Monday, March 31, 2008

No Charge When Kids Are Involved

After a very busy (and very productive) past week, I'm finally taking a moment to catch up on my email and blog. Amidst being a mom to three under two, a construction assistant, a freelance writer, a baker, and a friend, we've had a little more chaos than normal.

Somehow I got roped into being the lighting girl for the Parade House that DH is working on. After being in enough lighting showrooms, both girls point out every light and say "Like-k." Even stoplights. And the girls are cutting their 2-year molars - with big-time symptoms that I haven't seen with past teeth. And due to the absolutely astronomical jump in our health insurance premium, I've also been the shopper for new insurance. I hadn't realized it before, but insurance shopping is almost as tedious and irritating as used-van shopping. But I think we found a decent plan at a much better rate. I'm waiting for the paperwork to arrive by mail so I can be sure, though.

Speaking of used vans, insert a groan here. A couple weeks ago, my sister and I spent a lovely Sunday afternoon out shopping, with kiddos all in tow. On my way home, I stopped at a gas station to fill up. I parked, turned the van off, left the key in the ignition, and hopped out into the wicked wind to fill up. As soon as I shut my door, I heard that awful sound of doors locking. Apparently the anti-lockout feature had malfunctioned. It was winter in the valley and my kids were in the non-running vehicle. And my newborn was due for a meal.

Thankfully, I had my cell phone in my coat pocket, though no gloves, hat, etc. I reached DH, who looked up a locksmith's number and called me back to say it would only be about 15-20 minutes until someone arrived. When the locksmith unlocked my door, I reached for my checkbook to pay the $60 standard fee. The kind and handsome man said, "Oh, there's no charge when kids are involved." What?

I grabbed my wallet to get him a huge tip and he said, "Seriously, keep your money. But the guys back at the shop do love brownies." So, two weeks later, I finally have a pan of brownies in the oven for the wonderful folks at the Lockshop. We'll make our delivery after the girls get up from (hopefully) really long naps.

And since the oven was already hot, I decided to make DH some pistachio cake. It's a new recipe to me, so I hope he likes it. My poor dear is still swamped and stressed beyond belief, but I know that some carbs will help push him along. Less than a month to go until the Parade!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Egg-stra Cute

It's midnight and I still haven't taken out contacts or brushed teeth - so this will have to be quick. Easter was great - family was great - food was great - kids were great - eggs were great - sleep last night was less than great - but everything else was great.

My folks and cousin Bill came up for the weekend. The fellas worked out at the new house and my mom and sis helped out here at Kid Chaos. My sister and brother-in-law hosted one of the most enjoyable, relaxing Easters I can remember.

Mom snapped a picture of Grant that sorta showcases that dimple I've been trying to capture. (Yes, I realize that his bib is bigger than his shirt, but it was too cute to resist). The other picture is from earlier this winter, but I figured with this recent dumping of snow, it's still ok to claim it as a recent photo. The girls were bundled to the hilt at my folks' house.

Have a terrific week, my friends. I'll post pictures from this past weekend later in the week once I have the energy and gumption to grab the camera from my purse - 8 steps away on the kitchen counter. Good night!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

So Tired

I hate to put it in writing, but I can hardly wait to go back to work. The girls wear me out by day and the boy wears me out by night. I'm up as late as my single days and up as early as my married and working outside the home again days.

Once again, I have to say thank goodness for good makeup. When people find out I have 3 under 2, they always say, "Wow, you look terrific." Seriously, it's all about the makeup (and breastfeeding - yay metabolism!).

I was very happy to send the last of my maternity shirts off with my dear sister when she was here visiting yesterday. She came and relieved me of parenting for a couple hours so I could go pick out and order lights for the new house. It was my first time in almost a month without having at least one kid with me. And it was marvelous! Plus, the sun was shining and I wore a non-maternity, skinny, spring coat. It gave me some much-needed hope that a taste of normalcy (and rest) might be in the not-so-distant future.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Loving Good Kids

I'm so proud to have good kids. And so glad I can take some of the credit. Parenting styles can be SO varied.

We spent some time with the in-laws last night and saw their neighbors, who must be some of the most off-base parents of all time.

It's 11 at night, the 3-year-old is exhausted, acting out, making messes. Him mom is just lounging and telling him he's naughty and a shit. She's annoyed that the kid is not laying down in front of the TV and going to sleep. She keeps feeding him sugar - chocolate milk, cookies, candy... like that will help him wind down. Meanwhile, dad is snoring on the couch (at the neighbors' house - not his own house!) Believe it or not, the kid doesn't swear yet. Give it a year.

All the while, my girls have been asleep in pack and plays for hours, having gone nighty night without so much as a peep. And no sugar after having brushed their teeth. And little G is just hanging out, minding his own business. To top off the weekend, we took the kids to 7:30 mass this morning and everyone was great!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Constant Kid Changes

Breanna's phrase of the week is, "Lala, pop." As in, Lillian, stop doing whatever naughty thing you're doing. Sounds just like "lollipop."

Lillian's key statement is, "Nana, no no." Let the tattling phase begin.

On a side note, one of the MOMs last night pointed out my failure - I forgot to post Grant's two-week checkup weight from Thursday. He was up to nine pounds and had a half-inch of growth in just two weeks. Holy crap!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Vocab Explosion

Over the past blur of a month, our girls have had a wonderful vocabulary explosion. From the silly (what does the baby say - goo goo gaa gaa) to the serious (more milk, please) to the dumb (e.g. boob - thanks, Auntie Lissy, for that one), we now live with a couple of adorable chatterboxes. I think my favorites are the longer words, like bumblebee or okey dokey or snickerdoodle.

This past weekend was super relaxed at my folks' house in the woods. Lillian calls all living animals puppies, so she exclaimed "Puppy, puppy" at least a million times as she watched the squirrels and birds come and go.

My poor mom was stricken with a killer sinus infection on Thursday, so she was down and out most of the weekend. She may have even napped more than the girls.

That left my Dad and me with the task of rounding up a non-meat supper on Friday, which was certainly Mom's worst day. We piled the kids into the van and headed down the hill to Matty's restaurant, home of the world's greatest sunfish sandwiches and sweet potato fries. Wide-eyed, Dad asked how we'd get everyone inside. I pointed out that the girls can walk. Then he looked at the snowy steps. I encouraged him to hold a hand of each girl and they'd be fine.

Sure enough, they got one step inside and were awed at all the people, the loud jazz, and the "aw, look, they must be twins" comments from everyone. Our waitress scooped up one of the girls and my dad took the other, then they found us some seats. Sure enough, the moment our food arrived, Grant woke up - starving. So, I had the joy of trying to discreetly feed him in public, while encouraging the girls to stay in their high chairs. I wasn't much help with the girls. I think my dad had forgotten what it's like to take kids out to eat - his food was cold by the time the girls's grilled cheese was cut up and bibs tied, etc. It was great food, though, whether hot or cold.

The other bit of excitement came with a visit from a dear friend. She came out to my folks' house on Saturday afternoon for a few hours and shared the wonderful news of her pregnancy. Babies everywhere! That makes my sister due in July, KariAnn due in September, and this new baby on Halloween. Hooray! She's going to tell her family at Easter, so I won't give away any hints at who my lake country friend is.

Tonight is the second Tuesday of the month, which means local Mothers of Multiples gather. People rarely bring twins to the meeting because of the sheer chaos that would likely bring - but an occasional singleton newborn joins if he's quiet and nursing, so I look forward to bringing Grant and showing him off.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Going Home

I'm packing up the green minivan and taking my kiddos home to my parents' house for the weekend. DH is going to be working nonstop, so why not go where I can get some reinforcements? (And why not relieve my mom - her twin withdrawal has been fierce after the week she spent here.) I haven't been back since Christmas.

The only downfall is that I'm going to miss DH and I'm pretty sure he's going to feel left out of the few little bonding moments he squeezes into each day. It seems that having babies brings us closer together, so I'm really going to miss him. But the quickness of the trip will make it ok.

We're heading out on Thursday afternoon, and I've already started packing clothes for the girls. Hooray for getting out of this tiny little apartment for a little bit!

Lake Country friends, if you're up for a cup of coffee, please don't hesitate to call. I'd love some social interaction with grown ups.

Monday, March 03, 2008

The Stress of Not Enough to Do

It sounds like any oxymoron. But I think it's legitimate. I only have one article deadline looming and can only do so much to try to get the subject to return my messages. Other than that, nothing is pressing. At all. And it's a really difficult adjustment.

The big potential work I saw in that start-up fell through. They realized they're not ready enough to move ahead with marketing, as they don't have a pricing structure figured out yet or even the majority of the business plan composed. Maybe after a few months... or maybe it won't even take off. Oh well, better to find out now than after committing.

Beyond that, I've been trying to get a picture of Grant with his eyes open and his dimples dimpled so I can use the photo on baby announcements, but that's been fun and not pressing in the least.

We brought the girls home from DH's parents' house yesterday on very slippery roads. We even fishtailed on the interstate once, causing some minor panic inside the truck. But it truly was minor. Last night we ate a fancy dinner of granola and talked deeply about money and goals and all that good stuff that usually goes unspoken in our household. I rather enjoyed it, though I think DH is still stressed out.

Today, the girls went to Grandma Becky's for a day of play with the other grandkids, and Grant and I spent an hour there visiting. It was nice to see them all again.

Other than that, it's very unearthing to not have anything major on my to-do list. It's new. And somewhat scary. And a little boring, too. Boo hoo, right? As you all scramble to and from the office and errands and kid stuff... sorry. Just know that the grass isn't always greener on the slow and boring side. Although, it is absolutely marvelous to have some serious bonding time with my mellow little boy. I do look forward to the girls spending tomorrow at home with us. I've missed them tremendously! Happy March and happy Monday!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

My Heart Throbs

Two nights in a row, Grant has waken me up from dreams with Johnny Depp. The first took place in a nonexistent Greek restaurant in St. Cloud, MN, right next to the burrito joint near the mall. Johnny wasn't Johnny, but rather one of the sons of the restaurant owner. Mostly, I remember visiting with him in a booth next to a fountain.

This morning, the dream was Johnny as himself. He was in Fargo filming some artsy film and I came across him walking down the street. We stood and visited for a while, then I reminded him that I met him in Hollywood when I was teenager, and though I didn't expect him to remember me, I remembered him. He was my first true love. We laughed, walked down the street to the coffee hut, then sat on the curb and talked some more about love. He gushed about the woman he lives with. I gushed about my wonderful husband. It was all very cool.

Very cool, but very strange.