Thursday, December 27, 2007

Highlights: Words

Hi everyone! I hope you had a great Christmas!

*We had David's family Christmas on Saturday, drove all day on Sunday, finished some last minute shopping on Monday, opened presents with my mom on Monday late afternoon, ended up skipping church b/c we were too crunched for time, went to my dad's place on Monday night and opened MORE presents, came back to mom's leave Santa milk and cookies and 9 carrots (for the reindeer) and go to bed so Santa could come.

*By Christmas Day we were exhausted, but also happy. We went to the lake and ate, ate, ate. Also, we played outside, the girls got to go 4 wheeling, played board games, watched movies and enjoyed being together.

*We made it to SD- in case I haven't mentioned it 80 gajillion times before, it's 550 miles of driving. Our kids did so great in the cars, once again. We are always so damn impressed by them.

*Yesterday was a perfect day of nothing. We couldn't rally, so we just napped and played and napped some more. There was also lots of cookies and chocolate. I don't think I even like chocolate anymore.

*My mom's boyfriend came over for dinner last night. My mom is getting laid! You guys, that is so weird. (I am happy for her. He seems very nice. He's a cowboy!)

*I am doing laundry today. Coming home with suitcases full of CLEAN clothes? LIFE-CHANGING.

* David MADE me a flat screen TV. Yes. He made it. It's so cute! He got some kind of kit, blah, blah, blah, used a flat screen monitor, blah blah, blah. Who cares how he did it- he made me a TV. That's right. Mama's got a flat screen.

*I also got a bunch more Fiestaware (so fun!), I Like You by Amy Sedaris (you must read this), some warm jammies, and a CD/MP3 player for my kitchen. My dad also bought us a new leather ottoman. I can't wait to get home and try everything out.

What were your Christmas highlights?

(Highlights: Pictures coming soon.)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Curlie Girlies, Christmas Program, Some Thoughts On (Not) Weaning, and CHRISTMAS!!!

Curlers in hair:




Curlers out of hair (the next morning):




All dressed up for their Christmas program:



I wish they were this sweet to each other all the time:



I am in love:




Some thoughts on weaning:

I noticed it this morning, changing her diaper. I pulled a toastie warm foot from her pajamas, and it was so clearly a BABY's foot. And I kissed it, and it tasted good, the way only baby feet can. Then I noticed her hands- chubby and dimpled. Baby hands. And I realized that this is why she is not weaned. She may have lots of words, and baby signs, and stagger around our house like a little drunk, but she is, in spite of herself, a baby.


I have established "milk's all gone" when I don't want to nurse her (usually because she JUST nursed). She accepts, with a heart-breaking defeat, and sticks her pasi back in her mouth. It had to be done though, for my sanity. (And it was a difficult few days, where I would say "milk is all gone" and she would scream in disbelief.) Also, she is sleeping better, most nights. She still gets up between 3 and 4 am, but I can get away with one nursing and she'll sleep again.


Someday, we will be done nursing. Not yet, but someday. Hopefully it's when we are both ready.

+++++++++++


Christmas panic:


Starts now! Crap, you guys! I don't want to be stressed and crabby, but there is so much left to do. And my kids- they just won't stop being kids for a few days so I can get stuff done. Jeez. I'm not done shopping, haven't wrapped a thing, need to bake, need to make the food for David's family Christmas (on Saturday), need to think about packing, NEED TO DO THE CHRISTMAS CARDS CRAP CRAP CRAP, etc, etc, etc.


We are going to Rapid City for a week, so there's that planning too.
I really wish we were just staying home. I'll be happy once we get there; we always have fun. But it's SO FAR AWAY. And I want my kids to wake up here on Christmas.
BAH.


And also:


Yay! It's almost Christmas! I love this time of year. I'm happy and excited and content. I like to look at my tree when it's dark and just the tree is lit. We get to see so many people we love in the next week. And the kids are so much fun. And they are going to DIE when they change this baby's diaper. When we get to my mom's house, we are going to make a gingerbread house and go ice skating. Etc, etc, etc.

Monday, December 17, 2007

What's Better Than a Visit To Santa?

Why, tea with the Sugar Plum Fairy, of course!

Joan, friend, Kate, Sugar Plum Fairy, and Clara


Joan, enjoying her sugary feast, er, I mean "tea".



There was a dance lesson too- here's the girls practicing their ballet moves.

This age- nearly 5- is so awesome, you guys! I'm loving it. Whenever any of you share your trials with your 1- or 2-year-olds, I sigh. Part of me totally relates, part of me is smug, for already having crossed that parenthood hurdle, and part of me thinks "YOU JUST WAIT". (There are probably worse words you can say to parents, but "YOU JUST WAIT" ranks right up there. I hate it. And yet.) Because, really, age 3 was the hardest for me. They were cranky, whiny, unappreciative, button-pushing-all-the-DAMN-TIME, screamy little ingrates. Turning 4 helped some- things got slowly better over the last year. But nearing 5, I can already see that this is going to be F-U-N.

On Saturday night, I put curlers in their hair. And they were excited about it. Yesterday, we took them shopping to buy gifts for each other. And then Joan made a card for Kate's present that said "Dear Kate, I love you because you are beautiful. Love Joan". We went to "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium", and they were so delighted with the whole experience. They took turns sitting on our laps, and I got sniff after sniff of their delicious hair/scalp smell. Every morning they open our advent box and report to us how many days until Christmas, and also how many days until Christmas Eve, and also how many days until we leave for Grandma's.

It's awesome.

Also, today Marin and I were playing with her doll. I was doing "So Big!" and "Patty Cake" etc with her doll's hands. When I quit, she grabbed the doll's hands and did the sign for "more" with the doll's hands!

Yes, she is a baby genius.

Friday, December 14, 2007

It's Still Magical For The Children

Listen, I can easily get swept up into the whole grossness of Christmas consumerism. I could easily be convinced to skip all the shopping and spending on stuff that no one needs and put the money towards, say, a goat for a family in [insert 3rd World Country of choice here]. In fact, I think those programs are wonderful, and I wish I dedicated more of our money to causes like that (instead of paying the damn dentist $4200- readers, you read that right. That's a whole living room set. Puke.)

But see, I have to remember that the presents, and the waiting, and the suspense, and the sparkle of having something new, is part of the magic of childhood. I need to remember that, for my nearly 5 year old twins, this is the Peak for them, when Christmas will never again be this awesome. Next year, and the year after, and the year after that, they will become less innocent. At some point they will figure out that Santa isn't real, that reindeer don't fly, and that mom and dad shop on a budget. Bor-ing.

So it is for them, these little humans that I love so much, that I shelled out hard earned cash on Baby Alive. Now, for those of you without any Pink People under your roof, let me explain: Baby Alive drinks a bottle and then pees her diaper. Some versions of this doll even eat baby food and then SHIT their pants. Did I get the shitting version? NO! We have enough actual people in this house that soil their pants (or arguable worse- yell "MOM! WIPE ME!"). Plus, you have to buy FOOD to feed a DOLL. Um, no. (It's like getting an actual baby, only without the human brain inside the skull that grows and develops and becomes, you know, a member of the family.)

The peeing-only baby it is. I got them this "Only at Target" version. And get this- the dolls are anatomically correct. They are going to die- DIE- when they open up those diapers. And that, friends, is magic for ME.

+++++++++++

Holiday tip: Do not store the decadent, melty, AWESOME chocolate truffles (that you pilfered from your husbands office) next to the toaster oven. Especially if you use said toaster oven 90 or more time/day.

+++++++++++

Hey, want a quick and easy (and also quite TASTEEE) holiday recipe? No? Had enough tempting recipes lately? Then just skip this last part.

Ritz Cracker Cookies

You will need:

Ritz crackers
peanut butter
chocolate almond bark
sprinkles

Directions:
Melt chocolate on stove. (A double-boiler will ensure the chocolate doesn't burn). Smear peanut butter between 2 crackers for a "cracker sandwich". 2 sleeves makes a moderate amount, a whole box makes a generous batch. Dip the cracker sandwiches in chocolate until completely covered. Place on wax paper and sprinkle. Let harden. DONE. Now eat no less that 4 cookies, reminding yourself that peanut butter is healthy.

The girls and I made these once already, and then promptly ate them all, so I don't have any pictures to show you. Perhaps we'll make them later, and I'll add pictures? We'll see.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Weaning My Beast

It's time.

It happened this way with the twins too- instead of getting less interested in nursing as they got older, they became obsessed.

Marin is nursing more now than she did at 10 months. I can't even hold her without her pestering me for some milk. Nursing no longer sends her into blissful la-la land of drunken sleep- instead she wants to nurse and Nurse and NURSE all night long. And all day too.

She has worn out her welcome.

Last night I realized that I no longer enjoyed breastfeeding her. I dread it. I've been gamely playing along for awhile now, while my resentful feelings slowly built, because she's been sick off and on so much.

But she's feeling better now. And nursing more than she was last week. The other morning, I switched sides 6 (SIX!!!) times between 5 and 6 am. In the past, if she woke that early, I could briefly nurse her and she'd snuggle next to me and sleep. Now, she'll snuggle next to me only if I INSERT! NIPPLE! IN! MOUTH! And NOW! If I do not comply, she SCREAMS, and thus keeps wakes the whole family.

Clearly her tunnel vision is effecting her sleep. And mine.

Last night she was SO mad at us for not nursing her. We were up with her for HOURS while she dozed and protested. I did not give in. Finally she went back to sleep.

I wish I could continue to breastfeed for awhile. At 12 months, when she was just nursing before naps and bedtime, I was so content with our ways. I was not eager to wean. But things are different now. If only she would have stayed like she was then. But Noooooo, she had to go get all milk-junkie on me.

Let the smackdown continue.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Enough

So when I come home at the ass-crack of dawn from my work Christmas party, and the house is all cozy and warm, and the kids have been fed, read to, tucked in, and loved up by their Daddy while I was gone, and then. THEN. I get to crawl into bed where it's already all warm from my husband. And he's been sleeping on my side, so that my side is extra warm. Well, that is enough. It's pretty much all I need.

+++++++++++

Hey! Did I tell you we found our digital camera? We did! We are so happy/relieved. Also, we have stopped obsessing over the ads for good camera deals. Happy! Relieved!

+++++++++++

We have a plethora of underwear/panties/drawers/choose-your-favorite-term-here. A few months ago, the girls had only enough underwear to get through about 7-10 days. I had about the same number. David's underwear situation is confidential, so I'm not allowed to share with you. But that's ok, because I can still make my point without that information. So anyway, we each had roughly a week's worth, thus forcing us to do laundry weekly. Then, we all got more underwear. (You: What a splurge! Go Greens! Me: Hush now, or I'll forget what I'm saying.) Now, we don't run out of underwear, therefore we don't do laundry every week. Then when we DO start laundry, it's out of control.

So, I need to throw out some underwear. That's my point. Nothing else.

Bye!

PS. It's snowing here. We're supposed to get lots and lots of snow. (*cue "White Christmas"*) Now is when you either swoon or barf, or maybe both?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Words

First, I'd like to say how great it was to hear that many of you share my dental-phobia. Go Team Blogger! I am probably going to have some sort of happy pill when it comes time to do the big guns of dental work. There is sedation dentistry available in a bigger town nearby, but I would need a babysitter AND a driver, and it would probably be more than one visit and christ on a cracker, let's not draw any extra attention to the One Who Hates Dentists, m'kay?

Christ on a cracker- that is so much fun to say! I know, I know, it's probably offensive to some- it's probably offensive to ME- but just say it once. Christ on a cracker. Haaa, haaaa, haaaa. I can't not smile when I say it.

You know what else I've been looking for an excuse to say? "Skull-f*ck". Ok, if I'm going to use that word, I might as well USE it, ya know? SKULL-FUCK. Man that felt good. Sundry used it in one of her posts, and it's been going through my head ever since. See? I should have gone shopping on Black Friday- then I could have skull-fucked my way out of the crowds. *SQUEEE*

Hey, is anyone keeping track of how many ear infections Marin has had? Because yesterday? Yesterday she went to the doctor to for a follow up visit on her last infection, and she has another one. Well, two. Both ears. "Very yucky" said the doctor.

ANOTHER round of antibiotics, thrush, owie boobs, etc.

But maybe we'll get our allotted 3 nights of good sleep before the next infection kicks in. Three nights. Mmmmmm. I'll take it.

Christ on a cracker.

(still cracks me up)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Tooth

Confession: I hate dentists. Ok, that's not being honest. It's more like... I'm scared to death of dentists. It all goes back to the abusive asshole that I saw as a child, blah, blah, blah, ghosts from the cradle etc. But the fact remains that I avoid dentists at all cost.

Even, apparently, at the cost of my teeth. Because the other day, part of a tooth BROKE OFF. So now I have to go to the damn dentist, and I feel all stupid and crazy for not going regularly like normal people do. Plus our family dentist (yes the rest of the humans around here go) is a really normal and nice woman. To make it worse, she's around my age and in this small town, we're considered peers. Only, I'm the crazy one who doesn't go the the dentist. Fabulous.

Buy hey, she DID say that I do a great job of cleaning my teeth. I was like, no SHIT- it's because I hate coming HERE.

More dental work to come.

Bleh.

Also, EEEK.

My dear crap, I may as well tell you, while I'm in a confessing mood, my kid fell out of her high chair yesterday. Landed right on her head. I ROCK.

Were you needing to feel superior to someone today? YOU ARE WELCOME.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My Sinuses Feel Like They Are Going To Explode

OK! *brushing hands* New rules around here. I am no longer allowed to peruse all of YOUR blogs until I write something on my own. See, I have all these things I've been wanting to tell you- I even think of them in my sleep- but then I sit down, start reading all of you, and BAM! Brain= empty.* Then I feel like whatever I write is a copycat post from one of you. Yucky.

So! Thanksgiving was good. We went to David's brother's house instead of his parents' farm, and it was nice to switch things up a bit. He has a BIG family (8 kids, 17 grand kids; about 32 people in all), so it is an undertaking for anyone to host. My kids are on the younger end of the cousins, so there is a never ending supply of older children eager to play with the younger ones (Hey! Just call us the Duggers!) (Only, with about a bazillion more adults).

Then, we opted out of our trip to SD on Friday. Everyone here has been sick for weeks, and we decided at the last minute to stay home. We missed my mom's side family Christmas, and it's the only time of year we see some of those people, but we definitely made the right decision. If you've never ditched an obligatory family function, I highly recommend it. We felt so relieved that we didn't have to go anywhere- and the rest of the long weekend stretched out invitingly.

I haven't started my Christmas shopping yet. I know, I'm one of those. BUT! I do have a HOTT Christmas gift idea, good for parents, grandparents, and any other hard-to-buy-for person(s). It's the Shutterfly photo books. We did this last year for our parents and grandparents and it was a huge success. They all loved Loved LOVED their books. I titled our book "The Year We Became a Family of 5" (awww. sniff, sniff) and had a few pictures of every month of the year. It started with "Mommy and Daddy finding out our family was growing", chronicled my humongo, pregasaurus belly, included a "Welcome to our family, Marin!" page, and ended with some Thanksgiving and (pre)Christmas pics. I know, so totally cheesy that they ate it up like crack-cocaine! (Also, if you create an account with them, you get boatloads of coupons for free shipping, buy one get one free books, etc.) (And the finished product turns out really nice- just like a hardcover picture book.)


*Note, these rules are subject to change at any time for any reason.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Meme- Christmas Version

I was tagged for a meme, and it is exactly what I need right now- something specific to blog about! (Thanks El-e-e.) However, I'm going to switch it up.



Here it is- 7 random things I want for Christmas:

1. A new camera. As of right now, mine is missing. MISSING. Seriously, my stomach hurts.


2. More place settings of my new! dishes! (All of the different colors make me happy.) Also, some of the extra pieces- serving dishes, the fancy pitcher, etc. Good-bye wedding dishes. The past 7 years have been great.


3. These shoes by Dansko. (In tomato suede leather... or hunter or black or brown.) (David, are you taking notes?)


4. A dust buster. Although, if I could get one of these and not have it "count" for a Christmas gift, that would be fine too. In that case, I would change #4 to Diamonds.


5. A new couch! A whole new living room set! (Specifically: a couch, 2 comfy chairs and a big ottoman. And some coffee/end tables. Hello? David??) Oh! And a bonfire to burn our old couch...

6. A cleaning service. Nothing extravagant- twice a month would be plenty.


7. Sleep- blissful, uninterrupted sleep. And I don't mean just one night- I want night after night after night- so much sleep that I get that icky "I've slept too much" feeling. *salivating at the thought* (Aww, heck, throw in a new mattress too.)


Ok, so now it's your turn. What do you want for Christmas? And, don't be getting all noble and all I want is "world peace" on me. I'm interested in consumerism- rampant consumerism!

In fact, let's just assume that the following is on your list already: healthy family, a presidential campaign that doesn't make your stomach cramp, a lottery win, a 30 day spa vacation to Hawaii with a full time nanny so you don't have to miss the children, 365 days of non-shrieking and non-whining children... Oh, and of course, a kitchen remodel, complete with all new appliances.

So besides all of that, what do you want?

Go! Be greedy!

Monday, November 19, 2007

First Snowy Day

Saturday was our first snowy day, though not enough fell to even cover the ground. But that means too things in our household: 1) we proceed with our family's "first snow day tradition" and 2) we get to put the down and flannel bedding on our bed.

1) After watching some highly educational PBS show (Clifford maybe?), Kate and Joan came to me devastated that WE didn't have a first snow day tradition. Never one to break the 3 year olds' hearts, I was all, OF COURSE WE DO. They were so excited! What is it??? In my head I was all "Oh, F*^K." So I blurted out- "We have a fire in our fireplace on the first day of snow."

Do you know what a bad idea this was? The kids are always too excited, and David is always grudgingly playing along, and while he tries to make a fire the kids are catapulting around the living room with blankets and pillows and nearly catching themselves on fire. Now, I wouldn't mind if our couch in that room burned to dust, but I want to do it in a CONTROLLED WAY, and preferable OUT of the house. So while I wholeheartedly encourage a "first snow day" tradition of your very own, I'm telling you to think it through. Getting the kids excited about a FIRE, with actual flames = not such a smart idea. I was put on the spot, people!

2) Our ACTUAL first snow day tradition is that we pull out our winter bedding. Every fall I make us wait until the first snow. Around here, that usually happens sometime in October. This year, not so much. So when we DID pull out our down comforter I could not believe that we had been allowing ourselves to freeze our asses off for so long! I was warm, and I did not have 15 lbs of quilts weighing me down.

(It was extra special, since we did not use our down last year, due to this guy's rules about co sleeping.) (Also, we were not as cold last winter, because David did not try to freeze our pipes each and every night due to Heating Plan: Newborn In The House. He is now back to his regularly scheduled program of Heating Plan: Each Man For Himself.) (I curse those program-able thermostats! People- children even!- everywhere are waking with ice on their eyelashes due to the Hot Blooded Adult in the House That Sets the Temps Too Low.) (You know exactly what I mean, right?)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Brutal Existance

I've taken an unannounced and unexpected bloggy break, busy as I am fantasizing about sleep. It's all consuming right now- the need for more and the trying to see through the sandpaper eyelids. The details are fuzzy even to me- it goes something like this: Marin, blah blah ear infection blah screaming all night blah blah thrush blah blah antibiotics done blah blah more screaming at night blah blah Dr says ears look fine blah more screaming at night blah, well baby exam show raging infections is both ears-AGAIN blah blah more thrush, this time in diaper area too blah blah blah.

To think I entertained the idea of NaPloBloMo!

So I haven't written because all I could think of to say was how flipping tired I am! And how boring Grey's Anatomy has been lately! My laundry is piling up a la Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout!

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I have been thinking about the power of authority. I have long chided myself for having a self proclaimed "problem with authority". I don't want to be told what to do, I get defensive, and I don't trust people just because I "should". This is not my loveliest trait.

Recently, we've had medical issues from hell. Navigating the medical industry is a nightmare- even more so for people with my affliction. I've really been challenged to let some go- to stop questioning everything, to just do what the damn doctors says for once, without getting all pissed and frustrated and ugly.

I remember in college learning about a study about the power of authority. (Sorry, I'm too lazy to google it for you. What? You already got the Silverstein poem above!) The subjects were told they were part of a "memory study" and they were to ask questions to their counterpart, who were behind a wall, but within hearing distance. If they got the question wrong, the questioner was to give them an electric shock. With every wrong answer, the electric shock increased until the screaming was unbearable. But still, the questioners continued to give the shock, because they were told to. Now, in reality, no shock was being given. It was really just a test to see how far a person would go, harming another person, because an authority figure told them it was ok. Would you continue to give the shock? At what point would you opt out of the study, because you felt horrible inflicting pain?

Most people in the study (all people? I can't really remember) continued to give the shock. Because they were told to.

This gives me goosebumps.

And yet, even with my "problem with authority", I fell victim to this. Marin, shortly after going off of her antibiotic started screaming all night again. Her doctor wasn't available, so I took her in to a different doctor, thinking her ear infection was back. Different doctor said Nope, ears are F-I-N-E. Yet she continued to scream at night. Did I take her back in? No, I did not. How long did she scream at night? TWO WEEKS. And then she had her well baby visit, where her regular doctor said both ears looked awful. AWFUL.

I was so excited! YES! We have an answer to why she can't sleep! Better yet- there is a treatment that will cure her (antibiotics), and she will start sleeping!

But how long would I have waited before taking her back in? See, a DOCTOR told me she was fine, that her ears were fine, so I'll be damned if I'm going to go back AGAIN only to be told she is fine. Why is that so humiliating/frustrating/maddening? I always feel so validated when my kid has something diagnosable, and so stupid when they are "fine" or it's "just a virus". Why do I give a sh*t what the doctors think of me? Why, when they say she is "fine" but she clearly ISN'T, do I not question that, take her back in, insist on some answers?

Now, in my defense, she was not running a fever during this time. Back when I was in Mommy 101, running a fever was a sure sign of infection. But still.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to return to my regular schedule of eating vast amounts of sugar as a way of self-medicating my sleepy/irritated body.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Relief; Also, National Sugar-High Day

Oh. You were all so nice about my last post. I have to admit that I had some moments of panic- why the hell did I post that? Was anyone going to understand my point, or would I forever be known as the weirdo who wants another wife in the house? Because I don't. But no, you understood what I was saying. You are awesome like that.

Was Halloween fun? I know that everyone everywhere is suffering from a major sugar high (especially the "everyone's" that are under 4 feet tall). But we're not doing the "candy fairy" or the "switch witch" or any such thing. Our plan: let the kids eat as much as they want for today, hope for a few natural consequences, and hope they get through a large portion of it today. The rest will be dumped into one large bowl and placed on top of the fridge, and brought out especially when we have company- to help distribute the consumption. (My neighbors love me).

Also, by natural consequences, I mean a little tummy ache or chocolate overdose- enough to ward off the natural desire to want more More MORE. I don't wish for them to be ill, just a little grossed out by the thought of more.

+++++++++++

We have been waking every morning to ALL FIVE of us in one (queen sized) bed. I feel like our bed is a file cabinet- we are all laying there all filed into bed, trying to take up as little space as possible. This image also comes to mind. Only instead of being this little slices of frozen breast milk, we are hot and grumpy slices of people stacked together.

I've had actual fantasies of treating myself to a hotel room for the night. Screw you ALL, I'm going to the Hilton! Let's not focus on what it means to have escapist fantasies, ok?

+++++++++++

Are you guys on Facebook? It's so fun! My neighbor Kris first sparked my interest, and I still don't know exactly what I'm doing. Never mind that they are deleting accounts that have images of breastfeeding because they are considered OBSCENE! This should piss me off. It does piss me off.

But still, it's fun.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Sister-Wife

Am I crazy to have found this Oprah, about polygamy, somewhat appealing?

Put aside the fact that I don't believe in polygamy, and neither does David, and just picture it: Another woman in the house, who knows your husband well and can relate to ALL of your frustrations. She, in theory anyway, would also help with all things mom-related as well as all household chores/tasks. There would always be another adult to talk to, as well as that extra set of hands and eyes.

I would sort of be like the commune I've been romanticizing, except with less hairy male bodies clogging up the shower drain. And as far as "wifely" duties? Would any of us really mind dispersing those a bit? (As a side note, I like sex. My husband is respectful and not pushy, and I find it to be a very enjoyable part of our life. BUT. HE could easily have... more of it. Ya know?)

Of course, I am picturing having some control over the choosing of this sister-wife(s), which in real polygamy relationships probably doesn't happen. Also, in my fantasy version of this lifestyle, my husband does not favor her over me- I'm clearly the Alpha-female in the house. Also, a gazillion kids? 1800's dresses? Other weird religious thingies? NO.

But dividing the chores/meal planning/ kid duties? Having a baby or two around the house that I didn't have to carry in my body and don't have to get up with in the night? Having DOUBLE the female shoes in the house? Hell yes!

(I mean NO! I don't want to share my husband. Of course I don't. Much. I mean, this is clearly flawed thinking on my part. I have no idea why that show was so damn intriguing to me.)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fall

Fall colors:




Finding the perfect pumpkin:





Marin's first trip to the pumpkin patch:


Running:


And jumping:


On a walk:





Yes, those are Easter bonnets they are wearing. They have fashion sense like that:



Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Baabbyyyyyy Legggggsssss

I'm loving these things.



I ordered Marin 3 pairs. I especially love that they make them for boys too.


+++++++++++

OVERHEARD:

Me: So which planets did you talk about today?
Joan: Ummm, Jupiter, and Mars, and...
Kate: That one! Like what Daddy has!
(David and me-in our heads: What? Ur-anus? How do they know that??)
One beat, two beats, three beats go by...
Joan: You know, like what DADDY has?
Me (light bulb!): Oh, you mean Venus?
Joan: NO! It's PENIS. My teacher said so! Penis.
Me: No, actually, the planet is called VVVV-enus.
Kate: NO! IT'S NOT! IT'S PENIS. MISS BECKY SAID!
Okaaaayyy, whatever you say.
(Can't you just hear them at preschool? "My daddy has one of those!")


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Joan, having a disgusting habit of keeping a booger on her top lip, and licking it slowly, like a lollipop, shrieks at David when he wiped her face (unknowing of her lovely habit)- "HEY! I was eating that!"


+++

Kate: I don't want to get my ears pierced because it would HURT. I'm just going to wait for a hole to open up, and then stick an earing it it.


+++

Me: Well, how do you tell a girl baby from a boy baby?
Joan: By its clothes!
Me: But when they are born, they don't have any clothes on. How do we know what the baby is then?
Joan: By it's hair!
Me: No. Think about it. Do you know the difference between boys and girls?
Joan: By their voice!


(So my girls think there is a planet called Penis, like Daddy has, but have NO idea how to tell boys and girls apart. Interesting.)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Halloween Preview

The kids were invited to a Halloween party this week.

Here's my little bunny. If you ask her what a bunny says, she bounces up and down and says "Op, op, op".


If I were in this picture, you would see me rolling my eyes at my little "Stephanie's". This is the first year they had any say, or any opinion, about their costume. Hey, at least it's not Barbie!


PS. Like the Black Spiderman hidden between my kids? He's the neighbor, not merely a figment of your imagination. (You: "WHEW!")

PPS. AND. Let's hope that a) Marin doesn't grow a single millimeter between now and Halloween and b) that the pink wigs can be salvaged from the tangled mess that they have become after JUST ONE USE. (You: "Ummm, Halloween costumes are typically a ONE USE deal." Me: "Oh.") Or! Maybe I could dye their ACTUAL hair pink on the real Halloween? Any ideas/recommendations for pink, non permanent hair dye?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hey! I Should Update My Blog!

Whew! Our first official Week of Sick (for this season) is over, and we survived. It always takes awhile to remember how to function during flu season, doesn't it? Placing tissue boxes on every available surface, finding the thermometer and Motrin and Tylenol, re-memorizing the Family Practice phone number... I don't have to tell you- you know how it goes...

As a sick-week souvenir, my breast sprouted gaping sores- thrush, I think, passed to me from my antibiotic slurping daughter. WE SHARE EVERYTHING.

That same baby? The one that is allergic to milk and had a double ear infection for DAYS before I took her in? She's walking now. One day, she refused unless she had my finger to hold on to, the next she zombie-walks all over the house.

Also? My older two are addicted to tv/computer games. I am ruining their brains FOREVER, but it's so peaceful. Everyday, I say to myself "I will allow less tv/computer games today". But then? Then I don't.

Confession: We got DVR and we're all a bit in love with our TV. Tongue-kissing, can't take our hands off each other kind of love.

That "tv-ruins-kids'-brains" data... that's all just a racket, right?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Satis-fac-shun!

1. I ran 20 minutes! I can finally move on from Week 5!! And it was far more of a mental challenge than a physical one. Woot! Woot!

2. My baby is sleeping SO much better since we stopped dairy last week. Is it bad to say that I knew all along that it was quite likely the dairy that was causing her problems? I just didn't want to believe it. Because, dude, yogurt is easy and healthy and full of calories. And cheese is quick and filling and she loves it so. We're going to be trying out the soy versions this week. (Gag-a-licious.) But yeah! I'm sleeping.

3. David said to me last night- "Even if you got a job making 2x what I make, I STILL wouldn't be able to stay home with the kids. They would have to go to daycare, because I couldn't handle it." Those may possibly be my very favorite-est words he ever said to me! He doesn't know how I do it.

4. It's rainy and cool here today (versus rainy and hot, which is what we had all weekend). I can wear hoodies and make soup and pumpkin cookies (like these). And I might even do this little project, because pumpkins make me smile. It's fall and I'm happy.

5. David and I have been machines around here lately. Every project we complete is a weight lifted that I didn't know I had. It helps that our weekends are not overbooked like they are in the summer...

[Edited to add: 6. I went shopping at and local outlet mall on Saturday and everything for fall was 70% off! I got the kids (and myself!) bags and bags full of stuff. Carters! Osk Kosh! Eddie Bauer! Old Navy! I can't believe I almost forgot about this! I would include pictures of my bargains, but, I'm a little embarrased. About the volume. ]


(P.S. In case you didn't follow those other two links, you need to check out THIS website. One of my favorite bloggy friends started it, and all of my other favorite bloggy friends have been submitting ideas and it's fun! It's over there, on the side bar too.)

Friday, October 5, 2007

Just Like Having A Newborn In The House...

Only, with more frosting. And it's the frosting that motivated me to get out of bed this morning. Thinking about eating a spoonful, right from the container...

That's the beauty of being an adult. No matter how much our children keep us up at night, or how nighttime feels like a game of musical beds, we can still choose to eat frosting for breakfast.

I have a new theory about Marin's night time trouble- it's milk. She LURVES her some dairy- especially cheese. And I love giving it to her, because it's full of calories. And if she's consuming lots of calories during the day, she won't want to nurse all night, right? Now I'm wondering if she is possible irritated by the dairy and therefore cries at night because of tummy aches. Ok, let's back up. She CLEARLY has tummy aches- she wouldn't be a genetic Green baby if she did not consume her weight in Mylicon by age 1- but I'm not sure if it's just her anatomy or if it has more to do with her diet. So I think I'll cut out ALL dairy for awhile and see if it helps. On the one hand, I'm hoping it doesn't. Because what am I going to feed her if she can't have cheese/yogurt/milk? But on the other- sleep sounds so inviting.

Which leads me to my new invention idea. Which also leads me to a "Hill to Die On" topic (Swistle's words)- sleep sharing. But! I have such a cozy and nice (and also: small) readership that I am confident that we can all be nice.

The Green Family Nighttime Plan is as follows: We sleep wherever it is that we all get the most sleep. Ideally, this means in our own beds, but sometimes it means the kids are in bed with us or we are in their bed or whatever. For the twins, we always put them to bed in their own beds, but often would let them come and join us, in the name of getting more sleep, during the night. We've had "rules" like- if it's before 4am they have to nurse and go back to their own beds, if it's after 4am they can stay. We went through a time when we would each take one twin and sleep with her in separate beds. We've had times when we lay with them at night until they are asleep, and other times when they go to bed on their own, no problems.

Our sleep situation has gone through many phases, but always resulted in us getting a satisfactory amount of sleep. Also: a minimum of crying on the twins' part. We are not in the "cry it out camp". Instead, we follow the "meet a need and the need goes away" camp.

Then Marin came along. She slept with us, in my arms, exclusively for her first 6 months. I had lots and lots of icky complications after her birth, so this was purely for my own convenience. I had an extremely slow recovery- complete with a handful of extra surgeries and TONS of doctors visits and stupid, stupid tests, so I NEEDED to sleep. I needed to not get up at night. I slept very well with her there. Around six months, I started putting her to sleep in her crib, and she was completely fine with it. She still loves her crib.

But. She has nights where she cries a lot. And then she toots. Then sleeps some, cries some more, toots some more. We massage her tummy, give her gas drops, help her find a comfortable position etc. We do not sleep much on these nights.

So! My invention is: a full or queen or king sized crib, sturdy enough for an adult. That way you could lay with your baby as needed, them hop out and go back to your own bed too.

That would be handy, right? I could make a fortune on this, right? Because, the way I see it, the co-sleeping issue revolves around wanting one's OWN space for sleeping. I want that too. But I also want to sleep, and I don't want to keep jumping out of bed on nights when Marin is having gas attacks. So, it would be perfect to be able to crawl in with her once in awhile, and if I got uncomfortable, sneak back to my own bed without disturbing her. When she's in MY bed, the only way to get more space for myself is to move her back to her crib. Sometimes this works fine; other times it wakes her up.

So! A Queen-sized crib. With silent rails for quick and easy REMOVING OF THYSELF. One can dream....

(That is, if one can get enough sleep to dream...)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Cereal Pit

Here is what we did for Marin's party yesterday:





This has become a Green Family Tradition, and Joan and Kate were SO excited for Marin to try it out. (They love watching home movies- something about combining vertigo with mind numbing, no plot tv- and have watched their own 1st birthday many times.)


Anyway, it was fun. Of coarse, we had rules. 1) No diving and 2) Please don't pee in our pool.

I thought we could pour in a gallon of milk and have a family breakfast this morning, but David dumped it last night. Party pooper!


Also, here is my very first attempt at a cake. From a distance, it looked great.



And those little frosting bags? With the different fancy tips? They are AWESOME for sucking down the left-over frosting. It goes straight down the gullet- nearly as effective as shooting the sugar straight into your veins.


Just sayin'.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

List

***EDITED TO ADD: I'm finally posting my email address! l i f e i n a t i n y t o w n at g mail dot com. It's over there on the side bar too!

1) Is it fall? Really, is it? Because one day it's hot, and the next it's not, and I just don't know how to dress myself or the kids. If I wear a sweatshirt, I'm hot. If I take if off, I'm cold. I need to know if I should put our turtlenecks and sweater back into rotation. Can I put away the shorts and flip flops? Can I stop shaving my legs every day? (What? It's for WARMTH, not laziness, I assure you.)

2) I seem to have an affliction I like to call Constant and Severe Dehydration Due to Breastfeeding. Do I have any fellow sufferers? I remember with the twins as soon as I would sit down, get all comfy, and start nursing, my mouth would dry out and I'd be stuck in the chair with sandpaper tongue for the rest of the feeding. Unless David was home and could take mercy on me and bring me a drink. And with Marin, I remember in the beginning having the same thing happen. But now? I'm thirsty ALL THE TIME. I'm drinking lots of water. I'm looking forward to weaning for no other reason than NOT being thirsty.

(This reminds me of why I look forward to the end of pregnancy- because then I don't have to pee ALL THE TIME. When I was pregnant with the twins, I remember being at Home Depot and needing to go. The bathroom was so far away [seriously, they should provide shuttles in that place] that by the time I went to the bathroom and walked back to David, I needed to go again. So frustrating!)

3) Doesn't a donut sound good right now? Say, a Bavarian filled long john with chocolate frosting. Just saying.

4) Have I ever told you how I used to have a job teaching people how to pan for gold? It's true. When I was in high school, living in the Black Hills of SD, I had a job at a gold mine. It was an RETIRED gold mine, and one that never produced much gold, but STILL. I gave tours there and taught tourists how to pan for gold. So if you ever want to head West with your burro and bedroll, I'm you gal.

5) Today I plan to dive into cleaning out the kids dressers. They are so crammed with (out grown/out-of-season) clothes that the drawers won't shut all the way. This means I will be a Very Bad Mommy today, because I don't like Interruptions to my Projects. So, do I warn the kids ahead of time, or park them in front of the tv/computer and hope they don't notice?

6) These are 2 other things I NEED to do, and I'm telling you this as a way to hold myself accountable. 1) Mail Hayden's bday present. Her birthday was July 2. See? This need to get done! and 2) Finish my doula paper work.

There! *brushes of hands on thighs* Now I'm motivated. Thanks!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Let's Compare the Green Children, Shall We?

Some people tell me they look exactly alike, others claim Marin has "her own look". What do you think?

Joan

Kate

Marin

Joan and Kate

Marin


Now that I've looked at the preview of this post, I've decided that these pictures need to be BIGGER. But I am lazy. So another day, I'll post some more.

+++++++++++

Marin's birthday ended up being really good. I was a tiny bit sad, but since I had given myself the entire week before to prepare, I was also excited. She, of coarse, did not know anything was different. That is, until we gave her a strangely sticky and super sweet cupcake to try. She was like "This sticky stuff! How curious! And they are not even stopping me from running my fingers threw it. Hmmmm. It would be SO much more appealing if they were saying 'no, no!' I guess I don't want it after all."

We had a tiny party for her with just our family last night. This was more for my bouncing labrador twins than anything. We need to hang the birthday sign! And wrap presents! And sing! And make a cake! And frost the cake! Really, it was sweet of them, even though I wasn't planning on doing all of that yesterday.

Um? I have a ONE year old? Really? You guys, I can't believe it. She still seems so much like a baby to me. Her sisters seemed, oh, 26 when they turned 1. They had been walking for months and had already signed up for the Peace Corps. On the other hand, when Marin really is 26 she'll probably still be nursing.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

She Was Also Found Sitting On Top Of Our Kiddie Picnic Table

This morning, shortly after my big girls left for preschool, I left the room for a brief minute... and then I heard a crash. It was the sound of our step stool tipping over on the ceramic tile floor.

Then nothing.

The Inhalation. It was a long inhalation.

(I have a friend who once, when trying to wipe her daughter's nose, caused her daughter to swing her head back -in protest- and crack it on the wooden chair handle. And she used the inhalation to finish digging out the boogers! When she felt bad about it later, I was like, Sister, anything is fair game when it comes to booger removal.)

Then screaming.

I ran into the kitchen and saw blood first, baby second. I scooped her up and in the same motion grabbed some paper towels. She stopped crying almost immediately. Her lip looked awful but not like she would need plastic surgery or anything. The little monkey must have been trying to stand on the step stool? It was completely turned over.

The bleeding stopped soon. She is fine; sporting a bit of a fat lip, but fine.

And we don't even have pictures scheduled for tomorrow! Impossible!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Continued...

So I read yesterday's post and comments and a couple of things became clear to me:

1) If I ever reach the "straw down, hosing off kids" phase of parenting, I will also probably be severely mentally ill, considering my neurosis with having things Clean(ish).

2) ECFE is the best! It stands for Early Childhood Family Education, and every school district in this state has this program. They offer classes for parents and children ages birth to 5. The classes are held both during the day for the SAHP and in the evening for the working parents. During class, the parents brake away for part of the time for "parent discussions" while the kids stay with some of the other teachers and play. The fees are based on a sliding scale and are usually DIRT CHEAP. I've been going since Joan and Kate were babies, and now that they are in preschool, I take Marin. I puffy pink heart ECFE.

+++++++++++

One week from today Marin will be a year old. I am spending the week in mourning, so that I will be ready to celebrate with her next Tuesday.

+++++++++++

Also, according to the running program, I am scheduled to meet an untimely death later this week. I am starting week 5, and the third workout this week is 20 minutes of jogging with no breaks. I'll give you a moment to let that sink in. TWENTY FRICKIN' MINUTES. WITHOUT WALKING.

In truth, I have been learning to enjoy running. I mean, I hate it, but I also like it. And during my 5 minute runs (longest to date), I actually forget I'm running (read: almost dying) for parts of the run. I picture my heart and lungs and brain pink and happy like Black Sheeped suggested. But then, just when I think my pal Rob has forgotten me, he slows it back down to walking and the heaven open up and I hear angels singing. I am NOT dead. See? I'm walking now. Phew!

But 20 minutes sounds extreme. Not unlike dying.

So, just in case, I wanted to tell you all that this blogging thing has been fun. And you are all such better writers than I am. And, well, I'll see you on the flip side?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Down & Up and Today: Holding Steady; Also, Discussion

And... POOF. Just like that, the momentum I was building on Friday- the sense of digging out, getting somewhere- was g-o-n-e. All it took was Marin not sleeping on Friday night, and our Saturday routine was shot. David and I were both tired and crabby, our chores were looming ahead of us, and everything seemed overwhelming.

But then, we DID get things whipped into shape. And things were better again. And we got to see some great friends from out of town. Sunday was a happy day.

So today, I woke to a newly cleaned house. I got the girls dressed and fed and groomed and off to school smoothly. I made the beds. Things today have been chugging along nicely- and I feel like I CAN do this. Like I AM DOING IT.

So the question remains, why is the state of my house so indicative to the state of my mind?

+++++++++++

Here's what we discussed in Marin's ECFE class this morning:

What did you think parenthood would be like before you had kids of your own?

WeeeeHellll..... All of us in the class have 2 or more kids, so we are all out of the "first time parenting" phase, so this was a great topic. Here's our list:

-Our kids would never have boogery noses or messy faces.
-their clothes would always match
- they would nap every day until kindergarten
-they would not be mouthy or bratty
-they would not be dirty
-they would eat vegetables
-they would never watch t.v.
-our houses would always be bright and sunny and clean
-discipline would be easy
(there were more, but this pretty much sums it up)

We would still be there, if there were not time limits on the class. Because OH! MY! did we all have lofty ideas of parenting. It made me realize the two most important lessons in parenting 1) life is messy, therefore kids are messy and 2) we are not in control of much, especially when it comes to our children.

Also, I've come to love the parts of our life that are imperfect. I love my girls' messy hair and the baby's smelly neck. I love how ridiculous the girls look sometimes when they dress themselves. I love it that we take them places dressed this way. I love that I lost so much of my rigidity, that I've earned my stripes as a REAL mom, that I have so much mommy experience under my belt. I even fed my baby french fries for lunch yesterday.

It (almost) helps me get up the momentum to clean the high chair- AGAIN.

Give me a few more years of parenting, and I'll be throwing straw down instead of vacuuming and hosing the kids off with the yard hose instead of bathing. And you know, feeding my newborn cotton candy.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The NEW!!!! Rhythm and Hum of Things

Oh, my. All of your comments about cleaning made me feel so much better! Thank you. And I've commented on most of them. Perhaps I should have done a follow up post? Nah...

Anyway, I've realized that part of my problem lately is that we are in a state of change and transition around here, and I never do well during these times. That old saying about parenting that says as soon as you get used to your kids' routine, they change it? Well, I KNOW this to be true, but I have yet to LEARN it. Or something. Because every time it throws me.

But the twins are transitioning back into the Preschool Routine, the baby is Mobile and Into Things, and I'm still trying to go about our days like I did last month. Silly me. Now that I recognize that a New Routine is in order, the clarity of our Situation is blowing me away.

Plus, it has truly been Fall Weather here in Tiny Town (the high today is 53 degrees!), so it takes longer to do things. We need shoes AND socks to go outside. And coats. And I need to throw sweatshirts into the diaper bag. And find our warmer clothes. I was used to everyone slipping on some flip flops and hopping into the car. But there are more steps now, and now that I've realized this, I've allotted more time to get out the door.

I am so smart!

Also, the Clutter Factor has been messing with my mental health. But not anymore! This morning, I was a MACHINE. I cleaned out 3 baskets/bins of JUNK that have been accumulating stuff since Marin was born. Seriously, I threw several magazines into the recycling from last summer. Throwing/recycling that stuff lifted something off of me that I didn't realize was weighing me down. Now I'm on a roll. Watch out kids! Don't leave your stuff laying around or it will become GARBAGE.

Throwing stuff out feels sooo good!

I'm kind of high!

Also, I took some Excedrin this morning, so I'm probably ACTUALLY HIGH. Have you guys taken that stuff? It gives me a Buzzzzz like no other.

Buzz! From something over the counter! Happy!

So, to summarize: I realized that the kids are going through some changes, so I need to be flexible and develop the NEW BEAT to our days. AND I'm cleaning out the clutter. And things are looking up.

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Cleaning Standards

Ok, this may be a Boring Topic for some of you, but for me? Yeah, boring. BUT! Also, interesting. And hopefully helpful. And maybe it will pull me out of my Funk, knowing how the rest of you keep house. Because those of you that are better at it than me? Well, I'll get some ideas. And if you are more relaxed? Than maybe I'll chill a little.

So! Here's how we maintain some level of CLEAN around here.

1) Saturday mornings we spend about 2 hours cleaning. We vacuum, Swiffer the hard floors, clean the bathrooms, take out the recycling, empty the upstairs garbage cans, and (sometimes) dust. The kids help with what they can.

2) Every night, we make sure the dishes are done and the toys are picked up before we go to bed. Waking to a clean kitchen and picked up house helps my Mental Illness, I mean, State a ton.

3) I try to make the beds every day, but if I don't get to it before noon, then I skip it. This is a GREAT RULE, because it allows me to not feel bad when the beds aren't made.

4) I do laundry weekly, in one big push. It usually takes me about 2 days, but then I'm done until the next week. This works better for me than doing laundry every day... and I have less incidents of stuff getting moldy in the washer because I forgot about it. I wash our sheets as one of the last loads of laundry, and I wash the kids sheets.... less often....

5) Daily, I spend SO MUCH time making meals and snacks, and cleaning up after meals and snacks, and cleaning up the kids after meals and snacks, and cleaning the floors and high chair after meals and snacks, and on and on and on.

The thing that makes me despondent is that I spend so much time trying to keep ahead of the Health Department, and yet our house is still a DISASTER most of the time. One solution would be to turn our kitchen into a cement room with a drain in the center, and just hose everything down after eating. But other than that? No idea.

Also, this little "system" does not include any of the Extra Duties that we homeowners have. Gardening, or specifically, weeding, lawn care, clutter control (Office! Closets! Basement! Toy shelves!), organizing the kids outgrown/out-of-season clothes, bathing the children, sorting the mail, keeping the cars clean, cleaning out the garage, etc, etc, etc... We are behind on all of this, which makes me feel like I'm sinking.

The whole struggle stems from the fact that my brain emotes Happy! when things are chugging along nicely, and the house is in decent shape, and it emotes Out Of F*cking Control!!!! when things are messy. And the snowball effect of the "Out of Control" state is alarming and completely overwhelming.

Overwhelming!!!

So, how do YOU do it?

(A hired cleaning person is not in our current budget. Or it wouldn't be if David and I HAD a budget...)

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Birthday

Well, his present was a little lame, and he spent the day being Mr. Mom* while I was at the hospital with a doula client... but he DID get a cake AND ice cream. And a Curious George birthday banner, taped up by a certain 4 year old. Oh, yeah, and party hats.

BUT, he had to make lunch and dinner- something I would have pouted about on my OWN birthday. And when I got home, he had vacuumed the entire main floor (again, on my birthday-HELL NO). AND he was awakened by our rowdy bunch of girlies, eager for him to read his card and open his present.

However, he doesn't possess any romantic notions about birthdays (or anything else, really), so while this wasn't his Ideal Day, I don't think he's feeling bummed or anything. He's so practical. So level. So solid. (I love this about him.) And because he was so kind and cheerful today (and also because, ahem, it's his, you know, birthday), I brought him home a loaf of extra gooey and chunky cinnamon bread, for his toasting pleasure.

So go ahead, wish him a Happy Birthday. We all know he lurks here, so he'll see it.

Happy Birthday, David. I love you!

*On a completely unrelated (to birthdays, anyway) note, we refuse to call it "babysitting" when David is home with the kids while I'm working. It's not Babysitting if the children involved are carrying around 50% of your genes; it's called parenting. Or life. And I'm a lucky lady to be married to someone who agrees with me on this.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Funk

I can't pull out of it.

I'm grouchy and depressed and my worst-mommy-side is showing. I've screeched at my poor little girls waaaaaayyyyyy too much, and they don't deserve it, and I want to explain to them, but I don't know what to explain. So I'll say I'm sorry.

There are ants. We don't know why, or where they are coming from, or what exactly they are eating. But they've taken over a portion of my kitchen. They make me feel gross.

There is much to do, just to keep my head above water. By the time I make the beds, clear the table, put the baby down for a nap, shower, do the dishes, pick up all the tiny (chokable) toys the big kids have drug out, get everyone dressed, do everyone's hair, make a snack, clean up more dishes, kill a bizillion more ants....Well, after I do all that, there are more toys out, more dishes to do, lunch to make, more messes to clean, butts to wipe, diaper pails to empty. You see where I'm going right? How is it possible that ALL of my energy and efforts go into keeping everyone and everything CLEAN, and this place is still a dump???? I do have standards, and they've been lowered a few times during this parenthood gig. I'm afraid if I lower them anymore because... well, I'm just afraid to lower them anymore.

I have to work tonight for the first time in ages (b/c we were on vacation, then the holiday Monday, etc.), so maybe that's just what I need.

Gaaaa.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Comparisons, Etc.

Isn't it fun to see how the kids grow? Here's Kate and Joan on the first day of preschool last year:


Here they are this morning, and ENTIRE YEAR later:



They look so much older to me! They are taller, with more of the "big kid" legs. And they have more hair. And their faces look so much less babyish. But hey, the rug is still as ratty as last year, and the patio just as cluttered with acorns, so some things never change!

(Also, Marin was still a fetus last year at this time. A FETUS. Crazy.)

Onto other things:

1) We have ants. Not the tiny "sugar" ants. The big black ones. They are in our kitchen, though we have not determined a food source. We see no sign of them in the basement, which was our original theory. They seem to be coming in around a outlet cover. So! Anyone know anything about ants? I would like to think that since we have a brick house, they could not be doing any structural damage, but David- always one to burst by ignorant bubble of bliss- informs me that our house is WOOD under the brick.

I'm afraid to Google them, because we all know what kinds of frightful news Mr. Google will have for me. Also, to add to the horrid-ness of it all: We've been swatting them with the flyswatter or squishing them with tissues, along with David's more vigorous attempts to exterminate them with poison. But yesterday- and this is the gross part- David squished one with his finger and it was BRIGHT RED BLOOD inside. WTF??? None of the others we've killed have had RED BLOOD. This cannot be good news.

2) I need help with what to feed Marin. She's eleven months, breastfed, and will not eat anything but YoBaby yogurt off of a spoon. This means all baby food is out. Here's a list of what I rotate through her system:

Breakfast: Cheerios or Chex, soaked in milk and strained and put on her tray OR YoBaby fruit and cereal yogurt.

Lunch/Dinner: Varies between- whole-wheat toaster waffles, toast, cheesy bread (wheat bread with shredded cheese on top, toasted in toaster oven); peaches, apples, grapes, or pears (fresh, and skinned/chopped appropriately); cheese- shredded or American; frozen peas or steamed carrots (though she doesn't eat the carrots); sometimes rice or Mac-n-chz

Snacks: Various crackers- graham or fish or saltine, any of the above foods that she hasn't yet consumed that day

In her cup: Water

So! As you can see, she has a very limited menu. She won't eat any meat, and she's at a stage where she's refusing pretty much anything but what I've listed above. Do any of you have any brilliant baby/toddler foods that I can add in here? We eat mostly fresh fruits/veggies and try to keep the processed foods to a minimum, so those Gerber "toddler meals" are not appealing to me. (Though I've tried them, and she refused them too. *Sigh*)

Any help would be appreciated!

(Also, the black-hole that is her high chair is killing me. If I have to reach my hand down in her seat one more time and dig out soggy Cheerios or sloppy wet peaches, or dried out chucks of who-knows-what, I'm going to walk out of this house and never come back. Which reminds me, I wonder if I took my vitamin Z today...)

3) David and I are on Week 4 of the C25K program. It has taken us longer than 4 weeks to get there, with vacation and busy-ness and all. And to be honest, I was dreading Week 4. It's 16- SIXTEEN- whole minutes of running! Holy Shit! But I ponied up and did it last night... and it felt great. I mean, it sucked, but it also felt great. I'm beginning to think that's a theme with running? Anyway, I was already congratulating myself halfway through the workout, because I could just FEEL that I was going to finish it.

So here are some of my concerns about running:
-I am running based on TIME and not on DISTANCE. So I'm worried that at the end of the program, while everyone else *would* be running 3 miles during that allotted time, I'll only be doing, say, 3 blocks. Because I'm not fast, people.

-But this *might* be good, because I've also been worried about what will happen when I'm "done" with the program. Programs are good for me. They keep me accountable and give me a goal. So if I'm running the right amount of time, but not yet making it 3 miles, then that can be my next goal.

-But after I've polished off 3 miles, then what? Will I have the motivation to keep running, without a program to follow? If I fall off the running wagon all together, will I ever start the C25K over again, or will that be soooo "last summer"? Basically, where is all this running and pain and crap leading to?

I'm can see now that I should just take it one week at a time, because there's still plenty of chances to mess this whole thing up...

Monday, September 3, 2007

A Top

The Beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. One of my favorite places on earth. Check it:

Boulder Vista:

Grandma with her girls.

Sisters
Custer State Park:




Marin's Free Ride


Hiking with Grandpa
Mount Rushmore:


My Girls
Check out the rare Sunday post below!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Seven Years

David and I celebrate 7 years of marriage today. That's 2556 days, give or take depending on leap years and stuff. (This is a calculation for David- he handles the Math Issues in our relationship.)

We started as a family of two, and in 7 short- and sometimes long- years, we have grown to a family of FIVE. We have experienced the joy, miracle, and magic of welcoming each new member, as well as the bumps, bruises, and trials of becoming parents. We Survived Twins, sometimes I think we Barely Survived, but we did! We have struggled and changed and grown and reevaluated to be the parents, the couple, the people we are today.

We are different people today. We are more mature; stronger, and wiser. We have gained so much life experience in 7 years.

We are also the same. There are more layers now, and also less hair (him) and more gray hair and stretch marks (me). But beneath it all, we are young, hopeful, optimistic, crazy in love, eager to start our life together.

We were lumps of clay then. Our features were emerging, but we were mostly lumps. We have been molded: by each other, our children, our family, our friends, by God and our church and our faith, by trial and error, by learning on the fly, by success, and also by failure. By jobs and no jobs and having money and times without having money, by business deals and business partners and conflict and resolution. By facing ourselves and each other and wanting to grow and change and Become.

Those lumps of clay now have parts that are clear- our faces, perhaps. Maybe our hands. There are other parts that are taking on more shape- our family, our relationship, maybe our feet- planted more firmly than they were 7 years ago. But there are many parts that are still being molded and sculpted and drawn and redrawn. Our artists are still at work, chiseling away, tirelessly working to make us our most perfect selves. Our hearts are visible, yet changing and growing at an awesome rate.

Thank you, David, for seven years. You have transformed my life, and I cannot imagine it any other way. (Though I can imagine new living room furniture. And a fenced yard. And...)

Thank you Joan, Kate, and Marin. Thank you for challenging us, for not letting us off easy, for holding us accountable. Thank you for teaching us, for giving us room to learn, for your patience and grace and love. It was worth all the sleep loss, the fat lips from your collective fleet of bowling ball heads, the worry and frustration and endless hours of Wee Sing. Yes, you are worth having nothing but "Sally's wearing a red shirt, a red shirt, a red shirt, Sally's wearing a red shirt all day long" in my head. All the time. For you, I will not crush the CD into smithereens. Baby girls, you Rock!

Here's to seven plus seven plus seven plus seven plus eighty more years together.
(David could tell you exactly how many years that is.)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Home

Wellllll, I clearly needed to get that off my chest yesterday. I feel much better! And also, I am no longer fantasizing about kicking soccer balls into my dad's head. Progress!

We got home Tuesday night around midnight. I'd say that the length of our trip was about right- we were there 12 days- enough time to do all of the things we wanted to do and see all of the people we wanted to see.

Usually when we visit my family, David mopes around saying he's bored. He was very trepiditious of spending so much time there on this trip. I instituted the "Schedule of Fun"- a calendar of each day's plans. Before we left, we had a "family meeting" (my kids eat that sh*t up), and made a list of all the things we wanted to do. Our list included places we wanted to go (Mt. Rushmore, hiking) as well as more minor plans (baking with Grandma, riding in Uncle Kiner's truck). We were able to fill in the calendar from our list.

This turned out to be very helpful. David knew what to expect each day, and where there was free time to do other things, like go biz-carting with my brother. The rest of my family knew our plans, and joined us whenever their schedules allowed. Additionally, it was very clear which days we were spending with my mom and which days with my dad, eliminating any hard feelings or disappointment.

I should add that while things ended on a sour note with my dad, the first week was perfectly pleasant. So his behavior did not ruin our trip by any means. We had a really good vacation- lots of family time, some kickin' photos of ourselves balanced on mountain tops, and lots of time with people we don't get to see much.

But now we are home, at it feels great. It feels even better now that we are all unpacked (!! I know, an amazing accomplishment here in the Green household), and our house is cleaned- including the 2 inches of crushed acorns that make their way into our family room, and that we did not clean up before we left. I'd say yesterday was productive.

Next up- some photos of our trip, Camp Sue, and the accelerated end to summer.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Memo

(This is a rant. You have been warned.)

To: Dad and Mel
From: Marie and family
RE: How to treat us when we drive 550 miles to visit you

Dad-
I thought you'd been on the planet enough years to figure out the following, but your recent actions have proven me wrong. Here is an instruction guide, for your future use.

-When you ask if my twins can spend the night with you, and I pack them up and drive 45 minutes from Mom's place to yours, DO NOT leave 12 seconds after supper to go to Mel's kid's soccer game. For one, it's rude to leave guests sitting around at your place. Also, you see this kid EVERY WEEK, and you only see us a few times a year, so um? Priorities?

-In fact, the soccer thing in general really stings, for me and all of your children. Mel's son has a soccer game 3x's a week- and you go to EVERY GAME. My sister, your daughter, had a weekly softball game all summer and you went how many times? That's right. ZERO. Do you see how your "devotion" to this kid is insulting to the rest of us? Especially me and my family, who never get to spend time with you?

-Your girlfriend, Mel, can stop humping my leg anytime now. It's not going to make me like her more. In fact, it tempts me to kick her.

-When your grandchild, June, has her baptism and first birthday party, it is not acceptable for you to show up for 1 hour and then LEAVE to go to SOCCER, skipping the birthday party all together. Again, it makes all of us feel like you are choosing Mel's kid over your own. I think it was wise to not bring Mel to the baptism, but it wouldn't kill either of you to spend a day apart. As for her feeling "left out"- a) no one said she couldn't come and b) sometimes there are consequences for one's actions. The two of you having an affair while still married has consequences- like not being able to be joined at the hip for certain family gatherings. Yes, the choices the two of you made DO have lasting effects on many people.

Mel-
-Please stop humping my leg. It makes me feel weird.

-I will put up with you smothering my children- children you barely know- with kisses and whatever, if you will allow my dad to spend time with us when he has the chance. Instead of staying home "feeling left out" from the baptism, tell him "Go, be with your family today. I'll be fine." Say, "You belong with your kids today. Have fun." Do not say "Be home in one hour so we can go to the soccer game." GO BY YOURSELF FOR ONCE.

-If you invite my children to spend the night, do NOT encourage my father to leave with you for an 8pm soccer game minutes after we arrive. Instead, go BY YOURSELF.

-Do not tell my children they smell like pee. Yes, they do sleep in pull-up and pee while sleeping, but that's why I pack baby wipes. Please don't bathe them, and I repeat, do not tell them they smell like pee.

-Also, while we are on the subject of Inappropriate Things Said By Mel, please refrain from telling my sister that she's gained weight. I cannot think of a single earthly reason why this would be considered acceptable.

+++++++++++

So, while we're on the bright and shiny subject of my dad, let's play a game! My dad knows I am upset with him. After he left the baptism to go to soccer, knowing that it pissed us all off, he hasn't contacted me since. That was Saturday. He has no idea when we are going home and has not attempted to call me to find out if we can see each other one more time before we leave. Instead, knowing him like I do, he's waiting for me to call him. I'm mad, and rightfully so, so I'm not going to call him.

So, Dad, the ball is in your court. How many days of silence on my end will it take for you to get the guts to pick up the phone and call me? We'll call today Day 1, even though it's been 4 days since I've talked to you...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I Have Blogger Spacing Issues!

When I write my posts, I have the spacing just how I want it, all neat and spiffy and perfect. Then I push publish and the &%$@ blogger adds spaces all over the place. Will I ever stop being pissed off by this? No, I will not. Will I ever break into the HTML world enough to figure it out myself? Maybe, but wouldn't that be letting Blogger win?

Too Many Posts Swirling In My Head To Title This One

Here's the posts I've been wanting to write the last few days:


Post 1: We're Outta Here!


It's a miracle. We left for our trip to South Dakota without getting into a fight. This is rare in the Green household- both the fighting and the leaving without fighting. But we did it, and boy oh boy was it hard on my part, not to get all ugly and bossy and mean with David. David and I have very different senses of time, urgency, and prioritizing. We also have individually assigned tasks for preparing to leave: I get the laundry done, the lists made, the kids and myself packed, and the other errands/miscellaneous tasks done before we leave. David works at his job like a mad man, doing a couple of weeks of work in a couple of days. He also has to pack for himself and load the car. By the time the Morning Of Leaving comes around, I'm usually stressed because of the 340284 things running through my head that still need to get done or get packed, plus I'm getting all three kids ready, plus feeding them and cleaning up the kitchen, plus getting myself ready, plus going through all my lists to see what else needs to be done/packed etc. David needs to get dressed, eat, and load the car. Oh, and clip his toenails.



Yep, that's right Ladies and Gentlemen, we're leaving for a 12 day trip, there is about a billion things left to do, and HE'S CLIPPING HIS TOENAILS. Do you have any idea how much will power it took NOT to comment? But I didn't. I just kept doing my thing, being kind to my husband, being cheerful to the kids. I was so proud of myself. We left a good 2 hours later than we had planned, but the toenails were clipped, and we left as a happy family. Success.



Post 2: Smooth Travels


We got to South Dakota- a 550 mile trip- without a single hitch. My kids are rock stars in the car. Rock. Stars. Not a single problem. We've travel so much with them, and usually road trips, so they are used to it. Also, letting them watch DVDs on our laptop sure helps the time pass. And the DO need Dramamine, to help with the carsickness. It's not my fault that it also causes drowsiness! Marin also was delightful in the car. She got a little fussy the last hour or so, but I sat next to her and kept the squalling at bay. We only stopped 2 times the whole day. Can you believe it? 2 stops? In a 9 hour trip? We left around 9 am and arrived about 6pm.


We pulled up to my mom's house about 5 minutes LITERALLY before a nasty storm hit. The sirens were going off, the sky was a eerie shade of green, and it hailed a bit. Nearby areas had baseball sized hail. They also closed I-90, the freeway we drove on ALL DAY, due to hail blasting out windshields in vehicles. They had to do storm clean-up with snow plows.

I know, we had kicking timing.


We feel very lucky.


It's so good to be here. The air here is fresh, piney. It smells like home.



Post 3: What We've Been Up To (Alternate title: Your Guide To Black Hills Vacations, Part 1)


Here's our clip board of fun so far:

Saturday- David and I headed out to the awesome bike trail that they have in Rapid City to do our jogging. I've missed the bike trail. It's a happy place.


We spent the afternoon at Storybook Island. Kate and Joan are the perfect age for this place. My mom, my brother, David, and I had a great time watching them explore this childhood wonderland. And it free. F-R-E-E.

David and I went on a date on Saturday night. We ate at The Firehouse Brewing Company. I used to wait tables there in college, so it's always a fun place to revisit. Also, the food is excellent.

Sunday- We met up with my dad. Since his separation with my mom, he lives in a log house out in the hills, with his girlfriend. His girlfriend is ok, as far as girlfriends of fathers go. I've finally decided what it is about her that is so annoying. You know how little dogs show their submission to bigger dogs- laying on their backs, panting, and begging "Please love me. Please. Please. Please." Well, that's what Girlfriend is like- submissive, too agreeable, to passive. I hate it. I think I would like her so much more if she had... personality? opinions? a spine?

Anyway, we went out to their place, which is in a beautiful location near Sheridan Lake. We took the girls into Hill City to the Thomas the Train, visiting at the 1880's train. Rip off. Seriously, if Thomas visits a train station near you, honk at him from the road and keep driving.


After dinner, David, my dad, and I hiked up a huge cliff overlooking my dad's house. When I say "hiked", I mean "blazed our own goddamn trail straight up the mountain". It was ridiculously steep. We were crawling over downed trees and stumps and ourselves. It was nearly too steep to do without climbing gear. When we got to the top, the view was beautiful. It was worth it. As we headed down, my dad found tiny mountain lion tracks. When I say tiny, I mean "bigger than my effing head". By now it was dusk and we were alone on a mountain, trying to get down before it complete darkness. Thanks Dad, I was satisfied enough with trying to survive the descend without becoming a rolling cartoon blur of limbs and tree branches and pine needles all rolled into one. Now I needed to watch my back too, for the mountain lion that was most certainly following us, eyeing up the satisfyingly plump lady at the rear of the hikers. Thanks.

Yesterday, after Joan and Kate stayed overnight with my dad and Girlfriend, we headed up to Sylvan Lake, one of the most beautiful places in Custer State Park. We had a lovely day at the lake. I will be sure to post pictures of this place soon. We ate dinner at the Sylvan Lake Resort, with a breathtaking view of Harney Peak in the distance. All in all, it was a perfect day in the Hills.


We have many more tourist spots on our list, so you can look forward to MORE Black Hills vacation tipz. I know you're excited. (Pictures to follow.)

Also, East Coast Anne? Germany Mom? Are you reading? Because I'm thinking of you ALL THE TIME. Wish you were here! Also, Germany Mom, I ran into Jeri at Target. She said hello, Marie, and just kept talking on her phone. She talked and talked and talked. And I was like, get off the phone already, I'd like to catch up with you. But she didn't. She just kept talking- small talk, I should add- it did not sound at all urgent. So I was a bit hurt. Weird. Does she live here now or was she visiting her folks too? Just wondering.

So that's what's been buzzing around in my head lately. This blogging thing, it's totally addicting. I can't stop. Anyone else constantly thinking of blog posts in their head, or am I just unhealthily obsessed? (Please don't answer that honestly.)