Monday, February 23, 2009

20 Minutes of Quiet - It's All I Ask

Winter in Minnesota can get really brutal....especially if you're an introverted mother of two active toddlers who never stop making noise. Especially if you're married to a man who can tune out anything. Especially is you have pms. Especially if it's a Tuesday.

I've had a couple tough days with the girls lately. The oldest is just getting done with a nasty cold and, of course, the youngest now has it. The cold makes them cough at night, which, of course, wakes me up. Several times. Every night.

On top of the colds, my oldest is having, oh, let's call them issues, shall we? She has figured out how to huff at me when I don't say something she likes...which tends to happen at least 20,000 times per day. She's been spending a lot of time in the corner for not talking nicely. And she's 2.

The youngest, on the other hand, doesn't want to eat in her chair and firmly believes that her father is God's gift. Now, her dad is a good guy. She wouldn't be here if he wasn't a good guy. That being said, when I'm the one doing absolutely everything for this child on a minute-to-minute basis, having her run to Daddy every time I say no makes life a teeny bit more difficult. That and going up and down the stairs about 15 times on a Saturday morning (before any caffeine has been ingested) in the hopes of breaking her from refusing to sit in her chair. Oh yeah, and guess what broke her? When Daddy put her in the chair. Grr.

All I really want is about 20 minutes of peace and quiet. Truth be told, what I really want is a week on the beach with warm weather, a pile of books and no one needing or wanting anything from me. But I'll honestly settle for 20 minutes of peace and quiet. But the children do not seem to be able to wrap their heads around this concept. And I get that. Why would a 2-year old or a 1-year old feel the need to be quiet or do anything for someone else? They wouldn't. They don't understand that. And I understand that.

But it doesn't make it any easier...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What DO I Do All Day?

It seems my friends on Facebook are consistently coming across interesting articles. Recently, a friend of mine posted an article from the Washington Post. The article addresses what exactly a stay-at-home parent (specifically moms in this article) does all day. I thought the article was excellent and invite you all to read it and discuss amongst yourselves.

So, what do you think? I found the explanation of what a stay-at-home parent does pretty much spot on as I have a hard time explaining to other people what I do all day. Thank you, Carolyn Hax, for summing it up nicely for me!

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Clean House is a ... House

I am not a big fan of cleaning. In fact, just for the sake of utter honestly, I pretty much hate it. And at this point in my life, I think I mostly hate it because I'm currently finding it rather discouraging. The girls are 2 1/2 and 1 1/2, right? So, they play with something for anywhere from 30 seconds to 20 minutes at a shot and then move onto the next thing. And I'm fine with that. I don't really mind the trail of toys they leave throughout the house. Fingerprints on the couch and tables don't freak me out. Crumbs on the carpet don't send me over the edge. That sort of stuff doesn't really bother me. But at a certain point, I become so utterly overwhelmed with the amount of stuff that is literally everywhere that I get kind of stuck. I don't know where to start. And the end is not ever in sight. And that is what I find discouraging, annoying, overwhelming and irritating.

So, readers, got any tips for a crazed mother of two? How do you keep up? Do you keep up? Is it worth keeping up? Is it even possible to keep up?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

What're You Gonna Do?

We're having one of those days in our house. You know, the kind of day when the kids wake up early and it's all sort of downhill from there? We decided to take a family trip to the zoo and that was really fun for all of us. We spent the morning there and the girls behaved really well. We stopped off for a little treat on the way home and then headed back to the house. Both girls fell asleep in the car on the way and that's where the happy times ended.

When we got to the house, we had to wake the girls up to get them out of the car. Since they got up early, we figured they would just take early naps and then we'd enjoy the rest of the day. Oh, silly parents, that's dreamworld! The girls soooo did not nap, instead choosing to alternately scream at each other and then laugh hysterically. After about an hour and a half, we gave up the battle and put in a movie. Since the movie, my husband and I have literally been counting the hours/minutes/seconds until bedtime, between bouts of tearful toddlers, screeching toddlers, hungry but not willing to eat toddlers and generally unpleasant toddlers. Come bedtime I can pretty much guarantee I will head to bed to read while my husband will migrate to the couch to watch some sort of football/basketball/cricket/bowling game. And tomorrow will hopefully be a much brighter day for all of us.

So, readers, what're you gonna do when the day just doesn't work and there's still 12 hours to go?

Thursday, February 5, 2009


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Monday, February 2, 2009

And She's Off!

I pictured it like this:

My husband would be at work. The girls would be playing. I would probably be folding laundry or cleaning up the breakfast dishes. The phone would ring. The lovely man at the other end would offer me the job, insisting on paying me at least $25 an hour. Although the job was only temporary, they would be so impressed with my skills at the end of the temp period, they would insist I stay on full-time, with incredible benefits. I would make enough money that my husband could stay home with the girls and stop killing his body with manual labor. I would be able to plan an extraordinary, extravagant birthday party for my husband's 40th this summer. I would start writing on the side, secretly sending manuscripts off to publishers. The manuscript would sell, the publisher would option 3 more books, and by the time I finished the last book, I would be able to work from home and we'd be able to start traveling the world with the girls.

Here's what actually happened:

My husband went to work. The girls were playing. I was making phone calls to the insurance company and the bank. I checked my email while I waited in customer service hell. One email looked promising, but actually read something like, "I'm really sorry to have to send you an email. If it makes you feel better, the two people we hired were really terrific in a very tough pool of competition. You have a lot going for you and I hope you keep your head up as you continue your job search."

And the daydreaming came screeching to a halt.

The whole situation is odd, really. I didn't want to go to the interview in the first place. I went and ended up really enjoying the process, the interaction with adults. The job would have been freaking perfect. I walked out feeling really confident. The interviewers seemed to really like my answers, I made them laugh, they didn't make me sweat. All in all, it was a great scenario. So, I started daydreaming (see above) and then I got the email this morning.

And now I'm back where I started - debating whether I really want to work while the girls are this little; debating if my husband's body can stand up for a few more years until the girls start school; debating if our marriage can continue to stand the stress of one source of income in trying economic times. Debating, debating, debating.

And you, dear reader, any debates going on? Internal or otherwise? Feel free to share...