Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Bipostennial Celebration (yes, I just made up that word)

Welcome to my 200th post!!! To celebrate, I thought I'd highlight my favorite post from each month over the past year. Which works out nicely since it's almost 2010, and therefore this post can double as my obligatory "Reflections on 2009" post. Isn't that fortuitous?

Without further ado, here they are:

January:  Overheard on the Baby Monitor
        
February:  Princess of Profanity

March:  In Defense of Jumbo

April:  Darwin Would be Proud

May:  Parenting Dilemmas
         
June:  On Parenting Identical Twins

July:  Hard Workin' Twins

August:  If You Like Pina Coladas

September:  Another Reason to Love Having Twins

October:  First!

November:  The Bug

December:  The Christmas Moose
              
It's been a fun and fabulous year!  Here's hoping that 2010 provides more laughs, a little less craziness and ZERO diapers!!!!  A mom of two year old twins can dream, can't she?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Picture is Worth a 1000 Words

As I was going through my various holiday pics tonight, I realized that the below photo, which was taken immediately after Ashley's preschool Christmas pageant, describes my children's personalities to a T right now. 

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As you can see, Owen is acting crabby.  And that about sums up Owen at the moment.  Oh, the hard life of a two year old...being asked to smile for the camera, having your teeth brushed against your will, having to listen to your mama sing the Itsy Bitsy Spider when you already told her telepathically that you wanted to hear The ABC Song instead.  The egregious slights!  The lack of dignity!  The disrespect of personal boundaries!  How will he ever survive?

Moving on to Aidan....oh, look at how happy and jolly he is.  And, he's saying "ho ho ho!" just like I asked him to before I snapped the picture.  See - this is one of the problems with having twins.  They are never in a good mood at the same time.  My guys tend to go in phases...two weeks on, two weeks off.  Just about the time I'll be ready to ship Owen off to boarding school, he'll turn all sweet again and Aidan will begin his fast descent into the inner circle of toddler hell.  By my calculations, we currently have about 6 days left of Ornery Owen before Angsty Aidan begins to take his place.

And then there's Ashley.  Oh, my Ashley.  Full of verve and pluck and joie de vivre and manic arm movements.  Which sounds like fun, but can get awfully exhausting after about, oh, ten minutes.  Tonight I had to threaten her with a time-out to get her to stop singing "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" so her brothers could finally fall asleep.  Damn that Barbie karaoke machine!!  Although I must admit I was humming along under my breath.

So yes, the picture above really does provide a snapshot of my children's personalities at the moment. And although I probably won't frame it or use it as next year's Christmas card, I will look back on it fondly as I remember how we survived this crazy time in our lives.  Either that or I'll tape it to my cubby at the asylum.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Greatest Preschool Christmas Pageant Ever

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Oy, what a Christmas.  I suppose I'll get to recapping it one of these days.

But first, I must tell the tale of the "Greatest Preschool Christmas Pageant Ever," starring who else but my favorite four-year old...Ashley.

Scott and I had known the Christmas pageant was in the works for awhile, mainly because it was highlighted via various handouts sent home over the course of the month, which is helpful for parents like us who forget to read the monthly calendar until the last minute.  That being said, the handouts merely confirmed what we already suspected, since the school had also hosted little shindigs for Halloween and Thanksgiving.   Both of those were very simple affairs, with the kids basically lining up and singing songs with various hand motions and the like, so we expected the same from the Christmas pageant.  We tried to ask Ashley about it, but she wouldn't spill anything.  The closest I got to getting any deets was when she messed up and sang twinkle twinkle "Christmas Star" instead of "Little Star" when we were singing the boys to sleep one night. 

"Aha!  So they taught you to sing "Twinkle Twinkle Christmas Star" for the preschool pageant!"

"No mommy, I just know that song all by myself."

She is a tough nut to crack, that Ashley.

Speaking of nuts, we were also supposed to bring cookies for the little party that they were planning to hold after the Christmas pageant was over.  But because the preschool is a peanut-free zone, Scott and I struggled mightily in selecting which type of cookie to bring.  We dug out the preschool handbook and tried to make heads or tails out of what kinds of cookies were prohibited - could we bake our own nut-less cookies?  But look here, it says something about how snacks need to be pre-packaged.  But this is a cookie party, not snack time.  But do we want to be responsible for inflicting peanut injuries on Christmas?  What about those nice packages of store bakery cookies - do those count as pre-packaged?   Maybe we should stick to a snack cookie...just to be safe.  But shouldn't we bring something nicer than a snack cookie??  It's the Christmas pageant for crying out loud!!

Who knew preschool could be so complicated.

Eventually, we settled on a box of Nilla Wafers.  Which seemed like a perfectly logical and safe choice, until I actually put the wafers on my decorative plastic plate and realized just how pathetic they looked.  After a hotly contested internal debate, I decided I'd rather be the lame mom who "forgot" to bring cookies to the Christmas pageant instead of the lame mom who brought a box of Nilla Wafers and called it a day. And I stand by that choice, because the cookie selection at the party would have made my Nilla Wafer tray look very sad indeed.  Let me tell you, it was quite a spread.  I'm sure they were all delicious, too, but I don't know for sure since I didn't eat any - I may be lame, but I'm not a mooch.  Also, I knew I had a plateful of Nilla Wafers back home waiting for me.

But prior to the post-pageant party, we had to first make it through the pageant itself.  Once we were seated, Scott passed me the program with a smile on his face and said:

"Did you see who Ashley's playing?"

I smiled back at him and thought, oh my gosh, the kids are actually going to put on a little play???  I just thought they were going to sing songs!  My mind started to run wild...could it be, that Ashley was given the role coveted by Catholic little girls all over the world?  Could she be...I could barely contain my excitement here...Mary, the mother of baby Jesus himself???  She has the long brown hair, she certainly doesn't suffer from stage fright, and she's kinda/sorta gentle with her baby dolls....it made perfect sense!  Ashley was going to be Mary!  (Although I'm mostly non-practicing now, Catholicism was burned into my brain at an early age.  Therefore, the thought of playing Mary in a nativity scene is only slightly less exciting to me than the thought of appearing in a starring role on Broadway.  And yes, I feel guilty for writing that).

I scanned the program, looking for Ashley's name.  But what's this?  A little girl named Hannah is playing Mary.  Hmph.  I'm sure her mother is very proud.  Well, fine, Ashley is too young to play a pregnant lady anyway...maybe next year.  I bet she's an angel.  Look, there's Mackenzie from Ashley's class...she's an angel.  Where's Ashley's name?  Huh, I guess she's not an angel.  Is she a shepherd?  The innkeeper?  A wise man?

Then I saw my baby's name waaaaaaaay down at the bottom of the page, listed under the following role:

Door Slammer

Yes, a door slammer.  I did not know "door slammers" were included in the story of Jesus's birth.  Apparently that part was left out when I was in Catholic school.  I only had a few moments to ponder what a door slammer might be doing at a nativity scene, when the play started.

I soon realized that a door slammer was essentially a sound effects person, as every time someone entered or left the innkeeper's abode Ashley slammed two blocks together to make a big "door slamming" noise.  Let me tell you, it was a key part of the action.  Without that sound effect, the audience wouldn't have known that the innkeeper was getting crabby at the shepherds and wisemen et al. who kept stopping by to ask for directions to the stable.  And if we didn't know that the innkeeper was crabby, we wouldn't have fully appreciated his change of heart when he realized, lo and behold, it was baby jesus who was causing all the hoopla. 

I had to admit, Ashley was perfectly casted.  The enthusiasm with which she slammed those blocks together, the glint in her eye as the sound echoed throughout the church...it was as if she was born to play the role of the door slammer.  I wonder how her teachers knew???? 

Wait...don't answer that.

Monday, December 21, 2009

If the Shoe Fits...

Oh, prom.  You were just how I remembered you, only with more alcohol.  I'm too tired for a full recap, but for those of you on the edge of your seats re: the great pantyhose debate....



I just couldn't do it.  So I invested in these bad boys from DSW.  And the sheer hose kept my legs toasty warm, which I know to be true because my arms (which were not covered in hose) were all chilly. 

Hey, new fashion idea!  Sheer hose for your arms!  Although then there would be great debate and angry divided internet camps over whether or not arm hosiery must be accompanied by appropriate handwear.  So it's probably not worth it.

Stay tuned for more fashion dilemmas brought to you courtesy of my blog - e.g., "Do these boots make me look like a pirate?"  Also, "Are these sweatpants or pajamas?"  I know - it just keeps getting more and more exciting around here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Great Panty Hose Debate

Stop the presses, everyone.  I have been struggling with something today.  Something of dire importance.  And I need your help.

I have on my hands what some people like to call a "fashion emergency."  Or a "potential wardrobe malfunction." Or a "panty hose predicament."  (I made that last one up myself). 

Here's the thing.  As mentioned in my last post, I'm going to prom on Saturday.  And I forgot that I need to wear shoes (there's always something...)

Now, granted, I could go to DSW and buy some new shoes.  They even sent me a nice little $5 off coupon the other day for my birthday.  But two things I am lacking in this week are both (i) time; and (ii) money in excess of a $5 coupon, which does not fare well for a mid-week shoe shopping spree.

So I want to make do with something I already have in my closet.  And, lo and behold, what did I find in there this evening?  These gorgeous black sparklies, that's what. 

Ooh, I love a good sparkly.  

Now, you may have noticed that these heels would be classified as being in the sandal family.  And you may have noticed in the "about me" section of my blog that I live in the midwest.  Which is covered in snow at the moment.  And is very, very, very cold. 

So, against all better judgment and the limited fashion sense I have, I'm considering wearing...brace yourselves...sheer hose.  With open toed shoes.

Oh no, she didn't!

(Well, I might do it).

Ugh ugh ugh.  I've been googling this all night without getting anywhere.  The internet camps regarding the open toe shoe hosiery debate are firmly divided....which I have summarized thusly:

Anti-Hose:  NEVER wear hose with open-toed shoes.  EVER.

Pro-Hose:  It's not the "reinforced toe" kind!  It's the "sandal" kind!  Why would they make a "sandal hose" if you weren't supposed to wear it with sandals?

Anti-Hose:  No way, no how.

Pro-Hose:  But it's coooooooold in the midwest!!

Anti-Hose:  Tough.

Pro-Hose:  But I'll tuck the tiny seam under my toes so you can't even tell!

Anti-Hose:  Forget it.

Pro-Hose:  Everybody else will be doing it.

Anti-Hose:  You are an embarassment to open toed shoes everywhere.

You see my dilemma?

I want to wear the sparkly shoes.  At the same time, I do not want my toes to turn purple and fall off mid-prom.  I think that would be a mood-killer, don't you?  But I don't know if I have it in me to commit a fashion faux pas of this magnitude.

So I see my choices as follows: 

(a)  Wear the sparklies with a sheer hose, tuck the seam, and pray that there are no anti-hose protesters at the prom

(b)  Wear the sparklies without hose, and accept the risks of frostbite and hypothermia

(c)  Suck it up and go to DSW and buy a pair of closed toe shoes.  Or maybe peep toe?  Can you wear hose with peep toe shoes?

(d)  Spend some more time googling the issue whilst eating Ghiradelli Peppermint Bark.  Dang, that stuff is good.

Feel free to share your advice in the comments.  :-)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Young at Heart if not in Digits

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My birthday is this week. I used to looooooove birthdays. But now that I'm in my thirties?

Not so much.

But aging can't be helped. So I half-heartedly try to embrace it. (Half-heartedly because the other half of my heart is fervently hoping that the $20 I just dropped on Olay regenerist night cream will work a miracle on my finely lined face).

Oh, who am I kidding. I only quarter-heartedly try to embrace aging. Okay, fine... one-eighth-heartedly, tops. The other seven-eighths of me is is protesting against aging with all the energy I can muster (which, frankly, isn't that much...because I'm oooooooooold).

But here's what I've been able to come up with so far to keep myself fairly young at heart, if not young in digits.

1. I saw New Moon in the movie theatre (twice).

2. My favorite song on the radio right now is Whatcha Say, followed closely by Replay.

3. I giggled and giggled and giggled at the "Shy Ronnie" digital short on SNL last weekend. Still giggling.

4. We're getting a Wii for Christmas and I am soooooo flipping excited.

Note that all of my attempts to stay young so far just involve various forms of media - movies, music, tv, video games. I think I'm already too far gone to actually do any young physical activities.

Except for one.

5. I'm going to prom this weekend.

Granted, "prom" is actually a client's black-tie holiday gala/fundraiser. But it's out of town, and my firm is springing for a hotel for the night so Scott and I can attend. There will be dinner, alcohol, dancing, Scott will be wearing a tux, and I will be wearing this little ditty:

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That's enough to qualify as a prom, in my book.

Although there are a few key difference between this prom and the proms I attended of yesteryear: (a) there is no curfew at this prom; and (b) I actually like my date.

Maybe being an adult isn't half bad. Or seven-eighths bad, depending on how you slice it.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Blizzards and Bad Jokes

There is currently a blizzard raging outside of my house. It makes me want to wear footie pajamas and curl up with a cup of hot chocolate. It made Scott want to go play Tiger Woods PGA Tour on our neighbor's Wii. Maybe the footie pajamas freaked him out?

The blizzard is turning into a rager, so I texted him to come home ASAP because I'm scared. Plus, Tiger has had enough play the last few months, don't you think?

He replied that he's on the 14th hole and he'll be home right after. I'll bet that's what Tiger said, too.

Ooh, I'm on a roll.

Who knew that a blizzard could bring out my stand up comedienne side? Don't get me started...don't even get me started.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

World TTTS Awareness Day - Our Journey with Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome

World TTTS Awareness Day
I don't know if I've ever really talked about my twin pregnancy on my blog, but let me tell you...it was a hair raiser.

When I was about 18 weeks along, I was diagnosed with twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS). TTTS is a condition that can develop during an identical twin pregancy if the two babies share a single placenta. Basically, one twin gets too much blood flow from the shared placenta, while the other doesn't get enough. This can lead to the death of both twins if it remains untreated.

My case was a pretty severe one. Because Aidan was getting too much blood flow, his heart was starting to fail from having to work so hard to pump the extra blood circulating through his system. And Owen wasn't growing as well as he should have been. And due to all the extra fluid I was carrying, I was huge and at risk of my water breaking...I was already measuring as if I were 36 weeks pregnant when I was only 21 weeks along.

I ultimately had to have in utero fetal laser surgery to try to sever the blood vessels in the placenta that the boys were sharing. We were given a 58% chance of both boys surviving it. I truly believe with all my heart that if we hadn't had this surgery, the boys would not be with us today. And my life would be very, very different.

One moment from the day of the surgery stands clear in my mind. Scott wasn't allowed in the OR, so he kissed me goodbye and I was wheeled in alone. Although not completely alone, because I had my baby boys with me. The anesthesiologist gave me an epidural, and I laid back on the table with my arms spread out beside me, starting at the bright lights above. I had the choice to either stay awake or be put to sleep for the surgery, and I had chosen to stay awake.

But then my blood pressure dropped, and I got very dizzy, and even though I was trying to be strong and brave, it all overcame me at that moment and I started to sob. The anesthesiologist asked me if I'd changed my mind about staying awake, and I said yes because I was worried my crying would somehow unsettle the boys or distract the surgeons. So they gave me some medicine to put me to sleep.

But before I drifted off, I stared up at the lights again, and I prayed. I prayed to God to let me keep my baby boys. Oh, please God, let me keep my baby boys.

And when I woke up, the boys were still there. And they were there the next day, and the day after that. And they were still there 15 weeks later when I finally gave birth to them when I was almost 36 weeks along.
I don't know why I was so lucky that day and for the remainder of my pregnancy. It would be easy to say that it was all God's doing, but I can't...because so many women don't have the same outcome that I did. And I refuse to believe in a God who would spare one woman's much-wanted babies while allowing another's to pass. Instead, I believe in a God who lets the world work its own way out of things...but who is present to comfort those who ask for it and are open to receiving it. And I was comforted that day.

I do know I will always be in debt to the doctors and surgeons who monitored me throughout my pregnancy and gave me and my boys the best care imaginable. And I am indebted to the TTTS Foundation, which gave me the tools to educate myself about TTTS and seek out the type of care that I received.

December 7th is World TTTS Awareness Day. And while my journey with TTTS is now over, I'll never forget what we went through. And I'll never stop hoping that one day no other mothers will have to go through it.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Christmas Moose

So, I heard about this cute Christmas tradition from one of my friends the other day. It's called "Elf on the Shelf". Have you heard of it?
Apparently, you can buy this cute little book with elf included for $49.99 from Amazon. Then once it arrives, you tell your kids that the elf is really a "scout" sent by Santa to see if they're being good or bad. The elf sits on your shelf during the day and gathers information for the man in red, and then flies back to the North Pole at night to report back his findings. And there's a trick - the parents are then supposed to move the elf to another shelf before the kids wake up the next morning so they actually believe the whole shebang. If you do all of this correctly, you can then threaten your kids throughout the day that "The elf is watching!!!" whenever they act inappropriately.

I like it.

But I do not like that price tag. So I decided to explain the whole concept to the kids using my own mad creative story-telling skills, and then sent Scott off to Target to buy a cheaper elf to put on our shelf. He called me shortly thereafter to report that he hadn't been able to find any cheap stuffed elves at Target. So instead, he bought a stuffed moose with a wintery scarf.

Unfortunately, moose does not rhyme with shelf. But that's okay...we could work with this. And really, how many shelves do people own anyway? One of those days we would have run out of a shelf on which to put our elf, and then where would we be?

So instead of having an elf on the shelf, we dubbed our Santa scout...."The Christmas Moose." The children were all duly impressed. So much so, that Ashley began to have a panic attack when Scott reminded her that "The Christmas Moose is watching!!!!!" when she began to engage in some behavior that Santa would have classifed as naughty rather than nice.

She asked him, "Daddy, can I ask the Christmas Moose not to tell Santa what I just did?"

Scott replied, "Well, you can ask him, Ashley. But it's up to the moose on whether he tells Santa or not."

Ashley quietly approached the moose (which was not sitting on a shelf, if you're curious). She looked up at it and said "Moose, please don't tell Santa I was being bad." The Moose looked down at her silently. Ashley nodded as if he'd spoken to her telepathically, and said "Mmm hmm. Okay."

Before we could realize that the tables had been turned, Ashley continued her conversation.

"Moose, can I have a piece of candy? Mmm hmm. Okay."

She then turned to Scott, who was just now beginning to catch on, and said "Daddy, the moose said I can have some candy."

And now for the moral of the story:

As with any type of weapon, you must always maintain control over your Christmas Moose. Otherwise it may end up being used against you by highly creative and devious children.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

If Only Radio Flyer Had an Auto Pilot...

Our 2009 Thanksgiving Vacation Road Trip

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(Just kidding. I only wish my minivan was that snazzy).

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Bug

At 7:00 pm last night, I said to the kids "Hey, why don't you guys go play upstairs for a little while?"

And they all said, "Okay." And then they went.

This was a shocking development. My children normally have an unrelenting desire to be within a three-foot radius of myself at all times. Unless of course I am sitting down, in which case they must be sitting directly on top of me.

So I watched them go, quite befuddledly. I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself. I looked at the dishes still sitting on the dinner table, and thought "Well, I could wash those, I guess." And then I picked up the remote and curled up on the couch instead.

Good Lord! Was I about to turn on the television to something other than Nick Jr. while the children were actually still awake? Would I finally be able to catch up on my tivo'd episodes of So You Think You Can Dance? Was no one actually sitting on me? I couldn't believe my good fortune.

So when Ashley called down from the top of the stairs and said:

"Mommy!!! There's a bug on your door!!!"

I pretended I didn't hear her. So she yelled it again:

"MOMMY! There's a bug on your door!!"

I realized I wouldn't be able to enjoy my moment of television solitude with her hollering at me the whole time, so I yelled back:

Me: Well, how big is it??

Ashley: TWO INCHES!!

Hmmm, well that's pretty big. But I don't think Sesame Street teaches inches (or centimeters, for you crazy metric system-users), so I made her come downstairs and show me with her fingers how big it was. Surprisingly, she held her fingers apart about two inches. Huh.

Me: Well, what kind of a bug is it?

Ashley: It's a...it's a...it's a BEETLE!!

Me: Ohhhhh....like a lady bug?

Ashley: No, mommy (as she rolls her eyes). It's a BIG BEETLE!

Well, there you go. A big beetle was on my door. I looked at the television. I looked at Ashley, who had now been joined by her two cronies (i.e., Aidan and Owen). I looked back at the tv.

Me: Well, what do you want me to do about it?

Ashley: Mommy (as she rolls her eyes some more), I want you to SQUISH it.

Me: I don't squish bugs, Ashley. Daddy squishes the bugs.

This is true. I am not a bug squisher. I am a bug corraler. Meaning that, if I happen to spot a bug in the house, and it is crawling on a flat surface, I will place a glass over it. Thus trapping it to be squished later by my husband, who luckily doesn't mind being married to a lady who would rather slowly suffocate a bug via glass enclosure then squish it quickly with a tissue.

But you can't put a glass over a bug that's crawling vertically on a door. So there was really nothing I could do for Miss Ashley and her two fellow entomologists. Nevertheless, she remained undeterred:

Ashley: Mommy, you need to call Daddy and tell him to come home and squish this bug.

I considered it. After all, he was just next door watching football with the neighbors. But the Nebraska game had just started, and I was feeling particularly generous at the moment.

Me: Ashley, Daddy is busy. Why don't you just squish it yourself?

Ashley: Me squish it?!

I was a little taken aback at myself. Was this a questionable parenting move? Was it appropriate to ask my barely 4 year old daughter to inflict death on another living being, big beetle notwithstanding? What is an appropriate age to kill your first bug? Or put a glass over your first bug, depending on your preference?

I didn't know the answer. But it was too late to turn back now, because Ashley was already marching towards the bathroom to gather up the instrument of death (i.e., toilet paper). I called out, "Grab a little extra!" because I didn't know if she knew that her typical square or two wouldn't be sufficient for a bug squishing expedition.

Aidan, the brave soldier out of the two, quickly followed Ashley up the stairs. Owen stayed behind, staring at me with a concerned look in his eyes. I then heard Ashley and Aidan quietly discussing in their toddler language the best route of attack.

And then it was quiet. For a moment.

All of a sudden, I heard the loudest and most terrified chorus of screams and cries that I've ever heard during my parenting career. I jumped off the couch, yelling "What happened??!!" and ran towards the stairs at full-speed, fearing the worst....was the "big beetle" really a black widow spider? Or a brown recluse? Or a tarantula?????

As I rounded the bend on our staircase, I saw it. A little black beetle...with wings, apparently...floating/flying down the stairwell, away from my two screaming children. By this point, Ashley had already taken cover inside a hamper, her arms over her head, waving and screaming as if she were Tippi Hedren herself. Aidan was pressed against the back wall of the hallway, his head turned and his eyes squeezed shut, yelling something in his toddler language that I roughly translated as "Oh, the humanity!!!!!"

I ran past the floaty beetle and tried to reassure my children that they were in fact, overreacting, only to hear the death cry of Owen, who I'd abandoned behind me on the stairs, as he realized the beetle was headed straight for him. Luckily, it made a last-minute detour and landed on the wall of the stairwell, where I then proceeded to squish it before he could pass out from fear, using scraps of toilet paper that Ashley had gingerly tossed over the side of the hamper.

Then we all hugged. And I realized that I had learned a valuable parenting lesson: Never send three children under the age of four to squish a bug by themselves...unless you've ascertained whether or not it has wings first.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Fakesgiving Celebration

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Ah, Thanksgiving. When I was growing up, it was the most momentous of family holidays because it was the one major holiday that was entirely, solely, unabashedly, and unapologetically devoted to eating.

Sure, there's that whole thing about being "thankful." But historically speaking, on that first Thanksgiving, those pilgrims were really just thankful they had some food on the table. They were starving, people! They didn't waste time going around the table telling sappy stories about how thankful they were for their families and what not! If anything, they just thanked each other for passing the boiled vegetables real quick like!

(And that is another history lesson brought to you by Megan's memory of elementary school classes, supplemented a minute ago by Wikipedia).

So if you really want to honor the true meaning of Thanksgiving, it's perfectly fine to be like my family and just focus on the turkey and pumpkin pie. It's called a "historically accurate" Thanksgiving, if you want to get technical. Which can come in handy if you need to explain why you interruped your great-grandma's soliloquy about the importance of being thankful to say "Pass the turkey, stat!"

Anyhoo, my family devotes months of planning to our Thanksgiving menu. Not that anything is ever different...every year it's the same. Turkey, secret family recipe for stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, rolls, etc. etc. etc. But the reason that nothing needs to be changed is that my family's Thanksgiving menu has reached Thanksgiving nirvana. It is perfect. And due to such perfection, we like to endlessly discuss it beginning in mid to late September of each year. It drives my husband crazy. He is an outsider, though, so he just doesn't understand (he once told me he doesn't even like the secret stuffing. The horror! The horror!)

But the past couple of years, a wrench has been thrown into everyone's plans.

It's called...having children. And having two sets of grandparents who both want to see said grandchildren on various major holidays. So this Thanksgiving, I will be forgoing my side of the family's Thanksgiving festivities and traveling to my in-laws instead. Granted, there will be turkey and fixings galore, which I'm sure will be delicious. We might even get two turkeys, since Scott's parents are divorced and we're splitting our holiday time between them. (I never thought of that as a positive factor about divorce...two turkeys on Thanksgiving! I wonder if they put that in the self-help books.)

But it's just not the same.

So tonight, my family all gathered for an early "Fakesgiving" celebration. We all pitched in...Scott and I supplied the homemade pumpkin pie and wine, my brother and sister-in-law brought apple pie and a sweet potato dish, my grandma and uncle brought cookies and salad, my dad made the secret stuffing, and my mom baked and roasted and mashed and carmelized everything else for a Fakesgiving feast that was beyond compare.

Everything was delish. And maybe, just maybe, this year I'm thankful not only for the food, but for a family who would go to all this trouble just to get to celebrate Thanksgiving with me and my husband and our kids. *Sniff*

Although on second thought, they are still planning to have real Thanksgiving in a couple weeks. Which means they'll get a turkey feast twice in the same month. Which means that...wait a minute...Fakesgiving wasn't about me at all! They just did it for the extra turkey!!!

Pure genius.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What's in a Name?

Because I am exhausted and can't think of anything funny to blog about...

And because it's cute....

And because I don't want to forget it...

And because I was juuuuuuuuuuuust talking about names on my last post...

I'm going to share another little "Ashley-ism" from this weekend with you all.

Me: Ashley, do you know what daddy's real name is?

Ashley: Scott.

Me: And do you know what my real name is?

Ashley: Meggie.

How cute is that? Not just that my daughter thinks my real name is Meggie, but that she thinks that because it's what Scott calls me in front of her.

(Thank goodness she didn't think my name was Sweet Cheeks. Now that would've been embarrassing.)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I will love him and squeeze him and hug him...

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As I went about my business cleaning up this morning, one of my children (Owen) began to play one of his favorite games...I call it "Turn the tv on, turn the tv off." It's kind of self-explanatory.

In the 10 second intervals that the tv remained on, Ashley somehow became engrossed in Akeelah and the Bee, which was the movie of the day playing on the Disney channel. I've never seen this movie, but I've heard it's about kids and spelling bees and issues related to such. Now how's that for a helpful synopsis?

Anyway, as I watched Akeelah spell the word "pastiche", I realized that I had on my hands what is called a "teachable moment." Also, I realized that Owen was driving me crazy with the tv.

So I turned off the tv for good, and attempted to teach Ashley how to spell a few words. First we spelled her name. Then we spelled "cat". Then we went to my mom's for lunch. (Hey, we were hungry and she was serving pizza rolls. You would've gone too).

Later tonight, we got back to spelling.

Me: Ashley, do you want to learn how to spell Aidan and Owen's names?

Ashley: Okay, mommy.

Me: Their names are easy to remember...Owen's name begins with the letter "O". See? O-wen. And Aidan's name begins with the letter "A". A-idan. Isn't that neat?

Ashley: And my name begins with the letter "A"!

Me: Yup, that's right. But your name makes the "ah" sound. Like Ah-shley.

Ashley: Mommy, I wish Aidan and Owen had new names.

Me: You don't like their names?

Ashley: No.

Me: Well, what would you name them if you could give them different names?

Ashley: Um, I'd name Aidan "Cute Little Aidan."

Me: Aw, that's sweet! And what would you name Owen?

Ashley: George.

Me: Huh.

And thus ended our spelling lesson for the night.

Friday, November 6, 2009

And the winner is...

I'm kicking it old school on this giveaway drawing...papercuts be damned!

And the winner of the JJ Cole - Tactic Changing Purse in Cocoa Tree is...


Heather!!

Send me an e-mail with your address Heather, and I'll forward it on to the nice folks at csnbaby.com so they can send you your bag. Congrats!!! And thanks to everyone else who entered!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Halloween Recap Fun

Ooh, Halloween was b.u.s.y.

First we decorated the house all scary-like......oooooooooh!

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Then we carved pumpkins with the scariest faces we could think of...

Clowns.

*shudder*

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Somewhere in there we also baked and frosted Halloween-themed sugar cookies. I would show you pictures of the baking process, but I think they might just be too frightening for this family-friendly blog. Let's just say that one clumsy mama + 3 children who want to "help" + 2.5 cups of flour equals one freakishly messy kitchen. And 3 freakishly messy children.

Have you ever had to literally shake flour off your toddler before putting him down for his nap? Or had to come up with instantaneous witty responses to your husband's relentless questions of "How did you possibly get flour all the way [up][down][back][over] here?" If not, make sure you give me a call if the situation ever presents itself - I can help you out with both.

Finally, after all the decorating and carving and baking was over, it was time to get down to the nitty-gritty of Halloween - dressing up like wackadoodles and heading out to beg for candy!

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We had a last minute costume change when Owen refused to try on his Yoda hat. Fortunately, Aidan simultaneously fell in love with it so the switch was easy. That is, until Yoda saw that the Ewok got to have a brown nose and flipped out that he didn't.

But not to worry...the force is strong with this mama. I simply whipped out my eyeliner pencil with the cap still on and pretended to draw an identical nose on Aidan. Luckily he fell for my Jedi-mind trick. Although I did feel kind of guilty later when he went around proudly pointing out his non-brown nose to anyone who would look.

The trick-or-treating went fabulously as well. The boys were quite brave. Apparently the Star Wars costumes gave them the little oomph in self-esteem that they needed to accept candy from strangers. Ashley was her typical outgoing self - although she was the first of the bunch to lose steam. One of my favorite quotes from the night: "Daddy, Super Girl wants to be carried."

My other favorite moment from the night was when Aidan picked out a pencil instead of candy from someone's Halloween bucket. Look at my little Einstein wanting a pencil instead of sugar! Bless his heart. Although pencils don't feed a mama's need for a sugar rush in the middle of the night.

Yes, I steal my kids' Halloween candy. Never underestimate the power of the dark side....or dark chocolate.

***

Don't forget to enter my giveaway by leaving a comment on my previous post!! The winner will be announced on Friday!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Give it away, Give it away, Give it away now!

***This giveaway is now closed***

If you are the kind of person who loves things that are (i) free, (ii) cute, and (iii) did I already mention free? - then you have come to the right place because I am hosting my first ever blog giveaway!

What is a blog giveaway, you ask? What a great question - I couldn't have timed it better myself.

A blog giveaway is an event where I give something cute and free to one of my lucky readers chosen at random. Today's giveaway is sponsored by csnbaby.com, which is an awesome website for all things baby-related. Sheesh, I wish I'd known about this website back when my kids were all teensy tiny. They have a super cute collection of crib bedding available...it almost makes me want to have another baby.

(Don't worry. I'm not that crazy.)

Anyhoo, I chose the JJ Cole - Tactic Changing Purse in Cocoa Tree as my first giveaway item. Isn't it cute?

I looooooove diaper bags. Especially compact diaper bags. And the only thing I like better than a compact diaper bag is a compact diaper bag that doesn't look like a compact diaper bag.
You still with me?
And this compact diaper bag isn't even called a diaper bag! It's a "changing purse"! And if you don't think that's super fancy, then I don't know what to tell you. Anyway, I thought it was dang cute and wanted to give it away to one of my loyal readers. (If any guys read this blog, sorry. To keep things even, I'll try and give away a "man bag" for my next giveaway. You can thank me later).

To enter the giveaway, just leave me a comment on this post. That's not so hard, right? Just one little comment and you're on your way to being even more fashionable than you already are. And if your husband sees you sashaying around with it and says "Did you buy another diaper bag?" you can say "Step off, honey, cuz I didn't buy it! It was freeeeeeeee!" And it's always fun to get to say step off, isn't it?

For an extra entry, you can also become a "follower" of my blog. Just click that little "Follow" button up there in the left-hand corner, and leave me a separate comment letting me know (or if you already follow me, just let me know). Make sure to leave separate comments so I catch all of your entries!

Yippee! I'm so excited. I'll pick the winner at random by Friday of this week. Let the giving away commence!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I, Vegetable

After Ashley's preschool Halloween parade yesterday, she had another hour and a half left of school. The rest of us got in the car to drive home, where I found myself in an unusual circumstance.

Scott was driving, my mother-in-law was in the front passenger seat, and the boys were side by side in their carseats in the middle row of my minivan. I squished into the back row by myself and laid my head against the side of Ashley's empty carseat.

Scott and his mom chatted amongst each other. The boys were silent. So I sat quietly in the back seat. Alone. Free to just stare out the window and vegetate.

I cannot remember the last time I had that opportunity. There is always something going on or something that I should be doing...whether it be kid-related or Scott-related or me-related or work-related or whatever else-related.

But yesterday, there was nothing to do and nothing to think about. For the 15 minute drive home, I could completely relax, tune the world out, and be nothing but pure vegetable. More specifically, I decided I would be a pumpkin, it being Halloween season and all.

But my brain would not cooperate with my vegetation plan.

I started wondering...is a pumpkin a vegetable? Or is it a fruit? It has seeds...that means it's a fruit, right? But no way. A pumpkin is totally a vegetable. It has to be. Doesn't it?

And I just couldn't stop myself. "Find out if a pumpkin is a fruit or vegetable" was put on the mental to-do list, and just like that, my vegetation ended. The blackberry was brought out, the google search was conducted, and pretty soon I had my answer.

Fruit.

No wonder I couldn't vegetate properly.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halloween Status Update

Today was a Halloween-centric day.

First, my mom kept sending me icky fake eyeball pictures on my cell phone with captions like "Happy Halloween!" and "Boo!"

*Shudder*

Something you may not know about me is that I have a phobia about eyeballs. It's called "eyeball-a-phobia", which is a technical term that I invented just now. Basically, anything involving eyeballs, eyelids, or anything in close proximity to an eyeball freaks me the eff out.

You should have seen me when I first got contact lenses. My eye doctor wouldn't let me leave his office until I had both successfully inserted and removed my new lenses all by myself. I was there for HOURS, people. Coached by an exasperated nurse who repeatedly watched me lift my finger to my eye only to shout over and over again "I can't do it! I can't do it!" I remember desperately asking her for ways to cheat...."There has to be a way! Can't I just blink it out? Real quick like?"...and her just staring back at me like I was a crazy person.

(Apparently she didn't believe me that eyeball-a-phobia is a serious medical condition).

So needless to say, Halloween is a tough time of year for me, because people are generally lacking in eyeball sensitivity. I can usually handle it...I mean, I expect to see the wayward eyeball in Halloween store aisles or displays or scary movies or whatever. But from my own mother??? Via text message??? That's harsh. (But still funny. Nicely played, mom. Nicely played.)

Luckily, happier Halloween moments followed the eyeball trauma from this morning. It was time for Ashley's preschool Halloween parade! I was so excited to be able to go since I miss out on a lot of that stuff being a working mom and all.

Ashley killed it as Super Girl, didn't she?

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All the kids marched up and down the halls and then sang a few Halloween songs that all sounded pretty similar and usually ended with the kids shouting "BOO!" Then the parents all passed out candy. Scott got the stink-eye from several kids since he bought mini Almond Joys to pass out (i.e., preschooler candy selection fail). Luckily Ashley is still little enough that her preschool pals won't shun her for having the parents who passed out coconut candy at the Halloween parade. Phew.

After that I spent the afternoon refreshing the tracking status on Aidan's Ewok costume. It's in Kansas tonight - only one state away! Never tell me the odds!

Monday, October 26, 2009

El Saturday Nighto

Scott and I left the kids with my parents on Saturday night and went out with our dear friends for some Mexican food and margaritas.

We had a fabulous time. Except I think I mistakenly ordered off the kids' menu. In my defense, the menu was in Spanish, which is a language I do not speak. I took French back in high school. And yes, I retained some of it. And no, I will not go to a French restaurant and order off the adult menu to prove it to you, because French restaurants are much too expensive. Sacre bleu! (For those of you who don't speak French, that means "As if!" or "You idiot!" or the equivalent). Besides, everybody in France speaks English anyway, so it doesn't really matter if I remember any of it or not. At least that's what a partner in my firm once told me before she jetsetted off for a European vacation and left me back in the midwest with a crapload of work to do. But whatever.

So, yes...I ordered a baby quesadilla for dinner. I should've known when the waitress tried to explain to me that it was nothing fancy...just cheese and a tortilla. And maybe the fact that it was listed in the same section as the chicken nuggets and mini cheeseburger should have clued me in. But bygones...it was a delicious quesadilla, albeit tiny. Luckily, the strawberry margarita I also ordered was definitely not from the kids menu, so at least I had that going for me. Ole! (See, I told you I don't speak Spanish. I don't know even know the proper excited utterances.)

After dinner, we headed back to our friends' house and broke out the Wii. What does it say about you when everyone else in your group scores in the 20-30 year age range on the Wii fitness test, but you top out at a sprightly 54 years old?

(I think it says maybe you should cool it on those margaritas.)

Anyway, we had a blast. And I only got a little upset when everybody ganged up on my Wii avatar and gave her a cruel nickname. Yes, in hindsight, perhaps that extra cheek mole wasn't a good idea. And maybe some rhinoplasty is in order. And maybe comparing her to a "slightly-off" Marilyn Monroe was being a bit too generous. But still, Wii avatars have feelings too! And just like a mother with her newborn baby, I will always think my Wii avatar is beautiful. Even if she has a d*ck nose.

Let me tell you, that Wii is a fun little gadget. I think we just might need to get one.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday Sayings

It doesn't matter if it's 1/2 full or 1/2 empty...

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As long as you have a big enough cup.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Halloween Procrastination

Have you ever become completely obsessed with an idea? So much so that you are unable to let it go without at least attempting execution?

(This happens to me quite often.)

It is especially dangerous when I have an idea late at night. When my giant purse (and thus, my credit card) is temptingly within reach. And The-Keeper-of-the-Budget (i.e., Scott) is lying sound asleep beside me.

Me: Scott, are you awake?

Scott: *snore*

Me: Okay hon, don’t worry, I’ll just handle it on my own.

(If that isn’t an all-clear to proceed, then I don’t know what is.)

So, back to my idea. As I’m sure you all know, Halloween is next week. I’m completely unprepared. Candy has not been bought, pumpkins have not been carved, house has not been decorated, I don’t even know where my Pottery Barn Kids Halloween catalog is, and I just bought Pumpkin Spice Coffee-Mate for the first time today. Bah, humbug. (Wait, it’s too early for that, right? Phew.)

The one thing that we have done is purchase the kids’ costumes, which happened very spontaneously. Basically Scott was walking the aisles at Target with our kids in tow and stumbled upon the costume aisle, whereupon he called me at work and I remotely helped him pick out three Halloween costumes.

I don’t do spontaneous very well. I’m one of those people who really wants to be spontaneous, but completely sucks at it. You know the type...I make a quick decision and then rethink it. And then make you discuss it with me. Over and over and over. And over.

So there I was on the phone, spontaneously discussing Halloween costumes with Scott as Owen intermittently shrieked in the background (apparently, lots of things jump out at you in the Target Halloween aisles. It’s not for the faint of heart). Ashley, who is 4 years old and apparently has a say in costume selection now, picked out a Super Girl costume all by herself. Scott then located a Yoda costume for Owen, which made me giddy with delight. I absolutely love all things Star Wars. Adore it. And Owen is short, just like Yoda. And Owen has these pointy ears, just like Yoda. And Oh My God, he is just going to be so stinking cute as Yoda I can’t stand it!!

Finding a costume for Aidan proved more difficult. I threw out various ideas, Scott made various suggestions, but nothing was coming together. Plus, it’s slim pickings for toddler costumes in the Target aisle two weeks prior to Halloween. But finally, we settled on a fireman costume. It was cute, and Aidan seemed to like it. Problem solved, right?

But something just didn't feel right. I've been thinking and rethinking that fireman Halloween costume. Did it make sense? Did it go with his personality? Did it fit a little too tight? Did I make the decision too quickly? Was there a better costume out there somewhere for him?

And then last night, I was sitting there minding my own business, when the idea came out of nowhere at lightspeed and hit me with the power of the Force itself:

Ewok!!!! Aidan has to be an Ewok!! Ewoks are also from Star Wars! And Ewoks are short, just like Aidan! And Aidan is goofy, just like an Ewok. It was meant to be. It has to be. It is his destiny.

A quick google search and $32 online purchase later, a sized 2T Ewok costume was all mine. Now I can rest easy, knowing that my twins will be in completely awesome coordinated costumes come this October 31st. Except for that one nagging detail about the expected delivery date being anywhere between Oct. 29 - Nov. 4.

Are Ewok costumes appropriate for Thanksgiving? They look a little pioneerish, right? I mean, just in case.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Good Wife

As I was driving home tonight after a long day at work, Scott called my cell phone. And I actually answered on the first ring. This is an unusual occurrence because I have the Cowboy Junkies version of Sweet Jane as my ring tone, which although mesmerizingly beautiful, is kinda hard to hear when stuffed at the bottom of my giant purse a/k/a laptop bag a/k/a diaper bag. (We lawyer mama's can't live without the gp/lb/db, am I right??).

Anyway, Scott had a complicated plan involving dinner and football and chicken wings. Apparently, he planned to load the kids up in his truck, head out to Wing Stop to pick up some cajun fire wings, and be back home and parked in front of the tv by 7:30 to watch Monday night football. Also somewhere in there he planned to feed the kids, hopefully something other than cajun fire wings.

I hung up thinking that he had a sound plan, and then realized "Oops, maybe I should just go pick up the wings."

(Sometimes I am kind of dense.)

So I called him back (Scott always answers on the first ring, maybe owing to the fact that his ring tone is Walk by Pantera), and said "Hey babe, I'll go pick up the wings!" He graciously accepted.

I was feeling like such a good wife I almost wish he'd asked me to stop to buy him some beer, too. I might have actually done it this time.

But, I just got the wings and offered to watch football with him instead. Which then completely confused me because he is playing Fantasy Football and apparently sometimes you want one player to do something good but then another player to do something bad and frankly I just can't keep up if we're not going to stick with "just cheer for the guys in red."

But even though I was confused, I was happy to be spending time with my husband. And Scott was happy because apparently he got oodles of Fantasy Football points this week. And if I may say so myself, he also got some good points in fantasy good-wifeness (do you think that term will ward off the creepy google searches?), which if being scored would look as follows:

Bringing home wings: +5

Not bringing home beer: -5

Agreeing to watch football: +5

Asking too many questions during football: -5

Waiting until after football is over to pester husband to read blog post: +10

Winner: Scott

Too bad baseball season is over (at least for StL Cardinals fans, it is), otherwise I'd be able to rack up even more points. I wonder if I can redeem them for anything? Like a day at the spa? Or a new camera lens? Or maybe sleeping in this Sunday? A girl can always dream.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Autumn Activities

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I looooove fall-themed activities. So today, we packed all the kids in the minivan and drove down to Arbor Day Farm for a day of nature-appreciation, apple-picking and corn maze-panicking. All in that order.

Nature Appreciation

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There was a nice little wooded area surrounding the orchards, where you could hike and explore and do all kinds of nature type stuff. We stuck to the paved trails, which had lots of fun activities for the kids.

I think their favorite activity was identifying various animal tracks in the concrete walkways. Basically, a little sign would point out the footprints, then you were supposed to try and guess what animal it was, and then you'd lift a little sign up to find out the answer. I didn't get any of them right, unless you count the time I guessed chicken when it was really a turkey. I mean, close enough, right??

Anyway, we got a little freaked out when one of the answers was bobcat, so we decided to move right along to the apple picking.

Apple Picking

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When you go apple picking in October, you're really out of luck. That's because millions of ripe apples have already fallen off the trees and are just laying about on the ground, rotting away. There is nary an apple in sight within reach of a toddler with only a three foot arm span.

So Scott saddled up the old apple arm/pole/basket picker thingy (I'm pretty sure that's the technical name, but it's not showing up on wikipedia so I'm not 100%) and went to business.

Then we realized that the apples on the ground had not fallen off naturally due to the lateness in the season, but because of dopes like us who don't know how to use the apple arm/pole/basket picker thingy correctly and end up knocking three apples down for every one that gets into the basket. Oops.

After we caused enough destruction in the orchard, we moved on to the corn maze.

Corn Maze Panicking

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What do you all like to do after a busy morning of hiking and picking apples with three tiny-legged children? Take them to a 20 acre corn maze? Yeah, us too!

I started to panic after just a few minutes in. That corn was tall!! And Scott was letting the twins pick which way to go! And wait -- did you say twenty acres? And Ashley was already starting to say "Daddy, can you carry me?" And I swear to God, I kept seeing piles of witch hair on the ground!! (Later, I discovered that the witch hair was actually corn husk parts, but still, it was scary at the time.)

When Scott read the panic in my face, he commandeered the corn maze map back from the twins. He then led us on a wild journey out of the corn maze, complete with short cuts and sun positioning and talk of parallel trails and I don't know what else. But eventually, he got us out. And we were close to the car, too!

You know you truly love a man when you'll blindly follow him through a corn maze, even when he decides to go offroading. That's what I learned today. (And that maybe next time I'll bring my cell phone with me, just in case).

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

I had a lovely weekend away. It was my annual girls' weekend trip, where six of my closest friends and I leave our husbands and children behind and indulge in spa treatments, drink copious amounts of wine, and sleep in.

Oh, sleeping in. What a precious commodity that is, particularly for mothers of small children. If I could bottle it up and sell it, I'd be a millionaire. Except not, because I'd never be able to part with it. I would just end up penniless and alone, albeit extremely well-rested.

[/end tangent]

So, it's hard to pick my favorite moment from the weekend. I think it might have been the hydrating facial, which rejuvenated both my skin and spirit. Or maybe it was the eggs benedict and coffee on Saturday morning, that I didn't have to share with anyone. Or maybe it was choosing my earrings based on style considerations rather than what would be the least likely for little hands to grab.

But my favorite moment of all just might have been when I peeked around the corner on Sunday afternoon and saw a smiling little boy running down the hallway to me yelling "Mama!"

Funny how that works.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sweet Dreams

This morning I woke up to find Ashley snuggled in bed between me and her dad.

Me: Hi, baby girl.

Ashley: Hi, mommy.

Me: Did you sleep well?

Ashley: Yes.

Me: What did you dream about?

Ashley: I dreamed about my family.

Me: Oh, that's nice.

Ashley: Mommy?

Me: Yes?

Ashley: My dream came true.

Mine too, baby girl. Mine too.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

All the Lawyers in the House Say HAAY!

Oh, I get it.

At work today, I realized why I don't twitter (tweet?). It's because I'm a lawyer, and I already live my life in six-minute increments described in 140 characters or less.

It's called billing your time.

And here I thought I just wasn't hip enough to understand the appeal of twittering (tweeting?). But I am actually super hip! I've been tweeting for the past 7 years! Way before it was cool!

Granted, they're super boring tweets...

Research and analyze blah blah blah...;

Draft memo summarizing blah blah blah...;

Confer with working group regarding blah blah blah;

But I think it counts. Plus, it seems a lot more festive to say you have to "tweet your time" rather than "bill your time". And when you're in the midst of deciphering a week's worth of post-it notes containing phrases like "Talk to S. re. T .08", a little festivity never hurt anyone.

***

Thanks to everyone who voted for Twinsomnia as funniest blog over at Multiples & More! Alas, it was not to be. Apparently I'm only bronze medal funny. That's fine with me, though...bronze really brings out the green in my eyes. :-)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

First!

You know how some of those really popular blogs have those nutty commenters who like to say "FIRST!" if they're the first to comment?

I always picture these "First!" fanatics sitting in front of their monitors, constantly refreshing the screen with the hope that a new post will be there, twitchy fingers poised over the keyboard, just waiting for the moment they can type those 5 letters + exclamation point faster than they did the last time and maybe, just maybe, if they can just shave .02 seconds off their time, they will finally be "FIRST!"

Now, as you may have noticed, my little blog here is teensy tiny, and thus I clearly do not have "First!" commenters. But, I do have twins, which strangely enough, is remarkably similar.

Aidan and Owen both have an incessant need to be "FIRST!" It doesn't matter what the activity is. It doesn't even matter if 2 seconds ago they were protesting the exact same activity. As soon as one twin wants something, the other twin wants it too. And he wants it "FIRST!"

Everything lately is a race. I can sense the adrenalin from the moment they first get up in the morning, when they jockey for prime position to hold my hand as we walk down the stairs. They know that whoever gets my right hand will be closer to the kitchen once we hit the landing, and whoever is closer to the kitchen can make a run for it and be "FIRST!" to the breakfast table. Which apparently is important because...I have no idea why.

Or, for example, say that one twin (let's call him Aidan) notices a fun object across the room. He thinks "Hey, that might be fun to play with!" The other twin (let's call him Owen), sensing Aidan's slight shift in position, takes notice. They lock eyes on the object, and then on each other... and then they both make a mad dash for it because as God is my witness somebody has to be "FIRST!"

And oh, the drama that ensues after one of these episodes. Because the whole point of being "First!" is to lord it over the person who wanted to be "First!" but wasn't. Nobody actually cares about the breakfast chair, or the fun object, or their mommy's hand...it's all about the euphoria of being "First!"

Unless, of course, it's time for bed. Then nobody wants to be "First!"

Typically we deal with these situations by putting whatever object the boys are fighting over into time-out. For some reason, this causes them a lot more angst then being put into time-out themselves (probably because they would just compete over who got out of time-out "First!".) But this doesn't always work. As much as I would love to put myself in time-out when they fight over my hand, I don't think they'd really let me get away with it....especially since my time-out would probably involve a nice glass of pinot grigio and some online shopping.

I just hope they outgrow this phase before they start organized sports. Otherwise, I'll have no idea who to cheer for.

***

Don't forget to vote for Twinsomnia as "Funniest Blog" over at Multiples & More! There's still time for me to make a comeback and come in "First!" Get it? Now that's funny, I don't care what you say. ;-)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Dino - Mite!

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Scott and I took the kids to DinoQuest at Fontenelle Forest today. I had so much fun!! And I'm not even a 2.5 year old little boy, so that's really saying something, you know.

For those of you not in the area, Fontenelle Forest is a nice little wooded nature area where you can go hiking and such. DinoQuest is a temporary exhibit there, where they've placed various plastic(?) dinosaurs around and about the woods to give your kids a prehistoric nature experience.

Sometimes a picture just describes it so much easier:

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Anyway, we had a blast. We took advantage of the fact that the kids don't read yet and didn't even attempt to pronounce the correct dinosaur names.

Owen was appropriately shocked and awed by the "Fly-alot-a-saurus":

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Ashley was somewhat less impressed:

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Or maybe she's just on to me and her dad's shenanigans. She is four years old, after all.

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Aidan spent most of his time roaring like a dinosaur, which to be fair, sounds remarkably similar to his lion roar. That's okay, though...they're both equally intimidating.

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Seeing all the dinosaurs made Ashley really want to get a pet. Luckily Aidan will suffice for now.

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They had so much fun we didn't think they'd let us leave, but eventually we made our way back to present time.

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I might have helped persuade them by promising lollipops, but we all know that what happens in the jurassic period stays in the jurassic period. So shhhh. ;-)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I'm Gonna Live Forever...

The boys have become Blue's Clues junkies.

Which is fine, because apparently it improves metacognition or something like that. At least that's what Nick Jr. tells me right before it starts in order to assuage my parental guilt about letting my toddlers watch tv. Except it really just makes me feel guiltier because I don't even know what metacognition is, so thanks for nothing Nick Jr.

By the way, when did Noggin become Nick Jr.? Was it at the same time that the Jumparound's became the Fresh Beat Band? Children's programming is so fickle. I'm beginning to worry that the improvement in metacognition may come with a side effect of commitment issues, but what can you do? Besides not let the boys watch Blue's Clues anymore, as that would be entirely unacceptable.

So, not only do the boys love to watch Blue's Clues, they love to reenact it. Actually, they really just love to reenact the Blue's Clues song, where Steve (or Joe, depending on your preference) dances and sings about paw prints and second/third clues and notebooks and thinking in your thinking chair, until the song finally culminates in the Big Finale that my boys love:

Jazz hands.

Oh man, do they looooooooooove those jazz hands.

The jazz hand has become an invaluable communication tool in our household, which is very useful when you have 2.5 year old twin boys who are averagely behind in their speech development. When the boys whip out the jazz hands, I know what they're trying to tell me. They're telling me "Dang mama, I am happy!" (Although sometimes they're trying to say "another Blue's Clues episode, please" - and God help you if you can't tell the difference.)

The jazz hand has become so popular, we've even added it to our "If You're Happy and You Know It" verses...

If you're happy and you know it....do jazz hands!

Jazz hands courtesy of Owen

Now if only I could teach them some other dance moves as communication tools. Ooh, maybe the "YMCA" could help them learn the alphabet!!! I wonder how hard it is to spell out "Luv U, Mama" with your arms over your head? I'll get right on that tomorrow.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

They Like Me!!! They Really Like Me!!!

Oh....my....GAWD. I just got nominated for a Multiples & More blog award!!!!

Wait, what?!?!

Yes, I just got nominated for a blog award!!! For funniest blog!!!

I am beyond excited about this........although now I'm feeling all this pressure to be funny. But that's okay. A touch of neurosis will temper down the excitement enough so that I can actually work today.

No pressure or anything, but if you feel so inclined, please go vote for me at the following link:

http://multiplesandmore.blogspot.com/2009/10/multiples-and-more-blog-awards-nominees.html

You might have to scroll down a bit, and the categories are on the right. "Twinsomnia" is listed under the "Funniest Blog" category. Right now I'm totally losing because the other two nominated blogs are HILARIOUS, but I'm hoping I can snag a vote or two or three!

And THANK YOU to anyone who nominated me for this category - I am so beyond flattered and excited, it's ridiculous. :-)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Retail Therapy

I made a startling discovery tonight.

Did you know that the word "October" is actually an anagram for "Rec Boot"?!?! I know! I couldn't believe it myself. Who am I to argue with the universe telling me that October is the month of the recreational boot? Clearly, I need to go shoe shopping.

I'm thinking something faux suede-ish with a heel. Kinda like these...




Speaking of which, I like that dress too. Hmmmm....wait a minute... "October" could also be an anagram for "Cot Robe"!! Granted that dress isn't a robe, but it is 55% cotton. Close enough... I guess I gotta go dress shopping, too.

Ooh, I love fall clothes shopping. The colors, the textures...the self-rationalization that goes along with the purchase of each item ("I will totally wear that [insert impractical item of clothing here] all season long! I should buy it. I would be stupid not to buy it! Okay, I'm buying it.")

But the last few years I've gone clothes shopping, an interesting trend has emerged - I just end up buying stuff for the kids. But this time, I am not going to let that happen. Instead, I am going to splurge and buy some new threads for myself this weekend. Granted, the state of the economy will limit my splurging to the sale racks at Kohl's and Old Navy, but still...I am excited for some retail therapy.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Golf and Guilt

I was a solo parent this weekend. On Friday night, Scott headed off to a random destination in Missouri mid-way between our home and his little brother's home, where he and said little brother proceeded to play 90 freaking holes of golf for the duration of the weekend.

90 holes of golf! In 48 hours! That's plain nuts, people. But I guess when it's $29 for unlimited golf all day long, you take advantage of it. Or so I hear, because I am not a golfer.

The last time I played golf was the summer of 2001, when I was a summer associate at a well-known firm in the Show-Me State. It was one of the most dreadful experiences of my life.

There I was, this little 25 year old naive blondie, trying to act smart and what-not and convince these big scary attorneys that I was worthy of a job offer post-law-school-graduation. I was holding my own all summer - producing good work, not saying anything too dumb, showing up on time, etc. etc. All was good.

Until the mid-summer golf scramble with the litigation department.

Me: I don't know how to play golf. Do I have to go?

Jill, from the recruiting department: Well, if you don't go, it will look weird. And don't worry - it's a group scramble. It's totally not competitive!

And because I was a naive little 25 year old blondie, I believed Jill.

But Jill was wrong. Jill was very wrong. I got placed in a team of 3 extremely competitive litigation associates and partners. Who were all men. Who loved golf. Who had won the mid-summer litigation department golf scramble last year and were aching for the taste of sweet victory once again.

Now, because it was a scramble, I didn't actually bring our team score down. I just didn't help it in any way whatsoever. Which was fine. But oh, how humiliating it was. By the third hole, nobody even got out of the cart anymore when it was my turn. I wasn't sure what the point was...men tee off 1, 2, 3...drive to ladies tee...megan hops out...guys stay in cart...megan swings and misses...megan swings and misses again....megan says "okay, is that enough tries?"...men grunt and megan hops back in cart. And this went on for eighteen holes.

Did I mention that it was 102 degrees out that day? AND, I had to wear a shirt with a collar. Oh, misery!

I've never picked up a golf club again.

But I'm glad Scott loves golf, because he certainly deserved a weekend of fun and relaxation, considering all he does around here. And although I missed him terribly, I wasn't upset at all that I was here solo with 3 kids all weekend. 3 sick kids. Who decided to revert back to the newborn era and wake up every two hours during the night. I just wanted him to have fun. And I'm so glad that he did.

And that has nothing to do with the fact that my own girls' weekend is only a couple weeks away. I swear. Although I will say, a girls' weekend with guilt not included is absolutely priceless.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Save the Mojo

Work is killing my blogging mojo.

Oh, I have been busy this week. Way too busy for my liking. But that's the way it goes in the legal profession...you eat what you kill. Or more appropriately, you eat what you bill. Ha ha! Get it? You eat what you bill!! See what I did there? I switched the word bill for kill because lawyers bill their hours and...

Oh, sheesh. The mojo really is gone.

Hopefully I will get my groove back when I'm able to undock from my billing station and re-acquaint myself with my family this weekend. Friday evening cannot come soon enough.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

We Went to Pump...It Up!

My girlfriends and I have reproduced a lot of children. Not only that, but we tend to favor the same months for birthing such children. Thus, we have a ridiculous number of birthday parties to attend at certain times of the year, including August/September.

After a couple years of end-of-summer birthday party overload, we decided it was time to think big. So, we pooled our resources and decided to throw one big party for all the kids at the same time. That way, we were able to reserve some of our August/September weekends for non-birthday activities but still got to celebrate with each other.

This morning we headed out to our local Pump It Up for this summer's birthday party extravaganza. It was awesome until the car ride home, when out of the blue, Ashley let loose with a "yucky cough" (i.e., threw up everywhere). I turned to Scott and said:

Me: She has swine flu.

Scott: What?

Me: She has swine flu! She must have gotten it from preschool. Damn preschool!

Scott: Why do you think she has swine flue?

Me: Duh, because she just threw up!! What else could it be?

Scott: Hmmm, considering we just let her jump around on inflatables for two hours and then stuffed her full of sugar, I have no idea.

Me: Oh, well...yeah.

But before the regurgitation incident, we had a blast...

Aidan became a pro at the first 1/8th of the obstacle course.


Owen was super brave going down the monster slide all by himself. I was so proud. Sniff.

Ashley showed no sign of what was to come later. Although frankly, I didn't see much of her once we arrived. She zipped off to bounce with her buddies and I barely saw her after that, so maybe the warning signs were present and I just missed them.

I was a maniac and played capture the flag off the velcro thingies (I don't think that's the actual name, but whatever).

I did not do very well.

And, I skinned my elbow.

But man, we had fun, puke notwithstanding. So much fun, that it's making me wonder why the heck we decided to just have one birthday party this summer. Hmmmm, maybe we need to rethink this.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Another Reason to Love Having Twins

Another reason to love having twins???


They can push each other on the swings, while you drink your coffee. Pure bliss, I tell you. It's no wonder twins are so popular these days.