Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts....


Keely, at The Unmom, hosts Random Tuesday Thoughts....being that I have a lot of random thoughts on my mind these days, I thought I'd give it a go....

1) A few days ago, I learned that there is a button on the dashboard of our mini-van that allows us to open the very back windows slightly. I had no clue....we've owned this mini-van for 4 years and I'm just now figuring this out. But it's not like I haven't been busy in the last 4 years....with, what, popping out two sets of twins and all. It's not like I had a whole lotta time to read the mini-van's manual.

2) Now that I've discovered this button, I've been completely enjoying opening and closing the window at random times during our drives. The windows make this cool little "zzzzhhhh" sound when they're opening and closing. Cole and Landon sit in the 3rd row and it totally freaks them out every time I do it because they can't figure out why the windows keep opening and closing at random times. Moms can be so cruel...

3) Speaking of cruel, I had to take Cole to the dr yesterday to have the 3 staples in his head removed (you know, from when he "cracked his head open" on the cement patio). Of course, I had to drag all the other kiddos with me. It was loads of fun, as usual. Let's just put it this way...I think I would've enjoyed my annual pap smear much more than this. While waiting in the waiting room, Garrett was whining constantly, Cole kept taking Landon's toy car away from him causing Landon to scream bloody murder, and Bella was playing with my cell phone....I felt eyes staring at me. There were plenty of other parents in the waiting room with their perfectly well-behaved kids and then there was me, all alone with my wild, out-of-control demon spawn. I finally got tired of people staring at me so I looked at one parent and said, "I know....watching my kids act like....um, KIDS....is kinda like watching a train wreck, isn't it? You don't really want to watch but you just can't pull yourself away". Then the nurse called Cole's name and we went back to the exam room. I'm pretty sure I heard clapping and cheering coming from the waiting room, as we left.

4) I find the wierdest things funny, like when Bella asked me if I was writing in my "blob" and when she asked me how many plastic eggs we would need for our Easter Egg "Hump". Or, the other day, when Cole promptly left the kitchen table and ran to the bathroom, announcing that he had to "drop the kids off at the pool" (good to know they're paying attention to the important things they need to learn in preschool).

5) I went to upload a couple pictures from my memory card and I was treated to 11 random pictures taken by Cole and Bella, without my knowledge. I keep our camera on the kitchen counter so I can grab it quickly when necessary...you know, like when a super good blogging opportunity presents itself. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did (it's about 53 seconds long to the sound of David Cassidy singing "Come on, Get Happy"...so please indulge me)....I call it "Stuffed animals....Strike a Pose".

6) Lastly, here are the couple of pictures I was uploading when I saw the lovely gift that Cole and Bella had left me on my memory card. One of my good friends sent me a beautiful bouquet of flowers for my birthday tomorrow (yeah, I was an April Fools baby...you just know I'm gonna come up with one hell of a list for my birthday blog post). I put the flowers on the kitchen counter....right smack in the center. Kinda hard to miss. Unless you're my husband...who stood right in front of the flowers while drinking a soda when he came home from work. Not only did he NOT take one look at the flowers, he NEVER even asked who sent them. They could've been from my secret lover.....but, seriously, you see all the crap I could totally get away with??

Notice how close his glass of soda is to the flowers....

And notice there's really nothing else nearby on the counter which would prevent him from seeing the flowers....

Maybe tomorrow I'll get completely naked in front of him and light myself on fire....ya think he'd notice that? But then again, what can I expect from a guy who doesn't remember my middle name or where I was born?

Monday, March 30, 2009

It's inevitable....

1).....that my kids will sleep late Monday through Friday, yet wake up at the break of dawn on both Saturday and Sunday.

2).....that when I want my kids to listen to me, they won't, yet when I don't want them listening to me, they can't help but eavesdrop (see next post)

3).....that they will repeat a bad word I used when they weren't supposed to be listening, like when Garrett spilled his goldfish crackers on the floor in the doctor's office and he said "oh shit"....conveniently, I might add, just after the doctor had asked me "So how's the speech therapy going?"

4).....that my kids will absolutely love pancakes one day, yet the next time I make the same exact pancakes, they refuse to touch them.

5).....that they refuse to even taste a small bite of the chicken teriyaki I made for dinner, yet when it's on MY plate the next day as left-overs, they beg for me to share it with them.

6).....that when we punish them for pulling all the toys off the shelf in the garage by having them sort the recycling for a couple hours, they actually have fun and say "when can we do THAT again?".

7).....that my kids never want anything to do with helping me clean the house, yet when I'm in a hurry because we're having company over in 20 minutes, they suddenly want to learn how to use the vacuum.

8).....that there seems to always be tons of good movies in the theaters, yet the ONE time my mom and stepdad offer to babysit, there's nothing good playing right then.

9).....that when I don't bring the kids grocery shopping with me, there are plenty of fun race-car grocery carts available, yet when I bring them with me either none are available or they're all "out of order".

10)....that just as Tim's finished the taxes and we have about a hundred ideas for what to do with the money, that one of the kids breaks something that wasn't broken in the first place...and it just happens to cost a whole lotta money.

Quick shout-outs....

Check out Van Pan!! Elizabeth's (of Three Channels) husband started this blog to showcase "The Dirty Underbelly of Mommy Blogger Culture - A Glimpse Inside Their Nasty Minivans". I submitted some pictures of what the inside of our mini-van looked like (on a GOOD day) and I'm honored (I think...) that the pics were featured in a recent post! If your mini-van looks anything like mine (oh, come on now....fess up), send him your pictures!

Karen, at A Peek at Karen's World, picked little ole me as her Blog of the Week!! Thank you, Karen!!

Tami, at Diary of a Mad Woman, made this adorable bear hug award....and she requested that the recipients of this award pass it on to someone who may need a big bear hug....so I want to pass this on to Zeemaid at In the Mommy Trenches. She and her husband just got back from a relaxing getaway only to come home to a couple stressful situations so I thought she could probably use a nice bear hug!

Onna at Toddler Craft has a fun weekly meme that she's just started called "Click and Comment Monday"....go check it out!!

I have some more shout-outs but I'll have to do those another day...my bosses kids are hollering at me to rub their backs so they can go to sleep. If only I had an extra pair of arms....

Thursday, March 26, 2009

And they finally get along with one another...all because of Mr Potato Head

Cole and Bella fight like cats and dogs....all the time. I mean, everything...EVERYTHING is a fight between them. It could be something as simple as deciding whose turn it is to help me with dinner....doesn't matter. I've learned to anticipate fights with every little thing.

The thing that really chaps my hide (chaps my hide...what does that even mean?) is that they KNOW BETTER. I'll pull them both aside and say, "How many times have I told you to treat each other the way you would want to be treated...would you want someone grabbing a toy away from you? Would you want someone pushing you out of the way when you were first in line?". They both sulk and say "no, of course not". So what's the lesson here, kiddos? "Treat each other the way we would want to be treated". YES! Five minutes later they're back to arguing, yelling, screaming and telling on each other again. It's enough to make me want to retreat to....I don't know....say, the Bahamas. Oh wait, that's something I want to do every day regardless of what the kids are doing.

So the other day, they were fighting....again....and so I said, "Alright...enough!! I'm going to get the playdough out and you both are gonna take out your aggression and anger on the playdough...and here's the thing....I want you both to sit next to each other nicely and WORK TOGETHER to make something with the playdough". Cole said, "But...." and I said, "no buts"....and they both laughed hysterically...."you said 'no buts'....". I guess if I was 4 yrs old I might have found that funny too.

As I was digging around in the toy cabinet, I came across a Mr Potato Head playdough set that they had received for Christmas that had never been opened. They were all excited to get their little grabby hands all over that stuff. I reminded them that they had to work together, peacefully....that was the key.

After 10 minutes of almost complete silence (holy cow....do I actually hear dogs barking outside....is that what it sounds like when the icemaker drops ice into the bucket in the freezer?), they continued to work together while concentrating on their collaboration.

And here is the result of their hard work:

Yeah, freakin scary, isn't he? Kinda looks like our mailman...but I digress....the point is they were able to work together nicely for a whole 10 minutes putting this guy together.

I was all smiles and said, "See....look how much fun you both have together when you're getting along....wasn't that fun?" They both smiled. Cole said, "Yeah, it was fun" and Bella said, "I had fun too....and you know what? We even agreed on what we should make". I couldn't help but be proud of myself for thinking of this awesome idea....until Cole said, "we agreed that we should make a Potato Head that looks like YOU when you're mad at us".

Gee, thanks, guys....I think I liked it better when you were conspiring against one another.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

In his defense....

I received plenty of comments on my last post in regards to Tim not knowing my middle name. I know, right? How could we possibly know each other for almost 14 years and he doesn't know something as basic as my middle name??

It gets worse....the stranger I share a house with my husband didn't know where I was born either!! As he's preparing our taxes, as well as applying to change our medical insurance policy, he's learning quite a few things about me.

Tim: I need your SSN for this paperwork.
Me: 00*-**-****
Tim: Why does yours start with 00*? That's usually an East coast number. Weren't you born here in California?
Me: (stunned into silence).....I was born in New Hampshire. Are you saying you never knew that?
Tim: Really? New Hampshire?

I looked at him and started singing, "Yes, I like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain...I'm not much into health food...I am into champagne....". He just stared at me. I said, "Now you're supposed to sing the part where you say...'then we laughed for a moment and I said, "I never knew...that you like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain and the feel of the ocean and the taste of champagne'...." Kinda seems like Escape should be our song....seriously, you'd think we would've covered most of this information during our first date...maybe our second? This feels kind of....well, awkward.

So I thought I'd put him to the test and see what else he might not know. I asked him 13 questions....things I thought were basic things that he should know after being with me for FOURTEEEN YEARS.

1) Who is my oldest friend? Jen (CORRECT....although he was a bit confused by this question....he was like "do you mean oldest as in age or oldest as in time you've known her?"....awwww, yes Grasshopper, that's good paying attention....trying to trip me up and impress me, huh?)

2) Where did he and I meet? On a blind date at Chili's (CORRECT ...AND bonus points for remembering the month and year that we met without me even asking...he even went so far as to remember a stupid line he used on me during dinner when there was an awkward lull in our conversation,"so what's your sign?"....yeah, I know...and I still continued to see him after that)

3) When is our anniversary? He actually asked me,"Which one? The day we began dating exclusively or our wedding anniversary?". Again, I was stunned into silence....then I challenged him, "Okay, how about both?". Dating exclusively - November 8, 1995 (Holy donkey balls.....he actually remembered the exact date). Wedding anniversary - August 10, 2002 (CORRECT....I waited for him to add, "the happiest day of my life" but he didn't....guess that's too much to ask for)

4) What is my favorite holiday? Christmas (Buzzer says "ehhhh" WRONG). This is when Bella interrupted the quiz and said, "Her favorite holiday is Halloween, Daddy". Good to know my kid pays attention to the important things in life (and she probably only remembers this because I steal half of her candy from her after we go trick-or-treating).

5) What is my favorite season? Fall (CORRECT....yet he can't remember that my favorite holiday is Halloween? I mean, fall and Halloween go hand in hand, right?)

6) When is my birthday and how old will I be? After rolling his eyes and saying "give me a break", he said "April 1 and you'll be 40" (CORRECT....that's 8 days away, honey dear....I'm just sayin)

7) What's my favorite color? Small hesitation on this one....Um, blue? (Is that your final answer?) Um, hmmmm, yeah blue (You're pretty sure? Do you want to use one of your lifelines and call my sister?) Cut the crap, Regis....I know it's blue. (CORRECT...and, dude, what's up with the attitude? You got yourself into this situation!)

Small beads of sweat are forming on his forehead....the kids and I are staring him down. He asks, "Are you putting all this on your blog?" I say, "Your damn right I am". Now he realizes he's under some serious pressure.

8) What's my favorite food? Sushi (CORRECT....I'd honestly be shocked if he hadn't gotten this one right....I live for sushi and he knows it...but then again, I thought he knew what my middle name was...)

9) Where did he propose? Jamaica (CORRECT....yeah, that's right...on the very last night of our 7-day vacation when I was practically in tears thinking marriage may not be in the cards for us...but then he asked "So what do you think about spending the rest of your life with me as my wife?"....before I could answer him, I heard my uterus yell to my ovaries, "Hey guys, DID YOU HEAR THAT??? We can put our retirement plans on hold". My ovaries yelled back, "Well, praise be to God....we were THIS close to shriveling up and rotting away!" )

At this point, I thought I'd catch him off guard....

10) What color are my eyes? He says, "Come on, now!! This is just stupid. They're brown". (CORRECT....and for your information, Tim, don't think I didn't get that whole "come on now....." crap was a stalling technique, while you looked deeply into my eyes for more than a millisecond before answering)

11) What is my ideal vacation....somewhere tropical and relaxing, somewhere where we can go sightseeing the whole time or an outdoor adventure? Somewhere tropical and relaxing (CORRECT....so when are we leaving for Hawaii?? Oh, and did I mention that my birthday is in 8 days?)

12) What is my favorite type of movie....romance, drama, action adventure or comedy? Well, that depends....(quit stalling....final answer please?) Okay, well probably comedy but I know you like romance too. In order of preference, I'd say comedy, romance, drama then action adventure. (SEMI-CORRECT....I'd say it was comedy, drama, romance and then action adventure but that's getting a little picky, don't you agree?)

13) Which celebrity would I leave you in a heartbeat for? *rolls eyes* (I'm serious...come on, answer it) Mark Wahlberg (CORRECT....I love me some Marky Mark but you should also know that I've been digging Seth Rogen quite a bit since seeing Superbad....so it'd be a toss up between the two of them) SETH ROGEN? Are you serious? Geez, should I feel offended at all? (Nah...you know me, always rooting for the underdog...) Yeah, thanks for that.

So did he pass the test? In my opinion, I think he did pretty well. Much better than I anticipated. And it's a good thing for him because I'm pretty sure that Seth Rogen is still single.

Monday, March 23, 2009

In my own little perfect world...

1) God would have both a pager and intercom system so in an emergency (like when the all the kids are pushing my buttons), I could page Him and suddenly my kids would hear a booming voice from the sky saying, "All of you pipe down NOW! I sent you into this world and I can take you out....so stop making your mother cry".

2) Dr Oz will have discovered that eating cookies and brownies is the key to living a longer, healthier life.

3) All forms of exercise would be illegal.

4) There would be no such thing as selective hearing. In an even more perfect world, I wouldn't have to remind my husband about everything because he'd already know and he would've already done it...."oh, the burnt out lights? Yeah, I totally noticed and I've replaced all of them" or "I drank the last of the orange juice so I ran to the store last night and got some more since I know how much you love drinking OJ with your breakfast" or "I noticed you haven't had time to get to the laundry so I did it for you".

5) All babies would be born able to talk....they'd come straight out of their mother's wombs and say, "Hey, wassup....thanks for birthing me and all...unfortunately, that will NOT be the last time I make you cry....just sayin....now what does a baby gotta do around here to get a couple squirts of breastmilk?". In an even more perfect world, they'd also be born with a mute button.

6) All babies would be born already potty-trained.

7) You go in for your yearly physical and your doctor says, "Whoa...you seriously need to gain some weight. And your cholesterol is too low....you better start chowing down on eggs, cheese and anything you can get your hands on that's loaded with saturated fat".

8) Hearing the words "uh-oh" come out of my children's mouth won't necessarily mean something horrible has just happened, like them flushing a handful of legos down the toilet or spilling grape juice all over my WHITE living room carpet. And I would never hear them scream "Oh My Gosh, look at all that poop".....but they're nowhere near the bathroom.

9) Kids would be dirt-proof (or at the very least, have their own self-cleaning mechanism).

10) I'd take my kids out to the most expensive restaurant in town, where they'd behave perfectly and allow Tim and I the opportunity to experience that distant memory of what a full stomach feels like. In an even more perfect world, the manager would be so impressed with our well-behaved children that he'd say, "Don't worry about the bill....I got this".

11) My husband, whom I have known for almost 14 years, would know what my middle name is:

Tim: Hey, sweetie, I'm finishing up the taxes. Does your middle name end with an 'E'? It's A-N-N-E, right?
Me: Are you serious? You think my middle name is Anne?
Tim: Yeah, isn't that your middle name?
Me: No, it's JAN.
Tim: Oh, well at least I was close.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday Regurgitation - And the Award for "Worst Mother in the World" goes to....ME?!

My blogging buddy, Andy, at Creative Junkie often goes back and posts an old blog entry on Sundays and calls it Sunday Regurgitation (if you haven't checked out her blog yet, please take a peek....you are sure to laugh your way through reading her posts....oh, and she's having a giveaway right now!) I love the idea of this regurgitation thing so I borrowed it from her (okay, I stole it....throw me in prison, but, hey, I did give her props). Here's one of my older posts from July 30, 2008.


ME?! Oh really, no you shouldn't have....what an honor! Four years in a row now!!! I'm so humbled. I guess my acceptance speech would be something like, "Well, let me start off by thanking my 4 kids for making it so easy for me to be 'worst mother in the world'. Not a day goes by that I don't question my mothering abilities and I have them to thank for it. I'd also like to thank my husband, who offers as much support and encouragement as he can but also realizes it's an endless and thankless task. And, last but not least, my mother and my MIL deserve recognition, with their constant unsolicited advice and judgement. Thank you for always knocking me down when I could really use a lift up."

Okay, so I don't really consider myself the World's Worst Mother all the time, mainly because I'm not beating my kids senseless or starving them. But sometimes I just do dumb things and then I feel like I've traumatized my kids in some way.

For example, a couple days ago, I gave Cole and Bella some milk to drink before bedtime. Cole took a sip and insisted it didn't taste good but Bella said hers was fine. I figured he was just being difficult and I told him to stop fooling around and just drink the milk already. He tried another sip and said "it's yucky". I didn't bother to try the milk because I don't like milk and just the tiniest taste of it would make me wretch. So I asked Bella again if her milk tasted okay and she said yes and she drank all of it. Later that night, Bella had a bit of tummy-ache but then she went potty and said she felt better. The next morning Cole is still refusing to drink the milk and I smelled it and it smelled okay. Bella drank her milk just fine again. I felt, at that point, that Cole was just trying to manipulate me and avoid drinking his milk so I pretty much sat there with him until he drank all of it. And he made faces the whole time like he was gonna pass out or puke. Same thing that night....I told him he needed to drink his milk before bed. The next morning, Tim got them each a glass of milk and noticed that the milk was clumpy...OMG, I had been making my kid drink bad milk!!! Because Bella never complained about it (yet had little tummy aches a few hours after drinking each cup), I never gave it much thought the milk could be bad and it did smell okay. It was probably in the process of turning bad and then finally it just curdled on day 3. I apologized profusely to Cole and Tim just stood there shaking his head as I cried to him, "I can't believe I made him drink bad milk...I sat there and forced him to swallow each sip....I totally suck as a mother". Strike #1 on my record....

Today while we were at the park, Garrett pooped (thank God I had thought to throw a couple diapers in the bottom of the stroller!) and so I put him on the grass and started to change him. He kept trying to wriggle away from me and he would NOT stop crying. I was getting frustrated and the more frustrated I got, the more he'd try to wriggle away from me. I had to also try to keep an eye on Landon, who was still in the sand pit playing with some other kids. Another mother walked by me and she said "I think he's crying because you have his legs lifted up and the sand from his shoes is falling into his eyes". Sure enough, she was right. No wonder the lil guy was crying and trying to get away from me. Strike #2 on my record....

We have a few different types of sunscreen that we use and one of them happens to be a spray. Yesterday, before we went outside to play in the blow-up pools, I was putting sunscreen on the kids. Cole grabbed the spray bottle from the floor while I was busy finishing putting sunscreen on Landon. I should've told him to put the spray bottle down but I didn't and just as I thought "I should probably take that away from him before he sprays himself or someone else in the eye", he sprayed himself in the eyes. And as I quickly tried to splash water into his eyes, he cried saying, "I was just trying to spray my arm, not my face". In the meantime, while I was tied up in the bathroom with him, I had forgotten to pick up the sunscreen spray bottle because I was in such a hurry to get Cole's eyes cleaned and....yeah, we all know where this is going, don't we....Bella picked up the bottle and sprayed Landon in the face. Strike #3 and #4 on my record....

So maybe 4 strikes isn't so bad in general but this was all in a matter of TWO DAYS. Sometimes I wonder if things like this happen because I'm spread so thin between the 4 of them. Okay, the milk thing...well, I guess I can't use that excuse....but the other things clearly happened because I was trying to do something quickly, while keeping an eye on the others, and it just totally backfired on me. Mommies are the ones who are supposed to make their children feel safe and protected, not be the ones who actually make things worse, which is what I feel I do most of the time.

Alright, sob story over....I guess all I can do is slow down and THINK before I do things. And try not to beat myself up over the things I have done. Motherhood is a learning process....no one starts off as Supermom, right?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Playground Rule #26: Do not climb up the slide while someone is going down the slide...

....or you will crack your head open....literally. Last evening, we were having a fun time. We had eaten our dinner of BBQ'd hamburgers, roasted garlic potatoes and corn. Everyone was in a great mood and playing in the backyard, except for me who was stuck inside doing dishes. Woe is me....is that a violin I hear playing for me??

Next thing I know Tim is running Cole inside and says "He cracked his head open". Note to Tim: Never NEVER EVER say something like that to a child's mother without her seeing the injury first. I was envisioning Cole's brain oozing out all over the place and wondering what kind of life he would go onto lead with a serious brain injury.

Once I saw it, obviously, I could see it wasn't life-threatening but he did sustain a pretty deep gash about a 1/2 inch long in the back of his head. It's a good thing Tim has a stomach for these kind of things because as soon as he got the bleeding to stop and he showed me the wound, my stomach started to turn. What if I had been by myself when this happened? My poor kids...I'd be more panicked than they would be.

It was apparent that he would need stitches so off to the emergency room he and Tim went. Three hours later, they returned home with Cole having gotten 3 staples in the back of his head. Tim said he was a trooper and didn't cry at all...which is more than I can say for me, who was at home crying off and on wondering how Cole was doing.

Tim was kind enough to take pics at the hospital with his cell phone because he has been well trained to take pics of everything, injuries included because we'll have to show Cole these pics next time he thinks climbing UP the slide while one of his little brothers is trying to go DOWN the slide is a good idea. And if you're gonna fall, next time don't aim for the edge of the cement patio.

Playground rule #26 has been broken; however, I do believe it will never be broken again.



Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mommy'ing It Forward....

I feel blessed to have "met" so many wonderful people through the world of blogging. It's comforting to know that we're all going experiencing similar ups and downs. Someone out there always understands and can relate to what happens in our daily lives.

One of my favorite things to do is search through other blogs to find new recipes I can make for my family. Let's just say that meatloaf, breaded pork chops, and spaghetti and meatballs can only go so far before my kids start retaliating. So each week I've been incorporating at least 1-2 new meals into our dinner rotation and so far, I've been successful (meaning the kids didn't make gagging noises or make faces when I put the plates in front of them AND they asked for seconds). So I wanted to share a few of the blogs where I've found such wonderful recipes....oh, and all these recipes are so easy that the kids were able to help me prepare them (an added bonus because you know kids are more liable to eat what they made themselves)....

Jenna at The Newlyweds always posts such yummy-looking recipes (you just know it's gonna be delicious when you're practically licking your computer screen while looking at the pictures ). Some of her recipes that I've made are Sticky Chicken (a crockpot meal), Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas, and Smothered Chicken and Rice. YUM!!! You can also see many more of her other recipes by clicking on the recipe link at the upper right corner of her blog. I usually make the Sticky Chicken at the beginning of the week and use the leftovers for the enchiladas, as she recommends. You gotta love those 2-for meals.

Amy at The A to Z Twins just posted a recipe for Greek Chicken Pitas with Tomato and Cucumber Salad in her regular Mystery Spice Monday series. I was salivating as I was reading this recipe!! I made it last night for dinner and...oh, it was SOOO good! Even my husband, who is extremely picky, enjoyed it. I can't wait to see what her next Mystery Spice Monday recipe will be!

Reeni at Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice also has some amazing recipes on her blog. One of them is Spaghetti Pie...my kids were fascinated by it because who expects to be serviced a pie made out of spaghetti?! I also made her Taco Lasagna, which the family really loved!

I've been guilty of lagging....I've received a few awards from some wonderful bloggers and I'm just now getting to them. Doesn't mean I don't appreciate the awards....in fact, it totally makes my day to see that someone has thought enough about my blog to pass on an award to me.

Thank you to Ginny Marie at Lemon Drop Pie, Melissa at Saving Cents with Sense, Jacqueline at My Lil Guyz , Aim at Random Thoughts, and The Eadle Family for the "When Life Hands You Lemons" Award (for blogs that show great attitude or gratitude):

I'd like to pass this award on to Hajar at Tales From an American Nomad. She has experienced many highs and lows in her life yet she always has such a positive, upbeat attitude and always sees the good in people. She is a twin mommy also and the love she has for her family shows through in her writing.

Thank you to Michelle at It's All About Potential for the Premio Dardos Award:

The Dardos Award is given for recognition of cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing. These stamps were created with the intention of promoting fraternization between bloggers, a way of showing affection and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web.

I want to pass this award on to Sharlene at Double The Adventure. She is so wonderful about exposing her young twins to the beauty of nature. She and her family travel to various places and she posts pictures that will take your breath away. She was just featured in Travel Savvy Moms....read her article about visiting Las Vegas with kids by clicking here. I have to say that reading about her adventures makes me want to take a hike with my kids......in about 10 years when they're much older and don't whine about needing to be held every 5 minutes.

Thank you to Betty at It's Me Betty for the Mother of the Year Award:

I'd like to pass this award on to Tami at Diary of a Mad Woman. Talk about Mom of the Year...Tami is amazing! She focuses on the positive attributes of her children and when I read her blog posts, I can just feel the love she has for her family. Her oldest son just got engaged and Tami is the type of woman every girl would want for a mother-in-law. Oh, and she shares my love of Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch.

Thank you to Veronica Lee at OF MICE AND raMEN for the I Heart Your Blog Award: I want to pass this award on to Julie at Wife.Mom.Nurse. I just love her blog...she often writes about her experiences as a nurse. Each time she does I find myself on the edge of my seat, holding my breath until I get to the end...her stories are riveting and written so eloquently, she just draws you in. Maybe you all can help me convince her to write a book full of her nursing stories!

Thank you to Becky at My Life As It Should Be for the Friend Award:

I'd like to give this award to Bobbi Jo at The High Family. I just love Bobbi Jo....if we lived next door to each other, we'd probably drive our spouses crazy because we'd be constantly hanging out at each other's homes, laughing about stories of our kids and husbands. Even though we've never met in "real life", she seems like one of those people who is always there for her friends, through thick and thin.

Thank you to Aim at Random Thoughts for the Kreativ Blogger Award:

I want to pass this award on to Karen at A Peek At Karen's World. She's got an amazing sense of humor....I'm usually laughing my way through reading her blog posts. Even when bad things happen to her (read her most recent post about her car), she still seems to see the humor in it. You gotta love a person like that!! We all need humor in our lives and if you need a laugh, visit Karen's blog!

Thank you to Nancy at One Stop Boy Shop for naming my blog as Blog of the Day and giving me her Daily Blog Award (check out her online store...she has the cutest clothes for boys)...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's the little things that excite me....

Oh Tuesday....what a day it was. And an extremely long one at that. Tim left the house for work at 8:00 am, dropping Cole and Bella off at preschool along the way. At 8:45 am, the therapist from our local regional center came over for her weekly appointment with Garrett and Landon. That lasted about 2 hours and then I had to whisk them off to go pick up Cole and Bella at preschool.

The day pretty much went downhill from there. It consisted of a couple children throwing food all over the kitchen floor during lunch while I was taking a phone call that I was expecting, a couple children emptying all the toy bins into one big box we had sitting in the family room while I was putting the little twins down for a nap, one child waking up early from his nap and waking the other child up, and a few meltdowns over which sippy cup each child would have and one child with a bloody nose.

We spent a couple hours in the late afternoon going back and forth between the backyard and the front yard, with Garrett crying pretty much non-stop over this and that. I'm sure he was pissy from being woken early from his nap by Landon but, my goodness, that kid can CRY. FOR. HOURS. I'm sure the neighbors must have thought I was sticking needles under his fingernails or something. All I could do was keep holding him in my arms while consoling him, all the meanwhile trying to keep an eye on the other kids so they didn't end up doing anything scary....like running off into the wilderness.

At 5:30 pm, Tim came home long enough to change clothes, grab his soccer gear and head out. Like, why even bother...it only upset the kids because you know after being with the Wicked Witch of the West mommy all day, they just want their daddy. So Daddy rushes in, says hello, changes clothes, says goodbye and I'm left with 4 crying, snotty-nosed children screaming, "Where's Daddy going?". Good Lord, by now I've seen enough snot to make my eyes burn....

And if I thought the last 2 hours prior to bathtime was difficult, I was in for a huge shock...it was only gonna get worse. It consisted of a couple children fighting over the same cup in the bathtub (resulting in a whole cup of water being spilled on the bathroom carpet), one child peeing on another child, the same child who had a bloody nose earlier had yet another bloody nose, and me practically peeing in my pants when I sneezed, as I realized I had been holding my bladder for the last 2 hours. The kids had a blast with that one, laughing "Mommy needs to wear pull-ups...hahahaha".

I finally got them all dressed and called them each individually into the bathroom to brush their teeth. In the meantime, one child had climbed up on the changing table/dresser and grabbed a flashlight, two other children began fighting over the flashlight, then one child threw the flashlight against the wall and broke it. At this point, I'm practically laughing at how funny this all is....seriously....I'm ONE person trying to manage FOUR children....two 4-yr olds and two 2-yr olds....do you see the humor? How on earth does Nadya Suleman think she's going to be able to manage FOURTEEN children on her own??!!

After I read bedtime stories, one child tried to jump on another child and ended up hitting his mouth on the rail of the bed....as if I haven't seen enough blood for the day, his bottom lip is bleeding. I finally get that handled, get the little twins in their cribs (all the while I can hear Cole and Bella arguing over something, so typical). I go into their room and tuck them in bed, give kisses, hugs and say "I love you's" and I head off to my room to change into my comfy clothes and wash my face.

I go into Cole and Bella's room to check in on them and after all the typical bedtime stalling (see last post), Cole reminds me that his favorite blankie is still in the dryer....downstairs. Of course it is because that's how Murphy's Law works.

Right as I'm bending down to get his blanket from the dryer, I notice the seeds we had planted in our Ultimate Growing System on Sunday have started to sprout!!! Since I'm absolutely clueless on how to start a veggie garden, I thought this was probably the easiest way to go until we can get our garden area primed and ready to go in a couple weeks. So far, we've sprouted broccoli, romaine lettuce, zucchini and spinach!!!

Here's a look at the whole system:

And here's a look at some of our little sprouts (it's kinda blurry but you can see some of the sprouts):

I called Cole and Bella downstairs and announced excitedly, "Look, guys...we have seedlings!!!" We all stood there in awe, marveling over seeing some progress with the beginning of our veggie garden. Right then, all the hours prior to this moment was a blur....it didn't even matter anymore. It's the little things that excite me....but those are also the things that bring me the most happiness.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The children who wouldn't go to bed....

Cole and Bella are the world's biggest stallers when it comes to bedtime. Just when I think they've used every excuse in the book, they'll come up with something so out of this world, it actually boggles my mind. I told them the other night, "You know, you guys could write a book full of all these bedtime stalling techniques, sell it to other kids and probably make a fortune". Cole said, "Would a fortune be enough to buy some trains at the store?". Before I knew it, I realized I was having quite a lengthy conversation about this....yet another stalling technique of theirs....ask Mommy a question that will require lots of thought and discussion.

Here are just a few excuses they've used recently:

I can't find my blankie (that's odd....I'm pretty sure I just saw you put it under your pillow but I have to give you credit...that might've worked if I hadn't still been in the room when you hid it. You're getting there, though your techniques are still a bit rusty....Mommy - 1 pt, Kids - 0 pts)

I think I might need to poop (well, if you think you MIGHT need to poop, then you probably don't need to....tell your butt to take the night off)

I hear voices (are they dead people? No? Well then go to sleep)

I need to floss my teeth (You can floss in the morning...and since when do you care so much about flossing your teeth? Oh, that's right.....you only worry about such important things when it's 10 minutes past your bedtime. I suppose tomorrow night you'll be telling me you need to solve world hunger)

My eyebrows are bothering me (Well, then maybe we should shave them off so you can get to sleep)

Why do we have to sleep? (Because that's when your body does all its growing)

So if we don't ever sleep, we won't grow? (Precisely...in fact, I heard a rumor that if kids don't get at least 9 hours of sleep a night, they start shrinking back to the size they were when they were born. We'd have to wheel you into kindergarten next year in a baby stroller...how embarrassing would that be?!)

I need you to rub my back again (I've already rubbed your back for more than a few minutes....who's gonna rub my back when it's sore from bending over to rub your back?) Daddy will rub you (yeah, I bet he will, but unfortunately that would probably only make my back hurt worse)

I'm afraid of the monsters *for the 10th time* (That's wierd....I got an e-mail today from Elmo saying that he and Grover are scared of YOU)

Why is the moon so bright? (Because God needs a nightlight too)

I'm worried (What are you worried about?) Ummm, hmmmm, ummmm, I'm worried about.... (nice try....NOW GO TO SLEEP)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Fireproofed or Completely Combustible?

Tim and I have been married for 6 years. We'll celebrate our 7th anniversary in August. I'm holding out for our 10th anniversary, in which he has promised me a romantic vacation to The Atlantis resort in the Bahamas.

Between our busy schedules and the 4 kids, we rarely have time to sit down and have a conversation. We do the "how was your day" kind of thing as we're both standing at the kitchen counter, throwing some food down our throats before chaos breaks loose again. It's maybe a 2-3 minute conversation. Then we're back in the throws of the bedtime routine....bath, jammies, brush teeth, storytime and goodnight hugs and kisses. That's the last we see of each other...truthfully. He retreats to our bedroom upstairs, where he'll watch his favorite tv shows. And I usually stay downstairs, watching my favorite tv shows or spending the time online. We used to love the same tv shows but now it seems like we don't like much of anything the same. We do see each other briefly as we cross paths in the hallway upstairs, as I head to the bedroom to go to sleep and he heads downstairs to watch some more tv.

We got a Netflix membership recently (because that's as close as we're gonna come to seeing movies these days). So I was excited when we finally received the movie Fireproof because so many people had recommended it. I had a feeling Tim would meet me with some resistance though when I told him what the movie was about. He did kind of do the eye-rolling thing and "geez, are you really gonna make me watch it?" and I said, "Don't you think it's important for us to watch a movie about marriage TOGETHER?" How could he argue with that?

On Friday night, we finally had a chance to sit down and watch it TOGETHER. We sat on separate sofas and every once in awhile, I'd take a glance at him to see if he was really watching the movie or snoozing away. Alas, he was watching the movie, although he had to keep interjecting commentary every once in awhile with "the acting really sucks" and "his wife is such a bitch".

When the movie ended, of course, I was in tears. Sure, the acting could've been better but it was a very touching movie with a powerful message. I was curious as to what Tim thought about it....

Me: So did you like it?
Tim: What?
Me: Um....the movie??? Did you like it?
Tim: Yeah, it was pretty good.
Me: Do you have any thoughts about it?
Tim: Thoughts? What thoughts am I supposed to have about it?
Me: Never mind

How could he watch a 2-hr movie with such a powerful message and NOT have any thoughts on it??? I have to admit part of me was angry as I headed to bed. I was hoping this movie would spark a wonderful conversation between us, perhaps with us both agreeing to try the Love Dare ourselves. But instead of going any further with the conversation, I just left it at that....until the next day.

Again, I said to him, "I'm really interested to know what your thoughts were on the movie". He didn't answer me. I waited. He said, "I don't know...I don't know what you want me to say...why do we have to talk about this?". Then he said, "What were your thoughts on it?". How was I supposed to answer that after he pretty much insinuated that this was a pointless conversation? So I didn't. I just left it alone. I went upstairs and took a shower.

I don't know if I was expecting something magical to happen after watching the movie together. But I certainly wasn't expecting to be met with apprehensiveness on his part. So I'm still sitting here on Sunday, wondering where to go with this....wondering if maybe I should just do the Love Dare on my own and see if it makes a difference....wondering if maybe I should just sweep it under the carpet the way he has so easily done.

We were going to marital counseling and we've cut back on it because it seemed like things have been going well. But after watching Fireproof, I realize that yes, we are getting along well, but we are not connecting. Marriage is more than just being civil to each other...it's more than just being two people who share the same house, raising kids together....it's more than saying hi and bye to each other and nothing more. I miss the friendship we used to have...I miss holding his hand as we walk together down the street...I just miss what we used to have.

Each time I've mentioned these feelings to our therapist, he says "you're both still in survival mode...let's focus on getting you both to act as a team for your kids' sake for right now...let's just focus on basic respect and getting along". And I thought I was okay with that but after seeing the movie, I realize I'm not. I fear we'll drift even more apart while we tend to our kids and refrain from nurturing our marriage the way it so desperately needs to be nurtured. We're just going through the motions, but there's no feeling behind it. I don't think that's the type of marriage I want to model for my children.

This sure is a heavy topic for a Sunday, isn't it? I'm usually all about humor and keeping it light. Oh well, life can't be a ray of sunshine all the time....

Friday, March 13, 2009

Confession Time....

Becky at My Life As It Should Be tagged me with a meme last week called Confession. It was fun to read her answers so I figured if she could confess openly on her blog, I should be able to handle it too.

Confession Survey

1)What is your blogger name? Helene (or crazy mom of 2 sets of twins)

2) When is your birthday? April 1 - the BIG 40!

3) How long have you been blogging? Since 2006; but I also kept an online journal starting in 2002, documenting my entire "trying to conceive" journey...oh, and what a journey it was!

4) Who tagged you? Becky

5 ) Tell me your 5 most favorite body parts: What if I don't have any?? Um, how about my eyebrows? My hands? Is that stretching it?

6) What do you wish most for your birthday? Peace and quiet so I can grieve over my 30's being done and gone

7) What color are your nails now? Bright red and freshly manicured. Oh wait, I just woke up...let me look....no color, just little hangnails everywhere.

8) Any depressing thoughts lately? Well, I could make a list but that wouldn't be any fun. Probably the most depressing thought is that I feel like I could be a better mother. I start out every day by praying to God to give me strength, patience and and guidance but by mid-morning, I'm practically groveling on the floor begging Him for more...."Please, God...HELP ME!! Can you just take 5 minutes out of your schedule and HELP ME? HELP ME!! All I ask for is more strength, patience and guidance....don't worry about Octomom...she has people making her offers left and right....HELP ME!!"

9) What's your next 1 month's plan? Staying sane, staying sane, staying sane and throwing a fabulous Easter Party for my kids and our friends' kids....and staying sane.

10) At what age did you have your 1st crush? This is sick but I had a huge crush on my 8th grade Government teacher, Mr Gomez. He had thick wavy brown hair, huge blue eyes...I dreamed I would marry him someday. I even confessed my undying love for him one day after class and he just looked at me, all pathetic like, and said, "Awww, that's very sweet....now hurry along or you'll be late for math class". I was depressed over it....for a day, until Steve Paglioca asked me if I'd go out with him and then I was all "Mr Gomez who?"

11) Did you attend any school reunion after you graduated till now? No way! I just never had the desire to re-live the "olden days".

12) Have you ever passed gas in public and pretended you didn't smell anything? Passed gas in public and pretended I didn't smell anything - no; passed gas in public and blamed it on my kids - yes

13) Are you a clean freak? I hate clutter but I'm more of a germ freak than a clean freak. Everything in my house has 5 layers of dust and there are cobwebs everywhere but all the doorknobs in my house have been sanitized at least 6 times per day. How's that for obsessive?

14) Which era do you wish you were born into? I think I was born at the right exact time....I don't think I could've lived without electricity or the telephone.

15) Are you a vegetarian? I was for about 30 minutes one day. I happened to read "Skinny Bitch" and it totally grossed me out when they talked about meat.
But I got over it pretty quickly when my husband offered to pick up a chicken sandwich for me for lunch.

16) How many pillows do you sleep with at night? Two

17) Are you a light sleeper or an I-don't-care-if-there's-a-bomb-here sleeper? Before kids - I slept like a baby; After kids - I sleep like a mom, half-asleep just in case someone needs me to find a lost blankie, lost paci, change a diaper, scare away the Boogeyman, catch puke in my bare hands, sing a lullaby or kill a make-believe spider in the middle of the night.

18) Do you secretly wear comfortable granny panties when your man is not around? Secretly?! Are you kidding me? I'm all about comfort. If Tim can't be turned on by my granny panties, it's his problem.

19) What is your ultimate dream job? Being a famous author who gets to be interviewed on all kinds of shows, like Oprah and Ellen. How cool would it be to be one of Barbara Walter's Most Interesting People of the Year?

20) What is it your hubby does that annoys you the most? He has a bad habit of clearing his throat every 30 seconds and it's the most annoying sound....oh and he has a habit of shoveling food in his mouth right after I ask him a question and then I have to sit there and watch him while he chews until he answers me. I always ask him "Why do you continue to put food in your mouth when I just asked you a question and you know I'm waiting for an answer?" ...oh and there's this other thing....wait, I was only supposed to name what annoys me the most but there are just so many, I couldn't narrow it down.

21) What is your dream car? Cadillac Escalade

22) Do you easily wake up in the morning? Most definitely. And having 4 grumbly children with dragon breath greet you first thing in the morning face-to-face would wake you easily too.

23) Do you like hairy men? Most definitely not. Somehow the idea of getting my fingers tangled up in the hair on his back makes me gag.

24) How about goateed men? Nope...I like my man clean shaven. Although I have to say, I had a dream one night about one of the Imagination Movers...the dude with the long hair and the goatee and I was kinda diggin' him.

25) Which one would you prefer, 2 hour spa, 2 hour Thai Massage or 2 hour foot massage? Yes, thank you for asking.

26) Have you ever wished you had a different name other than your real name? Oh yeah, I've always disliked my name. People usually think it's Helen and then when they ask me to spell it, I say "it's just Helen with an 'e' on the end".....they just stare at me and say "what?" Is it really that complicated?

27) What is the most extreme sport you have ever done? 3 IVF cycles....oh, that doesn't count? Giving birth? Nope, doesn't count either? Hmmm, then it would have to bowling....yeah, bowling for sure.

28) Do you prefer traveling in Europe or Asia? I've never been out of the country but I'd probably prefer Europe. Though I'd be happy just driving to the next town and calling it a "vacation".

29) What is your favorite food? SUSHI all the way, although not so much that I'd want to pull a Jeremy Piven anytime soon.

30) What is the most embarrassing moment when you were out on a date? Gosh, I really wish I had something interesting to report here, like puking in my date's car or burping really loud as my date went to kiss me goodnight. But I do have a wickedly mean moment I could confess to. I was set up on a blind date with this guy and the minute I walked in to the bar where I was supposed to meet him, I just didn't find him in any way appealing to the eye. When he made eye contact with me and came over and asked me if I was Helene, I said "no, sorry". The poor guy thought he got stood up. I ignored his e-mails and phone calls afterwards. What can I say...I was shallow back in the day.

Here are the rules: Copy and paste the whole questionnaire and replace my answers with yours. You have to create a link for the blogger who tagged you. Pass to 4 other bloggers. Display the logo anywhere on your blog. Last, answer each question with the truth, and nothing but the TRUTH...this is a confession tag, you know.

Honestly, I'd love to tag everyone who reads this because I like to hear other people's dirty little secrets confessions, so if you want to do this survey, feel free (and let me know you did so I can be nosy and read your confessions).

Thursday, March 12, 2009

"What the teacher says" versus "What the teacher really means"

I went in for a parent-teacher conference a few months ago with Cole and Bella's preschool teacher and I listened to her use words like "spirited" and "natural-born leader" to describe my kids. While most parents would be beaming with pride to hear their children described by those words, I know better.

Back in the day, I used to be a preschool teacher and I also used words like "spirited" and "natural-born leader" to describe some of the kids in my class when I spoke with their parents. I liked to put a positive spin on things....to, well, lighten the blow. No parent wants to hear a teacher come right out and say, "Johnny is bossy and talks too much. None of the kids in the class like him and, come to think of it, neither do I". I just prayed that the parents would be able to read between the lines.

To be helpful, I thought I'd compile a list: "What the teacher says" versus "What the teacher really means".

What the teacher says: Johnny is very spirited.
What the teacher really means: Your kid is stubborn, non-compliant, cries at the drop of a hat and has the temperament of....um, a lion in captivity...and that's putting it mildly.

What the teacher says: Susie is a natural-born leader.
What the teacher really means: Your kid is bossy, pushy and overly opinionated.

What the teacher says: Johnny is very artistic.
What the teacher really means: Your kid is drawing pictures of skulls dripping with blood and it's really freaking me out.

What the teacher says: Susie likes to say what's on her mind.
What the teacher really means: Your kid is missing a sensitivity chip.

What the teacher says: Susie is a social butterfly.
What the teacher really means: Your kid never shuts her trap.

What the teacher says: Johnny enjoys his alone time.
What the teacher really means: Does the word "sociopath" mean anything to you?

What the teacher says: Susie really challenges me to be a better teacher.
What the teacher really means: Your kid makes me wanna drive off a cliff at the end of each school day.

What the teacher says: Johnny has boundless energy.
What the teacher really means: Your kid can't sit still for a minute. He kind of reminds of the Tazmanian Devil. And we all know how that turns out, right?

What the teacher says: When encouraged, Johnny seems to succeed well.
What the teacher really means: What the hell are you saying to your kid at home to make his self-esteem so low?

What the teacher says: Susie is always so organized.
What the teacher really means: Your kid is a type-A control freak.

What the teacher says: Johnny is such an easygoing child.
What the teacher really means: He's the laziest kid I've ever met. Pretty much have to light a fire under his ass to get him moving and shaking.

What the teacher says: Susie has a wonderful imagination.
What the teacher really means: Your kid lies her ass off. She could be the next James Frey.

What the teacher says: Johnny loves to share with his friends.
What the teacher really means: Thanks to your kid and his frequently snotty nose, most of the kids have been out sick this month.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

10 reasons my kids will need therapy when they're older...

1) They've had to learn their lessons the hard way. They have been begging me for a new pet (even though we've had the same cat since before they were born....apparently, she doesn't count as a pet). Cat or dog? Doesn't matter as long as it's alive with fur. I keep telling them we have a no-pet rule until they can all wipe their own butts (sufficiently enough to not leave skid marks, thank you very much). The other day, after listening to them talk yet again about wanting a pet, I said, "Okay, guys....I'll let you in on a secret. I got you a new cat but he can't come home with us for a few more days. Wanna see his picture?". Of course, they did. So I showed them this picture....

After looking at their stunned faces, I said, "What's the matter? Isn't he adorable? Look at his blazing green eyes...they seem to glow, don't they? Won't he be nice to wake up to in the middle of the night? You won't even need a nightlight when Satan comes to live with us...oh I didn't mention that his name is Satan....silly me". Cole said, "Mommy, I don't want a pet anymore". It's a pity that they have to learn lessons the hard way but it sure nipped the "we want a pet" conversations in the bud...they may fight a good battle, but Mommy always wins the war.

2) Mommy and Daddy's warped sense of humor. Last Saturday, we took the kids to the park and Bella proudly said to Tim, "Daddy, wanna watch me do the pole?" (referring to the pole that kids can slide down on from the climbing structure). He started laughing, then I started laughing. She looked confused and said, "what's so funny?". Oh, nothing...it's just that our minds are always in the gutter. I joked to him, "Hopefully, that's not a foreshadowing of what's to come in her future but, if it is, at least she'll be able to put herself through college".

3) I vacillate between "helicopter parenting" and "just-walk-it-off parenting". One minute I'm standing right next to them, holding their hands as they go up the climbing structure at the playground (the same one they've climbed up a million times already)....then the next minute, I watch from afar as they trip over a step and fall, and then yell out to them, "Just walk it off". Nothing like a little confusion to keep the kids on their toes.

4) I have given them each bizarre nicknames, which will stick with them until I go to my grave. Peanut (or just Nutty), Dude-Z Dog (or just Dog), Evil (or just E) and Chicken (or just Chickie). It's sick, I know. Even their nicknames have nicknames. And I have no shame....I see nothing wrong with being in a room full of people and calling out to my kids, "Hey, Nutty and Dog....go grab Chickie and Evil...it's time to go".

5) I plan on chaperoning each of them to the prom. That should kill any plans they might have had for engaging in underage drinking and sexual activities. Enough said.

6) Mommy and Daddy are guilty of dropping the "F-bomb" when we think little ears aren't listening. But you know they're always listening, ever present to point out that Mommy and Daddy said a bad word, which makes God sad. I quickly point out that it also makes God sad when children point out their parent's faults.

7) They will eventually figure out that all the white lies I've told them as children are just plain bullshit. They'll figure out that every time they pick their noses, angels don't really cry and that watching too much tv does not, in fact, cause them to have explosive and painful gas, and there is no such thing as sugar bugs who poop all over their teeth when they forget to brush twice a day. I'll have the last laugh, though, when I overhear them telling their kids the same crap.

8) "Do as I say, not as I do" is my parenting motto. I can eat candy right before dinner, leave my dirty clothes on the floor, and wear sandals in 40 degree weather. My kids, however, are not permitted the same privileges. When they say, "But, Mommy, you do it"....I smile and say, "Yes, but Mommy always says...repeat it with me....do as I say, not as I do".

9) When my kids want to discuss sensitive topics with me, I stress about it way more than they do. Take, for instance, the time Cole asked me why one of his preschool buddies has two moms. I just stared at him for a few seconds and said, "ummmm, hmmmm, yeah....about that....ummmm...can I get back to you on that?" Thank the Lord for the internet. I spent half the afternoon reading articles online after googling "how to talk to your preschooler about same-sex relationships". And then I wrote a script of what I wanted to say and consulted my notes the whole way through the conversation, as beads of sweat dripped from off my forehead. After "the talk", he shrugged his shoulders and said, "oh, okay", as if he was already trying to think of what he should color on the piece of paper laying in front of him rather than focusing on anything I was saying. In the future, I'll leave these heavy conversations for Tim to handle.

10) My sarcasm is misunderstood sometimes. I often forget that little kids do not have the same sense of humor or the knack for sarcasm that we adults have. Like the time, Bella complained about having to eat veggies with her dinner every night. She said, "Well, Kaitlin said her mom never makes her eat veggies" and I replied, "Then go move in with Kaitlin and her mom". Bella smiled and said, "Cool". I thought nothing of it until Kaitlin's mom greeted me the next day with, "So I hear Bella is moving in with us because I don't make my kid eat her vegetables?". I stumbled my way through that conversation as well, with "um, yeah...about that...."

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I survived Year #2 with 2 sets of twins! Added bonus - my kids survived it too!

My babies, Garrett and Landon, are officially 2 years old today. TWO YEARS OLD!! How did 730 days go by in the blink of an eye?

We learned early on that we were expecting our 2nd set of twins when I was barely 5 weeks pregnant. To say I was shocked and freaked out is seriously downplaying it. We were told there was a 1-3% chance of us conceiving without any medical intervention...so imagine my surprise when I peed on a stick one Saturday morning and it came up positive. Imagine my surprise 4 days later when I was in my OB's office and she sat me down and told me I was pregnant with another set of twins.

And now 2 years have passed....we went from this.... (Garrett is on the left, Landon is on the right)....

To this....



6 weeks later....

1st birthday...

And now....at 2 years old....

The last two years have been filled with so many milestones and memories....taking first steps, giving up bottles and learning how to use sippy cups, learning how to get Cheerios from their plate to their mouths, learning how to use a fork and a spoon, figuring out how to run without tripping over their own feet and first words. Not a day has gone by without me smiling or laughing about something they did....not a vaccine has been given without me crying tears right along with them.

Garrett is my little Mama's boy, my needy one....the one who makes me feel like the most important person on planet Earth. Landon is my little cuddly, happy guy who can light up a room with his bright smile.

I can't imagine my life without them. They have completed our family...they have filled a void I never realized was missing until they entered my world. Their 2nd birthday is bittersweet, as I've been so thrilled to watch them grow and see their personalities develop right before my very eyes. Yet, at the same time, it saddens me to realize their babyhood is done and gone forever...and soon their toddlerhood will pass by quickly.

So I'll continue to cherish each and every moment...each and every day...knowing the years go by much quicker than I ever could realize. I know the next year will be filled with many more milestones and happy memories and that is what I look forward to, even while my heart feels sad knowing that every day that passes is just one more day closer to the time I'll have to let them go and explore the world on their own.

Happy 2nd birthday, Garrett and Landon!

Every year I do a video for the kids on their birthdays to look back at the passing year (thank God between the 4 kids I only have 2 birth dates to remember!)....here's Garrett and Landon's 2nd year video...

Sunday, March 8, 2009

"Mommy, that isn't poop on the floor....see, watch"

Oh yeah, I went there. I definitely did. Plainly put, my kids are gross. Nothing seems to disgust them. This incident, unfortunately, was not the first time they had proven that they are completely disgusting. And I know it won't be the last.

We had finished dinner last night and I got up to do the dishes. I look down and see this on the kitchen floor....(of course, I grabbed my camera because I just knew this wasn't gonna end on a good note)

Do you see what I see? It looks like a piece of poop, am I right? Yeah, it's a little on the shiny side but, with my kids, anything's possible. I remember once when Cole was a toddler he ate a purple crayon without my knowledge and when I changed his diaper, I freaked out that he had purple poop. I was on the phone so fast with the pediatrician's office, screaming into the phone at the nurse, "OH MY GOD, my son's poop is purple with flecks of stuff in it...OH MY GOD, I don't even know if I remember how to do CPR....should I take him to the emergency room?" The nurse just laughed...hysterically, I might add.

Getting back to the present time, I called out to Tim, "Do you know what this brown thing is on the kitchen floor?" and he said, "I can't hear you....I'm changing Landon's diaper...he pooped". Oh Good God....I moved closer to the laundry room where we have a make-shift changing table on the counter and asked, "Does it look like any of his poop is missing?". Tim said, "What? Are you kidding me? How would I know if any poop is missing?". I shrugged and said, "just thought I'd ask".

Cole came over and looked at it and said, "I don't think that's a piece of poop". Then of course Bella had to come over and examine it. And I'm talking, on her hands and knees...

She says, "Mommy, that isn't poop on the floor....see, watch".... and as she moved in closer to examine it with her fingers, I screamed, "NO....DO NOT TOUCH THAT". She leaned down closer to it and actually sniffed it....she SNIFFED it, only convincing me further that my kids have been put on this earth to test my tolerance for all things disgusting.

I told them I was going to grab a paper towel and to please resist the urge to touch whatever that thing was. When I came back around the counter, paper towel in hand, this is what I see...

I said (while snapping a pic of course), "Did you just eat that??". Cole smiled sheepishly and said, "yeah, but I don't think it's poop". As my stomach turned a couple times, I just stared at him in complete disbelief. "What do you mean you don't THINK it's poop??" I asked, "Did you swallow it?". Yeah, he had swallowed it and opened his mouth for me to see the last bits of brownish gunk in his teeth.

I couldn't believe I was about to ask this but I said, "what did it taste like?". He cocked his head to the side and said, "ummmmm, it was chewy but it didn't taste like poop". I held my tongue in fear that I might have asked him, "well, how would you know what to compare it to...I suppose you've sampled poop recently?"

Tim came out from the laundry room and asked what was going on and I explained the events that had just taken place....brown thing resembling poop on the floor, kids examining it, Cole eating it. He laughed, kinda like the way he laughed when I told him we were having another set of twins, and he told me that Landon had wanted one of my Viactiv calcium chews so he gave him one.

I asked Landon if he had spit it out on the floor and he nodded his head. Guess he didn't like it. And why throw it in the garbage can when you can just spit it out anywhere you like, making your poor mother think that someone crapped on the kitchen floor?

Good times....

Friday, March 6, 2009

Why, Mommy, Why? Why? Why?

Cole and Bella had a dentist appointment yesterday. They're wierd kids. They actually look forward to going to the dentist, which is a good thing...but it's just wierd. It's probably because the dentist's office is decorated beautifully...I mean, you walk in and you just know she's all about kids. Plus they get a brand new toothbrush and they get to pick out a toy after their cleaning.

On the drive over to the dentist's office, I had to endure this hellish conversation with my overly curious daughter:

Bella: Mommy, do we get to go to the dentist for the rest of our life?
Me: Yes, twice a year for the rest of your life
Bella: Why?
Me: Because the dentist makes sure that your teeth are healthy and don't have any holes in them.
Bella: Well, can't I just look in the mirror and check for holes myself?
Me: No
Bella: Why?
Me: Because the dentist uses special tools, like X-rays, to look for holes in your teeth.
Bella: Why?
Me: Because it's one of the best ways for a dentist to determine if you have cavities or anything else going on with your teeth.
Bella: Oh. Why is Dr P a dentist?
Me: I would imagine she enjoys helping children take care of their teeth.
Bella: Why?
Me: I don't know....maybe it's always been a dream of hers.
Bella: How do you know?
Me: I don't know...I'm just guessing.
Bella: Why?
Me: Are you serious?! Can you stop asking me 'why' about everything...it's beginning to irritate me!! Stop the insanity already!
Bella: Why?

Then I decided to psych them out....I'm telling you, try this when your kids are irritating you in the car. I swear it's the most fun I've had in months. It took sheer will-power to not start laughing outloud. We have a mini-van and the driver's side door has all the controls for the windows and locks. Cole and Bella love to roll their windows up and down....constantly. To the point that it's downright annoying.

Everytime they'd start to roll down their windows, I'd hit the control button. Then I hear, "Hey, my window's broken"..."yeah, mine too". Then I hit the control button again..."it's working now, that was wierd". So as they would keep trying to roll the window up and down, I'd keep hitting the control button every few seconds. They were completely annoyed and couldn't understand why the windows were working one minute and then the next they weren't. And I just sat there driving to the dentist office with a straight face, like I didn't have a clue in the world why the windows weren't working...."Hmmm, I have no idea why the windows aren't working..."

The dentist appointment went well....no cavities for either of them, thankfully. Proves I'm doing at least one thing right in this journey we call motherhood.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Beer Day and Get Over It Day...who knew March had such awesome holidays?!

I've come to realize that the month of March holds some very important holidays. I'm not sure that many people are aware of these holidays so I feel it is my responsibility to enlighten others. Here are some of my personal favorites:

Beer Day (March 1): Aw, man...I totally missed this one. Well, I suppose I can make up for it by drinking 5 beers (you know, to catch up). Problem is, I don't like beer. I think drinking a whole bottle of Bailey's by myself would be a good way to celebrate...who cares if I'm locked in the laundry room while my kids bang on the door, screaming, "Mommy, how much longer is it gonna take you to put the clothes in the washer?". In my mind, I'll scream back, "as long as it takes me to finish this bottle of Bailey's, dammit...now let me celebrate the holiday in peace".

I Want You To Be Happy Day (March 3): Shucks, missed this one too. But honestly in my life every day is "I Want You To Be Happy Day", thanks to my children. And to prove how much I want them to be happy, I will come running out of the shower dripping wet, go downstairs to pour them a glass of juice...only to find my husband standing in the kitchen staring into space. I'll ask, "Why couldn't you just ask Daddy since he's right here in the kitchen?"....they'll say, "But Mommy, I like the way that YOU pour juice". Oh, okay....well, I just want you to be happy.

National Be Heard Day (March 7): Oh, Tim....did you HEAR that? We have been commanded to listen to one another on this day. Today I won't have to say to you, "what do I have to do....light myself on fire to get you to hear me?" and you aren't allowed to look at me, completely dumbfounded, and say, "huh? what? were you talking to me?". And I suppose I'll have to pay attention to what you say when you when you go all Rush Limbaugh on me.

Check Your Batteries Day (March 8): Oh, I'll be checking all the batteries alright. Checking to make sure all the toys DO NOT have batteries in them.

Get Over It Day (March 9): I'm so there. I finally have permission to say to my kids "get over it" every time they whine to me, which is approximately 45 times within a 60-minute period (but who's counting?)

Nap Day (March 9): Finally, an answer to prayer. I think this should be a monthly holiday, like on the 9th of every month, it should be Nap Day. Not for the kids....only for the Moms.

Forgive Mom and Dad Day (March 18): I suppose this is the day where I beg my kids for forgiveness for Get Over It Day. I'll probably make it up to them by letting them eat chicken nuggets for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as allowing them to give each other wedgies and jump on their beds.

Absolutely Incredible Kid Day (March 19): Now this is a totally rockin' holiday!! I will make badges for each of my kids that read "I'm an Absolutely Incredible Kid...Just ask my Mom". And I will spend the whole day telling my kids about all the things I think that make them incredible, like giving the best hugs and kisses, knowing how to make me laugh when I want to cry and checking the mailbox everyday and saying "Oh, they're just bills....just throw them away" (because I think the electric company would totally buy that excuse..."but my kids said I could throw the bill away").

As Young As You Feel Day (March 22): On this day, I will ignore the fact that my 40th birthday is just a mere 11 days away. I will also allow myself to not be embarrassed for secretly enjoying watching Hannah Montana re-runs with my daughter.

Education and Sharing Day (March 27): On this day, I'll educate my children on important things, such as cleaning up after themselves and brushing their teeth 2 times a day. I'll also inform them that spitting on others is illegal in at least 48 states and that wasting perfectly good food makes God sad. I will also allow them to SHARE household chores with me, like folding laundry and sweeping the kitchen floor.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

GIVEAWAY - New Softlips® Pure Lip Conditioner (certified organic and 100% natural)

I'm a HUGE lover of lip balm. I'm not afraid to admit it. I have to have some with me at all times...in my purse, in each of the diaper bags I have, in both cars. It's like my American Express card....I never leave home without it.

I've used Softlips Lip Conditioner in the past and it's always been one of my favorite brands but I didn't realize that they had come up with a wonderful new product which is certified organic and 100% natural! So when I was offered the opportunity to try their new Softlips® Pure Lip Conditioner, I was willing and eager. Who in this day in age is NOT looking for products made of eco-friendly, natural ingredients?!

The new line of Softlips® products includes two yummy all-natural flavors, Pomegranate and Honeydew (to see the ingredients, just click on each flavor). Not only do they both smell delicious and fruity, they leave my lips feeling soft and moisturized. Even though I'm a huge fan of lip balm, I don't wear lipstick often so I like that Softlips® Pure Lip Conditioner can be worn alone and still make my lips look shiny and smooth.
Here are some of the qualities that make Softlips® Pure such a great product:
  • Blend of organic oils, beeswax and shea butter deeply moisturize and nourish lips
  • Vitamin E and mineral-rich cucumber extract protects lips
  • 100% natural flavor
  • Free of pesticides, harsh chemicals and parabens
  • Gluten-free

Not only is the product itself eco-friendly, the paper that is used to package it in is printed with vegetable-based ink on recyclable material. You can find New Softlips® Pure at almost every store you shop at, retailing for $3.99 each.

You can also win it by entering this GIVEAWAY! One lucky winner will win Softlips® Pure Lip Conditioner in each flavor (Honeydew and Pomegranate)!!

Here's how to enter:

Visit Softlips® and then come back here and leave me a comment telling me which product is your favorite (just click on "our products" at the top of the page once you're at the Softlips site)

For extra entries:
** You must complete the first entry above for other entries to count. Please leave a separate comment for each additional entry.

-- Post about this giveaway on your blog and link back to my blog
-- Add yourself to my follower list (or let me know you are already following)
-- Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway (leave the URL of your tweet)
-- Add my blog to your blogroll

This contest ends on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at 9:00 pm (PST). One winner will be chosen via Random.org and the prize will be sent by the sponsor. Please leave your e-mail in your comment if it is not listed on your profile.

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr

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