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.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Ten Years Ago Today

if the sun refused to shine
i would still be loving you
when mountains crumble to the sea
there will still be you and me
"Thank You" Led Zeppelin

Those are the lyrics to the song Doug and I danced to as our first dance at our wedding ten years ago today. It was a gorgeous fall day. We had a beautiful church ceremony, then a wonderful outdoor reception. It was a day to remember.

It's hard to believe that ten years have gone by. It's like I blinked and here we are, ten years later. We're older, grayer, parents to four beautiful children. We've owned three homes, several cars, gone to Italy. We've laughed, cried, folded laundry, bathed children, changed dirty diapers together. I can't imagine doing those things with anyone else. So tonight we'll go to our favorite restaurant to celebrate and tomorrow we'll attempt to take in a Red Sox~Yankees game if the weather holds. I wouldn't want to be doing anything else.

Happy Anniversary honey. I love you.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

He's not old. He's 37.

One of my first dates with Doug 17 years ago took place at his home. He said we were going to watch a movie. He handed me a book and said "follow along". The book was the script for Monty Python's Search for the Holy Grail. I knew nothing of Monty Python. I loved anything to do with King Arthur, Lancelot, the Knights of the Round Table however. If you know nothing of Monty Python and this movie, watch this and enjoy the absolute ridiculousness that is some of this movie. :

Anyway, there is one line when King Arthur is visiting the countryside recruiting knights for the Round Table and he meets Dennis. Arthur calls him an "old woman" and after getting his gender straightened out, Dennis tells Arthur "I'm not old, I'm 37". Doug and I find that line absolutely hysterical. And today is applies even more, because my husband is 37. So stop by and wish him a happy birthday. He reads the blog and the comments. And hopefully he doesn't mind that I'm throwing this out there.

So to you my husband. You're not old. You're 37. And you're the best. I love you so much!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Like my new camera????? It's the Canon Rebel XSi. I lurve it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Taking the wind out of their sails

The twins have a new game. It's the stripper game. It's a game where they remove all their clothes and diapers and run around in their cribs. And pee on their sheets. Or poop, as the case may be. It is not my kind of game. I prefer Candy Land. Fully clothed Candy Land.

Last night when we thought the girls were asleep, Annie started screeching at the top of her lungs. Doug went to investigate, and found her laying naked, in poo. GROSS. Then, upon further examination, he found Izzie sans pants and diaper, almost asleep. Um, what gives? I know I should be proud of the fact that they can take off their shirts and pants. And I am. However, I would LOVE LOVE LOVE it if they would refrain from having bodily functions in their cribs. Ugh.

So today I figured that two can play that game (or three). The girls are wearing long sleeve onesies that snap at the crotch. HA. And they are wearing overalls. Double HA. It is now naptime. I will go investigate and see if they are still clothed. This new solution does put me in a bit of a bind; they only have so many pair of overalls. Of course if it doesn't work, I'm just duct taping their clothes on them and calling it good. See AndreAnna, duct tape is a perfectly fine solution to your problems.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Coming out of the dark

This whole attitude adjustment I've been talking about has been a huge wake up call for me. Not only have I been living in a pity party, I also haven't been LIVING. The daily caring for four children, a cat, a house and a spouse has pushed my life into the background. Honestly, blogging has been the only thing I've done for myself in a long time. It gives me a chance to escape the duties of my life and focus on friends. Sure, I have to fit it in among dinner, dishes, laundry, changing diapers, escaping kids, bickering children, but I DO IT. I certainly can't say that about other facets of my life.

So, on Saturday I went to scrapbook with my friend Angie. It was so nice to have a few hours without my family to regroup and spend time with her (and all her customers too). Sadly, I had a snafu and LEFT MY PICTURES HERE and my loving husband kindly drove the 40 minutes to bring them to me (I felt so bad asking, but it turned out I had his wallet in my pocketbook!). I got Meg's baby album almost complete (mind you, she'll be 8 in January) and I worked a bit on Drew's baby album. I came home feeling refreshed.

Sunday I woke up less stressed and lighter than I have in a long time. Coming to the realization that I have to take time for me and enjoy it has been so good for me. The guilt is starting to wash away. I can't be a good wife or mother if I can't be good to myself. I'm sure that there will be days when things are dark and gloomy, but right now it feels so good to be coming out of the dark.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Toast to Jess and Torsten

Jess is getting married. Swistle is part of a group hosting a Virtual Bridal Shower for Jess and her fiance Torsten. Right now Jess and Torsten are at a surprise real life bridal shower, and when they return home, there will be lovely posts awaiting them. If you want to participate, post a toast to Jess and Torsten on your blog, and email Swistle (swistle at and she will link you. Go. Have fun.

For Jess and Torsten:

Congratulations. What a wonderful adventure you're about to embark upon. Enjoy the ride. It has ups and downs, as with everything in life. But hold onto each other. Take each other by the hand and jump in feet first. Smile. Laugh. Cry. Just make sure you do it together.

Wishing you all the happiness in the world

Kristin and Doug (celebrating our 10th anniversary this Friday, September 26th)

Friday, September 19, 2008

For Women Everywhere

My friend Cass is donating $3 to breast cancer research for every comment she receives on her blog. Go. Comment. Help save a life.

Waiting for a pin to drop

I am waiting, rather impatiently, for the twins to fall asleep. They have been in their cribs for over an hour. I have been up to their room a half dozen times to put their )*$(#$* pants back on, give them their blankets and stuffies that they launch over the side of their crib EVERY.SINGLE.NAPTIME. Drew is sound asleep and has been for over an hour. You can see where this is going. They will finally fall asleep and he will get up and I will have done nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero. I cannot concentrate when I can hear the girls being wild over the monitor. Doug says I should turn it off. However, in the last two days, Izzie has tried unsuccessfully to climb over her crib into Annie's and Annie has gotten her arm stuck behind her crib. So, ignoring them is not the answer.

There is something so calming about naptime (when the kids are sleeping that is). It is the only time of the day where I breathe. I can almost feel the tension wash away when there is silence over the baby monitor. Sometimes I do some cleaning or laundry, and other times I do nothing. I wander the house enjoying the blissful silence. I read blogs without hearing someone screaming over a stolen toy. I tidy up a bit. I finish my lunch, which never happens at the actual meal.

Today though, my blood pressure is rising, as the girls are going on an hour and a half without settling down. I just checked on them, but left them pantless. That will come back to bite me I'm sure, but I'm frustrated and fed up. I think I'll buy them more overalls that they can't get out of. That will teach them.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Failings and Recoveries

I had an attitude adjustment FAIL this morning. I should have known when I woke up tired that practicing what I was preaching might be a tad difficult. I had lots of "moments" with the three today that just about put me in the nuthouse. Doug sent me an email reminding me to think happy thoughts, to which I replied "duck happy thoughts" (or something that rhymes with duck). I did manage to get all three kids down for a nap, after putting Annie's and Izzie's pants back on them 5 times each (I think I'm raising strippers!) and got to take some breaths.

This afternoon was much better. I took time to notice the adorable things the twins were doing and they were nice enough not to run on the furniture. Izzie is saying lots of fun things these days, like "mato, ummy" (tomato, yummy), or other foods, followed by "ummy". She was looking at books today and hugging the pages of her favorite things~cats, dogs, horses, bears. Annie was just staring at a book that had dolls in strollers and was just mesmerized by the picture.

And tonight, ALL FOUR kids ate the beef stroganoff dinner I made in the crockpot today. Izzie had 3 helpings, even if they were small ones. That is some sort of miracle that two 20 month olds ate beef stroganoff, right? Do I get a medal or something?

I can fail. It's ok. The best thing is that my attitude rebounded. There is hope for me yet.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Attitude Adjustment

Today was one of those days. You know, those days when NO ONE listens, wipes are strewn about the floor, books are pulled off the shelves, twins are running across the furniture yelling "bad baby", one twin pitched such a fit it lasted 30 minutes, blah, blah, blah I could go on and on. But instead, I actually took several deep breaths (which the twins found hilarious and practiced with me) and refocused my energies. I gave myself an attitude adjustment. Doug told me last night that the bitchy person I can tend to be isn't the person he fell in love with, and you know, he's right. The monotony which is my daily life can make me a bit, shall we say, irritable. But I don't want to be that person all the time. I want to smile, have fun, live life a little more. And it's all in the attitude. I can let the craziness of the days swallow me up, or I can remind myself that the insanity can't possibly last forever (right? RIGHT?) and that things will improve. I realized I've been wallowing in the pity party I've thrown for myself and quite frankly, I'm bored with it. No one likes a downer. I don't like the person I've become. I'm sure my sour attitude is seen by my friends and family. Ack. That is just no good.

So let's hope that I remember this tomorrow, when the kids are making me nuts and there are dishes in the sink and laundry to be put away. Maybe my attitude adjustment will rub off on the kiddos, too.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Friends: Lost and Found

I am not particularly good at making friends. I have a few friends, some of whom have been friends for a very long time. And I have some new friends too that I really like. Given that I have four kids and I don't get out often, they are incredibly tolerant of my schedule and are willing to come to me for visits. For that I am grateful.

I ran into someone who used to be my friend last night. Our husbands play hockey together, and it was family night at the semifinal game. While it was nice to see her, it was awkward and sad for me. She and I were incredibly good friends. Her youngest daughter is only 3 months older than Meg and the girls were inseparable. We lived in the same neighborhood; actually, that is why we bought our house there. Our families spent a ton of time together. But a few years ago, she stopped returning my phone calls to have the girls play together or just to chat. I kept trying for quite a while, but finally stopped making the effort to call. Walking away from a friendship is not something I do easily. I have really only done it twice before, and am still sad about those. Seeing her last night stirred up memories of the good times we used to have. Her daughter wouldn't even talk to Meg and Meg seemed sad too. I don't look at this situation as a "what did I do wrong" kind of a situation. I know that she turned away from me, not the other way around. Still, it's sad when relationships just fade away like that.

I've found new friends though. They're here, on the internet, through this blog. Only one of my readers is a friend in real life (she is my oldest and dearest friend), but soon I'll be meeting a couple of bloggers and I'm really looking forward to that. I email or chat with a few bloggers and it's fun. It's a different kind of friendship, the one I've formed through my blog. There is something about the tiny bit of anonymity that we have when we write. Even though I don't use fictitious names, I can't say that I let everything about me come out thru my writing. I've said before I don't write about everything. I leave my marriage out of my blog for the most part, and I hate talking about money or politics or things like that. I suppose some of my hesitation to reveal so much is that fear of getting hurt; what if I say something and people stop reading? What if I say just the wrong thing and my friends inadvertently get hurt? That said, I do know that I have new friends and ones that I am so happy to have. They help me when I'm down, they encourage me, they make me smile. And for that, I'm grateful.

Friday, September 12, 2008


That is the sound of me, feeling deflated. The last couple of days have been, well, sucky. My three younger children do not listen to me. EVER. I have to say, nay yell, Drew's name a gazillion times before he even turns his head to pay any attention to me. When I tell one of the twins to get down from the couch, I get a "no" and they continue on doing whatever it was they were doing. If I remove them from the couch, they climb right back on and keep playing. I am totally spinning my wheels and I am getting more frustrated and deflated by the minute. If I ignore the bad behavior, they don't get bored at all. If I call them on it, they just ignore me. What is a mama to do? I try time-outs with Drew, but he continues the bad behavior. The kids don't watch much, if any tv (that is a whole other post about what tv does to my kids), so taking it away doesn't matter to them. I am not saying that Meg is perfect. She is far from it, and I know that is why the other kids act so badly all the time. As the oldest, we put a lot of pressure on her to be a good example for her younger siblings. We have a House Rules list so that she knows what is expected of her. She has a Daily Chores chart. Yet she pays attention to NONE of it, so the others don't feel they need to pay attention to it, and then me, either. I know the twins are only 20 months old (!) and trying to figure out what they can and can't do. But somewhere along the way, I've turned into a raging lunatic who is always yelling and fighting with my kids. I just want some respect. Why is that too much to ask?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Free time. Now what?

Right now, my three youngest children are sleeping. My oldest is of course at school, loving every second of second grade. This naptime phenomenon is quite unusual here. The twins do take an afternoon nap everyday, but Drew hasn't napped since he was 2 1/2. Today however, he is under the weather (because of course it was his second day of preschool) and I had to keep him home. He had a horrible night of sleep; he was awake every hour or so crying and today he is all stuffy. I digress. I have a good two hours of uninterrupted time before me, and I am at a loss as to what to do with it. Oh, I'll load the dishwasher and run it, and I have mountains of laundry to fold. I am breathing a little easier right now, as the kids were all crazy this morning and not listening and the good feelings I had after walking on the treadmill vanished pretty quickly. My cat is at my feet keeping them warm and I am relaxing. I could easily sit here until someone wakes up, reading blogs and the news. But today I think I'll be productive. I am going to use my free time wisely. Because soon everyone will be up, my dad will be here with Meg and the usual afternoon chaos will take over the house. I might as well enjoy my free time while I can.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Dodging bullets

Meg had an appointment with an orthodontist for an evaluation today. At her checkup in June, the dentist recommended we go because she has "crowding". Um, yup, she has crowding~ a row of "shark teeth" behind her permanent and baby teeth. She has two shark teeth, one that is behind a newly loose tooth, and one that should be moving forward where a baby tooth fell out. It however has taken up what may be a permanent residence just a bit behind where it belongs.

Anyway, after a rather long wait, Meg was checked out and my conversation with the orthodontist went something like this: "She'll be a patient of mine, but not for another few years." Angels appeared above me and sang the Hallelujah Chorus. Rainbows appeared and puppies sprang from the drawers. We don't have dental insurance. Even if we did, most dental insurance does NOT cover for orthodontics. The thought of putting money into a mouth that is still growing (ha, that's funny) for a child who is 7 filled me with dread. So now we get to figure out how exactly we'll pay for braces down the road. Unless of course one of the fairies in the books we read comes to life and grants her straight teeth. Yeah, right.

Annie had an interesting weekend. On Friday night we were outside in the mosquito infested yard. Doug and the older kids were playing soccer, Izzie was running rampant and Annie wandered down to the wagon and climbed in. My front yard is flat, until it drops off to the rock wall we have. You see where I'm going, don't you? Apparently the wagon was a bit close to the slope, and when I looked up from blowing bubbles, she was going backwards down the hill, right for the rocks. My screams to "GET ANNIE" didn't help, and instead caused Meg and Izzie to burst into tears. Doug scooped her up after the wagon dumped her backward onto the rocks. Luckily, she wasn't very hurt except for the little egg on the back of her head and she kept on happily playing. One bullet dodged.

Since her escapades on Friday night didn't scare her, Annie tried something new on Sunday afternoon while I was out. We have been trying to teach the girls to come down the stairs on their bottoms, and they are eager learners. They are just too heavy for me to carry comfortably down the stairs, and I would LOVE to get rid of our baby gates. Annie decided that going down on her bum wasn't fast enough and she tried to walk. Doug said her caught her mid-air before her face met the stairs for a second time. Poor thing split her lip on the inside, and somehow managed not to bit completely thru her bottom lip. I got home for the screams, and am happy I missed the incident itself. Doug is completely traumatized by what happened, but I am not freaked out about it at all, which he cannot understand. I keep telling him that accidents happen. He was right there with her, watching both of the girls. This kind of stuff is going to happen. While I have eyes in the back of my head, I do not have more than two arms hiding someplace. There isn't anything he could have done and she is perfectly happy and healthy.

Drew started preschool today. It's his second year at this school. He has been driving me nuts asking me when he could go back for a week. Last year when we took him for the first day I came home and cried. He had a hard first couple of months adjusting to being 2 1/2, in school for the first time, away from his mama. Today though, he practically ran up the driveway to school and we both said a really happy goodbye. He had a great morning and can't wait to go back on Thursday. What a difference a year makes.

Izzie is going thru some sort of a phase. It's a crying phase. It's a hitting, toy stealing, screaming phase. She doesn't like to be hugged when she's angry. She wants to throw herself on the ground and scream. So, I'm letting her throw herself on the ground and scream. Which of course makes her scream more because I am ignoring her as long as she isn't in harm's way. I think part of her issue is that she wants to say SO MUCH and still doesn't have all the words. She'll get there, but for now I try to deal with her frustration as best I can.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Is that Fall I smell?

I have a pumpkin spice candle burning in the kitchen right now. I only burn candles in the fall and winter. We had the air conditioners on all day today. It's been hot and humid. But tonight, the humidity broke and I opened the windows and we breathed in some fresh air. I am hoping we've seen the last of the humidity and Fall really is on its way.

For me, Fall is the best season. Yes, I know Spring is all about renewal and rebirth and flowers and all that good stuff, but there is something about Fall that transcends that for me. I suppose that my hatred of heat and humidity has something to do with that. But it's also the crispness in the air, the falling leaves, and the ability to walk around without roasting that I love. Fall also makes me tense. It's the season where I try to do too much and be everything to everyone. It's the season that brings Halloween, Thanksgiving, then Christmas, and the onset of my kids' birthdays. While I love all those things, I also dread them because I hype them up in my mind to the point that everything is a disappointment. I don't know why I do this to myself. I want perfect photo opportunities that never happen, I want the food I make to turn out "just so" and when that doesn't happen, I get frustrated. I am not one to just take it all in and enjoy the day or the event as it unfolds. I try to make everyone happy, but I end up being miserable. Does this make sense?

I don't know why this happens to me in Fall. I think it happens partially because I've always loved the holidays in the fall and want to recreate the warmth of those events for my family (and don't get me started on how ridiculously perfect I try to make Christmas). I want the kids to love those events or trips we take to pick pumpkins or apples and when they don't, I'm disappointed. I am hoping that this Fall I can take a step back and appreciate what my family does see in Fall, and maybe not make it all about what I see in it. It would be great to just enjoy the season and my kids and relax a little. Maybe for me Fall can be about letting go of some expectations.

Friday, September 5, 2008


I treasure reading with Meg every night. It's just the two of us, snuggling on the couch, reading the latest fairy adventure in our fairy series, or more about Mary and Laura, or the Penderwicks. It is the only time we get together in the day, just the two of us, and I hate when we miss nights.

I treasure the very brief quiet time I get with Drew during the day. It's an odd thing; I desperately want a break from him when the girls are napping, but I also love just sitting with him and watching tv, or reading to him. I treasure watching him play with his cars (I'm not allowed to interact lest I ruin the city).

I treasure hugs and kisses from Izzie. She usually shrugs me off when I attempt to kiss her, so the random hugs and kisses that she bestows upon me make me smile. They usually happen when I'm sitting on the floor watching her run around yelling "bubsies!" (butterflies) and she comes running over, flings herself on me and gives hugs.

I treasure Annie's smile. She has a smile that lights up her face, and the room. She is a genuinely happy little girl, so we see lots of smiles. I love watching her hug her puppers (a pink and white stuffed dog) and carrying around her blanket, happy as can be.

I treasure my alone time with Doug. We sit together watching tv, sometimes not even talking, but we're together and that is what matters. I treasure the times when we get to go out to our favorite place for pizza and a glass of wine and we talk about the kids, or our future. We still hold hands when we go out, even after all these years. I wish we had more of those times these days, but I treasure the ones we do have.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I don't crave that many things, really. But the cravings I have are intense. Like if I just got what I wanted for a bit, I would be so amazingly happy. I crave silence. With four children, silence is incredibly hard to come by. When they are all in bed at night, sleeping, I barely speak to my poor husband. I am just so tired from talking all day long. I yell at my kids to get them to listen, they scream when they don't get what they want. They yell to be heard over the noise of their siblings. The twins don't have enough words to use yet, so they squeal and fuss when they don't get what they want.

I crave order. A house full of people is quite disorderly. Shoes for all seasons, toys, books, stuffed animals are everywhere. Mail, bills, magazines all over the island make me crazy. I have places for things, but no time to put them where they belong. The pile of things to be shredded is almost as high as the shredder itself. Dishes to be put into the dishwasher that was just run are all over the counter.

I crave patience. I would be a different Kristin if I were patient. I would give anything to have even a sliver more patience than I have today. I try so hard to breathe deep and take my time with the kids. But without order and some silence, well patience is hard to come by.

I crave the ability to take time for myself without feeling guilty. I have years of scrapbooking to catch up on, but when I think of heading to my basement workshop, I feel like I'm taking time away from my husband, or my kids. When I go for coffee with a girlfriend, I make it quick so that I'm not away from my family too long. I just want to be able to do things and enjoy them.

Most of all I crave balance. I am a wife, mother, friend. Those three things don't balance out easily. The mother part of me takes up 99.99999% of my time, leaving very little time for the other parts of me. Maybe as the kids get older the balance will come. But right now life is completely out of balance and it is truly bothersome.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

And then there were three

School started today. WOOHOO! Ahem. Sorry. I'm down to having only three children clambering for my attention for 7 hours a day. Meg is a big 2nd grader now. As I told my brother, she is at the upper tier at her school, as it is only a K-2 school. She was quite nervous this morning, but came home happy and wants to go back tomorrow. Aren't 2nd graders cute?

For my part, I was very happy for her to go to school today. If you've read my blog this summer, you know that a) I had very sick kids for a good part of July, b) I was frustrated much of the time and c) that I've been sick for about 3 weeks now. I am also of the opinion that summer is completely overrated. Oh sure, a little vacation is good for the soul, but so much time with the kids all home makes us all nuts and wanting to get away from each other as fast as possible. I'm counting the hours until Drew's preschool starts next week.

I can't seem to shake what I thought was a sinus infection. I've had my time with the antibiotics, and now have a nasty cough that just lingers. Today I got the thrill of having a chest x-ray, and blood work to determine if I have pneumonia, or just bronchitis. Tomorrow I hope to have more details. And drugs. Good drugs.