Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Monday, December 29, 2008

Who needs a bed?

While preparing one's home to put on the market, how do you make a bedroom appear less cluttered? Well, if it's our sons' room, which has a bunk bed, a race car bed and a crib in it, the answer is simple. You put a bed in storage.

We are in luck! Ever since the cousins came to visit and slept in sleeping bags on the floor, the boys have decided the floor is SO COOL. What a lovely coincidence!

So, my boys, there are now only 2 beds for the 3 of you until May. Let's hope this stays cool... 

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What have we done!

Uhm... remember that post about not getting that house.

Well, we got that house.

Holy Crap! What have we done! Now I have to sell this house! Now I have to find a home for the 1839482 pieces of junk that lurk in the corners, beneath the table and in the kids pockets. I have to clean that red spot on the door that is actually a spaghetti sauce stain from 3 weeks ago when I fell down the stairs with dinner and a baby in hand (we all survived...). There is painting, cleaning, organizing, windexing... We will have to buy a new ceiling fan to replace the one that had the glass shattered during a pillow fight 3 years ago, a new bathroom door for the one that got wet long ago and is a bit rotted, a new closet door to replace the one we are going to keep forever with all the tick marks of the kids heights.... Shall I go on?

I also hear showing a home with 4 kids and a dog is really easy and fun...

The good news? I am SOOOOOOOOooooooo excited!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Yummiest Christmas treat

Ah, Christmas. Though this is my favorite of the holidays, I think we can all muster a warm fuzzy feeling for the childhood holiday that brings you the most joy. For my friend Kristen, it's 4th of July, given the big whoop-de-doo it was for her entire childhood town. For me, Christmas morning still makes me all excited and giddy. Sure, it's not the same at 36, but now, seeing it through kid-eyes makes it fun all over again. I get inspired to make Grandma's pecan rolls, stir up some penuche (which Omar can't begin to understand... what's not to understand about butter and brown sugar... who cares if it makes your teeth hurt?), and gleefully place an orange in the toe of each stocking. Why? Because THAT'S WHAT YOU DO. 

It wasn't until I lived with my dear friends Cat and Jules after college that I was dumbfounded to learn not EVERYONE did these things. We almost came to blows while decorating our first Christmas tree together. Everyone knows that small white lights are the only lights that belong on an indoor tree. Cat, bless her, in her woefully misguided way, wanted small multicolored lights. Ok, ok... I guess we had done that one year... I can live with it... But Jules. Oh My... Multicolored, large bulbs. No, I swear I'm not making this horror of a Christmas tree up... Shocking, I know.

Now, you don't have to agree with roommates on Christmas traditions, but when it comes to marriage, you gotta work these things out. Thankfully, Omar is fine with small white lights (could have been a deal breaker otherwise), and he introduced me to the fun tradition of getting a new ornament each year that represents something important from that year. It was a sparse tree those first few years, but we are getting respectable now. Of course, 4 of every 5 ornaments have something to do with babies, being the fertile Mertyl that I am... but I digress..

The other wonderful tradition I have learned is the steady staple of Advent calendars for the kids. God bless the Germans for this great tradition. And God bless Omar's mom for swinging over to Germany at the beginning of December. I was a little shocked when Max's turned out to be Sponge Bob themed, but beggers can't be choosers when you are trying to buy these things on December 10th. 

Usually, our alarm clock is three boys leaping onto our bed, followed by the unhappy elbowing of the twins jockeying for the position between mom and dad. But not since December 12th. It is now the yelling of "Advent Calendars!!!!" as they race to the kitchen. They then realize they don't know the date, come asking, then shriek back to the kitchen.

This morning, Max couldn't get 21 out of it's little pocket. He brought the calendar into our bed and asked me, in the dark, to get it out. I clicked on the bedside lamp, fumbled around with it 1 inch from my face looking for the 21 flap without my contacts. Having found the spot, I open it to find it empty. "Uhm... Max, the 21 is gone. Are you sure you opened the right one?" 

He begins the search in the bed, in the hall, by the back door (he lets the dog out each day), in the kitchen. Nothing. I assume the dog is testing that whole "chocolate kills canines" theory as we speak, hoping to not have to deal with the mourning of the family pet on Christmas morning. 

Omar and I finally drag ourselves out of bed, squish the two of us into one of the tiniest master bathrooms to prepare for the day. I notice a huge scab on Omar's elbow and inquire what new bump, bruise, crush, scrape or abrasion he has yet again incurred at the brewery. He is confused. He offers his elbow to me with a quizzical look of "Whadaya mean?"

Mmmmmm.... elbow chocolate. Warm, mostly melted German elbow chocolate. Delicious.

Now that's a Christmas tradition I could get used to...

Friday, December 19, 2008


You know how sometimes you tell yourself, "Well, I'm not REALLY looking for a new house."

Ok, maybe it's just me.

I'm not REALLY looking... so therefore, I shouldn't get REALLY excited when I happened to find out the owner of a big house in our neighborhood would entertain an offer. And if I'm not looking, it would be REALLY stupid to fall in love with the place and start redesigning the home in my head. And I shouldn't REALLY be surprised to find out this wealthy man doesn't REALLY need our offer. And he REALLY didn't like our offer. 

So why am I REALLY sad...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

And the tree is up!

Max taking the shots

A man and his boys

Feel all the brotherly love

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I hate Snapper

Let me tell you one thing you never want to do. Don't lose the key to your snowblower. Now, I could do an entire post on why one would ever have the key anywhere OTHER than in the snowblower, but I digress...

We had a good 6 inches of snow this week, and Omar, with the eager assistance of 6-year-old Max, shoveled our entire driveway given that the sparkling new snowblower is little more than a very big paper weight until we get this situation figured out. So, yesterday, on my day off, I decided to be the best wife in the world and find a new key, or die trying. It was closer to the latter.

I started by calling Home Depot. They basically giggled at me and told me to call Snapper. Go ahead and visit, and see if YOU can find a phone number anywhere. The only thing on the "contact us" link is a place to send an email off into cyberspace hoping to get a reply before March. I opted to skip that.

So, I looked at the 'dealers' link. Sears. Great. Sears will help me out, right? Well, not the first one I called, because they don't have Parts and Services. The second one I called needed the model number, which I had not been able to find. So, I tromp outside after leaving a crying baby inside (exacerbated by the barking dog that scared the poo out of him, literally), follow his instructions for where I need to look, and tell him the model. I then take my cold fanny back inside. "How about a serial number?" Repeat the baby, the crying, the barking. Back inside. "What was the model number again?" Seriously? Repeat again.

He informs me he can see what kind of snowthrower (not 'blower,' you Oklahoma rube) I have, but his computer is telling him nothing about the engine or what kind of key I need. "So, what do I do now?" I ask the man. "Don't know" is his incredibly helpful reply.

He gives me the only number he has for Snapper, which is their Manuals department. It's worth a try, right?... other than the fact it is disconnected.

Thank you Sears. So, next I move to the local hardware guys that sell Snappers. I tell the man who answers the phone my sad tale, and ask him what I should do next. He says "Well, what you should do is come down here and buy one!" "Really? You have one... you don't need to know the model, the serial number, any of that???" Nope. He informs me they are quite generic and I should head his way. Yippee! I'm in the car...

Now, for any of you that know Minneapolis, a journey to Penn and 31st North is an adventure in and of itself. I talk to someone other than the man who I spoke to on the phone, and he heads to the back to get the key. He returns. "Ma'am, we are out of those..."

[picture woman holding a baby in a car seat, head exploding]

The good news is that the man I spoke to on the phone overhears this. He says "Oh, no. You hang tight [insert 'little lady' here, even though he didn't actually say it], I'll find you one." He reappears in 10 minutes with an oily, tired lookin' red key. He sells it to me for $1.50, and I'm not entirely sure he didn't just steal it from the house down the block. But at this point, I don't really care. The reports of 6 more inches of snow for the weekend have minimized my guilt of buying a possibly hot piece of plastic.

I am finally home, ready to proudly display the fruits of my labor to my adoring and appreciative husband. Yeah... it doesn't fit.

So, I spent much of my day off doing this. I am no closer to having a working snowTHROWER than I was before all of this... but later that night I thought I would at least get some sympathy from the hubby for my troubles. I start to tell him the tale.

He turns to me with a semi-horrified look on his face as I begin. "Hon... I found the key this morning before I left for work."

I can't stand it...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Reality check

If there is one thing my job is very good at, it's keeping my life in perspective. Yes, yesterday I got up early to nurse then helped get Omar and the twins get out the door, while also keeping Max heading in the right direction to not miss the bus. Then it was nurse again before handing the littlest man over to the nanny and head to work at 9:30 wondering if a cup of coffee is considered an adequate balanced breakfast. I already feel like I am seeing my husband dramatically less than when I was on leave, even though, in reality, it hasn't been that much less. I am still getting into the swing of it, which means I feel bone tired after doing a work day in addition to everything else...

... but yesterday I had to tell an entire family that their beloved, active, elderly mother, the glue of their family, had died in a car accident. We did all we could do, but the accident had just been too severe. The family came in waves, and they asked that I be the one to tell each person, so I told the news a total of 4 times, each time dropping members of the family to the floor sobbing.
So, this holiday season, I want to tell each one of you wonderful people who care enough about me to read this blog that I am so blessed. I have you all in my life, I have an incredible family, and I have a level of insanity in my life that leaves me pleasantly razzed at all times. How very lucky I am. How very very lucky. 

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Before school

So, we live on a hill that normally drives us wild. Mowing is a bear, but it's nothing like the nightmare of winter. Our curved, sloped driveway becomes a booby trap. Trying to back out is a daily adventure. If we don't slide right through the yard, we usually end up spinning 90 degrees as we go down trying to make the curve, ending up like something from Austin Powers, parallel to the road but still in the driveway with yard both in front of the car and behind it.

But, the joy of the hill has now been fully realized. This is Max this morning for the full hour he had before the bus came:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

I'm a workin stiff

It's official. I'm back at work. I certainly felt like I was off my game as far as the whole "work flow" aspect of things, but the good news is that I do remember how to be a doctor. The snow storm also worked in my favor, because the place wasn't too busy. 

After getting up at 5:15, showering, pumping, grabbing a cup of joe, working for 8hr, coming home to take over on Leo, meeting Max off the bus, then packin' everyone in the car to get Calvin and Spencer, I am now cooking dinner, awaiting my husbands valiant return to the home front.

This is gonna be crazy.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Max and mom get goofy

And the answer to yesterday's quiz is Leo, Max, Leo, Leo, Max, Max

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Two sets of twins

It's a fun little game called find Leo. 3 pictures are Leo, 3 are Max at the same age... Spooky...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Party is over

I am very very good at compartmentalizing my life. I live from one event to the next, and I don't really deal with the next chapter until it is looming.

Well, Thanksgiving is over, and thus, I have 5 days left in my maternity leave.

(Heave sob)

Given that this child has been such a wonderful little dude, I have basically had time off to get used to the idea of independent wealth. Now, granted, I couldn't do this forever - I would lose my mind eventually - but I could certainly stand another month or two.

This being said, I still have scads of things to accomplish - things I have put off for 3 months, thinking I could always tackle them 'tomorrow'. This would include learning the new electronic medical record system that has taken over my ER since I left. Thank You cards are now scattered everywhere. The mountains of baby clothes (recall: there were twins to dress last time around) to go to Arc are becoming large enough to cause bodily harm to the kids should an avalanche occur. My To Do list is massive, and 5 days just ain't gonna cut it. Thus, my stress level has shot to new heights, added to the fun that always comes with the idea of decorating a house, getting a tree, buying dozens of gifts that have yet to even identify themselves in my mind, and facing the snow that has just begun to cover the world. 

...and don't even get me started on the level of froth induced during the process of donning two 3-year olds in ski pants, mittens, boots and coats multiple times a day. Sweet mercy.

In other words, welcome to the first day of the rest of my life....

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I'm a Mac

It's official! This post is being brought to you from my new MacBook. Can't you all appreciate the obvious improvement in my graphic quality? 

.... oh, it doesn't just do it by itself....? 

Where's the manual for this thing....

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Now THAT's worth bloggin about

As most stay at home mom's will tell you, there really IS a lot that goes on during that day, even if it doesn't seem like much during the dinner-time retelling. We really aren't just sitting around eating bon-bons. Though a dash to Target might not seem like much, I think we are all glad that the toilet paper is purchased.

This morning, Omar asked me why I haven't blogged recently, and then started thinking of the many things I could post about. See, it's not that nothing is happening... it's that blogging requires two free hands and at least 15 free minutes (which is really better spent in the rare shower).

As we were having this conversation, Calvin was doing his usual morning routine of refusing to eat breakfast because he is too engrossed in some activity that requires all his attention. This morning's activity, as it frequently is, was a puzzle. As Omar and I were in the kitchen, stealing one of those sumptuous moments of sipping our coffee while actually talking to each other, we were summoned to the front room by an ecstatic Calvin, eager to show us the 60 piece puzzle he had just completed (this is where I casually mention the size of the puzzle to show that he really is a 3-year old boy genius, without ACTUALLY typing that, because that would be just too psycho-mom).

As he presented the puzzle, Max and Spencer were equally excited, given that they had each placed 2 pieces at the end of the project, therefore being equal partners in the creation. Omar and I both gave the obligitory "Wow! YOU did that? That's amazing! Good job!" Omar then started doling out the high-fives. The level of pride and excitement was palpable in their little jumping, squirming, smiling bodies... and Spencer just couldn't wait to be the 3rd high-five in line. With aim that is usually reserved for something out of America's Funniest Home Videos, Spencer gives dad his own high-five... smack to the nether regions. It wasn't malicious... he just couldn't contain himself.

As Omar folded like a house of cards mid-high-five with Max, Max observed his father's pain and nearly collapsed alongside him in a fit of laughter. Then he declares "Dad just took it in the groin!" All the kids were having trouble breathing through the laughter. I contained my spit-take of hot coffee.... then scurried away to the computer...

Friday, November 14, 2008


...or otherwise known as Happy *&%@#(&* Christmas to you.

This is the Christmas spirit that has been kindled in me after spending the morning with a family photographer. Oh Holy Morning.

We have long known that Spencer is not a big fan of the camera. Ok. Not a problem... we will take the pictures at his best time of day (morning); we will make sure we have all had a great morning and fully bellies (breakfast at Good Day Cafe); we will include their beloved blankets; we will have the pictures taken in our own home.

Should work, right?


From the moment our keisters hit the couch, Spencer was a mess. Laying face down on the sectional, laying face down on the floor, going limp with any attempt at putting him in the frame. Once forced into the picture, lest you think we traded in one of the twins for an infant, there was crying, there were huge tears, there was snot... you know, your ideal family photo fare. Then, Calvin didn't really want Spencer to feel isolated in his sorrow, so he started in as well.

If there was one thing we learned loud and clear, it was this - you can force a kid into a picture, but you sure as hell can't make him smile. We finally resorted to photos with everyone in one tangled mess on the floor, tickling and goofing around. Spencer blessed us with his voluntary physical presence, but he wasn't happy about it. I think the only salvagable shots will be once we dove straight to the bottom of the barrel and went for Fart and Poop jokes... that always slays 'em.

If there is one thing these X-mas photos will show, it is our true family dynamic. Sing it with me... It's the MOST wonderful time, of the year....

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Little Leo

Ok, so you may have wondered what is up with Leo. I haven't really posted much about him, there haven't been that many photos....

Why so mum?

Dude, I feel guilty! This kid is THE EASIEST baby ever born. He is happy pretty much all of the time. He did his first 8-hour 'through the night' stretch at ~ 3 weeks old, and he has been sleeping from ~11:30pm until 7am for the past week. He smiles, he laughs, he let me take a 2 hour nap today.

I feel like this information is too incendiary to print! I know at least 3 women with babies older than mine who read this blog... please don't come after me with a butcher's knife. But I have decided that Leo's ego would be best served in the upcoming years if I put at least one blog post documenting his existence in our lives!
So, here's to you little Leo. You are just a fabulous little guy with an awesome smile, a sweet demeanor, and a chill vibe. And you know what, you are going to need it in this house of insanity.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Spencer likes to do things a little differently...

1) He not only likes raw onions, he LOVES them... asks for them
2) After breakfast, he asked for more food. I asked him what he wanted. Tomatoes. Ate half a pint that I plopped down in front of him (thinking he would eat one and move on)

I mean, I can't complain, but has any other 3-year-old done this???

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Blogging is hard with a baby

Starting with the most important thought... WHOO-HOO OBAMA!!!!

Ok, now that that is out of my system... You can always tell when I am blogging with Leo in my arms - short entries, mostly pictures. All the things you can easily do with one hand. At the moment, the little bugger is sleeping and all the kids are off to school and pre-k. Ahhhhh....

So here I am, with the Dixie Chicks playing (seems only appropriate with the latest elections results, Commie that I am), typing away. At some point I will manage to get some breakfast and coffee into the deal.
The great irony, of course, is that I really just want to share a bunch of pictures. My wonderful friend Gary was up in Mpls this last weekend, and he joined us (as well as Vince & Paige and Chris & Jen) for a trip to the cabin. He had the fabulous idea of making the leaf pile to beat all leaf piles. The kids were in heaven. Here are some of the best pics:

Max lookin like something from Calvin & Hobbes

Sadie and Max taking the plunge

Gary proving that adults can have fun too

Max showing his lady-killin' future

Omar gets into the mix

3 happy boys

Calvin being tossed

Spencer getting the Gary-throw

Well, in the time it took to do this, Leo has woken, blown out his new outfit, and is now nursing... Ah, maternity leave :-)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween weekend

The kids

The neighborhood kids

The Nathan-Mary-Erica smore

Adam at his finest

Jay and Rox stylin

Friday, October 31, 2008

The latest... in pictures

Starting to smile

Omar and kids at Stub & Herbs

At the zoo

Me and my boys

New Hair

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mazel Tov to ME!

I gotta tell ya, as a non-jew, October is killin' me.

No, this is not rooted in some deep-seeded antisemitic emotions that I have kept hidden from my good lefty, Carleton roots. As the mother of 2 three-year-olds that attend the Jewish Community Center for daycare, once you add up Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashana, Sukot, and the most recent holiday I can't begin to spell or pronounce, I am thrilled the high holidays are done.

The boys have been home 2 days of each week for the last 4. Now, one could argue that it shouldn't be strange to actually take care of my own offspring, but add the newborn and the fact Max was off from school all last week.... ooof. I awoke this morning with a wonderful feeling of having survived a long storm.
So, what did I do?

Photos of the rest of my head will follow. Right now, it's blissfully just little Leo and I at home, and he hasn't figured out how to push the button on the camera yet....

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The mind of a 6 year old

As I am making dinner for the kids last night, I hear Spencer start to cry downstairs. He and Max are down there by themselves, and the crying is followed by "Sorry sorry sorry sorry" by Max.

I don't know whether he meant it, or heard me coming and hoped the litany of Sorry's would turn me around and force me back upstairs.

The conversation went something like this:

Me: What happened
Spence: Max hit me
Max: I didn't hit him... I hit him with a pillow
Me: Spencer, were you guys having a pillow fight?
Spence: Yah, but I told him to stop.
Max: He didn't tell me to stop.
Me: Spencer, did you tell Max to stop?
Spencer: YEAH!
Me: Max, your brother told you to stop. You need to listen to him.
Max: Well, he said stop, but he DIDN'T say to stop throwing pillows at his head.
Me: Max, what else do you possibly think he was talking about???

After this conversation, I don't know whether to start Max in Special Ed or Law school.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It was a good run

You know those stories we all heard about, either in real-life, or in some Oprah's choice novel... the mom/dad who went out for cigarettes and just never came back...

My husband just left to get us some dinner, and I don't truthfully know if he will ever return.

He just left a scene of the un-showered wife with the baby on one boob, three sons in the bedroom fighting bedtime with one fake crying over some grievous wronging over the denial of his right to a stuffed animal, and a kitchen woefully empty of any food other than Dino-bites and fish sticks. (Cue the country music)

This all comes as a grim chaser to the morning that will live in infamy. Now, I know it isn't right to laugh uproariously at the misfortunes of others, but at times, I just can't help myself. This morning, Max and Spencer came padding into our room as they usually do at 7:00 (not 7:02). As they climbed into the space between Omar and I, the usually squabbling of who gets to be next to mommy ensued. Every once in a while, as we did today, Max is allowed to win in the name of mild parity, and Spencer begins the passionate conniption (sp?).

Having awoken 37 seconds prior to this maelstrom, neither Omar nor I are really in the mood. But, since this is life as usual, we try bring things to a dull roar... but then it happened. The smell.

Both Max and Omar (keep in mind, I have the barrier of a 6 year old at this time) recoil from Spencer. Though Spencer was kind enough to remove the obviously foully poopy diaper before coming to our room, that doesn't mean he cleaned up any of the remaining detritus from his derriere. He clearly had taken off that Huggies, dropped it in the Diaper Dekor, pulled up his 8 year-old nearly thread-bear Peter Pan hand-me-down PJ shorts, and came in our room for some quality snugglin.

Now here is the part I can barely type about because of the tremors caused by laughter as I sit here. In the battle over real estate in our bed, Spencer apparently sat on Omar's face.

Though he describes it as possibly the grossest thing that has ever happened to him, I can still find the silver lining of humor.

I wonder where that dinner is...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Why we can't leave

I love our neighborhood. I mean it, I LOVE our neighborhood. Not only do we live across the street from a park, but the families that congregate there all like each other. Not just "chit chat about the weather" when we are there kind of "like each other." I mean hang-out-without-the-kids, drink-wine-and-beer-secretely-at-the-park (or not so secretely), talk-about-ten-years-from-now kind of liking each other.

And that doesn't even begin to talk about the relationships all our children are forming and shaping. These are the friendships that may not last forever, but you sure remember them forever. I am sure there are shinanigans I will hear about in ~20 years that I will only barely be able to deal with even with the time delay. So far, however, no one has kissed, died, broken a bone, carried a torch, or shown-you-mine (as far as we know).

We are still in the realm of activities that the kids proudly show off to the parents. They found that the woods at the end of the park have endless sticks and downed logs. They decided to collect them and fortify the tree fort that they play at on the other end of the park. After working as a team, ages 3-8, for ~20 minutes, they were able to get this huge piece of wood across the park and set it up as a balance beam/bench.

Yes, our house is WAY to small for us right now... but how could you even think of square footage when you would be leaving behind something so much more important?

Friday, October 10, 2008

A sentance you should never have to say

Boys, why is there pee on the wall?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008