Thursday, December 20, 2012

Do you know what I know?

"Said the Shepherd boy to the mighty king, 'Do you know what I know? In your palace warm mighty King? Do you know what I know?
 A child, a child, shivers in the cold...."

from "Do You Hear What I Hear?" lyrics by Noël Regney and music by Gloria Shayne

I have heard the Christmas Story all my room at the inn, born surrounded by animals, placed in a manger. It's something I've known, believed, and accepted. Jesus Christ was born in a barn, and the Wisemen followed the North Star to find him, praise him, glorify him.

But wait...Jesus Christ, King of Kings, was BORN IN A STABLE. OUTSIDE. In the FREEZING COLD.  I'm sorry if you have truly thought about this and processed it before, but I don't think I have.  Although I know the story well, I don't think I ever truly appreciated it. 
While other kings of the time were born in palaces, and adorned in fine silks and surrounded in luxury, our Lord was wrapped in swaddling clothes that were most likely filthy and then he was placed in a manger full of hay. Our King was brought into the world under circumstances that could be described as humble at best. And this is amazing.  Everything about his birth and life are amazing. He lived like a man, not a king. He was never surrounded by riches and luxury. His wealth came from spreading peace and love. His luxuries were healing and saving others.  His life was about what he could give, not what he could acquire.

And his death?  "He was crucified under Pontius Pilate, died, and was buried". How many times have I recited this creed in Mass without truly absorbing it. He was CRUCIFIED. As is exCRUCIating pain. I won't go into the details of crucifixion as I am sure we are pretty aware of what it details. But my mind has blocked me from the reality of how He died, which was not gloriously or humbly, but tragic.

But back to his birth, as that is what Christmas is about. What a gift we received that night, those of us who call ourselves Christians. When a woman gave birth in a barn, surrounded by donkeys and sheep, to the baby who would grow up to be the greatest King of all time. And he shivered in the cold in a manger, not comfortable in a luxurious, warm palace. A humble and real beginning to the life of a humble and real man, who is also the Lord. I've known this for a long time, but have been pretty slow in coming to understand it. Knowing and appreciating are two very different things.

Merry Christmas and I hope you and your loved ones feel Peace and Grace this Holiday Season. I hope your kids squeal when they open their presents, and that their delight is a balm to your soul. I hope nothing is mundane and ordinary for you this Christmas, that it is filled with love and happiness. And if you feel inspired to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus with your kids, I hope you do it. I know we will.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Road Trip...

My husband had a business trip planned, and the kids had a long weekend from school, so I decided to pack up the chuckleheads and visit my parents.

500 miles, one mom, and three preschoolers, in the new minivan. Watch out...crazy times ahead....

Packed up 4 days of clothes, a few favorite toys, some snacks,the required blankets and the "what ifs".  You know, what if we need the nebulizer, the prescription cough meds, the under-the-arm thermometer, etc.  I mean I'll be honest, my kids are sick, a lot. It's best to always be prepared.

So, we are packed and the plan is to get on the road early so we still have some of the day to play when we arrive.
The kids were excited. Up at 530 excited.  My husband loaded the suitcases, everyone peed, I had coffee in hand, and we were on the road by 6:27. The Adventure begins! 

Alvin and the Chipmunks were chirping loudly from the DVD, three hand held games were beeping in the backseats, and I was unsuccessfully trying to find a good satelite radio station. I gave up and settled on a top 40 local station and heard Kesha and Maroon 5 each three times in the first 37 minutes.  Which is the first time I had to stop. Because someone dropped his game and a meltdown followed until I could pull over and retrieve it. Might as well pass out some snacks while we were stopped.

The trip is a jump on I-95, a few skips on I-10 and then a long cruise on I-75.  I stopped for gas and breakfast and bathroom breaks just as we hit 75.  So far so good.

If you have not had the joy of travelling north through Georgia on I-75, let me break it down for you, close your eyes and picture it. Well, it will be tough to read if you close them both, so close one and use your imagination:

Adult Toy store, cotton field, strip club (with trucker parking!), cotton field, adult store, "spa" (with trucker parking!), cotton field, strip club (we bare all!!), strip club, adult super store, spa, cotton field, Atlanta.  That's pretty much it. 

Music is station, country station, Christian station, country station, top 40.  Don't worry, as you near Atlanta you can add a lot of rap to the mix.

Just after a cotton field and sign for peanuts and pecans, but just before Atlanta, we stopped again.  I did not want to have to stop in Atlanta, or get stuck in traffic with a little one that needed to peeeeeeeee.

Here is how you travel through Atlanta.
You get in the HOV lane (when you have three kids your vehicle is always high occupancy so it should never be an issue) and you just GO.  Seriously..ignore the beltways and the bypasses. Stay away from exits and intersections leading to other interstates and highways. Get in the HOV lane and go. Don't look left or right, and by no means exit the interstate.

I was in my stride...the travel endorphins were about to peak...I was nodding my head to T-Pain or T.I. or Ice Somebody. And then I heard it from the way-back...."Mom, I have to poop". 

Nooooooooo...we were in the stride. We were in the HOV lane.  I started to feel panicky.  This was not good.  I was going to have to find an exit in downtown Atlanta...I was going to have to leave the HOV lane and possibly get lost trying to find a Starbucks so I could get coffee while my kid pooped and I'd be stuck in downtown Atlanta forever...or until I found a kind police officer to escort us back to the interstate..

"I don't need to poop anymore, I just needed to fart". Thank the Lord, crisis averted.  And this is why I put the boys in the way back. They can just smell each other's stink and hopefully I can be spared once in a while.

So we made it through Atlanta, and through Georgia, and soon were at my parents house in the mountains of Tennessee. 

We had a lovely visit, though as predicted, one of the chuckles did get sick.

The drive home was similar...same music, same strip clubs (with trucker parking!), same cotton fields..there was only one major difference.  Just south of Atlanta, all of the kids were sleeping. Never wake sleeping children, right? Well, I had to peeeeeeeee.  So I exited by an adult super store, found a semi abondoned Waffle House that backed up to a cotton field, and copped a squat. The kids kept right on sleeping. I waved at a few truckers on the way back to the interstate.  As my friends who are moms said, "you do whatcha gotta do".  Especially if you are on a road trip with three kids.

Friday, September 7, 2012


Today we celebrate my twins' fifth birthday. It is full of conflicting emotions. The day they were born came after months of uncertainty and anxiety, laying in a hospital bed feeling like I was losing a battle at keeping them safe, keeping them alive.

The day they were born came more than 10 weeks early. It is hard to celebrate your babies coming into the world at 2 lbs 11 oz and 2 lbs 13 oz. Hard to celebrate the tubes and ventilators and monitors. Hard to celebrate the fact they know only pain and struggle.

But five years later, today, I can celebrate how far we have come. I can celebrate their struggle because it ended in triumph. I can celebrate the funny, sweet, smart and strong little boys they have become. I can celebrate because they are here, and they are amazing. Happy Birthday to my boys!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


I thought I would be that cool mom. You know, the kind that my kids and their friends loved. The kind they asked
for advice and hung out with. I never wanted my kids to be embarrassed of me. After all, don't they know what a cool mom I am? Won't they be proud to say , "This is my mom!"

Apparently NOT. Because at the ages of four, four and three, each have put me in my place. Unless they are hungry, sick or sad, I will be merely tolerated at best.

The twins started 4k a few weeks ago. I
was a little choked up but determined to stay up-beat in case one of the boys
became upset. My worry was a waste of time. After walking twin A to his seat, he immediately struck up a
conversation with his teacher's aide
and his neighbor. I sorted his snack and pencil box into his cubby and leaned down to kiss the top of his head.
"What are you still doing here?". He

Well then. Guess I'm dismissed.

I continued on to B's class. B is
a mama's boy so I was certain I would need a little extra time with him anyway.

We said hello to his teacher and got him situated.
"Your snack's in your back pack
Babe, and a juice box too". I
told him.

"OK, get out".

I shit you not, he told me to get out.

Wait, what??? Hmmmph

Better than crying and begging though right? Right?

That weekend I took my three year old
spoiled little adorable princess of a daughter to see The Fresh Beat Band Live in Concert. We were so excited for a girl's night.

After a few minutes of the first song,
she was up and dancing with a small group of girls in our section. As the song finished they all jumped around and cheered. Their enthusiasm was
contagious. I clapped my hands high in the air and yelled some nonsense like "Yaaaaaay". She stopped dancing, marched over to me and said, through her teeth, "Mama, put your hands down". Then she rolled her eyes at
me and walked away.

Ummmmm, you're three.

When a particularly catchy song was being performed I stood up next to her and was twisting and bopping my head. I'm tellin ya, those Fresh Beats are pretty good. Again, I got the three year old stink eye and a "MOM, stop dancing".

Stop dancing? But these moves are CLASSIC I tell ya. The others moms just wished they could Kid n Play and MC Hammer like me. But alas, I was embarrassing my youngest offspring.

I can't even imagine the teen years......sigh.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Dear Teachers...

Dear future teachers of my children....

If you could just indulge me, I have a few things to review.

#1. I am sure you are tired of parents telling you how special their kids are. How they deserve special considerations. How they are the exceptions to the rules. Blah, blah, blah. I agree with you. Those parents are wrong.  I, however, think you should know that my children truly are special exceptions and do deserve special considerations. At all times.

#2. The whole teacher's pet thing really bothers me. It is unfair and can mess up the dynamic in your classroom.  Favoring one student above the others, regardless of how cute or smart that student may be, is just wrong. Unless of course my child is your pet. In that case you are a genius with excellent taste and are doing a great job boosting the ego of your student.  If you are temporarily confused or led astray by someone else's kid, just know that the kid and his mom are just suck-ups.  It will hurt when their true natures are revealed.  If I haven't transferred my child out of your class at this point, then I am sure you will come around and see the error of your ways and reallocate your adoration as is appropriate. To my child.

#3.  Let's talk homework.  How beneficial is it really? I mean you have many many hours in the day in which my children are under your tutelage. Can't you get your job done then? Must you send it home for me? Because let's be honest...any homework you send home for the next few years is really for parents.  My kids still need help wiping their asses some times, so they are not going to be spelling all of their colors or locating all the states on a map without parental assistance.  Can you at least make it interesting for us as well? Throw in some double entendres we can giggle about sophomorically,  and references to 70s and  80s music.  We could totally rock geography with Boston, Kansas, Chicago,  even John Denver. And if you really want to be modern, Flo'rida. Two birds with one stone here...we could also teach the kids to whistle.

4)  School Uniforms.  Enough said. I love them. I'm not even kidding.  They should be worn all the way through graduation.  Really push this at administrative meetings.  This is for your own good as well as that of parents.  It's cheaper and eliminates a lot of stress and competition over fashion.  The kids who complain about it dampening their freedom of expression and individuality are right. Because they are the same kids who wear really stupid shit.  And they need a uniform more than anyone.

5)  Discipline.  It's important in a classroom for sure.  Kids need to understand there are consequences if they misbehave outside of the home as well.  But just so you know, I do such a great job with mine, and they are so superbly well-behaved, that you should really save your breath for the other kids in the class. You know, the troublemakers.  If my kid hits someone, there is no doubt he was provoked.  If he bites, the kid deserved it. If he says a naughty word, he heard it from his dad. It's not his fault. Period

Now that we've covered the first five issues of my sure to be on-going list, we can start the school year.  Hopefully everything will run smoothly and you and I will get along beautifully. After all, we both agree on one major thing. My kids are the greatest, and should be treated as such.

Thanks for your time and consideration in these matters. Please feel free to contact me at any time with praise and accolades regarding my child. 

Sincerely, Jennifer  (NGM)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Olympic Memories

The Olympics start tonight. With all the hype leading up to them, I have had a warm feeling of nostalgia. I haven't really been able to explore the feeling, it was more in the back of my fleeting deja vue.  I mean, the Olympics are awesome.  Everyone loves to watch them and cheer on our athletes. But this felt like more..and it felt more personal.

Last night I had a rare dance with insomnia.  During this time, I realized why the Summer Olympics make me feel a happy longing and a nostalgic buzz.

Four years ago I had two 10 month olds. Being preemies, they were still tiny and still ate frequently. They also still woke up twice a night to take a bottle.  So four years ago, I would huddle on the couch with two warm bottles and two warm babies, with the gymnastics and swimming competitions on mute in the middle of the night. I would nuzzle two little fuzzy heads and sniff sleepy baby smell times two while watching a medal ceremony live at 2 in the morning. 

That's what the Summer Olympics will be to me. Not just something that can bring the country together, but memories of my babies..who are growing, growing, gone. Replaced by little boys. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sugar and Spice and nothing nice

Girls can be mean, nasty little things. I am not sure exactly what age it starts. I don't remember. But I do know by High School it is full blown in your face bitchiness. Girls are jealous, competitive, vindictive brats. Most of the sugar and spice has disappeared, replaced with catty remarks and insults towards other girls.  This doesn't mean true best friends don't exist as a teenager, it just means that motives are questionable. Even the girls who "have your back" can mislead you.
  There was an acquaintance freshman year who had long, thick blond hair.  All of the boys in school noticed and commented on it.  One day during gym class she told me she was thinking of cutting it.  I encouraged her, and told her it would "show-off her pretty face better". Petty, right?  But really a minor indiscretion in the world of HS girls.  (She didn't cut, it by the way.) Smart bitch.

Boys were the major point of contention.  They could make girls tear each other apart. Turn on each other. Ruin each other's lives. So sad to look back  on. Very few of those teen-age boys were probably worth it.  And at the same time, those teen-age boys sometimes made much better friends than a lot of girls. Boys are not petty, jealous or vindictive. They are not nearly as calculating or dramatic.  They get pissed, they get over it. They don't wage verbal assualts and nasty lunchroom wars that can span over 4 (or more) years.

 We moved to a new state late in my High School career.  I was devastated, because life was pretty good and I didn't want to leave. And I certainly didn't want to start over.  But I had no choice, so I put on a brave face.  I made my first close friend soon after we moved in. He lived a few houses down the street, and offered me a ride to school. He and I stayed close friends the remainder of high school, much to the chagrin of his on again/off again girlfriend. 

A few girls reached out to me, offering hellos or directions to classrooms. But mostly it was the boys who were helpful, nice, accomodating. And this was my downfall.  I was unknowingly making enemies...girls who were dating, had dated or wanted to date these guys who were driving me to school, walking me to class, calling me in the evenings.  I was naive, and I shouldn't have been. Most of these kids had gone to school together since kindergarten, and I was an outsider. It wasn't long before my house was toilet papered on a regular basis. Plastic Forks decorted my yard. "Bitch" scrawled in shaving cream on my car. And all the while, I just wanted to make friends. Sure, I was still on the homecoming court, still made cheerleading at the new school, but every victory also brought me another round of vengeance for the perceived wrongs I had done these girls. By moving there, by flirting, by trying to fit in.  I had a few girl friends, but they came and went with the everchanging wind of anger at the school. Or they had boyfriends of their own that consumed most of their social lives.  Pretty soon I knew I just had to ride it out..graduate and get the hell outta Dodge.

College was much better, although it was still the norm to watch young women tear each other apart if they got the chance. True friends seemed more true as maturity prevailed. I made friends there I still love today.  But there was always an underlying current of competitiveness.  Whose grades were better, who got engaged first, etc.  Some women could use this competitiveness to motivate them, while others let it consume them.

Unfortunately, adult women in the work place are not immune from the cattiness and drama we indulged in while teens.  Before I had kids, when I had a "carreer", I would witness women tear each other apart in the workplace, usually back handedly and in a duplicitous manner.  But there were women who were good and true friends. Women who supported each other and cheered each other and revelled in each other's successes.  But if there was drama and pettiness going on, you could almost always contribute it to a group of women clucking like hens.

Moms are a different story. I think there may still be underlying competitiveness. Still criticising and complaining behind one another's backs (mostly to one's husband), but that is human nature. I think in a group of moms, you can find more support and empathy than any other group of women around. Because being a mom is hard, yo. And we all want what is best for our kids. Maybe we can unite in the fact that we all want what is best for our babies, rather than fight over "that cute boy" or "that promotion".  Maybe loving someone else so whole heartedly more than we love ourselves let's us put the cattiness and competitiveness aside.  Well most of it at least.  I still think people with long gorgeous hair should cut it off, because it is just too distracting. And if you look better than I do in yoga pants, you should stop wearing them and buy mom jeans. And if your house is spotless, you must be ignoring your kids..and so on, and so on.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

My daughter is a girly girl, and I love it.

During a week long family reunion, we all wrote our names on plastic cups with sharpies to avoid mixing up our drinks. I asked my daughter if she wanted "Sophia"  (her name) or "Sophie" (what we call her) on her cup. 

"PRINCESS Sophia" was her response.

"Oh, of course", I acknowledged and wrote it on her cup as requested.  Her red (solo) cup, because there were no PINK cups as she really wanted, but red was the closest to pink.

Out of 10 pajama choices she has every night, we are relegated to three. The nightgowns that "spin" are the only acceptable choices right now.  The frillier the better.  Ruffles and lace. Sugar and spice.

She loves to play with my makeup. She begs me to paint her nails. She admires my jewelery. She stands in my closet looking at shoes and pointing out her favorite pairs, saying in a valley girl voice."Oh Mah Gawsh, those are beeyootiful".

She wants to grow her hair as long as Rapunzel's.  She likes Barbie, and Hello Kitty and Disney Princesses.

She is a girly girl.  And I love it.  I stuck bows to her head before she even had hair. I had our pediatrician pierce her ears just after her 1st birthday, and she has donned little pearls ever since. I love shopping for girly clothes. Even her tennis shoes sparkle and light up.

She totally embraces her femininity. She LOVES being a girl. And I encourage it every opportunity I can.

I tell her she is adorable, cute, beautiful all the time. I also tell her she is smart and sweet. And she is all of the afore mentioned. She is so smart and well spoken. She is a sweet cuddler. And she is totally adorable.

Some people are offended by marketing that targets a specific gender.  Others oppose anything that plays into gender stereotypes.  This blows my mind.  What is so wrong with a little girl being girly?  Especially since she enjoys it and gravitates to it.

If she wants to play softball or soccer, I will certainly let her and encourage her and cheer her on whole-heartedly, but if she dreams of being a ballerina I will support that enthusiastically, tu-tu and all.  If she wants to be a fairy princess for every Halloween the next five years, wonderful.  If she wants to be zombie, too bad.

She is a tough little girl, who can wrestle her brothers and kick a ball across the yard. She is messy and sloppy.  She doesn't mind dirt, and will seek out a mud puddle to jump in.  She'll just have a big bow in her hair while she does it all.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My favorite non essential but now somewhat essential purchases...

Please note that I have received NO compensation (or even recognition) for telling you about the following purchases, but I would totally take money or free products if they were offered to me. Just sayin'...

My Keurig.  How I love thee.  Before this purchase, I actually had to brew a pot of coffee, and wait.  I had to scoop grounds, use a filter, fill up the water and WAIT for percolation to occur.  No More. Awesome cup of coffee and practically any flavor or roast in a minute.  When I first got it, my husband thought it was a waste, Now he is in love with it too.

My iphone. I know, I know. Phones are for making phone calls. But I love my smart phone.  It is smarter than I. It also entertains my children with games and keeps me from getting lost and can find any phone number I might ever need, and then dial it with one touch.  I can text and not actually have to engage another person in conversation, and I can do fancy things like "check-in" and post pictures of my adorable children instantly.

My Nook. I love love love to read.  I love Barnes and Noble. Because I love Barnes and Noble I decided on the Nook rather than a kindle. I now have the Nook Color.  You can buy virtually any book and have it in your library and downloading in about a minute.  Not to mention  apps like Angry Birds and Frogger...(I have three kids and they don't share the iphone well). There is a free book every Friday and you have the option to loan certain books to your friends and vice versa for no charge.  I also have Netflix on it and fully intend to wastch every episode of Downton Abbey very soon. And maybe The Tudors.  If I ever have time. And can get it away from my kids.

Annual Zoo Family Membership.  Kids never get tired of Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my. Or of anteaters and stingrays.  And there is a train and a carousel. Score!   My kids are at the perfect age and they have a ball everytime we go. Even when it is 94 degrees and I am sweating to the point that I have pit and underboob stains. Gross, I know, but true. This is Florida after all.

Annual Beach Pass.  Get this...we drive the mother-Trucker right on to the beach. Park there and then pop open the trunk, unload towels, coolers, buckets, etc.  Walk about 10 feet and plop down in front of the ocean.  Awesome.  No hiking back and forth from the public parking lot blocks from the beach with three little kids and all of their accoutrements in 95 degree heat covered in sand and miserable.  Nope, easy peasy.  My kids are also at a great age to jump in the little waves and search for shells and build castles.

Highlights. And I love my salon. You walk in to the lobby and wouldn't you know it? You are greated by a Keurig.  And the scent of coffee mixed with Aveda products. And then I get pampered with a scalp massage and an hour and a half of undivided attention. Plus, highlights are pretty.    And Vain? Possibly, but that's ok. They make me feel a little less soccer mom and a little more va-va-voom. cha-cha-cha if you will. You know, hot. As hot as one can be with underboob sweat.....

Monday, June 4, 2012


I drove into the parking lot and parked as close as I could without being noticed by my kids. I wanted to observe them for a few minutes. Watch them play and interact without knowing I was there. As soon as they saw me they would come running and have stories to tell me, so I just wanted to watch them run back and forth, between the bouncy house and the water slide. Wanted to see how much they played with each other as well as the other kids and their teachers. They were getting so big. So independant. It was the twins last day at pre-pre-school. They were care-free and having so much fun. In the fall they will start school 5 mornings a week.  This makes me choke and my breathing staggers. I felt my heart rate increase and my stomach roll. They are just babies. Babies who I was told would never take a breath. Babies who I held onto as long as I could while stuck in a hospital bed for 8 weeks. Babies who each weighed less than 3 pounds when they were born.  Covered in tubes and wires. Constant beeping in the NICU and too tiny to hold. Oxygen levels dropping, heart stopping in fits of bradychardia.  So much chaos and so much uncertainty. And when they finally came home, 2 months after they were born, they were still smaller than most babies at birth. And an oxygen tank like a bomb came home with them and sat in the corner of the nursery. As well as a heart monitor which went off all hours of the night. And in the car. Always in the car, on the interstate, on the way to this specialist or that check-up, the heart monitor would go off.
 No one can take care of these babies like I can. No one understands. No one really gets it.  And now they will be in the hands of someone else every weekday morning. Someone I don't know. And even though I think I am "over it" since they are healthy and perfect now,  I realize that I am still going to be racked with panic attacks brought on by seemimgly normal events. I will never completely recover from being told my babies would die, from watching them almost die, from living in a state of limbo that bordered on Hell rather than Heaven. Transitions in their lives will never be effortless for me. I will always be overly anxious and even cryptic when it comes to my children, even though I am a happy and positive person.

"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger".  We hear it a lot, right? I'm sure I've even said it before. But now I'm really thinking about it. Reflecting on it.  Taking into consideration things I have been through, things friends have experienced, different versions of Hell through which we have walked. And I can't be sure.  Are we stronger because of it?

There are a lot of broken people out there. A lot of good people who have been traumatized and shaken and defeated.  And they recover and persevere. And they are wiser and more grateful. More appreciative, more gracious. More empathetic and sympathetic. But all of that doesn't necessarily equal "stronger". Because those people are also scared and scarred. And relieved, but cautious.

Sometimes we experience things that never leave us, that haunt us. They shape us, but they also disfigure our psyche.  Things that leave us gasping for breath years later with little provocation.  Things that have us looking over our shoulders. Things that make you realize that sometimes it is almost too scary to love other people. Some experiences make us terrified to hold on too tightly, but just as scared to let go.

I am a believer that things happen for a reason. Good and bad. But I cannot even fathom that reason at times. I am also a believer of intercession and miracles.

Our worst experiences make us realize we can live through things bigger than us, and worse than we had previously imagined. And they put things into perspective for us.  But they also make us vulnerable and aware. Sometimes knowlege isn't power. Sometimes it's debilitating.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

eating out

I love to eat out. Someone else cooks, serves and cleans up.  Bliss, right? Not always, when you have three kids.

Ordering is easy because the twins eat macaroni and cheese and french fries or pancakes and bacon.  And that's about it. Oh, and bananas. And barbeque sauce. On everything. Lack of barbeque sauce equals trauma and actual tears. Bring the barbeque sauce.
Their little sister eats almost anything, so that's easy too.  If you are dining with us, you have approximately 41 seconds to scan your menu and decide what you want because we WILL be placing our order as soon as we see our server. None of that "let me take your drink order and I'll be right back". Nope, be ready people. Ordering is easy, let's not complicate matters when they will surely complicate themselves soon enough.

What's not easy is the wait for the food.
Most of the time, I spend the first 15 minutes doing word searches and refereeing arguments about whose blue crayon it is. And speaking of crayons, they should all be triangular because I am so tired of picking them up off the floor under the table. But my kids aren't. They love to get under the table...and not come back out. And when I finally coax them out, one will inevitably bang his or her head climbing back into the seat. And then yell really loudly. Like we haven't been through this 72 times before and didn't see it coming.

Sometimes they offer to bring the kids' food out as soon as it is ready, which seems like a fabulous idea until you realize that your children, who were STARVING, have eaten 3 bites and are now "all done" and you just got your food. 
Oh wait, what's that? My food just came, and it's hot, so someone has to go to the bathroom? Of course you do! Oh, and you want to go with us, because you're "all done" eating and now you're bored? Oh, and you want to go too, because the other two are going?  Well, ok we go.  Field trip.

And have you noticed that it is impossible to be little and not touch the toilet? I mean physically impossible, because the toilet is as big as the munchkins are.  And it is FUN to flush the potty, even though it is loud. So loud, in fact, that a little person must immediately cover his or her ears with the hands that were just all over the toilet. 

Wash wash wash, and back to the table.  On the way, at least one little one will yell across the dining room "Daddy, I pooped/peed in the potty".  Some patrons will laugh, some will be horrified.  It is what it is, people.  Kids pee and poop a lot, and they do it in public restrooms, and they are proud.

The food is lukewarm at best, and the kids are already bored.  This is when I order the scoops of ice cream or pudding.  It usually comes out pretty quickly, but not quickly enough to avert at least one child dancing beside the table, one asking for my phone, and one dunking his or her hand into my drink and announcing "I want the ice".

I'm a quick eater. Always have been, and I learned to eat at warp speed having twin babies. When the third came along, I could practically inhale anything without even chewing.  But my husband still tries to leisurely eat and enjoy his dinner. He even orders all you can eat dinners sometimes, like we have time for that. Just eat damnit, don't make a production of it.

The next time the server glides by, warily eyeing our table, I go ahead and ask for boxes and the check. Because at this point we need outta there, now. All three are either dancing around the table, or having a secret meeting in their clubhouse under the blasted table again. Probably trying to feed each other food off the floor, and cracking up.

We wrangle them all towards the door, and on the way we get looks which range from "awwwww" to "thanks for ruining my meal, chumps".

Load everyone up and head home. One will ask for nuggets when we pass a McDonalds.

Get home and stick leftovers in the fridge. Stand up and turn around to find a little face looking up at me. "Mommy, I'm hungry".


    Monday, May 14, 2012

    Reasons I will never home school my Children

    I have a few friends who home school.  It's not a debate to me. I don't care if you choose public, private or home school, as long as it is what is best for that individual child. It is a choice for parents to make, and really no one else's business. I don't care if you breastfeed or bottlefeed, I don't care if you co-sleep or sleep-train. (Although I have kids hanging on me all day, I sure as hell don't want them in my bed all night. But that's me.)  I don't care if you potty train at 18 months or 3 and 1/2. As long you are doing what is right for your babies, I think you are a good mom. But I will never home school my youngins..and here is why.

    - I have been through school already.  Couldn't wait to finish. Why would I want to go through it again?

    - I have ADHD. No, seriously I do, and the thought of having to stay on task and keep multiple others on task while reviewing mundane things is too stressful for me. Yes, I have taught my kids to count, and their letters and phonics and colors and shapes, etc. But I mean an entire day of teaching kids about necessary things in a structured manner for 12 years..., wait, what was I talking about....?  Look at that hummingbird..did you know they are carnivorous?  That means they eat a T-Rex...

    SEE! My children can not be expected to learn by following my stream of consciousness thought patterns...

    Plus, my ADHD makes it impossible to even keep my closet organized. Forget about a year's worth of school supplies, books, movies. Right now the box that holds my kids crayons also contains hairbows, a broken pair of sunglasses and a thermometer. It's ok, there's a method to my madness and I can always find everything, but my children's education should not depend on it.

    - I hate math. I really hate it and it would never work for me to teach anything other than the basics. Because I don't understand much more than the basics. Although I am very good at calculating percentages off of a price, er number. If my kids hate math, I will not be able to help them. If my kids love math, maybe they can help me.

    - I need a break. I do. I love my children with every fiber of my attention deficit body, but it will be good for me, and them, when they start school.  They are in a mom's morning out program now on Wednesdays, and if they are particularly cranky on a Wednesday morning I think to myself, "better someone else has to deal with this than me!"  I kiss them bye and laugh all the way to the car.

    - I am not qualified to make sure my children are exposed to information in all subject matters. Period.

    - I am easily manipulated by my little chuckleheads. I am a softy.  I hate to say no. I want them to be happy ALL THE TIME. I know kids need to be prepared for the real world, and the real world is not fair and sometimes they will be upset, sad, angry, frustrated. I am not necessarily the best person to teach them this lesson. Nope, I'd rather them come home to me and let me try to make it all better.

    and lastly:

    - At some point I'd like to get my hair cut again. And go to the doctor without kids.  Or grocery shop without kids. Or watch trash TV for 2 hours straight on a rainy morning. Or finish a cup of coffee. is like a free babysitter!  I am so taking advantage of that.

    Thursday, May 3, 2012

    Adventures in Pediatrics

    Having three preschoolers means you get to see your pediatrician, a lot. When two of them were preemies and seem to have a nitch for catching every virus which is within a 50 foot radius, and are asthmatic, you get to visit even more. And when you have no family within 500 miles and your husband works 45 minutes away you get to take all three to the doctor, even if only one is sick.

    It's fun's how it goes.
    First, you pull into your own reserved parking spot in front of the office. Anger sets in if anyone dares to be parked in your spot. Did you not see the reserved sign, with the picture of my kids and me, that clearly states "Most Valuable Patients". Get the hell out of my parking spot. I swear I could practically claim squatter's rights at this doctor's office so don't mess with me.

    Then you unbuckle all three kids and line them up, saying "this is a parking lot..please do not run off like that" at least 4 times. At least they don't have far to run because your reserved parking spot is the closest one to the door. Then you all four breeze in together like you own the place, because I mean it is your 2nd home (the grocery store being a close 3rd). Greet all the medical assistants and nurses by name..who in turn greet you back by name and comment on how much your children have grown since they saw you last...three days ago.

    Oh the fun of the waiting room. It's like a bad shopping experience. What can you come in with, exchange, and then leave with? Hmmm. We have Strep...let's see if we can find a good Rotovirus germ around here..and eat it.
    Or, well, we have an ear about we bring home something that makes us vomit in two days.

    And the toys..oh the waiting room toys! We must touch them all! They are, in fact, veritable petri dishes of delight. Oh, you can bring the Leapster and break out Angry Birds on your phone, but it will not fascinate your children as much as the blocks that were just played with by the kid with Swine Flu. No no, the infected toys sing to kids, like Sirens in the Odyssey. Play with me, lick me, share me with your brother and sister. Gag

    Off to the triage room..where the kids fight about who is first.
    "I have a fever."
    "No, I have a fever."
    "I had a fever first."
    "But I have a cough."
    "Well I throwed up."

    While the kind and patient nurse checks one "fever" there is undoubtedly one child jumping up and down on the scale, and one opening drawers and cabinet doors. As you turn your attention to the sick child for a minute, one of the others starts playing with the garbage can. Seriously, is there anything grosser than a garbage can at the pediatrician's office. I don't even want to get into this....ugh, just ugh.

    After you have weights, temps and blood are off to the exam room. Which has books! Yay..books! That have been held, sneezed on, vomited get the picture. So you play "I spy" with three kids..which lasts about 2 minutes. Then they are bored, and one finds yet another garbage can to play the drums on and the other 2 begin climbing up and down the stool leading to the exam table. Fighting ensues...
    You get to say fun things like "Let's use our inside voices" and " We don't push, because it's not nice". When you want to say "Oh My God, Shut UP!" and "Get your hands off your sister before I smack you". But you don't say these things because you are a good mom, and because you just know that the doctor is in the hallway and she will hear you. And she is judging you. She is. She is judging your parenting style and making notes about it. She is standing outside the door and listening to your children call each other barf bags. She has heard you have to tell them four times that they cannot climb on the table, and to get out of the drawer and stop touching that damn garbage can, and she KNOWS. She knows you have no control of your children and that they manipulate you and you are hanging by a thread. But she also knows that you love them more than life itself, and that you are doing your best.

    The doctor comes in the room, and is greeted by two excited voices, and one child pretending to be shy. If your kids are like mine, they immediately bombard the doctor with stories of how sick they are and how they have new shoes.

    During the exam(s) one will fall off the table. (seriously, this happens to me). The others will continue to play the drums on the damn garbage can, and tell you how thirsty they are repeatedly. This is when you start threatening that they will not get their lollipops on the way out. This will backfire because then they cry and wail "but I want a lollipop" and you say, "well then you need to be nice and quiet while your brother is with the Doctor", but you want to say " then shut the hell up for two minutes." But you don't say that because you are a good mom, and there is that whole judging thing you are trying to avoid.

    The exam itself goes pretty smoothly because your kids are so comfortable at the Doctor that there isn't much fear or protesting.

    You get your diagnosis, your prescriptions, and the doctor then tells you that it is ok to lock yourself in the bathroom with a glass of wine when you feel like you are about to lose it. Because she is a mom, and she gets it. Even though she is judging you, she gets it. And you love her for it.

    You think you are done, but is now time for stickers and lollipops. This is much more complicated than it sounds because it has to be just the right sticker..and there is only one purple lollipop and they all three want the purple lollipop..even though everyone knows red is better. The very kind receptionist/M.A. digs out more purple lollipops from a drawer. Perhaps it is just to get you and your crying brood out the door already. You yell over your shoulder that you will call to schedule a follow up, because you just cannot think enough right now to commit to an appointment time. Then you load everyone up, and head to the pharmacy (where they also know you and your children by name). But that is a whole new blog....

    Saturday, April 28, 2012

    Family Portrait???

    So for Mother's Day I am doing something I have never done before..I am attempting The Family Portrait.  I have plenty of pics of the kids...official Christmas pictures  (ahhh, the fun here), Easter pictures, Birthday photos. Studio posed, candids, dressed up, dressed down. But other than a few haphazard pictures in which one child is undoubtedly crying, one has her back turned, one is grabbing his crotch, one is looking at the sky, one is in the process of falling off a rock, or one is squatting down to eat some old candy off the floor, I have no pictures of my husband, my children and me. So I am going to pay a real photographer to meet us at a neutral location, maybe the beach, or the bayfront marina, or the lawn of the historic Fort downtown, or hell maybe at Chuck E Cheese...and we will attempt to create a picture which is beautifully artistic and representative of my lovely family.  This lucky photographer will arrange three preschoolers in a fun and vivid fashion around their exhausted-but-happy parents and surely freeze a moment in time that will forever encompass the perfection of our family unit. We will all be dressed impeccably and complimentary of each other. We will all have brushed hair, and teeth. We will hopefully be band-aid free, and please God let us be stitches and cast free as well.  Everyone will smile sincerely at the camera, or either we'll be captured in one of those moments where we are all looking at each other adoringly, hugging each other with our eyes and arms. It will be perfect. I will hang it on  the wall forever, and everyone will "oooohhh and aaaahhh" when they visit. It will be cherished forever.  I cannot wait. I will share it with you...unless it looks like total shit.

    Sunday, April 22, 2012

    What I learned at the Zoo from my kids

    Chickens and ducks poop eggs

    Cows pee milk (there were no cows at the zoo but, hey, whatev)

    Ant Eaters have hairy butts

    Giraffes have gross tongues, and will eat leaves but not your arm

    Some birds will try to eat your finger if you touch them

    Animal poop smells bad, like poop

    Stink Rays are slimy ( yes, I know they are really Sting Rays)

    Butterflies dance in the air

    The train is the most fun part of the zoo, even the third time you ride it

    And finally, my kids are the niftiest little people in the world

    Monday, April 16, 2012


    Unfortunately, my induction into motherhood was not pleasant or beautiful. It was a terrible, hospital admitted preganancy followed by an urgent C-section and two tiny sick babies in the NICU.  While I automatically associated overwhelming love with motherhood, I also associated anxiety and fear.

    You know how constant crying can drive you crazy? Well with twin babies, it seemed like someone was always crying..throw another one into the mix a year and a half later and you are literally surrounded by wailing and tears..They were babies..they were supposed to cry, right? No..I could not handle it. Not because the noise itself bothered me but because I felt like it meant I was failing in some way...not meeting a need. I wanted to anticipate what my babies needed, therefore eliminating their need to cry. Bad move..if you are a new mom or a future mom please take this to heart...unless there is a medical reason, you do not need to meet your baby's every need the very second it is expressed.

    When I finally brought the boys home, we also brought a heart monitor and an oxygen tank. It sat in the corner of the nursery looking like a giant torpedo, constantly reminding me how frail and fragile the boys, especially B, where.  I would find myself in the hall running toward their room before I even realized I was awake because the heart monitor alarm was sounding.  I was a nervous wreck. But I was also constantly in a state of high alert.  Looking back, I wish I could have relaxed a little more, enjoyed a little more...but the anxiety is probably what fueled my constant energy and allowed me to operate on 3 or 4 hours of sleep.

    The boys thrived and grew, with a lot of attention and a lot of Doctor's visits. And then little C was born and came into the world in a much more mellow fashion. In fact, she is a much more mellow kid in general.  But I noticed a problem as the boys approached toddler-hood. I still wanted to fix everything for them, all the time.  I did not know how to "mother" without being anxious.  We had developed habits and relationships based on love, yes, but also on me being scared and nervous. On survival-instinct, which is gutteral and irrational. And they counted on me anticipating every need, every want.  And I had to let least a little. I still struggle with this. Every day. But as my pediatrician told me "it is not our job to make our kids happy, it is our job to teach them how to make themselves happy".  So true. I want functional adorable little kids who are loving and independant and sure of their own abilities. I also want them to know they can come to me for anything. They will always be my first priorities.  All three of my kids are bright and social, and they do not need me to solve all of their problems. They are completely capable, and I want them to realize just how capable, so I have to let them work it out, cry it out in timeout, or just be mad sometimes. I want love and respect to rule our relationships, not anxiety.

    So here is my advice if you have a baby...It is ok if they are not happy for a few minutes while you get the bottle ready.  You do not have to run to them, heart pounding and breathing heavily every time they cry out in the middle of the night.  You don't have to solve every little thing for them right away, sometimes a little frustration is good for them.  I tell you from experience that if you jump every time your baby whimpers, you will soon have a toddler who not only tells you to jump, but how high as well. 

    Friday, April 6, 2012

    Ten Years of Wedded Bliss

    Yesterday was my husband's and my ten year anniversary! Ten years and we have made a three great little people and we still totally dig each other..I'd say that's a what did we do to celebrate? We decided to take the family to Toy Story 3 on Ice...may as well celebrate with the family since they are such a large part of our marriage anyway. Plus, we go to Disney on Ice every year because the kids LOVE it.

    Unfortunately, my husband threw out his back yesterday morning. Like crawling around on hands and knees back pain....I don't have back troubles so I can't truly relate, and it was our anniversary so I held back the urge to say "suck it up you weenie" all day. Plus, as soon as I would have said something ugly, it is assured that I would then throw out my back and be in excruciating pain...because Karma is like that and she follows me around and looks for opportunities to mess with me... parents were in town, and my dad stepped up to the plate to go to Toy Story with me and the chuckleheads...

    It was a blast...seriously. Not only was the show very entertaining, but what I really enjoyed was watching the kids reactions...anticipation, excitement, laughter, concentration, ooohs, aaahs..the whole realm.

    A was excited. He pointed a lot, yelled the name of each character as they appeared, and yelled answers when the skaters asked interactive questions. He laughed and made commentary to me the entire time. 4 year old commentary.

    B was very intense. He sat at the edge of his chair and watched. This was some serious shit and he didn't want to miss anything. If you spoke to him he turned his head towards you while leaving his eyes on the show, and responded with an answer that was what I imagine to be the 4 yr old equivalent of eff off.

    C was enthusiastic. She clapped and sang along...head shaking and mouth open rock star style. She danced and bopped around and applauded. She had a ball.

    I loved seeing their distinct little personalities and how differently they reacted, even though they all three enjoyed the show immensely. I could tell my dad loved going with us too, and being a part of something the kids loved.  It made it even more special for them to have Grandaddy with us. 

    On the way home, an exhausted B said his tummy hurt. I wasn't sure if it was from the chocolate dipped marshmallows, caramel apple, cotton candy, french fries, nachos or lemonade.

    Such was my ten year anniversary.

    Saturday we have a sitter for the chuckles and dinner plans...not sure that is going to happen. There are not many restaraunts that appreciate it when you crawl in, and then stand the entire time you eat....there's a good chance we'll be here with the kids, watching Tangled or Alvin and the Chipmunks. 

    Tuesday, March 27, 2012

    poor MINNIE

    I hate potty really really hate it. I have 2 down, one to go. Everyone said the girl would be the easiest. Apparently girls seem to "get it" sooner than boys, and she also has 2 slightly older brothers... so she, in fact, does do most things early in an attempt try keep up with them. But using the throne is not coming easily to my princess.

    This morning when I was changing her pull up, she yelled "I have to pee!"  So we ran to the bathroom and placed her on the seat made for especially tiny butts and lo and behold..I heard the tinkle. She was quite surprised and said, "I CAN do it!". We cheered, we called daddy, and all of the grandparents. We celebrated with gummy bears...and we put on Minnie Mouse undies.
    "Don't pee on Minnie, make sure you tell mommy and we will ruuuuun to the potty again!"

    She nodded and looked at me with her huge brown, long lashed eyes solemnly. I dared to dream of being diaper free after four and 1/2 years. Could it be? I am really getting sick of pee and poop. Please let it be.

    Fast forward 15 minutes..
    "Mommy, I am peeing again". Sure enough..there was a little puddle forming on the carpet.  Ruuuuun to the bathroom. Too late, but we will keep trying.  On to Daisy Duck undies. Minnie gets tossed in the hamper.

    "Mommy, I want Candy now."

    "No, baby, the candy is for when your pee pee is in the potty".

    She nods, I go make a second cup of coffee.

    Return to the family room..

    "Mommy, my pee pee is in the potty."

    "No baby, you peed on Minnie...not in the potty. But it's ok, we will keep trying."

    As I tell her this I hear the quiet rushing sound of the toilet right after it is flushed.

    Walk into the bathroom...

    Walk into her room and look in the hamper...

    No Minnie.

    "ummm, baby, where is Minnie?"

    "In the potty."

    "Did you flush Minnie down the potty".

    Big solemn brown eyes again, nodding.

    I guess she put her pee in the potty alright. 

    Now where is my plunger?

    Friday, March 23, 2012

    how to scare men away

    So you read about my rare but exceedingly wonderful date night 2 weeks ago.  But there is a part I left out. Well there are a few parts, but one in particular.
    My husband and I popped into and Irish pub after dinner, but decided not to stay. Before we left, hubby had to run to the restroom.  I wandered aimlessly around the bar area, checked for texts from the babysitter, hummed to myself..until I heard a male voice, at very close range, say "Hello". I looked up to find a guy, much too metro for my taste anyway, leering at me. He even had an eyebrow raised, a la Flinn Ryder. 

    "You know what?  You look like my second wife". he said.

    This threw me for a loop...I didn't know where they guy was going with this. I was slightly innebriated after sharing a pitcher of Sangria with my husband, and was obviously a little dense.
    "OK" clever response.

    "Can I get you a drink?"...ok  here is where I caught on....he was hitting on me...and ooohhhhh, now I get it..he doesn't have a second wife..yet. UGH

    "Nope, just waiting on my husband"..I pointed towards the restroom.

    "He shouldn't leave you alone". 

    Years ago I probably would have been thinking, " score, free drinks on this goofball." but I was having a nice night with my husband and really didn't want it marred by the middle aged man with a better manicure than mine, and eyebrows recently waxed.

    "I'm a big girl,  I'll be fine." I told Mr. Smooth.

    "You have a great smile..." he continued.

    Really? Really! What part of my husband is in the bathroom did you miss? Because now you are just being obnoxious.

    So I pulled out the big guns. Not profanity. Not pithy remarks about his looks or his character...nope...

    Now what I am about to share is proven to deflect any unwanted male attention..I have also used it at the grocery store and the auto shop. It is as fool proof as Elle Woods "bend, and snap".

    I looked him straight in the eye and said " I also have three small children at home".

    He deflated before my eyes, and backed away with his hands in front of him in surrender.."ok, then" he mumbled.


    Tuesday, March 20, 2012

    too good and too true

    Sometimes life seems so good it's a little I am waiting for the bottom to drop out. Not a good attitude to have, I know. But I am taking stock of my life right now and feel overly blessed. I am a mom of three kids who I adore. If we want to go to the zoo...we go to the zoo. If we decide to pack picnic lunches and spend the day at the beach...we pack a lunch and go to the beach. If we decide to stay in pajamas all day and eat cereal for lunch, we do.  We have the luxury to do what we want, together.

    It wasn't always this easy. When the twins were little we were pretty much on house arrest. Preemies have underdeveloped immune systems and the exposure to every day illnesses can be devastating.We also had a heart monitor and oxygen tank to contend with. I had nightmares about being stuck on I95 behind an accident and the tank running low.

    About the time I felt comfortable venturing out alone with the twins for more than a stroll (or one of our many, many Doctor's Appointments), I got the super surprise of being pregnant again.  Frankly, I was tired and suffered from all-day-long sickness, so venturing out with the boys, a diaper bag full of basic necessaties for the them, and the double stroller could be overwhelming as well as physically and mentally exhausting.
    Nothing was ever "a quick trip" or "just run in".  Being in a hurry was never an option, and in fact only guaranteed that everything would take longer because I or the boys would get flustered. Adding a third baby to the mix made it nearly impossible to go anywhere with them alone. I had 2 one year olds and a newborn. It really wasn't feasible to think we could run to the grocery store or the park without it being a major production.

    This fall the twins will be in pre-k five mornings a week. No more more acting on whims. No more waking up and saying "let's go see elephants today", or "let's build the tallest sand castle ever!" whenever we want. Nope, structure and a schedule that includes more than nap, meal  and bed time.

    But for the next few months, we can enjoy all our days together doing pretty much whatever they feel like.  I am so lucky that my husband provides for us in a way that allows me to be home with these little ones while I can. I am blessed that the twins are healthy and smart and amazing, even after going through hell as newborns. I am blessed that my daughter is also healthy smart and amazing, and completes our family so perfectly.  My husband and I are happy and compliment each other. I am outgoing and talkative and impetuous..he is logical and laid back. I have a temper while he is on an even keel. I am unorganized and messy, he is constantly organizing something, either physically or in his head.  My head is usually in the clouds while he is we make a good couple, and we parent well together.

    I'm not saying my life is all rainbows and lollipops right now. I am usually tired and when one kid gets a cold, they all get a cold. There is a lot of whining in my house, and I am constantly filling something or wiping something. I vaccuum the same room three times some days, and meal time is like the witching hour four out of five times.

    But I get to do all the fun things with my kids too. And having fun with them is the best fun there is.  I just wonder how long one person can be this happy, and that i can take all this happiness with me and hold onto it when life hits a valley, which it inevitably will. Right now I am just enjoying the ride. And the beach.

    Sunday, March 11, 2012

    the date night rule

    My birthday is approaching, so my husband and I decided a much needed and long awaited date night should be on the agenda.
     Saturday night? check
    All the kids are healthy? check
    Babysitter? check
    Rezzies at one of my favorite restaraunts? check

    And off we went..perfumed, cologned and childless.

    Dinner was excellent and completely unrushed. We had no crayons that needed to be repeatedly picked up off the floor. No juice was spilt. Never even a glance at a kids menu.  Appetizers, dinner, dessert and drinks...

    The conversation was easy and fun and light. We laughed, a lot. We both think we are pretty funny. Especially with the infusion of red wine.

     You know how you always read that date nights are a must for tired parents with young children.  And that when you get away together, just the two of you, you shouldn't discuss the kids at all. You should discuss yourselves and reconnect as a couple, right?
    When the (large) pitcher of sangria was delivered to the table with a wooden spoon, we laughed because we knew how much B would like to stir it. He loves to stir things right now. I don't know why, but he does.

    Then when the loaves of warm cuban bread came, we discussed how much A loves bread. Or any carbs really. How he could probably eat half a loaf.

    During dinner we discussed a myriad of, our parents, plans for the summer, memories from our past and most often, our kids.

    When dessert came, we both remarked on how much C would love the Flan, and how she would insist on eating all of it, even the strawberry garnish.

    We walked down the cobblestone street in Old Town holding hands and laughing at the funny things our kids had said and done lately. How smart they are, how they are growing up and acting like little people instead of babies.

    It was a great night.  We talked about everything, but the recurring theme, was, in fact, our kiddos. Of course we are going to think about and discuss our babies, even on a date. They are what make us happy. They are the crux of our lives right now. They are the main thing we bond over right now. We made these perfect little goofballs, so when we are celebrating our relationship on a date, how can we not celebrate our kids as well.

    We certainly don't have time to have in depth conversations or enjoy memories for more than 2 minutes at a time when we are home with all three of them bouncing around us.  So when my husband and I have time to chill, to reconnect, to converse and just enjoy each other's company, I am pretty sure we will always laugh over, adore, discuss and admire our children. They are what makes "us" us.

    Monday, March 5, 2012

    love letter

    You are always there when I want you. You are always open and warm and inviting.  You take me back any time of day or night, whenever I can find time for you. Though I long for you, I cannot devote the time I'd like to our companionship.
    It is a struggle every time I leave you. Sometimes I want to cry, sometimes I want to yell "noooo, why must we part again? I swear I just got here". But priorities pull me away, again and again.
    Please know that your love is not unrequited. I think of you often. How soft and conforming and comforting you are, how you always smell good, how you shape to me, how you cradle me. One day I will be able to commit to you. You won't have to be lonely, won't have to be abandoned at all hours of the night. But until my kids are older, my dear dear bed, we have to take what we can get. XOXOXOXO

    Wednesday, February 29, 2012

    where the hell did she hear that?

    So little adorable 2 year old C dropped a GD at school today. School is Mom's Morning Out at our church. Yikes
    I will be the first to admit I have a potty mouth, but I try to curb it around my kids. And I don't say GD. I say shit, a lot. I say damn this and damn that. But I don't say GD.
    Nor does my husband. Which leaves me to wonder where she heard this. And also embarrasses me because you know all of her teachers think that hubby and I throw that word around all the time if C is repeating it.And I am not easily embarrassed. If her teacher had told me that C said "what the shit?" when another kid took her toy at playtime, I would have nodded and apologized and thought, yeah, I should be more careful. If her teacher would have told me that C said "damn that chipmunk", I would have made an oops face and thought "better watch what I say around the little sponge". If one of the boys had said "what a dumbass" while at school I'd have thought, must tell hubby to stop watching the evening news and commenting on it in front of the kids.

    But no, she dropped a GD and I honestly don't know where she even heard it. I am not easily offended, but I know this particular phrase really bothers people and I respect that. And although I do cuss like a trucker at times ( in the presence of adults), I am respectful of God and my faith and want to impress that upon my kids. I certainly want my kids to remain innocent as long as they can, and want their faith to grow untainted. But you know people think she heard that from me or hubby and judge us for it. I would.
    I want to be a good influence on my kids, but I want them to be a good influence on other kids as well. I don't want my kids to be the ones with whom the other parents don't want their kids playing.
    Our children are such reflections of us, and of the love and faith and compassion we show them. So I'm a little embarrassed that I look a bit like a heathen now. Especially since I heard A tell the same teacher one Sunday morning that he got in trouble for hitting me in the head with a frying pan.

    Wednesday, February 22, 2012

    Don't wish your life away

    I remember being in High School and complaining every single Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday that I wished it was Friday.
    All school year I wished it was Christmas break, then summer vacation. In college I wished I was finished with college. It just seemed like I was in limbo. Not really an adult, but not a kid any more. Then when I was working I wished it was five o'clock all day, and I wished for the next three day weekend. It was like discontent was rooted inside me, wherever I was and whatever I did. I was happy, but not happy enough. I was living in the present, but not appreciating it because I was spending so much time wishing for something from the future to materialize.

    What a waste...the present is not insipid or insignificant. Once, when I was about 16, after complaining to my mom about wishing it was my birthday or flag day or Arbor day or whatever, she said "Don't wish your life away!" How poignant and true. I have tried to remember this ever since. But it is something I have to practice. Of course we are going to look forward to things and be excited and hopeful and anticipatory. Of course some days will be so rotten that we will want to sleep until they are over. Absolutely there will be moments we will not revel in, that will haunt us even. But that doesn't mean that there isn't beauty and opportunity that we over look. I am not going all "Carpe Diem" here. This is bigger, and smaller than that. This is just stop and look around at your life and think "things might be better when (fill in here), but damn if (fill in here) isn't pretty great RIGHT NOW".

    I didn't fully appreciate that warning from my mom until I became a mom as well. As a mother, it has been : I wish my kids would sleep through the night"."I wish my kids were potty trained." "I wish my kids were old enough to sit still for more than 15 minutes." But my kids just ARE...and they are pretty fantastic how they ARE right now. I would have missed so much fabulousity had I wished away all the time when they were learning and growing into semi-independant little people.

    I watched a cheesy fairy-tale on TV today. Prince Charming and the whole bundle. And I realized that there is no other life I want. There is no other person I'd rather spend time with than my husband. There is not a man I could love more. There is nothing I'd rather do than mother my kids, and occasionally write a little. I am not waiting for some proverbial shoe to drop to make me happy. I am not holding my breath until so and so happens. I am not in limbo. I am fully immersed in life in the present. I am so lucky and blessed and happy. Now I can only wish that it lasts, a long long time.

    Sunday, February 19, 2012

    my wish

    I hate it. I mean I really really hate it. Some people wish for a housekeeper, a yard man, or a really cute pool guy. I want a laundry fairy. I don't care if she is short or tall, thin or fat, beautiful or a hag, as long as the bitch can do laundry. And then put it all away. Because I will vaccuum my house and clean the toilets all day every day if I can avoid doing laundry. And it is never ending around here.

    When the chuckleheads were little, it was endless little clothes and bibs covered in formula and spit up and poop from the up- the- back- blow-outs. As they are getting older it has progressed to various foods, dirt and sweat.

    The twins are pretty average four year old boys. They play outside, they get dirty. But they can usually make it the entire day in the same outfit, unless one falls in a koi pond or something. But there are still two of them so that's a lot of little boy clothes, undies, pjs and socks.

    C is a different story. She is lovely and girly, but rough and tumble too. She is also extremely messy. At any given time she is covered in dirt, glitter, cheese and/or chocolate. And if there is spaghetti sauce involved,  she wears it proudly. She goes through various outfits, and sometimes multiple pajamas a day. This is why she has so many hairbows..if the only thing left in her closet that is clean is a white least she has a cute hairbow in her mullet.

    Gritty Daddy is great about doing laundry, and it's a good thing because he is the worst offender. Not because he is messy, but because he is OCD. If he wears anything for more than 15 minutes it must be washed. On an average day he dumps the following in our hamper:  his work clothes, his gym clothes and towel,and his "home from work and hanging out clothes".  Yes, usually three outfits a day. See, never ending laundry here.

    I try to do my part to cut down on laundry. I wash my clothes only if they are: a) dirty or b) stinky. By dirty I mean visible spots. By stinky I mean smell that can't be covered with body mist.  OK, I'm kidding, kindof. But there are some days when I am feeling so efficient that I don't even change out of my pajamas until that night when I put clean ones on. Why dirty another outfit needlessly?  See, I am all about taking one for the team.

    So if you meet a laundry fairy, please send her my way. She will be treated well and highly appreciated. I will even bake her a peach cobbler or vanilla bread pudding every day if she will spray n wash and fluff and fold.

    Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    Creepy Carpet Guy

    My carpets are yuck. I have 3 little kids who repeatedly drop sippy cups, candy, cereal, crayons, snot and vomit on the family room floor. It is gross. This is why we have them cleaned every few months.

    I have a carpet cleaning company who I really like. It's all natural, chemical free, smells like oranges and dries quickly. They also don't make any comments that make me feel freakishly slovenly or ask what exactly is dried and crusted on the carpet.

    But this time around, when the carpets started looking like a crime scene,  Hubby had a coupon. A coupon. 
    "only $24.99 for 2 rooms and a hallway!"
    But I like my citrusy smelling all natural friendly carpet cleaners.
    "but it's $24.99"

    So I called and set up an appointment.

    Creepy Carpet Guy called on his way over to let me know he was on the way. His voice was somewhere between used car salesman and Pepe Le Pew.

    When he arrived, his smell preceeded him. I am not kidding. It was a smell that radiated from him and infiltrated the house. Even after he left and the kids and I went to run errands, I still had the smell in my clothes. It wasn't B.O.  Just dirty.

    And he leered at me. I think he thought it was charming.

    He walked through my family room pointing out the stains that were no problem, and the ones that were definite problems.  The dining room was the same. The hallway was already pretty clean, but hey it was part of the coupon package so I might as well take advantage right?

    CCG: "So, we'll sanitize and deodorize. And then I'll do a deep chemical treatment, then shampoo the entire area, sound good?"

    me: "Great."

    CCG: "OK, it will be $174."

    (wait what? no, not great. and quit leering at me. )

    what I actually said was

    me: "Ummmmm, I have a coupon????"

    Damn you and your coupon, husband. Damn you

    CCG: "Yes, but the coupon just covers a basic shampoo, and these 2 rooms are bigger than an average room so they count as three instead of 2."

    Oh, well THAT makes perfect sense now. I totally get the ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY dollar upcharge. 

    I am not a timid housewife, sir. You will not leer at me, charm me or make me uncomfortable enough to pay you $174. But I am pretty uncomfortable.

    me: "Let's just go with the general shampoo."

    CCG: " Look, it will be totally worth it. They'll look like new."

    me: " uh-huh, and then my kids will ruin it, again. I just want it to be respectable. Really, I am hoping to rip it up soon anyway."

    CCG: " well you really need a deep chemical treatment to get you through til then."

    He's not leering anymore. He looks downright ticked.

    Now I am getting annoyed. I have three kids in my bedroom who are supposed to be watching Mike the Knight, but who I am pretty sure are doing highly dangerous acrobatics on my bed and trying on all my jewelry.

    I can argue with the best of them. I am normally pretty easy going and sweet, really I am. But I can argue til the cows come home and the hens lay eggs etc. Because I must win. In fact, I am the first one to admit I like a good argument. I pick fights sometimes.
    But I really did not want to be arguing with a complete stranger in my home. Especially CCG. Because I have a coupon, damnit.

    So I nodded and said:" yeah, I am still thinking we should go with the general shampoo."

    But no, it's not over!  CCG is a stubborn S.O.B.!

    CCG:"What did you want to spend today, just level with me."

    me:"$24.95, like the coupon says. Like I told them when I made the appointment."

    CCG: " You should call your husband and ask him if he wants the chemical treatment."

    OH, you can bet your ass I'll be calling my husband. Thanks for the coupon honey. Happy Valentine's day to me.

    And I am pretty sure he doesn't want the chemical treatment. Because it isn't TWENTY FOUR NINETY NINE. 

    And let's be serious. Do you really think that I defer to my husband? And if I did, do you think I would after THIS COUPON debacle.

    So my carpets are marginally clean and I have renewed my loyalty to my citrusy cleaning friends. I will never be swayed by my cute husband and his coupon again.

    Friday, February 10, 2012

    an early morning

    It's an early morning today.  The chuckleheads are sick, again. Poor wittle ones. So I was up dispensing ibuprofen and cough medicine and rubbing backs and burying my face in their warm little necks.  They still smell like my babies even though they are growing up.

    Normally I'd relish the extra hour of sleep and fall almost comatose back in the bed after getting them settled, but I am feeling nostalgic and introspective this morning.  Since I am not thoroughly exhausted I should go work out or something, but let's be serious...not gonna happen. No, I fired up the Keurig and am drinking coffee in silence, marred by the click of the keyboard and occasional coughs from the kiddies' rooms.

    Having three kids is a whirlwind of crying and laughing."Craughing" as another blogger I dig calls it.  She refers to it as an art form.  Which it totally is, like so much of parenting. You can have the most rotten day and then your kids can make you laugh and turn it all around. Or your day can be fantastic and one of your babies can be hurt or sad and your actual soul cries with and for them.

    Three kids also equals a whirlwind of activity. It's hard to devote individual attention to anyone. I remember when they were all tiny and getting up throughout the night. Some of my favorite memories are the nights when they all woke up individually. Yes, this is because no one wants multiple babies wailing like cats in heat in the middle of the night, but it is also because I remember sitting on the couch holding ONE baby and really adoring that one child with my whole heart. It was the only time I spent with each one alone. Don't get me wrong, when they all three slept through the night, this girl was beyond happy.

    Now they are older and they interact with each other more than with me. But this is amazing to watch as well. At any given time they are all three playing Alvin and the Chipmunks, or Bubble Guppies, or Cars, or Jake and the Neverland Pirates, or their new favorite, Octonauts. I love to see them use their imaginations and play so well together. It is also funny to see how their true personalities always mandate which character they play. And damn if they don't always pretend I am the villian. I try not to take it personally. I am just glad they are letting me play. I make a pretty good Captain Hook. Just ask my scallywags.

    Monday, February 6, 2012

    My husband is great, but I am better

    No matter how great of a dad my husband is, there are some things that only I as mom can master. One is translation.  I cannot tell you how many times I have had to translate 1, 2, or 3 year old speak for other people. When whining is involved I even have to translate 4 year old sometimes. Not just for strangers, but my husband  too. I can make out what my kids want 99.9% of the time. Hell, sometimes I know what they want before they do.  He, on the other hand, sometimes stares at them for a minute then says, " I have no idea what you are saying". or "Go tell your mom because I don't understand,"  And then I am screaming from across the house "she wants some freakin pasta and hot dogs with strawberries and chocolate milk."  or
    " He can't find his nightlight because C said it was a magic crystal and threw it off the troll bridge".  I mean it that hard to understand?

    Another thing only mom can do in this house...little girl hair. As some of you may have experienced...little girls go through a mullet stage. It grows in at different times and the lengths differ enough to create that long-famous white trash style. C has serious hair issues. She was bald FOREVER. Then she went through a phase where she was rockin rat-tails..then the mullet. The only way to combat the mullet is with pony tails or pigtails (preferably decorated with large bows)..or at least barrets.  My husband is completely incapable of any of the afore-mentioned. In fact I don't know if he has ever even brushed C's hair. So if I am gone for any length of time there is an excellent chance that I will come home to a daughter who looks like a hillbilly. And who knows what she will be wearing...

    Which brings me to another mommy-only duty in this house: shopping for kids clothes. Usually my husband wouldn't even bother trying to buy clothes for the chuckleheads. He knows I , and my mom, buy plenty, too many really. But every once in a while when he is at Wal-Mart buying chlorine or contact solution he just can't help himself. He sees a t-shirt or something that he knows the kids would "just love". And it was "only $2". Well hell yeah it was only $2. Did you look at it? It must have been the ugliest Buzz Lightyear/Tinkerbell/SpongeBob shirt ever made. They should have paid YOU $2 to take that ugly thing out of the store. But at least it will look good with the mullet.

    But I will give him credit where it is due. He can knock out laundry like a champ, make some mean hot dogs and beans (a chucklehead favorite around here) and he is great at building endless hot wheel or train tracks. He is also great about grocery shopping. He never forgets anything, and always knows what we are almost out of. He knows the kids favorite snacks, as well as mine. I have a friend whose husband came home from the grocery store sans apple juice and diet coke. "It wasn't on the list" he said. 
    "Mother effer, don't you ever come home from the store without apple juice and diet coke, it is ALWAYS on the list" was her response.
    My husband knows we better not ever run out of coffee, bananas and gatorade around here. And do not take the last coke (non-diet) in the morning when you can buy one from the vending machine at work and I am stuck here with three kids and have to get them all dressed and style the mullet and put on yoga pants and take our litter to the grocery store if I want one.

    Wednesday, February 1, 2012

    my confession

    Okay, here it is. My confession.....Sometimes I feel like I am playing house. 

    It just seems totally surreal that I am in my thirties and married with three kids and a home.  It's almost as if I am living out the scenarios I used to play in my head when I was younger and picturing my future.  (Except I didn't see three kids in less than 2 years.)  See wife kiss husband goodbye in the morning.  See mom drive kids to soccer practice/ swim lesson/ doctor appointment. See mom read a book to kids. See mom/wife make dinner.

    Sometimes I find it almost ludicrous that three little people call me "Mommy".

    It shouldn't. I always wanted kids. Always knew I wanted to be a mom. Couldn't wait to have babies. I was pregnant twice and had two c-sections and took care of three infants. And with all that being said, sometimes it hits me out of the blue that I am an adult. A true, bonified adult with a lot of responsibilities.

    What the...?? 
    When did...??

     I am in charge of making sure these little people eat and get to appointments and learn about life. I can make boo-boos better and memories of bad dreams vanish.  I have to discipline, and make them bathe, and enforce bedtime. I have to take care of them so they can take care of themselves one day. And thankfully I do a much better job of it than I do caring for myself.

    I am a wife. I am someone's significant other. I am my husband's partner, best friend. I can also be his worst nightmare at times. I am demanding and overly-dramatic. As loving and fun as I can be, I am temperamental and draining. I am the other half of "we", and we must make a lot of decisions together. What color the walls will be and when it is time to move to a toddler bed and what we shoud have for dinner.  We pick up each other's slack. I am critical at times, and others I am his cheerleader. I remember when I used to just cheer for high school basketball.  Pretty arbitrary in comparison.

    I've been present and active and happy every step of the way to becoming wife and mommy. It is exactly what I wanted, and what I planned. So it is odd to me that sometimes it catches me a little off guard to find myself here. Sometimes I am still surprised there is no one around to ground me if I misbehave, to give me a bad grade if I don't complete my homework, to make sure I eat well.  I can have brownies for dinner and stay up all night and wear pajamas all day.Well, I could if I didn't have to get up each morning and start a new day making sure my kids are taken care of and loved. And I guess I don't HAVE to do that, I GET to.  Because I have three little people who call me "Mommy".

    Monday, January 30, 2012

    The Invisible Dad

    I love that my kids feel that they can depend on me. I love that they come to me when they need help. I love being their "soft place to fall" or whatever the hell Dr. Phil says.  But sometimes the mundane and tiny things seem never ending. Because they are. My kids are young and need help with almost everything and that's fine. But sometimes I have to take deep breaths and not scream "what on God's green earth could you possibly need this time".  I hear "mommy, mom, maaaaamaaaa" all day long. Again, wouldn't have it any other way, and I am very lucky to stay home with them, but by about 7 pm, I need a minute. Or ten. 

    This time of evening is almost sacred to me. Almost any week night at this time, I take a bubble bath. Kids are fed and they are playing or watching TV with their daddy.  

    My husband is great with our kids. But that doesn't change the fact that they still come to me for EVERYTHING.  I don't think I have ever taken an uninterrupted bath unless the chuckleheads were sleeping.

    "Mama, I need more juice". yelled through the bedroom door.
     Are you shitting me?
     "Your daddy is on the couch, tell him."

    "Mama, C bit me!". 
     "Your dad is in the family room, ( you know, where you just came from), tell him."

    "Mama, daddy won't let me watch Wubbzy".  
    "Tell him to put Wubbzy on before I totally freakin lose it."

    "Mama, I have to peeeeeee".
    "That's fantastic.  No need to tell me or your daddy, just go in THE OTHER bathroom and do it.  And wash your hands. And flush".

    Last night B walked in while I was trying to decompress with a little hydrotherapy.  I raised my eyebrows at him.

    "Will you zip up my pajamas?" he asked.
    "You walked from your room, through the family room, past the kitchen, through the foyer, into my room and then my bathroom to ask me to zip your jammies? Where is your daddy?"

    "He's in the family room".

    Of course he is.

    Sunday, January 29, 2012

    I need a trip to the hospital

    So there's been a lot of talk about Demi Moore and other celebrities being hospitalized for "exhaustion".  Usually I just roll my eyes and move on, because I'd much rather hear about who they are dating, who they broke up with, what they wore, etc, rather than than how tired they are. I guess I am shallow like that. I don't want to hear about their politics. I don't want to hear about how upset they are with their lack of privacy. I am interested if they are pregnant, sometimes interested when they get arrested. It affects my life in no way whatsoever but I admit I get sucked in to pop-culture. But I DO NOT want to hear about how exhausted they are.

    I had three kids in 19 months. I had twins who both woke up to eat every 2 hours. I had babies with colic which responded to nothing but a constantly running hairdryer.  I pushed a 4 ft long triple stroller all over the place. I get three kids dressed for Dr appts, church, playdates. I take three young kids grocery shopping.  I stay at home with these three chuckleheads all week, work on Saturdays and volunteer in the pre-k chapel or nursery at church some Sundays.  I take 3 kids to the zoo, movie, firestation, park.

    In the last month, I had an ovary removed, my 2 year old broke her arm, all three of my kids got the stomach flu for a week, followed by my husband and I catching it. I broke a tooth, which I am pretty sure will result in a damn root canal.  I wouldn't change my life for anything..but I am freakin exhausted. I just don't have time to be hospitalized for it.

    Thursday, January 26, 2012


    So I guess I have been struggling with this term for a little while now. Sometimes compassion comes so don't even realize it until it drowns you. A sick child, a victim of a crime, a friend struggling in a relationship. All of these things make you feel empathetic and sad... and relieved it is not you.  Still, being an observer of sadness naturally stirs up a certain amount of compassion..that being a part of our humanity. 
    Sometimes it hurts so much you have to try not to think about it, because you suffering right along with someone else doesn't necessarily alleviate any of the other person's frustration or pain.

    Don't get me wrong..I am not saying we should crush out our humanity, we just need to realize that there is only so much we can do in situations. If compassion motivates us to act in a helpful way, wonderful. But if it just drags us down and leaves us in the dark as well, it has not served it's purpose.

    My mother said she used to feel everything I did...any discomfort I experienced was all she could focus on.  And, she pointed out, suffering along with me didn't make me feel any better. It just meant another person was suffering. As a mom, I think it comes naturally though, and is part of the protective instinct we need to keep our kids safe.  It's part of our job.

    The compassion for my children is inate. I want to teach them to be compassionate people beyond what comes naturally to them. I want them to realize there is a world out there so much bigger than they are, and that everything does not revolve around them and their comfort level.

    I send them mixed messages. For years I have dropped any and everything to refill a sippy cup. I have anticipated any need to avoid crying.  I have allowed them to believe they are truly the center of the world because they are the center of my world.  And now that they are getting older, I need to teach them to think of others.

    So here is my struggle..I also want them to be safe. I don't want to expose them to things that might disrupt their innocence, but I don't want them living in a bubble. I want them protected, yet aware.

    As we were leaving the pediatrician's office the other day, I noticed a man sitting on a bench a few doors down. He was filthy, and obviously homeless. Now this is a very nice part of town, and you are much more likely to see BMWs than homeless people. I hustled my kids to the truck, also bringing us closer to the homeless man. The closer we got, the more I could hear him mumbling. And then ranting. He was yelling obscenities ( and you know my children never hear that shit)  and obviously perturbed. I got my kids in their seats as quickly as possible and locked the doors. I was reaching fo my cell phone to call the Dr's office and warn them about the ranting homeless man outside when I saw the bag of biscuits I had picked up on the way to our appointment. My kids hadn't fully recovered their appetites from being sick, so we had two wrapped biscuits that hadn't been touched.

    Now, I don't want you to think I am heartless..I am not. I have given groceries to a man that was always outside of the grocery store in Green Bay, sponsored many Angel Tree kids, raised money for the Red Cross after 9/11.The kids and I even volunteer for a non-profit. I have just never done anything like THIS with my children. So I was a little reluctant. I did not want to put my kids in harm's way.  I pulled up along side the man and rolled down the window.
    "Would you like a biscuit?"
    "Yes, thank you. I hope you have a nice day."
    "You too".

    And that was it. I am not even sure my kids noticed the exchange. But I figure if they are going to learn by example, then it shouldn't be a big deal that I was compassionate to a stranger. I shouldn't talk about it, I should live it. I have a freind who lives this way, she would not have given it a second thought before handing over the biscuit, and probably a few dollars. But it doesn't come as easily to me. Hopefully one day it will, and also to my kids.
    But I also don't want them approaching anyone who may need their "help" one day looking for a lost puppy. Or ever putting themselves in danger. I want them to have good judgement, and trust their instincts, but not to trust everyone. I want them to be cautiously skeptical, yet open hearted.  I want them to be empathetic and compassionate, without sacrificing their safety.
    And I want them to feel compassion for others, but not be dragged down by it. I want compassion to motivate them to do good, not make them sad and angry. This parenting stuff is hard.

    Monday, January 23, 2012

    My Fantabulous Weekend

    Now let me just say that I know it's not nice to brag..and I shouldn't, but since you are all my friends I know that you will be happy for me and not think I am a braggart when I tell you about my weekend.

    Friday night we just took it easy. The kids went to bed at 8 without a fuss and hubby and I cuddled up on the couch with a bottle of wine and a platter of sushi and a plate full of chocolate covered strawberries and watched "The Help",

    Saturday was great. The kids all slept in, and dear sweet hubby and I had 2 cups of coffee while watching the morning news and chatting. After the kids got up and had breakfast, they got themselves dressed, right down to the shoes and hairbow, and we all went to the circus. It was so fun! We had tickets right in front and when the ringmaster asked for a volunteer, he chose all three of my kids. They got to ride on an elephant and play with the clowns. Unbelievable, I know. They came home with their faces painted and their tummies full of popcorn and cotton candy. They were blissfully tired and crawled into bed just as the babysitter arrived. Hubby and I changed ( I wore my favorite black cocktail dress and was having a good hair day) and headed out for dinner at our favorite restaraunt in the historic district of town. It was excellent. We then took a horse drawn carriage ride by the bayfront, complete with champagne. Just celebrating life! We stopped by our favorite piano jazz bar and topped off the night with beer (him) and pomegranate martinis (me).

    Sunday morning the kids slept in AGAIN! They woke up and got themselves dressed for church, again complete with shoes an hairbow. They were perfectly behaved during the service, and at brunch afterwards. They had chocolate chip pancakes, hubby and I had lox and bagels. Oh yes, and mimosas. We all went home and took a nap. ALL FIVE OF US. When we woke up the boys watched football with their daddy while my sweet daughter and I went shopping for the afternoon. While we were out we got manicures, and stopped by our favorite chocolate shop.

    When we got home, we ate dinner together, the kids took baths, kissed us goodnight and climbed into bed.

    Aaaaaaaaah, Bliss! And complete bullshit. My kids spent all weekend throwing up, and my adorable husband and I spent the weekend rubbing backs, comforting little pitiful children, cleaning up puke, doing a ton of laundry and barely sleeping at all. It sucked. But I am so glad we were both home to do it, because no one else will ever love our kids the way we do, and no one else could take care of them the way mommy and daddy do.

    By the way..I have a new definition of pitiful for you: a sweet little 2 year old retching and dry-heaving into a bowl with a tiny pink cast on her arm.