Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Putting on my mom-tume!

Some days I don’t feel a day over 25.

Last Thursday was not one of those days.

I was at the beauty shop, finally getting a long overdue haircut, and my overly- chatty stylist asked me if I was ready for Halloween, were my costumes ready.

“Oh, yes! Let me show you Emily and Drew’s costume! I am so excited I could almost pee myself!” (Okay, maybe not the best expression, but you kind of get how excited I was).

I proceeded to pull out my phone and proudly swipe through a couple of shoots of my sweet Minnie and Mickey Mouse.

Ohs and ahs ensued. (Insert proud mommy face here!)

As the haircut proceeded and my whining about my rogue “platinum” strands faded, I noticed how the salon was bustling with excitement. The young girls working in the other booths were chatting, giggling.

One brought in a bag and pulled out her costume: a skimpy “indian” outfit.

“Oh, yes! I like that one much better than the gypsy one!”

Another described her naughty referee outfit.

There was talk of going downtown on Saturday night for the bar crawl and Halloween festivities, of fake IDs and how to properly use face paint to disguise the fact that you look nothing like said fake ID.

It occurred to me, then, that I was officially old.

A quick count revealed that I haven’t dressed up for a Halloween party in 7 years.

A quick reflection illuminated the fact that I really don’t mind. I mean, after all, who needs to dress up when you can have just as much dressing up your kids? (insert rationalizing tone of voice here)

Besides, even if I had a reason to get dressed up, what would I be?

I could be a referee like this one (minus the heels). I have experience refereeing fights over toys all the time.
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Maybe I could go as a zoo keeper since some days I feel like I am running one.
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Maybe I draw inspiration from some famous moms of multiples.

Like Kate Gosselin (yes, you can buy a Kate wig as seen here).
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Or Octo Mom
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Or that Teen Mom star with twins
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Since I just ventured into the “that’s just wrong” category of costumes, maybe I should just go way out there and finally get that boob job I’ve always wanted.
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Fake breasts are better than a fake tan, right? Unless you are “Tanning Mom.”

Enough! How about something more wholesome? More family-centered.
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Ultimately, it might just come down to the type of Halloween day I’m having.

Bad day?
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Good day?
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Dream day?
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What are dressing up as this year?

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Where dat come from?

The old saying goes that the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. When it comes to Emily and me, nowhere is this truism more evident than in Emily's curious nature.

I might be curious, but this girl...

Seriously, if I hear,

Where dat come from?

one. more. time.

(Just kidding. I truly love how curious toddlers are--most of the time).

But, sweet Emily, I have a few Where dat come from? inquiries for you.


Where did you learn about kangaroos

And candy corn? (For the record, this is one candy we have not given them--yet).

You exclaiming, "Oh my goodness!"

Or telling me to "be careful!"

Using words like "so" and "actually."

The obsession with train tracks.

And pressing the garage door opener?

Gypsy divers

And red, red gooey fish?

Shoo flies (as in, "Go away, shoo flies!")

Or your concern: "Mommy, where are you? Oh, there you are. You had me worried."

Thinking every time I leave the house I am going to yo-ga class (although I only went 4 times total)?

Why you are so concerned with my activity ("What are YOU doing, Mommy?)

Where you got your big heart that already understands giving, whether it's remembering your brother when we're shopping or wanting to pick out gifts for the little girl who doesn't have any toys?

Your ingenuity, like tonight, when you devised an elaborate scheme to climb to the top of the refrigerator to get to the Halloween candy while all the while telling us you were just "looking"?

Your singing and dancing ability, which surely doesn't come from your mommy?

Your walk? (Just kidding. I know exactly where you got your walk. You walk just like your mommy!)

One thing I will never wonder much I love you, Emily Bee!

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Library Love

A house without books is like a room without windows. No man has a right to bring up children without surrounding them with books.... Children learn to read being in the presence of books. - Horace Mann

As a former high school English teacher, you would think a library would be like a second home to me.

Sure, I have tried to fill our home with as twice as many books as we have plastic toys, but actually going to a library?

Once, we made it to story time at a local library (and lived to tell about it).

Maybe I've been listening to the voice of the stereotypical and imaginary librarian whispering in my head saying, "Shhhhhh," reminding me that twin toddlers and quiet aren't two things you typically put together in the same sentence.
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I can't even say that I have been to a library by myself since--well...

Since I finished graduate school in 2002, I don't think I have been to a public library for anything other than work meetings that we occasionally have in their conference rooms.

Last Saturday was one such day. I am on the board of our state English teachers' association, and our quarterly meeting was being appropriately held in a mecca for book lovers: a large, modern public library.

As I walked through the doors, I felt a pang of guilt and remorse, the kind you feel when you don't call your grandma often enough.

As I walked up the stairs (who am I kidding? I took the elevator), I felt like a hypocrite. Here I am on the board of directors for an English teachers' association and the last thing I read for adults was, well, we won't go there. And the last book I finished was If You Give a Pig a Pancake.

As I weaved my way through the books on the way to the conference room, I felt like I was being reunited with old, familiar friends. Book after book called out to me with their titles, recharging my curiosity, asking for a chance to catch up.

And what a place to catch up! This library has to be one of the nicest libraries I've ever visited: lots of natural light, local art work, a coffee bar (yes, you read that right), and an expansive, interactive kids' section. While not loud, the whole place hummed with activity, with conversation.

Inspired, I texted Marty and asked that he bring Emily and Drew to meet me at the end of my board meeting. Two hours later, when I walked out of the meeting into the kids' area, I was greeted by two smiling babies sitting at a table full of books.

We spent the next 30 minutes or so just perusing the board book box and reading different books. I occasionally had to stop Drew from climbing on the kid-sized tables or help Emily put back the "extra" books she took off the shelves.

But, not once, did I worry about how loud they were, how mobile they were. I just let them OD on books while building a positive association with a place I hope they grow to love as much as their mommy once did (and still does despite her infrequent visits).

This library made it is easy to relax and just enjoy the endless books. The whole space as designed to invite rather than discourage, physical engagement with the books. There were kid-sized tables, chairs, and computer stations. Book bins made exploring easy. While libraries of old might have encouraged quiet, solitary interactions, this one was screamed, "Use me!"

Toddlers are funny because you never know what is going to stick.

Last night, a week later, I heard Emily tell Drew, "Come on. Let's go to the library and get some books."

I found them digging through their bedroom book basket--their new "library," I guess.

Today they sat in my bed after nap time and took turns "reading" to each other and me.

All because of one library visit?

Of course not.

But it certainly is a reminder that children learn from watching us; they learn from what we offer or don't offer to them. They learn by doing.

Children learn to read being in the presence of books.

Linking up with Pontifications of a Twin Mom's Mama Loves.
Manic Mother

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Scares My Socks Off

I confess: I like to decorate the house for fall.

I confess: this little fellow came in a bag of pumpkin decorating supplies and he has scared the daylights out of me more than once.

I confess: my children may have been caught walking around with this plastic rodent's tail hanging out of their mouth. Maybe the floor isn't so bad after all...

I confess: Seeing them with the rat hanging out of the mouth repulsed me while simultaneously making me wish I had a camera to capture the moment. Hey, it's just a plastic rat.

I confess: there was a time in my life (read more here) when I also decorated my body for the holidays.
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I confess: I also used to have a thing for funky socks. Yes, I wore funky socks and holiday sweaters--but not usually at the same time. I was teacher-cool. It was my thing. Well, the socks more than the sweaters. I was living on a new teacher budget. Socks were much cheaper than embellished sweaters.
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I confess: going through my sock drawer (now filled with boring black, brown, and beige socks), I found a pair of my Halloween feet decor.

I confess: I immediately wanted to put them on even though I was a wearing a skirt. I refrained.

I confess: later that day, while in Target, perusing the Dollar Spot, I spotted Halloween socks for kids, and immediately, I asked Emily if she would like a pair. You know, a little mother-daughter coordination.

I confess: I was happy when she said YES! But I was even happier when she said, "Let's get Drew a pair, too!" I love how always thinks to include Drew--so sweet!

I confess: it also made me happy because now we could all three decorate our feet. Marty doesn't need to- they already have their Halloween costume picked out--scary man feet that need a pedicure!

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

I'm expecting...

...a big response to this post.

(Forgive me if my title was a bit misleading. I may have resorted to misdirection in a lame attempt to get you to click on this post).

Now that you are here, hopefully you are curious as to what was so important to cause me to give my husband a near-heart attack at the mention of expecting.

You may recall that my 12 in 2012 value this month is curiosity.

When I started this blog, I had no expectation that people would actually read my musings. It truly was an outlet for me, a record of this amazing experience called motherhood.

I hit share on Facebook thinking my close family and friends would enjoy seeing what new things the babies were doing. Then, I started expanding my circle by following and interacting with other mommy bloggers.

To this day, I smile every time someone comments on a post or likes my link.

I am always amazed and flattered when someone tells me they read MaMe Musings. Who knew my readers included an uncle, a friend I haven't seen in years, a former colleague, a friend of my mom.

I look at my Google stats and I see visitors from all over: Canada, the UK, India, Ukraine, Russia.

It's kind of funny to look at the search terms that have led some curious readers to my site: cousin it, zumba Thanksgiving, 5 weeks pregnant ultrasound, solitude.

All of this got me thinking, made me curious.

Who are my readers?

Sure, I can see who comments, who follows through Google Friend Connect, and who likes MaMe's Facebook page.

But what about those readers who remain in the shadows until our chance encounter at the grocery store?

In an effort to satisfy my curiosity, I've devised a scheme giveaway to encourage my readers to come out and show themselves!

Entering is simple!

1. If you are on Google, FOLLOW through Google Friend Connect AND then leave a comment--say hi, tell us what you like about MaMe Musings, crack a joke, pose a question. Whatever. Just let us know you're there!

2. If you usually get here through Facebook, LIKE MaMe Musings' Facebook page AND then leave a comment--again, say hi, tell us what you like about MaMe Musings, crack a joke, pose a question. Whatever. Just let us know you're there!

Are you curious about the prize?

Good because it's a mystery!

One lucky reader will win a MaMe Musings' mystery gift basket--full of items that have been mentioned in my blog at one time or another!

I'll close the entries on October 31 and will announce the winner on November 1.

Can't wait to SEE you!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wordy Wednesday: Boating, Balls, & Slides

Today we voted or as Emily and Drew exclaimed, "We BOATED!"

Go boat-- I mean-- vote, folks!

After leaving the boating voting booth, we went with daddy for haircuts at Sport Clips. While we were waiting, Emily and Drew entertained themselves by "reading" the various magazines, brochures, and newspapers.

Drew brought us a brochure, opened it to the third page, and pointed to the picture and said, "Look! Big Ball! I ride big ball with daddy."

Why, yes! It is the big ball, and yes! You did ride the big ball with daddy!

This kid amazes me.

Not only did he remember our recent Epcot adventures where we rode the big ball, he was able to pick out this small picture in some random brochure and make an immediate connection.

I love seeing their minds work!

Emily wasn't about to let Drew be the only one reading and getting attention for it.

She was quick to point out that she saw a slide and how much she loves slides!

Be sure to check out tomorrow's post where I get curious about my readers and where I announce a new GIVEAWAY!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Not So Sharp(ie)

I'm contemplating renaming this blog.

MaMe Musings is a bit of a misnomer these days.

After the adventures of the last couple of weeks, MaMe Messes would be a more appropriate choice.

Consider yesterday's mess--Drew's nap time clothes reorganization project. (For the record, I should be clear: this was a one-twin operation. A thorough internal investigation revealed that Drew operated alone. Emily was asleep in the other room when the disassembly occurred. (She only joined in for the after-party which took place as mommy went for the camera).

Emily, was, however, totally responsible for this "mess" last weekend.

This little art project occurred as mommy and daddy were preoccupied with getting everything packed up and ready for date night. Somewhere, in some long-forgotten drawer, crevice, or couch cushion, Emily located one of the worst weapons known to mom kind : a black Sharpie marker.

Panicked and with no time to spare before dropping the mess-makers kids off at my parents' house, I turned to one of the most accurate and reliable sources of information for a solution to this dilemma: Facebook.

Any ideas on the best way to remove Sharpie marker from skin?

In addition to some "laughing with us, not at us" comments, we also received some suggestions:
  • rubbing alcohol
  • baby wipes
  • Clorox wipes
  • Goo-Be-Gone
  • dishwasher liquid
  • Magic Eraser
  • hair spray
  • nail polish remover
  • TIME

  • and even

    • a belt sander (Thanks, Uncle Jeffy.)

    Perhaps this comment was most helpful: "Let the babysitter figure it out!"

    And figure it out Granny did.

    According to my mom, the marker came off pretty easily with warm, soapy water (and Granny's special touch, of course).

    At this point you're probably thinking I scoured the house and destroyed all Sharpie markers. I thought I did. But there was that one lone black Sharpie that we used for pumpkin decorating...

    And, it was that lone, forgotten Sharpie that Drew used to create another "mess" yesterday: a lovely abstract drawing on my white, wooden dining room table.

    No, there are no pictures of the actual work. I was too busy having a mental breakdown at this point. I can say that the following will not take Sharpie off of wood:
  • alcohol (rubbing or otherwise)
  • dish washing liquid (or handwringing)
  • tears, screams, and chair throwing

  • Here's what did work.

    I bought a double pack.

    Just in case.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Mess Only a Mother Could Love...

Imagine our surprise when we woke up from our Sunday family nap and found out we had vandalized...


Thursday, October 18, 2012

The puck stops here

Ah. Fall in North Carolina.

With the seasons being so fickle here, you can't always tell fall has arrived by the crispness of the air. For me, I know it's fall and October when the State Fair arrives and the Carolina Hurricanes' hockey season starts.

After last Friday night's visit to the fair, with the obligatory stops at Charlie Barefoot's and the roasted corn stand, I could finally say welcome fall, y'all. Almost.

What about the Canes' opening night at the RBC Center PNC Arena?

Oh, that's right.

Apparently, there's a NHL lock-out going on, as ridiculously wealthy owners fight with ridiculously wealthy players over--yep, you guessed it--money.

And, from eavesdropping on my husband, Marty's, intense rants phone conversations today, it seems negotiations have once again fallen apart, threatening a repeat of 2004-2005, when the whole season was canceled.

I confess: the prospect makes me, well, (shhh..., don't tell Marty) almost...giddy.

Before the pucks start flying in my direction, let me explain.

I confess: From the beginning of our early dating days, I knew Marty was a hockey fan.

I confess: Before meeting Marty, I had been to a total of two hockey games in my entire life, so my knowledge of the game was rather limited.

I confess: At first, I thought his enthusiasm for the game was endearing. He certainly wasn't afraid of at least some kind of commitment.

I confess: I should have known his "enthusiasm" was a bit on the obsessive extreme side when he asked me if I had ever seen the movie Fever Pitch...
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...and then proceeded to have us watch his own personal copy of it on date night.

I confess: At that point it did occur to me that I might not have been the first girl he had tried to warn.
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I confess: I wasn't swayed. In fact, I enjoyed those early dates to hockey games: great seats, free beer, cozy snuggling, and on-the-ice fights.

I confess: As our relationship progressed, it didn't take getting hit in the head with a hockey puck to realize that this hockey thing was destined to cause us a few off-the-ice altercations.

I confess: Initially, I didn't understand that, for a season ticket holder, hockey becomes a full-time job. There are 82 games a year--41 at home and 41 others that must be viewed in front of a big screen TV (preferably in a bar) or in extreme instances, piped into the car through one of XM Radio's many hockey channels. And, that's not even counting play-offs.

I confess: I can't think of many things I want to do 82 times a year. And, if I could, I can guarantee you, watching hockey is not one of them.

Don't get me wrong.

I confess: I really have grown to enjoy hockey. (Therapists call the process I experienced conditioning).

I confess: after 7 years, I finally realize icing has nothing to do with cakes, hooking isn't something that just happens on street corners, and slashing is only good when it comes to prices.

I confess: I even partially conceived my kids in a hockey arena.

I confess: I contemplated waiting until the end of this post to explain that last confession. Got to keep the reader's interest, right??

(I won't make you wait, lest you click away, thinking I got busy in a hockey arena. During our fertility treatments, I was due to take my last shot in the middle of first intermission. Rather than miss the game, we packed my injectibles and visited the arena's first aid station where Marty gave me my last dose ever. That, folks, is dedication).

I confess: now that we have kids, hockey has become even more of an issue. Guess who's doing dinner, baths, and bed--alone--41 times a year? Guess who would rather use the babysitter for something other than a night at the arena? And guess who thinks it's insane that we now have to pay for tickets for the Babies if we want to take them to the game?

I confess:I feigned interest as Marty has tried to explain the details of this lock-out to me.

I confess:I just want to know the real bottom line--how much longer am I free?

Monday, October 15, 2012

How to throw a pumpkin party

Step One: Gather necessary decorating materials. After scouring your (rarely used) craft stash for washable paint, head to your nearest Dollar Tree to stock up on cheap stickers, stencils, and other spooky spoils.

Step Two: While you are out, Have your husband whip up make a couple of crock pots full of chili.

Step Three: Invite your friends and family to gather all their pumpkins in a central location.

Step Four: Cover all surfaces with a disposable drop cloth and get to carving--after you clean out your pumpkin innards, of course!

Step Five: Kiddos too young for sharp objects? Give them some paint instead and watch them go!

and go...

Step Six: Papa too cool for carving pumpkins the old-fashioned way? Let him bring his power tools and show the rest of you how to really carve a pumpkin.

Step Seven: Tell them it's a competition and watch the inner pumpkin decorating divas emerge! What's the prize? Just what you've always wanted--more chili and a(nother) picture taken by Aunt Issa!

Step Eight: Stand back and admire the handiwork.

Step Nine: Celebrate a night of fun by cramming as many people as you can on the couch for a family picture.

Step Ten: Clean up what you can and leave the rest for tomorrow (or the next day).

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