Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Meanest Mom

Before I was up this morning, I heard Emma and Elizabeth giggling in their room.  In honor of Dr. Seuss' birthday, the schools in our district devote a whole week to reading activities and dress-up days.  Today was "Wacky Wednesday."  I didn't dare go in there just yet and tame all of the creativity going on.  I needed to get up, get some clothes on, and steel myself for the moaning first.  I am, after all, nothing but a big fun-sucker.

When I finally saw Emma and Elizabeth's creations, I knew they had outdone themselves.  Elizabeth was wearing 7 undershirts, and two inside-out shirts on top of that.  On her head were a pair of leggings and a shirt with the arms tied and only 1 of her eyes was visible.  On the back of her head were a pair of Harry Potter glasses precariously perched.  Her lower half was covered by knit pants and pink basketball shorts.

It was a sight to behold.

Emma's outfit was still a work in progress, but she had on one inside-out shirt and leggings.  And she wanted to borrow one of my shirts.

I had to explain how I would not let Elizabeth go to school with 9 shirts on (she would be way too hot) and she needed to be able to see out of both of her eyes.  Yes, I was going to ruin the look of eyes in the back of her head.  And I didn't care that they were trying to make her look round.

What can I say.  I am insensitive.

I peeled off most of Elizabeth's shirts, and found both Emma and Elizabeth a shirt of mine to wear.  After a few more discussions of what may or may not be acceptable, Emma put on a regular pair of jeans and a regular shirt.  "I just don't feel like dressing up anymore.  You ruined it."

During breakfast I had to confiscate the leggings on Elizabeth's head.  She could earn them back if she did something extra, like make the twins' beds or swept the bathroom.

She huffed, pouted, and sat on the couch.  When it was time to go, I told her to put on her shoes or she could be very wacky with no shoes on at school.  (There was snow on the ground this morning.  I don't think I would have followed through on this threat... but you never know.  It was a rough morning.)  Slowly, oh so slowly, she found a pair of boots and put them on.  As I was herding everyone into the minivan, Elizabeth started stomping and whining that I am a "mean mom" and how she needed those pants on her head.

You should have earned them back.

"You didn't tell me that!"

Yes, I did.  Two or three times, in fact.  You didn't listen.

Weeping.  Wailing.  Gnashing of teeth.

Anyway, there was no picture of Wacky Wednesday this year.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Dinner Conversation

I made something horrible for dinner.  You'd think by the way certain kids carried on that I went into the backyard, scooped up dirt, added some slime and threw in a couple slugs for good measure.  Then I warmed it, and put sour cream and cheese on top to cover the nastiness up. 

This awful confection in real life is called Chicken Tortilla soup.  (I did make corn bread too, to compensate for my mean-ness.)

I served small portions for all the kids, and larger ones for Ryan and myself.  Everyone got a piece of cornbread regardless of if they actually ate a bite of the soup.  Now, if they wanted another piece of cornbread, well.... they would have to eat some soup.

(Overheard at the table)

Emma: Ugh.  Why do I have to eat this?

Mom:  It won't kill you, you know.

Emma: (sigh) I know.

Elizabeth: It didn't kill me!

Mom:  Oh good.  I was momentarily worried that it might.  (Can you sense some sarcasm?)

Elizabeth:  I took a bite and waited and I didn't die.  So I ate and ate the rest and guess what?  I didn't die!  You would see if it killed me, Emma.

I don't know whether I should be more amused or offended that the kids think I might kill them with my cooking.

We also learned tonight that Annie can burp "Amen."  I am raising ladies, all right.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Darby O'Gill

We checked out a movie from the library on Friday- "Darby O'Gill and the Little People."  St. Patrick's Day is coming up and I thought it would be a fun movie for the kids to watch to get us in the spirit of the holiday.
Here the girls are Irish themselves (from both their mom and dad's side) and they hadn't seen this movie.  It's practically heresy to say so, but there you are.  We really do get into the holiday as you can see in this post, this post and again in this post.  Those leprechauns really like to cause mischief at our house.  It makes me wonder what kind of crazy tricks they will pull this year.

Last night we watched Darby O'Gill.  We may be a little skeptical of Santa (certain eldest child of mine- ahem) but we really got into the movie.  Magic and mystery are still alive at our house.

While we were watching the movie, I leaned over to Ryan and said that someday I would really like to go to Ireland.  The extent of my wanderings thus far (as far as foreign countries go) is.... Victoria, BC.   I like to watch Rick Steve's Europe and I often have a calender of foreign landscapes and castles.  Ahh... maybe someday.

Or perhaps ol' King Brian of Knocknasheega will put the "come hither" on me, and I will have to go to Ireland. ;)

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Last year's blog in book form arrived today.  This makes book #4.  
I think it's pretty cool.  I look at all those stories I wrote in book form, and I feel halfway like an author.

If nothing else, the kids like to look at all the pictures and Emma likes to read the stories.  I like knowing all of our little anecdotes are recorded for posterity.  It's like the journal I'm not keeping.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It's Official

The sign went up today. 

Our house is for sale.

If anyone wants to take pity on me and my children, and you find us someone to buy our house, I will make you any kind of cookies you desire.  Trust me, we are not too excited to be living and breathing, "No more messes" and, "Keep the house squeaky clean" for too long.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Uh oh

In my effort to make my house presentable, I've been scrubbing the shower doors in the bathroom.  This is day #3 and it still needs work.  (Does anyone have the magic fix for hard water stains?  Any advice would be appreciated...)  So I was standing inside the bathtub scrubbing away when I heard a very loud and insistant knock on the front door.  I leaped out of the bathtub, ran down the hall and opened the front door.

I was surprised to see a police officer at my door.  Also, the presence of 1... 2... 3 police cars?  And one of those police cars was blocking my driveway.  Holy crap- what did I do??  I glanced down at Annie and Maddie (they were still being blobs on the couch where I left them) and no phone in sight.  Please keep in mind I am wearing my very best cleaning outfit- sweats, no make-up, rubber gloves and a sloppy ponytail.

"Do you have a medical emergency?" the policeman on my doorstep asked.  I saw an ambulance turn onto our street at this juncture.

Unless persistant diarrhea constitutes as a medical emergency, then no.  I looked again to make sure the twins weren't hiding a 9-1-1 hang up.  Because they are old enough to say something like, "I'm sick" on the phone.  Wouldn't that be grand.

"Are you sure?  It's one of the houses on this street." 

I'm sorry, I can't help you.  I'm just trying to clean my bathroom.  And he's probably not the one to ask about hard water stains.

I watched out the window.  On the 3rd house down from ours, it looks like they found what they were looking for.  Now that everyone was alerted, there were several neighbors standing watch on their front lawns. 

I went back to scrubbing the bathroom.

What you didn't see in the last post

I took this picture midway through my collection of "pretty" house pictures to document what was really going on.
What do you think?  There's the leaf from our kitchen table, the extra blankets from my bed, the broom, the Swiffer refill box, papers, garbage can....  I didn't take a picture of the basket full of clean laundry sitting in the master bathroom though. (We've been going through a lot of towels and underwear.)   Maybe if I'd been getting sleep at night, my house would have been actually clean, instead of just shifting the junk around.

President's Day Weekend, part 2

At the end of that long and productive Saturday, we all climbed into our beds for a nice and restful night. 

Until about 2 am when the retching sounds woke us up.  Annie was sick, and it was a long night.

When Rick and Kim arrived at our house at 8 am before heading back to their home, the kids greeted them at the door because mom and dad were still in bed.  Ryan and I looked at each other, and I asked, "Do I hear your parents?"  Yep, I did.

We had plans to continue our quest for a very clean house on Sunday, but we just took it easy instead.  Annie seemed to be finished throwing up, but she was still manifesting flu symptoms.

Then Sunday night the retching sounds greeted our disappointed ears again.  This time both twins were at it.  At one point, we had one on each of our two toilets with both "ends" going.  It wasn't good.  But we finally called it a night at 4 am.

Monday I was going to get the house cleaned up if it killed me.  It was a 4 day weekend and I was going to have something to show for it, darn it.  It almost did though.  Ryan took 2 naps over the course of the day, and after dinner I was pretty well comatose on the couch.

If you've been to my house, you will realize my house NEVER actually looks like this.  I focused on one room, chasing the children out and took a picture before it reverted to its old ways.  We signed papers to put our house up for sale, and I need good pictures to put online.  Now I am putting some of those pictures on my blog.  See, it actually is a nice house when not all cluttered up!  (I usually can't tell under the Cheerios crumbs, laundry on the floor, toys strewn everywhere...)  I even used the carpet shampooer since I didn't think the smell of vomit adds anything to the "please buy my house" vibe we are trying to capture.  But once I cleaned the rug in question, I just decided to do them all. 

Living room
Twins' bedroom
 Emma and Elizabeth's room
Newly finished laundry room
 Hall bathroom
Master bedroom
Our house from the front.   It is a little tricky to get that "curb appeal" look in February when nothing is leafy or green.

Monday, February 20, 2012

President's Day Weekend

We asked Ryan's parents to come watch our kids for a day during this long weekend.  They chose Saturday to be the big day.  So they drove over in the morning, and took all the girls (and our minivan) for the day.  When Rick and Kim arrived they said, "I'm sorry we are only watching the girls so you can have a work day."  What better reason is there?  We can really accomplish a whole lot with no distractions.

We broke out the paint and went crazy.  Earlier in the week Ryan was trying to be helpful and did some touch-ups in the kitchen.  Sadly the paint has faded since it was applied and his touch-ups were pretty visible.  So we re-did the whole kitchen, plus painted doors and trim.  Kids are rough on houses.

I took some pictures of our crazy house on Saturday.
I was also trying to do some laundry.  What a mess.
Ryan also did some fixing in the bathroom.  The ceiling looked a little rough around the fan, so Ryan fixed it and spray painted the fan cover.  Afterwards we painted the bathroom so it is no longer stark white. 
We worked pretty hard until everyone came home around dinner time.  They told us about their day and we showed them what we got done.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Heart Attack

Valentine's Day- it's mostly a day for dating couples.  Even though Ryan and I now qualify as an "old married couple" I wanted to do something silly for Ryan.  Last year we had big plans for Valentine's Day, but life happened and they didn't quite materialize. 

So this year I gave Ryan's truck (while it was at work) a "heart attack."
I took the twins down to the high school with me towards the end of the day and we drove around looking for Ryan's truck.  It was passing time at the high school so we found a parking spot near the truck and waited for the crowds to die down.  The truck was near Ryan's classroom, so I thought we were "had" when Ryan came outside.  He looked right at us.  But luckily, I guess you don't see what you aren't looking for and he wasn't looking for us.

There were a couple of high school kids who passed us, as well as a construction worker, but no one told on us.  The funny thing is, one of Ryan's students even walked by us to the greenhouse.

Ryan was surprised.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Getting Ready for Valentine's Day

Elizabeth has been counting down to Valentine's Day for a week or more.  Finally on Saturday morning Elizabeth could get her Valentine cards ready for her classmates.  
 She is one happy girl.  I love that.  Emma was playing it cool once I got the camera out.  Deep down though, she was excited to get her Valentines ready too.

Today was Annie and Maddie's "school" day and Valentines tea party luncheon.  Last week the kids decorated hats and made purses/bags to hold their Valentines and today everyone brought something to share for lunch.

Annie and Maddie showed off their prettily decorated bags full of cards and candy for the camera once we got home.   


One night last week the kids had So. Much. Energy.  So I set them up with Ms. Jillian Michaels.
The girls totally got into it and I got such a kick out of watching them.

Wiggle 'Til You Drop

I think this girl seriously doesn't stop moving until she crashes for the night.

(I can't think this is comfortable.  Good thing we check on the kids before going to bed ourselves.)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

This is what my life has come to

Sometimes when I send certain of my kids to go to the bathroom (because they obviously needed to go) they don't quite make it.  Somehow the act of me telling them to use the toilet becomes a trigger to have an accident- usually in the bathroom right next to the toilet.  I've been told that having your children clean up their own accidents will encourage them to make it to the toilet.  (I'm still waiting for that to happen.)  So Twin 1 or Twin 2 will grab one of the towels hanging up in the bathroom to mop up the puddle.  The only problem is sometimes the towels are vigorously used when those same little ones dry their hands and the towels end up on the floor.  Ryan will, on occasion, leave his towel on the floor after his shower as well.

So I don't always know the reason a towel is on the floor in the bathroom.  Rather than having a pile of damp towels on the floor, I will pick up the towels and hang them over the shower doors.  Just until I do the next load of laundry.

This has back-fired on me.

Earlier this week when I was getting out of the shower, I grabbed a towel and used it to pat my face dry.  It smelled a little... off.  As I was drying off the rest of me, it dawned on me that maybe I had grabbed the wrong towel.

Ok, that's nasty.

I told the story to Ryan.  He mentioned that this same towel situation has happened to him too.

I wasn't going to post this story (it is a little bit gross), but a friend of mine suggested that I should.  There needs to be a record of the odd and gross things I put up with from my children. :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

My Ill-Gotten Gains

I didn't mean to steal the cheese.  Really.

Monday afternoon I "ran" to Costco.  Again.  I cannot keep away, even though it takes me a half hour to get there, and a half hour to come back.  Anything to keep me out of the dreaded local Walmart.

I grabbed my produce, cheddar and string cheeses, bread, tortillas, hummus, baggies, milk, Craisins and whatnot and put them all in my giant cart.  I had both Annie and Maddie and their coats in the shopping cart as well.  I got up to the checkout and put everything on the conveyor belt and paid for my goods.  I handed my receipt to the lady at the exit (who drew not 1, not 2, but 3 smiley faces on our receipt) and headed out to our minivan.

I wrestled my little run-aways into their car seats and seat belts and then proceeded to unload the groceries into the car.  All was rosy and bright until I grabbed the coats to throw in the car and there was the cheddar cheese.  Probably not paid for, but outside the store.

I rummaged through my purse and found the receipt.  Milk, bread, tortillas, string cheese..... but no cheese. 

Oh dear.

The kids are already in the car.  How bad would I feel about just going home? 

It's just $5.  I'm sure I've been overcharged for numerous things at Walmart.  (When I pay attention- I find it happens pretty regularly.)  It's probably even happened here at Costco a time or two.

But then I pictured trying to eat the cheese.  I would be filled with guilt every time I opened the fridge. 

Stupid conscience.

This inner argument lasted almost 5 minutes.  (I know, I know.  I'm a bad person.)

So I grabbed the cheese, shoved it in my purse under my wallet and walked back into the store.  I walked until I found an aisle with no one there, dug it out and then walked to the check out stands.  I kept waiting for the Loss Prevention people to come corner me and ask why the cheese had been in my purse in the first place.  But nothing happened, and I paid for the cheese.

And walked out again. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Friday, February 3, 2012

Date Night

Tonight was date night.  This was the conversation I had taking the babysitter home.

Babysitter:  Did you have a nice date?

Me: Yes, it was nice.

Babysitter:  What did you guys do?

Me:  Well, we went to the high school and watched a movie.

Babysitter: In Mr. K's classroom?

Me: Yes.  On the projector.

Babysitter:  What movie did you guys watch?

Me: Well... it wasn't really a movie.  We go to bed at 10 pm, so we miss watching Castle on tv.  So we watch episodes online.

Babysitter: Oh.  Sounds fun.

Me: Yep.

Aren't we just so lame?  We picked up a hot chocolate at McD's and then watched a tv episode on the projector in Ryan's classroom sitting in our camp chairs for our 90 minute date before heading home to put the kids to bed.  But how do I explain trying to be creative on a (small) budget to a 16-year-old?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hurricane Annie

It technically isn't hurricane season.  But you wouldn't always know it around here.

Yesterday we were invited to visit a friend for a play group of sorts.  4 moms and 7 children congregated in the basement playroom of one of our friend's homes.  Annie, Maddie and friend Jane immediate stripped down to their underwear and put on fancy dress-up clothes.  For the next 100 minutes, toys were dumped out, strewn about, mixed up, thrown, and fought over; you know- how 2 and 3-year-olds play.

Finally it was time to clean up and get ready to go.  I started helping pick up toys and found Annie and Maddie's clothes.  I grabbed the closest child (who happened to be Annie) and told her it was time to put her clothes back on.  She tried running away.  And running away again.  The storm broke and she went limp and fell to the floor.  The wailing began and the limbs began waving wildly in an effort to elude my grip.  I stripped her of her borrowed finery and the howling began in earnest.  She wouldn't keep her legs in her pants, she was trying to hit me, she was screaming how mean I was. 

There were 3 other moms there watching.  And cleaning up all the mess while I tried to calm and dress my daughter.

Keep calm.  Keep calm.  Keep calm.  Put your darn clothes on!  Keep calm.

Once all the toys were cleaned up, I had finally wrestled Annie into the clothes she arrived in.  The storm of her wrath had mostly subsided, but her lower lip was still sticking out and she wouldn't look at me.  Then I was able to get Maddie into her clothes with a lot more cooperation.  Thank goodness. 

But our adventure was not yet finished.  We still had to get upstairs, put our boots and coats on and then get buckled into our seats.  Annie was still limp and giving me the silent treatment. 

I was very glad to finally make our adieux and escape.