Pop a squat.

I remember sometimes at dance practice our instructors telling us to "Pop a squat", usually to have a team talk about what we needed to achieve and accomplish that day. As a dancer and a generally lazy teenager I would relish those moments, because my life motto at the time happened to be "why are we standing when we can be sitting"?

Now fast forward 10 years later and here I am "Popping a squat" and of taking a break to re-assess the plan for The Jess Elaine.

For the last few weeks I have noticeably been absent from this space. Not because I necessarily wanted to shun my first baby, but because I needed to take a step back and just really focus on what I want this ole' blog to be and where I want it to go. And what did I learn from this little break?

Absolutely nothing.

Ok that's a bit of an exaggeration. I did learn that being eight months pregnant and having two toddlers is an all time energy killer. I learned that maybe I'm not so cut out for certain areas of blogging (ah- hem a la review blogging ), and I learned that we still don't have a name for our bun in the oven.

But in all of these things, I learned that I missed the place where I can just word vomit all over the keyboard and laugh along with the two people who actually read this (one of you being my mom. HI mom). I learned that I missed this little place. So here I am, crawling back to blog land and begging on my knees for forgiveness. Perhaps a little more dramatic than normal because I'm highly emotional, but still the same Jess, asking for you not to forget this little corner of the internet. Heck, I sure haven't.

Also my husband got a pedometer for a work health challenge and is super into it (you know, the thingy that counts your steps) but the darn thing only works if he does this twisty, mall walker walk. So of course, I had to come back to share that visual with you. Oh, and the hubster says that he will have the last laugh because the winner of the health challenge gets $500. In my opinion, the twisty hip walk has totally already met it's worth though.

Happy Wednesday (OH MY GOSH IT'S WEDNESDAY).


Pants Off Dance Off.

Sorry Fuse, I'm not sure that show is still a thing. And if it is I'm pretty sure that 7 month-ish giant pregnant ladies aren't the eye candy you want to cast for your show.

Regardless, I felt compelled to create my own "No Pants" debacle last week during the great windy Wednesday. Yes, it took me an entire week to be able to express this in words, mainly because I'm pregnant and lazy, but also because I still can't believe my own stupidity. And if you've ever read this blog before than you know I must have hit a new low.

And that I did.

Let me begin by saying that I've created the parenting dream (double pats on the back style)...I've instilled a non-negotiable  nap time (1:00-2:30) for everyone in the household every single day, and let me be the first to tell you, it rocks. Not only is the house quiet, but I have the freedom to do whatever I want for an hour and a half. Usually that would consist of spamming companies for sponsor emails, but lately I've moved my emailing hours to mornings and evenings (while the kiddos are asleep) and joining in on the nap festivities.

Not only am I in the "exhausted need to nap everyday" phase of the pregnancy, I am also in the "in denial that my pre-pregnancy clothes no longer fit" mentality. Yup, I'm the guilty party of bottom belly hanging out, because dang it, maternity clothes are friggin expensive and I will not waste a $30 V-neck on a day in the house gosh darn it. 

So that brings us to last Wednesday. It was a lovely day actually, a perfect  60 degrees and sunny afternoon. We had spent the morning playing outside, just enough to tire us out until we were good and ready for a good ole' fashioned snooze. The boys went down great and I assumed the napping position, snuggled in my bed wearing the official uniform. No pants and a white V Neck that was basically a crop top. As you can imagine, I was in my "nap mode" so a bra was the last thing on my mind. The whole situation was very barbaric in a National Geographic sort of way. 

I was on my way to snooze land, when I heard the doorbell ring twice. I was expecting a package, and for some reason have developed this weird sense of Morse code with the UPS guy. Two dings equals package. So I headed downstairs prepared to do the old "open the door and grab the package super fast" routine. In my rush to get back to the napping, I evaluated the situation and decided that it would be better worth my time to tie an Afghan around my waste than to go all the way upstairs and fetch pants, because as I said before I am an irrational pregnant lazy person, and I wanted to get back to resting.

So outside I go like a crop topped pregnant hussy wearing a blanket skirt (with a rather large slit might I add, because again it is a blanket) propping the door with my foot, when all of  sudden a giant gust of wind blew up my "skirt" causing all of my limbs to react in covering my exposed body and letting go of my hold on the door. God then laughed and sent another gust just strong enough to slam the door shut (locked) leaving me standing agape, locked out of my own house, with no pants on.

Naturally I ran to the garage, where we usually keep the spare keys, but for some reason the last set was missing, because I have this gift of locking myself out way too often. And before you ask, our garage is attached, but the previous owners patched over the door when they remolded the kitchen to make extra space...I know priorities, so our attached garage doesn't actually attach to our house. 

Finding no spare keys in the garage, my mama bear instincts started to roar. My kids were locked in the house for poop's sake. I HAD TO GET IN THERE.

So I did what every other red blooded mom wearing no bra and an Afghan blanket would do. I ran across the backyard, through the thorns that have yet to be raked and  avoiding all contact with the neighbors who were pulling in to the top of their driveway (I mean, we're close but not quite that close), and running down the stairs to the basement door, that of course, was locked  (by the way, isn't it sad that we live in such a locked society- said the blanket wearing freak) so I used my super human strength to swiftly kick in the door and burst my way into freedom.

I then unwrapped my blanket, placed it back on the couch it came from, and marched myself upstairs, because gosh darn it, after all that mayhem I still had 45 minutes, and I'd be damned if I had to spend one more of those minutes awake.

Oh, and you know what? I can honestly say that it was the best nap of my entire life.

Lesson learned.


St. Patty's* day fun (and topknot Thursday).

Okay so just in case you missed my FOX 45 segment this morning, you can click here to see all of the fun Pinterest inspired St. Patty's* day ideas. DRINKING GAME ALERT! Take a shot every time I say "Absolutely". Trust me... your party will start faster. 

So we all know that St. Patty's* day is coming up. Yup, it's time to cue the bagpipes and start dancing the jig folks, because nothing says "Kiss me I'm Irish" like a good ole' Pinterest roundup.

Here are three ideas that I lifted from Pins and made my own. Oh,  and if you don't yet follow me on Pinterest click here to do so.

1.A breakfast suitable for Leprechauns of all ages. 

Nothing says Happy St. Patrick's day like a green dyed milk and Lucky Charms in a "pot of Gold" cupcake cup. Seriously,  what kid (or adult) wouldn't want to wake up to this? Perhaps a green glitter trail could lead the way? 

2. Taste the "fruity" rainbow (and I ain't talkin' Skittles). 

This pin had my heart at first sight. I mean, what's not to love about delicious goodies surrounded by a colorful array of fruit? I'd take this rainbow any day. I'll also take the cloud and the pot of gold it comes with also...thank you very much. Also, I love glitter. like LOVE LOVE LOVE GLITTER, so when I found this idea  to dip a wine (or in my case martini) glass in gold paint, the natural progression was to add glitter. Because leprachans and stay- at- home mommies love glitter. It's a scientific fact, we are the Tinkerbells of real life.

For photo purposes, I filled this glass with Sprite and Green food coloring, but great cocktail ideas like this, or this work perfectly to free that little green leprechaun inside all of us (well except for me, this year I'll be sticking to Sprite and food coloring).And the added bonus is that active members of the "I'm too cool to wear green club" will be safe from pinches carrying these bright green concoctions. There's always one in every crowd isn't there? 

3. The gift that keeps on giving. 

Okay, so I love junk food as much as the next person, but sometimes I like to surprise my kids with treats that aren't necessarily laced with enough sugar to make them see rainbows, so I decided to make them something that they could not only celebrate the St. Patty's* fun, but explore their creativity and last longer than a quick sugar high. 

I really fell in love with this gold painted pot and coloring kit idea. Since I already had the pot, I dolled it up with gold spray paint leftover from my Oscar party fun, and grabbed a brand new pack of crayons and plain paper. Of course, you can go as big as you want and add a printable or coloring book. Since I did this on a budget, our plan is to read a library book about St. Patrick and create our own masterpieces!
Bonus: This would make an awesome St. Patty's* day centerpiece! 

Last year we purchased a wooden handmade Rainbow puzzle for the boys (find a similar one here) and as bright and lovely as it is on the toy shelf my boys actually love it. They always reach to play with it,and love talking about how rainbows are created by refracted light. This is one of those "non- junky" gifts that will last every year. Between you and I, those are my favorite kinds of gifts, because they are everyday staples in our life. SO  much better than candy wrappers everywhere! 

Welp, there you have it. I may only be like 1/11th Irish, but I'll be darned if I get pinched on St. Patty's* day this year! Remember, everyone's Irish on St. Patrick's day! 

May the luck of the Irish be with you this week and always. 



***Edit: I have just been informed that the authentic way is actually St. Paddy's day, so I apologize to anyone I offended in this post. Thank you to a lovely Irish lass that informed me of this. See, I told you I'm only Irish on March 17th!



Today is one of those hard days. You know the ones, the days that you wake up broken hearted and empty.

The type of day that you realize that this growing up stuff really isn't easy. The type of day that you would just like to block out of your memory.

Oh,  but this day. It tried so hard with it's unseasonably warm weather. Almost like the sun smiling down upon us assuring us that everything would be okay...almost like my dad is telling us from heaven that "everything will be okay".

Today is March 11th and today is my dad's 68th birthday.

Growing up all you ever want to do is just grow up already. Seriously, I spent the majority of my life living rather safely. I knew that my main goals in life, though seemingly shallow to some, were to someday be a good wife and mother. I never dated anyone that I wouldn't want to marry. I never went for the "bad boy". Even though my underlying aspiration to "get out of this town and go" I never followed it. I guess I was just too afraid. In college, I had a brief moment of spontaneity and wanted to move away. It was actually all in the works when I got the devastating news that my dad had stage 4 colon cancer. It was the day that would change my life forever. My best friend in life, my partner in crime was no longer invincible.

That whole feeling of helplessness has never left me.

You see, there's just something to be said about a girl and her daddy. That bond, when nurtured and cared for over time becomes unbreakable. Even in death.

I often wonder what my dad would think of me today. Would he think I was a good mother, would his eyes light up when he saw my boys? Would he help me with my crazy home improvement ideas and teach me about cars? Would he still be my best friend? Would he still be crazy Lare? I hope all of those answers are a yes. And as hard as it may be, I need to remember that the my beliefs deep down in my soul tell me in time that I'll see him again... but that hope doesn't take away the pain of today.

Today is a day that I will remember him, and smile through the pain.

Because today is and forever will be his birthday.

Happy Birthday Daddy.



I'm not sure how this all happened. I mean, one minute we're walking around Hobby Lobby without a care in the world, enjoying the hymns played in the stylings of sexy jazz music and the smell of cinnamon and crafting fantasies, when the next thing I knew the world of my two year old collapsed because I wouldn't let him bounce the giant (non-bouncy) Easter eggs on the hard floor.

This began the most calm temper tantrum I have ever witnessed in my 4 years of parenting. Out of his pure toddler anger towards me, Elliot slumped down in slow motion, eyes closed tightly with the "I refuse to look at you mom...I will not. I WILL NOT " vibe and in silent slow motion proceeded to have his very own lay-in at Hobby Lobby. 

Silent protests are my kryptonite. 


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