A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.
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Monday, July 31, 2006

Four Things MEME

Okay when in doubt, post a MEME.

Four Things About Me

Things you may not have known about me.....


Four jobs I have had in my life:

1. Manager of Little Caesars Pizza

2. Convenience Store Clerk

3. Low Brass Instructor - Terre Haute South Marching Band

4. Worked at a T Shirt Shop doing Screen Prints

Four movies I would watch over and over.

1. Sense and Sensibility
2 Starship Troopers
3. Pulp Fiction
4. Anchorman, the Legend of Ron Burgundy


Four places I have lived:

1. Terre Haute, Indiana

2. Indianapolis Indiana


3. Lexington, Kentucky


4. Florida


Four TV shows I love to watch:
Since I don't really SEE grown up TV anymore.....these are the shows that are ON that I enjoy watching.
1. Thomas The Tank Engine - any episode, but especially those with Carlin narrating. I keep waiting for him to say "and that Percy was a MF...."
2. American Idol when it is on.......I love it.
3. LIttle Einsteins "We're going on a trip in our favorite rocket ship...."
4. Bob the Builder - I think just because of all the dancing and singing we do during the theme.


Four places I have been on vacation

1. Seattle
2. Germany
3. Minnesota
4. North Carolina



Web sites I visit daily:


1. www.msn.com
2. http://sarahandthegoonsquad.com
3. http://singintomymouth.com>
4. http://idliketobuyavowel.blogspot.com


Four of my favorite foods:

1. Lima Beans
2. Fettucini
3. Chicken, grilled in almost any dish
4. Baskin Robbins Peanut Butter and Chocolate Ice Cream


Four places I would like to be right now:

1. At my parents, on the couch, listening to my dad talk while my mom makes coffee and putzes around the kitchen.
2. Seattle having coffee with Eileen
3. Anywhere, having a beer with Becky and Sarah
4. Someplace romantic with my husband. Romantic = quiet.

"Oh no, NOT Pigeons!"

Today we took our kids to a local nature preserve, to see nature, breathe the fresh air and be only slightly smothered by the ungodly humidity. Lots of fun was had, animals were seen (live snake slithering about, lizards, bugs, dead snake by the side of the road - or as my husband and I like to say - THE ARTIST FORMERLY KNOWN AS SNAKE).......anyway, I digress.
Inside they have a LOVELY education center where they have lots of interactive exhibits teaching kids about Florida's ecosystems and wildlife etc etc etc. At one of the large observatory windows there were laminated sheets of paper showing pictures of all of the wildlife you might encounter out in the preserve (probably more likely if one strayed off the raised boardwalk, which would JUST be retarded). Anyway - glancing through the sheets of animals my son sees a photo of a wild cougar, a rattler, another snake (I'm not a snake afficianado), an alligator, etc etc etc..........until he suddenly says "Oh NO! NOT PIGEONS! THEY DON'T HAVE PIGEONS!!"
That's right.
My three year old would rather see an alligator than a pigeon.

We have a bit of a bird phobia. Can you tell?

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Selfishness ReDefined

I have been awake over an hour and none of my children are up.
I am full of glee.
Those of your without multiples probably think I'm being a jerk off. But those of you WITH multiples know, that once it's on, it's ON.....and it goes nonstop until they sleep.
I fantasize about making them get up extra early so that they can go to bed extra early and give me free time at night.
But really, getting more sleep during the morning and free time with my coffee is my ultimate thrill. I do love them, and I love every minute I spend with them.

But I also love the silence. No one wants to tell me anything. Oh god NO ONE IS CRYING.....it's a miracle.

I saw a show on a family with sextuplets and they reporter asked the couple what the thing that surprises most people about their house is?
Dad said "Oh I think it's my wife's amazing organization"
Mom said "I think it's the unbelievable noise."

Bingo Mom.

That is what it is. The unbelievable noise.

Shhhhh.

They are still asleep........

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Last Installment of the Kearney Experience


One of the things I'd like to say about Kearney is that I watched their news one night. I didn't hear the words rape, murder, carjacking, home invasion, drive by shooting or crack house once. Seriously, their local news didn't contain any of those things. And while I think that they thought I was being patronizing - I actually thought they lived in a nice little place. Nice, as in, fresh air, kind people, a safe place for your children. Someplace where it isn't cool not to have beliefs or morals. Someplace where people treat each other with respect and kindness and act like neighbors. Someplace where a local business has this display to say thank you. And to express their belief. Which is okay - it's not on local gov't property now IS it?
I'm probably urban enough to giggle at such an emotional display of patriotism, but a small, midwestern part of me that remains says quietly "Well that is nice of them."
Interestingly enough - it's across the street from a nice business clearly run by a jewish family, based on their big star of David on the sign. There doesn't seem to be any animosity......both businesses are clean and well kept and I actually saw someone walk OUT of the one business, cross the street and go into the other business. So they aren't mutually exclusive either. Interesting. (Sorry I didn't get a snap of that one for you).
That seems like a lot of diversity for rural Nebraska....at least to me.

Not to get too deep, I also saw that that they had a WE SELL YOUR STUFF ON EBAY store, just like in the 40 Year Old Virgin and I almost died that I didn't get my camera out in time to snap that one. WHAT a hoot. I'll leave you with one last snap of my trip, the shed that doubles as an airport in Kearney Nebraska.



My final review is this, I give Kearney Nebraska an 8 out of ten. Honestly. As an adult who is accustomed to having a lot of cosmopolitan choices of entertainment, I might poke my own eyes out living there. But as a parent, which is what matters more, I could live there tomorrow pretty happily. It is a very nice place.

And the conference was really good too.

Nebraska Part Deux


The Hotel Was Nice. Not VEGAS Nice. But you know, nice, serviceable. Clean. Friendly. Good amenities. Nice. Here is a room shot. Holiday Inn Kearney, you rock. I am currently sporting one of your FINE "RELAX! It's HOLIDAY INN KEARNEY" Tshirts. I know you wish you had one. They were only $10 which I think in real world currency is about $30. I'm unsure of the conversion rate.
The conference was good, very good actually. Not your usual conference BS. I actually got a lot of good ideas for work. Shocking I know. The host of the conference was Cabela's, and we got to see their corporate headquarters and their call center, plus their smallest retail store. Which was actually quite big to me. Some notes on Cabela's. They have some really cool stuff. I could seriously shop there. Their prices are good and although I neither hunt nor fish, just their casual clothes alone were cool. They also had a lot of cool camping gear. But the stuff I had to take pictures of, was the good stuff. Cabela's always has a fine display of taxidermy. MMMMMM. Makes me hungry! This is just one of about 6 "displays" in the store, not to mention all the heads up on the wall ALL THE WAY around the store!

Now here is an item that I request that they STOP carrying. The CAMOFLAGE DIAPER COVER for little girls. I know it's for girls because of the white eyelet trim. I am afraid that we are encouraging people to take their baby girls hunting by selling such madness. And, obviously she won't be camoflaged because deer can spot white eyelet a MILE AWAY. There are other camoflage onesies and jammies and other such scarey items also on this rack. Note to all - please do not dress your kids in camo and take them hunting. I'm not anti-hunting. Not at all, actually. But the camo baby clothes are seriously killing me. Perhaps these are for our babies serving in the armed services? Do we have desert camo for the babies? I didn't see any......(and I looked).

We went out to a bar for a couple of drinks and a food product the menu called a "cheese pleaser" but the locals informed me were cheese royals. They are essentially deep fried grilled cheese sandwiches. Oh yeah, quite good. We had a nice time visiting at the Chicken Coop even though I think the locals that went with us wanted to throttle us for thinking them so quaint. I suspect the Amish feel sort of the same way when people barge up into their yard taking pictures.

More to come.......

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Nebraska


Okay so it wasn't that bad. I actually sort of had some fun in Nebraska. And I kept YOU in mind while I was snapping away. This is what it looks like when you are in Denver, have been told what gate to go out and find that there are about 8 identical planes all waiting.......and it's a game where you get to find out which one is yours.
Which is all very good times. One other feature I really really enjoyed on the flight between Denver and Kearney was that my plane seemed to have been built by Howard Hughes personally. At least, it was that old. It didn't have the protective door between the pilot. Which was nice since I was only about 3 feet behind him, it gave me someone to chat with (kidding, there was NO Chatting going on over the roar of the propellers on that fine 18 seat plane). He did give me the complete run down on how to open the door in case of emergency. SWEET.
What I was most disturbed by at the beginning of the flight was this bundle of wires hanging down somewhat loosely over the control panel.
I became MORE disturbed though when from time to time he would adjust the altimeter. Manually. I swear to GOD it would say 17000 feet and he'd reach up and adjust it to 18000 and I'm like "HEY! Are you supposed to DO THAT?" and he'd laugh. As we were descending I could only see UP out the pilots windshield (I was sitting in a weird cubby hold seat behind the pilot that was windowless) and with the apparently broken altimeter, I wasn't aware of how high up we were. 2600 feet, 2400 feet, 2200 feet BANG! and I let out a scream.
Seems we had landed.
Scared the crap out of me, though, I thought we HIT something at 2200 feet.

Coming soon........More Fun In Nebraska!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Heading Off To The Land of Wheat - or Is it Corn?

I fly out tomorrow for a call center benchmarking conference. It should be pretty interesting, but most of these sort of conferences end up being like this "man it's hard to hire intelligent people in our market." "yes, it's hard to hire in our market too." "And they won't come to work, our absenteeism is like 30% a day." "yes in our market too." Everybody has the same problems, but the real positive is that sometimes you can pull information away that you haven't thought of, or haven't tried and give some new stuff a spin. Or at the VERY least - you come away confident that you aren't crazy, that it's a challenge doing your job.
Now, don't be jealous, but this AWESOME conference is taking place in Kearney, Nebraska. That's right. Not Seattle or San Francisco or Vegas......NEBRASKA baby.

Well, I have never been to Nebraska. At least I can cross it off my list. And we're visiting Cabela's - so my brothers should be righteously jealous. Perhaps I will pick you boys up a fishing lure. Woohoo.

I'll be out for a few days but while I am gone, please entertain yourself reading this guy. He slays me.

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Outsider

The Queen challenged us to say something important, something big.  I think it was a call to revolution, but my strengths lie more in counter-intelligence.   I've considered what sort of thing I could say, especially in the realm of mommybloggerhood, and it's sort of strange to me that really the only thing I could think of isn't terribly relevant to anyone else.  I commented on it briefly back on Sarah's post about how KY can suck it - and her free book. 
First I want to briefly address the so called Mommy Wars.  What a bunch of bullshit. 
 
Okay, now that I'm done with that..............
 
Let's talk about Twins.
 
I have a set.  I didn't do anything special to get them, other than the old in/out as Alex from A Clockwork Orange would say.   I didn't have complications.  I worked on a Monday and gave birth vaginally to them on a Thursday in the wee AM hours.  
 
And I am tired of being made to feel left out of the TWIN crowd. 
 
I'm sure that no-one is doing this intentionally, it may be some sort of latent herd mentality - but I swear to you I can feel the segregation when I'm in a group of twin moms - No IVF? please go stand behind the blue line.  No Complications?  No monitors?  No extended stays in the hospital before birth or post partum?  Please stand further behind the blue line.  You are not one of us.
 
I listen to twin mom conversations, the normal sort of thing women do where we compare tragedy and experience and try to understand one another, and I'm left out.  I don't know what most of these things ARE that they went through.   You had a mag-wash?  What does that do?  I get a blank stare like I'm mad - how can I not know?  I honestly feel like I'm listening to a foreign language sometimes.......I have no idea what happens in the NICU.  My twins were 7 pounds each when they were born.  
 
My biggest complaint during hurricanes the year my twins were born was that I had to stock up on premixed formula - which is expensive as hell.  I didn't have to consider home monitors not working because of power outages.  
 
And let me be clear. 
 
I am unbelievably thankful that I never had any of those things.   I would never want my children in the NICU, or have to need monitors, or to have complications or any other such thing.  But it seems like because I didn't have those things, sometimes people think I didn't suffer through a miserable twin pregnancy.    I would probably feel differently if a herd of "no twin pregnancy complication" mom's existed.  I could sit at THEIR table at twins club.  But I am perpetually the only one.
 
My hips hurt to this day in ways that I find unimaginable because of the strain put on them carrying such big twins.    That I wasn't on an emotional rollercoaster that I sometimes think I'm still not off of.    That I had to get up and go to work and act like I had my shit together each and every day because I am the director of operations and professionally, you can't sit in your office and cry because your entire body hurts.   That I was overwhelmed at the prospect of now having three children and now no support because we live 1000 miles from our family.
 
I get dismissed as the one who had the easy pregnancy, it was a breeze.  And I suppose sometimes I laugh and say it was - because I feel really guilty having seen or known people who really really really suffered.  My own suffering pales and I feel bad even bringing it up.   I will never forget waddling up after work to visit Becky in the hospital because of her placenta previa and just thinking how unreal it was that she was having such a problem.  She looked fine other than the strained face, bloated body, black circles under her eyes........but hell - we ALL had that by that time.  And as I waddled out of her room I remember feeling so bad for my friend, and so unbelievably relieved that I didn't have to do all that. 
 
And I went through the same thing everyone else did when they took their babies home, minus the C - Section pain which I am so glad I didn't have to do.  But, it was a nightmare.  Having two newborns isn't like having two babies.   It's like having 10 babies.  And you're tired.  And you're in pain (I was just in pain in a different place than the C section moms, and admittedly mine healed faster).  And you're tired.  Did I mention you are tired?  Did I mention it's a nightmare.  The worst stress I have ever endured? 
 
I am a twin mom.  My suffering was probably different than yours and no, I really don't want to trade you.  I don't.   Good DNA, luck, and modern medicine converged to allow me the best possible twin pregnancy experience.   And I am so very grateful.
But I wish that somehow I didn't feel like I'm not one of you because I was lucky. 
 
 

Sunday, July 09, 2006

A Big Picture Of My Butt...

is what I would need to accurately describe what I experienced this evening.
I am ending the day peacefully. I have a hot teapot full of rooibos toffee tea. I have AOL tuned into the baroque music station. I am showered and in my jammies, and my offspring are all playing peacefully before bed.
I spent the day pretty nicely as well. One of my two sorority sisters that I'm still in touch with, Christa S, and her family came to Florida and we spent the day at the beach with our families. It was really nice to see her and my kids actually had a great time. I was worried that they would be afraid, last time we were there little Satchmo was terrified of the waves. But all was well, sandcastles were built, waves were crashed into with great abandon and a lot of fun was had by everyone.
When we got home everyone had the requisite sand deposits requiring bathing and as I prepared for the great family hose down I ran into the bathroom to use the toilet. My husband comes in, and seeing me naked laughs and says "you have shells stuck to your butt". I laugh and stand up, turn around to see them in the mirror.
Indeed. I have really A LOT of small shells and BITS of shell stuck to my butt. WHAT THE?
He laughs and tries to pry one off.

I laugh, and try to pry one off.

They aren't stuck. They are embedded.

In my
BIG
FAT
BUTT.

I hop in the shower and slather myself with liquid CARESS which many of you may know has the viscocity of valvoline 10w30. They won't come off with rubbing. So I begin to dig. And scratch. Oh dear lord some of them are really crammed into my skin. I end up spending like 15 minutes in the shower digging the shells out of my skin. The only thing I can figure is that all the scooching around on the shore playing with my kids, I crammed them into my skin. Which is far better than it could have been, I guess.

What is possibly even more bizarre is that as I hopped in the shower I called "DAMN I should've had you take a picture of it, for my blog."

Because that is what you people need to see.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Dear NASA


I am afraid.
I am terribly worried that there is some big dick contest taking place over there on the east coast of Florida that is driving you to send this space shuttle into flight. I am worried because I once out of boredom watched a shuttle lift off only to see it explode because of a safety issue that had been considered insignificant. I am worried because I once casually strolled into my living room holding my new baby and turned on the tv, only to see the space shuttle screaming across the sky in bits and pieces, because of a safety issue that had been considered insignificant.
The problem with the shuttle today is a piece of foam ON THE EXTERNAL FUEL TANK. It fell off, if you aren't aware. Your grounds crew found it. On the ground. It just fell off. SITTING THERE WITH NO PRESSURE OR HEAT FROM LIFT OFF.
The problem with the Challenger was the O rings on the EXTERNAL FUEL TANK. The problem today that we are blowing off is insulation ON THE EXTERNAL FUEL TANK. You know, the thing that will BLOW UP AND KILL EVERYONE ON BOARD IF IT GETS TOO HOT?
I realize that I'm getting worked up about this, because I've been on Space.com for the past three days reading all of the posts and updates...and I've got a three year old who really wants to see it go up. Living in Florida I am sort of looking forward to it as well, I hope the sky is clear and we can watch it fly. And I hope that I don't take my son outside to watch the most trafic firework EVER on the 4th of July this afternoon.

I am not against the space program. Let's face it, the future of humanity eventually IS space. What a fantastic adventure it will be many lifetimes after mine. I am FASCINATED by space flight.

But I am full of dread and I really really really think it's a bad idea to fly that ship today or any day. And I know where we can get some Soyuz rocket ships cheap.

And they work.