Thursday, October 30, 2008

Real-Life Fright

My thirteen-year-old cousin, the sweetest kid you will ever meet (he designs birthday cards for his baby cousins, for example), is having an incredibly sucky surgery today for complications due to Crohn's disease. He has to stay in the hospital overnight and will miss Halloween. Please pray for him.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

One Fine Autumn Evening

Excited about the (not quite) new double tricycle that I scored from Craigslist for a steal, I decided to take the boys for a little ride around our neighborhood.

Our bumpy, uneven, cracked-sidewalk neighborhood. A ride. With children too young to pedal, on a vintage tricycle with a slightly-crooked front wheel. Even when locked in place, the trike consistently veered to the right. There was a pushing handle for me, but it was virtually useless.

The ride went something like this:

Push, push, straighten.

Push, push, straighten.

"Fuck!" shouted a child.

"Yes, sweetie, that IS a TRUCK. TRuck. TRuck. Say TRUCK."






"Look, look over here! It's a pumpkin!"


"Yes, pumpkin!"


"Oh, that? That's a SKELETON. Say, SKELETON!"



Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Spice Boys

I don't care if you're not reading me anymore--I shall keep posting anyway, for I do believe I've gotten my groove back! And it only took 19+ months!

One of the problems with having twins, at least MY twins, is that one of them always, always wants what the other has. This is compounded, in my case, by my passion for weird and vintage crap. While it may be possible to score one fabulously-priced old-school tricycle at a yard sale for a song, it is virtually impossible to score two. This is why I wind up entertaining my sons with, say, sticks of lip balm.

Since even my very lip balm is awesomely quirky, procured from Etsy, I have multiple tubes in multiple flavors, but no two of the same scent. Tonight, when both boys were exhausted and in precocious-terrible-twos throes of a love-hate relationship with Vintage Potty Elmo, my father dabbed at the sore nose of one child with lip balm. That was it; they HAD to have more.

I managed to scrounge up two tubes. Thyme was Peppermint and Sage was Cinnamon. Once they applied the mashed-up balm to their heads like pomade, it became rather easy to tell them apart by scent. Because when life gives these boys lemons, they put it in their hair.

UPDATE: The cinnamon fragrance has officially survived a shampoo.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Beware of washable crayons.

Even if they have "washability that you can trust." They're not making that up, they really DO wash off pretty easily, but that's just the beginning of a whole new set of problems.

So, Sage and Thyme, who, in reality, have what multiple people have told me are "artsy-sounding names," are acting rather true to their names. Each day, they create elaborate murals, full of multicolored streaks and swirls. Right there, on our walls. They are, surprisingly enough, pretty good about cleanup. I give them each a diaper wipe, and they make everything "All cleam-a!"

Last night, I was changing Thyme. When I change him, he usually shows his lack of patience by kicking me in my Cesarean scar tissue. This makes it rather difficult for me to supervise his brother.

In a fit of cleanliness that can only be described as "Crawfordesque crazy," Sage pulled out a diaper wipe and began furiously scrubbing at the walls.

The problem was--that diaper wipe?

It was used.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Why I spend too much money

Not too long ago, I miraculously finished reading The Complete Tightwad Gazette, by Amy Dacyczyn. I highly recommend it if you're looking for ways to curb your spending. Yes, it's a bit dated, and some of her suggestions are pretty out-there, but I find myself implementing many of her tips and going back to the book again and again for recipes.

However, I find myself unable to become a true "tightwad." This is partially due to my passion for Humboldt Fog, and partially due to mornings like the one I had today.

After I exited through the malfunctioning $70 baby gate to wash the greenish shit (yes, literal shit) off my hands, I turned, suspicious of the sudden quiet. One child had managed to pry open the cap on the tube of generic Desitin--which, by the way, is completely inferior to the original. Why? Because it immediately melts all over your fingers and gets everywhere, while the original stays relatively solid until it is spread on the bumcheeks. The other child had managed to empty the tub of every. single. diaper wipe (approximately $4 per box for the kind that doesn't irritate my children's skin). In the spirit of frugality, I did wad them all up and stuff them back in the box, but of course I'll have two flailing toddlers to control as I try to pull the mashed-up wad out of the box during diaper changes, so they'll probably wind up wreaking some other kind of expensive havoc as I attempt to salvage a twenty-cent wipe. The truly frugal, I know, would make their own diaper wipes, or use a washcloth, but I'd like to know how they have the energy.

Then, I sat down to change the SECOND poopy diaper. You can imagine how well that went.

Amy Dacyczyn did all her frugal exercises while raising SIX children, two of them twins. Apparently, she is made of hardier stock than me. I would like very much to shake her hand. Right after I wash mine. Again.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Maybe I watched too much Dexter while I was pregnant?

The other day, Sage walked over to me, smacked me in the face, and said, "Cry." Then, he stared at me expectantly.

After the shock wore off, it took all my strength not to crack up, but I did manage to sniffle out injured sounds, explain that hitting is not allowed in our house, it hurts, he wouldn't like it if someone hit him, etc. He simply looked at me with one of those little evil-baby smiles plastered across his face, and then wandered off to crayon the walls. Meanwhile, I checked to make sure the knife drawer was still babyproofed.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

He's always, always right, if only you listen

Sage and Thyme are currently going through a fearful phase. Each morning, when I enter their room, I am greeted with a litany of their current fears.

"Mama! Go 'way, eah-pain-ah!" Sage cries and gestures to the blank wall.

Said blank wall was once occupied by a cool-looking Ikea print of an old-fashioned airplane. After a certain point, it simply had to go. That certain point happened shortly after Sage noticed that airplanes, in all their scary, noisy glory, fly over our apartment approximately 342,567 times per day.

"Airplane all gone!" I announce, kissing the top of his head.

"Mama! Heatuh?" Thyme chimes in.

Ty and I had two or three quasi-sleepless nights before we realized that it was the space heater that was terrorizing our children. The silent, barely-visible space heater. We mistakenly believed that our children would prefer this unobtrusive object to having icicles form on the ends of their cute little noses. The heater now occupies the valuable real estate in our bedroom closet, and my suits have been relegated to the living room.

"Heater all gone!" I announce, kissing the top of his head.

"Gunn?" Sage asks.

"Gunn all gone!" I reply.

Don't twist your knickers--no, I do not expose my children to guns. The Gunn in question is my beloved Tim Gunn bobblehead doll.

I once thought that my fussy children would find him entertaining. So, I trotted him out and told them that he found them FAB-U-LOUS! He promptly scared the shit out of them.

Ever since then (approximately two months ago), it's been, "Go 'way, Gunn!" or "Gunn gone?" About 18 times a day. However, Mr. Gunn made an appearance last night at dinner.

It was probably about the fourth or fifth time I was crawling around on my hands and knees under the high chair, tracking seltzer and organic red peppers and antibiotic-free chicken with my sweatpants-clad knees. Ty and I had asked the children to STOP THROWING THEIR FOOD ON THE FLOOR at least 24 times. Finally, we had had it.

"If you throw your food on the floor one more time, Tim Gunn will come back," we told them.

Sage, aka The Instigator, looked me right in the eye and tossed a lovingly-cooked black bean over his left shoulder, brazenly tempting fate.

With that, Tim Gunn was placed before them, head wobbling back and forth, telling them to "Make it work!" Much like Kenley before them, they did NOT like this. He retreated back into the bedroom, but not until he had told them that they had to stop throwing their food on the floor, as it was "messy" and "boring" and "cheap" (having borrowed his costar Heidi Klum's three favorite comments--fortunately, he didn't tell them that their boobs were in the wrong place).

I think dinner will be a little bit neater tonight. After all, I can't want them to succeed more than they do.