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

Saturday, July 31, 2010

She and I

It was a battle that I had won and she had not. After our years of infertility and losses of babies, including one who would have been born with Turner's Syndrome, I have come to appreciate the battle that happens as a human tries to make it into this world with all of their systems working properly.

As I read a posting from a woman who wrote that she never once thought of planning her children's funerals, I realized how different our experiences in life were. It's all I thought about as we went through the twin pregnancy.  We didn't know what it was to bring a live baby home, and we weren't sure it would ever happen for us. We did not buy baby items until just before they were born, and at that, we did not open the items and saved the receipts. We refused offers for baby showers, and we only bought one crib, hoping, that at least one baby would come home. As it turned out, obviously, we brought home two full term, thriving babies.

My worries were only temporarily relieved.  Once they were home I watched them like a hawk as they developed. Were they making eye contact? Were they social? Did they like to be touched and held? Were their language skills flourishing? I had moved onto my next fear. I grew up with a younger sister with autism and epilepsy, and I wondered if I had passed the gene, whatever one it was, onto my little girls.

We just visited Iowa and stayed with my family. And when I left my girlhood home, my children buckled into their seats, my bags packed to return to my fully functioning life in Minnesota, I felt the same as I always do when I leave.

I feel like I'm leaving a man behind.

Kelli still lives at home. She will not live independently. Ever. I will become her guardian. I knew, even as a young girl in grade school, becoming her guardian was part of my life plan.

Kelli is just like any other person with autism in that she has one very specialized interest that consumes her. The dvd of "Wizard of Oz" plays daily in Kelli's world. She listens to Judy Garland sing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" multiple times per day. Our sisterly phone conversations consist not of reminiscing of our latest get together in which we drank mojitos and ate gourmet chocolate as we float down a river in a kayak, as my mom and her sister discuss, but instead consist of Kelli commanding me to "sing Rainbow." I comply, sometimes with resentment or frustration, and sing "Rainbow."  Despite my inability to sing in key, or even get all the words right, the moment brings tears to her eyes. Guilt twinges at me. "Why do I get so angry about having to do something so simple when I know it makes her day?"

Finally realizing that I wouldn't be un-doing my birthday wish by sharing it with others, I admitted a few years ago the words I would utter in my mind as I drew in a breath to blow out my candles atop my cake, "I wish for Kelli to start talking by this time next year."  I made that wish around 23 times, and prayed nightly for Kelli to learn to talk, when I still believed in God.   Wanting Kelli "to learn to talk", was my childish way of pleading with the universe to make Kelli normal.

Kelli also has a few other idiosyncracies, such as a fascination with blood, injury, and calling 9-1-1. There are instances of her throwing herself on the floor in the mall, screaming for 9-1-1, security arriving, and myself or one of my parents trying to explain the situation to ignorant people.  Or Kelli's affinity for taking off in a dead run, head down, eyes on the floor directly beneath her. One time, she ran into a tree, planted in a mall of all places.  Mom and Dad had to drag out a stunned Kelli, while admonishing the childhood insensitivity my brother and I were displaying as we laughed hysterically.  Not funny, was the time she took off in her dead run, crushing the family dog under her foot. The four pound dog died.  Talk about complicated grieving.

Simple moments in my life, like working out at the gym, or even driving down the road leave me open to sneak attacks of guilt and conflictual thinking.  "I have my life and I should push myself beyond my max, every moment, because Kelli doesn't have these opportunities."  Enjoying a simple drive home from the gym on a summer night, music loud, sunroof open, I criticize myself for enjoying the moment too much, but then maybe, not enough.

 Kelli and her lost battle will forever touch my life and how I live it. I may have, in a sense left her behind, but I'll come back for her. Always. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Thank You, I Think

There are times that leave me thinking, "thank you, I think."

Times like when Ella tells me, "You look pretty. Your hair stinks, but you are still pretty."

Times like when, more than a couple of you have taken the time to compliment my blogging with a phrase that includes something to the effect of "I pee'd my pants."

I have appreciated the comments and feedback, in all seriousness. It is much better than hearing, over dinner, Sophia's assessment of my overall look,

"Mom, you look old."

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Almonds and M&M's

"Dave," I yell to him with an accusatory tone in my voice, "come look at this."  Dave is a reformed childhood climber, and I blame him for all of the following.   I found Ella just as she started to scale her "ladder."  

"Ella, what are you doing?"

"I needed a dress to wear."

I have climbers. These children do not sit still. They all started walking in either their ninth or tenth month. From that moment, the sky was the limit. Andi climbs furniture, and has been since she was 11 months old. Once on it, she jumps up and down. She did a belly flop off the couch this weekend, hopped back up, and with the exception of her nose turning red from it's collision with the floor, she was unphased. She went on with her business, which now includes kicking and throwing things.

Within a month of fastening child-proof locks on all the cupboards, my then, one-year-old twins mastered a team approach for getting the cupboard doors open.  And I couldn't just move stuff up higher, they'd put chairs up to the counters and climb up. I'd go upstairs to go to the bathroom and come back downstairs to find cupboard doors opened, cans and boxes spilling from their shelves, and wonder if an earthquake had happened. Then I'd see my one-year-old twins eating chips, quite comfortable using the counters for their picnic. Their team approach worked for breaking the baby gates down, too.

Andi can't rely on the team approach, so she scales the stove like a mountain-climber. Last week, when I couldn't find her on the main level, I hopped over the baby-gate and headed upstairs.  "Surely she didn't scale the babygate," I thought.  I found her in the upstairs bathroom. She had the doors closed, emptying the drawers. It was a like a tampon factory exploded in there.

All of this climbing didn't bother me too much, until I learned that not all children behave as if they are monkeys. A friend told me he didn't even have to use cupboard locks. Really? Mom tells me about co-workers who have babies "but they aren't climbers like yours," she says with a tone that says something is wrong with my children.

None of this is my fault. I preferred to spend my time as a toddler wedged between the furniture and the wall, sitting in cupboards, or even sitting in dishwashers.  This behavior is one that has stuck with me to this day.  On certain days, you can find me wedged into the back corner of my room, between the bed and the wall. This is a place my twins don't know exists. And there, I have a picnic of almonds and M&M's and listen to my children calling, "Mom! Mom? MO-OM?" Their voices get louder as they come into my room, and my heart quickens wondering if this is the time they will discover the last hiding spot I have in the house.

I'm not sure how all of their climbing will translate into their lives as adults...perhaps it will be something as simple, yet as important as self-reliance.  Or maybe it means they are going to be prone to jumping out of planes or walking tightropes.  One thing I know, is that if it doesn't kill them, it's going to kill me.

Friday, July 23, 2010

It's One or the Other

No sore throat. No fever. Just throwing up. And lots of it. The pediatrician tested Sophia for strep "just in case." Turns out, it wasn't the stomach flu. Sophia had strep throat. She was so far down hill, the pediatrician elected to give her a shot of penicillin, not wanting to run the risk of throwing up the antibiotic and delaying recovery any longer. By Saturday night "you should have her back."

Ella has been very independent and a trooper throughout all of this, letting Sophia rule the TV, and laying around inside as we tend to Sophia or chase Andi off furniture she is standing on.

I let Ella pick dinner, and she wanted homemade waffles. It seemed only fair that she get to have a choice about something. She asked me to top her waffles with raspberry jam and maple syrup.  I don't know why I didn't just do it, she deserved whatever she wanted after all she's put up with, but I gave her a choice.

"It's one or the other, Ella. Syrup or jam."

"The other," she answered me. And smiled.

Sophia's smile should be back tomorrow night, too.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Storm

It was going to be a stormy night. I battened down the hatches, closed up the house, and snuggled into bed with David.  David Sedaris, that is.  The sound of rain splattering the windows woke me the next morning. This piece of information, I later realized, was a clue of what was to come.  Sophia typically wakes us with "I'm HUNGRY. I want juice. I wants eggs for breakfast. GET  UP."

By 7:45 she was in bed with me, and I was pleased with her sudden absence of whining and commented as such. Once I got up and headed downstairs, I flowed from task to task. Before I knew it, the dishwasher was unloaded, the bottle was made. How easy it was to start my day without stumbling over the little sprite who constantly tells me, "I want to help." I found her lounging on the couch, watching a show. I didn't know what had happened to make her suddenly so easy to live with, but I was enjoying it. She came in and asked me for a drink.

And then it hit me. 

She's sick. One and a half years ago she had the stomach flu so bad, she landed in the hospital for four days. And everytime she was about to throw up, she'd ask for a drink.

"I knew it. Everytime we go to the damn pediatrician, if I didn't get there with sick kids, I'll surely leave with sick kids. EVERY FRICKIN' TIME."  I didn't want to take them to their four year check up, I had told Dave. "Why?" He had wanted to know. I didn't explain.

Heading into the pediatrician, I beat the children over the head with "don't touch anything, don't touch your faces, fingers out of mouths and noses, there are sick kids and germs there."  I used my whole purse size bottle of hand sanitizer AFTER we had washed our hands in the exam room. Twice.

We had plans to travel to IA this upcoming weekend, and I didn't want some pediatrician visit getting us sick.

Dave came downstairs after I had my realization that Sophia was sick and I shared my prediction with him. Unphased, he continued getting ready for his day. Meanwhile, Sophia has run upstairs. The storm of nausea and vomiting has begun and will stick with her in fifteen minute cycles.

"Please," I guiltily ask him, "stay home. If you don't have something major today, I'm gonna need help."

Last time this stomach bug hit us, it hit hard. We were stuck in our house, everyone too sick to move, and no one to get us soup, ginger ale, crackers, or bread from the store. The stores couldn't deliver when I needed the products. I had to prepare this time.

I cleaned Sophia up then set to work recalling all the items that helped us survive the last round of the stomach bug.

In between vomit episodes, with Andi in one arm, Dave out shopping, I clear paths to the bathroom. Clean the kitchen to ready it for all the rinsing and sanitizing and scrubbing that I know will come.

Dave gets home with the artillery.  

GAME ON MOTHER FRICKIN' stomach bug. I'm ready this time.

Eaten Alive

Under no circumstances could anyone call me a "nature girl." I won't camp, or take a relaxed hike in the woods.  The protected preserve that joins up to my backyard leaks ticks, moles, voles, and birds that drop pieces of their prey's torn up body into my yard for my children and I to examine with disgusted fascination. Though I love the privacy of no neighbors, I really only enjoy the preserve from the safe containment of my master bedroom window.

So what possesses me to go picking strawberries, blueberries and raspberries is beyond me. I suppose it's desperation. I love to take on cooking projects because it allows me to see physical proof that I have acheived something that day.  Last week, we ran out of jam, the girls and I were bored, so we packed up and headed to the raspberry farm hoping to come home with enough berries for a batch of jam.

I will admit that I found picking strawberries relaxing, and the blueberry fields in IA gave me a sense of home. But when we went to pick raspberries for jam, the not-so-nature girl in me was brought out. And she wasn't quiet. She got stares from the content women, happily picking buckets of fruit the next aisle over.

"Hurry up. The faster you pick, the sooner we are out of here."

"I swear, can you pick any slower? Oh my god. Why are there so many mosquitos? This is terrible. I am going to die."  My mind raced with catastrophic thoughts of my children contracting West Nile Virus just so I could say I took them raspberry picking. 

The staff were very kind. They gave us bug spray, and though the neurotic woman in me was reluctant to spray DEET on my children, I lined them up and sprayed us all down, knowing, already, that we'd be showering as soon as we got home.  

Now those of you who know children, know that they are always watching us, learning how to react to situations. Pretty soon the twincesses were dramatically claiming they were going to die, that bugs were sucking their blood, and Andi, overcome with what I guess is disgust, laid on the thistle-y field and cried. Two buckets of berries in one hand, I'm dragging her like a child drags her doll through the house. "C'mon Andi! Up on your feet!" I command her like a sargent trying to get his troops out of a firing zone.  The twins have already fled down the aisle and are waiting in the building.

We did get enough raspberries for jam with none left to spare. And as we headed out to do some early fall shopping that afternoon, we grabbed the mail. My sister-in-law sent a note. I love her notes. She addresses me as "Mme" on the envelope and I feel like such a lady, as if I should be wearing lace gloves and living in France. Her note told about her times picking berries as a child, an "innocent" time which she enjoyed. "What a funny irony," I thought, as I drove to the air conditioned, bug-free, shopping outlet. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Grampa/Dad

Four years ago our doctor decided the twins would be born 1 1/2 weeks early via a C-section on my dad's birthday. It's funny how that worked out. My sister was born on my grampa's birthday, and it seems the girls and I carried on that tradition.

Ella has a real fondness for grampa. She won't talk on the phone to people, for the most part, but she will talk to grampa. She loves her grampa. She asks what he is up to, it he at work?

Is he sleeping?

Does he wear a pull-up to bed?

Grampas are good for things like:

Feeding the girls ice cream at the mall
Letting them ride all the kiddie rides at the mall
Letting them take pictures in photo booths
Letting Andi run - with scissors
Chasing Andi

Being tricked into getting off their chair, only to find Andi standing on it, ready to jump off
Underducks on swings
Catching butterflies

And while grampa is good for a lot of things, he is BEST at being a dear, sweet man who we are lucky to call ours. Happy Birthday and cheers to many more.

Due to Technical Difficulty

I published individual pictures of Ella, but not Sophia in the below post. That has been corrected. No. I do not have a "favorite."

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Happy 4th Birthday, Ella and Sophia

It's odd to look at the pictures and see little girls instead of babies. You have quietly grown up until the only signs of your babyhood are left in occasional whispers, such as the certain pitch or tempo of your cry that would call back images of you as a baby, or the need to wear a pull-up to bed to ward off any nighttime flooding. Slowly, babyhood falls away, and I am left with screaming, sassy mad-women on our hard days, and charming, tiny women on our easy days.

Ella, you are my dreamer. The wheels are always spinning in that little mind of yours - and you aren't always quiet about it. Asking you to accompany Sophia and I on an outing while Daddy worked in the office, you declined many times emphatically announcing to me you have plans,

"I'm going to DRAW on Sophia's paper.  I'm going to READ my book.  And I'm going to RUN AROUND on the wet spot."

Two of the three things were no-no's, and you let the cat out of the bag as to your plans to make good use of little to no supervision.

You are the child who can stop my heart in more ways than one...

You are the child that puts ink pens in the refrigerator so "they will get cold." Once they are cold "they need to be microwaved."  

You are the child who laid on 6-week old Andi "but I'm just hugging her!"

You are the child who held 4-week old Andi up in the air by one arm "so she can touch her mobile."

You are the child who spontaneously says "I love you mama."

You are the child who rolls your trike, hops back up, smiling and yells "I'm all right!"

You are happy to play alone, which gives me a break, but also breaks my heart, as I learn from school that you are not making friends...and don't seem to care. I must remind myself, that, so long as you are happy, I can be happy alongside you, no matter what your path. Your happiness, contentment, and acceptance of yourself is of great importance to me.


Sophia, my apprentice-in-mothering. You try to take care of everyone, and the times that I see you sweetly calming Andi, I think "I must be doing something right."  The times when I see you lecturing Ella on her wrongs is a horrible mirror for me and reminds me of my failures; and that firm, but kind, respectful parenting is something I must always strive for, even on  my bad days.

Daily, I see your creative spirit as you dance through the house in various costumes, singing songs that you have made up. You wake with the sun and command our attention. Not wanting to miss a thing, you refuse to nap. You do not like to play alone, be left alone, or do anything alone. And you constantly insist that you help me in the kitchen.

You have the style conscience of a 16 year-old. You are very certain about what styles you will and won't wear, how you want your hair done, your nails done. You notice my style conscience, or lack thereof.  Seeing me come downstairs, believing myself to be ready for the day, you take one look at me and tell me,

"Oh, I guess you're having a bad hair day, eh?"

Happy Birthday Baby A and Baby B, as you were once known.  You thoroughly exhaust me, frustrate me, push me to be a better person, love me even when I think I'm a horrible mom, and I thank you.

Hotline to Dave

This is the transcript of an actual phone conversation from today:

ring, ring, ring...
Dave: Hello?
Me: Is your ass coming home on time?
Dave: This sounds serious.
Me: Your children who were supposed to be watching a movie while I wrote went upstairs and painted their finger nails and toe nails.
Dave: on what?
Me: On the CARPET
Dave: How'd they get that stuff? I thought we kept it up high?
Me: [Overtaken with laughter]
Dave: Are you wheezing? Are you ok?
Me: Have YOU MET THEM?  [pause for dramatic effect]   In stealth mode, they carried a chair OVER the babygate, up the stairs, and stood on it.
Dave: Well, then I think they earned it. That was a lot of work.
Me: I hope you are coming home on time, or I am pre-emptively calling child protection.

Monday, July 19, 2010

What's to Come

It has been hectic. I have about 1.5 hours each evening when children are in bed. Do I post a blog? Write a freelance article? Go to the gym? Pay bills? Respond to e-mails? Respond to FB? "Who do I leave hanging," I ask myself, including my husband who I haven't seen all day.

It's been a few days since I put anything new up.  So here's a recent shot from their 4 year pics. The girls had their birthday, which they share with grampa. Dave and I had a 12 year wedding anniversary. I'll post some pics, some stories, and get back on track. As for tonight though, this is it. David is waiting for me in bed. He fascinates me, distracts me, and quiets my mind so I can sleep.  I'm talking, that is, about David Sedaris, author of "Me Talk Pretty One Day."  It's a good read, those 11 of you who follow me. Give it a try...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ella's Corner: The Tale of the Youngest Stripper on the Block

Those of you who have or are raising little girls know how many times in a day they change clothes. With the twincesses, I try to keep a tight reign on that behavior because it creates massive amounts of laundary.  By the end of the day, though, weary from battles and reinforcing boundaries pushed to the breaking point by two strong-willed children, my guard often goes down and rules go limp.

We live at the bottom of a cul-de-sac and often walk to the top of it, around the corner the length of one house, and back home again. It's a good change of scenery without the committment of a long walk. All summer long, Ella has been practicing running to the stop sign on this corner and twirling around it.  After the first time earlier this summer when she flew around it and landed flat on her back in the neighbor's yard, she has gotten talented at - pole dancing I guess you'd say. It's the best way to describe it.

She jumps onto the pole and spins down it, her legs in the straddle position she learned at gymnastics. Or she kicks her legs out to the side and slides down, body almost parallel to the ground. I'm not making this stuff up. The kid is strong. Every gymnastics teacher she has is amazed by her strength, the tone of her muscles, and her ability to hold difficult positions the older girls have difficulty mastering.

Tonight after dinner, we decided to take a little walk. I had mowed the lawn and was in no mood to battle the girls on what clothes they wore. "It's just around the corner," I thought to myself.

Ella had her swimsuit on.

And her Snow White high heels.

The moment she shimmied down the pole I realized I hadn't thought this whole thing through very well.  As I look up, my fear of the how this looked was confirmed as I see the neighbors pulling up, laughing and pointing at my young hoochie mama look-alike doing a strip tease on the corner.

"Make no eye contact," I told myself, "and pretend this is all totally normal."

Monday, July 12, 2010

Dinner with a "P" In It

If I've told her once, I've told her a thousand times, "Ella, go potty before you pee your pants." This child uses all methods available for "holding it" so she can avoid interrupting whatever she is doing. She stands with her legs crossed, sits instead of standing, uses the one-hand hold it, the two-hand hold it, walks in circles on her tiptoes, and even jumps up and down. Dave calls this final method a "bad strategy," citing the jumping as a sure way for him to pee his pants.

Early this past spring I spent the better part of an afternoon telling Ella to "go potty," but she refused.   Forgetting about Ella's ignored need to pee, with Andi down for a nap, I hustled the girls out the door for fresh air.  The girls busied themselves with toys. Relieved to shed my role as their "entertainer," I started raking up all the dead trails of grass leftover from the vole who wintered in our yard. After a while, I checked on the girls. They were cleaning the bird feeders with their bare hands. There was "white stuff" all over them.

This was going to require hand washing, so I decided to send them in one at a time to wash up. I didn't want their fight over who got to stand on the little chair and use the sink first acting as Andi's alarm clock.

I went back to my raking and soon Sophia joined me in the yard with a ball, kicking it around. Always the caretaker, she leaves to check on Ella's hand-washing progress. When she returns from her motherly duty, she has news that Ella "pee'd her pants. Can you go help her?"

Irritated, I poke my head inside and tell Ella that she can find a new pair of pants in her drawer, but if there are not any clean, she'll "have to stay inside - and no TV."

A half-hour passes.  Sophia and I are putting dead leaves into piles and look up to see Ella strolling over to us in the yard. "Hi," she says to us non-chalantly.  "Hi," I say back eyeing her coat, shirt, and flip-flops.

I dart a look at Sophia's expression of the sight we are taking in. She looks a bit shocked. "Butts are private mommy," she says without taking her eyes off Ella. Ella, who could not find any pants, is unphased by the news that we don't walk around the front yard without pants on. I send her back in and eventually she finds clothes to wear.

Time to prep dinner, we all head in and I wash my hands and pick up my orange kitchen towel to dry off.  The chair, left in front of the sink for the hand-washing necessitated by touching bird-poop is put away by Sophia.  I throw my kitchen towel over my shoulder, using it for quick hand wipes as I whip dinner together. As I plate the food, Ella seems to remember something that she is proud to share,

"Oh mom! The chair isn't wet anymore. I wiped the pee up with your kitchen towel."

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Insights on Creating Parenting Misery

At first, it startles me. My voice. When the deafness that has been produced by a long day home with children finally fades away and I can hear myself thinking, it catches me by surprise.  Tonight when I heard my voice, I began thinking about ways that we create our own misery.  I figured out that I create much of my parenting misery by being neurotic, thus, highly reactive.  Small children especially, seem to love overdone reactions.

I think my uncensored reactions create situations such as: 
  • Andi waits til I am looking at her and then puts her fingers to her mouth, as if to eat a small object and then makes a chewing motion.  "NO!" I yell, panicked. "What is in your mouth?"  She smiles as she sees me running to her. 

  • Ella chooses moments we are trying to leave in a hurry to play games with my frazzled mind. Games like...

This One or That One

She asks me if a certain shoe goes on a particular foot, or if the shirt she is about to put on is backwards, etc.  I tell her "nope, other foot".  Then she looks at me with a dead serious look on her face and says "this one?  not that one?".  "Yes, Ella", I tell her.  Then she gets rolling, still dead serious, "this one? not that one? this one? oh ok, not that one, but this one".  As she is doing this, she moves the shoe/shirt back and forth and I'm trying to keep up "Yes that one! No not that one!  ELLA JUST PUT IT ONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!"

  • They do not respond with lightening quickness to my demands.  
On the eve of Professional-Pictures-Getting-Taken-Day, I realize 2 things about my house:  it's dead quiet AND my black permanent marker is missing.  Adrenaline pumping, I find that I am LOCKED out of the bathroom. Knocking, I ask what they are doing.

"We're trying to get our mustaches off".    

"Let me IN RIGHT NOW!" I yell, banging on the door. 

Used to my panicked screaming voice they casually tell me,

"Just a minute."

"Just a frickin' minute my ass," I think as I grab the pen I keep on the bathroom door frame  (does the fact that I keep a pen on the door frame tell you anything?)

When I break into the bathroom with my trusty pen not only do they have black mustaches, but they have drawn on RED eyebrows with another marker. And GREEN CHEEKS. 

"What are you doing? Oh my gosh!" I am so high pitched, it sounds like a squeak. My eyes bulge, I drop to my knees in front of them and they smile. 

Frantically scrubbing their faces, caught between wanting to laugh and wanting to strangle them, I scold myself for enjoying too much silence during the witching hour that normally occurs as I try to prep dinner. No good comes from silence.

Except hearing my own voice.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Exploiting My Children's Need for Fantasy Play

Can I just tell you how much I hate starting the day due to the Battle-of-Getting-Ready and have you believe me?  When they were one, they wouldn't hold still to get dressed. When they were two, they needed a bit of help to get dressed, but didn't want help. When they were three, they could get dressed, but didn't want to. Now that they are nearly four, they are fashion conscious, "I'm not wearing that. People will laugh at me."  (But it's brand new, and it's cute, and I spent my hard earned money on it, please wear it.)

So this morning instead of asking, pleading, yelling, crying, begging on my knees for them to PU-LEASE get ready so we can run errands for your party (bribery), I looked at Sophia and told her,

"Sophia, your baby (Ella) needs to get dressed, get her hair combed and brush her teeth. Can you please help her?"

Let's just say,


They are up there getting ready, I am getting stuff done, my eyes are not bulging from my head with stress, my heart rate is under 100 beats per minute, I am not about to pass out with frustration.

Mommy 1
Twincesses  BIG FAT 0 

Read it and weep girls.

Ella came down with a dress and headband on. Her teeth brushed. Everyone is smiling, their fantasy play seamlessly flowing, they are still in good moods.

Ready to go on the errands I ask Sophia a question that saves us from an awkward moment at the store, "Was your baby good?"

"Yes, but she wouldn't let me put her underwear on."

I'm still calling it a victory.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Are We There, Yet?

My ears are still ringing from hearing this question, which was asked 92 times at least, on our way to IA and back to MN.

Once we arrived, the girls stripped off their clothes, I slathered them in sunscreen, and their slippery little bodies headed out to Bobo's (gramma's) pool.
Uncle P (formerly known as Uncle Pancake when the twins couldn't say Patrick), joined us. Andi had fun, too. She moved her arms, kicked her legs, and tried to duck her face.

We did some blueberry picking after gorging ourselves on Dutch Oven pastries. Not that I grew up on a farm, but it felt like home, being out there in the green grassy fields.
The girls, giddy with excitement, told Bobo about having a verbal exchange of "hi" with the mailman - a celebrity in their mind. We didn't stop our pursuit of celebrities there, though. We hopped a ride on a "city bus." The busline in Ames, AKA Cy-Ride seemed a great way to satisfy their desire to meet a bus driver and get to experience the thrill of riding a bus. Sophia backed out at the last moment, wanting to shop with Bobo.

We waited for the bus for 15 minutes, "I'm done waiting" Ella told us. "This is all a part of the experience," I told her.

The bus arrived, the doors opened, and a ray of light shone upon the driver - or at least that's how I think it looked for Ella. She was frozen with excitement for the whole ride. She took it all in. I'm not even sure she was breathing - it could have been the fumes, though.

And Then She Did It

Andi's been a little wild lately.  Climbing onto furniture, jumping on furniture, jumping off furniture (usually doesn't end well for her), and climbing the stove. On the 4th, she went overboard with her wild behaviors...she got a piercing.

Stay tuned. I'll tell a bit about our travels to IA highlighted with run-ins with local celebrities.