Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Five Minute Rice

Last night I walked into an explosion of rice. There was so much rice in fact, that it looked as if a wedding had taken place right there in my kitchen. As far as I know however, it’s not customary to shower a bride and groom with chunks of chicken (visibly mixed in with rice).

I’d like to say that I responded to my first glimpse of the rice apocalypse (in my less than 5 minute absence) in a calm and collected manner. The truth is: I did not. I don’t fancy myself as a “screecher,” but my initial reaction to the rice and chicken dinner massacre probably had the entire neighborhood (and surrounding areas) wondering if a coyote had come out of the desert mountains. Even the three children, ages three and under responsible for the rice and chicken dinner massacre looked not so much scared, as impressed by my howling.

“How could you three do this?” I yowled. “I was gone from the kitchen less than 5 minutes!”

In response to my first question was laughter from all three children. In response to my latter statement was the expression—“And???” on the face of Laura (3.99yrs) and more laughter from twins Julia and Elizabeth (2yrs).

I have come to three revelations as a result of the rice and chicken incident: 1. Never ever leave a room full of food and toddlers with the expectation it will not end up all over the floor, table and chairs—not even if you’re gone for less than 5 minutes. 2. Screeching and asking a silly question does not change the fact that you still have to clean up rice and chicken chunks. 3. Less than a ½ cup of rice appears more like 5 ½ cups of rice when dispersed into the far reaches of your kitchen.

Please proceed with caution before preparing your next rice and chicken dinner.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gobbling Up Expectations--Yuck, Those Taste Horrible!

I’m beginning to think I should rename this blog “3 Kids, a Blaaag and I Have Too Many Unrealistic Expectations.” Wow, rather prolific for a blog title. Do you think “3 Kids, a Blaaag and Stupid Expectations” gets the point across? Because that’s what I have … stupid expectations … and lots of them. For example, I thought today being Thanksgiving and all, that I would be participating in some live depiction of a Norman Rockwell painting. Really? “Have we met?” I now ask myself rhetorically.

I found myself with the notion this morning, or rather expectation, that I would be so full of gratitude and happiness this Thanksgiving that it would ooze out of my pores and cover me with a heavy coat of anti-negativity. Unfortunately my resistance to negativity sucks—but I’m trying. I also had the expectation that my 3 girls (3 and under) would likewise be oozing Thanksgiving Day happiness, peace and calmness from their pores, instead of screaming, fighting and telling me to “Shut my pie hole” (in so many words). Children 3 and under can exhibit all 3 positive behaviors mentioned-- sometimes even simultaneously, but typically not when you expect it of them and NOT on most major holidays; which of course … I did expect.

The problem with said expectations manifesting in the way I wanted them to, is that they are completely unrealistic. Why would someone experiencing large hormonal fluctuations (it might be PMS) crossed with sleep deprivation, think she could have a simultaneous abundance of happiness and gratitude? Isn’t that like chewing gum and trying to walk at the same time? Second, why would this same person think her 3 kids, 3 and under would be happy, peaceful and calm (all at once), when 2 out of the 3 children have had fevers and sore throats for 5 straight days, while the 3rd is … well, Laura (those of you who know her are laughing right now). Isn’t that like having 3 kids (twins included) only 23 months apart and expecting little to no chaos? Way to shoot for the moon there Mom!

Now before you say, “Shame on you Erin!” for not being 100% grateful today, may I pause here to explain that I am 98% grateful this Thanksgiving Day. Although not oozing from my pores, I am still grateful for my health (hormone and sleep deprived as it may currently be), my husband (stuck at work all day), 3 hysterical, loving, adorable and relentlessly stubborn girls and for wonderfully supportive family and friends who I love more than all the T-Day pies you can shake a stick at—especially the friends whose home I will soon bombard with 3 grouchy kids and a semi-grouchy, but 98% grateful adult.

We may not be a depiction of Norman Rockwell family bliss this Thanksgiving—but we still have Christmas to aspire to—wait, did I just set another dog gone expectation?

I’m at least 98 ½ percent grateful for those of you who took the time to read this. I love and am grateful for each and every one of you—if you know me, you know that’s the dog gone truth. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Super-make-it Sweep

Remember that old TV show, Supermarket Sweep? If you don’t, then you are younger than me and I hate you … just kidding ... sort of. Back to Supermarket Sweep, where contestants manically weave shopping carts through a mock grocery store, piling them high with as many groceries as can humanly be navigated without losing major body parts or frozen turkeys.

My last shopping trip, while in my own manic state of grocery cart speed racing with toddler twins and toddler older sissy, I envisioned myself as a contestant on the modern version of Supermarket Sweep: Super-make-it Sweep. If you can make it to the finish line, or in this case, the checkout, without losing turkey franks, a child and/or your sanity—you win. If you are interested in applying to be a contestant, please see game rules below.

Official Super-make-it Sweep Rules:

  1. Bribery is acceptable in the following conditions:
  • If you have a two-seater “car” grocery cart and three children. Ex: “Laura, if you give up your seat in the car for one of your twin sissies, I’ll give you a special treat.
  • Or: “Laura, if you stop your tantrum in the parking lot, because I made you give up your seat in the car cart, I’ll give you a special treat.”
  1. Executing strong verbal suggestion ( a nice way to say threaten) is permitted in the following circumstances:
  • “Julia and Elizabeth, if you try to escape out of the car cart, you’ll be in big trouble!”
  • “Laura, if you bonk sissies on the head one more time, I’ll take away your special treat!
  • “Laura, if you talk nasty to sissies one more time, I’ll take away your special—oh, wait, I’ll take away another treat I haven’t bribed you with yet!!!!”
  1. You will be disqualified if any of the following occur:
  • One or more of your children escape from your shopping cart.
  • You knock over one or more grocery display—who puts a vodka display right next to the milk aisle anyway?
  • You realize after all groceries have been bagged that you forgot your wallet in the car, or worse, at home.
  • You scream LOUDER than your children either on store premise, in parking lot or in your minivan.
  • You break into tears, hives or hysteria at any point during your shopping experience.
Applications for game participation are now being accepted. Happy shopping!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

"I'm Better Than I Think I am, Thank you!"

I find myself (once again) mouth-to-mouth with adversity. And let me tell you—adversity don’t use mouth wash! The more I think about it however, the more I realize life itself IS adversity. Especially when you are a parent, yes? Especially when you are a parent of twins, yes? Especially when you are a parent of 3 kids, ages 3 and under, yes?

Still, even when you feel like you’ll never escape the pungent, nasty breath of adversity; it’s never quite as bad as you think it is. Things could be worse—go read about homeless statistics, starving children, etc. We are human (in case you haven’t realized this-- I often forget) so don’t beat yourself up too bad, when you transform into Debbie Downer, Pitiful Patty, or LuLu the Lunatic.

Did you know there are actual real-life principles you can apply to quiet the LuLu the Lunatic in you? A very dear friend of mine named Samuel, once told me that when someone asks, “How are you doing?” during a time of adversity, that instead of answering with, “Crappy,” “Tired,” “Crazy,” or the ever indignant “FINE!” you may alternately answer with, “I’m better than I think I am.” Because really—aren’t you?

I am so used to facing adversity with my cloak of pessimism waving in the wind, that without even thinking about it, I set myself up for failure. Like right now, for example. A recent motorcycle accident has the husband’s left arm in a full cast and left leg in a full, lead-like boot. My 3, 3 and unders are being total—well, 3 and unders. The house might not pass a hazmat inspection. I will not even stoop to discuss finances. Could it be worse? YES. Am I better than I think I am? YES! Am I still assuming the role of LuLu the Lunatic? YES!

As nasty as the word adversity can be—the word expectation is even worse—followed with an “s” expectation should be wiped clear of one’s vocabulary. I had expectationS … oh yes I did! I was going to come home from the hospital with my big girl panties on and I was going to top June Cleaver in the acts of mothering, care taking, house cleaning and cooking. Interesting, considering that two of these things, I don’t really excel at under nonadversity circumstances.

The morals of this story? 1. Always stock up on Listerine prior to an adversity mouth-to-mouth situation. 2. Remove any variation of the word expectation from your vocabulary during times of adversity. And as hard as it might be, when someone asks, “How are you doing?” Put a big ol’ smile on your mug and say, “Why, I do believe Miss Scarlett, I’m better than I think I am!!!!”

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Let Go and Let God ... and Starbucks!

Sometimes you just have to say “screw it” and go to Starbucks. And that, my mommy friends, is exactly what I did this morning. Before we get to the good stuff (because let’s face it—Starbucks IS fabulous), let’s do a quick recap of my 3 kids and a blaaahhhh morning.

I’ve been feeling guilty for not attending church on a regular basis (always a great reason to go, yes?). With Paul working on most weekends, it’s often treacherous to try to get myself and 3 other people clothed, fed and loaded into a vehicle. This process usually guarantees some disastrous, if not utterly frustrating outcome. So why should this morning have been any different? It wasn’t.

After 20 solid minutes of 3 screaming toddlers at a pitch that would either a) alert all dogs within a 100 mile radius, b) combust all tiny birds in nearby trees (think Princess Fiona in Shrek) or c) cause my ears to bleed, I considered throwing in the church-towel. My wavering decision to give up, was solidified when during van loading, I discovered my oldest child was not wearing underwear. Apparently I missed a step in the clothing, feeding and loading process.

Giving up when you’re a Mom, can sometimes feel like sequestering yourself to the dark-side, or in non-geek lingo—make you feel like a failure. I mean, if Mrs. Brady could manage all six of her kids on the Grand Canyon family vacation, why can’t I properly clothe, feed and load 3 kids into a minivan for church? On second thought, Mrs. Brady had Alice…

So, without husband and/or Alice, it was time for me to give up. On the brink of defeat however, I realized the morning wasn’t a total loss…there is always Starbucks. After all, everyone was locked and loaded; why not? The thought came so quickly and clearly, it must have been a sign from God! You don’t believe me? Hear what happens next…

Fifteen minutes later, kids in a snack/Elmo induced sedation, we arrived at the Starbucks parking lot. A BMW showed up at the same time and being the kind minivan driver I am, I motioned for Beemer Lady to go through the drive-thru first. After ordering a delicious Iced Grande Soy Latte, I approached the window to pay.

“You’re drink has been paid for,” the woman at the drive-thru said.

“What?!?!” I gasped in disbelief.

“Yes,” she said, “The lady who paid for you r drink said that someone recently did the same thing for her. She wanted to do the same for someone else.”

“Oh my God!” I exclaimed, “That is the nicest thing EVER! I’ve had such a crazy morning and my kids have been so…and this is so great …and…thank you!” I blubbered, teary eyes and all.

The woman gave me an understanding nod and off I was with sedated children, a free delicious Starbucks beverage and the recognition that sometimes giving up, is the greatest thing a Mom can do.

p.s. If anyone reading this resides in the West Valley of Phoenix and has a girlfriend with a gray BMW (I’m car ignorant, so that’s the best I can do), please tell her I am eternally grateful.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Name That Tune ... quick, before I turn the music off!

Name that tune:

On a weekend I wanna wish it all away, yeah.
And they called and I said that "I want what I said" and then I call out again.
And the reason oughta' leave her calm, I know.
I said "I know what I was the boxer or the bag."

I’ll give you the answer at the end of this blaaag.

For some reason, the songs of my single pre-kid days have been sneaking up on me.

In the car:

“Good grief, who in God’s name is this?” I questioned my husband, in regard to the unidentified quivery and raspy voice accosting us through minivan speakers.

“It’s that Pearl Jam guy,” he replied. That would be Eddie Vedder (in case you didn’t know).

In the grocery store:

“It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fiiiiiiinnnneeee” … in the produce departmeeeennnnttt.

In 3-year-old’s bedroom:

“Mom, can we play this Dave Mathews c.d.?” Laura asked, handing me the black c.d. Does anyone think it’s weird that a 3-year-old knew it was a Dave Mathews c.d. and not The Wiggles?

This series of 90’s alternative music occurrences of late, freak me out. Have I forgotten? Has it been that long since the days of Pearl Jam, grunge and flannel being socially acceptable and even cool in some regions? Hokey smokes. I’ve crossed over. I’m like one of Anne Rice’s vampires who remain underground too long; they lose their ability to socially progress and become completely insane—and un-cool. Okay, I’m not completely insane and my partial insanity is due to 3 kids, 3 and under, and not because I’ve been unable to integrate into whatever we are calling the 2000+ music era (uninspired? That’s unfair, Michael Buble is cool--oh, and so are the Black Eyed Peas).

Ever since having a constant soundtrack of my own, featuring the “sounds of living with three little people,” I’ve noticed my inclination to rock out has severely diminished. On the rare occasion that I turn on the radio or put in a CD, I either: a) turn it off immediately or, b) if it’s not classical, a squeaky voice intended for kids, or Harry Connick Jr., I turn it off, or c)try to brave it for 5 minutes and turn it off.

Mommy likey quiet time! Uh-oh, this is not good. I can feel my fangs extracting …

No, surely I’m okay. I haven’t been in a proverbial underground that long. Have I? Maybe once my girls get past the ages of 3, 4, or 18, I’ll be cool again (assuming I ever was). I’ll be able to listen to music for extended periods of time. Maybe grunge will make a comeback by then—like Steve Miller and Aerosmith did the year I graduated high school (no, I’m not telling; I’ve given you enough hints already).

I’ll have you know I'm already making progress, I made it through all of Under The Table and Dreaming while in Laura’s room. That would be The Dave Mathews Band (in case you didn’t know).

Answer to “Name that tune”: “Yellow Ledbetter,” by Pearl Jam.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Ode to Laura Cecilia Davis

My friend Liz recently told me that Laura IS a blog (or in this case blaaag) ... I couldn't agree more!

She’s feisty, she’s ornery, she’s wild—she’s Laura Cecilia Davis.

She is the oldest child—the boss, the apple in the sauce.

From telling my friends to take a hike, to refusing to ride her bike…

She is the most stubborn of them all—standing proud, the tallest of the tall…

From refusing to eat food that has fallen apart, to putting happy stickers on her chart…

She is the funniest girl I know—hysterical, a comic through and through.

From, “Mommy I don’t like the smell in your mouth,” to “Mommy come cuddle on the couch,”…

She’s three going on thirty, she’s sweet, she’s mine—she’s Laura Cecilia Davis.