, this special Leap Blog Day Post.  It's 2-27-12 and 10:30 p.m.  I have to get up at 5 a.m.  I can't seem to tear myself away from my computer or my 5 DVR'ed episodes of Criminal Minds.  I went back and forth on what to write about - I wanted Dollops of Diane readers to be able to get to know me - so I decided on an interview with myself.  FYI:  I don't have multiple personalities (my husband probably disagrees). 

Me: What the heck is this Leap Blog Day thing?
Me: Leap Blog Day rolls around once every four years on…..Leap Day! We trade blogs for the day and we guest post someplace else. See ya in four years! Or sooner if you come and follow me on my blog, Tiaras and Tantrums! ;)

Me: What is your Blog about?
Me: It’s about my life as a working mom/wife and all of our crazy adventures as family. Nothing ever goes as planned in our life and even the fun things usually end up with someone screaming and someone else begging for a bandaid.  I eventually want to incorporate recipes, crafts, decorating ideas etc. in my blog too.   I love to write, but planning parties, making crafts, and writing lists is my passion so I'd like to eventually combine my passion with my love. 

Me: When/How/Why did you get started blogging?
Me: January 2012 – Starting a blog was on a long list of New Year’s Resolutions, and just about the only one I’ve stuck with. The first blog I read regularly was “High Heels and Dirty Dishes”, which is written by one of the girls I went to school with. After several months of reading her posts, I kept thinking “What a great outlet…I so need something like that.” My first post was in January and made up for not sending out my 2011 (or 2010 for that matter), and it was a recap of our entire year. As for the why, I needed somebody to vent to. When my husband had ticked me off, I would write a post about it. When I’ve had a crappy day at work, I write a posts about nearly everything – of course not everything will get published (and some never will) but I feel a million times better once I’ve been able to type non stop for a good 10 or 15 minutes. And as an added bonus: Nobody gets stabbed in the eye with a sharp object.  Ummm...Winning, duh!

Me: How did you choose the name of your blog?
Me: Well, it started off as an ode to my children. They both take turns wearing the tiaras and throwing the tantrums a majority of the time in our house.  In reality, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that EVERYONE takes their turn wearing a tiara now and then. At some point, even the most selfless people have felt entitled to something - it may have been as small as someone taking a front row parking space that you had wanted, but at some point in everyone's lives, we have all felt entitled and worn.   Everyone also throws an occassional tantrum.  You don’t have to throw yourself on the ground kicking and screaming to say you're a tantrum thrower.  When I throw mine my head starts going from side to side and my finger gets shaken a lot and I point at whatever I'm angry at.  When Brayden throws his, he throws his arms in the air and then falls to the ground like a limp noodle sobbing. When Emma throws hers, she releases a scream that compares to nails on a chalkboard and her face gets really, really, red. When my husband throws his – he just gets a look on his face and won’t talk to anyone. We all do it, some will admit it and some will deny it. 

Me: Tell the readers something about yourself.
Me:  I love all frozen coffee drinks, but my favorite is a caramel frappuchino from Starbucks.  I love to dress my kids alike (at least in the same color). I love to celebrate all holidays (big and small).  I love decorating and party planning.  I love watching movies but I’m partial to TV shows. I could sit and watch Criminal Minds and American Idol 24 hours a day. I’m not a great cook but I pretend to be, which usually results in disaster. I love glitter, the color pink, clearance racks, high heels, lip gloss, and hot glue guns. I can’t stand no fat cheese, migraines, messes (although you couldn’t tell that if you walked in my house), severe weather, socks, and mushrooms. Double gag on the last one. Oh -   I apparently say a lot of bad words to – at least according to my kids - who repeat every damn one of them at the most inappropriate times.

If you want to keep up with the Johnson's - please do me a favor - Give us a Facebook "Like" on our fan page - Tiaras and Tantrums and follow our blog!  Happy Leap Blog Day!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Blissful Blissdom: Favorite Picture Recap

I’ve been MIA for almost a week now because I was off living it up at Blissdom in Nashville, TN. I had an amazing time (so, so, SO amazing). I feel like I can’t even put in to words how fabulous it was. I also feel like I don’t have nearly enough time to write about how great it was so I’m going to do the next best thing and show you some of my favorite pictures from the trip. Please imagine fabulous stories, lots of laughs, and lots of “Is this really my life?!” comments and quotes accompanying them!

After doing LOTS of circles around the airport in a tiny plane, we finally made it. Annie was so excited she did a little jig.

A pic from inside the ENORMOUS Opryland Hotel. The first night there it took us over a half hour to simply find another room in the hotel. I wish I was kidding.

Our first full day there we ventured out to downtown Nashville. So glad we did!

It turns out Elvis is alive.

Lorax love. I can't believe I was shorter than him!!

Chris Mann (amazing singer and super funny personality!)

2am - Oh, my! (Photo Courtesy of my partner in crime at Stowed Stuff)

And I've saved the best for last. One of the best nights EVER...

Yup, just hanging out with RASCAL FLATTS!!!!! That's how we roll.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I am Alive

I had a busy night last night and busy day today with running errands, visiting with family, and packing for my trip to Blissdom. I haven’t had much down time so I haven’t been able to be online that much. It turns out that I’m not the only person who noticed my lack of computer time. I had three people text me today to make sure I was okay since it was so strange that I hadn’t been on email, Facebook, My Fitness Pal, and all that other fun stuff. I think it pretty much shows how addicted I am to my computer/phone that just a mere 12(ish) hours away from it leads people to believe that something has happened to me. Hi, my name is Dollops and I’m addicted to the internet.

Tomorrow is the big day that I leave for Nashville with Annie. We met up last night and hashed out the important details (like shoes and bags) and we are SO excited. This will be the first time I’ll be away from the kids for an extended period of time. Am I worried that I’ll miss them bunches? Am I nervous that I’ll be home sick? Umm…are you kidding me? I am going to be away for FIVE days kid free and living life. I am not nervous at all. The one who should be nervous is Tim. I may never come back!!


Friday, February 17, 2012

My Husband May Not Want to Come Home

My husband and I haven’t seen each other much over the last few days just due to work, meetings, and conflicting night time plans. I’ve had a bunch of things pop in my head and think “Oh, I have to tell Tim about that” but unfortunately we’ll be passing each other again tonight. Since I have lots to talk about all the time I’m afraid I’ll forget some of these things so I decided I’ll make a list of things to tell him when we finally get to catch up. Please note, NOTHING on this list is of any interest to him at all. These “gems” that I feel the need to share are things like updates on other people’s lives (that he doesn’t even know), rather mundane encounters I had with strangers while out in public, everyday things the kids did, and pretty much any other ramblings that I can come up with. So here the husband is thinking that tomorrow he’ll be able to enjoy a nice, relaxing Saturday morning and I’m going to bust out the list. Poor guy.   

I'm ready to talk!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Is There Anywhere He Can’t Sleep?

Last night, Henry was falling asleep at the dinner table so I made him get up. He proceeded to fuss about whatever it is that 3 year olds fuss about when they are overtired and then I heard quiet. I turned around to see this…

Henry fast asleep on the kitchen floor (head still up!)

This kid can sleep ANYWHERE. He is always the first one up in the morning and no longer takes a nap. If he wanted to nap in the early afternoon, I would have no problem with it. However, he doesn’t want to nap then, he wants to nap at 4pm and then won’t go to bed at night. With three small kids, I NEED for them all to go to bed promptly at 7:15pm. Sometimes he does fall asleep on the couch, in the car, etc. early in the day and that is totally fine.  Well it’s fine except for the fact that I then have to wake him up (he would sleep forever) and he is a total bear. I keep dreaming that he will sleep past 6:00am in the morning and this battle can end, but until that day I leave you with some classic Henry pictures…

Summer living is exhausting

Eating snacks is exhausting

Coloring is exhausting

Target is exhausting

Walmart is exhausting, too!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

"Children have a certain way
of growing bigger every day!
But these little hands,
and this special smile
Will stay in your heart for a long, long, while!!"

Isabelle's Valentine for us that she made at pre-school

Monday, February 13, 2012

How I Met My Husband

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I figured I’d share the story of how Tim and I met. The first time we met was NOT the kind of moment that romantic movies are made of. The very first time that we met was at a bar. I was there to celebrate a coworker’s birthday and he had tagged along with his roommate. It turned out his roommate was also a coworker of mine who I didn’t know (large company).  All the details of the night are not clear (perhaps it was due to the vodka) but a conversation between Tim and I was quite clear. It turned out that we had gone to college in the same city only a few miles apart. I made a wise crack that he was a geek due to the college that he went to. In turn, he said that I must be “easy” because of the college I went to. Now although I did start the name calling, I think it’s a pretty basic rule that you don’t call a girl that you just met “easy.” So in return, I called him an asshole and we parted ways.

That was it, end of story, right? Apparently, the dating gods decided to give us another chance and almost two years later we re-met at a Fourth of July party. We hadn’t seen, heard, or even thought of each other since that night. It actually took me a while to place him and figure out why he looked familiar. He only vaguely remembers our first meeting at all. This second time, it was a hot summer day filled with lots of drinking (boy, were we young and living life back then!). Tim was there with his same roommate and I was there since it was a good friend/coworker’s house. Turned out Tim and I were currently living in the same town and only a few miles apart. In all honesty, I wasn’t super excited to give him my number when I left the party. I was busy being single and given our two (drunken) meetings, I didn’t think that I really wanted to go down that road. Turns out giving him my number was one of the best decisions of my life. Who would have guessed that the guy whose friends were throwing 4th of July firecrackers out his car window would be the one I share all my secrets with, the one who I would marry, the one who would witness the birth of our three children? Who would have guessed that the jerk (my thoughts then) that called me “easy” in a bar would end up being my trash taker-outer, my bug killer, and my rock? So I guess my advice for all the guys out there would be to be careful who you call “easy” because us easy girls have a way of catching you hook, line, and sinker – for life!

Young Love, 2003

Friday, February 10, 2012

Random Act of Kindness

With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s easy to get caught up in our own little world. In an effort to break out of this bubble and help out others in the process, I’m going to try to do some random acts of kindness as much as possible. I had this epiphany this morning and figured no time like the present to start.

Daniel had his 18 month doctor’s appointment this afternoon so I figured I’d start there. After all, these are the people who care for my children, answer my questions when I call, greet us with a smile even after they’ve been listening to grouchy parents and sick kids all day. They help, they listen, they care, and most of them probably don’t hear “thank you” as much as they should. So I explained to the big kids how it’s nice to do things for others, especially when it’s unexpected. So Isabelle cut and colored a heart (she is obsessed with making hearts!) and we stopped at the grocery store on our way to the appointment. We picked up some cupcakes and cookies and Isabelle proudly presented them to the front office staff when we arrived at our appointment.  They were touched and thankful for the gesture. It took a few extra minutes out of our day, a few dollars from our wallet, but brightened the day for others – a total win.

When we left the office, Isabelle asked, “Who else can we buy cupcakes for?” Good question…good question.  So I’m going to think of little ways to incorporate helping others in to our day to day living. Feel free to join us on our quest. There are opportunities everywhere. We just have to keep our eyes open.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I am a Mom

I am a Mom
I’ve been vomited on atrociously in public
I’ve sewed favorite stuffed animals
I’ve yelled when I should have been more patient
I kiss imaginary boo boos

I am a Mom
I haven’t had a peaceful trip to the bathroom in over four years
I’ve raced to the doctor terrified with an injured child
I dance in the kitchen in my PJs to Old MacDonald
I’ve turned the television on to babysit the kids when I needed time to myself

I am a Mom
I’ve said no to playing with the kids when I should have said yes
I’ve vacuumed while holding a baby and with another clinging to my leg
I’ve bought chocolate donuts for lunch when I didn’t feel like cooking
I’ve legitimately lost a child at a museum

I am a Mom
I secretly eat cookies when the children aren’t watching
I hide in the bathroom to make important phone calls
I do endless laundry
I love unconditionally

I’ve held my day old baby while having my hair “brushed” with a nasal suctioner and watching my daughter “nap” in a neighboring hospital bed. I am a Mom.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pre-School Valentines

Isabelle was so excited to make Valentines for her classmates over the weekend. I told her the original idea, but she took it to a whole new level. That girl loves her arts and crafts! She happily spent hours cutting out each heart, coloring, gluing/glittering, signing her name, hole punching, and ribbon cutting. I may be a bit bias, but I think they are pretty amazing for a four year old. Here are some pictures for you to decide for yourself…

"You color my world!" heart with crayons attached

No matter how many times I see it I still think,"When did she get old enough that she can write her own name?!"

The finished products!

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Weight Loss Journey (x2)

We are about a month in to my Biggest Loser competition and I am down twelve pounds. I am beyond excited. I’m fitting better in my clothes and wearing belts that haven’t fit me in years. I’m not following any type of set plan or program but just doing it old school style - I’m watching what I eat, drinking lots of water, being careful of portion control, and ditching the wine (as much as possible!). I’m also tracking all my food intake using MyFitness Pal which I have basically become addicted to. I find it’s a great tool to make you really aware of what you are eating. I also need to be extra aware since I’m not exercising. Yup, you read that right – I’m not exercising. In a perfect world, I’d be at the gym a few days a week but I’d honestly rather spend my mornings sleeping or my nights relaxing than trying to fit in time at the gym. Oh, and here’s the other thing – I hate exercising. I’ve tried joining gyms, doing difference classes, trying new things, etc. Some are fine but never enough for me to really like it. It’s just not my thing. So I’m going to focus on what is my thing – obsessively keeping notes and tracking since that is something that I am good at.

Now, this isn’t my first time at the weight loss rodeo. The weight I’m currently losing is compliments of three children in four years, but I grew up in a household with very poor eating habits. It was actually a lifestyle of food horribleness (yet, oh so yummy). I used to blame my mother (and honestly still do a bit) but I remind myself that she was a young widowed woman who didn’t know better and was doing the best she could. We grew up in a house virtually void of fruits and vegetables. The only fruit we ate was bananas and the only veggies were canned corn and canned green beans (both smothered in butter and salt). We ate fast food ALL the time. My mother even had a knack for taking things that were rather healthy and destroying them. One of our favorite snacks was Cheerios that she fried in butter and loaded up with salt. I’m pretty sure the Cheerios yelled out in horror as they were heading towards the frying pan. Oh, and you know that yummy fried dough that you get at your local fair or carnival? Yeah, we had that regularly for breakfast (covered in butter and powdered sugar, of course). Bacon was a food group. I could go on and on but you get the idea.

At the time, I had no idea how bad all of this was for me but my body sure did. By the time I was in high school, I was severely overweight. My senior year, the clouds parted and I saw the light and decided to change. I did just what I’m doing now, reading labels, thinking about food before I eat it, and taking it one day at a time. I left for college the following Fall down seventy five pounds. It was completely life changing.  Since that time, I’ve managed to keep my weight steady (give or take some pounds here and there) and am excited to now be (almost) down the baby weight as well. I’m not writing this to toot my own horn but rather to share my story. It doesn’t matter if you’re 17, 32, or older or younger, if you set your mind to it, you can do it. It’s not easy every day and some days it just totally sucks but if you keep it up over time, it does work.  

My new friend each Monday morning

Friday, February 3, 2012

How to Cook with a One Year Old

The big kids and I enjoy cooking and baking together but we always have the problem that the youngest “helper” is of no help at all. So today, while we were making pancakes for breakfast, I had a brilliant idea. Simply brilliant. Here is how you keep the one year old occupied, happy, and even let him think he is participating.

Step 1: Give him a spoon and a bowl with a little sugar in it. Stir.

Step 2: Eat

Step 3: Let him enjoy the sugar high while you finish cooking!

My Mom is awesome!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

My Nemesis

My washing machine is my nemesis. Now let’s be clear about this, it’s not the dirty laundry but the actual washing machine that I hate. With a family of five, it’s just par for the course that there is going to be endless laundry. I’ve accepted this fact. However, my washing machine does not help my cause at all. It does this pretty awesome thing where about 40% of the loads, it does not fully spin dry. So that means that when I go down to switch it over to the dryer, I find that the clothes are still soaking wet and need to be spun again. Sometimes, I even find them soapy still and they then need to be rinsed and spun again. On super lucky days, after I re-rinse and re-spin, I go down to find that it needs to be spun AGAIN. Of course, I think the machine knows when I have tons of laundry to do, need something specific from the load, or it’s midnight and I’m trying to get the last load in the dryer, and decides that is the time that it’s not going to spin properly. It is truly infuriating. We’ve checked out the machine, connections, etc. and there is nothing obviously wrong with anything. We’ve had the machine for less than five years so I hate to have to buy a new one (I’m also super cheap). So until I give in and bite the bullet for a new machine, I’m going to continue the day to day battle. If anyone ever hears of a crazy house wife setting fire to her washing machine in the middle of the road someday, you’ll at least have this post to look back on.

Drain & Spin, my ass.

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