Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Voulez-vous Coucher Avec Moi (Ce Soir)

I'm not good at a lot of things as a mom - my kids tend to run around like Helen Keller during meals, brushing their teeth is a really good thought but typically they just end up eating a lot of toothpaste, and I just gave Tula a stack of licorice so she'd let me type for a minute.  I love bribery!

But I am really good at getting my kids to sleep, and on a sleep schedule.  I'm militant about it.  Like, probably to an obsessive level, but my sanity relies on it people!  All four of them nap at the same time because Mama needs to have at least an hour of alone time during the day or I'll go crazy.  The days things go awry and naps get messed up are incredibly obvious due to the crying and screaming (mine), the mess (the girls), and the general please-save-me vibe I'm shooting from my eyeballs to Josh when he walks in the door all "I just spent a day talking to adults and using my brain for smart things, I even laughed today and went to the gym and had a coffee break, and not once did someone throw up on me or wipe their boogers on me, la-di-dah!"

A friend of mine recently asked me what happens if they aren't ready to nap at the same time, and I was all, "Huh?  Ready? My kids don't get a say regarding sleep. This isn't a democracy, this is a kingdom of sleep and I am the ruler and that is final.  NOW GO TO SLEEP."

Part of getting their sleep on requires me ignoring every maternal pull in my heart and soul to put the kids into bed with me, like ever.  I have never let them sleep with us, because I know that is a slippery slope to trouble land and I am a giant pushover when it comes to my babies wanting love.  So, they don't even know it's a possibility in the universe that people are allowed to sleep with their parents.  I actually once told Addie it was against the law.  She was 7 months old so she didn't really get it, but still, I put my foot down.

Sometimes at night, when they're all asleep and I love them again after a day of raging lunatics, I'll lean over to Josh and say, "Don't you wanna just go wake them up and bring them into bed with us?"  And his response usually involves the f-word, which is really the only time he uses it. (He hates bad language whereas I find it satisfying, cheerful even.  Often my friend and I start letters to each other, "Dear C*nt Face..." because that was once graffiti-ed on my apartment elevator and it cracked us up.  Why the formality with the c-word?  That dude was properly ticked off.)

And I am always grateful he keeps me on track and doesn't let me put them into bed with us.  Even though at that moment it's all I want in life.

So, that is all to say that this morning I let Henry sleep with me.  But it was from 5am to 6am so it doesn't count.  And oh my God, I LOVED IT SO MUCH!  Baby smell, baby breathing, baby only being able to fall asleep if his face is smashed up against yours - Yes, yes, yes and yes.



You can't tell from this picture but he was really heavy on my face.  And I didn't even care, because ohmygoshhessofluffyI'mgonnadie!


I'm still not going to change my policy.  The bed is the last of the sacred places the kids haven't ruined.  (That's not true, they eat Cheetos in there and watch TV, and often I'll wake up to find a Barbie stuck on my leg) But at night it's still just ours.  It's like a lone island in a sea of child-lava. 

You can take my bathroom but you'll never take my FREEDOM!*  





Luke racking up the cute points.  Like he needs any more!




Not nursing.  Trying to vie for cutest instead.  
The cutest is the one who doesn't leave me engorged boys!  EAT NOW.



Has there ever been anyone more excited to be at the park?   She kills me.



Little monkeys!  
Parks are the best.












*Said no mom ever.  Because it's a lie.  Freedom goes out the window the second that baby is out of your body.  Kiss yourself goodbye and wish her a happy 18 years in whatever alternate universe she's living it, it's their world now.  Good thing they're so worth it.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

TWO YEARS

This little beautiful fireball is two years old today!








Ugh!  I just love her so much.  In some ways its shocking she's already two, but in even more ways it's like - how has it only been two years?!  It feels like we've had her forever.  She is so full and bright and gigantic and hilarious and strong in her personality, she is a force to be reckoned with in the best possible way.  She brings laughter when we need it, and love and sometimes slight terror (girlfriend can chuck a can of soup like a professional).


Happy, happy, happy birthday Tutti!




Also, in prep for the birthday today all the kids were in the best moods yesterday:




Lately Henry is too in love to nurse.  He'll eat for a few minutes, realize I'm up there and then gaze at me lovingly until I look back at him and reassure him I am equally in love.



Luke is too busy laughing and telling jokes to nurse.  These boys have the best personalities ever!  They are truly delightful.  And I never thought I'd say that about babies, but it's true.  Even when they pee on me it's cute.




Addie is too busy having a dance party to go to bed.
She's also been in that outfit for three days.  




Tula is too goosey to eat breakfast.  Her new favorite joke is to try to eat with her nostril.  It doesn't work, but it's hysterical every time.



Monday, May 11, 2015

Molly's Granddaughter Through And Through

Having four tiny kids gives me a lot of free time to daydream maniacally.  Not like fun daydreaming that leads to creativity and epiphanies and the final completion of my Oscar acceptance speech (you're in there Mr. Cannon), there's no time for that; but crazed-lunatic-Jewish-grandmother type daydreaming.  I'll be nursing the boys on the couch and hear a loud thump followed by no sound and suddenly I've pictured Tula falling off the roof, landing on the back porch onto a kitten, then all my loved ones dying in a fiery car crash, and all of a sudden I'm crying and calling out for Tula to answer me damnit! meanwhile she's sitting right next to me watching The Gruffalo and now I'm pretty sure we have ghosts.

So, now when Josh gets home from work and I've had a fun afternoon of doing a million tasks I've done a million times so my brain has checked out into Ridiculous Territory, he'll walk in and I'll likely scream something like, "I'M NERVOUS ABOUT THE FUTURE!" and then start crying while I take a swing from coffee I'm hoping is only leftover from the morning and not some other morning.

So, yeah, I'm in a bit of a crisis about my future. My future in five years. Specifically my career.  In five years all my kids are going to be in school, and I am in pure panic about what I'm going to be doing with my life then.  I know it seems ridiculous, that five years is a long time, but it's not.  Five years is gonna go by fast. you know how I know? Because TEN years ago I was twenty-five and I thought I might want to be a doctor.  I started taking science classes (and acing them out of the mother f*&king park thank you very much).  But instead of doing that my heart and my vagina got together and decided I should devote myself to some really bad relationships instead.

WAY TO GO TEAM.

Major fail. And I know they say men are usually the ones who think with their penises, but I have definitely made some horrible decisions because someone was a really good maker outer.  And to me, really good making out usually leads to me falling in love (I'm super easy) so thus the outcome of my heart and my vadge doing stupid things together like a weird Thelma and Louise. (My vagina is Louise, obviously)

(Luckily, sometimes when the team gets together they make good decisions, aka Josh.)

So, anyway, this time there is no danger of me falling in love with the wrong guy and ditching all life plans to be in love with him, which, as it turns out, is not actually a full time job, despite what rom-coms may make you believe.  I am a smart girl, like I previously stated, I at one time could name all the periodic table of elements in order and what they did, I know not to take rides from strangers, I'm pretty good at crossword puzzles, and I've read most of Anna Karenina, but when I was in my twenties and falling in love I literally lost all brain cells.  *sigh* So, cliche.

Aaaaaaannnnnyyyyyywwwwwaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy.

Like I was saying, there's no chance I'm suddenly going to be twenty again (thank God), and now the reality of 2020 coming at me like a fireball is starting to sink in and I need to figure it out.  You may not worry yourself to the point of sheer panic about what sort of career you'll want in five years, but then again you may not have my Bauba's blood - Queen Worrier (and simultaneously the person with the best sense of humor I've ever met).  Have you ever had a Jewish grandma?  The stereotypes are true people.  All she wanted to do was feed us, worry about us, and kiss us so hard she was just shy of leaving hickeys.

I have no ending to the post because I'm still worried.  If anyone has any strong thoughts on my future I'm willing to take suggestions.

I just asked Addie what she thought I should do for work and she said, "Make money." And then when I pressed for a little more she said, "Be Maleficent.  The good Maleficent with lipstick, not the mean one from the drawing movie."  So, according to her I should make money and be the Angelina Jolie Maleficent.

We're off to a good start.




It's like they're twins or something.


Twins who really like to help with chores.



Good moms put down the phone and catch their daughter falling off the table.
Great moms take a picture first.





Addie is getting really good at putting on lipstick.




Tula has stopped sleeping with her heels on, but now she wants shorts.  For the breeze.




The boys just discovered looking at each other.  They are so amused with each other its amazing!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

They Weren't Lying About The Magic Part

Well, I said the words "Don't touch me while I'm pooping," three times to two different people yesterday.

So, that happened.

And I didn't even blink.  Because that's how I roll now.  It is not uncommon for me to walk into the bathroom and find my partner in the middle of his business.  I turn right around and scream for effect, Is it so hard to close the door!?  But yes, yes it is.  Because Tula knows how to open doors now and even locks are no match for her brute strength, and trying to get a moment alone is like an alarm magnet for kids to stop what they're doing and come harass you.

Sometimes I stop and think - how did we get here?  How am I sitting here on the toilet with a toddler on my lap, a three year old applying lipstick to my knee, little twins starting up at me from their bouncers hungrily, and their dad asking me if I'm almost done from just outside the door?

Oh, yeah - sex.  Sex did this to me.

Isn't is amazing how something so sexy can turn you into something so unsexy.  Yay evolution!

Meanwhile Josh has abs, and arms, and the V (Alex you know what I'm talking about), and I'm on the toilet being poked by kids who want to know why my belly button is so jiggly.  Men are such bastards.

And I say that in the most loving way.

(Here's the V I'm talking about for those of you who aren't Alex)

(You're welcome in advance)





Mmm hmm.



Oh, what?  You don't see it?  How about this?






Not yet?  Yeah, it is a little hard to see in that picture.  What about this?










Not close enough?







Better?





Oh, Channing Tatum.  I don't even like beefcakes but mama likey.

And I don't even say things like "beefcake" or "mama likey", but that's what happens when you stare into the Vortex for too long.  It's like a dumbing drug for women who don't remember what it's like to make-out without a three year old asking you if this is a kiss of true love and if it will wake Mommy up from her cursed eternal sleep. You've been warned.




Ok, so moving on. . .



Sometimes the boys need to be carried at the same time while I need to clean up, so this happens.  They love it.




Tula has been demanding she go to sleep in heels lately.  She's so fancy in her sleep.




During the day though she's pure badass.



A badass who projectile pukes on me.
*sigh*



And while Tula is throwing up, Addie is dressed like this.  Because why not.
We are a lot of fun at the park.



Happy ladies in the morning.





Oh, and this was four days ago.  
Hi, spring. Thanks but no thanks.






Friday, April 24, 2015

Vasecto-me?

Well, I was just going to write the 3rd part of the Labor and Delivery story, but THEN I GOT SOME NEWS.

So, let me back up for a minute and let ya'll know that about five years ago my OB in California told me she thought I was going through early menopause and she didn't know if I'd be able to have kids.  I wasn't having my period, I had cysts on my ovaries, and I don't know maybe my uterus looked a little mean or something.  So, I tired a few natural things that may seem weird, but I am all about weird.  I started drinking soy milk, I gained some weight, and I rubbed my big toe to stimulate ovulation - and then out of nowhere, BAM! 4 kids in less than four years.




Lying doctor of lies.


Up until now I was pretty sure it was the Starbucks and the toe rubbing, because I'm logical.  But then my husband called me and let me know that his sperm are direct descendants of Super Man and Khaleesi, Mother of Dragons.  (Oh my God what if Daenerys and Clark Kent had a baby?!  IT'D BE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BABY EVER.)

So, he got a vasectomy a few months ago.  Because four is enough, okay.  Four. Is. Enough.  I'm afraid if we had anymore I'd have some sort of psychotic break and run away to Mexico with my favorite to live on the beach and drink margaritas all the livelong day, but I can't decide who my favorite is so I'd be all, "Ok, I'll take Adeline.  And Tula.  And Luke.  And Henry.  Damnit now I have all four in Mexico and I'm pregnant.  This didn't turn out well.   *sigh*   At least they'll all speak Spanish."

After a while they have to do a fun little test to make sure there are no swimmers left.  Because 1 in 1,000 vasectomies fail.  So, Josh got the test and guess what happened?

WE ARE THE ONE IN A THOUSAND.

And what I screamed on the phone before I got on my knees and thanked the lord I was on the pill was, "I KNEW IT!"

Homeboy is like the Michael Phelps of baby making abilities.

And now we're facing the possibility of him having to do a second vasectomy.  Pretty sure after that one the opposite will happen and he'll be able to sneeze on me and I'll get pregnant.  Sperm will shoot out of every orifice he has and will just melt into skin and find it's way to an egg to invade.   My morning omelets will get pregnant before I have time to scramble them.

If we have to go through a second round and it doesn't work again I'm afraid we'll have to kiss our sex life goodbye.  At least with each other.  And then we will have to kiss Josh goodbye because if he has a sex life with someone else he'll turn up mysteriously murdered by me.

Ah love!

And now, some pictures that have absolutely nothing to do with this post!




My little helpers!  Is this not the best?
It only lasted about thirty seconds before they both tried to shove the babies off their laps so they could go watch Big Hero 6 for the hundredth time.



Addie summers in San Tropez.


Discussing yoga on the neighbors lawn.




My Mom is a professional baby wrangler.



Sleeping twins.  
Ugh the love is ridiculous.  I am overwhelmed every single day.







Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Irrational Fears and Dinner Dates

Well, it turns out I have some weird underlying fear of the sea.  I mean, I know I'm not like a mermaid, I like the ocean, I like swimming and snorkeling as long as I can see the bottom.  Once a cliff drops off I'm snorkeling my ass back to shore faster than you can say "That seaweed touched me and now I'm so scared I'm not thinking rationally!  I mean, I know it's just seaweed, it should be scared of me, I eat that shit, I roll it up with rice and avocado, but that's in a nice package I bought from the store, someone has already slain it, and I have no idea what I'm really afraid of, all I know is it's probably going to grab me and pull me under to a sea-torture-land and OH MY GOD IT TOUCHED ME AGAIN! Help!  I can't breathe!  SOMEONE SAVE ME FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.  Kids, save yourselves!  Mommy can't help you with no legs!"  And then I'm crying on the sand where the waves are crashing in on me, unaware that an entire beach is watching me, and that my boob is hanging out.

So, I didn't realize this was hiding inside me until I took this picture of the girls.






Cute right?  We bought different colored bath tablets for fun bath time, but the soap bubbles in this picture look like waves, the water is eerily deep-pacific-ocean green, and I start to feel nauseous and scared and want to yank them out of there because WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE.  

I mean it's even weirder that it's the picture scares me not the actual thing.

Anyway, this is probably something I should delve into in therapy, but that ain't gonna happen.  My imagination is overactive and I obsess.  There, I'll pay myself $150 now.


Moving on!  Now that the boys are three months old I guess it's time for the third and final installment of the labor and delivery - How Henry Got Here.  Which will be here tomorrow.  Or when he turns 18, depending on how the day goes.  I'm a single mom up in here for a while because Josh and his parents just left for Minnesota at 5am and my mom doesn't get here until later tomorrow.  I could be drinking a lot of wine tonight, or crying myself to sleep, depends on how the kids decide to spend the rest of the day.  Just kidding, I'll definitely be drinking!

Until then, here's some more pics as of late!




I've been working out lately.  When Luke lets me.  Usually he'd prefer I just hold him.  Sorry future spouse, my baby is a Mama's boy (yay!).



We've been hitting up the park early in the morning as a special little treat.  
It's beyond joyus.




Dress up at the museum.



 Oh, also, the other week we dropped the girls off for a sleepover at their grandma's house and took ourselves on a semi-date!  We took the boys with us, but they slept through most of it so it felt like we were alone, and it was glorious.


I mean, is this not the sexiest thing you've ever seen?
C'mon.










Thursday, April 9, 2015

Three Things

Hey there!  Sorry, it's been so long.  March madness really takes up a lot of my time.

Well, that and the four kids under four.  And yes, I'm saying that as much as possible until it's not true anymore.

So, anyway!  Three things as of late...

1. The boys are three months old today!!!  WHAT!  To celebrate they slept from 8:30 until 7am!  I mean, c'mon.  That's incredible!  I was all engorged and leaky, and you could have wrung my bra out to fill a bottle, but I got seven hours of uninterrupted sleep.  THANK YOU BOYS.


Three months old today!  To celebrate they are in clothes for only the second time in their lives!  
I just love the convenience of pjs too much to dress them.  But man they're cute no matter what.




Luke did his first honest-to-goodness giggle at me yesterday! While I was working out.  So either the sight of me kickboxing is hilarious, or it was me screaming, "Not again!" as another set of jumping jacks led me to pee my pants for the tenth time that video.



This one stops my heart.  I just can't believe those kids.  




Luke having a hilarious nighttime laugh while Henry thinks about it some more.



And then Henry joined in on the workout laughter.  These boys are the best audience.




2. I swear to God, as I started typing this I completely forgot what the second thing was.  Argh baby brain!  This seriously makes me question my doctors who have children (men and women alike), like, how do you guys remember anything enough to be a competent doctor.  If it were me I'd be staring at a patient with chicken pox like, "Maybe don't let her draw on herself? Does she have a . . . what's that thing called that makes you hot?  Give her some more of that stuff in a bottle.  You know, you measure it?  It helps make the hurt not. . . hurt anymore?  Do you have anything to eat, I'm so hungry."

3.  So, I have been making some mistakes lately.  Which is normal.  A friend of mine recently wrote to me saying only good parents worry if they're doing a good job, bad parents don't even think about it.  And it pretty much saved my life that day.  And it is now my personal mantra.

(And she has a wonderful blog she just started, starring the cutest little boy evar!  mommymomma.tumblr.com)

But even still, some days are great and some days I find myself going, What The Hell Am I Doing To My Children?  And that sounds dramatic, but Jesus Cristo, raising kids is dramatic.  I mean, you're making them into people.  That go out into the world.  And affect/effect other people (SEE!  I have never been able to get it in my head which affect/effect is which.  Now my kids are going to be illiterate and they'll never be president because I cannot click onto that dang difference!)(I do however know that it's 'supposedly' and the correct way to use 'whomever' so maybe that cancels it out).  And that's a lot of responsibility.

So, anyway, the mistakes lately have been about my body.  I've said some stupid things about myself, things I don't even really believe, and I just sat down and was so mad at myself.  Our society is so obsessed with perfect bodies and perfect hair and perfect everything that we are pretty much ruining little girls from the get go.  (I know, dramatic - sorry.)  But here's an example: Even though my lover, the man I have children with, the man I share my life with, has told me that he honestly doesn't find Victoria Secret models attractive at all because they don't look like real women, I still can't help but find myself passing by a store and wishing I looked like them.  At comparing my thighs to their airbrushed ones.  At wanting my boobs to be huge and perky and tan.

But you know what?  My thighs will NEVER look like that.  My stomach will never not have a hundred stretch marks on them.  And my boobs will never be huge and perky.  For many reasons.  It's not genetically possible, I'm not a photograph, and oh yeah, I've had four kids!  My boobs are saggy because I'm 35 and I breastfed.  My stomach is not unblemished for the same reason.  And my thighs will always touch, because I'm a goddamn human being.

And yet, this morning I mentioned something to Josh about not liking the way I looked.  In front of my daughters.  And I feel so guilty about that.  And lately anytime someone says to me, "Oh you look so good!", my natural response is to say, "Oh gosh, you should see me naked, it's not pretty."  Or, "No, it's just all sucked in super tight right now."  Why is my instinct to deny their compliment and want to let them know I think I'm less-than?  I don't know why this is, there's probably been a million studies done on the way women talk to each other, and I'm sure it's learned from a super early age that that is what you do.  I mean, in my case it is.  I have been lucky to have genetics that have left me tall and slender my entire life, yet I have never just been ok with it.  Partly because of being teased a huge portion of my childhood, and partially because that's how we (women) talk.  I complain about clothes never fitting right, I complain about never having boobs, and I complained about men not wanting to date me because I was too tall.  And these just aren't complaints, they're lifelong worries and obsessions and slight traumas.  I still occasionally get uncomfortable around men who are shorter than me because I don't want to feel oafish.  I get self conscious in a bathing suit because there's nothing to fill out the top.  And so on and so forth.

Most of the time this is not always the case.  I am a work in progress, I recognize these things as I am thinking them and brush them off and stand tall, and exhale and confidently conduct myself around people.  Most of the time. Most of the time I can be happy with my height, thrilled I don't have a back ache because of my chest, proud of my personality and the way I treat other people more than the way I look.

And it pisses me off when I don't.

And it pisses me off even more to think one day my girls might think horrible things about themselves.  It pisses me off and makes me horribly sad.  My beautiful, perfect, fantastic, hilarious, smart, generous, caring, thoughtful, quirky little girls.  They should never doubt themselves because of their bodies.

Never.  Ever.  Ever.

Shame on me for putting negative stuff out there in the world, especially about myself.  How unfair to me and my children, and my lover for that matter.  I would hate it if he walked around talking about how he hated his body all the time, because I'd start to hate it too.  Negativity breeds negativity, and all that.  This isn't a seminar, you know what I'm saying!

And so I am pledging that I will not say bad things about myself, because they learn from me.  They mimic me constantly.  And there's enough in the world for them to worry about other than the way their legs look in jeans.  I mean really, they're women.  All women look beautiful if they're smiling, because what makes women (and people in general) beautiful is what's coming from them.  What sort of attitude they're exuding, how they are to other people, their kindness, their heart, their life.

Obviously I'm not saying unhealthy is fine as long as you smile about it.  I want my children to be healthy and happy.  I don't want them to be obsessed with how much they weigh,  I just want them to eat right most of the time and exercise a little and have that be enough.

And I want to, no - I need to be that example.  Because who else are they going to learn it from?* Really, who else so close to them will set a good example?  I am the closest woman in their lives forever.  Who else do they look up to everyday and want to be like their whole lives, even if they say they don't want to, even if they grow up and say the dreaded words, "Oh my god I'm turning into my mother!"  I hope that's not such a terrible thing.  I hope it's slightly embarrassing, but I hope it has absolutely nothing to do with the way I view and value myself.

I don't need to feel bad about my body, I just had twins three months ago.  My body is fucking beautiful.  It does amazing things.  And more than that, my body does not define me.  My words do.  My actions do.  My heart does.

And tears are streaming down my face as I type this, mainly because I'm hormonal and super tired, but also because how hard it is to type the words, "My body is fucking beautiful" and mean it.  To really, truly embrace it, and love it, and mean it, and be so thrilled with everything this body has led me to and let me do in life.  But more importantly, to let go of it.  To have it not be a thing.  Because I don't need it to be a thing.  I have a lot more going on than my stomach, or my chest or my legs, or the way my hair looks, or how my makeup is.  Yes, I want to feel pretty, but I want a million more things too.  I want to feel smart, and funny, and engaging, and kind, and nice, and thoughtful, and all the things that make up a good person.  Because maybe, just maybe if I feel all those things, my girls will never let go of that feeling either.

Because they never should doubt how wonderful they are in every single way.  The are amazing.

And so am I.


























**(I just had to put in a disclaimer here to say that my Mom never talked bad about herself that I can remember. She used to call her thighs her "donuts" because "that's where her donuts went", but other than that she never said anything bad about her body, always wore heels despite already being 6'2" and married my dad who was only 5'8" but thought she was gorgeous. She always told my sister and I we were beautiful, even with crippling acne, flood-water length pants, braces AND head-gear, and hair that made me resemble a brunette Carrot Top. And yet I still had a bunch of insecurities.  Growing up a girl is hard.)