Hello 2016!!

There’s a lot going on in our household so I haven’t been writing.  I want to share, but even just going over the last week will turn into a novel so that’s all I’m going to recap.

The big change around here – Teeny Tiny got glasses!   1229151514a1230151738a 1230151739

We knew she was probably near sighted, but until we got her glasses and I tried to look through them, I didn’t know just how bad her vision is.  The girl is downright blind!  I was afraid that she would find it all overwhelming and it would be a fight to keep her glasses on her, but she loves them!  She looks around in wonder and compares what things look like with them on and off.  I’m so glad we did this, it’s been very emotional watching her being able to see for the first time.

And now a huge mommy fail – after the appointment where we picked up the glasses, I told Middie Biddie to get into her car seat, I got Teeny Tiny buckled in, put the strollers in the back, and off we went.  About halfway home, Middie Biddie starts saying “I need help, I need help, I need help with the buckle!”  “Why, what’s wrong with the buck….OMG I forgot to buckle you in!!!”  By the time I got pulled over, she had gotten all the buckles done and I just had to tighten it, but it’s a few days later and I still feel like I should be flogged for making such a mistake.

In other news, we are now finally potty training.  The girls have been wearing leggings with the crotches cut out, and sitting on potties playing with tablets.  Then when they pee on the potty, they get a treat.  It’s going pretty well so far!  We started this yesterday and we figured 2 days of kind of forcing success will be a good start, then we’ll start experimenting with panties and pants so they have to predict and prepare to potty rather than just having it happen.

Obviously, their little world is getting rocked this week.  I’m very proud of how they’re taking it all in stride.

Here’s a bold new 2016!


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Too busy to write!

I write to get swirling thoughts out of my head.  Be it a to do list, a grocery list, a blog post, if I get it typed out, it’s not taking up head space anymore.  But I’ve had so much going on, that I haven’t had a chance to write anything and I feel like my head is filling up because I’m not getting any of it out!

And now that I’m sitting here to get some of those thoughts out, it’s hard to come up with them.  So much to write about what with moving into the new house, the girls changing every day.

Oh screw it, photo bomb!!!!

Halloween party:

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Toddler bed sleeping arrangement:










Pumpkin Patch:

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Doll stroller races:

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They finally get it

It’s so weird that even at three years old, I can see still development leaps in my kids.  A few days of crankiness, sometimes not sleeping really well, and then you see another light bulb turn on and all of their skills jump forward.

I feel like this week was the essential leap towards me really getting back to being more a person rather than just a child minder/entertainer.  Up until now, it’s felt like I can’t focus on anything for more than 3 minutes.  Anything I try to do is immediately interrupted by a child pulling at me, or by my own ticking clock to prepare to meet a need that they can’t communicate themselves, like needing a meal.  0914151605

Where we’ve lived, the family has pretty much coexisted in one big room with little offshoot rooms for sleeping.  Coming up, the girls are going to have their sleeping room, a big play room, and I’ll usually be stationed in the living room/kitchen in the middle of the house.  In the last few days, the girls have really started playing in their own room rather than in the main living room where I’m set up.  You know what?  It’s AWESOME!!!  I can hear them laughing and playing, their games spill out of the bedroom as they chase each other around my desk, and instead of constantly pulling at me, whining for me to entertainment, they instead invite me into games already in progress.  I love that!

Their attention spans are longer.  Their ability to pretend play is more complex.  I can explain multi step pretend games and they get it!  Today they said something about a train ticket.  So I tore a piece of paper in half and gave them each a “ticket”.  Then I told them it was time to get on the train, everyone give me your tickets and climb aboard, and we chugga chugga’d around the apartment in a train line.

I feel like I can finally explain something to them and have them understand, and their language has jumped to a point where they can explain their thoughts to me.  They have finally grown into a cognitive level that I actually know how to teach!  Oh the art projects we’re going to do in the new house!  I have felt like such a dolt because I haven’t been able to figure out how to explain the simplest concepts in terms that they could understand and follow, but now I can.

0912151601Oh, and for the first time, they have developed a sense of ownership.  They share pretty much everything, but in the last week or two, they’ve really started developing preferences and a desire for specific things to be “mine”.  Like yesterday, I had to take Teeny Tiny to urgent care due to a really high fever that came on really fast leaving Middie Biddie with my parents.  When we got back, I saw a look of sadness on Middie Biddie’s face that I had never seen before.  No, not because Teeny Tiny had been sick, but because Teeny Tiny had a balloon and Middie Biddie realized that it belonged to her sister and she didn’t get one.  Fortunately it was short lived because my girls are really good at sharing and they both enjoyed the balloon until the inevitable pop a few minutes later, but for that one moment, my heart just broke seeing that look on her face.

After they went to bed, I went out to the store (K was home by then) because I felt the need to bring home something for Teeny Tiny.  When we moved, we only brought one doll because Middie Biddie was the only one interested in playing with it, but lately Teeny Tiny has shown an interest in it.  I think that’s the first item of ownership for Middie Biddie so I wanted to head off a big toddler fight before it happened and get Teeny Tiny one of her own.  Now, in the past, I’ve always gotten two of everything but I had stopped doing that since usually only one would actually get played with.  So when I bought the extra doll (I actually got a third one that was different from the original two, just in case), I also bought a doll stroller thinking that would be a fun addition if one of them wanted to play with it.  Oh good lord the fighting that created!  Seriously, this morning they were both crying and screaming over the darned thing before breakfast!  I told them that since the stroller couldn’t share properly, it had to go into time out on top of the washing machine.  A good way to break up the fight without blaming either child, tell them the toy needs a time out.  So while they ate breakfast, back to the store I went for a second doll stroller.  Today they spent about 2 solid hours driving their dolls around the apartment in those little strollers, sometimes feeding them bottles, rearranging the stroller seat belts, taking them out and putting them night night with a blanket on the couch.  Definitely a big hit.  I don’t think they went more than 30 minutes without going back to play with them all day.  So I guess I’m now back to buying 2 variations of every toy that comes into the house.

We’ve put off a lot of things due to the upheaval of temporary living.  Now that we’ll be moving into the final home in a couple of weeks (14 days and counting according to all estimates though nothing is final until it’s final), and they’ve made this cognitive leap, we can finally move forward into the next stage of childhood.  We’ll be setting up toddler beds instead of cribs (with a grown up mattress in the middle for story times and for when kiddos need a grown up in the room) and we’ll be potty training soon after once the dust settles.  I’m really hoping that by waiting until this leap, potty training will go fast since it will be easy to explain and for them to understand the whole thing.

Oh yeah!  We took them up to the family cabin on the beach the other day.  It’s only the second time they’ve ever been there and I think it’s the first time there since they’ve been able to walk.  I don’t have much to say so I’ll just drop a bunch of pictures instead.  But I’m finally having real fun with my kids!!!

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The house has landed!

I repeat, the house has landed!  It is sitting on the property and people are doing more and more final touches every day!

They let me sneak in and do a quick walk around.  Most of the rooms don’t photograph well because, well, they’re just rooms.  But here’s a couple of things:

This is the pla0902151021dy room / family room.  For some reason they put in an electric fireplace (TACKY!) even though they engineered enough space for the wood burning fireplace we ordered.  This is a correction that will need to be made before moving in.


0902151018Here is a portion of our master bathroom.  What you can’t see is the shower that’s behind where I was standing, and you notice the corner of the room just barely in the picture by the bathtub?  That’s actually the wall to the little room that holds the toilet.  So the toilet is behind it’s own door meaning a person can still pee when someone else is using the bathroom for other purposes!

And this is the best part.  This is the middle of the house.  The kitchen!


That door in the middle?  Yeah, that’s to the walk in pantry.  It’s big enough that you could just about fit a full sized bed in there!

We’re close to finally being done with this whole mess!

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Famous Nerds

Once again, that video of the 2 Cellos performing for an 18th century audience showed up in my feed today.  I love that video.  It got me to thinking, how many people have become famous, have had wild success, excelling at the very things that would make them called nerds in middle school?

This is a list I hope to constantly add to so I can show it to the girls one day and prove to them that it doesn’t matter how dorky your passion – excel at it and a fan club will find you.  Please add to this list in the comments!

2 Cellos

Bill Nye

Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Chris Hardwick

Wil Wheaton

Felicia Day

The entire cast and crew of Mythbusters

Alton Brown

Bill Gates

Steve Jobs

Jim Henson

Jeff Dunham

Bobby Fischer

Weird Al Yankovic

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One of those moments and other news

Ya ever have one of those moments where nothing specific is happening but you get that wave of “THIS is why I did this”?

Just had one of those moments.  Nothing special is going on, we’re just getting through the day as usual around here, and the girls went chasing each other off to another room.  And I got socked in the face with “THIS is why I had kids”.

They’re finally independent enough to entertain themselves (or each other) and then come to me later to tell me all about it.  To have thoughts, opinions, ideas, and desires that I didn’t put there, but that they created all on their own.  Little people who are letting me be in their world means a whole new world I get to explore.

In surprising news, our last indoor cat suddenly died a couple of nights ago.  The cat that was the nanny cat to the girls.  She was staying with my parents while we’re stuck in this apartment so we weren’t there for her in her final moments.  We also had no idea that her final moments were coming any time soon.  She went to the vet for a full work up about 6 weeks ago and everything was found to be normal with the exception of a small thyroid problem, but the problem was so minor that they concluded it didn’t warrant any treatment.  This is a big blow.  We have lost 4 cats in 2015!  Buster is still sticking around the property through all this destruction, but he’s also losing weight and about 15 years old so I don’t expect him to last another year.  Two years ago, we had a total of 7 cats, we now have 1 that we expect to lose any day and we’ll be down to zero.  It’s difficult, and a major adjustment.  I suspect we’ll adopt a pair of cats some time relatively soon once we’re all settled from our current life upheaval because we are absolutely pet people.  But this time, we’re going to adopt low maintenance, well behaved cats.  We’ve done our time as charitable adopters, taking in those that no one else would want, it’s our turn for good pets.

In other news, K is being transferred out of the store he’s been at for the last 3 1/2 years.  Hallelujah!  He has been miserable at work since the day he started working under this general manager.  One of the major issues has been her insistence that K work far more than the standard hours, that his schedule be inconsistent, insane, and changeable at a moments notice, and even with him tolerating and being there for all of the wackiness, she would still make claims that he was unreliable and always gone from the store due to family things.  If only what she were saying were true, my life would have been pretty honky dory all this time!

K has learned from the district manager that K’s general manager has basically been in his ear all this time smack talking K which obviously has been a damper on his career prospects.  But DM had a sit down with K, let him know that gee, she has the same complaints about K that she had about her previous 2 assistant managers who, well whaddya know, did just great once they were transferred out from under her and were working for a different boss.  So now K is going to work under a different boss and actually be given the opportunity to be considered for a promotion with a fair assessment of the quality of his work without it being dampened by the bitches verbal poison.

Great!  Well, kind of great.  You see, we finally got K convinced to say “fuck it” to work and start putting his energies elsewhere.  Why the hell not since apparently putting his effort into work didn’t improve his paycheck at all, he may as well get that same paycheck at half the effort.  He got himself a talent agent who is submitting him for acting roles on some really cool TV shows.  This has started literally in the last few days.  We finally decided that if K was going to have a reputation of being unreliable and calling out, he may as well get the perks of actually being that way.  Maybe get a few acting jobs which remind him of who he is (seriously, he’s come to life again since starting this) and any one of those jobs would be a months salary for a days work into our pockets.

Now the question – is this promise of being evaluated for a promotion just another incentive to make the monkey dance without ever having to hand over the banana?  Or is a banana actually forthcoming this time?

We’ve decided to proceed as if there’s an actual banana and put the effort back into his job and have him go for it, but if he’s not enjoying it by next summer, all bets are off.  The good news is that when K signed up with the talent agent, he was very clear about the fact that he didn’t know if he could be available to go on auditions or filming over the next couple of years and that he’s more in the exploratory phase of seeing if it can work.  So I’m really hoping that at this awkward moment of two bridges being available, he can head down one bridge without the other burning to the ground and still being an option.  If we’re lucky, there might be a few opportunities that he wouldn’t have to sacrifice work to take advantage of, so we’re really hoping he can have the best of both worlds here.

This does mean that we’ll probably have to find new preschool/daycare for the girls.  Where we are now is awesome, but it’s also around the corner from K’s current work location which is a part of what makes it awesome.  Now that he’s going to be working 30 minutes north, the location simply may not work anymore.  I think for the time being we’re going to try to make it work since it really is a great facility but I’m not sure how it will.  It’s also a matter of figuring out the scheduling needs of K’s new store (he currently does the delivery shift on Mondays so I can work a half day in the morning but what if the new store has delivery on Wednesday or something?), how consistent his new boss will allow his schedule to be, and how that will work with the preschool and my ability to work.  It’s a whole lot up in the air and frustrating that it’s going to be some time before we can figure out how it’s all going to work out.

The house.  Well, the land is cleared and we haven’t heard any updates on the timeline so I’m still under the assumption that it will be finished in the factory next week and delivered within days of completion.  I guess we’re still on track for moving into the house in about 4 weeks.  I can’t wait!!!!!

One more round of major life upheaval over the next 2 months and then we can FINALLY settle into a new normal.  OMG I desperately want a new normal!

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Getting out of the way

I’ve recently become very frustrated with my toddlers destroying things.  I will get them something that I think they’ll enjoy, like a coloring book, or a puzzle, and they have destroyed it within minutes of receiving it.  It seems like they don’t even get the intended fun out of it before it’s shredded and nothing more than vacuum fodder.

Honestly, this is one of the main reasons why I’ve always kept such tight control over any space in my home that was accessible to the kids – I don’t want them destroying my stuff!!!  That’s right, I want to be able to set something down for a few minutes and have it still be there intact when I get back.  I know exactly how many writing implements and cutting implements are accessible to the kids at any given time (approximately zero until they recently were given boxes of washable markers).  That’s approximately 50% of the reason that the bathrooms, kitchen, and parental bedroom are kept behind closed doors or gates (the other 50% being safety concerns of course).

After a particularly destructive afternoon, I vented to my online mommy group, a group of us who all had babies due the same month so genuine parenting peers at any given time.  I got a lot of empathy, advice on how to deal with it, and then I got a link to this Neil DeGrasse Tyson video.

For those of you who prefer a summary rather than watching a video, he answers a question about how to raise scientifically minded children.  His answer – get out of their way.  Children are born curious and approach everything they come across in a scientific manner, and all of their destruction is simply learning how things work.  The more we tell them not to destroy, the more we tell them not to explore, not to learn.  The stuff they destroy is a small price to pay for the education they give themselves doing it.

I must say, this really resonated with me and put things in perspective.  I’m still going to control the kids environment of course because if my kids ruin my phone, we’re going to have a big problem, but I’m already finding myself making different decisions that I would have made a week ago and I’m getting out of their way.

A few days ago, I tried to help the girls with some simple 9 piece puzzles I got them.  I just wanted to get them started, show them how it works.  They got bored, would try to put a piece in then hand it to me immediately when it didn’t fit right.  Pieces got lost and thrown around.  Today, I’m giving them a 24 piece puzzle and walking away.  They are far more focused and have been putting together a variety of puzzles just fine and loving every minute of it!  In fact, as I type this, this is what’s happening.

I’m learning.  I’m trying to get out of their way.  When Middie Biddie kept trying to get to the salt shakers I keep on my desk (long story), I finally stopped wrestling her away from them and said “ya know what?  You want to know what that is, here you go!”  I licked my finger, sprinkled some salt on it, and let her taste it.  Then spent about 10 minutes of her running up to me, me licking her hands and sprinkling some salt on them while she ran off giggling to lick it off.  I’m trying to get ok about messes because messes mean learning happened.  Shredded toys mean learning happened.

Finding the dollar store had coloring books and Disney puzzles helped a lot too.  Don’t really mind finding random puzzle pieces scattered around if the puzzle only cost a buck.

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