Monday, April 25, 2011

Day of Reckoning

Tax season has a way of taking my best intentions and smashing them to bits. This is how potato chips become part of a balanced breakfast - they sneak in when I'm in full stress mode and I don't notice until I've gained five pounds. But, now tax season is over and I can no longer hold onto the excuse of climbing back on the weight watchers wagon after Easter. Suddenly it is after Easter and there is a Cadbury egg mocking me from its perch on my counter.

I swear that thing has eyes.

All in all, the diet thing has been going well. I didn't think I had it in me. Well, that's not true. I knew I had it in me. I had too much in me. That was the problem.

But, never one to be daunted by a lofty goal (Ha! Who am I kidding?) or the fact that I hate diet food about as much as I would hate slugging back a bucket of cold earthworms, David and I took the plunge. It went like this:

Bonnie (the night before we began our weight loss regime): For my last act of gluttony, I'm going to melt a plate of cheese and eat the whole thing. What are you going to do?

David: I was thinking about drinking that bottle of magic shell.

Two weeks in:

David: I'm going to weigh myself before I pee in the morning. That way I can save the water weight for a week when I haven't lost very much.

Three weeks in:

Bonnie: I feel like Scarlett O'Hara, except I'm standing on a hillside with a single carrot in my hand saying, "I'll never be full again!"

Four weeks in:

David: I had to use my pee weight this morning.

And so it goes. We're down a combined total of 40-something pounds. We still want to bury our faces in a dozen chocolate chip cookies. I think that urge is about as easy to suppress as it is to convince a wide-awake-at-3-a.m. toddler that he really is sleepy.

Oh, crud. Now I want a cookie and a nap.

Darn power of suggestion.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Going Nowhere

Along with my credentials as a Certified Professional Wimp and World Class Procrastinator (CPW and WCP, respectively, known in professional circles as a "Full Chicken"), I suffer from a deplorable lack of ambition. Seriously. Put me in a room full of ladders and I will sit contentedly at the bottom while everyone else climbs away.

So, it might come as a shock to you when I say that I am ready for a promotion. Maybe this newfound desire for a change in status has something to do with events that took place this morning: My twins used the toilet as a bathtub and then followed it up by using the bathtub as a toilet. (Apparently there are some finer points of bathing that we need to go over). And, not helping is the fact that Michael seems to have permanently misplaced his ears, and by extension, his brain. "I'll listen when I'm seven, Mom," he says. With the number of time-outs going on around here, I'm almost willing to give into his fondest wish at the moment, which is that I go to work while David stays home with the kids.

It's tempting.

Or maybe what's pushing me over the edge is the fact that this sweet little girl:

keeps doing this to her brother:

A case of the bite being worse than the bark.

As promotions go, I'm not looking for anything big or more prestigious. A change in title would do, really. I would like to go from being "Mooooooooom" or "Mamamamamama waaaaaaah" to "Mom" or "Mama", said sweetly and with a smile. That's not too much to ask, is it?

Frankly, I would settle for Michael turning on his brain and Leah putting her teeth away. And ending her run of pooping in the tub.

Maybe I should forget the promotion and just take a vacation.

It would be so nice to let someone else clean the poop out of the tub.

Monday, April 18, 2011

By the Numbers

Number of days so far this month: 18
Number of sick days this month: 14
Number of sick days last month: 6
Total number of sick days: 20
Number of sick days where someone had a fever: 17
Number of doctor visits: 2
Number of ear infections: 4
Number of antibiotic prescriptions: 3
Number of goopy eyes: 8
Bottles of infant ibuprofen we've cruised through: 2; just opened a third
Number of boxes of tissue we've sneezed through: 2.5
Number of times I've wished for more arms: 367
Number of hours of tv we've watched: I plead the fifth.
Number of times a baby has pooped in the tub in the last 12 months: 0 (I know, it must be some sort of record!)
Number of times a baby has pooped in the tub in the last two weeks: 5 (ah, there it is, the catch-up)
Number of times it has snowed this month: 5
Number of times I've cursed Mother Nature: 16
Number of homes we are building: 1 (what did you think I was going to say, two?)
Number of times we've met our sales consultant at the design center: 5
Number of times our sales consultant has forgotten the key to the design center: 2
Number of times I've thought about taking up swearing directed at said sales consultant: 2
Number of times our babies have run out of patience while we pick out lighting and counter tops: 893
Number of parents the babies prefer when they have run out of patience: 1
Number of times I've tried to convince the babies their father is available for comfort: 86
Number of months till our home is built: 6
Number of Krispy Kreme donuts we bought Friday night after a particularly stressful run at the design center: 12
Number of Krispy Kreme donuts left Saturday morning: 5
Number of donuts Michael took one lick of and threw in the trash: 1
Number of donuts I noticed Michael threw in the trash before I emptied the vacuum canister in the same garbage can: 0
Number of diets that have just taken a flying leap off the wagon: 2
Number of times I've been tempted to eat oreos for breakfast: 6 (as long as I'm off the wagon...)
Number of times I've cursed myself for actually buying the oreos: 6
Number of times I've been disturbed that oreos do not contain milk: 6 (ugh, make that seven. I just shuddered again).
Number of times this knowledge has stopped me from eating them: 0
Number of children who just woke up: 3
Number of children giggling at each other from their cribs: 2
Number of reasons I love having twins: a million
Number of reasons I love that the twins have an older brother: a million and one
Number of reasons I have to quit blogging now: see above

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Mother of Patience

My sister-in-law recently asked me what attributes are most important to have in one's repertoire when it comes to mothering. A list immediately popped into my head that sounded like a read-through of an advertisement for Mary Poppins:

*Must have an affinity for Disney movies and endless renditions of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

*Must have the ability to clean up bodily fluids from cars, beds and carpets without tossing one's cookies

*Must have the patience to be "helped" with everything from making lunch to mopping the floor

*Must have no qualms about never again going grocery shopping in peace

*A fondness for play-doh, crayons, and magic erasers is helpful

*Must be willing to stay up late, get up in the night, and wake up early

*Must be willing to subject one's body to constant scrutiny; i.e., "Mom, why is your bum so big?" or "What are those dots on your face?"

*An ability to to surreptitiously cheat at Candy Land to make the game end faster is helpful, but not required.

Joking aside, when it comes down to it, motherhood is about sacrifice. And lots of cleaning. Not ideal, but doable. Besides, how many sacrifices are coupled with the fresh excitement of seeing every train and helicopter as if for the first time? I find myself being disappointed when I am in the car with adults and come across some sort of digger or bulldozer and there is no small person to announce it to. Adult: "Um, that's exciting, Bonnie. Thanks for pointing that out."

But back to the original question, what attributes are must-haves when it comes to being a mother? I think my number one is being slow to anger. I struggle with this, especially when I am tired. When I was about eight months pregnant with the twins (translation: nearly immobile and completely exhausted) I lost my temper with Michael over some minor thing. David rightly chastised me for it, which was an acutely painful experience, but it was a life-changer and set me on a better path. I'm much more in control of my temper now, which has made a huge difference in my mothering.

As long as I'm talking about tempers, I think a key to diffusing anger is a sense of humor. The ability to laugh has been known throughout history to have saved the life of many a small child who has emptied the flour bin all over a freshly mopped floor or covered himself in Desitin. (Parenting tip: Something about the click of a camera quells the urge to murder. It's true. This is why I keep my camera readily accessible at all times). It also helps to sit in the flour and join in the dumping fun, but that is an activity which is not for the faint of heart or the freak of neat.

I could probably spend days listing more attributes I think are important, or that I wish to attain, but mostly, in the case of mothering, it all comes down to patience. Be a little slower to anger, a little quicker to laugh, show a little more love and a little more understanding.

And don't forget to take a picture now and then.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Random Thoughts

We are now going on our third week of illness and the 16th day that someone has had a fever. Matthew and Leah both have double ear infections. I need more arms.

Normally I get the January blues followed by the tax-season blues. Now I have the will-winter-ever-go-away blues.

What is up with the serving sizes of some foods? A package of M&Ms is two servings (as if any normal human will dutifully wrap up the remaining candies when she has consumed half the package) and yet, a serving size for ding dongs is TWO ding dongs. Huh?

Speaking of sizes and snack cakes, why is it that bra makers assume that a large rib cage equals a large cup size? Not everyone is carrying around surgically-enhanced ding dongs.

Who needs classes on the laws of thermodynamics when you can just look to my computer desk if you want to see entropy in action?

No race/religion/gender/sexual orientation is free from idiots. They have infiltrated every group there is.

As long as I'm on the subject of idiots, would everyone stop all this Obama birth certificate nonsense? I don't care if you think he was born on the moon; the fact remains that he has been sworn in as President of the United States. He is the President whether you like it or not. End of story.

Weaning and dieting at the same time does not do one's figure any favors.

If Donald Trump is running for President, does that mean we can launch a federal investigation into the cause of his bad hair?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Musical Mockery

Here are a few things I've learned from the media about Mormons:

Mormonism is a cult
Mormons are polygamists
Mormons think it is okay for men to be controlling and abusive
Mormons hate gays
Mormons worship Joseph Smith
Mormons are not Christians

Just one problem: all of these things are absolutely false.

I understand the fascination with Mormons. We're quirky. We like jello. We stay away from alcohol and premarital sex. What else can be said but that we are peculiar?

Thus, I have no problem with someone having a laugh at my expense, as long as it is not malicious. Lots of things about Mormons must look completely absurd to the passing eye (of course, the same could be said for any religion - just because we don't understand certain ceremonies or traditions of Muslims, for example, doesn't make them or their religion innately ridiculous). But there is a difference between pointing out the quirks of a particular religion (all in good fun) and making a mockery of everything its members hold sacred.

Either way, have a go. Wasn't it Brigham Young who said, "Every time you kick Mormonism you kick it upstairs."? Well, we're getting a lot of help with our stair-climbing these days, courtesy of shows like Big Love, which has the irritating habit of grouping Mormons in with polygamists (the Mormon church does not practice polygamy and excommunicates those who do) and showing our sacred religious ceremonies to boost ratings.

If that weren't sensational enough, now you can head to Broadway for an evening of song, dance, and The Book of Mormon, as told by foul-mouthed South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Really, who better to tell the story of a clean-cut, straight-laced religion than a couple of guys who never grew past their own adolescence?

Like I said, I have no problem with someone having a laugh at my expense. But mockery is different. A little ribbing is to be expected and can be appreciated, but a full-on assault on my religion (or, in the case of Big Love, a complete misrepresentation of my beliefs)? Classy.

Think about it: if this were a musical about Muslims or Jews or Hindus, there would be international outrage. Since it is about a Christian religion (yes, Mormons are Christians), and a misunderstood one at that, it's fair game.

Well, you'll have to excuse me if I withhold my applause.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Pits of Despair

My body isn't perfect. Shocking, I know. You'd think the head-to-toe stretchmarks would spruce up the decor a bit, but no. They are just arrows pointing to a midsection that has the look of an almost-deflated helium balloon - a little wrinkled, bulgy, and strangely spongy. (Sometimes I poke it just to experience the odd recoil).

But, I honestly have no problem with this. I make jokes about my body because it is obvious it is not beach-ready (I may be willing to overlook my imperfections, but I'm not blind), but it really doesn't bother me that the sight of me in a bikini would traumatize the masses - I just don't wear a bikini. Besides, how can I let it bother me? I have three kids, for heaven's sake. They each brought a few scars along with them - including "a really beautiful" c-section scar my obgyn suggested I show off to my girlfriends because it's so straight or so scar-like or whatever her reasoning was. Um, no. I love my friends too much to force that sight on them. Even my husband is spared the view because my scar is veiled by ten feet of extra skin I gained from my pregnancy with the twins. Lucky him.

Joking aside, I think it's important to take good care of my body, and I'm trying to cut back on my vacuum mode when I open up the pantry (I don't actually need those goldfish crackers or another brownie. Well... maybe the brownie). I have fitness and health goals. I shower and get ready every day. I try to wear clothes that are flattering. And I thought that was good enough.

That was until I found out I should be worrying about my ugly armpits.

Is it just me or are armpits, by definition, "ugly"? Seriously. When has a woman ever raised her arms and caused you to say, "My, what lovely pits she's got!"? Armpits, like butt cracks, are made to be hidden. Because they are not attractive. Got that? NOT ATTRACTIVE.

I remember this wedding I attended once where an overweight bride chose an unfortunate strapless dress that caused me to think, as she walked glowingly down the aisle, "Oh, those folds of skin around her armpits are really distracting."

So, I don't know, maybe there is something to this beautifying your armpits business.

But honestly, I think it's just better if we all put our armpits away.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Spring Has Unsprung

Friday was gorgeous - mid-seventies, sunny. The barbecue was just aching to be fired up. Unfortunately, I was just aching. And my pre-heated lap was holding three whiny, feverish children.

Saturday I felt like I might be up for a walk. Mother Nature ruined my temporary burst of energy by making it rainy and windy outside. We threw some chicken on the grill to spite her nasty attitude, but I might as well have eaten rice cakes and lettuce for all the pleasure it gave me, since this virus has effectively obliterated my sense of taste and smell.

Sunday morning we woke to a thick white blanket of snow. Snow. In April. I'm ready to pack up and move to Phoenix.

Luckily, it was a lazy sort of weekend since we could all sit around in our pajamas and watch General Conference . My goal was to get absolutely nothing out of it (I try to have realistic expectations) and I very nearly succeeded, what with all the screaming and whining and nose-blowing. But then, I've been recalling bits and pieces from the conference all day today. Apparently I learn fairly well by osmosis.

Midway through the Sunday afternoon session we sent Michael outside in the middle of a hail storm to jump on the trampoline. Because what could be more fun than jumping on the trampoline and making thousands of tiny ice balls bounce in the air? Besides, he needed to get out of the house or he was going to burst something.

Last night Matthew's fever returned for the fifth day in a row. And not wanting her brother to be the only hot stuff in the house, Leah walked for the first time!

Leah Walking! from Bonnie on Vimeo.

After the kids went to bed, David and I were cold enough that we had to turn the fireplace on. In April. A-P-R-I-L.

Spring, why have you failed me so?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Then and Now

This was me a week ago:

This is me now:


Ha ha. There is no way I'm going to show you a picture of what I look like at the moment. Just take the above photo and add about seventeen gallons of snot. Give everyone swollen, goopy eyes (and fill my lap with one more kid who needs to be held constantly) and you'll get the idea. Four out of five people in this house are auditioning for lead snot-producer, have horrible juicy coughs and crusty eyes, and on again/off again fevers that have been hanging around for the last three days. Also, there was one episode of barfing which took place the instant I texted my sister-in-law and said "At least no one is barfing." For reals. Plus, Matthew mistook the bathtub for a diaper this morning. While Leah was enjoying a leisurely de-snotting bath with him.

Snot and poop. No one knows how to have fun like a mom.

But at least we are all somewhat on the mend, if still knee-deep in snotty kleenex. The kids and I just returned (disease-laden, much to David's delight) from a week-and-a-half-long-is-tax-season-over-yet visit with cousins. I'm pretty sure he wishes we would disappear again so he doesn't come down with the plague during crunch time. And that the four-year-old would quit wiping snot on his pillow.

Man, he is so hard to please sometimes.