Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Super Dad

Today is Super Hero day during Homecoming at the high school.  Ryan doesn't usually participate in dress up days, but one of the other teachers came up with the idea for super-parents and Ryan thought he could possibly maybe go along with it.  With some gentle persuasion from his wife.  If he had to.
I had some fun last night gathering items for his tool belt- sippy cup, bottle, diaper, board book, diaper ointment, Barbie and Ken, band-aids, bulb syringe and duct tape.  It wouldn't be Super Dad without duct tape.  hehe  We also raided the kids' dress up clothes for a hat and cape.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Double Trouble

The next time someone tells me that they always wanted/want twins, I will offer to let them take mine to the store.  That should enlighten them on the real joys of having twin toddlers.

Well, actually I will probably just laugh in their face first.  You do realize that children are not just dolls you can dress up, right?

So that mom you see at the store with the screaming kids and the frazzled look on her face?  That was me this morning.  I just had to run into Walmart and get a couple of things.  Not to mention this is a way to waste a half hour of the morning.  Maddie was the clingy one today, so I put her in the seat part of the shopping cart, and Annie in the basket area.  That lasted until we got into the store, when Maddie wanted to be in the basket.  Then Annie wanted to get down and walk.  Maddie wanted back in the seat.  Annie wanted in the seat.  Maddie wanted to walk.  Maddie wanted to be held by mommy.  Annie was grabbing things off the shelves, so back into the cart she went.  Maddie wanted back into the cart, but as soon as her bum touched the cart, she wanted back out. 

Over.  And over.  And over.



Grabbing and throwing.

Have I mentioned we haven't been feeling our best?  But I think we are finally mostly over the stomach flu after it swept its way through the whole family this past week or more.  Finally.

Got up to the front to check out and the twins fought over who got to put our 3 items on the conveyor belt.  The checker put everything in one bag and then gave it to Maddie and not me.

Guess who started screaming, "MINE!"?

No, not me.  It was little miss scowl-faced Annie.

More crying.

Then I had to wrestle them into their car seats.  You would never guess those angelic faces can be so strong when they put their minds to it.  Screaming, arched backs and flailing limbs were used as mommy-deterrents. 

Only 368 minutes 'til Daddy gets home.

Only 4 more years until kindergarten.

Will I make it that long?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Way It Often Goes

My morning didn't go quite like I'd planned.  I knew it was going to busy, but nothing we couldn't handle.  Today is set-up day at the fair, and Ryan's FFA chapter is doing a display in the Ag building as usual.  Over the years, Ryan has amassed quite a collection of decorations for the display and it no longer fits in the school pick-up.  I offered to drive what he couldn't fit in the school pick-up, in my minivan.  We could clean out the back (the stroller, emergency kit and other odds and ends) and lay down the rear seats.  I had to be at the school at about 9:30 am, drive the stuff up to the fair, then run to Costco and come home in time for lunch and nap time.  That was the plan.

This morning Maddie had a fever and was a pitiful, crying blob.   At least the twins didn't make a giant mess while I was in the shower.  There was just sadness.

As I was on the home stretch before leaving the house, gathering all the sundry items needed to be away from home with sick kids, my dad called.  We talked about my sick twins as I refilled the wipes box, we talked about Ryans's FFA projects as I got sippy cups, Tylenol and a change of clothing.  Then as I was saying goodbye to my dad on my cell phone, the regular phone rang.  It was a friend returning my call from last night.  I'm afraid I wasn't very chatty.  We agreed it would be better to talk later.

I had hoped Ryan would remember this morning before going to work wrestle the rear of the van into shape.  I'm sure he was alert and awake when I asked him to pull out the giant double stroller and put down the back seats.  It was only 10 pm last night, in our bed with the lights out....  He always remembers our late night conversations.  Especially when he has to get up extra early to make substitute plans for his classes.

Or not.

But hey, I still made it to the school on time with everything in order.  I was introduced to Ryan's FFA kids as they loaded up the back of my minivan, and there was ANOTHER conversation about my youthful appearance.  Seriously, it's getting old.

I felt very official driving on the fairgrounds today.  Yep, I am with the FFA advisor.  But I didn't stay to help set up.  Maddie was clearly not feeling good, and had fallen asleep on the drive up.  I needed to hurry up with my Costco errand and go home. 

On a side note, do you know what's tough about shopping with twins?  You can take 1 child into a public restroom, but 2?  It just doesn't work so well.  I had run out of the house so quickly this morning that I hadn't taken care of a certain kind of business.  By the time I made it home 2 1/2 hours later, the situation was very nearly desperate.  I got the twins out of the car, in the house and made a mad dash down the hall.  The frozen stuff in the back would just have to wait its turn.

And the phone rang.

I was SO not answering that.

The caller ID said the school district, so I called the number back after a minute or so.  Emma had a fever and needed to come home.  Of course.  Back into the car we all went.  I picked up my feverish girl and came back home.  I ran inside the house and got some kind of quick lunch on the table for Annie and Maddie.  It was now nap time and they really should try to eat something before going down.  It's just difficult to get very sad, very tired toddlers to eat.

And the phone rang again.  It was my friend, to see if my day had calmed down yet.

Cue toddlers howling and throwing food on the floor.

I'll get back to you on that.

Before I got off the phone with her, Emma yells out, "I'm THROWING UP!"

(So, I think the answer is "No.")

The first round got the living room rug.  Second round had partially more success getting into the toilet.

I got the twins' diapers changed, and down for a nap, Emma cleaned up, the rug shampoo-ed, a movie on for Emma and it was 1:15.  And I was starving for lunch.

Once I had my lunch, I realized I really should be counting my blessings.  Emma's phone call was perfectly timed.  A little earlier, and I would not have been home.  A little later, and the twins would have been down for their nap.  And the throw up happened while the twins were awake, when it was ok to get out the noisy carpet steam vac.  It also gave me the opportunity to hold Emma on the couch this afternoon and watch this month's favorite movie: Miracle on 34th Street.  (What can I say about that?  It's what she wanted.)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Oh What A Friday

Two is less than four. Two less kids should be a lot less work for a mom, according to any kind of logic. Somehow that just isn't the case here. With Emma and Elizabeth gone during the day, I don't feel like it's much less work. On the contrary, I don't have any extra eyes keeping watch for naughty toddlers, nor any older siblings to play with younger ones.

I do in general look forward to Fridays. There is story time at the library, followed by play group at the park. This gets me all the way to lunch time, after which the twins will go down for their nap. That in general gives me a couple hours to get things accomplished, and then we can all happily welcome the other half of our family home. Daddy is home last by about 4:30, and Mommy has back up. (Sigh of relief.)

Today while I was getting myself ready to leave the house, Annie was with me in one bathroom and Maddie was off playing somewhere else. A little while later she comes in with a wet sleeve. Uh oh. What liquid can she get into?

Toilet water.

She made a lovely concoction of wet wipes, paper napkins (from the table), left over cereal from the high chair trays and all the new hair rubber bands (in an open plastic baggie) in the toilet. Which the last person to use never flushed.

Why don't my children flush after themselves?

I couldn't bring myself to keep the no-longer-new rubber bands. Into the trash they went.

Eventually we made it to the library, and Annie and Maddie were remarkably well behaved. We (and when I say "we" I really mean me of course) made the frog hand puppet craft, checked out Chicka Chicka Boom Boom on DVD and went to a park for play group. The twins had a good time, and I was getting little snatches of conversation with other adults, so we weren't in a hurry to leave. I started catching little yawns and eye-rubbing, so I knew I'd better go.

I had waited too long. Annie and Maddie were too tired and angry at the world to want much in the way of food. So down for a nap they went. I sat down with my left overs for lunch, and went over to Multiples and More to enter a bunch of give-aways. (Incidentally, there are a lot of cool things they are giving away. And they aren't all for parents of multiples. Check it out!)

Then I starting hearing crib rattling and toddler sounds. Oh crumb. That was NOT a long enough nap. I didn't get anything done.

There was a lot of weeping and wailing this afternoon. And hair pulling. Hair pulling is the twins' new "thing."

Enter Elizabeth fresh home from school. "Mommy, I'm tired. My eyes hurt." I gave her a hug and noticed her temperature was up. The thermometer confirmed my initial assessment. Tylenol and juice for snack it is! She continued to lay on the couch the rest of the day.

Evening time brought more crying. Dinner was late, Elizabeth wasn't hungry, and Annie passed much of her food to Maddie who threw it all on the floor.

Bedtime arrived, and I never made my bed, emptied the clean dishes from the dishwasher, swept the kitchen floor or did any laundry.

But there was chocolate ice cream. Hooray for that!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sticky Fingers

I forget sometimes that the twins are tall enough to grab things from the kitchen counters. While I was making Emma and Elizabeth's lunches for school, I could have sworn I cut up an apple to put in. But it was no where to be seen. The twins were also no where to be seen, and they had been in the kitchen just a few seconds ago. Using my deductive reasoning, I figured the two circumstances must be related.

I found them (and what was left of the apple) here:
(Behind the couch)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mess of the Day

I made the mistake of taking a shower while the twins were loose. What they didn't leave on their bedroom floor, they walked down and dumped on the bathroom floor. Their dresser was completely empty.

Sometimes I wonder, do I really need to take showers? Is it really worth it?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Red Eye

Elizabeth's school has automatic flushing toilets. I'm sure in the long run this is a good idea, since kids are notorious for not flushing. For certain members of my family, the automatic flushing toilets in an elementary school are simply the Worst Idea Ever.

At the end of the first day of kindergarten, I received an email from Elizabeth's teacher. She said that Elizabeth was afraid of the toilet there and refused to go in, even with a sticky note on the sensor.

The next day of school I got a babysitter for my other 3 kids and took Elizabeth to school. We walked inside the building and dropped off her coat and backpack in her classroom. Then we entered the Forbidding Realm of the Red Eye.

I tried to show Elizabeth how to cover the red sensor with a piece of toilet paper, and then it wouldn't flush while she was sitting down. She flatly refused to even get near the toilet. We said a little prayer, I offered to hold her hand, I told her I knew she was a big girl and could do this, etc.

She wasn't having it. Anything to do with that toilet was bad.

I asked her why. Her reason? The red light was an eye and someone was watching her. Even with the toilet paper over it, she just knew someone was watching her bum. Like our video recorder at home.

That IS creepy. If that were the case, I wouldn't get near it either.

We talked about it some more, how it was absolutely NOT recording her, and it wasn't so big that she would fall in, etc. etc. She is very imaginative when it comes to reasons to not use the toilet.

I finally had to pick Elizabeth up and put her on the toilet. And it didn't eat her up or anything. The deed done, we walked back to her classroom. I hoped that once she used the toilet, with the bribe of ice cream when she came home, would do the trick and maybe she could move on.

Unfortunately, no. I got another email from her teacher saying she hadn't gone again that day. The following day, the same thing. But the following day I got an email saying that her teacher had asked Elizabeth's preschool teacher to take Elizabeth during to the restroom during her break. Poor woman, but oh so sweet of her. That went on for a couple of days, while I encouraged Elizabeth from this end that if she could go alone, there would be brownies.

Finally one day this week, Elizabeth got off her bus and yelled for the whole neighborhood to hear, "Mom! I went potty in the electric toilet ALL BY MYSELF! Can I have a brownie?"

You bet, Elizabeth.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Just Like Emma

The best thing about being the oldest sister in our family? You have three willing sisters to dress up however you want in your clothes.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Kick Him When He's Down

Once again, we needed milk. It only takes 15 minutes on average to drive to Safeway, buy the milk and make it back home. Ryan offered to take that quick trip to Safeway, while I finished the end of the day clean up.

Ryan got in our minivan, started it up and noticed one of the head lights was out. He drove it a block or two, but turned around. It's a holiday weekend, and surely there are "emphasis patrols" out and about.

He got into his truck and started it up. His truck, which hasn't sounded right for a couple of days now, sounded just awful. Ryan's description of the engine noise was, "rough" and "clanking." So, he hopped back in the minivan. Certainly he could make it.

Fast forward two minutes. Ryan is now in the Safeway parking with flashing lights parked next to him.

"Do you know why you were pulled over?"

"I have a good guess. How come?"

"Your headlight is out."

"Don't forget my front right turn signal. It's out too."

Ryan was given a warning for both lights, and was let to go buy milk. He got back into the van, pulled out of the parking lot and headed back up the hill to our house. That's when the OTHER headlight burned out. In front of another police car.

Enter the second set of flashing lights.

"Sir, do you know why you were pulled over?"


"Why did you turn off your headlights?"

"Well, uh... I didn't turn off the headlights. I had two headlights earlier today. The first burned out on the way to get milk for my kids. And I was pulled over not 10 minutes ago to tell me the fact. The second one burned out just now as I was driving home. The only thing that make this better would be for a chicken to hop out of my car and you could write me a ticket for poultry at large. I suggest you don't follow me home, because at the rate of deterioration, my back wheels are liable to fall off and hit you."

Ryan did make it home with my van in one piece. And he's scheduled to replace all those lights tomorrow after work.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Little ones love to imitate. Annie and Maddie were helping me fold laundry that I was trying to get done this morning. I wanted to get through the couple loads of laundry as quickly as possible.

Annie and Maddie also were pulling clothes out of the laundry basket. They would grab an item of clothing, shake it out a couple of times, wad it into a ball and stack it willy-nilly on the floor. When they were done with it, I would grab it myself, fold it nicely and put it in the appropriate stack.

Not to be outdone, Annie and Maddie grabbed my carefully stacked clothes, shook it, wad it up and set it down again.

When finally that game was finished, I started grabbing stacks and putting them into the correct dresser drawers. Partway through, the phone rang. As I was talking on the phone to Elizabeth's principal about yesterday's bus problem (story for another day), I watched the twins destroy the folded laundry. At first, they would grab stacks of clothes and walk them down the hall to drop them on the floor somewhere. Then they decided to stack all the left over clothes on top of one another until we had a big mountain.

When I hung up the phone, I was wondering why I had even tried to fold the laundry while the twins were awake. It's not as if it stays folded in the kids drawers anyway.