Friday, July 22, 2011

One hundred degrees

That's what my thermometer says.

I'm hunkered down in the house with my napping Turtles, an oscillating fan, and a good load of PTSD.

The deadbolts are locked but I keep checking and double checking them.  I've spent the better part of the hour watching the comings and goings of the neighborhood looking for suspicious activity.  There is none, of course, because even lowlife robbers probably don't want to go out in this heat.

I feel like I am vibrating at higher frequency than any other species on Earth.  I'm not sleeping well and I am clearly exhibiting some obsessive-compulsive behavior.  I don't want to leave my house but I am afraid to be here too.

I'm not the first person to be robbed and I certainly won't be the last but I'm having a hard time accepting that this has happened.  It's difficult to move on when I still have more pawn shops to check for my jewelry.  It is also unsettling to open your email and discover that someone called Apple tech support about my stolen computer.  (Apparently these robbers are also morons.)  I've also been warned that the burglars often comeback within a month so that they can score all the loot you've replaced with your insurance money.

Now if that doesn't give me sweet dreams, I don't know what will.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

We Were Robbed

Internet, I'm not about the catchy title today.  I wish that I had some exciting story about poop or an adorable twin anecdote to share with you.  I wish I had a good reason to explain my cyber-absence.

I don't.

Very early Sunday morning, we were robbed.  They took my laptop, my husband's old laptop, and every single item of jewelry except my wedding band (which I happened to be wearing.)  They did not take my children and for once I am truly grateful for that.

We know a few things.  We know that they were watching us and while we are almost always home early Sunday morning, we left en masse this particular day.  My husband took the kids out for a mommy-free adventure and I headed to the Y.  I returned less than 45 minutes later while they were in the house.  Miraculously, I did something I never do which is sit in the car for several minutes before I went inside.  (I figured I didn't have to rush and I was riveted by the YMCA class schedule I had just picked up.)  While I sat in the drive, the robbers escaped through the back and jumped my neighbors fence.

When I walked in, I could just feel that something was off. Then I noticed that my computer was gone.  The desk was torn apart and my purse was strewn over the piano.  I grabbed the phone, ran out to the front, and called 9-1-1.  The police came and it was during that time when I went upstairs and saw that they had gone through everything-- our dressers, our bedside tables, my daughters' closets-- everything.  I half-expected to see my jewelry box gone but when I saw that not only was it gone but they had rifled through all my drawers, I just became hysterical.

We have all been rattled by this.  I'm not sleeping and the girls are clingy.  Jude woke up from her nap yesterday screaming that there was a man in her room.  Vivi has threatened to karate-chop the robbers but she also wrapped up her pink jewelry box with the dancing ballerina inside and gave it to me to  replace my own.  We are likely going to get a security system and I've started a neighborhood watch.

And those robbers... well, I hope they are enjoying my grandmother's watch, my engagement necklace from my husband, and the "I luv u sam mom from aviva" beaded necklace.

Jerks.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

This Is What I Mean About the Markers

Thanks bloggy friends for all your kind words about my parenting.  Maybe if I knew all of you in person, you might be not so quick with your comments.  I'm trying to look at the positive here.  At least I only yell at my own children.

Anyway, I mentioned in my beleaguered post that I'm waging a one-woman battle against THE MARKERS.  (Yes, I've confiscated them on numerous occasions but Vivi is a self-proclaimed "artiste" and she always earns them back.) Seriously though, I hate them and this is why:


Uh oh.  Mom's giving me the look.


"Mama, I got pritty legs."


Just when I was thinking, "Well, at least it was only one turtle."  Look who shows up:


As if the outfit wasn't eye-catching enough...

Linking up to Simply Modern Mom's Glimpse Into Motherhood.

Monday, July 11, 2011

What Is a Good Mother?

For the most part, I think I am a good mother.  I feed, clothe, and clean my children.  I tell them I love them.  I give them independence and encouragement.  I read to them and play games with them and drive them places.  I try to utilize positive reinforcement.

Except when I don't. 

There are times when I lose it.  When I throw a (plastic) plate across the kitchen because it is 8:00 at night and I told you it was bed time and not snack time.  When the whining is so insufferable that all I can do is shout "STOP IT NOW!!!!!!" at the top of my lungs so that I stun you into silence.  When I have to ask you for the tenth time to put the god-damned markers away because I am fed-up with scrubbing ink off the walls and floors.  When I tell you, "You know what?  I don't actually like that drawing." because I'm feeling spiteful that that you called dinner "disgusting."

I've done all those things.  Some of them I've done more than once.  With the exception of about 6 hours a week, I spend every single moment with my children in this same house.  I'm sick of this place and I am sick of the monotony of parenting.  How can someone NOT lose it?  I feel like I'm pretty normal in the grand-scheme of middle-class mothering.  

My husband disagrees.

He thinks that I am impatient and critical.  He says I lose my temper too frequently and I do not communicate in a positive, caring way.  

I admit that mothering and running a household simultaneously do not come easily to me.  Where my husband and I disagree, however, is over my general approach.  I feel it is unfair to judge me when the vast majority of time he spends with our family falls between 6:30 and 8:00 in the evening.  

Once upon a time, I used to have a job.  I used to wear clothes that required dry cleaning.  I used to have a routine that revolved around my professional aspirations.  I used to be a parent and an employee.  This is my husband's life so frankly, I don't think he gets a right to complain about my occasional unhappiness with being a stay-at-home mother, laundry maven, chef, cleaning lady, receptionist, bill-payer, mail-sorter, seamstress,  chauffeur and gofer, social coordinator, and hostess.

I don't think he has spent a full 24 hours alone with all of our spawn.  I bet a few plates would fly then.

So, what say you fair Internet, does any of this ring true in your house?

Friday, July 8, 2011

We Have a Winner and Then Some

Ladies and Gentleladies, we have a winner of the Halfway There Giveaway!


Lucky number 4 is....  MONICA!!!!


(I can not get the random number widget to appear on my blog but my husband can verify that I used it!)


Congratulations!  In a weird twist of blogland serendipity, Monica and I recently discovered a shared hatred for amusement parks which she noted on her blog.  Now I can encourage all of you to check out her really funny chronicle of family life at And I'll Raise You Five.


But wait, there's more!


I am giving away three runner-up gifts to help you help someone else.  Those randomly selected winners are:


#14:  Marcia at 123 Blog
#26:  Superjaxster
#12:  Holly Ann


Congratulations winners!  Please email me your mailing addresses so I can get your prizes out to you.


Now I'm off to the Y for some me time.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Simple Pleasures

Even though Vivi's language has become a bit more complex and (ahem....) colorful, sometimes her simplest notes are the sweetest.  This is what she gave me a couple of weeks ago:


My present was this picture:


Vivi explained that she and I are walking on a path to China together in our high heels.

Since she's really into writing and sounding out words, I asked her to write my grocery list.  I told her we needed:

Chocolate
Graham Crackers
Veggie Burgers
Watermelon

And this is what she wrote:


She may be sunshine and rainbows but she's part potty too.

Linking up to Simply Modern Mom's Glimpse into Motherhood.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Camp

Soon after we decided to send Vivi to kindergarten at our neighborhood public school, we learned that the school was offering a four-week summer camp.  We figured this would be a great opportunity for her to make some new friends, get used to the building, and have some fun.  Plus, at $50 a week for full-day camp, we couldn't exactly scoff at the price.  In fact, I believe my exact words were, "You're going to take my kid for eight hours a day, five days a week, and charge me $50.  Are you shitting me?"

Anyway, do you want to know what Vivi learned at camp yesterday?

Sure you do.

She learned about George Washington.
She learned how to fly a kite.  (Literally-- not the figurative way I taught her.)
She learned that cacti live in the desert in the Southwestern United States. 

And... she learned the word pussy.  (I'm not talking about cats here.)

I guess you get what you pay for. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Twins Versus Singleton

Sometimes I feel bad for Vivi.  

I get what is means to be a daughter.  I also understand what it is like to be the first-born and a big sister.  Like most people in the world, however, I have no idea what it means to be a sibling to "the twins."  For Vivi, I think it must really suck sometimes.

This morning Vivi was complaining of a stomach ache and said she didn't want to go to camp.  I knew she was probably feeling anxious and, after a long weekend of fun activities, it made sense to me that she would want to stay home.  She still managed to get dressed and fully-accessorized but as she was lying on the floor complaining about camp, Jude came over and dumped a cup of water all over her.  It drenched Vivi's "best favorite ever ruffly shirt" that she was wearing and she burst into tears.

I jumped up from the table, grabbed the cup from Jude, and yelled, "Why would you do that?" Jude burst into tears.  Then in some kind-of strange twin symbiosis, Ellie ran over to Jude before Jude even began calling for her.  Ellie embraced her as Jude rested her head on Ellie's shoulder.  Jude's crying quickly subsided as Ellie rubbed her back and said, "Is alright Jude."

What struck me about this is that it was Vivi who was wronged.  Ellie didn't run to her to make sure she was okay when she normally would have. Jude took priority and I realized how lonely it must be for Vivi sometimes.  That amazing bond that Jude and Ellie share is lost on all of us but it most profoundly affects their big sister.

Jude did apologize to Vivi and she quickly changed into an even fancier outfit.  I guess what she lacks in twins, she makes up for in sparkles.


Hey, want to win some free stuff?  Click here. You have until midnight on Thursday.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Halfway There Giveaway

At the beginning of the year, I made a commitment to myself and to Dollimama (my fellow blogger and mother of twins) to take a few minutes each week for myself.  I promised that I would blog about what I did every Friday and link up to her site.  

As it turns out, I was great at taking the time for myself but not so good at blogging about it.  (I know you are heartbroken to have missed my weekly missives about the YMCA.) Do not despair, fair reader, I am here to redeem myself.  I am participating in the:


Cue the wild cheering and applause!

I am giving away a little "me time" care package. While I won't give the specifics (who doesn't love a surprise?), the package will include something you can do for yourself, something you can do with a friend, and something that will help you do something for someone else.  

To enter, please leave a comment telling me the most interesting place you have ever traveled. For a bonus entry, become a follower of this blog and leave me a separate comment noting that.

A winner will be chosen at random on Friday morning, July 8.

Check out the other giveaways by clicking here.  
Good luck!!