Sunday, January 30, 2011

At the Y-M-C-A

Since we are buried under ridiculous amounts of snow and I am trying to keep my sanity with all the school cancellations, I have managed to commit the breadwinner of the family to let us join the Y.

At first, my darling husband balked at the $72 a month price tag.  I admit that it was a bit pricier than I initially expected and my timing wasn't great.  (Note to self:  Next time don't request a pricey item right after husband has just shelled out $7000 in quarterly taxes.)  Once I explained that he would actually get a chance to work out and there was child care included in the price, however, he was sold.   

And so, we've begun having a ton of fun at the YMCA.  Vivi is learning to swim.  I'm taking yoga classes with all my girls.  (Some more successfully than others.)  My husband is getting his workouts in and occasionally making use of the sauna. Most importantly, I have the opportunity seven days a week to jump on some sort of machine and burn a few calories while watching reruns of The Daily Show all while my children are being entertained by somebody else.

Ladies and Gentlemen, that is priceless.

Friday, January 21, 2011


I'm not a big shopper.  I don't like crowds.  I don't like buying for the sake of owning more stuff.  I hate trying on things and feeling bad about myself afterwards.  All in all, shopping is just not a pleasant experience for me.  Add to that the three children I almost always have in tow and it is downright miserable.

So when my husband gave me a big chunk of time to myself last weekend, I did what I usually do.  I puttered.  I folded some laundry.  I broke down about fifteen cardboard boxes that had accumulated on our back porch since Christmas. I swept the kitchen, cleaned off the papers on my desk, and generally enjoyed the sound of silence. It was time to myself that I spent doing chores but I didn't resent it because nothing thrills me more than feeling like I've accomplished something.  Once I got those things done, however, it occurred to me that leaving the house might actually be a good thing.

That's when I went shopping.  I guess the memory of doing anything without my entourage is so far-removed from my consciousness that I thought I would give it a try.  Lo and behold, I actually enjoyed myself.  I admired the shoe selection at Marshall's.  I picked up a no parking sign at Lowe's.  I found a $1.75 sequined t-shirt at Target which I'll tuck away for Vivi's birthday.  I didn't rush.  I didn't have to pack snacks and time my trip so no one would melt down.  I didn't have to buckle and unbuckle three car seats.  And when I got home, everyone was still out.  

How is that for a gift?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Let Me Guess....

I can't tell you how many people walk into our house, see Jude and Ellie running gangbusters through the mess, and say, "Ok.  Don't tell me who is who.  Let me guess."  Sometimes, my friends get it right and sometimes they don't but I think it is funny that guessing who is who has become a little game for them.

Jude and Ellie look a lot alike.  Physically, they were quite different when they were first born but as the months passed, they started to look more and more like each other.  I don't dress them the same for many reasons, not the least of which is it takes me just a little too long to differentiate them when they are in the same outfit.  With efficiency and simplicity as my goal, matching outfits would only add to the chaos.

Now, as the mother, you would think that I have no problem telling my kids apart but if they are dressed alike and I'm not seeing their faces directly on, I confuse them.  A lot.  At their one year well-check, I was holding a baby on my lap facing the doctor.  My husband was holding the other one.  We were arguing over who was who in front of the pediatrician and well, I was wrong.

The pervasive assumption throughout my pregnancy was that the babies are fraternal. They had separate sacks, separate placentas, and the number of fraternal twins in my family is significant.  As the months have passed, however, I've wondered if this is actually the case.  Jude and Ellie are very similar to each other and very dissimilar from their big sister.  The Turtles have always been within ounces of each other in weight, their first tooth was both their top right and they have hit all their milestones within days of each other, and they both have the same, swirled blue and brown eye-color.  There are other things too, which combined with my challenges of telling them apart, has got me wondering.  Are my girls identical or am I just really clueless?

I wonder about this but I don't feel inclined to find out if they are actually identical.  I'm afraid that knowing might change how I parent them and I like the idea that perhaps there are more differences than I can actually see.  If I knew they were identical, I think I'd be less likely to treat them as individuals.  (Consciously or not...)

So, I guess I'll just err on the side of clueless mama.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Why It's Challenging....

A couple of posts ago, I talked about the challenge that Dolli-Mama issued at the beginning of the year.  The goal for anyone who agreed to the challenge is to take at least ten minutes each week to do something for herself.  Ten measly minutes and yet it is it so hard!

Now, don't get me wrong, I've been trying to get twenty minutes of exercise a day while the babies nap.  I feel good afterwards but it is NOT what I want to do.  It is something I need to do and thus it is not a real treat.  A real treat would be getting out of the house or even better, getting the kids out of the house while I enjoy the quiet BY MYSELF.

I think part of the reason I'm feeling extra prickly is because I have not had a break in close to two weeks.  My husband was gone all last weekend on a ski trip (something I totally agreed to) so I was braving the masses on my own.  He's around this weekend but is under the weather.  Next weekend, he is off at a conference.  (Apparently, I also agreed to that but I certainly didn't realize what a toll all this ceaseless childcare would take on me when I said yes.)  I know I'll get to take a weekend to myself at one point but that seems far into the future.

Anyway, my goal for today is to get this little beauty framed:

I sing this song to my girls all the time so when I saw this print online, I had to have it.  If this doesn't cheer me up, then I am worse off than I thought.

A sunny Saturday to you all...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snow Day

So, what is a girl and her family to do when it is snowing like crazy?

Well, the first thought was to get everyone dressed up and outside.  I mean, really, who doesn't love a toboggan ride in a snow storm?

Well, apparently, Ellie doesn't.

Because the thrill of the snow was lost on Ellie, we headed back inside.  That's when the girls discovered the joy of the recycling bin:

And since the house was already torn apart and I was feeling crafty, I busted out my sewing machine.  I needed some color on this gray day so this what I came up with:

A tote bag because I clearly do not have enough vessels for carrying my children's crap.

Today is the day after the blizzard.  School has been canceled again and we are trying to entertain ourselves.  So do you want to wear a manilla envelope on your head and come over and dance?

We'd love to have you!

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Challenge

I think it was about a year ago when I received an email from a nice young woman who had found my blog.  She had just discovered that she was having twins herself and was wondering how the heck she was going to do it all.  Like me, she has an older child and her twins were a surprise.   I wasn't sure I had much to offer her in my bleary-eyed state but I gave her some encouragement, a little advice, and hoped for the best.  As it turns out  this mama had a beautiful set of twin girls and is coping well with the demands of parenting three small children.  

Right before New Year's, this young woman emailed me again.  This time it was a challenge to take a few minutes every week in 2011 and do something for myself.  It is a remarkably simple idea that we mothers often fail to do and so I decided to commit.  (Believe it or not, it's not the first time I've considered committing myself.)  

So guess what I did bloggy friends?  I exercised.  Several times this week.  Good god, a new day has dawned!  Instead of doing loads of laundry and wasting time on Facebook,  I  spent 20 minutes during the babes' naptime getting yelled at by Jillian Michaels or being congratulated by the Wii yoga instructor for my posture.  It isn't much but it is something and miraculously, the laundry is still done and my kids are still fed.

Go figure.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Saying Goodbye

I am in the throes of despair.  No, it's not my waistline or the complete inability of my Turtles to sleep through the freaking night (although those certainly merit despair.)  I'm distraught because our babysitter is going away to college and next Wednesday is her last day. 

"But Mama Mama," you say, "didn't you already say goodbye to the best babysitter in the whole world last summer?"  Yes, I did but because the universe seems to take mercy on my pathetic attempt at twin parenting, I found another gem of a helper several months ago.

When I posted my ad on Craig's List last fall I was not optimistic.  We had just fired another babysitter who had as much energy as roadkill even though she came with rave reviews from a fellow parent at Vivi's nursery school.  When the replies to my ad came in,  I was certain I was destined to grieve the loss of our beloved Brown student forever.  Every single response contained bad grammar, ridiculous claims, and obvious misspellings.  I had one woman call me interested in the job only to tell me that the last children she babysat for were a couple of brats!  (I really wish I were kidding here.)

Then came Sara's response.  It was coherent and sweet.  She was obviously bright and when she showed up for the interview, I knew my prayers had been answered.  Sara has more energy than anyone I know.  She plays babies with my girls and actually enjoys herself.  She knows what needs to be done without being told and at the ripe ol' age of 18, I feel completely confident leaving her with all three of my daughters.

I think I could cope with Sara's departure a little better if my girls were not so attached to her.  At around 4:00 every day, they wait by the picture window looking for her car.  When she pulls up, Ellie starts yelling, "Herah!  Herah!"  Jude runs to the door with her arms open and Vivi has the dolls ready to go.  They adore her and Sara loves them and I can't imagine anyone taking her place.

So, as I post my ad again, I am wondering if it possible to be so lucky a third time.