Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Samson and Delilah

Samson, my cat, is severly deprived. Weighing in at just over 15lbs, he cries at the slightest sign that the food is getting low in his bowl. He needs attention...constantly. Which, apparently, just as we are starving him, we must not be giving him the affection he needs...because he is beginning to demand it from the babies. He will gracefully turn and fall backward into their laps, his stomach spreading onto the floor. My delighted boys will then proceed to yank his tail, and grab his ears...and I will occasionally find fists full of fur. Does the cat move? No. I suppose having five kids makes you neglect your pets...I cannot fathom any other reason the cat feels the need to torture himself.

Come to think of it...he did the same thing with Irelynn when she was a baby. I would have to say that in over fifty-percent of the photos I have of her...Samson is also in the photo. No wonder I have problems explaining to her that he is "everybody's" cat...not just her cat. He was a staple in her first years....as well as the song, "Hey there, Delilah," by the Plain White T's. I have that entire song memorized due to the fact that we had it on repeat on my computer so that my child could sway and sing along. Luckily she has moved past "Delilah," and has new favorites, including, but not limited to, "Pocketful of Sunshine," the theme song to "iCarly," and just about anything from the Jonas Brothers. But everytime I hear "Hey there, Delilah," on the radio, I can't help but think of Irelynn.

As the pictures begin to accumulate of the twins...I will have to see if Samson is still a background fixture. I wonder if they will have favorite songs as toddlerss that will drive me insane?

I have a funny feeling that when my kids are grown and have moved out, I will be sitting alone...petting Samson....with "Hey there, Delilah" playing on repeat in the background.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Joys of Having a Toddler

I think that the best way to experience a toddler is with an open mind, a good sense of humor, and a high tolerance for spontaneity. If you can maintain these qualities....it can be quite...entertaining at times.

Like the time you pick up your 8-month-old to discover he has become the canvas for her latest masterpiece. You could get angry, stressed out, and reiterate the rules of proper marker use for the 50th time...or, you could keep the baby's outfit in hopes to sell it on e-bay at a later date as your future famous artist's first creative work of art and make a killing off of it.

Or as the family sits down for dinner, and your toddler refuses to take off her brightly colored Backyardigans bike helmet. You could struggle with a pointless argument that ends up in tears...or, you could use it as a teaching point for the older children by proving that fighting at the table is, indeed, a dangerous road to tred upon, and without proper precaution, those over-cooked rolls could become a useful disciplinary device when launched by an adept parent.

Or when you walk in the living room to discover that she has used every last baby wipe to help you "clean" everything from the entertainment center to the windows. You could stress out and lecture her on the amount of waste she has created, not to mention the streaks on your windows...or you could thank her for relieving you of a chore and bask in the smell of clean baby and newly found privacy created by blurring the view from the windows (just make sure you have extra wipes stored away for such occasions...one of the reasons we buy wipes in bulk.)

The key is to view things in a positive light. It will save you a few gray hairs and new lines on your face...not to mention, hey, free entertainment. Remember...it only lasts a few years. If you can endure Dora yelling in your home, food going to waste (good for compost!,) and the constant use of the word "NO!," then you will find that this period of time can be quite humorous...and a learning experience for both you and your child. It is imperative, wait....hold on....

If you'll excuse me, I need to contend with a toddler in a bright orange bathing suit who thinks she's going swimming...outside...in 50-degree weather...at 8:30 in the morning.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

A New Respect for Single Mothers

Thank goodness for sisters. I do not believe I would have survived last week without them. Someone, probably Bruce, upon arrival home from his business trip to Kentucky, would have found me buried in cloth diapers and beer bottles, the children running amock. Actually...the cloth diaper part was partially true...

It wasn't just the random fussiness due to two teething 8-month-olds. It wasn't the constant bickering between the preteens. It wasn't Owen choking on a graham cracker...or Connor refusing to take naps. It wasn't Owen peeing on me...or Irelynn stripping and climbing into Connor's used bathwater while I was getting him dried off, having dumped the entire contents of a fairly new bottle of Mr. Bubble bubble bath into it. It wasn't even the brilliantly concocted idea of the preteens to hold a jumprope/dance off contest down in the basement resulting in the older girl falling, making me think I was going to have to drive to the ER due to a broken hand. (The hand turned out to be fine once feeling came back...but her arse was so sore she couldn't walk for a few hours.) Although it didn't help...it wasn't even the fact that I was running on nearly no sleep due to the twins' sudden sleep protest, and no adult overnight to help rock them to sleep. No, my friends...it was the fact that because I was alone...I had to be responsible...therefore, I had no beer.

The sheer amount of caffeine consumed over the course of those three days would have been enough to give any normal person severe heart palpitations and have them ricocheting off the walls. It merely kept me awake enough to remember to send the older children to school and prevent me from putting something other than formula in the twins' bottles.

Luckily during the day (and into the evening) I did have help from my sister and sister-in-law. I'm not sure what purpose I feel it served best: to assist me in juggling five children while still preparing meals and doing basic clean-up duties, or to witness, first hand, and account for the sheer insanity that takes place in our household. So to both of my sisters, I thank you whole-heartedly for your help.

My husband is home now and things have settled down. I do think I have him sufficiently scared enough to never want to have to leave me again...unintentional as it was...but he also is fully aware of how much I love and appreciate him (I hope.) I am now actually having time to sit and type on the computer...while enjoying an icy cold brew. Now, if only I could leave the state for a few days...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Lost in Translation

Irelynn took off her jacket, and climbed into her chair. We had arrived home with food from McDonald's, and everyone was gathering around the table. A question was asked about the weather, to which Irelynn responded:

"It's shitty and cold out."

Everyone looked at each other. Knowing how to speak Irelynn-ese, I calmly replied:

"She said, 'it's chilly and cold out.'"

The tweens snickered. Irelynn then gave a report on what Connor was doing at the moment.

"Connor eating his crap!"

We all look at him, chewing on the strap of his high chair.

"Connor's eating his strap?"

Irelynn nodded.

"Yeah...Connor eating his crap."


What are the teachers going to think when she enters preschool? I'm dreading the future calls home.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Baby Whisperer

I walk out into the living room, to find Irelynn attempting to take Owen's pants off.

"Irelynn...what are you doing?!"

"Owen doesn't want these pants. He wants red pants."

She holds up a pair of red pants to show me.

"Owen wants red pants?"

"Yes, he told me so."

"Owen talks to you?"

"Mmm-hmmm. And Connor, too."

This would have been so much more useful during the first five months when Connor was going through his colicky stage.

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Princess and the Toad

My second cup of coffee was cold, sitting on the table...next to the half-eaten bowl of baby oatmeal. I had dressed Connor in some comfortable pants and a shirt...we were headed for a playdate, and I figured my friend wouldn't care if he wasn't dressed up. Irelynn came out of her room in a dress.

"Irelynn...I picked out some clothes for you. They're on the couch."

"But I wear dress because we're going to see Teresa and Nathan."

"Honey, you're going to be playing...you need to wear play clothes."

She looked down at her dress, thinking for a moment. Then she took it off and went over to the clothes I had laid out.

I went back to the bedroom to grab Owen and bring him out. I set him down on the floor next to Connor, and began to change his diaper. Now, with two baby boys, you'd think I have this process down...but it only took a split second. The diaper came off...and the stream of urine shot up into the air...and down on Connor.

"Mommy...Owen peed on Connor. Whoa...and the blanket...and his shirt...."

"Yes, Irelynn, I know."

I changed the boys into the new outfits that their aunt got them, because unfortunately, we have very little clothing left that fits them. Their 3-6month clothing is too small, and the next size up that we have bags of, waiting...is all 12 months and bigger. Figures. So, both boys were styling in their button down shirts and cargo shorts. We were finally ready to go.

I have never pictured my outspoken toddler as the princess-type. I mean...I'm not the princess-type. But, now that I think about it...she does have a Tinkerbell themed bedroom. She knows the Disney princesses by name. She likes to wear dresses. Oh man...I have one of those girls. But I still don't quite realize it until I watch her play with other kids.

When we get there, her friends run up to greet us at the car...barefoot, in shorts and tee-shirts, with little smudges of dirt on their cheeks. I look down at my toddler...braids in her hair, her play clothes consisting of velour bright green running pants, a pink shirt, and a hooded jacket. I don't think she's ever been outside without shoes on.

They run out back, and begin to play. As the morning wore on, my toddler began losing clothes. First the shoes...then the socks. Later I look out to see her pants around her ankles. The bottom of her pants were soaked...she decided they were no longer necessary. I laughed, wondering what her father would think if he could see our little girl running around outside...in a Pull-Up and tee-shirt...with dirt on her face and in her hair, in search of toads.

I put her in the change of clothes I brought with us when it was time to leave. As we headed out, the rain began to pour down. Uh-oh...she usually freaks out when it rains, trying to run toward shelter.

"Ok...ready Irelynn? Let's go!"

I run out with one baby in hand toward the van. I get him situated, and run around to open the door on the other side. I look back to see my todder spinning in circles with her hands in the air.

"Whoa!! Look Mommy! I'm wet!!!"

She runs to a nearby puddle and begins jumping up and down.

I finally get her into the van, and run to get the other baby. We get settled in the van and finally pull away.


"Yes, Irelynn?"

"We come back and catch toads tomorrow?"

I smiled. I can live with a princess that likes to catch toads.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Anniversary Night

I'm not sure what my husband used to bribe his sister into baby-sitting all five kids the other night...but I'm glad it worked. I put on make-up (I hope none of it was expired.) I wore jewelry. I frantically flew around the house, prepping bottles, getting Pull-Ups ready and getting out extra outfits. We finally kissed the kids good-bye and walked out of the house.

As we sat down and sipped our drinks, we had an actual conversation. There were no crying babies. No preteens arguing over who's glass had more milk in it. No toddler throwing food. No "Hannah Montana" or "The Witches of Waverly Place" playing in the background.

For two hours we remembered what we were like...and why we liked each other. You know, those reasons you forget about...not that when he comes home he immediately takes a baby...or changes a tantrum-throwing toddler...or that I (most of the time) try to have things in order before he comes home. No...its those things like how we both secretly like Kelly Clarkson's latest hit. Or how he always offers me the last cheese stick, even though I know how much he wants it. Or that we always end the night out with a shot of Peppermint Schnapps.

We came home relaxed and happy. The night was quiet...calm. Then, we opened the door. We could hear both babies screaming from the back bedroom. We walked past the toddler's room, where we could hear the sound of her pounding on the door. My poor sister-in-law was trying to calm one of the babies. I took him from her, and Bruce picked up the other one.

The toddler came out to give us her account of the evening, along with her aunt. After hearing the various things that occurred in our absence...from the oldest boy complaining about the oldest girl not leaving him alone at bedtime, to our toddler's insistance on being treated as a baby (climbing into the high chairs, wearing one of the boys' diapers, and jumping in the bouncer,) not to mention the inconsolable babies...I'm thinking it will take much more to bribe her to watch them next year on our anniversary.

After she left, Irelynn put in her complaint.

"Aunt Candace was mean."

"Why? What did she do?"

"She turned off my light."

"But...wasn't it bedtime?"

"Yeah. But it mean. I don't want to go night-night."

After lots of rocking, lots of negotiating, and a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich...all three little ones were in bed.

And then so were we.


Hopefully we won't have to wait a whole year to go out again. It will have to be long enough for the shock to wear off of their aunt, I'm afraid...or we might have to find some other unsuspecting poor sap....

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tinkerbell...the Explorer?

Her room is fit for a fairy. After more than a month of requests, for her birthday she received Tinkerbell bedding. Her windows, after much searching, are adorned in Tinkerbell curtains. Her walls are covered in fairies and butterflies. She had a Tinkerbell birthday cake, and Tinkerbell party invitations. She was so excited...she showed her new bedroom off too everyone who would come in and see.

I tucked her in her new bed, and gave her a kiss.



"I want Dora curtains and Dora blankets now."

Monday, May 4, 2009

Ramblings of a Tired Mom

I am staring at my dining room floor, which is a lovely kaleidoscope of colors. Sauce from macaroni and cheese...Gerber stage 2 peas...hot pink Play-Doh...something purple....and I'm not sure, but there might be something the cat yakked up. I am drinking my reheated coffee, while hiding from my 8-month-old, who refuses to eat, sleep, or be set down. He is currently in the exersaucer, and distracted by Dragon Tales...but if he catches a glimpse of me, it's all over. Luckily his twin brother is sleeping peacefully in their bedroom.

Their older sister is walking around in pink and purple striped pajamas, asking for candy. Out of fear that she will reveal my hidden location...I slip her some Starburst. She did eat a banana and some Corn Pops...so I don't feel too guilty.

I really need to clean the floor today...even if nothing else gets done. And, with Connor's current adversion to sleep, that might be the only thing accomplished today...with him strapped to me.

I suppose while he's distracted I should throw something in the Crock-Pot...because if I don't start something now, I'm sure I will be trying to convince my husband to pick up some McDonald's on the way home later. Of course, the toddler would think he was a super hero if he walked in the house with a Happy Meal in hand....how could I deny him that kind of admiration?

Rationalizing reasons to get fast food while you hide from your baby are definite signs that you need a vacation. Uh oh...I think Connor just remembered that he's not happy.

I suppose I could only hide for so long.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Why I Drink

I'm not positive, but I do believe there was a fairy flying through my house, creating all sorts of mischief. She was a beautiful little fairy...green...with silvery wings and long, flowing dark hair. Her tinkling laugh was echoing throughout the kitchen as she zipped around, touching everything with her magic.

She turned me into a frog. She put Jaylond to sleep with a wave of her wand. She gently tickled the babies.

And then she smacked the older girl in the head with the wand.


Jaylond picked up the toddler in the Tinkerbell costume and instructed her not to hit her older sister, but instead send magical fireballs at her and destroy her instead. Why is it that even when my children are trying to stop violence...they still advocate it?

I was attempting to get dinner ready. Jaylond tried to occupy Irelynn...which always ends badly. Although he actually plays with her...more than the older girl will do...he always takes it too far. The next thing I hear is a loud bang...and Irelynn crying.

She had tried to slam the bathroom door closed after running in there to hide from her brother. He stopped it with his hand, sending it in the other direction...and into her face. I scooped up the bleeding fairy and tried to comfort her. I reiterated the house rules concerning running and slamming, and set the fairy free once more.

I thought things would get better once my husband got home. Not a chance. Jay was determined to call a radio station to get in a request. The older girl was determined to make noise in the background...causing him to yell...and general chaos ensued.

During dinner, the toddler was determined not to eat. Her fairy wings had been removed, but she was still causing mischief. I leaned in to feed Owen, and suddenly found rice raining down on me. Irelynn grinned. I remind her that we do not throw food at the table.

The older two try to start arguments. Over ridiculous things. Jaylond pulls a pencil from his pocket that he found at school to show Bruce. Irelynn pretends to pull one out of her Pull-Up. She finds something else in there, and informs me.

I sigh, inform Bruce, and ask if he'd mind taking care of this one...I'd already had my share of poopy messes that day. Big mistake.


"I sorry...you need new pants?"

"I need new jeans now, yes."

"I sorry...."

"Stop being sorry and start going in the potty!! I have poop on my jeans now!"

After the toddler and the husband got changed, they returned to the table. Sort of.

The toddler has disappeared under the table. Suddenly we hear giggling.

"Daddy....Daddy...look at me!!"

She was crawling around under the table, amidst the droppings of rice and sauce-covered chicken.

Connor was crying. I took him out of his high chair and put him to bed. I sit back down and look over at my husband, who has opened a second beer.

Then I look over to see that Owen had grasped the curtain from the window with his sweet potato covered fingers...and was chewing on it. He grinned at me with his orange face.

My husband makes a comment about it probably not being good for his asthma...I'm thinking it's probably not too good for the curtains, either.

I look at the clock. Bruce smiles.

"Nope...it's not magically bedtime. Nope...not yet, either."

No, it's not. But I happen to notice that it is exactly beer-thirty.