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

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Daddy is Home

But his bag and part of his tooth isn't.  Apparently in the 9 hour delay yesterday, the airline didn't have enough time to put his ONE suitcase on the plane.

The delay also afforded him time to eat lunch and dinner at the airport -- and that was working fine -- as was his committment to maintaining a positive and patient attitude -- UNTIL  -- his tooth broke down to the gum line. 

Luckily, earlier this week I spent the better part of a day reviewing the list of shitty in-network providers for our shitty new dental insurance and settled on three of the least shitty options. And it was hard work because no one advertises that they are a shitty dentist that does not "believe" their patient when the patient expresses difficulties with getting numb, nor do people advertise that they have shakey hands and an inability to inject numbing solution in the right spot.  And, surprisingly enough, they don't advertise that they will lock your jaw shut due to their own incompetence as a dentist.  

So really, I don't know that the three least shitty options are really the least shitty -- I'm just giving it my best guess. 

So last night at 7:30 I start calling the three least shitty dentists on the list and was only able to reach one -- who is out of town.  Ultimately I secured an appointment for Dave at an emergency dental clinic for this morning, he is there as I type, and I can only hope this goes well.

While I'm on a bitter streak, and before I type of the fun we had this week, let me just request that moms NOT bring their sick children to my home for a playdate as happened earlier this week.  Bitchy as this may sound, here's an easy rule: If your child is too sick to leave the house, too sick for school, I don't want her here because my children will inevitably all catch it (and they have) and I don't give a shit if "she really wanted to come before I take her into the doctor."

**Excuse me while I step away from my blog and hunt for my less bitchy side -- this could take awhile so feel free to travel around the world by foot while I look for my optimistic, positive side.** 

Ok. I'm back. 

Bobo and Kelli came for an overnight and a neighbor took the girls the other two days affording me enough time to get to the gym every day that Dave was gone.  That made such a difference and I have to say that this neighbor gives me a feeling of comfort -- like there's SOMEone here to rely on versus feeling like we are here in MN completely on our own with no one to rely on.  With three small children, there is a lot that can come up, and does come up, and knowing there is SOMEone there is a comfort. 

Bobo was, as usual, very generous while she was here.  We headed out for lunch and then went shopping for spring clothes for the girls.  The next day we all headed to Mall of America so Bobo could go to the American Girl Doll store as well as the Lack-a-daisical Life Is Good store.  The girls had an amazing time and it was fun having someone to go do something with.  A change of pace during the cold days is never a bad thing. 

Kelli reading a book to Andi at bedtime.  The girls like Kelli's bedtime stories which go something like this: "Oh! Hurt! bleeding!  Call 911!"

"Take my picture of my baby with her new friend and I want to be in the picture with them."

Ella selling smoothies

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Spilled Beans

We are on our own this week.  Daddy is off to Washington D.C. and while he was dreading leaving, I would have gladly traded spots with him.  I have this great desire to go somewhere -- alone -- where I am responsible for no one and the only thing I would do is sit and listen to silence. 

Bobo is coming for a brief stay while Daddy is gone.  Yesterday as Daddy said good-bye to the girls and told them it would be a few days before he saw them again Sophia told him -- without a drip of sadness about his departure -- "That's ok.  Bobo is coming!"

Saturday Sophia had her mid-winter in studio ballet performance.  I'm not sure if she likes the performing part or the excuse to wear red lipstick part...but here's a couple pics.

Today Ella came to me and announced, 
"For the first time in my life, things are beginning to go wrong."

I believe that is a line-gone-wrong from the Aladdin movie.  She was smiling while she said it. 

The twins and daddy headed off to the ISU vs Gophers gymnastics meet this past wknd.  Andi was a bit pissed at being left behind and so she spilled the beans when I wasn't watching. When I asked, "What happened?"

she answered,

"I don't know.  Ella did it." 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Courage and Bravery -- Andi at 20 Months

This morning Andi was awarded a certificate for "courage and bravery."

Andi got her first haircut this morning.  The twins needed their haircut, so all three went to see the stylist at once.  Andi was at her finest almost-2-yr-old self, running away, screaming, kicking and shouting "NO!" at me whenever I came close to her. Luckily the salon was quiet so I don't think we disturbed too many people.  While she was a holy terror nearly whole time we were there, she did sit completely still for her haircut.  She has watched the twins many times, and believing herself to also be 4-years-old, she was eager to sit "like a big" girl in the chair.  Here she is -- mid-blink -- but it's the only picture I got.

In this last month, I have captured some pics of her and below have tried to capture the essence of her in the past month...because sooner rather than later all these memories are going to fade away if I don't write them down.

Happy Andi

Andi is happy when she watches Elmo, eats cookies, chocolate cake, ice cream, "co-corn" (popcorn), and gum wrappers.  She loves to talk to grampa on the phone, see her sisters at school and play in their classroom.  Playing "outside," painting in the bathtub, practicing going potty, picking out her BLUE socks to wear, and time with the neighbor girls make her happy, too.  Andi asks for "ohmeal" (oatmeal) for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Ohmeal makes her happy, as do kitties.  If Andi really likes something she shouts, "I LOOOOVE IT!" while hopping or galloping through the room.

Mad Andi
Andi gets mad when mommy sings "No singing!", turns off the TV, tries to change her diaper, or when daddy just looks at her.  When Andi is mad she yells "SPACE!", swats, slaps, bites, and throws herself onto the floor, banging her head every time.  Andi doesn't like strangers to talk to her, or actually even look at her.  Andi hates being told it's time to go inside, and she does NOT like getting put in her car seat.  She is known in her ECFE class for giving..."the look."

Spunky Andi
Andi loves to "tickle, tickle" people, even the overly developed teenage gymnast who is bent over the drinking fountain whose rear-end, tightly encased in short gymnasts shorts, is the perfect height for Andi's "tickle, tickle!" fingers (luckily mommy grabbed her little hand right before anything awkward happened).  When Andi isn't tickling teen gymnasts or the mannequin in the gymnastics lobby -- who she calls "Barbie" -- she likes to dance with her sisters and mommy to Pink's song, "F****** Perfect".   Who needs Raffi?  

Andi also loves to go to gymnastics and run onto the forbidden gym floor, giggling when mommy chases and grabs her.  Last week, Andi, shocked by the site of Ella 4-feet high off the ground on a skinny balance beam  screamed at the top of her (very large) lungs, "OH! ELLA!" and then clasped her little hand over her big mouth until Ella dismounted. 

Such a drama queen.  I have no idea where she gets that.

Sad Andi
Andi feels sad when mommy and her sisters laugh at her when she wears a macaroni noodle on her forehead throughout lunch.  Andi feels sad when her sisters are sad or if she gets in trouble -- especially by daddy.  It breaks her little heart, makes her lip quiver and the tears flow.  Andi feels sad when her ice cream is gone and when she is given a dinner she doesn't want.  She responds to icky dinners (which is virtually every dinner mommy makes lately) "No Like IT!" and shoves the dinner across the table and hops down from the table.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Opening for a Guru: Please Inquire Within

In the book "Eat, Pray, Love" (I may have mentioned this book a time or two in the past -- and you may now be getting the hint that I can be a bit....ummmm....obsessive about things).  Anyway, the author talks about some theory that floats around out there about finding a guru.  The theory is, is if you truly long for a guru, that one will come to you. 

And after reading her book, I wanted a guru, too. 


In nearly all areas of my life, I'd like a guru.  Dave says, "what you want is a board of directors for your life." 

It doesn't matter what you call it, I want something.  A God, a guru, a CEO, a Divine Presence, Four Big Brothers (this is an Indian???thing??), a BFF, anything to ground me. 

One of the areas that I am struggling with right now is my professional life.  And for the purposes of me not getting overwhelmed, let's just focus on that one area for right now.  Though, on second thought, this is going to start to bleed over into my parenting life, too.  Well, and maybe my financial life...oy.  I tell you, wherever I try to go, there I am spinning in a hundred different directions and I am driving myself nuts.

Getting back on track...

Most of you know that I launched my private practice as a parent coach.  I have had inquiries, the website is getting a good number of hits every day, and I've had a few actual clients.  But it is hitting a lull. 

And as a professional, I feel like I need something more.  So I've been researching parent coach certification programs.  Many seemed cheesey, overly expensive without a lot of bang, etc.

But then last night, I went back to the Alfred Adler school website to review their cert I have a hundred times before, and for some reason clicked on the faculty member teaching the course.  The woman has her own private parent-coaching practice, and she offers the same training and certification FOR HALF THE COST through her private practice.

The class started TODAY.  Talk about timing and making a rushed decision for how to spend $1500 that I haven't got.

I spoke to her.  Then hesitantly joined the class reassuring myself that I'd have to spend that kind of money anyway to maintain my clinical licensure -- it seemed a good way to fulfill two different needs in my life.

And -- surprise -- I think this chick is good.  This just might be what I've been looking for to give me added skills and creds with clients.  Not only is it going to help my business, but going through the cert program is often transformative personally for parents.  And, since I'm trying to stay focused, I won't go into how I fantasized of running away last night, but will just say that my parenting is in need of some help lately. 

If you build it, they will come...and if you wish for a guru, she will appear.  


In the Presence of a Divine Writer

In the last week we have had strep run through a few of us, then a fever-y virus for Ella, then a respiratory thing whispering amongst the five of us -- not sure whether it will develop into anything or just fizzle out.  

I didn't make it to the Celtic Drumming Shaman at the Unitarian center since I was sitting with Ella waiting for a strep test on Sunday morning.  I was bummed about that, but I am vibrating with anticipatory excitement for this Friday when Elizabeth Gilbert, author of "Eat, Pray, Love" comes to the area.  I am SO going to be there. 

"Are you going to ask her to sign your book?" Dave wanted to know.

I doubted it.  I don't think I could get too close to her without passing out.  And I feel this great pressure to say something to convey to her how much I loved her book, her writing, the thoughts she expressed.  Everything.  What could I possibly say to her? I tried a few things, "I think I love you."  Seems creepy.  "You don't know this, but I think we could be best friends."  Weird-o.  "Can I touch you?"  No. That will certainly get me escorted out. 

So, like any shy introvert, I'll carry "Eat, Pray, Love" in my purse, arrive an hour early to assure I get a seat, and then I'll sit and listen to her, perhaps sometimes getting chills...and then I'll leave and come home, just giddy that I got to see her in real life.  What? Me? Star struck by a writer? Yes, absolutely...I'm such a nerd.

Now if only Sven Suundaard was going to be there, too..........

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Turning it Over to Zach Wahls -- He Did His Mamas Proud -- And Gave Me Chills

I wasn't sure what I'd get when I opened this link on FB this morning (see video below).  I certainly didn't expect to be blown away by -- I think -- the most eloquent, articulate 19 year-old I've ever seen.  What poise... I could only hope to be as articulate as this college student is as he presents his case to the republican politicians who -- unbelievably -- ultimately voted for ending civil unions in Iowa.

One of my twins asked me, not long ago, if she could marry a girl someday.  Without thinking, I answered her, "Of course.  You can marry who you want to marry."

And then I realized that -- technically -- I was wrong.  My gut reaction of acceptance is not shared by all.  In fact, today I was told by someone who was "saved" that I will be headed to hell when I die because I don't practice Christianity.  Furthermore -- according to her -- I will be joining anyone who is gay because while "God loves gay people, he doesn't accept their sin."  What can I even say to that? Turns out I didn't need to think of anything brilliant or articulate and my anger retorted, "You are a misinformed hypocrite and I'm glad not to have to sit in heaven -- if there is one -- with people of your type.  I do believe I will be more comfortable in hell, and so bring on the ingredients for smores and other campfire delicacies because, honey, I am so there."

I can only hope that if one of my children does want to marry someone who also happens to be the same-sex, that by then, the majority of people will have come to their senses and discrimination will no longer be allowed towards people involved in same-sex relationships.

Take it away Zach.... 
*all the videos are the same -- chalk it up to technical difficulty my inability to be tech savvy.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A New Attitude

I grew up a girl having to play with and try to get along with other little girls.  Now I've got three girls.  I'm used to attitude.  A few times this past week though, I've been caught off guard by the amount of attitude.

When I caught the twins painting at the "little table" instead of the big kitchen one -- a no-no because Andi will get into the paint -- I told them I'd have to take away their paint for the rest of the day for breaking that well-known rule.

Sophia spun around, looked me square in the eye with one hand on her hip and told me,

"I have other paints that I can use and I'll take them out and paint at the big table.  And when I'm done, you're gonna be BEGGIN' me to see what I painted."

And she flounced off and told Ella, "I'm gonna have to play with you because mommy is mean right now."

Oh hell damn.

Mixed emotions hit me -- I was a little glad that she had such chops on her -- as a kid, I often didn't have much for chops and when it comes to kids, it's always better to have to try to reign them in so to speak, than to try to push the overly passive ones out. 

But that kind of pissed me off.

"Madame," I said as I walked into the living room, "that is not a nice way of talking about me or to me.  You'll need to take 4 on the steps."

Andi has also begun to catch onto the whole attitude thing.  She has been flaunting a new 'tude in the last week. She poofs her lips out and furrows her eyebrows, then narrows her eyes and looks away at us disgusting folks who dare to talk to her.  Within the first few minutes of taking her out of her crib this morning, she slapped me five times.  (No, I don't slap/hit/spank, so she's not modelling after me).

I signed Andi up for an ECFE Mommy-and-Me type class with other 12-24 month-olds.  Today was our first day.  She has never done anything like it, but she has tantrums daily when I won't let her stay in the girls preschool room.  I tried ECFE with the twins, but didn't dig it as a good use of precious time...but felt I owed it to Andi to try something geared towards her.

She wasn't too into it.  She liked the toys, for a little bit.  She thought the other babies were novel and interesting, for a little bit, but having to stay for 2-1/2 hours was a bit much (and I'd have to agree).  Circle time was full of Barney-type songs versus princess songs and she found this maddening.

While all the other 12 babies sat with their mothers smiling and letting their moms clap their hands, Andi and the one other free-spirited little girl in there did their own thing.  The mom and I stuck together -- we had learned early in the day that we'd be in a category of our own -- each having spirited/strong-willed/whatever you want to call it- type kids. 

Andi laid on the floor and kicked and screamed while I sat and sang.  I shook the shaker to "Shake it Out" song while she stared at me, her eyes asking, "Why aren't we listening to Pink or Cinderella?"

For the action rhymes she hung upside down off my lap, rigid with anger about this ridiculous crap I was putting her through, while the other toddlers let their moms bounce them side-to-side "Tick! Tock!" 

Snack time was no better.  Who wants crackers in a cupcake wrapper?  And sitting in a mini chair -- that's for babies and she hiked off and one of the teachers got bubbles out to entertain her -- and guess who else -- while the rest of us went through introductions. 

I guess we'll go back and try again next week. 

And now I hear Andi awake from her nap, Sophia demanding she get to work on Valentine's -- writing time is over.