Lazy Tuesday.

I was shocked when I looked at the clock this morning and it was 11 already. WHAT? Where did the morning go? The kids slept in until 8:20, so that kind of got us discombobulated. Jack had a weird time going to sleep last night — he kept crying and crying and when we would go in to check on him, all he could say was “I’m sad.” So that kept them up until after 9 pm, which is probably to blame for their late rising. It was SUCH a pretty day. I started to take them to the park but suddenly got very attached to the idea of not getting in the car at all; so we went into the back yard and hung out for about an hour and a half until lunch time. I got the backyard straightened up — emptied the little pool and stashed it under the deck, swept, packed up all of their pool and sand toys, so it doesn’t so much look like a junkyard out there anymore. Emme started doing the CUTEST THING while we were out there — she decided I was Abby, Jack was Elmo, and she was Zoe. Then she found a rock and said “I found Rocco!” I suppose if you’re not a current viewer of Sesame Street you have no idea what I’m talking about, so my apologies. BTW, it suddenly occurred to me today that my kids are never going to know Mr. Hooper. They are growing up in a Hooper-less Sesame Street. How sad.

ANYWAY. She called me Abby for about an hour. It was just adorable.

Justin has taught them this little scene to act out. First act: they say “Hmmmmm,” with their finger to their mouth. Second Act: They say “Aha!” with their finger in the air. Third act: they say “I GOT IT!” with a look of triumph. It is so cute and I have been meaning to take pictures of them while they’re doing it and finally got around to it today. Here’s Jack:

Hmmmm….

Aha!

I GOT IT!

As you can see, Jack is a bit camera shy. Not our little actress.

Hmmmmm…

Aha!

I GOT IT!

Oh my gosh, they crack me up. After we did our play-acting, we had an impromptu dance party and those kids were ROCKING OUT.

See the book Jack is clutching? That’s one of those books that I was talking about in my last post about the library. This is his latest obsession that he wants with him at all times. It’s so strange, because they’re really simplistic (this one is called Baby’s Colors, even) but he just loves them.

Today we started on our big pile of library books and made it through one called “Kindness is Cooler, Mrs. Ruler.” It was very wordy, almost too wordy for them, but we made it through, and I’m glad we did, because it was all about doing kind acts for other people. I loved that it brought up the word “kind” and really tried to bring that into the conversation from that point forward. I think we’re going to try some of the suggestions in the back of the book, like writing a thank you note to our town firemen.

That’s about all I got for you tonight, homies. Something smells like fondue in my kitchen yet no fondue has been cooked. But it is making me very hungry. So Mommy out.

 

Monday, Monday.

In true Monday fashion, I didn’t get to the computer to write a post until Tuesday morning. So you MIGHT be getting two posts for the price of one today…that is, if I manage to put together a Tuesday post! Pretty soon I will be backsliding to the point where I have to do five days worth of posts in one day. Such is the fate of most of my resolutions…they last about a week before going kaput.

Yesterday started a little rough when I got the kids all ready to go out — we were going to hit a thrift store, then the library — and realized I couldn’t find my keys. BAD NEWS, primarily because you absolutely cannot get them ready and then stall for any significant amount of time before actually leaving the house. In fact, I don’t even TALK about leaving the house until their shoes are on. And once their shoes are on, they had best be hustled out the door within five minutes or all hell breaks loose. So me having to search for keys, even for five minutes, provoked weeping and wailing…imagine what life looked like when the search stretched on to forty-five minutes. At that point, I desperately called Justin, who offered to come home and give me his keys. Mind you, his office is twenty minutes away when traffic is light. I was seconds away from taking him up on his offer when I found the keys buried deeply in the cushions of a couch I had not sat on for days and days. Those rotten kids. Hiding my keys and then freaking out when I can’t find them. I actually asked them for help while I was looking for them — “Has anyone seen Mom’s keys?” — only to get nonsensical answers that left me wondering if there was any truth to them…i.e., Emme said,”Yes, Mommy, they’re in the truck!” Which truck? “This dump truck!” Only they’re not there, but then I’m wondering, hmmmmm, WERE THEY THERE AT ONE POINT AND HAVE NOW BEEN MOVED  TO SOME REMOTE LOCATION SERVING AS THE TOWN DUMP? SO. By the time I found them, I was feeling down right panicky. The thought of being stuck in the house with these kids with no means of escape was claustrophobic to me. SOMETHING has happened to them lately, and they have turned into absolute maniacs. They just run wild and the only way to get them to behave themselves is to absolutely lose it — screaming at the top of my lungs. THEN, they’ll stop and mind me, but up until that point, no amount of “Hey, stop climbing up the walls” makes any sort of impact on them.

So that is why the loss of keys sent fear and loathing through my bones.

By the time I had found them, it was too close to lunchtime to do the things I had promised, so like the bad mom I am, I decided to JUST go to the thrift store and hit the library after nap. They were fairly amenable to this proposal — I think they were just happy to get out of the house. I didn’t find anything good at the thrift store EXCEPT for a new puzzle: this one is a 64-piece Richard Scarry puzzle, rated for ages five and up, and Emme did it in no time flat! She’s a puzzle whiz!

We came home, ate lunch, took naps, then headed back out to the library. Our library is open until 8 during the week, and the children’s section was blissfully empty. Not a single computer was in the use! They love playing these dumb games the library has on the computer — most of them are meant for older kids, so it’s kind of hard to find one that can occupy their attention for any length of time. They’re so cute with their headphones on.

This section is usually the one most fraught with emotion as other kids hate getting off of the computers, but we’ve managed to avoid such drama by setting the iPad timer for ten minutes. They never argue with the timer, thank God.

Then it’s on to puzzles for a few minutes. Although little Miss Smartypants is pretty bored by the simple puzzle offerings of the library.

And then they get to pick out a few books. Emme’s not that interested in picking out books — she usually grabs just anything off of the shelf and thrusts it at me. Jack, on the other hand, ferrets out his FAVORITE kind of book — a big,colorful picture book that teaches numbers, letters, or shapes. He searches until he finds it. They’re way too young for him — he already knows everything they teach — but he loves their pictures, I guess. We got a giant stack of books this time, because last trip, almost every book I got was a bust — either too boring or too scary.

A friend on Facebook posted this article — 10 Simple Things You Can Do That Will Make You Happier Backed By Science.  Nothing that will come as a surprise to you, probably, but a good reminder, nonetheless. They’re all good suggestions but there are three points I’m resolving to work on.

1. Meditation is something I really need to look into — I read an article not too long ago about it’s enormous effectiveness at alleviating anxiety. It’s just that when I start investigating how to do it too many instructions make it seem hard. But it isn’t really, is it? I mean, in the end, it’s just sitting, quietly, clearing your mind. I’m going to try and figure out how to get meditation time into my day. I could do it while they nap.

2. I also want to figure out something I can do with them to volunteer. In Chicago, my job fulfilled the part of my personality that wants to try and make the world a better place (cliched, sorry) but I’m not doing anything now that alleviates my guilty feelings over having a nice life simply by being born into it. I’m thinking if I could find something that could be done while they’re with me, it might be a good way to have thinking about others become ingrained in their personalities. I’ve been thinking about Meals on Wheels — seems fairly easy to strap them in to the car, deliver the meals, and maybe visit a bit with people who might enjoy seeing two wild animals masquerading as toddlers. Just don’t know if I could do that and keep them in line at the same time.

3. This is the second article in two days that talked about writing down three things you are grateful for each day and how much that can boost happiness. I tried this one time a couple of years ago with Justin but he refused to take it seriously and tried to get away with listing the same thing every single day so I gave up. But I am formally reviving the practice right here, right now. First: I am grateful that I found my keys before I asked Justin to drive all the way home to give me his. Second, I am grateful that we have such an amazing library in our town. Third, I am grateful that I got out in the garage and sanded down a bunch of wood and can now get busy making some Christmas signs for the sale Shara and I are doing in November (more info on www.Pretty-Quirky.com).

Mommy out. Time to start Tuesday!

Sunday is really my Monday.

I was in such a bad mood today and I think I realized why. Sunday is my Monday because Saturday is my “day off.” So today officially marks the beginning of my week and the long slog towards another lovely Saturday. Lord. I sound terrible. You know I love these kids, right? But I do see them EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK. I’m supposed to be starting a freelance job that will give us a little extra cash (another reason for my bad mood — there’s one last thing I have to be scheduled for before I can officially start and they are dragging their heels on it) and I told Justin we were using a portion of that paycheck for a date night and/or afternoon once a week. Hopefully on a Sunday so I can wrangle one more day off out of the deal.

It rained nearly the entire day yesterday and the temperature has dropped ridiculously. The kids were in Fall clothes today! Seems to early for that but it IS October. I decided to get them out of the house on an errand — I knew the park was probably going to be pretty soggy still. We went to the “Steer Store” — Home Depot, so called because they have the great carts with the steering wheels in them.

When the store isn’t very crowded I like to pretend like they actually have control over the direction of the cart. We have a lot of near-misses. “OH NO OH NO OH NO DON’T RUN INTO THAT FLASHLIGHT DISPLAY!” and they frantically turn the wheel as we narrowly avoid catastrophe. Now they just start saying “OH NO OH NO OH NO” when they get in the seat so I suppose I’ve overdone that little skit.

Dad came along with us to the store and we stopped at Chipotle afterwards. I love taking them there — they love the food and it’s about the healthiest fast food option there is.

They call this “going to eat with Thomas” because it’s right by the train depot and one time we were there the train came by and so now it will forevermore be known as Thomas’ house.

The End. (This is a dreadfully boring post but my husband is waiting to watch some TEEVEE with me so I’ve got to make this short and sweet, people.)

Sam’s Birthday.

What a roller coaster of a day. First, the very good news: my cousin came through surgery with flying colors. Our food offering was delivered today around 11 am and I was pleased as punch seeing it sitting on their kitchen counter, taking up so much space. Best possible outcome we could have hoped for with such a serious surgery, so YAY! After our food delivery, our day was pretty uneventful up until nap time; I made the poor kids come along to a few yard sales and then we headed home for lunch and nap. We were all pretty excited about the birthday party scheduled for this evening. Emme woke up in a foul mood and almost refused to put on her overalls but by the time I had said “cake” about thirty times, she had cheered up a bit.

I’m sorry, I know you’re not supposed to brag on your own kids, but these kids are CUTE.

They had the BEST time at the party. It was held at a farm that has a petting zoo, pony rides, hayrides, and a corn maze. So fun. We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows and stuffed our faces with birthday cake. It was like a 2-year-old’s idea of what heaven must be like.

Emme gets almost frantic in these situations — she can’t even enjoy what she’s looking at in the present moment because she’s so worried about what she might be missing or what might be coming next. It’s hard to keep her focused on any one thing. They were so happy driving home and they fell asleep clutching their pumpkins they brought home from the party and singing Happy Birthday to each other.

On the way home, I called my Mom to check on their kitty…and got the very sad news they had to have him put to sleep that afternoon. He was a one-in-a-million cat, our Nathan. I’m thinking of him tonight.

Every day can’t be a winner.

This wasn’t the greatest of days. One of my favorite cousins got terrifying news — he has some sort of growth on his heart and will be going in for open heart surgery tomorrow morning. Such a shocker. He’s in his mid thirties. Five kids. Ugh. Breaking my heart. In the periphery of that news was the fact that my parents continued to receive bad reeprts about the health of one of our beloved family cats…in our family, pets are like children, so while it may seem odd to mention that in the same light as my cousin’s news — for my parents, it’s really serious and heartbreaking. I was on my way to the thrift stores when I heard both of these pieces of news…though I ended up feeling foggy and anxious I went ahead and shopped, because I was looking for something for the twins to wear to their cousin Sam’s birthday party tomorrow, which is being held at a farm. I just figured it would take my mind of things but it was the wrong thing to try to do — I was short-tempered because of the news and the kids can do one thrift store fine, two is cutting it close, and three is the nuclear option, only to be attempted when there are no other options. We hit three. By the third I was gritting my teeth and glaring at them and wanting really, really badly to hulk out but didn’t want any of the other shoppers to see me at my worst. Those kids were lucky we were in public. Emme always sits in the seat of the basket and Jack sits in the back, ever since Emme’s experience with tumbling out of the basket on to the Wal Mart floor. Today, for some reason, she decided that she was going to grab on to a hank of Jack’s hair and pull. HARD. And then laugh like a crazed serial killer when I scolded her. 

I did, however, find what I was looking for.  Meet Farmer Jack and Farmer Emme.

Lord, they look so cute dressed up in their overalls. I’m tempted to make this their Halloween costumes, although I really want them to be able to pick their costumes out themselves. I asked Emme what she wanted to be for Halloween and without a beat she said “A CAT!” We’ve got to get them to the store to pick something out soon.

Emme had great success tonight with her bathroom duties and a cupcake is waiting for her for tomorrow morning. I told her she could have it for breakfast. (!!!!!) I might be the worst mom in the world. So now is a good time to admit that I pinched Jack on his arm today in the store when he hit me because I put him back in the cart after he would not stop pulling things down from the shelves. That’s something my Mom used to do to us all. the. time. and it wasn’t until today that I realized why: it’s undetectable in public. SNEAKY.

I just finished a huge vat of spaghetti and meat sauce to take over to my cousin’s family tomorrow…here’s hoping that all goes well tomorrow morning.

Mommy out.