Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lady with a Plan

I've got a plan.  For the first time since the birth of the Turtles, this plan does not involve ways that I can get more sleep, save more money, or keep the house from imploding.  While those are all noble pursuits, I've realized that I need to do more things to help me feel good.  Since heavy drinking isn't an option, I bought this:


Now get your mind out of the gutter.  

You see, since I started working out regularly, I've been sleeping better and have a lot more energy.  I also feel more capable as a parent although I'll admit that the babysitting while I exercise probably has more to do with that feeling.  These experiences, combined with a recent article I read about dry-brushing and the detoxifying benefits of doing it regularly, got me interested.  This is something I can do for myself that is easy and won't take a lot of time.  Plus, it just might minimize the appearance of my cellulite.

A woman has to have goals, you know?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sorry

Despite the title, this is not an apology.  This is my weekly glimpse into motherhood sponsored by Simply Modern Mom.

Sorry, anyone?


For the last twelve months or so, this is how my husband, Vivi, and I have spent the hour that falls between the girls' bedtimes.  It's one of my favorite times of day.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Loveliness

Sometimes I just can't get over how lucky I am to have this life.  I know this is a big change from the usual griping I do on this blog but I have had such a nice week that I thought I'd share. And, since this is my update for the ME Challenge, it seems particularly appropriate. 

It started last Saturday when my husband gave me some time to myself.  Instead of puttering around the house, I decided to visit my dear friend with four month-old twins.  It was such a delight catching up with her and snuggling with her babies.  She asked me questions about things I did when my Turtles were that small and it is amazing that I have no recollection whatsoever of how we made it through the days and weeks of that first year.  What a joy to be able to experience twins without having the sleep deprivation, guilt, and feeding demands clouding the experience! 

Now that we've gone a couple of weeks without snow, the girls and I have been out and about a lot.  We've walked to the library, been to the Y nearly every day, and picked up some treats at our local bakery.  We celebrated Valentine's Day by baking cupcakes and putting flowers all over the house.  All in all, we are stretching our legs and beckoning spring in the hope of an early arrival.

Spring fever has made us much quicker to laugh around these parts too.  Particularly when a Turtle puts together her fanciest outfit to-date:


Or Vivi's attempt to protect her stuff:


Spring fever can even seem to bring out the affection in the most curmudgeonly of preschoolers and make a Mama's small, grinchy heart grow three sizes.  See what I mean:


In case you can't decipher four-year-old scrawl, it says "I *heart* U Mom From Aviva."  She left that note for me on my to-do list.  What is more perfect than that?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Oh, the pictures!


I have had my camera out a lot more this week and it has been hard to decide which photo to link up with the project.  My photos aren't that great but I captured so many moments that I otherwise would have forgotten and that's pretty cool.

Like the girls splashing in the snow melt:


Perhaps, you noticed Jude's soap-opera cut? You know-- the ubiquitous bandage-above-the-eye that someone is always sporting on an episode of Days of Our Lives. Well, this is what it looks like without the bandage:


Yeah, that's what happens when a Turtle collides with the corner of a door.  The upside is that Jude is now telling everyone she is a "bruiser." Literally and figuratively, folks.

But, I think my favorite photo this week is the one doesn't feature my children at all.  It's what happens when I let them have at the pots and pans to cook.


Poor baby...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Boobs

There is a lot of discussion about boobs in our house.  Usually, it involves the Turtles who love trying on my bras and announcing that they are wearing "milks."  Several times a day, one of them will run up to me, look down my shirt, and laugh.  "Mama's milks aww gone," they declare before they dissolve into giggles.  

Their joke is funny to them because they remember nursing but know that they can't anymore because I've dried up.  What they don't get is the irony in their declaration.  My "milks" have shrunk so significantly that most of my bras don't fit anymore.  They're not gone but compared to what they were before, well, let's just say my real estate has been severely diminished.  

This past Saturday the subject of boobs came up again. Vivi had her swim lesson and the teacher was wearing a rather ill-fitting swim suit.  Picture a very plump, 60ish lady in stylish glasses, a very low-cut leopard print tank suit, and breasts the size of a pontoon boat.  The prospect that one of her gigantic boobies was going to fall out was so great that I was riveted during the entire lesson.  (It's not that I wanted to see her breasts.  I just couldn't believe that her suit would keep them in place!)

Alas, there was no wardrobe malfunction but as I was snuggling in bed with Vivi that night, I asked her if she enjoyed her swim lesson.  "Well, it was okay.  I liked the teacher from the first lesson better," she said.  When I asked why, she said, "Mama, that other teacher has small boobies like yours and they stay in her bathing suit."

Clearly, I wasn't the only one who noticed.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Real Reason I Go to the YMCA


Ok, I'm a day late and a dollar short with this whole Me Challenge.  Actually, I've been doing pretty well at claiming some time for myself.  I've just not been so good with linking back up in a timely manner.  Dolli-Mama will you forgive me? I'm blaming it on the twins!

Anyway, I've been spending my time at the Y watching episodes of the The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.  (Oh, it is just so shamefully delicious....)  The exercise is really just the vehicle for me to feed my crack-like addiction to reality television, particularly television that involves wealthy women behaving really badly.... oh the inspiration!  

Not to be outdone by the Y, my husband is giving me most of today off.  He's taking the girls to an undisclosed location and I get to do whatever I want.  The opportunities are endless.  So, ladies, what should I do????

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Project 52: A Glimpse Into Motherhood

I'm not much of a photographer but I find that I enjoy trying to capture pictures of my girls. Lately, the Turtles don't stop moving long enough to get a clear shot and Vivi outright shuns the camera.  There's nothing I like more than a challenge, however.  (Ok, there's just a touch of sarcasm in that sentence.)

Anyway, Simply Modern Mom has a weekly project on her blog that I thought I would join. Her Glimpse Into Motherhood is a good opportunity for me to try and get more photos of my children and my experience of motherhood. In turn, I hope to learn to accept and appreciate the joy found in our ordinary days.  No biggie, right?

So here goes... my first picture.  My girls and I got bundled up and went for a walk earlier this week. The first one we've done all winter.  It was nice not to feel stressed about holding both Jude and Ellie's hands.  After all, the snow piles provided the perfect protection from traffic.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Word

My husband and I were just marveling at how the Turtles' vocabulary has exploded.  They went from a handful of words and sounds a month ago to a whole host of phrases and demands today. They are beginning to understand nuance and humor in language which is just mind-boggling. Even though they are my second and third children, I still can't get over how fast the language acquisition happens.  I vaguely remember this with Vivi but because I have double the number of girls talking it seems that much more pronounced (ha!) with Jude and Ellie.

Ellie doesn't speak as much or have as many words as her twin BUT she definitely communicates well. She always responds with a thank you when anyone gives her something. She doesn't need to be prompted and it makes the Miss Manners inside me jump with joy each time I hear it.

Ellie also has a good sense for people. When Vivi was being sassy to me the other morning, Ellie marched right up her and said, "Viva, TIME OUT!" Ellie also informed me that Jude was a "cranker" when she woke up demanding her stuffed dog that Daddy forgot to bring downstairs.

Jude, not to be outshone by Ellie's manners, is a little jokester.  She is incredibly good at creating diversions so that she can avoid getting into trouble.  This is a popular scenario:

Me (stern voice):  Jude, what are you doing?
Jude:  Hi.
Me (still stern):  Jude, no playing with that.
Jude ignores me and continues playing.
Me (stern voice):  Juuuuuuuuude.
Jude (throws arms open):   Mama, kiss!

That's when I give her a big snuggle. Once I move away, she is back to her old trick of playing with something that is not meant to be touched. Lately, instead of asking for a kiss, she'll turn into a cat because she knows it cracks me up.

Despite all the utterances of important things like cantaloupe and garbage truck, there are more than enough "Mine!" and "Share!" or "Get it!" to make my head spin. I understand why some parents of twins just buy duplicates of everything. The incessant negotiation of toys is exhausting. Of course, Jude and Ellie are learning important skills by not having all the same toys but it is mama who often suffers the consequences from all the screaming.  Any advice on how to handle toy sharing among twins?

Oh, and Vivi, who is no slouch in the creative use of language department, told me that "the texture of the water in the shower makes [her] eyes feel like they are bleeding on the inside." Ummm.... okay.

Vivi also hasn't won any awards in the modesty department.  When I am admired her artwork the other day, she said, "Mom, I am not a colorer.  I am an artiste!"  

An artiste and two battling twins, what more could a mama ask for?


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Me Challenge

In all my angst about kindergarten, I forgot to do my update for Dolli-Mama's 52 Week Me Time Challenge.  I wish I could say that I did something wonderfully exciting this week but alas, I didn't.  

The good news is that I made it to the gym a few times this week.  I plopped the girls in the childcare and hopped on the machines.  It isn't much and it certainly doesn't make for riveting blog content but I am glad that I am doing it. The bad news is my ass is still the size of the Yukon Territory but at least I feel like I accomplished something when I stagger off the treadmill.

When I think back to the first year of the babies' lives, it is hard to believe that I survived with my sanity in check.  The exclusive breastfeeding, sleep deprivation, and all the necessary tasks to keep the children alive and the house from imploding made time to myself virtually impossible.  I've had so many people come up to me and say the usual line, "I don't know how you do it."  The truth is that doing it requires a lot of help and a lot of self sacrifice but I guess that can be our little secret.  

Friday, February 4, 2011

Why Kindergarten Is Going To Push Me Over the Edge

I need someone to talk me down.  I just returned from a tour of our neighborhood public school.  This is the school where Vivi will very likely attend kindergarten in the fall and I just don't think I can handle it.

I walked out of the school near tears.  Part of my reaction, I think, is the emotion of sending my first-born off to school.  I find myself vacillating between the excitement of having her be someone else's problem for a few hours (hardy...har...har...) and the sadness that my little girl is no longer so little.  The other part of my reaction is that this school is just not what I want for her.

One of the bees in my bonnet is that the school district only allows kids 15 minutes of recess a day.  Fifteen!  Like somehow if we just keep them in the classroom whilst driving information into their brains these children will score higher on standardized tests.  My daughter is still little enough to need time to run around.

My husband and I were also standing in those kindergarten classes picturing how frustrated our daughter would be.  You see, Vivi is very language-oriented.  She loves practicing her writing, making up languages, and learning to read and it really bothers her that her fellow nursery school classmates don't all know their letters and sounds.  (Yes, my kid is also a pain in the ass.)  When she becomes frustrated, her behavior deteriorates and while I think it is important and necessary that she learns HOW to handle that frustration, I think putting her in an educational environment that forces her to slow down instead of advance is going to spell trouble.

So I am left feeling depressed about our lack of options.  Here's the deal:  We have put in applications to charter schools but since my luck isn't that good, I doubt we'll win that lottery.  We have also applied to our neighborhood Jewish Community Day School which is wonderful (two significant recesses a day and a very challenging curriculum!) but unless we get some serious financial aid, we won't be coughing up $16,250 for the pleasure of sending our kid there.  And, well, my daughter doesn't like me enough to make homeschooling a viable option.

What's a stressed-out Mom to do?