Thursday, February 25, 2010

Always doing

I just lamented on Twitter that I hadn't done anything productive today other than assemble dinner in the crock pot. It's not totally true~I've gotten 4 kids dressed, one out the door for school, squelched 3 tantrums, made a lunch and got a backpack organized, checked the balance of my bank account, cleaned up the kitchen table, fed kids snack, sent a couple of emails.

Yet I feel like I should be "doing" something all the time and I don't know why I feel this way. Right now the kids are watching a Dora video which allows me time to compose this blog post, but in my mind I can hear the following: more laundry to wash, the cat boxes are overflowing (again), the dishwasher that was run this morning needs to be emptied and refilled, the kitchen island is lost among a sea of papers and needs to be found, the living room floor needs to be vacuumed. I'm not sure why I feel like I can't enjoy a bit of time to relax, a bit of time when the kids aren't screeching at each other, hitting each other with crayons/toys/books or climbing up on me yelling that "they're being MEAN to me AGAIN Mommy".

I feel like I should have a sparkling clean house AND personality when Doug comes home from work, when quite frankly I don't always want to. And honestly, most days I am not all sunshine and smiles when he gets home. He's well aware of what goes on here during the course of the day. He got to witness the tri-tantrum tournament here yesterday afternoon while I was gone for 45 minutes to get Meg from the bus and run to the grocery store. Some days just attempting to smile is all I can do, when I'd rather curl up in a corner and cry while my children beat on each other.

My 20 minutes of "not doing" are up. Back to doing.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


When you have kids, time is measured by their milestones. Sleeping through the night. Eating solids. Smiling. Time is all relative; no child reaches those milestones at the same time as their siblings. Meg got her first tooth when she was 4 months old. Drew's was closer to 8 months and quite frankly, I can't remember when the girls got their teeth, but I know Annie was first. Annie was walking at 10 1/2 months; Izzie was almost 15 months old.

Having twins makes milestones a little bit different. The girls are not identical. Annie is 3 inches taller than Izzie and 5 pounds heavier. Izzie speaks better than Annie. Annie's hair is darker than Izzie's. Annie is using a booster seat in the car, but Izzie is still too little to do so.

However, having twins also means that some milestones have to be attempted simultaneously. We took them both out of their cribs and put them in toddler beds at the same time. We started potty training them at the same time. They stopped drinking out of sippy cups and drink out of "big kid cups" at the same time. We are quite fortunate that they WANT to do these things together. They cheer for the other when they a)poop on the potty, b) zip their own coat c) put on their own socks.

It all seems like it's happening so fast. Two months ago, they were both still in diapers all day long. Now, they're both wearing undies and Izzie is waking up DRY in the morning (in a pull-up no less); Annie is getting closer to that milestone every day. Two months ago I was still zipping both their coats and now they either help each other or do it themselves. Two months ago we were still giving them sippy cups because they were still throwing them on the floor for fun. Now the each drink carefully from a cup.

I don't think this would bother me as much if all these milestones weren't the last milestones that I'll be seeing at this age. I won't have to potty train anymore. I won't have to get another child out of a crib. Part of me rejoices at this, of course, but part of me is sad that it's over. My babies aren't babies. I have four kids. Now my blog name finally means something.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Diary of a Hockey Mom

Hockey season is long. Very long. It starts in October, with 6 am practices on Saturdays. Six am practices mean my daughter and husband leave our house at 5 am. On a Saturday. If I am lucky, the other kids sleep through the garage door opening and closing when they leave. Drew's hockey is at a fixed time of 11 each Saturday from October to December, then again in January thru mid-March. Doug is on the ice for all of Meg's games and practices as the assistant coach and is the head of the program Drew skates in. I spent lots of time alone with the children.

I am not always able to attend the hockey games that Meg plays in. I am not about to pull my sleeping children from bed to leave our house at 5 or 6 am to watch her play. I am grateful that she understands that. We went to many of her Tuesday evening games back in the fall, but it was a huge strain on me and the other kids, as the games were during their bedtime. She had a local tournament over Christmas break and my awesome sister-in-law watched the girls and Drew so that I could enjoy a couple of games without kids running off or climbing up and down the concrete steps and making me nuts.

Over Valentine's weekend Meg had a tournament up north. Originally my parents were going to attend with us, but the stress of sleeping 6 people in a room with 2 double beds got to me and they offered to stay home and keep the girls with them. Let me sum up the weekend for you a-la Mastercard:

Two night stay in an ok-Ramada in Bangor, Maine~ $200

Hats, t-shirts, food, lots of coffee (ice rinks are COLD!)~ $200

Seeing my kid score her first goal in a full-ice game~PRICELESS

Being a hockey parent (and not just mom) means lots of sacrifices~missed family dinners, rushed homework, incredibly stinky clothes to wash. But there is NOTHING like seeing your child score a goal, her first goal, to make you realize that it IS all worth it. I was so proud of her, and her teammates (who tried for 2 1/2 games to help her get that goal), and it made for an awesome weekend.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Happy Thoughts

While many of my friends are being buried under feet of snow, I sit here staring out my window at patches of grass in my yard. Don't get me wrong, we still have snow, but not the snow we should have. After all, it is February, and I do live in Maine. Global warming isn't real? I beg to differ.

I am a little ball of stress these days, between the whinings of the 9 year old, the 5 year old and the 3 year olds. I live the life of "same shit, different day" and it's taking a toll on my sanity. Instead of blogging about it all, I'm going to write down some things that make me happy in spite of all the crap that I have to deal with.

1. My girls are officially signed up for preschool in the fall.

2. Izzie likes to walk around singing Sheldon's "Soft Kitty". Wait, you don't know "Soft Kitty"? Here it is:

It is seriously the cutest thing, evah. I don't have a video camera or I'd definitely share it. Next, I think I'll teach her to sing "Smelly Cat".

3. The girls like to count. I guess on Meg's birthday, they were counting the hearts on the tablecloth with my mom, and Annie added her two favorite numbers: pinkteen and purpleteen.

4. Drew's preschool class was talking about who their Valentine was this year. He said his Daddy. I cried a little (dude, what about me?) but thought it was so cute. And his Daddy was pretty darn happy.

5. Football is over. It's almost Red Sox season!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


The noise level in the house is different when Doug is home during the week. The kids climb all over him when he's sitting down, like they haven't seen him for years. They fight over who is going to go with Daddy to the dump or the grocery store. They play together better when he is around.

The tension I carry in my neck, shoulders and back releases when Doug is home during the week. I feel like a different person knowing that at least for one day, the daily responsibilities are not all mine to bear. I leave the house on these days, usually to volunteer for a couple of hours in Meg's classroom, or actually run errands (which I never do when I'm home with 2 or 3 of the kids during the week as it's just too stressful). I come home feeling refreshed, happy, less anxious. It's a nice feeling, a different feeling from how I feel the rest of the week.

I told him last night that it actually bothers me deeply that the kids are better behaved when he is around. I'm not mad at him about it. I'm just sad that the air in the house is so much more negatively charged when he is at work. I want to bottle some of the positively charged air when he's here and sprinkle it on the kids when he's at work that they can be nicer to each other and to me. The days of Daddy at home during the week won't last too much longer (for which I'm happy, yet sad) and it would be lovely to find a way too keep some of the happiness that comes from him being around. Because certainly if I feel it, the kids feel it too.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Cake Central

I am so darn glad the kids' birthdays are over. I've baked and decorated 5 cakes in the last 4 weeks (Drew had 2 parties, one with family and one with friends). This year I went a different route with the cakes~no cake pans allowed. So Google was my friend for inspiration and the kids got the following cakes to celebrate their birthdays:

Drew's theme was PIRATE of course. Thanks to Doug for decorating this!

The girls' party was PRINCESS themed (not Disney) so I created crowns for them

Meg's party was HEART themed. She helped decorate

So it was nothing extravagant this year. The cakes were relatively easy to make and decorate, I didn't spend a ton of money or lose my mind with a thousand different frosting colors to tint. The cakes are all the same~homemade marble cake that is so delicious (thank you Better Homes and Gardens cookbook). Now I just have 10 more months to come up with the next cake idea.