Hot Mess of the Week- Spring Break Flight Part 2

As my first story ended we arrived (barely) in sunny Texas, headed for South Padre Island. If you missed Part 1 or want a refresher you can read it right here. Oh, how nice it is that a little salty sea breeze can instantly remove all airport frustrations from a gal.  Before I could really take a load off we needed a few supplies. I’d like to note that our first stop after landing at the airport was Wal-Mart. Now, I’m a Target shopper (shoutout to Minnesota) so, this was already out of my comfort zone. Add a little Texas spin to it and “I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” 4 bottles of sunscreen, pack and play crib, a case of Lime-A-Ritas and $500 later, we leave Wal-Mart. Unscathed? The jury is still out on that one.

After a week of sun, seafood and quality family time we headed back to the dreaded Delta airplane hanger…

Before we left, I went online to check us in. I thought something might be fishy when only my husband and daughters name popped up but I ignored it. Surprise, I know. Once we’re at the departure check-in counter things take a nasty turn. They cannot find my ticket or my sons. No exaggeration, an hour later we make our way to security. During the wait, I’ve got a kid who pooped, one who is running around like a dog that needs to hit the doggy-park for a 5 mile jog and a missing husband who is supposed to be returning the SUV rental. Guardian Angel, I need you now.

We arrive at security and they let us through ahead of the line since we have young children. Yahoo! Just kidding, they need to take my kids water bottles and do an intensive examination, X-rays, explosive tests, drug analysis and a strip search. Guess what? We were clean…

Off to the gate! Run!

Turns out since Delta “lost” my tickets and check ins, I was LAST to check in.  My husband and daughter got accepted. Not little Chief and I. The clerk informs us that the flight is overbooked, I have no seat assignment and I’m “at risk” of not getting on the plane. Don’t worry though, I’d get an Amazon gift card for my troubles. Ha. Ha.

At this rate, I’m feeling a little weak. The whole entire flight of passengers walk by us, one by one. Staring us down like “ugh, 2 toddlers…that’d be cool if you didn’t let them on”. Sorry, peeps. Here comes the circus. Some sweetie agreed to take another flight and they let us on.

Shall I set the scene? Everyone is boarded and buckled. Then here come Poulsen Tornado Party of 4. #walkofshame much? Have the kids napped? Yeah, right. Ha! Are the parents in a good mental state? Yeah, right. Ha!

There is a small glimmer of joy. There’s a open seat next to me!!! Hallelujah, mama needs some more room (for free- Ain’t nobody got time to pay for an infant seat, me anyway)

Up we go, headed for the clouds. Peach is screaming. She’s exhausted, hot and sweaty, hungry. Super fun combo for an almost 3 year old. My husband starts feeding her chocolate. (He’s always full of the best ideas *winks*)  If you thought she looked like she hadn’t bathed in weeks, add melted chocolate around her face. #parentoftheyear

The kids are naturally thirsty so I go and grab the water bottles. *Pop*. Gushing, spraying water is pouring and flying everywhere. AGAIN. Remember Niagara Falls from a week ago? It’s literally all over some crabby dude in front of me and the whole row he’s in, and the 2 women across the aisle from me. Cool. This is going well. AGAIN. How did I forget what happened on our first flight? Must have been cocktails on the ocean…

I finally get Chief to fall asleep. Ahhhh, peace. Not really, I hear Peach screaming. I look at my husband and gesture “paci”? (Yep, my almost 3 year old still loves her Paci for nap and bedtime). I never let her have it in public but drastic times… you know the saying. I toss the pacifier to him. She happily grabs it and starts sucking and biting on it all the while smearing more chocolate around her mouth. Toddler for sale… (I kid!) Peach decides now would be a perfect time to be a cat. She pounces out of her seat and starts crawling down the aisle meowing at passengers along the way. My hub and I exchange “shrug-type” glances because we’re just happy she’s not screaming or peeing. Can’t win ’em all…

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Peach is also shoeless.
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I love my husbands face here. Like, “sorry, she’s living her best life.”

The plane starts to descend, I can almost taste victory. Home! I love you, so!

All in all, the flights were worth it. Whatever gets you to the beach, amiright?! My main tip would be, fly direct whenever you can! Cocktails are nice too.

🛩💺😼- TBHM Hilary

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Hot Mess of the Week- Spring Break Flight

I’d say it’s a almost a no-brainer that the hot messes were plentiful on our flight to South Padre Island. Little tornadoes are basically unavoidable with 2 toddlers on a 90 passenger plane. The excitement began as we made our way through the airport. For some reason the check-in clerk only printed mine and Chief’s boarding passes. So off we went through the line as Dad and Peach made the trek all the way back to the beginning. Shall I set the scene? Double stroller, overstuffed back pack, 2 big convertible car seats, diaper bag and squirmy 14 month old. I’m sure we’ll breeze right through security! *sarcasm*

My instructions: remove car seats and move them to specific location, move stroller and all bags, remove shoes and child from baby carrier. All by myself. If I put my son on the ground he literally just runs away. I was about to tear up and it was only 10AM. Some dude even helped me get my shoe on finally.

Not sure why the TSA thinks I’m always smuggling drugs… I’m not that exciting. But really though, why me? After endless swabs, pokes and prods we’re finally set free. It doesn’t really feel like freedom though because now I’m stuck again. With a huge freaking stroller, 2 car seats, buck wild child and no husband in sight. But there was a bar in sight… mimosa please!

Chief living the dream on the airport floor #worldsokayestmom

Fast forward to the plane. Naturally, I went for the bargain tickets which mean Chief was stuck on my lap and we couldn’t reserve seats in advance. With Chief strapped on me in the Ergo-360 I find my spot. There’s an open seat next to me. As passengers file on I keep silently praying it’s not the old dude with long beard, 20 something frat boy or the polished business man that’s going to be our neighbor. I’m also not oblivious to the fact these men probably feel the exact same way. Luckily my husband and daughter are across the aisle from me. I keep shooting him looks as boarders pass us. Please God! *stares towards the heavens*.

At last a young woman stops. It’s her lucky day. 😬 I find out later she’s my age and has 2 kids. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I don’t believe in coincidences.

Looking much more peaceful than we feel 

We take off. It’s approximately toddler nap time. Perfect. I’m sure they’ll sleep like angels the whole flight. Or try, NOT AT ALL. At this point, I just want Chief to be quiet. Peach too. That seems easier at this rate while my husbands tossing fruit snacks at her as fast as her grimy hands can grab them.

Our seats are cramped and Chief is wiggling all over. As soon as I can, I order an overpriced cocktail. The flight attendant must feel for me. She doesn’t charge me. (There are angels among us!)

I figure Chief and Peach must need to wet their whistles so I grab the Camelbak and Contigos. *pop* I open the tops and you’d think you were at Niagara Falls. Water starts spraying out in a huge fountain up in the air. It just keeps coming and I can’t seem to control it. Not many were spared. Including the grumpy business man and a couple spring breakers in the row ahead. I offer up my flimsy cocktail napkin as a sorry-feel bad for me-gesture. My hub and I start the nervous laughter… if you know me, more like hysterical laugh-crying. *chugs lukewarm vodka soda*.

Peach needs to pee. Thank you, God,she told us. Husband and I take turns bringing her to the toilet. We’ve been in 4 times now. She’s too scared to go. It’s loud. It’s dark. It’s cramped. Heck, I’m scared too. Where exactly does the pee go when you flush?… Note worthy- the bathroom was up through first class where we repeatedly had to pass by Afroman. *because I got high…* (probably should have gotten high before this 😉)

The flight attendant walks by. I order another drink. She mixes it for me and doesn’t charge again. I’m thinking she must be a mom. I could kiss her.

At last, I get Chief to fall asleep. But now it’s time to prepare to land. Another attendant tells me he can’t be in the carrier and I have to unclip him. No! Please no! He finally fell asleep and I’m quite certain the whole entire plane is really happy about that.

Well, I oblige and free him. He’s still sleeping! Until, my arm rest comes flinging down and smashes his head. Insert scream-crying, over tired 14 month old.

Just get me To. The. Beach.

Pic from the airport right when we landed. Freedom!

To be continued…(flight home in Part 2)

✈️🏖-TBHM Hilary

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You’re probably a good mom…

We’re late again. As I’m juggling a 14 month old wiggle-worm trying my darnedest to squeeze his feet into his new grey Nike’s, I call to Peach and tell her to get her coat and boots on. 10 minutes and 10 requests later she’s still not dressed. She’s in the play room jumping on her miniature trampoline. I feel my patience dwindling like a frayed rope. I’m hanging by a thread. An all too common phrase I use to describe my status to family and friends as of late. I get Chief into his car seat and head back in to tackle his big sister. At this point, I fear we’ll get the boot from her private school since we’re late so often. There’s no more time for “Miss Nice Montessori Mom”. I grab her and man-handle her up the stairs, whip her boots and coat on and carry her out to Black Beauty. Mom. Is. Done. It’s 8:31AM. #sendhelp. Once we’re safely on the way to school. I sink down into a wave of regret and feel like the worlds meanest mom.

I read something one day that said “if you worry about being a good mom, you already are one”. I’m here to tell you to hold onto that, friends.

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Another day done and what was accomplished? Running from one commitment to the next and suddenly it’s bedtime. As the sun sets I normally reflect on the day. Often times, thinking of all the things I wish I would have done. Did I get down on the floor and pretend I was a cat for the 15th time that day? Did I read every book requested of me? Did I serve an organic balanced homemade meal? Did I lose my temper or raise my voice? Did I put down my phone enough? Did I keep bribing my eldest with chocolate chips? Did I complete all my household duties to show a good example to my children? Did the kids get a probably much needed bath? Did I cuddle them as long as possible before turning out the light? Did I say “I love you” enough?

We could all fall victim to holding onto our potential shortcomings as a parent. Could we have done better? Probably, but let’s focus on the good that came from our day.

My children thought I was a hilarious feline. Meow! I got to read some of my childhood favorite books. (Hello, Jan Brett!) Their tummies were filled and they were loved. So what if I didn’t fold the clean laundry today? Life is a progression and the chores are never all done. One thing is for sure though, these days are limited. (Insert baby fever).

I’ve lost my temper more times than I’d care to admit. Yet, how easily my children keep smiling and loving me. They don’t even contemplate what it means to forgive. They just do it. In an instant. Can we see the world through our children’s eyes for a moment? Take a step back and love more?

Do you ever ponder these things about your parenting day in and day out? If you do, chances are you’re a good mom (or Dad)! So let’s hold onto the positive love filled moments we provided for our children today and not be too hard on ourselves. That doesn’t mean we don’t need to strive to improve our lives. I know I do. It’s patience for me. I believe with love and patience anything is possible (especially in parenthood). Maybe even being on time!

💕😻- TBHM Hilary

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Hot Mess of the Week- Freezer Meal Swap

When I got invited to do a freezer meal swap I was all in. Let’s be honest. I’m a little more Betty Crockpot than Crocker, if ya feel me. All I was going to have to do was prepare 2 different recipes for the group and I’d be bringing home 12 meals. Easy enough right?!

My sister, Mimi, was included in the exchange so we decided to prep our food together. We learned very quickly this wasn’t going to be as easy as we had imagined. It began with Split Pea Soup. Mimi had prepped her peas by soaking them since the early morning for hours. She arrived at my front later that afternoon with pots overflowing with damp green legumes. More dreams of ease start being crushed when we realize we don’t seem to have enough stove space or pots to accommodate the soup. Yet, we manage to start simmering the split peas and move on to prep of the next meal.

25 onions chopped later, we’re starting to sweat. WINE PLEASE. My stove top is starting to gurgle and bubble, army green liquid splattering about. Our other sister arrives and I get her to start opening cans of black beans for me. Again, 24 cans later and carpal tunnel beginning to throb, I decide to text the woman who organized the meal swap. At this point I imagine she’s drowning in the kitchen like us. I’m concerned about her!

Here’s a little how the text conversation goes:

Me: Meal Swap 2018 happening. All I can say is WOW.

Her: Overwhelmed?

Me: Overwhelmed, Yes. Grateful for my big kitchen island but not enough pots, pans and stove space.

Her: What are you using pots and pans for?!

…Ugh, gulp…what do you mean? We’re meal prepping…

*Phone rings*

She calls after she quickly learns that things have gone off the rails. Can you say “train wreck?”  I start to laugh-cry (you know the kind) as she explains we weren’t supposed to actually cook the food. We were just supposed to put the raw ingredients in freezer bags, ready for a slow cooker. I look at Mimi. She’s getting a little teary eyed. I head towards the wine. WINE PLEASE. NOW PLEASE. Screw the glass, gimme the bottle. JK its a box.

We were literally supposed to dump the food into bags and call it a day. GUYS, WE HAD BEEN IN THE KITCHEN FOR 5 HOURS. That doesn’t include the pea pre-soak. Part shaking-part crying- part laughing we attempt to breathe again. My husband was home at this point sitting on the couch like “what in the world did I seriously just come home to?” Yet, he’s never surprised. Another day, another hot mess. I like to keep things exciting in our marriage. *winks*

A slight bit of relief washes over us since we’re happy we won’t have to pull an all-nighter on this meal prep. Too bad we couldn’t finish it all then and there. Nope, 4 steaming hot pots of soup had to cool before bagging. So lucky us, the fun continued the next day.

I don’t think I’ll ever run out of hot mess stories to share with you. They just. Keep. Coming.

🍲🥄-TBHM Hilary

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Hot Mess of the Week- Shame at School Pickup

I haven’t always been so forward about my hot mess life. Especially when it comes to my daughters school. Do I want them to know that I’m running late whilst throwing an Uncrustable from the frozen section at Costco on my counter? No. I’d prefer to be thought of as the mom who is creating beautiful themed bento box lunches. Prepped fresh at 5AM after my morning workout. A gal can dream…but, who am I kidding?! #teamnosleep doesn’t allow for a life like that.

I retrieve my daughter from the toddler community (Montessori lingo). All the while, juggling my baby as we make the long journey to Black Beauty (my suburban). Long Journey, you ask? Yes. Nothing ever comes fast and easy with the Poulsen Party of 4 (3 since Dad was working).

I prep Peachy Popper (age 2). “There’s the car, walk to the door and climb in.” She takes off running towards the neighboring house. Down a hill, through 2′ thick snow. She takes a mighty tumble, mitten-less. Insanity ensues. Or perhaps, sharp foreshadowing.

I clomp down the hill, wrangling a whiny Baby Chief. Snow getting all in my red Ugg boots, grab crying Peach and head back up the hill to the parking lot. I open the door and we all climb in. I plop Chief in his seat while I clip Peach in. At that point, I start the truck with my auto start from my key fob. I hop out to walk around to fasten the baby in.

*SLAP* My hand slips off the door handle. *STOMACH SINKS* You guessed it. My doors are locked. My keys?! Sitting cozy on the open seat next to Peach. Toddler clipped in, mobile baby not. Insert- PANIC. Mind you, it’s approximately 10 degrees outside. Nothing left to do but call my personal “emergency responder” (husband). His response, “call the cops.” Thanks dude.

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Here’s the proof to set the scene. My view from the outside in.

I succumb to the inevitable and dial 9-1-1. At this point, other toddler moms are seeing that I’m having a serious struggle happen. One even stops to take my photo, “for the blog”. Haha. The principal even comes outside to check on me. Delivering a coffee. (Reason 100 why I love that school). As I wait for the police I just pray my baby doesn’t flip out of his seat. He’s a wild buck and he thought this was thrilling and hilarious.

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Lovely…

The cop arrives and insists that things like this happen constantly. I don’t feel too bad… he even lets me snap a pic of him! LOL. Honestly, this dude was comical and I want him to come over for dinner. I just hope he likes frozen lasagne. *winks*

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As much as I’d like to keep up appearances, it’s seems like I’m already super successful living up to my name, Totally Blessed Hot Mess. Now the school moms and faculty have confirmed their suspicions. #ownit?

👮‍♂️ 🔐 🤦🏻‍♀️- TBHM Hilary

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Hot Mess of the Week- Sculpture Garden

Over the summer I went, kids in tow, to meet a friend at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. It was a show stopping July morning. Even better? My girl was bringing me Starbucks. #butfirstcoffee. This wasn’t some nose wiping, diaper changing, soggy goldfish cracker eating playdate. No. This was getting together with my single independent girl friend! Maybe I’ll even feel like my old self and slap on a crop top for the occasion. Just kidding guys! Leopard sundress it is. *winks*

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We strolled around the sidewalks admiring all the large sculptures. I briefly wondered where people came up with this stuff. Hmmm. Then I moved on to more important things: Who was my friend dating? Was he a “swipe right” dude? When was her last drunken night? What spontaneous vacation does she have planned? (Of course she had one set.) Greece, at that! Can you blame me, guys? Let this mom live a little. Vicariously anyhow.

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Peach making sure she’s in every on-lookers photo op.
Maybe I painted that picture to sound like a peaceful morning? Sorry to kill your buzz, but remember, my toddler came with. She spent her time practicing parkour over the various monstrosities. She quite literally only removed herself from the above pictured sculpture to pee behind it.

As much as I would have loved to sit and drink a bottle of chilled Rosé, reminiscing about our days when we drove our dad’s lifted trucks (hers bright red Dodge pickup, mine Hummer H2) on lunch break from high school, waving at potential boyfriends, I had to get the toddler home. Because #NapsSaveLives. I hug my friend goodbye and we go our separate ways. As I approach Black Beauty (my suburban), I dig around for my keys to get her unlocked. Beep-beep! I get all my baggage packed up, hop in the driver seat and…KEYS NOWHERE TO BE FOUND. Why me?! Why me?! Can I ever do anything seamlessly? I feel like I literally search everywhere possible. My kids are starting to freak out. I call my friend. “Hi. It’s me, obviously. Yes, problem. No keys. Bring wine.” She drives back and meets us.

During this time I continue to scrounge around for those priceless jinglers. I FIND THEM!!! In my diaper bag pocket. Where I always keep them. SMH. Sweet relief anyway. I slide the key in the ignition. Tick. Click. ITS DEAD. My truck is freaking DEAD.

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Chief & I waiting in Black Beauty playing with Snap Chat filters. What else would we do with our time? 
The way I’m parked up against gardens and sprawling groomed grass there was no way to get a jump with cables. Note to self: always back into a parking space. Much to my chagrin, I dial up husband aka my ” #1 emergency responder”. He says “Sorry, Hily. Can’t help ya.” he was basically in Wisconsin, bringing home the bacon. He does remind me however, “call the roadside assistance!”.

They arrive with a fancy-schmancy little jump start thing. My girlfriend and I both ask where we can get one of those. Turns out we’d have to be prepared enough to keep the device charged. Yeah, not happening. Way kill our mellow, Progressive Roadside Assistance Man.

Are you seeing a theme with my Hot Mess stories? Yep. I wouldn’t be opposed to anyone starting a Go-Fund me for a luxury car upgrade with keyless entry and start. Or perhaps, a personal assistant that is strictly responsible for my keys. Birthday gift?

🏙🍒🥄-TBHM Hilary

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The Struggles (and joys) of going from 1 to 2 kids.

Don’t get me wrong, having 1 child isn’t a walk in the park. The first year is difficult. The transition from independent adult to someone’s parent is huge. Someone relying on you for their whole survival 24/7 is the most demanding job in the world. Then you get the hang of things. “hey, it’s not so bad! The baby can’t even crawl or walk yet.” Cool. Go get dressed in the other room and come back to zero disasters. Maybe even start sleeping through the night again. Insert- Baby #2.

 

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Ignorant Bliss as a mother to 1 child. (infant Peach)
A few of the biggest struggles from going from 1 baby to 2:

  1. You may never be on time again: You think it takes forever to get out the door with 1 kid? Try 2. One of which probably just peed their pants and would prefer sandals despite the snowstorm. The other is probably screaming because they are late for a nap and more than likely need another diaper change. Don’t even get me started on car seats. I daydream of the day when my eldest can climb in my suburban on her own, get in her seat,  and clip herself in.
  2. Someone is always sick: Literally. Never ending. Toddler comes home with runny nose and cough. Baby gets cold that lasts for approximately 1-2 weeks. You think you made it out unharmed as everyone is perky for a day or 2. Nope, mom and dad always get hit too. And honey, MOMS DON’T GET SICK DAYS. 
  3. You’ll never sleep again: After weeks of nursing the new baby every 2-3 hours, they might start sleeping longer stretches. Or maybe not. Probably not in my case. I always say “I just don’t make lazy kids”. The months go on and perhaps they sleep through the night or only wake up seldomly. Insert- Toddler random night wakings. Reasons include: “I have to pee”, “I need more water” or easily mistaken for sweet,  but trust me its far from it at 3:30AM after nursing the baby for 15 minutes, “sleep with me.”
  4. Good intentions to use hand-me-downs: Ha-Ha. If you get lucky enough to have your kids follow the same growth trajectory on the same season, then bravo to your planning. The rest of us, not so lucky. Also note, baby girls leggings are not very cute on my infant son’s chubby buns. Neutral colors really aren’t always neutral. Even if you don’t mind pocketless cheeks on your son in a black and white stripe, it’s rare they actually have the same build. 
  5. Your house will never be clean again: Mine probably won’t anyway. As much as you can try to tidy up as you walk through every area, its nearly impossible to keep order. Exploring toddler and curious baby makes for a mess at every corner. Shout out to my Roomba and my dogs for doing the best clean up they can!      
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    Chief and Peach Halloween 2017 Cop & Donut
    Lets not forget the Joys…
  6. They start playing together: Once you see the love your first has for your new baby. Talk about heart melting. All your tired doubts come to a screeching halt. This is why you have more than one kid. It’s really a gift for them. BFFs. Teaching each other how to use items, play games, read books. 
  7. How can you love another baby as much as you loved your first?: A thought many mothers and fathers may have. Is there enough room in my life? Wait until the day #2 arrives. HEART EXPLOSION. How on earth did we survive without the newest member of the crew?! 
  8. They help take care of each other (and you): Maybe I’m nursing the baby and need a  rag quickly. Toddler to the rescue. Baby starts crying in the carseat before we’re headed out the door. Toddler is on entertainment duty. She even makes sure he gets to try all her snacks. She even breaks them down to baby sized pieces for him. 
  9. The world doesn’t revolve around just your 1 child: Sorry kid, you have to learn to wait, to share and to most importantly, love. The real learning begins at home. Home is where the heart is. Life isn’t fair. Let’s begin a big life lesson ASAP.
  10. Lifelong friends, Confidants, Family: I can only pray this will be true for my children as the mature. Life isn’t easy. It’s a rollercoaster of happiness and suffering. I’m grateful everyday that I gave them the gift of each other. No one will know them better. Know them for their whole lives. Understand what they’ve been through. The inner working of the family dynamic. This is priceless.

It may never seem like the right time to add more children to your family. One thing I know is, I’ll never regret having more children but, I may regret not having more. Life is short and you cannot please everyone. Live your best life. Find the beauty in every day. After 2 I say, the more the merrier!

What would you add to the list?

Love,

TBHM Hilary

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Sure my hands are full, but you should see my heart.