Saturday, December 31, 2011

End

It was so good to see the kids tonight.  I've missed them, so much.  We did lots of cuddling, watched Little Einsteins, crawled through tunnels, and made brownies.

Now V and I are curled up on the couch in the basement, tv on, snacks from the twins' parents scattered around us.  I need to go get the champagne ready, come to think of it.

Happy new year, everyone.  I'll try not to get pregnant this year either.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cuties

V and I are working on updating her photography website and Facebook page, which means I've spent the past two hours poring over adorable pictures of children.  We really do want to do more couples, wedding, etc; knowing lots of families definitely works in our favor for business though.

I'm caught in that place where I'm enjoying being with friends, but ready to be home.  We've done a lot of location-hopping.  V misses the kitties.  I think I actually may as well.

All in all, no profound thoughts here.  No thoughts in general, actually.  The brainlessness is pleasant.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Air

I think I'm coming up for air after the holidays, but I'm not entirely sure yet.  Christmas went well overall.  Tiring, a bit stressful, but not bad.  V's mom bought her brother and his wife an Our First Christmas ornament...and she got us one too.  That really impressed me.

Today is my birthday, and it's been mostly good.  Still busy.  We ate at the Melting Pot tonight, spent too much money, and enjoyed it so very much.  I would like another birthday soon, though, please.  I need a bit more relaxing and being spoiled.

We won't be back home until this weekend; V and I are watching the twins on New Year's Eve.  It'll be good to see them again, and it'll be good that it's not until then.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Cleanse

I'm organizing and de-cluttering my wife's childhood closet.  This is what I do when I am stressed.  There's a giant pile on the floor for her to look through when she returns from shopping with her mom (which I so hope is going well).  But really, who needs to keep this much stuff?

A combination of moving regularly in childhood, and having two houses and rooms, kept my things to a decent minimum.  And I've always been a cleanser.  When I'm stressed, I let things go - literally.  Out with those shoes; away with these necklaces.

I just wish I could make the executive decisions here.  But alas...we'll see how much sway I have.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Off

Oh my goodness.  Is this what a day off feels like?  Weekends always come with their own agenda; today, I slept in, we went to the art museum, finished wrapping presents, I took a nap, we started packing to leave tomorrow...

I like this.  I'll start missing my kids in a few days.  (They called me last night, because Patrick wanted to make sure I had shown V my Christmas present: a framed picture of me and the kids sitting with Santa.)  V looked at me earlier, though, and said "Any kids we encounter in the next ten days aren't ours to deal with!"  It's the same feeling I had when we went away mid-October, and I love it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Last

Surprise, I have tomorrow off, as well as Friday.  Today was a wonderful last day to end on, as Patrick, Lilly, their mom, V, and I went to the aquarium and out to lunch.  We all had a blast.

I'm off until New Year's Eve; last year, V and I sat for them that evening, and they had champagne and hors d'oeuvres for us for after the kids went to bed.  Repeat this year.  I'm looking forward to it.

I'm not sure when V and I will head out for the holidays, nor what my posting will do.  But for now, to all a good night.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Orphanage

Lilly: I'm getting a new baby doll for Christmas!
Me: Another one?!  How many do you need?
Lilly: Five!

She already has two.  I think she's trying to start an orphanage.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Reflecting

There's a green tunnel that lives in our car, and occasionally comes out at the twins - much to their delight.  Now V also has a blue tunnel in the trunk; it, along with many boxes and bins, stays there for her job.  Today the kids were playing with the green tunnel (due to my continuing sinus headache), and I texted V that I should get out the blue one and really blow their minds.  She didn't realize that we were already playing with the green one, and texted me back "Please play with the green tunnel instead."

Now, I'm not feeling well, and after ready that text, I got a little miffed.  It sounded condescending.  It sounded politely commanding.  Who is she to tell me that, in that way?  I realized I was getting upset with her, and it would be evident in later texts; since we try to keep the most communication possible, I figured that I'd better tell her how I was feeling.  Had she jut said "I'd rather you not use my work stuff," I thought, I'd be just fine.  She was just insensitive.

Then I realized that my sensitivity levels were off.  She wasn't insensitive; I was oversensitive (I'm sure the astute readers of my blog have realized this by now).  I was quickly getting annoyed over seven words sent via text message.  If I mentioned it to her, in the name of better communication, it would cause a few moments of tension - unnecessarily - and possibly taint some of the rest of the day.

So I got over it.  It was a little thing, yes.  Looking back, it was an even littler thing.  But it's the little things that make for a successful relationship, no?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Parrot

At least, if the kids are going to repeat everything I say, I generally say decent things?

Case in point:  Patrick hadn't finished breakfast, so Lilly and I went downstairs to put laundry in the washing machine.  This is a coveted task, by the way.  When we finished, I turned on the TV down there for her; Patrick yelled down not to do laundry because he wanted to help.

Lilly's prompt response, yelled back up the stairs, was, "It's all done, sweetheart; I'm sorry.  You had a chance."

I have my struggles with "only mommy or daddy or I can give timeouts/take things away/chastise," but I love when they call each other sweetheart just like they're used to hearing from me, mommy, and possibly daddy too.  It's a tiny bit patronizing, mostly sweet, but resigned.  Yep, exactly how I say it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sister

On Monday, I took the kids up to the mall, where we met mommy and daddy for a picture with Santa.  They were absolutely adorable; an older lady stopped at one point to tell me that she loved seeing the old jumper dresses, as "opposed to these crazy things little kids are wearing these days."  Lilly was indeed in a red corduroy jumper dress, white tights, and black mary janes, with her hair pulled back.  Patrick was in blue cords, a red turtleneck, and a cream sweater vest with trains on it.

At breakfast, though, he broke my heart.  "I want to wear a dress like Sissy!" he protested when I got their outfits ready.  I thought fast; I didn't want to tell him he couldn't, except that, well, he couldn't.  I quickly pointed out that she was wearing the only dress like that we had, and tried to redirect him to the trains on his vest.  He wasn't thrilled, but didn't fuss too much.

What made the whole episode memorable, though, was the fact that I texted their mom about it.  I told her his comment, and my response, knowing she's sympathetic.  I loved her text back to me: "Reinforce that he's too big for it, too - but if he wants, he can try it on when you get back."

I know too many parents who would scoff at him, or talk about how ridiculous that is - including, at times, his father.  But I appreciate her sincerity and willingness to let him be his own person.  As I've mentioned before, he wears a bow frequently when we're out.  We've gotten comments ranging from "isn't that a strange bow" (no, it's a normal one, actually) to "look how cute!"  I've learned to smile, comment that life's tough when you have a sister, and move on.  Most people seem to appreciate it; I suppose he's still young enough, though his mom said an older boy asked him why on earth he had it, one day.

It fascinates me, watching his interests grow.  Monday was the first time I've heard him voice clothing desires.  I'm willing to follow this as far as he wants, and it seems like his mom feels similarly.  All I know is that he's darn cute with a bright blue bow in his short brown hair.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Part 6 of 6

Where was I, graduation?  Sounds like a good spot.  Honestly, after there, things have been fairly smooth sailing.  It's hard to believe graduation was over a year and a half ago.  We moved, we settled, we started attending an Episcopal church, we stopped attending an Episcopal church (well, not technically - more on that later), V proposed, we had a fantabulous wedding.

On the family front, life improves, albeit gradually.  My father and I can discuss the fact that I'm married; he has conveyed his disagreement, and now we move on.  I think, in his mind, it's not like we were going to agree on everything for the rest of life, anyway.  He's not pleased, but he's resigned.  My mom seems to be coming around a bit, though she's still flatly against any of my half-siblings knowing.  V's family is confusing as always.  I think her brother and sister-in-law are on the path to approving.  Her mother, less so, but she's less blatantly hostile or depressed.

Religion?  That's out the window for now.  We are both so, so over it.  (Confession: for the past three or four Sundays, we've actually done a happy dance at some point when we realize that we have all morning and no one can guilt us into being in church.)  I love the wild freedom of not caring; I wrote about that recently.

I guess that's our story, in a black walnut shell.  It's the biggest nut I can think of.  If anyone out there has any questions, comment away!  I love dialogue, and of course, I love talking about myself.

In other news, this has been wonderful, because Patrick and Lilly have been monsters - so I don't have to write about them!

Make and model

Patrick: Your scooter has letters on it!
(It says "Buddy," for the type.)
Me: That's to tell me what kind it is.
Patrick: ...blue!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Part 5 of ?

I have to backtrack from graduation for a moment, to add in family drama.  What would a good Christian-turned-gay story be without family drama?  The first family member to know was my father.  His and my relationship had been rocky, and I finally told him because I knew it was the worst thing I could tell him.  It would either make him shun me completely, or we could start building a relationship again from the ground up.

He did a little preaching, a little "thought you knew better," a decent amount of "of course I love you."  He commented that the daughter of an old friend of his "went through a phase like this."  I promptly facebook messaged her; cue another good friend for us (hint: it wasn't a phase).  We started talking again.  We didn't talk about my relationship, of course, but things were improving.

V told her mom on Easter break of senior year, a year exactly since our first kiss.  She was told that she was going to hell.  Surely Lina knows better, with her father being a pastor.  Jesus isn't happy with you.  I love you, but this is wrong.

I told my mom shortly thereafter.  The next time V and I went to visit her, she made us sleep in separate rooms, whereas before we'd always shared the queen-sized air mattress.  I protested.  If I hadn't told you, I asked, would we still both be sleeping on the air mattress?  Yes.  So the fact that I told you the truth is not in my best interest?  I guess not.

(Things have gotten better in all three cases.  Getting married helped.)

And then, we graduated.  Glorious, beautiful graduation.  The knowledge that no one could take away my hard-earned education simply because I was in love.  The fact that I could tell people I was in love, without fear of recrimination.  The ease with which I breathed.  The kiss we had, on campus, after night fell on graduation day.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Part 4 of ?

The handful of months after V and I first kissed are a blur.  All I know is that two months after Easter, we came to the conclusion that we were in an actual relationship, though we weren't entirely sure how that had happened.  I asked for an anniversary; having never been in a relationship before, I wanted something to celebrate every month.  We chose June 9.

By this point, the summer before senior year, I was ready to be done with both my school and God.  I knew, from everything I'd been taught, that God wasn't exactly a fan of this new relationship, so I told him sayonara.  V and I began exploring this gay new world.  I referred to myself as a straight girl with a girlfriend; I didn't feel any connection to a gay culture, and didn't want to.

I'd been seeing a counselor on campus for depression, and told her about the changes in my life, knowing she would be supportive.  (College was all about finding the right people: not everyone was super-fundamentalist, but you had to dig hard and carefully.)  Her response surprised me.  When I'd talked to her about V over the past year, she'd assumed that we were together, but it wasn't up for discussion.  That would continue to be a common theme: "Of course you're together; you have been for awhile now!"  No, actually, not.

That counselor was our lifesaver through the first half of senior year.  Those awful four months included roommates moving out on us with no notice, the most difficult classes piled together, taking the GRE and applying to grad schools, V breaking up with her high school friend, and - oh yeah - trying to figure out how to be in a gay relationship.  But every week, we could come crawl into two comfy chairs in the counseling center, cry like a baby (me), talk about anything (both of us), and leave feeling a little more capable of handling the next week.

She also connected us to a master's student on campus who was a lesbian; we met for dinner, and she too became a point of stability.  She lent us The L Word so I could get it through my head that just because I had a girlfriend didn't mean I had to cut all my hair off and be angry and ride a motorcycle.  One of our professors in the English department also helped us through senior year, as did our new roommates.  (Tip: If you need moral support, definitely room with the most vocal feminist you know on campus.)

As it came close to graduation, everyone started talking about how much they were looking forward to it.  Every time, I wanted to shake them and say, "You have no idea.  You're looking forward to a piece of paper.  I'm looking forward to my freedom."  The thought of no longer facing expulsion and/or therapy if discovered was tantalizing, and inconceivable.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Help

Oh dear heavenly anything.
These kids are beyond me.

Meltdowns I can remember off the top of my head:
Lilly, when she thought we weren't going to pass any animals on the drive to school
Patrick, when he found out it was Lilly's turn to turn the Christmas tree lights off
Lilly, when Patrick decided to play with the Thomas computer she had until then shown zero interest in
Patrick, when he realized he couldn't have any more garlic bread until his pasta was gone
Lilly, when I told her it was time for dinner

I should note that today, I've been with them 8:30-1:30, and 6:30-10:30.
Child-free weekend.
Child-free weekend.
Child-free weekend.

Part 3 of ?

Where we we?  Oh, yes.  Curious about kissing girls, and trying to figure out if it would condemn me forever.

Let me set up a cliche scene for you:
It's Easter weekend, and V and I are visiting her parents' house.  Friday was her mom's birthday; Sunday was Easter; it was Saturday night, and we were asleep in the twin bed she'd had since childhood.  After we'd been talking awhile, she asked if there was anything I'd do, if I knew it wouldn't change anything.  My brain immediately interpreted it, correctly, as, "I want to kiss you, but I'm terrified of screwing things up."

I called her out on what she meant.  We spent probably close to an hour discussing everything: what if she felt one way afterward, what if I felt another, what could all possible outcomes be, what damage could this potentially do to our friendship.  And then, we made out for ten minutes.  My world went on fire, and I thought something between "Ohmygod that was heaven" and "&$#*, I'm #*$&*ed."  She admitted it was hot.  I thought she said that she was hot under all the covers, and wilted inside, until she realized that I must not have understood, and repeated herself.

We didn't talk about it again.  On the drive home, we stopped to eat, and when I accidentally tried to get her some condiment she didn't need, I commented how I could never remember what she did and didn't like.  "I can't keep you straight," were my exact words; we laughed nervously.

The next month was awkward.  She pulled away.  I tried to pull closer.  She became homophobic.  I got clingy.  She tried to cheer me up one day, when I was having a crying spell, by kissing me.  It made everything better and worse.  I had no idea what was happening.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Day

Today was not my day.  Nor was it Patrick's, or Lilly's.
He missed the first half of gymnastics class due to a tantrum and refusing to finish chewing his food.
Both of them were either giggling hysterically or throwing fits.

Although, at first this morning, Lilly discovered she could put her underwear on "like a backpack," and she did that, put her shoes on, and ran around squealing for about half an hour.  Patrick threw on his shoes - and was otherwise totally naked - and joined her.

Anyway, I'm glad tomorrow is Friday.  I have the kids both morning and evening, but evenings they usually cooperate.  Tonight, V and I get to wrestle Kali and her sisters.  Right now, I'm desperately craving a bag of dark chocolate m&ms.

Part 2 of ?

Just before Christmas break of junior year, V's boyfriend/lover/partner (I can't remember what term they settled on) came to visit.  In addition to being polyamorous, he was also in open relationships: in his mind, any sexual interaction was not the primary glue holding a relationship together, and it was not limited to solely inside the relationship.

Long story slightly less long, he ended up being my first real kiss, though all three of us knew at the time that V was the one I really wanted to kiss.  She was terrified, and it was never discussed (though apparently he made sure she was aware of it).  At this point, I honestly felt like God had "released" me from my kissing vow, and I felt no guilt.

V and I would go for long drives at night, partly because I was a depressed, emotional wreck.  We knew what it looked like - going out, far away from everyone, in the dark.  We joked about how it seemed like we were in a relationship.  We talked about delaying marriage (to hypothetical future boys) so we could go to grad school together.  We acknowledged that girls could be attractive, not in a sexual way, just in an aesthetic one.  We decided we were in a platonic relationship.

We were both curious about kissing girls.  I had hardly kissed anyone, and just wanted more experience; she'd kissed boys and wanted to know how on earth it could be different.  (So different as to send you to hell.)  We knew we couldn't kiss each other, because we had an incredible friendship and didn't want to jinx it.  But she knew I wanted to, and I knew it too, though I didn't know why or whether I should be ashamed or not.  There was a great deal of wrestling with myself, my surroundings, and my beliefs - I wouldn't go back to that place for anything.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Part 1 of ?

It all began sophomore year of college.  My roommate's good friend had just broken up with his girlfriend, V, and they (my roommate and her friend) thought that the newly-not-girlfriend and I would be good friends.  Turns out we were.  Are.

Anyway, ours was the second or third friendship in my life where I clicked immediately with someone.  From the first time we hung out, we were inseparable.  The first six months of our friendship was rough, due to some other situations, but we spent evenings curled up into one lawn chair on the roof of her dorm.  (Note: this is just the first of many "and you didn't know?!" moments)

We were attending a conservative Christian school, which we'd both fit into during our first year or so, but we were simultaneously becoming disillusioned with the religion and the school.  During the first half of junior year, V started dating an old high school friend who was attending college a few states away.  He was a pastor's son turned atheist.  He was living with a lesbian couple, among others.  He was polyamorous, believing it was possible to love multiple people at once.  He had a live-in girlfriend.  He and V began dating.

During this time, I'd become incredibly emotionally close to her.  I was always, always straight; there was never a question in my mind of being "other."  Yet I felt myself drawn to her.  It didn't help that, during freshman year, I'd promised God that I wouldn't kiss a boy until I knew he was going to propose to me.  I wanted out of that deal.  She seemed like a loophole.

Cliffhanger!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Poem

I have a weakness for all things French, and I just found one of my favorite poems written beautifully on Etsy.  It was read, in English, in its entirety, at our wedding; it's one of V's favorite poems, and quickly became mine after that moment.

I don't have a full French translation, though I'm sure one is available.  Just the first line.
je porte ton coeur (je le porte dans mon coeur)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Story

A friend of mine recently asked me about V's and my story, intertwining the faith and orientation and love.  I have plans in the near future to write it out, though I imagine it will be long; I'll try to post here in sections, too.

I am not important, and V is not important (except to me, of course), but our story - and so many similar stories - are vastly important.  Stay tuned.

Update: Here is our story, as written out over the course of the month.
Part 1 of ?
Part 2 of ?
Part 3 of ?
 Part 4 of ? 
Part 5 of ?
Part 6 of 6

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Movie

Me: What color cup do you want, blue or yellow?
Bug, after much thought: Azul.
That kid watches too much Dora.

V and I have watched Bug and Andrew since just before their nap until now, when they are both in bed.  We're still waiting for their parents to come home, but in the meantime, we have internet and are watching Rudolph and Red-Nosed Reindeer.  Good childhood memories, and a nice relaxing evening.

I need this time.  I need a moment to collect myself, and this movie - to be cliche - takes me back to a simpler time, when I wrote long Christmas lists in kindergarten script and curled up, mommy and me, on our old green couch.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Home/settled

Home, we have.  Settled, we will not be for awhile.
I watched the twins last night.  I've started braiding Lilly's ponytail, and of course Patrick then wants a braid.  I told him his hair was too short (as is mine, now, when he asked why I didn't have a braid), but he opted for a ponytail.  It was adorable.
I already always have to have a bow for him when we go out anyway.  His mom loves it; his dad is less fond.
Today was our first gymnastics class in three weeks (due to sickness and holidays), and I'm so in love with them having an independent class.  It's phenomenal.  I just got to sit there, watch, chat with other parents, and write a letter to a friend.
Yesterday, due to a small power-and-refrigerated-food emergency, Patrick and Lilly actually came with me to my old house, and we moved the food at the cats to the new place.  I of course have a stash of kids books and puzzles, so they stayed and played for a good while.  It was, also, adorable.
I feel like it's an auspicious start that we had kids in the house in the first day we occupied it.  But maybe that's just because it's easily a big enough house for a nursery.
(Not now, says V.  Not now.)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Turnaround

Bug and Andrew's parents, the greatest people in the world right now, gave us an early Christmas present: they hired movers to finish getting us into the new house.

Our minds are blown, tears were shed, and we are 97% done.  It's starting to feel like home - though according to V, it won't be home until the two furballs are in it.  Probably true.  What's life without some feline annoyances?

The twins were good today, too.  Their parents are throwing their annual holiday party this Saturday; I'm babysitting and V's bartending it.

Right now, we're at Bug and Andrew's parents.  We brought them dessert.  It's the very very least we can do.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Stress

Tonight is our last night in this house.  I'm nowhere near as done packing as I need to be.  I'm fighting a headache, I'm emotionally exhausted, my stress level keeps spiking, and I'm mopey.

Let me check...  Nope, not done whining yet.  I'm tired of swallowing junk.  Inside my brain hurts.  I want to go to bed.  I need friends up here.  I'm fighting mental battles that I don't have the time or energy for right now.  I cried in the shower last night, harder than I have in a long time, and I feel like I could again now.  (The warm water would feel good.)

I'm not even sure if it's appropriate to post this.  It's more raw than I usually do; normally I can keep myself in check.  But V is in class, I can't text the friends I want to, and the house is silent.  Okay, world.  I'll be better tomorrow.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Flabbergasted

Apparently family isn't an evil entity.  Who knew?

I'm old enough to play with the big kids now, so when my aunt and uncles made their post-Thanksgiving dinner plans - going to a bonfire and getting drunk - V and I were invited.  When we left the bonfire, along with my 29 year old cousin we were staying with, we went back to his house and drank more.  And I (drunkenly) watched my (drunk) wife absolutely cream about four guys in Guitar Hero.

I've missed being drunk, with people I know.  But that's not what I'm supposed to be writing about, anyway.  My aunt, while sitting around the bonfire, went on a rant about how everyone should be throwing V and me a party, and she could barely keep her mouth shut, and it was utterly ridiculous that we were being asked to keep things quiet (by my mother).  She invited us to come stay with them at any point.  She said that obviously they owe us a present.

Not only were she and my uncle really excited for us, so were one set of grandparents and all my cousins.  It blew my mind, watching people I am biologically related to be jubilant over my spouse.  Is this what familial acceptance feels like?!  Now I know why it's so cool.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Obligatory

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

I can't think of anything profound to say, so truly, have a happy, joyous, relaxed holiday.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Here

My grandfather told both V and I congratulations, quietly, so my small siblings wouldn't hear.  My aunt gave V, whom she was just meeting, a giant hug.  I showed my mom my ring, when the kids weren't around.

She told us that she appreciated our willingness to keep quiet to the kids about our marriage.

I'm still processing, still slightly annoyed, but currently floating on a cloud at the love-fest that just took place around us.  My ten year old sister wouldn't let me go.  And I'll see them all again tomorrow.  First, sleep, to recover from the drive and the day.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Also

Also, according to my stats, the Russians are here.

Hi Russians!
Zdrasvitye.

Nerves

In about ten hours, I'll be seeing my mother for the first time in a year and a half.  Since the last time I saw her, I've gotten married, and our communication has dropped drastically.  My marriage isn't the only reason; she also moved across the country, switched time zones, and has a very busy life with four small chidren...but still.  I can't help but be nervous.

My oldest sister, who, at last check, adores me, is now ten and a half.  The last time I saw her was shortly before her ninth birthday.  She knows V as my good friend, and my mom and stepdad are determined to keep it that way.  I don't feel like I'm even going to know her.

My cousins, who will also be at this Thanksgiving shindig, know and support V and me.  My aunts and uncles know too, I think.  My grandparents don't.  My mom and stepdad do, but don't want anyone else to.

Feeling the nerves yet?  Life truly is a series of coming-outs.  We'll see who and how, for this round, over the next few days.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Work

I love my job because it doesn't feel like work.  Except sometimes it does.

Lunchtime, today.  Lilly goes into hysterics when I mention lunch, so I put her downstairs in the basement (there isn't a door, and it's not far) to scream where she couldn't bother Patrick and I.  He ate slowly, reluctantly; she came up for a few bites and ended up back in a tantrum and back downstairs.

Toward the end, he said his tummy hurt and he had to go potty.  Lilly had been quiet in the basement.  Patrick and I went upstairs; he sat on the potty, then projectile vomited all over the bathroom.

I cleaned him and the room up (and gagged some; usually I'm good with vomit, but sometimes not so much), took him back downstairs to watch tv, went down a few stairs to peek into the basement, and saw Lilly conked out on the couch, on her side, fingers in her mouth.

At that point, I metaphorically threw up my hands, and called their mom.

In the end, everyone ate, everyone watched tv, and everyone (thankfully) went down for naps at the proper time.  I'm just glad that after tomorrow, I'm off until next Monday.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Freeing

Growing up, V and I were both told in our churches some variation on "there's a God-shaped hole inside your heart."  Youth groups warned us not to fill that hole with boys, or drugs, or even "holy" pursuits like academics.  Only God could perfectly fill up a person.

Last night, V commented that there is in fact a hole inside people.  It's called adolescence.  It's not God-shaped; it's not any shaped.  It's just a part of life - I'm not even sure it's a hole.  Teenage years can suck.  God may help, or may not.

It's taken me more time than I'd like, but I finally feel free of the "God-shaped hole" myth.  I finally feel free of the God myth, for lack of better terminology.  Not that I don't believe there is a God - in some form, somewhere, in some level of involvement with humanity.  It's just that, for the first time in my life, I feel totally comfortable not giving a rat's behind about any of it.

One of the other common church stories is the idea of coming to Jesus, being saved, and having a burden lifted off that you didn't even realize was there.  Well I'm here tonight to bring you the message that the exact opposite action will give you the same result.  I have rarely felt so free, so relaxed (in this regard), as in the past few months.

I am, at long last, comfortably areligious.  Comfortably letting all rats keep their rear ends when it comes to religion.  I don't have to think about getting up on Sunday morning, every week.  I don't have to think about whether my actions hurt or please anyone other than myself and my fellow humans.  And amazingly, I don't have to think about guilt.  It's finally disappeared.

I love it.  I've caught myself lately just pausing, taking a deep breath, and feeling the lack of stress and guilt and worry and expectations.  It's downright freeing.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Classroom

V and I took the twins over to her university's Montessori classroom tonight, and she taught them some lessons.  It was fascinating to watch them watch her, then engross themselves in copying her.  I really think both would thrive in a real classroom.

They're both getting better, too, thankfully.  Lilly kept her dinner down; I'm not sure she's kept a meal down for two days.  And I'm done wiping noses!

We leave for our Thanksgiving trip on Tuesday.  We move on Saturday.  Oh boy.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Empathy

Lilly was pushing my empathy button today.  I don't think there's anything sadder than a tiny three-year-old begging to go to sleep.  Unfortunately, she needed to get some food in her first; lunch was a disaster that she ended up throwing up, but I tried.

They're not super sick, but definitely stuffy and sneezy and coughing.  For Lilly, that means lots of phlegm that triggers her, and she's already sensitive to throwing up.  Four times between breakfast and lunch.  Patrick even threw up once.

In better news, we signed the lease on our new place tonight!  Treated ourselves to (cheap) dinner to celebrate, and we're moving in a week and a half.  I'm really hoping I don't get what the twins have, as I've been fighting a headache all day.  Now to figure out how to pack.  I really think this was easier last time...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Drained

I'm drained.  I'm texting people things I won't remember or relate to tomorrow, not because I'm drunk, but because I'm depleted.  I've cried.  I don't know what's wrong with me.  Well, yes, I do.  I'm overloaded, and panicking because I'm about to go into a situation with my two least favorite qualities: the unknown, and me not being in control.

I'm terrified.  Does my rational side think (know) we'll be happy in this house?  Yes.  Obviously.  Does that stop me from freaking out about the move, the money, the everything?  Not at all.  Is the timing horrible?  Yep.

V and I are staying with my cousin when we go visit my mom's side of the family over Thanksgiving.  A simple email from him, "Does Granny know you're married?" ended with me in tears and praying I hadn't just spilled my soul in the message I typed out.  Quick check - I didn't.  Just gave him the rundown of the drama: who knows what, who doesn't, who does but doesn't want anyone else to.  Check, check, check.

And we return next Friday, and move on Saturday.
And I think I know where the money's coming from, but I'm not sure where it puts us for traveling and Christmas and all those end-of-year expenses.

Florence + the Machine on Pandora.  I'm going to go through a pile of papers that's been on the floor for months.  Hopefully that will consume my mind.  (My racing mind at night, and consequent lack of sleep, is another stress.)

I'll try to be better soon.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Too much

V and I have a tendency to bite off more than we can chew.  Life will be nice and calm, and then, all of a sudden, it explodes, and we're in over our heads.  Here we are, just over a week away from Thanksgiving, about to dive into The Holidays.  She is in training for one of her new part-time jobs, and I'm trying to get paperwork together for the other one.  The end of her first semester of grad school is fast approaching.  We did a photoshoot last weekend, it needs to be edited at some point, and both the facebook page and website need updating.

Oh, and we're moving in a week and a half.  In all likelihood.  Just a few streets over, into a house (not an apartment!), and we're excited, but...

Can I sleep till December 1st, and wake up to everything being normal and quiet again?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Quote

Nannying gives me the opportunity to say the greatest sentences.  Tonight's example:
"I don't think Andrew wants to be pink turtle boy, Bug."

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Microwave

I don't often write about the ins and outs of daily life, but sometimes, ideas just have to come out through my fingers.  I just finished making popcorn; V is on the couch next to me, reading her homework.

We don't have a microwave.  This isn't because we believe the scary radiation will kill us all, but mostly because the one we had was crap, and it was taking up valuable counter space.  Between our stove and toaster oven, we figured we were set.

It hasn't been too much trouble.  Frozen chicken nuggets take longer to cook.  The two biggest inconveniences have been popcorn and warm cider or juice.  My mom taught me how to make popcorn, from kernels, when I was little, so I know how to do it: it's just a lot more involved than popping an envelope in the microwave and listening.

While I was making this batch just now, I was actually thinking how soothing it is.  Our kitchen light is burnt out, so we have just a little lamp; the low light was relaxing.  I had a pot holder in each hand, periodically shaking the big ceramic pot that came from my mother years after the popcorn-making lesson did.

There's a lot lately about slow food, about slowing down life, about being involved with the little things that go into eating and living.  It's one of the things that's nice about not having a microwave.  Some days, I don't end up drinking warm apple cider that sounds so enjoyable, because I don't feel like making it.  But more often than not, the longer this continues, I find myself calming down: standing at the stove, idly stirring a spoon around the dark amber liquid, waiting for it to be the perfect temperature.

It forces me to pause.  It forces me to think, just for a few minutes, of the way things come to be.  The way corn kernels turn into white pieces of fluff in my mouth.  The way soup slowly starts to bubble in a pot.  The way I come to be standing there, taking a breath, while I wait.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Proud

Today, Patrick and Lilly had their first gymnastics class in an "independent threes" class - which means I get to watch them from the waiting area.  They were excited about their special class without me, and they did great.  It's the first time they've ever done anything without me or their parents; I was nervous, but they went right in, and listened to their teacher brilliantly.

I'm so proud of them.  They've really grown up in the past month or so.  Now if only they'll stop pooping in their underwear.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Excuse me

While I go kick something.  Or smack.  Or otherwise vent my rage and anger.

I ignored a call from my grandmother, my stepmom's mom, earlier today.  I haven't talked to her in months.  This is mostly due to the fact that she's a self-centered psycho.  When I was younger, she spoiled me rotten (I'm the only granddaughter), but as I've gotten older, she does so less (thankfully), and I dislike her more.

The voicemail, which was asking my bra size to see if she should buy me something, began thus:
"I haven't talked to you since before you were married. I didn't know you got married; congratulations. Had I know, I would have come, even if you didn't want me there."

Guess who I'm not calling back?  Ugh!  Biological family can be such a pain in the rear.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It continues

V was with us at the playground, and I asked her to see if Lilly was still chewing.

V: Lilly, is there food in your mouth?
Lilly: Or something.

Headdesk.

Pottyless and employed

Pottyless: Last week, I took Patrick and Lilly to the one playground I could think of that had a bathroom.  I'd been avoiding outdoor activities while potty training, since bathrooms aren't super common (not counting trees).  Well, guess what was closed for the season?  Patrick never had to go, or never told me he did; Lilly said she needed to pee, and I told her we'd have to go behind a tree in the grass.  She did great - and was excited to tell Daddy later.  Thankfully his response was "sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do."  Of course, today, while I getting us ready to go to a different playground, I put the little potty in the car, and Lilly says, "But there's grass we can pee on and trees."  It should be noted that she used the little potty, though.

Emplyed: Not me, but V.  She's been doing odd jobs for awhile, and didn't want to nanny - or rather, go through the ordeal of meeting a new family - again.  As of now, it looks like she has two part-time gigs that further everything she wants to do.  She hopefully soon will be starting newborn photography in hospitals (and not the ugly kind), and also will be teaching dance classes to preschoolers.  How much more perfect could it be?

Today, Patrick and Lilly and I met up with Kali and her sisters (and of course their mom), and another family whom I knew.  The five three and four year olds ran around having such a blast, following each other down slides, giggling up a storm, and jumping together on the bouncy bridge.  It's an unseasonably warm day, and it was just a beautiful, relaxing, enjoyable morning and afternoon.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Or something

Kids pick up on the linguistic quirks of people they spend time with.  This is known.  This also means they are good at pointing out quirks that said people may or may not be aware of.

Lately, Lilly has taken to adding "or something" to the end of her sentences.
"What's that person doing?  Maybe eating lunch or something?"
"Can I go upstairs and play with my dollies or something?"
"My train is broken or something."

I figured she'd picked this up from me.  It's my way of saying that I don't know exactly what the future holds, but I can hazard a guess.  We drove by my house on our way home from the aquarium today, and the kids asked if V was there, and then what she was doing.  My reply?  "Probably homework for her school, or something."

Oops.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Date

Dates should happen more often, for V and I.  We both feel so good.  And I actually bother to put on mascara.

Now we're sitting at home, eating frozen eclairs, drinking apple cider, and lazing on the internet, because it's Friday night and we don't have to get up early tomorrow.

Nothing new to report, other than that I'm still limping (sometimes dramatically) and throwing myself occasional pity parties.  Eclairs help.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

48 hours

The past 48 hours have been a roller coaster.  Yesterday was a great day, with V receiving hopeful job possibilities, us finding out our wedding pictures are going to be somewhere else (seriously, they crop up all over the internet!), and me taking a glorious scooter ride.

Today, on the other hand, was not so good.  I watched Bug and Andrew tonight; Bug hadn't napped, and was just plain mean to her brother.  Stepping on his fingers, running her bike into him, "accidentally" trying to stab him with her fork, psycho.  And just before I went over there, I had a scooter spill.  V and I went to the scooter store so she could practice more, and we both wanted to try two people on it.  I was driving, and got too cocky.  We ran into a concrete block and then a chain link fence.  Broke the top part of the scooter (which thankfully he could replace immediately), and seriously messed up my left knee.  Nothing else wrong - but I still sat in the parking lot and cried.

So, not so thrilled with things at the moment.  My knee is throbbing.  I'm not a fan of children.  It's going to rain tomorrow.

But, 48 hours from now, I'll be seeing Wicked with my love.  That's a good start.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy November!

The weather is beautiful, I took a joyride on the scooter, I'm eating frozen corn, and life is going well.

Yesterday I had two angelic twins; today I had two devilish ones.  Well, not so much devilish as whiny.  No accidents, though, in the past two days.  Poop still happens in the underwear a lot.  I'm okay with that.

V is looking into a few job opportunities.  She's tired of nannying, but doesn't want retail or restaurant (obviously).  Photography is going well, but isn't nearly to the point that it can be her sole occupation.  But there are promising leads, which I will be secretive about unless something pans out.

Other than that, not much is new!  Saturday was a photoshoot and Halloween party; Sunday was a mini photoshoot and babysitting.  Nothing too out of the ordinary planned for the near future.

And so, thus ends a mostly boring update.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Party

This is why we work with the families we do.  Last night, we were at a (very adult only) Halloween party thrown by Bug and Andrew's parents.  At one point, their dad pointed at us and announced, "I think it's time for our nannies to take a shot!"

Yep.  We love our families.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Breaking

Breaking news, that is.

TWO kids were TOTALLY dry all day!!!

I'm not saying this is the end of accidents; it's just that holycrapIdidn'tdealwithpeetoday.

We did all sorts of fun stuff tonight: split a cookie in the mall food court, picked up some squeezable fruit at the store, had lots of bathroom trips, and explored the fascinating worlds of electric toilets and noisy hand dryers.

And they stayed dry.  This sound: a sigh of relief.

Four and five

Yesterday was my frazzled day.  My "makes gun sign with fingers and shoots self in head as I run after Patrick toward the bathroom for the fifteenth time in thirty minutes, and gets a laugh from the guy at the front desk at gymnastics" day.  See?  Even that sentence was frazzled.

Today, though, was a positive!  Patrick did poop in his underwear, but pooping really is a whole different battle (though they've done it on the potty some).  Other than that, (drumroll), both were dry for six hours this morning!  All through preschool, all through playing at home, all through lunch.  I'm pleased.

I'm heading back to their house tonight; V is going to be practicing some Montessori work at the classroom at her school, and kids are welcome, so I think I'll take the twins over there.  Not that I'm counting down or anything, but...in roughly seven hours, I won't have to think about who is peeing when and where until Monday morning.  That, my friends, is a celebration.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Christmas, or, day three

The title is not Christmas due to a present, though Patrick did accidentally leave a little something in his underwear.  Twice.

Well, it all started because Lilly was throwing a screaming-crying-three-year-old tantrum.  This made me forget that the kids were in underwear and needed to be encouraged to go potty (I know, how could I forget); I quickly remembered when Patrick said, "I have to pee! ...my underwear's wet."

Ten minutes later, he runs over: "I have stinky diaper can you change it?"  Uh, you're not in a diaper, boy.  That was lovely.

No, Christmas is in the title because they both were singing O Christmas Tree today.  I have no idea why.  Maybe they watched one of their Christmas movies last night?  It was a hilarious scene: they laid their hula hoops down on the driveway, then carefully moved all their pumpkins and gourds from the front steps into the hula hoops, all the while singing together.

I still have two months before I have to deal with Christmas; don't make me think about it yet.  Though we may actually have some fun (!) holiday (!) plans in the works, and I'm used to those two words being an oxymoron.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Day two

Accidents.
Progress.
Hopeful.
Frazzled.
Resigned.
Encouraged.
Pee.
Poop.
Underwear.
Dry.
Wet.
Diapers.
(Nap.)
Yuck.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Day one

As of this morning, diapers are over at the twins' house, except for nap and bedtimes.  They really are ready, though; we went more than four hours this morning with Lilly staying totally day and Patrick only pooping a bit in his underwear (which honestly surprised both of us, when he pulled his underwear down and it fell out).  It's stressful, though: always keeping an eye on both of them, checking the time to make sure they're trying enough, just waiting for the accident.  On top of all the fun that comes with two three year olds.  (Two giant tantrums at lunch.  Enough said.)

But today did go well.  Especially with Lilly - I'm hoping she'll be pretty easy.  We stayed home today, and will again tomorrow, but Wednesday Patrick has speech, Thursday is gymnastics, and Friday is school.  Here goes nothing.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Return

I didn't mean to be gone for quite so long, but the cabin in the mountains did not have (working) internet.  It was indeed up in the mountains, and the trees and the views were gorgeous.  V and I were able to relax, rest, and spend some fun time with a dear friend.

Now we are home, to two kitties desperate for attention, and tomorrow starts the twins' potty training adventure.  (I really have no idea what that will consist of.)

This weekend, V and I are attending a Halloween party that Bug and Andrew's parents are hosting.  It's apparently a big deal; they've held it for the past who-knows-how-many years.  We're tossing around costume ideas, but nothing is set yet.

We were stuck in traffic for an hour and a quarter (progress: two miles), so my brain is fried.  And my cat's, clearly, is not.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fighting

I cry easily.  I know this about myself; I've hated it for years, and am only lately coming around.  That said, a text from a friend the other day brought me to tears.

I'm really sorry that this [everything anti-gay in the world] is happening, and I know it doesn't help much, but know that we [she and her husband] will fight alongside you guys until you get what you should have had a long time ago.  It makes me angry that people justify their hatred with love of God, but hopefully more minds will change.

I know we have friends who support us.  I know we have friends who are gay, fighting each day as we are (overtly or not) for recognition and acceptance.  I've never heard someone be so explicit about it, though.  I've never had someone tell me that I shouldn't have to educate everyone (which was a later text).  I've never had someone say, in essence, "This is a terrible thing.  Let me help you get through it."

And so I sniffled and blinked rapidly.  I locked the text in my phone, to read when the going gets tough, when I feel like we're alone in a sea of antagonism.  The mental image of dear friends fighting alongside us, ready to remind us that we are worth it, ready to jump in front of us and take the heat...  I'm tearing up again.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

No comment

Okay, comments:

Look what we have!  Well, we don't have it yet, as neither of us have our motorcycle licenses (which our state requires), but we have paid in full and it's waiting at the store for us.

There was much happy dancing.
Eeeeeee!

Monday, October 17, 2011

To do before leaving on Thursday

- get the oil changed in the car
- possibly get other stuff done to the car (after all, it's our only one)
- drop off pictures with Essie's mom
- vacuum the house
- do the dishes
- find someone to watch the cats
- get my motorcycle permit
- pack for trip
- babysit tomorrow night
- babysit the night after
- put away laundry
- figure out how to unclog the bathroom sink

See, wifey dear?  This is why I'm stressed.

Quotables

Seth: Do you know what a million plus a hundred is?  Two thousand eleven!  That's a big number.

Isabella, when I got her from her crib where she definitely did not nap: I made a little bit of noise, but I was quiet when my eyes were closed.

Isabella: Where's Mommy?
Me: She had a doctor's appointment.
Isabella: Oh, she's at her physical therapist.
(Keep in mind, she's two!)

Exhibition

Tomorrow, V and I are taking her pictures over to the family center, where they'll be on the walls for three months.  It's an awesome opportunity.

We scavenged thrift stores for frames; she had to spraypaint some of them black.  Everything looks amazing now, though.  Uh, except for my bloody finger.  And the glass in the trash bag.  Welcome to thrifting!

This week is vacation, thanks to the twins being at the beach.  I still have Bug and Andrew a few days, and Seth and Isabella tomorrow.  Oh, and Kali and her sisters on Tuesday night, helping their mom with bath night.  For the past two and a half weeks, she's been a single mom due to her husband's job.  The end is finally near, though.

And Thursday, we run for the hills.  I mean, head to the mountains.  I hear there's going to be a hot tub!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Addenda

Both at gymnastics yesterday and the big indoor play park today, Patrick and Lilly each tried using the potty of their own volition.  Yesterday Lilly had success, but otherwise none: still, I'm so proud of them for asking to try!

They left today for just over a week of vacation.  I'm exhausted right now, but I'm sure I'll start missing them soon.  I'm just too in love with those kids.  Maybe not "too" in love.

V and I have the rest of the weekend kid-free.  Her photography has really picked up, which is great, and we have some sessions lined up for that in the coming weekends.  But first, away to beautiful mountains with us, come Thursday!  We both need to recharge.  Lots.

Found out today that the place we're staying has a hot tub!  Need I say more?
(No.  The end.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Potties, or dining room chairs

We leave for vacation in a week!  I'm so excited.

A friend told me yesterday that he was "in suspense" (his words) as to the state of Lilly's potty usage.  It was actually a good reminder for me, as I hadn't mentioned anything potty-related in awhile, and I like to keep it on their brains.

Lilly asked for underwear yesterday, and then so did Patrick.  She, per usual, is great about not having accidents when in underwear; it's getting her to wear it full-time that's the trick (darn you, disposable diapers, and your convenience and comfort).  Since both of them have a habit of getting bored, restless, and tantrum-y during lunch, I let them sit in the normal chairs at the dining room table for lunch, with the little potty nearby.  If they asked, they could get down and try to use the potty.  For the most part that worked to keep the moods okay.  Lilly did a lot of peeing.  Patrick not so much.  He may have gone once in the two or so hours he had underwear on yesterday, but I can't recall.

Until, of course, I saw his expression change, and he stood up in his chair to show me the puddle underneath.  He sat on the potty; I cleaned it up.  No big deal.  (I'm so thankful that these things aren't a big deal.)

Today, we did the same routine: big chairs, underwear, frequent potty breaks.  I know they're telling me they need to go just so they can get down, but I don't want to thwart it this early in the game.  Both kids really did have to go, too, a lot.  I was proud of them.

Then Lilly pooped in her chair.  I don't think any of us knew where that came from; she looked as confused and startled as I did.  Again, she tried the potty (no more luck), I cleaned it up, and life went on.

The adventures of potty training.  They leave for vacation Friday, and I think that when they get back, diapers are for real going away soon.  Stay tuned - I'll try not to leave anyone hanging from a cliff.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Shame

Yesterday, after Patrick screamed at me multiple times during lunch, I smacked his hand.  This is - to put it mildly - very atypical behavior.  It's happened maybe a handful of times, which is a handful too many.  I put him in his crib for timeout and calm-down time, then came back downstairs to Lilly.

I explained to her that when I went up to talk to Patrick, I needed to apologize, because it is never okay to hit.  Back in the nursery, I said the same thing to Patrick.  I told him I was wrong, and that hitting wasn't nice and I shouldn't have done it.  I said I was sorry.

I left it in the note for their mom.  (Partially because I'm super honest, partially because they would out me anyway.)  In my note for this morning, she wrote back that she knew it was hard to keep it together, and that she knows I know I'm a role model and that we can't tell the kids hitting is wrong if we do it.  Thankfully, she also wrote that she knew I had sound judgment, or something like that, that made it clear that she didn't think I was a terrible, immoral person.  I still feel horrid.

Cute Lilly line of the day, to end on a cheery note: "I'm gonna play in my nursery-room.  In my bedtime crib!"

Monday, October 10, 2011

Definitions

I learned tonight, in reading Sexy Origins and Intimate Things, that the definitions we are used to for sexual orientation (a concept that itself wasn't around until recently) are recent inventions.

Up until the late 1920s, a heterosexual was a person who engaged in "perverted," i.e. non-procreative, sex.  This could include same-sex dalliances, as many heterosexuals, by virtue (ha!) of being perverse, supposedly lumped that in.  Homosexuals were also in existence, though they were consider a smaller concern.  The heteros were the ones to watch out for.

Until within the past eighty years, sex/society was divided not by whom you chose to interact with, but how you did so.  Oral sex and birth control were the evil side, regardless of gender.

Fascinating stuff, really.

Bug

Oh, my sweet Bug.  It had been so long since I'd seen you.  Your brother is all over the place; rumor has it that he's even stood on his own for a second or two.  Your hair is longer and curlier.  When I arrived, you were eating sushi, and trying to figure out chopsticks.  Are you really only 28 months old?

In the basement, you put on your dress-up clothes and told me you were as pretty as Dora.  Then you pretended to cook me sushi (and I laughed at the irony).  We even got to cuddle a bit while you decided which color cup you wanted your bedtime milk in.

I've missed you.

Phone

Saturday night, roughly eight thirty or nine.  My phone rings: it's the twins' mom.

"Hi, sorry to bother you.  Are you doing something important?"
"Nope."  (I was doing a puzzle.)
"Okay, good.  I have a little girl here who wants to say goodnight to you.

Both Lilly and Patrick told me about going to get pumpkins and flowers that day, and everything else they'd done.  Then they said goodnight.

My heart: melted.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Adoption

This weekend, V and I are dog sitting.  Sort of.  We're currently at Bug and Andrew's house, hanging out with their sweet, spastic dog.  Earlier today, we took her to the dog park, and didn't bother to correct people who talked about "our dog."

I do that with kids, too.  "Your kids are so cute!"  And I just thank the person.  I'll claim them when I'm only interacting for a few minutes; everyone at gymnastics and school knows they aren't technically mine.

Though, the other day, the twins' mom sent me a really sweet text about how V and I are so important to their family, and she wants to keep us both close.  There's definitely been a change in the past few months, really since I hit the one-year mark.  She seems more open and emotional, which she never really has before; we all seem more invested and attached.  And I love it.

Twelve days until we go on vacation!  Courtesy of my one-year anniversary, the twins' parents are giving us the keys to their house a few hours away, in beautiful mountains, for us to relax in.  I can't believe we're going away for four whole days, with no children and no family.

You know, maybe not with the dog, but at least with kids I can take credit for manners and mannerisms, some of the time.  That makes me feel better.

(Especially when I hear Lilly in the backseat say "Goodness gracious me!" like I occasionally do.)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Potato

There is a little girl in our gymnastics class, and today her mom was encouraging her to use her feet to kick the balls, not pick them up with her hands.  "Hot potato, hot potato," she kept saying.  Lilly looked at her, at the little girl, at me, all with an expression of "I'm not seeing a potato here."  Once the little girl had moved on, Lilly walked over to the ball she'd been touching and very gingerly reach out two fingers.  She tentatively touched it a time or two, before giving me a look that clearly said "That woman is out of her mind."

I love my literalist kids.

Cougar

This post has nothing to do with older women.

The twins and I went to the zoo yesterday, and Lilly rode a cougar on the merry-go-round.  We ended up having perfect timing for the cougar encounter later; the zoo has two one-year-olds, and they did a great routine of running and jumping around to get to treat boxes.  Awesome animals, especially when they're a foot away, separated only by glass.

Lilly was so excited to tell me, and later Daddy, that she rode on and saw a raccoon!  I guess the "coo" sound confused her.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sand

V is doing an art project for one of her Montessori classes, and needed some sand.  I should've thought ahead and gotten some from the twins' sandbox, but I didn't, and we couldn't really find any anywhere.

The solution was so simple: go to the awesome playground that has a sand area, and put some in a jar.  Of course we couldn't make it there until 9:30, so we technically trespassed, but all in the name of art!

So sorry

As Patrick, Lilly, and I walked out the front door to get in the van this morning, Lilly pointed out that I was driving V's car.  Mine broke, I told her.  Patrick looked up at me, a little upset looking, and said, "I so sorry!"  It was adorably sweet.

Lilly: I sorry V broke your car.
Me: Haha, no, there were just a lot of things wrong with it.  V didn't break it.
Lilly: You need to fix it now?
Me: No, I think it's just time I got a new one.
Patrick: I so sorry.  I so sorry you broke your car.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Decisions

V and I are in the middle of trying to decide whether to buy a cheaper car to replace mine, or trade both of ours in and go down to one (nicer) car.  I'd love to do one car, but we don't know what her work situation will be yet, and so we don't know if that's an option.

I'm surprisingly unworried about money; perhaps it's because we've been in this place before.  But the car issue is stressing me out: I hate decisions, especially big ones.  Can't I be the one who just turned three?

There really isn't a lot else on my mind.  I'm in the university library while V has class, and then I'm hoping we'll get dinner.  I've been eating all day, no signs of stopping.

Uneventful week coming up.  Busy with the twins: Patrick has a speech evaluation tomorrow, class at the zoo on Wednesday, and then gymnastics Thursday and school Friday.  But I honestly can't think if I have anything planned outside of them.  So strange.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Party

Yesterday was Patrick and Lilly's birthday, and their party.  V and I went early to help keep them occupied while their parents cooked, cleaned, and set up.  It was mostly family, with some little kids: their friend from across the street with his parents, and Essie and Anne with their parents.

It was phenomenally fun.  We wouldn't have missed it for the world.  We both felt like part of the family; there was even a moment where their mom was telling everyone how great I was.

We're visiting (extended) family now, and having a blast.  That's why this is short, but know that I'm madly in love with my twins.  And my wife.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Down day

Today was V's last day with her girls.
It was also the day I found out that my (13 year old, 140k miles) car needs $600 in brake repair, which I don't think we're willing to put in it.  We've been planning to get a new one, but plans may have just rapidly accelerated.

We stayed over Essie and Anne's for an hour and a half after their parents came home, drinking wine and talking.  It was really, really nice.

There have been lots of tears today.  That's my first car sitting out there, parked on the street, with its highly defective brakes (and bald tires, too).  V's plans haven't quite come through as quickly as we'd hoped.  We've been planning a big trip (overseas!) around New Year's, and that might have to be canceled.

Life is sad right now.  But:
We have our house, our two kitties, and each other.  And at the moment, a delicious salad (kale, clementine, crasins, sunflower seeds, walnuts, and Annie's raspberry vinaigrette).  We'll get through this.

We might need some cookie dough, though.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Angels and demons

Today, I was treated to some highlights such as Lilly screaming "No!" at me, twice, in a public place (thankfully with no one else around), her telling her brother "I wanna break your fishie," and her hitting Patrick.  It was the closest I've ever come to cursing around one of them; I honestly just wanted to yell at her to pull her $%&@ together and get over it.

Before lunch, she finally blew my last nerve, and I put her in her crib.  She stayed up there for about ten minutes.  I think it actually gave her a chance to calm down, because she then proceeded to eat lunch with no tantrums.  In thirty minutes.  Thirty minutes!  That's never happened!

Three days until they turn three.  I'm nervous how the next two days will go...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Background

And now we will commence lesson one, Why I Am The Way I Am (With Kids):

Yesterday, I sent a text out to five or so friends.
"Two three year olds, two pumpkins, two paintbrushes, three paint colors, two bowls of water, and paper towels.  No way this could go wrong, right?"

Responses ranged from "I'll be praying for you" to "riiight, let me know how that goes" to "oh god why."

Then came my mother's response: "Ooh fun!!! I miss doing that!!"

This concludes our lesson.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Redo

I got tired of the old look of the blog.  Very tired, as evidenced by the drastic change.  We'll see if this sticks or not; the background at the moment is a picture of Lilly.

And now for dropping a bomb: this coming week is V's last week with Essie and Anne.  We found out Thursday.  In brief, it's nothing she/we did, the girls' mom has been crying a lot, we've been crying a lot.  We don't really know what's coming, but I'm not worried about the job/income side.  These things always happen, and we always get through.  The emotional side has been rough, rough, rough on all of us, though.  We lost two of our little girls.

I'd been waiting to write about it until I could write a more full-length essay getting into my feelings, which I finally did this afternoon.  That cleansed.  Good wishes and prayers for V this week, though, please; the sense of loss is strong.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Thieves

Various things overheard, as I tweak things on the blog, while V is reading her homework:

V, to cat in her lap: I see you staring at me.  Yep, still do.

V, to me: Uh, the cat just watched me underline.  As in, her head craned to follow my hand.

V, to me: She just picked up my pen like it was a bone and walked off with it!

V, to cat: No, you can't have this pen too!  You have one halfway across the room!

And the ever popular: I don't feel like playing with you right now; leave me alone!

For those wondering, no, it usually doesn't feel like we are done with kids at the end of the day.

Firsts

As a nanny, I don't get to see a lot of firsts.  Were I watching infants and babies I would, probably; with toddlers, though, firsts come in the form of places and events - first dentist visit (which I actually was at), first plane trip, first time at the beach.

Today, I watched Lilly take her first pony ride.  V and I took them to an amazing park/farm/playground, with pony and wagon rides, a petting zoo, a giant dairy barn converted into a playplace (which, yes, V and I took just as much advantage of as the kids).  Lilly pet the pony, and when I asked her if she wanted a ride, she said yes.  When I asked Patrick, he said, "I don't like riding the horses."  As if he's ever tried.

It was one of those days that didn't feel like work; a big part of that was having V with me.  It was just us out with our kids on a mostly-pretty Saturday, watching them spazz and Lilly run three different directions in her excitement.

Friday, September 23, 2011

High/low lights

Today at school, Lilly used the potty after snack.  Later, during lunch at home, she told me she had to pee, used the potty again, and came back to continue lunch.  I'm proud of her.  After the family vacation in October, the potty training will get serious, but I'm enjoying this laid-back version for the moment.

She's still on a screaming streak, though, and it only seems to be getting worse.  Both at gymnastics yesterday and school today she ended up separated from the other kids, in time out, because she wouldn't listen and then started screaming when she went into time out.  It's very frustrating.

Tonight, V and I are with her girls (Essie and Anne).  We did a photoshoot with them, but she hasn't loaded the pictures on her computer yet.  I can't wait to see them!  The parents know, so this one won't be a surprise; it's still exciting though.  I'm hoping her photography really takes off.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Interlude

Patrick and Lilly, especially Lilly, were terrible today.  Did I jinx myself by posting yesterday how wonderful it was to feel part of the family?  Coming from that this morning, I'm going over to Bug and Andrew's in an hour, and... I am so over kids right now.  Last time I went over there, the evening went great.  After the dinner where Bug made herself throw up twice.  And I almost broke down in tears.

I can do this, I can do this, I can do this.  Or should it be, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can?

At gymnastics today, I apparently surprised someone by being a nanny.  Not only did she think I was youngish (which I'm okay with), but she told me I interacted with the kids like I was their mom.  I'm still not entirely sure what this means - it's not the first time I've heard it - but it always makes me smile.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Almost family

Almost a year ago, I wrote about the new digital picture frame at the twins, and how it made me sad that I'd missed out on so much of their lives.  What made me even sadder was that I wasn't in any pictures.  I didn't have the prospect of being in any pictures.  I felt like no one except me cared if I was in any pictures.

Since V and I did the kids' pictures, we took a few of me with both of them.  They're perfect.  They're precious.  They blow my mind.

When we gave the pictures to their parents, their mom asked if I was in any of the photos.  I almost cried.  When we told her yes, she was pleased.  Obviously so.  I almost cried again.

I've been with them for fourteen months.  I think I've made it.

W(h)ine

I've had some whiny grouches lately.  Patrick is entering the threes: he's acting out more, including the first act of directed violence against his sister that I've witnessed.  When he couldn't have something yesterday, he tried to kick her.  Today, he tried to run away from me at the playground.

I'm not sure how I'll handle this.  Those sorts of things are what make me lose my temper - though, come to think of it, many tantrums do until I get used to them.  Hopefully I'll settle into dealing with it, and it won't phase me anymore.

There has been too much rain this week.  We went to the Natural History Museum on Monday; I'll never tire of them looking at shiny rocks and skeletons and old telephones.  (There's a whole section on housing and life from first settlement to today.)  Yesterday we had an old-school day of coloring and taking a walk-

Lilly: We go for a walk?
Me: Sure, it's not raining at the moment.
Patrick: You need to get the stroller!
Me: I thought you were walking?
Lilly: Nope, Lina walking.

Again, thanks guys.

Their mom is out of town, so I'm working on Saturday too.  I think V and I are going to take them to a petting zoo/playground that's only open on the weekends.  I'm way more excited than I should be.

This from the girl who this morning said to herself, "I need to remember lipstick; we're going to storytime."

Monday, September 19, 2011

Snip

Obviously I can't post pictures of Patrick and Lilly on here, but there are a few that aren't too identifying.  It makes me sad that I have to censor, because this was by far V's best set and she's gotten so many compliments on them.  There are a ton of advertising and promo opportunities coming her way, too!








Railroad

Lilly: I hear a train!
Me: Hmm, I wonder where it is?
Lilly: I think it's on the tracks.

...yes, thank you.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Happy tears

V and I gave the twins' parents their book with the pictures and handprints yesterday.  Their mom cried; I've never seen her be emotional.  It was the highlight of my (otherwise very rough) week.

I can't type any more, because I've started the hundred pushups program.  And by started, I mean that I literally just got up off the floor from day one.  Therefore, my arms are shaking, and this post has been rather painstaking.  On that rhyme, goodnight.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Surprise

V and I are putting the final touches on what has become the twins' present to their parents: a small, twelve page book with pictures, their handprints, their names, some artwork, and a poem I wrote at the end.  I absolutely cannot wait to give it to them.  As in, I want to go storm their house now.  But since I can't do that, I thought I'd share the poem with you all.  It seems especially perfect for them, since they were premies in the NICU for awhile.  Sometimes I love writing so very much. 

When we were tiny, you took our hands,
And look how far you've brought us.
In response, we'll take your hearts,
Keeping them forever.

Now we're three and growing more,
Our world is getting bigger.
Surrounded by your love and care,
We're free to go explore.

Mommy and Daddy, our hearts to you,
Each day and every night.
As it has been since we were small,
And cradled in your hands.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Missing

I miss my kids.  Yesterday we were supposed to go to a class at the zoo on animal colors, and today is a gymnastics day.  I should be set to work tomorrow, but still...  I haven't seen them since Tuesday, and I miss them!

Their mom told me last weekend that someone in her mom's group was worried about hiring a nanny because she was worried the nanny would get too invested in the kids.  I'm so thankful I don't work for a family like that; there's no way I could.  Patrick and Lilly's mom told me that, for everyone's sanity, she needs to work (though maybe not quite the hours she does), and so it's in everyone's best interest that the kids be taken care of by someone who loves them as much as she does.

I couldn't do my job if I needed to maintain emotional distance.  It's impossible not to care, when your job is caring.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Unfortunate

V and I are both sick, as of this morning.  She's been fighting something for a few days, and it finally got the best of her, in the form of an upper respiratory infection that seems to be developing into conjunctivitis.  I'm sick in the sense that I'm really congested, pink eye is highly contagious, and I live with her.

The downside is that the place where Essie and Anne's mom works is having one of those "this is kinda one of the biggest days of the year" days.  So for her to get a call at quarter to eight this morning saying neither of us could come was less than optimum.

And that's roughly how today's been going.  V is definitely off tomorrow and was already scheduled off on Friday.  I have no idea what life holds.  We're both stressed, though, because of so much that's going on lately, the money we're losing, and the fact that V is missing class and is going to have tons of makeup work.

At the moment, life's not so great on the home front.  The small upside is that at least we get to spend time together.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Marital bliss

A cousin of mine got married yesterday.  She and I are the closest in age of roughly three dozen cousins; she's six months older than I am.  I wrote the beginning of this sad tale back in April.

The pictures are starting to crop up on Facebook now.  I'm about in tears, again.  The reception looks like so much fun; so many extended family members that I never get to see are there.  Are they still my family members?  I honestly don't even know.

People are writing on my cousin's Facebook wall how much their bond has been a blessing, how they have been awesomely used by God and will continue to be, and on how two people cannot possibly be a perfect for each other and full of love as they are.  And I think,

How can they be so perfect and full of love, when the very act they are celebrating is one they explicitly made exclusive and discriminatory?

Right now, I don't want to hear about personal beliefs, and religious preferences.  I don't want to hear about how they still love me, even though they don't believe my marriage is valid in the eyes of God.

I want to know how love can be perfect, when it closes the door to others.
I want to know how they can be a shining example of God's love, when she shut the door in my face.
(I know it's not all about me.  This is different.)
I want to know why she gets a giant family wedding, and I might've had ten people, if I was lucky.
I want to know why her love is sanctioned, and mine is not.
I want to know how people can live with themselves, in their happy little bubbles, and not see that their arbitrary and unnatural distinctions actually impact real people's lives.
I want to know why this still hurts.
I want to know if it will ever go away.

Photogenic

Tonight, as a surprise for Patrick and Lilly's parents, V and I did a photoshoot with them.  They're only a few weeks away from turning three.  The shoot went amazing: despite being on the cusp of three and testing more boundaries daily, they had fun, listened well, and were adorably photogenic.

Like I said, it's a surprise, so we'll see what the reaction is - and if the twins can keep it from their parents.  I'm worried I might get a text from their mom tomorrow, "The kids keep talking about taking pictures last night with V?"  Hopefully not!

There are some pictures of me with them, and I almost had tears.  I haven't seen any pictures of me with them (except an old Photobooth one or two from a night I took my computer).  We all look so happy and comfortable...I love it.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Skipped

In early August, I almost wrote up a post and scheduled it to auto-post on August 28th.  Then I thought, nah, I'll remember.  I didn't actually write anything on that date.

Why does this even matter?  Well, it doesn't, really.  Except that it was my one-year anniversary of writing here.

I like to celebrate the little things, like a whim of mine actually lasting (at a decently steady pace, too) over a year.  By now it's second nature to write at least every other day.  It may not be mind-blowing, but I was an English major, so it's at least keeping me disciplined.

Now to work on disciplining those darn kids...kidding!  You all know I love my kids.  If not, surely at least half of the past year's entries have been positive things about them.

My brain stopped working.  I should stop writing.  Happy late anniversary, Finding Snooze!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Love

During gymnastics class today (interruption: SO glad to have back an arena for them to run around and squeal and get their energy out, especially with all this rain), Patrick had a bit of a tantrum and ended up pouting.  As all the kids moved to the next series of activities, I asked if he wanted to join them or not.  He did end up running over and sitting next to his sister.

Lilly, meanwhile, had followed the other kids and sat on the mat; she turned around to ask me where Patrick was, and by then he'd come over and was in front of her.  As soon as he sat down, she grabbed his hand, snuggled into him, and said, "Patrick!"

Yep.  It was adorable.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Young

I've been counting down to the twins' birthday; every day I'll say, "24 [today] days until you turn..." and Lilly yells back, "Three days old!"  It's adorable.  When I say three years, though, they both add on that it's just like Baby Bop.

It's rainy today, and I brought two umbrellas with me.  Well, I grabbed the one in the house, and then I also had one in the car, but I figured there was no way all three of us could use one umbrella.  I didn't realize that I should have brought three, however.  When we left storytime, I was in the rain while they each proudly carried an umbrella all the way to the car.  I have a picture on my phone, but no way to transfer...let me assure you it was adorable though.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Door

Patrick and Lilly have been popping in and out of the nursery for about twenty minutes, updating me with things like "my baby's crying" and "I need to go get milk for my baby; see you later bye bye."

This last one, from Lilly, was the best: "Bye see you later I'm going to the zoo."

I can hear them out in the hallway, through the closed door.  (The whole draw of this is that they can open and close the door constantly.)  Yep, my adorable kids are back.

Though, 1) Lilly has zero interest in the potty, and 2) they turn 3 in less than a month!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Wench

My feet are sore, we are both exhausted, and we had so much fun at the Renaissance Faire today.  It also happens to be our six month anniversary; the faire was a perfect celebration.  We dress up every time we go.  V ended up being a belly dancer, thanks to some creative editing of thrift store clothing last night.  I wore layered skirts, my corset, my circlet, and all my other little awesome things that have no other use except this one day per year.  Except we're going to go back in October, too.

All that to say, exhaustion!  And tomorrow marks back to work for me: my first time interacting with children since 2pm Friday.  I have loved the break.

Soft

V and I decided awhile back that our mattress is too hard.  Or firm.  Apparently there's a difference.  Anyway, we picked up a mattress topper yesterday; it was lumpy and noisy.  We're returning it; we don't really feel like figuring out how much we can afford for a new one, and what kind to get.

So we put our futon mattress, which lives in the second bedroom and has no frame, on top of our bed.

And slept like sleepy babies.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Vacation

I guess the title should be "staycation" but I really don't like that word.  It just seems weird.

Still, it feels wonderful to have hours upon hours in the apartment, crazy cats notwithstanding.  We've been to the bookstore and to see an absolutely amazing movie (The Names of Love - it's in French - it blew our minds).  Monday, we're headed to the Renaissance Faire, one of our favorite annual events.  Tomorrow may just be low-key, or we may end up doing lunch and/or a photoshoot with some friends.

Either way, I'm starting to feel restored.  It will happen!

Me

In the course of taking the twins to the art museum the other day, I dragged them to my favorite painting.  It's a John Singer Sargent, called "Venetian Girl with a Fan" from 1882, and I can tell you it looks much, much better in person.
Lilly, especially, has lately taken to making comments that echo what I'm always saying to them.  "What you see over there?" and "What that look like?" are the two most predominant ones.  As we walked to the painting above, she looked at it and commented, "What that look like?  That look like Lina!"

It doesn't look much like me, but I'll take the comparison!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Crush

I have a crush on one of the parents at the twins' school.  Bad?

Regardless, today was a great (and hot and muddy) day.  The walk in the woods was a bit exhausting because we were in the stony creek bed; Patrick and Lilly both kept asking to be carried.  Another super yummy snack happened, and I'm getting more used to the "new age" -ness of all of it.  We open circle time with, "Stretch up high toward the star of our birth; reach down low to warm mother earth."

I earned points with all the parents, because after the long walk, everyone sat down to storytime and I went and fetched ten little cups of water for the sweaty, tired children.  Three or four moms thanked me later.

But yeah.  One of the little boys in class is seventeen months, and I already loved chatting with his mom all through the morning.  During our walk, while the other kids were stomping around in mud, she sat down with him on her lap, under a tree with morning sun shining through, and nursed him.  Who wouldn't be enamored of that?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Homesick

V and I have made the (difficult) decision to stay home this weekend.  We were going to go visit a friend, and I know she's upset at the change of plans, but... I haven't been myself.  I've been a worn, exhausted, grumpy shell of myself.  I need a few days of downtime; if we went away, I wouldn't have that until next weekend.

I've been so much less stressed since we made the call.  We went grocery shopping (felt like I couldn't do that since we were leaving), put off the laundry that needs putting away (no pressure to do it by tomorrow), and am resting peacefully in the knowledge that I can sleep in on Saturday.  And Sunday and Monday, if I want.

Tomorrow is the twins' second day of preschool.  I think it will go well, now that I know what to expect.

Also, Lilly peed through two pairs of underwear today.  One happened two minutes after she got up from ten minutes on the potty.  We're back to diapers for the meantime.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Exhaustion

This week has wiped me out.  The only reason that I'm not in bed right now is because a)  I need to get the laundry, b) I need more food, and c) it would require getting up off the couch.

I can't wait for this week to be over.  It hasn't been bad, but for some reason, it's been utterly exhausting in that can't keep my eyes open way.  They really want to close.  Now.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Busyness as usual

It's a fairly non-noteworthy, busy week.  V has started classes now, so I have Essie and Anne briefly in the evenings - which lately has been sandwiched in between the twins and Kali.  So many children.

I've been exhausted today, for reasons mysterious.  Patrick and Lilly and I went to the art museum: Lilly asked to, and then when we were halfway there and she was talking about it, I realized she meant the children's museum.  Oh well.  They spent half an hour pointing out all the babies (Jesus, that is) in the Renaissance hall, and animals they found in paintings.  Then I took them to the playground so they could actually, you know, run and scream.

Did I mention Patrick's cast is off?  It came off yesterday morning, and we're all happier for it.  Poor kid; so glad that's over.  Not sure what the rest of the week holds.

Monday, August 29, 2011

About that potty thing

Lilly blew my mind on Saturday.  After dinner, I asked if she needed to go potty (not a common question, as I usually don't bring it up).  She said yes, we went upstairs, and she peed.  A lot.  Then I asked if she wanted her diaper back, or underwear; she picked the latter and selected a purple polka-dotted pair.

I took her to the potty about every twenty minutes, and she went every time.  She asked for a playground, so I put a towel in her carseat, put the kids' potty in the van, and off we went.  She took potty breaks there too.  When we were getting ready for bed, she drank her milk, then told me she had to pee.  It took me awhile to convince her to put her diaper on for bed.  She really liked her underwear.

It turns out that their mom had just so happened to pull the little potty out of the closet that morning, and both kids had wanted to use it.  I have no idea what happened yesterday, but today I offered Lilly underwear again and she wore some - though she never peed on the potty, and she was playing in a sprinkler so I have no idea if she ever had an accident.  Either way, we're on our way!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Pizza and panties

I've been with the twins from 4:45 through now, and, since they don't go to bed until 10:30, we had a lot of time together.  And you know what?  Most of that time was great.

Their dad suggested we make pizza; he had dough from Trader Joe's that he pulled out of the fridge for us.  I put the twins in the chairs at the high table in the kitchen and put flour all over the wooden cutting board.  Patrick and Lilly got it all over everything, thankfully including the dough which they shaped into mostly circular shapes.  We each made our own mini pizza.  They spooned sauce from the jar, rubbed it around with the back of the spoon, and then took great handfuls of cheese and dumped it on top.  Into the oven on the pizza stone, and back out to cool off.  While the pizzas were baking, we cleaned up.

In thinking about Montessori and talking to V last night (now that she's started classes, she's a wealth of information), I realized that I tend to make a common mistake.  Kids tend to be rendered impotent.  Sure, they can "clean up," but there's almost always an adult after them to do the actual cleaning.  I'm now trying to weed this out; just because they are young doesn't mean they can't contribute meaningfully.

With that in mind, I gave them wet paper towels and told them to wipe off the table and chairs.  If they got it on the floor, that was fine.  We would sweep later.  The two of them totally cleaned off the area where we'd been.  By themselves.  I swept the floor, and Lilly held the dustpan while Patrick picked up crumbs with his paper towel.  And just like that, it was clean.

The pizza was yummy, too.

Okay, this is getting long, so I'll hold off on the tantalizing second half.  I think their parents are home!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Processing

I'm still processing the first day of Patrick and Lilly's weekly outdoorsy preschool.  I think I liked it?  It definitely wasn't what I was expecting, which startled me considering I'd already visited (though not for a class).  I'm hesitant to say too much, because everyone knows the internet is forever.

Suffice to say, though, that their dad had them ready to go and at 8:30 we were in the van - this for the kids who usually wake up between 9 and 9:30.  We ran to the store after school, made it home just before noon, started lunch at ten after (instead of one o'clock!), they ate remarkably well, and we played upstairs from one till one thirty.  I told them one more book and then naptime; Patrick announced he was sleepy and ready for bed.  Worked for me!

Tomorrow late afternoon, I'm watching them and V is watching Kali.  Then we have a whole day off!  (Sorry, my sarcasm slipped out.)  (I know I should be grateful that we can support ourselves comfortably, but every now and then, I just need to whine.  And maybe wine.)