Humor is also a way of saying something serious. - T. S. Eliot

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Did That Really Just Happen?

So it's been a week full of odd happenings.... 

I have had to clean up doll poop.  Yes, DOLL poop.  Some dumbass decided to give her daughter the doll she always wanted...and the doll eats real food then poops it out.  And the diapers often leak.  And the 4 yr old is grossed out.  And so dumbass has to clean it all up so that we can do it all over again because the doll cries and announces "she is hungry, she is thirsty, feed me!  Let's play! Let's sing lalalalalala, Uh oh, I pooped, Please change me mommy!"

Sophia with little-miss-pee-pee-poo-poo

We saw the home directly behind us go up in flames.  I've never seen a home burn before and it was a bit traumatic to watch -- that poor family.  The pics below are before it really got going....

Then I took the twins to the Mall of America because the back pack that holds Ella's new American Girl doll broke when  it was only 48 hours old.  They nicely exchanged it for us.What's weird about this? Nothing. The weird part happened as we were bundling up to leave the mall when a mad woman stuck her finger in my mouth.


Stuck her finger in my mouth. 

The moment it happened I thought "should I begin swishing my mouth out with my hand sanitizer?"

This woman picked me -- ME! -- out of a crowd of folks bundling.

"My sister is really mad at me!  She is soooooo mad at me.  Please. Will you talk to her?  She doesn't believe me when I tell her where I am.  Here.  Talk to her. Tell her where I am."

And at this point, she thrust her cell phone onto the side of my head and her pinky finger, which was sticking out as she held the phone went in the corner of my mouth.

Some woman on the other end of the phone, who sounds very sane compared to the woman I have tottering around in front of me, asks me  to describe where her sister is at the Mall of America.  I explain the entrance we are at and she thanks me at which point the Mad Woman hangs up the phone removes it from the side of my face and tells us -- as well as the crowd that has gathered to watch this show -- that, "Today is  my 52nd birthday! Woo!  I am 52 today!  What did you guys do today? You looked at dolls? Oh! I loved dolls. I had a red headed doll. She was my favorite. I had three. Today is my 52nd birthday. My sister is so sick of me.  But she's coming." 

And with that, she teetered out the doors...I'm  not sure if she was manic and/or drunk, and the inability to stand still could be attributed to needing to pee, I suppose, or the manic-ness.

I turned around to my girls and saw the crowd watching me.  Loudly, in my head, I said "I did not know her."    On the outside, I dressed my twins and acted as if this was all in a day's work. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Santa has Cancer

The woman who styles my hair gives me a lot of terrific leads on kid friendly events.  One of the activities she introduced us to a few years ago was the Santa Experience at our local mall.  The man that acts as Santa there is fantastic with kids and we've always walked away with good pictures, happy kids, and feeling like we had "scored" when it came to finding an authentic Santa.

This year, though, I noticed that Santa seemed a little off his game. A bit rushed, not so enthusiastic.  I wasn't too bothered by it.  I mean, the guy must see countless children in the six weeks before Christmas, so I didn't think too much of it.  And the girls had fun...that's all that mattered.

I was a bit miffed, though, when I realized that the DVD of the visit did not work, and upon calling 4 days later, was told by the staff person, "Yep. That sounds about right. We had technical difficulty that day and the manager is looking into it."  She did not offer any sort of refund and when I asked for a new DVD she said "Sorry.  We delete all files every three days."

Naturally, at my haircut last weekend, Jennifer and I started talking about our visits to the Santa Experience.  I whined about the DVD, she whined about the new set-up being poor for pictures.  And then we both hesitantly shared that Santa seemed off his game.

At dinner that night, I slipped into "Impulsive and don't think before I speak mode," and shared with Dave that Jennifer and I had both shared our experiences at Santa and were both a bit let down. I told Dave of our shared realization that something just wasn't right with Santa this year, as well as Jennifer's hypothesis, "She said she thinks Santa's had cancer and he might be sick..."

Dave's eyes bugged jerking me back to the reality that I am eating dinner WITH the children who have VERY large ears and curious minds and I stopped speaking immediately.  There I did it again.  I get so wrapped up into a thought, I just spit it out.  Like all the times we've had company at dinner (mainly my brother and his microbiologist wife who likes gross things as much as me) and I start telling the story of the puppy mill dogs with so many ticks on them it felt like they were coated in pebbles, and eventually died of blood loss.  And the puppies whose eyes looked cloudy, but upon closer inspection, their eyes were actually coated in maggots.  Or how Sophia didn't look so good and then she asked for a drink of water, "and I knew what that meant so I gave her a drink then she threw up -".

"Shannon Stop!  We're eating. Is that appropriate dinner conversation?"

Dave was clearly stumped speechless, but having previous experience with my impulsively inappropriate dinner conversation,  he recovered in a few moments and asked the girls some sort of distracting question.  They started talking to him...and I don't think the "cancer" thing even got to them.

And by the way, I truly hope that Santa is ok.  He is just the nicest guy around...I mean, you know, the guy who plays Santa.  Are there children reading this blog?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Myth of Santa Lives On

"Tell the truth, tell the truth, tell the truth."  

These are some of the very first words in the book "Eat, Pray, Love."  I just started reading it last night...and it is really good.

And as I stood, telling my children that Santa may not make it this year due to all the snow, I began to wonder if there were exceptions to the rule "thou shalt not lie." When I speak of exceptions, I am thinking specifically of how to respond when one's children uncover the gifts "from Santa" in her closet.  

The twins remember last year's Christmas. We didn't make it to the family gathering due to a blizzard.  And they've been a bit worried that this year -- the snow that falls on a near weekly basis -- may interrupt our travels once again. 

And so, when I was faced with the prospect of them not believing in Santa at the age of four due to my inability to hide gifts, I did what I always do in a pinch.  I ruminated on ethics, right vs. wrong, and then settled on lying. 

"It has been so very snowy this year, right?"

They eye me and together they tell me "yes."

"And Santa was really worried that he might not make it.  You know like how we didn't make it to gramma's last year?  And how Santa almost had to cancel Christmas in the Rudolph show because of all the snow?"

They are following my line of thinking, though Sophia is eyeing me a bit suspiciously.  I continued.

"So Santa gave me a couple gifts when we saw him at the mall and told me to bring them home. If he is able to make it, he'll get it all set up for us, but if not, at least we have the gifts."

Sophia looked at me.  "Really?" 

I  kept a straight face, dug deep into my psychopathic personality traits that allow me to lie with a completely straight face and said, "Yes. Really.  I mean it."

Dave and I never would have known they found the gifts in our closet except that Sophia told Dave, under the belief that he would keep her secret, that Ella had been in our closet and seen "a vanity." 

When I first confronted Ella about this news, she looked at me, crossed her arms, kept a straight-face and said "What?!"  I repeated my assertion that Ella was a snoop only to be met with an incredulous, "What. are. you. talking. about?" 

Damn. That kid is good.

I came in the kitchen.  She had won.  Tears streamed down my face as I dissolved into laughter.  Dave decided he'd try and called both girls into the kitchen to discuss the snooping that had gone on.  Sophia denied any wrongdoing, as did Ella.  Dave confronted Ella with Sophia's confession that Ella had told her what was in the closet.  "Why would Sophia know that you were in our closet?" Dave asked the snoopy little liar among us. 

"I don't know why she would say that.  Maybe she saw me coming out of the closet."

Dave dismissed them to the living room so that we could hide our tears...of laughter. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Leader Among Us

Sophia.  What can I say?  You are highly aware of your environment and everything that is going on.  You are loud about your needs, a very social child, thus you crave my presence every. minute. of. the. day.  And as an introvert, I've let you down, I'm sure, many times.

We just had your conference and your teacher said you are one of the first to get your work done -- you get it done well -- you are just highly efficient and ready to move onto the social aspects of preschool.  At carpet time, Miss Nancy says you are "on," readily answering questions about the stories, etc.  And then Miss Nancy shocked us.  She said she considers you a "leader" in the classroom. Daddy and I looked at Miss Nancy and we laughed.

"Is that what you would call it?"  Daddy asked.

"Yes.  She's not bossy. Believe me. I've seen bossy. She's just really a leader in here."

I walked out of that conference with a huge weight on my shoulders.  I don't want you to lose that quality.  I've always considered myself a follower.  Very comfortable to have people tell me what to do...but did find it empowering when a boss once told me I was  "quiet leader."  That was such a confidence building moment.  And I hope you can keep your spark, your "leader" ability. 

Daddy let it roll off his shoulders.  He's pretty laid back about all of this and said you'd "be fine. We'll just keep doing what we're doing."

Yea.  I suppose.

And we asked Miss Nancy how you and Ella were getting along in school since you've been coming home angry about sharing a classroom and friends.  It's like WWIII in the backseat some days as we drive home from school.

Miss Nancy said you two don't fight, but you do play separately and happily.  Daddy asked Miss Nancy, "If they are fighting, who is coming out the winner?  I'm just curious." 

I can always count on you to be my assistant at home and do it well, quickly, efficiently.  You and I are much the same.

Keep your spark little Sophia.  The world needs your fire and persistence.

You love working on projects.  I don't love setting up/cleaning up and need to work on offering you MORE opportunities for projects...

because look how proud you are and what a nice job you did!

YUM!  You made pizza at a school field trip and then shared it with Andi and mommy.  You have a big, generous heart.

You are 4 going on love to get your hair done, wear fancy clothes (are you mine?) and put on make-up and nail polish.  I have to admit, it is a bit fun.  And you are great to shop with and have an edgey sense of fashion. 

Resilient Trooper

So proud of her gingerbread house with "2 chimneys"
Ella has been such a trooper.  At first I felt really guilty.  She has always been low maintenance.  Very content to play on her own, rarely asking for my attention.  And while this was a good thing, since Sophia was so very high maintenance, it also led to me feeling really guilty.  I would feel so frustrated at Sophia's inability to function without my constant doting so that I could just pay Ella some attention.  This has gone on since they were brand new babies.  And things haven't changed.

When Sophia and Andi needed to be seen by the pediatrician on Weds night, the neighbor so kindly offered to let Ella spend the night at their home. Ella loves the family...but I still had a hard time reconciling the fact that I was not there for her...that once again, it seemed, she was pushed to the side for her two higher maintenance sisters.

The next day, when Ella came back, she busied her self playing.  I forgot to feed her a snack in the morning and afternoon, but she never uttered a word except to say that she was "very very hungry" when I asked her "Oh my gosh Ella!  Did I forget to give you a snack?"

And then as I could feel myself starting to come down with the stomach flu that Sophia and Andi had, I asked Ella to take care of the dog, to get her own drinks, and to wait for daddy  to come home so he could feed her.

She had no complaints.  She was so pleasant.  She went to school without Sophia.  She allowed neighbors to take her to school.  She had an incredible attitude about all of it.

I was beating - beating - beating myself up for taking advantage of her independence when it hit me.

This kid is a trooper.
She's resilient.
She's flexible.
She's independent.
She can self-soothe.
She can self-entertain.
She can cope with the ups and downs of life and what an incredible attribute to have as she goes through life.

I do still need to make sure I offer her personalized attention.  That's a given for any kid.  But I don't need to beat myself up, I suppose, for not always being right there for her.

You are so sweet Ella.  I hope you know what a sweet presence you are in my life, as I go through my days as a type-A personality.  You are just what I need. 

We just finished your conference with your teacher and she said you are "so sensitive," you are engaged with the other children and make friends, but you are "slow."  You just don't get your work done very fast because you are enjoying it so much, that you sit there

and sit there

and sit there

instead of moving to the next station. So, we will work on not getting so absorbed into your work that you get left in the dust in order to get you ready for kindegarten.   We'll work on balance, I suppose, because really.  Is having the ability to stay focused for long periods of time really a problem? 

You are into math and numbers.  You have started adding and have a big time interest in playing math games.  I am not the type of mom to love math...I barely passed it, but for you Ella, I sit and ask you, "What is


and so on.

I love to watch you on your journey Baby Ella.

"Ice Skating" at the Mall as we wait our turn to see Santa.  Some teenagers thought you were so funny, they made a video of you.

Yum!  You went on a field trip to a restaurant and got to make your own pizza!  What a fun day at school!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Andi is 18 Months Old

1st time wearing your full snow gear on your 18 mo birthday.  14 degrees and we are headed out for sledding. You ended up not liking sledding, but you finally were comfortable enough to walk around in your new boots.  And then you wandered....

and wandered.
Unhappy, waiting for the xmas tree to get selected and cut down.

Waiting for Santa did not agree with you.

Here you are as the "Queen of Cooperation"

You and your  sunglasses.  You love sunglasses and shoes. 

On the eve of turning 18 months, you sat playing with Daddy and Ella when suddenly you tooted.  You looked daddy straight in the eye and said, "Ella tooted."  And then you laughed.  For the last couple weeks you have been surprising us with your vocab and sense of humor.  You love to say to mommy, "Apple!" and then mommy responds, "NO! It's a pumpkin!"  And back and forth we go as you giggle and pretend that you don't know what a pumpkin is really called.

At your check up this morning, you got a shot, but didn't cry, but you looked pissed.  The pediatrician reviewed your growth, you are long and lean.  And your ability to run and jump as well as use 2-4 word statements made the pediatrician say "Well, I guess we should be doing a 24 month check up, not an 18 mo check up."

In the last week, you have begun saying "potty" and you sit on the toilet briefly, but have never actually gone potty on the toilet.  But, I hope this means you are going to potty train early because I would welcome being released from the expense of diapers.

Some of your statements:
"Help me open it"
"Mommy, help"
"Mommy, door," you ran to me wanting me to know the twins left the sliding door open.
"Don't touch," you tell Sophia as she grabs you. Again.
"Stop it!" you yell at the small biting and growling dog that we have -- as your older sisters scream and run in fear of the dog.
"SANTA!" you yelled, pointing at the mall Santa.
"Oh Yeah! ohyeahohyeahohyeah," you say to me, as I open crackers for you to eat.
"I don't know."
"want more juice"
"P.U. Stinky!" Stopping dead in your tracks as you ran free through Macy's, the smell of the perfume department was more than you could bear.  

You have tried to put your shoes on, and put your hat on.  You carry dolls and ask for help wrapping them in blankets before you put them in a toy crib.  You are full of random acts of kisses/hugs.  And while you appear to love both your sisters, you are much like Sophia, which may be why you and Ella play together so well. Ella makes you laugh and you are attracted to her like a bug to a light. 

Ella entertaining you as you await your lunch. 
What an amazing little girl you are growing up to be!  Happy 1-1/2 years old, Andi!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tuned In and Turned Off

I'm not sure if others struggle with social networking, cellphone, blackberry, ipad/pod/phone, facebook, blog world that we live in. 

I do.

Especially as a stay at home mom. 

It can be lonely; staying home with kids.

And it is tempting to check the email each time I walk by the computer, wondering if someone has sent me a nugget of social interaction. 

Which leads to me responding

or searching on Facebook

or getting lost in a blog hopping.

And pretty soon, the afternoon has slipped away, it's time to make dinner, my children are crabby and I feel


That's what playing on a computer does for me.  It leaves me feeling...blah.  And so I don't know why I do it. 

The days that I leave the computer off are the very best.  I leave my day feeling I accomplished something; however, that means that I am even more cut-off socially than I was to start with.

They say, 

 What you put into the lives of others comes back into
your own.
So then I turn the computer back on....and get sucked right back in again, replying to FB posts that have replied to me that I then reply to and so on and so forth. Is it just me? Am I a junkie?

I feel horribly uncomfortable with how to balance the new way of keeping up socially with being a mother that is present for and tuned into her children.  As a stay-at-home-mom, I also make a homemade dinner every night, keep up with laundary, keep the house clean (well, kind of, as best I can, sometimes).  All of that must be juggled with being present for my kids...

I recently reactivated my ancient flip-phone; it gives me a sense of comfort in case I have car problems.  I have a pay-as-you-go phone and I don't even know my own number. My phone does not take pictures or connect to the internet. I have no idea how to text.  And I'd like to keep it that way.  For now. Until I figure out this whole balancing technology thing while still being tuned into the world right in front of me.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

"It's Not THAT the Winds ablowin', It's WHAT the Wind's ablowin"

The snow blower won't work, so Ella is sent out to deal with 12 inches of snow. 

Andi stayed inside to radio for help.  "Can anyone get us on a flight to FL?"
That quote came from one of Ron White's stand-up routines.  He can be so offensive, he's crass and perverted...but I love him.  He's one of my favorite comics.

And today, the wind is blowing SNOW.  So much snow that no amount of zoloft and light therapy that I do can make me happy about living here on the tundra.

We sent Ella out to shovel

I really hate the weather here and it seems to have gotten to the point that I begin to dread winter once August hits.  Prior to living on the tundra, we lived in MO where I wore my winter coat for a total of two weeks during the MO winter season.  I could totally handle that.  I don't like skiing or snow shoeing.  I'm not into riding a snow mobile and sledding lost it's fun for me years ago.  I like to "fiddle fart" around outside.  Water plants, trim the bushes, mow the lawn, run, walk, sweep, clean out my fountain, etc.  You can't do that here on the tundra. At least not for very long.

I've talked with Big D about moving south.  FL, IA, MO have all come up as options.  But I always back down because I get worried about the quality of education, health care, and extra curricular activities.

I really do love our pediatrician, who we have seen weekly for the past 5 weeks thanks to all the bugs these tiny children catch and spread around.  And when they need to be hospitalized, we are a very short drive from two great children's hospitals.

I hear a lot about how good the education is in our suburb and a few others around us should we finally have the money to move up to a bigger home one day.  I don't like the monotony of the culture here in the white burbs -- white, christian, middle and upper middle class.  I'd like the girls in a more colorful environment...but, I suppose moving to small town IA wouldn't do much for that...though growing up in a university town, I had friends from all over the world as their parents attended the university.  What an awesome thing!

Here in the cities, we can go to museums, nice shopping areas...gosh, all kinds of things.  BUT, the girls and I don't do much in the winter.  They are so small and it's so hard to get out in the bitter cold, after a while, it just gets old and I give up.  Plus, it can get expensive.

I suppose it's a decision in the works...whether we'll stay or whether we'll go...but days like this, where we are getting 17+ inches of snow and the wind is blowing it into drifts up to my husband's waistline and the snow blower doesn't work makes me want to run like hell from here.

The only thing keeping me from completely succumbing to the resentment I have towards the dark cold weather here on the tundra, is the kindness of our neighbors who have snowblowed out our driveway for us many times.  And especially today, when three of us still have stomach flu and Big D is trying to take care of us, the house, and the mounds of snow we are buried under.



OMG -- I just felt a pang of excitement!  As I type this, Big D just replayed the promo for "Ax Men".  New season starts this Sunday!  Things might be OK after all!  I lo-ove "Ax Men"!  And "Ice Road Truckers" and "Dog the Bounty Hunter."  I do have a bit of girl in me, too.  I like "House Hunters."  I think I've gotten off track...

Christmas Card 2010

Let It Snow Christmas
For hundreds of Christmas card designs, click here.
View the entire collection of cards.
 I am not sure who all reads my blog...or why you read it.  Perhaps it's like watching a train wreck, or maybe you find us interesting, or even endearing at moments...whatever your reason is, I wish you happy, safe, healthy holidays and good will for 2011.

And to those who have made comments and who I only know through this blog -- thank you. They brighten my day.  Kirstin - hope you enjoy your first Christmas looking at your son's eyes as they sparkle!  And to the moms of twins who are following me, aren't we doubly lucky (Stacie, IA SoupMama).  And to Maegan who somehow puts up with Tom while having 3 very young ones -- keep on trooping sister.  And new friend...cheers to you....

Shannon, The Bumbling Introvert P.S. the text of the card reads:
If you ever start feeling like you have the goofiest, craziest, most dysfunctional family in the world, all you have to do is go to a state fair. Because five minutes at the fair, you'll be going, 'you know, we're alright. We are dang near royalty.' Jeff Foxworthy


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Where'd she go?

I had a list of ideas for blog updates...but I'm up to my elbows in vomit. Yep. Stomach flu hits us again. Andi and Sophia so far...Sophia's walking a fine line between staying home and landing herself in the hospital - again.  And, not that I should feel angry about this...but Daddy has new insurance with quite the high deductible WHICH will start over in January.  Our ped appt last night was paid out of pocket - thanks to the crappy insurance.   I suppose an optimist would say "at least you have insurance" but I'm more of a self-entitled "give me good benefits b/c that's the right thing to do" type of girl.

Please dear universe...let my family and I have more than a 3 day break between illnesses b/c I'm really fricking tired.

And horribly grumpy.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Notes from the Reigning Mother-of-the-Year

This past weekend I continued on with my journey as "Mother-of-the-Year," as Dave refers to me.

Standing in line for our appointment with Santa, I began thinking about how many people flow through that line on a daily basis and how exhausting it must be for the "Santa."  I began wondering aloud to Dave as to whether

"there was more than one Santa that worked there?  Because we always see the same one year after, do you really think he's the only one? I mean! Can you imagine what long days those must be to sit with all these..."

Shush! Dave cut me off and pointed out that our children - and everyone else's - could hear my wonderings.

Sometimes I forget to filter my words as they travel from my mind and out of my mouth.

"Mother. Of. The. Year." Dave said to me in his low, announcer-like voice that I have heard so many times.

Guess who hated our visit to Santa?  She kicked herself over and was OUT OF THERE!

And since I was on a roll, I decided to invite the girls to come with me to donate a plant to a couple of very elderly women who live in an eldercare center and who spend their holidays alone.

As we left, Ella pointed out that "Adelaide's skin was.....funny. And so was Abigail's."

I explained to Ella that "their skin was wrinkled. That they were very old. That someday, too, mine would be like theirs. And, as a matter of fact, Ella and Sophia would someday have wrinkled skin just like that.  It's normal. That's what happens.  We are all born. We are all babies. Then we all grow up to be adults. Then we become old and have wrinkles. And then we die. That is the process of life."

They sat staring at me.

Woops! Damn it!  I was just trying to normalize the cycle of life and  walked right into the whole

"Are we really going to die? You? Me? Will we die in Lakeville? Where will we go when we die?"

At home, later that night, we told daddy about our visit to the eldercare facility and making new friends. Ella tried to explain wrinkled skin to daddy, but ultimately gave up and looked at him and said  

"Adelaide and Abigail were so cute."

Thursday, December 2, 2010

HERstory of the Artificial Christmas Tree

I don't know much about HIStory.  I never could pay attention in that class.  But I do have a theory about where the first artificial Christmas tree came from.

I believe that it was invented by a mother who:

  • lived on the tundra known as Minnesota
  • and had three small children
  • one of which was sick and refused to be set down, nor could she walk in her first pair of boots
  • was a perfectionist and all the lopsided trees on the farm drove her nuts
  • was married to a less-than-handy-man
  • who took 45 minutes to cut down the tree - maybe because the saw was DULL
  • while the baby cried in her arms the ENTIRE time
  • and the twins ran around "are you done? are you done now? can I help? Here, let me help! LOOK! I'm riding on Daddy while he cuts the tree!"
  • and the wind whipped and cascades of snot dripped down the children's faces because she FORGOT to bring kleenex
I think it makes a tremendous amount of sense, my theory on who may have invented the artificial tree.

We did, though, finally get the tree cut down and the twins saw Santa, got a candycane, and rode the choo-choo.  Andi rode the choo-choo once around, but started crying so hard, they had to stop the train and ask us to come get her off of it.  So it goes when you are only 1 year old.

I have also heard that some artificial trees come decorated and/or pre-lit.  Those were also invented by a mother who:

  • had busybodies for children who pulled things out of boxes faster than she could blink
  • while the 1 year old pulled the lights off the tree
  • and then pulled the ornaments off the tree - losing the tiny hooks in the carpet
  • and whose husband thought it would be a good idea to saw excess limbs in the living room introducing sawdust into the mess
Complaining and sarcasm aside, the tree looks really pretty.  It's straight and even, the lights give the family room a warm glow, and despite the struggles that go along with our tradition of cutting down our own tree...I'm glad we did it.  And so is Andi who runs into the family room multiple times a day and exclaims in surprised excitement "TREE!"

Now if only Andi would stop opening the presents that I wrapped and put under the tree...I'm running out of wrapping paper...

The Twins are sporting new dresses from auntie M, and Andi is on strike as far as wearing pants....

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


We had Thanksgiving by ourselves.  We keep it a pretty low-key holiday.  Some years we celebrate on our own, other years, we join up with friends who don't have family.  Turkeys never turn out for me, so we roasted an 8-pound chicken, whipped up homemade potatoes, candied yams, gravy, and green beans -- especially for Andi.  Dave just can't let go of his need for Stove-top Stuffing, so it also had a place at the table even though it wasn't homemade. 

While I spent the day cooking, Dave watched the girls and football.  Sophia helped me make a homemade pumpkin pie; Ella elected to make a Chocolate Truffle Cake with Ganache. 

It was a warm, cozy day and we learned that Ella and Sophia were thankful for "my family."  This is changed from last year in which Ella was thankful for "mashed potatoes" and Sophia just wanted to know "when is Thanksgiving coming to visit us?"

When asked what I was thankful for, I said "Healthy children and a healthy family," at which point Andi's COUGH attacked her and she lost her breath as her lungs nearly drowned in phlegm. know what I mean...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Am I at the Gym or Still at Home?

I go to the gym for a few reasons:

1. Escape
2. Reconditioning and strengthening
3. Escape
4.  Mood-boosting effects of exercise

Lately, though, my visits to the gym have not provided me with an escape.  Here's whats been going on:

1. It is an all women's gym.  GROWN UP WOMEN ONLY.  Not to be sexist or anything, but I thought that besides feeling less self-conscious there, I could also expect to find that people had picked up after themselves and  PUT EQUIPMENT AWAY where it BELONGS so I can find it. 

but no, just like at home, I can't find what I need when I need it b/c elves or something HIDE things in ODD places.

2.  Contrary to impulsive little children, I expect adults to have manners. This is not the case, as I found out the other night when I was leaving and a woman YELLS at me to "Shut that door all the way and be sure it locks when you leave."

excuse me?  can you say please? how about NOT yelling? or here's a novel idea, if you are so paranoid that I am incapable of shutting a door, walk your thunder thighs the five feet over to the door after I leave and make sure it is shut to your liking.

3.  It's my locker, so stay out of it.  That means, do not put random headbands and barrettes in MY locker and then leave MY door wide-fucking open after you have rifled through MY pants and  MY coat.  And why would you go through those things INSTEAD of my purse?

that just screams 4 year-old behavior at me, but instead, it was a grown woman who also knocked the lid off the garbage can and left it lying on the floor for me to TRIP over because who expects that at the gym?   

Seriously children, I mean, women.  COME ON!  I'm on the verge of twInsanity and I. Need. A.  Break. 


Monday, November 29, 2010

I'm Not Sure Where That Came From

I was sitting on the kitchen floor watching both girls pick a piece of candy from their Halloween stash.  Ella looked up at me and declared, 

"Your face is so pretty...You should be in a show!"

This out of the blue statement tickled me and I burst out laughing.

And with a slight southern drawl and her hand clutched over her heart, Ella responded to my reaction,

"You just made my day!"

In a day or so, I'll post our Thanksgiving going-ons and share my theory on why artificial Christmas trees were invented, but for now, there are dishes to do, coffee to make, and a bed calling my name.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Daddy Got a New Job, Etc.

Every month I send the relatives and a few very close friends an update and link to our pictures from the past month.  I am posting that email below for 2 reasons: 

1. I haven't had time to do a real blog entry.  I'm desperately tired, Andi has not slept more than two hours at night for the past 3 weeks.  She is sick, sick, sick -- "the crud," a viral rash, a bad cold...

2.  I can have all my writings in one spot so I can make it into a book for the girls, someday...

Happy Thanksgiving!

If I counted right, there are only 4.5 weeks til Christmas. Woh!  Ella, though, is already eagerly awaiting Easter.  She thumbs her nose at those who believe in celebrating one holiday at a time.  Andi, on the other hand, is just happy Halloween is over.  Wearing a costume was annoying at best, and tantrum inducing at worst.  The door-to-door begging for candy was puzzling, and being asked to put the sweet prize carefully chosen from the bowl into an Elmo bucket was infuriating.  By the time we got home, her hand was permanently frozen around three pieces of candy -- little fist, big candy appetite.

Between Halloween and Thanksgiving, someone in the house has been sick continually and Dave pointed out that the season is identified not by the snow falling outside or the Christmas decorations being put up, but by the ever-growing line of  bottles of various medications by the kitchen sink.  The thermometer has never made it's way back into it's storage case in the closet, and with Ella waking up sick today, there's no relief in sight.  These children may have wars over sharing toys, but there are no hang-ups when it comes to sharing germs.

Grampa told Ella about my childhood tradition of choosing a tree at the farm with mom and he and Patrick cutting it down.  Ella has been on Dave to let her help him cut down a Christmas tree at the farm next weekend.  She has assigned Sophia and I to picking the tree.  I love her initiative and leadership!

Andi has developed some possessiveness when it comes to mommy.  She screams at the girls if they hold my hand. If they sit on my lap, she yanks at their legs and yells "GO!"  She identifies her nose, head, tummy, foot, sock, and butt (that is a new one as of this morning that took me by surprise).  She chants "Ella baby, Ella baby," and uses one-word statements to request crackers and trips outside.

Daddy landed a job at a large corporation working in the government contracts division reviewing contracts.  It should have more normal and reasonable hours.  Last night was his first night home from the new job and, sitting down to eat with us on a weeknight for the first time in four years, the twins argued and Andi cried and threw her plate of food to the floor.  I told him this was not unusual and he said he'd be asking for his old job back.  Damn.

Ella helped Daddy clean out his office one weekend.  As they drove through the parking garage looking for a parking spot, Ella shared with him that she loves "Candicap spots because I LOOOOVVVE candy!"

A couple new pics....

Sick little fairy having a bad hair day


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'd Like to Thank My Supporters

Before completing this blog post, I'd like to thank my family for their warm support of me as I attempt to begin my Wednesday...

On my way to the cupboard, I felt my foot step on something cold and squishy "I just stepped in oatmeal."

Dave, who is always trying to hijack my blog, replied, "That sounds like a blog post."

"I don't think there is much to say about stepping in oatmeal," I had replied.

"Sure there is," Dave said.  He continued on, "Just add an exclamation point. 'I just stepped in oatmeal!' And then write 'Nobody told me this would come with motherhood.  And you know what else they didn't tell me would come with motherhood?  Bitchiness."

Oh hot damn. 

Getting Ella's hair done for school, she told me I was not allowed to take her to school today unless my hair and make-up was done.  "My teachers will laugh and I will be embarrassed."

Andi, staring at a corner of the kitchen that collects dirt, squatted down and said "EWWWWW!"  Apparently my cleaning ability leaves something to be a one-year-old.

Sophia had nothing to say...she was too tired from the night before, having spent half of it going between my room and hers "I'm scared of the dark." 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

First Snow 2010

"Outside! Outside!"  Andi booked it to the door, yelling her wish to follow her big sisters.  The twins had bundled up in their snow gear and rushed out to meet the neighbor girls in the heavy, heart-attack inducing snow that fell all night long. 

"You'll have to wear your boots, Andi." 

Andi just got her first pair of boots the other night.  In fact, all three girls were fitted in brand new boots, good to temps down to 25 degrees below zero.  Despite the impressive warmth the boots offered, Andi was not impressed.  She can't figure out how to walk in them.

The news that she would have to wear boots was devastating for her.  She grabbed the boot from me and walked to the top of the stairs and flung it into the basement.  The hostile act of throwing the boot only provided a gateway to the rest of her anger and she dropped to the tile floor, screaming and kicking the wall. 

Not only will she not wear boots, she refuses to touch the snow.  The space on my camera to capture her delight as she touches and experiences snow for the first time as a one-year-old is empty.  The woman ain't gonna touch it.  No way jose.  

I can't blame her.  I feel the same way about winter -- usually not this early, though.

But the twins were happy....
Cozy warm, time for a story with Daddy before going to bed while the snow fell...

View from the front door

View from the back door