Monthly Archives: September 2008

Sold!

This morning was my twin club’s fall sale.  The sale happens twice a year, in the fall and the spring.  It’s quite a spectacle, and this was my first time as a seller.

Holy. Crap.

It really is quite something.  Setup began at 6pm on Friday, with tables and signs going up, and the first batches of people’s stuff.  It resumed at 6am Saturday, when all of the sellers were required to come and finish setup and put out everything in its proper place.  I thought I had a lot with my three big rubbermaid crates full of clothes (plus carseat and other assorted things).  Yeah, I know someone else who had at least eight crates full.  Yikes!

It was still dark when we arrived, but you couldn’t miss the sea of minivans.  The scene at all of 6:45 in the morning was a sight to behold.  A several dozen strollers, high chairs, swings, and exersaucers.  Tables full of toys.  Mountains of clothing.  Bins full of shoes, racks sagging under the weight of dresses and parkas and Halloween costumes.

And that, as I say, was at 6:45 in the morning.  There were still carloads being brought in, and doors wouldn’t open for shopping for almost three hours.  At about 8:30, those of us who were selling were allowed to start shopping.  Having remembered all of my clothing and equipment, but apparently not my checkbook or even a single dollar, I had to borrow a check from a friend to get the toys and three pairs of shoes that caught my eye.  (Thanks, K.B!)  I couldn’t even wade through the clothing and coats.  It was too overwhelming for me, and my kids are doing fine with clothing.  At 9:30, it was straight to work for the sellers – that’s when twin club members enter.  I was working in the area with all of the strollers and carseats, so all of the pregnant women made a beeline to that side of the cafeteria.  At 10, the general public joined in the madness.  I’m told there were not as many shoppers as usual, but it sure seemed like a lot to me.  And hey, someone bought my carseat, so I’m psyched.

There were over 70 people selling.  Everyone is responsible for their own tagging and setting their own prices, so identical items varied widely in price.  You could find two of the same swing, and one would be $8 while the other would be $30. Crazy.  I was definitely on the low end.  I cared more that my stuff would get taken than about how much money I would make from it.  And, though I’ve yet to see the final total, I think I did reasonably well.  I believe all of my non-clothing items sold, from carseat to unused Diaper Genie to the BundleMe’s that kept my kids warm last winter.  And though the infant clothing has a reputation for not selling well, I would say a majority of my stuff was purchased.  There was some that wasn’t, of course, but I just tossed a few of the items back into my crate at the end of the day, and donated the rest.  It felt great.  Of course, I didn’t get home until nearly 3pm, and am exhausted.  But it was a good time and nice to get rid of all that stuff.

Sadly, my house does not really feel less cluttered at the end of the day.  Sigh.  So much yet to be done.

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6 Comments

Filed under Secret society of twin moms, Stuff, stuff, and more stuff

Ikea Excursion

Today marked my second trip to Ikea with kids in tow (unless you count the time I went while pregnant and looking for cribs).  This time, however, I did it all by my lonesome.  Yes, I have a majorly independent and stubborn streak, why do you ask?  Well, as the kiddos are moving from babies to toddlers (and because we gave our remaining exersaucer to Mommy, Esq.), it was time for something new in the play space.  I wanted a kid-sized table and chairs.  While they’re still a bit small and young to sit in the chairs reliably, I figure it’s a good thing to start.

The reason this is a big-ish deal is that the Ikea in Massachusetts is really not anywhere close to me.  It’s about an hour away, which is obviously no small matter when you’re dragging along two toddlers.  This requires a plan.  The plan was to leave around 9AM (aka morning nap time) with the hopes of them sleeping in the car on the way there.  Then, hang out in the store, do our shopping, and return around 1PM (aka afternoon nap time), with the same goal in reverse.  M helped me in the morning get a bag packed with enough snacks for a small European country, and we were all set.

Well.  Sorta.

For one thing, there was rush hour traffic that extended further past the city than it really should have, so it took an hour and a half instead of an hour.  But that ended up being a good thing, since Rebecca didn’t fall asleep until at least 9:45.  But, eventually she did fall asleep, so both of them got a nice little rest before we got to the store.  Then, I realized the main flaw in my plan: I did not have 2+ hours worth of stuff to do in the store.  Having already looked online and decided what I wanted, I pretty much just walked in and found it.  And then… um…  Well, it wasn’t crowded, so then I let the kids hang out in the kiddie section for a while.  Then a snack, then a walk so I could ogle the kitchen stuff, then another snack and a diaper change, and more playing in the kiddie section…  I was killing time.  Not what I had expected, though I should have.  Anyways, we ended up having an early lunch (Daniel dug the meatballs and mashed potatoes, Rebecca only wanted applesauce), and they got downright cranky.  Wanted more freedom than I could give them.  So, we got our pallet of brightly-colored, some-assembly-required plastic (and my $1 fro yo), and away we went.

This, by the way, was the part when I fully questioned the choice to go by myself.  You know me, I’m all about doing things on my own. It’s not always easy, but I’ve got practice and I don’t shy away from taking the kids places.  Well, this was an occasion when I wish I had a third arm or something.  Mostly when it came down to the cart and all of our stuff and getting it to the car. Ikea has many delightful things, but a cart with two seats just ain’t one of ’em. But, hey, we made it.

Well, being as it was not actually nap time yet, something crazy happened…. the kids stayed awake.  In the car.  For an hour on the highway.  About halfway through the drive I realized they weren’t falling asleep, so I shifted into “keep them awake” mode.  I passed snacks (man, that will be easier when I turn those carseats around), I sang songs, I made silly noises for them to mimick.  And lo, they stayed awake.  We got home, played in the yard for a few, assembled some plastic chairs, and up they went.  And they actually took their afternoon nap, which is a rare occurence these days.  Not half bad for a crazy trip across the state.  And when they woke up…

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Filed under Home, Stuff, stuff, and more stuff, Toddlers

Fat lot of good she does me

My dog, Winnie, is a Miniature Schnauzer.  She has her good points.  She’s small, she’s super friendly, plenty of energy without being insane or yippy.  Having her around means I don’t have to clean up the floor every time I feed the kids. She doesn’t shed, is good for people with allergies (i.e. my beloved, M), and when she gets shaggy (see below), the groomer gives her a haircut and all is well.  She’s really a very sweet dog.

She’s been very good with the kids, even if she hasn’t become all maternal and protective of them and instead seems like she would prefer if they weren’t around.  She’s sort of cat-like in that way.

Speaking of cat-like… Miniature Schnauzers are in the Terrier family.  Bred to chase small vermin.  She’s supposed to be a goddamn ratter.  So imagine how pleased I was to find her lounging on my couch, while my countertop is littered with mouse droppings.

Eeew!!

OK, I know, a kitchen counter isn’t exactly the same as mouse holes in a field.  But I doubt Winnie would do any better there, either.  But couldn’t she just chase them if she sees them?

Not sure what to do about this new dilemma, but I suspect it means traps of some kind, completely purging my kitchen cabinets, and tiptoeing around in fear of a very, very small animal.  Bleh.

C’mon Winnie… earn your keep, would you?

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Filed under Freakin' out, Home

Look over there…

I wrote a post today for How Do You Do It? on kids and politics.  Check it out

In the meantime, it’s a screamy day here.  The kids are going through a melodramatic phase.  Equal intensity for “he’s trying to play with my book” and “I’ve been shot in the leg.”  Or, at least, that’s how it feels.  All of the crying wolf makes me a little slow to respond.  Which makes me feel bad to realize that Daniel is stuck under the endtable.  Whoops.  Stellar mommy day, clearly.

3 Comments

Filed under Politics, Toddlers

Photo catch-up

I know a lot of people say that you stop taking quite so many pictures once the kids turn a year old, but I have yet to notice a dramatic dropoff.  I’m sure it’s a gradual thing, and I’m also sure that once it’s winter and dark and cold and we’re inside, lacking natural light… that’ll make things taper straight off.  But so far it’s still nice to be outside and we’ve had plenty of sunny days, so I’ve been snapping away.  Nothing exciting, no huge events or activities.  Just hanging out in the yard.

One thing that is noticeably absent is the monthly chair pictures.  It was a nice ritual, have them in the same place on the 3rd of every month.  I’d take the pictures in the morning, and by mid-afternoon I’d have the month’s highlights posted on a photo sharing site and sent to family and friends all over the country.  But the month-to-month changes in appearance are less dramatic now.  I was getting a little tired sending the updates every month.  And, quite frankly, the chair pictures were becoming hazardous. What with all of the crawling and climbing and lack of fear of falling.  So, on September 3, I did not send pictures.  Some people asked when they were coming, and I was non-committal.  My current plan is to send them out at 14, 16, and 18 months, then 21 and 24.  Or, maybe, just when the mood strikes me.  I have not given up on the mass updates or even the chair pictures altogether.  But doing so on the third day of every single month was getting to be a bit much.

Of course, if most of my family and friends had any idea this blog existed, they could find plenty of pictures here.  But, well, most of them don’t.  And that’s just fine by me.

But for you, dear anonymous internet… here are some cute ones from the past week:

Why is he always drawn to the slate and cement?

Why is he always drawn to the slate and cement?

Strike a pose, girl, there's nothing to it.

Strike a pose, girl, there's nothing to it.

Both in the tunnel... will Daniel ever stop drooling?

Both in the tunnel... will Daniel ever stop drooling?

Rebecca now prefers walking as her primary mode of transportation.

Rebecca now prefers walking as her primary mode of transportation.

Daniel models the new Obama shirts Grandpa sent.

Daniel models the new Obama shirts Grandpa sent.

If they could cooperate, they could pull off some crazy tricks.  Too bad Rebecca has a tantrum and head-butts Daniel when she realizes he's trying to play with

If they could cooperate, they could pull off some crazy tricks. Too bad Rebecca has a tantrum and head-butts Daniel when she realizes he is trying to play with "her" toy (any toy, really).

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Filed under Photos, Toddlers

What a difference a year makes

As I get into my second year of being a mom, naturally I have come across a lot of situations that make me remember what we were doing a year ago.  I’ll try to keep the yammering to a minimum, but this one has photographic evidence, so I thought I’d share.

Today, we started a new class.  It’s at the same maternity/baby center where I’ve taken several other classes.  It’s a little pricey (especially now that I have to pay for the 2nd kid…), but nice to have an outing in a child-safe place with developmentally-appropriate activities.  Gets us out of the house, gives me new ideas, entertains the kids.  And, it’s at 11AM, so gets them good and tired before the iffy PM nap.

The class was fun, seems like a nice enough group. There’s even another set of twins there, though they’re a touch on the younger side, and the mom brought the nanny along (and was surprised that I was there by myself… come on, just do it!).  There were songs and toys and a story and a parachute.  There was even a brief adventure with a water table (next week will, apparently, be sand).  I was really struck by how big they’re getting, and the differences in each of the classes we’ve done.

Almost exactly one year ago, I started my very first mom/baby class there. I was the first one there, as tends to be my way. The oldest baby was 9 weeks, the youngest only 2. My kids were right in the middle.  Almost the whole class was pretty mom-focused.  We learned infant massage, we talked about breastfeeding and sleep and swaddling.  We were all brand new to this whole thing, and the babies pretty much only ate or slept.  We’d try a little tummy time.  All of those babies are now a year old, most are walking. Some moms have gone back to work, some of us haven’t.  One is even expecting her second.  We have a Halloween party planned for next month.

Amazing, the difference a year makes.  First, a picture I took during our third or fourth class.  Big excitement: tummy time and mirrors (Daniel is the noggin in the middle)!  Then, there was today.  Water table and snacks!  Just imagine next year…

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Filed under Child Development, Learning/Classes, Out and about, Toddlers

Limits to my superpowers

I tend to pride myself on the variety of activities I undertake with two 13-month-olds in tow.  I take them grocery shopping, I take them out to lunch, I take them to classes.  All by myself, no biggie.  I mean, yeah, it’s more complicated than it would be with one kid, but I’ve got my strategies and my double stroller.  I am pretty confident in my abilities.

But, in truth, there are some things better not done solo.  Today’s case-in-point: taking them to the playground by myself.  This is a nice one.  Fenced in, relatively compact, and shredded recycled tires that make a pretty soft surface in case of falls.  Has some baby swings, and some less-steep slides.  But the fact of the matter is that I have two mobile-but-not-steady kids who don’t take direction and haven’t entirely figured out that you can’t crawl straight off of surfaces 3 (or 6 or 10) feet above the ground.

I mean, we did OK.  No one was in any way injured.  They were a big hit with a couple of five-year-old girls.  But at this age, it’s just a really tricky outing to do by myself.  Lots of chasing, lots of pulling off of high places (and ensuing proto-tantrums), lots of lifting that’s causing my lower back to grumble menacingly at me right now.  And none of the other moms are particularly able (even if they were hypothetically willing) to help me, because they obviously have their own kids to watch and prevent from falling.  It’s just one of those things that, at this age, is better done with a 1:1 adult-to-child ratio.

We really needed an outing this afternoon. They skipped the afternoon nap again, a nap that currently has only about a 60-70% success rate.  The trouble is that they really seem to still need it, and are often hysterical when they don’t get it.  And when they’re hysterical because they haven’t napped, and I haven’t had any break because they haven’t napped, it’s best if we all get the hell out of the house.  So, off we went.  Stopped at the Starbucks drive-thru for a mommy pick-me-up, and off we went two towns over to the park. (Yeah, my sucky town doesn’t have much by way of playgrounds… boo.)

Naturally, they both passed out by the time we arrived.  Hrm.  So, there I am, the weirdo sitting in her car at the playground.  Hope no one thought I was a stalker.  I let them sleep for a few and tried to relax and listen to the radio and check my email on my enabler iPhone.  Then I got out of the car, and opened the sliding doors.  They didn’t wake up.  I put on their shoes.  Didn’t even twitch.  I unbuckled their carseats, called their names, stroked their heads.  Nothing.  See what I mean about needing the sleep?  Anyways, just when I was going to give up and go back home, they stirred.  Great, brought them over to the playground.  We stayed for about half an hour until Rebecca lost it when I pulled her away from the slide so another kid could go down without kicking her in the head.  Let’s just say it was an ugly afternoon and an early bedtime.

I recognize that this is the beginning of the dreaded switch to one nap, but as much of a struggle as the afternoon nap is right now, I honestly don’t believe it’s time for it to go. Plus, they’re still completely ready for the AM nap at 9:00, and that’s obviously way too early to be the only one for the day.  But they only seem to really take the afternoon one if I do something that involves a lot of running around in between the naps.  Easier said than done, for sure, especially with Daniel not yet walking and the weather hinting that we won’t be able to play outside forever.  My buddy Dr. Weissbluth seems to agree that’s the way to go: “intense stimulation” after the AM nap, but then “extra long and relaxing soothing to sleep for the midday nap.”  I’m not sure what on earth the latter should look like with two kids who just want to climb on me, but I suppose I’ll give it a shot.  I suspect there will be a lot of back-and-forth on this one until the day comes when we just go to the one nap.  Wohoo.

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Filed under Child Development, Out and about, Toddlers