It’s a Sign…with wine.

Posted by on May 29, 2014 in From My Perspective, Musings from the Mayhem, Twin Turbulence, Twins | 0 comments

(Thanks to Nicole Barczak Photography for this family photo.)

Last week Craig and I went on vacation.  We were in need of some deep breaths – the kind that make you feel human as opposed to the ones that keep you from losing your mind.

Upon arrival, I sat on the elegant terrace with a glass of white wine.  I took a sip of liberation.  I laid my head against the quaint rocking chair and closed my eyes.  The moment was orgasmic.  Full of pleasure, excitement, and most of all release.

I opened my eyes feeling lighter.  For four days I would not be bothered with the constant needs of my kids.  For four days I could live according to my own agenda.  For four days I was free.  I really liked that story.

I started to admire the view.  The beautiful green grass.  The flowers in bloom.  The creative design of the landscape.  The warm rays of the sun on my pale Michigan skin.  Then I noticed a sign in front of me:


I began to read the sign and connected immediately.  As a mother of multiples, my natural response to the word MULTIPLY was automatic.

I read the definiton of the verb:

increase or cause to increase greatly in number of quantity

I nodded my head in agreement.  When our identical twin daughters were born, we went from a family of three to a family of five inside of just two short minutes.  That felt like an enormous increase of quantity.  And chaos.  And confusion.  And cluster.  And CRAZY.

I took another sip gulp of my wine.  That memory alone required it.

Then I continued to read the synonyms:

increase, grow, become more numerous, accumulate, proliferate, mount up

At first this list was perfectly suitable.  But then it was confusing.  Then?  Downright hilarious!

Let me attempt to explain.

I was connected to, invested in and intrigued by this sign.  So I analyzed every single word and how it was used.

I was fine all the way through accumulate.  But signals started blaring at proliferate.

I needed to know more about this word.  I’d heard it before, but never used it myself.  What exactly did it mean?

Proliferate.  I repeated it a few times in my head.  Funny, I thought, it kind of reminded me of prophylactic.  Which led me straight to a condom.  You obviously see the natural gutter-mind progression here.

I squinted my eyes and pursed my lips in eager anticipation of the punchline I knew I’d find.

Mount up was all it took.  That phrase had nothing to do with numbers.  Trust me.

And lastly the example.  In red!  As if it’s a warning:

“Let’s multiply.”  

Are you KIDDING me?  What kind of a freak came up with this definition?!  Was Freud related to Webster?!

I laughed.  Out loud.  By myself.  (Craig was getting me another glass of wine.)  It was a deep belly kind of a laugh.  The scene in my head was just too funny.

Funny stuff

“Oh Craig!  Come on!  Forget the prophylactic!  Mount up, baby!  Let’s multiply!!!

Had this been the scenario a decade ago, he would have run.  Very fast and very far.  And a decade ago this sign would have meant nothing to me.

But now?  Now it was pure filthy entertainment!

Just like our twins.

Twin Fun

Read More

Changing My Luck

Posted by on Mar 18, 2014 in Family Life, From My Perspective, Musings from the Mayhem, Twins | 1 comment

I should not be writing.  I have way too much to do.  But I NEED to write.  So the rest will just have to wait.

Last night Taylor woke me up at 1:45am.  “Mommy, my belly hurts.”

“Okay,” I said.  “Climb in.”

An hour later, Taylor’s identical twin sister Sydney nudged me awake.  “Mommy, I woke up because I knew Taylor was gone.  Is she okay?”

“Yes, she’s fine.  Go back to bed,” I grumbled.

Sydney didn’t budge.  She was hesitant to speak, but clear that she was going nowhere without her sister.  I sighed with tired defeat.

“Get in,” I succumbed.  There was no use fighting Twin Mode.  It’s a battle that can not be won.  Especially at 3 in the morning.

Another hour later, I left my overcrowded bed and moved to the couch.  There I slept like shit while Craig, Sydney and Taylor slumbered peacefully.

I awoke at 6:15 – to a dog that needed to be rushed to the Emergency Vet because she was choking and having difficulty breathing.  Also, Taylor’s belly still hurt, and she would be staying home from school.  Again.

$350 later, I left the vet with two prescriptions to treat either kennel cough or pneumonia.

I came home and went to the fridge.  I was hungry.  I noticed something wet on the floor.  It was brown.  I opened the fridge to find the bottle of Worcestershire sauce on its side without a lid, and its contents spilled everywhere.  I wanted to cry.  Craig could tell, so he offered to help clean it up.

I sat down at the table where Taylor was eating her breakfast.  Apparently her belly was feeling better.  Which meant a forty minute round trip to and from the school was now in my near future.  I took a deep breath.  Then I heard a thunk.

“What was that?” Craig asked.  “It’s the second time I’ve heard it.”

“I think there’s a bird in the house,” Taylor said with her mouth full.  “I swear I saw one earlier.”

“Are you serious?” I asked.

“Yeah,” she said, nonchalantly.  Birds love our house.  Unfortunately, this was not anything out of the ordinary.

Craig walked upstairs to verify the truth Taylor told.  We trapped the bird in Sydney’s room and let it fly out the open window.

Another deep breath.

“Okay, T.  Let’s go to school,” I told her.

Halfway there, I glanced at my gas tank.  My eyes grew wide with surprise when I noticed the needle was not only on E, but almost on the wrong side of E.  I looked at the passenger seat to find my purse.  It was not there.  I had taken it in the house with Bella’s medication.

“Great,” I muttered.

“What’s wrong, Mommy?” Taylor asked.

“I have no gas and no money,” I told her.

“Uh-oh,” she said.

“Yeah.  Uh-oh,” I agreed.

I dropped her off at school and then scoured my van.  I found one single dollar bill.  That’s it.  The kids had wiped my change compartment clean for the last “donate” day at school.

So I went to the gas station and handed the clerk my one single dollar bill, gassed up all 8 seconds worth, and then prayed to make it home.

Thankfully, I did.  Now I pray I make it back to the gas station.  Even as I say it, I feel like it’s asking a lot.

So, I’m writing.  Writing with the hope that if I get it out, my luck will turn around.  And if it doesn’t?  Well, then I guess I’ll have more to write about later.

So at least there’s that.

Read More

Last Night’s Near Death Experience

Posted by on Feb 24, 2014 in Family Life, From My Perspective, Musings from the Mayhem, Twins | 1 comment

I was tired last night.  Or so I thought.

I crawled into bed, plopped my head on my horizontal pillow, wrapped my arms and legs around my vertical pillow, and snuggled under my fluffy down comforter.  It was time to catch some zzzzz’s.

PING!  My heavy eyes unexpectedly popped open.

Wait!  What was going on?  This was not happening.  Not tonight.  I needed to sleep.  I wanted to start Monday off rested, not tired.  Then Craig started to snore.

Annoyed, I flung back my blanket and headed straight for the Melatonin.  I popped a pill, returned to bed  and fell asleep with ease – well aware that it was more of a placebo affect than anything, but I’m cool with that.

Fast forward a few hours… 

I awakened with a start.  Scratch that.  That’s not nearly descriptive enough.

I was viciously jolted from my peaceful slumber by the strange and horrifying intruder that loomed above me.  Her eyes were wide with patient wonder.  She hovered in eerie silence, just waiting for me to wake so I would know the fear of my impending – more than likely violent – doom.  It was obvious this evil monster would take great pleasure watching the life drain from my terror-filled eyes.

AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!”  I shrieked loud enough to scare myself all over again.

“What’s wrong?!” I heard Craig awake with a start.  He was now panicked by the murderer in our room too.

His voice nudged my logic.  Wait.  I started to recognize the evil villain, but still did not feel safe.

Taylor!” I shouted at my daughter.  “What do you want?!!!!”  Now I was scared and angry.

“I’m. Not. Taylor.”  Her voice echoed with disgust.

AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!”  I screamed again.  Who WAS this psycho maniac?!!!  And why did she want to kill me?!!

“Kristin!” I heard Craig say.  “It’s Sydney!”

My heart threatened to beat right out of my chest.  Finally I woke enough to process this information.  This person called Sydney – whom I mistook for a girl named Taylor – did not want to slice me into a million little pieces.  Nor did she want to be mistaken for a girl named Taylor.

You see, Taylor is Sydney’s identical twin sister.  The only thing Sydney was guilty of was having a bad dream.  She had come to me, her mommy, for comfort.  I’m the one person who knows her best in the world.  The person with whom she feels the safest.  So when I didn’t recognize her, my 9 year-old was scared and irritated.

“Oh Sweetie!  I’m sorry!  Climb in,” I instructed as I threw back the covers.  She nestled her head underneath my chin.  I wrapped my arms around her and squeezed her tightly.  “You almost gave Mommy a heart attack, Syd!  You scared me so much I pooped my pants!”  I giggled, trying to make her feel better.  She didn’t respond the way I had hoped, but I couldn’t blame her.  I’m sure her feelings were very hurt.

This morning on the way to school, I was still feeling guilty for the sleep-induced mishap.  I felt the need to address it light-heartedly to make sure Sydney wasn’t still offended.

“Hey Syd!  Tell Gabe and Taylor how crazy Mommy was last night,” I encouraged her.  I was anxious to hear her side of the story.

“I had a bad dream.  So I went down to tell Mommy.  When I woke her up, she almost had a heart attack.  Mommy was so scared she pooped in her pants!” Sydney belly-laughed as she retold the story.

“You did?!” Taylor and Gabe asked in shocked unison.

“Not really” I clarified.  “It was just an expression I used to let Syd know I wasn’t mad at her.”

OHHHH!” Sydney exclaimed.  “I was wondering why it didn’t smell!”

Giggle.  Giggle.  Giggle.

Laugh.  Laugh.  Laugh.

All was forgiven.

Read More

“But it’s true…” A tribute to my Grandma on her 84th Birthday

Posted by on Feb 15, 2014 in Family Life, From My Perspective, Musings from the Mayhem, Raising Great Kids | 0 comments

Today is my Grandma Barb’s 84th birthday.  I woke up smiling about the fun evening we spent celebrating with her last night.

She sat at the head of the table – as always.

She ate mostaciolli until her heart was content, and then asked for “just a little bit more” – as always.

She fired off her most honest opinions, which required me to interrupt and provide necessary clarification to my wide-eyed children, “Kids, you are not allowed to say that about other people.  Ever.”

My Grandma sighed with great reluctance.  She even went so far as to agree with me last night.  Then she added a firm, “But it’s true…”

As always.

My grandma has no filter.  She gets straight to the point, without wasting time on fluffy cushions to ease the blow.  I’m a lot like my Grandma, only I have a great appreciation for accent pillows.  Carefully placed cushions deliver the hard truth with soft love.  Too much fluff feels staged and fake.  But enough soft edges put in just the right places?  Well, then you feel safe enough to kick your feet up and stay awhile.

In light of my Grandma’s birthday, I’d like to share a blog that I’ve posted before.  I have learned so much from her, and I am very lucky to have her in my life.

Here’s to keeping it real, Grams.  I love you.  And I thank you.


The Naked Truth

Posted by  on Feb 12, 2013

Ten years into parenting, you would think I’d have it all figured out.  But every day presents a new challenge, unknown territory, and foreign hurdles.  Parenting is never as black and white as what you script it to be in your head, so it’s impossible to be fully prepared.

Like when you’re eating dinner with your kids – You never expect the next innocent question out of your son’s mouth will be, “Mommy, why is ‘pussy’ a bad word?”  Nor do you envision having to tackle a question like this in front of your eight-year-old twin daughters.  You also don’t picture your husband absent from this momentus occasion due to a late appointment.

The biggest parenting moments are always surrounded by gray area.  From household to household, not one situation is ever exactly the same.  Thus, the reason there is no handbook.  You are forced to think on your feet the best you can; knowing that whatever explanation you offer is going to be followed by at least fifty “Why’s?”.  So you’d better be prepared to back-up your answer.

In moments such as these, I always head straight for the truth.  As my children discover the harsh realities of life, I prefer the information come directly from me.  I want them to learn to trust that Mom is a good resource when it comes to talking about the big issues.

So after taking a deep breath, I explained that “pussy” is an inappropriate word used to describe a girl’s private parts.  The “Why’s?” came rolling in.  I explained the specific private part that the term applied to, followed by more questions.  We had more than covered the basics, so I brought the conversation to a close.

Gabe understood more quickly than his little sisters.  I could see their little minds spinning.  They love to be in the know.  But they’re too little to understand the need for a filter or censorship.

“Girls, the p-word is just as bad as the f-word.  You are not allowed to talk about this at school.  If you do, you could get suspended,”  I warned them.

Their eyes grew wide.  Their mouths fell open.  They got the seriousness of the situation.  The discussion was finally over, much to my relief.

I know there will be more conversations like this to follow, because now I have established my credibility.  Just like my grandma did with me when I was ten – I asked her what a blow-job was, and she told me.  I have never forgotten the conversation, or the gratitude I felt when she treated me like a person instead of a porcelain doll.  To this day, I can talk to her about anything because she thought on her feet, and went straight to the truth.


Read More