Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Gym

After many attempts to exercise at home, all ending prematurely in babies waking up from naps, or overly affectionate cats disrupting my downward facing dogs, I finally gave up and joined a gym. I have never worked out at a gym before. Now I remember why.

First of all, I am not exactly the "gym" type. I do not own real "workout" clothes. My hair does not look cute pulled back into a ponytail. I do not own an iPod. And I do not know how to operate an elliptical machine. The treadmill I figured out ok...but as I'm working up a sweat just walking swiftly, I feel slightly awkward next to the tall, shapely blonde running next to me effortlessly. I look down at my over-sized tee-shirt bearing the confused face of Vizzini from "The Princess Bride" and the words "Inconcievable!" on it. I have some stretchy capri pants that resemble pj pants more than workout pants, and no iPod. I'm beginning to feel self-conscious.

The next time I went, I tried to prepare a little better. I found some stretchy black yoga pants at Target. I wore a tee-shirt, still baggy, but less conspicuous. At least it was not advertising movies or beer, as several of the tee-shirts I own do. I even dug up my $10 MP3 player that I bought a long time ago and have never really used.

I decide to try out the elliptical machine. I'm not quite sure what the different settings mean. I see you can incline I push the button. Nothing happened. I push it several more times. Suddenly the machine tilts nearly a 90-degree angle. Whoa. I frantically push the "down" button until it becomes slightly more tolerable. After 10-minutes I decide it's time to move on. I step off of the machine and immediately hope that no one is watching as I realize my legs have been reduced to jello. I pretend that nothing is wrong, and concentrate extremely hard on walking straight to get to the spray bottles and paper towels. Somehow I made it to the table, and lingered there, hanging onto the water fountain, acting as though I am just extremely thirsty, and not, in fact, trying to keep myself from falling to the floor. I start to feel normal again, and decide to move on.

I get on one of the bikes. It also has options ranging from "auto pilot" to "alpine pass." I finally choose a setting and begin working out. This isn't so bad. Almost easy. I then realize that I am listening to "Champagne Supernova" by Oasis, and pedaling to the beat of the song. Hmm...better find a more upbeat song. I flip through, finding some Katy Perry songs. I realize I have a song of hers that is not one of her more popular ones. I start cracking up at the lyrics. I then realize that I am sitting there, in the middle of a gym, thoroughly amused on a stationary bike. Again, I hope no one is watching.

I survived that workout session. I even came back another day...with all three little ones...with intentions of utilizing the free childcare. But that, my friends, is another story. Perhaps I'll tell it tomorrow. In the meantime, I must go back to my daily workout of wrestling Connor back into his diaper.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Spider and the Beach

It was a typical evening in the Sawdon household. Babies were crawling around, climbing on things, wreaking havoc in the living room. Connor was screeching. The Disney channel was providing background noise. The older children were finding new and creative ways to prolong doing their chores. Irelynn was attempting to get my attention in various ways.

" remember this?"

I look at her, and she says what sounded like, "back off, Bitch."


My mind frantically races, trying to remember the last time we drove somewhere and whether or not I had said anything inappropriate at the wheel.

"Backyard Bitch!"

My mouth is still hanging open.

"Backyard BEACH," my husband interjects from the chair. I glance over at him.

"It was a 'Phineas and Ferb' episode," he explains, "where they built a beach in their backyard, and then they sing about it, Reggae style...'Nothing's out of reach, we got a backyard beach.'"

For those who want to see...and hear...what she was trying to sing, here is a link:

"That's what I said....backyard bitch."

"Irelynn it's backyard beach..."

"I know...backyard bitch..."


"Peach...backyard peach!"

We look at each other. Close enough. I make a mental note to warn the preschool teacher the following morning.

The next few moments are a blur....I recall my husband spotting a spider, but before taking care of it, he wants a flashlight to get a closer look at it. Meanwhile, the older girl is frantically trying to figure out the corner in the house that will put the most distance between her and the spider. Jaylond is trying to be a heroic big brother and swoop all babies out of the way, who respond with noises that sounded like they belonged in Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. Irelynn is skipping around the living room singing, "Backyard Bitch." Bruce tells Jaylond to get the headlamp from his work bag (a "cool" gadget he found LED light...that you wear...on your head.) He shines the light at the spider.

"Man, he has a big ass....I just want to make sure...."

Irelynn, now on the couch, pipes up, "that 'pider has a big ass. I don't like big ass 'piders."

"Irelynn, don't say that...Daddy shouldn't have said that." I glare at Bruce, who has a sheepish grin.

He begins debating with Jay what would be the best angle to swing a shoe to ensure the spider does not escape. After much deliberating, my husband makes an executive decision and finally gets rid of the spider. We then realize, as the cat jumps past him and out the window, why we are having spider problems...the cat has successfully torn a hole in the window big enough for him to fit through.

I make a mental note to visit the hardware store.


My "To Do" list just keeps getting longer...and more odd.

I think I'm going to have alot of explaining to do to Irelynn's teacher.

Friday, September 4, 2009

We put the "fun" in "dysfunctional."

I am already anticipating calls home from the preschool. An outing yesterday made me realize just how dysfunctional our family sounds at times.

It all took place in the van. My sister rode with us to the store, and then out to lunch. I usually try to tune the kids out in the van...literally. As the arguments get louder, and I begin to hear the infamous "MOOOOM!," the volume on the radio goes up. I've found that this is a useful annoys the kids almost as much as they annoy me...and they stop arguing for about 30-seconds. Most of the time I can successfully tune them out...but sometimes there are things that just cannot be ignored.

Irelynn started talking to Owen. I do not know what the conversation entailed, as I was not paying attention until she informed me that Owen was using some interesting language. Owen does not talk yet.

"Mommy, Owen said, 'what the Hell!'"

"Irelynn...Owen did not say that, and you do not need to say that, either."

Then, from the back, the older girl (probably seeing that I was momentarily listening to kids' complaints) chimed in:

"MOOO-OM! Can you tell Jay to stop pointing the gun at me and poking me with it?"


"Do not be waving the gun over the baby's carseat! I want you to set the gun on the floor, and kick it forward. I want your hands where I can see them."

My sister is starting to crack up. I reassure her that it is a squirt gun...not a 9mm. Not that I would put it past my kids. I begin to realize it sounds like I'm raising my kids in a ghetto.

But on a happy note...Happy Birthday to my baby boys. Here's to making it through the first year!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Connor's First Haircut

I had not intended on cutting my baby's hair yet. It began with taking the children out to get haircuts for the start of school. I ventured out to the local Fantastic Sam's with all five children in tow...and, as always, it turned into a bit of an adventure.

I put the babies in the monstrosity of a stroller, Irelynn at my heels, and the older kids walking at enough of a distance that it could be questioned whether or not they belonged to me. I'm finding as they get older, that distance seems to grow ever so slightly. It could be because I am no longer cool, in my formula stained oversized tee-shirt. It could be that I say words like "Yay," "Poo-poo," and "Binky." Or it could be because I am pushing a monster stroller that is packed with enough supplies to survive a week in the wilderness.

As we enter, people stare. I sign the kids up, and Jay is the first to go. The stylist is trying to convince him to go a bit shorter, as he was beginning to look as though he had a mullet. He agreed that a mullet was not cool, and let her go to work, without going too short, of course...because clean-cut is also not cool.

Irelynn repeatedly asked if it was her turn. She is the only toddler I know who absolutely loves to get haircuts. She asks once a week or so to get another one. It was finally her turn, and I ask Jay to help entertain the babies so that I can be next to her. Jay took the term "entertain" quite seriously, and the next thing I know Comedy Hour has started up in the waiting area, complete with the twins laughing and applauding. People begin to smile and giggle. It can only last for so long, though, before something happens.

"Uh, Mom...we have an emergency over here!"

I look over to Jay, who is holding Connor.


"Connor took his pants off!!"

Sure enough, there was my smiling baby boy, pantless. I go to help put them back on, which, if anyone has a one-year-old might not an easy feat. Connor was determined to only be in his diaper and shirt, and put up a good struggle. We finally got them on, and Irelynn's haircut was finished. And she had to go potty. Now.

I look pleadingly at Jay and ask if would mind watching the twins for a couple minutes so I could run her into the bathroom. The older girl was busy getting her hair done. Jay let out a sigh that said "do I have a choice?"

We made it to the restroom just in time.

We came out just in time to find out that Owen apparently had to go, too. Jaylond informed me that he stank...big time. And he was cranky.

Finally the older girl's hair was took awhile because not only did they cut it, but took the time to flip it, mouse it, spray it and scrunch it. It was certainly flippy. And had alot of volume. And would look nothing like that the minute she washed it. I did a mental cringe and hoped she realized that.

Then, I had a mental lapse. The thought was that, I was here would be awhile before I came again...and I didn't want to try it on my own. I looked down at my shaggy-haired baby and asked the lady if she had time to do one more. I sat him on my lap, Irelynn kept his attention, and curls began to fall. I began to get worried...but upon my request, she left the curls in the back. At the risk of giving him an uncool mullet, I let her trim up the rest of his hair.

Then...the big moment came....the moment the kids all wait for (even still, as teens)...time to get the after haircut sucker. Alas...they were all out of suckers. I thought Irelynn might cry. But then, they came up with something better. A Hannah Montana poster. My toddler perked right up.

So, it ended well. When we got home, I put the babies down for a nap, and hung Hannah right under The Jonas Brothers poster on Irelynn's wall.

At least the kids' look good. All four of them. Well, five, because Owen has yet to grow enough hair to warrant cutting.