I couldn't help but fear the worst. This marriage is beyond hopeless, I thought to myself.
Was our marriage truly irreparable? Had I done enough to try to save it? Could I really walk away completely guilt free, knowing my children's security and happiness were at stake?
Those questions plagued my thoughts every single night as I tossed and turned in my bed.
I tried with all my might to remember why I fell in love with Tim 16 years ago, aching to recapture the once fierce beating of my heart at the mere sound of his voice. Missing the rousing feeling of butterflies deep inside my core at the very thought of being in his company.
Now, we were just two people living in the same home...raising our children together, desperately trying to keep our sanity in tact. Survival mode, at its best.
When was the last time he heard me say "I love you", I pondered. Had he wondered if I meant it? Did I mean it? Or had those words rolled off my tongue as easily as, "Take out the trash, please"?
I wanted our marriage to be easy...effortless. I wished we could read each other's minds, never having to guess at what the other wants or needs. Never having to ask for anything at all...simple connecting on all levels, all the time.
Instead of coming right out and telling him my concerns and fears, I took the passive/aggressive route...making him watch movies like "Hall Pass" with me and then grilling him afterwards.
"What would you do if you had a week off from our marriage?" I asked.
He shrugged his shoulders and responded, "I don't know, sweetie. I wouldn't do anything."
Suspicious, I continued, "What do you mean? You wouldn't take advantage of a FREE week off...you could have sex with any woman you wanted!"
"It just wouldn't be worth it to me. Why would I want to be with another woman?" he stated, obviously growing more and more uncomfortable with the topic at hand.
"So you're saying that you're 100% content with me...completely happy? You have no desire to score with the first woman who offers herself to you, even if there were no chance in hell that I would ever find out?"
Nothing but silence on his end. Except a sigh. A long, exhausted sigh.
From there, we retreated to our separate spots. He in the family room, me in our bedroom upstairs.
When was the last time we had spent any time alone, where we could really focus on one another without being interrupted by a child who needed immediate attention?
I honestly couldn't remember. That's what we needed, I convinced myself. We need a few days alone together, where we can just relax and have fun...away from the kids, away from his work, away from the hustle and bustle which had consumed us.
So away we went, after a good friend agreed to watch the kids. As hard as it was to be away from them, I knew our marriage needed this....it depended on it.
After turning the radio off, we talked the entire drive up to the lake. And then it came out....
He quietly asked, "Do you even love me anymore? Sometimes I don't even think you like me."
There it was. His concerns, his fears, his beliefs...in plain sight.
The door had been opened and it was finally time for us to each put it out there and deal with the monster rearing its ugly head.
Were we going to fight for this marriage? Or were we going to call it a day and make arrangements to separate?
Over the course of the next couple days, we talked...we laughed....we reminisced.
Clearly, there was still a foundation to build on, even though that same foundation had become warped and wobbly years ago.
More importantly, we enjoyed each other's company. Before we were were parents, before we were husband and wife, we were friends. And we still are...the best of friends.
A broken marriage? Yes, perhaps it was.
But like anything worth saving, it needed to be nurtured and rejuvenated, as we breathed new life into our relationship.
It's a constant work in progress, I now understand. One that has to be constantly regarded and acknowledged in order to function properly.
So, we move forward, on the same page. Happily and willingly.
"Love doesn't just sit there, like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new"
I don't do well with change. As in, I seriously dislike it. I may even HATE change. Strong word, I know.
However, sometimes I realize change is necessary in order to improve things for the better. I'm not wild about the process but because I know that something much more amazing awaits, I have to do it.
Along those lines, I've bitten the bullet and finally did what so many other bloggers have suggested ....I've gotten my own custom domain, www.twosetsoftwins.com.
My blog title will remain the same and it will still be hosted by blogger because...well, let's face it, changing platforms AND a domain would surely send me over the edge and my family can't afford for me to lose any more brain cells than I've already lost.
So if you have me on your blogroll and/or I've been featured or written any guest posts on your blog, I would LOVE it if you'd update the old link with my new one.
Gotta get all my page ranks back up again the old fashioned way...3.5 years worth of work gone with one stroke on the keyboard.
But I know it'll be worth it in the long run.
I'm also working with Laura at Eight Day Designs to help update the look of my blog! While I completely love everything about my current look, it's time for a change.
Have I already mentioned how much I dislike change?
But I know it'll be worth it in the long run. Wait, I think I said that already, too.
In changing my domain, I lost all my "awesome blogs" on my blogroll. I will definitely be updating that and if you'd like to be included, please let me know in the comments or e-mail me!
Hopefully, by the end of this week, all the kinks will be worked out and I'll be back to blogging...in style!!!
Well, I’m proud to inform you that my self-pollination efforts (as humiliating as it was) have paid off!
My plants have given birth to tons of little zucchinis and yellow squashes! It’s such a beautiful sight that it literally brought tears to my eyes.
I'm such a sap...who knew?
So what do I attribute my success to?
I can honestly say it had something to do with the romantic little love song which I sang ever-so-softly to my poor infertile zucchini plants as I violated them with a q-tip.
Feel free to borrow the song...you know, just in case you too have barren vegetable plants.
(Sung to the tune of Summer Lovin from the movie Grease)
Summer lovin' had me a blast - summer lovin', happened so fast
I met a zucchini crazy for me - I met a squash, cute as can be
Summer days witherin' away, to uh-oh those summer nights Uh Well-a well-a well-a huh
Tell me more, tell me more, did she bloom in the morn?
Tell me more, tell me more, like, is this zucchini porn?
Uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh
She grew by me, such a hot mess - he leaned towards me, loved his soothing caress
I saved her life, she nearly wilted - he showed off, the other flowers felt jilted
Summer sun, something's begun, but uh-oh those summer nights
Uh well-a well-a well-a huh
Tell me more, tell me more, did he make you say "oooooh"?
Tell me more, tell me more, did the other plants like the view?
We got gently watered, early in the day- we were wind blown, and together we swayed
We connected under the heat – no bees in sight, completely discreet
Summer fling don't mean a thing, but uh-oh those summer nights
Uh well-a well-a well-a huh
Tell me more, tell me more, did you make her bear fruit? Tell me more, tell me more, if not, then your life is just moot.
He got friendly, down in the dirt - well she got friendly, made my stamen hurt He was sweet, a shade of bright green - well she was fragrant, you know what I
Tell me more, tell me more, how much pollen did he share?
Tell me more, tell me more, does she got another flower to spare?
Summer heat, boy and girl forced to meet, but uh-oh those summer nights
It turned colder, that was our fate- so I told her we'd still be
Then we made our true love vow - wonder if she's bloomin' now
Summer dreams raked at the seams, but oh, those summer nights Tell me more, tell me more.
And, such as my luck, the damn bees finally made their way back AFTER I had already played doctor with my plants.
Friggin' Mother Nature.
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1) I lie to my kids. All the time. Not huge lies, though, which might result in me being shunned to an afterlife in hell where I have to personally fan Satan's face and feed him grapes.
Just harmless little white lies.
Like telling them I can't jump with them at the Jumper House place because I have shin splints, as they watch sadly while all the other awesome moms jump with their kids.
Or switching up the fortunes in their fortune cookies more to my liking.
"He who continuously asks 'why' all the time upsets the angels up in heaven and should not be surprised when his upcoming birthday party is ruined by a torrential downpour of rain"
"Children who bathe regularly attract more friends than those who don't"
"Never question what your mother has made for dinner or she may just send you to a third world country to experience hunger first hand"
2) I encourage them to give one another wedgies. In public.
3) I curse like a sailor. So much so that my kids hardly even notice anymore.
4) I spend approximately 138 minutes of my day fantasizing that I'm on the beach in Hawaii all by my lonesome....no screaming, whining kids, no critical, demanding husband....just me and some wine. Lots and lots of chilled wine.
5) The reason I carry a first aid kit with me at all times, honestly, is because I don't care to listen to my kids cry endlessly about needing a band-aid on a scrape the size of a period or that they can't swim in the pool because of a tiny sliver of nail that's come partially loose.
My friends think I just like to be prepared for any kind of traumatic child disaster. No, it's actually because I don't want to be continuously interrupted by my kids over silly little things as I'm reading my Parents Magazine. And if a puny little band-aid is going to shut them up then so be it.
What?! Horrible mothers read Parents Magazine too. We just have that "in one ear, out the other" type of mentality...as opposed to wonderful mothers who actually follow the advice given with, more than likely, amazing results.
6) I'm not exactly a model of class or grace and I'm not above yelling, "What are YOU staring at?" to complete strangers who rudely ogle me while my kids have a tantrum in a store.
7) If I need a moment of peace and quiet, I'll let them watch something completely age-inappropriate on the television. Or play the Wii for hours on end.
8) I yell. A lot. In fact, I yell so much that if I ever went a total of more than 2 hours without yelling, I could totally see one of my neighbors calling 911 to report me as a missing person.
Here's how it would go down on Dateline with Keith Morrison:
KM:So...your neighbor, Helene, yelled at her kids so often that you became worried when it had been more than 2 hours of nothing but peace and quiet coming from her home?
Neighbor:Yes, that's right. I mean, it was oddly quiet. Very unusual, especially in the middle of the day when she normally hits her peak. We're talking people in Florida can hear this woman yelling at her poor kids.
KM: Hmmm, very odd indeed. So then you felt prompted to call the police because you felt as if something sinister had occurred?
Neighbor:Absolutely. She seems nice enough but, still, everyone has enemies.
KM:So what did happen to Helene, a once happy SAHM turned raving lunatic, on that hot summer day in July in the middle of the valley?
Did her neighbors get together and discuss how to take this insane woman down and finally end her children's misery? Or did she simply just lose her voice that day...and would her husband and children ever be so lucky as to have that happen?
And in that case, why would her neighbors be concerned enough to call 911 only after a couple hours of silence?What's so wrong about an exhausted mother allowing her kids to play mindless Wii games so she can hear her own thoughts?
9) I scare my kids shitless to get them to follow simple directions.
Like, pointing out the creepy old lady at Target who's obviously bothered by little children.
"You see that little old lady over there watching you guys? If you wander away from me, she's gonna find you and take you home with her. She's gonna make you rub her nasty crooked toes with stinky lotion while watching scary Animal Planet shows about Bigfoot. She'll probably make you cook and clean for her, too. And I wouldn't be shocked if her favorite bedtime story is Hansel and Gretel."
10) I have no problem with my kids eating food off the floor. Lord knows I don't want to have to fix them a whole new plate of food. And, last time I checked, a little dirt never hurt anyone.
Raising twins can be an exciting adventure, but it can also present many unexpected challenges. To make sure each child receives individual attention, and to help with the increased responsibility, parents are inviting international au pairs to live in their homes and provide care for their twins.
Parents of twins face challenges parents of non-multiples do not face, including increased competition for a parent’s time, helping more than one child through key developmental phases at the same time, increased costs associated with food, activities, and child care, and the tendency to think of multiples as a group, as opposed to individuals. Au pairs help parents with daily child care related tasks, while providing emotional support and individualized attention for young twins.
How an Au Pair Helps Raise Twins
• Au pairs are an affordable child care option that does not cost extra per child. Au pair rates remain the same regardless of how many children a family has.
• Au pairs provide an extra set of eyes, ears and hands to help change diapers, push strollers, feed, potty train, fold clothes, wash bottles, travel, and supervise multiples.
• Au pairs can offer additional emotional support to both parents and children, allowing each group the opportunity to take a “time out” when needed.
• Au pairs can take twins on special outings one at a time, to encourage individuality.
“As a mother of five children, including twins, I can say that having an au pair was invaluable, and at times we couldn’t have done it without her extra set of hands,” said Heidi Woehl, vice president of AuPairCare. “Whether it’s pushing a second grocery cart around the store or traveling with the family to visit grandparents, our au pair was able to step in whenever an extra adult was needed.”
AuPairCare is a leading au pair agency providing affordable live-in childcare services to American families since 1989. Designated by the U.S. Department of State, AuPairCare offers superior childcare to fit families’ unique needs.
To find an au pair to fit your family’s needs call toll free 1 (855) 283-6625 or visit www.aupaircare.com.
Photo courtesy of the Donati Family (and their Au Pair) of Danville, CA
Photo courtesy of the Donati Family of Danville, CA
Originally, when my sister and I began to ponder the idea of going to Boston to celebrate my grandmother's 94th birthday, Cole and Bella were extremely excited.
I even mentioned to them that the trip would involve a "very long flight" across the country but still...they both insisted they wanted to go. Tim would have to stay behind with Garrett and Landon because it was just too expensive for us to go as a whole family....well, that and I honestly didn't have the sanity level required to fly with all FOUR kids across the United States, even with Tim's help.
However, the morning of our flight, Cole had a mini meltdown. He seemed fine at first while eating breakfast...until I broke into song, "We're leaving on a jet plane...don't know when we'll back again....".
Next thing I knew, he was cowering behind his bedroom door upstairs...crying, insisting that he couldn't possibly go on the trip.
"I'll miss our home," he pleaded.
"Cole, it's just an old song that I used to love when I was your age! Okay, so it was a super poor choice for me to sing it today, of all days but still...come on, we're gonna have so much fun!" I tried to convince him.
Finally, it took my 2 nieces to pry him out of his room, down the stairs and into my sister's car so we could head to the airport....as my sister shot me dirty looks and chastised me, "I cannot believe you sang that song to him!!"
Mommy Fail #864...what can I say?
Here's Cole and Bella on the plane before take off. After I took the pic, Bella asked me, "Mommy, did I do a real smile or did I do the fake smile that you can't stand?"
You be the judge.
5.5 hours later, we finally landed in Beantown around the midnight hour and headed to our hotel. It was 2:30 am before we finally got to bed.
The next day, we met up with my dad and his wife to visit our grandmother in her new apartment in Framingham.
How cute is she?! I pray I look as good as she does when I'm 94 years old...but with the daily stress that the spawn cause for me, I'll probably be bald, drooling all over myself...and yelling at some poor nurse for not chopping up my Wellbutrin into itty-bitty pieces.
After visiting with her, we took the kids to Fenway Park for a tour of the Green Monster. My sister's kids had a blast, my kids were unimpressed.
Apparently, someone forgot to tell Cole that there's no crying in baseball. But of course he was all happy-go-lucky when I promised to buy him something at the Fenway Park store.
That evening, after dinner, in an attempt to get the kids to burn off some energy before bedtime, we stopped at a park in Natick that was around the corner from my grandparent's old home...the same park I used to play at when I was younger when we would visit them.
What was super amazing to me and the kids was the fact that various visitors of this park had left their park and sand toys there for others to enjoy. There were abandoned scooters, riding toys, dump trucks...
Here, where we live, you leave a piece of gum on a bench and next thing you know, it's GONE.
I love this pic of my kids with their cousins....
From there, we drove to Hull, where we would be closer to my cousin and her family. Nantasket Beach is my idea of heaven on earth....sand so soft it feels like powder, water so clear you can see your feet and the perfect temperature!
Cole and Bella absolutely LOVED it!
On the beach, my nephew found some poor girl's breast implants. Or they could've just been really flat jellyfish. Kinda hard to tell.
On Friday, we took the ferry into Boston and acted like typical tourists...you know, the annoying kind who purposely try to get the locals to say certain words to demonstrate their strong Boston accents.
"So...where did you park your car?" "Are these apartments or hotels?" and "How many dollars did you say this t-shirt is?"
At Quincy Market, I talked Bella out of getting pizza by convincing her that Boston has THE best clam chowder that she'll ever taste....partially because I couldn't decide between a lobster roll or the clam chowder. So I was able to have the best of both worlds.
They both loved the "chowdah", giving sideways peace signs as their approval. Don't even ask.
After lunch, we headed over to the Omni Parker Hotel because the kids were fascinated by some of the ghost sightings that have taken place there.
We went up to Room 1012 to see if maybe we'd run into a ghost. No such luck.
But we were fortunate enough to talk to a gentleman named Shamus who's worked at the hotel for over 35 years. He shared some interesting ghost stories and agreed to let me take a pic of him with my nieces.
I might have told him that I write a famous travel blog...but I can't remember.
The kids had a blast playing basketball with their cousins. The old guy standing under the basketball hoop who's desperately trying to recapture his youth? That would be my dad.
And would you believe we found Lionel Ritchie working at the Mobil gas station in Quincy? Guess times have been hard for him since The Commodores broke up.
Before we knew it, our trip was over and it was time to head home. Upon entering the plane, one of the flight attendants asked Bella if she wanted to visit the pilot in the cockpit and I was shocked because I didn't think they did that anymore.
But, then again, Bella doesn't exactly look like a terrorist...with her fake smile and her $50 Build-A-Bear stuffed animal.
Then Cole had to get in on the action because he couldn't stand the thought of Bella doing something cool without him.
After this picture was taken, one of the pilots invited Cole to sit in his seat and I asked, "You're not gonna ask him if he's ever been in a Turkish prison, are you?"
The pilot look confused so I said, "The movie Airplane...ever seen it? You know, the scene where Leslie Nielson's character asks the kid Joey if he's ever been in a Turkish prison or seen a grown man naked?"
That's when the flight attendant quickly ushered us out of the cockpit.
Damn, was it something I said?
The flight home was uneventful, except for when Cole told me had to poop. On the plane. In the tiny bathroom.
So, yes, I was stuck in that broom closet of a bathroom with my son while he crapped. When he was almost done, I heard a light knock on the door and then the familiar voice of my daughter, who announced, "Mommy, I have to go poop, too".
And God laughed.
When Cole was done, I told him to go back to his seat while I pulled Bella into the claustrophobic bathroom so she could do her business.
After she finished, I opened the door to let her out and saw no one else waiting for the bathroom so I figured I'd take advantage of already being in the bathroom and go pee.
When I was done, I opened the door and noticed several people now waiting for the bathroom. The same bathroom my two children had just crapped in.
But, of course, my kids were long gone...back in their seats as I had instructed. The ONE time they actually listened to me.
And there I was....with a bag of wipes in my hand and a foul smell coming from the bathroom, now permeating throughout the plane for all to enjoy.
I smiled politely and said, "I'd tell you that my kids were just in there doing their business but you probably wouldn't believe me".