Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ramblings: Begging pays off

I've learned something that my kids have known for years: sometimes you do get what you want if you beg long enough. Thanks guys--they'll be joining the other two on the wall by tonight! 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ramblings: This is why...

This is why you should listen to your mother when she says "Don't stand up in your chair." And if you don't listen, then you will fall and you will run around gurgling and spewing blood from your nose and mouth all over your new shirt until your mom rips it off of you so it doesn't get stained. 

Avery was so funny during the whole episode. I didn't see the actual fall because I was at the stove cooking, so Avery had to fill me in. He led me around the kitchen following Aidan's blood trail and then immediately dropped to the ground and started trying to clean it up. (Maybe he is my child after all.) We looked like we had been filming our very own episode of CSI.  

This actually happened the night of our 80 degree zoo day Thursday of last week, hence the shorts and polos. Today is literally freezing and I think they will probably cancel school tomorrow because they're expecting about 1/4" of ice by morning. I'm gearing up for a houseful of bored kids--it's a good thing I beefed up my Diet Coke supply yesterday. Do you think they'd notice if I slipped a little NyQuil in their fruity pebbles tomorrow morning? Not alot, just enough to take the edge off...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Ramblings: Room to Grow

Thanks to a package that arrived this weekend, I got one step closer to "finishing" Alex's new room.  I ordered some retro tin signs and things to put up along with the TWO sad, pathetic, and wimpy little license plates I have. But that'll be something we can add as we find them...I've left plenty of wall space for the hopefully dozens we'll eventually round up. 

I think Jeremy and I deserve props for hanging those floating shelves above the bed so straight and close together. I already had a set of two shorter ones,  but I wanted one long enough to hold those three big metal cars so we had to hang them perfectly smooshed together. And they'll remain perfect until one of the- jumping on the bed parties- gets out of hand, and someone whacks their fat head right into them, ripping them off and taking big chunks of the wall out too. We're just waiting, because it's really only a matter of time since they stick out about 8 inches. 

My goal was to do this room with things that weren't too little boyish, and that I could easily change to grow with him as he got older. I found the quilt at Pottery Barn Teen and then on Ebay for a bit cheaper, so he's stuck with that until he's married. It's got all different types of fabrics and textures like wool tweed, suede, and corduroy.  I liked that it didn't scream "HI! I'm in a little boy's room" but also that it wasn't like "Hey there, hot stuff. Welcome to my bachelor pad. Why don't you get cozy on my queen sized bed" either. Trust me--I looked at a bunch of bedding under the "masculine" or "boy's" categories that were either black pleather or leopard suede with spiked accent pillows. I'll stick with plaid and corduroy, thank you very much. Plus, it matched the two blue plaid lamps I already had in there.

His favorite addition has been the cd player that I moved up there from downstairs. He uses it all the time with some cd's we made for him and he'll even happily hang out in there listening to it and building legos--even when we don't force him (totally an added bonus).  And thanks to some hand-me-down "antique" dressers from my parents, he even has a place to display his 4000 basketball, soccer, and baseball trophies and books. 
(At what age do they stop giving trophies to every kid at the end of every season for basically making an appearance, breathing,  and eating the snacks after the games? Shouldn't I break it to him that usually in the real world, you don't get a "trophy" just for showing up? That sometimes only people that really excel at what they do will get the old pat on the back? Maybe he's still a little young for those tough life lessons. But I could seriously get the house recarpeted like I've been dreaming of with all the dough I've used to buy those things.)
Regardless of how meaningful/less they are, they are now on display in a dresser that as old as I am. I remember going into my parent's room when I was little and sneaking my dad's mints and gum out of the top drawer....and as I got older, whatever loose bills just happened to be lying around... or hiding in the hidden secret compartment of his wallet. JUST KIDDING. I got paid 25 cents an item to iron everyone in my family's clothes, remember? Why would I possibly need extra spending money with that stream of income rolling in?

Something else he thought was cool is the fabric shoe rack I hung on the outside of his closet doors for all of his Webkinz creatures. I was sick and tired of having them underfoot all the time so now they have a cozy home up off the floor. But do you see how naked the wall up there is? It's just waiting for some more license plates....I'm hoping one day they'll wrap around the top two feet of the room.

I hung one of those mesh connecty-pounchy contraptions behind his door to hide all of his "I can't find them" items like his belts, hats, and ties for church. And the best part is that when his door's open, that mess is hidden.
I finally decided to move his lego desk in by the window even though I was worried it would crowd the room, but it's not too bad. This was something else (purchased at Ikea for dirt cheap) that has helped get his mess up off the floor. I stuck a locker-looking set of drawers under it on one side to hold the loose legos so he can dig around for what he's looking for without dumping the entire stash all over the place. I can personally testify that there is almost nothing as painful as stepping barefoot on a lego wing and having it lodge completely up inside your foot. They're even worse than the dang polly pockets. 

And right by his bed, a little reminder of what a round, squishy little cutie he was when we lived in Cambridge while Jeremy was in law school. He loves that picture and always asks me about playing in the park across the street from our apartment when he was little And my mom found that cool ceramic Ford truck at a florist shop for dirt cheap. He was keeping some loose change in it until the boys saw the  "monies" and stole them. I better teach them to iron soon so they don't have to steal from him anymore. Al's new pad is nearly finished, except for a few more items I'm keeping my eyes peeled for and a few more plates if I can find 'em.  So there are your pictures Jess...I'm still waiting to see your new kitchen. 

Friday, January 23, 2009

Rave: Tiny Nuggets of Warmth

Sometimes Texas gives you a little present in mid-January and the weather turns really awesome for a couple of days. Yesterday was one of those days and it was a perfect weather day--crisp and cool in the morning and warm by the afternoon. It was only a tiny nugget of warmth though, because it's supposed to be cold again by tomorrow.

I'll admit that I am a tad obsessive about checking the forecast, so I knew the perfect weather day was coming. On Monday I made the mistake of mentioning to the boys that we could go to the zoo later in the week. Well, of course they don't understand what "on Thursday" means, so all I heard for four days was: zoo today? Going to zoo now? Let's go see ALLIGATORS! I love the zoo. Going zoo now?

But when Thursday finally came I was so annoyed with them that I almost cancelled zoo day. They woke up at 5:45 and then went and woke everyone else up way earlier than normal. Then they got into about six different disasters while I was getting ready to go. But I figured it would only get worse if I didn't get them OUT of the house, so I took them, fearing sudden sleep deprivation related breakdowns the whole time.

They loved it. The weather was perfect. The animals were all out enjoying the warm weather and were energetic because they had just eaten so they were putting on a great show for the boys. We basically had the place to ourselves until right before we were leaving, so the boys got to walk and play without me worrying they'd wander off or get lost in the crowd. They'd walk up to a new animal area and they'd sit down right on the pavement in front to watch for a few minutes--"me sit right here." They'd sit and eat snacks while they watched the animals play around--even though they were nervous the birds would surely attack them and eat their fruit snacks. (And the camera battery that was dead at the bowling alley was still dead, so I had to use my phone. I love multi-tasking technology.)

There was one rhino who was going crazy running around and stopping really fast, flinging his plastic toy thingy in the air, and jumping around acting nuts. He put his horn in one end of the tube and flung it really high in the air and Aidan said, "It's his shoot-it! Hey basketball team." Avery said, "He run fast--- like me do." I never knew an animal that big could get that much air--he was at least a foot and a half off the ground .

When we found the alligator cage (that Avery had talked all week about seeing) but NO alligator inside, the boys decided he was taking a nap somewhere. Then for the rest of the day, they'd look in all the other areas for sleeping alligators. Apparently the alligators sleepwalk while napping because I'm pretty sure the zoo keepers discourage them from being anywhere near the giraffes and elephants, which is where the boys were sure they saw them.

We stopped for awhile at the warthogs and admired their nasty, tangled long hair. Avery said "He like me (rubbing his new hairdo). He need a haircut too!"

They were being so good that I even took them to the kids playground area and let them play in the sandbox. Did you hear that? I let them play in the SANDBOX. The world's messiest place for toddlers. I was quite proud of myself for allowing it until Aidan dumped a shovelful right down Avery's shirt and then I remembered why I hate sandboxes.
I even managed to keep them awake the whole ride home, which involved tickling their feet and blasting Blues Clues at a ridiculously high volume. It was our most successful zoo outing yet--minimal tantrums, the animals cooperated and stayed within sight (except those darn alligators), and we didn't make any appearances on the news last night. (As in: "Local mentally deranged mother drops twins into the Flamingo Bay").

And today we're still enjoying the last of our tiny window of warmth, because tomorrow it will be gone and the boys will be housebound once more.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Ramblings: Random Junkity junk junk

Random Junk #1 
I'm in the process of deciding which child to sell into slavery to cover the cost of having our heating fixed upstairs. After we moved the little boys up there, we started realizing how absolutely freezing it was up there at night with the doors closed. Especially in Alex's new room (a.k.a. the Guest Room or Uncle Greg's old room).  After the first night up there he said he thought he might die in his sleep. Jeremy joked that we shouldn't fix it. Heat is highly overrated--just ask his sister. Her family lives in Buffalo and they keep the thermostat at a chilly 60 degrees all the time. Hi Kashann! We love you! Are you frozen solid yet?

The unit up there works fine, it just turns out that the nitwits that built our house didn't route the heating ducts correctly or something like that. Anyway, we had to have them redo the routing of the heat to the three bedrooms upstairs to the tune of $900. I know, right? It seems like way too much ....they were only here for an hour and a half when they came to fix it but they did have to crawl around in alot of insulation and tiptoe around on precariously perched 2 by 4's up there. And they do get bonus points for asking to borrow Tyson when they were done so they could vacuum up some insulation that had fallen out of some of the vents.  I value cleanliness. Especially regarding insulation since the time I caught the boys trying to eat some after we had been bringing Christmas stuff down from the attic.  They thought it was cotton candy. Talk about an itchy throat. 
But I HATE when I feel like I don't know enough about something to know if I'm getting screwed or not. I might start going to night school to learn about heating/AC units for any future needs. When it came down to it, 900 bucks seemed like it would be way cheaper than the hospital bills that were sure to come from amputating off the frostbitten fingers and toes of the four crazies. And we have noticed a huge difference because the rooms are actually staying warm all night long now. And Alex doesn't talk about death anymore when I wake him up for school. 

Random Junk#2 
Maddie and I went to run some errands today and out of the blue she says:

M: His boots?
Me: Huh?
M: His boots.
Me: Ummm....What are you talking about?
M: Is that what it is?
Me: I really, really have no idea what you're asking.
M: (totally frustrated that I'm not getting it) Is that what it is? His boots?
Me: (nothing. I have nothing to say to this. I'm clueless as to what she's referring to...I just shake my head in total bewilderment.)
M: Is that what's lost?
Me: (suddenly realizing that Bono is on the radio singing "And I still haven't found what I'm looking for...") Yup. That's got to be it. If he's looking for something, obviously he must be searching for his favorite pair of boots. (And then I laughed for about 8 minutes straight.)

Random Junk #3
We took the kids bowling today. I know. Really ambitious of us. It was actually ok. We started at a mini-bowling lane they had for kids with tiny softball sized balls. The twins loved it. Avery thought he was so awesome. He'd throw it and then say "Nice Shot!"
But then we moved to the real lanes and it got more interesting. The boys each tried to shoot an 8 pounder like a basketball and when they finally realized that wasn't the idea, had fun attempting to roll it down the lane. Except that it rolled so slowly that they had lost interest by the time it hit the pins. Maddie threw one ball, proclaimed that she hated bowling and would hate it forever, and then took her bowling shoes off and threw them on the floor. And that's how she became the official iphone photographer since my camera battery was dead. Alex loved every single minute of it. But we'll have to break it to him one day that the goal is not to see how many times you can pinball it off the bumpers before you knock the pins down. Even though he got really good at it. One time he ping ponged it back and forth on the bumpers so many times, and with such force, that he managed to get a strike and the teenagers bowling next to us starting cheering. They were quite impressed. Jeremy and I proved, yet again, that the bowling class we took together in college was a complete waste of time. Both of us got worse throughout the semester and even now every time we try to do something we "learned" in class, we screw ourselves up even more.  No professional bowling leagues will be leaving messages on our answering machine anytime soon. 
But the  amazing part of the event was watching the teenage girl in the lane next to us. She had this contraption sticking out of her hips that looked like something from the movies. It was obviously some type of medical pin/screw device attached at her hips and connected with metal rods across the front of her abdomen . And she was bowling. SHE. WAS. BOWLING. With metal pins and rods sticking out of her hip bones. She'd sort of waddle up there, squat, then fling the ball from about two feet above the floor. I don't care if you LOVE bowling. Even if you feel you are destined to bowl. And even if it is your soul's grand delight. When you've had an accident or surgery or whatever it is that necessitates hardware being implanted into your hip bones with giant metal screws, maybe taking a break from the lanes for a couple of months ain't such a bad idea. For real. Couldn't squatting and flinging around a 12 pound ball do some damage to that metal contraption that is, after all,  CONNECTED TO YOUR BONES? I really wanted to catch a picture of her up there squatting and flinging, but I couldn't do it. There was no nonchalant way to take a picture of that freaky looking sight. 

Random Junk #4
Aidan has several favorite words. Words that he will say at random, out of context, and without rhyme or reason. And for whatever reason he finds them hilarious. They are: hot dog, cowboy hat, basketball team, and diarrhea. 

Lately I've been hearing him practicing counting. When Jeremy got home from work on Friday, I told Aidan to count for him. He said, "One, Two, Three, Hot Dog, Five, Six, Seven, Basketball Team, Nine, Ten, Cowboy Hat." So I said, "What about Diarrhea?"
 "No say diarrhea mom. We go to Time Out." So they DO listen. Sometimes. 

The diarrhea related time out happened after a trip to Home Depot when they totally embarrassed me. An older guy that worked there came up and started playing and talking with them. When I decided it was time to leave I said, "Ok guys. Say goodbye now." They turned to the guy, waved and then Avery said, "Bye bye Boobie" and at the same time Aidan said " Bye Diarrhea."

I've got my work cut out for me. 

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Rave: Target Deals and Steals

We had to run to Target today for a few things and couldn't help but do a run through of their post Christmas clearance section of toys. Some were strange things that I can't imagine why anyone would buy at even 75% off, let alone full price. But there were some good deals in there too. (Lots of Play-doh and Moon Sand if you allow those horribly messy projects in your house.)

My favorite steal was this fun little doozie. The kids are itching to set it up and get puppeting--even Alex, which he will surely deny if asked. (Why isn't the girl with the puppets hiding like she's supposed to? Geez!) It's normally 69.99 but it was marked down to 17. It even has a little spotlight and whiteboard for the show title. Hilarious. Plus, now Aidan doesn't have to whine about his clunky, malfunctioning vacuum. I found a cool mini-Dirt Devil vacuum for 3 bucks. So run Run RUN and find a few steals and deals at a Target near you.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ramblings: Not Picture Perfect...Yet

I promise that I will put up pictures when I get all the bedroom renovations mostly done. Until then, (JESSICA!) keep your pants on.  And I'm still trying to round up old or unused car license plates for Alex's room, so if anyone has any, let me know! I'll owe you bigtime. I am going to drag Jeremy along to some antique "junkyards" as he calls them to look for some on Saturday, but I'd love anything ya got. I will offer you some pictures of the boys on their first night in their "big boy beds" that they look so hilariously small in....partly because they still have pacifiers. Yeah, I'm not willing to take those away yet for fear of messing with naptime. I figure when their baby teeth start falling out, it'll make it hard for them to suck on them anyway. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Rave: Swiffer for a second

I got a weird look from the lady next to me at a red light this morning. What? Doesn't anyone else swiffer their dashboard while waiting at stoplights? I have to multi-task people!  I just keep one in the door of my car for getting rid of those dust bunnies while I'm wasting time in traffic. Or in case I ever get carjacked, I can stick the swiffer in his face and pray that he has really bad allergies. 

Monday, January 12, 2009

Ramblings: We've moved...

We spent the weekend playing musical chairs---but with bedrooms. We finally moved Triple D (the dynamic duo of destruction) to an upstairs bedroom and into "big boy beds." (More details to follow on their first night up there.) They moved into what was Alex's room at the top of the stairs, Alex moved into what was the guest bedroom, and the guest bedroom moved into non-existence. People that are dumb enough or just related enough to have to come visit will probably still get that room, but Alex will be curled up in a corner somewhere in a sleeping bag.  The boys old room downstairs by our room will soon be the home for....{insert sound of drum roll, please} our new elliptical that will be delivered Tuesday.

This is causing me anxiety on a number of reasons: 1. that room is still in disarray with cribs, crib bedding, toys, and other weirdness that still needs dealt with before tomorrow. I was even hoping to repaint it before then but that ain't gonna happen unless I turn the boys loose in there and tell them "DON'T PAINT ON THE WALLS." Then it would surely get done.  2. Sadly they do not sell Magic Ellipticals. Really. I checked. I can't tell you how sad I was. You still actually have to still get up on them in order for it to have any effect whatsoever. Which leads me to further anxiety about keeping Triple D from climbing aboard and killing themselves on our precious new toy. After having them with us for an hour in the store full of them, exercise bikes, and treadmills, I'm not quite sure who will reign victorious. I do know that i will not be investing in any 10 pound weighted balls, because they were flinging those things around like nobody's business. Luckily, we switched the door handle back around so we can keep the room locked from the inside. 3. I'm wary of being able to enforce naptime with them in the same room or in a new environment that will be tempting them not to fall asleep. Nap time is my only sane time of the day when I can get anything done. I'm nervous about how it will go down. We'll see in about five hours. 

Lucky for us today is trash day and our pile is so ENORMOUS that we look like we got evicted or something and they just put all our personal belongings out for the trashmen.  Is it weird that I love trash day? I love that for a few hours there is no garbage in the house--it feels cleaner and more organized somehow when all the trash cans are empty. Have I mentioned that I'm a crazy person? 

Anyway, today I'll be busy finishing all the projects we got mostly done this weekend and hopefully all the dressers and closets will be fully transferred by tonight.   Is it super lazy that I'm kind of secretly planning on leaving all the boys clothes downstairs in their dresser still so I don't have to go upstairs to retrieve their stuff for their six outfit changes a day? Kind of ironic that we moved them upstairs so we could have an exercise room, yet I dread going up there to their room because I don't want any extra exercise from stairclimbing.  It just seems so far away.  I figure I'll get enough of an extra workout in the middle of the night when i'm up there searching for pacifiers, bringing a "dink of water", or putting out the fires they start when we're all dead asleep and incorrectly assuming that were too. 

Here we go...

Friday, January 9, 2009

Ramblings: Another hairy post

It's no secret. Avery has a serious Afro. The kid has so much hair that all summer I kept it almost completely shaved. Otherwise I can find what he ate throughout the day in different parts of his head and he looks like a complete and total street urchin. He was also born with three significant cowlicks which send his hair shooting in funky directions in the front and on one side and in the back. Alot of fast growing hair and funky cowlicks = A bad combination.  My genes are responsible for both of those things. 

Add to it his utter hatred of getting a haircut, and you can see why I've been dreading dealing with taking that kid to get an official haircut.  That is, instead of the previous "pin his head between my knees and shave off anything and everything that comes in contact with the clippers while I'm trying to hold all of his arms and legs out of the way" mom hairdos. If he knew any curse words, I'm pretty sure he'd be flinging them sailor-style during the entire event--at least when he wasn't trying to bite my arm when it came anywhere near his mouth. 

But I couldn't ignore his crazy rat-tail growing down his neck and the hair that basically just stood straight up everywhere else since I've been trying to let it grow out a bit. I talked it up all morning about how he was going get his hair cut like a big boy, how he was going to sit still like a statue, and how she'd give him candy. Aidan was VERY excited about it, even though he doesn't have enough hair to justify paying for one yet (Jeremy's genes in action) and he actually likes them--the clippers "tickle" him. From his psychotic screaming and thrashing, I'm pretty sure Avery doesn't think they tickle. But after all the brainwashing, I asked Avery if he would go do it and he says, "OK. Yeah. Hair cut. She has candy?" But I was still nervous, partly because they had gotten up really early and could lose it at any moment.  I'm all for frequent public humiliation, I mean--come on, I have to take the boys everywhere with me--but this had the potential to be really, really bad. 

We got there and he was still agreeable. He even got to watch a kid go before him and he was studying the process fairly intently. I was continually brainwashing--"Wow. You're going to be so brave. And sit still. And NOT cry or scream. And oh my, look, she has a big bucket of candy. Your hair's going to look so cool! Like a basketball player!" (We can pretty much convince him to do most things if we tell him that he either looks like a basketball player doing it or that basketball players everywhere do the thing we're trying to get him to do.) 

So when it's his turn, he gets a little nervous and says, "No, no want to." But all she had to do was wiggle the bucket, and he was up on her booster sit practically pinning on his own apron. I was so relieved. 
The little stinker sat there so still as long as every 10 seconds I popped a smartie into his mouth. He got to turn on and off all the different types of clippers she used. She was a very funny Asian lady--she kept telling me how he had "sticky out parts" and she had to blend them really well. "It really hard to do only one person," she kept telling me.  I think I correctly interpreted that to mean, "This haircut you gave him is really jacked up. Stop trying to cut it yourself and shell out the $9 to let a professional." If only she knew that it wasn't the money--I was afraid he'd act like he does at home, which is basically like a rabid squirrel getting his toenails ripped off one by one and then having his feet dipped in lemon juice. 

Good little Aidan just sat in a little school desk waiting for his turn (that wasn't going to come), munching on his little pack of candy and talking to Avery every now and then. "See Avery! It not that bad!"
Avery got his gum reward when we finally got loaded back into the car. I was trying everything to make sure he remembered how fun the whole experience was so that next month when his fro has returned, he won't need an elephant tranquilizer to go back. 
Oh, and the public humiliation followed shortly thereafter at Bed Bath and Beyond when I wouldn't let them have suckers at the checkout that were bigger than their heads. Avery gave himself whiplash during his tantrum and then whacked his head on the back of the metal cart seat. I feel like writing that company a letter and telling them that due to their ridiculously overpriced 200-item candy display at the front of the store, I can NO LONGER shop there. EVER. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Ramblings: Elvira update

Photo documentation provided by one still sad hair-homicide victim. I only showed the back because I haven't yet received her explicit written permission to use the photos showing her face--her now pale, depressed, "I feel like everyone will stare at my crazy hair so I can never leave the house" face.  But I don't know what she's talking about--that color totally screams "medium brown with caramel highlights."  I was really hoping she'd be wearing a black spandex dress in the pictures so I could do a side by side comparison with Elvira down there. 
I think she should just tell everyone she really got into all those vampire books and movies that are popular right now.  Or keep the hair color and make a little extra cash doing impersonations on the weekends. Or by singing lead in a punk rock band. The possibilities are endless.  But no, it really, really is not that bad. And please don't punch me in the face--I mean it. But the bird poop on the car really, really is that bad

Ramblings: Hair-homicide

This one's dedicated to my friend Jessica, who after last night's five hour hair extravaganza, could apparently enter a look alike contest as Elvira. Wondering what she looked like before? Scroll down a bit...that was her in the bug-eyed picture, which is her new favorite picture and she's so happy I put on here.  Didn't she have gorgeous hair? She says it's a thing of the past. 

Things I've learned from her horrifying experience:
1. Don't trust a referral for a hair stylist from your dentist husband or his dentist friends.
2. Don't let anyone that's not used to working on white girls' hair come within 10 feet of you with black dye and red highlights. 
3. The risk of getting an Elvira-do may not be worth any amount of $ you save by going to a beauty school. 
4. Bring a snack to keep your blood sugar up if you do go through with your appointment, because your buns will be in that vinyl chair for over 5 hours. 
5. Bring a witness, so when the stylists argue with you at the end stating that they only gave you the Elvira-ish hair you requested, you will have someone on your side. Otherwise they will gang up on you, then charge you extra because you and your "long hair" have offended them and their styling abilities. 
6. Please, please never park under a tree full of birds. Because if you did go through with the appointment against your better judgement, and you did let the crazies transform your hair at a snail's pace into an unnatural shade of black with red flames, and you did just fight it out with them about if it was indeed what you meant when you said "medium brown with caramel highlights" over five hours ago, and you did just get charged extra for your "long hair" that you now hate with a passion,  then the last thing you're going to want to see is your car covered in bird poop.  
7. Don't tell your husband not to say "Come on, it's not that bad" when he finally sees your horrible hair, because when he honestly tells you "Oh, it really is that bad," you're going to want to punch him in the face. Hard. Let him lie. For his own safety. 

I'm still hoping that it was only semi-permanent color. I'd be hitting that hair with as much deep cleaning shampoo as I could take over the next 24 hours. Although, I haven't seen it yet and I really, really, really want to but she refused to even drive by with her head sticking out the window. Probably because she knows a picture of it will end up here. But come on, I bet it's not that bad...

Monday, January 5, 2009

Ramblings: Horrifying the country at a time

So what did you do before 8:30 AM today? No, wait. Stop talking. Don't bother. I won the contest before it even started. To preface, we've had a friend from Ukraine staying with us for the last week or so named Anna. I've been meaning to try to get a picture of her with everyone, but I still haven't. After today, she'll probably be checking into the closest Motel 6 so it may never happen.

Anyway, she was offering her babysitting services this morning because she feels like she's imposing on us by staying here, even though she's not, and she's been great entertainment for the kids. They've learned about the Russian alphabet, asked her a million questions about Russia, and made her watch all their crazy dancing and cartoons.  Maddie loves listening to her "accident," or accent in case you couldn't guess.  After I finished telling her I'd never do that to her--meaning making her babysit the heathens, I went off to take a shower while everyone seemed to be contently watching Looney Toons. I came out after hearing alot of screaming and banging coming from Alex trying to lock the boys in their room. JUST GO LOOK IN THE DINING ROOM, he said. 

One of the older kids had obviously left the childproofed door to the pantry open, thus rendering it an un-childproofed paradise overflowing with temptations no 2 year old could resist.  Think a jug of Aunt Jemima, a half gallon of milk from the fridge, and an entire brand new Costco sized jar of praline covered pecans. Everything from the couches, toys, a football, books, the wooden window  blinds, and a majority of the carpet was covered in this 3- ingredient concoction.  It smelled like IHOP in there. And I'm still not sure how they got the milk from the top shelf of the fridge. I probably don't want to know. 

Do you know what happens to syrup when it hits off-white carpet? It turns into dark brown glue. A gooey goo that refuses to be cleaned. At all costs. Nothing will completely dissolve it. I think I'm bordering on completely destroying the carpet trying to get it all out, so I'm giving up. It's a good thing that the piano we bought last week to go in this room won't be delivered until tomorrow.  Because I'm 100% sure it would've been covered too, and then I'd be trying to clean syrup, milk, pecans and blood out of off-white carpet. Anna was impressed at my steam cleaner's success on the mess. I told her he's had alot of practice. The Hershey's syrup a few months ago was probably his toughest challenge so far. 

The sad thing was that Anna felt so bad because she had just offered to babysit and then the boys pulled this on her. She said that she started to get nervous when they were quiet for too long. I told her not to worry because they can pull this stunt on anyone's watch. Even if your eyes are on them the entire time. They grab at anything within reach and when you chase after them to get it back, they throw, squirt, spray, dump, or eat it as fast as humanly possible.  Just for fun. For kicks and giggles. It's like a twin sport. It's what they do for entertainment when Blues Clues gets boring. 

This is on the heels of another Avery-induced mess last night involving a new bottle of Orange-Glow wood cleaning spray and the contents of our office. My Mac was dripping with the orange oil spray, as were the office chairs, the basket of bills to pay, the keyboards, books, the paper shredder, and pretty much everything under three feet in height. I mean everything. The bottle only has about three inches of cleaner left in it. 

Once again, the kids hadn't closed the cupboard under the sink and left the cleaning stuff available for the taking. Jeremy nearly popped a vein when I sent him to find out where Avery was while we were all watching America's Funniest Home Videos, like we do every Sunday. He had been missing for several minutes and when I smelled orange, I started thinking he had gotten the bag of clementine oranges from the fridge and was trying to eat all of them. Nope. He was on a messy cleaning spree-which is kind of an oxy-moron.  The good news is that pretty much everything survived being hosed down in orange oil, even though as I hit some letters on the keyboard a little oil squeezes out from some of them.  But at least I won't have to polish the desk for the rest of my natural life. 

So I'm not exaggerating when I say I'm pretty sure we've 1) mortified our international visitor on her first trip to the States so badly that there will only be horror stories told around Moscow when she goes home, 2) reaffirmed every stereotype about Americans being loud and obnoxious and 3) convinced her that twin boys are not always as lovely and cute as they appear, and should be avoided at all costs. 

But at least there was no poop involved this time. 

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Ramblings: Crazy Caroling

I meant to post this before Christmas in lieu of actually having to leave the house to go caroling. Let's just say we are in no danger of having to pull the kids out of school so we can travel as the von Trapps Part 2. (I have Sound of Music on the brain...why do they always play that movie at Christmas? Nothing screams the celebration of the birth of Christ like...the story of an Austrian Naval officer's singing family and their escape from the Nazis?)

We spent one of the afternoons right before Christmas in front of the new Mac enjoying its funny camera features. We have about 20 short videos and just as many warped and distorted pictures to prove it.  I like how Aidan actually is Big Head in these...even though he didn't. We were looking through all of them afterwards and anytime he was distorted in one, he'd start screaming "THAT NOT AIDAN!"
In the one video I decided to post, Maddie just kept singing the chorus over and over through the entire song. Alex spent the whole time yelling at her that she wasn't singing the right words and posing for the camera with his missing front teeth. Aidan showed off his favorite dance move--the fists in front of his face. Don't know where he got that--but when he's dancing, he always has to have his hands somewhere around his face. I tried about 10 different times to pry that pacifier out of his mouth so you could hear him singing but he wouldn't unclench his chomp. It was hard to tell from the muffled and garbled sound, but I think he actually knew the lyrics better than Maddie. Avery is hiding in the background enjoying some gum that he stole from the cupboard while we were all at the computer. I just showed off an extremely off key deep man-voice, because of course, I got sick right before Christmas. Oh and my giant head-dodging skills as Aidan kept flailing his giant noggin around. Happy Holidays! Maybe we'll produce a New Year's video to post later...