Sunday, October 31, 2010

Costume conundrum.

Several weeks ago at Encore, Liam was given a homework opportunity to come up with a family song to share with his class. We waited until the last minute (like you do) and then cheated just a little bit by using a song he had written long ago as a jumping off point. The finished product that Liam came up with went something like this:
Mom and Dad are friends,
Mom and Dad are friends,
Mom and Dad are friends,
Mom and Dad are friends!

When we go to Halloween,
We go trick-or-treating,
Great costumes as a family of three,
I wonder what we'll make for Finny?

Because Liam and Finn are brothers,
Liam and Finn are brothers,
Liam and Finn are brothers,
Liam and Finn are brothers!
So, yeah - no pressure or anything. This year's costumes would have to be something really good. Something that said without a doubt, "WE ARE A FAMILY OF FOUR!" But what? Since my brain got hijacked sometime back in August, I threw it out to Liam to see if he could come up with an idea. A creative kid like Liam? I knew he'd come up with something spectacular.

But instead he came up with Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends. Which is fine, I guess, just not the uniter I was hoping for. Also, well, there were just a few problems.

One - did you happen to notice Spider-Man only has two friends? So that brings the grand total of costumes to three, not four. We could make it work if Finny was the bad guy (my friend suggested giving him menacing eyebrows which - totally), BUT it kind of defeats the purpose.
Two - that's a helluva lot of Spandex for a woman who just gave birth! I could see giving it the old college try for the sake of my kid only to come out looking like someone else entirely.

Not exactly my idea of fun. (Although this video almost changed my mind...)

Three - Today is Halloween and I have yet to put together costumes. Liam is all set for Spider-Man but Bill and I don't have Ice Man or Firestar costumes. I'm sure I could run out to American Apparel and take care of that problem in five minutes flat but with hospital bills coming out the wazoo, I don't think this is a very good time for us to be blowing a heap of cash on Spandex.

Four - Liam has already worn his Spider-Man costume at least a hundred times. Around the house, to the park, to Home name it. While he doesn't care at all, to me that completely takes away from the specialness of Halloween. Halloween is supposed to be the one day a year you can be someone different. It's not just another trip to Home Depot - it's freaking Halloween!

But the fun of dressing up seems totally lost on Liam. The other day I got out ALL the costumes from the basement (like four boxes) so he and his friend Sia could practice trick-or-treating. While they were all over the idea getting candy, it was like pulling teeth to get them to put on a costume.

Here he is as a giraffe who hates his mother.

The only thing they could get fired up about were these ghost costumes.

Blankets over your heads? Lame.

Although a proper ghost costume could be kind of cute. And if we were all classic Halloween figures, it would be totally uniting! Finn could be a pumpkin (he already has the costume), I could be a witch (how hard could that be), and Bill could be a ghost with Liam or a zombie (he's been wanting to be a zombie for months).

Liam was super excited about it until this morning when I suggested making a ghost costume where his head would actually stick out - you know, so he could see where he was going and we could see his face in pictures.

"It'll be fun," I said. "We'll cut a hole for your head and then put powder on your face and head to make you look all white!"

"No, thanks."

"But, you can't just put a sheet over your head, Liam. That's not a costume."

"Sorry. A sheet over my head is all I can handle."

So, yeah. We've got about eight hours until it's time to trick-or-treat and I have no idea what we're going to be. A family of zombies (presumably one without anything weird on his face or head)? Spider-Man and his Boring Parents? Classic trick-or-treaters? Or maybe Liam will decide to be a giraffe (he got kind of excited about it after Vanna wore one on Wheel the other night) and leave the rest of us to figure out our own damn costumes. Hmmm...

What are you and yours going to be?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Louder than words.

Hi there! Remember me? I'm the girl who was all, "Being pregnant is awesome! And natural childbirth? Exhilarating!" Before that I probably said some pretty upbeat stuff about motherhood too, huh?


That was before I had my ass handed to me by the fourth trimester. I mean, wow. Seriously. Who knew eight pounds of cuteness could pack such a punch? The past twelve (twelve!) weeks have been like a complete blur. And the only reason I can even tell you about it at all is because we are just now starting to come out of the new baby fog. I may not have showered in a couple days but I am sitting at my desk without a baby strapped to my body. That's progress!

Okay, twelve pounds of cuteness.

I used to feel pretty solid when it came to being a mom but now I am seriously outnumbered. As it turns out, two kids are way harder than one. No. Really. WAAAYYY harder than one. It's like juggling, which I suck at, ALL THE TIME.

Totally worth it.

The other night I desperately wanted to read up on colic and/or sleep issues while simultaneously researching what to say to a sensitive preschooler who is having trouble fitting in at school. And yet, I was too busy nursing an overtired baby while saying all the wrong things to my four year old to even consider picking up a book. Not that I could stay awake long enough to read much anyway.

And that pretty much sums up the last 12 weeks.

So anytime you came to this website over the last couple of months and thought, "What the hell? Is this girl ever going to write anything ever again?", just know that not posting was sort of symbolic for what I had to say. Anytime I didn't write it was my way of saying, "Raising two kids is a busy ass job!" or "Hey fourth trimester - bite me!" or "Got milk?" or "I think my brain came out with the placenta!" or "When preschoolers attack!" Pretty much take your pick.

I know you rock star parents out there who have had more than one child and yet somehow managed to still kick ass and take names are probably thinking I'm a total loser. But think back to the very beginning. There must have been some sort of a learning curve, right? Like a few weeks (or months...) where you felt like a crazy person who didn't know your ass from your elbow. Where your house seemed to fall apart around you while you put every last bit of your energy into keeping both children alive and well. Where you somehow forgot to make dinner every night. Where you dreaded anyone else doing something nice for you because you knew you would never remember to thank them in a timely manner. Where your bed became almost like your uniform because you spent so much damn time in it.

No? Okay. Well, maybe it's just me. But! The good news is I definitely feel like things are starting to come together around here (we're still not on a schedule or sleeping through the night or anything like that, but still - progress!). It may have taken me a little time to find my footing but what do you expect? My family grew by a whole person for godsakes! That's kind of a big deal.

And while I'm more than happy to have put all my time and energy into that new person lately (especially now that he's smiling and laughing!), I'm starting to see the importance of diversification. See, when you're doing one thing and one thing only and feel like you're failing at it (we all have those moments), it's kind of hard on the psyche. But if you have a lot of balls in the air and drop, say, the parenting one, it can actually make things a little easier. (i.e. "I totally sucked at being a mom today but I sure am proud of what I wrote!")

So hopefully that means you'll see a little more of me around here from now on. You know, for diversification sake. Oh, and also? The fourth trimester? It's OVER! And I'm pretty sure there's not a fifth.