Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A roundup (in an attempt to catch up)

Sometimes, life moves at the speed of slugs.

These days are the ones when I find myself looking at the clock four times before nine in the morning and wondering how it can possibly be the same day, much less the same hour.

Sometimes I make coffee twice on those days, just to get through.

It was a glorious summer of having George home with us a lot (as he was doing some part-time counseling work while his students were out of school, but not working full days). This week, we have been re-learning the rhythm of a full day at home with Daddy at work.

I remember that I can, indeed, do this on my own. I did it before. I am doing it now. Everyone will survive.

I can't shake the feeling (yet) that I'm missing a pair of hands. I think this is okay. I am, in some ways, actually missing a pair of hands. I can still manage, just not quite as easily. And yeah, the days are kind of slug-paced right now. Yet somehow, with all there is to do, I feel like I haven't had time to catch up on writing - hence this roundup post. As I write it, I'm reminded that some things about life are actually moving quite fast.

Here's what we've been up to this week:

The Boy, who continues his quest to be the youngest astronaut ever, has been voraciously consuming information on planets and space and rockets and everything related. During the sisters' nap times this week, he and I have been doing "space stuff."(Here is some of what we have been doing, in case you missed it.) He is also planning his fourth birthday party with a space theme. It's just about a month off, which is incredible. It seems like not long ago that we were making arrangements for his third birthday. It's been a full year.

After lunch but before everyone's naptime, in that potentially-about-to-go-horribly-wrong 20 minutes or so of the day, The Boy and I have been singing and playing songs at the piano. We get out rhythm instruments for the sisters and let them go to town. The Belle is a percussionist, experimenting with new sounds, hitting the drum head with blocks and Thomas the Tank Engine and whatever else she can reach. The Bug seems content to shake her little tambourine. The Boy plays his yellow ukelele. It's been a hoot to watch, and it makes the time pass more quickly until I can put them down for naps. (And yeah, most days I end up counting down until naptime. I think most stay-at-home parents do. If they say they don't, I think they are being less than truthful or that they drink more coffee than I do.)

I got new running shoes. And a haircut. Both are working out great. I did a seven mile run on Saturday and am feeling on track for the half-marathon in November. So far, so good. Running continues to make me grateful. I'm moving away from the 3 minutes of running/1 minute of walking intervals and am just running more now. Things are feeling pretty okay, although I don't feel as strong as I'd like. (I guess 12 weeks of bedrest will do that to you. I plan to treat this as a "let's see what my body can do" kind of race and try to have a good time.)

The Boy has discovered The Magic Treehouse series of books by Mary Pope Osborne and is eating them up. He likes us to read a chapter or two to him before naptime and again before bedtime. I'm happy to have found something with an interesting storyline that isn't too scary for him and can last more than one afternoon. After we read Stuart Little earlier this year, he really wanted to do more chapter books, but we had trouble finding things that were a good fit (as most of the things we saw were more for kids who are 7 or 8, not almost 4). I'm glad there are a lot of these books as he's "really, really, really interested into those" (his words). It's also nice that our little local library has most of the series available for checkout. We got two more of them yesterday (hey, there's nothing wrong with multiple trips to the library in the same week, right?), and he started reading Midnight on the Moon on the way home. I have a feeling this one will go especially quickly because of the subject matter.

We had to lower The Belle's crib mattress after I found her standing up, holding onto the rails after nap one day this week. This makes it more challenging to pick her up out of the crib while holding The Bug. Now I don't just need more hands, I also need longer arms.

Thursday, August 23rd was the feast day of St. Rose of Lima (the patroness of Peru and the first American to be made a saint). We've fallen a bit off track with our liturgical celebrations (or, I have fallen off track writing about them). I wanted to do something to celebrate the feast but wasn't sure of my Peruvian cooking skills.  Instead, The Boy and I made a chocolate cake (his idea, after reading Thundercake by Patricia Polacco, another of our library selections this week). Maybe not that liturgically appropriate, but still delicious. (How can you go wrong with chocolate buttercream frosting?)

On Thursday, I'll be flying out to Portland, Oregon with my baby girls and my mom to visit with my sister, Laura. Laura's in Oregon next week for a songwriter's workshop, and it seemed like a good time for a meetup. This will be the girls' first flight. I have made up little baggies for our future seatmates with chocolate and earplugs, just in case we need to smooth things over...but please pray that it goes smoothly for us. I have a feeling that the mother with infant twins on the flight is probably not the most popular person on the plane, at least not initially.

The Boy and his dad have a great adventure planned at the Baltimore Aquarium next weekend while the girls and I are away.

Stay tuned for stories from our travels in Portland and Baltimore. Until then, I think we're caught up!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Space stuff

The Greatest (and youngest) Astronaut in the Universe lives here...by his own description.
The Boy continues to have space on the brain all the time. Anything we need him to do requires a countdown..."3, 2, 1...blast off!" Everything he does is accompanied by a rocket sound. He's constantly checking the NASA site to see what's going on with Curiosity, the Mars Rover. ("Mama, I'm just gonna check and see what Curiosity is up to these days.") He refers to his "astronaut jammies," his "astronaut breakfast," our "space station" (our house), the Rover (our car), his "command seat" (the car seat).

I know that most people's career aspirations at three-almost-four don't materialize quite the way they had imagined, but he is certain that he will be flying missions in space before very long.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Dumb things people say to parents of twins (I wish I were kidding, but I'm not.)

 A short list of things that strangers might say to you if you are a mother of multiples:

1. You have your hands full.

2. Are they twins? (Yes.)
2a. Are they identical? (No.)
2b. Are you sure they're not identical? They look identical to me.

3. A boy and a girl? (No, two girls.)
   That one's a boy. (No, she's a girl.)
   No, I'm pretty sure it's a boy. (What??)

4. You know, you're not supposed to have them in litters. **

5. You have a boy and two girls? You're done, then.

6. Are they natural?

7. Do twins run in your family?

8. I know what you spend your time doing. (Again, what??)

9. Did you know you were having twins?

10. They're awfully small for twins.
10a. They're awfully big for twins.

11.  My nephew's neighbor's daughter's yoga teacher has twins.
11a. My sister-in-law's cousin had twins, and one of them died.

12. Do they have different personalities?
12a. Do they talk in a secret language?

13. I always wanted twins.
13a. I wish I had twins.
13b. Can you give me some tips on how to have twins?

14. It could be worse - you could have had three of them at once.

15. Just wait until they start crawling (or walking, or talking).

16. I had two babies 11 months apart. That's harder than twins. Be glad that didn't happen to you.

17. You are so blessed.

18. Better you than me.

19. I don't know how you do it.

20. Boy, you sure do have your hands full. (Worth repeating, since we hear it so often.)

** No kidding on number 4. Seriously. Someone said that to me.

I know people are just curious and want to make conversation, but sometimes I'd like a nicely printed little card I could just hand them that says something like, "Twins. Girls. Not Identical - Yes, we're sure. Thanks for your enlightening thoughts. Now Please Go Away and Stop Talking."

Someone sent me a link to the video below. When I first saw it, I was pregnant with our twin girls. I thought it was kind of funny then.

Once the babies arrived and I started taking them out places, it got much funnier.

Now, I can officially say I've heard almost all of these statements personally, and the video makes me laugh so hard I might wet my pants.

Of course, that could just be a side effect of having had twins. 

"I'm sorry, I just assumed we were now BFFs."

I love that part.

It's entirely possible that this isn't as funny as I think it is. If you don't find it particularly funny, it might be because you don't have twins (and therefore, your hands are not full enough).

Let me know if you want any tips on how to fix that.

Parents of multiples...anything I missed that you'd like to add? I know you've heard all of these before!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Holiness at the end of a broom.

A Psalm for Sweeping

I lift up my eyes from the floor.
From whence cometh my help?
My help comes from a broom,
A gatherer of crumbs and dirt.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Shooting blind

I remember seventh grade US History with Mrs. McKercher, when we learned about the battle of Bunker Hill. "Don't fire until you can see the whites of their eyes," the soldiers were told. Presumably, this was to conserve ammunition.

I wonder if it is harder to kill someone if you are looking at his eyes instead of dropping a bomb on him from a mile overhead.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Update: Merit badges, fish and tantrums

So, for all of you who have been worrying about our fish and our children after the aquarium incident, I'm pleased to report the following:

  • Number of fish casualties to date: 0
  • Number of children who succumbed to fungal infections: 0
  • Number of snails still unaccounted for: 1 (it can't all be good news, after all...though I'm not convinced his disappearance is related to the incident!)
  • Number of Merit Badges earned by the Mama in this story: 1

Just after I wrote my post about The Boy's fishing escapades, I sent an e-mail to the amazing Amy of Mama Scout, who makes the Mama Merit Badges. She likes to hear stories from parents who have badge-worthy experiences. I thought my story qualified, and I wanted to share it with her.

To my great excitement, Amy wrote back and said she was sending me my very own Tantrum Badge...for not having a tantrum. (If you didn't catch the original story, you should go back and read it. I believe a tantrum was justified. I have certainly had them in less extreme circumstances.)

Ta-da! My very own tantrum badge

Monday, August 6, 2012

Back on track

The quickest path to gratitude, at least where running is concerned, might be this:
  1. Have multiple little kids under age 5.
  2. Quit your job and stay home with them.
  3. Watch your alone time disappear. (This part is important. To really make sure you get the full benefit, be sure to always take at least one child with you everywhere you go, even when you use the bathroom. Don't shower or check the mail or go to the grocery store or do anything by yourself.)
  4. Keep this up just slightly past the point where you feel crazy. Then keep it up a little longer, until your head feels like it might explode.

Then, go for a run. Alone.

No matter how bad the run is, it's bound to feel like a small vacation.

(It's assumed, of course, that you find someone to hang out with your little people while you do this. Otherwise, someone is bound to call child protective services on the crazy mom with the exploding head who just dashed out her front door and down her street with her running shoes on. I can hear the neighbors now. "What was she doing? I think I heard her screaming! Those poor children. Well, you know, I've always said she has her hands full.")