Saturday, December 15, 2007

A Christmas Story

N: Mommy, how old will Baby Jesus be on his next birthday?

J: (scoffing) N, Jesus is dead! He's like a million years old!

Me: (stunned silence)

N: Oh.

J: But I think he comes back at the end of the story.

N: I think when he comes back he'll be two.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Pure Genius

I'm sure I've mentioned several hundreds of times that my boys are geniuses (don't worry, I'm sure yours are too).

After all, they learned to ride their bikes without training wheels two months ago. Riding bikes. No training wheels. They're FOUR, people. (Or did I forget to say that? Maybe it was my defense mechanism kicking in - my dreams are now filled with terrible bike accidents just waiting to happen. A bike accident is the reason their father is deaf in one ear.)

But now the genius is really coming out. They can write their names. It's the most amazing thing I've ever seen. I'm sure you'll agree:

Yes, those are letters.

Don't scoff. It's a start.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Recap of This Week

N: What are you doing, mommy?

Me: I'm putting on my moisturizer.

N: Oh. I guess I'll wait here while you put on your washer-dryer.


N: Hey mommy, my favorite part of that song was when he goes "Whoo-whoo-whoo."

J: Yeah, but MY favorite part of that song was the whole song.


Me: What did you do at school today guys?

J: Nothing.

Me: Nothing? Really? You just sat there and stared at the wall?

J: Yes. Nothing. We didn't jump in the foam pit.

N: And we didn't do anything fun. We didn't color either.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Doing the Unthinkable

While watching the boys kick each other under a shared blanket this morning, each struggling to hog the whole of it for himself, I caught myself ACTUALLY SAYING THESE WORDS:

"You know, boys, Santa Claus is watching you right now to see if you're being a good brother. He only brings toys to kids who are good co-operators."

The last of my self-respect is officially gone.

Monday, November 12, 2007


J: Mommy, how long do I have to go to school?

Me: Well, people normally go to school until they're about 18.

J: Oh.

Me: How old are you now?

J: 4.

Me: So how long do you still have until you're 18?

J: 44?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


So, I know - I have spoken nary a word about Halloween as of yet but that's because my workplace has unceremoniously banned Flickr from our approved sites (eBay is still okay thank god). I say unceremoniously because no one informed me until I noticed all of my blog photos were broken links and I panicked and thought the internet was broken and hyperventilated a bit because, really, what else would I do with my time? Then I figured it out and just became sad because now I have to do my personal photo sharing on MY OWN TIME and that's really just not fair.

So Halloween was great, yadda yadda yadda, I'll have photos later. In the meantime....

We wanted to go out for lunch on Saturday and, being of course forced to take our children with us, we attempted to convince them to ALLOW US TO GO TO A DIFFERENT RESTAURANT. We normally take them only to one of three places: Mimi's Cafe, Steak 'N Shake, or Quiznos. At each of these fine eating establishments, the boys only eat bread or pancakes, so I don't see why they care so much. Plus the wait staff now sees our family as REGULARS (two boys who look alike and eat only bread kind of stand out), and I prefer to remain anonymous, like all the other miserable parents that are forced into eating where their children demand (and make huge messes).

Since the boys love bread so much, we talked them into going to On the Border. I use the term "talked them into going" loosely because we asked them to expand their horizons, they vehemently disagreed, so we told them we were going anyway. Plus there are chips there and tortillas and lemonade - all of which fall into the approved food list for my children - so I figured they would eventually be won over.

As we walked (dragging children) into the restaurant (with only one time-out stop), we passed a happy couple with their baby in an infant carrier blissfully (and quietly) leaving the restaurant. I wanted to shout at them, "DID YOU ENJOY YOUR TIME EATING OUT?! IT'S ALL ABOUT TO END IN A FEW SHORT MONTHS!" but I thought they might think I was crazy. Plus we already looked like people to avoid, what with a boy under each arm, holding them up by shoes and the back of a jacket, respectively.

The boys did eventually eat tortillas and chips and lemonade and a decent time was had by all. Our next adventure: trying to get in and out of Best Buy without having to purchase a video game. Wish me luck.

Friday, October 26, 2007

So Very Tired

I returned from LAS VEGAS last night at MIDNIGHT. In LAS VEGAS everything is VERY LOUD and VERY FLASHY. Also VERY SMOKEY. And VERY MUCH FULL of CRAZY PEOPLE. There were also so many parents dragging their infants, toddlers and other small-sized children through the CASINOS that it was SICKENING. (My adorable husband was appalled when I told him this - his shock that they didn't ID anyone was so cute. What he doesn't understand is that the gambling IS EVERYWHERE. I don't have anything against gambling, just the chain-smoking. That's not good for kids, in case you didn't know.)

I wasn't in LAS VEGAS by choice per se, unless by choice I mean that I like having a paycheck, which I do. I was there less than 36 hours, and I am emphatic when I say that I NEVER WANT TO GO THERE AGAIN. (I'm sure the city itself is lovely, where the real people live. I'm talking only about the Strip.) It's just that all of my possessions reek of cigarettes. I did have an incredible meal at SeaBlue, which accomplishes my goal for the trip (to finally have one decent meal while traveling). The MGM Grand, where we were having the convention, was beautiful (except for the smoking, smoking, smoking everywhere). So I guess I really just didn't like the smokey atmosphere. My eyes and lungs burned (maybe it didn't help that I'm still recovering from a cold). Or maybe I'm just a big baby.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


J: Daddy?

D: Yes?

J: When you're driving, don't run into the other cars.

D: Got it. Thanks.


N: Mommy, what is that monkey's name?

M: Uh, I'm not sure. I don't think he has a name.

N: Maybe his name is George Washington.


J: Oops, excuse me.

M: What?

J: Well, I farted. But just a little bubble popped out.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Bagging It

One of our fabulous babysitters, A, is getting married in less than two weeks. The boys have been very interested in this development as they will be ring-bearers in the wedding. No flower girls - just two boys who will hopefully walk down the aisle without dissolving under the stares of a thousand eyes.

A has told the boys that her last name will be changing. N has been especially interested in this, asking what Miss J's name will be changing to (A & J are sisters). What about Miss A moving out? Where will Miss J live? Won't her mommy and daddy miss her?

A has explained to N that it's okay, she will still see her mommy and daddy and Miss J will still live with them.

What about Miss A's toys?

A has explained she will take some things with her and other things will be new for their new home.

N thought a long time about that one. Finally he told her, "When I get married, I'll just pack my toys in my backpack and take them with me."

Monday, September 24, 2007

There Are Limits

J has a crusty, yucky ear.

It's one of the side effects of having tubes put in that they don't really warn you about. That all that yucky gunky stuff that gives your child an ear infection will now drain out of their head just like a runny nose with a massive sinus infection. It is the exact consistency of snot. And his ear is, of course, SORE AND HURTING, because it's like having an inside-out ear infection. So J does not want us to clean his disgusting ear (to put it mildly), even when the entire side of his head and neck are covered in, essentially, snot.

The boys and I had lunch with my father yesterday, who had graciously spent the previous night with the boys so hubby and I could have a night away in a hotel for my birthday. (That sounds very exciting, but we actually each slept in our own queen-sized beds, blissfully taking up as much space we wanted without any boys kicking us or crawling over us or taking our pillows. It was the perfect birthday present.)

At lunch, Grandpa was trying surreptitiously to clean J's dripping (yes, dripping) ear. J was not happy. I reminded J that we needed to clean his ear and put ear drops in when we got home (looking back on it, not sure why I brought it up at all - was I trying to prepare him for his upcoming torture?). Grandpa, in his usual way, then tried to diffuse the situation with humor by suggesting various items that should go into J's ear instead of medicine and a cotton ball. All three boys got into it, suggesting bananas, elbows, toes, even the obligatory BUTT IN THE EAR and FARTING and POOPING that N and J would of course have to suggest.

But they drew the line when Grandpa suggested putting his cheese sandwich in J's ear: "Grandpa, that's disgusting."

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Not Sure How To Say This

Have you ever been woken up at 3am and asked to function as a normal human being? Some of you will know what I mean because you are living that life right now, with babies and feeding and diapers. But my guys are four-years old. I am out of practice.

Which is why I found myself driving to work the other morning, suddenly remembering my 3am actions of the early morning, crashing down on me in a thrust of clarity.

J woke up at 3am (precisely - I remember looking at my clock as in WHAT THE HELL DAMN TIME IS IT????!!!). He, for some reason, had turned on the bathroom light which came shining down on my face like the eyes of God. The fact that we have a night light in there to help guide small and big boys alike who need to go pee in the dark didn't help him, apparently. So I got up to make sure he was okay. He was not okay. He had gone potty, but, in the process, had ripped his pull-up. Those pull-ups are supposed to go back together with some kind of fake velcro-thing, so I worked on that for a few minutes. It would not cooperate. And J was not in agreement with my plan - to just get another freaking pull-up already so we can go back to sleep. He wanted me to fix it, and fix it now, before the screaming commenced.

Did I mention it was 3am?

So I stumbled to the kitchen, got the blue painter's tape which we keep on hand for securing down Hot Wheels tracks, and I TAPED HIS PULL-UP BACK TOGETHER.

I'm sure that any parenting book worth its salt (what does that phrase mean anyway?) would have had a thing or two to say about my actions - something along the lines of being in control of your children instead of letting the threat of their screaming manipulate you into doing their bidding, even at 3am.

But now, as the mother of TWO FOUR-YEAR-OLDS, I subscribe to a different style of parenting - the MacGyver school. Our motto: you make do - and you do it fast.

Friday, September 07, 2007

We Survived!

The boys were pretty much okay when we left them at school on Wednesday morning for their first day of preschool. N was enthusiastic about waving us out of there while J was more reluctant. Luckily the teacher, Miss K, had a cool collection of cars and a track that needed building. If they know anything, my guys know how to put together a track.

The night before, I had prepared them for the photo-taking opportunities I was going to be requesting of them in the morning. I told them how important it was for me to get a picture of them on their first day of school every year, so we would have it for their scrapbook. Imagine my surprise when they not only LET ME take a photo of them but they ACTUALLY SMILED. It's a rare thing.

So school is a success. They enjoy it, and I really didn't even cry or anything. (Okay, well, maybe a little...)

Friday, August 31, 2007

Potty Talk

(I have officially counted - and I have used the word "potty" in my post titles more than any other parent blogger out there. Maybe it's time to find a new word for potty.)

It's hard to be the only girl in a house of boys. I believe I've said this only a MILLION times in the last year (it really only became hard once we started the potty-training), but that's only because it's so true. My husband has even argued with me that because I am truly overruled in all aspects, you know, being the only girl, why should they even bother putting the seat down anymore? (My argument that this is what civilized people do doesn't hold much sway.)

So I hold my tongue mostly when the talk turns to farting and burping and pooping and peeing. Mostly. I know that if I make a big deal out it, I only draw attention to the talk as a way to get me riled up. And those are the only kinds of things that DO DRAW THEIR ATTENTION like an arrow, adding to their mental list of ways to drive mommy crazy.

As we drove to a friend's house the other night (another mommy with twin boys and a husband, god help her - we obviously have many things on which to commiserate), the boys noticed a bug on the window.

I told them, like an IDIOT, that it was not a bug, it was bird poop.

And the potty talk commenced.

They had never seen anything as amazing and delightful as that bird poop. It's white! And green! And brown! Wow! No, wait, it's not bird poop! It's boy poop! No, it's dog poop! No, it's man poop! (????) Laughing like hyenas and cheering each other on to think of ever more disgusting ways to describe the poop, they went on like this for awhile. Finally, I had had enough: "No more talking about poop!"

I was not surprised when this did nothing to stop them. I tried again: "I mean it, no more talking about poop. Please."

The "please" did it. They both got silent for a moment. N spoke up, "Okay, mommy, we won't talk about poop anymore."

"Thank you."

"How about we talk about butts instead?"

Monday, August 27, 2007

God Help Me

Preschool orientation is tomorrow.

Two dilemmas I'm facing right now:
1. My babies are old enough to go to preschool! I'm freaking out! My babies are growing up! My babies are learning things! My babies know that C-A-N-D-Y spells CANDY and that P-A-R-K spells PARK and how will my husband and I ever communicate again once they understand W-O-R-D-Ses?!

2. Preschool orientation is at 10 o'clock in the morning. On a week day. You know, at a really convenient time for people who are, uh, working.

I'm going to be there no matter what, so it's really not a problem. It's more the principle of the matter. I already anticipate many other week day conflicts that will make me feel ever more guilty over working a day job.

I have been trying to cajole the boys into going school shopping. Each time I suggest we go to the store to shop for their backpacks (and their LONG list of school supplies), I am met with heavy resistance. As in screams of protest. The geeky girl living inside me is so very confused by this noise. (Who doesn't want to get new pencils?! New Trapper Keeper folders?! Are they crazy?) But then I have to remind that geeky girl to keep her Trapper Keeper shut - my boys are only babies after all.

And boys are not as impressed by shiny pink Lisa Frank pencils.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Summer Lovin'

We have had a great August. I took the first two weeks off work - the longest stretch of time I've taken off from work since maternity leave. (There's something wrong with that, people. Let me tell you how great life was when I wasn't working - it was freaking incredible. I want it all the time. I can't believe how dead my mind is dealing with the corporate world. I'm not bored, just numb with disbelief. Is this why I went to school? To sit in meetings all day? I think I'm going to make sure my children are independently wealthy so they don't have to suffer like this.)

So August. Yes. It has been great. We took a trip to Los Angeles to visit Grandma Neen and had a blasty-blast. Beach, LegoLand, beach, beach, aquarium, more beach. Did I mention we were at the beach? I was finally in southern California during a time when it was hot enough to be at the beach. Darling husband doesn't like crowds, so every other time we've gone out there, it's been cold. His reasoning is that the weather will make all the people go away. I've never noticed a difference in the amount of people out there when we've visited, but I have noticed a difference in the amount of enjoyment one gets from a family vacation when it isn't raining continually or cold.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Birthday Wishes

The boys woke me up this morning with an outraged cry: "I looked out at the table and there are no decorations for my birthday!"

They know it's their "real" birthday today but it took some serious cajoling to get them to stop freaking out that today was not the day of their party. I guess that means they are truly growing up - they now understand the flow of the space-time continuum.

Four years ago today, I was in a hospital, desperately worried about the health and safety of my two unborn babies. It was seven weeks too early for them to come out, but my body had had enough. High blood pressure, crazy scary swelling, pre-eclampysia, and fifty pounds enough. My water broke after a week in the hospital of trying to hang on just a little longer, just one more day. I was scared but not alone. Hubby was there to hold my hand. He watched the whole surgery - apparently quite an amazing ordeal to see two human beings emerge from my body. Even when he told me he was able to see all my organs and all my "fat". Gee, thanks.

I am forever grateful for the care I and my babies received from the nurses and doctors. They did amazing work and never once made me feel like an idiot or a wimp. Not even when I was sobbing and trying to hold my body still as they put in the spinal block. The nurse told me I was doing a great job, which I knew was a blatant lie to make me feel better and I told her so. Then I was numb and being tugged around - and then my babies were there, crying, being cleaned and weighed and wrapped up like snug bugs. The sight of those two boys, right there, finally able to see their perfect features and smell their little perfect heads - I'll never forget it.

And it's nice to always have a trump card in any fight with your spouse: "Oh yeah? Well, just remember, I had your two children wrenched from my body!"

A Dark, Dark Lesson

This summer, the boys are doing the summer reading program from our local library. They have been devouring books at a rapid pace, mostly due to the fact that the grown-ups in their lives are ones who are doing the actual reading.

I am continually amazed at how fast they "memorize" their favorites. One such favorite, In a Dark, Dark Wood, has become part of the family lexicon where we make up stories to fit the pattern based on where we are at the time. The story goes like this: "In a dark, dark wood, there was a dark, dark house. And in that dark, dark house, there was a dark, dark room." Etc., etc. You get the idea. As do the boys.

This morning, I was treated to a lovely original version by N:

"In a dark, dark house, there was a dark, dark pumpkin.

And that dark, dark pumpkin was in a dark, dark room.

And that dark, dark pumpkin was going POOPA!"

One thing I've learned as the only girl in the house: potty-humor is king.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Random Quotes

Me: How in the world did you get a bug bite on your butt?

N: Because the bug found a spot there and thought, this would be a good place to eat!


Me: Should we go in and find my husband?

J: He's not your husband! He's your darling!


Daddy: Did you get to see the lions at the zoo?

Me: No, we didn't get all the way back there today.

N: Yes we did! We saw lions! .... (a questioning silence ensues) .... We saw sea lions!


Me: (Reading a freaking long Curious George book out loud before bed) ....

N: Pause!

Me: (Stunned silence)

N: Pause Mommy! I have to go potty!

Me: Pause?! I'm not the DVR!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Lying to Your Children

I'm not sure when it started, but I am now officially lying to my children. What makes me feel better is that apparently EVERYONE does this but NO ONE talks about it.

A few examples:

"No, we can't play video games tonight because Daddy isn't here. Only Daddy knows how to work the video games."

"Oh, no, Mommy is so sorry that she can't give you any candy for dessert. Daddy ate all the candy last night."

"Um, yeah, you can't pee in the basement when Mommy is home. You can only pee in the basement when Daddy is here. It makes Mommy uncomfortable." (And just to clarify, they're not actually peeing on the cement floor - we have a sump pump.)

Hmmm...I'm noticing a trend. All of my lies relate to my dear husband. Also, it's really annoying to refer to yourself in the third person. I'll have to work on that.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Ready to Crack

The boys are cracking each other up these days.

The other night they pulled a complete meltdown in the kitchen after I brought them inside for their bath. Really, if you've never heard two nearly four-year old boys screaming at the top of their lungs while they kick and pound the floor, you should try it. It puts things into perspective. Like that enormous glass of wine on the counter. That enormous glass of wine can look pretty small in comparison. But I digress.

They're kicking and screaming and (fake) crying about not wanting to take a bath and I'm doing my best I'm-ignoring-your-antics-just-like-they-say-to-do-in-the-parenting-books impersonation. And then they just look at each and start laughing HYSTERICALLY. As if to say, you seriously look like a moron, carrying on the way you are. And then they go back to screaming and kicking and flailing again, as if remembering what their original mission was. And then back to laughing. And then to screaming. And I have to somehow keep a straight face.

I had to leave the room finally.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Everybody's Got a Hungry Heart

In our home, we're a pretty emotionally-attached bunch. I'm sure we're not alone in this, but we are very open with our affections, both me and the hubby and us with the boys. The boys are therefore very comfortable with hugging and yes, even kissing their friends goodbye. (This was quite something for their friends to get to used to at first.) I'm sure there will come a time when we'll have to curb this activity, but for now, I'm not worried about it.

One of the phrases we are found of sharing with the boys is, "I love you with my whole heart!" (Daddy started it, believe it or not.) They love reiterating this back to us in various forms:

No, I love you with MY whole heart.

And I love you with my ENTIRE heart.

My whole heart is hungry.

Mommy, my heart is hungry for fruit snacks.

Mommy, did you hear me? Let me shout this one out, just to be sure. I SAID MY HEART IS HUNGRY FOR FRUIT SNACKS.

No, my heart is not hungry for a banana.

My heart is sad because you won't give me fruit snacks.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Regression Therapy

Since returning from my mom's house after a week's vacation there last week (and a gloriously quiet yet sadly empty house for me), the boys have been watching nothing but Baby Einstein DVDs. Apparently their two-year old cousin E loves them and convinced our boys to watch them while at my mom's house.

I had ours (all 15 of them) all packed up from their baby days (and don't give me crap about toddlers watching TV - I HAD TO TAKE A SHOWER AT SOME POINT). So upon their return from my mom's and their insistence on watching Baby Einstein, I had to dig out the entire collection. For the last four days, they've watched nothing but Baby Einstein. No Wow! Wow! Wubzy!, no Monster Jam, no I Spy. It's crazy. I can't believe those movies keep two nearly-four-year-old boys happy and entertained, albeit in twenty minute intervals.

Before each movie begins, Julie Aigner-Clark, founder of Baby Einstein, tells the parents about the company and then announces, "Enjoy the show!"

J has added his own two cents. Each time he hears that line, he shouts back, "I will!"

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Long Time, No Post

We've been crazy busy! Just like everyone else, of course.

T-ball started last night. Dad is our coach and it was hilarious to watch the boys call him Coach.

This morning, N asked me, "Mom, can you do me a favor? Can you hold this CD so we can play it when Miss J gets here?"

I swear, he actually asked me do to him a favor. And of course I did it. I'd do anything for someone so sweet.

The boys have kind of started fighting with each other. Just occasionally. Last night, N wanted J to sleep in his bed but J refused. Of course, we couldn't make J sleep with N but my heart just broke to see N so sad that his brother rejected him. Ugh. But then just five minutes earlier, they were laughing hysterically at the other's silly antics. Just boys, I guess.

Friday, May 11, 2007

At Least They're Polite

J: Mommy! N bonked my head!

N: No J! You bonked my head first, then I bonked your head!

J: Oh! Mommy! I bonked N's head! Then he bonked my head!

N: I'm sorry I bonked your head J!

J: That's okay! I'm sorry I bonked your head first!

(And I'm sorry about all the exclamation points! But that's the way they talk! It's very loud! Yet very enthusiastic! And polite!)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

How to Brush Your Teeth (As My Three-Year Old Twins Interpret It)

Step 1: Ask Mommy for your toothbrush. No, not that one. The other one. The OTHER other one. The one with the car on it. Not that car. The red car. Why do you have so many toothbrushes anyway?

Step 2: Put toothpaste on the brush. DO NOT get the toothbrush wet first. If the toothbrush gets wet before the toothpaste is placed on the bristles, this game is over. We mean it. Seriously.

Okay, back to the toothpaste. You want the blue toothpaste. The sparkly one. What does she mean, the blue sparkle toothpaste is all gone and has been for three months? What about last night? This crazy lady has no idea what she's talking about. But you are dying for some toothpaste (it does taste almost like candy), so settling for the plain blue toothpaste at this point is an acceptable compromise. Give her a little bit of whining to make sure she knows you are annoyed.

Insist on squeezing the toothpaste by yourself. Never mind what happened last night. She won't remember. Oh she does remember. Nope, she's not going to let you squeeze the toothpaste. Fine. Whatever. Don't let it get you down. Keep the end goal in mind: sweet, sweet toothpaste in your mouth. It's coming. And soon.

Step 3: NOW you can get the toothbrush wet, once the toothpaste is safely in place on the bristles. Oh wait. Crap. The powerful surge of water has washed all the toothpaste off your brush. Go back to Step 2. And insist on the blue sparkle toothpaste this time. You have to mean business with this lady or it will never get through to her.

Step 3: Again. But first turn the water back up. She turned it down when you weren't looking. The proper water pressure is essential when brushing your teeth, especially since you have not yet grasped the concept of rinsing your brush and going back for another round of brushing, like any normal human being. She just will NOT let you leave that water turned all the way up, huh? Who knows why. Mothers are inscrutable in their ways. Just move on.

Step 4: Brush tooth. Just the one in the front. Ignore all the others. They're fine. Now spit. Or drool. Whatever works. Now she wants to look in your mouth and see if you got the back teeth. Refuse to relinquish grip on toothbrush and work actively against her and her rude invasion into your mouth. Do not laugh at her joke of "saving the Goldfish for later." You don't get it - and also you cannot encourage her, even a little.

Step 5: A crucial but often forgotten step. Do not rinse out your toothbrush. Just tap it repeatedly on the side of the sink. The fact that it's full of toothpaste as you put it back in the toothbrush holder will serve as a distraction to the lady (causing her to gag with disgust and quickly work to clean it) as you work on Step 6.

Step 6: Rinse. Using the cup on the sink, turn water on full blast when she's distracted (we TOLD you) and get a big cup full of water. Despite having the functional ability to drink from a cup at all other occasions, this is a great time to spill the water all over yourself. This works especially well if you are already wearing your jammies as you will now have to put on dry jammies. Whatever water does get into your mouth, drink it. DO NOT spit it out. We're not sure why spitting out this water is suggested as the most important part of the "rinsing," but swallowing it will cause the desired effect: ejection from the bathroom. She's had enough.

Now it's time to send in your twin brother for Round Two.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

They Don't Understand Sarcasm

The boys had a huge yet expected meltdown as we so cruelly tore them away from Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead this past Saturday, where we had attended a friend's birthday party. While buckling them into their seats, they were both fake-crying at the top of their little lungs and causing quite a noise.

Dad said to them, "Wow - you guys are great actors. You should go to Hollywood."

The crying immediately ceased, their interest piqued. Anyplace but home had to be better.

"We want to go to Hollywood!"

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

They Remember Everything We Say

Overheard this morning as I was getting ready for work...

J: N, stop telling me your questions! You're driving me nuts!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Almost A Dream Job

(Remember how I told you all about N's storytelling installments? He's still going strong...)

The scene: Riding in the van with Daddy on the way to swim at the YMCA.

The players: Daddy, N and J

N: Look Daddy! (Pointing out the window.) That's my yellow house! That's where me and my friend Davin work.

Daddy: Oh, uh, okay. So what do you and Davin do when you work?

N: We play video games. But Davin only has one controller so we have to share.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Last night's soccer match was a success! With the starting whistle, N was on the field like a flash. He ran up and down the field, elbowing his fellow pre-schoolers out of his path. He kicked, he dribbled, he passed (albeit unintentionally). He did not score. Oh well. His one complaint: "Mommy, the other kids aren't sharing!"

J, on the other hand. Oh J.

J did not want to participate at all - much like last week's game. He stood with me on the sidelines as I jumped and cheered like a freaking maniac for my other soccer monster out on the field. He was NOT happy that his twin brother was enjoying himself: "Mommy, N needs to come over and stop playing." I patiently tried to explain that N was having fun and that J should do the same. J was not convinced.

At halftime, N ran over, sweating profusely and very red in the face (yes, those must be my non-athletic genes coming through), ready for a water break. I tried again to convince J to get out there and play and, to my surprise, he agreed. He went out with N and stood with his team for the kick-off to start the second 15-minute half.

The ball dropped.

There was much kicking and pushing in the swarm herd.

Then, out of the pack came J! He had the ball and was kicking it down the field toward the goal, alone in his burst of speed!

He kicked toward the goal and SCORE! J made a goal!

Then J threw himself on the ground and burst into tears.

And that was the end of J's magnificent soccer career. He refused to play again for the rest of the game.

Oh - and by then, my camera batteries were dead.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Soccer - Part Duh

So we had our first soccer game last Wednesday. It was EXTREMELY cold and very wet. I did not want to be outside at all. We were bundled up as much as possible, with hats and mittens and several layers under the jerseys. And yet, the game was not called off. The brave parents dragged their children to the field (some literally kicking and screaming - the kids, I mean, not the parents) and yet, still the game was not called. The coach even apologized for the game not being called.

And so we began the game.

There were not enough kids to create a full a team for each side, so we combined and Operation Swarm Ball commenced. My friend S was there with her hubby Z and her twin boys C and Z. C and Z have not been all that enthusiastic about soccer practice thus far. They have had to be seriously cajoled into participating. But when the coach blew the whistle, C and Z were off and playing! Who knew they just really wanted to play soccer? And not be bothered with practicing and refining their art? They were out there on the FREEZING WET field, running, kicking, falling down and generally being the adorable soccer stars we all knew they would be.

And my guys? The boys who had thus far participated in soccer practice pretty well? They refused to play. They held onto my legs and kind of cried/whined their way through the 15-minute game, refusing to even stand on the field with their team. When I placed J in the soccer goal and told him to try out being a goalie, he complied for approximately two minutes, until the swarm came running toward him at which point he burst into tears and ran out.

I definitely think they're ready for t-ball.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

It's Spring!

Monday evening was one of the best nights I have ever experienced as a mom. Extremely cheesy, but true. The boys went to their first soccer practice. Their friends, Z and C, were on the team as well - so adorable! Go Blue Team!

They loved it. Oh yes, there were a few moments of N refusing to stand in line again and running off to pout in the field, alone. There were a few moments when J wanted to cut in line (okay, that was continual). But overall, they loved it. I loved it. It was a blast. I wish it went on longer than the three weeks it's set up for. I think I can officially say this, (and I might get a little teary here, both from emotion and disgust), I may actually be a soccer mom. Does it count if I am pretty much playing soccer myself? Considering how much running around, kicking, dribbling and general coaxing/convincing I had to do, I got a pretty good workout.

Another quick pic from the boys - they love to build. And make faces. Maybe not in that particular order.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Are We Keeping You Up?

The scene: At Grandpa A's house, about 9pm.

The players: Grandpa A and N (J is already asleep).

The event: Never-before heard phrases coming from a three-year old.

N: "Grandpa, can we finish watching this movie tomorrow? I'm tired."

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Rule of Three

We've been dealing with Three at our house. Two boys who are Three as a matter of fact. (Well, they're really more like Three and a Half, but we'll call it Three just to make it easier to write about.)

The thing about Three is that you have no idea what's going to set it off. And by "it", I mean your kid. And by "no idea", I mean that it could be absolutely anything - from the temperature of the water in the cup you just put down in front of it, to the shade and/or texture of the toast you lovingly prepared for it.

Three wants to do everything for himself. No helping. No helping at all. Buttons on pants? Three wants to do that button, even though Three has no idea at all how to do a button. Carrying a plate to the table? Yeah, Three will do that too. Don't try to help or offer advice about not spilling. Spilling is just something you'll have to learn to deal with, lady.

And what happens when you don't follow the unknown and unwritten rules of Three? Tantrum. I will admit that I have become an absolute slave to the tantrum. I will do almost anything to make it stop. I have been known to take a flailing, screaming Three all the way back down the basement stairs to the garage and buckle him back into his car seat - just so that he can undo the seat belt himself, as he wanted to in the first place before I so rudely assisted him. I have also made a special trip to Gymboree to replace the sticker Three lost and didn't care about an hour ago until Three noticed the sticker on his brother and pined for it. And now Three Will. Not. Let. It. Go.

Before I had children, I was very Judgy-McJudgerson about parents and their hoodlum offspring. With their loud noises in public and their whining and the parents with their DVDs in their vehicles substituting for quality interaction. Now I think I understand. Those parents are tired. Those parents just want it to be quiet for just a little while. So driving all the way back to Gymboree to replace a lost sticker is completely acceptable in the grand scheme of peace and quiet.

Oh yes, Three also likes to say things like "I love you with my whole heart." And that makes things pretty good too. Until the screaming begins again.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I Never Thought Of It That Way

The scene: Putting away groceries in the kitchen, specifically putting hot dogs into the fridge. (Not for me! For my husband! I would never eat hot dogs!)

N: Mommy, what are those?

Me: Those are hot dogs.

N: Hot dogs live inside corn dogs!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Story Time

N has been creating stories to tell us. They come in installments, like mini-chapters, all revolving around the same elements with details coming in at random times.

N tells us he has a yellow house in California made of brick. In it, live his daughter and so many toys that he can't live there and has to come here (our house) to sleep.

While blow-drying my hair this morning, N came rushing in, shoving the door open, shouting, "Mommy! Mommy! My yellow house is made of bricks and it fell down! I have to rebuild it!" Then he ran out.

I have no idea where this is coming from, but I'm excited to hear the next chapter.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Maybe We're Rewarding Them Too Much

The scene: Dinner tonight, N and J eating at the table, using spoons with incredible ease to scoop up their applesauce.

Me: "Wow! You guys are using the potty everyday, you wear big boy underwear AND you use spoons to eat! Do you know what that means?"

N: "What?"

Me: "It means you are big boys!"

N: "And do you know what big boys mean?"

Me: "What?"

N: "Candy."

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Cape Fear

N has been in a very dictatorial mood as of late. His "conversations" with us are along the lines of, "I AM GOING TO GO TO THE PARK AND YOU ARE GOING TO STAY HOME AND NOT GO TO WORK!"

In other words, N likes to tell us his version of reality and then dare us to contradict him. He especially likes to control the space-time continuum: "TODAY IS NOT TUESDAY! TODAY IS FRIDAY! I AM GOING TO MARK OFF TODAY AND THEN IT WILL BE THE WEEKEND AND THEN WE WILL GO TO GRANDPA'S HOUSE!"

The best technique we have found in dealing with his commands is to just smile and nod. And never show fear.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

I'm not sure what's in store for this evening but my dear hubby has planned something and has actually managed to keep it a surprise. It might be a first for him, after nearly ten years of marriage.

Last week, I asked him for a hint. The only thing he would say was, "ARE YOU READY FOR MONSTER JAM??? RIGHT NOW???"

I told him I was definitely not ready.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Little Doogies?

The other morning, the boys asked for "hexagon crackers" for their breakfast (and before anyone judges me, are crackers really any worse than cereal for breakfast?). I search high and low for hexagons in my kitchen, having no idea what they were talking about.

I finally located the oyster crackers we had had with dinner the night before (I made chili). I had never noticed, but they were indeed hexagon-shaped. Not pentagons or octagons - hexagons: six sides.

I told B this story, expecting him to express some sort of proud-dad sentiments. Instead, he voiced my exact thoughts by saying: "Are they geniuses or just geeks?"

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Notes on Potty Training

It's hard to believe that just one month ago (or less), I believed we would never reach a day when the boys would not need diapers. As I brought a pack of Huggies upstairs last night, I realized that we would probably not buy any more diapers. We will buy some overnight pull-ups but not diapers.

That seems amazing to me.

And, as per my usual, kind of sad.

There have been a few accidents of course. That's okay. I can deal with that. Just this morning, for instance, I found myself wiping up a puddle in the middle of my hallway. But to be fair, it was only a partial accident and J finished up on the potty. I think he was just busy.

Another day, he called out to me urgently, "Mommy?! Am I wearing a diaper or underwear?!?" I told him he was wearing underwear so he hightailed it to the bathroom. I guess if it had been a diaper, he wouldn't have bothered(?). Not sure...

I believe the boys are finally ready to be called "potty-trained". We can be reasonably sure that taking them out in public in underwear won't result in disaster. We might have to make a mad dash to find a restroom in the most unlikely of places (grocery store, Best Buy, god forbid Mickey-Ds) but we probably won't have to mop up a puddle (or worse). And that's progress.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Potty Tales

The scene: The big bathroom (we call it the "big" bathroom, but it's actually tiny - just a little bit "bigger" than our other very tiny bathroom).

The players: J and Mommy

Action: J has just gone poop in the potty (!!). Mommy is doing something she never once imagined she would ever do for a person who could stand on their own two legs - she is wiping someone else's butt.

J: Mommy, look! My poop is shaped like a "J"! Just like me!

(And you know what, it really did look like a J.)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Teenage Preview

We have a set of Bob the Builder books from my mother (and no, Mom, it's not Builder Bob! How many times do I have to tell you?? Geez!!). The boys received this book set when they very young, like maybe before they had teeth - in fact, it had to have been before teeth because the books are incredibly mauled and sucked on. We never had a rule in our house about books not being handled by babies because I love books. And I wanted my children to love books. My husband likes books, but not like me. I HEART them.

The Bob the Builder books came in a little blue cardboard toolbox with a snap on the front and a little black handle on top (probably you all have this same set as I'm sure it came from Costco or Sam's or some such place). The toolbox, at this point, can hardly be called a "box" as it only has, more or less, three sides and the top doesn't really close. The books really had been retired from daily rotation by the boys who had kind of moved on from Bob the Builder (again, MOM, it's not Builder Bob! Seriously, quit saying that!). But a few nights ago, the Bob the Builder books made their way down from the bookcase and J&N spent several minutes reliving their childhood.

I forgot to mention that there are four of these books in the set and each book is shaped like a tool and the story in the book is a very simple, rhyming story about the tool. I was going to say that I had them memorized but now for the life of me I can't recall a single line from the stories. That is so weird. I must have forgotten them to make room for all the names of the monster trucks on the Monster Jam circuit and their drivers. Oh well.

And now we can finally come to the point of my story - one of those books is shaped like a screwdriver. (And you know it had to happen eventually.) N took the screwdriver to his father and said "I'm going to screw you, Dad!"

Thursday, January 25, 2007


As if you didn't notice already, but it snowed here in Missouri over the weekend. We had two "oh crap" snow moments - one where I got the truck stuck in the snow at 11pm on Saturday night (a snowplow kindly saved us) and one where we tried to shovel our gravel-y-driveway and realized we would be there for the rest of our lives (another snowplow kindly saved us). And two "oh crap" moments are not bad for January in Missouri, considering that part of my family had no power for 24 hours.

Needless to say, the boys LOVED the snow. And by loved, I mean that they wanted to spend every waking moment outside in it. I actually took them sledding BY MYSELF and anyone who knows me will tell you that is a major accomplishment because I don't like to be outside, period. I don't like to be cold. I don't like to be wet. I don't like to get sweaty walking back up long, snow/ice covered hills. I don't like to lug things, like children, up long snow/ice covered hills. But I'm a mommy. And I have two boys. And those two boys apparently like nature, so I have to go along with it. B has warned me that there is much camping in my future. But we'll just see about that.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Recap for the Week

I haven't felt too much like posting lately (I have the blahs this week) but that doesn't mean there hasn't been anything going on. The boys continue doing funny, boyish things, continually entertaining us.

1 - Monster Jam was this past Saturday and was a big hit. Grave Digger was there and all the boys can talk about is how much fun they had with their cousins and Poppi at the show. On a side note, we've decided J only tolerates Monster Jam at this point to make N happy, which is probably a funny preview of what their relationship will be like in ten years. Yet, still, every time we watch Monster Jam, N still makes J answer his demanded/screeched question: "J! Are you ready for Monster Jam??!!! Right now??!!"

2 - I remembered last night - and was suddenly overcome with a cold anxiety - that N has had one more bath in his lifetime than J. When they were babies, we bathed them separately in the sink - I started with one baby, washed him all up, then handed him off to B, and started on the next baby. It was an assembly-line bath. One night I started with N, but for some reason, probably weariness, I didn't get to give J a bath that night. I felt so guilty about that for so long and I had thought maybe I would skip a bath for N one night on purpose to even them out. But then I thought that was unfair to N since it wasn't his fault in the first place. Stupid mommy guilt stuff. Then I finally forgot about it. Until last night at approximately 11:13pm. Now I'm back to figuring out how to even them up, lest one of them blame me in therapy years later for having a "favorite". Which is ridiculous because everyone knows my favorite is really my knitting.

3 - Swim lessons are awesome. I love seeing the boys interact with their teacher. It's so weird. They're out there in the world talking to other people and responding to their questions. Yesterday I watched as N sat on the steps in the water next to a little girl with a long ponytail tied up in back, which was wet and stiff with water (as we girls remember our ponytails were, of course). He was fascinated by the ponytail, probably wondering what in the world it was and how he could get hold of one. Then he took the final step and gently touched it. The little girl didn't notice but I saw he was slightly fascinated and yet oddly repulsed as it obviously wasn't what he thought it might be. I think he finally realized it was just wet hair.

4 - Big boy beds, or rather bed. We still don't have the second bed up yet. B said he would get the wood to build the other part for the second bed last week and I didn't laugh at him or anything. B is really, really busy with school and work and the other three people in his life that demand all the other time he has in this world, so I really don't know when he thought he would fix the bed. I'm hoping to give him some free time in October. But the boys persevere in their single-twin-bed-ironically-holding-two-boys-who-are-twins. They don't fight or anything, so that's good.

5 - Potty training isn't going as badly as I keep telling myself it is. I thought we were no where near being potty trained. And then I talked to several other moms at work over the last few days who casually asked me, "How's potty training?" or "Those guys must be potty trained by now!" or some variation thereof. And I sadly shook my head and said "Don't ask..." But then they countered with this: "Oh, my precious sweetheart darling was potty-trained by three. But this weekend he had four accidents." So now I'm thinking, maybe they are potty-trained. I mean, what does that mean, "he's potty-trained but he has accidents"? So is he potty-trained or not? By that standard, yes, my boys are potty-trained. They just don't always use the potty. Mostly, but not always. Sometimes (like this morning) they scream at me that they want me to put them in a diaper so they can poop. At this point, I would say they go on the potty about 90% of the time. So that's good, right? I'm counting it as a victory. Here's how I confident I am about their potty-trained-ness: I'm going to let them stop wearing swim diapers during their swimming lessons. Now that's confidence for you, when you are 90% sure you won't be embarrassed in front of the entire YMCA over the intercom by this message: "Attention Platte County South members and staff, would LM please report to the swimming pool to fish her sons' poop out of the water? Thank you!"

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Sweet Gherkin

Last night at bedtime, as the four of us read books on the big boy bed (built for two), I said to J, "I love you." And he said "I love you too, mommy. You're the best sweetheart I ever had!"

It melted my heart. But am I also a pickle?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Wise Words

So this weekend, major transition in our house. First, brace yourself for a shocker. Our boys were still, yes, at more than three years old, sleeping in their cribs. We had every intention of changing them over to official "toddler beds" (which is just code for we-took-off-the-side-rail) but we, being as always lazy, never got around to it. Besides, I reasoned with myself (as I often do), it's better to just leave the side rail down since they could roll out of the toddler bed and hit their little heads on the floor.

So back to the major transition. We finally decided it was rather ridiculous for two 38-pound children to sleep in cribs, let alone accounting for the times when they actually sleep together (nearly every night until we separate them, whether due to sleep or just hitting each other in an annoying fashion), bringing the weight combination to well past the recommended limit. I won't even mention the time when B climbed into the crib himself while playing hide-and-go-seek. (The boys loved it while I worried about the bed's resell value.)

How do I keep getting off track here? Back to the transition! So we put up a big boy bed this weekend! We meant for there to be two beds, one twin sized for each (how perfect is that?! They're twins too, after all. Now it makes sense.) but we were missing several parts for the second bed (ahem, my mom and stepdad had them hidden away, even though they tried blaming us initially). The boys each picked out a comforter set - construction for N, sports for J (my mom panicked - now we'll have to redecorate with half the room in each theme! I had to talk her down from that one). We set up the bed and told them they would be sharing the bed this week until grandma and grandpa brought the parts for J's bed this weekend. And wouldn't you know that every morning, N tells me, "Grandma D is bringing the parts for J's bed this weekend!" (I'm guessing he wants J out of his bed.)

So that was our major transition - and the boys are very happy in their big boy bed. Me, however, I was a little sad. B was sad too but not as sad as me. I don't have babies anymore. Sigh. So I was sitting on the bed, being sad, thinking about how sad it was, sigh, and J asked what was wrong with me. I told him I was sad. And then J said, "Don't be sad, mommy. It's just a big boy bed."

And, as always, he was right.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Christmas Recap

Ah the holidays. Spent a ton of time with my two darling boys (or three rather, including B) over the holidays, even though I didn't have much time off work. The boys really understood the whole meaning of Christmas this year - and by that I mean, they ripped the paper of each gift, exclaimed in excitement and then greedily clamored for the next gift. And when they had no more gifts to open, they ripped our gifts out of our hands to open for themselves. All in all, they loved the gift-opening this year and can recite quite a list of their most favorite presents. As was to be expected, their "most favorite of all" was a big box in which they have spent much time, including watching TV, driving their monster trucks and storing many, many toys:

We took the boys to church service on Christmas Eve, where we convinced them they were attending "church school for mommy and daddy up in the big classroom", this being the place we disappear to when we force them to endure Sunday school by themselves. It turned out not to have as much mystique as they had originally hoped and approximately five minutes into the service (designed for children, by the way), they both continually asked, "Is it over?" Somehow they were cajoled into staying and only had to be pacified with one bag of fruit snacks each.

We took them up for communion - this was a first for us at this church, so we weren't quite sure of how it worked. I had J - B had N - and we ended up in separate lines when we got to the front. The lady in front had a big loaf of bread from which she tore a piece to give to me and to J. J held it in his hand with undisguised disdain, being an superior connoisseur of all things bread and instinctively knew this one wasn't going to be up to his standards. I knew it was only seconds until he threw it to the floor so I hustled him to the next lady who was holding a goblet of grape juice into which we were to dunk our bread. I guided J's hand to dip his bread and then tried to get him to eat it - a big mistake as I could see from his face that a scream was fast ensuing, so I quickly swallowed it instead and whispered "Candy!" to get him to go back to our pew.

At that moment, I looked over and saw my dear husband fishing a completely juice-saturated piece of bread out of the goblet in his line and briefly wondered why he had gone to such extremes with the juice. Did he really love grape juice that much? I mean, hello, it's supposed to be a holy ritual. Turns out when N's turn to dunk his bread came up, N chucked the whole thing in the cup, forcing B to dig it out quickly, hoping no one noticed his whole-hand-ed immersion into the cup. He was then also forced to swallow the grape-juice-soaked-bread-chunk as only a devoted parent who is positive they will die from mortification on the spot can.

And that was our Christmas. We enjoyed time with our families but of course, never enough. The boys love their cousins and uncles and aunts and grandparents to the extreme and would love to simply move in with all of their letting-the-boys-do-whatever-thought-comes-into-their-heads loving selves. And we love them all too.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
(A little late but then again, you know me...)