Thursday, April 18, 2013

she's 7!

She turned 7 on April 5th.

Today is April....18ish....if I actually complete this post today. As per my last post, you have some idea of why I haven't posted anything until now. There have been about 3 showings a week at our house. Do you have any idea how hard it is to keep a 4-story (including basement) house "museum clean" with 4 children and a pup? You don't wanna know.....

So back to my sweet, kind, responsible, beautiful-inside-and-out little girl who just turned 7. (She doesn't really like frosting, so I asked her if she would prefer another type of dessert, so she asked for her favorite cookie, Molasses. They are a fave with all my kidlings. I have my own recipe I made up to fit my need for a thick, chewy, scrumptious cookie like the ones they have at Starbucks -- but better, of course. I'll share it when I start my cooking blog...some day......)

We went to NYC for Easter the weekend before her birthday and I couldn't resist buying her an early gift. It was worth the "million dollar smile" (as her daddy says) to buy something she picked out.

I made cake balls for her class cuz her birthday was on a school day. Rebel that I am, I went against the "no birthday treats" and "healthy snack" rules at her school. They were a hit. Duh!

She loves the "I Spy" books and games, so I thought it would be fun to have an "I Spy" party. I thought it was an original idea...but of course it's not. Just check out Pinterest and you can find ideas for any "original idea" you think up.

First we had a scavenger hunt with her six cute friends she invited.

Then some chatting and eating and coloring on the tablecloth.

The "centerpiece" was a random assortment of I Spy-ish shtuff.

She helped me decorate the cake.

That girl is dang cute. Her Nana made the dress for her cousin...she's the youngest girl cousin so she gets lots of adorable hand-me-downs.

The 8th candle for good luck in the coming year. I sure hope we have lots of good luck in our big year ahead! Regardless, I will always be lucky to be the mother of this girl.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

my life, interrupted

I started this post a few weeks ago -- in my head. Then I started writing it a few days ago. Too tired to finish. This is my life right now...start something, interrupted; forgetting what I was doing, interrupted; not understanding simple concepts, interrupted; wanting to get something done at the end of the day, exhausted.

Part of the reason I'm exhausted is because I take this lil pup for a walk in the woods early every morning before all the kidlings get up.
Every once in a while I need to vent on my blog. This is one of those once-in-a-whiles. Since, by nature, most mothers remember the good times more than the bad (thank heavens!) -- often completely clearing their mind of the bad -- I want to make sure I remember the bad times of motherhood so that I can have full empathy for mothers with toddlers when mine have become grown-ups. And I hope, oh how I hope, I never, ever say to a mom with her young children, "Enjoy it now while it lasts cuz it goes by so fast! How I miss those days!"

No, you don't miss this. You miss the good stuff, which, I admit, is REALLY good, and for heavens' sakes I AM enjoying it as much as I possibly can. But you don't miss it as much as you think you do. And, most of all, why don't YOU enjoy what YOU have....grown-up children who don't need diapers changed, who aren't screaming demands every second of every day while you calmly reply, "Say please!", who can actually have a conversation, who don't spit raspberries at you thinking it's funny, who can play outside in the cold weather for more than 5 minutes....or even play outside without your neighbors telling you to "watch your children" (translated, "Could you please hover over your children like every other mother of the 21st Century?" Mothers didn't used to...we all have stories about playing outside with full freedom. What happened to that????)

The good news is that she doesn't like very long walks in the cold. 
Which is good because I need to get back to the little ones -- who are now climbing out of their crib. Good times.
For the past few weeks I have been desperately trying to put into words in my head, so that I could transfer them to my blog, how to describe my life right now...without being overly dramatic.

But I can't.

So...I'll give it to you straight. I really hate 2 and 3 year olds. They are a pain in every way. Except when they say cute things, or look at you lovingly with a smile, or give you the best hugs EVER, or make you feel the kind of joy and love so deep in your soul it almost hurts.

Or when they have a bad case of bed head and have no clue so it gives you a much needed laugh.
Other than that, they are nothing but noise makers and mess makers. And by noise I mean crying, whining, fighting, tantruming, screaming, wailing, bawling, shrieking noise. Not good noises. Seriously, that is all the noise I hear. All. Day. Long. Ok, so maybe not during nap time, but other than that, it's all about the noises. And the messes. Which I clean up during nap time. Yippee. And yet, I still look forward to nap time. Cuz at least it's quiet and nobody is demanding my attention every single dang second. No seriously. EVERY second.

Like when they crawl under a sofa and then get so stuck they can't get out. As you can see, Lambeau is so used to the crying, he doesn't even know there's a baby screaming behind her. And I'm so used to the crying, I grabbed a camera before I helped my helpless boy.
Which leads me to the really tough part that I have never experienced before in all my 8 years and four children of motherhood. Did I mention I hate 2 and 3 year olds? (It's not "Terrible Twos" but very much "Terrible 3s...with the last few months of 2s") Well, a -- as in ONE -- 2 and 3 year old I can -- and have -- handled just fine. But TWO 2 and 3 year olds are a freaking living nightmare. (I told you I was going to be overly dramatic!) There is ALWAYS one asking for something, crying about something, fighting for something, grabbing something, denting something, hitting someone, breaking something, ruining something, destroying something, throwing something, and, in short, needing attention -- from me. All. Day. Long.

Remember, I have two other children too who need/want my attention. Like when Soren wanted to play this game he made out of recycled materials for Cub Scouts. How could I say "no" -- even when I had a million other things I needed to be doing?? Turns out, I tried to play, but I couldn't focus because I had two 2 year olds who were way more demanding, so he gave up and played by himself. Poor guy.
Ok, yes, again with the nap time...while it is a break...a MUCH needed and appreciated break from the neediness of two 2-year is, at most, a 2 hour break which I frantically try to at least TRY to get perhaps one item on my to-do list done....which is usually laundry, making a meal, cleaning a mess, yada yada. (How envious of my life am I making you right now?)

Who wouldn't be envious of a mother who had this cuteness and love????
Ok. You get the picture. Sort of. This is not the kind of picture you can simply read about and "get it". You have to "live it" to "get it". I know that from experience. I have several mothers-of-twins friends who warned me of how much harder it gets as the days and years go by after having those two adorable lil babies. But I didn't think it would be this hard. Oh no....I did not. I had NO idea it was going to be this hard. And, the reason I keep saying, "2 and 3 year olds" is because my boys aren't even 3 yet. So it's only going to get harder. I have more than a year left of dealing with these screaming maniacs two toddlers. Lucky me.

Anders is desperately trying to ride his car in the snow...before he came crying because "hands code!!" (Does any toddler keep their mittens on in freezing weather????)

Now get those pantomimed violin strings ready to play "My Heart Bleeds for You"....

How can anyone possibly feel sorry for me when I am surrounded by such cuteness? Puppies and babies, does it get any cuter????
Add on top of this the fact that my husband lives in Chicago and we are trying to sell our house...all during a "record-breaking winter" (as in lots and lots of snow and storms). That's the stuff of really good fun, right?
My "man of the house" helping me shovel. Not one complaint.
And he did a really good job too! Without any help from me whatsoever.
But it sure is beautiful. What a view from my kitchen window!!
Remember all those messes and destruction I mentioned? Yea, well, every day I have it hanging over my head that I need to have the house "show ready" at any given day the realtor happens to call for an appointment to show the house. Given that we have only had 6 showings in 7 months -- 3 of those in the past week (One calling at 10am to see the house at 12pm. That was fun.) -- that doesn't sound so bad, right? Well, it is. Add to it the stress of having to lower the price of your home more...and more...and more...and STILL not selling your home (that you happen to LOVE and wish you didn't have to sell) and constantly wondering IF you will sell your home and WHEN you will ever live with your husband again -- who's living in a basement apartment eating tuna and beans out of a can for dinner and missing his fast-growing children like crazy.

Missing events like the 3rd Grade Biography Fair when Soren dressed up like Orville Wright and displayed the results of his hard work
How about that 'stache??
Ok, I think I have vented enough for one post. More than enough, really, but I assume nobody held a gun to your head to read it all the way through? If you made it all the way through.....

Now I need to get back to "enjoying it while I can" and appreciating my four little ones....and maybe even a sunset.....

After all, tomorrow is another day.....
(random link, I know...but her words and expression are so perfect for my overly dramatic feeling about my life right now....)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

happy valentine's day 2013!

In case you are wondering, taking care of twin two year olds and a 14 week old puppy isn't easy. Yesterday was one of the worst days so far.... I felt like I was in a bad sitcom with way too many crazy things happening all at once and one right after the other. It was absolutely ex. haus. ting. It was all typical stuff...peeing and pooping puppy (two feet of snow outside makes it VERRRY DIFFICULT to potty train a wee pup!!!!), screaming and whining babies, a crying and frustrated little girl after school, and all day -- ALL DAY -- cleaning up mess after mess...after mess....after with added chewed up toys, boots, hats, mittens to the mix of toys...not to mention all the pee and poops everywhere -- on the floor, in the diapers....and more diapers.....

And, to add to the craziness....I made these for Soren and Anna Clara's valentines and Anna Clara's class party:
lollipops for the valentines and cream-filled cookies for the class party
Very surprising to me, Mr. Incredible sent me a dozen roses, 4 balloons for the kiddos and chocolates. That's a first. Maybe he misses me in Chicago. Almost as much as I miss him.
The kiddos requested the lollipop valentines again. They came home very proud that they were the only ones with homemade valentines. What? Remember when EVERYONE made homemade valentines??

The boys enjoyed the leftovers.

When putting the kidlings to bed last night I asked them each what she/he was looking forward to most about Valentine's Day. 

Anna Clara said, "the treats."

Soren said, "the day after I get to see Daddy."

He's a heartbreaker and a love of my, and daddy's, life.
He worked into the dark evening hours to build a fort and a snowman. A boy after my own heart!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

storm nemo

Such a funny name for a storm...but the Blizzard of 2013 was worthy of a name.
Friday, February 8th at 10am
Saturday, February 9th at 10am (and more coming!)
Friday, February 8th at 10am
Saturday, February 9th at 10am (and still snowing)
This is just after 24 hours of Blizzard 2013.
Soren building a fort in the driveway.
Niels is helping.
Anders hates the cold. This is his reaction after only 5 minutes outside. As Jim said, "His Viking ancestors would be disappointed."
The snow at our garage opening just before I discovered our snowblower was broken...again...but I broke it this time. Oops.
The stairs made a great sledding hill and the snow made it difficult to swing on the swings.

I love Soren's arm around AC in this pic.
My kind and thoughtful neighborly neighbors came over, without my asking, to clear my driveway and path. It made my day. I love my kind and thoughtful neighbors!!!!
My two favorite baby girls.
Anna Clara has got herself another playmate.

The cookies I made for my kind and thoughtful neighbors.

Exhausted after playing in the snow.

Oh yes. The pup. The day before the storm I drove an hour and a half to MA to the place where I bought JoiVie to pick up this lil 14 week old puppy. I couldn't handle the hole left in our home. And, coincidentally enough, when I called to find out if they had any pups, they had only one female Golden Retriever available -- on the very day I let JoiVie go. I picked her up the next day and I'm so very glad I did. She has helped keep my mind off the huge hole in my heart. She is  mellow, sweet, smart, loving and about as gorgeous as a pup can get (I love how red she is!). I told Jim he could name her since he hated the name JoiVie (too unmanly for him), so he chose "Lambeau" and the children approved. In case you don't know, Lambeau is from "Curly" Lambeau of Packer fame and the name of the Packers stadium. I love that it has the word "beau" in it -- French for "beautiful"-- in keeping with JoiVie's name origin (not that I'm French or have any French ancestry, but it truly is a beautiful language, and I kinda have a love for foreign languages). Just don't tell my manly Cheesehead hubby that.... *wink*