Thursday, January 31, 2008

It's Not Chocolate...

But this is what I can't stop eating lately:


I cut one in half, and using a spoon, lift out big chucks and deposit them onto a tortilla chip. (I like the organic blue chips). I eat the whole thing this way.

Every day.

Now, I can make GOOD guacamole (or Rock-a-mole, as I refer to it in my head) (heh), but it's not worth it for just me.

Also? Hmmm, how to put this?... Well let's just say, for example, if you are having problems related to eating to much brei, eating avocados will help, ah, remedy the situation.

And let's not forget about all the "good" fat. What a shiny coat and glowing completion I'll have!

Top it off with a spoonful of frosting, and that's what I call LUNCH.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Long Winter, Non-Pioneer Style

First, some pictures:


Keeping the girl happy while we waited and waited...

Static guard NOT included.

Princess Kate, feeling a bit overwhelmed by everyone singing to her.

Princess Joan's M&M bliss.

So, with the girls' birthday done and over with, the winter stretches out forever. (They had a princess/super-hero party, which was espeically a hit with all the little princesses they invited. GAG! Can you believe I had a princess party for my kids? Once again: Standards Revised For the Sake of the Children.) But back to the Long Winter...

Laura Ingalls Wilder comes to mind, over and over. Could it be because the girls received season 1 and 2 of Little House on the Prairie for their birthday? Or is it Swistle's mention of wanting a rope connecting the house and barn?

As the temps continue to dip and DIP, and schools are called off because it's too COLD (and this is MN people- WE LOVE US SOME WINDCHILL, so you know if they are canceling school it has to be C-O-L-D), I can't help but think about the Ingalls'- without food, the train bearing their survival necessities stuck in snow for the winter, poor blind Mary stumbling around half frozen. And then that porcupine Almonzo- hiding grain is the wall of his house and forcing Pa to go over and kick some future-son-in-law ARSE. (WHAT? YOU don't have both the Laura books and the TV show completely memorized? That is your homework. Now, go!)

As I dress myself and the kids in alternating layers of polar fleece and, well, more polar fleece, I can't help but thinking the Man Upstairs knew what he was doing when he planted me on earth after the invention of CENTRAL HEATING and treadmills and coffee-mate (specifically, toffee delight) and water heaters.

So while the wind howls and causes an alarming weird wind-caused sound to echo occasionally throughout our house, I'll sit back with some hot soup and maybe play Oregon Trail on Facebook. I may even look back on pictures of myself, at an age too embarrasing to mention, dressed in my prairie dress, with my hair in two braids, AT THE MALL, and THANK GOD that my one childhood wish- that I could be Laura- was not answered.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Five years ago today, at 3:44 and 3:46 pm I became a mama for the first time.

I was such a mess.

I felt blessed, and relieved that they were here and healthy, and detached- as if the whole experience was happening to someone else. I was exhausted and nauseous. And above everything else, I was overwhelmed.

I wish I could have told myself then what I know now- that I would do it, that it would be hard yes, very hard, but that we would get through it. I would tell myself to tell someone how detached I was feeling, instead of just pretending everything was ok. I would take some drugs to help with the anxiety.

When I first met my twin daughters I was in awe of them. Weighing in at 4lbs 15 oz and 6lbs 2 oz, they were so tiny. I felt fiercely protective of them. I really wanted to do everything right. I went through the motions of breastfeeding, of smelling them, of kissing them, of staring into those beady newborn eyes as they fed. But inside, I was still such a mess.

For about 2 years.

That is far too long for anyone to go without help.

I would tell myself that, too. I would also educate myself on the fact that MANY drugs are safe to take while breastfeeding, and that taking something did not mean I was failing as a mommy.

We have a picture of Kate and me, when she was about 2-3 weeks old. I remember David saying "Smile" and me holding Kate's squishy tomato-head cheeks up next to my own bloated and pale face. I remember thinking to myself "You have to look like you love her."

The bonding did come. I did fall absolutely head over heals. By 1 month, I was in love, and it grew from there on. But the anxiety was still so present. I felt like I was wound too tight and that if one. tiny. thing. in my world got out of order, my whole world would FALL APART.

I felt like everyone was judging me. That no matter what, I wasn't doing it right, or doing enough, or making the best decisions. I felt like asking for help meant that I sucked at my new job. I missed my old job and my old coworkers.

Now, 5 years later, I have found my parenting feet. I comfortable with myself as a mother, with the style of parenting we've chosen, with people having different opinions about how I'm raising my children. My kids go to the store with me with messy hair, or dirty faces, and I'm ok with that. I don't feel like everything has to be perfect. I know how to let kids be kids.

Today, I even gave my baby a truffle to eat. I didn't care who saw, or what they thought. I didn't feel like I had to explain my reasoning to anyone. Because now I know that I don't have to be perfect, I don't have to let others allow me to question myself. And that a little chocolate never hurt anyone, not even a baby.

I still have so much to learn as a parent. Eee-gads-- the school years! Teenage daughters! But thanks to my husband, Treado, some great mommy-mentors, my sisters at work, my playgroup moms, and, yes, Zoloft, I am no longer overwhelmed by being Mama.

In fact, this is my element.

Happy Birthday Kate and Joan. These past 5 years, you have taught me more about love, patience, and devotion than I knew was possible. Thank you for taking me on this amazing journey.

Friday, January 18, 2008


And the ear tubes went well. Thanks for the emails. I've been meaning to update, but wanted to add the baby-in-a-johnny pictures, and THAT requires getting them off the camera, and THAT requires that our camera, computer, and I all be in the same room at the same time, and my life is a scavenger hunt MOST DAYS, so I couldn't FIND the camera, and well. I think you can see how things operate around here.

Yes, the ear tubes went well. We had to wait around FOREVER, but they gave us a wagon to keep the girl happy, and she charmed everyone. She has this way of sucking people into her world- it's strange for me to watch because that kind of thing has never come naturally for ME.

She flipped the flip out when she woke up, but doesn't everyone? (I feel all weepy and out of it when I wake up, and I refuse to believe this is abnormal and that I'm a freak.) Her freak out was less heartbreaking because she was so out of it- like it wasn't even her that was so unhappy. As soon as they let us leave, she zonked out in her car seat and woke much calmer.

Also, her doctor said she had tons of thick fluid behind BOTH eardrums, and that she was most likely in significant pain even when she DIDN'T have an infection. Also, that her hearing was most definitely compromised. This explains why her words for things are so... greek sounding.

David wants to know- do we get our money back if she doesn't start sleeping all night?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Hey, Did I Mention Marin Is Getting Tubes In Her Ears?

Well, she is.


My apologies to my BrinkandMortar peeps (I'm looking at YOU, Treado), for not letting you know in person. (Or did I tell you?) Just today, I left messages for my dad and grandma. Forgot to tell them too. (We've known ourselves for less than a week...)

I was happy that the ENT agreed that she needed tubes- I'm so excited to have her (hopefully) feeling better for more than a few days at a time. BUT. Today, I am also a tiny bit nervous for her. Will she scream when they wheel her away? Will they let me back with her as she's waking (and will certainly *want* me)?

Also, she's a baby, but at 15 months, she's a VERY AWARE baby.

We have to show up at 6:45 am tomorrow (as in, IN THE MORNING), so my anxieties will soon be a thing of the past...


Do you guys know about Charlie and Lola? This is my favorite kids' tv show of ALL TIME. The show is about big brother Charlie (probably about age 8) and his little sister Lola (maybe 4?). The animation is artsy and different than anything I've ever seen, the kids' voices are sweet and not a bit annoying, the accents are so charming, and the story lines seem to really capture the essence of childhood.

I like that the characters are human and not animals, and that the voices are really kids' voices, and not adult actors. Every episode (that I've seen anyway) starts with Charlie in his British accent (is it British? I'm not good with accents, living here in the heartland and all) saying "I have this little sister Lola. She's small and very funny."

So far, my girls are really liking it too. It may not be their absolute favorite, but perhaps my enthusiasm will be contagious. This is the first kids show that I WANT to watch, as in- "Hey guys, can you start this episode over? I haven't seen this one before."

Monday, January 14, 2008

I Think I Broke My Blog...

... but that's neither here nor there.

But here's a parenting light bulb that went off in my head recently. (This will be of questionable helpfulness, as some, ok, MOST of you are probably a little quicker on the uptake than I am...)

Also, you are going to have to pay attention while reading this, because I'm not feeling especially articulate today. And I'm not going to fuss with the wording, because, well, BECAUSE. OK?

So here's the thing-- it works better to NOT solve my kids' problems. When I offer a solution, they immediately reject it, wanting things THEIR OWN WAY DAMNIT. (And I'm sorry to say that I have a bit of a potty mouth, so the "damnit" is not too far from accurate coming from their mouths. Sigh. My grandma says cussing, in our family, is hereditary. Have you ever heard of a funnier explanation to having Sailor Mouth???? So sorry, it's in the genes. Nothing I can do... Want to see my attached earlobe?)

But back to my parenting epiphany. Here's an example:

We are getting ready to leave our friends' house to drive 1 hour back to our house. Kate is crying, because she ALWAYS cries these days, whenever we have to go anywhere (different post). She said she was crying because she didn't want to sit "soooo faaarrrr from Moooomy and Dadddddy, gulp, sob, wahhhhhh." We had our neighbor, JJ, with us, so he needed to sit in the middle row next to Marin, while the twins are in the far back seat.

Obvious solution? Move Kate's car seat next to Marin, and let JJ sit next to Joan. I thought of this immediately. But had I offered that she would have been all "NOOOOOO, sob, sob, I don't want to leave because it's dark" or some other (equally maddening) reason. But instead, I said "Well, what should we do?" She sobbed and carried on some more (again, all par for the course for Kate these days) and then suddenly realized the solution. Because it was HER idea, she was all smug and satisfied and QUIT BLUBBERING.

I think, when they were babies, I trained myself to be the Problem Solver. I had TWO to keep from squalling, so I had to be quick, always on my toes. I have still been operating in this Mode, but it is no longer necessary (or effective). So now? I zip it. I wait for them to figure it out.

Like I said, it probably wouldn't take most of YOU 5 years (well, ok, maybe 3, since my previous method probably worked well until they were about 2) to figure it out.

But on the off chance that YOU have a strong-headed preschooler that rejects EVERYTHING you say, try saying "What should we do?" instead of "How about we try...."


(As I said, this is of QUESTIONABLE USEFULNESS. Stop rolling your eyes.)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Post I Almost Wrote Entirely In Pig-Latin

I'm pretty sure my kids read this blog, because whenever I write about something, they seem to immediately change their behavior.

And they do have their own computer.

(Because I didn't like sharing my blog-reading time with their time.)

(And because my husband own a computer business and can get us some gravy once in awhile.)

Anyway, it is with trepidation that I mention our bedtime routine. Just last week it was lasting for HOURS and driving both David and I to the brink of, I don't know, insanity seems too minor, has now resolved, and things are chugging along smoothly once again.

They even stayed in their own ed-bay all ight-nay last night!

And Marin didn't wake up until 4 am! (Her night-nursing usually starts promptly around midnight and lasts all night).

My fingers are ossed-cray for epeat-ray onight-tay.



I had a root canal today.

And I couldn't pick up my prescription for some Xanax because the pharmacy didn't open until after my appointment started. So I called David. Sure! He'd pick it up.

Whew! I could get to my appointment on time, and within 10-15 minutes he'd arrive with my sweet sweet pill.

Except that he didn't realize that I needed to take it before the dental work was performed.


(Typical male communication was hard at work.)

So I did it without any anxiety drugs, but WITH some laughing gas. (I felt like a 6 year old.)

Uck-fay e-may.

(And, you know, it really wasn't all that bad. I'm not sore at all. Yet, anyway.)

Friday, January 4, 2008

Your Stories

I'm so glad to hear that Erin knows the smell I'm talking about. Because I was starting to feel a little bit... alone. And yes, if you send in the adoption papers to Cabbage Patch Kid Adoption Agency, you can change the name. They even send you a new birth certificate.

Shut up.

Things here on the bedtime front have been really dark and awful. I don't even know if I'll blog about it, since it's just so ugly. I am, however, considering changing the blog title to "Bitching About Sleep ALL THE TIME" or "We're Still Not Sleeping" or something much more wittier, you know, when I actually take the time to find my wit.

So instead of spinning more tales of our sleep issues, I'm going to ask you: What does nighttime look like at your house?

I'm especially interested to hear tales about children ending up in your bed, or sleeping on mattresses on your floor, or you sleeping in their bed b/c your own bed was too crowded etc.

I'm not looking for sleep advice. I just need to hear how other families handle these things. Though if you have any magic tricks or... you know... legal drugs I could give the children, (or even undetectable illegal drugs), please do tell. Things are a bit desperate around here, is what I'm saying.

If your kids (or pets) go to bed and stay in bed until morning each and every night, perhaps you could comment on... your Cabbage Patch Kid's name? Your favorite thing about Christmas being over? The worst stomach flu you ever had?

Because I'm looking for MISadventures at bedtime.


Also, how many of you guessed that Marin had another ear infection? You guys are SO SMART! We have an appointment with ENT next week. *nervous tummy*

Thursday, January 3, 2008


Joan got a Cabbage Patch Kid for Christmas.

Oh, do I ever remember my love for my own CPK. He was a boy, with fuzzy hair and a hard plastic pacifier. His given name was Mel Rocky, but being the dork that I was (even back then), I sent in his birth certificate and changed his name to Jonathon Ray.

Mel Rocky was way cooler.

The problem with Mel/Jonathon (do you think I could still send in his birth certificate and change his name back?) is that he did not have that yummy baby-powderish smell that all of my friends' CPK's had. I wanted a yummy smelling doll! Later, I got a "preemie" CPK, Greta something (she never captured my heart like Mel/Jonathon). SHE didn't smell good either! I was shit out of luck on the CPK's, I guess.

But Joan's doll? SHE smells exactly like I always wanted my doll to smell.

And I can't. stop. smelling. her.

That's normal, right?

Because I've even snuck (did you know that "snuck" isn't a word? Me either.) into the girls' room after they were both sleeping, just to smell the doll.

Even typing this is leaving me all jittery, trying not to interrupt myself and go smell her.

BTW, her name is Katelyn Evelyn.

Mel Rocky is still the coolest.