Thursday, March 30, 2017

Welcome Home Honey

Hi honey! We've missed you! You've been gone for the past eleven days. ELEVEN DAYS. That's like, over a week. And included a full weekend. I mean, we've been here before, but the days are long, babe. I think there is more to that saying but all I can remember right now is that the days are long and the hours are even LONGER. Oh. My. Goodness. Here are a few notes for you upon your return.

I swear that Caden actually IS excited for your return.
  • You'll notice that most of your clothes are in a pile on the floor of the bedroom closet. The twins decided six days ago that it would be a great idea to pull them all off of the hangers while I dared to brush my teeth in the morning. Yes, that's right, six days ago. They're still there. And probably wrinkled.
  • I did clean the entire house while you were gone, though. And by "I", of course I mean "the cleaning company that I hired to come out here once a month". It was perfect timing, really. You're welcome.
  • The food situation is somewhat dire. We do have plenty of mac + cheese, goldfish crackers, and cereal. Not sure about milk, though. If you want something else, you should probably pick it up on your way home. Kidding. For the love please don't stop anywhere and just get home as fast as you possibly can.
  • Unless you decide to pick up a bottle of wine, anything dark chocolate, a bouquet of flowers, and/or Chipotle. Then, please, go right ahead. (Add the guac. You know I love their guac.)
  • I am sleeping in tomorrow. I do not know when I will emerge from the confines of our bedroom. I will also be taking a long hot shower, BY MY OWN DANG SELF. I am going to wash my hair AND shave my legs. Please note that the twins' gymnastics class is at 10:40 am. I may or may not be up and ready by then.
  • Brooklyn's new favorite color is pink. I know that for the past few months it was blue but now it is pink, and may the Lord have mercy on your soul if you attempt to give her anything but the pink cup.
  • Nolan has added "uh-oh" to his vocabulary. It sounds more like "uh-ahh", and he usually pulls it out after he's thrown his plate, food scraps, or entire sippy cup of milk onto the floor. Repeatedly. It's a really fun game for exactly one of us.
  • I got a fly out of the house by myself while you were gone. (Where did a fly come from? It's MARCH.) Since you know how I feel about bugs, I probably deserve some sort of medal.
  • Just close your eyes when you put the kids in the van. But be careful, since you basically can't see the floor anymore. It is a DISASTER. Cleaning it up is at the top of my priority list. However, it's been at the top of my priority list for the past two weeks and you can see how well that's worked out for me.
  • I am entirely willing to let you completely take over bedtime for all three kids for the next eleven days. Doesn't that sound fun?
  • We owe several of our friends a round of babysitting or a meal, and my parents some sort of something awesome for all the help they've given us the past week and a half. 
  • I am eternally grateful to you for the following things: taking over garbage duty each week, remembering to always prep my coffee the night before, tackling the twins' daily 6 am wake-up calls, and cleaning the heavy dishes that I can barely lift even before they are filled up with a gallon of soapy water (I'm looking at you, Dutch oven).
  • While I was really tempted, I resisted the urge to watch any of our shows on Netflix while you were gone. You're welcome again.
  • I know you missed us, but I'VE MISSED YOU MORE. Welcome home.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

It's a Person

It started a week or two ago. I saw from afar, as Brooklyn made the unmistakable motion on her paper of a circle, then finished it off with one straight, deliberate line, and then another.

"It's a spider!" she announced.

"It does look like a spider!" I said. (With a little bit of a shudder. Because spiders. Yuck.)

And she went from (mostly) incoherent scribbles to (somewhat) recognizable art. Just like that.


This past weekend, she had a meltdown. Full-blown screaming, ranting, raving, can't-catch-her-breath tantrum. I let her go for awhile, but with no end in sight, I found a piece of paper and some crayons and walked over to where she was sitting.

"Draw me a picture of how you're feeling," I told her, still not expecting much beyond a mess of scribbles. (Also feeling pretty proud of myself: draw me your feelings? Genius. Parenting win, right there.)

She was so concentrated on her drawing, as I peeked at her working so diligently. I checked in with her a bit later to find this.

I hope you can see it: a large circle for the head, two smaller, fainter circles for the eyes, a line for the mouth. Two vertical lines below for the legs.

A person.

She drew a person.

"That's me sad," she said. Her demeanor had completely changed. She actually wasn't sad anymore; she was thrilled with her drawing. It went from an emotional wreck of a morning to being one of the most exciting moments in all my parenting. She continued to work on her picture awhile longer.

Representational art. Out of nowhere. We have arrived.

Since then she's continued to fill sheets with recognizable artwork. My brother babysat the other day, and when I returned I found a stack of papers filled with stick people. "Did you draw these?!?" I asked him, astounded. "No. That's what it would look like if I did though," he said. So thankfully he wasn't offended. (And still the source of my creative skills remains a mystery in my family...) I mean, so far her repertoire is limited: people and suns. I've been saving every one, slipping them out to show anyone who comes over. Artistic mommy is so proud. The thing is, they're not supposed to be able to do this yet. The human figure is supposed to be a process, and take time, and coordination, and years to get there. I showed one of her teachers at school today, who is interested in how children learn to create art. She's given a talk every semester on the creative process in very young children. "That's something a 4-year old might do!" she said. (Is that a mommy brag? Maybe. #sorrynotsorry) Yet Brooklyn pulled this out seemingly overnight.

Tyson is out-of-town for work (cue the sad cry/screaming emoji), so I keep texting him pictures of her latest creations: "Look at this! Look at this!".


Sometimes these kids surprise us, in the best of ways. It's amazing to watch her create: deliberately starting with a circle for the head, two circle eyes, a line for a mouth, "two noses" (let's hope she means nostrils), two legs, two arms, and even adding hair, all just in the right spots.

Maybe she picked up on my word for the year? I hope so. I am very, very, very excited for the many creations to come.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Life Lately

It seems like all Caden and Brooklyn want to do lately is play "Elsa and Anna": one runs away while the other screams after them, "Come back, Elsa!". Then they switch. It's good for getting the energy out. It's bad for me because every other minute I turn around and almost trip over a kid. They're fast. Meanwhile Nolan toddles on behind, with a goofy grin, just trying to be a part of the action. He's Olaf, maybe?


Yesterday I literally spent two straight hours cleaning up poop. From 10:30-12:15. (Okay, 1 hour and 45 minutes. Details.) "Blowouts" is not a strong enough word to describe what happened to Nolan and his clothing and the surrounding areas at that time. Three clothing/diaper changes, two baths, and one disturbingly awful load of laundry later, it was finally naptime.

40 minutes later, he woke up and promptly threw up all over himself and his bed. (Fourth change of clothes, third bath, second yucky load of laundry, if you're keeping count.)

(Note: he's fine now. I don't think he's sick. The post-nap episode was the last of it. I just think his little tummy had a problem for some reason with the previous night's dinner.)

It was one of those days where if someone asked what I had done that day I would have drawn a blank, because I really spent most of it washing or re-washing what was basically the same load of clothes, cleaning out the same bathtub, and then rocking the same baby so he could sleep a little longer.


Clothes. Kid's clothes. Life around here is a never-ending carousel of kid's clothing rotation. I just got the newborn, 3-month, and 6-month bins out of Nolan's closet (only to promptly find a few pairs of "6-12 month" pants that no longer fit and need their 6-month bin home... *sigh*), and am now working on the 9-month and 12-month ones. And the twins are so small (no butts to hold those pants up #skinnytoddlerproblems) that I basically moved the 12 month bin straight from their closet to Nolan's, and now need to do the same with the 18-month bin. Meanwhile there are several teetering stacks of 24 month and 2T clothing that no longer fit on the top shelf of their closet that have no home because I ran out of bins. And the 9-month one has a lid that is VERY precariously, barely closed because with the addition of a third kid's 9-month clothes it has more than reached it's max capacity. So I apparently need to buy new bins. Adulting is hard.

(Putting clothes on is hard, too.)


Caden's favorite new trick is to do forward rolls (aka somersaults). They learned how at gymnastics: hands up in the air, tuck your chin, hands down, and roll. Except he doesn't really understand the "tuck" part, and always pretends to tuck something in his shirt before putting his hands down and rolling. It's pretty hilarious. His new favorite thing is to push all the blankets off of our bed so he can practice his "fo-wad woes" on the cleared-off space, over and over and over again.


Nolan is wicked fast. Like, super fast at walking. I know they're not technically supposed to be able to run until they are like 18-months or 2 years or something like that, but I swear that at 12 months he's practically there. Like, he could win baby races, if those were a thing. Put some Cheerios at the finish line and he would DOMINATE. He's a speed walker, for sure.


He's also gotten really good at communicating. He says "book" all the time, and now says "car", which sounds more like "ca-ca" or "ga-ga" as he watches all the cars out the window. When he wakes up from nap he wants to be snuggled for awhile, but after a few minutes of that he will throw his hand up and point at the cord on the blinds, so we can sit and watch the cars pass by out his bedroom window for awhile longer. The other night we sat down in his chair to read a book before bed, but I only got through a couple of pages before he shimmied down, walked over to his bed, sat down next to it, looked at the bed, and looked at me. Then he pulled his sleep sack out through the bars, threw it on the floor, and laid down next to it. Okay, kid. I guess I'll put you to bed.


It's ridiculously windy and the weather basically sucks and we JUST NEED IT TO BE SPRING ALREADY. These afternoons are killing us. Most of my friend's kids nap later than mine, so they don't wake up until 3 or 4 in the afternoon, but mine are up by 2:00 at least 95% of the time. 2:00-5:00/30 is a LOOONNNGGG time. Especially if we were home in the morning because then we've ALREADY DONE ALL THE THINGS in our house. It's mid-March. I'm out of ideas. It's not fun anymore. We need to be able to go to the park in the afternoon. Period. And then someone told me that it's supposed to snow next week. After it hasn't snowed here for like two months. We might all actually die. Pray for us.


(Brooklyn's all "I'm over this boy wrestling crap. So over it." Better get used to it, girl.)

Friday, March 3, 2017

An Ode to Bedtime

Ahhh, bedtime.

Not the actual bedtime routine: the bath - jammies - two, no three, no FOUR stories - and a song - prayers - and eighteen times on the potty marathon that is putting those children to bed.

No, I'm talking about the blissful, beautiful time after everyone is snuggled down, safe, swaddled, tucked in their beds and sound a-freaking-sleep. The afterglow, if you will. No one wants anything. No one needs anything. No one is touching me. No one is talking. It is quiet.

I do not take this time of day for granted. No way. I have worked way too hard to get here. The twins have gone through several periods of bedtime protests. Hell might be attempting to put a toddler to bed who insists that they aren't tired through screams, giggles, and tears. Even a couple of months ago we might have been interrupted one, two, three or more times by the baby. Always wondering: when I put him down, will he stay down this time? But now? I lay him down. And I'm done.  Period. I don't even bother to grab the baby monitor anymore since I know he'll stay asleep.  It's a bedtime miracle!

This part of the day is beautiful. It's one of my favorites. Dark and peaceful, the long stretch of the day behind. It's full of freedom. Not the I-could-jet-off-to-Vegas-at-the-drop-of-a-hat kind of freedom, but of the I-can-go-to-the-bathroom-if-and-when-I-need-to-without-interruptions variety. It's a time to breathe. Sometimes there are tasks to complete: leftover dishes from dinner, a tour of living room pick-up duty, laundry to fold. Things that need to get done, but they're not the focus. It's a time, often the only time of the day, to rest and recharge. To have grown-up conversations or just watch something other than Daniel Tiger.

I salute you, bedtime. And while the afterglow is glorious in and of itself, there are a few post-bedtime key players that deserve some special recognition:

To my comfy chair: Thank you for holding my tired and worn-out body at the end of the day. It's with you that I can rest, read, write, relax, and do my Amazon Prime shopping in peace.  

To leggings: If I haven't already been wearing you all day, you can bet I have changed into you by now. Thank you for being soft and stretchy and, basically, not jeans.

To dark chocolate: I love you. You are delicious and smooth, bitter yet still sweet. Thanks for existing.

To wine: Thank you for existing, too. 

To chamomile tea: For being the smarter, or at least cozier choice on other evenings. Your warm, light presence is the ultimate comfort before bed.

To Netflix: Whether I need something to zone out to, or something a bit more intellectually stimulating, you've got my back.

To books: Since I always have to be reading something. You're the last thing I look at and fill my mind with before officially shutting down for the day.

More specifically, to ebooks: Because I don't have to leave my house, get off my butt, or even out of my bed to obtain you. Within seconds. Thanks, technology. You rock.

To my husband: Thank you for finishing dishes, offering to pick up the house at the end of the day, and dealing with those toddlers demanding their 18th potty trip after being put to bed.  I love that you understand and lovingly disappear on the evenings that I "just don't want to see anyone's face", and for accommodating me on the other nights when "all I want is an adult to talk to".  I love you most of all.