Monday, June 23, 2014

King Swirly and Parent Fails

The last month passed at lightning speed. I blinked...It's June 23!

How the hell did that happen?!

In addition to being the mother of 19-month-old twins, I am the owner and designer of a cake business, co-owner of an outdoor living business and I work part-time on the weekends for Dyson.

To sum it up, I work seven days a week.

I took the day off for Mother's day, Father's day and another day that as of this moment I can't remember. All I know is that I didn't have to wake up to the alarm clock.

I love all of my jobs.

Of course, most days, being a mom is the best of them all but I'd be lying if I said that getting out of the house on the weekends is a really nice break. The downside of that is I don't get much time with my hubby. I am, however, old enough and wise enough, to know that life will not be this frantic forever and something will slow down...eventually.

Here's a basic breakdown of my days. Roll out of bed at 7:30 (if I lucky and get to sleep that late), get the kids up and dressed, read email while kids eat breakfast. Bake or decorate cakes while kids play, feed kids lunch at 11:30 - respond to more email and/or post pics of my work to Facebook, free children from high chairs and let them play (aka fight) by themselves. Between 1 & 1:30 the kids go down for naps. I clean up the crap that they have strewn about the house, run the Dyson (I'm not just an employee) if I need to, shower, dry and style hair (tell me again why I want long hair) and get back to working on cake.

The boys usually sleep until about 3pm and once they are up my time is completely devoted to them unless I have one of the sitters here. If I have a sitter, I work on cake and then start dinner prep.

Depending on hubby's work schedule he arrives home anytime between 5:30 and 9:00 pm.

The late nights really suck!

Depending on my schedule, I either go to bed once the boys are in bed or I work. I often find myself up until 1 or 2 a.m. As tough as it can be on me the next day, I have to say that I love the quiet.

The day after late nights aren't usually bad but last night was a tough one.

I got to bed around 1 a.m. but the stuntman woke up screaming at 4:30. I grabbed him and put him in bed with us where he proceeded to kick and flail basically beating the crap out of me until I finally gave up and got up at about 6:30.

They are down for naps so, now that the toys are picked up and I've started the same load of laundry for the third time, I'm writing.

I love to write; I just don't have lots of time to devote to it.

We've had so many wonderful little experiences since I last wrote a post that there is no way I could ever fill you in on all of them - besides I know we had them...just don't ask me what they are...my brain is fried.

We've had some rather comical parent fails that I would like to share to prevent others from making the same mistake....

Do not refer to peas as "little balls." We did and the end result was a kitchen floor covered with "little balls" because well, what do you do with a ball? That's right...you THROW it! Their obsession with balls seems to be waning so we might try the peas again soon.

While reading the book Goodnight Gorilla I foolishly suggested that the boys refer to the armadillo in the story as a "dillo" because they could not pronounce armadillo. This resulted in my boys shouting DILDO every time we get to that page. Yes, this is in fact hysterical and they are so cute when they say it, but everyone knows that children at this age are little parrots. I can only imagine what people must think we talk about around our children whenever they feel compelled to shout "Dildo!" at the top of their lungs.

Referring to my hubby's daily beer as "Daddy's bah" was probably not the best idea either. They drink from bottles so daddy's must be the same right?

Not so much.

The other night I heard the Stuntman coughing in the kitchen. I rounded the corner to find him standing next to the table with the longneck bottle in hand, a pretty disgusted look on his face, basically gagging from the taste of the contents of "daddy's bah."

Oops!

Father's day was both good and bad.

Hubby loved our present but I was sick as a dog!

After a breakfast of blueberry pancakes, the Stuntman picked the blueberries out of them and left the pancake behind, I went back to bed.

I was awaked by hubby saying, "You guys stay here, I'll be right back." Followed by an unending chorus of "COW, COW, COW, COW, COW, COW..." (you get the point).

I dragged myself to the bathroom window to see what the commotion was and discovered hubby walking across the back lawn (the south 40 as we call it) with a cow tethered by an old piece of line from hubby's sailing days.

We live behind an Amish farm.

The calf was teething and chewed thru the fence. The cow is his mother.

Hubby got a hold of her and walked her home.

For a moment I thought I was at a 4H fair.

As I began to climb back into bed I heard the door to the powder room downstairs open. I threw on my sweatpants as fast as I could and raced downstairs to find that the Engineer had dunked Moo Moo in the toilet.

Moo Moo is a black and white bunny that was given to the boys for Easter. The stuntman won't go to bed without him. There is another Moo Moo that is brown and white that belongs to the Engineer but he is not as attached to his Moo Moo.

Moo Moo is the same color as the cows...in case you were questioning our sons' intelligence.

After disinfecting the bathroom and hall floors I rinsed out Moo Moo and put him on the back porch to dry in the sun, hoping that he'd be dry enough for nap time.

Fortunately, it worked!

Nap time is the easiest part of the day. .

I prepare the bottles and put them in the "magic box" (aka microwave) and when it beeps the boys meet me at the bottom of the stairs. As they climb to the top I always ask if they can go close mommy's bathroom door, which is nothing more than an incentive to climb the stairs. Once at the top I go into their room and place a bottle on each of the cribs, then retrieve the children. In the 12 steps that it took me to put down the bottles and come back the Engineer had managed to not only dunk Moo Moo in my toilet but had given him a King Swirly!

What is a King Swirly you ask? It's when the bully of the school would put another kid's head in the toilet and flush.

Thank goodness the Engineer held onto Moo Moo...things could have been so much worse.

I threw Moo Moo in the tub, put both of the boys to bed, gave the Stuntman the Engineer's Moo Moo, closed the door and went back to bed.

The rest of the day went fairly well and we had a wonderful time with my in-laws celebrating Father's Day.

I don't normally make New Year's Resolutions but this year I did and the fact that I had done nothing about it had been bothering me for months.

I am a pile maker and like my mom, I have Flat Surface Disease (FSD). If I am not sure what to do with something, I do nothing and just let it stack up.

Having children has exacerbated my FSD as it takes time to deal with the piles. When the piles get to big or start to fall over, I move them to the office. The piles were taking over and I was living in fear of the producers of Hoarders showing up at my front door.

My resolution was to clean the office.

I had a cancellation in my cake business last week so Friday, which is usually hell day for me was very, very calm. I had the kids with the sitter/mother's helper and then turned them over to daddy when he arrived home and stayed in the office until it was finished.


This was what it looked like before I started. 

It took hours and three trips to empty the office trashcan before it was finished but here is the end result: 


Ta Da! 

Now all I have to do is lock the door and it will never get messy again. 

I wonder if there is a 12-Step Program for FSD?





Friday, May 16, 2014

Thanks Hubby

I wake to music playing softly in the background, a cup of steaming coffee is on my nightstand and my husband is reciting my spa schedule for the day...

That is my dream.

The reality is that we woke up before the kids, I waited while my hubby made the coffee (he hadn't set up the pot the night before) and we had a few moments of snuggling before the kids woke up and the day went into insanity mode.

Once the boys were awake and we'd finished our coffee we headed downstairs where the boys presented me with a mylar Mother's Day balloon, that they then proceeded to fight over. I received two cards, one from the boys and one from hubby.

Both were mushy and made me cry.

In addition to the balloon and the cards was a small wrapped box that held a beautiful necklace with a pendant in the shape of a heart filled with crystals and a smaller heart that was engraved with the word "mom."

Heaven!

As young girls we dream of many things.

Unicorns, white castles, beasts that turn into princes, a knight in shining armor, our wedding day, our dress and being a mommy.

I am no exception.

I dreamt of all of those things, and a few others that shall remain nameless, and just knew that I was going to fall in love with mister perfect and have a bunch of kids...pretty sure I can blame Disney and the Brady Bunch for such dreams...

I fell in love and got married...a couple of times.

Fortunately I finally did find Mr. Right and we have this wonderful little family of four - thank you Lord for boys and not girls.

Mr. Right actually found me...I wasn't looking. So I did finally get it right but as a friend of mine so aptly stated, "Even a blind squirrel finds a nut eventually."

It's wonderful most of the time.

Yeah we have those moments where you just want to lock your kid in a closet and go sit on the porch with a nice hot cup of coffee but for the most part things are great.

My hubby works insanely hard. His job is nuts and this time of year is the worst. He is in the pool industry. The commercial side of it. This is the time of year where everyone needs everything done to get their outdoor pools ready for the masses on Memorial Day weekend. I'm lucky if he's home by 8.

My day's are lightly less insane but only because I do much, much less driving than he does. After we get up in the morning I try to have my coffee while the kids have their morning bottles. Often they like to run around upstairs and play with stuff in our closet.

Last week I actually managed to get in the shower early and, as I was getting dressed, the Stuntman looked at me, patted his head and said, "hat." Thanks hubby!

I wonder how old they'll be before they stop calling bras, hats?

As the kids get older they are learning their body parts: ears, eyes, toes...If you ask them where boogers come from they will point to their noses. Thanks hubby!

I'm so proud.

I really am proud though. You can ask them for a book by the title or subject matter and they can bring it to you.

I might just be a puffed up mommy but I find that to be astounding considering that they just turned 18 months!

If they want to go out they will bring you not one but a matched pair of shoes, they know words like jacket, bucket and turtle. Their vocabulary is growing as fast as they are and we have to be ever vigilant to keep it "clean" around here.

As hard as we try, it's just so easy to get frustrated and let a "dammit" slip out.

I can completely understand why some kids often believe that their first name is actually dammit.

With hubby working so hard he is perpetually exhausted. With that comes his ability to fall asleep instantly.

I hate that he can fall asleep so quickly and am jealous that I can't.

No matter what I do, I do not fall asleep right away.

I can be exhausted to the point of tears streaming down my cheeks and I do not fall asleep right away.

In the evening I take the Stuntman upstairs and hubby stays on the sofa with the Engineer. I put the Stuntman to bed after he's finished his bottle and then let hubby know, via text message, that he can bring the Engineer up...

Then I go downstairs and wake up hubby to let him know that the Stuntman is in bed.

I ask hubby to set up the coffee pot and I take the Engineer up and put him to bed.

After I set up the coffee pot and wake up hubby we go to bed...I am now so wired that sleeping is not an option at all, but I get into bed anyway.

One night last week hubby was snoring so loudly that the windows were rattling and I get downstairs and find the Engineer wide awake and bouncing around on both him and the sofa.

Hubby was clueless.

I gathered the Engineer up, took him up to the rocker in the bedroom and after I got him back to sleep went back downstairs to set up the coffee pot and woke up the hubby.

He said something about trees...

Yeah, we have no idea either!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

We Have A Revolt!

The boys favorite place to be is outside. They love to run around in the grass and especially love to follow daddy around the yard "helping" him with different projects.

There are times that I just can't stop what I'm doing and run around the yard with them and, with the weather the way that it's been, I also don't want to be outside!

Hubby discovered a work around for this on rainy days or days when I am too busy to be able to drop what I am doing and go outside. We open the inside door to the garage (with the big door closed) and let them come and go as they wish. They love this and it keeps them occupied for long periods of time.

We've moved all of the dangerous gardening tools to the shed and put the other harmful stuff up where they cannot reach it, etc. Can't baby-proof 100% but we've moved the obvious stuff.

I told my mom that we let them play in the garage and she immediately replied, "Well, I hope you're not letting them play with the tools!"

Really???

I'm not sure if it was because I was exhausted or just tired of these types of "well-meaning" comments, I replied in a rather sarcastic, snippy manor, "You mean I should take the hacksaw away from them? We were going to let them practice trimming the hedges by lopping off their fingers with the pinking shears. Guess we should stop them..."

Yeah...this is what I deal with.

I love my mom to pieces but her constant diatribe of ridiculous comments can really get under my skin sometimes.

I have a home-based cake business and am often up until 2am working a cakes for delivery. There are plenty of days that I am exhausted but have to be up because of the boys. When the exhaustion factor has taken over my fuse gets very short. Not so much for the babies but more so for stupidity!

On those days in particular I avoid Walmart...Just no patience for that sect of society.

The boys are usually a source of amusement for me but some days they leave me at my whit's end...this would be one of those days...

They have figured out how to open the powder room door and usually do so yelling, "BOO!" at whomever is sitting on the potty. This initial introduction is then followed by the shouting of the word pee-pee more times that you can imagine any creature uttering a word. It was cute the first couple of times, now it's just annoying.

When I am not looking they like to open the door and play with the toilet brush - yuck! or remove the toilet paper and roll it around on the floor. I get absolutely nothing accomplished because my time is spent moving them from the door to a toy hoping to divert their attention. As of right now there is a five gallon bucket of spackle topped with a three gallon bucket of ceiling paint in front of the door to keep them out of the room.

Needless to say my productivity is non-existent today.

My eyesight has gotten worse over the years which is a good thing in a sense...it's heightened my hearing which is much needed since I can't see around corners without stopping whatever I am doing...Hence the reason I work until 2am.

I have come to know the sound of certain toys, the door to their bookcase, the cabinet they play in etc. It's the silence and the odd noises that get my attention. On of the noises that I'm sure I'll never tire of is that of my husband struggling to control the boys.

We usually bathe the boys every other night, unless they are really dirty from helping daddy in the gardens. The other night after bath time and after putting them into diapers I went back into the bathroom to drain the tub and rinse the ring of boy funk down the drain. As I was finishing up I heard, "Uh, no, no, NO!!! We have a revolt, we have a revolt!!!"

When I walked into the boys' room the Engineer was standing in the middle of the floor completely naked - diaper nowhere to be found - poking himself in the penis and giggling. Meanwhile hubby has the Stuntman in his lap - sort of - desperately trying to reattach the diaper that he had removed.

The Stuntman was across one of hubby's legs and doing the 'crocodile roll' trying to prevent the re-application of the diaper. He was moving so fast that he appeared to have grown another set of arms and legs.

Hubby looked like he was trying to put a diaper on a spinning octopus.

Both were making lots of noise but neither was coherent because they were laughing so hard.

Evidently the boys had worked together to remove their diapers.

The Engineer slowly pealed the tabs back on his diaper, across the room from daddy, who could not get there in time to prevent said removal and just as the Engineer was successful hubby turned to see Stuntman remove his diaper "Chippendale" style and fling it across the room - Please God do not let this be a premonition of future employment!

This, no doubt, will not be the last time they successfully remove their diapers and fling them across the room...I just pray that the next time they will be as clean as they were this time.

Boys...

I happen to love having a history with someone. Ours is short. We've only been together for 5.5 years but have managed to cram a lifetime into what amounts to a smidge more than half a decade.

Hubby refers to them as "adventures." We've had many.

I used to travel a great deal for work and from time to time hubby would join me to both help out and get in a little sightseeing. We have been to AZ (multiple times), Tennessee and Colorado to name a few. We always bookended the trips with personal time that included things like visiting the Grand Canyon, Beal Street and Zip lining in Vale!

We might not travel now but our days are no less exciting.

Rather than gazing at the grandeur of the Grand Canyon we now gaze upon the faces of our boys. We no longer risk life and limb zip lining across gigantic ravines. Instead, we risk our lives changing toxic diapers. Seriously! It's amazing how bad the end product of a grilled cheese sandwich can smell. We no longer dance to the sweet, soulful music on Beal Street but do silly dances with the boys on the playroom floor.

Our days are filled with bumps, bruises and boo-boos that need kissing and occasionally an ice pack.

The other night the stuntman took a header off the back of the sofa onto the hardwood floor. While he was screaming he kept putting his hands in his mouth and, I swear, I saw blood on his tongue. So I applied an ice pack to his mouth and he stopped crying.

About ten minutes later hubby and I noticed that he had a lump on the top of his head...his mouth was fine. Evidently icing his mouth was simply a diversion that caused him to stop crying...probably because he was trying to figure out why mommy and daddy were putting that cold thing on his face?

There are many times that the kids go bump that I don't react at all. I don't want wimpy kids that cry at the drop of a hat or every time they bump into things. They are going to bump into an awful lot of stuff in the next couple of years and need to learn that not everything is "cry worthy."

Granted I am not really an expert here, but I can say from my 17+ months of experience that they clearly look to us to see how they should react. I have even seen them fall down, pause, look at me, whine, wait for a reaction and, when they get none, get up and walk away!

I snap at people who freak out or make a big deal out of it when they fall.

Don't do it!

There are enough whiney kids in the world...I don't want mine on that list!

Much of their reactions to things are learned but there are somethings that you can neither teach nor prevent...Boys will be boys and there is nothing you can do about it!  

We live behind an Amish farm. They are a lovely, kind, God-fearing, hard-working family who welcomed their sixth child into this world last November.

Every day the older kids cut through our yard to get to their school house. It's a really long walk by today's standards and even involves traveling down a road a very busy road.

A couple of weeks ago I headed out to the store at about the same time the Amish school let out for the day. Seeing the kids walking down the road I slowed so that I could leave plenty of room when I passed them. As I neared them the oldest of the boys, in his adorable little straw hat looked at me, smiled and then did the 'Miley Cyrus tongue face' as I drove by!

I almost drove into a tree!

Aaaah boys!

I would be happy no matter what I had, but I have to say that I am beyond grateful that I have sons and not daughters. As one friend put it "I will forever be the queen of my castle."

There will be no PMS drama in this house unless it comes from me and as another friend said, "When you have a son you worry about that one boy, when you have a daughter you worry about all the boys!"

I was never a girlie-girl to begin with and the thought of having daughters brought on nightmares and anxiety attacks the likes of which were paralleled only by my PTSD from a car accident!

I have enough friends with daughters and enough nieces of my own to know that the drama can be painful beyond words and was truly terrified of the thought. Besides, I prefer tree climbing to Barbies any day of the week!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Helga Schnidt and Ass Wax

Lately it seems that the only time hubby and I get to talk to each other is after our heads have hit the pillows. It's the only time we are alone and the only time we can finish a sentence uninterrupted.

We love to talk about the things that the boys have done during the day and even imitate their actions or the way they try to say certain words like "bah" for bottle, "ha" (pat head when saying this) for hat but the best is the Engineer's new sign for the word icky. Here's how it works...hold your hand up, fingers open, palm facing you in front of your face, make a "raspberry" sound and pull your hand away while closing your fingers at the same time.

It's kinda fun, isn't it?

You can say the word, and if he hears you, will automatically do the sign. We've been teaching the boys sign language because they can sign long before they can form words with their mouths. Hubby does have a hearing loss, but that is not the reason for the signing.

Hubby's hearing loss is real, not the usual situational hearing loss that most men seem to have but true, diagnosed hearing loss complete with hearing aides...that he doesn't wear nearly enough. Needless to say conversations can be very interesting, if not confusing, and often take an extremely humorous turn.

A couple of years ago, while on the phone, the name of a friend of ours came up and he asked if I knew what he was doing these days. I replied, "I think he's an Aflac salesman." After a more than long pause hubby replied, "What's ass wax?"

Huh?

Wait, What?

"What are you talking about?" I asked.

He replied, "You said he was an 'ass wax' salesman."

"OH MY GAWD!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!! Not ass wax, AFLAC, AFLAC! You know like the duck, Aaaaaaaflaaaaac!"

To this day anytime we misunderstand each other, we just say "ass wax."

Despite his hearing loss, he is not the only one that has trouble deciphering what they've heard. The other night we were partaking of our usual pillow about our days and how tired we were - the Stuntman had been waking up in the middle of the night - when Hubby suddenly started talking about a woman named Helga Schnidt.

Totally confused, I asked him what she had to do with any of this and who was she anyway?

"Who?" He replied.

"Helga Schnidt"

"Who the hell is that?" he asked.

"How the hell should I know you brought her up." I said.

Hubby replied, "I said, 'You've had a helluva night!'"

I have no idea how I heard "Helga Schnidt" but hubby launched into a monologue about "the next shot-putter to the line is Germany's Helga Schnidt complete with a tightly wound bun!"

We must have laughed for a good 20 minutes.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Mistakes Are Not Failures

I now have a job demonstrating Dyson vacuum cleaners on the weekends working both Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm. Hubby and I made the decision to do this so that I could earn extra income and he could watch the kids and we wouldn't have to pay out anything for childcare. 

I know that right now you are envisioning the door to door vacuum cleaner salesman who pesters the "decision maker" of the home into buying a vacuum...Well you'd be wrong.

I'm paid hourly to stand in either Bed Bath & Beyond or Costco and demonstrate how a Dyson works, I do not make commission.

I've been a Dyson user for years and love their products. They are not gimmicks and really do suck...in a good way :)

Some things you might want to consider when buying one of our products: It really is covered under warranty for five years. If something breaks and you wait 7 years before calling customer service, it will not be covered and it won't be our fault. It's not meant to vacuum up water. There is no need to get insane about cleaning the inside of the canister and/or washing it out with water. Technically, it is the inside of a vacuum cleaner and no one really gives a rats ass if it's dirty. If you have that much time on your hands, you might want to consider volunteering with a non-profit, I'm sure they'd love your enthusiasm. 

I do not know where the mattresses, refrigerators or foot massagers are located. One would think that that the black shirt with the word "Dyson" printed on it would alert people to the fact that I am not an employee of the store but you'd be wrong. The shirt is my uniform, the people at Costco wear red vests and in Bed Bath & Beyond the employees wear name tags that say Bed Bath & Beyond.

If you don't bother to notice that my shirt says Dyson and ask me where to find a toilet brush, please don't be offended when I can't tell you.

Oh and please save the "suck" jokes...I've heard them all...

I am actually enjoying this experience. I have a marketing job that I do from the house. A cake business that I run from the house and a business that I am starting with my sisters-in-law so it's not like I'm not busy. The bulk of what I do, I do from home and love it. However, I love being out working with the public too. Most of the time it's lots of fun but once in a while I meet someone who is obviously hell-bent on being miserable and trying to take everyone down with them.

I'll never understand this type of person.

I'm a generally happy person. I love to laugh and I love to make others laugh. I even tried my hand at stand-up and did pretty well. I really have experienced the rush of "the roar of the crowd" and loved it! Why anyone wouldn't want that feeling I can't imagine but some people just aren't happy unless they have something to complain about!

Last week we had our bi-weekly moms' group get together. Normally we have a speaker and then break out into groups to talk about specific topics and other times we have craft workshops where we learn things like knitting or review a book. It's two hours of free babysitting with a hot breakfast with other moms...an experience worth it's weight in gold...but I digress...Last week we didn't have a speaker or groups so we just got to sit and talk. We were sharing funny child stories and one of the moms was telling us about her son - "a numbers guy" at the age of six - who loves to watch the numbers change on their digital scale. He has asked her to get on so he could watch the numbers on the scale and when it finally stopped he exclaimed, "Whoa mom! Look at all the points you got!" In his mind higher was better!

Winning! 

We talked about changing our perceptions of our weight and seeing it for what it was...a number. Granted, you don't want to make a point on getting a "higher score" every time you step on the scale - if you even own one - rather being should be ok with the number that you get. We are not all built the same, we'll never be Victoria Secret models but we are who we are, our spouses love us for who we are, that's why he chose us. We need to be ok with the "score" and find ways to be living examples to our children of happy accepting people who are comfortable in our own skin.

I have fought with my weight my entire life. Between mean girls in high school and magazines that showed emaciated girls as "normal" I've always had a warped perception of my own body. It wasn't until I had kids that I realized my "shell" doesn't matter as much as my heart.

I have done many, many things in my life. I have been married before...a couple of times, I've been a step-mother, manager, clerk, mechanic etc., but the greatest, most difficult, yet most rewarding thing, is being a mommy.

At the time, each job seemed like the most important thing I could possibly ever do and I did it with as much enthusiasm as I could. If you know me, you know I am an all or nothing kind of girl. I do nothing half-way...it just wastes time.

As important as those things were at the time they pale by comparison to my life these days. I'm not talking about kissing boo-boos or changing diapers. Yes, those things come with the territory but the unconditional, deep-rooted love that I have for the two tiny little men who call me momma.
The smiles and the giggles that I get when I play peek-a-boo or the hugs and kisses I get when I get home from my part-time job on the weekends or the warm snuggly feeling that I get when I rock them to sleep at night all contribute to the most amazing love I have ever felt for another human being.

I don't try to be perfect. I don't want to be perfect. I've learned way too much in my life from my trials and tribulations. I don't want my kids to be afraid of making mistakes. Mistakes are not failures unless you fail to learn something from them.

James Dyson doesn't look at things as failures, he looks at them as learning opportunities. I want my kids to grow up with the same attitude and drive to find solutions. If I'm constantly trying to be perfect I am never showing them how to improve only how they'll never measure up.

I enjoy watching the kids discover something new and watching what they do with it. Just the other night they dug two new swim diapers out of the closet and had us put them on their heads. Yup! Hats! We've put those hats on them every day since. They love to run around in them and they are, of course, adorable!

I want their minds and their hearts to be open. I want them to be accepting of themselves as well as others and I want them to be happy.

We all dream that our kids will become doctors or lawyers or the next Pulitzer Prize winner but the fact is that I want my kids to be happy and know that they are loved more than they can possibly imagine, until they day their own kids are born...then they'll get it.

Maybe they'll find a cure for cancer or maybe they'll be in a Costco, politely saying, "No sir, I don't know where they keep the pickles, I work for Dyson."  As long as they are happy, my life will never suck.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Counting Blessings...One-handed

Yes there is such a thing as being too patient!

The other night the Engineer tripped and face planted right into the door jamb. After I got him settled down hubby was playing with him when the Engineer fell again and hit the same spot which was again followed by screaming.

Hubby is so patient, too patient in fact. He held the Engineer, whose screams continued to escalate, and just sat there on the sofa with him waiting for the 15 month old to settle down...which did not happen.

If doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is really the definition of insanity, then hubby is truly nuts.

Since day one he has done virtually the same thing. While I believe that kids need to learn to soothe themselves, there are times when self-soothing is not an option and distraction is the better option.

I thought this was common sense...evidently it's rocket science.

When I tell him to move around, etc. he gets defensive like I'm picking on him. Noooo I'm here all day, I have to distract them fairly frequently and know what works because I'VE TRIED IT!!

Of course some days are better than others - which really goes without saying but, I've said it anyway.

Most days the boys are capable of playing by themselves. They will fight over toys, but usually find something else to play with once the toy has been removed. There are certain toys that we keep out of reach as they involved parental supervision and well...I don't always feel like supervising.

Since we began the liquid Zantac our nights have improved immensely. The kids sleep through the night almost all the time now...almost.

We've been battling colds lately. Large quantities of snot aside, it hasn't been bad during the day, but night time is another story all together.

At approximately 9 p.m. every evening, we settle the kids into their highchairs, dispense meds and brush their teeth. The Stuntman receives a dose of Zantac and liquid Rolaids and if needed the Engineer will receive a dose of ibuprofen. Most nights the Engineer gets jealous of the Stuntman's medicine and we have to give him a "taste" to settle him down.

Of course, he only wants this when he's not sick. When he is sick, giving him medicine is a terrible experience for all of us! It takes no less than two people to administer any drug. He fights, screams, cries and whips his head back and forth and no matter how you put it in his mouth, he spits it back out.

Honestly, I'd much rather give pills to a cat than liquid medicine to the Engineer. That being said, I do have more than 40 years experience with cats and only 15 months experience with the Engineer.

When the boys have colds they don't sleep well. Really, who does when they are sick? At least as adults we know what the problem is and how to deal with it. As babies they have no idea what is going on and can't be reasoned with. Crying makes their snot production go into overdrive and giving the Engineer a dose of anything in the middle of the night is not an option! 

Recently, the Engineer AKA The Urinator peed so much that he soaked his diaper, his pajamas and his crib and woke us, as well as the neighborhood, up with his screaming. We got him changed and because I didn't want to change the sheets in his crib at 2am put him in the big bed with us.

Unfortunately, the Stuntman doesn't sleep through the Engineer's screaming and he woke up as well. There was nothing wrong with him but he was now wide awake.

We only have a queen size bed, fitting the four of us in it is not really an option so I took the Stuntman down to the family room and snuggled on the sofa in desperation of recovering some much needed sleep.

Since the Stuntman's faulty dismount from the sofa, and subsequent stitches in the back of his head, we keep the coffee table pushed up against the front of the sofa so they can climb up and down without injury. I left the coffee table in place, grabbed a bottle of milk from the fridge and settled down on the sofa on my back with the Stuntman on my chest.

After a while, he wiggled himself between the back of the sofa and me leaving me on my side with my knees bent, which he didn't like. Eventually, he rolled over onto his stomach taking up the bulk of the sofa cushion and began kicking me to move my legs so that he could stretch out. I had no choice but to roll over onto the coffee table and try to sleep!

Needless to say it was a really bad night and when I finally did wake up my left arm was asleep and completely paralyzed.

Despite having the bed, hubby didn't really have a much better time. The Engineer does this thing with his legs when he is on his stomach where he "digs" with his feet which propels him forward. Hubby was awakened by whimpering to find the Engineer had traversed the head of the bed and propelled himself down in the chasm between the bed and the nightstand - head first!

Nights like this I try to count my blessings and think of the time with either boy as bonus snuggle time.

However, it's really hard to count blessings when the fingers of one hand are paralyzed from sleeping on the coffee table which may be very sturdy but not the least bit snugly. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Weekend Away

I will be starting a part-time job this coming weekend and had to spend last weekend in a training class in Chicago.

I left my house at noon on Friday and didn't get home until about 2am Sunday night/Monday morning.

Way, way, way too many hours without seeing my babies. Hubby was good about sending pictures but pictures are not the same as holding them.

I was ok until I got a panicked call from hubby because the Engineer had spiked a fever of 102 and he had no idea what to do. Although I purchase generic over the counter drugs I use brand names when talking about them. Advil is much easier to say than ibuprofen and ditto for Tylenol over acetaminophen.

Hubby was stressed which stressed me out and I began to panic. I don't panic often but this was utterly out of my control and I was freaked. In giving him directions I resorted to the easier to say brand names and he replied that there was not Tylenol.

O. M. G. Seriously!

I'm pretty sure that he's the only person in the world that doesn't know that acetaminophen is the generic of Tylenol. I tried to do my best to not yell into the phone.

I failed.

After a few minutes (he had to write down the directions) we switched from phone to FaceTime and when the Stuntman realized that mommy wasn't going to be coming out of the phone he began to cry which touched a cord in me had me choking back tears. It was awful. After saying goodbye and hanging up I sobbed uncontrollably for about 10 minutes. Every tear that I had fought back since noon that day cascaded down my cheeks.

I pulled myself together, remake-upped my face and went downstairs to grab some dinner and prepare for the weekend training. Despite my having a good time, my hubby and my boys were on my mind the entire time. Frequently throughout the weekend I would pull up pictures of the boys just so I could see them.

We never did the FaceTime thing again. It was just too much for the boys (translation: I couldn't handle it!). As it was if hubby put me on speaker the Stuntman would cry when I'd say goodbye. It really sucked being out of town. 

But, I survived the weekend.

Hubby had to get up and go to work Monday morning so he was in bed when I arrived home at 2 a.m. As I headed upstairs I noticed that he'd left the outside light on and when I went to the backdoor to turn it off I discovered that hubby had made a heart in the snow in the backyard.

He'd purposely left the light on so I would see it.

He's such a sweet guy!

I made my way up the stairs, peeked in on the boys, brushed my teeth and crawled into bed next to the love of my life.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Gag!

I can't get over how fast time flies now that we have kids! It seems like just yesterday I was bawling my eyes out over another failed IVF attempt and here we are with 14 month old twins who are using sign language, trying to talk and putting things that are not trash in the trash can.

Not only can they put things in that shouldn't be thrown away but they take things out that should.

The kitchen trashcan has a lock on it that, when we remember to use it, keeps them from opening it. The diaper pails do not and the cans in the bathrooms are just open ones.

There are telltale signs that the children have been in the bathrooms: the toilet lids are down, toilet paper is on the counter or window sill and the trash cans are on the counter. They love to pull things out of the trash cans and hand them to me like their presenting me with the Crown Jewels!

The looks on their faces say, "Look mommy! I got you a used snot rag. Isn't it great?!"

Until recently we didn't worry about them getting into the diaper pails. I mean really, who opens those things if they don't have to. I guess ones nose needs to be higher than the lid to get the full effect of the odor but still...Gag!

About a week ago I was headed downstairs when I noticed the Engineer on the floor next to the diaper pail with a dirty diaper in his lap...a poopie diaper to be exact! He had one hand on the diaper and one in the poop and was looking a little concerned about what he was going to do about it.

Even he knew that this was not something that should go in his mouth.

I came close to screaming but bit my tongue so I wouldn't scare him into crawling away leaving a trail of poopie handprints on the one area of the first floor that has carpeting.

I picked him up, deposited the diaper back in the trashcan and headed into the bathroom to try to wash the hand of a 14 month old while holding him at the same time. I did manage but neither of us was happy when we it was over.

The other night I did that oatmeal in the crockpot overnight recipe - it was delicious by the way. I peeled and sliced the apples, put the apple peels, seeds, cores, etc. in the trash, turned on the crockpot and went to bed. The following morning when we came downstairs the oatmeal smelled heavenly. I helped myself to two (yes two) large bowls which I shared with the boys while they also had their morning banana and clementines.

About 20 minutes after finishing breakfast and cleaning up I was exercising my OCD by separating the kids' blocks, chew toys and stuffies when the Engineer rounded the corner munching on something and waving what appeared to be a slice of bacon. Mmmmm BACON!

Wait...where did he get bacon?!

Upon further inspection I discovered that it was, in fact, not bacon but rather apple peels that he pulled out of the kitchen trashcan...that I had forgotten to lock...again.

I made two New Year's resolutions this year. 1. Clean the office AKA the Abyss (See Flat Surface Disease). 2. Keep said office clean.

In an effort to keep this year's resolutions I tied a rope around my waist the other day and ventured into the Abyss while the boys were napping. I actually made really good progress and had to empty the round-file twice.

The first time I dumped the office trash into the large can in the garage I heard, "Do you need a tow truck, call me, I'm on the way."

Huh?

"Beep, Beep!"

Wait, what?!

I pushed on the top of the trash, "My name's Tommy and this is my Tow Truck."

Crap! That's where that toy ended up!

I began removing the stuff I had just dumped in, and looked into the bottom of the can to see a light blinking behind the white plastic of the bag from the DIAPER PAIL!

Eeeeeeeew! No no no no nooooooo not that...Anything but that!!!

I began to bargain...

I considered putting the lid on and pretending that I heard and seen nothing. But my conscience just wouldn't let me do it so, I tore a hole in the end of the bag and removed Tommy and his Tow Truck. Evidently it had been in the very bottom corner of the bag and had not contacted any of the poopie-ness that potentially comes with being in the diaper pail bag.

I refilled the trashcan, carried the toy truck into the house, promptly hosed it down with antibacterial cleaner, scrubbed it off with paper towels and then scrubbed myself off.

Poop doesn't particularly scare me. I mean it's just poop and it stinks but it's not like it's going to leap up out of the diaper and smear itself on me. Trash picking the diaper pail bag skeeves me out more than a poopie diaper does.

This is not the case for the hubby. He tends to freak out a bit about poop and I think I've figured out why.

When I change a poopie diaper I don't inspect or analyze the contents. I open it, scrape the poop off their butt, clean with additional wipes, wrap them in the dirty diaper and put it in the pail.

Hubby analyzes.

No wonder he is prone to gagging!

I try to feed the kids balanced meals and most of the time, to my surprise, I actually achieve this goal.

The kids will eat just about anything but hubby won't eat broccoli. He does eat peas, green beans, spinach and Brussels sprouts. Nights we don't do green we do carrots or corn - I know more of a starch than a veggie but I'm trying.

Recently we had a couple of nights of baked chicken with sweet potato fries and green beans. Well rounded meals complete with cookies for dessert. Unless we have fresh pears then they want nothing to do with cookies. But I digress...

Sometime during that week hubby was changing the stuntman's diaper when I heard, "The green stuff is not processing."

"Hmmm," I thought to myself, "that's interesting."

No sooner did I finish this thought did I hear, "DID YOU HEAR ME??? THE GREEN STUFF IS NOT PROCESSING!"

I replied that I did indeed hear him but that there was nothing I could do about it. I did, however, thank him for his observation.

Once he had finished the diaper change and washed his hands he remarked that it was really disgusting. I pointed out that if he spent less time analyzing it, he might not gag.  "After all," I said, "you're just changing a diaper, not trying to recover a pair of ingested diamond earrings."

He gagged.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

No Big Deal Right?

I am blessed with a mother that is one of my best friends in the whole-wide-world.

She is smart, funny, sensitive and the one you want on your side in an argument - she should have been a litigator - and is the ultimate "momma bear" if someone she loves is in danger.

If you are in need of an advocate for medical services she will go to any length to help including calling the governor's office if need be. Most medical practitioners have never had a patient or advocate that arms herself with information the way she does. She has knowledge of obscure facts  and laws that most people have never heard of, never mind remember, and can recall details of a phone conversation from 1972.

Her math skills suck unless you want to know how much 25% off the sale price of an item is but her command of the English language is above par. She is one of the few people left in the world who can actually diagram a sentence or explain what a dangling participle is but ask her to plug in a printer and things will go to hell in the blink of an eye!

There is no such thing as a quick trip to my mom's house.

Knowing this, when I arranged to "stop" in last weekend, to return the wood splitting equipment that we had borrowed, I expected to find a list of things that needed to be done. The first of which was to tighten the faucet on the kitchen sink. Upon attempting to do so, we discovered that there was a leak in the drain pipe from the small (right) sink.

No big deal right?

Wrong!

I tightened it up. Fixed! Yay!

Or so I thought...

I crawled the rest of the way under the sink and tightened the faucet down. Whew that was easy. Mom turned on the water to make sure that the thing wasn't wiggling around anymore and next thing I knew I had dirty drain water spewing onto my face!

AAAAAACK! Shut it off, shut it off, SHUT IT OFF!!!!

Ugh! Now I have to call the king of all things water, AKA Hubby, and see if he can tell me what the issue is.

I got hubby, who was giving the boys their post nap snack, on the phone and told him what was happening, followed his instructions to a T and reassembled everything.

It didn't work.

I took pictures and sent them off to him so he could see exactly where the problem was and waited for the return call with further instructions.

So picture me sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of the kitchen sink, phone pressed between my left shoulder and ear trying to follow his directions while he plays referee with the boys.

In the meantime, my mother, who has always hated the pendent lights that hang over the island located behind me, turns them off leaving me virtually in the dark. As if that weren't bad enough, she either makes a comment or askes me questions ever time I make a comment to hubby.

Not only can I not see but I can't hear the guy who knows what he's talking about!

I had to point out to my mom that I WAS ON THE PHONE!!!

I seem to have followed his directions pretty well and got the problem fixed but we left the bucket there just in case!

Then I hear, "You know what I should have you do while you're here?"

Here it comes...

"I can have you hook up my printer," she says.

Oy vey!

She told me a few months ago that she needed a printer. The old one wouldn't work. So I researched printers and, because of the cost of ink cartridges, suggested that she go with a decent laser printer this time, sent her a link for a Brother color laser printer.

It's been in the box since it arrived at her house for at least two months.

So we begin the process of removing the old one, cleaning the dust bunnies out from under the desk and plugging in the new, wireless printer. There is a problem...her router is so old that it will not communicate with her new printer. She is going to have to call Verizon to get them to install a current wireless router for her DSL.

She then says, well the new one will still scan and copy right?

Scan? Copy? No! You told me you needed a printer...

So, I asked her what was wrong with the old printer anyway - something that as a result of hindsight I should have done months ago - and was told that she couldn't use it because it was plugged into my dad's old computer.

Wait, what?

I should have known...

This is the same woman that thought she could only access her gmail account on one computer.

Sooooooo....

I plugged in the old computer, connected the USB cable to mom's laptop, installed the drivers and voila, fixed!

Yep, it was that easy!

I'm reasonably certain that she has yet to call Verizon to get the router switched out. There are other work arounds for it but I'm not about to go there with her...ever!