Wednesday, February 15, 2012


That's been the theme of 2012 so far: Survival.  I wish I could say it was something more fun, like Disco Classics or Colin Firth Movies or Winning Lottery Tickets.  But I suppose I'm grateful it wasn't something like Volcano Eruption or Bad Hair Days.  Gotta look on the positive side, right?

So it started a few days after New Year's, when my parents left for a nearly 3-week vacation to Michigan and Grand Cayman.  I can't imagine why they would want to leave the gray, damp Seattle winter and four whiny people of various sizes who constantly need their help with e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g., but we all have our preferences, I guess.  Fortunately DH was able to cut down on some of his work hours and help me with dinners, bedtime, and even preschool during the week.  Is there anything cuter than a dad taking his 1-year-old twins to a mommy- parent-and-me class?  I'm not even sure if this little guy stands a chance in that competition, honestly.

Nice try, baby harp seal.  But no.
Then, my mother-in-law arrived to spend time with the munchkins and help out with the last week-and-a-half of my parents' absence.  Little did she know what she was walking into: Snowmagedden 2012.  The forecasters were warning we could get UP! TO! 16! INCHES! OF! SNOW!  I don't care where you live, that's nothing to shake a stick at.

But it didn't happen that way.  Not even close.

At our house, I would guess we got around 4 inches.  It was cute at first, it was fun.  We rarely see snow around here, because really, the Seattle area isn't very cold.  Our lowest average daytime winter temp is 45 degrees.  So even the 4 inches was a lot for us to handle, between how hilly our terrain is and how completely unequipped we are to plow and sand the roads.  All schools and some businesses were closed, but overall, not too devastating for a winter storm.

Until Snowmaggeden decided to have the last laugh.  It probably saw this cartoon (sent to me by my brother's girlfriend) and narrowed its frosty brow and growled, "I will show you who's boss, you arrogant humans!  Make a mockery of me, will you?  NOBODY MOCKS THE SNOWMAGGEDEN!"

So he rained on the giant trees in our gorgeous Evergreen State, and then made the rain freeze.  Or maybe it was freezing rain when it fell, I wasn't really paying that much attention.  But either way: snap, crackle, and pop... down went the trees, down went the power lines, down went the cable lines, down went any shred of sanity holding my life together.

Being without power for three days with three small children was not a shining time period in my life.  We had our two gas fireplaces cranked on around-the-clock (and we have the gas bill to prove it), so we were able to maintain around 58-60 degrees in the house.  The twins slept well, with double jammies and a sleep sack and blankets, but unfortunately Bean did not.  He could fall asleep with a candle on, but then we had to blow it out overnight, and he was constantly waking up and running into our bed, afraid of the darkness.  But he doesn't sleep well in our bed for some reason, thus none of us slept well, which doesn't leave much energy for a pregnant woman to handle the daily challenge of keeping the kids warm, fed, and entertained during the day without power.  We lost all the food in both fridges and freezers, and after our power finally came back on, our cable/Internet/phone bundle was out for another four days beyond that.  And let's not even talk about the HOURS we spent trapped in our mini-van, trying to get food and/or get to my parent's house (which had power), helpless because of the slippery roads.  Meanwhile, because holding my poor mother-in-law hostage in our dark, freezing house wasn't bad enough, she managed to catch a cold from the boys, and it hit her severely.  She felt absolutely miserable, and I felt like a chump, even though none of it was my fault (except for the hubris leading to Snowmaggeden's revenge, of course).  We have since moved on from the whole Snowmaggeden ordeal, but post-traumatic stress disorder remains firmly in place.  Everyone in Seattle (myself included) still squawks about how we are going to buy generators in anticipation of the next storm, even though 99% of us (myself included) never will.  Oh well, it will give us something to complain about next January.

Even though our house is once again humming with the glorious sounds of electricity (is that you, washing machine, my love?), I still feel like I am in survival mode.  We are ringing in the third trimester of pregnancy, and I look like this...

... and my house looks like this...

...and my kids look like this...

I don't even know what's going on in this picture.
Basically it's barely controlled chaos.  Having 1.5 year old twins is seriously kicking my butt right now.  The pregnancy makes it more difficult, for sure.  But even that aside, OH MY GOD HAVING 1.5 YEAR OLD TWINS IS SERIOUSLY KICKING MY BUTT.  I am waiting for that magical time that other twin mamas have described to me, when having twins is often easier than a singleton because they entertain each other.  Please lord let me live to see that happen.  In the meantime, having two of them means twice the mess, twice the work, twice the meals (because they can't possibly like the same food! ever!), twice the diapers, twice the laundry, and four times the whining and crying (because they antagonize each other in addition to the normal "alone" whining and crying).  Luckily it's balanced out by all the extra cuteness when they do actually play well together, dance to the Wiggles together, "talk" together, giggle together (usually while doing something naughty), or hug each other.  I hate to sound negative here, because they really are a special pair, and I feel blessed to have them grow up together.  I adore all three of my boys and appreciate every day that I get to love them and snuggle them and irritate them with lots of hugs and kisses.  But it's a crap-ton of work, every day, all day, and my pleas for just an hour of peace go completely ignored.  This is one exhausted mama, yo.

A happier note on the survival theme, our little bun in the oven has officially passed the point of "viability," the 24-week mark that means the baby has a decent shot at survival outside the womb (50%).  I still don't like those odds, and I don't want to test them!  But it's a relief to pass that milestone nevertheless.  For those of you keeping track at home, I am officially at 26 weeks and 5 days, or almost exactly 6 months.  I am as big as a house and doing my best to fight off the pregnancy waddle.  I've found the best way to do that is to avoid movement of any kind.  I have a few minor aches and pains, but I won't detail them, since I'm not one to complain (*ahem*).  Overall the baby and I are doing well.  The next gestational diabetes test is in about two weeks, so I'll waddle along happily until they tell me I can't eat donuts for dinner anymore.

And now to end this gem of a post, I will share with you some Beanisms.  (The twins say amusing things too, but mainly it's things like pointing to the clock and saying a word that... well... isn't exactly CLOCK.)  Enjoy!


Me: Hey Bean, see that brown building over there?  That's where your dentist is.  We'll be seeing him again in a couple of days.

Bean (peering out the car window): Is that the dentist where I was born?


Bean (concerned): Mommy?  Is there anyone in your tummy with the baby?  Who is helping him get dressed in the morning?


Me: Bean, I'll be going downstairs in a minute, honey.  I need to change the sheets on mommy and daddy's bed first.

Bean: Why, did you guys pee in it or something?


Bean (shivering): I am freezing like a muffin!

Me: .... A muffin?

Bean: Well, yeah, if you put it in the freezer.


Bean (patting my belly thoughtfully): Mommy, are there toys in your tummy for the baby to play with?


Bean (examining a new toy):  This dinosaur has a mean face.  It must be a mommy.

Me: Oh?  Do mommies have mean faces?

Bean: Yeah.


Bean: But only to kids.


Bean:  Only when they are being bad.



Lisa said...

Bahahahaha!!!! The pee in the sheets and dinosaurs have mean faces like mommies...pure awesomeness. I tell you, 4 yr olds say the darnedest things! :)

Glad you survived th power outage, that sounds HORRIBLE! Ive been through them with hurricanes and they are not fun, and definitely worse with kids!

And you look fabulous girl! Keep rocking that belly for a few more months! :)

Kristina P. said...

I am tired just reading this. I seriously don't know how you do it. And how having twins wasn't a deterrent for another one! :)

Jen said...

Snow week was hell week at my house. Stuck in the house all day with the kids every day and unable to escape to work? Horrible.

You wouldn't know what that's like would you? :)

And I'm so glad to get an update from you. I can always count on your posts for a good chuckle. And I love the new bean-isms.

Mrs. Gamgee said...

I really am in awe of you. I'm exhausted with just one 14 month old to chase after. 26 weeks... we're really getting close to the end.

I remember when I was in college in the Seattle area (Issaquah), and one year we had a pretty major snowfall for that area. Our campus and dorms were on rotating black outs because the boiler room couldn't keep up.

It's easy to mock the Pacific Northwest (we get a lot of Seattle tv stations... people around here love to laugh at how others handle winter. Don't get me started about the year the mayor of Toronto called in the military to deal with a major snowfall) for how things shut down when it snows, but really, with all the rain you guys get, the trees don't have to sink their roots too deep, and they just can't stand up to the weight of ice & snow.

I'm glad to hear that you guys survived it. :)

Stef said...

oh my gosh, I read your writing ALL day long! You make me laugh so hard my eyes are watering up.

SO, you don't look *huge* but I totally know how you feel. I feel like I'm ginormous and everyone says "you don't even look pregnant!" - really? my belly was THIS fat before?! - thanks.

I loved the quotes - adorable.
It has been a bear of a winter, that's for sure.
And now all this wind and rain, wow.

Sarah said...

Love, love, love, the Beanisms! So cute! I'm hoping these last few months of pregnancy work out well for you and are comfortable!