Kentucky Mom to Twins and More

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Shades of grey

While I was brushing my teeth today I found it. The very dreaded thing that a late-30s person has nightmares about. I found my first grey hair. I swear you would have thought I was in was an episode of CSI -- I'm all crouched up in the mirror with tweezers plucking every strand of hair in the vicinity of this ONE, in order to get it out, then I place it on the vanity and stare angrily at it before I throw it in the trash with Mia's snotty Kleenexes. This piece of hair - the symbol of my old-agedness. Nearing 38 is getting depressing. I mean come on! Just yesterday I was a flaky college co-ed tossing this luxurious chestnut hair around so carefree at parties, sipping on my Boones (don't judge - it wasn't mine). Some people will say, don't sweat it - "it's earned!"
I say, how quickly can I get in for a color appointment at the salon?

As life races on, I try and think each day what I want to remember about the kids, and what I think they will remember when they are older. I was distressed seeing something on the Internet that said something like, "if you want to know how your child will turn out, just look in the mirror." Ok crap. I'm in trouble, and so are the kids.One of my daughter's first words was the F one (no, I did not write that in her baby book).  
I keep telling myself not to hurry them, and not to wish these days away but that 8 p.m. bedtime is like the light at the end of a tunnel - a stinky, hot tunnel I've been in most every day - a tunnel of drama, tantrums, screams, crying, messes in the kitchen, laundry piles and butt wiping. Is Motherhood an Olympic sport yet? 

I've discovered that when you are the mother of young children it is a given that at the precise moment your butt hits the toilet seat, it's as if a dog whistle for toddlers and babies has sounded and they are all immediately at your service in the 2 foot-wide bathroom. "You going pee momma? Good girl!" "You need toilet paper?" "Momma are you going to wash your hands when you're done?"
Same thing goes for the shower. Literally I have counted from the second I turn on the faucet -- it's never been more than 15 seconds before all the children I've birthed are standing at the shower door watching my naked butt with scrutiny.
"Are you in there momma?" "Mom, what's on your butt?" (A bruise from smacking into the kitchen counter while rushing to a screaming baby the day before). "Are those your boobies? Why are they long, mom?"

I want to scream "Get out!" and I usually do but I just have to laugh at other times because it's pretty much routine at this point. I almost fell over laughing yesterday when Téa came in and asked me, "Mommy my butt hurts, can you put some whipped cream on it?" (She meant butt cream -- which is what I call the baby's diaper rash medicine).

 Siesta Key, October 2013
Mia is a firecracker and I have a hard time keeping up with her and her mood swings and tantrums which are a daily thing. Matthew says she is her mother's daughter. We attended the twins' preschool "meet the teacher night" a couple weeks ago and listened to the teacher go on and on about how great Mia is in class and that she is attentive and listens to directions and is a delight.
Matthew and I looked at each other like, "who the hell's kid is she talking about!?"
I know I need to be more positive but I'm thinking I've got a real Jekyl and Hyde in this house.

Brayden cracks us up all the time. He's nearly 7 and eating us out of house and home already. He's never out of energy. We have him in indoor soccer this fall and winter and he loves it. The soccer net in the basement is seeing serious play as he begs anyone - even the 1-year-old to try and score on him as goalie. He's taking piano lessons too, which I'm hoping will pay off one day --as in he'll be the next Billy Joel or some great pianist or musician.

Payton will do anything the other kids are doing, and she can wrestle any of them to the ground. She is fierce and fiesty and it makes me cringe at the thought of yet another Mia in this house. At nearly 18 months, she doesn't really talk much. She has started to laugh really hard and she grunts and growls - literally. She wakes up in the middle of the night and will just growl and grunt to herself in the crib. She says momma, dada, doggy, but that's it. I get worried that she's not making too much of an effort to speak much more than that. I remember Brayden at that age almost speaking in full sentences. I've been told between myself and the kids she really has no need to talk - ever. So I will continue to delight in her silly faces and evil grunty laugh and that crazy, curly hair bouncing all over that head of hers.

It's almost Thanksgiving now, but the kids already want the Christmas tree up. This will be our first Christmas in the new house. I'm excited about the new traditions and activities we have yet to enjoy in this home, it's just too bad I have to share it with the stink bugs. Seriously what the hell? I was told they would die off at the first cold night. I must have super resistant stink bugs because they are crawling all over this place. They are at every door, every window, coming in through the fireplaces, at the basement doors, the garage doors. I can't get away from them and I can't kill them. I have a canine sense of smell, so even when nobody else can smell them, I lift my chin to the air and it's there. That smell. It's terrible and disgusting. Yes, I tried pesticides, hornet spray and Dawn dish soap. I've sprayed them with Febreze and Airwicks scents. Even Mr. Clean couldn't do crap for me. So as many people enjoy chestnuts roasting on an open fire this season, I will be listening to the snap, crackle pop of the disgusting stink bug toasting in my stone fireplace. Aggggh! Fa la la la la!

My time's up here. The kids are in bed, but another stress awaits. Those tweezers are calling. Where there's one, there's sure to be another. Just another thing to keep up with in this Olympic sport called Motherhood.

Monday, August 26, 2013

In another blink of an eye

So I blinked again.
The tiny 5-lb babies I gave birth to and cradled in my arms just three and a half years ago both bounded through the doors at Villa Madonna Montessori School this morning, backpacks flailing behind them.

Wasn't it just a moment ago Matthew and I were at our first ultrasound when the doctor asked us grinning, "How does TWO sound!?" Yes, it was just days ago that those tiny people came into our lives, exhausting us with around the clock feedings at night and endless poopy diapers during the day. It was only yesterday that they took their first steps -- Mia at 9 mos and Therese at 13 mos -- wasn't it?

Mia and Therese 12/29/09  and today, first day of preschool 8/26/13
Time plowed over those days to make way for all the tomorrows and left me in the parking lot today almost in tears. I'm getting used to this now, I think. It's a good thing, a happy thing to watch them grow up and enjoy these milestones. But it's also a sharp pang to the heart to know these little people of ours won't last. They won't be little people for long. Matthew asked the girls yesterday, "can't you stay this age?" He knows what's to come in another blink of an eye.

Every day we get closer to the drama that is adolescence, and then those teen years. Soon, they'll want to dress themselves, get their ears pierced, get PINK stuff from Victoria's Secret and have crushes on stupid boys. The stuffed animals that line the walls in their bedroom will be replaced by posters and nail polish and fancy futuristic technology I'm sure. We'll say goodbye to pink piggie, teddy bears, night lights and lilac colored walls.

Payton is next. At just over 1 now, she's already walking and making her way up and down the stairs, babbling and spitting out all kinds of words to keep up with her big brother and sisters and to join the fast pace of life in this house. Parents of older kids keep warning us, with a hearty laugh, about what's in store for us in the coming years. But there's no way for us to stop that old time from coming for us, for our kids! So I'm trying to keep my eyes pried open. I want to enjoy this time while it's here. I know this today will soon be another forgotten tomorrow. But in the meantime I'm doing my best not to blink.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Goodbye to our first suburban home

Yesterday marked a sad day and some tears as the sale of our house was finalized. We closed on our house in the suburbs - a place we called home for the past five years, the only home our children have ever known. Good thing the kids are adjusting a lot better than their momma -- they've slept ok and haven't asked to go back to the other house yet. However I haven't slept well in days, still trying to adjust to our new home surroundings, feeling like we are just staying here for a bit and not forever.
We still have to drive by the old house for the next month in order for Brayden to get on the bus for kindergarten at his elementary school. I don't know why it's been so hard to let go of it, and I'm more than happy and thankful we have our new home, and I know the new owners will love it - but I've been so emotional about leaving.

Flying his first kite in backyard
I keep saying that it's not so much the house but what's happened in the house -- the milestones and memories that took place there -- that I just don't want to let go of. The loudest laughter, the silliest giggles and yet the worst yelling and crying all happened for us within these walls! Brayden was just 1 when we first moved to that house in early 2008. He had just learned how to walk. He drank what he called 'gim gim' (milk) from a bottle and took his paci to bed in his crib. We read books and said prayers in his nursery rocker. He did his first coloring of Big Bird on that playroom table, and his first markers on the playroom floor! He snuggled in our bed on Saturday mornings to watch Barney. He watched countless episodes of Caillou on the couch before nap time and wrestled with daddy on the living room floor each night. 
This house was where he graduated to a big boy bed just before age 3 and where he became a big brother to his twin sisters. Brayden learned how to ride a bike in the driveway and played 'garbage man' almost every day here for a year. The neighborhood pool is where he learned to swim and at age 3 met his first best friend across the street. This home is where the twins took their first steps. It's where all the girls had their first baths, behind that monkey shower curtain... The back yard is where the kids caught their first butterfly (Brayden cried when he had to let it go), where they chased fireflies to put in a jar and where they flew their first kite. It's where we had bumps and bruises and cuts and scrapes - so many bandaids here! The swingset is where Brayden and the girls learned to swing and where we would have Popsicles every summer afternoon after playing sidewalk chalk or going on a wagon ride to the neighborhood park. 
Brayden walking in our bedroom at Lantana for first time, age 1
I watched Brayden from the front doorstep here, as he boarded his first bus to school (so many of my tears - and he was only going two blocks down the street!) This kitchen counter is where my children helped daddy make pancakes on Sunday mornings and where they left notes and cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve. They hung their stockings from this fireplace mantle and ripped open presents under the tree in the living room at 6 a.m. on Christmas morning. It's where we enjoyed fun parties with friends and bonfires and s'mores out in the back yard on warm, summer nights. It's where I've laughed all night on the driveway with my neighbors - some of us with a drink in one hand and a brownie in the other. 
Saying goodbye, age 6 
This home was such a comfort to us --where we'd rest after coming home after a weekend trip to South Bend or a weeks long stay in Florida... our beds here couldn't have been any more cozy! It's where we buried two pet goldfish and a dead bird who battled with his reflection in our basement sliding glass door.
This is where I cried for days after losing two children to miscarriage and where we rejoiced in the birth of our miracle baby, Payton. I know Payton won't remember this house, and neither will the twins for that matter. Eventually Brayden's memories here will fade, too, I'm sure. But I will keep memories of this wonderful home in my heart, and will always remember my babies little here -- a precious time I will never get back. 
I look forward to making our new house a home, and filling it with laughter and joys and even tears, too. I pray the memories we create here will be as cozy and homey as the ones we had here at this home.