Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What's up with the Mums?

Mommy-hood is a strange place to find yourself. If you're not careful you can caught up with the crazies - heck, even if you are careful you can get caught up in it - believe me, I know! The worst part is, you can be one of them and not even realize it!
What am I talking about...Mother's have a strange way of presenting themselves, talking about their lives and their children. They have a unique way of bragging about their little Einsteins latest accomplishment while simultaneously downplaying it and complaining. Confused? Me too! Here is an example:

Mommy J: She is just so verbal and advanced, I had to put her in a preschool program (ahem, we all know it is daycare) with kids older then her. I mean I can't even bring her on play dates with kids her own age because she terrifies them with her outgoing personality and expanded vocabulary. What am I supposed to do?

Me: Get real! Sure she has a great vocabulary and she is adorably precocious, but she isn't scaring her 2-yr-old buddies, she is annoying them by grabbing their stuff, yelling, and being generally mean.

Ok, of course I didn't say that. I probably stammered something like, "Oh it is lucky you found such a great program" while trying to pick my jaw up off the floor and block my kids from a toy her genius is throwing across the room.

Mums also engage in a little "poor me" game that is so contagious they need to develop a vaccine before all mums become miserable!! "Poor me" is so stealth it can also appear as a "my life is harder than yours because" conversation. A blatant, and yes very real, example:

Random Mum at playground: What do you think is harder having twins or 2 really close in age like I did?

Me: Oh, I don't know. I think...

RM: Because I think that it is harder to have 2 close in age like myself because one is always running away while the other is blah...blah...blah.

Other topics can include how late husbands come home, available babysitter pool, kids who don't eat, kids sleeping habits, kids who won't bathe, etc. The key is that the harder you make your life, kids, work appear - the more points you earn.

In all seriousness, this all comes from mommy pride and mommy guilt - 2 real forces that are driving moms all over the place. Let's not forget that we are women and as a rule shouldn't be too proud or have it too easy. Who wants to listen to that? Well, I do. I want to hear how awesome your day was, how lucky you are that your husband comes home early, or that you feel like you are truly enjoying your kids. I want you to have a positive attitude toward your family, so that it will spread to me and to everyone else. I think I am fighting a losing battle, especially because I am guilty of engaging in these ridiculous conversations myself. My mom says it was the same types of conversations when we were younger. Is there hope for us? I think so.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Marketing Geniuses

Ella loves Cinderella. Funny thing is she has never seen a book, or the movie, or Cinderella herself. Her only knowledge of her is the image she sees on everything from her diapers, to stickers, juice cartons, and underwear. These marketing people really know what they are doing. Today she was on the verge of a meltdown at Marshalls because she couldn't get a hideous Cinderella boot on her foot. By the way, Cinderella's image is usually with a few others like Snow White and the Little Mermaid, but Ella pays no mind to the brunette and red head. She knows already that blonds really do have more fun!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Tyler Toivo's Tubby Time

Tyler loves the bath! He splashes like this the entire time, much to Drew's dismay. Now he tries to climb the walls and stand. There is no controlling him! He even loves to submerge his entire face coming up sputtering and laughing. Watch out Phelps, this kid was born to be in the water!

Camera is Back!

My camera has been on the fritz...but it is all better today. I brought it along with us to the park this AM trying to capture the picture. You know the one...where the light is perfect, the expression is exactly how you see it, and it just perfectly captures the moment. Well, as usual I didn't get "THE PIC" but I don't need it. I sat back on the bench with my little guy sleeping with the sun on his feet. Ella was running and singing and Drew waved from the top of the slide. The air was, why as my dad would say, it was spectacular! The sun was out, even the birds were chirping. We were all happy, and why shouldn't we be?! I don't need a picture to remember that.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I don't wanna grow up!

First it was the cribs. Then the diapers. Now it is the pacifiers, or as we affectionately call them, Nips. The dentist gave us the final push we needed to let go of our beloved nips. They both came home from the hospital with one in their mouth. At 10 months I banned them to the cribs and car seats, and that is where they have been ever since. But, it was time. Or maybe it wasn't...
We were discussing what to do with the nips on Sunday when Ella stood up and said "Im throwing my nippies in the garbage, mom." And she got up, marched downstairs and threw three of them in the trash. Drew followed right behind her. I was shocked, but tried not to make a huge deal out of it. I went upstairs to check on Tyler and as I came down there were Ella and Drew climbing upstairs with their nips. I think there was spaghetti sauce on them - gross!! So, we sat down for another talk. Ella again threw them in the garbage, Drew cried. He eventually plopped them in, we all tied up the bag together and brought it outside to the barrel. I would have wagered my right arm that Drew would be crying all through nap and at night. But, surprisingly the little tough guy went right to bed and has slept like a trooper ever since. On the other hand, my little drama queen as been crying, gagging, screaming, choking, and begging for the last 3 days. It is torture for all of us. I want to give them back so badly. I feel horrible for her. It is such a terrible feeling to watch your baby be so upset, especially when you know how to comfort her, but can't. Torture!!
A different kind of torture all together are car trips. Good lord! The singing! The questions! The non-stop chatter! Mike declared after our first 10 minute car ride, "Id rather pay for braces!"

Monday, September 15, 2008

Random Thoughts

* In case you haven't heard Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy and the whole financial world was turned upside down. What does this have to do with my kids? Because now their Daddy has been at work for 2 straight days, yes that includes Sunday. What happens when Daddy is at work before they wake up and after they go to bed? We all go crazy.

* Watching the summer Olympics from China this year I was often amazed at the sheer athleticism of the athletes. They always appeared so graceful and made whatever sport -gymnastics, running, swimming - look so easy. I think they should have an amateur compete next to the Olympians just so the viewers at home can see the difference! Watching my 2.5 yr olds running, jumping, climbing, etc I am just amazed that they don't kill themselves. But I also love to watch Drew's quiet determination. And both of them have expressions of pure joy when running as fast as they can (until they fall and scrape their knee...again).

* Tyler is into snuggling, which often looks like tackling and is sometimes coupled with a bite or two. Ella and Drew love it. We were all laughing our way around the supermarket tonight as Ty mauled Drew in the shopping cart.

* I've been going to different parks in town and in neighboring towns in part to find some new local friends. Im finding that there are a lot of grandparents caring for their grandchildren while both parents work. Today I counted 9 kids in the park and I was the only non-grandparent. So, Im taking up Bingo, crocheting, and I signed up for a bus to AC to play the slots. Geesh.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Friendly Play

We have always played around and with other kids - city playgrounds were our stomping grounds since birth! But what was once laying on blankets with friends has morphed into full-fledged playing. At home they rarely play by themselves and they take turns initiating the activity. Recently they have been much more cooperative with each other and are dabbling in problem solving without my playing referee. "Ella, you take the red guitar. I have this drum." or maybe a "No, Drew, you read a book, I play with balloon!"

It is so interesting to watch personalities emerge while playing with their friends. Especially friends that we have had since they were infants. Ella is so excited while playing. She loves to play with friends and is smiling almost the whole time. She is game for anything, even if she has no idea what the game is!! Today her little friend was pretending to look for Nemo (a movie character) in their backyard. Ella was running around with her yelling "Mimo!!" She had no clue, but was having a blast. She also plays the leader sometimes and gets everyone going. As Mike says, she usually takes it to the next level, mostly involving getting a little too crazy, physical or loud. But, she can't help it she is loving life!!
Drew is a very considerate little guy. He likes everyone to be happy and takes pains to make sure the play is fair. He also loves to run, tackle, and hold hands. Sometimes it is cute to watch him engrossed in a toy at a friends house. He becomes oblivious to what is around him. I always think of my brother and his GI Joes during those moments.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My Boys

A few days ago I noticed Drew doing a little dance/bouncy walk. Today I realized it is the little boy "pee-pee dance." I think this determines that Drew is officially potty trained!!

Tyler is exactly 9 months old today. As my in-laws say he is a "Gavone." I have no idea how to spell it, but it is some NJ/Italian way of saying that he eats like a 350 lb linebacker. Tonight for dinner he had an entire piece of pizza including the crust, an entire banana, and then a jar of baby food. Not 2 hours later he nursed himself into a food coma. Gavone!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tyler T.

I think that 9 months is officially my favorite baby age. Tyler is such fun these days. He is crawling all over the place and pulling up on everything in sight. He loves to follow Ella and Drew and he is getting faster. He has been known to crawl and slide as if into home base to knock over block towers, grab a book that the kids are reading, or for a morsel of food under the table! He loves the tub and baby pool, splashing, dunking his face, and even laying on his back (video to come). He is so snugly, sometimes crawling over and laying his head on one of us. He plays peek-a-boo and claps his hands. He tries to feed me and put pacifiers in my mouth. He loves music and strums the guitars and bangs the drums with drum sticks. He also loves to eat and will not settle for baby food until he at least tries what everyone else is eating. He also loves to drink water and laughs after every sip. I love this kid!

Ode to Ikea

Oh, I love you Ikea!
I love you for the close proximity to my house - 3.5 miles!
I love you for your covered parking and many entrances.
I love you for your 99 cent kids meals and delicious mac & cheese.
I love you for providing bibs, kids silverware, and cups.
I love you for your 69 cent mini animal toys that my kids think are a big treat.
I love you especially for your family restroom - decorated, furnished with free diapers, stepping stools, and 2 separate areas - a play area and a bathroom area!!
I love that your kids section (with lots of things to play with) is located directly next to the cafe and the family restroom -
Thank you Ikea for saving me from many a rainy day stuck inside with these kids!!

Monday, September 8, 2008


I have been known to wait all day to go to the bathroom (even while pregnant) to avoid public restrooms. I hate them, passionately. Actually I didn't realize how much I hated them until the past 2 weeks during potty training. The only thing worse than having to use a public restroom yourself is to watch your two kids. While I am holding one and repeating as fast as a machine gun "No Touching!" the other is all over the place, touching everything. I also learned the hard way to always have a stroller for Tyler...is there anything grosser than a baby crawling on the floor of a public restroom? Maybe a kid falling into the public toilet!! Thank goodness some resourceful people developed a ridiculous amount of products dedicated to the potty training family. Im talking everything from disposable Elmo seat covers to inflatable portable potties - Yes!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Old People...

...get up early in the morning for no reason. I write this as Mike is on the front porch with the paper on a Saturday at 7 AM. We were both up by 6:30. When did we get so old? Did I mention all three kids are sound asleep? Pathetic. Ella was up singing until at least 10 PM, so I suppose Drew was up as well. At least she doesn't yell for us anymore, she just amuses herself. Lately they have been making pee noises and then cheering for each other.
"Yeah! Drew you did it! Im so proud of you!"

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Funny Bits

What has made me laugh today (so far):

- Ella asking her new teacher how old she is

- Drew helping Ella wipe after using the potty

- Ella bending down to squeeze the edge of a shoe I was trying on and then asking "Is it too big, Mommy?"

- Ella asking "Mommy, do you see my bum dancing?" as she turns around

- Drew yelling "Big Poopy Coming!!" as he runs wildly toward the potty