I’m moving!

October 14th, 2012

My blog is moving. Sadly, I am still not. But follow me here: www.tightropemommy.com or like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. It’s all “tightrope mommy”. I’m even going to give away some tightropemommy gear to those who help spread the word. I haven’t figured out how to monitor yet so for now it will be arbitrary. But the blog’s so great you’d tell people even without being bribed, right?


Time to call in the experts

October 11th, 2012

We’re always looking for some funny around here especially when “here” is the crapbox rental house and Biden/Ryan is providing “funny”.

So my husband has been crystal clear that he prefers to NOT be profiled in the ol’ blog except if it’s posts about his good qualities. He has a lot of good qualities…he’s a wonderful daddy to four girls having had no sisters to help guide him. And tonight he took out the garbage without being asked and I was super excited.

I’ve been laughing (to myself!) lately at his discomfiture of the girls own comfort-ure, so to speak, with themselves. Even the eldest strips down, throws her dirties in the communal hamper (it’s in the entry hall! Why wouldn’t it be? We live like hobos. Have I mentioned?) Then she casually struts off to the shower or bath or whatever method she’s chosen to clean herself for the week. Poor Daddy ends up staring at the ceiling and trying not to make eye-to-butt contact. I mean, he’ll change a baby diaper. But he prefers not to.

So I was laughing to myself at that today and then a hilarious daughter-related episode happened.

A week or so ago, a GIANT EARTH SHAKING FLIP OUT occurred with swears uttered and it wasn’t by me. Let’s be clear–I try to share avoid pass blame, where I can–but in the case of the children uttering the swears, the blame rests squarely with television Daddy me. It’s me.

But last week. Oh Nellie. Daddy’s super nice, super swanky DVD Blue Ray thingy had been violated. It certainly wasn’t by me, as I can’t even turn it on. I had to find the Hooter the other day to operate the X-box in order to do my 10-Minute Abs video, and it was humiliating, sort of, but not really. No more humiliating than lying on the floor of the crapbox with my abs out as the twins (with washboard abs, on both of them) offered tips on my form.

This was from years ago--they're not giving up on my abs. My own abs, however, have given up on my abs.

But Daddy tried to put in a DVD and it didn’t work. Then tried another and it didn’t work. And then the bad words came and we knew who to blame.

The Bee.

She is never in trouble, because she’s mostly good and always cute. When she does bad stuff she smiles and hugs you and you don’t care that the walls are painted blue. But in this case she was in trouble because she’d evidently “broken the laser” and Daddy was mad.

Mommy is used to my stuff being destroyed at a ratio equivalent to protesters for the World Trade Organization (true confession: I had to ask my husband for that reference. I had it in my head, the mayhem and insanity, but couldn’t pin it down and I’m all bleary from listening to the “funny” of Ryan/Biden. What I meant to convey was my stuff gets destroyed by definition). I, as a result, have very little that is “nice”. Daddy, however, used to have a room for his good stuff. Now we all live in the same room, for the most part. And when they can get away with it, the kids like to be naked in the communal room. At least on the way to bathe.

But I digress. Shouting, yelling, bad words. Actually not that much shouting and yelling but definitely mad. And then miracle: evidently there is still a company in the world (besides Zappos) that cares about customer service, because though the prohibitively expensive player was out of warrantee, these kind folks said “Send it back, we’ll hook you up”. And Daddy did and they did. In 1 1/2 days. WHAT? And then fed-exed it back. Total charge: $23. Not bad.

And this is the report he got:

Complaint: We ran a full battery of tests on the machine and determined it did not play, as reported.
Diagnostic: After review, we removed the two business cards that had been inserted.
Result: Player now plays.

I could not stop laughing. These highly-trained folks got all around the player, looked at it carefully and gingerly, then pulled out TWO BUSINESS CARDS THAT THE BABY HAD STUCK IN. Then, instead of sending a report that said “You giant dope, pull the business cards out of your player before you send it to us!” they wrote it up and STAPLED the business cards in question to the report.

That is funny.

What a funny baby.

And what a good daddy because he laughed as hard as me at it.

Or are we just firmly round the bend?

Watching the clock. Wearin’ some Lilly.

October 9th, 2012

I’m involved in some time management issues of late. Not unlike my builder.

“Oh, stupendous!” you are thinking. “I have so longed for some updates on the house that never would be.”

Glad you asked. When last we discussed it, my house was made of wood and wood alone. Now, it’s made of wood. With plywood stuck to it. That’s right, we’ve moved beyond the framing stage but only a micro-step. It rains nearly every day so he can’t put on the roof which would enable him to do all the other things inside (and enable us to live inside, eventually). So I drive by and very, very, very little changes. But my attitude does. Oh, it does, trust me. It gets worser and worser. Leading to time management issues.

Because what happens is that my fuse, which at the best of times is short, is now gone. I WAS, actually, doing better. I was being nice to the kids and not shouting and keeping calm and then suddenly the other day with no warning to anyone (including myself) I yelled a swear at a kid (it was not “fart” but it may have started with an f). She totally deserved it, it was her 1000′th freakout of the day, but still. I had been doing so well. And then bam–like as fast as when I was pregnant, without morning sickness at all, knock wood–and suddenly after eating chinese food I was like “I’m going to throw up RIGHT NOW”. In this case, I threw up a swear. At my kid. She’s heard it before.

The problem lately is that I have all my work to do and all my people (my children) want to manage my time and they don’t want it to be involved in work. On the RARE occasion that they attend school, I’m ok, but the Bee continues to stare at me with a new wrinkle: she yells Bobo BOBO BOBO at me. That is because she loves her stuffed monkey, Bobo, and thinks Curious George is him. And she wants to watch the same episode of Curious George that I shelled out a full $.99 for, on my iPhone, to keep her distracted on the plane one time–well, she just wants to watch that all the time.

This is like me and the Bee, if I wore a large yellow hat. Except I don't want to be attached to her ALL. THE. TIME. (just most of it. I love that last baby...)

I cannot let her. It will turn her brain to mush and be the reason she goes on drugs someday or doesn’t get to college. So I try to offer all the lame things around our house to do (HEY! play your legos. HEY! play your puzzle. HEY! Tear your sisters’ room apart). She doesn’t. She yells BOBO BOBO. So then we head to the gym (childcare) or head for a walk or head for an errand and I think to myself well, I’ll just do my work later tonight.

Here’s the problem. “Later tonight” I often want to: watch Castle, surf Pinterest, and drink wine. I do not want to do my work. I reason that I am grumpy and have had a hard day and I do not NOW want to do work. Instead, I indulge in my new hobby to try to allay my annoyance about having no house or winter clothes: I shop. I have been online shopping like…like what? I don’t even know an appropriate metaphor. Let’s just say I’ve ordered enough Lilly Pulitzer dresses to host sorority rush. Last year, I felt like I wore yoga pants every day and I knew I could do better. But this amount of Lilly may be  aggressive. They all seem too fancy for parent pickup.

What I kept thinking today was “I need more time. I need more hours”. This is AS I WAS WATCHING THE HOURS CLICK BY being yelled at “Bobo Bobo”. I need, really, hours to do my work uninterrupted. But I also need the desire to do it. I know, when I sit down and accomplish something, I feel good. And half the problem is I never get 44 seconds uninterrupted to send an e-mail, answer a call, or pee.

And if I had more hours I would likely just buy more dresses. And shoes. Because last night I went on Zappos.

What is wrong with me? I need a house. I need more babysitting. I need Publisher’s Clearing House to bring me a big check.

And I really, really need a good navy platform heel to match a dress that is just right for parent pick up line…

Childcare. It ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.

October 4th, 2012

I’m involved in a bit of a childcare crisis in that I have children and they need care. The crisis is that I’m getting sort of sick of providing it.

The big ones are quasi-ok in that they’re in school. Hardy har har, you can’t sense sarcasm over the internets, perhaps, but that was a joke. You see, I distinctly remember purchasing approximately $5409 worth of school supplies but they’re just off, all the time, for various holidays. Not holidays we celebrate (except one of the American Girl Dolls does, but that’s another story) so they mill around here and get all off their routines and such. But when they are in school it’s ok.

Except the Bee.

She used to be really good at entertaining herself (with tampons, often, but who cares. When you need a kid break, any port in a storm). Now, she mostly entertains herself by staring at me. On my computer. Which isn’t awesome for anyone. She also plays Cruella DeVille by Miley Cyrus LOUDER THAN ANYTHING YOU’VE EVER HEARD or maybe that’s just the acoustics of the craptacular rental. Or maybe it’s b/c it’s over and over and over.

My mom made the well-thought out suggestion to get more babysitting but easier said then done. There aren’t a lot of reputable folks wandering the streets with a parrot shaped umbrella wanting to swoop in when I want them and leave when I don’t. Want them.

I'll even work for free because your kids are so cute!

You see, therein lies the challenge. This baby is the one that I wanted so very badly and she’s still super, super cute and lovable. She just runs at you and hugs you and she’s SO happy. So it’s the constant back and forth that I engage in all day:

I want to be with my kid vs. I have to do some work

I want to drive the kids around to eavesdrop on their conversations learn what the kids are listening today hear their funny little comments. vs I have to do some work and I’m PRETTY sick of being in this damn car, so much that I’m about to start yelling “Out Now” like the baby.

I want to lose that Jillian-Michaels-would-not-approve belly fat vs. I need a glass of wine and forfeiting it even one night would not bode well for my sanity.

It’s choices. And I know, I get a bit spastic about my approach to work. The childcare crisis reached, well, crisis proportions the other day causing me to whine to my mom–who, as we recall, babysat my children much of the summer, sees how little can be done aside from chasing them, and just kept saying “GET A BABYSITTER” (subtly reinforcing it wasn’t going to be her.) By the way, the grandparents have NOT subtly reinforced the “We’re done babysitting” mantra previously reported on by trading in their minivan for a CRV. I guess it’s good they at least didn’t get a two-seater sportscar.

The crisis came when I was needing to do every bit of work on my plate within that hour and they were all home and I felt like a wreck. Let’s get a grip here. I do marketing consulting. There are VERY VERY rarely marketing consulting emergencies of the sort that a brain surgeon might encounter, for example. I just have to pace myself and know some of it can get done later. And what I keep saying is that this is a moment in time. This sweet baby won’t be two forever and I like her far more than any of my work.

Then comes the madness and the driving around and the tantrums and the homework and the we’re bored we’re bored we’re bored and also, the staring at the 2 year old, NOT wanting to do play doh or wander after her and her stroller for 2 hours. I’m over it. THAT’s when I want the babysitter to swoop in.

As I told my mom, I just want to be able to ENJOY my children. Not be stressed and multi-tasking. Or guilty. I don’t think it’s possible.

And as a friend pointed out, in her case it’s not her fault. She feels she just needs more enjoyable children.

We’ve all had those days.


Sweet wishes.

October 2nd, 2012

So aside from worrying about my little ones on drugs (they’re not) I’ve been wondering when the right time to have “the talk” is. The one about the birds and bees and by “wondering” I mean hoping I can put it off till they are in their freshman year. Of college.

Remember my plan? Preserve their innocence. Twitter’s not helping but luckily since she’s following God she’s hopefully ok. If I can get her to follow George W. Bush, with his stated desire to have the schools teach only abstinence, I guess I’m home free.

I know that obviously I have to talk to them at some point but here is what happened in the car today:

From the back, Coco or the Roo ask “Mommy, can you have a baby when you’re 20?”

Silence as I figure out how to answer this. Then, long drawn out answer as follows:

“Well, yes, but you’re so young. There’s so much you still will want to do with your life. You’ll want to go to Europe. You’ll want to sleep in. When you have a kid, it’s all about taking care of the kid. You don’t get to really do anything that you want to do (that was kind of a gentle reminder that I constantly am doing what THEY want me to do instead of what I want to but it was poorly timed as we were on the way home from our billionth trip back and forth from the storage unit which they decidedly did NOT want to do). You want to make sure you have enough money to take care of the baby. Babies and kids cost a lot of money (another not-subtle reminder that they owe us everything and should be appreciative and not go on drugs). 

I continued along in this vein for a bit. Then, from the back:

“Well, don’t babies just come?”

Obviously the next question if I said “No” was going to be “Well how do you get babies?” LUCKILY, the Hooter–I’m sure because she’s following God on Twitter, saved the day with her well-summed up answer.

“No, you have to wish for them”.

Discussion over.

Grown-uppery is suckery.

September 27th, 2012

I’m starting to really question myself and wonder if I am a lot stupider than I thought.

This is not the first time this has come up; I went to William and Mary for college, and can still distinctly recall sitting in the stadium and being told to look around. We were all high achievers. Well, some of us were going to be at the bottom, for a while, in a school full of high achievers. Not me, I thought. I was in the top ten of my high school class and I KNEW I was smart.

Guess what? It was me. Me, in the bottom for a while. I mean, I sort of pulled it together by the end but I was a hot mess, freshman year, and definitely had it reinforced that I was not the smartest person ever. It took me a LONG time when I got out of there to realize that, in fact, I was not as dumb as a box of rocks.

So then here I’ve been going trying to live my life and I am feeling lately that very many of my decisions are poorly made and is it because I’m dumb?

This started with our decision to buy a timeshare in Orlando which was dumb, dumb, dumb. But that decision was made by two rational thinking people (my husband and I); we both have MBAs, we both thought through all the downsides, knew that the timeshare industry is a bunch of thieves and hooligans–and we did it, only to find out we were paying, yearly, precisely DOUBLE what we’d been told. Dumb. I mean, fast forward, we’ve gone on some good vacations and don’t have to keep going to Orlando (and to be clear, will NOT go to Orlando again after last year’s Thanksgiving trip to Disney in which the following message was delivered to my ungrateful children: This is the happiest GD place on earth and if you can’t be happy here you’ve got real problems and if you don’t stop your complaining, RIGHT NOW, I WILL TAKE AWAY CHRISTMAS.) 

So though the timeshare thing made us feel a little dumb, it’s sort of worked out, but it also made me feel perhaps I’m not a proper grownup. Maybe I need someone to backstop some of my decisions so I don’t keep choosing poorly. Shouldn’t I be able to handle this now?

And let’s take a gander at what’s making me feel dumb now: my constant source of frustration, the new big house. We’re still in the ol’ rental and it’s still a suckfest. And it’s getting colder and I keep remembering every day what else (besides the winter clothes) is trapped in storage. All the girls’ boots. The toast I wrote out painstakingly for my sister’s wedding. My scarves. Two bins full of clothes and shoes for the Bee and I am NOT buying her more clothes when I have 3 kids’ worth of hand me downs so she’s rocking jeggings and a t-shirt with a sweater till we move, so help me God.

That new big house. We keep giving him money, he keeps telling us he’s building, he does nothing. What’s the definition of insanity? Oh yes, giving your builder money and expecting a result.

Were we stupid to do this? Were we stupid to trust him? What else should we have done better (Everything). Why don’t we have a better contract? Why are we paying rent for this current craphole?

I need someone to swoop in and make some decisions, that’s not me. I am not sure I’m a good grown up anymore. And I’m not just saying that because a scary big birthday approaches…

I don't swear at the kids anymore so don't judge me here in the blog.

Parenting help from God, delivered via twitter

September 25th, 2012

I am currently running a gamut of emotions towards my eldest. I’m ginormously annoyed, moderately amused, slightly horrified, and maybe like .0005% impressed. Very little with the impressed, very much with the annoyed.

Let me start by saying I hate how every toy they get sends them to a website, hate how every show references a website, now their teachers are sending them home to get on websites. I mean, I understand the kids today are all up on the internets and the world wide web is the wave of the future and all that.  I make my living on my computer, I’m not a complete moron. But as I try to protect them from all that is dark and awful out there I was hoping to try to keep them offline a BIT longer.

Also whenever they use my computer it is inevitably sticky so there’s that too. I want their brains unclouded and my computer sticky-free.

I’ve been super worried of late that my kids are going to end up on drugs. This is because I’m up all night because I can’t sleep in this rental house so I have nothing to do but worry. I mean drugs aren’t a GIANT problem in the second or third grades so I’m ok for now and to be clear: I am not trying to make being on drugs or the fear of kids being on drugs funny. It’s not funny. It’s maybe a little funny that I’m obsessing over this at this age but I also think you can’t start too soon. In fact, someone we know is going through an issue with their kid and I used it yesterday to sit down and have a good talk with the big kids (8, 7, 7). The baby was running around all in a tizzy because we just got her new underpants with monkeys on them, her favorite thing–hoping that will help in the potty training but she put them on her head so maybe no. She wasn’t paying attention at all but I got the other 3 sat down and had a talk about drugs, and how they’re bad, and how someday in 7th grade someone might offer them a beer or in high school someone might offer them a drug and they should remember sitting on this rental couch, having a talk about how I loved them and how I made them and how they could call me whenever someone offered them those things and I’d come get them. Maybe, someday, they’ll remember. Mostly they were shocked that anyone would willingly give themselves a shot. And the baby had underpants on her head–no one would offer that ensemble drugs, so she’s safe for now.

So anyway: I try to protect them and I’m careful what they watch (Phineas and Ferb. Exclusively). And then recently the eldest, the Hooter, wanted to go to a couple of online sites. I monitored REALLY carefully what she was on and read reviews of it to make sure there weren’t porn sites stalking the kiddies in Bearville and she assured me she was only going on those approved sites and then GRRRR! I had to go on stupid twitter, to me the dumbest of all sites even though I have to use it for various work things (and also I’m on twitter. you should definitely follow me there and tell a friend!) Well I can’t log in to my client’s twitter page because MY KID IS ALREADY LOGGED IN.

She has a twitter profile. What the hell? There are DEFINITELY predators stalking twitter looking for people just like her. I’m so annoyed that she did this, even MORE annoyed that it took me 30 minutes to figure out how to delete it. It’s a little bit funny and also reassuring to see who she’s following: Howie Mandel. Justin Bieber. And God. So I mean, with a follow list like that she’s PRETTY dorky and I doubt anyone will offer her any drugs anytime soon.

But man is she in trouble when she gets home. There is always something. I want her to know computers and be bright and all over technology but how can I protect her from everything out there when she’s tweeting? Tweeting to God, no less?

I want to protect her innocence. This is what she said to me yesterday, in reference to how she dresses up for school while no one else does, when we were out–her chubby little 8 year old hand holding mine–direct quote, I wrote it down: As you notice more girls are getting boy-er. That’s why I think they should bring back the Laura Ingalls Wilder dress code. 

That’s my sweet baby who I can distinctly remember, holding day 4, and staring at–the one to whom I said “If anyone ever hurts this little baby I will kill them”. Also the one of whom I thought, at that very same time…”If she ever does drugs to hurt herself after what I just went through I will kill her”.  Now I have to protect her WHILE she’s getting smart on the computer from the likes of the Beebs. And there’s four of them to protect.

I guess I should just be happy that God’s tweeting on my side.

Smarter than a fruit fly but not by much

September 19th, 2012

So I’m continuing on my quest of personal betterment (leading to me being perfect in every way, or something) and continuing to try to be really nice to my family members and not shout at them as I often still WANT to do. But, I have found that telling myself (in a non-shouty inside my head voice) try-to-be-nice-try-to-be-nice-try-to-be-nice is pretty helpful. Also the public declaration, here on this blog, that I was undertaking a niceness campaign is keeping me on the straight and narrow. However, the niceness combined with the back to school is exhausting. I feel as though the snot has been beat out of me.

“Back to school” that is in a vague sense–they haven’t gone a full week yet and show no signs of it so every time you get some routines and mojo going they throw in another day off. Further exhausting, giving me more time with them, and EXTRA time to practice my nice.

Today I went into the bathroom after coaxing the twins into their not quite daily but more often then weekly now that they’re back in school bath to try to get them out and they were just lying in the bath which is not huge or even comfortable looking vaguely and disturbingly like those creatures from the Minority Report? The ones that know what’s going to happen to everyone? Am I thinking of the right movie? I don’t know, I can’t think straight because I’ve become beaten down by number facts, number grids, and 47 zillion spelling words even though I promised I was not going to be a homework monitor this year. I wanted to shout GET OUT on the 4, 5, and 6th time I asked them to remove themselves from the bath but I did not. Any of those times. And though I felt annoyed that they were so pokey I was happy, in theory, that I didn’t bellow and set everyone off. That is just one example. I think long-term it will be a good thing even if short term it is making my shoulders very tense.

It is showing some dividends–the eldest is behaving more nicely. And shouting less. I don’t feel like an abject failure at the end of the day for dropping one thousand swears and teaching the baby nothing but shouting is ok. The only thing now that’s making me  feel slightly failure-ish is if I review the boards on Pinterest and realize that I’m not crafting or baking or doing anything that other Pinteresting moms are up to. But I’m mostly able to deal with that level of failure. In fact, today I’m able to end the day as a success because I figured out how to make a fruit fly catcher. That is, I followed the easy step-by-step Pinterest instructions.

You see, the home had become a refuge to fruit flies. Home=rental house and reason=standing water in the dishwasher that broke 3 weeks ago and that no one will fix. Someone told me to leave an inch of wine out for them which seemed a horrible waste but I was so desperate I ended up trying it and those little bastards avoided it entirely to dive bomb my REAL wine that I REALLY needed b/c of the niceness campaign (which sometimes makes the not-shouty voice in my head feel a bit more on edge since I have to keep the shouts in and thus at cocktail hour I would like some bug-free vino thank you very much). All the food was cleaned up and still it was like insanity, bug-wise, till Pinterest saved the day with a handy little idea of a funnel that flummoxed the fruit flies 9 times out of 10, taped to a cup (to prevent escapes. That is a key step, learned the hard way).

Disgusting, but satisfying. FYI on Pinterest they made it look much classier.

So now, I happily go stare at my successful fruit fly trap, and know that at least I’ve done one thing right today. I’ve saved my children from fruit flies. AND: the baby has not started to pepper her few words with swears. So there, that’s two.

And really, sometimes that’s all you need.

Exiting Funk Now

September 10th, 2012

So last week I didn’t write because I was in a funk. Not a good kind like this:

Or even a marginally good kind like this:

I had to discard many images to get to this one as it turns out Marky Mark at the time had the habit of grabbing his funky junk which wasn't appropriate. Did you know he now has a star on the Hollywood walk of fame?

No. I was in the kind of funk that made me not want to talk to anyone and I wrote a blog that talked about that and tried to be funny but was NOT and really just made you want to cry. It had no good vibrations. So to speak.

Here is why I was bad kind of funky:

1. My baby is going to college (in 16 years). At that point I will be all alone.

2. I spent the summer in the bubble of being with my kids and having no friends which made me lonely (also cranky) at the time but then I came back and was reluctant to pop the bubble. I felt like I couldn’t talk to people or interact. Felt too lazy to reach out. Retreated to bat cave and felt sorry for myself. Enter funk.

3. Rental house. See earlier posts. It’s all wood but in a seventies paneling way NOT a charming classy millwork kind of way. Also stuff keeps breaking.

4. My work is booooooooring.

Several well-meaning pals offered some good advice like the ever-popular “This will all be worth it when you’re in your new house”. I have to say, I think it will be OUTSTANDING to be in the new house but I still don’t know if it will be WORTH THIS. Also: “If you don’t like your life change it”. What part? the four kids? The boring work? The rental house?

Waah waah waah. See what I mean? Funk blog.

So this is what I did. Based on the outstanding mood-changing success of my trip to Pittsburgh I went off to Boston for the night. A friend was turning 40 and having a big bash and her husband kindly invited me to stay at their house where they were having the party. I went up but instead stayed at a hotel and thereby had my second 12 hour period all by myself in 6 months. That is an addicting and intoxicating experience. And I thought this to myself:

I cannot change many of the things annoying the crap out of me in my life right now. I can, however, stop being a giant baby and and a mean person.

*Note: I thought this after I was a mean person to the hotel front desk person. My revelation and change of attitude unfortunately came too late for her. I was mean because she insisted she had to call my husband to confirm my reservation paid for on our joint card with our joint account. Nothing makes me madder than services, utilities, etc insisting they cannot deal with me but must talk with my husband.

Anywho: I’m on a path of righteousness now. I’m making some changes and it’s been 24 hours which is too short for definitive declaring of victory unless you are George Bush on an aircraft carrier BUT I can see that the changes I’m making are already helping. I cannot detail all of them but:

1. I am wearing a dress and not grubs and I feel better.

2. I did not yell at my children since getting home OR drop a single swear which is giant. I did yell TO the twins to get their butts moving to breakfast and stop playing Sound of Music but it was definitely yelling to, not at, and I didn’t say “butts” (even though that’s not a swear) and also, I didn’t yell or swear when one forgot her sweater because she was so focused on delivering the perfect Rolf performance. I just went and got the sweater–could have let her be chilly, I suppose, but since they’ll be attending school for the next few months in sundresses, through Christmas or so, I figure I better arm her with a sweater now so as not to catch the attention of the authorities.

3. I am going to enjoy my children. This criticism (“You don’t take the time to ENJOY your children”) was offered to a friend recently, helpfully, by her husband. He was enjoying them during breakfast while she was putting together breakfast, lunches, getting them all dressed and the appropriate gear for school and practices etc. She did not think this was a helpful tip at the time and I heartily agreed with her and still do. There is a time and a place for everything and breakfast before school madness is neither the time nor place for Sound of Music or a long, leisurely “sit and enjoy”. That is because sweaters are then forgotten and children are then late and because mommies have to do all the work if SOMEONE else is sitting and merely “enjoying”. However, I did reflect on this, up in Boston, and thought that I need to add more fun to our lives instead of complaining about my stupid non-house and fun to what I do with the kids instead of constantly being vaguely irritated with them. I need to consciously do this and then maybe I can stop subconsciously being annoyed. That is the goal.

4. I am being nicer in general. I cannot worry about this new house so I will not think of it. I CAN be far nicer to my husband who prefers me not detail his exploits in this blog, as he does not consider himself either a social experiment or an anthropological study, so I shall suffice to say that I was nice yesterday even though there is a giant new tool thing and lots of saw dust around that I wasn’t counting on but guess what, I was nice and so was he. SHOCKING how a little nice goes a long way.

As I drove home from Boston I realized that my new attitude IS summarized by a little plaque I’d had on my dresser that said “If you can’t change something change the way you think of it”. That is exactly what I did. However, since I prefer to think I’m not living my life by catchy poems or inspired by posters of, for instance, a cat hanging on a cliff that says “Hang In There” and since that plaque’s in storage anyway I am going to take my revelation as my very own.

So let the words of Marky Mark inspire YOU to get good-funky:

Now the time has come for you to get up
The rest had you fed up, but yo, I won’t let up

On the rhythm and rhyme that’s designed to
Make your behind move to what I’m inclined to

Pure hip-hop, no sell out (that part is entirely not relevant)
If you ain’t in it to win it then get the hell out (I’m IN IT TO WIN IT MARKY MARK!)

If nothing else, my day is now on a more positive footing because I have Marky Mark in my head instead of the alternating Lion King and Call Me Maybe choruses that have been there for a month and a half.


Back in the Garden State

August 31st, 2012

We’ve made it back up here.

Husband and I had a weekend of peace and luxury in the city (joined by the baby) and then we headed out here to our glorious rental home. We stopped by storage to pick up some stuff, because though the rental was marked “furnished” that meant with 2 old wicker dressers and a dining room table. And mattresses. We had to get all the other stuff and though I’d painstakingly marked boxes things like “FRONT” and “BACK” I think the movers must have thought to themselves things like “SUCK IT” and “WE HATE YOU” because the storage rooms (yes, rooms, there are two) are a jumble of insanity. A couch almost fell on the baby and we emerged with several random boxes and the crib parts. The parts, not the hardware.

We got home, opened boxes, and now have:

  • My husband’s christening outfit.
  • All of our fancy winter coats that get worn Christmas day. Only.
  • Several outfits of the twins that I didn’t want to part with but that are FAR too small for anyone to wear.
  • 3 beach towels.
  • Crib parts. No hardware. Did I mention that already?

We have to get hardhats and head back to storage to see what else we can forage for but in the meantime the “big girls” were unceremoniously dumped on us, with their stuff, in a move I had eerily predicted. My dad BARELY turned off the car before hurling their stuff at me and then spinning back out of the driveway. So then we had a billion other random things to unpack that we might not ever need. And again, I found myself thinking WHY did I store this stuff (which is what the movers were thinking which is why they sabotaged my system, I’m sure).

I was all worried about making sure the girls were happy and settled in this new rental. Guess what? They’re happy as CLAMS. They have a room that connects so they can bellow away at each other without being stifled by walls. The family room is two stories and the toys we have are all over it. The baby has been blasting rock anthems from a questionable kid cd that also includes MC Hammer, and there is extraordinary sound-carrying properties here so even if it’s at reasonable sound volume on their “play floor”, up in the kitchen it’s like Queen is singing “We will rock you” IN MY EAR LOUDER THAN ANYTHING EVER.

My husband is also happy because he’s not depressed and alone in a 200 square foot apartment. Everyone’s happy but me because I want to be in my house.

So I can sit around and be miserable or just roll with it. I guess. The other day I had an a-class level temper tantrum because I couldn’t get the tv to work and I just wanted to drink my wine and watch the news. That’s my thing that I relax on at the end of the day. I was so mad it wouldn’t work and so tired out and dirty and grubby and I screamed and swore. And then I came to my senses and thought what a giant jerk I had been.

We may not have pillow cases but I guess we can wrap the pillows in winter coats. The kids can wear the clothes they have until it gets REAL cold and then they can just pull the winter coats off the pillows and put them on over their sundresses! The baby seems to have come to a separate peace with regard to napping in a self-contained, no hardware needed pak-and-play. We haven’t found a use for the christening outfit but surely something will come up. And even though our family is sharing 3 bath towels because I’m NOT BUYING MORE STUFF I HAVE TO MOVE AND STORE, we were able to make use of a beach towel for a bathmat since the baby likes to bail, while bathing, onto the floor.

SO. The kids are happy, enjoying this place for now, and we might as well go with it! I’m going to work on giving them extra hugs. That’s my new resolution. I’m hoping that helps everyone calm down even though I’m not a real hugger. And if I hug more maybe I’ll yell less. And when I’m feeling down I need only look over the railing as I did this morning and I may catch the baby following her sisters and trying to do the macarena. As I did this morning.

How can anyone be angry when that’s happening?