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. :-)