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.

Friday, January 20, 2012

why me? A journey

From pretty early on, I had a terrible pregnancy with the twins. The situation was dire, and we were told we would definitely lose one, if not both twins. It was so surreal and awful that I could barely comprehend it. I kept waiting for the doctor to say, "but, we can do this to fix it". He never said it. There was nothing anyone could do. And I thought over and over, "Why me? Why is this happening to me? What did I do to deserve this punishment?"

Things went from bad to worse, and I found myself in the hospital for eight horrible weeks. I was depressed and sick and resentful. I laid in that hospital bed bitter and tragic and terrified. I know it's terrible, but I begrudged all the happy people in the rooms around me with their easy pregnancies and healthy babies. I hated people who could come and go freely, while I was on strict bedrest, and even then no one could tell me that it would all be worth it in the end. One of my babies was still going to die, and the other had a 50/50 chance.

I bonded with the nurses who checked my vitals and those of the babies every three hours, but it was a bond of desperation. Please, tell me why this is happening to me. Please validate these feelings of anger and sickness and even betrayal.

I prayed, a lot. But not for God's will, as we are supposed to, but for a miracle. Or for it all to just be over. I simply could not take it anymore. I prayed out of desperation and tried to muster hope. But hope alluded me most of the time.Why me? Why do I have to lay in this bed all day with nothing to think about except my babies suffering, dying inside me.

I yelled and cried to my mom. I screamed, literally, about how much this sucked. I fell apart when my husband came to visit..sure that our lives would be ruined. We would never recover from this. I experienced my first true panic attacks.

See, most everything in life had come pretty easily to me. I never anticipated that the most important thing ever would be so marred by tragedy and fear.

When the twins were born, I looked at their tiny sick bodies, covered in monitors, overrun with tubes, ventilators hissing next to them. Oh God..why me, why them?? They were so tiny they couldn't be held. We could cradle the top of their heads and the bottom of their feet with our hands, and that was all because their underdeveloped nervous systems couldn't cope with more stimulation. We stood over their fragile doll like bodies and cupped our hands around them for hours. Helpless...
The first night the neonatologist visited us on my room to let me know there wasn't much more that could be done..they were maxxed out on ventilator settings and blood pressure medications and antibiotics.

Baby A, who had been given a chance by the doctors while in utero, began to rally the next day. It would be a long journey, but there was hope for the first time in months.

But as I stood over B, I was still screaming inside. Why me? Why him. He is so innocent. I cried and cried while he silently cried. The ventilator separated his vocal cords, so even though he cried so hard he shook, no one could hear him.

They both pulled through..came off the ventilators and grew stronger. It was amazing to watch and miraculous to witness. It was still wrenching and awful at times, but my attitude was changing. I was still asking " Why me?" all the time..but in a different way.

"Why me, why are my babies beating all the odds?"

While other mommys were holding their babies in the NICU for the last time, why did I get to feed mine, bath mine and cuddle for 45 minutes before returning them to their incubators. What did I do to deserve this?

While other mommys and daddys wondered if they would ever take their babies home, why did we get to anticipate bringing ours home after 7 weeks and 8 weeks in the NICU?

Why me? Why us? What did we do to deserve this?

I was not looking a gift horse in the mouth, I was simply in awe that I could go from despair and anger to gratitude and joy in a matter of days.

Why me, God? Why was I chosen to have a miracle play out in my life. Why am I worthy? And how do I live up to being a mommy to these awesome little guys?

So when terrible things happen, it is human nature to wonder "why me?" Is it capricious and random? Is it Karma? Does bad stuff just happen to good people?Why?

But look at the good, too, and wonder "why me?" Why is this joy, happiness, blessing, awesomeness happening to me? What did I do to deserve this? And if you can figure out what you did to deserve it, keep doing it. If you can't, then just be grateful that you are asking the right question.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

why I don't go out much

I had a girls' night last night. I really did. Of course one of the kids was sick yesterday morning and then I worried all day about leaving, but he seemed much better after nap and I felt comfortable leaving him with his daddy so I could go see Wicked.  After all, I take care of sick kids on my own quite frequently while my husband is at work. 

As the show started, I received a text message. And another during intermission. Which inspired me to write a short quick list of text messages you never want to receive , from a babysitter, grandparent or spouse, while away from your children.

1. " A is puking. "

2. " A is still puking. It is red and full of yellow chunks and everywhere."

(1 and 2 were from last night)

3. "B fell and hit his head on the Thomas Table" (that damn Thomas Table again!) " It is bleeding. It looks pretty bad".

(3 was from a babysitter, who I adore, while I was at the doctor with C.)

4. "Do you have a plunger?"

(4 was received from another babysitter, who I also adore, while out to dinner with my husband, sister and bro-in-law)

5. "I can't find C."

(this one hasn't actually happened, thank God!)

I have a feeling this post may be a work in progress. Not that I get out much.

Monday, January 16, 2012

bundle up

I live in is sunny and beautiful most of the time, and disgustingly hot in the summer.

But I did my time in the midwest, too. I loved it. Being an original southerner, the novelty of snow never really wore off for me. And you can always put more clothes on when it's cold. When it's 98 and feels like 115 there is only so much you can undress without being arrested.

I lived in Green Bay, WI. It is idyllic and lovely. And cold as bejeezus. But such an ideal place to raise a family. My hubby grew up in Canton, OH. Also a great midwestern town that is family oriented. And pretty cold.  I have always thought in the back of mind that I'd like to move back to the midwest with our soccer team if the opportunity arose. Until recently, that is.

North Florida winters are weird. It can very easily be 75 and sunny.  But if a cold front moves can drop into the low 30s, overnight.

Being away from the Midwest for 9 years now, my blood has turned back to it's original southern thinness. (I wish the rest of me had as well).  You forget what true cold feels like. You hear yourself and your husband saying, "damn it's cold out there" when it is 50 degrees. And we mean it. Meanwhile my WI friends hit 50 and start unpacking their shorts and tanktops in anticipation.

So recently we had one of those aforementioned cold fronts move in. The kids had Mom's Morning Out the next day,and I realized they did not own  winter hats or mittens.  Off to Target we go to pick out the tackiest cartoon character themed cold weather gear the chuckleheads can find. Because, you know, they might wear them twice this year.

The next morning I dressed them in their warmest sweaters and jeans and socks.  Then I had them all line up in the kitchen, and wriggled them all into mittens and coats. Topped them off with hats. This added ten minutes to our morning routine, seriously. And I just knew one was going to pull the Christmas Story routine and have to pee right away. We headed into the garage, where I hoisted each one into the truck and boosted them up into their seats since their mobility was limited due to the layers of cumbersome clothing they were not familiar with. Then I adjusted SIX different straps so they could fit over the extra bundles cocooning my kids. After all this lifting and tugging I was sweating inside my yoga pants.  I am sooo out of practice with cold weather. 
As the heater warmed the truck, I got a resounding "I'm hot" from all three kids so I cracked a window in the truck, allowing the cold air to come in and cool them off in their winter gear.  This seems like some pointless bullshit, I thought to myself.

A few hours later, when picking them up from "school"...I was faced with bundling three kids again, while listening to the report of the various reasons why A and B had time-outs, as well as stuffing their back packs with their art projects for the day to bring home.

Screw this, I thought. They can run to the damn truck, it's not that cold. And if they run fast they'll generate body heat, therefore using natural resources to stay warm instead of artificial ones, cuz I'm all about teaching them to be green and shit.

So, in short, mamas of the Midwest (and the Northeast) I do not know how you do it every day for 6 months of the year.  What seems like something simple that y'all do on autopilot is, in truth, a really big damn deal!  The ordeal which completely complicated my day is something you endure all the time. Yay for you! Hope you can send some cheers my way when I am chasing kids around in the searing heat with the aerosol cans of sunscreen all summer. Did I say aerosol? No, I meant all natural, organic and water soluble sunscreen..because I am all about teaching my kids to be green and shit.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


I am writing while watching Alvin and the Chipmunks with the kids for the 20th time. Literally, it is probably the 20th time we have watched this movie. The chuckleheads suffer from serious Alvin mania. The DVDs, the old cartoons, the CDs, etc. They demand cheeseballs for a snack because Alvin loves them. Some days they only respond to Chipmunk names, and they frequently quote the movies, at strangely appropriate times. One may think I am exagerating when I tell you have seen "The Squeakquel" 45 times, and I am prone to exageration, but in this instance I am being quite literal. Which leads me to my point. My children take everything I say quite literally, so I must be careful of the colloquial language and cliches.

The other day, I was in a hurry to get to a Dr appt with all three kids, when I noticed the boys' carseats were sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor. My husband had taken them out when we went in different directions with the kids a few days before and moved them from his car to the kitchen, never making it back into the truck.

damnit, damnit. I know, as a mom of three I should know how to install carseats, but it is always something my hubby has done and now I was in panic mode. I was pretty sure my gas light was on, because it is always on when I am in a hurry so I did not have time to fool with the carseats. I was pissed.
"I am going to kill your father". I muttered. A heard me.

"NOOOOOOOOOO", he screamed, "don't make him dead!"

Oops. I had some back peddling to do.

I didn't even know my four year old had any concept of death....must be careful, must be careful.

A few days before that, B came running up to me crying. It wasn't an " I'm hurt" cry, it was an "I'm about to tattle on a sibling" cry. All the different cries are very distinct. After a moment of sobbing and incoherent "mamas" I said "take a deep breath, calm down, what happened?"
"Mama, mama, mama"
"B, what is the problem? Spit it out..."
He looked at me strangely, made a spitting noise, and said, quite seriously, "there isn't anything in my mouth".

And of course, any time I say "that stinks" in response to something shitty that happened, they ask..."who pooped?"

And I have to admit, I say "OK, Jose" and "Ready Freddie" to them all the time just to see their heads spin while they scream "I am not Freddie", etc.

I'd love it if you shared some funny reactions your kids have had to things you've said. I'm sure there are like, hundreds of them. Literally...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A really rotten, truly terrible day

Yesterday was a rough one, friends. I will tell you all about it and shamelessly ask for your sympathy, because I love attention of any sort.

It started out nicely enough. Dropped the kids at Mom's Morning Out at church, had a cup of tea with an awesome friend.  We discussed a lot of things, including haluicination-inducing tea and how happy I have been that my kids have been relatively healthy this year (so far).

I had a follow up appointment with a doctor for a surgery I had two weeks ago..and then headed back to pick up the chuckle-heads.

They had not had a good day at "school".  A had two time outs, and B had three.  Not cool. My boys know better than this, but are going through a stage where they think it is hilarious to misbehave.  And they totally encourage and feed off each other. Little terds.
But more concerning was C. She had fallen off a slide on the playground and taken the brunt with her hand.  I didn't see any swelling, but mommy alarms went off anyway. I know my baby girl. She is tough. She has to be with two slightly older brothers. And she is independant. So when she did not want to climb in the truck, then her carseat by herself, I knew she was hurting. And when she didn't want to buckle her own seatbelt and whimpered when I moved her arm to adjust the strap, I called our pediatrician.  I love our pediatrician. And her entire staff. There is nothing more reassuring and important as a mom as having a pediatrician you really trust. Especially if you can call her on her cell phone! I have called on Saturday mornings, at 2 am in the middle of the week, and, just like this time , when the office is closed for lunch and I can't wait an hour for it to open. Hmmm, she very well might change her number one day and not tell me.

I took the  twin terds ( they earned that name for the entire day yesterday with their behavior at school) to a friend's house so I could actually focus on C while at the doctor. Have you ever taken three preschoolers to the doctor?  I hope you haven't, and hope you never have to. It is madness. anyway

As I was sitting in the parking lot of the peds office, I noticed a stinging feeling in my abdomen. I looked down to see that while hoisting my kids around, I had somehow torn off some of the derma-glue over my surgical sight and the incision is beginning to SPLIT OPEN. Nothing too horrifying, no organs protruding, but definite splittage. Shit!  And C's appointment is in 13 minutes as soon as the peds office reopens from lunch. double shit!
Thankfully, my general practitioner's office is in the same center. I ran in with C, explained the situation, and was back out with brand new steri-strips and a giant bandage in 12 minutes. Tell me that is not an awesome doctor!

Then we went over to the pediatrician's office, where she was promptly cooed over and examined.

From the pediatrician's office to the children's hospital for x-rays.On the way,  I picked up the twins, hence rescuing my friend, and met my husband half way to the hospital to relegate him custody of the boys so he could take them home.

She wimpered only a little during the x-rays. Both tiny bones in her tiny arm are broken just above the wrist. My poor, poor little monkey. But she was so strong. Stronger than her mommy, that's for sure. She answered questions for the doctors and sat still and brave while they put a temporary cast from her fingers to her shoulder. The entire time my mind was uncomfortable will she be? How will this affect her development?( she is right handed and has broken her right arm.)  How will she run, play and enjoy her life the next few weeks or months?  What the hell am I going to dress this child in that will fit over a cast? As previously reported, she has a lot of lovely clothes, but not many with the ability to morph and expand over a cast 4 times the size of her baby arm. I know I am not the first mom to have a baby with a broken arm, but it was still heart wrenching and pitiful.

But there are bright spots of yesterday. It was reaffirmed that we have excellent doctors seeing to the well-being of our family.  I am blessed to have friends and a husband that are so helpful and present while I am having a mini crisis. And most importantly, I got some one on one time with my daughter.

One on one time is very limited when you have three little children. As a whole, they entertain and frustrate me daily, but I don't often get to really admire them as individuals. Sure, I appreciate them for their different personalities and strengths and talents, but it is rare that I am alone with one for any extended period of time.

What I got to experience yesterday is that my daughter is truly delightful, even with a broken arm.  She charmed the doctors and nurses. She counted and recited her ABC's in the hospital room. She made me laugh even though I wanted to cry for her. She is an awesome little individual.

As we left the hospital, she sang loudly as we walked down the halls. She bopped her head with her arm resting in a sling at her side and sang nonsense words when she was unsure of the real ones and smiled at people who marvelled at her cuteness.  One gentleman said "that is the happiest kid with a broken arm I have ever seen."  And I laughed, because she probably was.
She was also her brothers' hero when we arrived home. She had a cast, a sling and the highly coveted hospital bracelet.  And the twins lost their terd status because they helped her carry her juice, her snack, her toys etc since she is temporarily one handed. They are pretty awesome little individuals, too.

Monday, January 9, 2012

another reason my hubby needs his a## kicked

this is really just a mini-post. 
My boys (and girl) have used the word "fart" since they were 2. I hate this word, but it is what it is.
They used to yell across crowded rooms to me..."mommy, I fawted".  No, I did not misspell it, that is how they sounded.

A just farted, and started cracking up. Before I could say anything, he yelled "excuse my butt".

Fantastic.  Will be having a talk with the hubby when he gets home. Not that it will do any good.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Barnes and Noble (and that damn Thomas the Train Table)

I love Barnes and Noble. Before having the psuedo-triplets, it was somewhat of an oasis for me.  I love books, love reading and love coffee. 
Need new reading material?  Head to B&N.
Bored on a rainy weekend afternoon? Head to B&N.
Fight with the hubby? Chill out at B&N for a little while.

It's completely different with three chuckle-heads.  I still get my coffee, but we also must purchase chocolate milk and sugar cookies from the Starbucks cafe.  Then there is story way can all three sit still through an entire story and a craft. And have you ever tried to do three crafts at the same time? While you are helping one color, another is glueing his fingers together, and yet another is terrifying other children with the safety scissors.

And then it's off to the train table.  My kids, especially the boys, love the train table. Many times I have pushed a stroller full of three children screaming out of Barnes and Noble because we only got to play at the table for an hour.

This love for the Thomas table led the hubby and me to a great idea...for their 3rd birthday, we decided to buy the twins their very own Thomas Table! It is awesome. It has bridges and caves and a helipad. The lights flash, parts of the track rattle and whistle when you chug over them.  The kids loved it. For a couple of months. Now it mostly serves as a table for discarded sippy cups. Every now and then there is a renewed interest in it, but it just does not hold the same appeal as that damn Thomas table at B&N! Why would they want to play with a tricked out train table in their own home when they can play with a germ covered, filthy one with six other kids and argue with strangers over who gets Percy and who gets Thomas? And they still complain when it's time to go.

That is, if we make it there at all. Not long ago we were waiting to meet friends for story time. It was a beautiful day and we were meeting outside the store. There are beautiful koi ponds, and turtle ponds with little bridges and small waterfalls. I'm still not quite sure how it happened, but one minute A was right next to me, and then all of a sudden he was in the Koi pond. Yep, he fell in the freakin koi pond. My poor little guy.Thankfully it was only about chest deep and I yanked him right out, but it was somewhat traumatic for him. So we loaded up and headed home. A crying because he was wet and afraid the giant fish would have eaten him had I not pulled him out, and the other two crying because they didn't get to play with that damn Thomas Table.

Friday, January 6, 2012

getting dressed

My attitude toward fashion and grooming has changed considerably since I became a mommy. I used to love shopping. I bought new clothes almost every weekend. I came back to work from lunch break wearing new shoes. Every night I would plan what I would wear the next day. And I wore heels EVERY day. With dresses, jeans, whatever.
Then I got pregnant, Ugh. I barely felt like getting out of bed, much less getting dressed, drying my hair, applying make up.  8 weeks of hospital bedrest did not do much to help this. I literally changed from one nightgown to another.

But when the kids came this would change, right?  Ummmmm, no.  One cannot balance 2 babies, a heart monitor and portable oxygen with heels on. One cannot push a double, then a triple, stroller with heels on.

I became a yoga pants wearing beotch. Because they are comfortable and easy and washable.  With either tennis shoes or flip flops, depending on the weather.

My children, mind you, are much better dressed than I.  They have adorable shoes, adorable clothes, adorable hair bows...

If there is somewhere we are going, I plan out their cute little outfits the night before. Then just before we leave, I look down and still have pajamas on. Shit! I haven't even thought about what I should wear to my husband's company picnic. But the kids look cute!
My cousin has a whole mess of kids too, including twins. She once arrived at church in her house shoes. But her kids looked cute!

Why are my kids better dressed than I? It's quite foolish really. When they were really little they just puked or shat all over the clothes. Now they make huge messes, with markers, food, toilet water,  biochemical hazardous materials, etc and their clothing is ruined in the process. Or the little stinkers grow an inch overnight and can no longer fit into the crocheted, smocked, monogrammed, appliqued t-shirt, dress, romper, etc that I just HAD to have. They don't care.  If it were up to them they would be covered in Dora and Lightening McQueen rollback specials from Wal-Mart.

But they are so cute. So even though it is irrational, and I know better, I will still be drawn to really unnecessary cute clothes for my kids. And I'll be rockin the yoga pants. But my kids will look cute!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

marking their territory

Preschool boys are funny about peeing. At least mine are. They have no inhibitions. It's a free for all. I know that this is my fault. And my husband's.

Here is how it happened. Picture one parent, two 3 year olds and a two year old in the pool, in the back yard. One twin has to pee. He cannot open the sliding door. I cannot leave 2 very young children in the pool to escort another to the bathroom. I am not about to wrap three children in towels to stand in the air conditioned house dripping water all over for 2 minutes and head back out again. Hence, I say " Go pee in the grass."

Classy? Not at all. Practical? Yes.

I'm sure there is a better way to go about this, bring a baby potty ouside, build an outhouse...something. But this is really the easy and efficient way to deal with the situation since there are three of them and someone always has to pee.

It became kindof a game at our house.
"Pee on the rocks."
"Pee on the hydrangeas."
"Pee on the palm tree."
I have little men marking their territory all over.

Here is the problem....those boys will drop drop drawers anywhere. This summer we all went to visit my in-laws. We see my husbands extended family once a year. There were aunts, uncles, cousins, great aunts and uncles and grandparents. My kids were playing in the sprinkler and on the slip and slide..having a ball as the family watched, chatted, snacked, etc.
I hear roars of laughter and turn to see A and B watering a tree trunk in the middle of the yard. Awesome.

Other fun places we have peed:
my parent's backyard
my friend's backyard
my kids' friend's back yard
(you really want to be friends with us, dontcha?)
various parking lots

I am working on breaking this inappropriate habit. I really am.
But in the meantime, watch where you step...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

back in time...

I'm going to take you back a little bit here..and tell you the story of when I found out I was preggers with C.

It was late July. The twins were approximately 10 months old. I was a tired mess surviving on adrenalyn and caffeine. The last year had been pretty awful, with a terrible pregnancy and preemie babies and a long time in the NICU. We came home with a heart monitor and an oxygen tank and 2 very tiny two month olds. But at the same time it had been wonderful for the same reasons. We had 2 little miracles and they were thriving. They weren't sleeping, and it took them the better part of an hour to drink 3 ounces of formula, but they were thriving. And they were damn cute little things, too.

Anyway, after months of waking up 5 times a night, handwashing tons of bottles and changing millions of tiny diapers, I was starting to feel like things were relatively under control. Note the word "relatively". It was still pretty chaotic, but it was doable. We were off of preemie house arrest, and had ventured to the mall a few times and even a few restaraunts.

The babies were in tiny covered floats in the pool with their dad when I walked into the backyard to marvel at their preciousness and take pictures.

At this point my hubby pointed out that I looked a little different, kindof like I had WHEN I WAS PREGNANT.  ha ha. very funny. But the seed was planted.( Literally)  Within a few hours a full on panic attack was rearing it's head. As we got in the car to take the kids to Cracker Barrel  (it's family friendly and serves pancakes) I mentioned to my husband that I needed to stop at the drugstore and pick up a prescription for one of the boys.
He waited in the car with the kids while I ran in. Said prescription was not quite ready, so I had a few minutes to kill. As I browsed the aisles, I saw the pregnancy tests.  I couldn't resist. Even as I thought to myself "this is the biggest waste of $16 ever",  I knew that my stomach would not settle and my heart rate would not lower until I took this test. I think I paid for it but am not completely sure. And then I was in the CVS bathroom, and that pink line was obvious, immediately.  The bathroom was spinning. Really spinning. It wasn't that I was opposed to another baby. It's that I was shocked. Really and truly shocked.  The idea of having another baby had never really crossed my mind. I had already been blessed with two against the odds, and this was completetly out of left field. And I was completely consumed b being a mommy of young twins. I stumbled out of the store to the waiting truck, mouth hanging open and sans the prescription I had gone in after. I didn't say a word, just held up the stick for my husband to see.
He uttered an expletive. Again, in no way is this a reflection on the feelings of having another baby..he was just as shocked as I was. Even though we had joked about it, we didn't really think it was a possibility.

Over the next few months as we told friends and family I was expecting again people congratulated us, asked us if we were crazy, asked if we knew "how that happened",and asked us how the hell we found time. 

And let me tell ya, changing poop diapers while fighting morning sickness is awful. I am afraid I may have actually vomited on the twins a little.

You can imagine the looks I got, pushing a double stroller around with a pregnant belly.

Soon the shock became true excitement. I figured, hell, if I'm gonna have kids, I might as well go all out. 

Then, the following April, we had the most beautiful little girl ever born. And she was almost instantly a good eater and sleeper. (Thank You God!, because the twins didn't sleep through the night until FIFTEEN MONTHS old!)  And life is grand, and busy. C is so bossy and adorable and smart, and everywhere I go people assume I have triplets.

The triplets and I are about to go to Wal-Mart and terrorize some other shoppers.