Monday, December 29, 2008

O Canada!

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123051100709638419.html

Um...yikes?

Then again, I've always liked Canada. They get a year off for maternity leave! Paid! Whoo hoo!

But then again, I'm probably not having any more babies. Crap.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

What I Do When I Should Be Working

So this year, I wasn't very prepared for Christmas. Granted, I'm never prepared for Christmas, but this year I was really bad. What can I say, it's been a crazy month.

So due to my lack of preparedness, I had to go out to Target the day before Christmas Eve and pick up the last few odds and ends on my Christmas shopping list (and by "odds and ends," I mean "presents for everybody").

Luckily though, Scott had already taken care of most of the big gift shopping for our kids, so the only thing I had on my list for them was stocking stuffers. Sounds easy, right? (Please. If you've learned anything about me by now from reading this blog, it's that I never make anything in my life easy).

So, my first stop was the Target dollar aisle. Ooh, I was sure to find plenty of cheapo doodads there that would be perfect for my little chicklets' stockings! (well, perfect if you ignore the ever-present choking hazard risk stamped on every dollar-item's packaging, that is). But crap, the dollar aisle was filled with Valentine's Day merchandise already! Which I could've worked to my advantage for Ashley's stocking, but not so much with the boys (although on the other hand, heart-stamped bobby socks would look awfully cute on Owen). Plus, I was still naive enough to think that there would be PLENTY of cheapo stocking stuffers throughout Target just waiting to be found, so I scoffed at the idea of limiting myself to Valentine's Day paraphernalia just yet.

Well, to make a long story short(er), I had a hell of a time finding stocking stuffers. I found a few gems for Ashley in the toy aisle, but hardly anything for the boys. Apparently, the "almost two" age is a very difficult present-buying age. Anything small and cheap I could find was for kids way younger than two, or else presented the aforementioned choking hazard risk.

So I ended up getting desperate and buying the boys things that were either (i) too expensive (fake cell-phone that can record a person's voice); (ii) too noisy (plastic flutes); or (iii) could be used as weapons (plastic flutes again). I know this because once I got home and showed Scott my purchases, he looked at me and said "No." and then put half of my loot in a "to be returned" pile.

Oh well, I tried.

But anyway, to get to the point of this blog post (yes, there is an actual point! I swear!), one of my purchases that escaped the "to be returned" pile and actually made it into the boys' stockings were these little M&M container thingies.


Cute, huh? The kids loved them...although we didn't let them open them up on Christmas morning since it was 7:30 am and that is too early for chocolate, even in my book.

So anyway, they've just been sitting around on our kitchen counter until tonight, when I suddenly got a craving for chocolate. I thought about it for awhile...stealing your kids' Christmas chocolate? When they hardly got anything in their stockings anyway due to my poor shopping skills? Do I really want to be "that parent"?

And I decided, yes, I'm okay with that. So I cracked open one of the Mr. M&M guys by removing his cute little santa hat, downed all the m&m's, put him down and then about jumped out of my skin when I later saw him looking at me from the arm of my couch:

Yikes!! Is it just me, or is that one scary looking M&M guy??!! Who knew that the Santa hat could make such a difference.

The evil eyebrows, the crazy eyes....you don't want to mess around with non-santa hat m&m guy. Maybe the m&m company made him look scary on purpose to ward off evil parents who steal their kids' Christmas candy. Sheesh. Well it worked on me...I'm done with m&m's, for this Christmas season at least.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Cognizable Christmas

So technically, this year was Ashley's 4th Christmas. But for the first 3, she really had no clue what was going on since she was still so little, so this year was really her first cognizable Christmas.

It's definitely the first one where she understood the concept of Santa. That is, if by "understood" you mean "accepts whatever her mom and dad tell her without questioning." Which really is kind of necessary when you're trying to explain the whole concept of Santa. I mean, that really is a lot of b.s. combined into one story. First of all, you have an old man well past the age of retirement working and living up in the North Pole. Please. You know he would have moved to Phoenix or Miami by now. Second...he wears a red velvet suit. Sure, that made sense when I was a kid growing up in the 70's, but now? Not so much. Anyway, I could go on and on, but I'll save my Santa ranting for another day.

Anyway, Ashley was very excited for Santa this year...she was not at all deterred by the various threats that Scott and I would make over the past month to call Santa and tell him what a naughty girl she'd been when she would refuse to (i) go to bed; (ii) eat her dinner; (iii) brush her teeth; (iv) stop stealing her brothers' toys; (v) stop yelling at the top of her lungs; (vi) quit throwing things at her brothers...

Wait, what was I talking about again?

Oh yes, Santa. So nothing could stop Ashley's excitement. She was filled with the Christmas spirit, this one.

Since she was so excited, that of course led to many fun parenting moments as well. So without further ado, some of my favorite moments from Ashley's First Cognizable Christmas are:
  • She constantly sang the first verse to "We wish you a Merry Christmas," which her three year old mind changed to "We wish you a Merry Christmas, We wish you a Merry Christmas, We wish you a Merry Christmas...and a happy Two Ears!"
  • On the drive home from her aunt and uncle's house on Christmas Eve, Scott and I told her to keep a look out to see if she could see Santa. Fueled by an overdose of sugar cookies, she spotted a hallucinogenic Santa up in the night sky two seconds later and started yelling "It's Santa! It's Santa! Get him, daddy!"
  • On Christmas morning, she ran downstairs and saw that the plate of cookies we'd left out for Santa the night before were all gone. I said, "Look Ashley, Santa was here!" And she turned around and looked up at me sadly and said "Yeah, but Santa ate all my cookies." Apparently, the big old pile of presents he left in exchange was no consolation.
  • Although she'd never asked for it before, apparently her secret Christmas wish was that Santa would bring her some silly putty. Every single present she opened (attacked?), no matter what the size, she would say "Is this my little egg present? Is this my little egg present?" (You know, because silly putty comes in that little plastic egg thingamajig). Luckily, her nana brought some silly putty over later that night so Christmas wasn't ruined (which I then found stuck in my hairbrush this morning, so maybe it wasn't so lucky after all).
  • One of her "big presents" was this little Fisher Price digital camera. She loves it. So much so that she busted into our bedroom the day after Christmas and woke Scott and I up from a deep slumber via flash photography. I kinda felt like Britney Spears with all the flashing right in my face...maybe my daughter has a future as a paparazzo.

I'm sure there were more, but these are the memories that stand out in my mind at the moment. I can't wait until next year when the boys are hopefully more aware of the chaos going on around them...although then again, they will probably be a lot more likely to object than they were this year when Ashley decided to "help" them open their presents.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

On Turning 29



That's right...last week was my birthday. I turned 29. Some of you who know me in real life may beg to differ, but la la la I can't hear you!

But if I actually were three years into my thirties, I would have to say that so far, this decade hasn't been so bad. In fact, I've loved the last three years of my life...and it's all attributable to the three little hooligans responsible for giving me the icing identifier on my cake this year (and their daddy, who actually did the icing).

Remind me that I felt this way ten years from now when Ashley's turning thirteen, please.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Twin Gladiators

I witnessed the most hilarious twinfight the other day, and oh, how I wish I captured it on video. I could've made a million dollars on America's Funniest Home Videos with it (is that show even still on?). Yes, it was that funny (then again, I don't remember the videos on that show being that funny, so maybe scratch that). It was so funny I could've posted it on youtube and gotten a bunch of hits on it before I panicked that it was too public and taken it down. Yeah, it was that funny.

Well, maybe now I'm building it up too much, especially since I'm going to have to describe it without video assistance. Oh well, here goes nothing...

So, I'm getting all 3 kids ready for bed in our upstairs hallway, when Twin #1 (I can't quite remember which one, so I'm just going to randomly assign the role of Twin #1 to Aidan. They are identical, after all.) scampered off into his room to grab his (i) lovey, and (ii) binky. Then he trotted back into the hallway all pleased with himself, until Twin #2 (i.e., Owen, for those of you who need a little help), spied Aidan's newly acquired treasure and decided it was a perfect time for a rousing game of "Capture the Lovey."

Except this time, Owen didn't sucessfully capture the lovey...he got both hands on it, but Aidan wasn't going down this time without a fight. Therefore, an intense tug-of-war started, which generally involved the twins dragging each other back and forth across the hallway with the lovey stretched between them while Owen hollered and Aidan happily (and quietly) sucked away on his binky.

Owen, naturally, was upset as all get-out that he could not get the lovey away from Aidan. So his hollering turned to wailing. And what does Owen want when he wails? Yep, you guessed it....his binky. And where is the closest available binky when you're engaged in a lovey tug-of-war with your twin brother? Yep, you guessed it again...your twin brother's mouth!

So Owen let one hand off the lovey, reached over and snatched the binky from Aidan's mouth and popped it in his own, still tugging away on the lovey with his other hand. Now, of course, Aidan got upset...so he let one hand off his side of the lovey, reached over, and grabbed the binky out of Owen's mouth.

Can you see where this is going?

For the next 5 minutes, I watched the most hilarious lovey tug-of-war/binky stealing episode I'd ever seen...wail, snatch, plop, wail, snatch, plop...back and forth across the hallway, into their room, into Ashley's room, into the bathroom, etc. etc.

And don't think I'm a mean old mom for letting it go on, because once the twins realized how hard I was laughing, it changed to wail, snatch, giggle, plop, wail, snatch, giggle, plop.

They do love to make their mama laugh!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Super Ashley

I might've mentioned on here before that Ashley has a lot of....um....energy. So much so, that it's close to impossible for the girl to settle down and go to sleep at night. And now that she's in a big girl bed instead of a crib, bed-time has gotten even tougher.

Oh, don't get me wrong. Ashley LOVES her big-girl bed.....because she can get out of it. Which she does every.single.night, over and over again. I have come to the conclusion that she is physically incapable of staying in her bed. You lay her down, and she just sproings right on up again. It's like a never-ending game of whack-a-mole.

I documented some of her getting-out-of-bed issues here, so you can see that this has been going on for quite awhile. I've tried various gentle loving approaches to address the issue, such as different bedtime routines, adjustments to bedtime, rewards, threats, punishments, pleading, begging, prayer, etc. Nothing has worked.

So, I decided to get tough.

My first step was to have Scott install one of those eye-hook lock thingamajigs on the outside of her door. I figured as long as she just stayed in her room, things would be okay. I didn't mind if she played in there and crashed on the floor, but I just could not take the endless game of returning her to her room every five minutes all freaking night long.

But I underestimated my little Ashley Belle. That girl is STRONG. She would stand at her door and pull on the doorknob and SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE that door. I would sit downstairs literally afraid of my tiny 3 year old little girl shaking that door like a caged animal...she was a maniac! You would've been scared too. I have no idea if she was crying or not...the noise from the door shaking pretty much drowned everything else out. Finally, she shook it so hard that she pulled the lock right out of the door. She's like a little evil villain with her super-power strength busting through doors so she can drive her poor tired parents closer to the brink of insanity.

Because the eyehook lock was so traumatic (for me), I went back to my loving parental tendencies for awhile and just started returning her to bed when she'd leave her room. This worked okay for awhile, until she stopped coming downstairs and started going into her brothers' room instead to wake them up.

Now, one child not sleeping...I can deal with. But three children not sleeping????? I'm not made of stone people!! Plus, I didn't need her teaching any of her door-busting techniques to her little brothers....I'm counting on them having typical toddler strength instead of super-power strength if I'm going to survive their childhood.

So, I made Scott go out and buy a new doorknob for Ashley's door. One that has a lock on it. And since Scott is a smarty-pants, he installed it so the lock was facing into our hallway instead of her bedroom...mwah hah hah!!!! So now we can just lock her in there from the outside until she falls asleep.

But the first night we did it, oh man....it was awful. I put her to bed, explained the whole thing, gave her one warning, etc. (which of course she failed), and then locked her in. And Ashley FREAKED....sobbing, throwing herself against the door, and crying "Mommy, help me!!!!" UGH. Of course I did not last long before I threw the door open and covered my baby girl in kisses and felt insanely guilty for ever locking her up in the first place.

Until the next night. This time Scott put her to bed, gave her one warning (which she obviously failed again), and then locked the door. This time there was no crying. Since daddy had put her to bed and she knows he is not the sucker parent, she didn't waste tears and just decided to get bossy. "Daddy!" "Let me out of here, dadddddd-eeeeeee!" "Hey DADD-EEEEE!" "Daddy, you no shut my door, HMPH!" "Daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy!" "Oh, daddd-eeee!" "HEY!" "DADD-EEEEEEEEEEEEE! DADD-EEEEEEEEEE!" Over and over again. Until Scott cracked and opened the door

We are in so much trouble....not only does our daughter have super-human strength, she has also discovered the kryptonite to our parenting abilitites.

For me, it's laying on the guilt.

For Scott, it's incessant nagging. Hmmm, maybe she's on to something, there. ;-)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Brothers Gotta Hug (or hold hands)

I was going through my photo's tonight, and totally forgot about these pictures I took when we were about 7 hours into our 8 hour Thanksgiving trek to Scott's dad's house...

I turned around to check on the boys and caught them holding hands...





Maybe it was the Care Bear movie that inspired them to act so loving toward each other. But who cares, it was too flipping cute!!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thankful that Thanksgiving is Over

Oh.my.word.

Did I happen to mention here our plans to take the kids on a whirlwind Thanksgiving tour to see Scott's family that involved various multi-hour drives across state lines?

I didn’t? Hmmm....apparently I was still in denial about it.

Well, we survived. But just barely.

Phase I: Nebraska to Illinois (8 hours)

I stayed up until 5:30 a.m. the night before we left writing an article for work. So needless to say, I was tired when we started off Wednesday morning on the long trek from Nebraska to the teeny tiny Illinois town where Scott’s dad lives. I knew things were off to a bad start when we fired up the minivan's DVD player before we'd even left our subdivision. Luckily (unluckily?), we were armed with a whole host of kid movies to keep everybody entertained...the most annoying of which was a $4.99 Care Bears movie we’d recently picked up at Target, which of course quickly became the kids' favorite. It's really kind of a toss-up on which is worse....(i) listening to three kids hollering at the top of their lungs because they want to watch a Care Bears movie; or (ii) listening to the squeaky voices of the miscellaneous Care Bears singing songs about caring and wishing and rainbow syrup while you drive through back-woods Missouri.

Eight hours of Care Bear DVD watching later (with a quick stop for dinner at the Pizza Hut buffet in Hannibal, MO), we pulled into Scott's dad's driveway. Phew...we had survived. Little did I know that my relief would be short-lived.

Phase II: Tiny Town in Illinois (2 days)

Oh lordy. Ashley was HORRENDOUS. Granted, she did pretty well for being cooped up in the car for so long, but it was like once we let her loose she could not settle down. She ended up throwing two major tantrums the two nights we were there, and got so upset during both of them that she threw up. She has never done that before, and to be frank, I was kind of at a loss on how to deal with her. Both nights I ended up giving her a bath, and that seemed to calm her down somewhat, but still...it was rough. The boys did okay, though.

My favorite story from this part of the trip is kinda random, so bear with me... There was this sweet little cat hanging around Scott's dad's house on Thanksgiving Day. This poor thing wanted to be loved (fed?) sooooo badly....but all 3 of my kids are deathly afraid of dogs and cats, so we kept trying to shoo it away while we played outside. Anyway, it stuck around all afternoon, then hung out at the door during dinner, and then finally it moved on. Or so we thought.

That night, we got all the kids packed back up in the mini-van and started to head back to the motel (with me driving, since Scotty had had a few cocktails), when all of a sudden I hear Scott say "Megan, did you decide to adopt the cat?" I replied, "Noooooo...." And then Scott said, "Well, then why is it sitting in my lap?" I look over and see that the freaking cat has stowed away and is now sitting in Scott's lap just purring away! How random can you get? There we are driving down a deserted highway, pitch black outside, and poof...there's a kitten on my husband's lap! I swear, things like that only happen to us.

So anyhoo, we drove the kitty back to his dad's in case he had a little kitty family in the area, but I felt really guilty abandoning him since he seemed to have chosen us as his adoptive family. Poor little kitty. Oh well, he had no idea what he would be getting himself into if we had taken him home.

Phase III: Illinois to Saint Louis (1.5 hours)

So Friday morning, we headed on down to St. Louis (about an hour away from his dad's) to meet up with Scott's mom's extended family. This part of the drive was easy-peasy…everybody napped but Aidan, and he was my favorite during the whole trip so that worked out well. Trust me, Aidan would have been your favorite too. Ashley already had one strike against her based on her behavior at Scott’s dad’s house, and Owen was about to add strike after strike as you’ll soon see.

Phase IV: Saint Louis (About 3 hours)

Oh, Owen. My shy little boy. He used to do this wonderful thing called the “turtle”. I think I actually discussed it here. It involved him going into a fear-induced coma the minute anyone picked him up and tried to love him. I adored the turtle. Not only did he look cute, but it sure made for an easy get-away any time mommy needed a break.

Unfortunately, the “turtle” has now been replaced with the “alligator”. If I try to hand him over to someone now, there will be lots of thrashing, arm whipping, gruntal noise-making, and although it hasn’t happened yet, I wouldn’t put it past him to start biting. The problem with the alligator, is that Owen not only gets pissed at the person he was handed to…but also gets even more pissed at me for trying to hand him over. And Owen is one little dude that you don’t want to piss off.

The alligator was in full force in Saint Louis…which is really a bummer when all I wanted to do was have a slice of pizza and chat with Scott’s relatives. So we all piled back in the mini-van for the 3 hour drive down to the teeny tiny Missouri town where Scott’s mom and stepdad live.

Phase V: Saint Louis to Tiny Town in Missouri (3 hours)

Surprisingly, this part of the trip was not so bad. The kids were all relatively well-behaved. My favorite part was when we stopped at a Love’s gas station/truck stop, and Ashley was all “Mommy, I want to go to the heart store!! I love the heart store!” Leave it to Ashley to rename a truck-stop “The Heart Store”.

Phase VI: Tiny Town in Missouri (2 days)

Aye yi yi. Ashley was on pretty good behavior while we were there, but the twins….ugh. Apparently, by that time they had HAD IT with traveling and hanging with relatives and decided that no one besides mommy could look at, speak to or touch them for the rest of the weekend. Aidan was better than Owen, but still…both of them gave us a run for our money.

However, the boys took a really good nap Saturday afternoon, which meant that I got a good nap as well, and what more can you ask for on a Thanksgiving weekend?

Phase VII: Missouri to Nebraska (8 hours)

The drive home on Sunday was so-so....it was a little snowy and very tiring, and the kids completely melted down for the last 1.5 hours in the car (even the Care Bears couldn't help), but at least we made it home in one piece.

Hey, look at that! I recapped Thanksgiving before Christmas arrived. Yay me! :-)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Halloween Stories

Yes, I know it's almost Thanksgiving and I'm still recapping Halloween. Oh well...what can you do? I'm sure I'll be recapping Thanksgiving at Christmas time, so at least I'm consistent.

Anyhoo, I wanted to tell a couple of funny stories about the kids that occurred while we were out trick or treating....

1. Ashley: The Princess

The night started out a little rough with Miss Ashley when we were hanging out at our neighbor's halloween party before heading out to trick or treat. A big group of kids passed by, and Ashley decided to join their party since she was tired of waiting for us. I took my eyes off her for one second and I realized she was halfway up the street in the middle of this group of total strangers. Crap.

So I ran after her, and she sees me coming, so she makes a run for it. I'm yelling "Red light! Red light!" since that sometimes makes her stop, but this time it didn't work. So she runs across the street, and I'm running after her furious that she'd run into the street, still hollering "Red light!" the whole time.

Then the group of kids she'd joined up with started chanting "Run, Cinderella, run!!!!!" Hee hee...I love this group of total strangers rallying to support Cinderella against the crazy lady yelling "Redlight!" Sometimes you just gotta laugh.

2. Owen: The Chicken

So, we dressed little Owen up as a chicken, which is highly fitting if you know his personality. We had finally headed off to trick or treat with a big group of our neighbors, and I had Owen by the hand and was busy not paying attention to what I was doing and pulled him along a little too fast and he tripped and plopped right on his face onto the sidewalk. He made a *thud* and one of my neighbors stopped short and said "That didn't sound good."

I reached down to snatch him up and I just knew he'd have on his "silent cry" face and probably a big old goose egg on his forehead. But when I turned him around to check out the damage, all was well! He had a big old smile on his face and no goose eggs anywhere. Then my neighbor next to me goes "Man. That's one tough chicken." Ha ha ha! That just cracked me up.

3. Aidan: The Pumpkin

Okay, so I don't really have any great trick or treating stories about Aidan. BUT, I do have a completely unrelated cute story.

When I get home from work at night, the 3 kids greet me in their own unique little ways. Ashley usually yells "Surprise!" because that's how Scott gets her to pick up her toys at the end of the day....if she cleans up it will be a big happy surprise for me! However, she always forgets the cleaning up part and usually just runs around in circles in the middle of the still-messy room yelling "Surprise!" at the top of her lungs. Owen always runs up to me with a big old smile on his face, says "Dah!" and then runs away since he's got better things to do with his time. But my little Aidan on the other hand....he always, without fail, brings me a present. The *minute* he sees me, he stops whatever it is he's doing, searches for the nearest available object, and brings it to me as a welcome gift. Last night, I got a plastic ice cream cone. The day before that, I got a package of wet wipes. The day before that, I got a shoe. Who knows what it will be tomorrow? It's always exciting to find out.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Better Late Than Never....Halloween!!

Ack....I'm so behind in posting. Better late than never, right?? I hope so!

Anyhoo, we had a lovely Halloween over here. The weather was perfect!!!

The kids, on the other hand, were not.



Boy, who could imagine that 3 kids could get so pissed off at the opportunity to go out and stock up on unlimited, free candy?? Granted, Owen probably had a right to be pissed off since he's the one that got stuck with the chicken costume. But the other two had no excuse.

They all cheered up by the end of the night, though. A little sugar goes a looooong way. ;-)



Sunday, October 26, 2008

Singing the ABC's...With a Sugar Attack for an Encore

My kids make the greatest team...Ashley does the singing, Owen provides the background music, and Aidan does the hand motions. Perfect!

video

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fun at the Zoo

Ooh, I am TIRED. We had a nice, long, busy, busy, busy weekend. But it was fun. Today we took all the kids to the zoo for a picnic with my parents and my brother's family. It was a GORGEOUS day and the kids did GREAT. Seriously, I had such a good time. It was a really good family pick-me-up day.

The place was totally deserted, since I think everyone else in town was off picking apples or at the pumpkin patch or raking leaves or doing other fall-themed activities. It was SO awesome having the place almost entirely to ourselves. I felt much more free to let Ashley run around and explore without having to worry about losing her in the crowd.

I was super brave and went with everybody to see the new butterfly exhibit...I was SO proud of myself. Have I ever written about the time I made Scott take me to the butterfly house before we had kids?? Yes, I thought it would be all romantic and beautiful...butterflies floating around, etc. etc. Well, I basically FREAKED OUT in there. Butterflies are bugs. And I don't like bugs, which I guess I kind of forgot about. Anyway, this time I freaked out a little bit but I still made it through okay, although I did have to close my eyes a couple of times.

Damn, some of those butterflies were HUGE. And UGLY.


I love our zoo...it's so cool. This is a shot of the indoor jungle area...all these waterfalls, trails, and random animals around. I love it. Although I apparently managed to get no random animals in this picture. Huh.


Oh, well here are some parrots.


Moving on from the jungle, we headed to the aquarium. Here's Ashley and her cousin checking out some fish. They have these big bubble insert things kids can crawl into and every time Ashley went into one she would say "I'm going to outerspace, now!" Ha!


Here's a close-up of my husband, Scott... Isn't he cute?


Ha ha ha. Seriously though, this orangutan was hilarious! He (or she?) was totally interacting with the crowd, blowing raspberries, doing tricks, clapping for himself (herself?). So cute. And really made me feel kinda guilty that he (she?) was all locked up for our viewing pleasure, even though it is a great zoo and a really well-kept roomy exhibit.

We then proceeded to have a picnic lunch...but we got stalked by aggressive peacocks the whole time. Yikes! Those birds mean business.


Ashley was a little freaked out when they all converged on her dropped peanut butter and jelly sandwich...


Here's Ashley chillin' with a polar bear...can't believe how close he was hanging out to the window!


Anyway, we had a great time! Can't wait to head out there again soon.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Something Fishy is Afoot

Long time no post. Life = Crazy. Oh well.

But then today I saw this on foxnews.com, and had to post. People actually pay to have that done to them???!!!! That would be like my worst nightmare ever! ::shudder::

That is all.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

All About Aidan

One of my favorite things about Aidan...


...are his chubby baby cheeks. They are the chubbiest cheeks I think I've ever seen.


They're so chubby that they jiggle when he runs.


As crazy as it can be with all these little kids running around, sometimes it's the smallest thing that can bring me so much joy. And sometimes it's the chubbiest.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Salon des Deux

Scott took the twins to get their hair cut the other day, all by himself. And he also brought Ashley with him. So yes, he is officially SuperDad. Or else he's just crazy.

But the boys were in DIRE need of a haircut, so it had to be done. Aidan had this crazy cyclone mullet thing going on....one of my friends dubbed it "The Tornaiden". And Owen was super shaggy, so he needed a trim too. I was really bummed that I missed it being a working mom and all, but the haircut place took pictures of the event so that helped.

Scott said that Aidan did fantastic...but I don't know, he looks pretty p.o.'d to me in the pictures below.




Oh well, he sure looks handsome! Owen, on the other hand, FREAKED the whole time, according to Scott. But he survived.



A hug from daddy makes it all better.

Then, since Ashley had been so good for the boys' haircuts, Scott decided to spring for a $5 manicure for her. Yes, apparently you can start mani/pedi's as early as 3 years old. Who knew? Ashley picked out some hot pink polish + a glitter topcoat, and was very patient through the whole mani process. When I got home from work she told me all about how her fingers "took a bath, mommy!" and how she had to put her hands on her "knees, mommy! Not my legs!" to let them dry.

I'm tempted to head out there myself...a $5 mani, what a steal.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Summer Lovin'

Today's Tally:

Diapers Changed: 8

Tantrums: I lost count around 10:30 a.m.

Naps Taken: 0

Vases Shattered: 1

Margaritas for Mommy: 1.5

Kids Cherishing the Last Few Days of Summer:

Three. Somehow they make it all worth it. :-)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

5 Things I Learned This Week

1. That the backpack on Dora the Explorer is a girl. Say what?? Backpack totally sounds like a dude to me, but whatever. Speaking of Backpack, does anybody else get annoyed that when Dora selects whatever object she wants from backpack, it comes flying in from offscreen instead of out of the actual backpack? Drives me crazy every time. Apparently I've been watching too much Dora lately.

2. That when Ashley says she put "just two wipes, mommy" in the potty, she really means "just thirty wipes, mommy." Oh well, at least she's pooping on the potty now! I'd rather plunge a few toilets than still have to change her diapers, so I'm over it.

3. That my minivan can go for at least 30 more miles after the low gas light turns on. Thank God for that BP in Glendale, IA. It showed up just in the nick of time.

4. That teaching your daughter how to press the button to open those automated handicap doors may be a good thing when you're dragging all your kids into the pediatrician's office and don't have a free hand available, but is a really, really bad thing when you're leaving the pediatrician's office and said daughter can now easily escape the building while you're still trying to lug her two little brothers out of the exam area.

5. That fancy goldfish do not like to have the water in their aquariums changed while they sit in a purple mixing bowl filled with tap water. R.I.P. Glub Glub.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Cute Stuff

My little ones have been all full of the cute, lately:

Ashley

Scott won out on the "Great Birthday Goldfish Debate of 2008". So Ashley got a goldfish for her birthday. She named it Glub Glub. Because that's what a fish says, duh mommy.

Aidan

Aidan has been sweet as sugar lately. Oh my word, he just melts my heart every.single.day. Yesterday, he was playing with Ashley's tea set and Owen came up and tried to wrestle away the teapot. Usually Aidan loses out in these twin fights and then just sits down and cries. He's definitely my delicate flower. But yesterday, he stood up for himself and wouldn't let Owen take it (granted, he then hightailed it behind me in case Owen decided to go for Round 2). Of course, Owen then proceeded to FREAK OUT that he hadn't been able to commandeer said teapot. So I looked down at Aidan and said "How bad do you really want it, buddy?" And he looked at me, then looked at the teapot, and then walked back over to Owen and gave it to him. OH MY GOD, my heart....how flipping sweet is he?

Owen

Owen is usually my little rascal. Oooh, that one's got spirit. I was telling Scott about the teapot story above and we talked about how Owen's just not that nice to his brother and is always stealing toys and what not. But apparently Owen overheard me talking smack, because later that night Aidan had a little meltdown when I wouldn't hand him my blackberry to throw on the floor play with. Aidan started bawling and put his head down on my lap, and Owen dropped whatever he was doing and walked across the room and picked up Aidan's lovey to bring to him. Oh my gosh, the sweetness....I just wanted to scoop him and cover him with kisses for knowing his bro needed a little extra TLC.

Thank God it's Friday so I can soak up the cuteness this weekend!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Twinsights

Did you know that 25% of identical twins are what they call "mirror-image" twins? Rather than being exactly identical, these twins are mirror-opposites of each other. So one twin might have a mole on his right arm, and the other twin has a mole in the same spot on his left arm. One twin might be left-handed, while the other one is right-handed. Interesting, no?

Top 10 Reasons Why I Think the Boys are Mirror-Image Twins

10. Aidan loves carrots, while Owen loves peas.

9. They got their bottom teeth in opposite order. Maybe the top ones too, but I got tired of counting by then. Don't judge me please, that's a lot of teeth to remember.

8. When I get home from work at the end of the day, Aidan always clutches on to my right leg for dear life while Owen prefers my left.

7. When they rolled over for the first time, they each went in opposite directions.

6. When Owen is happy, Aidan is crabby. When Aidan is happy, Owen is crabby. It's lovely (not).

5. Aidan likes to put blocks into containers. Owen likes to take blocks out of containers and then throw them over our second floor balcony. If you happen to stop by unannounced, make sure you watch out for flying objects.

4. Aidan loves to go down the slide on our playset, while Owen freaks out. But Owen does like to climb the stairs, which Aidan will not.

3. When it's time to brush their teeth at night, Aidan climbs up onto the stool in front of the sink, while Owen instead goes and climbs into the bathtub (okay, maybe that one's a stretch, but it makes me laugh that he will only let me brush his teeth in the tub. Apparently he's concerned about spittle and toothpaste flying around, or something).

2. Owen loooooooves ice cream, but isn't that interested in cake. Aidan tolerates ice cream, but looooooooves cake. I know this because we attend far too many birthday parties.

1. Their hair parts in opposite directions. At least it does when their dad doesn't buzz their hair so much that you can't tell (must remember to unplug the hair clippers that are currently charging).

We'll know for sure once they start showing a right/left hand preference, but until then I'm pretty convinced. ;-)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!

Happy 3rd birthday to my sweet Ashley!!!


Okay, I'll put the camera away so you can eat your cake!

We love you, bunny!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Classic Olympic Moment

Ashley and I have been watching the Olympics a lot. Surprisingly, she loves them. She hasn't even asked for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in about a week.

This weekend we were watching Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh play sand volleyball, and Ashley points to the tv and goes "That's my mommies!!!" (Apparently, having identical twins as brothers gets you nervous that you may have a second mommy pop up at any given moment).

Hey, I don't mind at all if my daughter mistakes me for either of these two ladies. Since my twinbelly will never see the light of day in a bikini, I'm thrilled that my three year old naively thinks I could pull it off.

Then, the other night we were watching women's synchronized platform diving, and Ashley points to the tv and goes "That's my daddies!!"

Somehow I don't think Scott will be quite as thrilled that he was mistaken for a couple of chinese teenage girls. ;-)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Owen: The Great Communicator

Even though the boys are 18 months old, they don't really talk that much yet...which according to their pediatrician is just fine because they are (a) boys, (b) second/third children, and (c) twins. I guess all of those things added together usually make for late talkers, so we're not supposed to worry.

They each have about a handful of words they use regularly, mostly consisting of "mama", "dada", "ball" and "bye". But it's hard to have a conversation based on just those words, ya know?

But luckily, Owen has finally started nodding his head yes and shaking his head no, so we were able to have our first real conversation the other day...

Me: Owen, do you want me to sing you a song?

Owen: nods his head yes

Me: How about Twinkle Twinkle?

Owen: shakes his head no

Me: Okay....how about Itsy Bitsy Spider?

Owen: shakes his head no

Me: The "ABC" song?

Owen: nods his head yes and gives me a HUGE smile

Aw, he was able to pick out his own song! My little guy is growing up.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Negative Independence

Ah, look at those faces....



So innocent, so sweet....they couldn't possibly give their perpetually exhausted twinmama any trouble, right???

Wrong.

These two are high maintenance. Man, they have gotten independent in the last week or so, and not in the good kind of way. We certainly don't have any twins dressing themselves, or taking a stab at early potty-training or anything constructive like that. My boys are experiencing what I would call "Negative Independence," which is a clinical term I invented just now:

Negative Independence [neg-uh-tiv in-di-pen-duhns]
noun
1. lacking in constructiveness, helpfulness, optimism, cooperativeness, or the like in expressing your freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others;
2. syndrome that can drive twinmama's to the brink of insanity;
3. used as in "Boy, Negative Independence really blows."

Wow, now that is a spot-on definition.

Take, for example, my day today. I got up, got the boys out of bed and said, "let's go downstairs and eat breakfast!!" The boys love breakfast. So Aidan is all smiles and giggles, follows me out into the hallway, and then thinks to himself "Hey, what can make breakfast even better??? I know!!! My binky and lovey, that's what!" So he books it on back to his room and starts wrestling his binky and lovey through the slats of his crib.

So I say, "No, no, Aidan...binky and lovey are for bedtime, not breakfast," and pry them back from his chubby little fingers and toss them back in the crib.

And that's when Aidan got pissed. Ooh, he gave me a nasty look and marched straight back to his room to get his lovey and binky for the second time.

By this time I was halfway down the stairs with Owen, who was sliding down backwards on his belly and tends to think he's done one or two steps early, so I couldn't go back up to take away lovey and binky again. So I made the mistake of using my serious twinmama voice to say, "Aidan, I said NO. Put binky and lovey back right now." The only problem with using the "serious twinmama" voice is that I have an almost-3 year old who takes great pleasure in enforcing it whenever possible. So Ashley hears me, runs back up the stairs, grabs said lovey and binky from Aidan, and says "NO, BOYS!!!! NO lovey and binky, hmph!!!"

And that's when Aidan got really pissed.

Oh, man. I waited for him at the bottom of the stairs and he slid down all the way on his belly, and then plopped himself down on the floor and proceeded to FREAK OUT. Not even the offer of a strawberry cereal bar could coax him into the kitchen. Not a great way to start out a Saturday morning.

And the negative independence episodes just kept coming and coming for the rest of the day...it's totally like multiple personality disorder. They're happy one second, and then the next second they go into freak-out mode: "I want to cuddle on the couch with you, mommy, but I didn't want you to help me climb up, DAMMIT!!" "I want to eat my yummy waffle, but on the FLOOR not in my high chair, DAMMIT!!!" "I want to hand you this remote control, but so you'll turn on Sesame Street not the Olympics, DAMMIT!!" "I love to play in the sandbox, but only so I can throw sand in my brother's eye, DAMMIT!!"

You get the picture. Sheesh, I hope this phase goes by quickly.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Ring Around the Rosy, Big Sister Style

Okay, I had to post one more...this is Ashley and the twins playing "ring around the rosy". Also known as swing your brothers into various pieces of furniture. Luckily they're resilient.

My favorite part is how the boys get so pissed when Ashley gets distracted by Sesame Street. Hee!! Who knew that one day they'd actually want her to beat up on them??? Love it!

video

The "Not Gonna Hug or Kiss" Song...

Tonight I told Ashley "Hey, it's time for bed! Give daddy a hug and kiss good-night."

Instead, she chose to express her true feelings with a song.

video

Poor Daddy. But then again, hopefully she'll still be singing this song once she starts dating. ;-)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Good Day

I got a really nice compliment today. Scott told me that I'm a really great mother. :-)

I was hanging out with the boys in the family room, and we were reading books and making various farm animal noises at each other (according to Owen, a cow does not say "moo". It says "mah." And that's all there is to it.) Ashley was napping, and Scott was downstairs in the basement wiring some doohickey or what not.

Anyway, I guess Scott could hear me and the boys "mooing" and "mahing" at each other, and it made him smile. So he actually came upstairs to tell me that I'm a really great mom.

It pretty much made my day. Hopefully Ashley, Aidan and Owen agree with him. :-)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Ashley and the Tale of the Invisible Thorn

Ever since I had Ashley, I've wanted to write a series of children's books about her adventures. Whenever she does something I think is particularly cute or funny or interesting, I say to myself "Ooh, that book could be called "Ashley and the _________ [insert whatever it is that she's doing]".

This weekend, the book would be called "Ashley Belle and the Tale of the Invisible Thorn."

Ashley is not the best sleeper in the world. Lately, she's been using a number of bedtime stalling techniques, including melting down into hysterics unless we read her a book as part of her routine. I like to keep the book short and simple, but there's only so much Sandra Boynton I can take. So I thought to myself, "Hey, I'm creative! I'll just make up some stories to tell her."

Of course, I ran out of creative ideas for stories the third night in. So I resorted to my faulty memory of various children's fables, and one night decided to try out that one involving the lion and the thorn. I really cannot remember how it's supposed to go...but I know I told her the lion was a meanie, he had a thorn in his paw, a mouse helped him get it out, and then they went off and had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches together.

Since then, she has become OBSESSED with thorns...not with lions, or mice, or even the moral of the story. Apparently all she took away from it was that your skin can be punctured with various sharp objects at any given moment. And this obsession comes out at completely random times. Like we're all sitting at the breakfast table, happily sipping our various morning beverages and eating our cereal bars and then all of a sudden she'll say "Ah boo hoo hoo!! Ah boo hoo hoo!!" (Yes, my daughter actually fake cries by saying "ah boo hoo hoo!") So we'll say "What's wrong, honey?" and nine times out of ten she'll respond "I have a thorn in my ______ [insert various body part here]." Or I'll hear an "Ouch, ouch!!!!" followed closely by a "Mommy, help!!!!!" and run into the room only to find a little sad-faced Ashley, with her finger outstretched saying "I have a thorn in my finger. Ah boo hoo hoo."

So apparently I need to tone down the violence in my bedtime story-telling. Good thing I hadn't started writing those children's books yet. ;-)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My Twin, My Friend

One of the really fun things about having twins is that they have a built-in best friend to play with at all times. Granted, this can have its downsides...like when they decide to boycott bedtime by combining their individual semi-loud toddler yells into one insanely loud twin-combo yell that survives any attempt to mute it out by turning down the volume on the baby monitor.

But other than that, it's usually pretty fun...especially when I get to witness the little games that they make up to play. Some of their favorites include:

1. "Door Tennis": The boys loooooooooooove door tennis. Basically, it involves each of them sitting on opposite sides of a door, that they then repeatedly bat open and closed. They would play this game for hours, but door tennis can be hazardous to your health when you have a big sister who likes to pounce unexpectedly and slam the door closed on your unsuspecting fingers.

2. "Cabinet Tennis": This game is very similar to door tennis, yet slightly different in that it involves a cabinet instead of a door. I bet you didn't see that one coming.

3. "Capture the Lovey": Ooh, this is a good one. This only happens when we head upstairs to play, and one twin manages to sneak his lovey out through one of the crib's rails. They then proceed to chase each other and engage in a manic tug of war over said lovey, until one wins and walks triumphantly away only to have the entire process repeat two seconds later. Yes, they do have their own individual, identical loveys that they could each grab from their own cribs...but that would ruin the fun, now wouldn't it?

4. "Turn the TV On, Turn the TV Off" (or TTTVO, for short): Again, self-explanatory. But I bet you didn't know that TTTVO can get very competitive. If you turn the TV off when it's time to turn the TV on, well....God be with you. If you don't believe me, see the picture evidence below of a TTTVO throw-down. Man, someone really needs to break that up!


5. "Climb up Onto the Couch, Fall Off the Couch": Now this is a fairly new game that the twins have invented, but oooh has it taken our household by force. And, we have multiple head injuries to show for it!


Ah, life with twins. I can't believe no one's had to get stitches yet...knock on wood.

Monday, July 21, 2008

On turning three...

I can't believe my little girl is turning 3 in one month...where has the time gone?????


Every day for her is so full of joy...I hope so much that she stays the same way throughout her life.

Three years old...so far, so good.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Before and After

I recently realized that the twins are the same age now (17.5 months) that Ashley was when they were born. Honestly, looking back on that time I don't know how we made it through... But here we are today....everyone's still alive, so I guess we can call it a success. ;-)

Anyways, I wanted to post a photo comparison to show how much they've all grown...

Here's Ashley at 17.5 months, with the boys as newborns...



And here are the boys at 17.5 months, with Ashley in the same chair...

It's crazy how much they've grown.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

TwinSpeak

I officially witnessed "twinspeak" for the first time this weekend...

Don't get me wrong...the twins have chatted with each other before. They've definitely had screeching contests, and I do remember one lengthy discussion about a ball that went something like this:

Aidan: Ball.

Owen: Ball.

Aidan: Ball.

Owen: Ball.

You get the point. And other times, they will repeatedly say the word "heh" back and forth to each other. But up until now, I've never seen them actually communicate with each other.

Anyways, we were outside playing, and Owen decided he wanted to walk up the hill in our backyard. Now the hill is not a place they normally venture, since they tend to freak out if their mommy is more than 6.5 feet away from them. And since their mommy likes to sit on the patio chair when she's outside, under the shade and sipping a Diet Coke, being fanned by the pergola ceiling fan, she's usually nowhere near the hill. But apparently, Owen was feeling brave on Saturday morning and decided to check it out.

Now Aidan on the other hand was busy being my "good helper." Aidan LOVES to help. He loves to sweep with his little broom, vacuum with his toy vacuum, put toys away, stir things in pots, close the cabinet doors that Owen just opened, close the drawers that Owen just opened, etc. So this morning, Aidan was outside on the back patio within a 6.5 foot radius of his mommy, holding the hose in one of the flower pots. Now the hose wasn't on....but since Aidan is a "good helper", he had the hose ready to go just in case mommy decided those flowers needed watering.

So Owen's at the hill, and Aidan's at the flower pots. Then I hear Owen say:

Owen: Heh.

Aidan looks over his shoulder, sees Owen, and replies...

Aidan: Heh.

Owen, growing a little more insistent now: Heh.

So Aidan drops the hose and walks over towards Owen. Now Owen gets all excited, like "yeah, my brother's coming!" so he starts booking it up the hill. And of course Aidan can't get there in time, so he's kind of stumbling around trying to figure out which way Owen went. By this time, Owen realizes Aidan's not following, so he comes back down the hill. He sees Aidan, they exchange a couple more "heh's", and then they both head off together up the hill.

It's so hard to explain....but it was like they just knew what the other one wanted them to do. No words other than "heh" were exchanged, but it was clear that Owen wanted Aidan to go with him, and Aidan went because Owen wanted him to (and also because hills are apparently super cool when you're a 17.5 month old boy).

It was really one of the first times I've seen them act like brothers. Usually they look to me when they want to see something or share something exciting....it was really quite amazing to see them look for that in each other.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Go Jump in a Lake

So we took the kids out to their great-grandma's lake house this weekend... Ashley and I were strolling along the beach, when she pointed to the middle of the lake and said:

Ashley: I want to go dere, Mommy!!!

Me: Ashley, you can't go there, that's the middle of the lake!

Ashley: No Mommy, Ash-ee go DERE!

And then she made a run for it. Luckily I had her by the hand, but she still ended up in a time-out over the ensuing struggle...

Ooh, if looks could kill... She was so MAD at us. But she paid us back later that night when we let her out in the backyard. We had told her she could play in her sandbox, but she headed straight to her pool and jumped in, fully clothed. It's no lake, but apparently it will do in a pinch.



You gotta love that free spirit.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Positives and Negatives

One of the best things about having 3 kids under the age of 3 is pajama snuggle time on Saturday mornings....

One of the worst things? The noise.....oh, the noise.


video

Happy (belated) Fourth of July!







Tuesday, July 1, 2008

If you can't pinch 'em....

Aidan and Owen FINALLY hit 20 pounds, so we recently turned their carseats around to face forward. Let me tell you, it's quite a challenge to fit three convertible carseats next to each other in the back of a vehicle, even a vehicle as gargantuan as Scott's Chevy Avalanche.

But we managed to squeeze them all in there. I know that rear-facing is technically safer than forward-facing, but I'm pretty sure that none of those carseat tests were ever conducted while sitting next to my little miss Ashley. You see, Ashley....is a pathological carseat pincher. Yes, that's right. If you sit next to her while she's strapped in a carseat, she will repeatedly pinch you until you start crying like a little girl.

I didn't really discover my daughter's pinching tendencies until the boys were born, and we started having to squish all the carseats in a row. We'd be driving around peacefully, thinking everyone was sound asleep...when all of a sudden we'd hear shrieking from the backseat and turn around to find Ashley pinching the hell out of whichever brother was unlucky enough to be seated next to her.

Try as we might, we couldn't seem to stop the pinching incidents. Threats of time-out, positive discipline, negative discipline....nothing seemed to work. Apparently those chubby baby legs right within pincher finger reach were just too tempting for Ashley to resist.

So I was very excited to have them all face forward, naively thinking that Ashley wouldn't be as tempted to pinch if she had to reach over to the side and couldn't easily see her brothers' facial reactions. But oh, how wrong I was.

The other day when we were all driving home from somewhere or other, I heard the sound of a familiar shriek coming from Aidan in the backseat. I whipped around in my seat and said:

Me: Ashley, did you pinch your brother?

Ashley: Noooooo....

Aidan: Waaaaaah!!!!!!!

Me: Ashley, no pinch! We don't pinch our brothers!

Ashley: Ash-ee no pinch brudder, mommy! Ash-ee eat him!

It was only at that moment that I saw the teeth mark dents in poor little Aidan's finger. Well, crap. Pinching vs. biting....maybe rear-facing really is safer.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Dear God...no more storms, please, 'kay?

We had another crazy storm come rolling through today...and this one was a doozy. 90 mph winds!!! Holy crap.

I was at work when it came through, and we were all instructed to go to the interior of the building. I was standing and I could seriously feel the building sway. I am not kidding. It was a very disconcerting feeling.

Scott was home with the kids and said it was insane out here. Our backyard took quite a hit...but I'm proud to say that the pergola is still standing! Yes, my husband built a pergola that can withstand 90 mph winds! He is a superstar carpenter, that's for sure.

The tree in our front yard took a hit...




Hmmm, where did our patio furniture and grill go? Oh, there they are...around the CORNER.





Is it Christmas in June? No, that's just a big ole pile of hail.


Now THIS slide would be a fun ride...


But even though the pergola survived, our little globe lights didn't...boo. Oh, and notice the big, blue beautiful sky in the background only a few hours after the storm had passed... That's Nebraska weather for you.


Phew....I am ready for a break from severe weather.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mouse-Kannoying

Okay, so I'm about to admit to one of my parenting faults. We let Ashley watch television. A LOT of television. Trust me, you would too if the alternative was listening to a 2.5 year old go "Ash-ee watch a show? Ash-ee watch a show? Ash-ee watch a show?" for eight hours straight. There's only so much we can take before we crack.

But this parenting strategy has begun to backfire on us, as Ashley has now discovered the most annoying children's program in the history of television.... Well, okay, maybe that's a little extreme, but it's certainly the most annoying children's program on my TiVo right now and it's about to drive me crazy.

It's called.....Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

Now, I like Disney. I really do. I don't get all up in arms about Disney princess propaganda, I have nothing against commercialism, and I actually think Disney World and Disney Land are super fun vacation spots.

But Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is the devil. And Ashley LOVES it.

Here are my problems with the show, in no particular order:

1. Mickey is a self-righteous bastard. He pretends like he doesn't know what he's looking for, or what mouse-ka-tool he needs at a particular moment, or that he can't see whatever "hidden" object is sitting RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF HIS FACE, and asks the audience what to do/where to go/how to do it. And then when you give him an answer, he says "Right!" Like he knew it the whole time and just wanted to be an a-hole about it.

2. The show makes NO SENSE whatsoever. For example, let's take the "disappearing color" episode. Professor Duck-whatever-his-name-is comes over to the clubhouse and says "Oooh, we need to collect all the colors on the color collector mouse-ka-tool!" And I'm like, "Dude, get Mickey's pants...they're red." And then they go and make ridiculous rules like "The color collector can't use clothes to catch colors!" WTF?? Why freakin' not?? That makes NO sense!

3. When did Donald Duck turn into such a pansy?? I remember the old days back when Donald had attitude. He used to be one crazy, funny, spastic little duck. Now he's just a silly little duck who gets mildly perturbed on occasion. Nobody likes P.C. Donald!!!

4. WHY in God's name do they say "Oh, Too-dles!" when they're looking for the mouse-ka-tools?? Why don't they go "Oh, Too-ools!" or "Oh, Mouse-ka-too-ools!" Because this show is annoying, that's why.

5. Speaking of those mouse-ka-tools, the show plays tricks on you with them. Like the episode where Mickey had to pick a flower, and for God knows what reason he felt like he needed to use a mouse-ka-tool to accomplish that task. Good lord, can't he just flippin' pick it? But nooooo...he needs to use a mouse-ka-tool. So you can choose between the safety scissors, the shovel or the "mystery mouse-ka-tool". Well, I pick the safety scissors...snip, snip, here's your flower, you're done. But MICKEY says we need to use the freakin' shovel. WTH?? Why do you need a shovel to pick a flower?? We're not doing excavation work for pete's sake.

I could go on and on. Hmmm.....maybe I'm the one who needs to stop watching so much television.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Managing a Marriage with Multiples

When you're married with three children under the age of three, life can be....stressful. And that high degree of stress can often test a marriage. In fact, studies have shown that parents of twins or higher multiples have a high divorce rate. Add an extra toddler to the mix like we have, and your marriage could definitely be in trouble.

But luckily, Scott and I have a good marriage. A great marriage. No, an awesome marriage.

Now, don't get me wrong. We've been together a loooong time, and we've had our fair share of disagreements. But we very rarely fight anymore. Instead of tearing us apart, our large brood of kiddo's has brought us closer together. What's our secret, you ask?

It's so simple. It's just pure and utter exhaustion. We don't have the energy to fight....we are so exhausted that if a problem presents itself, our first instinct is to get into the fetal position and mutter "hold me."

For example, take a look at the following scenarios we encountered this weekend and how we chose to resolve them:

Problem #1: Scott is upstairs studying, while I walk around the main floor picking up trash and throwing it away. Breakfast bar wrapper here, post-it notes there, diet coke cans everywhere... just crap, crap, crap, everywhere I look. Eventually I am so p.o.'d that I make my way upstairs and tell Scott that I'm tired of throwing his trash away every night and he needs to start cleaning up after himself. Scott looks at me clearly offended and says "MY trash??? I spend every morning picking up all of YOUR trash!"

Resolution: Now, see this is where couples who have time and energy might get into a long-drawn out fight about equal household responsibilities, consideration for your partner, etc. etc. Me and Scott on the other hand?? We immediately decide that I must be picking up his crap at night, he must be picking up my crap in the morning, and therefore we don't realize how much crap we are independently producing and our judgment is skewed. Off to sleep.

See how simple that was? Why spend time working out an issue when you can justify it in your mind and get a little extra sleep at night?? It works for us!

Problem #2: We're outside in the backyard hanging with the kids when Scott says, "I'll be right back" and walks around to the front of the house to get something or other. Thirty minutes and multiple child melt-downs and sand eating incidents later, he returns. He informs me that he's been chatting up the neighbors in the front yard while I ran around the backyard like a crazy woman supervising the kids for the past 1/2 hour.

Resolution: Instead of reaming him out for abandoning me, I say "I won't get mad at you if you let me go take a nap." Perfect solution, no? No anger, plus a nap. It's pure genius, I tell you.

Maybe we should start a marriage seminar and write a book for parents of multiples. We could call it "How to Avoid Issues and Get More Sleep in the Process." It would be a best seller, I'm sure of it. ;-)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

My Children, My Photo Subjects

Since Scott finally finished up the pergola, I got to play outside with the kids today. Bonus! We have been cooped up inside for far too many weekends. I also got to play around with some of the manual settings on my point-and-shoot camera...I'm dying for a fancy camera and photoshop, but I think it will have to wait for awhile.

Here's Ashley playing in the sandbox (or as she calls it, the "desert")...

Close-up of my beautiful girl...


Aidan's such a sweetheart...



Aw, she does love her little brother after all!



Owen was off at Lowe's with daddy, but got back just in time to enjoy the fun...


So patriotic...


All three of my little ones...