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Monthly Archives: November 2010

Why So Grimm?

So, Ariel was watching Hannah Montana yesterday (yes, I know), and she asked the question:

Ariel: “Where is her mommy?”.
Me: “Uh… dead.”
Ariel: “Oh… that’s so sad.”
YES! Yes, it is sad! So why does almost every kids character have dead damn parents?? She asked the same about Harry Potter: “Where are Harry’s parents?”… “Dead.” Then, of course there’s Cinderella, Snow White and The Little Mermaid- dead, dead, dead. I don’t ever remember thinking about this stuff as a child!
Disney did base most of its movies on The Brothers Grimm stories, which are, well… grim. And I know there’s the whole, “there wouldn’t be a story without the challenge for the character” thing, which is true in a sense but now, she randomly asks me if she can live with grandma and grandpa if we die, and if it’s okay if she brings her bunk beds to their house. Gee, thanks!
At least she’s a forward thinker!

Get In Ma Belly!

I survived! Getting out the door with 4 kids is one thing, but getting out the door trying to make everybody look at least halfway decent for Thanksgiving- nightmare!! First of all, nothing fits me. What are my options… dress, or leggings… or sweatpants. I feel like a stuffed sausage in most of my clothes, including dresses, and I refuse to buy new pants or jeans in my “new” size- I WILL fit into my favorite jeans again- I will, I will, I will! So, after digging through my closet, I settled on my uniform of late. leggings, boots, Spanx, tunic. Shower, hair, makeup- holy hell! Ever tried doing your mascara while holding a squirming baby? A baby who decides at just the right moment to reach out and grab the mascara wand, and then quickly sweep it across your eyebrow and into your hair? This happened when I was already 30 minutes behind schedule and none of the kids were even dressed, let alone had brushed teeth or hair. I finally told the girls to wear whatever they wanted, and they chose some outfits that I must say… really represented their hobo chic side.

 
Absolutely no creativity went into the babies outfits, I realized that, um… I was completely unprepared for their holiday wear. Isn’t that what I’m supposed to get all excited about and prepare in advance for? New babies= fancy, adorable little outfits for Thanksgiving and Christmas that they wear only once. Yep, dropped that ball. As for the older girls… they looked kinda homeless. Their hair looked like a few pigeon families had chosen to nest in it. I completely gave up on shoes and Aurora even had red marker up and down her arms and legs. I realized then- mascara smeared across my face, gnarly-haired children, plain-dressed babies- that my efforts were futile. It was only Grandma and Grandpa’s house. My mom- who used to wrap our Christmas gifts in NEWSPAPER- won’t care that the kids are shoeless and dressed like they belong in a Tim Burton movie, and it was really only them and my grandparents this year because my sisters household got hit with the flu and my brother was with his fiance’s family- what the hell was I so concerned about?? I should really just invest in muumuu’s for such occasions- no need for Spanx, or faboosh shoes- I could eat the whole table and nobody would be the wiser! It would be so comfy and I’ve always secretly wanted a flamingo and palm leaf print muumuu for myself- I could totally rock the Mrs. Roper look! Why aren’t they more popular??
 
Should Monte be worried?
 
Well, we got to their house a little late, but Grandma had it covered. She brushed hair and even had a stash of backup clothes for the gypsy children. Dinner was amazing- gotta love that Tofurkey- and the only thing missing was Monte. I wish he could have spent the holiday with us, but I’m getting pretty used to shlepping it alone at this point, I don’t know if that’s good or bad. A little of both, maybe.


Happy Tofurkey Day!

When I was a kid, we used to take camping trips in the desert with a large group of friends. We had a tradition of spending every Thanksgiving in Ocotillo Wells, where we’d dirt bike and explore for days. We’d set up a “table”, made up all of our camping tables, in a long row that was probably about 50 feet long. It was a big yummy pot luck made by all of the mama’s, and a good time was had by all, sometimes we’d even dress up like Indians! After dinner, all of us kids would play hide-and-go-seek in the dark desert. We’d hide under the motorhomes and behind bushes (hello snakes and scorpions??), and later, all of the dads would tell tall tales by the fire and we’d sing and play jokes. Us kids would climb trees and build forts by day, occasionally jumping on our dirt bikes and zipping off into the desert together- with no adults at, like, 7 years old??? It was great fun! I cherish these memories, and the friendships that I still hold dear to this day.

 
Ocotillo was just one of many trips that my family would take very year. We’d go to Yosemite in the Spring, Lake Mojave in the summer where we’d waterski, jetski and boat… Mammoth every winter to ski and snowboard, and every few years, we’d rent a houseboat with friends on Lake Powell. I can’t imagine how much work went into these trips- the packing of clothes, food and essentials to take a trip with 3 kids (let alone 4!). It’s a big friggin’ deal! All I had to do was get into bed in our motorhome at 4am, when we’d leave for the trip, and I’d wake up to the smell of pancakes that my mom would be cooking in the kitchen while we drove. One of my favorite things to do would be to hang my head out the back window like a dog, and listen to music on my walkman. My dad would always drive. My mom wasn’t allowed to drive the motorhome because as my dad would say, “If she sees one bunny rabbit in the road, she’ll swerve, and kill us all!”. My dad would stop at every plaque on the road and read about the history of every little thing- I’d roll my eyes and beg to stay in the motorhome- but, why??? Now, I get it. Sorry, Dad… teenagers can be such ungrateful little sh*theads! Before having kids, I never appreciated or thought about how much work my parents put into this stuff, not to mention the expense of it all, and my parents worked hard for it.
 
Married at 18, they saved every single penny they had, and working as a waitress and a machinist, bought their first home at 21. My mom started an in-home daycare and my dad became a sprinkler-fitter, and when I was 4, they put every penny into buying a house that was a big-time fixer-upper. Basically, the people they bought it from were in the middle of construction when they got a divorce. There were many holes in the walls and floors and my sister got so many flea bites that her school called CPS on my parents when she told them that “the bugs came from the big holes in the floor and bit me!”. It was pretty torn up… but, now my dad owns his own company and that fixer-upper is their dream home. I barely remember those “hardships” as a kid- I just knew that I was always fed, and loved and didn’t have a care in the world. Just as it should be.
 
I am grateful for my wonderful parents, and priceless childhood memories, and for my amazing husband and beautiful children. I look forward to the many adventures to come for our sweet family!
 
 
Happy Thanksgiving!
 

Midnight Boobie gymnastics!

I used to be able to tandem nurse the babies with my twin nursing pillow, but now they hate it so, I have to do one at a time. It’s really FUN when they both wake up at the same time in the middle of the night. The last few nights, they both decided to wake up at 3am. Both of them. At the same. Damn. Time. Because we co-sleep, normally I’ll just nurse whoever is awake, while lying down, and we can both fall back asleep pretty quickly while he/she eats. But when it’s both of them, I can’t use the pillow like I used to, so I try a few different methods and just use the one that makes them the least pissed off. Stacking them one on top of the other has worked in the past, but not anymore because they’re getting so heavy that they smoosh each other, so my only other option (that I frantically attempt in the darkness) is to side-lie and nurse one, and then drape the other over the side of my body and just focus on making sure their noses aren’t smooshed into my boobs, so they can at least breathe. Not the most comfortable of things in the world to do, but it works. Both babies fall asleep, and eventually, I can too! It’s midnight Boobie gymnastics!

TWIIIIINNNSSS!!!!!!!!!

I’ve gotten pretty good about toting the twins around when I’m out and about, but there’s no way to stay low-key with twins. Absolutely everywhere I go, somebody has to make a comment.

“Wow, you’ve got your hands full!” is #1, and as much as I want to say “Yeah, no sh*t!”, I usually just smile and say “Yup, I sure do!” Little do they know that this is only half of my kids, but I leave that part out because that’s just asking for more comments and looks of pity.  If I’m out with all four and they see the twins, I’ll hear “Looks like you went for #3 and got a big surprise, eh?” or some other version of that. The one that I’m most surprised by is “Are they natural or did you do fertility treatments?” or if I mention what a surprise the babies were, they’ll say “Oh, you mean you didn’t do IVF?” with a shocked expression. Not that there’s anything wrong with fertility treatments, I just can’t believe how bold people can be to a stranger.
Then there’s “Do they run in yours or your husbands family?” and I say “No, they don’t run in my family, they do in my husbands though, but it doesn’t make a difference because it has nothing to do with the sperm. It’s actually all about how many eggs you drop (with fraternal twins).” They usually look at me a little taken aback, having just been given a somewhat graphic biology lesson by a total stranger, and I think, hmmm… maybe that was TMI? But it is a common misconception that I want to clear up. It sure shuts them up and they then seem more than eager to get away from the nut job, so I use it a lot.  With a smile.
I also get “Are they boy/girl?” Me “Yes.” then they ask “Oh, are they identical?”… Really? They’re a boy and a girl and they clearly look nothing alike, hello- Mcfly! But I know some people just don’t know. Honestly, I’m kind of a hypocrite for even getting annoyed because I’d probably asked that question before having twins. I’ve had many a blonde moment in my life, and I also know that people are just trying to be nice and start a conversation because they’re curious about the twins. It turns out that people are completely fascinated by twins. I had no idea before having them that this is how it is. It happens to all moms of multiples- who knew??
Then, there’s the “OMG! OMG! TWIIIINNSSSSSSSS!!!!!!! I WANT TWIIIIINNNSSS!!!!!”. This one cracks me up because I used to be one of these people. I totally wanted twins but thought I’d surely never have them so it was more like a “Oh, that’d be cool, but it will never happen.” kind of thing. So I tell these girls (because they’re often like 17 year olds saying this to me) “I used to say that… and I’d say it again because it IS awesome.” and for the teenagers I’ll add “But, it’s a lot of work, so, wait about 10 years before you have kids.” My little PSA for the day.
It really is awesome. That’s what I want to say to the people who give me those looks of pity and say “Oh, you poor thing.” Really. People say this to me. Sometimes I don’t want to give them the pleasure of sounding overly defensive and/or I don’t have time to really get into it, so I ignore them. But, if I’m in the mood to set them straight, I ask “Why do you say that?”, so they feel uncomfortable for being so rude. Then, they usually mumble something about how hard it must be, and then walk away. My favorite reaction to my family is when somebody says to me “What a blessing!”. Now, I’m about as far from religious as you can get, but that makes me smile, and I usually respond with “Thank you, they really are a blessing!”.
When I was at Toys R Us, yesterday, a woman came up to me and started shrieking “OMG- TWIIIINNNSSSS! I WANT TWINS!!! You’ve got your hands full! Are they identical? Do they run in your family? Did you use IVF?? You poor thing!” I was so shocked that I couldn’t think of anything to say. I’m sure my face was priceless. She gave it a moment, then started laughing and said “Sorry, I’m totally kidding. I have twins and I’ve always wanted to do that to somebody else!”
Brilliant! We both had a good laugh and then went about our shopping.
I really should just pass out cards that say:
Yes, I’m aware that I’ve got my hands full.
They are fraternal boy/girl twins.
No, they don’t run in my family,
No, I didn’t use fertility treatments,
and, I love my big family.