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.