Whoa Mama

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Things that make me smile

Yesterday we had parent teacher conferences for the twins. To summarize (Sam's new favorite word), they like school. School likes them. My favorite story from the 15 minutes with each of Aidan & Noah's teachers and aides was from "Miss Bobbie". Miss Bobbie is the aide from Aidan's class who Aidan **adores**. And it is mutual. Now once you know my twins, they are pretty easy to tell apart. Now, they are both blond haired, blue-eyed sweeties, but they have distinctions physically and their personalities are very very different. One day Miss Bobbie, who obviously was having an off day, tried to hustle Noah into her classroom. Noah stopped, looked up at her and said, "see this lunchbox? If you see a red lunchbox, then it is Noah" and scooted into his room.

I was a bit lamenting that Sammy is at the end of cute school projects. He did have Christmas projects, like his hand prints as reindeer antlers, but there was no class project for Valentine's. I was showered with hearts, adoration and doily projects from Aidan & Noah, and lots of squishy love from Sam. No construction paper produced from his backpack. My little man is growing up. But not by that much:

There were on their 100th day of school. He sported them then announced, "I can wear them with my 100 days hat and have an outfit."
In case you don't recall, here is the "hat" in question.

I am distressed that cameras get so close to Hillary's face now that she is Secretary of State. I don't recall quite that much detail as a senator!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Day in the Life of...well..Anybody

I often find myself writing imaginary blog posts. Then I get home unpack backpacks, oooo & ahh over math facts and artistic delights from within, re-pack tomorrow's lunch boxes, steer the herd toward some activity other than tv while I whip together some culinary masterpiece, usually chicken with an alternating green or orange vegetable. This is usually overlaid with defensive moves around the fruit to avoid filling up before dinner, engaging my Wells College whistle to intervene in some kurfuffle and give appropriate attention to the fall guy sent in with a meaningful story about school as a distraction for another pass at the fruit by his teammates.

This has advanced from the days of cute posts told in phonetic spelling, painfully detailed rants about bodily functions and the requisite pictures to demonstrate how hard it is to be angry at any of these sweet faces for the day's events including (insert your preference here) markers, milk, sand, water, cheerios, my glasses These posts were really driven from a need to try to remember anything that happened in a day since I was so tired for so long.

Today I spend an inordinate amount of time considering that these are little boys who are sweet, secure, smart, happy and all-together amazing people who have weathered all same things that Scott & I have in the past 6 months, except without the convenience of phone & email to keep in touch with friends & family. So Sammy has started writing letters to a friend in CT, has scheduled his own play dates with a friend in school (complete with Degan's address scrawled on to a scrap of paper and securely tucked into an empty mini-box of Nerds and deposited into the tiny, apparently useless side pocket of his backpack) and will tell you that all of the kids in his class are his friends. This has been reinforced at his parent/teacher conference when Mrs. Sullivan told us that Sammy adjusted seamlessly and it as if he's always been there.

Aidan & Noah brought home report cards yesterday. They are four. In pre-K. AND have been in the school for 5 weeks. Long enough though for there respective teachers (have I mentioned that part of this awe-inspiring resilience has include the twins being separated for the first time ever) to assess that they have knocked shapes, colors, letters, numbers and are reading, doing basic math, are well-adjusted and well-mannered. I noted this last one only b/c on Noah's report card on the line "Uses good manners." She gave him a B for whatever above average notation that is meant to be and added two exclamation points.

So in these imaginary blog posts, that always take less of a priority than trying to keep in touch with people - and most of my friends can attest to how well I do that - I try to come up with an entire post but it always boils down to "he said,...". Because after the aforementioned evening dance, I try to have some adult conversation with my husband and usually end up falling asleep mid-sentence.

In any case, everyday there are a ton of little events/statements that crack me up. Yesterday while trying to exercise, Tony Horton of P90X lifted his shirt to show off his six pack, Sammy let out a shriek and said, "Mommy, he just showed the polka dots on his belly!" Keep your commentary about our fitness to yourselves. And while trying to sweat myself through this grueling 45 minute workout tape, Noah took aim at the part of me sticking out while doing squats and whacked it with the giant Valentine's balloon that sings "I've Got You Babe" on impact. Speaking of singing, all the way to school the other day, Aidan & Noah alternated God Bless America and America the Beautiful AT THE TOP OF THEIR LUNGS. Aidan uses his head voice for a dramatic finish of "my home sweet HOME". One night Noah was mad that he got sent to bed early. In a nightly routine of "I love you more than...", he told me "I love you more than nuffin'"

Now that life is returning to what passes for normal in my family, you may be able to look forward to more pix & cute-ism. But maybe not.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Nine Minutes.

A month ago I lived 9 minutes from the beach. I’m not even talking as the crow flies. I could drive to the beach, including the single stop light along the way, in nine minutes. On the way, I drove by my son’s elementary school, my YMCA, the Mystic Aquarium and the kids’ favorite restaurant.

In nine minutes, Pop could be at our table for dinner, provided he didn’t have to stop for wine. In nine minutes, Scott & I could both be at our respective jobs as long as I didn’t need to stop for coffee.

Now in nine minutes, Noah can put on his boots, hat, mittens and coat, get outside, run over to Gramma’s, collect the things we need from her fridge (it was ketchup and mustard for their hot dogs) and run back.

Now in nine minutes, Gina & I can be in the gym warming up for Zumba! And Sammy can be jumping out of Scott’s car and running into school before Scott drives around the corner to work. In nine minutes, we can walk in full snow gear to the sledding hill and be on our first run.

At 36, I am truly realizing that life is long and unpredictable. I have so much to be grateful for.

There are some cousins that the boys will see more now and some we'll be meeting at the beach. We get vacations at Pop's (yes, John, that is a warning). We get to breakfast at Gramma's without putting our shoes on (in the summer) and who doesn't want to see Gina every day. We get to breeze into the Buffalo Zoo any time for a quick 45 minute visit instead of the Mystic Seaport or Aquarium. Wegman's does blow the pants off McQuades.

The now and then/pros and cons list goes on and on and on. This is a wonderful and fun, challenging and sad time. I embrace the esteemed words of Calvin, owner of Hobbes, not 16th c. theologian:

I suppose the secret to happiness is learning to appreciate the moment.