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

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Dressing Room Adventures of Mommy

There was a q-tip on the counter when Ella and I went up for shower time.  I couldn't imagine why the ends were blue.  Was Dave cleaning something with a Q-tip? Yes.... Yes he was.... Andi had used a marker to color her ear canals blue. Then Dave used the Q-tip to clean out her ears.

I was home from a day of one-on-one shopping trips with the twins and arrived in time to hear Andi's newest phrase.  As she closes bedroom doors, she says, "Bye sweetie!" 

I was glad to come home to Andi and her quirks...

I tried on swim suits while shopping today.  What on earth possessed me to try on suits is a mystery.  In my first attempt, I got twisted in the top part of the suit (it was a tankini) and couldn't get the top past my boobs.  Sophia hopped out of the stroller and a pair of underwear we planned to buy -- on a mini hanger -- was hanging off her pants. This struck me as funny and I begin laughing amidst my panic that I am stuck in a suit -- and as Sophia is tugging on the suit, she notices that I am beginning to sweat.  "Mom! You are wet! What is wrong with you?!"

"SHHH!!!" I hiss at her. 

"Why are you telling me to be quiet?  What?!"

And as if this experience wasn't enough, I took Ella shopping later in the day at another store.  And because I was hell-bent on confirming that my body has gone to hell and a hand-basket since having children, I tried on more tankinis.  (Really.  It has.  Instead of boobs, picture two deflated balloons -- the small type of balloons they use for water balloons.  Then, instead of the flat belly I used to have is a severe separation of the abdominal muscles, an umbilical hernia, and saggy baggy elephant skin and that pretty much gives you a picture of what a 110 pound woman looks like after gaining 45 pounds with full-term twins.)  

Anyway....Ella and I crammed ourselves into the dressing room and she began trying on a sundress while I braced myself for how badly I would look. 

One question:  Is it the dressing room atmosphere that makes me look so dumpy?  Or do I look like that no matter where I am? 

Anyway, Ella begins giggling about my trying on suits -- and starts speaking loudly about "boobies" and "vulvas" and I get embarassed and I start doing what I always do when embarassed -- start laughing uncontrollably.  Which then causes Ella to begin laughing -- uncontrollably -- and pretty soon she starts tooting ("sneezing in her trousers" as Dave's frat mom used to say) -- which gets us both embarassed and the laughing is now hysterical. 

"Mommy! I have to pee.  And I can't hold it." 

I stop laughing abruptly.  This is no time for silliness.  A 4-year-old has to go potty, her mommy is in a tankini and is in NO position to rush to the bathroom.  Like hell am I going to race that child to the bathroom before I am fully covered.  She can pee on the dressing room floor if she has to.  I plop Ella on the floor and command her to hold it.  She does.  I find a tankini that will  do and, given the current state of my body, that is the best I can ask for. 

And as we leave, each of us quietly recovering from our wild Saturday night in the ladies dressing room, I remember the time that I took the twins in the restroom with me.  They were just barely two-years-old and were beginning to get the concept of going potty.  They had one word for the act of peeing or pooping and it was..."pooping."  I recalled that day in the Von Maur restroom, as I pee'd, and they chanted in sing-song unison for all to hear, "Mommy is pooping! Mommy is pooping! Mommy is pooping!"

"Shhh....I'm peeing....Now be quiet!" 

"WHY?  Why we have be quiet?"  It was Sophia (of course) who asked that question and I clasped my hand over her tiny mouth which she found shockingly hilarious and the giggles kicked in while Ella continued with their chant, "Mommy is pooping! Mommy is pooping!"

Ella and I drove home with -- per her request -- the radio blaring to Salt and Pepper "Pump up the jam. Pump up the jam. Pump it up...."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


The girls all came down with a bad cold in the last week and a half.  It started with major chest congestion and vomiting, then massive runny noses and coughing til they gagged.  By Saturday we headed into the pediatrician and got diagnosed with ear infections -- Andi's first ear infection and first ever use of an antibiotic.  They are loving their twice a day doses of pink amoxicillin.  "Can I have more?"

Spring got cold feet and winter has made a return.  Yesterday was cold and rainy with the overnight hours dipping below freezing allowing us to wake up to a coating of snow.  We spent yesterday afternoon making pink and purple cupcakes in honor of our (ok -- maybe it's more mine) favorite series of books: Pinkalicious/Purplicious/Goldilicious. 

Tomorrow's weather isn't looking much better so we'll make Goldilicious cupcakes tomorrow and share them at a play date. 

Ella received a set of silicone cupcake baking cups and a cookbook as a gift from Bobo.  The cookbook had a fantastic cupcake recipe in it -- I ate 3 in one sitting -- after going to they gym.  Damn.  So much for the calories burned off.   We used the silicone cups to make the cupcakes,  but then also used the baking cups to make eggs. 

The girls cracked their egg into a measuring cup, stirred the egg, then poured it into the silicone cup.  I microwaved it for 40 seconds and BOOM.  The girls had a lunch they made themselves.  It may have been a bit messy and taken longer than me doing lunch by myself, but really, what else have I got to do?  They were so proud, not only that, they were motivated to eat their own creation.  Yay for no wasted food/no food battles.

Speaking of wasted food and food battles, for the life of me, I haven't been able to get fruits in them.  Fruit in MN in the winter sucks and so I've tried mixing it up a bit.  Literally.  For the past month I've been buying a variety of frozen fruits, fresh fruits and canned fruits and making fruit smoothies.  I usually add 100% juice or milk, yogurt, ice and 1/4 cup of sugar or less and we all get our fruit in for the day.  At least that is what is working for now...but what works one day can suddenly stop working the next.

Did I mention my trip to the dentist this week?  It went surprisingly well given the other idiots I've seen in the past year when it comes to dentists.  I was nicely surprised and even able to let go of the anger I had about missing my newest addiction -- Zumba class.  If you haven't tried Zumba, I recommend it.  The pelvic gyrating and thrusting, as well as the chest bumps push me out of my comfort zone, but I have to admit that when the teacher gives us all belly dancing bell skirts to wear and yells "Shake it harder ladies!  I can't hear you!" I do feel a bit of a rush.  I also get a fantastic rush when I look at my heart monitor/calorie counter and find that I burned over 500 calories in one hour!  Plus 200 more if I do weights afterward! 

Back to the dentist, my other new guilty pleasure. I ran through my in-network list of dentists and chose this practice because they were listed as "Top Docs" by other doc's in the twin cities.  For the first time, my mouth was numb with one injection.  I swear the guy worked magic.   I can't remember the dentist's name....maybe it was Dr. Fine?
Dr. Hottie Pa-tottie?
Dr. Yum-O
Dr. Cutie Pa-tootie?
Dr. oh hell, I'll just give you the link...Dr. Heart Throb and Dr. Heart Throb, Sr.

The girls have a dental appointment coming up at their office soon.  You know.  Because the girls are due for an appointment and it's best to be preventative and take good care of their teeth.  

I swear if I didn't mind the headache of having man around so much AND was single, oh, and was brave enough to ask anyone out on a date, I'd totally ask Dr. Fine out.  But since none of that will happen anytime soon...all you single readers out there -- there's one hot dentist on the market. (Or so I assume because I didn't see a wedding band...not that I was looking...)

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Liar with Cold Feet and Warm Ears: Andi at 21 Months

It started by accident -- these monthly updates I do of the girls as infants and toddlers.  Shortly before the twins were a year old, I sat down and typed out an email to my gramma and sent pictures and she appreciated it so much -- and I had fun writing it -- and I realized it was a good way to hoard memories that would otherwise be lost to the craziness that comes with twin babies, that I just kept doing it.

This past month, we traveled home to Iowa to celebrate my gramma's 80th birthday.  Nearly the whole family made it and it was a fantastic reunion -- seeing a cousin I hadn't seen in 4 years -- and I love that the girls get to absorb moments of connecting with relatives.  Gramma was touched by our presence, but, of course, we couldn't have missed her party. 

Andi continues to shock me with her verbalizations.  She is so much farther ahead than the twins were -- they were slow to talk -- which is normal for twins.  It also doesn't hurt Andi's acquisition of verbal skills when she is surrounded by hyper-verbal twins.

  • Ella and Andi got into it and Dave and I heard Andi shout, "You're making me mad!"

  • Eavesdropping on Andi's conversation she was having on her phone -- which is my calculator -- I heard her say, "Mommy's got bossy pants on."

  • Andi pushes the chair to the counter to get the phone "Grampa, grampa," she requests a call to grampa.  In a call she made to him after mom left she told him, "Gramma here, gramma went, gramma go bye bye."

And she still blames Ella for everything from tooting to the time I found Andi emptying my purse and indulging in the gum and suckers that were inside the purse.  When I busted her and asked what happened Andi said, "Ella did it."  I confronted Andi with the fact that not only was Ella at school at the moment, but also pointed out that Andi had a gum wrapper hanging off her pants.  She stuck with her story, "Ella did it." 

I proceeded to ask Andi where the sucker stick was and Andi answered "Over there," pointing to my purse.  Together we bent over my purse and found a half-eaten sucker and numerous pieced of chewed up and spit out gum in my NEW PURPLE purse.

If you look closely, you can see the gum wrapper hanging off her knee.

Not only did the little psychopathic liar eat all my gum, she has also taken to leaving the house due to a faulty front door.  Cooking dinner last week, I realized it was really quiet.  Ella was watching TV and I asked where Andi was.  "I don't know," Ella told me, not even looking away from the TV.  After hunting for Andi, I asked Ella, "Could Andi be outside?" 

Without any panic about her 1 year old sister being outside alone, and without looking away from the TV, Ella answered, "Maybe."

At that moment, I looked through the front window and saw Andi wandering through the front yard with no shoes on IN THE SNOW.  Andi was, however, wearing Sophia's pink bunny hat. Since that day, Andi has had one more escape, and while she didn't wear a hat or coat, she did put on Sophia's pink-glitter princess shoes. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Prince that Wears Pink Lacy Underwear

It has come to my attention that the girls believe Dave to be our daddy.  Not just their daddy, but mine as well.  There has been a series of events that have led to me making this conclusion, including comments made when the princess on the Disney movie kisses her prince at the end and the girls always say, "Snow White/Cinderella/Jasmine, etc is kissing her daddy."

Here's something else that turned the light bulb on for me:

  • "Mom, someday when you grow up, you can be like daddy."  Ella

  • The girls gave Dave a hard time this past weekend when I headed to the gym and he had to cook dinner.  He is S-L-O-W in the kitchen and I can hardly stand to watch, so as a favor to me as well as his ego, I disappear to the gym while he slaves over whatever I have planned for our dinner.  The girls could not understand why he couldn't come outside.  He finally said, "Mommy has  more practice at this so she is really fast at getting it done.  I am slower than her, so I can't take you outside before dinner."

Sophia's comeback, "Well, you are taller than mommy."  Hence he is supposedly older and wiser.

  •  A couple years ago Ella gave me a clue that Dave is the only adult in the home.  Wandering through Kohl's, we went by the lingerie section and Ella asked for the pretty/frilly/lacey underwear.  I had told her "no," that those underwear were for "big people."  

Ella processed that piece of information and then -- in front of a few other shoppers issued her conclusion -- "oh, like for daddy?  Can we get him some of these? They are pretty.  Maybe you can get some when you get big like daddy, too."

  • And then there's the whole issue when it comes to reading.  The twins are interested in learning to read. They want to know what every single mother fricking fracking sign on the entire face of the earth says and after a while, I get tired of answering, so I respond with, "I don't know." 

They banked that comment with all the rules I have about how many words can be on a page of a book when we go to the library. "Nope. You can't get that. Too many words."

The other night, Ella picked a book for us to read before bed then put it back, reminding us all that, "We can't read that book with mommy, just daddy.  It has too many words and mommy isn't good at reading."

  • And finally, there's the whole issue with the mess in the house eliciting the comment from Sophia just before daddy walked in from work, "You are busted like a bad girl."

What? No I'm not!  That man wouldn't know clean if it hit him upside the head!  But instead, I played on it, "Oh my gosh! You are right! Help me clean up before he sees this mess!"

When the kid thinks I'm gonna get busted, she kicks her cleaning into high gear and together, the house is whipped into shape for his royal highness to arrive.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mother-of-the-Year Feeds Playgroup Recalled Food

As Mother-of-the-Year, I'd like to thank you for allowing me this time to explain myself as it appears that I have stooped to a new low -- even for me. 

I brought Annies Homegrown Bunny Graham Friends snacks to my child's ECFE class with the intention of providing a fun, yet organic snack for your children.  It is preservative free and I thought that you may appreciate my efforts at trying to be more of an earthy-type mama (which, while many of you are, I usually am not-- too expensive).

Anyway, when two children gagged on the snacks, and when Andi said "Ack! NO LIKE IT!" and refused to partake in snack time as did all the other children except for two, I felt a bit embarrassed to be the mom bringing a snack that made one-year-olds gag. 

But when I brought the HUGE amount of leftovers home and watched Sophia dry heave after putting a bunny graham in her mouth, I became a bit concerned.

So then I called Annie's  Homegrown Foods and was told that the Bunny Graham's that I purchased yesterday at Kowalskis were VOLUNTARILY RECALLED.  Embarrassment and concern turned into being pissed and concerned. 

Pissed that Kowalksi's didn't pull it off the shelf, and concerned that the snack I brought was going to make some little baby sick. 

The Annie's rep reassured me numerous times that the food would NOT cause harm to any child who ate it.  The smell and taste was due to the bags not sealing properly, and the no-preservatives-added grahams had "turned." 

I am very distrusting of companies these days.  I hold the very slanted view that corporate America is filled with greedy white sociopathic assholes running the show and so when they tell me -- over and over -- that my child will not be sickened -- it's hard for me to trust them.

The good thing that has come out of this -- and I'm such an optimistic positive person, as you all know -- is that I will not be asked to take a second turn in bringing the children their 10:30 snack. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Princess Junkies

Today the girls and I headed to Disney on Ice: Princess Wishes -- AKA -- the poor mom's version of taking her children to Disney World.

I was nervous about our venture into the city of one-way streets, cut throat, savvy-city-drivers, and hidden parking garage entrances, as well as the maze of skyways, not to mention the actual work of wrangling Andi the Obstinate Tantruming Twenty Month Old and the Twincesses. 

But I knew they'd love it, so I put on my big girl panties, packed a back-pack and we set out to get our fix of princesses.  We got there in good time, got parked, found a family to follow through the skyway, and purchased our $34 worth of TWO snocones and ONE popcorn and made our way to our seats -- on the aisle -- and just as we were settled the show started.

I could not even believe how smoothly the whole thing went.  Not only that, but two princesses were escorted by us by security as we walked through a passage way to get to our seats.  As the princesses went by us -- close enough to touch even! -- fellow princess junkies parted to make room and you could hear "OOHS!" and squeals. 


My next big fear was "would Andi sit still?"  Yes. My little popcorn addict sat still the whole time -- except for when I tried to get her picture...

Not only did she sit still, but she clapped and shouted "Oh SNOW WHITE! SNOW WHITE!" when said princess appeared. 

My next big fear was making it back to the car.  I wrote everything down -- which parking ramp, what avenue, what floor, etc., so we did find our way back and as we got to the elevator bay in the correct parking garage, I set Andi down, looked away for a second -- the elevator doors closed -- and I looked down and Andi was gone.

We were standing with a huge crowd waiting our turn to ride the elevator and I FUR-REAKED out.  "Where's Andi?! Where's Andi?" I yelled three or four times as a gut reaction.  My mind said Andi was on the elevator and panic had overtaken me. Everyone started looking and some mom called "Is this Andi?"

Yes,  yes it was.  Standing at the window on the other side watching the cars go by.

"You got cocky," I told myself, "wait til you get to the car, then let your guard down." 

I totally got lost leaving downtown, but ultimately, found a ramp to our highway and made it home.  With happy, happy girls. 

Oh, and the show?  It was good. Especially the ice getting lit on fire.  Very cool. Oh, and Tinker Bell's wand really sprayed pixie dust.  I want one. 

Home again, with our treasures, "take my picture with my shoes and my snowcone cup, Mom" said Sophia.  "Take my picture with my wand and my cup, Mom," said Ella.   So I did.
The End

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

From the Mouth of Ella and is this Puppy Love?

Ella was loud and sassy the other day, and I said to her, teasing her back, "Ella, you have a big mouth!  Where did you get that from?"

Without batting an eyelash she snapped back, "I got it from YOU!"

Awwwww! Shucks!   

Today the heavens opened and smiled upon me when another mom took the twins home from preschool with her son and fed them then let them have a play day at her house.  The other mom and I hatched the plan last night and upon hanging up, my eavesdropping twins could hardly wait to hear the plan.  Ella, putting her hands on her hips said, "Did you leave enough time for me to play with "J.T." after we eat our lunch?" 

Hell yes I did.  I have 200 more pages of reading and papers to write before class tonight, I took all the time I could get.   

When I arrived and asked for a status report it was all positive -- no fighting, no crying or whining or obstinance, they used their manners...and as I walked up to the door I could see "J.T." giving Sophia a big hug good-bye.  He also made her a picture -- one of many of his that adorns our walls....

"J.T." and Sophia as drawn by "J.T."

When we got home I asked, "Why are you girls so awesome today?"

"Because we love you, mom!"

I've been using some new techniques I am learning in my parent coaching cert class and while it is intended to help with "intense" or "challenging" children, it's making a difference here at our house, too. 

Well, and a fun, relaxed play date never hurts anything.  From outside the van I could hear Ella's "WOOO HOOO!" as she released all of her happy energy onto the rest of us as we began to leave "J.T.'s" house.  Thank goodness for all these little preschool friends and their moms (and dad) who have been exchanging play dates with us.  What a sweet time in the girls lives as they really blossom their social side and start befriending all these other kids.  And their friendships are so sweet, they bring home drawings from other kids at school who made them pictures, they discuss their lives together, compare war stories such as the following, which Sophia processed with me the other day,

"Mom.  Amy told me that when her mommy has to do something at home that she plays by herself."

"Wow," I said.  "How did you feel when you heard that?"

"I was pretty impressed," said Sophia -- who has been working on playing WITHOUT mommy -- good lord this is a struggle for us. 

But just that little conversation seemed to awaken in Sophia an "ah ha" type moment that other kids are asked to be independent and it's not just mommy being "mean," as she once told me. 

Andi attended an open gym nearby while the twins went to preschool.  Andi avoided all the other toddlers and sought out one of the few preschoolers and played with her for over an hour.  Andi is used to running with the big dogs and, I guess, considers herself one of them versus "a baby."

I love watching children engage with each other and the world...I could sit and do it all day.  Too bad there isn't a paid job for that...

Miss Sassy Pants and Sophia at the MOA visiting Olivia the Pig