Monday, March 31, 2008

Clutter

I have been trying, for about a year now, to reduce the clutter in my home. I have done this by packing away things I don't use, throwing away things that cannot be used, and finding homes for everything that we insist on keeping.

Somehow, though, I am unable to actually make a dent. Yesterday I was cleaning out some drawers and Nick kept rummaging through the piles I was making. "What are these cards? Can I have these cards? Are these stickers? I'm gonna use them right now. What do these keys go to? Can I use them in my airplane car right now?"

And of course anything new we buy comes with three times as much packaging as it should , not to mention that I have to figure out what to do with the item being replaced.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday Solutions

When Nate gets older he will grocery shop from other people's baskets.

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And yes, I know how completely irritating my voice sounds on this clip.

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Let Me Explain the Ties


A few weeks ago I mentioned (out loud) that we might have to go shopping for some Easter clothes for the boys. Almost as soon as I said this, Nicholas asked if he could wear a tie. I was surprised. But I was willing to get him his own tie. Because, let's face it, little boys are cute in ties. I looked around for one when I was at Target, but even though I saw jackets and white shirts, I couldn't find little clip ons.

That was when Steve suggested one of HIS ties. And then of course, there were MY ties. With Winnie-The-Pooh on them. Someone gave them to me because I love Pooh, but sadly I do not often get the opportunity to wear them. And those ties are SO much more fun than the old dull ones with no cartoon characters.

So we gave them to the boys for the day. Once Nick was going to wear one, Nathan had to do the same. And the boys looked fabulous. They were also very good with them. Except for the fact that, as I was leading them upstairs to change, Nick mentioned that he had peed on his just a little, but not to worry. It had dried off just fine.

Friday, March 28, 2008

In Like A Lion, Out Like A Lion.


I woke up and it was snowing. It is still snowing.

And even though Nate's diapers haven't leaked at night for weeks, they leaked last night because I changed and washed sheets yesterday.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Why Say Anything?

Especially when you've got a smile like this.


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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

This Is Not Complaining

On Sunday Morning, Bill Geist did a piece about a group of people who started a "no complaining" movement. The goal for these people is to not complain about anything for 21 days.

And not surprisingly, this whole idea touched a nerve for me.

First of all I should mention that I didn't get to actually HEAR a lot of what was being said on the TV because the boys were running around like... oh, like maniacs. Which brings me to my first point, or question. When is it complaining? If I say something like "Nathan can't speak unless he's yelling," is that a complaint, or an observation? Because it's true. It's also FUNNY, or at least I think it is, in a way. Probably not when I'm trying to hear what people are saying on television. Or when I'm trying to hear the tax guy on the phone. But afterwards, when I'm thinking about it, it does make me giggle, which is why I relay the information to YOU, the reader.

My second comment is... well, isn't complaining sometimes useful? I mean, if someone brings you the wrong drink when you're out to dinner, or someone is standing on your foot... is bringing it up complaining? Or, if they do it on a regular basis and you just want to talk about it to resolve the problem, is bringing it up complaining? nothing would ever get resolved if we just swallowed our objections. I would still be making steaks the way Steve hates them, and he would still be leaving his jacket on the kitchen counter.

I understand that complaining isn't always useful, the same way gossip isn't useful. But I'm here to stick up for the useful kind of complaining. Especially the kind that is funny. Because without that dark, twisted side of humor that goes along with some of the things I complain about... well, I'm not sure I would have THAT much more to say.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sleep Deprived

I don't have pictures for today. I still haven't unloaded my camera. Because to do that I need to recharge my camera battery. See, nothing is simple.

And I don't really have time to write much because today is the day I sign Nick up for Storytime at the library. We skipped last session to do gymnastics. And he loves Gymnastics (or at least has a crush on the teacher.) But he has also mentioned that he misses Storytime. So I must go stand outside the library with the other crazy parents, at about 8:15. So that when the library opens at 9am I can be sure to get Nick signed up for the RIGHT TIME. Which is Tuesday morning. Because the other days he's in school, or at gymnastics, and afternoons are just no good.

Also, Andy is still waking up every hour because he can't breathe. I am starting to think he might be allergic to our cats. Which would be so awful - I have to stop thinking about it before the panic creeps in.

Monday, March 24, 2008

A few Random Thoughts

There is so much candy in our house right now.

I will probably be the one to eat most of the candy.

Nathan and Nick wore ties yesterday and looked SO CUTE.

Nate went around yesterday morning wishing everyone a 'Happy Pizza."

Storytime registration is this week - Toddler Story Time is TODAY, so I better get my act together.

What am I going to do with the 2 dozen hard boiled eggs in our fridge?

Should I take Andy to the doctor? He probably just has a cold, but that's what I said the LAST time.

Whatever happens, Andy must start sleeping better. Because I can't get up every twenty minutes. I'm tired. And I need some COFFEE.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Good Friday


Since tomorrow is Easter, that means that yesterday was Good Friday. I didn't know what Good Friday was until I was in high school. But it's the Friday before Easter. Steve told me last night it is supposed to be the darkest day of the year, to mark 24 hours without Jesus ( and then asked me not to ask about time zones.) For some reason this translates into not eating meat.

I celebrated Good Friday by going on a date with my husband to Boston, eating lamb (which I just do not ever eat, so please don't ask what got into me) and watching a stage production of Avenue Q! It was SO GREAT. I had a lot of fun and enjoyed myself immensely. In fact, Nick and Nate were at their Grammy's all night, so I'm still reeling with liberation.

Friday, March 21, 2008

TGIF

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Yesterday we colored Easter Eggs. I didn't take pictures. I was too busy helping kids remember that these were EGGS and not bouncy balls. The boys are very excited for Easter. As for me, I'm remembering Easter Sundays from being a little girl. I remember a lavender dress with a white hat and gloves. I remember looking for eggs outdoors, among daffodils. So far all of our Easter Egg hunts have been indoors. Because otherwise the Easter Bunny would have to go lolloping through snow and ice and a whole lot of mud.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Text and Video Not Related

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To me, dieting means waiting until the kids are in bed before eating cookies.


Calories consumed after bedtime do not count.
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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

It's Snowing Again


Yesterday I took the boys to an indoor playplace. They like it there are usually have a great time, and I get to spend times rushing back and forth between the boys because they absolutely refuse to play in the same area at the same time. This time I got to lug Andy around in the baby seat, too.

I came over to Nick and told him we were leaving in two minutes, and that's when a pregnant lady asked me about the age difference between my kids. I had noticed her because she was wearing a white sweatshirt without a stain on it, and she also looked very attractive in her sweatshirt. I looked at her and thought "why the heck couldn't I have looked like THAT when I was pregnant?"

"This one's three months and the big guy will be four in a couple of months," I said. "But I also have a two year old running around here somewhere."

The look of shock on the woman's face was priceless. "Oh my God," she said. "I'm so afraid to deal with two. I can't even deal with ONE. How do you do it?" she gave a little laugh, then her face froze. "Seriously, are you an alcoholic?"

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Getting Used To Things

Nate likes to relax with Andy. In one of his chairs

Over the past week this blog has gotten a lot of SPAM comments, asking people to CLICK HERE or with other links. Please, if you ever see anything like that in a comment on this site DO NOT CLICK on it. Don't go there. I may actually choose to upgrade my comments section so that each person commenting would have to type in a code. But I figure it's hard enough for my mother as it is. So I'll wait and see. Maybe they will go away, like they did before.

Monday, March 17, 2008

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Why do my English Muffins now come with a label that says NOW WITH NO HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP! There was high fructose corn syrup in my english muffins? But it's BREAD! How do you put corn syrup in BREAD? Doesn't it, you know, interfere with the whole bread rising, yeast system that makes bread BREAD? And why would anyone DO that? It's bread. You toast it and put butter on it. It doesn't need to be SWEET. It's a gosh darn ENGLISH MUFFIN!

Now that it isn't in there any more, I'm freaking out because it once WAS in there. Or is this some sort of clever marketing ploy.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Getting There

Andy is gradually returning to his old schedule at night. Which is to say, he only wakes up about four times, and I'm only feeding his three. And eventually, he will go back to sleeping five hours at a stretch, right?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Not Today


I made a bunch of lists and charts and put them up all over the house. They are supposed to help "direct" the kids so there is less chaos while getting ready.

Sometimes, they work.

Sometimes they don't.

Friday, March 14, 2008

A New Day

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Yesterday Steve offered to watch the boys in the afternoon while I went to buy a new pair of running shoes... He OFFERED! But instead of buying new running shoes (I need to go to a special place to get fitted and I don't know where yet) I went to Target. And I completely lost track of time, and got a whole bunch of cute easter stuff. For the Easter Bunny. Who needs to be careful because last year he came too early and I ended up having to visit him for a few more chocolate bunnies. Because I ate the first ones.

But FIRST I took a nap. See, Andy hasn't been sleeping as well as he used to. In fact, the night before last he was waking up every hour. And apparently it affected my mood a LOT more than I thought it had. Yesterday I put the boys in bed, and then crawled into my own. Two and a half hours later I realized that it was three thirty, and I had been dreaming, and I had no idea if the boys were awake or asleep or what.

It turned out they were asleep, which alarmed me a bit because I usually wake everyone up at 3pm no matter what, so that they can fall asleep at 7:30 with no problem. But there it was, 3:30, and I was just getting up myself and I felt more rested then than I had in DAYS. Maybe years.

Thanks to all who offered words of encouragement yesterday. Being a mother can be difficult, and there is very often no feedback. Unless you count people telling you what you SHOULD be doing. Or until the kids get to be teenagers and they tell you they hate you. I guess every parent has a few moments of feeling unequipped and overwhelmed. I feel MUCH better today.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Who's This Girl?


When I picture myself as a mother I like to think of someone who is bright and thoughtful, expressive, gentle, and overall HAPPY. Someone who smiles a lot.

The thing is, I know that, more often than not, I am not this person. I can tell because, most of the time, when I hear my own voice, it is yelling or screeching or lecturing.

Yesterday I got so tired of hearing my own voice that I just stopped talking. It didn't matter. The boys were going to keep on doing what they were doing ANYWAY, so what was the point?

And the thing is, I feel defeated. I don't know what to do. I love my kids. I happen to think they are the best kids in the world. But they can be out of control, and yesterday was one of those days. One of those days when I just wanted five minutes to figure out how to trim videos - so that I could just post the parts of the video that MATTER and not the gobblety gook in between... and I ended up with a screaming, sobbing Nate - because I wasn't sharing the videos with HIM because when he sits on my lap at the computer he tens to - I don't know - PRESS EVERY KEY AND MESS EVERYTHING UP! Five minutes later every single blanket from the living room - including the basket they belong in - were in the middle of my kitchen floor. WHen I pointed to the living room (as in "take these back where they belong RIGHT NOW) I noticed something funny about the living room rug. Which is to say that it had been folded up like a sheet of paper. THEY REMOVED MY RUG!

Seriously. My house. My furniture. They move it, wreck it, climb on it. They hide things. They talk to themselves without stopping. The other day I realized Nicholas was still talking a mile a minute in the bathroom. By himself.

And yesterday after bath, a time when they are supposed to be at their most calm, both boys ended up with pull-ups on their heads, otherwise naked, trying to sit on each other and stab each other with toothbrushes.

I feel like I have to say something because I am dreading today. I love my boys, but I don't want to play with them anymore for awhile. It may sound childish, but they hurt my feelings. And they are driving me insane. And the more I try to give them choices and to find ways for them to work out their energy, the more insane they become. And the more I yell. And the more I hate myself for sounding like a crazy lunatic of a woman.

Sorry. I guess I could use a vacation from motherhood and a good dose of spring.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Few March Birthdays

Here is a picture of Andy in the little bouncer we got him, thanks to some very generous relatives. We weren't going to get him anything new, but we didn't have anything quite like this, and it looks like fun. Once he grows into it. It is, after all, the size of our kitchen table. Nate, on the other hand, is enjoying it now, despite my shrieking "Get Out!" each time I catch him in there.

I never posted anything on my sister Emily's birthday about it actually being her birthday. I usually mention all of my siblings on their special days. I just want everyone to know I didn't forget it. I did call her. We mailed her cards. I just forgot to post it. And while we're on the topic of birthdays I'm not posting about, I probably won't mention Miranda's birthday, which is this weekend, or Larissa's which is later next week. But that doesn't mean I won't CALL them. It doesn't mean I don't LOVE them, or that I'm not THINKING about them. It just means that I spend too much time complaining about poopy diapers and crazy three year olds, and that I don't think my friends necessarily want to be mixed in with such company.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Insanity of youth

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"Three kids?" people used to say. "you're going to have your hands full!" And I would smile and nod and wonder "why?"

I honestly couldn't tell you why three kids would be crazier than two. How could it be that much different? Well, it's not. It's the same, just intensified.

Even when they are all behaving, it's crazy. For example, last night as we were getting ready for bed I thought I would loose my mind. Nicholas was putting on his pull-up. The way he did this was to wave it around and every once and awhile give a half hearted step up to put a leg in, but he missed. Instead he was intent on telling me a story about how he and Mario were going to go to the beach with Jackie's Dad and Salty (also imaginary people), and how they would have to drive a long, long time, and how they might have to stay the night, Nick should pack a bag. He should bring his Lamby, and a blanket, and maybe some other clothes.

I listened to this with half an ear, because Nathan was sitting in my lap and I was trying to help him put on his pj's. But Nate likes to do things by himself, even if he has never done it before, even if it will take him hours to master the skill. Which sucks because the boy is VERY impatient. "Help me!" he says. Then immediately "No! Me! No! Me!" and he screams because I reached out my hand to pull a shirt down or to help a shoe on. So while Nicholas was telling his story, Nathan was "Uh oh! Uh oh! No! Me!" and using my head to balance himself as he tried putting his shirt on his feet.

While all this was going on, Andy was neglected. He had started fussing, but I was getting the boys dressed for bed, and so he didn't get the attention he needed. Somewhere along the line his fussing because crying, which became wailing. Neither of the boys seemed to notice. They didn't speed up or turn their attention away from me. They just kept talking and crying and asking for help and crying because I was helping.

So you see, it's the volume. THAT is what is crazy. The noise. The stuff that prompts me to yell when everyone is actually doing exactly what I told them.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Open Gym

I took the boys to a special class at the Gym on Friday. Nicholas immediately began crying because he couldn't see his teacher there. Nate joined the class.

After fifteen minutes of Nick crying and refusing to join in, I pointed out how Nate was cutting in front of the other kids. "Who will show him how to wait in line." Nick didn't even blink before running off to the class.

He won't go for fun, to join in, but offer him the chance to boss his little brother around, and he's in.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Time Warp - Again

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Anyone with young children can tell you that daylight savings is just an excuse for torturing people who have decided to procreate. I wake up and go to sleep in the dark no matter what the season is. Are you telling me there are people this actually makes a difference to?

My children woke up this morning at 5:30. There is a lot of strong wind at the moment, and you can hear it whistling through the windows. We also had a power outage during the night which meant I had to deal with a 2am panic from Nick, who woke up in pitch dark, and I also had to bumble my way down the hall to feed the baby. I did manage to find a couple of flashlights, which is amazing considering the state of half-sleep I was in...

In any case, my body clock was all messed up. So when I the sound of pitter pattering feet... OK, of stomping feet... woke me up and I saw that the clock said 5:30am, it didn't immediately register. I lurched down the hall in my usual grumpy state, upset because yesterday, when Steve got up with them, the boys slept past 6am. But this morning my kids wake at 5:30, because I only got up four times during the night.

It was after I fed Andy and convinced the boys to pick up some toys that I realized the clocks had changed. And we hadn't gone back, we'd gone FORWARD. So, according to their little body clocks, my boys actually got up at 4:30 AM! FOUR FREAKIN THIRTY IN THE MORNING! I'm asking you, what is it about me? They'll sleep forever when Steve gets up, but the one morning I should be allowed to sleep until the clocks say 7 they cheat me of ninety dream minutes.

It is so unfair, I tell you.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Oh My Gosh!

She's Taking My Picture!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Every Button Pushed

There are times around here when things runs smoothly. The boys find their shoes and hop into the car without fussing. They get out of the tub and put on their PJ's with no fuss. They let me tuck then into bed and kiss them good night and then walk right out the door.

But other times... the boys go nuts. I'm not sure what it is. It isn't misbehavior exactly, although sometimes the boys fight more and bonk each other over the head more. But mostly it's just... somehow Nick slips seven times while I'm making dinner and Nathan manages to hit his head five times on something ordinary, like the wall.

Last night I had the hardest time giving the boys their bath. Nicholas suggested they take turns so that Nate wouldn't splash him - something that happens EVERY NIGHT because Nate loves the water and Nicholas happens to be allergic and screams whenever a drop of water hits him on the face. So I thought taking turns might be reasonable.

Then I ended up with Nick peeing on the bath mat, Nate throwing a fit because we're out of his pull ups, and both boys eating toothpaste off the floor.

I don't know if it's the baby, or just Nate's age, but it seems these out of control moments are happening more and more often. I need a PLAN.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Skip a Day

OK, OK, so I didn't post yesterday. I skipped ONE DAY. But I don't feel bad about it because I am really very good at posting each day, so I'm allowed a day off.

Especially when I have nothing much to say and no new photos. And I'm busy with other things.

One of the many things I had to do yesterday was go to the doctor for my annual physical. I hadn't had one in three years. So I was about due. My doctor was very nice. He didn't say anything about my weight, which is still on the high side due to Andrew. He told me I looked healthy, which is always good to hear. Now as long as my bloodwork comes back clean, I'm all set. THAT is the part that makes me nervous. Fasting all night and then having the lab tell me I'm eating too many pop-tarts.

Hey, has anyone ever been fitted for running shoes?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Like Mommy

When I was small, and occasionally when I was in college, I used to wake up and find that I had fallen asleep with an open book on my face. I fell asleep reading, and couldn't even make myself stop to put away the book.

I am constantly finding Nate asleep with open books covering his entire head.

One day I might even take a picture.

Monday, March 03, 2008

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Take a look at this video clip.

Not only does Nate bump himself on something invisible, but he insists on being kissed on the exact spot he bumped. Also, take a look at the pants Nick is wearing. They are size 18 months, I think. Nate still wears them sometimes, but Nick apparently found them and put them on. Please don't think this is because he doesn't have clothing that fits him. He simply puts on the most inappropriate clothing he can find.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Cross, Cranky, and Crummy

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It's not even 7am... on a SUNDAY... and I have already been awake for over two hours. Nicholas was awake at 4:30 with a dream and a cold, and spent the next 90 minutes trying to wake up the house by letting out a noise every two or three minutes, a screeching, yelling noise, as though he had just seem a wildebeest crawl out from under his bed. He woke up Andrew, who went back to sleep with a little nursing. He woke up Nathan, who climbed back into bed and pretended to sleep. I was sure everyone was actually awake and just pretending to sleep, until Steve started snoring in my ear.

The cats were awake. I could hear Frank meowing so loudly it sounded as though the wildebeest had migrated to the kitchen. Nicholas was still moaning. Steve snoring. I was in bed with my eyes clenched shut until I realized that I would probably feel better and less grumpy if I just GOT UP. For the record, I didn't feel less grumpy. I am not snippy and grumpy and simply thankful that the dog lady left us this HUGE mug the size of Montana the last time she was here. I have filled it up with coffee, which is too strong today. And now I am watching The Wiggles.

It's a kind of torture, I swear. If these weren't my children it would be cruel and unusual.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Dr. Nick


I have actually started running on my treadmill again. It's a bit harder this time around, because I was doing so well before I stopped, and I am anxious to get back to that point. I am not really a patient person. But my body keeps reminding me that, no, I can't just hop up and start running five miles in thirty minutes Just Like That. I need to warm up and then build up to it. Because I am, after all, in my thirties, and I am still not sleeping through the night, and am still kind of recovering from being pregnant, and my lungs and my muscles, and my JOINTS just can't take it.

The other day I was feeling really good about my run, until I hopped off the treadmill and realized my knee was hurting. So much, in fact, that I couldn't walk up the stairs using that leg. I had to walk sideways and use my right leg each time.

Nicholas noticed this, and asked about it.
"Did you bump your knee?"
"No, I just hurt it."
"Did you cut it?"
"No, it wasn't like that. My knee just hurts when I walk. That's all."
Nick thought about this for awhile. Then his face lit up as he found an answer.
"Maybe you could just hop on one foot!"