Monday, June 30, 2008

Consider it done

We try to keep things a little fresh around here whenever possible. Try out a new park, get something fun for the next trip to the cabin, a new book or two for bedtime.

Of course, something new becomes the new favorite, and then the "new" whatever becomes the ONLY thing that the kids want. Fresh is changed to complete and utter tedium for mom and dad. This was the story with Twin Lakes Park. We went there once, and then they wanted to go there to the exclusion of all others. This was only slightly dampened by winter's presence, then was back with gusto once the white stuff was gone.

I have to wonder if the shine is about to come off, because they have now officially conquered it. Up until now, Cal and Spence had to take the little kid steps up to the top of the slides, but now, the whole structure is theirs... I'll bet a new park is already in their little mental sites... Onward and upward my little men!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The closet of doom

So, we all have them... the junk drawer, the junk closet, the junk box in the garage... some place that has become the place for things that have no place. It is the homeless shelter for things in your life like playing cards, kids balloons that have yet to be inflated, invitations to kids parties that passed months ago but still the invitation remains. Cables to electronics you probably don't even own anymore. It's where you ultimately fine 12 pairs of scissors though you haven't been able to find a single pair for 2 months.

The drawer has yet to fall into my perview of "things I must deal with at some point." It is quietly keeping it's peace, and I will respectfully continue to ignore it for the next few months to years... but the junk closet has been in my sights for longer than I care to say. This house does not have much for storage space, so you would think I would embrace the Organizer Store infatuation gene from my mother and whip things into shape. I get inspired ~twice a year, and I always feel that this inspiration must await a week off from work so I can devote the proper attention. It takes great mental preparation, great intestinal fortitude and great planning. It requires measuring of the recieving space and the prospective drawers/cabinets/cubbies to be purchased, multiple trips to the store to contemplate the possibilities, returns and second tries...

For months (ok, years) Omar and I have said "we have to get the hall closet cleaned out..." Yet it has not magically cleaned itself. It's the closet of lotion, nail polish remover (for the woman who never wears nail polish), contact solution, endless barrettes, travel size everything, qtips, bars of soap, bandaids, and gauze... all thrown onto two shelves with slim-to-no regard for ever hoping to find them again in a moment of need.

So today, while at Target for completely other reasons, the closet popped into my head, and in a moment of inspration, I decided today was the day. No vacation pending. With my trusty label maker in hand (mom's gene again) and 12 stackable plastic bins (that were not pre-measured, mind you... I went completely crazy and just winged it), I poured all of the closet-of-doom onto the floor in the hallway and started sorting with wild abandon.

The entire project took me 45 minutes.

45 MINUTES!?!>?! I put something off for 4 years for it to ultimately require 45 minutes? I work myself into a froth for something that was so completely doable I could do it weekly and not miss the time? What other miraculous things could I be doing in 45 minutes? The possibilities seem limitless.... or I could take a nap...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It's just words...

Calvin and Spencer are in one of the most challenging phases of development right now... or at least *I* find it most challenging... they seem to like it quite fine. It's the "I'm going to say exactly the opposite of what you say" phase.

Me: Calvin, it's dinner time.
Cal: No it's not.

Me: Spencer, time to get dressed.
Spencer: Nope

Me: Cal and Spence, I need you to go potty before we leave.
Both: No you don't.

It's the ultimate in "you can't tell me what to do" power struggle, and I hear this is what 2 and early 3 year olds are SUPPOSED to be doing at this phase... but how is it more 2 and 3 year olds don't end up dead???

Maybe it has something to do with me being a bit of a power freak myself. As Omar can attest (as can my ever blossoming abdomen), I tend to get what I want. I like to think of it as just attaining end points that are clearly the way things SHOULD be, through reasoning, and well... because I'm right. I guess others might not see it that way.

Clearly, my children don't see it that way.

So, there are time outs, forced undressings of little children, flowing tears of kids enduring the terrible torture of having to go to the bathroom and sit on the toilet, though refusing to let a single drop pass to the water below. Or, I just walk away... Is it too late to push this pregnancy into 2009?

Monday, June 23, 2008

So it's been 15 years...

After selling my soul at work, I was able to get down to Carleton Reunion after all! Here are some pics of all the gang...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Obe Benoki One

I would never have allowed my first born to watch Star Wars at the age of 3. Not only would I have considered the sword fights and explosions inappropriate, but Max would have been frightened by the entire experience.

Not true the second (and third) time around.

I have realized I could not surgically extract sword and gun play from young boys if I tried. And I have tried. My efforts have been completely moot with Max... Anything that is slightly straight and fits in the hand is turned into a "shooter" and sticks at the park are only fun if they are banging the crap out of something.

So, we purchased Star Wars, and it has been a smashing hit with all. Here are some things I have learned from my sons:
  • Darth Vader is scary
  • Jaba the Hut is slimy (yes, Jaba appears in Star Wars in the new edition)
  • Blue lightsabers are good
  • Garbage snakes are cool

And the latest conversation between a 5 year old and his 2 three year old brothers:

Spencer: "Bad guys are scary"

Calvin: "No, Bad guys are bad"

Spencer: "Oh"

Max: "And they are guys"

Spencer: "yeah"

Friday, June 13, 2008

How did this happen

Many months ago, I put in my work schedule requests for the month of June. My only real request of any significance was to have the weekend of Carleton Reunion off. I have eagerly been awaiting seeing friends I haven't seen in 5 years or more, had things worked out with Omar and the kids. My room is booked, my registration fee paid. My mom had wanted to come visit, but I told her that weekend wasn't an option....

So today I called my friend Julie, who is carpooling with me down to Northfield. The conversation went a little like this:

Me: Hey Jules, what are your thoughts.
J: .... uhm, not much...
Me: I mean, when do you want to head down?
J: Oh, for a minute I thought you meant today!
Me: I do mean today.
J: Uhm.... Reunion is next weekend.
Me: (with much pity in my voice) No Julie, it's this weekend.
J: Let me check online.... no, it's next weekend.

In this micromanaged life of mine, with no free moments that aren't planned or filled to the hilt, I am thouroughly lost as to how this could have happened and what to do about it!!! Good god...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Our 'babies' are 3

Well, it's official. Though I call them my babies, the twins are just plain ol' boys at this point. Three years ago I was sitting in a hospital room (down the hallway from where Cristina sits as I write this), so sore from my c-section that I chose to sleep in my contacts instead of moving the 3 feet necessary to get the case out of my bag. The day was supposed to involve all the neighborhood gathering at the park for cupcakes, but the weather decided to make it a wet, indoor affair. Since I couldn't bring myself to invite 14 kids into the brand new basement for sprinkles and chocolate icing, it was just us Ansari's, which actually turned out to be quite nice.

Next came presents (highly supervised by big brother), then off to see KungFu Panda at the Cinema Cafe, where we could watch the movie at a table with pizza and salad.

Everyone had a blast, and they are now tucked into bed nice and tired. Pretty good birthday for all involved!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Welcome to the world Oliver James!

And here he is! Oliver James was born today at 7lb 3oz to one tired mama! After hitting the hospital ~midnight last night, Cristina started her 4 1/2 hours of pushing at 8am. At 12:17pm this wonderful little boy joined us in the world. Welcome to the club you guys! It's a hell of a wonderful ride.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Happy Anniversary

7 years (and now 3 minutes) ago, Omar and I were surrounded by so many wonderful friends and family up at the cabin to exchange vows and make beautiful life-long promises. It was the perfect day (though some would argue the 12 million catepillers were a little much), and we rode our convertable into the sunset with "Just the two of us" on the radio.

Today, I was woken by 3 children crawling onto my head, hair and womb after 5 hours of rather uncomfortable sleep. After the fighting began, Omar announced it was time to evacuate and escorted the gang out of our room to allow me more sleep. Since there was no daycare today, being the good Jews that we are - observing Shovout (or something like that) - I got a kiss on the groggy forehead as Omar packed the kids off to his parents for a few hours to allow me to gestate in peace after working until 1:30am last night. Usually we would at least have the kids eat here, but since there is no milk or juice in the house due to just frank neglect of grocery buying, that wasn't happening.

After a 9am bagel and coffee that I really want to be caffeinated, but settle on half-caff in deference to this little critter that is currently kicking me, I got the kids, spent a hour pushing swings in a park and getting sand in my crocs. Milk, juice and other necessary items were a fun game of juggling with 3 kids at the grocery store, then home for lunch. There was nap, a cursory clean up of the typhoon I like to call a home, and then off to work with a kiss for my husband who had to come home at 2 to get me on my way. 9 hours later, I found him asleep on our bed sideways, clothes still on, magazine only slighly damp with drool.

I love you honey! It ain't the anniversary either of us would have scripted, but there is no one in the world I would rather spend this insanity with.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Day at the park

This morning, after my kind husband let me get some extra shut-eye, we took the whole gang to a new park for some play time.

This is the first time Max has ever made it further than the first rung of a set of monkey bars... he was quite tickled with himself.

Some brother to brother communication...

And bugs are incredibly cool...

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Hang in there lady!

This is just a quick note of support to my dear friend Cristina. She is 1 day shy of 40 weeks pregnant, and as any of you who have been there know, she is starting to go a little bonkers. Stay strong my friend!! This kid just can't stay in there too much longer!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Happy Birthday you three!

Yesterday marked another year for my dearest husband and mother-in-law. I won't go into WHICH year, but it was a good one! We all went out to dinner downtown and were joined by the soon-to-be parents, JJ and Cristina. JJ was also a birthday boy one day earlier.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Maybe they weren't raised by wolves...

Today was the first dentist appointment for Cal and Spence. We have been talking it up big-time... having Max act out how the dentist counts your teeth and touches them (and I wonder how they all end up sick at the same time...)

I was concerned that one or the other might just require xrays to get even a glimpse of their pearly whites, but they both did AWESOME! I am so proud of my two little dudes. I guess it's about time to add the 4th kid after all! (That's Cal in the background, Spence up front).

Monday, June 2, 2008

Why do I try?

In life, as you move forward, you must take on more responsibility for things that are important to you. Omar and I are transitioning into taking a larger role in the upkeep and maintenance at his family's cabin as the elders look forward to more time traveling and relaxing. This being said, this weekend was one where I was going to get some serious cleaning done after a long winter build-up of dust, grime, spider webs and general crud.

Since I took the kids up with me Friday morning, I really didn't start accomplishing a thing until 8pm when they went to bed. Three bathrooms, one entry, 2 flights of stairs and multiple area rugs later, I fell into bed very happy that the place would look nice for the larger family's arrival on Saturday.

Saturday morning's energy was spent encouraging Spencer in his ongoing potty development. Underpants are exciting, and bribery with M&M's (don't believe the experts, it works) is going well. As I am out planting flowers, I asked Max to see if he could figure out why Spencer was crying (a painfully frequent event that just doesn't stir the mama response that it might in other mom's or for other kids). The response: "Mom, Spencer went poop in his underpants!"

Thus, down I come from the flower box planter to deal with a different fertilizer all together. There stands Spencer in the entry way, outer and underpants at the ankles, pee filling his right croc, poo down both legs, crying. This redefines "sticky situation" as I try to get the clothes off without further disgusting spread. I get them off, run for the wipes, tell him to stay put and continue to maintain my cool.

Then, I lost it. As I return, wipes in my clutches, I realize he has developed something terrible in the process: Poo-foot. Prints are now on the bathroom floor, the entry floor, and TWO area rugs. [insert primal scream]

Whoever defined entropy was clearly a parent...