Halloween....a belated post.

While Halloween is so yesterday's news, I have yet to recount our experiences. Let me start off by saying that Halloween is one of my least favorite holidays. This wasn't always the case. I loved dressing up. My mom was a master at putting together memorable costumes. I think I was six or seven when I was a Playboy Bunnie. The outfit was complete with a black leotard, high heels a tail and ears. Of course at the time, I had no concept of the scope of this costume, but looking back my mom certainly got a few cool points for that one. Then there was Cyndi Lauper, Madonna (two years in a row) and quite a few others. So, why it is that now Halloween is so boo-boring?

She is fortunate enough to have a cousin a few years older who has sported amazing costumes every year and we get the hand-me-downs. Score! This year the original plan was that she would be JoJo from JoJo's Circus (A children's series about a clown and her friends). The costume is precious. My mother in law (MIL) came over with the costume and she would not come within three feet of the limp suit. No way. She wanted nothing to do with the Minnie Mouse dress as well. I was horrified. Has my distaste for Halloween worn off on her? Horrible mother. I could feel the heavens staring at me cursing my name. Bad mommy.

With a little convincing she gave into trying on the Minnie dress and she feel in love. Thank God. I thought I was going to be on the express flight to the island of bad moms.

For the next week she asked about Halloween. We talked about how people would come to our house and get candy. The first few time she balked at people taking her candy, but I was semi-successful in explaining the concept to her. She clearly has no recollection of last year's Halloween.

The big day arrived and all she could talk about was Halloween and candy and Mickey Minnie Mouse....she was getting the names mixed up. I felt like giving her cue cards, but she doesn't read yet so I had to scratch that idea. She looked pretty cute. No one would care if she said she was Mickey. It almost made the costume cuter.

As we ventured out to our first few houses, I encouraged her to go up to the door, ring the bell and prompted her to say trick or treat when the door opened. Being that she is three (going on 13) I figured I'd stop prompting her. She got into the swing of things pretty quickly. Although she often said trick or treat before the door opened. She would stand with her bag wide open, even after the candy was divvied out and the treating was over. On a few occasions, when the door opened, she walked right in the house and stood there waiting to be served. At one house after the candy was handed out, she reached in the bowl and grabbed a few extra handfuls. After each house she would turn her head and in the cutest little voice ask "can we do another one?"
"Yes, we can do as many as you like."
For one evening I had a guaranteed spot as an awesome mom. The next day when I would limit the amount of candy consumed and I was certain to go back to my usual spot as the 'no fun mom.'

As we rounded the block on our way back home, she announced to me that she had to go potty. I asked her if she could wait because we were almost home. As the door opened to the final house instead of saying trick or treat she switched it up with  "I have to go potty." We all (the adults) laughed.

Oh to be three.



This morning I stopped. For three minutes I actually stopped. Stopped the running, the stress, the frustration. I stopped the madness that has become my life, for three minutes I stopped. She had asked me to read it to her before. I've always said "We can do it later." 

I had just unbuckled her seat belt. Holding up the book and waving it back and forth, she asked "Mommy can we read this?"
She was getting out of the truck. We were at daycare. I was already running late. She wanted me to read her a book now? She wanted me to read her a book.

So I stopped. I sat on the tailgate and put her on my lap.

I stopped and I read the book to her.
I put aside the frenzy that would be today.
The craziness could/would wait.
The meetings the phone calls.
The mountain of paperwork.
I let the boys fuss while she and I had a moment.
I let the cars go by, the kids stare and the minutes pass....hell, they were only minutes.

After the last page I closed the book and paused. In that moment I strained to remember the last time I had done that.

Taken a moment.
Let things sink in.
I tried to soak in her energy, her optimism, her "being". Of course she didn't quite get the moment. Perplexed she turned her head to look at me and said "Mommy, what are you doing? Are you crazy?"

Her honesty shocked me....as it usually does. She's not one to mince words. Clearly she can see right through me.

So today (because I can't guarantee that it will happen tomorrow) I will try to stop. Even if only for a second.


The Other Side

The transition from purchasing toddler clothing to girl clothing isn't exactly the worst thing. Hell, I've ridden bucking runaway horses and still lived to tell about it. But crossing the isle of the store from the baby section to the girl section can go on my list of scary s*&%.

She is not out of the toddler girls clothing section, but her limbs are so long that I have been purchasing clothing a few sizes larger. I was on a hunt for pants and was completely unsuccessful in the toddler girl section. Besides the fact that they all were a horrible pattern or white (Kids and white pants. WTF?), they were just too short.

Before I crossed, I looked both ways and took the four steps to the other side. The girls section was large, much larger than the toddler section. It was complete with overly inappropriate clothing and then very matronly clothing.Tube tops for a girl? Khaki pleated front slacks? Who designs this crap?

I wandered very slowly and tactfully as though I was creeping through a forest. Of course I realized this after I was half way through the section. I must have looked like a crazy person. I zigged and zagged through the racks. Past the dresses, shirts, pants, accessories. And then out of the corner of my eye, I saw something white. My stomach dropped. A training bra. Really? Say it isn't so.

I know that I constantly wish that she will grow up. Get to that point where she is self-sufficient. But can we skip the training bra phase?


Fit Club

I feel like I have always been active. Gymnastics, ballet, tap and soccer as a kid. Horses for over a decade. After my equine retirement I was at a loss on how to stay fit. I first stepped into the gym at 23....before then the world was my playground (are you laughing at the fact that I just typed that? Well, I am. Ha ha!). But it's the truth. I always has a physical activity. Going to the gym had never entered my universe.

Being me, I found solace in the gym. My obsession was short lived, but while I was there I got in the best shape of my life. Then I met a great guy, dug into my new career, got married and had kids. Each live changer took time away from the gym and added a pound here and there. I always had my membership just in case I would end up with an extra hour....an extra hour? What a joke.

For a while I would make it to the gym at least three days a week. Then it trickled to two days, then one, and then once every two weeks. You get the idea. Something else always took priority....or maybe I just let other things become a priority...however ya wanna shake it, I wasn't making it to the gym.

I hurt my back a few weeks ago when I fell with one of the boys in my arm...sounds much more dramatic that it really was. The pain was bad and I limped to a new chiropractor to get a tune up.
After a 15 minute download on my personal, physical and diet history, the doctor gave me my marching orders. Change your diet (no dairy, no meet, no gluten) to cure the every present ulcer and start exercising....chasing kids and cleaning up toys was not enough. Time....couldn't you have written me a prescription for more time? Just one extra hour?

I had been waking up at 4am (truth) to get some work items done. So, why not exercise then? Well, CPS usually frowns on leaving the kids alone for extended periods of time. I was on a mission to find something that I could do at home. What comes to mind first when working out in your living room? The horrors of Jane Fonda or Sweating to the oldies VHS tapes. I can't do that. My ego has enough bruises. Richard Simmons would be the beginning of my complete demise. Next I'd be shopping QVC late nights hoping for a great deal on Quacker Factory clothing. FML.

I had heard of the P90X thing for a while. The infomercials showed fit people working out and getting more fit. But where were the chubby kids? Where were the soft people? The round shape club? Well, when my box of P90X tricks arrived in the mail, I quickly found out.

Getting down to business I completely ignored the note about taking a fit test before hand. Fit test? I'll be fine. 12 CD's complete with a calendar to track your progress. Let's get it on!!!

The first day I didn't have much time so I decided to do the shortest CD. Ab Ripper X. This guy Tony who is in amazing shape appears on the TV screen...remember its before 5am. So chipper people are frowned upon. He doesn't mess around. We did something like 349 ab/core exercises in less than 15 minutes. No breaks, no water, no messing around. It was hell. I looked like a fish flopping on the carpet. I cursed at this Tony dude at least a dozen times as he and his disciples effortlessly crunched and flexed their ripped bodies. P90X isn't for fat kids....it's for fit people....I am not a fit person...yet.

My hip flexors (muscles at the top of your thigh, right where your thigh meets your hip) were so sore that while driving I could not lift my leg from the gas petal to the break with out crying out in pain. She would comment "what's wrong? Why are you making that noise?"
"My legs hurt."
"Do you need a bandaide?"
I wish it was that easy.

Two days later I did plyometrics aka jump training....I could barely walk down a slight incline. It was horror. I continue to curse Tony each time I see his smug mug on the TV screen. Two days ago I did Kenpo X...basically a lot of Karate kicks and punches. I can barely straighten my arms. Tomorrow I will tackle another CD...what can I say, I am a bit of a masochist.



"Where are you going Papa?"
"I have to go to work."
He left the room and she looked sad.
"It's okay. He'll be back later. I promise."
"I gonna miss him."
For me, tears. Only two, but still how adorable.

When he came back in the room to say goodbye, she told him "Papa, I gonna miss you."
My eyes started weeping. He looked at her and said "When I come back, I will bring you and your brothers a surprise."
Bum, bum, bum.....big mistake mister. "You'd better hold true to your word." I warned.

As the day went by, references to this "surprise" were hourly. She threw it into every conversation.
"If I finish my breakfast Papa will bring me a surprise."
"If I finish my lunch and take nap, Papa will bring me a surprise."
I thought about calling him to remind him, but figured he made his bed....he can sleep in it.

His truck pulled up, and as usual the dogs started whining. She went crazy. Leaping and clapping her hands. Papa was home. The "surprise" was within her reach. She dove out the garage door. "Papa, Papa do you have my surprise?"
His face went blank. His heart sank...or at least I hope it did, because my heart sank.
He mouthed "Oh, shit!"
She continued quizzing him, "Papa, do you have my surprise?" "Where is my surprise?"
He thought fast (kinda dumb, but fast) and handed her a water bottle. Nice work slick.
"Mommy, look at my surprise."
I was less than impressed and so was she.

But she quickly realized that a water bottle is not a surprise. The questionning continued. "Papa, Papa, you said you would bring a surprise?"
"I didn't think she would remember."
Clearly, he has not listened to my stories.....sucker. That will teach you.

Each time she asked it was like a knife to his heart. I thought about letting him suffer. But his suffering was also her suffering...and I just couldn't handle her desperate tone. So I bailed him out. He became the hero of the night as he unveiled a Toy Story 3 toy with Jessie and Bullseye that I had picked up a few weeks ago. He was a hero...in her mind. In my mind, well, let's just say neener, neener, neener....I told you so.


two seconds

Two seconds. Practically the speed of light.

When they are "loose" I can't take my eyes off them for more than two seconds. We have baby gates and cabinet door locks and deadbolts and outlet covers. We have done our due diligence when it comes to toddler proofing our house. But the lure of the kitchen table and chairs is clearly much to tempting. They look at the top of the kitchen table as though it were Everest. And me, I am the unrelenting weather keeping them from the summit. Everest takes weeks if not months to climb. The kitchen table takes two seconds.

Now you may ask, what do they do when they get on the table? Answer, they just sit. The accomplishment of making it to the top is enough entertainment. That is until they find the napkins or place mats. Who doesn't like snacking on a paper napkin or wiping your snotty noise on a place mat?

Is it a big deal that they get on the table? No.

Are they causing any harm? Other than the poor trees that died for the napkins, No.

But with two of them on the table at once, the odds of one falling off and cracking their head open is drastically increased. And while I am the first one to go with the theory that they would probably never get on the table again, falling off a table is a bit extreme.

An unlikely lookout, she takes pride in tattling on her brothers. So when I have to use the little girls room, she's on duty. She takes her hall monitor job very seriously and she's actually pretty good at it, which scares me.

If you have ever timed yourself, two seconds is about as long as it takes to unbutton your pants. It takes much longer to actually "use" the little girls room. My timing is crutial. Like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible crutial. Mess it up and I might pee my pants. By the end of the night, I have pulled out all the stops - passing off all the distractions I can find. Remote controls, hats, bags and tupperwear. A girls gotta do, what a girls gotta do.

Some of you may ask, where is he? Can't he watch the gremlins while you use the facilities? Well of course he could. But a full work load for the last few months has almost turned me into a single parent. Except, this is like being a single parent with a ghost who leaves socks on the ground inches from the laundry basket and dishes in the sink. The last couple of weeks have been hard. Really hard. And I try to keep my moments to myself, or at least out of the sight of the kids. But I am not perfect.

On a particularly hard day, I lost it. She was in a mood and they clearly sensed my weakness. At 5:30pm I was ready for them to go to bed. I knew it would be a very long hour and half. By 6:15pm I was cracking. After a marathon list of questions from her, I asked her to watch her brothers while I slipped away. Within seconds she was whining and they were sprinting for the table. I yelled "Two seconds! Can I have two seconds?" Of course it did no good. Her bantering continued and they relented on their ascent. 7pm was so very far away.

Yesterday morning during the madness of getting ready, an act that truly does resemble herding cats, she was busy hoarding books into a box. The purpose of doing so? Only she knows.
I said, "Okay. It's your turn to get dressed."
"We have to get you dressed, so that we can go. Mommy has to go to work and don't you want to go play?"
She let out a huge sigh (she gets that from me). "Mommy, can I have two seconds? I'm really busy."
It took everything I had to not smile......and cry.
Shoot me now.


It needs to come home with me

It had been sometime since I had visited the red bulls-eye mecca. I love/hate that place. Go in with a goal of three things. Leave with a cart full of impulse buys. Damn you Target.

The dollar racks caught me right as I walked in the door. She ran over to the racks with determination. She didn't know it, but the racks were calling to her....just like they call to me. Of course I found $10 worth of crap that the mommy kids HAD to have. My rationalization....it's only a dollar. What's the harm. Plus, I don't have to "round down" the price when he asks how much it costs.

I snapped myself out of the dollar high and headed back to the shoes department - the entire purpose of walking into this place.

Stay focused.

Stupid me, I took the long way around which put me right by the home decor...crap. Thankfully the boys (one buckled in the seat and the other loose in the basket - hold your judgments - what was I supposed to do? those stupid two seated crazy limo cards are a recipe for disaster) decided to play "who can grab at the fragile stuff the fastest." I hightailed it out of home decor and made it to the shoes unscathed.

I refrained from gagging at the sequin covered mary-janes and the action figure sneakers. Really? Where are all the regular shoes? As I was cursing the red bulls-eye for not having what I came here for, she came over with a rolling backpack. Not just any rolling backpack - this was a princess rolling back pack. Pink with princesses and a complete piece of junk.
"What do you have?"
"A pack-pack."
"Yeah? What are you going to do with that?"
She looked up at me "It NEEDS to come home with me."
And with complete elation I wanted to crouch down and say "I know! Stuff talks to you right? The stuff you absolutely love. It talks to you! It happens to me too."

But like a good mom role model, I told her that we could not get it today. Maybe another day. Then I went on to tell her, and show her, that it was not made very well and would fall apart. That 26 bucks for that piece of junk was a joke. We would get her a good rolling back pack (sans princesses - thank god) from Pottery Barn. They were way cuter and better quality. She wanted nothing to do with my speech and had already begun to pack her pack-pack with shoes from the rack. Clearly she had her heart set on the backpack....I had to hold back from saying "I know sister. Parting with an item is hard."

I am still not sure how it worked, but I managed to convince her that the back pack was not meant to be. We put it away and said good bye. She patted the backpack and said "I see you soon. You come home with me soon."

It occurred to me as we were driving home and she was chatting about her beloved "pack-pack", that while a bird & the bees conversation is required, clearly a discussion on parting with super awesome Target bounty would come first.


It happened

I knew it would happen eventually but I figured I'd be older....like 40...40ish.
In fact, I did not even know that it happened. The actual "happening" occurred sometime ago and I just realized it.

It was a Thursday morning. I know that because I remember being exhausted which contributed to my self loathing. The gal sitting next to me was probably 30ish....my age. We were sitting next to each other and she bent over in her chair to grab something from her purse. The way she jolted when she dove down caused me to glance over. There it was in plain sight. Her Victoria's Secret thong underwear. I know that because I have the same pair. At the moment I saw the top of her thong peaking out the top of her pants it hit me. I no longer wore thongs. I no longer wore cute underwear. I wore.....drum roll...comfortable underwear! Shit. Seriously? When did this happen? Comfortable underwear?

I started to sweat realizing that I couldn't remember the last time I wore sexy underwear...actually the last time I really felt sexy. Her we go....so what's next? Only practical shoes? Short hair because it's easier? Mom Jeans? I know that I am still young and I look young and I definetly still act young. But seriously? I have always preached that I was not going to let "that" happen. Now, don't get me wrong I did not go from thong to granny panties that could be used as a schrug. But am I on that path? Is this how it goes? Is this the progression of underwear?

I decided to run home (cause I guess I had nothing else to do) and fix this situation. I quickly changed from my black panties to a thong. Did I immediately feel my youth was back? Hell no. Did I feel sexier....uh, let's not go there. I threw my pants back on and walked back out the door with my head held high. I slid into the driver's seat and woop....the thong was certainly back (for those of you who have or do wear thongs you know what I mean). Okay......Quick adjustment and I drove away.

The day transpired as usual. While putting her to bed, I bent down to pick up something and she was behind me. My baggy sweats (sexy) had slipped down so the inevitable thong peek was in full effect. She said to me "Mommy what happen to your panties? Are they broken?"
Of course I laughed. How could  I not?
"No, they are not broken. But thank you for noticing."
"Your welcome." She replied and jumped into bed.

The thongs are out of retirement. The panties are in the bull pen and it's only a matter of time before they will be back in the game.


the thirtieth

The guilt pang…or in my case pangs…have been unyielding. The pangs should be from my failed attempts to become a somewhat "Green" home, or not sending out thank you notes within the 30 day etiquette window. Hell, who am I kidding? My guilt list could go on for days. Blogging has been on my to-do list for weeks; Right next to folding laundry and existing. Blogging is important to me, but clearly the task of existing is taking priority. Each morning as I wake around 4am, sit at my computer and begin working I silently lament about how I haven't blogged for weeks…months by now. I blog in my head daily but getting those thoughts on paper, well, there just aren't enough hours in the day and my requests for more hours have gone unanswered.

As many of you know I started my own wine compliance consulting business. In short, I assist wineries to obtain and maintain the city, county, state and federal licenses required to be a winery or to sell wine. Three kids, an already full plate, why not start my own business that will occupy each moment of my time not spend cleaning, cooking and wiping asses? The fact that I have not been blogging is a sign that things have been busy. Really busy.

The flexibility is wonderful, but the work is double if not triple of what I was doing before. Top that all off with two toddlers and an excessively energetic, smart, stubborn, opinionated three year old, a household and a husband who has been working just as hard. It is certainly a recipe for….well...a lot of tears, frustration and many deep, deep sighs. But I wouldn't go back. Not for a million dollars…maybe billions though.

Looking back at my last posts, those thoughts were eons ago. Yet, time has passed so quickly. The boys are busy bees. Constantly fighting and bickering. Stealing toys and pulling each other down. Their personalities are certainly starting to shine through. "A" is very vocal. He has a lot to say without saying much. Each sentence of gibberish is a declaration. And failure to agree will certainly cause him to continue his monologue. "B" is mister cuddle bug. Sit on the ground, he is sure to stand right in front of you, turn, back up and plop himself in your lap regardless of what you want or think you want. She is, well, she is a test of patience. She's three. Someone said to me the other day that the terrible threes are almost as bad as the terrible twos. I am not so sure. I have a feeling it will be the terrible everything. He asked me the other day, "what's wrong with her?" My reply "She's three and some day she will be thirteen and then sixteen. We are screwed."  
She yelled at a bike rider (from the car) that he had to put his helmet on or he would be in big trouble. She told me the other day, after one of the boys accidentally hit me in the face with a toy, that I should tell my papa so that the baby can go on a time out. She talks to me with her hands on her hips. His daughter.

But she also the source of so much laughter. While in the bathroom brushing her teeth, and doing her best to avoid the task, she was pointing out the usage of each item on the counter. Soap is for washing hands, lotion is for arms, and the spray is for papa's poop. "He stinks." I almost wet myself trying not to laugh. 
Telling me each morning that she loves my hair regardless of the condition and telling me each night that she loves my eyes. Dark bags, wrinkles and all.

I wish I could catalog all of her antics…they would fill a book. Probably only a book a mother would love and she would hate.

I can give no guarantee on my blogging frequency. But the lack there of is certainly a sign that my plate is full and the laundry is still unfolded.


the twenty-nineth

I am purging.....don't worry I am not an alcoholic or bulimic. Mostly baby and kid stuff. Clothing, strollers, shoes, equipment....a lot of stuff. It is time to let go of all the s&^t that is cluttering closets, spare rooms and of course the man cave (garage). Heaven forbid something other than a saw, ATV or "very important tool" (a real quote) occupy the family garage. See how I put family garage, but it is really his garage. Don't tell him I said that....

During this process of purging and sorting I found myself getting sad as I would cart handfuls of clothing and random equipment I had forgotten about to the living room of our house. And for a few days I could not figure out what was wrong with me. Why was I so sad. Purging is great. Everyone should purge. It's rejuvenating. But this was different. I would feel fine, then I would sort through the huge pile of stuff that has almost taken over our living room and I would feel horrible.

Tonight chardonnay and I (I already told you I am not an alcoholic....but chard is a great friend. Usually comes out on Friday's, but it was a busy day) were sorting through a huge, huge mound of clothing. I felt my body begin to tense, my lip quiver and a tear run down my face. I sat down and I cried. I realized that the horrible feeling was sadness. A lot of sadness. While I love a good purge, this purge is different. It's the baby stuff from MY babies. It's not old tupperwear, or old clothes, or towels. It's MY babies stuff. Each piece has a memory attached....well, maybe not each piece but it sure feels that way. My babies don't wear those little tiny socks any more. Or the dress with the adorable hat. Or the little red shoes - so tiny. And my twins (my who the ___ would have thought we would end up with twins) no longer wear those little sleepers or hats or matching jeans stamped with "my first denim" on the pocket. They are too big for that stuff. They are not babies. They are toddlers. The purge is a good bye to babyhood. I have never been much of a fan of letting go and saying good bye. This is a hard process.

And as I cried all I could remember is the cute little, cuddly babies. MY cute, cuddly babies. The memories of sleepless nights with a screaming child who seems to be completely inconsolable, which then makes mommy inconsolable, and then he has to deal with two (or three) bumbling idiots in the middle of the night....you get where I am going with this. But at the moment of purging I can only remember the ups of MY babies. The lows....well, I guess I purged those too. The lows are probably at the bottom of the box with the newborn onesies. Folded, priced and ready to be sold to the highest bidder.


the twenty-eighth

My name is mommy and I am a liar and she is on to me.

This morning she asks "Mommy is that your medicine?" pointing to my morning ritual of drinking a liquid shake and fibbing because I don't really want to share.

"Yes, that is my medicine."

"Oh," she replies "you sure like your medicine."

She skipped away, and then came back about seven seconds later. "Papa likes his medicine too."

"Which medicine does Papa like?" I replied.

"I show you." She went to the pantry, opened the door and pointed. "Papa likes those medicines."

She had pointed to the Red Vine licorice.

Clearly he is a liar too.
Our names are mommy and papa and we are liars.


the twenty-seventh

This week was challenging. Certainly a test in the balancing act of being a self-employed, working at home mother of three small children, primary home keeper-upper. While pounding the keys (of the computer) the laundry is calling. The dishes are anxiously awaiting my arrival (how sweet) and the floor is cussing at me. Seriously.

The voice in the back of my head is making me feel guilty. Telling me I should be a better house keeper and tend to the chores in more timely manner. Well, Mr. Back of My Head (it is a mister because a woman would not throw this kind of guilt trip) let me tell you something......and the conversation goes on.

I did no better cleaning my house when I wasn't working at home. But the fact that I do frolic into the kitchen periodically through the day and walk past the piles of unfolded laundry at least 11 times a day seems to hit a bit of a nerve....although it seems to be my issue. No one else (my wonderful husband included) seem to notice.  I hate, hate, hate a dirty house. It actually stresses me out. But some days (and past weeks) I just don't have the time. These days, I have no time. Although the irony is that instead of writing this blog, I could be cleaning...nah.

I decided to make time. I made a list (my favorite past time) and gave myself one chore for each day. Today is Friday. I did one of the chores.....Shit. It's sunny today and who wants to spend it cleaning toilets and folding laundry? If you do, let me know. I'll leave the cleaner on the counter. Your welcome. I'll be at lunch with a friend having an adult beverage.

So the balancing act continues. Maybe I should quit my job and go apply at the circus.....


fiction deux

This is another "creation" from my fiction writing class. I thought long and hard about even posting this for the world to see. And while that may sound a bit, well, pompous, I was/am concerned about the reaction of those who read it.

I learned a lot from this writing class. A lot, lot, lot. And surprising (to me)a lot on many different levels. The most shocking was that while writing fiction your mind, emotions and subconscious will take you to places you never thought were inside. Places you never thought existed inside you.

Wake up call. Those places do exist. Clearly.

This story is completely fiction. Mom, dad…I am not an alcoholic. Promise.




She stared at the bottle with disgust. That damn bottle ruined her life. Now all she had was that bottle. Everything else. Gone.

She knew going in that it might be dangerous. She knew the risks. She knew herself well enough. But she did it anyway. That first day seemed so long ago. After four long years she was gonna try again. Sober. What a horrible word. But she had to give it a whirl. Give it a go.

She sat there aching. Her insides eating themselves. Her brain churning. Someone make it stop. Staring at the bottle made it worse, but nothing else made it better. On this day, this hour, this minute what choice did she have? Was her pain worse than the pain she had caused? Would one more sip really make it worse?

Without thinking her left hand lifted from her lap. Fingers pointing outward. An unknown force drew her hand towards the warmth of the bottle. Square in shape, her hand could only wrap around part way. With the first touch she instantly recalled the smooth glass. Her knuckles turned white as her hold increased. Her bicep flexed and the bottom of the bottle lifted from the ottoman.

The glass touched her lips, she tipped the body of the bottle upwards. The brown liquid trickled into her mouth. The whisky burned when it hit her throat. The sensation was replaced by the orgasmic wave of warmth flowing through her body.

She tipped the bottle back down but only long enough for her thoughts to wander and as they did she quickly turned the bottle back up to the heavens and allowed her throat to swallow and swallow; to swallow all the liquid warmth, to swallow the pain, the discontent, the grief, the sorrow, the hatred. She swallowed. The more she swallowed the more she forgot. The more she forgot the more she swallowed.

Finally replacing the bottle, now empty, back to its original position, she absorbed the love from that bottle. But the bottle was empty and now the bottle was talking. The bottle was judging. The bottle would tattle. The bottle would expose their little secret. The empty bottle no longer loved her.

"Such is life and I am a royal fuck up. Well, better to be a royal fuck up than just a fuck up. Being a royal makes it better right?" she rambled to the bottle.

"Say something you son of a bitch! Go ahead judge. Judge me. But you don't know. You don't know where I have been. What I have dealt with. Your life has been so simple and now you have the audacity to judge me. Bastard." She paced back and forth.

The stomping around rattled the empty bottle. It now sat precariously on the edge of the leather ottoman. The ottoman only inches from the sliding glass door of her apartment. Her words turned to sobs, but she continued to pace. Back and forth, back and forth. And so rocked the empty bottle back and forth, back and forth.


fiction une

I have never been one to write fiction....fiction is fake...its all lies. Well, not really. I guess I just always thought the truth was more interesting to write. 

I recently started a short term fiction writing class. This is one of the pieces I wrote that received great feedback from the class. 

Let me know what you think....

We liked our coffee strong. Hers with a splash of creamer but just enough to transform the dark silk into a light mocha. However on the weekends she added a knife full of home harvested honey. Mine, just black. No matter the day. Always black.

We always sat face to face looking up from our laptops only long enough to periodically wink at each other. She browsed the web while I researched. She caught up with friends on Facebook while I read the latest on healthcare reform.

It was cold that morning. Snowing actually. The first snow of the season. I could hear the snow plows in the background. They certainly wouldn't make it down this way for a day or so. Just as long as the power and cable were on, we'd be fine.

The knock at the door startled us as no one ventured down this far. Only us locals took the journey. The knock was sharp. Intense. I'd been glancing outside periodically that morning and I hadn't seen anyone come up the drive. We both looked up at the third knock. The usual suspects would have come in after the first.

Without words she decided that I should be the one to fetch the door. Begrudgingly I slowly unfolded myself from the breakfast nook and lumbered towards the front of the house. My knees crackling with each step. They had never been the same since the accident.

As I grabbed for the door handle another knock raddled the stained glass. She hollered from the kitchen. Her words inaudible. Ya, ya. I thought to myself knowing what she said without hearing her words.

I turned the knob and made a mental note that I needed to replace the threshold on the back door. The damn draft was getting worse.

I tilted my head up just slightly. Only enough to see the shoes. Right off, I knew something was amiss.

I was 21 when I left home. My mother had raised my older brother and I after that guy left us two days after my fifth birthday. She was never the same. The shame kept her in the house 23 hours a day. She would venture outside, no matter the weather, everyday at 3am. We joked that she was like the US postal service. Neither wind, rain or snow would keep her. It wasn't funny. It was sad. Really sad. If we'd had more family, I am sure someone would have committed her, but no other family existed. Just my brother and I. What did we know? My brother, only three years my senior was just entering the girl obsession stage. To him, my mother was a burden, already. For me, I did my best to make sure that she stayed clean, fed and smiled. Getting my mother to smile was a daily chore. Just like cooking, cleaning, folding laundry. It was just part of my day. We all existed in that house, full of memories until the day my brother turned 16 and he got his license. We never saw him again.

The smell of strong coffee in the background brought me back to present day. Standing on our front stoop he looked old. Really old. It might have been the overcoat and cap, but the years had not treated him well. The creases in his forehead and corners of his eyes were deep. His eyes seemed grayer than I remember and his teeth matched the snowy background. 

"Hi." He tentatively uttered.


the twenty-sixth

Ms. Demi,

Happy Third Birthday!!!!!
Today, three years ago, our lives changed. And while there are times where I would gladly post you in the freebies section of Craig's List, you have given me gifts that I can never repay. Never.

Someday you will read this blog and will probably disown me for a few months, maybe even years. But I hope this blog shows you how much humor frustration you have brought to our lives. You have shown me things that I could never imagine. You have taught me things about myself and about life that one cannot learn by reading a book or taking a class or browsing the interwebs. As my child,
I am your mother, but you my sweet,
darling, amazing girl, are my teacher.
Thank you.

Happy Birthday!


the twenty-fifth

They are a year now, so their antics are now open for blogging.....have to make it a fair game. Might as well embarrass all of them so that the level of hatred is even among my children.

They are drunk gnomes. Drunk wandering gnomes. The act of walking is so exciting to them. So much so that they usually fall because they are so happy. Wow, I wish I remembered when life was so simple.
I had been threatening to push them down swoop them up when they took their first steps, as it would be an official sign of my life ending. Over. No longer mine. Complete.madness. But so far it's not that bad. It could be worse.

As a result of their decision (or mother natures decision) to walk, our house has become a bit like Fort Knox. Gates, locks, guards, special passwords, handshakes...well maybe the last few are a stretch, but you catch my drift.

Nothing is safe. The other day they pulled down the round side table. Let me repeat that,...... they pull down the the round side table. While no one was hurt, the loud crash did not deter them much. They were back at it within minutes. I have affectionately named them Hummingbird Moving Company (thank you Becky C) because they rearrange the kitchen chairs (yes, you are reading that correctly), push or shove on anything that is in their way and when there is no movement they get so so so so frustrated. I laugh at them which just seems to fuel their fire. Awesome.

When gates block their entry, they shake it back and forth. If you impede their forward motion, you'd better watch yourself. They are one year old and they are bad to the bone. Holler!

the twenty-fourth

She will be three and she still poops her pants. Not little cute turds. We are talking emptying bowels....yes, it's disgusting. She is just about potty trained with peeing, but pooping...OMG...she is a challenging child. Lord help me and forgive me for all my sins. I surrender.

When I was a kid we had a dog who ate the crotch out of dirty underwear....again, yes, it was just plain disgusting. He was obsessed...he was a strange dog. Anyhow, in an attempt to get him not to eat the underwear, we would tie the underwear around his neck. It was supposed to shame him. However, looking back I think it probably did the opposite. He flaunted his "treasure" (barf) for the world to see. I don't remember if the technique worked, but it certainly has potential.

The point of this is, she had just finished telling screaming that she did not have to go on the POTTY!!!  At the time I was just not in the mood to deal with it. Fine. Get of the potty and go play in the street (just kidding...sorta). Minutes later.....she emptied herself. I mean every ounce was no longer in her body and was in her underwear. Awesome. Women with teenage daughters sent them on over for a little lesson we will call birth control.

I saw red. All red. Will this ever end? Will she be pooping her pants till she is in school and kids make fun of her? Will she be know as the poopy girl? Will I make it through this? I have two more kids to potty train...
After feeling secure that I was not going to strangle her. I took her upstairs and cleaned her up. While I was holding back the urge to gag, I was doing a quick list (I heart lists. Physical and mental lists) of the tactics we has already tried and have not tried. While some techniques might work they probably are too mean and not very sanitary (don't ask), but that stupid dog and his underwear eating came to my mind.....let's face it some times lists lead us in the wrong direction.
With all the noise and the extremely nosy-tattle tail neighbor I won't be surprised when child protective services comes 'a knocking. And something tells me it won't go to well when she skips to the CPS agent with shitty underwear around her neck. I can picture it now.....she will tell the agent "my mommy put my poopy panties around my neck." I'll be in the background disheveled, red faced with a glass of chard....mom of the year.


the twenty-third

Tomorrow they will be one. Tomorrow marks the day our family size grew by two more bodies within minutes. Tomorrow will be the day that we, as a family, will look back and celebrate how far we have come.

While getting to this point wasn't easy. There were times when I cried, when I screamed and when I laughed because there just was nothing else to do. If someone asked me if I would do it again, I would easily reply "Of Course."
The rewards are greater than the challenges.

I am so very thankful and forever indebted to those that supported us. Whether with hands-on help or just words of encouragement. I could not have made it with out you. And I am so, so, so very thankful to my wonderful husband. We have walked the first leg of this life long journey together, hand in hand. Stronger today then we were at the beginning. I am one lucky gal.

Happy Birthday my little boys. Thank you for all that you have given us this year. Cheers to many, many more!


the twenty-second

It was just one of those days. Although thinking about it, I feel like it is always one of "those" days. There are good mornings, but why is it that I clearly remember the tough ones?

I had not slept very well (typical), her devil horns were in full effect the moment her feet hit the ground (she told me to go back to bed when I walked in her room) and they were well, shrieking (hungry, want to be held, the usual). It was going to be an amazing morning. The only saving grace was that I was having a good hair day. Hey, on these kind of days, it's the small things that help you through.

We managed to make it into the truck and there were only a few tears shed. Luckily none of them were mine - tears and good hair are not the greatest look.

I did my best to remain chipper during the drive. Pointing out things that might spark a smile. Nothing. She had a sassy response for everything I said. Towards the end of the drive I was saying things only to irritate her. Not the greatest parenting technique and it WILL bite me in the ass later on, but for the time being it made me feel much better.

The boys sat drinking their milk bundled up with blankets and hats on. Thank goodness they had quieted down. I might have stabbed myself in the eye if they had all continued with their nonsense. Not enough coffee and cranky kids = birth control.

I gladly dropped them off and shut the door behind me. It was as if a fog had lifted. It had been a tough morning. Mornings are difficult, but this one was hard. Some days are just like that. Take the good with the bad. I get it. But some days it is still hard.

As I started down the driveway to my truck, but something told me to turn around. I glanced over my shoulder and there she was. Her horns had disappeared and she was waving at me from the window. Blowing kisses and smiling. For a moment my eyes welled up with tears. She was so sweet. My little girl.      I made that.      Wow.     It was one of those "mom" moments where all the bad melts away and all you can see are the wonders and joys of children. And then I realized....knowing her, she is cussing at me under her breath. Oh, well so much for that. It's a good thing she's cute.


the twenty-first

We have a regular sized bathtub which fits three kids. Sorta. They fit enough that they can all have a place to put their bottoms while we wash off the biggest pieces of dirt. The universe made dirt and dirt don't hurt, right?
They bathe together often. Actually it is one of my favorite and least favorite times of the day. Least favorite because it is usually right before bed - yuck....sometimes not enough wine in the world to make it through. And favorite time of the day because they all love to take baths. They run for the tub and smile ear to ear from beginning to end.

They all have their spots in the bath. She is at the helm right in front of the faucet. Making sure the drain plug does not get tampered with. Not on her watch. Already has a few control issues....I wonder who that came from? Couldn't be me...
The boys are positioned towards the back of the tub in what ever manner they choose (see I can let go. a little.)

The other night B was in the middle and A was sitting towards the back. B was facing his sister, so A was facing B's back...okay confusing, but it will make sense. Anyhow, A was in his own little world splashing and kicking and splashing and shrieking and kicking while B was playing with her...how ever 11 months old play with an almost three year old...but you know what I mean. A was having a blast and eventually had kicked himself closer and closer to his brother. So much so, that each kick landed on the butt of B. I figured B was an ordinary oblivious 11 month old and he wouldn't mind....well, what the ____ do I know. After about two minutes of kicking, B turned around, and with a rubber duck knocked his brother over the head. There was a half a second where there was complete silence and then A went back to kicking the living crap out of B's butt. I was laughing and attempted to scoot A back away from his brother, but A kept scooting into firing range. And in my mind, I was running through some likely future scenarios that might, just might have a similar theme. Only they won't be smiling and I won't be laughing.


the twentieth

The past month has been loud at our house. Really loud. I mean REALLY LOUD. For some reason they have decided to shriek. They shriek often. Too often. Imagine Mariah Carey off-key. Tone def or not, it is a nightmare.  They shriek as they sit in their highchairs waiting for food or some kind of entertainment while they snack. They shriek if they are left in their chairs 14 seconds longer than they feel is necessary. Let me be honest, it.is.horrible. Horrible. And yes, all those out there that are judging, hold your tongues. We have done the give them a toy to play with or chew on. We have tried the Ferber Method letting them cry it out. With one baby, okay, it is tolerable. But two....unless you have been here, keep your judgy-mc-judgerson comments to your self. Smile. Okay enough soap box....

Anyhow the shrieks are horrid. Their tiny feet navigating the floor as they shuffle from one piece of furniture to the next is precious. Their eyes as they play with each other and their big sister are magical. Hopefully the shrieks are just a stage, but something tells me it could be another case of Karma...enough already.

They finally sprouted front teeth. Two each on the bottom row. Now when they smile you catch a glimpse of tiny white tips. Makes up for the headaches we get from the shrieks.

She will be three soon. Three going on thirteen. I cringe when she tells me "Mom, don't worry."
After she has spilled her milk.
And "I'm busy."
When I ask her to come eat dinner.
It is going to be a long road.

And we are SO lucky that she shrieks too. She has taken up shrieking as she reluctantly scampers to the bathroom (still not potty trained. That's a whole different post). Then sometimes when she is being a real peach, she shrieks at you while she is going potty. She shrieks at you to leave. Then when you leave she shrieks for you to come back. Let me tell you, it takes all my energy to hold myself together. And while a kind reminder that shrieking is not necessary or allowed only escalates the issue, staying silent hasn't always been the answer either. She just shrieks until you respond. Yes, child rearing is so much fun.

Of course after going potty on the toilet (bravo), pulling up her own pants (bravo) and washing her hands (double bravo) she switches the dreadful child switch to wonderful and plays with her brothers. The laughter and giggles can be heard from all corners of the house. Every once and a while I catch myself thinking "Oh, maybe one more wouldn't be so bad..."
Can you hear my shrieks?


the nineteenth

It is natural this time of year to reflect back on what the year has been. In our house there has been so much. It is hard to know where to start....

This time last year that we had a huge scare. I was pregnant with the boys and the doctors thought I was going into preterm labor.  There was a lot of concern and I was carted off to another hospital about two hours away via ambulance. It was a scary time. The boys were too young to survive outside the womb. If they had come that early, their survival rate was less than favorable. With medication and overnight monitoring the boys stayed snug as bugs inside. I was sent home and put on strict bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy.

It was the longest two months of my life. I had many other episodes when I went back to the hospital because of contractions. I had become a regular at Labor and Delivery. The nurses knew me. I got the best rooms and first class treatment. The boys and I held tight until they were 37 weeks and one day (for twins the gestation is usually 38 weeks as opposed to 40 weeks for a singleton). My labor was induced when my blood pressure got too high and I was diagnosed with preclampsia. It was one hell of a labor. I will remember that moment forever - for many, many reasons. Of course the most important being that the boys were healthy and huge (weighing in at around 7lbs each). We had made it. With the support of my wonderful husband who handled everything while I was bed resting and family who provided endless amounts of support and encouragement, we had made it.

I will never forget the moment when I was laying on the operating room table. I had just pushed out baby A and he was crying. I looked over at him. We were both crying. He said to me "You did it."
I remember seeing his face through my tears of joy and pain. I managed to utter "We did it."
Of course I still had to push out baby B who was face up and my epidural wasn't working AT ALL. It was horrible. Baby B arrived fashionably late about 45 minutes after his brother. He let out a cry to let us know that he too had made it. It was worth every ounce of worry and pain.

So at this New Year, this turn of the decade, that I can't help but reflect back on this last year. Amazement of the magic of twins conceived through the magic of mother nature. Terrified Joy of the unknown - our lives would never be the same. Acceptance that life has handed us a challenge and that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger - I feel like I died a hand full of times this year, so I must be one strong ass b*&%$>. Fear that our boys would come too soon. Euphoria when they arrived healthy.  Overwhelming happiness when she turned out to be the best big sister ever. Thankful that I have a husband who....I am at a loss for words. There are no words to truly express my love for him. 2009 has been an adventure. A master class in getting through. We made it. Together.

As the boys continue to try to find their balance and walk across our family room floor and she dances around mentioning cock 'n balls and putting her brothers on time outs, I stare in amazement at how far we have come. We are all still here and most of the time we are all smiling.