Friday, February 27, 2009

Princess of Profanity


Ashley got a princess crown in her happy meal the other day.

She looooooves it.

And then one of the boys stole it.

Scott called me at work to report what transpired next:

Ashley: Don't take my princess dammit crown!

Scott: Ashley, what did you say?

Ashley: Don't take my dammit crown, boys!

Scott: Your what crown?

Ashley: My dammit crown!

Scott: Ashley, we don't say dammit.

Ashley: Okay, daddy. I won't say it if you won't say it.

And...scene.

I told you she was a good negotiator.

She's a smart one, that Ashley. Although she does need to work on her expletive placement.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bedtime Rituals

I worked late tonight, but got home just in time to read Ashley Belle her bedtime story. I trudged upstairs to find her waiting for me in the doorway of her bedroom, with her jammies on and her teeth already brushed, and holding tonight's scintillating selection tightly in her chubby little hands.

She had chosen a well-worn version of Where's Spot?, which is a lift-the-flap book about a dog's various hiding spaces. Well, it used to be a lift-the-flap book. The flaps are now gone, having been torn away by multiple toddlers way too excited to prove once and for all that Spot is not, in fact, hiding under the bed, or in the closet, or in the piano, or under the rug. If nothing else, my children are very vigorous flap-lifters.

Now that the flaps are gone, it's not a very challenging exercise to find Spot anymore. Not that it was ever challenging to begin with, but still...what little anticipation there was in finding Spot has long since evaporated.

Nonetheless, Ashley likes "Where's Spot?" to be read to her. A lot.

So I read it. Unenthusiastically, I must admit. It was a long day. I was tired. And hungry. And bored of looking for Spot. And kinda crabby.

Ashley didn't mind. She sighed happily when I finished reading, hopped off the bed, looked up at me with a big smile and said:

"Mommy, I don't want to go to bed."

And I thought, "Oh, here we go." It was not going to be an easy night. I was all ready to whip out my "serious mama" voice and lay down the law that it was bedtime right now, missy.

But then she said, "I just want to dance."

And that stopped me in my tracks. Because spontaneous dancing should always be encouraged, even when it's time for bed.

So we danced.

And when we were done, I was even more tired. But I wasn't crabby anymore.

Monday, February 23, 2009

See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No... Well, I'd Even Take Evil Right About Now

The twins have decided that it is not necessary to speak. Real words, anyway.

Instead, they have invented their own language. It sounds very similar to monkey-language. Not that I'm fluent in monkey or anything, but you get the general idea.

I'm sitting here listening to them converse over the baby monitor, wondering whether the monkey genes came from me or Scott.

(Definitely Scott).

Since they're two years old now and still primarily talking monkey, their pediatrician tells us it's time to call the Nebraska Department of Education to get them set up for an early intervention speech/hearing evaluation.

Or maybe we'll just call the zoo to come pick them up. Jury's still out.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Bed & Breakfast & Bemoaning

I had to travel for work last week. Instead of the typical hotel reservation my firm usually sets me up with, a partner recommended that I try out this swanky bed & breakfast in the area that caters to business travelers.

I've never stayed in a bed & breakfast before. And I don't think I ever will again. Me and bed & breakfastes don't mesh well, apparently. Why, you ask? Well, let me detail the reasons for you:

1. Bed and Breakfastes are Freaking Scary

I had non-stop work/meeting/dinner/drink plans from the moment I arrived in town that morning, so I didn't have a chance to check in until almost 9:00 pm. No biggie, right?

Yes, no biggie. That is, unless your bed & breakfast looks like a charming victorian house by day, but morphs into a freaking scary ass haunted house at night. I about peed my pants walking up the darkened walkway looking at the turrets and the shadows and what the hell - are those gargoyles? And then I had to bang on a door-knocker to summon the "innkeeper" before they would let me inside. How flipping scary is that?!

2. Communal Television

I had a tv in my room....but it was teensy tiny. Like so small I could have picked it up off the dresser and put it on the bed right in front of me, and I still would have had to squint my eyes to see whether Ryan Seacrest was having a good or a bad hair day. The *BIG TV* was located down in the communal "family room" of the B&B.

Please - I finally have the opportunity to watch TV where I'm not being pestered constantly to change it to Dora, Diego, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, etc., and they expect me to SHARE it with others??? Screw that. I'll just play on the internet, instead.

3. Except, No Free Wireless Internet

Damn. The B&B makes you pay for internet service!! Well that doesn't seem friendly, now, does it? What kind of a B&B is this?

4. No Digital Clocks

Apparently, digital clocks are not charming enough for B&B's. Therefore, they put little old tick-tock clocks on your bedside table. Little tick-tock clocks that make lots of tick-tock noises. Little tick-tock noises that you can't drown out with the sound of the teensy tiny tv. Tick-tock noises that drive you to the brink of insanity in the middle of the night until you desperately try to pry the battery out because you.just.can't....TAKE IT ANYMORE!

5. Fluffy Towels

Okay, this one sounds weird. But I gotta say, there's something reassuring about the towels in a typical hotel...you know the ones - they're too small, starched out, sparkling white and kinda feel like sandpaper?? You know that those towels have had the HELL washed out of them. Chemicals galore, bleach, you name it. And even if they aren't washed in such a thorough manner, they're so small and non-absorbant I can't imagine anything nefarious could survive in them for long.

But B&B's on the other hand, have nice, big fluffy towels. That are darker colors...like brown. That could hide all sorts of stains. That might have been washed with the cheapo detergent on-sale from the local discount shop. With nice floofy nooks and crannies just waiting to incubate anything nasty that might come its way. Shudder.

6. I'm Not a Breakfast Person

Really, I don't need a B&B. Just a B will do.

Provided that the B is at a Hyatt, or Sheraton, or Marriott, or heck, even the Super 8.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Honesty in Marriage

Scott and I watched American Idol tonight.

After one particularly atrocious performance, I looked at Scott and said "Wow, even I can sing better than that!"

And he looked at me and said, "Mmm....not really."

Eh. He's right.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Let it Snow (and then quickly melt)

February is back.

And it dumped six inches of snow on us on Friday.

Meh.

Scott and Ashley celebrated by going sledding in our backyard. I huddled by the door and took pictures.


But then I got cold.

I don't think they even noticed when I went back inside.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

We'll Always Have Paris

I take it back...

My Valentine's Day surprise? Was awesome. So awesome, in fact, that it quickly turned me back into the sappy, starry-eyed girl that has always appreciated a day devoted solely to celebrating romance.

Scott flew me to Paris last night. Granted, the flight was via paper airplane and Paris was located in our kitchen, but still...


Il est magnifique.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Funny Valentines


It's funny how when you have kids...

Valentine's Day takes on a different meaning.

That doesn't mean I let Scott off the hook, though...he's downstairs cooking us dinner right now and apparently there's some sort of surprise in store.

And more importantly, he let me take a nap today. Yahoo!!!

But still...

I spent this morning making valentines with the kids.

And really, that was enough for me.

(Don't tell Scott, though. I really needed that nap).

Monday, February 9, 2009

Baby Mine

Owen is my last born.

The baby of the family, by one minute.

He is the cuddliest baby of them all.

And right now he's all mine.



Will he always let me hold him like this?

Probably not when it's time for his prom.

But right now, it's still just me and him.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

62 Degrees of Separation

62 degrees!!!!

On Saturday?

In February?

In NEBRASKA????

The kids and I played outside all morning long. Well, they played. I just laid on the grass in the sunlight and soaked up as much Vitamin D as possible. We've been cooped up inside so much this winter that I thought we were all going to get scurvy. Or is it rickets? Off to wikipedia...

Rickets.

Well, we got ourselves nice and rickets-proofed today, so that's a relief.

Other notable events from the morning:

  • Owen climbed up the ladder on the playset all by himself for the first time ever! Go Owen!
  • Aidan can now run down the hill in the backyard without falling flat on his face! Go Aidan!
  • Ashley didn't dump sand from the sandbox over either twin's head today! Go Ashley!
  • I learned I can get everyone back inside without any tantrums if I bribe them with potato chips! Go Mommy!

But it will be cold again tomorrow. Boo, Sunday.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Life is a Highway

So, Aidan and Owen went and turned two years old on me when I wasn't looking.

We bought them these bad boys to commemorate the occasion...

(By "bad boys", I mean the motorcycles. I'm sure the models in the picture are perfectly lovely little boys. And plus that would be weird if I bought little boys for a birthday present. Although the twins could use some friends, I guess.)

Scott and I were smart and assembled the motorcycles the night before the twins' birthday so they could start scooting around on them at first sight. All right, fine...Scott put them together all by himself. BUT, it was my idea to do it. I'm the brains and he's the muscle behind this operation. Together we're unstoppable!

The boys loved them....and so did Ashley, poor thing. Unfortunately for her, she was relegated to the role of traffic cop until the boys got distracted by the birthday waffles we made for them. (Don't be impressed...making "birthday waffles" around these parts consists of saying "Happy Birthday!" while we toast an Eggo waffle).

Sorry the picture is blurry...I was going for the "speed demon blur effect" like the advertisement above and ended up with "Boy, this girl doesn't know how to use the manual functions on her camera now, does she?"

I can't believe my baby boys are two years old already!! They're growing up so fast I can barely keep up. It's a good thing they don't scoot very fast yet...at least I can still keep up with their motorcycles.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Art of Negotiation

For the first time in forever, I actually made a New Year's resolution this year. It was to get up early so I could go to work early and therefore come home earlier at the end of the day.

Well, I've been getting up at 6:00 am for the past couple of weeks and out the door by 6:30 a.m.-ish. Let me tell you, it's a whole new world at that time of day! I'm used to leisurely driving into the office two hours later. With an 8:30 a.m. commute ( alright, alright...8:45), there is not much left of morning traffic, the sun is out and about (as out and about as it can be in Nebraska in February), the radio morning personality chitter chatter is winding down, etc. etc. But at 6:30 a.m. it is still DARK!! And there's craploads of traffic! And I am very, very, very tired!

And in addition to these nuisances, I also have to deal with a little something I didn't expect when I implemented this plan....Ashley has started to get up as early as I do.

I know, I know....LOTS of kids wake up in the ungodly 6:00 a.m. hour. And I know some kids wake up even earlier than that! But my kids have always been morning snoozers!! It's one of my favorite qualities about them! Hey, if loving that your kids sleep in every morning is wrong, then I don't wanna be right. Because if I was right I'd also be very, very tired.

Plus, you know that saying....God doesn't give you more than you can handle. And God knows I can only handle 3 children under the age of 3 if said children do not wake up earlier than 8:30 a.m. He's a smart guy, that God.

So, anyway....Ashley's been getting up at 6:00 a.m. lately. And not only is she getting up, but she is also highly displeased when I try to leave for work a half-hour later. Every morning lately involves a big dramatic scene that includes at least two out of the following four scenarios: (1) sobbing and/or screaming, (2) door-blocking, (3) guilt-laying; or (4) negotiating.

So this morning, I had my coat on and keys in hand before she realized what was going on. I said, "Give me a kiss, honey, mommy's gotta go to work!" And in a split-second she had abandoned her banana bread muffin at the kitchen table and plastered herself against the door to the garage.

"Mommy, I want you stay here with me!"

Ooh, a little bit of guilt-laying combined with door-blocking. Nicely played.

"Honey, I want to stay here with you, too. But I have to go to work!"

Cue the sobbing...damn! Door-blocking, guilt-laying and sobbing!! A triple threat!

So I said, "Baby, mommy has to go to work so she can make money to buy banana bread muffins! If I don't work, you can't have banana bread muffins for breakfast." (Which is a total lie by the way, because Nana actually baked those banana bread muffins for us...but hey, I was short on ideas).

Ashley eyed me suspiciously, and then stepped aside to let me pass. Who says you can't reason with a three year old?

Anyway, I was sad all day at work...working mom guilt is powerful stuff! I felt awful leaving her and was worried that I was going to give her abandonment issues. I couldn't get out of work fast enough this afternoon....I sped home, and practically ran in the door to scoop up my baby girl in a big hug and kiss.

Except I didn't get to the hug and kiss part because Ashley took a step back from me as I approached and said:

"Wait, Mommy....I want my banana bread muffin."

Crap, I didn't even realize we were negotiating this morning, too. Ashley would have done way better in law school than me. Well, I guess I need to call Nana and tell her to start baking. ;-)