Tuesday, June 25, 2013

we camped

We can't be the only ones prone to easy distraction, can we?  You know, days intended to be quiet family days at home that turn into a quick Instagram upload here and a quick text to respond to there and kids fetching the remote from the drawer and begging for Disney Junior until you just finally say "FINE" and click on the Doc McStuffins to just stop the whining, already?  And before you know it you're all in the same room but really .... not, at all?

We needed a purposeful day of exactly the opposite of that.  A day where we load up the SUV and drive ten minutes down the highway to the place where our phones, showing 'no service', become useless trinkets.  Where, a few minutes after that, the road turns to dirt and the national forest beckons.  A day to truly relax, enjoy the quiet moments, get back to the basics.  To focus on us.  Just trees, bees, and chipmunks picking off our picnic leftovers.  A clear, crisp river flowing over rocks, just shallow enough for little kids to explore.  (In life jackets and in arms' reach, obvi.)  Rocks to collect and flowers to pick and mud to squish between little toes.  A tent not meant for sleeping overnight (not yet), just meant to excite kids to whom a tent means "WE ARE REAL CAMPERS".  Marshmallows, not roasted for fear of fires, just stuck on sticks.  A toy truck gathering pinecones and sticks, a new card game to learn, dirt smeared little hands grabbing into the shared bag of Pirate's Booty.  J and I, toasting to our adventure and our anniversary week and how far we've come in these nine years.  And our sweet, happy kids in various stages of undress as swimsuits lie drying out on rocks and last pairs of clean underpants end up full of dirt and discarded beside the tent.  It was a perfectly imperfect unplugged day.  It really, really was.  And it will be repeated.

chippy was a big fan of the snacks.
the kids were a big fan of chippy.
 And most of all, my heart was so happy to see my babies just enjoying each other.  Oh, sure, there was a spat over whose turn it was for the big truck and who got shafted to the middle of the wagon (Bug, taking one for the team, as per usual) .... but they had so much fun together out there in the forest.  So much love.

This was before we left.  With an absurd amount of gear, but whatever.  Here, we'd just told Vivian we said "camping," not "glamping."  And she was like "WAIT WHAT?"

Friday, June 21, 2013

oh hey hey hey

If you don't get my post title, you maybe haven't heard this song, and I'm sad for you.  WARNING: don't watch that with your kids.  Also Dr. Seaver's real life kid .... um, hello there, Mister Thicke.

That, my friends, was the official theme song of last weeks' Orange County get together with four of my best friends in the whole wide world.  Open windows, cruising down PCH with the Pacific shimmering beside us, Dr. Seaver's son providing the soundtrack to what was a much anticipated, much needed gathering of "the girls".

Rewind 12 years.  (TWELVE.  HOLY GUAC.)  I'm a newbie Alpha Phi and am paired up randomly with another newbie for our first stint as in-house members.  And here's what I know: I'm in an aptly named room (The Closet) and my roomie-to-be is the pretty, quiet girl with the hoop earrings.  That's about all I knew, going in.  I had no way of knowing this girl, after moving in and making three trips a day to Super Target and heartfelt, late night chats in our teeny-tiny corner room, would become one of my closest friends.  Or that she'd bring into my life some of HER close friends from back home who would become mine, as well.  And that we'd pick up another along the way, and that would be that.  And that Megan and I, we'd consider ourselves the "mamas" of this group.
don't mind my devil eyes.
tequila did it.
 And that these girls we gathered and bonded with and missed terribly when the time came for us to graduate and move on with our grown up lives?  They'd be the kind of girlfriends that just .... stick.  We've moved around, we've gone a few years without seeing each other, we've had ten kids (TEN) but that distance and craziness is nothing a quick email can't close right up.  And every now and then, when the stars align and the schedules/husbands cooperate ..... we meet back up and pick right back up where we left off.  If not in the literary sense (the frozen plains of northernmost North Dakota), definitely in the way that really counts, laughing until our guts hurt ten minutes after the airport pick up kind of way.  Of course, missing our supportive husbands and sweet babies back home, but so embracing this opportunity to swap old stories (sometimes more than once .... TEQULA DEMENTIA) and catch up on our current events and ...... just relax.  Go to the spa and be luxurious about it.  Shop.  Eat without pausing to cut food up into chunks/mop milk up off the floor.  And drink things.  Mostly adult beverage things.

And see a Housewife, yall!!  We were waiting for a table at a Newport hot spot when Jenny noticed a sparkly Louis (Jenny has a keen eye for these things).  And then noticed who was attached to the sparkly Louis .... Lydia!  From RHOC!  Right in front of our very eyes.  Just her, her husband, and their two well-behaved little boys.  No nanny or entourage.  And when I Instagrammed about our encounter, she RESPONDED.  Graciously.  Consider me a Lydia fangirl, I don't even care.  Unfortunately, in our excitement, nobody got a picture.  But I promise, it happened, and it happened before twenty two pitchers of margaritas happened so that means it REALLY happened.

And then, Monday, it was time to pack it up and come home.  And as much fun as I was having and as sad as I was to see the ocean fade away out the cab's window ..... I couldn't wait to land back in the mountains and smooch these faces.  And do glue art projects at 8am.  They wanted crowns, we were making crowns.

And then they gave me the flu bug they passed around in my absence and I wanted to die the end.
the sprite i kept down for 30 minutes before.....
well, you know.

Friday, June 7, 2013

the library: never ever again

I'm not here to entertain.  I'm not here with a photo, not here to play family historian.  I'm here to issue a formal apology to the fine patrons of the Durango library on the morning of Friday, June 7th, 2013 who witnessed The FakeTwin Meltdown of Epic Proportions.  I'd especially like to apologize to the sweet looking pregnant mother of two young girls who looked like she was probably going to go home and cry, or just go park her minivan at the fire station and wait for labor (Safe Haven Law, you know?)

None of you needed to see that.  Hell, I grew those two in my own womb and I didn't even need to see that.  Nor did I need to put on makeup or clean clothes this morning, just to sweat it all to hell carrying one screaming FakeTwin while dragging the other screaming FakeTwin behind while nudging the stroller carrying the baby forward, inch by inch, with my elbow and hip, alternating.  While also looking nobody in the eye because ALL THE EYES were staring at us.  All of them.

I should've KNOWN!  I'm not NEW at this!  Kids who wake up at 6am when they have no business being up before 7am are just NOT going to be good at the library!  No matter how many times they promise you they will be!  But I was just kind of bored at home this morning.  And they were, too.  Somersaulting around the living room missing the pointy corners of the coffee table by millimeters.  Shrieking at the dog if he even looked at them.  And nobody wanted to go outside (it's hotttttttt!) (I hate summer) (I lied yesterday).  And I didn't want to go anyplace requiring the spending of money because I'm hoarding all my fun-moneys for my upcoming vacation.  The one I'm going on sans kids, the one that kept me from diving headfirst into the raging river this morning.  Anyway.  So, library?  They promised they'd be good, you guys.

Except on the way there, the FakeTwins fought over who got to return the library books in the space-age library book returner machine at the library.  And then they bickered about who ate more Cheerios for breakfast.  And then they fought over whether the song on the radio needed to be turned UP or turned DOWN so I just shut the damn thing off entirely and we drove to the melodic sound of my grinding teeth.

We arrived, and there were eight golden minutes of goodness where I thought we were all going to make it, after all.  The baby crawled around being charming and smiley, the FakeTwins played a Dora game on the computer, and I started breathing like I wasn't about to have a heart attack.  But then we went into the story room.  And it wasn't the normal, super-engaging story time girl, it was someone else.  Who did okay, but my kids?  They just really like that super-engaging story time girl.  So they weren't all that engaged.  So they started whispering to each other in some weird little language like FakeTwins do.  And then they started rolling around on the floor.  So I got up, I issued a warning, and they sat nicely and listened.  For two point three seconds.  Then they were .... just not sitting nicely and not listening.  Second warning, issued.  Before I even got back to my chair (all the moms sit on chairs, it's like a rule or something?) they were giggling and actually got SHUSHED by some tiny kid sitting beside them.  SHUSHED!  By!  A!  Kid!  Enough.  I handed (uh, thrust?) the baby to my friend, and moved toward the FakeTwins.  Whose eyes got big as saucers because they KNEW they'd pushed it too far.  So, obviously, they started screaming before I even made contact.  I took each one by a hand and legit had to DRAG them, kicking and screaming, out of the room.  Then set them against the wall (still screaming, OBVI) and go back in there for my stroller and my baby.  I just went ahead and left my dignity there on the chair.  Then?  I had to get the hell out of the library. I already told you how well that worked out.  MG just sat in her stroller, grinning and fascinated, while the other two made a scene like one I just have not seen from those two.  Like ever.

Oh, but it wasn't even over when we got out of the library and across the parking lot to the vehicle!  While I scrummaged frantically around my massive bag for my stupid ^*&^%$#@ car keys, a nice child from A's class recognized him and that child's mom brought that child over to say hi.  (Because she thought they looked SO SOCIAL RIGHT THEN?!?)  And instead of saying hi, Anderson wailed.  And Vivian?  Oh, yall.  Vivian was beside herself, so she screamed "WE DON'T LIKE YOUUUUUUUUU!"  It's just inexcusable.  I'm not even going to try.  Except for to say she's three and was tired and was absolutely distraught about leaving story time before the art project.  But still.  No.  At that point, I was just wishing for a sinkhole.  Or at least, MY FREAKING CAR KEYS.

We're never leaving the house again.  We'll just sit here with the shutters shut watching Disney Junior until they're in middle school.

It's 5pm in the Eastern time zone in 12 minutes.  Just saying.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

onward. summer.

Alrighty, then.  You all?  Are the best.  The insightful comments, the messages via Facebook and email, they've all been read and appreciated.  For real.  I'm still unsure of exactly what I'll decide to do here ..... but for now, I blog.  And continue to think, and follow my gut, and be cautiously censored, and pinky swear I won't ever disappear out of the blue like that if I do decide to shut down.

Back to business.  And by business I mean rambling on about nothing.

I haven't yet met a Colorado season I don't love.  Fall was gorgeous, as fall tends to be in anyplace with trees and temperature changes.  Winter was about 100x milder than any midwestern summer I ever soldiered through (likesuchas, in Grand Forks, ND where my eyelids would freeze together while I walked to class and where sometimes my car doors froze shut).  And snow in the mountains?  Wow.  Spring was, you know, really springy.  Green.  Chirpy birds.  The usual.  Then.  Summer.  God bless summer.  Particularly with summer preschool for the boy child a few days a week because otherwise I think I'd be singing a different tune altogether and I think it would go something like "OMG IS SUMMER OVER YET, SOMEONE, SEND BOOOOOOOZE!"  Nothing personal, kid.  Well, except how you personally get up at 6am and creep down the hall and into my room and up to the side of my bed until we're eye to eye, and then you wake me up with a creepy whisper saying "where we going today?  I'm bored."  I do have to say, the old mommy guilt flared up over sending a boy off to school two days a week when I'm a SAHM and should be cherishing every moment with my kids at home (uh?) and while so many of his pals were enjoying a school-free summer .... but you tell me if he looks bothered by this summer school going thing?
No.  No, he does not.  It's water day today.  He did the whole creepy McCreeper into my room thing at 6am wearing those goggles.  God bless you, school.  And really, calling it school is a stretch.  There are teachers, and there's a classroom.  That's about as schooly as it gets.  He didn't need a scientific calculator or anything.

Other than the so-called "school", we're basically just doing a lot of the backyard.  Slathering up in SPF2000 twice a day.  Lounging around in our cat swimsuits.  (Okay, that's just MG.  I have no cat swimsuit.  Or any swimsuit I'd post a photo of myself wearing because I'm pretty sure my c-section scars WOULD be an overshare and yall would be like "OMG GET OFF MY INTERNETS FOREVER!")
Throwing the frisbee to Chester until my arm falls off.
Pirates having sword fights.
And last weekend, with Mimi and Papaw visiting from Texas, we set out on a rafting trip.  A first for the kids and me.  And by kids I mean twins, because you had to be four to go*, so we told Vivi she was four and now she STILL thinks she's four and looked at me like I was crazypants at gymnastics today when I told her new coach she's three and piped up with "NO, MOM, I AM FOUR."  Oops?  Anyway.  Rafting.  Was.  So.  FUN.  And the kids?  Little pros.  Shot through Class 3 rapids with nary a tear.  'Sup, baby Coloradans?
*but let's face it, she's as tall as any 4 year old I know.
*and nobody even asked, anyway

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Okay, okay.  So pulling the plug on my blog with no warning was maybe not so much a good idea.  Sorry.  Especially sorry if anyone thought I'd had to join the witness protection program or that I'd died or that maybe I'd ODd on nonfat vanilla lattes THEN died.  I did not.  What I did do, or really what I've done off and on for some time now, is pondered the future of my little blog.  And really, pondering blogs in general.  Occasionally coming across articles like this that gave me pause.  Seeing some major mommy bloggers make some major (and unapologetic!) blunders at the expense of the children they're tasked with protecting at all costs.  Not naming any names.  Cough cough Nellagate cough cough.  And because sometimes I'm a wee bit impetuous, with all this clutter in my head and concerns in my heart, I just shut 'er down.  But then some of you were like 'OMG WHAT THE FUH?" and I was like "oops".  So, hi.  Here I am.  Contemplative.

I started out as a blogger during the sad years before the babies happened.  It was free therapy and it introduced me to other ladies with similar struggles and I like to think it maybe helped a few other sad, wishful-mothers to have hope in the darkest of their own hard days.  I moved and revamped after the first baby, with tales of his firsts and sleep woes and 'doh moments of this first time mom.  It kept my far off family and friends in the loop and again, it introduced me to other mamas in the same walk of life, and again with the free therapy perk.  And on days when I felt like all I'd done was clean butts and read books full of animal sounds and rhyming words, it gave me a way to exercise my brain a little.  I've always loved writing.  (My third grade teacher said I was good at it, yall!)  I've kept up with the blogging (with varying diligence) for four and a half years, three states, a few more babies, a .... uh, a bunch more cats (I DAMN LOST COUNT OF THE CATS!)  Lately, I've been putting some thought into my future here.  My kids are getting bigger.  Particularly, the big one.  He's in school.  He gets shy sometimes.  He's no longer a tiny little human without specific will or want, he's a thinking, feeling, person.  Who deserves privacy and respect.  And while I do think I've done a decent (IDK?) job of not getting TOO personal, not getting TOO embarrassing, and while I do think I'd love a written account of my childhood and those of my siblings .... I do sometimes wonder about the implications of sharing my kids' lives on the web.  You know?  All I really know is that all that really matters is doing right by those three little ones up top.  And I just need some time to think that through, I guess.  In between wiping hineys and reading animal sound books.

Weigh in, will ya?  I know there's many a mommy blogger in my reading audience (of 10).  I value your input.