crusty noses.

It is honestly so fun to pick your kids nose when they are asleep. My two currently have sooooo much crust in and around their noses–pillsbury would be jealous. It’s really the only way to accurately clean the “schnozzola” and you don’t need to worry about them whipping their heads around or screaming when you come bolting at them with a wad of Kleenex. Sometimes I’m shocked at the size of the clusters that can even make their way into Ollies nostrils in the first place. Like, how did that booger clump get so big that it was able to drop down into a ‘moms eye view’? Anyway–it’s out, and added to my booger collection. Kidding!! EW.

On account of the holiday season, I’m THANKING my children for GIVING me opportunities left and right to drink alcohol. –annnnnd thanking you, as the reader for allowing this upcoming rant session to occur. Oh–you didn’t know? Sorrrrrrrry.

I can feel it, I just don’t know how to get it.

I’m not going to lay here like a good-for-nothin’ in my bed with my hair in a mom bun and tell you that being a mom is the most amazing and rewarding thing under the sun where you feel nothing but appreciation for raising the darn family and that all is “peaches”. Phewf. IT’S HARD–and it sucks sometimes. No one thanks you, except maybe your toddler when you give them an M&M which is really cute for about 4 seconds until they do something rude again. No one tells you that what you are doing is wonderful and that raising your children will be the hardest thing you do…evvvvvvva.

this adorable moment of silence was brought to you in part by…Penelope Violet, with the help of our sponsors, M&M. 

No one tells you that even though you aren’t “clocking in” for this job every day, that you can’t actually “clock out” because, of course– being a dead beat mom is frowned upon in this day and age. I’m thankful that I haven’t moved out yet–alone that is, to a one bedroom hut in St. Lucia. LISTEN, if I could just change my underwear each day without being asked why my ‘rear-end’ is wiggly, that’d be wonderful. I don’t know about you people, but sometimes, as a stay at home mom, you get stuck.

hi. my name’s ollie. I LEGIT LIVE IN MY CARSEAT. I’m happy here, though.

Stuck in the “goo goo gaa gaa” of it all and feel like you need to bolt out the door the second someone capable of keeping an eye on your kids walks in. That’s actually what I did the other day when my hubby came home. He walked in the door, and I sprinted out–ran a mile, and then came back. HOLY CRAP–DO THAT! Or even walk…walk fast… something. Just get out. It helps. They are legit my Velcro and I love them SO MUCH… BUTTT, my god, does it feel good when you get a break. Someone calls you by your real name, they don’t spill things and barf on you, they don’t insult your jiggly rear end– it’s kinda nice! Stay At Home Drama wouldn’t exist if the kiddies didn’t make me a nut job so I sure am thankful for that. Let me turn off my depression switch and we can chat about fun holiday stuff instead. Like, how my family does an annual yankee swap each year–that’s fun!

I see a ‘Tom Brady chin’ in this boys future.

I AM truly not an ungrateful son of a B, and I’m very fortunate that my family and friends are healthy and happy people (for the most part, because we killed off all the idiots). I’m thankful that the aggravation of a toddler “problem” or a teething baby are my only daily setbacks. I just wanted to VENT over the public internet to get some things off my chest and onto yours tonight– so kind, right?! Hey–someone’s gotta hear it. In the end, there are more good times than bad, and other days you have to SEARCH to find the S.A.H.M. positives–like, being in your pajamas ’til 4pm…and then realizing changing into a new pair for bed would just be silly. Also, there’s that moment when you tuck them into bed and end the night on a high note.  Ollie gets a big wet smooch on the forehead, plugged with the binky, his blankies nestled around him, and goes to sleep (usually requires we “re-plug” him a few times). Penel insists we read “Goodnight Moon” and then sing that lovely “finger family” song from Youtube, followed by “if you’re happy and you know it” and “twinkle twinkle”.  Tonight, as I was walking out of her room–for the fifth or sixth time, she yelled “Love ya!” and blew me a kiss. NOW–that’s cute. 

…and that’s when you feel special as a Mama.


sometimes it’s fun to act stupid, a little ghetto–and like a duck. (…and YES i do this stuff sober.)

Crafts will be coming along, yummy holiday treats, fun pictures, and DIY ideas…so stick with me. Like my children… A.K.A. The Velcro!


p.s. I can’t type anymore because the meatballs are ready and I can smell them from across the house and down the hall. ABOUT TO CONSUME 17.

twick or tweat!

As Penelope and I sat in the playroom drinking our oh-so-spooky halloween smoothies this afternoon (super simple recipe below), I can’t help but get excited for her to actually TRICK OR TREAT tomorrow! Predictably, she saw the Cookie Monster fuzzy costume suit and it was all over, leaving only one option for little Ollie…ELMO. It’ll be cute though–even IF I’m not into the whole “character thing”, I guess I can deal for just one night.  Of course, good old Daddy let Penelope pick her costume out this year.  I guess telling him that she still doesn’t really understand the concept so I could still have her dress up as anything I wanted–didn’t fly. Whatever! Me want cookie too, let’s face it. 

cup of water-cup of organic carrot/orange v8-cup of frozen mixed berries-1 oikos mixed berry greek yogurt-shot of lime juice. Blend and draaaank.

She thinks it’s so funny that you can go up to houses and get free candy for ONE NIGHT ONLY (despite the fact that she’s been doing that at my parents house since birth), and she keeps saying “twick aw tweatin’ mom” and holding an empty bowl in front of me, as if I should fill it up and tell her I like her costume…aka her footy pajamas. I swear, kids learn from the age of ZERO that they aren’t going to listen to their parents unless threatened or bribed. Don’t understand where I’m coming from? Please allow me to elaborate…for example…eh heh hemmm…

practicing the ghost duck face for Halloween on social media.

I give Penelope her lunch, she doesn’t eat it.  I tell her she can have a special treat if she finishes her plate…and she licks the plate clean. Done. Bribed her–mission completed. I mean, it’s the truth. Why kill yourself over the everyday struggle of mealtime? BRIBE the kid and you’re good. Kidding. Disclaimer: DON’T take parenting tips from me. Ha. Let’s just say it’s working pretty well for Halloween season.  We are trying to limit her treat intake to ONE a day because it’s become nuts this month. On the flip side, she is obsessed with her oral hygiene.

cutest human jack-o-lantern I’ve seen in a lonnnng time.

…Then there was this night–two nights ago, where I was laying in Penel’s little toddler bed with her, doing the nightly torture routine–I mean bedtime ritual, and she nearly brought me to tears.  After reading a few books to her, including some new ones we added to our Halloween collection, she paused, looked at me while holding my face in her little palm, and said “you need to cut your eyebrows”. I almost peed my pants laughing, and even had her repeat herself to make sure I was hearing correctly. Seriously child? When I don’t groom, I expect you to be the LAST one to notice. You and your father, both.  How does she even know that I trim them in the first place? I literally can’t. Like, hi…worry about toddler things, like  brushing your teeth, going potty, and when you’ll score your next m&m–instead of my unibrow. Thannnks. 

make them do the messy part. They’ll like it because they like “gross stuff”

We figured it’d be fun for Penelope to help with the pumpkin carving this year.  Daddy and P emptied out all that “gross stuff” as Penel called it, and I roasted the seeds and carved the face of it!  Daddy wanted a total boring jack-o-lantern to mimic the bright orange pail that every kid and their mother has from wal-mart, but we had different plans.  I said… If we are going to make a “basic bitch” pumpkin, we are giving that broad nice plump lips and winged eyelashes.  She can still have the hillbilly teeth like all the jacks do.  Everybody wins.  Penel said “oh this is gweat mom–good job makin’ my punkin face”.  Daddy also admitted he couldn’t have made it that cute.

she’s not basic. we stuck a mason jar inside our JANE-o-lantern and loaded it with LED candle tealights for the glow.
rinse, mix them up in a bowl with olive oil, sea salt, cracked black pepper, paprika, and garlic powder…bake on a foil lined tray evenly spread out on 350 degrees for around 25-30 mins until they start to brown. Boom. Putting them on a brussel sprouts salad tomorrow night with homemade apple vinaigrette!
yummy snackeroo. PRETTY too– from the paprika!

 Her new things/lovely habits include but are not limited to,  playing pretend where she calls my husband and I “Mommy and Daddy Dino” apparently from a show or something;  making chicken clucking sounds (BOCK! BOCK!) at the top of her lungs while walking slowly with her rear end slightly sticking out;  Taking toys from her brother while sweetly saying “You don’t need that toy Ollie Boy–it’s MINE”; Using the word “because” when explaining reasons for her actions; and lastly, referring to us, her parents, as “guys”.  Used in a sentence… “Hey guys, what are ya doin’?”—OH–and telling Ollie to “say AHH” with her mouth wide open modeling what he should do so she can shove a toy in his trap. She’s got it all figured out. Clearly.

we’ve got our bedtime Halloween stash of books ready to go. we’ve only read these 89 times throughout the year already but heyyyyy.

Why is everything ‘poop and pee’ already? I totally thought that was a 4 year old boy thing? NOPE–pretty sure Penelope requests poop for lunch–DAILY! “Penel–what do you feel like having for lunch? Macaroni n’ cheese or chicken nuggets?” …and this is what you get, “I want poop, mom. Poop chicken or Macaroni Poop for snack”.  Delightful, thank you for your order.  Happy to serve you.

Perfectly positioned pumpkin. Kid never wears pants… and quite frankly, I have bigger fish to fry.

I find that without coffee, I am a total BEAST.  Ask my husband–or Penelope for that matter. I am nodding off before 9 am, while feeding Ollie…or I have zero patience–due to lack of energy.  It was 1 o’clock the other day and I actually said to my child “Mommy needs coffee before she hurts someone” and Penelope reminded me that hurting someone isn’t nice, and off we went for the daily run. It’s unbelievable though, it’s a total game changer for a mom (in my opinion) when you throw caffeine into the mix. It’s like, you become human again–as opposed to a horrific zombie mother who grunts and huffs n’ puffs until the first sip.  Lord give me patience, AND MY MEDIUM ICED. Pronto! Thanks Lord. 

even Ollie is in the “fall spirit” with his pumpkin banana teething wafers from Plum Organics.


Are you excited for Halloween? “YES! Them will have all the special treats like lollipops and tootsie rolls and special pops and more tootsie rolls…oh yum.”

What are you dressing up as for Halloween? “a cookie monster!”

How many treats will you get on Halloween? “cannndy and tootsie rolls too. 2!”

What are you having for Halloween dinner? “Poop dinner and Poop macaronis and polka dots.”

Who are you ‘trick or treating’ with? “mommy and daddy annnnnd pumpkins.”

How many houses will you trick or treat at? “2”

then I wonder why my neck hurts–if I wasn’t doing these ostrich moves to get on camera, I wouldn’t be sore. HA. Also put this pic up on the blog for the large use of black and orange.

apples and aggravation.

“I can’t wait to make paleo desserts with all these apples we picked” -No one. Ever.     #addthesugar #addthebutter #addtheflavor  #screwthecavemen
she’d rather eat the ones off the ground that the bugs have already started on.

I’ve literally caught my pinky toe on 3 things today. It’s the shortest toe, too….like wtf. #itsred #itssore #itscurrentlyseperatedfromtheothers #lonelytoe #thislittlepiggy #fishhookslegchairs #andtricycles #WHYAMIBAREFOOT #itscoldoutnow…oh, and why haven’t I stopped walking so close to the legs of the dining room chairs after the first and second time I SNAGGED that lil’ sucker. One day, it’s just going to break off…it’s taken so much abuse lately.

the face of a tickle victim.

You open the drawer and grab the biggest spoon you can find only to realize the Nutella jar has just enough for a sam’s club sample… And you wanted a shovels worth. #theynevergiveyouenough #SOweswitched #toBJs

going cross-eyed to ensure she completely cleans off her finger for the next round.

You join crossfit thinking you’re cool as shit and on the second “real class” you leave walking like a newborn baby calf and are calling the “wall ball” every name in the book. #notbadassatall #myasshurts #actually #alotofthingshurt #dontcare #goingtomorrow for more blood, sweat, and tears.  Let’s face it–mostly tears.

please notice the word “suck” on the wall. Yeah–it’s describing the class! But–you’ll feel SO good once you’ve accomplished the “SUCK”

..there is actually graffiti on the wall stating “EMBRACE THE SUCK” so…I will accept the fact that for 7-30 minutes there will be hell to pay while I’m there but I will leave there with my head held high and my legs like J-E-L-L-O.

…then one day you wake up with two cheek pimples baffled because you haven’t had those since 8th grade and your husband tells you (4 days later) he’s been using your pillow for the past week. #oilydome #seriouslybro #thanksforpubertyroundtwo #wd40head #mrclean #betterthanfartingonmypillow

ugh, dad… we got work to do.

Ollie gets SO excited when he sees me stirring his cereal in with his fruits and veggies that I can only think of one thing–welcome to the family kid, we all love carbs ’round here. This morning I put the bowl of cereal right on his highchair tray as he was sitting up oh-so-sweetly eating a rubber block.  BET YA CAN’T GUESS WHAT HAPPENED NEXT!? Yup! He fisted it. Little chunky fist pounds the side of the bowl and completely flips the thing as if to grab a pile and eat it…or say, “yo–lady–get the spoon to my mouth a lil’ quicker”.  Penelope was even shocked that he was this aggressive! Could this mean he is learning from her? Nooooooooooooooo. If there is a god… let him stay calm and sweet. 

when natural light hits those eyeballs… ughhhhh. (Hanna Anderssen hat from the outlet in Wrentham! $3!)

Even though we are total frenemies, Penelope definitely amazes me on MOST days.  She gets so excited when it rains out that she’ll give me the side eye, deepen her voice, and say “yet’s go jump in puddoos, mom!”  or “I need my waincoat n’ my boots if you want to pay ow-side” Then we get in the car to run Halloween crafting errands (stay tuned) and she starts singing “if all of the randrops” and “itsy bitsy spider” and proceeds to tell me “you sing those songs when it’s wainin’ out.”

When we sell Penelope, she will not come with a gift receipt. Apologies in advance to the buyer.

Things I found in my dust pan this morning:  Elmo sticker, corn from last night, bobbie pin, a purple crayon wrapper, an Old Navy clearance tag for 3.99 (wicked cute pair of pants for P), mini elastics, glitter, toilet paper pieces, a hair ball, a blue marshmallow from a box of frozen cereal, a ghost halloween sticker…annnnnnd one yellow lego, which I stepped on and almost cried…ok, maybe I did cry…just a little.
May I remind you I haven’t swept the bedrooms yet.
Moral of the story: WE are a filthy family…who need to sweep more. 

$2.00 Halloween craft anyone? (buy 2 Ball Mason jars–$2 …or use ones that you have around your house–free.  Grab a bag of creepy spiders and a bag of eyeballs from dollar tree. ($2) Put them in mason jars! Close lid! DONE. (for the spiders i stuck a piece of toulle in jar so i could position them as ‘crawling’…and i had the jars already so it cost me $2)

…and it was just like that, that my husband and I realized if we want both nutty kids to be in bed and asleep by 8:30…we should start at noon. Holy cannoli–tonight was no exception to disaster. Crying over dinner, shirtless, then pantless–crying because she didn’t want a bath, crying because she didn’t want to get out of the bath.  Crying when conditioner didn’t work to make her hair easier to brush, crying to get her pajamas on. Crying for a yogurt pop, then crying because it was too cold. Crying because we said she could save it in the freezer for tomorrow, and crying again because she didn’t want to wait ’til tomorrow to eat it–after she just cried saying she didn’t want it. All the while, poor Ollie is tossing and turning in his crib each time he hears the ogre moaning in the next room.  If I wasn’t so freakin’  tired, I’d pour myself a gallon of wine and drink it under my covers.  Dear tomorrow–please give me patience…and enough energy to drink wine after bath time.

Love always,

Your President, CEO, and Founder of the “Complaint Dept.”

where have i been all your life?

photo 2-60
no one really cares that I didn’t fill my brows in because all you’re looking at is HIM anyway. UGH. Not enough kisses on the planet for that face!

Ohhh, ya know–I took a blog hiatus. When in reality, I’ve been busy with summer “stuff”…things like, starting Ollie on solids, talking Penelope off the tantrum ledge–daily, making chicken nuggets and mac n’ cheese out the wazoo…aaand managing to barely stay awake as long as my toddler does.  I haven’t ignored you on purpose–PROMISE…it’s just life takes over and you enjoy your summer instead of staring at a computer screen typing your bologna for all to see, while your child repeatedly hits the “ESC” button. JK! I love this mac, and you love how much I vent about my ‘mom problems’. I’M BACK.  Basically, what I mean is–if I want to go anywhere in life,  I should probably type more…just sayin’. 

photo 1-56
like i said earlier on Instagram and Facebook …the girls got hands from Jesus!

As I sat in the hairdresser’s chair a few nights ago I wondered what the strange sounds were all around me (and by “strange sounds”…I’m referring to NO SOUNDS) because I was sitting in straight silence, with the occasional hair dryer blow and I couldn’t get enough of it. I closed my eyes with excitement and thought…at this very moment I have no one to reprimand, no one to burp, no butts to wipe, and…even better… they call me “Alex” here…like who is “Alex”?…I don’t even know that broad anymore. I thought I had completely transformed into “Mommy” or “MOM” or “MA!” …BAM…then the euphoric sound of AIR ends as I see my phone go off. Just as I’m about to smile and inhale/exhale without a huff and puff of ‘motherOfAToddler frustration’, my hubby texts me saying Ollie has been crying from 7:30-9 straight, and that he’s tried “everything”. I reply, oh-so-sweetly and without zero sarcasm (yeah, ok!)…“BRI–he has three necessities–eat, sleep, and shizzle…POSSIBLY gas–he has gas too! Figure it out DAD..and get back to me…actually don’t!”  C’mon bro–let a lady get some peace for just a few hours. You got this…or at least we can pretend you do. Sigh.

the aftermath is worth the minor aggravation of the “daddy” text. Love how my sis can color your hair without making it obvious!!  my sister in-law got a kick out of me cropping out my ‘tired mom face’ in the pic. 

For those who are unaware… “Willow Salon” is now changed to “Halo Hair & Body” same location in Bristol, RI at 259 Thames Street. Andi (my sis) still owns it and fabulously performs makeovers on a daily basis.  If you are a talented stylist–they are looking for you!

photo 1-55
exhibit A. green beans!

So…Ollie was fussing in the high chair eagerly awaiting the introduction to pears, as Penelope ran into the playroom. She comes out holding a recorder and one morocca and says “i pay some nice moozic faw baby Oyee”.  I told her that was very sweet of her to try and calm him down.  Just then, she blew into the recorder like it was LITERALLY her last exhale ever and he jumped a good 3 inches off the high chair seat. She stopped his fussing though, and he ate his pears. Then puked, smiled again, tooted and was done with pears.  I think it’s safe to say he “sharted” from the “moozic” of Penelope’s one-man-band.  She scared the pears out of him. Wait… technically, she scared the–YOU GET IT! 

photo 2-59
Penelope and her FAVORITE MALE. She’s so in love it’s great. I’m not bad though, I delivered this guy coffee while he was working. I mean, he paid for it, but i delivered–because I AM ACCOMMODATING!

You can expect multiple posts a week, starting soon!  I have so much to tell you and so many pictures to share!!  Feel free to comment if you’ve shared the same summer experiences! Most of the places we go–or went…will be in my new category of “Get Up n’ Go!” Check facebook and instagram for post updates, or sign up to e-mail follow (only on

photo 3-45
throw ya hands in the air like ya just don’t care! …aaaand thank god i shaved my pits because daddy snuck this pic at the hotel! I’ll be posting more about our Poconos trip soon!
bye Elmo, it’s been real.


t-shirts & headbands!

Who doesn’t love a stylish headband and a comfy t-shirt? These soft fabrics and adorable prints will jazz up any toddler or mama!  Wait–it gets better…today, I’m featuring two amazing small businesses run by WOMEN. Oh. Yeah. Sisters are doin’ it for themselves.  These ladies both had a vision, and put their creativity into apparel! Wondering who they are? LET ME TELL YOU!!!

we’re talking this combo of cuteness!

First off, we have LittleBeansCo., an adorable mama and baby/toddler shop!  Stephanie Jonas created her clothing line through inspiration from her two boys.  Describing her little guys as free spirited, wild, hippie babes–her line of t’s and onesies expresses just that!  She uses only the best quality shirts, with a kid-friendly message printed on their front.  Check out Penelope’s PERFECTLY worded t-shirt from LittleBeansCo!

photo 2-11
WILD CHILD FOREVER. Yupppppp…she’s pretty much nailed that phrase!
photo 1-11
surfing on “my” rock…wearing nothing but the best! LittleBeansCo and Vaydagirl!

I love me a good story of a successful woman…good thing I have three women for you in this post!  Sooo many reasons to buy–first and foremost–the cuteness… HOWEVER, coming in at a close second, you’re supporting a small business run by a Mama. Sa-weet!

know any hippie mamas who are having/have a girl? They’ll need this! is where you order! Their sizes range from 3-months through 8-years, and adult sizes for the mamas, making them a great gift!  All you need to do is pick the saying/phrase that best suits the recipient!! (She’s got everything from “high fives & fist bumps” to “pretty FLY for a little guy”…who could resist?!) LittleBeans are also on Instagram (@littlebeans_co) and Etsy (LittleBeansCO).  Don’t worry Dads–shirts for you are in the works too!  Head over to her instagram for the latest styles and shirt designs, as well as occasional giveaways.  She’s always updating her social media to show off what’s new at LittleBeansCo. The shirt below was inspired by her son’s conversation on the playground! Too stinken cute…and he’s right on target with that one.

it is SO TRUE. Only the coolest kids fight their naps…right?!

Now let’s talk headbands!! VaydaGirl headbands was established by two local ladies I grew up with–Audrey Johnson (Lamendola) and Jessica Cooper, who took hair accessories to a whole new level. They wanted to create a headband that was comfortable, fashionable, and could be worn all day without discomfort–especially for yoga! They began using their personal sewing machines to start off, came up with the six unique styles…and voila! Vaydagirl came to be!

photo 3-11
we bought the “hypnotic” print in “knotted girl” (above) and the “foxy” print in the “bow girl”(below) which is great if you need an adjustable headband!

They started wearing their VaydaGirl Headbands (named for co-owner Audrey’s daughter) and people started asking where to buy them! They quickly developed their website and within two short months, had to move their production site to Fall River, MA due to high demand of the headbands! Pretty cool. On, you can personally customize any style headband with any print you see available.  The best thing about Vaydagirl headbands is that their prints are always changing. If you see one you love–grab it now because once a particular print is gone…it’s gone!

photo 2-12
this is the adjustable bow in “foxy”…fits perfectly on both of our noggins–so we can share!

They are sold locally at: 

    • Pure Barre, studio offering apparel (1000 Division Road. East Greenwich, RI & Chapel View Blvd. Cranston, RI)
    • Rhode Island Yoga Center, yoga studio offering apparel (99 Fortin Road. Kingston, RI)
    • Tropical Gangsters, clothing and accessories boutique (375 Thames St. Newport, RI)
    • David-Max, home goods and artist boutique (187 Main St. East Greenwich, RI)
    • North End Yoga, yoga studio offering apparel  (256 Hanover St, Boston, MA)
    • Savas Studios, clothing and accessories boutique (456 Hanover St. Boston, MA)
    • Salon Xhair salon (3087 Post Rd. Warwick, RI)
    • Glistening Goddess, spray tan and consignment shop (65 Weybosset St. Providence, RI & 622 Killingly St. Johnston, RI)
    • Ocean State Cross Fit, cross fit studio offering apparel (41 Webb St, Cranston, RI)
    • Tyler English Fitness, fitness center offering apparel (5A Cheryl Drive, Canton, CT)
    • Nancy Ogift and events (23 Catoonah Street Ridgefield, CT 06877
    • AND MORE! (art festivals and farmer’s markets by season–check the site!)
If there’s a man in your life who wants to rock the bands, they even have MAN headbands to buy! 
photo 3-12
here’s a man wearing one!

Fun Fact: Vaydagirl uses organic cotton label tags on all of their headbands and their packaging is made from 60% recycled materials, making shipping the ‘vaydas’ more earth friendly!

posted up in style.

In the picture above, Penel is wearing the “Hypnotic” print in “knotted girl” which is actually MINE, but they fit all noggins.  She always asked to “borrow” my headbands, but usually doesn’t return them. Can you blame her?

photo 4-8
she’s glaring at daddy on the tractor because she can’t stand the sound of that thing.

we’re so happy we ordered–you should too!

have a seat.

Go Cosco, Go! Tell your friends and families that there is a new car seat retailing for under $50! The Scenera NEXT car seat by Cosco is only $46 at Walmart and is one of the only car seats on the market to fit three across in most vehicles (for the Mamas out there with three times the fun) This seat can be forward or rear facing, allowing all babes from 5-40 pounds to use it. It’s got side impact protection and machine washable fabric (if your kiddo is/was a puker, this will come in handy…eh-hem, Penelope!)…Check out the adorable pattern and the cute cup holder for that sippy cup on-the-go. The cup holder is actually dishwasher safe, so in other words–no more cup holder crud. Comfortable seat padding to keep those buns happy for the whole trip! There are several adjustment options for the 5-point harness, so as your little one grows, you can adjust the straps accordingly!


Want one? Head to a Walmart near you, and take a look.  A perfect car seat for a growing family!  More importantly, an AFFORDABLE car seat to grow with your family.  It comes in 6 adorable prints and solid colors too–to fit any style!

So many people need an “extra” car seat for a second vehicle or for “grandma & grandpa’s car” and since the Cosco Scenera NEXT is under $50, you won’t feel guilty purchasing a few–especially since it’s a third of the price of most convertible car seats.

photo 4-23
Here she is all excited to go ride the “horsies” on the mall carousel.

As we all know, toddlers can be hard to please–but Penelope loves her new Cosco Scenera NEXT car seat.  I asked her how she liked her new seat and she smiled and said “I comfy Mommy!” It’s a win for Cosco! TODDLER APPROVED!

WIN THIS CAR SEAT! (+ a $25 Walmart Gift Card!) It’s easy!  Simply follow ME! and @stayathomedrama (Instagram and Twitter)  Must follow the blog to be eligible to win.  A random follower will be chosen AS THE WINNER on Friday, June 26th by 10 pm! Good Luck! Keep reading! 


After this emotionally crazy week, I thought I’d give you some pictures and captions to lighten your mood. Better yet, lighten mine.  We suffered the loss of a friend last week, and to take things to a brighter level, I decided to simply post in pictures today! If we sit around in sorrow, we will only make the coping process more difficult. Instead, let’s find the ‘fun’ or the ‘humor’ in the things we do. Life. is. just. too. short.

photo 4-24
let’s smile quick before we both have a toddler tantrum.
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newest talent–henna tattoos. book her now while the markers are still washable.
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caught in a canadian tuxedo…with my gargoyle toes and concerned eyebrows.
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stole auntie andi’s fendi and headed for the nearest jungle.
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she’s strapped in. that should give us 4 minutes of freedom!
please note the small foot in the window of penelope’s new “race car” …”daddy go dis way” “daddy yets get temmonade” “daddy i get out” “daddy go fast” “now slow daddy” “daddy i awl done” Daddy: “You are?” Penelope: “no daddy”
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i dont care who you are…at least once, you’ve almost pooped in your car–while driving.
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part fairy, part gnome, part shroom–all whacko.
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queen of the BIG KID slide. “look what I doodin” she says…then mommy goes on, and her butt gets stuck. NOT OKAY.
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teaching him sign language early to express his true feelings about his older sibling. (truthfully, he flipped the bird after she plucked a tiny hair from his sweet little noggin…perfect timing, baby bro.)
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woah. someone needs a tissue.
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introducing “girl”…our friends thought it would be a good idea to buy Penelope a hamster for her 2nd birthday. Did I say friends? yeah..not anymore. it smells.
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the world lost a beautiful soul, inside and out. not only did his uniform fit perfectly, but that smile never left. this has been a tough week for so many of us who had the pleasure of being your friend, Rich. you left this earth with my child thinking your name was “bich” because she still hasn’t mastered that “r” sound yet. we will find peace in knowing that you would make someone smile (or whistle at you), wherever you’d go. for that, and the joy you brought so many, we will miss you, “bich”. (Richard Jean-Georges)

bubble blower. crib jumper.

bubbles and jammies. It’s all you need. AND WINE…but she doesn’t know that yet!

BUBBLES. It’s all about the bubbles these days…and if you ask Penelope, “It’s All About That Bass” too, since that’s her favorite jam, said NO PROUD PARENT, EVER. Eh, could be worse. The girl needs her fix. At least once a day she needs some sort of bubble interaction AND a Megan Trainor tune…possibly an M&M as well. A blue one. High maintenance broad. I captured this picture of Penel on the deck in all her pajama glory, trying to catch the bubbles we blew with her “bubble blaster”! The Fubbles bubble brand makes some pretty serious bubble machines if you’re into that kinda thing.  Daddy found a huge jug of bubbles at Job Lot for 2.99 so we should be good for a week or so. HA. Bubbles are literally so cheap–and so darn amusing.  Your kid won’t bother you for at least 30 minutes if there are bubbles being blown–or they’ll immediately bother you if they spill the entire container all over the deck. 

…annnnnnnnd I officially have no freedom.

Okay folks, looks like it’s time to break open the box. You know–the box that the crib attachment came in…the one that makes the crib a toddler bedYA. She climbed out.  Climbed out, and oh-so-casually skipped into the living room saying, “Hey Mommy–I waked up!”…no kid… you didn’t “waked” up–YA NEVER SLEPT! Honestly though, her dismount was pretty impressive. My.Life.Is.OVER.  My sister caught it on the monitor video camera and then I had Penelope ‘perform’ the move for me again to see just how she got out.  Does this mean she gives up naps? Or does this mean I have to bunji cord her to the bed to sleep? Stop…I already told you I’m not that bad!  HOWEVER, I’m thinking she may be a tough cookie to get into an actual ‘laying down position’ and commence sleeping–for a nap at least. She typically goes down effortlessly at night, as long as we sing her 387 songs including–but not limited too–twinkle, twinkle…the wheels on the bus…the abc’s…pat-a-cake…the itsy bitsy spider…the “nonnie” song (which my whole family knows and hates)…and the finger family song…which you probably shouldn’t youtube because it’s extremely creepy with a man’s deep voice singing about how each finger is a member of the family. Gulp. We’ll see how it goes. Now, she just strolls on into our bedroom once she wakes up–doesn’t even bother to call my name–make that–SCREAM MY NAME through the monitor any more. Miss Independent!

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popeye boy. If those eyes don’t stay blue, I’d be shocked!

This is the face of a baby boy who slept over 6 hours three nights in a row…and then ruined it by the fourth night, eating every 2.5 hours. He’s 7 weeks old and doing BIG things, I guess. He’s a sweet boy whose only concerns are boobs and bowel movements. This kid poops once every 4-5 days–which I find odd since Penelope was also a breastfed baby who had no regularity issues. Different plumbing I guess! How does a breastfed baby even get constipated? Judging by that silly grin above, he doesn’t seem too concerned by his lack of doodles, so I won’t be either! He smiles most when you open your mouth obnoxiously wide and say “Hiiiiiiiii”. Totally not a cranky kid, either.  Makes a fussy face, cries for a sec…farts/burps–and done. 

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baby brother is milk drunk and Penel is heading toward picking his nose with her pinky. Do I know my kids or what?!

I’m really impressed with Penelope lately, though. Although my husband and I wouldn’t leave her for two seconds alone with him–fearing he would lose a limb–she is becoming more gentle!  She got over the yelling in his face and hitting him, and has moved onto stealing his binky more often and hiding it. I’ll take it. We have spares. He doesn’t have spare limbs. She always wants to “cuddle baby brudda” or “I sit next to him”–which usually means on top of him with her butt in his face, or slowly rolling over onto him covering half his body… siiiggghhhh. 

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dreamboat of cute baby heaven.

How much do you love my bed decoration??  Talking about little Mister Oliver, of course. However, that precious coral beaded accent pillow from HomeGoods behind the baby statue was worth every cent of the $24.99 it cost me–especially since I had a gift card to pay for it. Yeehaw. Brightened up my gray dungeon of a bedroom! Threw in those light sea foamy pillows too, because I NEEDED them…and so does Ollie…for back support.

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smiling and thinking about three things. How I can’t wait to be horizontal ALONE in the bed behind me. How I need to trim my eyebrows because they are slightly out of control, and how much I love the new Cynthia Rowley gloss color that came in this months Birch Box. Too bad Penelope hijacked it and lost it or else I’d tell you the name of the color. FAIL.

Aren’t you so excited I got my own DOMAIN? We are/I am OFFICIALLY and have lots of cool things coming your way..SUCH AS: A COSCO Car Seat and $25 Wal-Mart Gift Card GIVEAWAY! Stay tuned for the next post THIS WEEK! Should have my new blog layout up and running soon toon! Working on all of that–while a kid is attached to my chest and a toddler throws play-doh at me. 5:00 yet?!


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Looks fancy, but it’s all for show. WICKED EASY ravioli dish that you’ll want to make tonight!  Your ingredients include: 1 lb of ravioli (we like the circle ravioli in our house), 1 can of diced tomatoes, 1 small can of black sliced olives, 3-20 cloves of garlic (depending on how ITALIAN you are) fresh basil, shaved asiago cheese, salt, pepper, olive oil.  DO THIS: Toss a few tablespoons of olive oil into a skillet or frying pan over low/med heat. Thinly slice your desired amount of garlic–or chop it, I don’t care, and add those to the hot olive oil.  Once they start to sizzle, throw in the can of tomatoes and the can of olives (small can).  Roughly chop your basil leaves (I did 5) and sprinkle them into your mix.  Add sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste and let simmer.  Cook the raviolis like the package tells you to, and once they’re done, pour your “sauce” over the pound. You’re sauce will be done by the time the raviolis are–because it literally takes 10 minutes to simmer and to taste fabulous.   Chop extra basil for the top of the raviolis and shave some asiago or sharp provolone over the top (any Italian stinky cheese will do!). It’ll look like the picture above and your friends will think you’re cool. I made it for Penelope and I for lunch and we were fighting for the last ravi. That’s short for ravioli. Duh. 

…and she thinks I’m cool. Hopefully that lasts a few more years.

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So we are coming right along as a family of four–and Penelope is as terrific as ever…and by ‘terrific’ I mean terrible, and by “as ever” I mean “always”. ALWAYS TERRIBLE. No, no…I kid. HOWEVER, she DID bite her baby brother’s toe yesterday.  So, there’s that.  Here’s how it went down. She came over to us on the couch holding a pink polka dot blanket.  I thought it was far too sweet that she chose that blanket especially for her brother to use, without having some evil plan lurking in her head.  Sure enough, my instincts were ON POINT.  As I held him, she came over and covered his feet with the blanket, and put her head down–looking like she was cuddling him. Just like that Oliver let out a SCREAM, that could only mean one thing–HE’D BEEN BITTEN. Lifting up her head she had the blanket clenched between her teeth and I wanted to scream.  I did what any Italian mom would do and…I went  cookoo. “NO WAY! ABSOLUTELY NOT! PENELOPE VIOLET THAT IS A BADDDDD GIRL. NO! UGGGGHHH. NAUGHTY–SO BAD…NO BITING!! DON’T YOU EVER DO THAT AGAIN!” and then I casually left the playroom calling her every applicable obscenity possible under my breath.  Really?! At least wait ’til Ollie has teeth so he can defend himself. Poor innocent Son of mine. OY. The funniest part about her biting, is that it’s NEVER done in anger.  Always just for fun–for the hell of it!  HOW ABOUT trying to draw a picture, using play-doh, building a block castle–FOR THE HELL OF IT.  Don’t just bite someone–it’s mean, and it hurts. Like REALLY hurts. 

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Poor little toes. Ya almost lost one, there Buddy!

I think I’m much happier with two.  Even though I joke about getting driven to insanity on a daily basis, I like having two gremlins–I mean kids.  For some ODD reason unknown to man, I’ve become more organized and clean with two. Is it because I have no other choice?  It would not be humane to live like my former sloppy piggish self, and share that with another child–now would it?!  I find myself cleaning out closets and cupboards more often, vacuuming twice as much, and generally, being neater.  Maybe If I have a third I’ll be an official clean freak. Third. HA. My husband wants to KILLLLLL me every time I mention the “T” word. We’ll see in 2 years if I feel the same.  I told him, as long as I have a bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (specifically Oyster Bay or Kim Crawford) on a weekly basis, I’ll be HAPPY AS HELL. Throw in both kids asleep simultaneously and a back massage and BOOM!–EUPHORIC.

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Just popping out from behind the curtain to “pet” him.

“I touch him, MOMMY!” she yells from across the house and I cringe while running toward the bassinet. “You sure do, Penel” I tell her in the most sarcastic tone I own. Baby brother cringes too…I just know it.  Constantly has his fists clench–always playin’ defense, that kid.

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little pink box.

This was hilarious to open, and adorable all at once. This bangle–if you can’t read the above picture, says “YOU ARE BETTER THAN UNICORNS AND SPARKLES COMBINED AND YOU’RE PRETTIER THAN A SUPERSTAR” Friggan hilarious, and all lies.  Mother’s Day gift from my sis. Check out the Bando website. Awesome quirky little gifts.

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Garlic-Lime Shrimp Marinade:

For Mother’s Day we decided to do ‘pickies’ and grill some skewers of shrimp and chicken, wine, cheese, crackers, dips, etc.  I whipped up a super easy marinade for the shrimp that will be great this summer when friends come by.

All you need is lime juice, garlic, sea salt, cracked black pepper, parsley, olive oil.  I’d say for 50 shrimp, use about a 1-1 1/2 cups of lime juice, half a cup of olive oil, handful of parsley, 5-7 cloves of garlic (smashed with backside of knife) and  salt and pepper to taste. Throw all ingredients in a Ziploc freezer bag to marinate for the day with the thawed shrimp.  We let them marinate for 4 hours or so, but the longer the better for these, guys.  We stuck 4 on each skewer and cooked them over a low heated grill for about 2 minutes on each side–or until pink and plump! We put our leftovers over a salad (as seen in the picture above) and added organic spring mix, yellow tomatoes, chopped beets, banana peppers, crumbled feta cheese, chopped cucumbers, pumpernickel croutons, and of course, my homemade balsamic dressing (with a touch of maple syrup).  Two meals in one!

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fist bump.