Friday, July 31, 2009

The motivator

We just watched "Confessions of a Shopaholic" last night. I was thinking about her description of how she felt when shopping - loved the feel of silk, loved the smells of the store, the exhilaration of your credit card going through, etc. I was thinking I wished I felt that way about shopping! Instead it's always automatic guilt. And then a secondary thought that I hope Ryan doesn't pay attention to this. :) Don't get me wrong - I love shopping for new clothes and finding something you look cute in, I just wish it could just be pure enjoyment - not overshadowed by feeling like I shouldn't be doing it. (Side note: even worse- I used to have my own savings account that used to draw on to pay off my Banana Republic card (which includes Gap and Old Navy). They were the ONLY two things I had left in my name alone - not joint with Ryan's. It was beautiful thing: I shopped, I spent, and I paid it all off - all without having to pass inspection from the hubby. BUT. The sad day finally came recently and my account has been drained!! And now I have to draw from the joint account to pay it off. Did my last speck of independence just die off?!)

Anyhow, I wonder if my guilt at shopping will ever change? I can't imagine it will. Because even if you have money, you may feel guilty that of course you don't really need whatever it is you're buying, and that you should be doing something better with your money anyway. (Seriously, can you imagine living in the old days and just washing your one dress day in and day out!?!) Not to say I don't shop, of course. Not to say I'm actually even restrained by my guilty conscience. I guess I'm far too used to it that I'm getting pretty good at just pushing right on past it. :) But really, I even feel guilty buying my kids clothes because I know there are kids that live with much less, and am I being vain that I want my kids to look cute?

Does anyone else feel like this? Do I have an overactive guilt mechanism? Maybe I just have a hard time balancing it. What's that old saying? Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without - is that how it goes? How do you balance that and the mentality that older generations had with the desire to look cute? And the never-ending female child-bearing cycle through sizes? Then you have to have a cute wardrobe in about 4 different sizes... and by the time you get back to the old size it's been so long that it's really all out of fashion by the time you're wearing it again!

Then on to the next one: exercise. Totally guilt motivated. That's probably why I'm a night exerciser. It get's to be 8 or 9pm and I'm like - dang. I ate so much crap today I have to exercise! I wish I could say it was for the love of health or the joy of activity. But nope. It's so I can eat whatever I want. Or rather, because I eat whatever I want.

And even time with my kids - I feel like a lot of it is driven by guilt - like man, I've been on the computer or so busy cleaning and I really feel bad I haven't been spending time with my kids. Not that I don't do it because I enjoy it, because of course I do, but it's usually guilt that reminds me.

But, there is one thing that I feel the same way the girl in the movie did about shopping - sleep. I love the feel of my four (yes four) pillows exactly in the right place. (Started when I was pregnant with the twins. Ryan wasn't happy that they didn't go away after the twins came.) I love putting in my ear plugs and pretending like I can't hear anything. (Don't worry - crying breaks it's way through any pair of earplugs). I love squirming around until I get every last body part settled perfectly (ok, my husband doesn't love this one either). I love going back to sleep after having to get up with a baby. I love the feeling of taking a nap. It's a little too bad that I married someone that loves sleep as much as me. It means we're constantly fighting over who gets to sleep in or take a nap, or arguing over who is more tired. It means no one is ever the one to just get up and get the kids without complaint. I've mentioned that we might actually have a really fabulous marriage if sleep isn't required in the next life. :) At least we understand each other, right? Anyhow, ahhhh, sleep. I love it.

BUT. Of course - I feel guilty that all those "good" moms out there are most certainly awake and being productive while I'm sleeping!! Think of all the things I could accomplish! Think of all the stimulating activities I could prepare for my kids or the books I could read on child rearing! Think of how I could actually get ready instead of sleeping until my kids are awake and then sticking them in front of the tv while I take a shower! But I don't. I sleep. Guilt, guilt, guilt.

Really. I need a new motivator.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A bunch of tow-heads

Here's this year's update of all the twins! Brooke's twins are two weeks older than mine. Too bad our other old roommate Aimee wasn't around with her identical twin boys!

For some reason I've always wanted us to walk around with our strollers together - I guess because I know how many looks we get just by ourselves so I wonder what people think seeing all of us! I think mine stroller must be a little more forward than hers in this picture- I know my kids are fat, but they look especially bigger than hers in this picture! (They are bigger, just not that much bigger.) It's so fun seeing them all run around and being at all the same stages! We keep arguing about who's look more identical though - I say hers do and she says mine do. I guess when you see your own kids all the time you just notice the differences more. Anyway, it's so fun watching these little boys grow up!

By the way, we're thinking we need a little girl's weekend away this weekend while I'm in Utah - anyone want to join?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wimpy, wimpy, wimpy...

What do you do when you have a child who is a total pansy?? I'm just not sure. I'm actually not even sure that's the only issue. But as I watch other well-adjusted kids play, smile, be nice to others, get excited for fun activities - well, it makes me think my child doesn't really fit in that well-adjusted category. :)

Anyone who knows Cash will say he's the sweetest little boy. He is. Around others. Because he doesn't say a word, doesn't cause a lick of trouble, and won't terrorize your house or your children. He's too shy to do otherwise. But. When he's at home, he's the most stubborn little kid I have ever met, and he cries about everything. He cries taking his pajamas off. He cries when we have to put them on. He cries when it's lunchtime. He cries when we have to go anywhere. Even if I say we're going somewhere fun. "I. DON'T. WANT. TO. GO. TO. THE. PARK. MOM. MEEEEE." Exactly like that. Every word exaggerated into it's own sentence with a slightly growling yell. My favorite is actually anytime the babies come near him or look like they might take his toys: "YOU. DON'T. WANT. IT. BAY. BEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!" And the growling is even more ferocious.

For one thing, I think he just really hates changing from any activity to another. I give him notice - 5 minutes until... 2 more minutes then we have to.... Doesn't seem to matter. "No. NO. NOOOOO!!!!" Wearing the wrong clothes is cause for complete meltdown. Singing the wrong song produces screaming. Leaving the house is a mess. He sobs and sobs when he's been put to bed and when I come in, he stops and very daintily says, "I need a tissue." And you should see bathtime. Oh bathtime. He refuses to sit down, so after we drag him in kicking and screaming, he just stands in the tub next to twins and shrieks the entire time. So since he won't cooperate, we just have to dump buckets of water over him, which of course enflames him even more. Which causes more chaos and gets the twins agitated too. And then we pull him out still kicking and screaming. Could it be any more unpleasant? I guess all three could be like that in the bath, huh? But the thing is, actually, we can't get the twins to sit in the tub either, so we have three standing kids in the tub most of the time, or we have Cash shrieking while we keep trying to get the twins to sit down. Last time we even got a huge chin bruise on Ashton from the refusing to sit down and slipping in the tub while Phoenix was slipping the other direction at the same time. All to the tune of the wailing older brother. What a disaster.

So now we started swimming lessons for two weeks while we're here at my mom's house. I knew exactly how it would be, so I sent my mom to take him down the first time thinking he would be less clingy with her. I knew it was a bad sign when I get there at the end and see my mom and nephew sitting in there by the swimmers - parents aren't allowed to watch. Then as he's getting out I hear them telling him, "No crying tomorrow Cash, ok? No crying." Apparently he screamed. And screamed. And screamed. Until they finally asked grandma to come back. And the teacher had to hold the crying kid forever.

Unfortunately, today - day two was just the same. One of the nice boys in his class even tried to talk to him before class. He and his mom were trying to be so friendly and talk to Cash who refused to talk back. (And most of you have seen the stare-down and the sideways glances he can give.) The nice little boy even said, "I'm Lucas." At which point Cash just sat back and closed his eyes. What? Playing dead? I'm asleep I can't hear you? Who does that? See what I mean about not fitting in to that well-adjusted category?!

Anyway, I really don't feel like we baby him. He does plenty of crying when we just try to ignore him and goes and spends time in time-out. It also worries me because he's going to have athletic, outgoing, normal brothers to overshadow him! I'm definitely up for suggestions. I just never really know what to do since he's my first. How do you raise a kid that's not a total wimp? I'm really hoping that being so strong willed is going to turn into a positive trait someday. "I. DON'T. WANT. DRUGS. STOO. PID!!" I can always hope, right?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Here's a little recap of our trip so far:

Plane ride. Leg one: misery. Layover: breaking up the family so one of us can take a baby and run to nearly-missed flight plotting some sort of delay while the other gathers up the rest of the children and gear and hopes to catch up; one split lip, and scavenging children begging food off of unsuspecting passengers waiting at the gate (flight ended up being delayed, of course). I wasn't quite fast enough to catch up with Ashton as he bee-lined to some man with a banana and started begging for some "nana." The man broke off a little piece to give to him at which point Ashton starts yelling at him and pointing to the larger remaining piece. About a minute later I caught up to him as some woman was giving him potato chips. Seriously. Because that poor little belly is just wasting away?

Leg two: thank heavens for the ipod touch, Benadryl, a few open seats, and convincing people they really didn't want to sit by us.

Of course with all the announcements the naps didn't last as long as I would have liked, but it was still a first for napping on the plane!

Family reunions: so much fun! We went to Kangaroo Zoo (full of bounce houses and mini-golf)

(Getting a little too close sometimes!)

Rented the infamous karaoke machine (lucky for you I'll spare you the videos. :)

(Isn't that little Cash stinking cute? I don't think he ever opened his mouth, but he sure looked cute trying to karaoke to BINGO!)

Had family pictures - seriously the woman didn't really even want to bother with our little family! She tried a few of our boys and was like - "yeah, this age is hard," and stopped. We asked if we could try some family ones again and she was like, "maybe you could come back for a sitting another day." I was sort of like, um yeah, our kids will still not like to hold still tomorrow either, and are you kidding me that we might try to go through this again?? But hopefully we got some good ones. I'm pretty sure none of the kids were smiling, I think if we manage all looking in the same direction we'll be lucky. My fingers are crossed.

Then family reunions continued with renting out the Eccles ice skating rink in Logan. That was a first for our kids! The babies mostly entertained themselves opening boxes of pizza and running away with two or three pieces at a time, but everyone also enjoyed taking a spin or two on the ice (seriously - stroller on the ice? Awesome. Can you do that during regular ice skating hours? Even Cash loved it.)

Then we went up to Bear Lake to see a really cute play. We also visited some old friends in Wellsville. Man, the drive up to Bear Lake and the view from our friends amazing house in Wellsville are really to die for. Imagine lots of this, lots of mountains and rolling hills... wow.

Our kids were pretty much cranky the whole weekend but at least had lots of cousins to share the distraction. I kept wanting to tell everyone it's not normal, it's just because we're on vacation and they're all out of whack, but well - it sort of is normal. :)

Walking to church and attempting a picture after:

In other thoughts - I've realized that life really does work out for the best sometimes. It's actually a good thing Ryan has kept us poor this long. :) Because we have a small place to keep track of these babies in. There aren't doors leading to the outside everywhere you look with concrete steps leading to rivers of water or yards that drop off out back. There are only two toilets to keep track of rather than six, everything is baby-proofed so I don't have to run the second anyone is out of my sight, I can change a diaper without worrying that someone is falling down a flight of stairs (again), and there are NO stairways! So yes, I'm realizing that it is actually really hard to watch my kids out here and some things are really blessings in disguise!

Monday, July 13, 2009


We're in Utah.

For a month.

And apparently I do a mean Kelly Clarkson karaoke.

Who knew?

More later.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Indepence Day - Miami style

Alright, so I'm sure everyone is going to be talking about what a great 4th of July they had this weekend. I hope you all did. But I have to say actually, if there's one thing Miami does right, it's the 4th of July. Were any of you sitting on the beach in the warm summer air looking at this (moon reflecting on the ocean, sand red in firework light) while you were watching fireworks?

I was. (Ok, well, and if you were with us, I guess you were too. I hope the rest of you get the chance sometime!)

We spent the evening on the beach in what was one of the most perfect evenings ever! There for sunset, lovely breeze off the ocean, water was even warmer than the air, a gorgeous twilight followed by a big bright moon rising, and then fireworks going off all up and down the beach from all the various beach cities. It was cool to look down and even see crowds of people watching fireworks while sitting in the ocean! And we even got a pleasant calm first hour of beaching thanks to this:

Corn on the cob. I've never given it to my kids before - I didn't really think kids could eat it; but I highly recommend it. I'm pretty sure it went down cob and all, but that little gem kept them occupied, strapped in, and un-sandy for a fantastically long time.

Until it didn't anymore, of course. (The picture on the left was within about a minute of escaping the stroller. Already in the water, out, and back again.) Ryan had to to a few dunking-in-the-ocean sessions when the babies kept face-planting and were covered head to toe in sand, which they hated, but it was still fun.

Here are the babies catching some firework action. I thought the kids would be scared since we were so close but they did great. (Thank heavens because our family alone could have produced enough wailing to even drown out the boom of all the fireworks on the beach.)

In this picture you can sort of see fireworks going off in the distance down the beach.

And I love this picture of our friends - even though it's hard to see, you can see how chill and relaxing it was, and the moonlight on the ocean in the background!

Even though I miss being with family on the holidays, this was pretty dang good.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A day in the life

Before I was a mom, I never would have thought that the every-day would consist of so many random things. Not necessarily bad, just random. Like 10 years ago I probably didn't think 10 years from then I'd be getting in bed and and have to fish kitchen utensils out of the sheets, you know?

Sample day:

Let first baby awake try to feed himself oatmeal for the first time. Change mind for second baby. Clean oatmeal out of hair (mine).

Put in laundry. Happen to notice at least most of the toys that made their way into the laundry basket before it goes into the wash.

Try new white shirts on boys for family photos. Leave on for 10 minutes. During 10 minutes, oldest child lets twins into the bathroom unbeknownst to mom. More enthusiastic splashing than usual produces copious amounts of water on the floor and twin B slips repeatedly cutting his lip and gum (ever so sanitarily) on the toilet seat, managing to bleed all over white shirt intended for family photos.

Go out on a walk. Stroller tire pops. Hobble back to the condo with three children in gimpy stroller.

Child's favorite fire truck M.I.A. Search the house. Search the garbage can full of raw chicken. Find two different cars, a kitchen towel and a new pack of colored pencils. No fire truck. Darn, maybe it was in yesterday's garbage.

Keep searching the house for days. Find another missing bottle in the process! This one is BLACK. Must have been there for months. Bottle goes in garbage. No chance of attemting to clean that one.

Babies room still reeks of sour milk, however. Strip all the sheets and wash for the second time in two days.

Ipod found! Must be some secret spot behind the couch because I'd already looked back there 7 times.

Second rotten bottle found. Thrown in garbage.

(Days later: favorite fire truck found in lobby of condo building! Can't stop talking about return of the fire truck.)

Try to run to the bathroom by myself before anyone catches on. Don't succeed. But once the screaming dies down become amused by my view from inside the bathroom as toes, fingers, cars, toys, cell phones and movies make their way under the door.

Spend an hour trying to move displaced items back to their homes - baby monitors from the toy box back to the kids rooms, movie from between slats in furniture to movie cabinet, cards under the rug back to game closet, spoons shoved in the elliptical back to the drawer, legos in fridge back to toy box, every single shoe from parents closet strewn about the house back to respective closet....

Attempt to do some pilates. Give up after 4 minutes of getting sat on, jumped on and rolled over. Poopy diaper sitting on the face was the last straw.

Babies have serious diaper rash. Let them run around with diapers off for a while. Decide this is a bad idea when siblings find pee on the floor before I do and gleefully play in it.

Refusing to nap three year-old falls asleep on the couch far too close to bed time. (Oh, Curious George has turned to BBC World News. Perhaps that's why.) Babies entertain themselves sticking their fingers in his mouth and pulling his hair while he sleeps.

Stunned to find another toilet time I wasn't aware of. Only evidence was wads of wet toilet paper strewn around bathroom shower, curtains, floor, walls.... Could the 3 year-old have let the babies in and out of the bathroom without me knowing?

Husband finally home from work! Informs wife that he is going to a movie. Wife deflates.

Wife asks him to watch the babies so they don't pull the folded laundry off the couch for a minute while she hurries and puts it all away. Husband doesn't take her warning seriously. Babies make a mad dash for folded laundry and double-handedly pull off articles of clothing one by one in rapid succession, undoing in 10 seconds what took 20 minutes to do.

Husband leaves for movie. Children mad whenever anyone leaves the house and they aren't involved. Wife doing dishes as husband leaves. Wife finishes dishes. Can't find children. Finds children all running amuck in the hallways apparently after oldest child unlocks the door and lets them all out when they wanted to follow daddy.

Wife calls husband and barks at him for leaving her alone with crazy children and tells him he better come back with a safety lock to install on the door OR ELSE.

Husband gone, wife gives babies Tylenol and bottles of milk to put them to bed!

Spend 45 minutes deleting 75 jppjpjijfhphgoihehis.qiqiq.a.aaithjg contacts from cell phone.

Wondering if that could be the reason cell phone kept saying memory full and finally flipped out and completely erased everything. Or if it was the enterers of the 75 jppjpjijfhphgoihehis.qiqiq.a.aaithjg contacts that erased everything.

Spend another 45 minutes trying to navigate and fix results of erased phone with main menu no longer available.

Finally go in to see why the 3 year-old is still yelling his face off long after having been put to bed. Screaming bloody murder stops immediately as door opens and calm voice says, "I don't want to wear dinosaur jammies. I want a different shirt."

Man. 10:30pm and still never got a chance to exercise today. And a lot of fudge stripe cookies were consumed. Husband is out late, might as well get it done.

Exhausted. 1am. TIME FOR BED.
(For as long as it lasts, anyway, which turns out to be 3:30 am.)

Probably shouldn't have exercised. Knee hurts and is keeping me awake. Doesn't matter much because of 3:30 crying anyway. Give bottle. Crying persists for 30 minutes. Finally realize the culprit - who poops at 3:30 in the morning?

Ugh. Morning again. That was way too short.