Monday, January 30, 2012

"Mommy!"

I will admit this up front, this post is nothing but a shameless mommy gushing.  One of those little things you notice all of a sudden and it gives you so much joy and excitement, that you remember being a little kid waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve.

I don't remember when the boys first said the word "Mommy."  They knew it and used it when asked who I was, but it seemed like they never used it to refer to me.  Not unlike every step in their development, I wondered if it implied some developmental issue or meant that they were behind their age appropriate peers.

The progression came on gradually.  E-Dude would see me arrive to pick them up from daycare and would yell "Mommy!"  as he ran at me full speed.  He often made a point of telling any other adult in the vicinity that this was "My Mommy," just in case they came in too close.  I can't lie, these moments are some of the best of the day, they make the workday more worthwhile.

Just in the last few days  the word "Mommy" has exploded for the munchkins.  If I go to the store and return to the house, I am greeted with an enthusiastic, "Mommy!" as if I have been gone for days.  When I creep into the nursery in the morning, G-Man starts chanting, "Mommy, Mommy!"  Frustrations and tears and worries are now combined with a "Mommy" before a child is flinging himself into my arms for comfort.

Having waited so long for Mommy to become my name, so to speak, I was surprised that I only just realized this development.  It is like it snuck up on me and appeared all of a sudden.

While I know there will be days in the future when the repeated insistence of 'Mommy' will likely drive me batty, I hope that I can conjure up memories of today.  Memories of the swell of joy I feel in my heart when my sons call out for me and talk to me. 

How I love being Mommy!

Linking up with The Better Mom:

Thursday, January 26, 2012

But which one am I?

It has gone one for weeks now.

"Who is that?"
"Mommy."
"Who is that?"
"Daddy."
"Who is that?"
"E-Dude."
"Who are you?"
"E-Dude!"
"You are G-Man big boy!"

We have a bit of an identity complex here in the TwinSane Asylum.  Both boys think they are E-Dude.  If I ask their name, it is always E-Dude.  Point to one of them in the mirror, E-Dude.  Show them a picture of both of them?  Oh yes, you've got it "E-Dude!"

I never thought they would have trouble distinguishing themselves from one another.  After all, I use their names every day.  I point to their happy little faces in the mirror and repeat their own name, after we have a nonsensical conversation about Mommy in the mirror, of course. At the end of the day, I expect strangers to have a tough time telling them apart but I figured it ended there.

This development was completely unexpected.

With no clue how to approach it, I took the simple route.  The three of us would look in the mirror and I would point to myself and say "Mommy", point to E-Dude and say his name, then point to G-Man and say his name.

Every
Single
Day

for what felt like forever, but in reality was only a few weeks.  And today it happened.  I was quizzing them as they got dressed this morning.  Helping G-Man put on his shoes, I asked who I was, who his brother was, and finally, with a huge deep breath..."What's your name?"

Big toothy smile and response, "G-Man!"

Needless to say there was an impromptu dance party in the nursery as a follow up.  Now if only I can get them to hold up two fingers when I ask them how old they are....



Linking up with MOB Society.  Let's Hear it For the Boys!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Evolution of "No"

It started out as such a cute thing.  I would hold whatever offensive piece of food G-Man didn't want to eat up to his mouth and say"Try it for Mommy?"

Those sweet little lips would purse up in a pucker, his expressive eyes would squint shut, and just before he would turn his head away from the spoon, the pucker would turn into a grin as he said. "NOooooooo."  I would dutifully try all of the games from making the spoon an airplane to making exaggerated 'mmmmmm' noises while I sampled food from his plate.  No go.

His no was sweet and simple.  He simply did not want that particular meal (his tune would change considerably had I offered a banana!).  Little was I aware that the sweet little no would soon grow into a monster.

"G-Man, let's get a toy."

"No."

"We are going to have a bath and go Night Night."

"No."

"Let's put on your shoes so we can go in the car."

"No."

Awesome.

I get it.  All the parenting gurus and the been there done that parents (the REAL gurus) say that at this age, children are trying to exert their will and authority.  It is one of many steps of my children demonstrating their independence.  And, let's face it.  It is a giant pain in the butt.

I still get my sweet hugs and kisses, and there is no one better than Mommy to fix boo-boos and chase away the bad dreams.  Their little faces still light up brightly when I pick them up after work, or get them from their cribs in the morning.  They still think Mommy is the most awesome person on the planet. I am not complaining a bit.

Well...maybe a little.

There is a little twinge you feel when your child discovers the many uses of the word no.  Not like you are preparing for battle, but a full out war.  One where you know some day, you are going to break out the words you swore you would never say.  "Because I said so." or "I am your mother and you will do as I say!"

I can feel them lying dormant...ready to spring from my unsuspecting lips.

But not today.  Today, when I pick up my little G-Man my nostrils are greeted with a familiar and unpleasant odor emitting from his diaper.  Surprised that he hasn't announced the arrival of his toxic waste, I ask him.  "G-Man...do you have poops?"

He hesitates for a second and turns his precious little head to the right.  Looking at me from the corners of his eyes he answers: "Nooooooooooooooo."

Sunday, January 22, 2012

How would you like to go up in a swing?

On a beautiful 70 degree day in January, DH and I decided to take the boys to the park.

Out the front door, a familiar sight, but the newness of taking footsteps instead of a stroller ride.
"See Light?"
"See Car?"
"See Tree?"
"See Plane?"

Everything old, and yet new when you are exploring on your own feet, and not at the passive mercy of a stroller.  I loved the feel of the tiny hands curled around mine.  G-Man had grabbed a strong hold for security and held on tightly as we made the short walk down the road.  Everything seemed new.  Houses, dormant grass, birds flying overhead.

"Ok.  We have to stop and look left."
"LEF!"
"Now look right."
"Right!"

No cars and it was safe to cross the street.  2 excited little boys toddling along and dodging the big kids on bikes.  Daddy let go of E-Dude's hand and said "Want to go swing?"

That was enough for E-Dude.  Half skipping, half sprinting, he ran as fast as his little body allowed.  Hesitating for a moment, I released G-Man's hand and told him to go with brother.

Two little men.  Happy, joyous, and full of anticipation.  I followed behind and took in the delight of watching them run towards a goal together.  The 'baby; swings were empty and the boys loaded on.

"weeeeeeeeee!" followed by infectious giggles.

Up, down, and flying with happiness.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Deceptively Delicious or Yes, I am Tricking my Children Into Eating

When you first start teaching, veteran teachers tell you to pick your battles with the students.  Be firm, consistent, and swift with broken rules that affect the learning of any one student.  Also know which 'rule bends' aren't worth the disruption to the class. (For example-The kids started wearing the bracelets that said "Boobies."  I ignored it, as it wasn't offensive and didn't disrupt learning as it would if I made a fuss over it.  Our new principal actually got on announcements a few days later and told the students they didn't need to be wearing bracelets that said boobies.  Naturally there was an influx in the amount of boobie bracelets the next day. I was momentarily tempted to wear one myself.)

Not the best battle to pick.

Parenting isn't unlike teaching in that regard, but I find that while they are this little, most battles have to be fought.  How else do they know what is proper, correct, accepted, etc?

The boys are not fans of vegetables.

At all.  (unless of course you count french fries)

E-Dude is by far pickier than his brother as far as food is concerned. Meals he loves one day he throws to the eager and anticipatory dogs the next.  It has become a BATTLE.  Obviously, I don't want to force feed them food, because that isn't the answer in the long term.  We constantly reintroduce food and attempt to come up with clever ploys designed to get the boys to eat those dreaded vegetables.

They seem to have a built in vegetable detector which allows them to circumvent any veggies with which they come into contact.  It is simply astounding to witness those normally clumsy fingers picking out vegetables with the dexterity of a neurosurgeon.

As a mom, and as a person who once WAS a vegetarian, I don't want to see the boys eschew vegetables like this for fear it will become a lifetime choice.  (Yes, I even like brussel sprouts, so this vegetable hating is killing me)  In a moment of sheer desperation, I shredded some carrots and mixed them in with the spaghetti sauce.

G-Man chowed it down like it was the last food on earth.

Cue the overhead light bulb.

They just MIGHT eat what they cannot see.  This strategic plan, however, caused me significant grief.  Mainly that I didn't want to 'trick' my kids into eating food.  Due to a deception on my mother's part, I was once fed frog's legs under the guise that the drumstick shapes on my plate were 'hen's legs.'  I can honestly attest to the validity of the cliche that frog's legs do indeed taste like chicken.  For several years following I was none the wiser until I remarked to my parents that I would NEVER eat frog's legs.

I can still hear my mother giggling as she asked me if I remembered the time I ate hen's legs.   Only they were not hen's legs. 

The distinct sense of betrayal I felt as a tween has stayed with me throughout my adult life.  I didn't want to have to resort to trickery to get my children to eat something.The alternative of children who refuse to eat vegetables wasn't appealing either.

I tried dousing vegetables in ranch dressing, or ketchup, or any kind of sauce that might encourage an actual bite of veggie.  In response, I got two little boys who love ranch and ketchup so much, they will lick it off the vegetables and discard said veggies as if they were merely utensils.  No intentional ingestion of vegetables to be found there.

The other night I tried the disguised vegetable trick again.  I shredded carrots and zucchini, mixed it with eggs, cheese, and breadcrumbs to make a pancake.  Next to the pancakes I gave them some ranch dressing.  Before I knew it, E-Dude had devoured 2 of the pancakes and was begging for more.   G-Man was only a few bites behind. (Cue Angelic Choir)

 They ate vegetables and they loved it, only they don't know it. In my mommy desperation, I had begun sprinting down a road I never thought I would travel. We will continue to put traditional vegetables on the plate, in hopes that one day the boys will decide they like them.  In the meantime,  I have also been sneaking spinach into fruit smoothies as a treat, and they beg for their 'juice.'

Let the games begin!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sharing the Blog Love

One thing I LOVE to do is read other blogs, especially about Parenting and twins (duh!).  I found Michelle's site MaMe Musings almost right away and have been reading each day since.  Her posts are full of joy, kindness, and humor, and she is definitely one of those people you would love to know in real life.  It is very easy to read her posts and become familiar with her, she writes that well!

What I didn't expect this early into my attempt to focus more on the blog was to be given an award :)  Michelle made me smile (and almost caused a hint of tears).  Thank you! 

It is an award meant for those with smaller amounts of followers that lets them know they are appreciated.  My favorite kind!  I am truly enjoying gabbing about life and my boys, and getting to know others out there!



(Copied and Pasted from Michelle)
The rules for accepting this award are simple:

1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.

2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

3. Post the award on your blog. (right click to save to your computer, than upload to your blog.)

4. Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the Internet – other writers.

5. And best of all – have fun and spread the Karma!

Here are some blogs I have found recently, check them out!

Cherry Pie Twins

Pontifications of a Twin Mom

Geeky & Sassy

Narrow Paths to Higher Places

Boo Boos Blessings

Monday, January 16, 2012

Stellar Moments in Mommyhood

Yesterday I rolled my ankle, which probably helped contribute to my cranky posting.  And by rolled my ankle I mean, hit the side of the sidewalk, felt the ankle crumble and dove on to the grass.  My hands are torn up from throwing down my arms.  So what did I do?  Walked a few feet and then kept on running.  After all, who wants to mess up a long run when the ankle is not really bothering you?

I got in close to 7 miles when the ankle did start to bother me and I decided to listen.  Flash forward to today and my ankle is the size of a nectarine and very bruised.  Ah, I am so brilliant.  I have iced it and it is in a brace designed for a sprain, but really, with two munchkins, who has the time or money to go to the doctor  to be told to rest, ice, compress and elevate?



Which brings me to the moment of my "Parent of the Year Award."  The boys asked to brush their teeth about 10 times before I figured out what they were asking. "Tee...Tee...TEE!"

They love brushing their teeth, which is to say they love sucking the water off the bristles and swallowing the fluoride free toothpaste.  I usually have to intercede to get some semblance of brushing  to actually occur, but they love being there and love using the toothbrush, so I just let them do what they do best.

This was one of the mornings when they wanted to make toothbrushing into a lengthy game.  Since they are not tall enough to turn on the water, I let them stand on their stools and chomp away on their brushes while I ran in to run clothes through the dryer a second time.  This literally took 30 seconds.

As I got out of the laundry room, I heard the sweet, excited little voices yelling, "Water, Water!"  And turned the corner in time to see E-Dude pull his toothbrush out of the toilet and close the lid.

I now have a new definition for potty mouth.  And one of the 1,000 things I am grateful for today is that I had bought replacement toothbrushes at Christmas.

We used them right away.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

But are they Identical?

I always joke that our boys our rock stars, because whenever we go out in public people make such a fuss over them.  Of course, I am biased, but I am quite sure they are the cutest little dudes on the planet.  It is no secret that the fuss is being made because while they certainly are adorable, there are also 2 of them.

For my fellow twin moms, you know the questions and comments that always come up. 

  • Are they twins?  ( In fairness, a safe question, much better than assuming.)
  • Wow, you must have your hands full!
  • Double trouble!  (or the one I love : Double the Blessing) (not kidding, I really love that)
  • Do twins run in your family?
  • Were they natural?
And my personal 'favorite' : But they aren't identical?

Honestly, I don't really mind most of the questions.  They are normal for people that don't have or know twins.  They are curious and they are interested about the two carbon copies looking back at them. I know there are situations where I have asked the typical questions, because I just have no clue and am genuinely curious.  Those moments when you don't know what to say and don't even think about how many times the person in front of you has answered the same questions long before you asked them. I am honored that people are willing to take time out of their day to talk about my kids with me.  Even when they think it is okay to essentially inquire about the functional state of my eggs and uterus. 

I always answer with a smile and make the polite conversation.  There are moments when I am tempted to say "Yes.  My husband's super swimmers were so powerful that they essentially split my egg in two."

It is the asking if they are identical that sets me on edge.  Not because these kind people intend any harm with a perfectly reasonable question.  It is because there is so much emotion behind it.  There is so much I want to blurt out to them, so much more than just a simple answer.

I know the boys don't look completely alike.  G-man is a half inch taller and a good 4 pounds heavier.  His head and face are a little more round.  E-Dude has a longer face and a leaner physique.  The question is reasonable.

But it makes me want to cry.  It makes me want to say "After an in womb surgery, a marginal cord placement, a sac rupture, 8 weeks of prematurity, diagnosis of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, 4 months of being on oxygen and steroids, plus a noticeable case of NICU head, I know they don't look identical.  But genetically, they are."  (Seriously, his flat NICU head was awful.  We lovingly referred to him as Cro-Magnon Man until it started rounding out.)

I never say that to anyone.  It is usually something like, "It was a rough pregnancy and they were 8 weeks early, and this little guy was on oxygen for awhile, so he has always been smaller." 

This isn't meant to be a post of what to say or not say to a parent of twins.  I suspect there are plenty of blog posts out there on the subject!  It is more of a post for me to vent.  How I hate twin to twin transfusion syndrome.  How that stupid, killing, syndrome robbed my babies of their 'identicalness.'

I know that is petty and stupid.  Believe me, I know how lucky I am that they are both here, both happy, both healthy.  They aren't the usual outcome and I am thankful each day for their very existence.  I am painfully aware there are moms out there who don't get to snuggle with one or both of their babies and I should not complain.

I hate that I have to answer the question in any variation.  "Are they identical?" (safer) or the "They aren't identical, are they?" I hate that it conjures up all of these rotten emotions and it makes a traditional, honest, and simple question into such a chore. 

On a good day, I am able to remember the things that I love about these random interactions.

I love that people think my boys are adorable, that they sweet, that they are a blessing.  I love that the boys get to hear people talk about how great they are.  I love that E-Dude gets to hear his mommy tell people what a strong little fighter he is.  How they both are sweet, strong, and thriving. 

That they are truly miracles.
 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Victory in the Eyes of A Child

"Zipper?"

I connect the zipper together and pull it up slightly.  Tiny little fingers expertly grasp the handle and pull the zipper up to a chubby toddler neck.  E-Dude's face lights up in ecstatic joy.  His mouth open wide in surprise, eyes big and round.   His sense of accomplishment.

"YAY!  You did it!, Look how smart you are!"

E-Dude was our donor twin in our brush with twin to twin transfusion syndrome.  He had marginal cord insertion, was smaller at birth (and remains so), had the longer NICU stay, came home on oxygen, and took steroids that could potentially stunt his growth.  Strong little fighter who has come so far.

With the exception of rolling over, E-Dude has been behind G-Man in meeting milestones.  Crawling, walking, talking, motor skills; all of them about 3-4 weeks behind his brother.  He studies, watches, contemplates, and does on his own time.

Then there was the zipper on his jacket.  He was fascinated with the motion of it, loved how it moved up and down to keep his jacket on.  He tried so hard to grasp it and work the motion, but his little fingers could not make the zipper move.  Mommy hands over his little ones, guided him through the motion every morning and every afternoon.  Our own little game.

And he would practice on his own.  Taking his jacket down from its place, he would sit on the floor and play with the zipper.  Studying, playing, over and over.  He couldn't connect the two sides, but he started to use his fine motor skills to manipulate the zipper like an expert. 

Days of practice.  Zip up.  Zip down.

Then one morning, I connected the zipper, and my little E-Dude pulled the zipper up on his own.  The whole time saying "Help please, help please!" as I assured him he could do it on by himself.  And it happened.  A full zip up, and a half zip back down for good measure.

Victory.  Sweet, simple victory. 

He doesn't know this is the first skill he accomplished before his brother.  He just knows he did it.  By himself.  He is happy, he is proud, he is excited. 

And Mom?  I watch his triumph with pure joy. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Burnin' Down the House. A Lesson in Smoke Detection.


DH and I have decided to make a true effort to eat healthier foods.  Shocking, isn't it?  The fabulous ladies over at Better Mom post Bi-weekly meal plans using whole foods and organic foods that are reasonably simple to create at home.  We don't have the budget for an entire organic switch, but the recipes themselves are helping us make a good change.

Happily stepping into my home last night, I was looking forward to trying the recipe for Lemon-Garlic Roasted Chicken.  The ingredients were on hand and preparation was easy and quick.  I set my gas oven to 450 degrees, popped in the pan and went to dance around the living room with the boys.  We were having a wonderful time dancing with our friends in "gabba land" as the smell of chicken began to permeate the air.

A few minutes later I noticed a rather smokey view of the kitchen.  Quickly, I rushed around the house, opening windows in a vain attempt to dissipate the smoke before the smoke alarms began to sound.  For a few minutes, I thought I had succeeded.   Thankfully I got to enjoy those few minutes.

The dogs were hovering by the back door, which should have been a major clue.  Our dog, Tinker, completely freaks out when the smoke detectors go off.  If you have never seen a beagle mix have a panic attack from the high pitched hell that is a smoke alarm going off, I assure you it isn't pretty.  I let the dogs into the overly wet yard-yet another clue, as our border collie hates to be outside when it rains.

I returned to the kitchen with a sense of dread and saw the smoke pouring out of the vents of the oven.  Not a few faint wisps, but white billowing smoke flowing out in ocean like waves.  Just as I checked to make sure the food wasn't burning and turned down the oven temperature, the lovely alarms began to sound.  The initial sound caused both boys to jump and turn their little faces in my direction to gauge my reaction.

To my credit, the initial response went well.  I made a big surprised face and calmly explained to them what the sound was as I kept my tone even.  This was a major accomplishment for me because a thousand thoughts were racing in my overwhelmed little brain.
  • Oh no, is the detector attached to the alarm system going to trigger?  Is the alarm company going to call?  Where is my cell phone?
  • How in the world am I going to get rid of this smoke without the boys running out of the house?
  • How long do I have before this either drives me crazy or the fire department arrives?
I opened the garage door and opened the back door.  It was fairly chilly and I could feel the cooler air enter the house.  As I picked up a blanket to wave smoke away from the nearest detector, I heard a precious little voice yell, "Close it!," followed by the bang of the back door closing.  E-dude likes closing doors.

Between the shrill pitch of the alarm and the proud, beaming face of my son, I could feel the beginning of desperation creeping into my being.  The alarm was still sounding, smoke was lazily wafting near the ceiling with no intention of moving, and dinner still wasn't finished cooking.  The dogs were steadfast in their refusal to come back inside, which let me know the ordeal was nowhere close to being finished.

I opened the door again , grabbed my blanket and assumed my place waving smoke aimlessly about.  I turned my head to watch the boys when two little bodies went running out the back door in a storm full of giggles.  Dropping my blanket again, I went out the door to grab my wayward little boys.

"COLD!" expressed G-man.

"Yes, honey.  It is raining and the ground is wet and cold, especially considering you only have socks on your feet."

For some reason, he found my response hilarious, but both he and his brother came inside.  I told them to stay indoors while I attempted to make the alarms stop sounding.  (We were currently in round 2 of the alarms going off)The boys must have decided that mommy was looking frazzled, so they got on their bellies with their heads poking outside.  From my place inside it looked as if the had settled down on the floor to watch a movie.  I guess watching the nervous dogs pace around the dark backyard was fascinating to a two year old.  I would have loved to join them as opposed to encouraging smoke to take up residence elsewhere!

Brief silence.  Enough time to breathe in deeply before another round of frantic futility.  I could feel the cool air circulating around the house.  The mystical haze around the lights seemed to be lifting.  The smell of scorched olive oil and roasting chicken filled the air.  Tiny giggles and the familiar door slam.  I sighed with resignation and groaned as the alarm started once more.

I gave the blanket a half-hearted wave and came to the decision to stop worrying about it.  Sure, it was shrill and maddening, but the boys weren't bothered by it.  In fact, they were playing a fabulous game of 'close the back door' with me.  After I finished saying "E-Dude!" and opening the door for the umpteenth time, the tell-tale slam would cause me to whirl around.  "E-Dude!, " but no, this time it was my mischievous little G-Man, puffed out in pride that he had fooled mommy.  I had to laugh, it was all so ridiculous.

The room was mostly clear with the exception of the lingering smell and in only a few moments, the smoke alarms surrendered to silence.  With an enthusiastic cry, I threw my hands up, danced a jig, and high tailed it to the kitchen to see if dinner could be salvaged.  I turned again to check on the boys in time to see them both pick up my discarded blanket and begin waving it in the air.  Sweet little helpers that they are, they managed to discover a new game by imitating me.

Surprisingly, the chicken looked alright, but it wasn't cooked all the way through. I made a sad little attempt to pan fry it so as not to disrupt the fragile silence by tempting the smoke alarms one more time.  Fail.


E-Dude was running around waving a dish towel in the air. Classic.

Sensitive though they may be, I AM thankful for our smoke detectors.

Just not when I am cooking chicken.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Days you fail. Epically.

I had a post for yesterday.  It was biting and provocative, and read-worthy.  At least that is how I picture it.  It is more likely self indulgent and bitter, but I digress.

What do you do on the days when you fail at everything miserably?

DH woke up ill, and we still don't know if it is food related or virus related.  Needless to say, his overall contribution to the day was limited to what he could do from the couch while playing hours and hours of unrelenting football games on the television.  (Please don't get me started on my views of football)

An under the weather spouse can really throw everything into upheaval.  My second pair of hands was rendered useless due to pain and misery.  The boys knew it almost immediately.

"See Daddy Night Night?"

"That is right.  Daddy doesn't feel well."

My normally sweet and happy children became little spawns of evil.  Crying if they didn't get their way immediately, then hitting if the answer to their request was No.  Full blown tantrums of throwing themselves on the floor which was thankfully on the carpeting.  I was unable to even use the bathroom without an audience. It is amazing at how one can coach their toddler through teeth brushing while attempting to use the bathroom, multi-tasking indeed.

And of course, I wasn't able to get groceries Saturday.  This meant I had to go to the grocery store during nap time.  A Sunday at the grocery store, arguably the most crowded day of the week.  That sort of scenario is basically what I consider Hell.  No time to catch my breath during nap time.  There were meals to plan and groceries to buy.  Without DH, it also meant any and all household duties (HELLO laundry!)  were up to me alone.

Somewhere in the middle of dodging the crowds at the local Kroger, I started listening to the angry voice in my head.  You know, the inward pity party that lamented not getting to do anything I wanted or needed to accomplish.  Angry because my husband was laid up on the couch, angry because the weather wasn't cooperating so I could get the boys out to play, and angrier still that if I could get the boys outside I wouldn't get to do anything else.

My mood took a significant nose dive from that point on.  Even though I knew I was making the situation worse, and that I was the only one turning my day to crap, I let it continue.  If my husband asked me for something, I was annoyed and let it show.  I was short and cranky with the boys, which certainly didn't help their mood or behavior.

Basically, I let my day get ruined by stupid little events.  I wasted a day being bitter.  I lost a day with my boys and enjoying them because I was too self absorbed.  My poor husband, ill and sad because he couldn't be of help was made to feel even worse because I was put out.

I basically sucked all around.

In my irritation, I tried to shove a monumentally large pile of potato and carrot peelings into the garbage disposal and guess what?  Oh yes, I clogged that sucker good.  Brown, frothy water mockingly spit up at me from the drain while the disposal spun around uselessly. While every part of me wanted to storm out of the house and take comfort in a cup of tea at my local coffee shop, I took a deep breath and dealt with it.  Between my plumber father in law, and with the coaching of DH, I played amateur plumber and unclogged the pipes beneath the sink.

It was gross.  Between the residual grime in the pipes, the dirty and dripping water, and the chopped up potato and carrot peels, I was covered in dirty trash and several years of pipe goo.  Somewhere in the middle of my husband's patient assistance, I realized the gunk was symbolic of my day.  I had let all sorts of junk clog up my brain and as a result, I stopped functioning the way I should.  I had let my entire day be poisoned by stupidity.  Instead of brushing it off and going with the flow, I dug in my heels and acted like a spoiled child.

Well....crap.   I apologized to my munchkins and to my poor husband as I reviewed the day in my head.  The worst part was letting myself waste a day with my family.  I let a precious day slip through my fingers.  It makes me wonder how many others I have let slip away for any reason.  It makes me more conscience of being present in each day with my family.  It makes me aware of exactly how easy it is to let bitterness spread and affect your life.

A small little start can turn into a big pile and clog up your being.  Make sure your plumbing skills are up to par.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Where IS my belt?

The other morning I could not find my belt.

Perhaps for some this isn't a big deal.  However, as a decidedly non girly-girl, I do not wear belts as cute accessories, but as a necessary tool to prevent waist gap in my jeans. The past few months, the belt has become a necessity in actually holding UP the jeans, as I am proud to say I can take them off and put them on without unbuttoning them. Suffice it to say that when you are a teacher it is a bad idea to wear jeans that could potentially fall off your body at any given point in time.  I do not want to be the reason for a "Teacher Full Moon" video on Youtube!

Alas the belt could not be found. Yes, in case you are wondering, I own 1 belt.  Yes, I am fully aware I will not be winning any awards with the Fashionistas.  So I did it...I reached WAY back into the closet and tried on each of the 6 pair of pre-pregnancy jeans that had once fit with ease. As you know, the boys are two, and I have held on to these jeans as desperately as a drowning swimmer clings to a flotation device. I have simply refused to throw out those jeans even though 12 weeks of bed rest and pregnancy really do fundamentally change the shape of the body.

I have tried on said pairs of jeans at various points post pregnancy with rather interesting results.

  •   'cannot get them past my calves' to
  • 'when did my thighs get THIS big? to 
  • 'okay they are over the butt with no chance of buttoning' to
  • 'well,. they are buttoned, but between the muffin top and camel toe there is no way I am wearing them."
To be fair I had been at the last stage for the past few months, despite regular running (even a half marathon!). I didn't have high hopes as I cautiously slipped on the jeans this morning. Several pair were still a smidge tight and though not designed to be such gave the illusion of wearing jeggings,  but there was improvement. Then the 3 pair of same styled, same brand jeans each fit completely differently. Amazingly, one pair fit well enough to wear to work. (Although I made sure my shirt was long due to massive waist gap).

I am quite sure I heard the lovely voices of angels singing in choir as I realized that well over 2 years since having my boys a pair of my jeans actually fit. It was a Miracle!

At a time of year when many people are beginning weight loss and fitness programs, know that I am silently praying you succeed. It is a huge struggle to not be happy with the look or feel of your body, when our society is bombarded with false images of 'the ideal body'. Gyms that are packed in January are significantly thinned out in February because we get so discouraged.

I am going into 2012 with a similar mentality to the one I had last year. Keep running consistently and improve the quality of what I am eating. It isn't a fast results plan, but there is also less potential of failure. If I screw it up, I start going again.

Not even 'fitness experts' have it easy. A dear friend of mind is married to a leading "Diet Guru" in America and she is struggling with her weight. Frankly, I can't imagine the pressure she puts on herself as a result of how the world views the wife of a diet guy. She is determined to change her habits and get back to the weight where she felt her best in a brutally honest and funny blog complete with progress pictures. So, if you need a little motivation, or a reminder that everyone struggles with diets, give her a chance.

Meanwhile I will attempt to find my belt.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

" See Go Poops"

10 years ago if you had suggested that I would get excited over a child telling me he had soiled his diaper I would have looked at you as if you were nuts. In fact, I used to get very irritated by the phrase, "When you have your own, you will understand." It always seemed to childless me that the phrase was a touch condescending.

Then I got pregnant, and with all of the turmoil in the pregnancy, the moment I looked into the eyes of my sons, I knew the phrase wasn't condescending at all. It was wisdom. It was reassurance from someone who had likely been in my exact position. (and, okay, in some instances it probably WAS condescending, but I am going to look past that. ;)

When I look back at my past self, I realize that old me is a complete stranger. She never would have found amusement in bizarre diaper explosions or children covered in food. She would not have been able to wipe through the dirt and grime and see the joy. Because she didn't have children...and she flat out didn't understand.

Which brings me to a frank discussion about pre-potty training and poop. E. and G. are completely boys, who have recently found Great Amusement in the sounds of their bodily functions. (It really is an innate boy thing) For the past few weeks I would tell them they had tooted and they needed to say excuse me. It is still a work in progress, but they will at least repeat the phrase when I ask them to do so.

G-man has progressed from just being aware of his toots to being rather fascinated with the entire diaper changing process. When one of the boys has had a bowel movement it is usually noticeable by odor so I ask them if they went poops. (Not very scientific of me, but it works) They get their diaper change which usually involves me saying something like "P.U., stinky poop. Yucky!" Before you get concerned, I say it with a smile and a laugh.

G-man has lately been announcing his bowel movements just after he has one. He will say "See go poops?" Which, in G-man-ese means something like "Mom, I am pretty sure I have pooped, will you check?" He has been spot on for the last few days, which makes me aware that potty training is coming soon. Each time he is correct he gets kisses and praise and we talk all about it as I change him. "See yucky?"

"Yes, Baby, poops are yucky, but they are better out than in."

This awareness is a little step in his growth process, but I am proud and saddened all at the same time. I am proud for how far he has come from 3lbs. 15oz. and I am sad that my little man is on a fast track course to growing up. With each little progression I have to loosen my grip and let him become the person he is meant to be.

Let's Hear it For the Boys Link-up

Monday, January 2, 2012

Hopes for my Sons



I don't want to make resolutions, because they are so easy to break. I do have goals and hopes for the year which allow for stumbles along the way. One of those goals is adding to this blog more regularly. While I know every day is too lofty a goal, I am aiming for at least once a week or more if possible.

For my G-man: I love that you are so sweet and thoughtful. You are cuddly and quick to laugh. You love approval and looking out for everyone around you. I pray that you keep that quality as you grow, it is a rare gift and very easy to lose in our society.

For my cool E-Dude: I love the way your entire face lights up with joy when you get excited. You get so tickled when you imitate something someone else does and your belly laugh is contagious. You have finally learned to assert yourself and not let anyone push you around. I pray that you use that gift to protect others who cannot stand up for themselves.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

I guess if you are going to have a blog you should actually post! Especially since the insanity has truly kicked in with these 2 year old tasmanian devil's in the house.

A quick summary from the last year:

Both boys talking up a storm with quite a few words. Not a ton of stringing words together or sentences, which makes the teacher part of me concerned, but not too much.

E is a fabulous imitator, he hears it, he will say it. Thank goodness we have been better about the words we say around here!

G loves skateboards. Absolutely loves them.


Both boys in the 50th or higher percentile for height and weight, which is amazing, since E. has always hovered in the less than 25th percentile weight wise.

They love each other and drive each other crazy. Usually it is over a toy one boy has and the other one decides he wants to play with it at the exact same time. Where it gets fun is when the boy playing with said toy smacks his brother with the toy, usually on the head, always explosive. Good times.

They can also be so sweet and considerate of one another. I can give 1 boy a snack or drink for both of them and he will bring the second item to his brother. G is especially thoughtful of E.

They climb anything and everything. Crayons and markers either go in the mouth or on furniture, clothes, etc. Clothes are covered in food and other unidentifiable goop.

I never tire of watching them explore the world and trying to see it through their eyes. A world where the sky is filled with cool things like planes, stars, and the moon. Where the everyday act of flipping a light switch is simply awesome.

I am teaching them and in turn they are teaching me. They are showing me all of the cool little things I don't notice anymore, like light switches and the value of cardboard boxes. They remind me to slow down and take time. They won't be this little forever. In what will seem like an instant they won't let me snuggle and kiss them, they won't come crying to me with their boo boos, their beautiful little faces won't light up with joy when they see me.

I want to take 2012 and enjoy everything they show me. The outside world will still be there.