Clean Freak?

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No that’s not my home. He-he, but wouldn’t it be nice!

You know how you see photos on Instagram and then you say to yourself, oh I bet that’s rarely the case, or its all for show, or with three kids I bet her home gets really messy….seriously though….my house is almost, always clean and organized…Okay, dusting (people still do that?) has become a thing of the past now that I have twins; but I do keep a clean house.

Here’s a peek at my humble abode.

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The first two levels are great but it’s that third level that most people don’t see. Well, when we sleep in our bedroom regularly it’s clean.  I think the answer to this dilemma is having guests.  Whenever the guest room is occupied for extended stays….our bedroom is clean and sparkly (as my three-year old says). So who’s coming to visit? I dread cleaning it now, but it must be done. Just not this weekend when my kids and hubby are away. I WILL NOT CLEAN ANYTHING. This is my vow! I’m not even running the vacuum. Lol

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This pic doesn’t fully capture the all-encompassing abyss.

The term OCD never existed for me while growing up.  We may not have had much, but we had enough. We had love. We had laughter. We had fun, and tons of it! And we had a clean home.  I was raised with my grandparents in the rural parts of Jamaica and although it was close to a dozen of us in a three bedroom house it was mainly clean (minus the boy’s room, the bed was always made though). Clothes were never piled up on the floor or things laying out-of-place.  The house was always clean including the shiny, cold tile that had to be cleaned while on all fours with a coconut brush EVERY Saturday until you could see your reflection.  Do you even know what a coconut brush is?

Like I said, we had a clean home.  As I’ve grown into my adult years I have realized that I may slightly have OCD tendencies. Okay, maybe more than slightly. Shhhh, what triggered these thoughts was my hubby grabbing three water bottles for his trip yesterday.  He grabbed two off the door (leaving three there) then one from the organized water tray.  I can’t remember if I had grabbed one from the organized tray before he grabbed his, so naturally he’s getting the blame.

When I went to grab a water. I scolded my husband in my mind. I quickly replaced the bottle on the organized tray (making sure the letters were aligned with the others) then grabbed one from the door (The one that had an indentation) and thought, “seriously, who does that?” Isn’t that a sign of OCD?

I hate things out-of-order.  I hate dishes piled in the sink (whew, Lord, deep breaths).   Yes, I know hate is a strong word but I really do HATE it.  If there’s a place for something, for heaven’s sake just put it where it belongs.  If it was up to me, we would live in a VERY modern contemporary (idk exactly what that is. Lol, but I like it) home with secret storage EVERYWHERE and everything white, minus the stainless steel appliances. That will never happen, but a girl can dream.

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I have not been clinically diagnosed and no I’m not nearly as bad as Monk.  Having three kids under three is quite a bit to handle but I strive to have a clean home for my sanity.  I literally get discombobulated when things aren’t organized. Like really, I get anxious and feel burdened. There’s something wrong with me, isn’t it?

What are some of your pet peeves? How do you handle it?

Who wakes up and writes about this stuff on their kid-free weekend? This crazy mama.

Thanks for reading 😘

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Happy Saturday!!

~TOODLES~
Stacey

The Twins Take to the Sky!!

FLORIDA here we come!

Big sister took her first flight just before she turned one and she was a joy. The twins will be one next wek! I can only hope I have enough good karma. Am I hoping for too much with two babies and a toddler? Read on to find out.

So we were flying out of the Trenton NJ Airport (another first) at 5 in the afternoon.  The adventures began before we even made it to the gate.  My oldest had a meltdown when she realized we were leaving her carseat behind.  Needless to say, her carseat came along for the flight along with the twins pack and play (their bed while away from home). Those were the only two things that checked in before the terminal was closed.

They told us we had to check our carry on bags at the gate. To our surprise the cost per bag doubled from $30 to $60!! With five passengers that’s $300. Almost half the cost of our plane tickets. On top of that we would have to pay $300 to return home. Of course we refused to pay. In the end we paid $30 for the oversized carry on. Walked outside, up the stairs and boarded.

You know those passengers who you hate because you’ve been sitting there buckled up ready for takeoff impatiently waiting. Yes that was us but at least they didn’t page us over the intercom. Wheels up? Not yet. With myself, mom, the twins and the passenger already seated in our row another problem. Only four oxygen masks are alloted per row. She was reluctant to leave. Thanks to the gentleman across the row who switched seats with her.

FINALLY it was time for take off. By this point it felt like I’ve ran a marathon. I had a deep breath, said a prayer and we took to the skies. The twins did great. Having the empty seat really helped. If we could be so lucky on our flight home.

Did the twins behave on the return flight? It was a night flight.

How did we handle our baggage probblem?

Tell you all about it soon.

~TOODLES~
Stacey

Happy Birthday, America!

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The year of firsts are sadly coming to a close for my twinsies.  Last weekend was independence weekend; mom and auntie visited.  Aside from the weather, at times it was a very lovely weekend.

After dinner we drove into the city to watch the fireworks from Joint Base Anacostia. The National Monument and the Capitol provided backdrops for the beautiful fireworks being displayed on the Potomac River. The fireworks were another first with my twins. My big girl, who is normally scared of EVERYTHING, was fine.

On another note, my baby girl now has TWO teeth.  One on the bottom and the other on top. Who grows teeth in such fashion? My daughter, that’s who. Lol

I hope you had a lovely weekend with great food and great people.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!!!

~TOODLES~
Stacey

Frederick Douglass Home & A Detour

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In celebration of our impending independence celebration, we’ve been visiting sites of historical importance. The Frederick Douglass Historic site in Anacostia was next.

I am not in any way, shape or form a lover of history. I know very little of my own Jamaican history yet here I am discovering. I’m even teaching the hubby a thing or two. That feels good 🙂

The home pictured above perched on a hill overlooking Washington, DC may not look like much now, but it was quite an estate when Frederick Douglass purchased the home in 1877.

Mr. Douglass, like so many in the 1800’s, was born into slavery but he did not let his predisposed conditions dictate his future. In fact, he became one of our country’s greatest advocates for freedom. He never had any formal schooling; he was self-taught. He traveled his country as well as Great Britain and Ireland, speaking about social injustice, giving hope to the hopeless, advocating for a world where we could all be free.

He held many titles, including DC’s U.S Marshall, Minister to Haiti and during the Civil War serving as adviser to President Lincoln and assisted with the Emancipation Proclamation.

After our tour concluded around 2 p.m we decided to visit the Kenilworth Aquatic Garden.

The garden was within five miles of Cedar Hill so I figured this would provide some relaxation and maybe the kids would actually take a nap.  We’ve been struggling with those lately as they are teething.  Anyway, walking along the pathway I was expecting a grandiose view at the end but was quickly disappointed.  I was greeted by a swampy terrain filled with lotus and water lilies and that was it.

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I kept waiting for the scenery to improve and it did, but not by very much. There just isn’t much to see and with rain over the weekend a lot of the walkways connecting the gardens were flooded.  At one point we were stuck in the mud. It wouldn’t be an adventure with us if we didn’t get stuck somewhere, right?

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I would not recommend a trip to the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.  Perhaps my expectations were just too high but I was hoping for a lush garden with a lot more variety. We literally spent an hour before heading home so we could beat rush hour. Timing is everything in the DC/MD/VA metropolitan area.

Have you visited the garden? Is so, what were your thoughts?

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The kids weren’t impressed at all.

~TOODLES~
Stacey

A Quieter Place

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Most of my Family Friday posts feature just the kids and I, so in honor of hubby joining us yesterday for our discovery here’s how we spent a portion of our afternoon.

We didn’t get out of the house as early as planned.  That seems to be the norm around here regardless how early I wake up.   It was now 12:30 pm; not a good idea for a trip to the city, but like I said, the hubby was off so I was taking full advantage.

We settled on President Lincoln’s Cottage during our drive in.  We walked some of the grounds before sneaking in on a senior group tour.  Okay, we didn’t exactly sneak in; the tour guide didn’t say anything though I was wondering why everyone favored a librarian or a historian but we kept going.  We were kicked out a few minutes later but in a very nice manner. Lol

The Soldiers’ Home where the cottage is located is in fact a very quiet retreat nestled on a hill overlooking Washington, just three miles north of the White House away from the city’s hustle and bustle. The President and his family found solitude here during the summers of 1862, 1863 and 1864. Can you imagine a president riding his horse or on a carriage through the city? President Lincoln completed this commute daily much to the worry of his wife, Mary. A far cry from today’s society. During his stay here, the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation was drafted as well as several key war-time decisions made during the Civil War.

Walking the grounds of such historical importance was very refreshing. I look forward to our return in September during the state fair. The thought of my twins and their big sister running around the grounds here makes me smile.

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Have a great weekend!

~TOODLES~
Stacey

The Ten Month Saga Continues

Yes, I am sharing more pictures because it took me a total of THREE days to capture these photos. I would literally dress all three kids and one would fall asleep or all three would whine.  Yes, the big girl often joins in on the fun.  Would you want to be left out?

I was able to capture some really cool pictures and a precious moment with my girls, making it totally worth the hassle.  Whenever I do a photoshoot I think to myself “I could never be a photographer” but that doesn’t stop me from doing all these photoshoots. Lol

Enjoy.

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~TOODLES~
Stacey

She’s Just Not In The Mood for a Photo Shoot

Wednesdays are witty Wednesdays here on the blog, where my posts focus on my witty almost threenager.  She most definitely was witty telling me what she did and didn’t want to do.

Apparently, I didn’t check her calendar first because a photoshoot was not on the agenda.  She might think she runs this, but mommy is still the boss.

Here are the photos I captured about a week ago. 🙂

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Yes, it was just a few. Like I said, she really wasn’t in the mood. You have to learn to choose your battles early.

~TOODLES~
Stacey

Mommy’s Oasis

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My oasis could very well be food as this girl LOVES to eat but I’m talking about a different kind of oasis but it will definitely be one centered around great food and great company.

Tuesdays here on the blog are reserved for traveling adventures. I’m normally off with the kids trying to see something new to share with you, but with my backyard renovation, I might just be hiding out there, WITHOUT the kids. Shhh

A few weeks ago I purchased a patio set for my birthday. When I received it, I fell in looove. Yes looove! I couldn’t wait for the hubby to put it together. I then ordered an umbrella online but was quickly disappointed when it arrived. The color wasn’t what I expected. I hated it. It sat in the box on our kitchen floor for five days.

Flash forward to the day of our first summer cookout. Hubby suggested we put up the umbrella so our guests would be able to relax in the shade. I reluctantly agreed. I wasn’t impressed but quickly grew to love it.

Hubby was in charge of the grill.  He never disappoints with the jerk chicken. The marinade is made by yours truly, of course. 😄 Love you babe. We make a great team.

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At the umpteenth minute leave it to my mother-in-law to show up with four majestic palm trees. I’ve wanted palm trees for a while, but with the exorbitant prices, my backyard would have to survive without them. I may love to shop, but I’m way too thrifty to pay that much for palm trees, lol. They often say what a difference greenery makes, and I must agree. The palms provided that extra oomph the yard needed.

All the lanterns are LED and you can even operate them with a remote. A great find at Pier One, and they’re on clearance. If you are thinking about purchasing lanterns I suggest the nylon ones as the paper ones rip easily.

Okay, enough already. I know you’ve been dying to see the end product so without further delay, here is MOMMY’S OASIS. A little taste of paradise right here in my backyard!

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So who’s coming to my next party? The wine awaits, or whatever tickles your fancy 😉

Stay cool out there, it feels like a sauna today.

~TOODLES~
Stacey

Mommy and Me Date

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I haven’t participated in many organized  events since my twins’ arrival.  I was very excited when I signed up last week, but then I forgot about it until the night before.  I figured I would take my oldest then head to the “beach” at the National Harbor for some much needed one on one time where she wasn’t just along for a ride to the store.

I woke up and got her dressed but ended up with the twins tagging along. I was only five minutes late.  In my world, that’s considered a victory. Lol

My oldest had a good time playing and trying to hula hoop.  Her favorite was jumping on the mini trampoline. I couldn’t keep her out the line once she had her first taste.

I opted out of the National Harbor because it was quite cloudy. My oldest wasn’t ready to head home so I suggested a bathroom run and that’s when the adventures really amped up.

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Yes, I am stuck!!  I am so sick and tired of being stuck trying to fit through doors or wasting a few minutes trying to maneuver through them, especially those leading to the restrooms.   On our exit, a fellow double-stroller mama held the door.  We were bonding over our debacle when I called for my daughter and realized SHE WAS NOT THERE!!!

I don’t think I had time to panic, I immediately went into super spy mode.  I spotted her instantly as I walked over to the water fountain where she played with two kids from the mommy and me group.  I thought about spanking her for wandering off but quickly realized it was my fault.  I was in charge and I wasn’t paying attention. I did lecture her though. My nerves were shot, with no alcohol in sight I ordered an oreo shake and headed to the playground.

My littlest was walking around, my big guy was crawling, both was intensely watching their big sister and other kids playing as I snapped pics and sipped my milkshake.  All was well until I turned around to find my son SITTING ON THE SLIDE.  He didn’t make it far but it was enough to rattle my feathers. Of course I took a few pics and a video before taking him down.

After all that transpired, mommy needed a little retail therapy not for the kids, not for the house, a little therapy for ME and that’s exactly what I did while drowning out their cries for my attention.

Are you exhausted reading yet?

Because I am typing this, our day didn’t even end there; my oldest requested broccoli cheddar soup but she wanted to dine in, so we did once I took the twins out the stroller and closed it so we could fit through the door YET AGAIN.

I’m exhausted!!

~TOODLES~
Stacey

National Arboretum

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I love when hubby is off from work and we go out for a relaxing family day. Okay, with three under three maybe not a relaxing day, but it’s time spent together, so I’m happy.

I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting at this place.

I didn’t necessarily liked the route we were taking so during the drive I decided to google National Arboretum. Here’s what Wikipedia gave me: “An Arboretum in DC operated by the Department of Agriculture.”  Well, that’s very insightful.

At this point it didn’t matter as we were committed to this location because it’s after 1 p.m on a Friday in the nation’s Capital.

First we missed our turn because the GPS didn’t show the service road. As we entered the grounds we wondered if we were lost despite seeing the little tiny sign that read National Arboretum. It looked more of an abandoned place with lots of overgrown trees and windy roads.

Eventually we found the main building. We enjoyed a picnic of leftovers that consisted of baked jerk chicken, brussel sprouts and white rice as our oldest ran around taking to everyone like she normally does.

We missed all the days activities, they were closing at 4 p.m, the gardens weren’t in bloom and the memory card was almost full. You think by now I would learn to do my research and prep before my little adventures but I guess that’s part of the fun 😉

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It’s rare that hubby smiles, he actually smiled twice! I think he was enjoying family time.

~TOODLES~
Stacey