Friday, June 26, 2009

The Day Before...

My husband was preparing to leave for Kentucky...again. He was to leave early Friday, and not be back until sometime, probably late...on Monday. The events leading up to his departure only foreshadowed what was sure to come.

It began with little things...fussy babies...tattling toddlers...bickering preteens. Then...I threw my back out. I'm not quite sure how...all I know is that I was bending over to lift Connor out of his exersaucer....and could not bend back up. Brilliant. Luckily Connor is part monkey, so he clung to me with a death grip, utilizing all fingers and toes. As I hunched over, I slowly managed to get him to his crib in hopes to put him down for a nap. His brother pulled down the bumper in his crib, peering over and grinning at me.

I waddled out of the room, receiving strange looks from the older kids. I tried to ignore the cries from the boys room, hoping that by some miracle they would cry themselves to sleep. It was when Connor's cry turned into a fit of triumphant squeals and giggles that I decided I'd better go check on them.

I peered into the room. I could not see the boys through the bumpers in the cribs...but above Connor's railing I saw a pudgy little fist clutching a bright orange diaper...and waving it in the air. I walked over to find my baby naked....and proudly holding his diaper in the air.

I also found out that my toddler had decided to change out of her Pull-Up...and into some big girl underwear after I put her down for a nap. She woke up crying...and soaked. Changing the sheets did not seem to improve the condition of my back.

I also decided to enlist the help of my sister-in-law to venture out to the store and stock up on easy dinners for while Bruce was away. Luckily, this was fairly uneventful. Although, I do believe she made the formal decision to never have children of her own while we were out...

This was the day before. The fear began to set in. I took some ibuprofen, 8-Hour Tylenol, and a beer...and went to bed.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Beer, Baby Fat...and Tony Danza.

I stare at my stomach, still hanging over my pants like a deflated balloon. How can it be 9-months later, and I still have a muffin top? I have tried walking. I have tried lifting babies. I even tried waking up at ghastly hours to try and follow Jillian Michaels as she literally has me kicking my own ass. However, I have found that waking up at that time only leads to me falling asleep on the couch midday and having a toddler wake me up to inform me that Connor is chewing on cords, and Owen somehow removed his diaper (by himself, she swears,) and it is "poopy." I have since given up my morning workout.

My brother-in-law informed me that he has lost 30lbs.

"Thirty pounds?? How did you do it?"

"Try having your appendix taken out."

"I had two babies taken out...and it didn't do anything."

Perhaps I have driven my poor husband nuts with my complaints about my weight. Or perhaps he just saw it and thought it looked cool. But the next thing I knew...he had a "surprise" for me. My brother showed up to help him go pick it up. My brother is a tad clueless.

"So...are we going to pick up the Tony Danza machine?"

I start to smile. Bruce looks at him funny.

" do know I haven't told her yet, right?"

My brother's face turns red...I'm not sure if it was because he had inadvertantly given away the secret...or because he had somehow confused Tony Little with Tony Danza. husband bought me a Gazelle. He found it on E-Bay. It is really nice. I had to get ready to go to the store, so I did not get a good chance to try it out...but as I was about to leave, I notice my husband awkwardly trying to use it...with his beer sitting in the attached cupholder.

"Hey, even has a place to set your beer!"

It appears Tony has thought of everything. No wonder he's the boss.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Mother's Lament

Why is there no time that is sacred to a mother? There is no such thing as "personal time" or "alone time" (except for those moments when I go to the store without the kids, making my husband a very unhappy man.) When at home, the mom seems to be the go-to person for tattling, asking the location of items ranging from toilet paper to the belt that he swore he left on the dryer, to that pink shirt that she got two years ago, you know the one...the one she wears on Tuesdays? Oh...and the favorite Dora sippy cup. Why does Dad never have to know these things? Or help to locate them?

And why is it that I cannot even go to the bathroom and be alone for five minutes? Within seconds, the toddler is banging on the door, wanting to come in and "help." Or have a deep conversation on why my butt is bigger than her's. Or I have preteens knocking on the door, tattling on each other...or asking for the location of various items (see above.) My husband, on the other hand, can take his laptop into the bathroom and sit peacefully for a half hour.

My husband has the option of a variety of breakfast foods, limited only by the time he decides to crawl out of bed in the morning. Even then, there are the drive-thru options at McDonald's on his way to work. My breakfast consists of a variation of leftover Gerber Puffs...a taste of baby oatmeal (to make sure it's not too hot for the babies,) left over Toaster Strudel crusts from the toddler (wouldn't want it to go to waste)...and some reheated coffee that sat out because I had to take care of some random incident concerning a toddler that wanted to be a little too helpful with the babies. Who would have ever thought I would be jealous of someone having McDonald's food?

Well, while the toddler is decorating her Toaster Strudel, I am going to go reheat my cup of coffee...and maybe call my mom. Maybe we can go visit her today...and I can get some "alone time" in her bathroom....see...even as a grandmother, your kids will still rely on you for silly things. I wonder if she knows where my fat pants are?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Time Off

The preteens were arguing. The babies were fussy. The toddler was in the midst of a full-blown, kicking and screaming, tears streaming down, snot plastered to her face tantrum. I calmly moved my wallet and cell phone from the diaper bag to my purse. I smile sweetly at my husband, who is holding a baby.

"Is there anything else you can think of that we need at the store?"

He gives me this look that clearly says, 'you are going to leave me here with these!!'

"Nothing I can think of," he responds in a flat tone.

Did I need to go the store at that moment? Were we out of some crucial food items or medication? Nope.

Did I feel guilty as I watched my husband's face start to cloud over as he realized that yes, yes I was going to leave him there with all of the kids. Nope.

You see, I am alone with these children for 10-hours a day. Five days a week. I have endured tantrums that would make your hair curl. I have been peed on, spit up on, pooped on, and colored on. I have cleaned up Play-Doh, Moon Sand, glitter, smashed in Gerber Puffs, oatmeal, and some weird green sticky stuff the older girl "accidentally" hid under her pillow. I have refereed battles that would have made the WWE look like something off the Disney channel. I have tried to simutaneously feed two extremely fussy babies, only to have my toddler walk in with poop smeared on her hands, legs and butt and tell me she had an "accident."

So, do I feel guilty for leaving my husband in charge of the chaos for an hour? Not so much. You would think, however, that when he complains about how horrible it was, and is in desparate need of a beer (or Tylenol) by the time I get home, that he would understand why I am generally in a perpetual state of stress. Or why the house isn't always perfect.

Well, I suppose he has learned somewhat. Everyday he used to come home and begin with:

"What's for dinner?"

Followed shortly by:

"What's wrong?"

He has since changed his phrasing a bit. It is now:

"Do you have any thoughts on dinner?"

Followed by:

"How was your day?"

I wonder what would happen if I ever took a whole day off?

"Would you like me to pick up Chinese and a bottle of wine on my way home? After dinner, why don't you take a bubble bath, and I'll get the kids ready for bed."


(wiping tears away from face)

It's a nice dream, though, isn't it?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Desitin and Power Locks

The highlight of my day was not walking into the living room to find a baby, naked, covered from his belly button to his knees in Desitin.

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

"Connor needed butt paste. You're welcome."

Nor was it that Owen has discovered that if he rolls far enough across the living room floor, he can chew on his father's laptop cords.

It was not even walking to the back bathroom to discover that one of the older children had clogged the toilet...again.

No, the highlight of my day came later that morning, when after much pleading, and the dazzling smile that only a toddler can give, I decided to let Irelynn play outside. The babies would not go down for a nap, so I placed Owen in an old bouncy seat, and Connor in his infant carrier...and set them out on the front porch so that Irelynn could blow bubbles in the driveway.

Now, let me pre-empt this by saying that we recently bought a new (used) car. It is black. It has a moon roof. It looks very interesting to a 3-year-old.

Irelynn kept making comments about the new car. She said she wanted to drive it. She called it a "spy car." I thought it was cute. I clutched my coffee in one hand, took turns rocking Connor and Owen with the other, and held a phone between my ear and shoulder as I spoke to my mom, describing the coolness that is the new car. Owen was not so amused. I decided it was probably time to go in. I opened the door to put Owen inside, came back out to grab Connor and Irelynn when I discovered that Irelynn was not in the driveway blowing bubbles. She was inside the car.

Now, you would think it would hit me at this time that this could be a problem. But I was still chatting away on the phone...telling my mother how cute it was that Irelynn was sitting inside the car. Then I went to open the car door. It was locked. All of the doors were locked. Irelynn grinned at me through the window and waved. The panic set in. There is only one key to this car...and the last I remembered, Bruce had it. Bruce was at work.

I inform my mother that I needed to call her back. I call Bruce, and as luck would have it...he had left it on his dresser instead of putting it on his key ring. I sprinted through the house...setting Connor on the floor...barreling past a screaming Owen...and grabbed the key. I got outside and unlocked the door as Irelynn vaulted over the seat into the back.

"Don't Mom!"

I carried her, kicking and screaming, into the house.

She asked me later that day if she could "drive the car." I don't think so, kid.

The good news is, Connor is now rash-free...the laptop no longer clutters the living room floor...and our vehicles now remain locked so as to keep out both criminals and toddlers. If only I could get the older child to flush the toilet...we'd be all set.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Junk in the Trunk

"I have a little butt now. Someday, when I get old, I'll have a big butt, like you!"

Nothing like the daily affirmations from your children. I'm not sure what was worse...hearing that statement from my three-year-old...or the response my 13-year-old son gave:

"Ha ha! Hey Mom, she looks up to your big butt! Get it...looks up...because she's short..." pausing, as he notices my lack of humor, "I mean...not that you have a big butt...I mean...actually, I think you have a small butt...I mean...not that I actually look at your butt...."

His father tells him he should probably stop there.

I suppose, after nine months, I can no longer use the excuse of giving birth to twins. I would rather not have a butt that is big enough to be noticed by a three or a thirteen year old.

I've never really thought of myself as having junk in the trunk. Junk in the cargo section, maybe...