Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Why my husband is way more motivated than me

Last summer, Keith decided he was going to do our local park district's mini-triathlon.  He didn't train much, but he did pretty well.

This summer, he set his sights on bigger things: The Chicago Triathlon. 


Seriously.

He did the international version of a triathlon.

 A 5-kilometer swim in Monroe Harbor in Lake Michigan, continued with a 40-kilometer bike ride in laps north and back on Lake Shore Drive and ended with a 10-kilometer run along the lakefront and around the Museum Campus with the finish on Columbus Drive.

That's just crazy.

But you know what? 

He was AWESOME!

His goal was to finish the race, and he did.

He was 407 out of 474 in his age class.

He set his goal for 3 hours, 30 minutes.  He completed in 3 hours, 44 minutes.

Not too shabby for a first timer.

I got up way early, took the 6 a.m. train into Chicago, walked half a mile to the lake front, then spent the day roasting in the sun waiting for him to cross the finish line.

Did I mention it was like 94 degrees out?

I'm so proud of him.

Plus today is his birthday.

I love my husband.



 

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Wiggly Circus!!!

This past weekend, the Wiggles were in town! 
We took the kids, along with my sister and niece, Alexis, to the show.  I have to say, they put on a great show, even minus Murray (the red Wiggle), who was back home in Australia dealing with a family thing.  He was replaced for the show by a guy named Ringo, who did exceptionally well in his place.  They really seem to love what they do AND they make it fun for the parents as well. 

I was a little nervous because the kids had never been to something like this before, but they did great.  Colin, my shadow, stayed with me most of the time, but he clapped along and was happy to see everyone, especially the Yellow Wiggle (yellow is his favorite color!).  Keira was bouncing up and down and dancing in the aisle quite a bit as well.  Connor liked to sit back and enjoy the show from his chair, although he was out in the aisle a bit too.

Pre-show
Yes, we dorkily dressed our kids to match the Wiggles.
They loved it!

Ann and Lexi
The start of the show



Anthony.
He is my favorite. ;)
Colin clapping

He was not happy to say cheese.


Giving roses for Dorothy and bones for Wags

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thank you daycare

Last week, the twins moved up a classroom at daycare, to the 2-3 year old room.  This is also known as the potty training room.

However, no one told me this.

On day one, they were put on the toilet about 4 times to start intense potty training.  They also sent home a pack of their diapers with a note stating we need to start sending pull-ups instead.

This is all well and good for daycare; for me - not so much.

I am now left with two kids who do not feel they need to wear diapers anymore.  I spent part of Sunday chasing naked kids around because they kept throwing their diapers down the stairs.

And they want to go potty all the time.

By potty, I mean they want me to take off their pants and diapers and sit on the toilet for a minute.

They don't do anything but smile and laugh.

Colin then freaks out until you put his diaper on him again.

And then he pees.

And then he needs a NEW diaper.

Plus Connor has to be in on the bathroom action. So there are 3 kids and me crammed in the bathroom.  And it gets hot in there.

And loud, because they have realized that with the door shut, their screams echo.

Awesomeness.

It's not that I want them to be in diapers forever.  It's expensive diapering two kids at once.  But your whole way of thinking changes once your kids aren't in diapers.  You've got to get everyone "to go" before you leave the house.  Even if they "just try".  That's going to add at least 10 minutes on to our regularly scheduled departures.  Then, when you are at your destination, that is two more kids who need potty breaks.  And if they are anything like Connor, they have to touch everything in the God-forsaken gross bathrooms.  If it's me out alone with them, that's me and three kids crammed into the handicapped stall in a germy place.

So thank you daycare for thrusting this upon an unsuspecting and un-ready mother. 

Although my bank account will soon thank you because we spend like $50 a week on diapers.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Thought for the Day

For some reason, this quote popped in my head while I was getting ready for work.

"...We must be beautiful, powerful, and without regret."

This is a quote from Interview with the Vampire, by Anne Rice.

Sure, when Armand said it, he was referring to vampires.  But can't it also be applied to mommies as well???

All mothers are beautiful. The very act of giving birth is an act of beauty and creation.  This tiny little thing was made by you.  He or she is yours to love forever.  But after birth, you are left overweight (well most of us are), with stretch marks and other such physical and emotional reminders of what had happened.  Maybe you even use your body to nourish your child.  You spent all your time focusing on your kids, you forget yourself.  Your life becomes one of schedules, and diapers, and feedings, and more diapers.  But you need to take the time for yourself.  You need to find yourself within the mommy that you've become.  Remember who you once were and bring back pieces of her.

All mothers are powerful. I can't even begin to explain how powerful you really are. 

All mothers should be without regret.  Moms are inundated with questions.  Concerns.  More questions.  Anxiety.over whether or not they are making the right decision for their kids. 

Did I nurse long enough? Did I nurse at all? Should I have? Why can't I just give formula? I work, I have to send my baby to daycare.  Does that screw her up? Does that give her better socializing skills? Or does that make her feel abandoned?  Should I homeschool? What's wrong with kids these days? Should I go organic with all her food? Oh no, I gave her baby food from a jar!  Am I going green enough? Do I spend enough time with her? He doesn't respond to timeouts - why can't I spank him? I was spanked and turned out fine. He's not developing as quickly as other kids his age? Should he be evaluated? Is he just a little slower than others? Do we need to label him now? Could he have ADD? Autism? A behavior disorder? Do we read enough books? Do the kids watch too much t.v.? How much is too much? Mommy just needs a break so she turns Sprout on. Can I take a break? Do I deserve one? Must I spend every waking minute with my children? Or it is ok to let them play alone? Unstructured? Unsupervised? Do I need to be a helicopter mom, controlling all issues that involve my child? Do I need to back off and let them make their own decisions???

STOP.

Moms worry too much about what others think. What others feel is right.  I read so many blogs where the moms shop organic only, cloth diapers (twins, no less!), exclusively breastfeed for a year, etc.

I can't compete.

Do I even want to?

No, I don't.  I'm happy with my life, with my parenting decisions.  Just as you should be happy with your decisions as well.  No way is the right way. All mothers should be allowed to raise their kids how they want. Without being judged for doing/not doing something. 

I still struggle with things, but I am slowly learning to let the regrets go and focus on what really matters most.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Twins for Sale

On Sunday, my facebook status read:

Yogurt-covered twins for sale.  Will throw in matching floor for free.

It was that kind of day.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Professional Pictures

Last year's professional picture session was awful. No one would sit still, the entire session was one filled with chaos, and Colin looked stoned the entire time because he would only stare blankly at the camera.

So this year, I went in with no expectations whatsoever. 

And look what I got:













Could they be any cuter?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cailou Pizza

Connor loves Cailou.  I, on the otherhand, find him whiney and annoying. (Cailou, not Connor.)

However, Connor talks about Cailou like they are friends.  He also talks about how much fun Cailou has at playschool.  We also talk about how Cailou is kind to his sister and his cat, etc. 
So the whiney, annoying, creepy bald kid is actually a good influence on him.

A couple of weeks ago, Connor asked if we could make pizza like Cailou did.  Connor is a picky eater and has never asked for any food item other than oreos and ice cream.  I jumped at the chance to make something healthy that he would eat.  He even asked if we could put mushrooms on it because that's how Cailou likes it. 

OF COURSE! I responded, all the while thinking finally he is eating a vegetable that isn't fried...

Daddy and Connor with the toppings.

Yummy!

Now, did he eat any????
Of course not.

"I can't like mushrooms, Mommy. No pizza for me."

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

First Day of School!

I keep hearing Nemo's voice in my head.  "First day of school! First day of school!"



I have 8 pictures like this and none of him actually looking at the camera. 
Every time I clicked the camera, he would spin around and show me his backpack.
Silly boy.


Photobucket

Friday, August 13, 2010

New Friend Friday

 
New Friend Fridays


I thought I'd try this today.  I'm always up for making new friends!  Thanks for stopping by!

And Happy Friday the Thirteenth as well.  I'm probably one of the few people who aren't superstitious of this day.  But 13 is my lucky number (I was born on the 13th of December), and I've had birthdays fall on Friday the 13th, which I always thought was pretty cool. 

Here are some fun ideas to celebrate today:


And here is a little history about the day:

The origin of the superstition seems to have its roots in Norse mythology. Friday is named for Frigga, the free-spirited goddess of love and fertility. When Norse and Germanic tribes converted to Christianity, Frigga was banished in shame to a mountaintop and labeled a witch. It was believed that every Friday, the spiteful goddess convened a meeting with eleven other witches, plus the devil - a gathering of thirteen - and plotted ill turns of fate for the coming week. For many centuries in Scandinavia, Friday was known as Witches' Sabbath.

Triskaidekaphobia is the fear of the number 13, a terror that has changed our society in a myriad of ways from buildings without thirteenth floors, hotels without the room 13 and more.

Are you afraid of Friday the 13th, or is it merely a superstition to you?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Dog Days of Summer

Here in the Midwest, we are in the middle of a heat wave.  I know it's always hot in August, but seriously 95 degrees out? Again?

Anyway, I love it.  I may be the only person in the state to be enjoying the hot weather, but I can't help it.

Some things that I love about summer:

Sunrises. Mornings in general with the birds chirping and the gentle breezes.


Being outside, enjoying all the green.


Drinking this.  Poolside would be nice.


Making sun tea.


Drinking the yummy sun tea, enjoying beautiful blue skies.


Blowing bubbles with the kids.


The smell of sunscreen.


Yum, yum, yum. Sweet corn for dinner.



Let's eat this too.

Catching fireflies with the kids, and then feeling like a kid.

Endless summer nights.

This post was brought to you by a girl stuck inside a cold, air-conditioned office all summer who misses being tan and laying in the pool all day. 
You know, before she had the responsibilites of being a working mom.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Maternity Leave

 

One of the prompts today over at Working Mommy Wednesday is: Maternity Leave - How long did you take? Were you ready to come back? How did you survive/manage? Tips for new moms returning to work?

Baby #1 - With Connor, I worked up to the week before my due date.  I was able to take off the full 12 weeks of FMLA leave that my work provides.  As a first time mom, I was partially ready to go back, partially not.  I was lucky enough that Connor would be staying with my mom and MIL while I worked.  It was a hard adjustment, leaving my little baby behind while I went off to work. 

Babies #2 and # 3 - With the twins, I was huge (obviously).  It was hard to drive and such, so I worked up until week 36 of the pregnancy.  I had about a week and a half before I was (voluntarily) induced.  So that gave me about 10 weeks to be home after the babes were born.  Because of the chaos that is THREE kids under TWO, I was more than ready to go back to work and get some rest. ;)  Managing work, with 3 kids at home, was tough.  I pumped everyday at work, which was a pain in the you-know-what, but also gave me nice breaks in my day. 

Tips for new moms:
  • morning organization - have things ready the night before - bags packed, lunches made, clothes laid out, especially if you are taking the child somewhere for daycare
  • don't hesitate to call and check on your child if you miss them a lot!
  • take a picture or two of the baby to place on your desk
  • meal plan. and realize that those first few days back could have you picking up fast food on the way home.
  • save the evenings for spending time with your child.  it's ok to let the housework go when you first get back to work. do what you can to make it liveable, but don't stress out if you don't get to vacuum every week!
  • go to bed early - this ties in with leaving housework behind. your baby is probably still not sleeping through the night, plus you are getting up and going work all day, so you are exhausted.  REST!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Boys and a bookcase


This is the bookcase where we store many of our toys.
You will notice the toys are missing.
They are in a huge pile behind me.
I chose to ignore that part.


Photobucket

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dinner Wars

I mentioned a week or two ago that we transitioned the twins from high chairs to boosters at the kitchen table.  We had a rectangular table that was perfect for 3 chairs.  When we added two more chairs (with boosters) we noticed some problems.  First, we always had to move the table out at dinner time to access one of the chairs.  Second, the boosters were too high and the chairs no longer fit nicely under the table.

Knowing what my mom was storing in her basement, I mentioned that we were in need of an oval-shaped table.  She jumped at the chance to get that out of her basement and get her other table (our current table) back on her screened-in porch. 

Now, we have wonderful dining experiences. 

  • Keith thinks that since all 5 chairs fit nicely without pulling the table out, we don't have to move things around at dinner time.  This sounds good in theory, until you are the person stuck between Keira and Colin. 
  • Keira likes to have one hand on my arm while she eats.  It is also the hand that she likes to eat with when she gets bored with her fork.  It is usually wet or sticky or both. I get tired of wiping my arm off after each rub down she gives it, so it's easier just to have smeared food on my arm during dinner. 
  • To keep the peace, sometimes Connor wants me to sit by him, sometimes I can sit on the end of the table by Colin.  One night, Keith sat next to Keira.  Suddenly all of his cucumbers had been removed from his plate and were moved to hers.  She was very upset when he tried to take them back.
  • Connor, now not confined by his booster seat, likes to get up and leave the table numerous times to try to sit some place else.  The new seat would have been vacated by mommy or daddy when they got up to get more napkins, milk, or cucumbers.
  • I don't know which is worse - Keira's gross food-covered hand lovingly on mine, or Colin taking a forkful of refried beans and wiping them on my shirt sleeve for reasons still unknown to me.  But hey it made him laugh!
  • Colin also prefers a relaxed setting during supper time.  I've caught him leaning back, with his feet on the table, ankles crossed, contentedly eating his piece of bread.
  • However, the BEST event, as well as the one that shows TOTAL lack of any kind of control at my house:  last night, after Colin stole mac and cheese off my plate, I look over to see his foot on the table.  He takes a noodle, places it on the bottom of his foot, and then cleans it up with his napkin.  When asked what he is doing, he responds with a proud smile and a laugh.
Rather than get upset at this chaos that consumes my kitchen, I find it easier to just smile and be thankful for the food, the table, and the blessings that sit around it. Even if those blessings are covered with ranch dressing and noodles.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Mob Action

I don't know what it is about my kids, but put the 3 of them together, and all hell breaks loose! And most of the time, it's all 3 of them at once. 

Case in point - Keith was gone by the time we got up yesterday to participate in a local triathlon.  Keira woke up crying for me.  She would only allow me to carry her downstairs alone, which meant Colin was annoyed at being left behind (because Keira literally plastered herself to the front of my body so I couldn't pick Colin up).  Connor kept going on about going downstairs to watch tv and have some milk.  This is his morning ritual - Mickey Mouse and milk - and whoever tries to mess with it be damned!  Anyway, no one was going anywhere until diapers were changed.  One diaper changed, one diaper - wait, where did she go? Keira took off.  Then Colin decided he was "un-gee" and had to eat breakfast immediately.  But Keira was still pants-less and Connor was still whining for his "t.b. and milk".  It was only 6:55 a.m.

Add this to the fact that I finally was able to hit "START" on the coffeemaker, make my iced coffee, take a couple of sips, clean the kitchen floor where someone had to dump their cereal, clean the table where some oneS had to dump their cereal, clean two twins with rice krispies in their hair, dump the rest of the coffee pot down the drain... WAIT, what the hell is that?  A shiveled up cooked spider in my coffee pot.  

Yes, this really is my life.

So now my coffee grosses me out.  I make a new batch, but it was a new kind and Keith had set the timer for me previously, so I didn't know how much to add, plus I was still so grossed out at my spider-coffee, that the rest of the morning was ruined.  We had attempted to go to the triathlon, but someone wouldn't put his shorts back on after going potty, and someone else stole the box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch from the pantry while I went to change out of my pajamas...  and now it's only 9 a.m.

Needless to say, I've blocked out the rest of yesterday.  Had to, to keep my sanity. ;)