Sunday, December 28, 2008
Hubby and I had the genius idea of taking the boys for their first dim sum experience this morning. It was unseasonably, ridiculously warm - so much so, that when one twin pulled off his shoes and socks and flung them over the side of the stroller, I merely bent over to pick them up and let his bare toes dance in the breeze.
So we thought - why not a walk? And who doesn't love dim sum? During the holiday week. In Chinatown. Where the hoards of tourists are more motivated than ever to find a Canal Street bargain, and there wasn't even a hint of sleet or slush to keep them at bay.
Really, really, really bad idea.
Pushing a double-stroller through the crowded streets might have been worth it if there had been the reward of at least one measly dumpling at the end. But no such luck. Every waiter looked at us, then wagged their fingers and heads while they gestured to the door. Clearly, we were not welcome. And, frankly, I kind of see their point.
We should have known better.
Of course - all did not end in disaster. Hubby and I haven't filed for divorce (although there were some decidedly snippy exchanges en route.) We found a diner. The boys gobbled fries (who doesn't love fries?) Now, if only we didn't fully destroy any chance of a nap with our complete disregard for the schedule... (At this moment, shoeless boy wonder is screaming his head off in his crib. I'm writing this as a stalling technique so I don't intervene too quickly. At least his brother is sleeping blissfully through the din.)
As I said, we should have known better.
Epilogue: Nap destroyed. And no dim sum for at least another year.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
It's the last year we were able to take our time, sip our coffee, and clean the kitchen without facing accusations of torture. (Mom, Dad, C'mon!). The last time the boys didn't stay up too late the night before, tingling with an excitement they can feel down to their toes. The last year the ritual is not seasoned by their anticipation.
It's funny - I don't know when I lost it myself, although I remember it vividly. Trying to stay awake to listen for Santa's clatter on the roof. Lying in bed, restlessly moving my legs under the covers as I fight for sleep. Waking up too early and watching the hands of the clock move tortuously slowly towards 7 a.m.
But now Christmas is a day off. The culmination of too little time for shopping, and wrapping, and cleaning, and cooking, and family negotiations.
I'm not sure when it changed. Clearly it was something gradual, like the loosening of my mother's skin or the graying of my father's hair. The practical has superseded the magical. But seeing the boys' eyes widen at the sight of a box tied in red ribbons, their eagerness to tear off the paper, throws the difference in to stark relief.
I've heard it said so many times I have to believe its now an official cliche: you re-experience childhood through your children.
And now I can't wait for next year. I've regained anticipation.
PS Hubby just gave me crap for this over my shoulder. Apparantly it's too cheesy. Bah Humbug.
PPS Thanks be for nap and grandparents - the only way I would have a chance to set the table, AND have a moment to sit on the couch to gather my thoughts.
Friday, December 19, 2008
It all started in high school - prep school, to be perfectly clear. (Perhaps if I'd been living with full parental supervision things might not have been quite so out of control.)
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Saturday, we braved the Brooklyn mommy hoards to get 'official' haircuts for the boys (e.g., not by someone wielding too-dull shears, wrestling with a squirmy toddler, and realizing at that most inopportune moment that boy hair is hard.) I swallowed a gulp when I realized the buzz of that clipper was the bell tolling for babyhood. (Not to be overly dramatic or anything. Luckily the hands-flailing, legs-jerking, ear-piercing temper tantrums later in the day made me remember they truly are only one and a half. )
Then an afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum - complete with grandparents for extra hands, and the chance for hubby and I to actually see the Morandi show. Many, many, many bottles. Many, many bottles. Many many Bottles.
We made our way home (no traffic) and, for the capper, made it on time to a babysitter-enabled cocktail party with real wine and real adults. Discussions about issues. Politics. The economy. New York real estate. Recent supreme court hearings (ok, so it was a bunch of lawyers.)
But the real coup d'grace was Sunday morning: no adult intervention required until 7:51 a.m. I cracked an eye, rubbed out the blur as I tried to read my bedside clock, and couldn't believe it.
Day two of the perfect weekend: the Bronx zoo, good naps and an impromptu play date (complete with hallway hide-and-seek, three-in-a-tub, and apple crumble.)
Of course I'm exhausted. But I'm not sick anymore. Neither are any of my boys - including hubby. I've finished (almost all of) my holiday shopping. The fridge is stocked. And our cleaning lady comes on Mondays.
Truly the planets have aligned.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
- 4 weeks ago: 2 days of stomach flu. The violent, toilet-bowl hugging kind.
- Went straight to congestion without even passing Go or collecting $200.
- Congestion moved to my ears. Got so bad that I've literally fallen down from vertigo on 3 separate occasions after blowing my nose. No joke.
- The phlegm kept traveling south. It's now firmly settled in my chest, where I'm coughing so badly and frequently I've damaged a rib.
- And now - for the (hopefully final) cherry on top - both boys have pink eye. And so do I.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Why I love my job:
- I’m having fun getting dressed in the morning for the first time in a decade (although sometimes I’m a little worried I’m crossing the line and dressing like I am still in my twenties. That exec / fashion-forward / milf trifecta is a tricky balance to strike. Hubby sent me back to the closet the other day for a shoe change. Apparently super-trendy platform high heels plus super-short skirt was a little too Ally McBeal meets S&M for the office.)
- I can share perks with my friends (free samples!)
- The commute doesn’t suck (and rarely involves an airport)
- I can’t foresee a time when I’ll stop learning something new daily
- It’s challenging (I've never had to get so many people to agree to something so different. A whole new level of politics. Makes Congress look easy.)
- I get to do things no one has ever done before (See above.)
- I have time to think (and they want me to)
- I get to use both sides of my brain: the creative part that likes writing blogs and dreamily envisioning all the world’s nifty possibilities, and the type-A, efficiency-rocks part that wants to make sure the numbers add up
- It matters. (Or will, if I do it right.)
- I can make the boys breakfast and kiss them goodnight
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
- washing their hands
- wiping their noses
- washing their toys
- sewing the holes in their clothes
- yelling at my husband
- yelling at my mother-in-law
- vacuuming the stroller
- remembering the rain cover
- applying sun block
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
He's also the one who feels entitled to make the food rules around here. And one of those rules is that cereal is not, can never be, and will never be, dinner.
Of course, I do recognize that my vantage point may be a little bit suspect. I did come from a household where frozen vegetables were a daily staple no matter what the season. I didn't know lettuce came in any flavor besides 'iceberg' until after college. Suffice it to say, consumer packaged goods companies have quite a customer in my mother.
But I do think cereal can, on occasion, be a perfectly reasonable dinner choice. Make that, a vital, life-saving option.
After all, as a friend of mine said, it's fortified. They are actively trying to ensure you get the nutrients you need, even if it cereal is the only thing you eat. (And by 'they,' I mean those good folks at Kellogg's and General Mills).
Sometimes, when I get home from work, after I've raced in the door to get my 45 mins before bedtime, (note: one bone of contention from hubby is that I never stop to get the mail. He's right. I don't.) after I've put the boys to sleep, if there's nothing cooking, and reheating is too much bother, and ordering is too much of a wait ... then it's all about cereal.
Of course, I'm drowning in hypocrisy. Would I let my children have cheerios for dinner? Hell no. I won't even let the au pair.
But I will, in fact, keep doing it, hypocrisy and all. Every once in a while, no matter how much the hubby scoffs, I'll pour myself a bowl of honey nut. And I'll enjoy it.
You know what I can't figure out? Is this a classic sign of not taking care of myself, or a sign of that fact that maybe I am?
TODAY's TALLY (single-momming it edition):
- 5:45 a.m. wake up
- 1 busted lamp
- the au pair's bus (she missed it to help me settle a screaming, refusing to nap boy)
- ever-growing arm muscles after carrying one velcro-boy twin 20 blocks in the rain. (take that Madonna)
- poop in the bathtub (floaters!)
Been a tough one tooday.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
And yet... what did I do, exactly?
Did I give money? check. Multiple times. Small increments. Every time I saw Palin open her mouth.
Did I campaign for Obama? Well... does donating my Facebook status count?
Did I phone bank, or knock on any doors? Traipse through the wilds of Pennsylvania proudly sheathed in sandwich board? Well... I did forward a cute photo to my address book...
Did I do anything that lifted my ass out of my desk chair? well... no. I didn't. Except vote.
So why, when I got an email at 11:30 p.m. November 4th from Barack himself thanking me for all of my hard work, did I feel I did, in fact, deserve such kudos?
I did. And still do.
Maybe it's not rational - and it's probably not fair. After all, if everyone connected to the campaign exercised only their virtual voice, there's no way history would have been made.
But I do feel as though I should get some of that credit - that I did, in fact, help make it happen. That yes, yes we did. Emphasis on "we."
Social networking is clearly a boon for the would-be-politically-active but can't-possibly-squeeze-in-one-more-thing working mom. I could join the crowd without shlepping to a rally. I could give money without licking a stamp. I could buy paraphenalia with the click of a mouse. I could hassle my friends without picking up the phone. And I did all of those things.
Could I have done more? Maybe. Assuredly. But could I have done a whole lot more, and still kept my carefully, precariously balanced, chaos of a life in functioning order?
Honestly? Probably not.
And, thankfully for the future of my children, what I did, when coupled with the efforts of everyone else ...? That was enough.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
I've been feeling like a stereotype lately (although I think I'd prefer the term 'archetype.') No matter what the prefix, I am, in fact, a type. The type that has a full-time high-pressure bread-winner job, toddler twin boys and a scary-high mortgage. The type that tries not to lose herself in the daily deluge of diapers and doggies and parents and power point.
I aspire to perfect mommy milf-dom, complete with a rocketing career and a fabulous sex life. I aspire to be so much more than getting through the days and waiting for the weekend.
But, all that said, I'm friggin' exhausted.
And now in classic type-A style, I've decided that adding yet another project to my ever expanding list, is, in fact, the one thing thats been missing from my 'to do' list. So here goes. A blog.
To be honest, I've decided to start writing this all down so I can, in fact, understand how I do it. Because, despite being so tired I can feel the weight of my eyelids (and the fact that the last paragraph was interrupted by a screaming, teething little boy who flailed his arms but didn't open his eyes) I am, actually, for the most part, quite happy.
And, as far as I can tell, that means I'm an anamoly among other would-be super moms. (Or at least, among those who aren't running for public office.)
Of course - such happiness can be fleeting I know. I'm in the honeymoon of a new job (it's so interesting! the people are so terrific!). I just returned from a romantic, kid-free weekend for my 5th-year anniversary, and both boys are (once again) sleeping soundly. If course all it takes is another round of molars or a terrifying election result (Palin as VP).
That said, I'm pretty certain my average is in the plus column.
- 34, married, live in Brooklyn
- two kids, 18 month-old twin boys
- full-time job (executive type at a big public company)