Wednesday, December 30, 2015

My Holiday Card to You

Tomorrow is officially the last day of the year and I feel like Christmas came in and took over my life like some kind of light and tinsel-covered tornado, and then it was gone…and here I am holding the remnants of tamales, homemade truffles, an extra pound, wrapping from 1,000 toys and my holiday cards.

Not my holiday cards, but you get the idea.
Yep, I didn’t send holiday cards this year. I bought them, but I just never really got around to it.

Months ago I made the proud declaration that my family was going to get together and we would do pictures that didn’t suck to the level that they were OK for a holiday card. Each weekend I would think of these pictures and how I really need to bathe the twins and get them to sit still for 20 seconds, and then the thought would leave and move on with whatever else was going on in my life. Some days I would dismiss the thought because I was tired, the kids were dirty, I didn’t feel like fighting with them, someone is cutting a tooth and drooling, I don’t want to do laundry and there’s nothing clean so they spent all Saturday in their jammies…

Jesus, I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

Finally at the beginning of December I gave in to the reality that the whole photo card thing is never happening, I’m just not that adult yet, and I picked up a box of cards at Target. For weeks they sat on the dining room table so that I could write them out and send them.

I’ll do it at night
I’ll take them to work and do it on lunch
I’ll write them while watching TV Saturday night
I’ll write them after wrapping presents cause then I’ll really be in the Christmas spirit (this one failed worst of all)

Someone is about to have a meltdown and this is
why we can't take nice pictures. 
Eventually Husband got tired of looking at them, knew I wasn’t going to send a freaking card to anyone, and put them in our office for next year.

Pretty sure I just failed Adult 101. Not only can I not get the obligatory “Look, we’re all still here,” Mom holiday card out the door, but I can’t get any holiday cards out. Not even one. My parents and sisters didn’t even get one. I’m pretty sure I’ve done better than this in previous years.

Maybe it’s the job, or the kids, or some combination of it all. Maybe it’s the fact that I’d rather crawl around on the floor with my kids and binge watch Jessica Jones when they go to bed than write out Christmas cards. Maybe I just can’t figure out how to be a real adult and it’s my subconscious’ way of giving two middle fingers to the establishment of my mind and my mid-30s.

More than likely though it’s because I’m sometimes just not motivated. Because sometimes, despite the job and house and kids and the fact that I never leave the house without makeup, I’m a mess who can’t totally get her shit together. So, whether or not I know you personally, regardless of what holiday you celebrate and where you are celebrating, consider this my holiday card to you. Happy Holidays and have a Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Carting the Kids

Lots of stuff about having toddlers is challenging. Like keeping your clothes clean and making sure they don’t eat the dog kibble.  Another challenge that seems to not be getting better is shopping.

The first problem is that anywhere we go seems to have only two double carts, both of which are currently being used by someone who has one child and a giant purse that obviously needs its own seat. At Target the don’t even get the excuse that the cart is shaped like a car and Little Timmy was having a meltdown if he didn’t get to ride in the car. Nope. Target has this monstrosity of a double cart that is an extender with two seats facing forward with a basket on the front. It looks like you’re pushing the kids on a roller coaster, except that there’s no rails, the thing can’t turn for shit and it’s not at all fun.

Considering that it’s never available, I guess I can’t really complain about it.

Instead I make the choice to put one in the seat and one in the basket. That was great until D got crowded and started launching things out of the cart in protest. Or when S opened the box of Cheerios and was chewing on the top of a bottle of Listerine while I’m trying to find the best price on paper towels. Plus there’s the whole safety thing about them standing and pitching out of the cart, or a sudden start and they go flying into a pile of stuff and bonk their head on a bottle of lotion or the cart itself. We’ve already had one cart induced injury that resulted in crying that could only be quieted with a snack.

Basically this setup is guaranteeing your child will cry in Target, which is pretty much already guaranteed, so now everybody cries twice.

Target, if there’s 2 kids in a cart crying, it’s your own fault for not having better carts.

if i don't get to the car soon that tissue paper will be toast.
When they were smaller I used to use the Buggy Bench, which is ingenious, and the inventor was a twin mom who had to go to the store and was apparently tired of cart shenanigans. It’s a semi structured fabric seat that straps onto any cart, adding a second seat. The downside is it takes up about 50% of your cart space and gives your child the opportunity to stomp all over the bag of frozen vegetables that slid under their feet. God help you if that happens to a package of ground beef or a container of body wash that can’t handle the pressure of the toddler stomp. There’s also an increased chance of hair pulling, but I’m chalking that up to toddlers and not the seating arrangement.

The other issue with the Buggy Bench is that everyone wants to stop and talk about it. Considering it takes an extra 20 minutes to do anything anyway just based on twin questions (yes, I am aware they aren’t identical) the bench will add another five. I should really just start carrying business cards because all moms of two small children, regardless of whether or not they birthed them on the same day, are fascinated by anything that may assist in making their lives a little easier and further restrain their children.

This weekend of that whole convenience went to hell of course when S decided she was going to try and get out. Luckily she couldn’t but D could from the regular seat (and of course the seat belt was broken), and so began a negotiation through Target about bouncing in seats instead of standing. I must have looked like a lunatic walking through the store bouncing up and down while pushing the cart with two manically laughing children who were covered in graham cracker crumbs.

What has happened to my life that I don’t even care about looking like an ass anymore?

I also can’t be the only one who has this issue with carts, two small children and nothing ever working. If it’s not a crazy wheel, it’s a broken belt, or crying child, or any other number of things that make what will already be a long, expensive trip even more long and possibly more expensive. Also, you will need to feed multiple snacks to keep them from totally revolting, which means cracking open that box of Cheerios while walking down the booze aisle hoping a good bottle of wine is on sale.

One day this won’t be a thing anymore and they’ll be actually walking on their own, too big for the cart, and I’ll be chasing them through the store into clothing displays and really, really missing that buggy bench, but until then, this is my life; multi-snack meltdowns and all.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Fighting Back to Pre-baby Body

I am not one of those women who looked at my post baby body and thought “My body did something amazing.”

Nope. I looked at my post baby body and wondered what in the ever loving hell happened. Why was my waist gone, where is that curve between by butt and my back, and for the love of all things holy, where did all this back fat come from?! It did something amazing in making twins, but it also paid a price. 

I’ve never been a skinny girl. Instead I have always been the curvy girl who is always one bag of Cheetos away from chubby. In college I crossed over that line straight to fat, and then fought my way back. Post baby I decided to avoid mirrors and let breastfeeding do its thing. Except that it didn’t. 

Thanks for the false hope world. I am one of those women whose body wants to hold onto every damn calorie for the baby (or in my case babies). At least I’ve got Salma Hayek in my corner on that one.

I don't know why I bother to try to take pictures
with toddlers anyway. 
With those hopes dashed around month six, and still kinda fat, I just threw in the towel and decided to wait until I was done breastfeeding. Then it turns out I had to wait another six months for my body to “return to normal.” That’s what the doctor told me. He stopped short of saying “twins fuck you up,” but I could tell that’s where he was going.

Nine months on, nine months off my ass. The girls will be two in March and I’m hoping to be back to pre-pregnancy by then, and if I am it’s because I worked my ass off in the gym in one hour intervals during my lunch hour. And if I’m not I’ll blame it on the hormones that linger from gestating, birthing and breastfeeding babies. Everyone is so damn eager to tell you all about how much birth hurts, but they make that whole “bouncing back” thing sound like a breeze.

I’m apparently one of the ones who needs to claw their way back. Through back fat and blown out ab muscles. Back muscles that just gave up at some point and a metabolism that decided to go on an extended vacation. It was so bad at one point I actually went to the doctor to find out what was wrong with me. The answer: I had babies. (I'm not kidding, this was actually the answer they gave me). 

The good news is you do eventually start to feel like yourself again. Finally some of my old clothes are fitting. The curve in my hips is more of a curve and less of a saddle bag. I’ve also figured out how to better dress like myself in this new size. How to better hide that extra tummy I have, what kind of fabrics are the most flattering and where to buy Spanx in bulk. 

Most importantly though I've realized that while I'm waging a personal battle with my view of myself I shied away from the camera. Suddenly I realized that there are tons of pictures of my girls and none of me and the girls, and that's not fair to them. I want them to look back and see pictures of us all having fun, laughing and making memories because while I will worry about how fat my arm looks in a picture, they'll just smile and see a picture of themselves with their mom.