Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
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
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
Here's Ashley playing in the sandbox (or as she calls it, the "desert")...
Close-up of my beautiful girl...
Well, except for the ceiling fan. Did I ever post that my post here guilted Scott into doing the ceiling fan after all? I knew starting this blog was a good decision!
Anyhoo, he forgot to buy a corner or a notch or some such thing at Lowe's, so the ceiling fan will have to wait a few days. But other than that, it's done!
Here he is putting on the finishing touches...
And here it is all finished...yahoo! And yes, that's one of the twins in the picture, not a creepy gnome.
And here it is all lit up at night...
I love having a husband who can build stuff! :-)
Ashley was very well behaved, which was a nice change from normal. She ran around and went down the slides and tried to make friends with everybody she encountered, even the parents. I only intervened once, when she was doing the "fake-out slide" to a neighborhood dad. You've heard of the fake-out slide, right? It's when you sit at the top of the slide, and go "Whooa-oooh-oh! I fallin'! I fallin'! Whoooa-ooooh-oh!" And then you kind of scoot around, like you might slide down, but then you don't.
Wait, your kid doesn't pretend like they're fake sliding to random strangers? Well, mine does. I could tell the dad had no idea what to do and was thinking to himself, "Kid, just go down the slide already." So I went over and told her to slide down and quit making everyone uncomfortable. Well, I didn't say the last part but I was thinking it.
Meanwhile, the boys were hanging out in the shade with the choo choo wagon. They started to get a little braver and wanted to venture out to the playground area, so I took them over to push in the swings so I could keep them contained while keeping an eye on Ashley. So that lasted for a little while, and then they started to get hot and cranky, so I thought we should leave. Luckily no one gave me too much trouble on the way out, and even luckier, the trip back home was all downhill so I didn't feel like I needed a heart transplant after it was over.
And in fantastic news, the pergola is almost finished!!!! I will post pics tomorrow, hopefully.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
LOL. Is it sad that I want my husband to get away from our kids??? Oh well.
So their first stop was at the front desk, so Scott could get photo's taken of the kids for their gym identification cards. I'm not sure why children under the age of 3 need photo ID cards, but I guess it's a good thing to have in case we ever lose one of them there. I mean, it really is a big gym.
So, Scott gets Ashley all ready for her close-up and they snap the picture. Then he wrangles Owen out of the double stroller while keeping one hand on Ashley so Owen can get his picture done. Then he takes one look at Aidan still sitting happily in the stroller, looks back at Owen, and says to himself....gee, this is one of those times that having identical twins comes in really handy. So Owen posed for Aidan's photo ID card as well.
Then off they went to the daycare. I was very nervous about how it would go. I knew Ashley would be fine, but the boys are incredibly shy and have never been in a daycare situation before. I thought for sure they'd freak out and our genius plan of joining the gym to get Scott some child-free moments during the week would backfire on us. What's worse than no child-free time during the week, you ask? No child-free time plus a $100 monthly gym fee, that's what.
As expected, Ashley ran right on into the daycare as soon as she saw a bunch of kids running around playing tag (or as she calls it, "tagyourit"). No problems there. The boys of course were more cautious...Scott said Owen held on to him for dear life when they first walked in, but Aidan was actually pretty brave.
I was worried about how Owen would deal, but luckily he doesn't like to call attention to himself when he's in freakout mode....he doesn't cry or scream or throw a fit if you hand him to someone else. Instead, he gets very, very quiet and does what we call "the turtle." He curls up tight against you, lays his head down on your shoulder and goes into his "I'm not here right now, la la la!" mode.
Unfortunately for Owen, people go apeshit over "the turtle", because it involves quiet snuggly baby time. The more terrified Owen gets, the more people ooh and ahh over him and want to hold him and carry him around and take him home with them. There is nothing in the world people love more than a very quiet, snuggly baby. Well, maybe some people love other things more than that, but quiet snuggly babies are really high up there.
Anyhoo, Scott left all the kids at the daycare and proceeded to have the girliest day ever at the gym. Did he go swim laps, or lift weights, or play racquetball, or work out???? Nope. He went and got a haircut. And then he went and ate a wrap at the cafe. I'm surprised he didn't get a pedicure. But at least he got a little break from the kids!
When he went back to pick them up, both the boys were asleep. WTF??? They won't nap at home, but they'll sleep at the gym daycare?! Weirdos. Of course, I guess it's possible that they just passed out from fright.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
On Saturday night at around 2:00 in the morning, Mr. Owen woke me up from a dead sleep crying about something or other. So I stumbled into his room, laid him back down, covered him up and went to give him his binky...and then realized that the binky was no longer in his crib. So I fumbled around in all the usual hiding spots to find it...in front of the crib, under the crib, behind the crib...nope, nope and nope. By this time I was starting to fully awaken. I've gotten so good at dealing with crying babies in the middle of the night that I can usually stumble in, take care of business, and stumble back to bed without ever fully waking up.
But not this time. I could not find that binky anywhere. Finally after what seemed like forever, I found the binky under Aidan's crib. At the time, I just assumed Owen was trying to engage Aidan in a little night time game of binky tennis. I never thought there could be another reason for him chucking that binky across the room.
So after all this binky searching, I was pretty wide awake. I gave Owen an extra kiss, gave him the binky and headed back to my room to try and get back to sleep. Sometime during this excursion I also realized that it was thunderstorming outside, but it wasn't that bad...yet. So I went to lay down, and drifted off back to sleep.
Now normally I am a heavy sleeper. It takes a lot to wake me up, especially when I'm in a deep sleep, as would normally be the case at 2:00 am. But due to Owen's loud freak-out and the ensuing time consuming binky-search, I was sleeping pretty lightly. That is, until around 2:25 am when I woke up and knew the thunderstorm had just gotten bad. Really bad.
I sat up in bed, listening to the rain and wind that seriously sounded like it was about to blow out my bedroom windows. Scott was dead asleep, and I hated to wake him up but I knew I had to. So I woke him up, we listened to the storm for a minute, looked at each other and I said, "This doesn't sound right," and about two seconds later the tornado sirens started to go off.
At this point, I kinda panicked. I mean, I've dealt with a lot of tornado warnings growing up in the midwest, but this one just felt different. It was truly scary outside. Scott ran to get Aidan and I grabbed Owen, and then I tried to get Ashley but couldn't wake her up. I ran down the stairs thinking that Scott might be waiting for me since he wouldn't want to leave Aidan alone in the basement, and I was right. He passed off Aidan to me and ran back up to get Ashley. We spent the next 30 minutes in the basement, not really knowing what happened or where it happened or what would happen.
I was so freaked out and felt very unprepared. Normally I have shoes by the basement door when there's a tornado warning, a flashlight, pillows and blankets, etc., and we've been watching the storm on radar so we have an idea of where it's going, how strong it is, etc...this just came out of nowhere in the middle of the night and we had to scramble not knowing anything except it looked and sounded insanely scary outside.
The next morning we found out that an EF-2 tornado came through Omaha about 15-20 minutes away from where we live. I honestly can't believe that it was that far away, with what we saw and heard going on outside our windows that night. It must have been terrifying for those who lived closer. Thankfully we had no damage to our house, although there were a bunch of tree branches down in our neighborhood.
Technically we would have all been fine if we'd slept through it, but I can't help but think Owen threw his binky across the room for a reason that night to make sure I was awake enough to get everyone up and downstairs safely. Just in case.
Scott: Do you want to hear something that will make you laugh?
Me: Sure!! (oh, how naive I am)
Scott: Well.....I built the pergola wrong.
Me: You are effin' kidding me.
Scott: Ha ha ha....no.
Me: What's wrong with it?
Scott: Well, when I put the header up I used the mark I made for the top measurement when I should have used the bottom one.
Me: What does that mean?
Scott: It means it's slanty.
Damn that slanty pergola!!! I cannot escape it.
Only this time, it's not even slanty in the right direction. Yes people, that means it's slanting back towards the house. So now when it rains there will be a nice little slope for the water to run straight into our family room. Lovely!!
Luckily Scott says this is an easy fix and he just needs to track down some poor, unwitting soul to help him hold the header up so he can move it. I believe him, but I'm not so sure we've escaped the slanty pergola for good. I mean, we haven't covered all possible slanty directions yet. So far we have away from the house and towards the house, but we still haven't covered any sideways slants. Or who knows, I wouldn't put it past Scott to figure out how to do a diagonal slant...he is that talented of a carpenter.
But all things considered, I'm really glad he figured it out now rather than when the whole flipping thing had been built. Otherwise I think I would have been stuck with my slanty pergola forever.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Wait...did I just say the words "gym" and "beautiful" in the same sentence?? Yes, I think I did.
The plan was to just have Scott join as a "single parent," and then add the kids on but leave me off. ANYONE who knows me knows that I absolutely, 100% do NOT work out. EVER. I don't like to be active, I don't like to sweat, and I am not entirely convinced that working out is actually good for you. Yes, I know what the studies say. But whenever I have tried working out in the past, I get off the exercise bike, or stop running or jumping or whatever the heck I'm doing, and I feel like CRAP. My heart is beating, I'm sweating, my muscles ache...I mean, how the heck can that be GOOD for you?? I like to treat my body well, which to me means curling up on a nice comfy couch under a blanket while I rest. I'm a strong believer in the value of resting.
So, I was all set not to join the gym. But then we went on the tour. Holy crap, this gym had a spa where you can get pedicures! And a little cafe with wi-fi access!! And big old plasma tv's! And jacuzzi's! And indoor and outdoor swimming pools with waterslides! And a SNACK bar!! When we saw the outside pool with the snack bar, I actually heard myself say to Scott: "I want to join the gym."
So I did. I joined the gym.
Oh, and they also showed us the exercise equipment room. I didn't pay much attention to that...I was still too busy hyperventiliating over the snack bar at the pool to notice.
So considering I joined the gym primarily for use of the snack bar (oops, I mean pools), I decided part of my Kohl's coupon needed to go towards the purchase of a brand new swimsuit. Granted, shopping for a bathing suit is never a pleasant experience for anyone (unless of course you're Heidi Klum). But it is even more of a challenge for me due to a little somethin' somethin' called "twinskin."
For those of you who don't know what twinskin is, say a little prayer of thanks to God. Twinskin is a little phenomenon that can result after you have to carry 12 pounds of babies around in your belly. Babies who constantly kick, and stretch, and punch, and puuuuuuush on your skin until it is stretched out beyond repair. Oh, and if you happen to have something called TTTS like I did, a bunch of extra fluid too, which makes your belly go from size zero to "Oh my God, she's going to have those babies ANY MINUTE!!" in about 4 weeks.
So you finally give birth to these babies, and you expect your huge, massive stomach to shrink. Which it does, eventually....but some of the skin gets left behind. And that remaining wrinkly patch of skin is what we mothers of multiples like to call "twinskin." Or as I affectionately call it, "mother-effin' twinskin."
So anyhoo, now do I not only need to find a swimsuit that works on my 32 year old, non-working out flabby body...I also need one that can hide the twinskin. Obviously, bikini's are out. Who am I kidding, bikini's have been out for a looooong time. Now, I could do the one-piece. But one-pieces tend to squish all the twin skin and make your mid-section look a little unnaturally lumpy.So I decide to go for the long tankini. You know, long enough to cover the belly, but broken up enough that your midsection isn't too highlighted. So I select three possibilities from the Kohl's rack, take a deep breath and go to try them on.
The first one....eh, not so bad. I like it, don't LOVE it, but it's okay.
The next two....holy MOTHER of hell, give me back that first swimsuit freaking NOW!!!! Good God, I didn't realize that I hit the jackpot with the first suit until I tried on the other ones. I mean, YIKES!!!!!
So I am DONE stimulating the economy for awhile. I spent waaaay too much money this weekend what with the new gym membership and the Kohl's shopping spree. Plus I need to start saving my money for that snack bar.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Just as a reminder, this was the pergola before this weekend:
And this is after...
We're on our way!!!!!!!! Well, Scott is on his way. I'm just sitting around offering non-helpful directions, like "Ooh, that board looks heavy," "So when do you think you're going to be done with this thing again?" and "Aren't you glad you listened to me and didn't make that thing all slanty?"So needless to say, Scott got a ton more done after me and my pesky questions (and our pesky children) left the house for the day for a Tastefully Simple party (oh my God, hell yeah to the guacamole dip!) and dinner at my parents. I was very pleasantly surprised when I got back and saw how much progress had been made. Hopefully the pergola will be finished in the next couple weeks!
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Except, she didn't tell me that she loved ME. Her exact words, I believe, were:
"Ooh, my flashlight!!! My flashlight!! Flashlight, I love you." (cue hugging and kissing of flashlight)
Apparently my daughter loves her flashlight more than her mommy. But don't worry, I'm not upset about it. I mean, who WOULDN'T love a flashlight more than her mother?? Flashlights are super cool. Really, they are. I swear. So what if Ashley can't figure out how to turn it on by herself? Flashlights are still cool even when they're turned off. You can hold them and stand them up on the ground and roll them around.... Okay, maybe they're not so cool turned off.
So to sum up, my daughter will not verbalize her love for me, but will for a turned-off flashlight. Lovely.
But I already have my plan figured out on how to deal with this. One day, probably not very far in the future, she's going to want that flashlight to be turned on. And if she still can't figure it out on her own, I will be standing in the wings, ready to turn it on as long as she says the magic words. And they won't be "Please, mommy!"
They'll be "I love you more than this flashlight and all other inanimate objects in the house, mommy." Do you think that's too much for a 2.5 year old to memorize? ;-)
Friday, June 6, 2008
It was a preemptive move, but when the storm breezed on by and only left cheerio-sized hail in its wake, I felt kind of silly.
And I'm pretty sure I was the only one who was scared. Once we got the boys up, they couldn't stop giggling at how silly their mommy was. And when I told Ashley a storm was coming when we first heard a thunderclap, she looked at me nonchalantly and said "No Mommy, that's Ash-ee's tummy."
Apparently she was really hungry.
Monday, June 2, 2008
It's about some guy who supposedly shot a video of aliens peeking into his window back in 2003. And where did this guy live when he shot the video?? Yup, that's right. In Nebraska.
I live in Nebraska. And apparently, so do the space aliens.
Now, normally, I'm not afraid of aliens. Really, I'm a rational person. I have a good head on my shoulders, I'm practical, some may even call me a bit cynical. Generally aliens are not something that I tend to worry about on a day-to-day basis.
But for some reason, this article has me freaked the eff out. That little alien head, peeking in the window...shudder. Here I am, sitting on the couch, right next to our family room window that has the mini-blinds pulled way up so the twins don't play mini-blind peek-a-boo all day long, and I feel all exposed.
So, in order to get myself a little less freaked out, I'm listing the things that I find amusing about this article:
- It makes sure to use the term "space aliens", instead of just aliens. That way, no one can read the article and get all offended that Nebraskans are pissed off about illegal aliens peeping into their windows. I mean, EVERYONE hates a space alien who's a peeping tom, but illegal alien peeping toms are just fine and dandy.
- It says that it is unclear whether the "space alien" is an alien or a puppet. I honestly don't know what I'd be more freaked out by...an alien popping up in my window, or a puppet. I think I'm leaning towards puppet.
- The cameraman caught the space alien on tape because he was worried about peeping toms stalking his teenage daughters and wanted to catch them on videotape. Hmmmm. If I was worried about peeping toms, I think I would maybe, uhhh, I don't know....close the blinds??? But to each his own.
- It says that the video was screened for members of the media, and photographers and cameramen were not allowed to take pictures of the video shown. So multiple people actually showed up to this dude's press conference???? Man, I should call a news conference. I don't know what it would be about, but I'm sure I could come up with something interesting if I tried. And apparently you don't have to try very hard.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Now, my husband, on the other hand, thinks a pergola looks something like this...
Yeah, that's the big stack of wood that's been sitting on my back patio for the last two days. So not much progress has been made on the pergola this weekend. The delay has mostly been caused by having too many children running around, needing to clean the house, my need for a nap this afternoon and S's softball game this evening. And of course, a few little miscommunications between me and S along the way...
When S and I first started talking about the pergola, we decided we would build it to look just like our neighbor's...attached to the house out the backyard, with a nice flat roof, but painted white with a ceiling fan. S is a carpenter, framed houses way back in the day, and knows a thing or two about electrical work. So a pergola should be no problem, right?
It all started out great, until S tells me all of a sudden that he can't do the ceiling fan. He says it's because it will be too hard to wire and will cost more money than I want to spend. But I think it's really because he's afraid that since it's an outdoor fan, it will get wet the next time there's a thunderstorm and it may result in him getting electrocuted. He has an unnatural fear of getting electrocuted via thunderstorm.
Then, S tells me that the wood he bought is "waterlogged", and therefore we can't paint it white until a year from now. I had no idea that wood could be so waterlogged that it can't accept paint for an entire YEAR, but he swears to me that it's a common occurence. But I'm not entirely convinced because I know S HATES to paint, and avoids it at all costs. He hates it so much, that I am always on pins and needles whenever we paint a room in our house because there are no second chances or re-do's. I have to make sure that the original paint chip I select is absolutely, 100% the right color...because S does NOT, I repeat NOT, repaint rooms.
Last and most important, S asks me this morning...
S: Now did you want the pergola to have a slanted roof or a flat roof?
Me: Umm, a flat roof. Just like the neighbors. Like we agreed.
S: Are you sure you don't want it to have a slanted roof?
Me: Ummm, yes.
S: Because I bought the wrong size posts and now the roof needs to be slanted. But don't worry, it will look awesome!
Sensing that I was not entirely convinced, S drove me past a house in our neighborhood that has a slanted pergola in the backyard so I could check out how awesome it would be. I was NOT impressed. By that time, I'd grown attached to my vision of a beautiful, flat-roofed pergola. The slanty pergola looked like a garden shed...I did not have any visions of BBQ pits and globe lights when I looked at it...I only had visions of shovels and rakes and head injuries from bumping your head on the slope.
So S, being the wonderful husband that he is, agreed to exchange the posts for the correct size, even though it meant uninstalling all of the carseats from the backseat of his truck so he could extend the bed, hauling the huge wrong-sized posts back to Home Depot, rehauling even huger correct posts back and losing out on a huge chunk of prime pergola-building time in the process.
But in the long run, I think it was worth it. Well, I hope so at least. The thing isn't built yet, so I'm sure there will be more snafu's to come.