Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Out with the old, in with the new

Here in Maine, we're ending 2008 in much of the same fashion as it began~snowy. I'm hoping 2009 doesn't dump as much of the fluffy white stuff on us as we got in 2008. Two record setting years in a row just aren't necessary thank you very much.

I'm not particularly good at articulating myself sometimes, which is hard to tell since I always have something to blog about. Still, I don't express all my thoughts in this blog, because some things just aren't blog fodder. There are some things I do want to say before 2008 comes to an end though, so here goes.

This blog is my lifeline to the adult world. It's not as sad as it sounds, but it's true. I am home with a preschooler and twin toddlers every day, and rarely speak to an adult other than Doug. So to have readers that leave comments and email me is something so wonderful. I have made friends through this blog, friends who send me messages when I haven't Twittered or written a post in awhile, or send me socks in the mail (thanks Robyn!!!!) to keep my tootsies warm. Knowing I have people I can count on when I'm looking for the duct tape, or when there are broken bones or cranky kids, is something that I am so thankful for. Here's to more road trips and emails in 2009!

This year brought me walking, talking whirling dervishes known as Annie and Izzie. When 2008 began, Izzie wasn't even walking. Now she runs, jumps, sings "we will, we will ROCK YOU" and climbs into her own high chair with ease. She loves her stuffed animals, playing with blocks and "huggies". Annie hasn't slowed down this year, not even with a broken arm. Her verbal abilities are really starting to show and she loves her Daddy so much. She's got a killer smile that can melt the crabbiest of hearts.

Meg and Drew grew this past year as well. Meg can read anything we put in front of her. It's scary. I'm not knocking it though because she reads to Drew and that is so incredible to watch. She's figured out that she really loves hockey and can't wait to play softball again. I see lots of travel in my future for her sporting events. Drew has come out of his shell this year and is more willing to play with new friends. He can write his own name, knows all his letters and is learning to play board games.

Doug and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary in September, and our 17th year of being a couple. It's hard to remember a time in my life that we weren't together. It's not always easy, being parents of 4 kids who need us, but we do our best I think, and look forward to what is to come.

Despite how well 2008 turned out, I'm ready for it to end and 2009 to bring good things. Financial stability would be lovely (anyone want to buy a house in Maine?). I'm looking forward to the twins being able to express themselves more with words than with hands and screams, and for Drew to start playing hockey in 3 days. I'm looking forward to putting up my new calendar (Debbie Mumm, always and forever) tomorrow and seeing what the future holds.

Happy New Year.

Monday, December 29, 2008

I bake my cake and eat it too

I like to bake and decorate cakes. I'm no Martha Stewart by any means, but I'm loving baking cakes for the kids' birthdays. I did NOT bake the cake for Meg's first birthday and got a tongue lashing from my sister-in-law because of it. But look at the gorgeous cake she got for that party:

Yep, I'm not that good. I buy my cake pans thru Wilton and I love them. It's a labor of love let me tell you. So, Elmo was the first cake we made that we decorated ourselves. I have this photo from Drew's 2nd birthday (Meg's 2nd birthday was before my love of the digital camera):
The red is a tough color to get right. Trust me.

This is the first cake I made sans pan for Drew's first birthday. Not my best work, but like I said, I'm no Martha:

For Meg's 3rd birthday, we went with Cinderella, but again, that was before my love of the digital camera so if you REALLY want to see it, I can scan it and post it another time. However, for her 4th birthday, I caved and ordered a cake from the local grocery store with Ariel on it. Drew was one month old people. It was a gorgeous cake. For her 5th birthday, which was a little girlie fairy party, I made a cake with a design I stole from the mittens she was wearing that year:
For Drew's 3rd birthday, I went on a limb and made Bob the Builder. It took me 45 minutes just to tint the 7 frosting colors, and about 2 hours to decorate it. But it was AWESOME:

Meg's 6th and 7th birthday cakes were fun to make. For her 6th I made Hello Kitty from a template I Googled, and her 7th is this great flower pan that will last a long time and I can make so many different ways:

Annie and Izzie got their first cakes last year. Their party was a massive event, combined with a surprise 70th birthday party for my mother-in-law. The color schemes I used reflected how we dressed them at the time:
This weekend I tackled another cake for Drew's birthday. I made Spiderman. Spiderman had me cursing and threatening not to finish decorating him. The red didn't work right; it was too pinky. Did I mention I do all my decorating with frosting shoved into plastic bags? Yep. I'm insane. But, Spiderman rocked the house yesterday:
Since I have 3 more cakes to make in the next month, I made a little trip to Williams Sonoma today and purchased their cake decorating set, complete with a funky plunger tube thingy for the frosting and ten metal tips. Because guess what I'm making in 2 1/2 weeks? Elmo. Oh, he's easy after making him twice before. I'm also making Abby Cadabby. You know, the cute little pink and purple fairy from Sesame Street? I promise pictures when she's done. I'm also making Meg a butterfly or a fairy with the butterfly pan I just bought.

So there you have it. All the cakes I've baked in the last 8 years. It's fun, even if it causes me to swear like a sailor and throw bags of frosting in the sink.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Drew

To Drew on his 4th birthday~

I'm not quite sure how it happened that you're 4 years old today. It seems like just yesterday you were this little baby and now you're a big 4 year old boy who is going to start hockey in a week. You're my snuggle puppy. You love cars, your teddy bear, books, dogs and your Daddy. You're definitely testing your limits (and our patience) as you try to find your way in a house full of girls, but we love you so very much.

So happy birthday buddy. Enjoy your Spiderman cake. Mama loves you.

Born at 5:23 am, 7lbs 3 oz

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Wrapup in Photos

I think we've finally recovered from Christmas. It was a great day. We didn't even get up until 7! I am pretty sure the kids got exactly what their hearts desired. Izzie boycotted present opening a few times and happily watched while the others opened their gifts. Annie and Izzie were both battling some sort of bug that made them tired and clingy, but I'll take that over something else.

I think these photos tell the story about our day pretty well:

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

When I was a kid, I distinctly remember going to a now defunct department store to see Santa. I have no idea what I asked for that Christmas, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't the racket that it is at our mall now~you can get just about anything with a picture of your child and Santa on it, or even have your pet get a picture with Santa! I don't remember if we had to wait in line for a long time, as the memory of the actual event is pretty fuzzy (my mom says I remember nothing of my childhood without prompting).

A few years ago, we started taking the kids to a private, free meeting with Santa. It was hosted by the school department where my parents work, and was just for the kids and grandkids of school department employees. Santa always came with Elf Dennis and there were cookies, pictures to color, and a much quieter atmosphere than the mall visit. This year we had to skip the visit with Santa at the school due to Izzie's collarbone; the visit was just 3 days after the fall and break, and the thought of keeping her strapped up in her stroller and car seat to go see Santa while she was in pain was just too much for us. My dad ran into Mrs. Claus at work one day and she was asking why our family wasn't at the meet-and-greet as we always have been. When my dad explained about Izzie's fall and our predicament, she said that Santa would need to be making a special visit to see our kids. Can you believe it?

Yesterday was that visit, at my parents' house. Santa and Mrs. Claus were there waiting for us. It was truly magical moment for the kids, and I was so proud of how well they did, as I was expecting epic fail, especially with the twins:

Check out "Santa's Magic Key", because it's a really cool explanation of how Santa can get in your house if you don't have a chimney/fireplace (like us!). Mrs. Claus took the last picture for us, which was so lovely of her. It was a great time for the kids, and very magical for Doug and me to see them all enjoy themselves. I hope they remember this when they get older, but if not, I'll be sure to scrapbook it for them! I managed to find a little Christmas spirit along the way as well.

Friday, December 19, 2008

To quote Julie Andrews

"When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeling sad. I simply remember my favorite things and then I don't feel so bad." Sister Maria, The Sound of Music

This is a list of my favorite things, in no particular order. Things that make me happy. Because happy isn't coming right now and I need it to come, so here goes:

The Internet
Clean sheets
An empty sink
A nice, neat living room
A good hair day (shallow I know, but really, it does make me happy)
Emails from friends, especially when they include hugs
Smiles from my kids
Clean kids
My babysitter being home from college for a month
Hugs from my kids
Chocolate (thank you honey for the two bags of Kisses!)
Watching Meg and Drew play in the snow
The kittens sleeping

My Friday question for you: what makes you happy?

Monday, December 15, 2008

O Christmas Tree, how lovely are thy branches

Until yesterday, the extent of our Christmas decorating was limited to our outside icicle lights and spiral trees, and the window clings over every window and the sliding door in our downstairs area. We usually have the outside lights and trees up for Thanksgiving, but we ran out of time, and then with us being deathly ill with the plague after Thanksgiving, that got moved to last weekend.

I have been dreading getting a Christmas tree. Last year we put our tree inside the twins' play yard, and for the most part it was pretty safe there. We had the ornaments up high enough that they couldn't reach. And we had our living room configured in such a way that the girls couldn't get into anything or cause trouble.

Fast forward to this year. Two toddlers, one preschooler, a grade schooler, and 3 cats. Yeah, good times. The play yard is broken down into sections to 1) keep the girls off the stairs and 2) keep them out of this computer room because they can't keep their hands to themselves. Since play yards run for about $99, I'm not about to get another one JUST for the Christmas tree. So after hockey yesterday (where, by the way, my girl scored an amazing goal after getting her own rebound) we went hunting for a tree. This year the high school wasn't selling trees, and actually NO ONE around here was. So, we took a trip to the next town over and found a tree at the apple orchard. It's a lovely tree, not at all Charlie Brown like. Granted it was still covered with ice from our ice storm on Friday (which rendered us without power, water, heat, etc. for 8 hours, when I was home alone, with four children. Sigh) so Doug had to stand in the garage with my hair dryer to thaw it out. After letting it drip dry on the dining room floor, Doug strung the lights and I commenced letting Meg and Drew decorate.

Let me just say, as an aside, that I was near tears watching the kids decorate the tree. No, not from love and gushy feelings. From the fact that they aren't gentle with my ornaments and throw them on the tree willy nilly without thought to style, or location, or anything close to making it look PRETTY. There were certain ornaments I wouldn't let them touch at all, and I've spent a good deal of time rearranging the tree since they decorated. Ahem. Yes, I am a heartless bitch it appears.

I took plenty of before and after pictures and will include them. I also took some photos of my favorite ornaments. I can't possibly put every ornament I have on the tree because, well, I don't want to. We don't do tinsel ever since the cat ate some years ago, and I don't like garland. My tree includes a collection of flute playing Santas and hockey playing Santas. My favorite flute playing Santa is this guy sent to me by Auntie Nettie many years ago:

Then this is an ornament I made in 2nd grade. I just love it, although I don't know why. I think the best part is that my mom always had her on the tree and gave her to me when I moved out:

And here it is, in all its glory:

Now we'll see how long before the kids and/or cats destroy it.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Four Years

It's been four years since I left the working world to become a stay at home mom. A lot has changed for me since that day~we've moved, and I've had 3 more children. I remember being so incredibly adamant with Doug when we got pregnant with Drew that I WOULD be staying home and that we'd need to figure out how to make everything work so that I could do that. My mom stayed home until I was old enough to watch my brother for a bit after school (when I was 12 and he was 10) and in my mind that's how I wanted my life to be. I can honestly say, four years later, that I didn't do quite enough soul searching at that time. I looked at the finances, realized that the cost of two in daycare would take almost my entire paycheck at a job I didn't love, and said I wanted to stay home. I have a tendency to put my mind to something without thoroughly thinking it through. This was one of those times.

I know there are those out there who would love to stay home and cannot for financial reasons, and those of you who love working and know that staying at home isn't for you. I don't begrudge anyone their choices; everyone has to do what is best for them and their family and no one has the right to tell them otherwise. Right now I am talking about MY choices and how they affect ME.

Being a stay at home mom for ME is incredibly difficult. I love my children dearly, but there are days when I would rather be anywhere but here. The days tend to blend together. There is no structure, aside from the girls' afternoon nap, and I am a person who likes some structure. The monotony of being at home all the time gets to me and by the time Doug gets home at night I feel like the house has closed in on me. I think his exact words were "raving lunatic" or some such thing. I'm sure a lot of that lately has to do with all those broken bones we've been dealing with. Izzie can't spend much time strapped in a car seat or stroller because it hurts, so we're forced to spend more time here. The girls are almost 2. Every reader with a child over 2 knows what that age is like, and having that doubled is enough to do a person in. Drew will be 4 in three weeks. He's bored to tears on the days he isn't at school. Put it all together and it's enough to make us all crazy.

Am I doing my children a disservice by being home with them? There are days when I heartily say YES to that. I feel like they don't get the best of me, and that is what they need to grow up healthy and happy. I'm sure they can feel my sadness and I know they've seen me cry and not know why. I certainly don't want to go back to work just because being at home is hard and it stresses me out; that would make my kids feel like I don't love them and I'm just running away from them. It's a terrible position to be in. Of course all I want is for them to be happy and if happy for them means that I'm not here all the time then maybe it's something I really need to consider. I know what I'd like to do if I got a job, and I wouldn't be doing it for the money because it pays squat. However, if working means that my children are happier and healthier, and in turn so am I, then maybe it's time.

Friday, December 5, 2008

To toddler bed or not to toddler bed

First an update: Izzie went to the orthopedist this morning. He's our new best friend. Her break wasn't as bad as some and will heal rather quickly. He fashioned a bit of a sling for her that keeps her arm closer to her body. Once she isn't in so much pain I'll be happier. For now, helicopter mama has returned.

While I am awaiting a call from child services (you know, once the urgent care center puts two and two together) I've been contemplating toddler beds. I think I've blogged before that I was waiting until the girls were, say, fifteen for toddler beds, for my own sanity. The daily nap, or lack thereof, is my only respite during the day. If they're safely ensconced in their cribs and SLEEPING, I can do things like laundry, or blogging, without them climbing stairs or running about. I've had good and bad experiences with toddler beds, which is why I'm on the fence.

Meg transitioned to a toddler bed at about 20 months. Our neighbors were selling one in mint condition for $10 and we snapped it up. We honestly had no idea what we were doing, but thought we'd try. She did incredibly well. She slept in the bed, never got up at night, and never left her room in the morning until someone came to get her up. We never had a gate at the top of the stairs because she never wandered. It was all kinds of heaven.

We started transitioning Drew to a toddler bed at our old house at about 18 months, before our big move. He did ok, but not swell. Then when we moved here, all hell broke loose. Too many transitions at once turned our good sleeper into a nightmare. He'd tear his room apart-all the clothes out of the closet, diapers out of the changing table, no naps. He'd fall asleep behind his door so that we'd hit him in the head when we went to check on him. After 2 months of very little or no naps the crib went back up and he was a much happier person. At about 2 1/2 he got my nephew's bunk beds and the bottom bunk is his bed (the other parts are in the basement) and he loves it. He is still a wanderer but a good sleeper.

The twins are a lot like Drew. They're rather impulsive and don't listen well, ever. I know they're not quite 2 yet (OMG next month!) and I haven't at all forgotten how awful it was with Drew and he was only one child. Maybe they'd surprise me by sleeping well in a toddler bed, but given our track record, I am thinking they'll rebel at it heartily. They play off each other; if Annie isn't sleeping, Izzie rarely sleeps. I don't have any more bedrooms available in the house in order to separate them, so they'll be sharing a room for life.

So, for now I hope that Izzie won't try to climb out of her crib again since obviously she doesn't know how. And I hope Annie will remember that Izzie got hurt trying to follow her lead, and that the girls will just nap at naptime instead of practicing for Barnum and Bailey's Circus.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Monkey See, Monkey Do

I'm officially waving the white flag. I'm spent. I'm done. I give up. The twins are going to drive me to drink, or an early grave. Maybe both.

After a relatively quiet morning and a late lunch, I put the girls down for a nap. I puttered around on the computer while Drew played on the floor with some flash cards. Over the monitor I heard Annie's voice and it was just a tad bit too close to the monitor in the girls' bedroom. Upon review, I found Annie walking around the room instead of in her crib. She has stealth, that's for certain. I put her back, told them to take a nap, and came back downstairs. Shortly afterward I heard a horrible CLUNK and screams from Izzie. I found both girls out of their cribs, but Izzie was a crumpled heap on the floor and Annie was all innocently looking at me like "what? I do this all the time."

Long story short, after a 2 1/2 hour trip to the urgent care center at our local hospital, Izzie has a fractured collarbone. Do you know what can be done for a fractured collarbone? NOTHING. I can put her little arm in a sling, but she's a 2 year old. She isn't going to keep her arm in a sling, no matter how cute it is. The paperwork says collarbone fractures take up to 6 weeks to heal. I bought a LARGE bottle of baby ibuprofen and will be calling our doctor for yet another referral to the orthopedist. Thank god for insurance, because Annie's trip to the urgent care center was $500. We have to pay $50.

Let's review~last month Annie got tackled by Drew and broke her arm. Her cast came off yesterday. YESTERDAY! Four days into December and Izzie decided she wanted to be part of the crowd and followed Annie out of the crib. Bubble wrap, duct tape and/or cookies and alcohol are on the agenda (cookies and alcohol for me not them of course) for the next few days.

I'm going to find my jammies and a blanket. I'm beat.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Bloggy bling

I know, I know, two posts in one day. But my friend CK gave me a nice award (again!!!!) and before she gives me a whooping, I wanted to get it on my blog. So, here goes:

I have to do a few things now that I've put this award up, so let's get crackin':

1. Say one nice thing to a man in your life. My husband is one of the "good" ones. Tonight he brought me orange soda just because. Really, you can't beat that. I'm not going to get all mushy. Blech.

2. List at least six ways that you measure success in your life (or for your blog). Yeah, this one is hard. If we're all healthy and happy, then that's 6 happy, healthy people. In one house. Voila, success! I'm going with it.

3. I get to assign this to 6 other bloggers, but you all know I hate doing that because I am a new blogger and you've all been out there so much longer. However, there are those that I read and comment on pretty faithfully so they know I love them.

It's Christmas COOKIES and Holiday Hearts

I just looked at the title of my last post and realize I got the lyrics to the song WRONG. FAIL! But that's ok, because this post is all about COOKIES. Christmas cookies. Cass was talking about the Christmas cookies she's going to be making and it got me thinking that holy cow it's December 3rd and I haven't had a moment to think about Christmas cookies. Ok, not totally true because I ordered my bucket of sugar cookie dough from my niece or nephew on Thanksgiving thru their band fundraiser, so I have that going for me. Of course I don't actually HAVE the dough, so I can't do anything with it yet.

When I was a kid, my mom made all kinds of Christmas cookies. She made wreaths with dough she colored green and used a cookie press to make; I loved them, but they always took so much work. She made candy canes and those were fun to help make. We made peanut butter kiss cookies, which are probably my favorite cookie (why I only make them at Christmas is beyond me, except that Doug doesn't like peanut butter cookies unless they're Nutter Butters) and I was allowed to help with them. My job was to roll the dough in the sugar, then press the Hershey kiss in after the 5 minute cooking time. Oh, and I had to unwrap all 48 Hershey kisses as well. We made cutout cookies~angels, trees, snowmen and maybe Santa too. While making cookies was a lot of work, seeing the platter arranged with the different kinds and of course tasting them all was a special treat that I love remembering.

We also had a neighbor who was like a surrogate grandmother to me that would make a huge platter of cookies and bring them to us. They were all so different from what my mom would make that we looked forward to the arrival of a platter of rum balls (no, not for the kids!), snowballs, thumbprint cookies and maybe coconut macaroons too. I can't remember them all as it's been a long time since she was alive but I loved those cookies.

What's your favorite Christmas cookie?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas Music and Holiday Hearts

I won't bore you with details from my horrific holiday weekend (can you say Barforama III?). We did have a great Thanksgiving with our families and Doug was thrilled that dinner was served only 15 minutes late. How's that for proper planning, eh?

So, in lieu of those details, I'll share my love of music, especially Christmas music. I am a musician (a flutist) and love most music with the exception of rap, country, opera (oh I loathe opera, well, except Mozart's) and some piano concertos. I love Christmas music the most I think. We have a digital channel here in Maine that plays "Songs of the Season" all day long and right now it's of course Christmas music. It's the only time of the year I leave the tv on for long stretches of time, as it's so much easier than changing CDs every 40 minutes or so.

I prefer "traditional" Christmas music. By that I mean what I grew up listening to, so NOT Mariah Carey or any of the newer artists belting out Christmas songs. Julie Andrews, Nat King Cole, Andy Williams, or anything classical. I have a great choral CD that I love to listen to, as well as a James Galway CD that is just beautiful. I grew up listening to my mom's $.95 records put out by Bridgestone or Firestone on our record player, and hearing those again in my own home brings back such happy memories of decorating the tree (after my father wrangled on lights swearing like a sailor) or making cookies with my mom as I got older. There is something soothing about them. Just don't ask me to listen to Silent Night. It's my least favorite of all Christmas songs.

My favorite Christmas song is "O Holy Night" and I like it sung by The Lettermen (anyone else have the Reader's Digest two cassette set as a kid?) best. Now I'll ask you~what is your favorite Christmas song?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


So, I haven't been feeling very thankful about much lately. My kids have been driving me completely berserk, I barely have the energy to blog and I've had a migraine for three days. Doesn't that make you just want to snuggle up and read what I have to say? Ugh.

However, I really am thankful for what I have. My kids are healthy. Doug has a good job that allows us to live in this lovely home. Our families are healthy, I'm going to have a new sister-in-law (hi Eric and Alyssa!!!!) and I have wonderful friends. Really, while I may complain to my heart's content about my life, it is full.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Power of Paper

I am always looking for something to keep my kids occupied. Meg and Drew could watch tv until their eyes turned to goo and oozed out of their heads, so of course that is a big no-no in this house. As it is, when they do get an hour or so of tv, they turn into complete lunatics when it's over, literally rolling on the floor yelling for more, or running around the house screaming at the top of their lungs. Oh yes people, I've raised idiots.

Imagine my thrill when I discovered the power of paper. No, not reading (puhleeze) or drawing, but the power of the c-a-t-a-l-o-g. FAO Schwarz, Walmart, The Land of Nod, Fisher Price all hold amazing power over all of my kids. The FAO Schwarz catalog is so worn from constant reading by Annie and Izzie especially that I had to take it away from them, lest they completely ruin it. Today's mail brought another Fisher Price catalog and Drew was thrilled, until the contents were the EXACT same as the other catalog we already had. The kids sit on the floor and slowly turn the pages, looking at all the fantastical things that these catalogs hold. You would think that we have never taken them to a mall for crying out loud.

So thank you miss mail lady (yes, we have a FEMALEMAN) for bringing a few small moments of peace to my home. I shall miss those catalogs when they're shredded or in the recycle bins in the garage. Life will be back to my regularly scheduled chaos then.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

'Tis the Season

In case you've been living under a rock, we're coming upon the craziest, best time of the year~the holidays. I will have 11 people (NOT including my immediate family of 6) here on Thursday for Thanksgiving. We used to travel, but when I was pregnant with the twins and as big as a house at 7 months, I said no frickin' way am I leaving my house, so now we have everyone here. No really, check me out! While it's insane getting ready, it really is so much nicer to allow my kids to play with their own toys, nap in their own beds, and generally be more comfortable. It also takes my stress level down to Mach 496. How nice.

Christmas takes my stress level up to Mach 9809838 though. Here's why. When I had one child, I pretty much got every gift I could think of that said child would want/need/had to have. Ok, not that bad, but the presents under the tree were pretty substantial for said child. As our family has grown, getting everyone everything he/she may want is a financial impossibility. Child number one doesn't quite get that. I'll save that for another post though. This year we are scaling back quite a bit. I'm sure it will all work out fine, after I have some sort of a mental breakdown over it all.

However, immediately after Christmas we launch into birthday central. This is part of the reason we have to scale back for the holidays: all four children have their birthdays within the month following Christmas. Drew's is three days after Christmas, the twins are two weeks later, and Meg's birthday is two weeks to the day after the twins. Holy cow (and yes, springtime in Maine is BORING!). It can be a bit much to deal with right after Christmas.

I love making the holidays special for the kids. I play Christmas music all the time, watch The Grinch and Charlie Brown's Christmas on DVD until I want to puke, and try to decorate the house nicely. The twins are really going to be into all the decorations this year~they went bonkers when we put up Halloween decorations! But a part of me feels like Charlie Brown because Christmas is so commercialized. I would love for the holidays to be more about spending time with family and friends, and less about what is under the Christmas tree, but without taking the fun out of it for the kids. Maybe this year our scaling back will help accomplish that.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Who me, join the bandwagon?

I tend to be a little slow when it comes to the latest fad or "thing". I have only been blogging since February; before that, I didn't even really know what a blog was. I joined Twitter a little late in the game too. Doug and I started reading Harry Potter after the first few books had come out, because we wanted to keep up with our niece and nephew. To say that we are not trendsetters is an understatement.

So what am I sucked into now? Twilight. For the love of a good book, I cannot and will not put those books down. I know, I know, the fourth book came out this summer and I'm totally behind the times. I remember looking at my niece from Ohio with a little bit of confusion this summer when she was babbling incoherently about the fourth book, but now I totally GET IT! I asked my husband nicely yesterday to stop by Borders with a lovely Buy One Get One Half Off coupon that I got via email and get books 2 and 3, and he DID! Poor sucker. Actually, he knows that books make me so incredibly happy (I worked in my college and law school libraries) that he was willing to make the trip, out of his way, to get them for me. Good wife that I am, I refrained from reading until he left at 10 last night to go play hockey. Of course I was still reading when he got home after 12:30 this morning.

I will NOT be at the movie when it opens this weekend. I probably won't see it in the theater at all. I haven't been to a movie in many years; I tend to wait for it to come out on DVD, On Demand, or Netflix. This is one movie I actually want to go see, but my Twilight loving friends live too far away. So I'll live vicariously through them and see it when it's available next year. A little behind the times, but oh well, what can you do.

Friday, November 14, 2008

If I had just one wish

I blogged once before about my cravings and how much more stable and sane I would feel if those things were to come true. I feel incredibly unhinged the majority of the time. I want my life to be going in a certain direction, and as soon as I feel that it's the tiniest bit off, my emotions go berserk and I can't reign them in.

While I was away last weekend at Blogvention2008, Doug gave the twins a bit more freedom in the house. I don't blame him for doing it, because it would be nice for them to learn that no, they cannot climb on the piano bench and that the computer is NOT for them to bang on. At their age, Drew had complete freedom in the house. Anyway, since I have come home, I haven't been able to deal with them having that freedom. They're sitting here in the computer room right now, looking at books that they really shouldn't be touching and it's all I can do not to go put them back into the living room. They shove the baby gates aside because they can (with the configuration of our house, we have no way of attaching gates to anything at all) and basically do whatever they please. The word no means nothing to them at all.

If I had just one wish, it would be that either I can deal with them tearing apart my house, or in the alternative, that they would listen to me. The lack of control that I feel daily is killing me. I am constantly yelling to get someone to listen, but it doesn't work. I try to let them have their freedom and they do things like pull all the things off the fridge, take food out of the pantry, or chase the poor kittens. They climb the stairs, which is a BIG no-no here due to Annie's cast and the fact that they aren't good coming down them yet. So I spend my days literally hovering; I have to stay in the room they're in or they run rampant. If I try to go brush my teeth, I catch them banging on the computer (no laptop here), and going to the bathroom is right out unless someone is here to watch their every move, or they're in their highchairs. Never mind the fact that Drew is an absolute NIGHTMARE with them these days, knocking them down, taking their toys and running around like an idiot himself. I have even less control with him it seems.

So I'll breathe a little, have more coffee and try to deal. But what I really want to do is go away. I want to run away and let someone else have this life for awhile. It really is becoming too much for me to handle.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bruised and Battered

Here are some pictures of my walking wounded. Call this Wordless Wednesday a day late.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I really hope bad luck just comes in pairs

My life feels incredibly apocalyptic right now. I've spent the last twenty four hours worrying about Annie and her broken arm. I don't think I slept much last night because I feared she woke wake in pain. Of course, she didn't. I was afraid she'd get her splint off again (she did at dinner last night) before we got into her room this morning. Of course, she didn't. She was running around like a normal almost-two year old this morning, splint and all. After lunch she received her incredibly awesome hot pink cast, which runs from just below her elbow to the palm of her hand, and wraps around her thumb. The ortho doctor told Doug that she has a "bend" in her bone, not a "break" so the cast is actually just to keep her arm safe, and not to set the bone. She'll recover just fine, and I'm sure I will too in about 10 years.

For a change of scenery this afternoon, we walked down our road to get Meg from the bus. It was quite chilly, but the air felt good and I was hoping the freshness would change some sour moods. All was fine and dandy until Izzie became intimate friends with the gravel road, face first. When I picked her up, she was covered in blood, but I couldn't figure out from where. Once I removed her hat, I found out; she took a good chunk out of her forehead and blood was pouring down her face. She scraped her tiny nose and ate a mouthful of gravel. I'm sure she'll recover just fine too, and is sporting a Barbie bandaid on her forehead, which she thinks is quite fashionable.

So I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Meg and Drew stay out of harm's way for a few more days so I can regain my sanity. Our visit with Annie to the emergency room was the first one since we had kids, so I'm thankful for that. I'm pretty sure we're not going to get away with just one visit during our kids' childhoods, so I need to find a way to prepare myself. It's horrible when there isn't a damn thing you can do to protect your children from accidents. I understand that is the meaning of accident, but as a parent, I feel horrible that my children got hurt. I also understand that I can't live in a bubble to protect them either, although that could solve some of my problems. So, I'll just do what I can to protect them and hope we're in for a stretch of good luck for awhile.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

And a partridge in a pear tree (updated)

Ever since I returned from Blogvention 2008, my children have been AWFUL. They were thrilled to see me on Sunday night and that felt great. They had cleaned their rooms and had a good weekend without me.

These last two days though have been so amazingly craptastic (I love that word) that I'm ready to turn tail and head to Bora Bora. I've never felt like I've had much control over my kids' behavior, no matter how hard I try. I have rules, and limits, but feel like I spend the majority of my time yelling because my older children don't listen. Timeouts don't work, and taking things away from the kids is always pretty useless. It leaves me feeling a tad bit lost.

Today is a holiday, which means I have the four children home with me. After a long morning of listening to all the loud noises and the banging of toys, I sent the four to play nicely in the playroom upstairs. They did play nicely for quite awhile, but then I heard Annie screaming and crying. Upon investigation I was informed that Drew had jumped on Annie and hurt her arm. She usually bounces back pretty quickly, so I wasn't too alarmed. However, when I tried to give her her lunch, she couldn't use her right arm to lift her fork and she was crying. Doug came home to join us for lunch and she was just miserable. She managed to eat with her left hand and is now en route to the hospital to have her arm checked out. We're not sure if she dislocated her shoulder, her elbow, or if she just bruised it. Needless to say, I'd rather be with her but Doug took her so I could let Izzie nap.

When I know more, I'll update.

Update: My poor little baby has a broken forearm, just above her right wrist. We'll be hearing from our doctor about a peds appointment for a cast this week. I am so incredibly sad for her right now.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Friendship Part Deux

I have a daily calendar that sits by my desk. Friday's quote said "true life is lived when tiny changes occur". I couldn't agree more.

On Friday morning I kissed my wonderful husband and kids goodbye and hopped in my mommy mobile (aka my Ford Freestar) and headed west to New York. After a 6 hour drive I arrived at the doorstep of my dear friend Auntie Nettie for a much overdue visit. Our visit, while much too brief, was exactly what I needed. Old friends are truly the best. She has since been tagged to make a visit to Maine, and I'm holding her to it.

Yesterday I met AndreAnna, Cass and Robyn. We've been reading each other's blogs and emailing and to meet in person was truly exceptional. We ate, we drank, we talked, and it was like we'd been friends for years. I am not nearly as outgoing a person as I come across in this blog, so for me to travel to Jersey to meet these women was a huge step. My true life was lived this weekend. I can't wait to see them again and I am hoping it will happen sooner rather than later. Summer in Maine is a lovely time of year if I do say so myself.

Robyn, me, AndreAnna, Cass

Thank you to my friends old and new for a great weekend. I miss you all already.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Hitting the Road

I am about to head out for Road Trip 2008!!!! I am so incredibly excited!

First stop, New York to visit Auntie Nettie for a much overdue visit.

Tomorrow I head to New Jersey for Blogvention08 with Cass, AndreAnna and Robyn. We're going to eat, drink, talk, eat, drink and have fun.

I'll update upon my return Sunday.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I've got friends in high places

Well, just friends in the blogosphere actually.

Check out my new blog design. I LOVE it. Cass from Cass Just Curious designed it for me. I couldn't be happier.

Thank you Cass! You're wonderful! I'll give you big hugs on Saturday!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A book review

I thought I'd mix things up a bit, and volunteered to review a book written by Megan Calhoun, who is the driving force behind TwitterMoms a social networking and community site for moms (of which I'm a member). The book is called Oscar the Pig-Mommy Goes to Work and is the first in a series. It's published by Silly String Media, a new publishing company. You can find the book on for between $16-$18, or at OscarThePig.

Oscar the Pig-Mommy Goes to Work focuses on something that most moms (or dads as the case may be) have dealt with in some fashion~separation anxiety. While it's true that most children have some separation anxiety when they're quite a bit younger, it can rear its ugly head again during the preschool years. That is the focus of Oscar the Pig.

We meet our friend Oscar the pig on his mom's first day back to work. He is worried about what it all means for him: who will take care of him, when will she be back, and most importantly, does she still love him? Oscar's mother brings in Mrs. Tutu, Oscar's nanny. Mrs. Tutu had visited with Oscar the previous week and was back to start taking care of him. Mrs. Tutu remembered that Oscar loved trains, and promised him a special surprise after his mother went to work. Oscar and his mom shared a special "piggy kiss" and she went to work.

Seeing that Oscar was saddened by his mother's departure, Mrs. Tutu brought out her special surprise~a magic egg that transported the two of them to China. While in China, Oscar meets a panda named Chow Chow, who loves trains, has a mother that works and a caregiver of his own. The two talk of their sadness when their mothers go to work, and of the joy that awaits them at the end of the day when their mothers return. After a day of play, Mrs. Tutu and Oscar return home. Oscar's mother soon joins them, and he regales her with his escapades in China, happy at her return.

Despite the quickness of the story, I enjoyed this book. I have a preschooler who has some separation anxiety when he goes to school (as I am a stay-at-home-mom) and the ideas that the book sets forth are extremely important in helping a child cope when mom is away. Rituals for children are incredibly helpful, and having Oscar and his mom give their "piggy kisses" when it's time for her to leave help him know that it's time to transition to his playtime with Mrs. Tutu. It is also important for a child to meet his or her caregiver before the big day arrives in order to put the child at ease. Oscar's mom reminded him that he had already met Mrs. Tutu, which also helped put him at ease. It's not always easy for a young child to be with a caregiver, but having introduced that caregiver ahead of time can certainly help.

Oscar the Pig-Mommy Goes to Work is a great starting point for moms with preschool aged children who are thinking of going back to work, or who are scheduled to go back to work. It's an easy read-aloud book that allows conversations to develop about the who/what/when of mommy going to work and the care being provided their child. The illustrations are delightful and help gently tell the story of Oscar and his mom.

Monday, November 3, 2008

So much to say, so little time

We've had a very busy few days. I've been trying to blog all weekend (which I should be doing since I joined NaBloPoMo) but it just hasn't worked in my favor. So, instead of writing blah blah blah, it's a Monday Photo Show:

The money cat is Lira. She's been our kitty for 11 years. These little guys are our newest additions, which Lira isn't fond of quite yet. Leonard is on the left; Sheldon is on the right. And yes, we named them after the protagonists from The Big Bang Theory.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's inevitable of course

Tomorrow is Halloween. The older kids are incredibly exciting to go trick-or-treating. The younger ones of course don't have much of a clue. We will be escorting Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz (in silver shoes as it is in the story, not ruby slippers like in the movie), Spiderman and Pooh Bear and Tigger around the street that Meg's school is on. It's a U-shaped street and even though there are dark houses, the kids get a boatload of candy.

What's inevitable of course is that I have a sick child. Izzie started acting really whiny yesterday after a VERY short 45 minute nap and I assumed she was tired. Today she woke up overly warm, so I gave her a spot of Tylenol. As the morning went on, she was more whiny and paler that normal, and just wanted to sit with her head on my shoulder. After quick trip to pick up Drew at school, she ate a quick lunch and is now sound asleep. I am keeping my fingers crossed that she wakes up miraculously healed.

It's karma or something that makes kids get sick before something special~Meg was sick for her first Christmas, the twins were sick for their first Christmas and Drew was sick for his second day of school this year. I don't know how they know that something special is about to happen and therefore they need to get sick, but at least with my kids, that's how it works.

So, send some good thoughts my way that 1) Izzie is better when she gets up and 2) that the others remain healthy. Thanks.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Mind is a Terrible Thing

I have lots going on in my mind lately. Things I want to talk about run through my head all day long. I find that when I'm on the treadmill, I can compose a great post, but it never gets on the blog. I'm not sure why that is.

I'd love to talk about the fact that the situation we went through with our other house is about to happen again. This time minus an attorney.

I'd love to talk about the fact that my oldest child and I have a contentious relationship and it's making me crazy and really sad.

I'd love to talk about Facebook and the fact that I'm reconnecting with some old friends, and hiding from some as well.

I'd love to talk about the fact that a blog post about Sesame Street generates more comments than a post about my kids.

I'd love to talk about the fact that tv brings out the worst in my children.

However, even though Dora is on, I have screaming children. So those posts will have to wait.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Sweet! I got my very first blog award! Creative Kerfuffle gave me this little number:

I am totally flattered by the award. CK and I have become pretty good blog friends. We have some very similar likes and dislikes. I love the fact her daughter is older than Meg so that I can pick her brain! She is funny, thoughtful, a tad bit racy at times, and I love reading what she writes. Many thanks for the lovely award! Go check her out and leave a comment.

She said I'm supposed to award 7 other bloggers, but I'm not going to (ha!). I would have to give one to everyone on my blog list, and seriously people, I don't have that much time to write. I'm squeezing this post in during an episode of Dora the Explorer. I have to take what I can get these days.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

On Having Twins

I've bitched and moaned waxed poetic about some of the trials and tribulations of having twins. In the beginning, I spent a good portion of my days crying. Drew was 2 years and two weeks old when the twins were born and Megan was in kindergarten, just two weeks shy of her 6th birthday. We had only been in our new house for a few months. It was totally chaotic and overwhelming. I spent my days nursing, changing diapers and trying to get a free moment to love and hug my other kids. Combine all that with trying to still be a good wife and I was a general mess.

Now I'm not saying that I've gotten it all figured out, but one thing has changed. I don't spend as much time crying (at least not every single day). The demands from the kids, especially the twins, are different now. I have routines that we follow pretty consistently. As with everything in life, there are speed bumps but I'm less sleep deprived and more caffeinated and I can navigate them much better.

Annie and Izzie are in a really fun, but sometimes insane, place. They'll be 2 in January. They spend a lot of their day trying to figure out what they can and can't do. Climb on the kitchen table to get the napkins? No, Mama doesn't like that. Run across the furniture? No, Mama doesn't like that. Not nap? No, Mama REALLY doesn't like that. But what Mama is loving is how they interact with each other. They are both very nurturing. If Annie is sad, Izzie will get Annie's blanket and puppy and bring them to her. If Izzie drops a toy, Annie will (for the most part) give it back to her. They are constantly signing "thank you" to each other. They will don purses, say "goodbye Mama" and run around the kitchen table to shop. They will sit side by side and read books. They'll give their older siblings hugs and kisses. They love to brush their teeth, have their hair combed and take baths.

Distance does make the heart grow fonder. Now that we're out of the nursing/constant-diaper-changes/crying-all-day-long phase, I can look back on that time with some fondness. They're no longer babies, but they'll always be my babies.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Rant about Sesame Street

Sesame Street is one of my all time favorite kids shows. I watched it growing up all those years ago and still love it. I love singing the songs that I remember, like "I love trash" or "Rubber ducky". I was iffy when Elmo was introduced because of the amount of time they devoted to his segment and how little singing there seemed to be during the rest of the show. Then there was the "Journey to Ernie" segment that made me crazy when Drew was little. I understand that the show needs to evolve and draw in new children in this age of Dora, Diego and shows on Playhouse Disney. My kids watch those shows too. But I love being able to tell them that I used to watch Sesame Street, and talk about my favorite characters, Bert and Ernie.

Bert and Ernie are perennial favorites. As a kid I had Bert and Ernie hand puppets, and a Sesame Street playhouse with certain characters. I don't care one bit about whether they might be gay or not. I just love them. Bert's obsession with pigeons is just so funny, and Ernie's love of Rubber Ducky is heartwarming. So it now pains me to see that Bert and Ernie are CLAYMATION characters and not puppets. I had read in my TV Guide back in late summer that Bert and Ernie were going to be claymation characters, but until this morning I hadn't seen a segment featuring the new twist. I am not loving it. Oh the voices are the same, but I think it totally detracts from the show. If all the other characters are going to stay as puppets, why make Bert and Ernie into something else? So Sesame Street Workshop, I am saddened with you today. Please bring back Bert and Ernie the way they used to be.

And that concludes my Monday morning rant. You can go back to your regularly scheduled day.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

When the blog takes a backseat

My blog has taken a backseat to life lately. I've been reading blogs in my Google Reader, but barely have time to comment on them without someone screaming for my attention. And in all honesty, I don't have a whole lot to say (hush Auntie Nettie!) that doesn't involve my children and their craziness. Like right now~Drew is asleep but the twins are in their cribs yelling and running around. Seems a bit off, right? Exactly my point.

I love my blog and the friends I've made from it. I love reading other blogs. What I don't love is how much of a time warp blogging can be. I can easily ignore my children and their pleas for attention, the laundry that is piling up and the dishes that need to be put away for a little bit of time. But not every day and not all day long. I've been trying to avoid my computer a little bit more and giving my attention back to my family. Yes, I know, I blog FOR ME. I really do. I'm sure that my venting about my kids is boring to some, and that is fine with me. I blog so that I can get some things out of my head and onto "paper". Blogging helps me unwind a bit and relax. But I have to take a small step back and take a break. I'll still be blogging, just not every day. Maybe not even every other day, unless I've got something great to talk about. And maybe tomorrow I'll feel completely different than I do today.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Friendship: The state of being a friend; a friendly relation or intimacy; friendly feeling or disposition.

In my last post I talked about getting in touch with my old college roommate via Facebook. On Wednesday, she called me after we emailed back and forth several times. She now lives in Sweden, with her four children (three girls and a boy, just like me). I think it's been easily 10 years since we have spoken on the phone. I have moved numerous times since leaving college and so has she. She knew of the birth of Meg and Drew, but for some reason I never sent an announcement about the twins, or if I did, it never arrived. Talking with her on the phone for an hour and a half was probably the nicest thing I've done for myself in a long time. We laughed so hard, talking about our kids and our lives, and remembering some of the silliness of college. We talked about where some of our mutual friends are and of those that fell off the face of the earth. For me it was like all those years just melted away and it had only been a short time since we'd been in touch. Our friendship is so precious and I'm thrilled we have rekindled it.

In a few short weeks, I'll be meeting some new friends. I'm heading to New York City and New Jersey for a girls weekend. My first stop will be NYC and I'm so happy to be visiting with my oldest friend, Auntie Nettie. It's been a ridiculous FIVE YEARS since we've seen each other and I can't wait to spend some time with her. It certainly won't be enough and we'll have to get together again sooner rather than later (cough cough Nettie, you're tagged for a trip northward), but I am loving my husband for offering to take the kids for extra time so I can go stay with her.

The second leg of my trip is to New Jersey to meet some brand new friends: AndreAnna, Cass, Kellie and Robyn. AndreAnna invited us all to meet for the first time to celebrate her birthday. I was so thrilled to be invited that I immediately told Doug was I going without even thinking that I DON'T EVEN KNOW THESE PEOPLE!?!?!? But after some thought, I realized that I do know them, just in a different way. We write our blogs, comment on each other's blogs, email or IM each other, pretty much daily. We found that we connect on so many different levels. We're friends. It doesn't matter that we met thru blogs. What does matter is that we became friends. We entrust each other with our thoughts and feelings. We're there for each other when we're up or down. If that isn't real friendship, then I don't know what is. I'm excited and nervous for the trip. It will be like a first date for us all~what to wear, how to act, will they like me in person. But it's also thrilling. I love putting a face to a voice, even if it's a written voice. I love having friends.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I'm giggling like a little girl

Things that are making me happy right now:

1. The Red Sox beat the Angels, moving them to the ALCS. The ALCS starts on Friday night, leaving me with 3 whole nights of decent sleep. The ALDS had us up until 1:30 am. That is NOT conducive to good parenting. Trust me.

2. My husband made my pot of coffee this morning AND took Meg to school, leaving me to lounge around. Ha.

3. Facebook. I know, right? Well last night Facebook brought me a friend I haven't seen in 14 years. My college roommate. We last saw each other at graduation, as she was heading back to Germany. We were roommates our freshman, junior and senior years (she spent our sophomore year at the Sorbonne in France). I remember crying my eyes out knowing that we'd probably never see each other again. We kept in touch periodically at first, but with marriages, kids and moving, we lost touch. Last night she found me on Facebook and I've been giggling ever since.

4. Fall. Really, what more can I say.

5. I'm going to NYC and NJ in a month. I'll blog more about it later. It deserves a full post.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Can't always get what you want

When Meg was little, I would periodically buy her things when we were out shopping. Not big things, but a small toy or a box of animal crackers, or some new clothes. While I wasn't careful with what I spent, I never went overboard. After all, how much could one small child need.

When Drew came along, he was the recipient of all of Meg's old toys that she had outgrown. She had Barbies, Polly Pockets and other toys to keep her occupied, so Drew received a plethora of toys that were new to him. Oh sure, he got a few new things here and there, but mostly for birthdays or Christmas. With two kids, and a large collection of toys, it seemed silly to get more things. After all, how much could two kids really need.

Annie and Izzie get the shaft. Luckily, they are young enough not to care a bit about what they have to play with, as long as they have something. It's not upsetting to me not to buy them new things, because holy cow do we have enough plastic toys and stuffed animals to fill a cargo plane. Every so often I cart a bunch of the toys that they no longer use to the basement, but my living room is still overflowing. Really, they have plenty.

I say all this because for Christmas last year, Drew asked Santa for a big boy bike. Santa was happy to oblige, but because we live in the north country (and if you've read me long enough, you know we got over 100 inches of snow last winter), the present had to wait for more favorable riding conditions. Today Santa finally got Drew his big boy bike. It's a Spiderman bike, with training wheels, and he loves it. I couldn't be happier for him, since Doug accidentally ran over his tricycle and he was riding Meg's old two wheeler with training wheels, and pastel ribbons and a white basket.

Meg was beside herself that Drew was getting something and she wasn't. She had a full on temper tantrum, complete with throwing her shoes and screeching at the top of her lungs. It was charming to watch. She has a wonderful new bike, without training wheels, that she refuses to learn to ride. She has had this bike for a year and a half and has ridden it maybe a dozen times. I reminded her of that, and also reminded her that starting Friday night, she'll be playing hockey for 6 months (at a significant cost) while Drew will be home with me. There was no reasoning with her. All she saw was the unfairness of it, even though Drew's bike was actually a belated Christmas present. I finally just told her that she can't always get what she wants, and that she essentially needed to stop acting like a spoiled brat. When that didn't work, I just came in the house and ignored her for awhile. She finally got over herself.

If someone can tell me when kids will stop being so self centered and actually look around and listen to what we're saying, I'd love to hear it. Of course I'm sure that all my little purchases for her over the years have completely set her up to be a spoiled little girl, so I blame myself for it all. But still, it wasn't about her and it made me disappointed that she couldn't see past the end of her nose and be happy for Drew.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


When I first had a child, I read the important books, like "What to Expect the First Year" and I subscribed to several parenting magazines. I was warned, often, to use the word "no" judiciously. When Meg was little, I was very aware of how often I said no to her. I tried using other ways of telling her not to do something, without using the word no as often as I felt I should. Redirecting her worked well for some things, but not all of them. I stuck to the same tact with Drew, figuring that I could adjust as the situations arose.

Now that I have Annie and Izzie and they're in the "curious" stage, I am finding myself out of options. They do not do well with being redirected; they find it to be a game. If I remove them from the couch during a game of "bad baby" (which is the game where one of them yells baby baby and the climb on the furniture and run on it), the immediately get back up on the couch. It is a scenario I repeat about a gazillion times a day. They are too little for a timeout. They are like little firecrackers, always going off somewhere and getting them to stay seated in anything other than their highchairs is a challenge.

So I have become friendly with the word "no". Maybe friendly isn't the word. I say no all damn day long. And guess what? That doesn't work either. I spend my days saying the same things over and over, and nothing changes. I have to say the kids' names a million times just to get their attention. When I do speak to them, I can actually see what I'm saying going in one ear and out the other. If they could all read, I would just hold up placards with the most commonly used phrases and force them to stop what they are doing and read what it is I wanted to say. My mom told me she saw a segment on the Today show that said that it takes 21 days to get a child to change behavior. I've been trying to change behavior with Meg for 4 years. I am thinking I must be doing something wrong.

I always thought I would make a good parent. These days though, I am finding that not being able to discipline my children properly makes me question my abilities. I have set rules that absolutely do not get followed. I should take a photo of my rule/chore chart that is posted in the kitchen and post it here sometime. Timeouts do not work; the kids put up such a stink that timeouts don't stop the bad behavior, but instead become a frustrating mess. My kids throw toys, they hit each other, they take toys from each other. And nothing, not the word no, nothing stops them. I don't feel like a good parent at all.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I went to Fenway Park and all I got was a lousy pretzel

Well, and a hot coffee too.

Our anniversary trip to Fenway Park on Saturday to see the New York Yankees was a bust. It was our first time seeing the Bronx Bombers, but not our first time to Fenway. Thank goodness, because I would have been seriously ticked off if my first trip to Fenway ended in a rainout. Our seats were awesome. We didn't see a single player. Well, we saw Paul Byrd in the player parking lot, probably calling someone to come get him since it was POURING. Doug and our friend Gary did get to meet, and shake hands with, Theo Epstein (for those of you who don't follow baseball and/or Red Sox, he is the General Manager, and he's HOT). My camera was of course packed away at that point, but he didn't seem much in the mood for photos anyway.

I did manage to take these though:

Oh, and I had to take this picture at the Hampton tolls in New Hampshire. Notice the car. It's a Beamer. The youngster driving it didn't appear intoxicated, but he certainly didn't know how to drive:
In all it was a good weekend. Too bad we didn't get to see a baseball game, even if it didn't matter for the playoffs.