Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Trouble makers

 Some of you might remember the infamous water table I mentioned once upon a time.  Well, I've tried a different angle on it recently. We fill it with rice, bring out all the sand toys and the kids have a blast. I usually put a blanket under it to catch most of the rice that falls out so I can just dump it back in again.

Well, the other day we had a friend over and the kids went a little crazier than usual. I usually sit out with them so I can monitor/control the situation a little more, but this time I sat just inside the sliding door so I could keep talking to my friend. So how lame/funny is this?  The next day we hear that our neighbors downstairs complained to management about having rice on their balcony.  At first I was irritated, and like, seriously? You went to management to tattle on us? And anyway, it's not nearly as bad as the burning hot cigarette butts that fall down on our balcony from the one up above us!! (I went out to find one had burned a hole through the blanket right next to my child the other day!) Ugh. I was annoyed.

After a few minutes though, I changed from being mad to almost laughing as I thought of how ridiculous it sounded. I was like, Ryan, could you go to management in all seriousness and be like, "Excuse me but there was rice on my balcony. Yes. That's right.  RICE. Can you believe it?  I knew those people were up to no good...."

Then after another few minutes I was like, wait. Seriously? After living below a house full of little boys for two years, that's what you complain about? Not all the jumping and banging and dropping of toys at 7 in the morning?  Not the constant yelling and screaming? Not kids dragging our wood chairs skidding across the floor any time of day so they can go climb up on something? Not the cry-it-out episodes that have gone on for over an hour in the middle of the night? 

Nope. Rice.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Crazy ideas

Ok, I have three days for one of you to talk me out of my latest rash decision. I bought a gym membership last night.  I woke up this morning and saw the papers on the counter and cringed, remembering what I'd done. It's 100 city blocks away (can't take the freeway). I already have an elliptical machine in my house and a gym in my building, both of which I use consistently. The new gym costs money. I have two herniated discs and don't go for a lot of intense exercise anymore. And, frankly, I'm not feeling totally motivated to work out since I don't really give a hoot about being super fit right now.  I know, that sounds so funny. But really, I don't want to be fat, I want a moderate level of fitness, but beyond that I just don't care. I think I've given over to the idea that there are times and seasons in our lives and I've just decided that being super-fit is just not a priority to me right now. It used to be - I used to be a total gym-goer back in college, during the mating season, you could say. But now? Well, I don't really feel the need to impress anyone. My husband pretty much hasn't worked out since we got married and I'm a mom with three kids who sees just about no one most days of the week. If I look a little soft at the beach, I'm ok with that. I'm already a misfit there since I don't have implants anyway.  :)

Those are all the reasons it's so silly that I got a membership.  Here's pretty much what it boils down to:  I can get rid of my kids for a couple hours a week!

Truthfully, since there are no feasible options for a preschool for the twins for a couple hours a week, it's actually the cheapest option for getting myself a break. What started me thinking about it was that a friend mentioned she had a membership there. I realized that I could change my mind and sign Cash up for a Montessori school that's up that way for pre-K next year. I hadn't really considered it before because the thought of having to drive 20-25 minutes to school every morning for a whole year and get myself and three kids there by 8:30am made me a little sick to my stomach. And with it being so far away, I definitely wouldn't go and come back home only to go pick him up 3 hours later, so I'd have to have myself and three dependent and quite resistant children dressed and ready, with snacks packed, diaper bag stocked and everyone out the door - all by 8am every morning. Phew.

So when my friend mentioned the gym I thought, hmm, I guess I could drop off Cash, go to the gym and have an hour or two to myself a couple mornings a week. That sounded pretty appealing. I realized additionally, I already go up that way at least two mornings a week for playgroup as it is, and Costco and anything else I go to is up there as well. So, I guess even if I don't feel the motivation to go sweat my guts out on days I go to the gym I can just go sit in the sauna or the hot tub and just hide from everyone. (That's usually my request when Ryan gets home anyway - can I just go lock myself in a room alone and hide from everyone for like 5 minutes? Or even just go to the bathroom by myself without three kids touching me?) But I do go back and forth, thinking really, my idea of a break from the kids is to go force myself to expend more energy? On purpose????

So now I just have to get over the fact that I didn't have a wonderful experience touring the school I thought I would sign him up for (think of another awful experience dragging all three of your kids into a school filled with tons of hands on materials and having your tour guide keep yelling at you to get your kids out of everything - even though I called specifically to ask if I could bring kids....oh, not to mention an entire bag of jelly bean bribery dumped all over the floor...) Anyway, the friends I have that have their kids there are really happy with it. So I guess I'll give it a try.

Unless someone can talk me out of this gym membership nonsense. I have three days to cancel!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Girl's weekend

I had some friends from our days in Milwaukee come in town this weekend. It was so fun to be able to get out for a few girl's nights out!  I was telling Ryan we should do this more often - me going out every night living my rock-and-roll lifestyle and him staying home to watch the kids. And then it's even less painful cause we don't have to pay for two of us when we go out, just one! Total win-win.

It was really fun having them in town though. And it was so refreshing to remind me that - oh yeah, there are normal people out there! In fact, most of the U.S. is normal! I just happen to live in Miami....

(Speaking of, darn that Miami wind, can't ever take a good picture.)

Loved the beach artwork someone left:

Nice scenery:

Lots of eating out and exploring fun Miami areas:

Hanging out at Crazy Pianos in Coconut Grove

and being really amused watching this "date" -

Not only the dual texting (no wonder you're both like 40 and single), but this woman thought she was seriously Pamela Anderson. Every move she made was all sultry and coy and cat-like. And she would do this seated shimmying to the music while she ate... my, oh my but she was entertaining. Not to mention the fact that it was really amusing filling in our own versions of what they might both be texting - oh my gosh, get me out of here... or she's hot so I don't care that she can't say a sentence without wobbling her head and batting her eyelashes... yeah, he's pretty cute, but wow my bum keeps sticking to this seat cause my outfit hardly covers it....

Anyway, good times. Anyone else want to come visit? I'm surprised how few visitors we've actually had for living in such a vacation destination!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Marshmallow Drop

We went to a marshmallow drop for Easter over the weekend. A helicopter comes and dumps thousands of marshmallows while kids wait lined up along the edge of the field. They have them in two different age groups and for the younger ones they dump a bunch on the ground in front of them. But they do it like 6 or 7 minutes before they say go. So our kids kept making a break for the marshmallows only to get the big, "Noooo!" with people rushing at them to get them back off the field. Seriously, how long do you expect two year-olds to be able to just hold still and look at a bunch of marshmallows right in front of their face?

 Once they said go, Cash got a little freaked out by all the running and throngs of children pushing to get past him. He was in tears and had no marshmallows.  When I saw him again later I was relieved to see he had some marshmallows but wondered how since they'd all been taken where he was. I guess some lady brought her own and started dumping them out. Brilliant. Next year I'll remember to BYOM and let all the crowds rush by and just dump out our own. They say not to eat the marshmallows and you eventually go trade them in for candy.

At least the Easter Bunny was pretty cool with his jumping shoes so he really was hopping. And he didn't charge you money to take a picture with him like all the other Easter bunnies around here. Last year we went to the Miami Seaquarium and it was cool cause the Easter bunny came in on a fire truck with sirens wailing, but as soon as it stopped he got off and ran to the tent where you had to pay 10 or 15 bucks to take a picture with him, I guess before you could cheat and snap any free pictures of him.Lame.

As for Easter morning, once Ashton discovered there was candy in the eggs, he didn't hunt for any more - he just sat there opening his candy and shoving it in his mouth as fast as he could. He did happen to look up when I opened the blinds and he saw a ton of other candy - then you could see him panic, drop what was in his hands, make a quick check to see if his brothers had noticed yet and start moving as fast as he could to beat the competition to the new bounty of goods.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

For my own sake

I'm realizing as I look back at when Cash was little how much of the cute and funny little things your kids do that you adore, you will forget. It's been so cute to watch these little personalities emerge and I hope I don't forget all the nuances and the funny personality quirks, but I just might. Even looking back at pictures of the twins, I can't believe that's what they used to look like. It's so different.

If you were to take a snapshot of our house at any given time, you would have a pretty good chance of catching one of two scenarios: Cash playing contentedly, Ashton off in his own little world babbling unintelligibly yet emphatically to himself, and Phoenix screaming. Or you would find Cash crying over something, Ashton wailing, and Phoenix squealing delightedly as he runs off with Ashton's toy clutched defensively to his chest.

I have to laugh every day at the ridiculously poor diction the twins have. I say a word for them. They repeat it. It sounds so not close to anything that I have said that I just break out in laughter. I repeat it. They again repeat what they have said, nowhere close to the word. I actually can almost always figure out what they're saying, but it's tough. Broccoli (bobbi) and strawberry (bobbay) sound almost exactly the same, so that one's hard to decipher. I deciphered "mut" as milk. Daddy and doggy are interchangeable (sorry Ryan). Ashton happily said "Gurga!" the other day when the stuck DVD finally started up again and I realized that it was "working." Although they love to say "icky poo poo" and somehow that one manages to sound spot on. Anyway, Ashton is definitely farther off in his enunciating than Phoenix. I don't know, see for yourself:

No seriously, ever since he was a baby I said he sounded like the Swedish chef on the Muppets! And it's so funny that only recently I realized he still sounds like that! Especially because he gets the inflection so it's like he's having this whole conversation, only to anyone else it's just, "Ver de fur de ver..." Such a crack up. He also loves to smile and laugh in that kind of way like you're sucking in air and sound like a donkey. He'll walk up to people and just laugh like that until they stop and acknowledge it. And laugh back at him. He's generally the more mild of the two but he has uncontrolled break-outs of rage and will start flinging his hands wildly in front of him to knock out anything within a three foot radius. I can usually see these starting to happen and start to yell frantically as I try to get there in time to save the bowl full of cereal, the plate full of crackers, the box full of toys, the stack of puzzles, or the jar of peanuts - all of which I have been unsuccessful at saving and have spent many an hour grumbling at their cleanup. But then he's usually done.

Phoenix, on the other hand will probably be in anger management classes someday.  We have spent the better part of the last year and a half with these two in the midst of teething. It has been miserable. Since the time they started teething at 6 months, we had only about a blessed three month break from the incessant misery and woe that came with every one of their teeth. And their teeth came in so slowly. I remember someone telling me that by the time you actually see the tooth starting to come in, it's in within a day or two. Oh, not so with them. I would see a tooth barely poking through, only to look two weeks later and see it still in the very same spot. So, you know, that's a good 40 teeth between the two of them, a few weeks of screaming, crying, whining misery per tooth...and yeah, we've had to grit our teeth a lot in the last year and a half. And hopefully look forward to that time when they were done teething. So come our 2 year checkup a few weeks ago. I ask the doctor to check and see if all their teeth are in (since she's already poking around in there). Oh, guess what. Phoenix is finally done. Gulp. That means. We have a bigger problem. On. Our. Hands. Like this is just your personality.  Sigh. This kid is definitely the trial of my motherhood.

But he is also spunky and cute, and the more cuddly of the two (which isn't very cuddly since they have never sat still for more than 10 seconds at a time). Phoenix loves to figure things out - he is almost always the first to figure out how to work something, dismantle something or beat something (like getting out of the crib or taking off his pajamas). He loves getting down our routines like putting dishes in the sink, getting shoes on, etc. He is also the one to idolize Cash and repeat whatever he says and try to do whatever he does, even when Cash is yelling and mad at me. It's so funny to hear Cash yell, "I'm not doing NOTHING!" and run off and hear Phoenix yell, "NUFIN!" and run off after him even though he has no idea what anyone is even mad about. He can make the funniest faces, smirk at you with his eyes half closed, make you laugh, and drive you crazy. He is obsessed with eggs, which causes a fullblown tantrum about every time I open the fridge (which, you can imagine is quite often). And he can spend hours out of the day screaming. Really. Hours. His persistence is amazing. I'm sure it will amount to some noble quality some day. He loves to say Ma-maaaaayyyyy? (a really drawn out and inflected mommy) about a million times a day. I think I started counting once and got to 30-something within a few minutes. I think he likes the power of eliciting a response every time he says something - he also has his preferred response. If I start saying "Phoenix" back to him, he gets irritated and tells me "No, what?" is the response he's looking for. I also like to think he just likes to make sure I'm there. And that thought makes me happy that I am.

Ashton's favorite phrase is "Marma, sa, gooooo!" (mark, get set, go) repeated at frequent intervals. When he first got the gist of that phrase I heard it every single time I would stop the car at a red light. He is also easily awed or just dramatic I guess since I hear "woah," "wow," "oh no!" "uh oh," and "hooray!" interjected about every other sentence for nothing that seems worthy of exclamation that I can tell. Ashton is also slightly more stubborn and immune to distraction than Phoenix. He wants the toy he wants, he remembers the item you hid, and if he wants to stay put he will stay put. Which he does, and doesn't seem phased by the "I'm leaving you threat." In fact, he's so stubborn that I've had to go put the other two in the car and come back for him, still in the same spot, not crying, not trying to get out of the house, not worried in the slightest that I've just left him. This poses huge problems every time we try to go anywhere!  He is obsessed with dumping things out - especially anything edible - crackers, cereal, shredded cheese. I was surprised to find out they were only 1lb apart at their last checkup because even everyone else always comments if they pick him up after Phoenix - "Woah. This one's heavy!"

It's also so fun to watch Cash grow up and see his little mind working a million miles a minute. I love hearing him make up stories and hearing things from his perspective. And smiling at the funny things that come out, like, "We can hug on our arms and our bellies," (???) and "I am FREAKING OUT." (Obviously must have got that one from me :) He is my snuggler, the one who will panic to no end if he can't find me, and the one who will close his eyes blissfully and let out a contented sigh as he comes in for a hug or a snuggle, then say, "I am so happy." He also tries to calm me down when I'm yelling at the twins, usually by saying, "I'll sing you a song and make you happy."  He's also recently started singing songs about a baby sister. Weird and really out of no where since he doesn't really know anything about babies, hasn't been around anyone with babies, and I just have no idea where it came from. I keep telling Ryan maybe he knows something we don't.  Anyhow, he cries and whines and fights with his brothers of course, but for the most part that boy is sweet as pie.

So there it is - trying to watch the details and savor the time. And remember. Because I really have a terrible memory.