Thursday, November 29, 2012

Two phases of nonbreakable ornaments

When our girls were little we used only the nonbreakable ornaments on our Christmas tree. I was certain that the girls would pull the tree over at some point. Somehow we made it through the toddler years without the tree hitting the ground.

A couple of years ago I started putting up our glass ornaments again. I like the way the lights sparkle against the glass. I put them up high where the girls couldn't reach them. We made it through each Christmas season without any major incidents.

I thought we were passed the point where I had to worry about using the glass ornaments. I was wrong. It turns out the greatest threat to our glass ornaments involve the words, "We'll decorate the Christmas tree."

The first year the girls decorated the tree they were so careful with the ornaments. I didn't allow them to hang many glass ornaments. The girls did a good job with the ones they were allowed to touch. Last year they did nearly the entire tree by themselves. I think they broke one ornament each.

This year it was like a glass breaking contest. As soon as Daddy left to run some errands, I said, "Let's surprise Daddy by finishing the tree before he gets home." Ha! That would have been a very good idea except I didn't leave enough time on the schedule to clean up all the broken ornaments.

Since we buy a Christmas ornament every time we take a trip we had a lot of new ornaments to replace the broken ones. It isn't as if our tree is bare. Still, I did learn my lesson. From now on we'll focus on buying nonbreakable ornaments. I'll think about glass ornaments again when the girls are in college.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Will they know we wrapped these?

I've been ordering Christmas presents for the girls' teachers from school, piano, etc. We had a drawer full of stuff waiting to be wrapped. While Daddy put up the tree, I had the girls wrapped their teacher gifts.

There was a lot of wrapping paper, tape and bows. There was a lot of giggling, paper tearing and second attempts. There was a lot of ribbon everywhere. They wrote the gift tags using their best handwriting with swirls and hearts.

After all the presents were wrapped the brunett twin said, "Do you think they will know we wrapped these?"

Of course this was her worry. The brunette twin wouldn't think about how much people would like the gift. She would worry that her work wasn't good enough. I said, "Oh yeah. These are so pretty they will know you had to be the one who wrapped these."

She seemed satistified with my answer while she fiddled with a ribbon. I told her how pretty her presents were again. She bounced upstairs to her room happy that she did a good job. I was happy that she was happy, even if I wish she didn't have the worry in the first place.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A day with Daddy

When the girls are together the blond twin claims Daddy. She's glued to him because, well, they are both blond after all.

During Thanksgiving break the blond twin came down with a nasty cold. She spent a day sitting on a couch with a blanket. She slept, played on the computer and watched some TV.

This gave the brunette twin an opening. She glued herself to Daddy, helping him put out the Christmas lights, walk Oreo and work in the yard. She glowed the whole day. She said, "This is so much fun. I get to have Daddy all to myself today."

We try to take the girls out by themselves, but it's still hard to pull of regular dates. Between school, extra-curricular activities and play dates we're busy and tired. The brunette twin's reaction proves we need to make another effort to one parent/one child time on the calendar.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Celebrating My Birthday

I had a weekend long birthday celebration. We enjoyed brunch at North Pond, walked through Lincoln Park Zoo and visited the Chicago History Museum. It was a lovely day with above average temperatures and bright sunshine.

On my actual birthday the girls had a friend spend the night. All three girls frosted the cupcakes with loads of sprinkles.

The best part of my birthday was the cards the girls wrote. The brunette twin wrote a sweet card with adorable drawings. The blond twin wrote a card with sweet drawings and a lovely verse. My favorite part of the card was when she wrote, "You're not old."

Yes, my darling baby wrote a birthday card to let me know I wasn't old. Even though the reality is I am an older mom, she always gets upset when I say, "Sorry, I'm old. Deal with it." This bothers her a lot. To make me feel younger on my birthday she wrote a card telling me I'm not old. It was cute and caring, even if it wouldn't have been most people's idea of a happy birthday card.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

I want braces

The brunette twin wants braces. Now. Right now. Immediately. I told her that eventually she will get braces. All the kids in the family seem to have had braces. She does not want to wait.

This all started at the last Brownies meeting. A friend has braces with colorful metal pieces. They were sparkly and flashy. She was completely taken by them.

Braces have moved from a medical procedure to a fashion accessory. The brunette twin is giddy at the thought of wearing braces.

I haven't had them, but I understand they are painful at first. Let's hope she feels the same way when she actually gets braces.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Deleting One Direction

The girls think One Direction is dreamy, of course. They have posters on the wall. They know all the songs. They read all the tween magazines.

Yesterday One Direction was on a morning show. We taped all four hours to get the One Direction segment. This evening the girls watched the show. They sang and danced each song. They giggled and whispered secrets. It was adorable.

When they wouldn't get ready for bed I found my new favorite threat. I said, "If you don't get into bed in the next five minutes then I will delete One Direction."

They moved so quickly that I realized what a good threat I created. Our initial plan was to delete the One Direction show sometime early next week. The taping is taking up four hours on our DVR. I'm thinking that we might want to keep it. "I'm going to delete One Direction" is something I'm planning to say as long as it keeps working.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Do you like your new haircut?

One fun thing about the girls is they still young enough that they don't always filter what they say. I recently came home with a new haircut. In the space of a couple of hours each girls said, "Mom, do you like your new haircut?" They said it with a smile, but it was clear they didn't like my haircut.

It turns out neither of them like my haircut. There are many reasons for this. First my hair is quite a bit shorter than it was. The girls wanted me to grow my hair to be as long as theirs. Let's just say that was their plan not mine. My hair was quite a bit longer than it had been in a long time and they liked it that way.

I hadn't planned to cut so much, but the stylist suggested a big change. I went with it. I was ready for something different and I walked out with something different. I'm not sure I really like it as much as I liked the idea of something different.

The good news is my hair will grow so they won't have to live with my haircut for long. Even better is that when my hair grows I won't have to listen to the girls question my judgement. It's a bit scary when your daughters start passing on their fashion sense and I think they might be right.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What does an Alexis look like?

We were walking to school when the blond twin starting asking about Alexis. She wanted to know what Alexis looked like. I asked the blond twin why she was asking about Alexis since she was in her class.

The blond twin said, "Not her Mom. The car. Alexis the car."

I said, "Oh, no. The car is called Lexus. When people say a Lexus, they mean one Lexus. It's not Alexis."

The blond twin replied, "Oh, I thought it was Alexis like my friend. How cool would that be to have a car named after you?"

Monday, November 5, 2012

No police contact this week please

Somehow the girls had a full house for their Halloween party Saturday. Despite handing out invitations to a whole bunch of adults we ended up with 15 children running around in costume.

Normally we'd put Oreo on a tie-up in the backyard and have a party. He loves to be part of the action. We decided it wasn't such a good idea for this party. I don't worry about him harming children on normal days. Since he was attacked on Halloween, things haven't been normal.

Oreo spent the afternoon at Grammie's house. The two of them had a quiet afternoon, which was perfect for both. We went over to pick-up Oreo after the party.

On the way home we were driving down a busy road when I glanced up at the rearview mirror. I saw some bright lights coming at us quickly. I didn't have time to say anything before this car rammed us as we were moving. Yes, we were rear-ended while we were driving. I immediately stopped the mini-van. The bright yellow car moved around us, hitting our passenger side back bumper.

The car didn't stop. It sped down the street with a trail of liquid behind it.

I started yelling to call 9-1-1. My husband didn't have his phone so I grabbed mine. My hands were shaking as I dialed the number. A man drove next to our mini-van to say that the same car almost hit him a few blocks back.

Luckily for us my husband had the presence of mind to figure out the make of the car and the first part of the license plate. If I hadn't been yelling call 9-1-1, he probably would have gotten the whole license plate number.

Since this is going to end up on court, I'll skip a lot of the details except to say the idiot driving ended up hitting a Com Ed transformer box before his car stopped in the middle of a busy intersection. There were emergency vehicles from several suburbs involved. We ended up at that location because the police officer who took our report asked us to follow him to see if it was the same car that hit us. It was.

No one will be surprised to learn that the idiot was drunk. He was so drunk in fact that the police said he was completely incoherent. He smashed his car so badly that he needed to be cut out of his car.

We were all okay, except for a lot of aches and pains. Even today we're a bit achy. Nothing was broken and we're grateful for that.

It wasn't until the light of day that we realized why we weren't injured more. We had a bike carrier hitch on the back bumper. It was smashed into the bumper when the idiot rammed his car into ours. The hitch seems to have taken a lot of the impact so we didn't end up in the emergency room.

If I had one goal for this week it is for us not to have any contact with the local police departments this week. Each officer has been very kind and professional, but enough is enough. I'm ready to take a break now.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Can I say something bad?

We were trying to get our nine-year-old twin daughters ready for bed Halloween night, but things weren't going well. They didn't want to take off their costumes and get ready for bed. They were so upset about Oreo's injury. They just wanted to talk about what happened.

We tried our best to keep them moving, but it’s not every Halloween that your dog gets attacked by another dog. It was very scary to see the other dog’s jaws locked on their dog’s throat. No matter what we said the girls wouldn’t stop crying and talking about the attack, the police, Oreo bleeding. In the end we wanted them to talk so we would know what was going on in their heads.

The brunette twin was standing in the bathroom when she said, "Can I say something bad?"

I said, "Sure baby."

She said, "I hate those stupid, f*!*!ing people."

I was going to say that we don't call people stupid when the rest of her statement sunk in. I said, "Excuse me? Where do you hear talk like that?"

She replied, "Uncle Dave talks like that all the time."


We all have moments where we have potty mouths on my side of the family. I don't swear a lot, but when I'm overtired or frustrated or annoyed or mad I can throw in a few choice words. I realize it's the sign of a simple mind. Some days it's just an easy way to express myself when I’m too distracted to find a more appropriate word. Some days it’s just the most descriptive way to describe something. I don't do it in front of the girls though. I'm careful about that.

I call it channeling my inner-Dad. My father always swore. I think he probably started because it annoyed my paternal Grandmother so much. After a while it just stuck. He used swear words as all sentence parts. Nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs could all be replaced by a choice, unrepeatable word. For him being tired or frustrated or annoyed or mad had nothing to do with how often he swore.

We learned to swear with Dad at a young age. I always tell the stories about watching hockey with Dad. He would get so mad he'd swear at the TV. If Mom was in another room she'd say, "What happened?" We'd reply something like "a))hole missed the shot." We were little. We didn't know what we were saying. We were just repeating what Dad said.

I didn’t realize it was really a problem until I ended up in the principal’s office in kindergarten. A quick phone conversation with Mom and I was back in the classroom with a stern warning about my language. It made for an interesting dinner conversation that much I remember. We had a long chat about what Dad says and what we can repeat.

As we got older we learned to distinguish between things Dad said and things we should say. I'm not saying we never said any bad words. You can be certain that we said our fair share while watching hockey with Dad. We just made sure not to get caught by Mom.

Now it's my brother Dave's turn to carry on the family tradition. I explained to the brunette twin that while Uncle Dave might say certain things it was never okay for her to repeat them. She said, "I know Mom that's why I asked if I could say something bad." Seems that she knows the lesson and how to get around it. Turns out I need to think a bit more before I answer her questions from now on.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Off to the vet we go

This has been a long morning. The girls cried when they saw Oreo. He was clearly off this morning -- slow like he hadn't slept last night. He wasn't mean or angry. He was just slow. We did all the normal things and when we came home I realized Oreo was still draining some gunk from where he was bitten.

Last night it stopped bleeding, but this morning it was all wet again. It's not in an area he can lick so it's not like he was trying to clean it. I called the vet and away we went.

Our poor, sweet, beautiful dog now has two drains where the other dog punctured his skin, antibiotics, pain medicine and a big blue cone. When the office staff saw him they said, "Oh, Oreo has a party hat." If I'm sure of anything it's that he doesn't think of the cone as a party hat.

He needs to wear it so he doesn't scratch the drains out or injure his skin where the vet tech shaved it. She said it would bother him until it grows back, with the worst part being the next two weeks.

Oreo needs to go back to the vet on Monday to remove the drains and check the wounds. My fingers are crossed that he's done then.

In the meantime we have a wounded dog who couldn't be more like a stuffed animal right now. For all the days I wanted him to calm down, I never wanted it to happen because he was injured.