Friday, November 30, 2007

Pee Pee in the Potty, Sort-of

If only...

Last night the boys were getting out of the tub. I was drying off Nathan...then Jamie popped out of the tub. I dried him off too. Nathan was shivering so I went back to drape the towel around his shoulders. Jamie headed over the little potty...

When what to my wandering eyes should appear,
but a miniature kid with his leg hiked up to his ear!
The potty was open and pee was en-route
the golden stream flew high with 80% out...
Only 20% in but a kid with a smile
I'll had this to my little miracle file!

I need to get crackin'!

~ Mom to Pee'r O'Potty

Friday, November 23, 2007

Disney's Magic

(apologies in advance for a consolidated blog of our trip to Disney)

Clearly I have lost brain matter since having the boys so the trip is somewhat of a blur. I actually started this on vacation but I never had time to keep it up. Any down time was spent healing my back and feet and curling into the fetal position until the boys came bounding in the next day saying "Hi Mom!HowYaDoin MOM?" (letters purposly run together to simulate Nathan turning a sentence into one word)

They were the best of times, they were the worst of times...such was the theme of the trip. My memory is more in sound bites so I will replay both good and chaotic memories - and not necessarily in order.

1. Mike went old school on me...doesn't believe in strollers.
When the boys were babies, Mike saw a toddler in a stroller in Target. He couldn't believe the kid wasn't walking around. Thought the parent needed to get him out of the stroller. (Huh?) Fast forward to Disney, millions of people, overtired stroller. If the boys weren't running around, I was carrying one of them. Ugh. There were three, half-days that I convinced him to use a stroller. Two out of three were a bad idea.
Upside? 5 - 6 miles a day carrying dead weight, easily a 30,000 calorie-a-day burn. I figured since I burned all those calories, I could eat lots of chocolate when I got home Aaahhh! The Magic of Disney!

2. Sleep? No sleep.
The boys were so overwhelmed that we couldn't get them to nap. We had to throw every technique out the window and think fast - we needed them to sleep more than 8 hours a day. We employed two techniques. The first is called the "Starbuck's Strategy". This is where you use the combination of your navigation system and laptop to find all of the Starbuck's within a 100 mile radius. Midway through the day, we plop the kids in their carseats and take off. They end up asleep in about 10 minutes and we get our coffee. The 2nd strategy was to lie in bed with them at night until they fell asleep. I loved doing that and wish it was easy to do at night at home but as Cassie always says, "don't do anything you don't want to do forever". It worked at Disney and they slept well after the 1st night.

Downside - Nathan teething so he would leave huge, soaking wet spots on my shirts when he fell asleep on me. (but I wouldn't trade it)

3. LaQueen and TOW Mater (a.k.a. Lightening McQueen and Mater)
They love the movie. They love the cars. They play with them, carry them around in pockets, lose them outside. They line them up, match them in pairs. Drive them around the floors but meet them in person? Not the reaction I expected.

4. "Jamie, meet Mickey, Mickey. Mickey meet Jamie"
We met Mickey. Jamie was fascinated meeting him. Even waiting for him, the boys were patient as they remained glued to a tv watching cartoons. Nothing short of a miracle.

5. Finally, a BEER!
On our last day at Disney, we visited EPCOT which turned out to be a real hit. You mostly think of it as a playground for older kids and adults. We played the first part of the day at Innoventions, World of Imagination, Turtle Talk with Crush and the Living Seas with Nemo. After lunch, we toured the World Showcase. About 1/3 through, the boys fell asleep IN THE STROLLER! Could it be? Asleep? You know what that means?!?! We hit the beer vendor and pay $15 for two beers. May sound crazy but I handed the cast member my money with glee! With the boys asleep, we could easily take pictures of them because they were sitting still. We went to one of the pavillions to add onto Mike's troll collection.

Hilarious? I thought so. Mike didn't see it as funny as I did.

6. Our first ride
One of my favorite memories will be riding the tram our first day to Disney MGM studios. It was warm, the boys were lovin' it. Their little faces turned toward the sun with the win blowing through their hair. It was magic.

7. Nathan hits on some girls.
The morning we went to EPCOT, we were parking our stoller in the stroller "parking lot". We turned away from Nathan and heard a young women giggling. When we turned around. He was holding hands with a miniature princess. She was all dressed up like Belle and Nathan was holding her hand. Good thing she had a twin sister ;)

8. Dude, Turtle Talk with Crush is Awesome!
Kids up front, adults in back. We took the kids with us because they were a little young. They were squealing and yelling and having the best time...and so were we. They have two cast members that can play that part. It's completely improvisational and I imagine him with little electrodes hooked to his face because "Crush" has facial expressions while he is talking - expressions that go to what he is saying! It was incredible! In a time when it is hard to amaze me, I was amazed.

9. GirWAFF!
Our room at the Animal Kingdom faced the Savannah. We had the giraffes outside of room every day. Spectacular. They were so close. The weirdest think was this bird that sounded like a cat. He would sit across the way and make sounds early in the morning. I kept hearing him around 6am and thinking someone brought their cat. I was so groggy and barely awake but I kept hearing that sound! Then I started to wonder if they brought a litter box and where they hid it and if they put him in the kennel and by then, I had completely over analyzed the situation and I was up...

There is more but I am sure Google will stop me soon. As a former cast member, I cannot think of Disney as anything other than a fantasy, pure magic. The first few days left me wondering if you could still find the magic in the rat race of kids and people. But I did. And it was. 15 years ago I found my way to a place that will always be in my heart. A place I hope to return someday, as a cast member once more. Although this time, they're paying me more than $5.25 an hour.

~ just another former cast member and MOM

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Tow Mater! Tow Mater!

I started Christmas shopping early this year. I want everything to be here on time and I did not want to stress out waiting for things to be shipped.

I really love shopping for the boys, I get to re-live my childhood and this time, I have more than a $2.00 weekly allowance to spend. My most recent obsession, I mean, the boys' most recent obsession are the Pixar Cars Die Cast cars. I bought them a few to start off with…Doc, Lightening McQueen, Leak Less and Chick Hicks. They carried them around for days. Each of the cars was only about $3 - $5. WOW! I can buy lots! So I headed back to Wal-Mart to buy more...unfortunately they didn't have Tow Mater. I decided that I would get online and order Tow Mater for a stocking stuffer.

I have ordered and received several boxes of presents so far and I am stashing them in my office – my sacred and (until now) undisturbed sanctuary. This past week the boys realized they could open doors and burst into my office. I wasn’t all that concerned until I heard them screeching “TOW MATER”. OH NO! I ran in and took the toys out of their hands and ushered them out…hoping that I could distract them and they would soon forget.

Well, that didn’t happen. In the middle of the night, Jamie woke up and I went in to check on him. I stayed with him a little bit and went back to my own bed. 10 minutes later, Jamie is crying out “TOW MATER! TOW MATER”! what do I do? They are so excited about it right now - what if they forget about him by Christmas?

Next day, they broke into my office again. This time, I was smarter and I hid the boxes in the closet. Much to my dismay, I didn’t see that one of the Tow Mater’s had dropped on the floor. Next words I heard…”TOW MATER!!!!”.

Today they enjoyed playing with Lightening McQueen and Tow Mater.

Merry Christmas.

~ Tow Mater's Biggest Fan

The Twin-ner Sanctum

I entered the twinner sanctum tonite. You know, the place where you witness the unique connection between twins or brothers or sisters, when you suddenly feel like odd man out. You don’t get their jokes but they are laughing at what they are doing.

But I guess I need to back up a bit.

About two weeks ago, I noticed something strange in the morning. I shook it off as a bad memory. Mike or I go into the boys’ room each morning to get them out of their cribs. Lately, I have noticed that Jamie’s blanket is in Nathan’s bed or the train I gave Nathan is in Jamie’s bed. I wasn’t sure about it, but well, we are always just putting things in their bed so it’s easy to but each other’s stuff into the other’s crib.

Tonite, I was putting the boys to bed. I was reading the last book, when the negotiations began. They each had four of the Pixar Cars Die Cast models.

JAMIE: Doc! Nate Doc! Doc Nate!

(I think he is saying good nite so I reach up to take Doc and say good nite)

JAMIE: Nate Doc! Nate Doc!

(Nathan stands up and gets on his toes and leans way over and grabs Doc)

NATHAN: Tow Mater! Tow Mater!

Jamie reaches down and grabs the sacred Tow Mater (more on that later) and stands on his toes and leans way over and hands Tow Mater to Nathan.

The giggling begins.

NATHAN: Leak Less Jamie, Jamie Leak Less!

Jamie stands on his toes and reaches out to take Leak Less from Nathan.

At this point, I do not exist. At all.

I am watching and realizing this explains how all of the toys, clothes, blankets and pillows are landing in different cribs. They are laughing and don’t even notice me. I smile and laugh and then I try to join in on the negotiations but they ignore me. They want to do it their way. The way they have been the last two weeks.

They don't even notice me standing there. Still. Smiling.

I wish the best for my boys, their health, happiness and I hope for great passion in their life. But through all that, through the good and the bad, I wish that they will lean on each other. I want them to realize there is one person in their life that has gone through the same things with the same parents at the same time. Nothing in life is guaranteed or lasts forever but at least they should know that they always have each other. Through thick and thin.

Crazy love.

~ Proud Mama

Sunday, November 4, 2007

I miss Pollyanna

On pretty days, I would walk down to her house to see her. She baked little sugar cookies with Hershey Kisses, she made the (then) popular cabbage soup and ground up ham for ham salad. I loved it.

She had a huge craft room with all of her knitting needles, reams and reams of yarn. Her shelves held her ceramic collection, things she had made for herself and others. The door was kept shut throughout the day … the room seemed sacred that way. When I entered, it felt like I was going into a secret place. I loved to look at the long, aluminum knitting needles.

Friday nights were “Happy Hour” night. She had popcorn and honey roasted peanuts. Little sausages swam in barbecue sauce and the adults drank Gimlets or Greyhounds. They laughed in the kitchen about their days and their family and of course, their grandchildren. I wanted to be old enough to get their jokes but I wasn’t.

They drove to distant, sunny places in their motorhome, my grandfather and Pollyanna. They would visit frequently their children and grandchildren; happy hour “on the go” I would think. When Grandpa got sick, she spent her time at the nursing home. Through the disabling Shy Draeger’s Syndrome, she would read his mind, “I wish I could take you away from all this.” She was his Honey.

We live apart now, she in Tennessee, me in Georgia. I wish to go to her house on a whim the way I did when I was younger. It’s harder now, now that I have her great-grandchildren toodling at my arm’s reach for all of her breakable ceramics and crafts. They need to hear her laugh the way I did.
She is Honey to so many more now; grandchildren and great-grandchildren and to my boys. The days just fall through your fingers without really knowing it. You scramble with your own kids, taking care of the now...but missing so much, the yesterdays. The yesterdays in Pollyanna’s kitchen, eating soup, talking about school and visiting the sacred craft room.

~ Just this Mom