the fifteenth

I had had writers block for a week and was at a loss. I'd tried a dozen times to write something. Something that had meaning. There are only so many times that one can write random words without getting completely frustrated. At some point something has to stick or else the frustration is, well, it sucks. Literally. The frustration sucks the creative life out of you.

Anyhow, I was feeding the boys and turned my head to look outside and decided I was going to run. Yes, run. Like for exercise. And I was going to run right then. Lately I have been racking my brain on when I could possibly find the time to go to the gym. I am sure that I could find an hour here or there in a week, but I am a schedule person. I like knowing that every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday I go to the gym. Just going when it fits in doesn't work for me. The inflexibility is certainly a flaw. Eventually, I'll work on it. Right now I have other flaws on my list. Plus going to the gym means changing clothes, driving to the gym….all of which take up valuable minutes that I could spend sweating and regretting (the extra serving of carbs).

So this idea of running is perfect…well, perfect if I liked running. I am not a runner. Never have been. I hate running. Even when I was a gym rat, I never ran. I was elliptical maniac. I spent an hour on that stupid machine and then 30 minutes with weights and stretching. I was in pretty good shape…of course at the time I did not think so. Little did I know three and half years later I'd be softer than an angel food cake. The last time I went to the gym I was probably 12 weeks pregnant with the boys….they are nine months next week. You can see where this running thing is a wild idea. I've stepped on the Stairmaster in our garage a few times, but not enough to make any bit of difference. Plus getting on that Stairmaster means cleaning away the crap that has gathered on top of it, which always leads to some organizational project. A project that becomes a perfect excuse not to exercise.

This running thing was a brilliant idea. I mean, maybe I don't hate running any more. Millions of people love running. I need to try to love it too. Seems reasonable to at least try it again. What could it hurt? Ha!

As the boys were finishing up their snack, I ran upstairs (the baby monitor was on so don't go calling CPS) to change my pants and put on another bra (they aren't what they used to be). I pulled my hair back, shoved on a hat and grabbed my sunglasses. SIDE NOTE: an advantage to running from home is that I can wear sunglasses and cover up the dark black circles that are usually concealed with make-up and the likes. You look like a tool wearing sunglasses inside a gym. I need to find all the advantages I can. Hopefully these advantages will add to the enchanting running experience.

I put the boys in the stroller, bundled them up and took them outside to him. He was busy cleaning up after our four dogs (and you thought changing diapers was nasty. Four dogs…need I say more).

My first words were, "don't judge."
He laughed. Don't judge usually means I am about to make an announcement that he will laugh at no matter what it is.
"I am going on a run."
"Really?" He replied.
"I said don't judge."
"I'm not." He was smiling so I knew he really was judging. "Don't you think a walk would be better?"
"Here are your sons. I'll be back."
"Do you think this is a good idea?"
"No." and off I went. I figured I'd take a dog with me. Something to keep me from walking the whole way.

I started running the moment I closed the gate behind me. The neighbor kids were out playing. Feeling a little cocky I remarked on how cool their bikes were as I jogged by. One of the neighbors was out in their front yard. The cockiness still in play, I kicked up the pace and ran by giving an "afternoon" as I trodded past. It felt good. I was light on my feet. Found a good pace. I was a bad ass. Look at me. I found the time. I was a born-again. Right then and their running was my new thing. I needed a thing. This was it. I made it out of our court and was thinking that I should sign up to run a half-marathon. What am I thinking? I'm a ___ bad ass. Make it a full marathon. I had been running for about 30 seconds.

As we made our way down the street and onto the running path my lungs started to burn. They were on fire. Wow. Then my calves. About 45 seconds later my ass. I had been running for a whole 5 minutes. I gave myself a break (a rarity) and rationalized that I had not exercised in a long time. Keep going. You pushed out twins with a faulty epidural. You can run. I walked periodically, but tried to run as much as I could. Each time I would walk, the dog would turn to look at me as if saying "really?"

As I rounded the corner back to our court, my feet had turned to bricks. My cockiness had fizzled to embarrassment. I had been gone for about 15 minutes and fourteen of them were miserable. I kept thinking did all runners start off like this? Maybe I will be the next Usaine Bolt….probably not, but a girl can dream right?

You can see that the writer's block passed, or at least for the moment. Nothing like burning ass muscles to help the words flow.

the fourteenth

I'm a bad ass mom. Really. You don't believe me, you should see what happens when she is on a time out. My time outs are so powerful they hurt. They inflict injuries in a stealth like mode. She goes on a time out and then suddenly she has the biggest owie know to man. Truly. Her injuries while on time out consist of hurt toes, week old bruises on her knees that flair up, or some remarkable eye issue that always seems to resolve itself once the time out is over. It really is a remarkable phenomenon. I am mom hear me roar.


the thirteenth

As a mom to three little ones (blessing/curse) I have realized that the hardest part is not the parenting, it is the trying to still be a human. A human with good days, bad days, a horrible attitude and on some days a complete lack of focus. A human who get excited and gitty.

A human who laughs at inappropriate times and smiles at cute boys (men). A human who still gets their feelings hurt but is often forced to suck it up and take one for the team. A human who on the hardest of hard days has to get up in the morning and put on a good front for the sake of my beautiful children. All the while battling my own issues and demons. My own accomplishments and defeats. Realization of my own goals and wants. Acceptance of what is and what will never be.

And it is for these reasons that I appreciate my parents (and those who guided me) more and more each day. Thank you for being human and thank you for the ability to eventually see this fact. Although, it is probably a little overdue.


the twelfth

Everyone (including me) was a little irritable this morning. Which I should have taken as a sign that the day would have a few bumps. Actually, the first sign should have been the snot-snail-trail across her face this morning. It was the first thing I saw when I opened my eyes. Pleasant. Nothing like dried snot before noon. So, because of the irritability I thought it would be good to get out and walk. A little fresh air might help lift some spirits. Plus I had eaten a few too many breakfast sausages. A walk would at least make me feel a little bit less guilty. She insisted on taking her wagon. Which really was not a good idea but she was already in a mood and had enough snot for the entire neighborhood. Fine. Bring the damn POS Walmart wagon. About twenty minutes (which is why walks are not a fav of mine these days) later we were on our way.We had just barely gotten around the block when it happened. I was slightly ahead of her and the stupid wagon. I heard her little feet running to catch up. Then, silence. But for just a second and then came the sliding sound. That girl slid across the asphalt like it was the bottom of the ninth, tie ball game, diving for home plate. Again, silence. And then the screams. Poor thing. I think she was more scared than hurt. Of course I picked her up (cause I am usually a good mom) and told her it was okay. Of course gallons of tears and snot were running on to my jacket...I made a mental note to wash it later on today with the other gazillion loads that were calling my name.

When I put her down, she made sure to pull up her pant leg to assess the damage. No sense falling if you don't have the boo-boo to show off. There it was. A nice case of road rash. She looked at her knee and then at me. Through the snot and tears she mumbled that she wanted a banade (translation: band aide. A Hello Kitty band aide). Still in mommy of the year mode, I told her that when we get home we will get a banade. On we went.

We usually pick flowers and put them in her stroller, but since she had her damn wagon I could tell she was going to hunt down some big ticket items. And less than a minute after sliding into home plate, she had to touch it. She grabbed that thing like it was the game winning ball. She had reached out and taken a handful of a cactus. Now, I am not a cacti expert, but this thing was mean. Her poor little starfish hand was covered in tiny little thorns. Her hand looked like it had grown hair. I don't know what she did but the thorns were everywhere. On the front and back of her hand. And as any two-year old would do, she rubbed her hand on her jacket. Which pushed the thorns in further and broke off the ends. I did my best to pull out the thorns with my nails, but there were hundreds of them.  Tough little girl. She didn't shed a tear. Just snot. Again, on we went. As we walked, I kept looking back and asking to see her hand. I was so scared that it would swell, which would trigger some horrible chain reaction which would sent her body into a complete swell....yes, yes, worse case scenario person I am. But come on! What if? How the F would I get it all together to get her to the doctor with two semi-mobile, centipede crawling babies...okay, yes, yes. Too much coffee. Calm down. Is it too early for a drink...it was going to be a long day.

She made it home alive - no horrible adverse reactions. Thank God. I outfitted her knee with two Hello Kitty banades. Which she then had to show off to her brothers. She told them that she phell (fell) and don't touch her banades or they would be in big trouble.

Tomorrow is my Monday. Back to work. But I might grab myself a banade, just in case.


the eleventh

I don't usually stay home with the kids during the week - I work. So on the rare occasion that I do, I try to tolerate treasure each moment. I mean, I stay home with them on the weekends but that is different. While there is always things to be done (endless list of to-do's) over the weekend. The schedule is flexible. Although it might not appear to my husband that I am flexible. I am. Just as long as I can eventually get my chores done. The worst feeling is starting a Monday completely unprepared for the week. All moms know what I mean by "prepared for the week."

For me there is something sacred about Monday - Friday. It's as if those days are mine. My schedule. My routine. Hello, my rules. So when the one of them woke up at 5:30 am (after both of them fussing all night - which by the way sucked cause I had a few too many chardonnays the night before) and I had not yet showered, I took a deep breath and reminded myself that although today is a Monday it is not My Monday. Breath, Breath. I gleefully swooped up the baby to discover that he had peed through his pj's. Well, then I guess his waking up early is justified...you are forgiven. We scampered (not so much, but it sounds cute) downstairs with a dry set of clothing for him. As he was having his morning bottle, sans wet clothing, I enjoyed a few sips of warm, fabulous, strong, dark, French (get your head out of the gutter).....coffee. Of course that was short lived because the other one woke up too. So there we were, the three of us hanging out watching a little news while the beast continued to sleep.

At around 7:00 am she stumbled down the stairs and into the family room. She always looks like she pulled one over the night before and is still drunk. She walks funny and her hair...girl, her hair. I pity the man who marries her if the hair thing continues. She looked like a heathen. Something between Cousin It, an 80's hair band with a little Flock Of Seagulls thrown in. It's hot. But to top it all off, she is in pink-penguin-footed pajamas. Rachel Zoe would die. She saunters in and immediately started asking questions about what I was doing. She doesn't get the whole no questions till 8:00 rule. Obviously not my Monday.

Almost every single toy ended up on the floor and after picking them up twice I gave up. The pillows were off the couch. Blankets were strewn about. I was almost in the corner rocking back and fourth....the clutter it kills me. But, remember, it's not my Monday....secretly, I wanted My Monday back.

As the day went on, we played outside and while I was inside checking on the boys, she ran inside (with the hair-do flapping in the wind as she ran) and told me the dog pooped his pants and it stinks. I laughed. I guess their Monday isn't so bad after all.

We all went for a walk. She pushed her twins in a stroller and I pushed mine. I guess I missed the memo because each time I tried to talk with her, she would tell me to be quiet because her babies were sleeping. Again, I laughed.

Later on in the day we were sitting on the couch together eating raisins out of the tiniest box know to man. I looked over at her and whispered (her babies might still have been sleeping) "I love you."

She turned her head and with a huge smile whispered "I love you" and then put her tiny two-year-old arm around me. I laughed and a single tear ran down my cheek. I want more of their Mondays.


the tenth

Our first real Halloween was a success. She is 2 1/2 so, its not really the first Halloween. Just the first official. The first year she was in this world, Halloween was merely a day where I could dress her up in some hilarious costume and try to get her to smile as I talked a little smack behind the camera. She was a hydrangea. The costume was handmade and fabulous. The following year she had been diagnosed two days before with pneumonia. It was raining and she was in no mood to be dressed up and photographed. I have a series of pictures documenting the full meltdown (they will be featured in a slide show at her 16th birthday and a second showing at her wedding). Needless to say she did not step foot outside that Halloween. Plus what would a 1 1/2 year old know about Halloween? Waiting another year wouldn't hurt. Plus IMO (in my opinion) candy is like crack for babies.

This was her first official Halloween. The Friday before we had an official dress rehearsal. My photo friend came over to take some pictures and I bribed her to smile using....yes, baby crack. She smiled and stood as angelic as ever. The boys were not to thrilled with their penguin outfits, but they did seem to enjoy grabbing the hood of the other (which at the front had a bill = handle to pull on) and knocking the other one over. WWF wrestling 8 month olds....I can feel my hair getting grayer.

On Halloween morning I knew that the day could go so many different directions. We could have a replay of "the pumpkin patch" incident or with the fairy costume could come the Tinkerbell personality. I was hoping for the latter. I made sure that I had cooping mechanisms on hand and prayed that I would have extra patience. Hoped being the operative word.

As dusk approached, we fed the beast (cute nickname for her, right?) and started practicing our trick or treat greeting. She stood grinning as I dressed her up. She loved it but was not to into the wings or the hippy crown. Fine. I was not about to push my luck. My father-in-law and I strapped on the Bjorn packs, each complete with a cute penguin baby.

He was busy putting the final last minute touches on our Halloween decorations. He would catch up with us. We did a test "treat" at our neighbors house. She rang the doorbell and then started to walk away. I encouraged her to stand at the door and wait for it to open. She was completely confused. As the door opened she stood stone still. I told her to say trick or treat. Nothing. Stage fright. The candy bowl came down to her level, I gave the nod to take some candy. She took one piece and looked back at me. Again, I gave her the nod. She dove in and grabbed a huge handful. That's my girl. We said our thank yous (or I said it on her behalf) and we walked away. About five seconds later she uttered "trick or treat."
The evening continued in a similar fashion. She would shuffle up to the door and stand stone still and silent. The neighbors would compliment her and she would just shovel the candy into her bucket. As we were walking away, she would utter the magic words "trick or treat."

The bucket got so full that he carried it for her. About half way through, she caught on that he was helping himself to her booty. She scolded him a few times. Little did she know that her cuteness was scoring us candy for the next six months....isn't that why we have kids? To score candy and eventually fetch adult beverages?

All in all it was a perfect first official Halloween. And while I would love to say that I am looking forward to next year with three kids....I am not. Maybe they can all be dogs and I have them on leashes?


the ninth

I am not exactly a people person...well, maybe it's not people, it strangers. Okay, you got me, it is people that I don't know. I am just not a small talker. So why, why did the universe make me drop two eggs which found two sperm and...well, we all know the rest of the story. Anyhow, for such a anti-small talker person, why do I have twins? Twins = small talk. Twins also = fascination. Why do people care so much about twins when they are all the rage these days? Hell, it seems in Hollywood that everyone is doing it. Twins are the new botox. I am not famous, but take twins (plus a 2 year old) into a store and a lot of people are looking. And I know its not because of my cute shoes.

My technique is to smile and keep walking. The smile has to be a love to stop, but you know... kinda smile. It is the disappointed smile that will hopefully chalk up some pity points.  The same kind you give to your annoying neighbor. You don't want to be thought of as a complete B, but you also can't stomach another round of questions. Plus, I just don't have the time to talk. The weekend is only so long and then Bam!...Monday is upon us. Hours in a grocery store is not my idea of a great weekend.

If you slow down, you are doomed. So you have to keep going at a good clip or you have given the "a-okay" for them to come over (block the entire isle) and ask the stock questions. Twins? How old? Both boys (duh)? Oh, and how old is their sister?
But you have to be careful with older ladies. If you smile to big, mark my words they will get a closer look. True story, an older lady followed me through Costco until she was able to catch up and get a glimpse. She wanted to touch their cheeks but the snot running down their noses deterred her at the last minute.

As any mom knows, when entering a store you have a window of time before the kid will self-destruct. The self-destruction can be in many forms. Some come like waves. Others like tsunamis - wiping out everything in their path including you and your patience. Most stores won't let you pop open a bottle of booze with out paying, so you have to make it through till the end. No escape.Well my theory is that the more kids, the narrower the window. It is a get-in get-out thing. No time to chit chat. Even if you don't know where you are going, you have to pretend you do. 

My husband is the kinda guy who could carry on a conversation with anyone. He smiles and acknowledges each person walking by. It really is a great quality. I am kinda jealous. Okay, maybe not. Anyhow, I love it when he comes shopping with me, except that he ignores the cardinal rules. I'll be half way down the isle, look back and he is not there. I back track and there he is smiling and talking to the someone. When he is through I ask him, "who was that?"
"I don't know. They wanted to know about them."

I can see our oldest begin to rearrange things in the cart...It looks like she is calculating which box of snacks to rip into first. The self-destruct count down has begun and we just started. Better stock up on the Chardonnay.