I’ve Got 99 Problems and My Kids Are Most of Them

I had to go see my doctor last week and was lucky enough to bring along my stepdaughter, Alexis (11) and my toddler, Fiona (18 months).  Fiona was running around, unplugging things, trying to climb onto the bed thing (using multiple unstable drawer-steps), and Alexis was just being an 11 year old (asking a ton of questions, being a goofball, etc.). I snapped at Alexis that I needed her help and for her to quit messing around. I felt really bad about it later because I realized that I was treating her like I’d treat a 16-year old…. just because I have a tyrant for a toddler.


How do you juggle a much older child with such a young one? I need help with the toddler sometimes but I also don’t want to put too much pressure on Alexis. I try and make sure to carve out “us” time for Alexis and me (we’ll watch a movie together that Fiona wouldn’t be interested in or something like that) but, when we’re in public, I want to make sure I’m treating her like a normal 11 year old… just because Fiona is running around doesn’t mean Alexis has to act 5 years older than she is, right?


Fiona was having a tantrum earlier this morning and Alexis said, “Fiona, it isn’t all about you.” Also, last night when my husband tucked Alexis in, he said, “So Stevie has to work tomorrow so it’s just you, me and Fiona tomorrow.” Alexis replied, “Yeah, until Fiona takes all the attention.” Well that totally broke our hearts!


How do you balance: a) treating your self-proclaimed “pre-teen” as a young lady while simultaneously allowing her to be a kid and b) make sure you’re giving enough attention to both kids? Fiona goes to bed between 8 and 8:30 and Alexis goes between 9 and 9:30 so we try to spend that extra hour with Alexis doing something special (playing Harry Potter Uno, watching a movie, etc.) but it still isn’t enough.  What should I do to make it so both girls feel special? How on earth am I going to make both girls feel special when the baby boy comes in the fall? These are serious questions, people! HELP!!


Below is a picture of the girls playing in the pool today…. Yes, Alexis believes she’s too old for the kiddie pool but she still had fun!





Maternity Style- 25 Weeks (6 months)

It’s been awhile since I posted photos of my maternity style. I was getting sick of the clothes I have so I made a trip to Target and spent like $30 on two items: the black dress and the white and powder blue striped, v neck tee! I realize that once I wash them they’ll likely lose their shape but, when you’re pregnant, you need a pick-me-up every once in awhile! 


Below is the cotton black dress from Target. I like the attention drawn to my waist– it makes it obvious I’m pregnant. I could easily dress this up by adding nice jewelry and wedges or heels. Since I’m pretty casual, I usually dress everything down– I paired it with hot pink Cole Haan sandals (from 2012) and jewelry from Hot Mama (rose gold to tie in the shoes!). At night, I’d throw a jean jacket or even a leather jacket, depending on where I’m going!






Here’s another outfit: the powder blue striped tee from Target doesn’t fit very well in the shoulders and chest (I have a really big chest and also, I used to be a swimmer so I’m broad!). I’m okay with it because I throw the camo jacket on with it to make it trendier. I love mixing powder blue and olive/camo— the colors pair so well together! On bottom, I’m wearing the AG Maternity Ballad jeans which are actually a slim bootcut. Because I bought these a couple of years ago before boyfriend jeans were popular, rather than buying a new pair of premium denim, I’m flipping the cuff to make the slim bootcut into a slim boyfriend! The camo jacket is by Sanctuary and I got it from Hot Mama last spring. 


I added really low Cole Haan wedges (I don’t wear high wedges anymore… my belly is getting so big it’s throwing off my center of gravity!). I chose these instead of my Tod’s Oxfords because the outfit is pretty masculine with the boyfriend jeans and camo jacket.. adding a snakeskin wedge adds femininity that’s lacking!









Weekend Getaway- To Take the Kids or Leave Them with Grandma?

Sorry it’s been awhile since my last post… we’ve been busy to say the least! My stepdaughter came back from Arizona which means my hands are full all day long. She’s at the age where, while she’s helpful in her own way (she can watch my youngest for a 10 minute span while I quick throw clothes on), she also requires a lot of attention. We need to make sure that she knows she still has her own special place in our little family.


Anyway….. last weekend we went to a wedding in Wisconsin for my husband’s cousin. It was at a really cute ranch in the middle of nowhere which is actually refreshing (kind of like the fun cabin trips in the summer). After a 4 hour drive stretched to a 5.5 hour drive (because when you’re pregnant, your growing child continues to punch your bladder (and you imagine him maniacally laughing the whole time) and your legs cramp up… super glamorous), we got to our hotel. It was a sight: we stayed at a typical 3-4 star hotel chain but what makes this so special is that it was called “The White House” and had a mini white dome on it. When you went in, there were pictures of presidents all over the walls of the lobby. Each hotel room was named after a state (we stayed in Montana). The reason I’m bringing it up is because that is the full extent of the Presidential analogy the hotel used. I’m so confused as to why they spent so much money on that huge dome when they didn’t continue the “theme” anywhere else?? Well, that’s Wisconsin I guess.


A 5.5 hour drive with an 11 year old and 18 month old was surprisingly easy. They both slept a little, we all ate junk food, and then we got to the hotel and then went to the ranch to see friends and family. That’s when the shitstorm started. Fiona (our 18-month old) decided she didn’t want to sleep because she didn’t want to miss any action. She slept 6 hours that night (the night before the wedding- instead of her usual 11) and only napped for 30 minutes the next day (instead of her normal 2 hours). Going into the wedding, we knew we were in trouble.


The ceremony was beautiful and funny too (apparently)– we wouldn’t know. My husband and I w ere desperately trying to keep our toddler busy inside the house while the wedding happened just outside. We missed our 11 year old being the flower-girl and looking absolutely stunning. I have 0 pictures of our family from the event (bad mommy!). Fiona was a tyrant during the entire day and also, on a fun note, wanted nothing to do with me. If I picked her up, she’d scream “DADDY!” and looked at me as though I was torturing her. My poor husband had to chase her around all day because she definitely didn’t want anyone  but him.


Chris: 1, Stevie’s Ego: 0.


That night, we let her cry herself to sleep (which took a full hour) and she slept through the night and morning. She finally woke up and was our normally, happy toddler (right before we left to come back home).


Here’s the issue: I’m so happy that we brought her because the 1st and 3rd days she was my happy, beautiful toddler who lit up the room! The 2nd day she was an absolute nightmare. I know the family enjoyed seeing her but I wonder where the “Crazy/Cute Line” is for toddlers (I’m referring to the Crazy/Hot Scale from How I Met Your Mother: a person is allowed to be crazy as long as they are equally hot). Should we have left her with Grandma or was it better to drag her along? I’m not just thinking about us and the rest of the family, I’m thinking about her! She must have been MISERABLE the day of the wedding- she was exhausted but so concerned with missing something that she wouldn’t sleep! I wish this was a question I knew the answer to… for now, we’ll just keep playing it by ear. We’re planning a trip for July 4th with the tyrant… I’ll keep you informed. If you’re someone who prays, please pray for us.


Below is Fiona at the playground on Day 3 when she was my happy girl. She loves her belly and likes to pose like her pregnant, size-of-a-house mommy (belly OUT!).





Below is the last picture taken from our trip (I’ve already said I didn’t take pictures at the actual wedding, I took 2 pictures, the two I’ve posted here. Mom of the year right here, folks). They’re both completely passed out on the trip back. I am absolutely going to throw my husband under the bus here and say that he had an epic fail taking this picture…. he barely got Fiona in it at all! At least Alexis looks adorable! P.S. Notice the Hot Mama bag in the background… subtle advertising technique? Perhaps!–PLEASE VISIT THE HOT MAMA ST LOUIS PARK LOCATION (not so subtle, huh?) 🙂 !!!