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.