Sunday, December 23, 2018

A Long Winter’s Nap

Is 3 years too long to be considered a hiatus?  Probably so.  I should just chuck this blog and start fresh, but let's be honest...  That's entirely too much work, so I'm just going to pick up where I left off.  And by that, I mean that I'll post in fits and spurts with no pattern or timing whatsoever. You're welcome.

Here's a quick recap of the past 3 years, just hitting the highlights:

* The kids finally mastered the porcelain throne, and graduated from both Pre-K and Kindergarten.  We're currently tackling first grade (where I'm relearning how to add and subtract in crazy new ways).

*After sailing on both NCL and Carnival, the kids declared themselves master cruisers and decided that Carnival is the way to go- we have a cruise planned for Fall Break 2019, and I absolutely cannot wait!

* I learned to play fantasy football, and though I am really terrible most weeks, I've managed to win enough to stay out of the proverbial hole (can you say that, Paul?).

Clearly, we need to get out more, if the most interesting things about the last several years revolve around the toilet, cruise ships and football, but what can I say?  We have 6 year olds...  This is the life we live.

Monday, April 6, 2015

What we've been up to -OR- How NOT to potty train your toddler

Man. Life with toddlers is HARD!   At least once a week, I have an amazing idea for a blog post, and before I sit down to write it, a cookie must be gotten, a bottom must be wiped, or a dispute must be settled.  Notice the musts, because nothing is ever leisurely when a toddler needs it.  If you've ever attempted to potty train a 2 year old, you know what I mean.

Speaking of potty training, did I mention that it is awful??  One of Dante's seven levels of hell is most assuredly completely devoted to potty-training.  Since the littles are scheduled to start preschool in the fall, we have been thinking a LOT about how and when to start the process.  They must be toilet trained to enter the program and we put down a non-refundable deposit to hold their place.  You do the math.   

Several weeks ago, we decided that we were done with diapers.  Armed with cute training pants (no Pull-ups here, thankyouverymuch!), full sippy cups, stickers, jelly beans, and a timer, we woke up at 7:30 and tackled bladder control like a BOSS!  Until 7:35 when we had our first accident.  No problem- just change the undies and move on, right?  6 accidents later, we had run out of training pants and the washer wasn't finished cleaning the first 5 pair!  There was not one upholstered surface in our living room that was dry.  

Every 15 minutes, the timer would ding and we would dutifully place Jack and Molly on their potties. Molly would grin and say, "I doin' it Mommy!" while doing absolutely nothing.  Conversely, Jack would squeeze out the teeniest little sprinkle and demand his just reward.  It got to the point that Jack would hear the bell and start tinkling in his pants!  Pavlovian response training at its no-so-finest. Like good parents, we soldiered on. Paul made an emergency run to WalMart to pick up extra pants, and I religiously set our timer for 15 minutes so we could sit on the potty.  Finally, blessed nap-time arrived, we slapped the kids in diapers and put them to bed.

Two hours later, we were recharged and rejuvenated.  We heard the peaceful babbling of angel children and rushed to their room to begin the potty adventure again!  Jack saw me and immediately started crying, saying "No, Mama.  No more potty, please?  Pretty please?".  What on earth had we done to these poor babies?!  As it turns out, children are pretty adept at sensing their parents' stress level.  So, we did what any educated, level-headed Mom and Dad would have done.  We changed them into dry diapers and decided to try again another day.

I am happy to announce that now, with no prompting on our part, Jack asks to poo-poo on the potty several times a day, and is almost always successful, hemmhorroids-be-damned.  He hasn't caught on with the tee-tee part yet, but I'm sure it's coming.  Molly still sits on her potty and blatantly lies to us about what she is (or is not) doing.  I'm fervently praying that she comes around, because adult diapers are even more expensive that toddler ones!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Jesus and Santa Clause

This Christmas season, we've been focusing on the meaning behind the holiday and why we celebrate Christmas.  There are posts in my newsfeed every day about how Santa Clause is evil, and your kids will grow up to hate you for lying to them when they realize Santa Clause isn't real.  Some even go far enough with the  "real vs fiction" realization to declare that kids will start to think that Jesus is a lie, too.  I used to think these posts were a deliberate attempt to make me feel like a horrible mom to even consider inviting Santa to stop at our house.  However, after trying to rationalize Jesus and Santa Clause to a toddler, I kind of understand the dilemma!  I grew up believing in both, and I turned out just fine, but what if I am dooming my kids?  

Molly wants absolutely nothing to do with the discussions.  She knows that there are presents under the tree and she wants to open all of them.  NOW.  She cares not why they are there, or from whom they came.  

On the other hand, if you ask Jack why we celebrate Christmas, he wil throw his arms out and excitedly yell, "JESUS!!".  Then, in a quiet voice, he adds "And Santa Clause? With the presents?".  Yes, sweet boy, but mainly Jesus.

After much debate, and lots of eye-rolling from my husband, we've decided that our family will celebrate the birth of Christ, while maintaining the spirit of Santa.  I don't think we will push the naughty or nice agenda, or chastise our little ones, reminding them that Santa "sees you when you're sleeping!".  That's a bit creepy for me.   So, just as Jesus freely gave everything for us, while we clearly didn't deserve it, Santa will bring gifts for our children.  Trust me- Toddlers are not capable of being good enough to "earn" the things that Santa brings them.   I certainly won't judge anyone who decides to abolish Saint Nick at their house, but if your kids come to kindergarten and gleefully tell mine that Santa is a fraud, we'll have more than family traditions to discuss.  

Merry Christmas, and other fun stuff

It's December 17, and my Christmas shopping is complete (for the littles).  Have I even started buying gifts for everyone else in my life?  Oh, goodness no.  Let's keep it interesting and completely last- minute, shall we?

In fairness, Jack and Molly's big gift was brought to our house a few weeks ago, so there wasn't much to do in terms of gift-getting.  

They absolutely adore it.  I am so happy that we have something to play on outside!  It satisfies their monkey-like climbing addiction, and there's nothing sweeter than a completely, slap-dab worn out toddler at nap time.

In other semi-related news, Amazon Prime is the best and worst thing that has ever happened to us. Especially during these massive lightning deal sales.  Every.Single.Day, there is something on sale that we just need.   Some items, like the kids' balance bikes, were smart, sensible buys.  We were planning on buying them for birthday gifts, so getting them 50% off a few months early makes sense.  However, the other 15 packages that have shown up on our doorstep in the past few weeks are of more questionable necessity. I mean, Paul bought himself a bicycle.  It's a great bike, and he's wanted one for a long time, but still.  Darn you, Amazon Prime!

If I don't get around to blogging before Christmas, I hope that each and every one (and I mean one, since I probably have no readers left...) of you has an amazing Christmas.  I know at we will!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Breaking Radio Silence

So, I am pretty much the worst blogger ever.  Actually, if it's been 9 months since my last blog post, am I still even considered a blogger?  Probably not.  I digress-  I'm getting off-topic already.  

Toddlers.  That's why I'm back.  I need an outlet to talk about toddlers.  And the insane way in which two tiny people can completely alter the course of of my existence so drastically that I literally cannot remember what life consisted of before they arrived. Who I was, what I did which my spare time, what silence sounded like...  Those types of things.  I didn't realize that it is normal to breeze from emotion to emotion, flitting between insanely happy to maddeningly angry before my brain could even begin to comprehend the former.  And, in the blink of an eye, I'm back to this all-consuming love that makes me question how I could ever have been upset with these little angel children at all.  It's insanity.  That's what this whole parenting gig is about.  But I really love it.
Today was one of those sickeningly great days. The kind where I was desperate to call in to work and just sit home absorbing the sweetness that is Jack and Molly.  We tore up pieces of perfectly good construction paper and stuck it to strips of packing tape.  Why?  Because it seemed like a good idea when I saw it on Pinterest.  It totally lived up to my expectations.  The best part was turning those clumps of paper and tape into completely awesome super-hero belts.  Take that Pinterest-  an original idea, by me!  Jack cried when he had to take his belt off for a much-needed nap, which made me feel like a super-hero for inventing the paper tape belts in the first place.

The fact that Molly pulled a spider-monkey when she realized I had to go to work might have encouraged the, "My kids really love and appreciate me!" feeling a little bit.  Honestly, a real super mom would have a crisis plan in place to avoid the clingy toddler situation, but I haven't pinned that yet.  Right now, I am enjoying the small, happy moments when both of my offspring are perfect- because they are exceedingly rare- and tomorrow, I'm certain that they will drive me absolutely bonkers and I'll want to throttle each of them.   Twice. 


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Gingersnap vs Shortbread

When I found out that our twins were absolutely, 100%, positively, boy-girl, I was over the moon.  With one pregnancy, we completed our family in the most ideal way possible.  And of course, I'd be be far less likely to constantly compare them to each other because they were so obviously outwardly different, right?  Opposite-gender twins just rock for a million reasons.  

Fast forward 16 months, and I still think that we hit the twin jackpot.   Unfortunately,  my aspirations for equality and non-comparison flew out the window on day one.  I still struggle daily with it, but Molly and Jack are so different that it's impossible not to notice.  It seems that we have one tough cookie (Molly) and one little one who crumbles easily (Jack).  That's right, folks....  Gingersnap vs Shortbread.  

Molly is a clumsy, adorable, running disaster and she doesn't even care.  Unless I witness a trip or fall, it is exceedingly rare that I will know it happened.  No tears, she just picks herself back up, trips again, and repeats the process.  There are days when she looks like a walking bruise.  You'd swear someone was beating my child while she naps!  She's just a tough little girl.  Our gingersnap.

Speaking of boo-boos, I can probably pinpoint to the minute, when Jack got each of his.  He makes it painfully clear when he has fallen, whether he's actually hurt or not.  If you look even at him funny, cue the waterworks.  To call him sensitive is the understatement of the year.  Crumbly, messy, shortbread.  

Until recently, I hadn't put much thought into our response to the kids' mishaps.  We just did what came naturally.  Now, I'm thinking that my "natural" reaction may not have been the most appropriate one.  

Chicago Bears Wide Reciever, Brandon Marshall, was recently interviewed about bullying in the NFL, and he said this:

"When a little boy falls down, the first thing we say as parents is 'Get up, shake it off. You'll be ok. Don't cry.'  A little girl falls down, what do we say? 'It's going to be ok.'  We validate their feelings.  So right there from that moment, we're teaching our men to mask their feelings, to not show their emotions."

I am still not sure how to balance our little cookies outrageously different personalities, but I love Brandon's take on how not to address the crumbling.  

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Here I go again... Playing catch up!

At the constant urging  and behest of my husband, I am finally updating the blog!! It's been months, and the thought of all those un-chronicled memories makes me sick to my stomach.  Honestly, I think that's why I haven't written a post since Molly and Jack's birthday.  Every time I sit down to write, I realize how many awesome little moments have passed, and I get overwhelmed thinking of where to start.  So I guess I'll start with the highlight reel:

- Molly and Jack both started walking.
- Mommy and Daddy learned about the importance of baby-proofing.  
- Jack learned to say "Up!", which was insanely cute for about 2 days, until I swore that if I heard UpUpUp one more time...  Well, you get the idea.  


- Jack expanded his vocabulary to include juice and go, and spent most of the month with a  nasty upper respiratory infection.  He loves stealing his sissy's lovey and blanket, so she caught all of his germs, too.  
- Molly has no real words yet, but is steadfastly holding on to her catchphrase, "duckaduckaducka".   I'm sure that she's trying to tell us something brilliant and life-changing, but for now, it is just really adorable to hear.  Meh...  She'll talk eventually.  I hope.  
-Both kids have decided that food is for the birds, and that they shall subsist on macaroni and grilled cheese until they go to college (where they'll only be able to afford junk like this, and they'll wish they'd taken advantage of the great food we made for them...).   


October: (we're almost caught up, folks!)
- Molly has learned to shut doors and loves to run down the hall and shut herself in her room.  She'll play happily by herself until she realizes that she's alone.  Then she has a panic attack.  Silly girl.  
- Jack is in major boundary testing mode. He'll open a cabinet that he knows is off limits and just stand there, waiting for me to notice.  Once I see him, he rushes to grab something and hand it to me, like he's trying to help.  It's so hard not laugh!  
- They are starting to play with each other.  By "play", I mean that they steal each other's toys and notice when it happens.  
- We're working on rolling/throwing their soccer balls back and forth, and it is the only activity that will hold their attention for more than 30 seconds.   Thank God (and Nana) for balls.  


They are both so much fun right now.  Paul keep saying what a joy they are, and he's absolutely right.  This age is my favorite so far.  Whew!  3 months in a flash.  I swear, it was almost that fast in real life.