Twins Not Any Easier in Brooklyn

But life is. Somewhat.

So far we love Brooklyn; we love our home, the greenery, uncrowded streets, food, views, parks, and the much calmer, more laid back vibe of almost everyone and everything; except me.

With the move on July 3rd, we basically “threw” our stuff in our new place and drove out to Long Island for the 4th holiday. Back to Brooklyn on Sunday for a 90 plus degree week alone with the kids and NO school or camp, as Mark headed to Cannes for the week (when will they send him to Nebraska?)  Next, we were all driving up to Lake George to drop Luca at sleep away camp and then, another weekend out East sandwiched between our drive back to Lake George for pick up. You get the picture . .

Labor Day weekend, when things were supposed to settle down, I got the casual “reminder” email that Seedlings, our new Brooklyn Heights preschool, starts on September 17th!  WHAT! ‘When did you tell me this the first time? I NEVER agreed to this?’ Don’t kids in Texas go back in July?

Three more weeks with two active toddlers and no plan during the hottest NY summer of record. And, when I needed them the most, The Children’s Museum of Brooklyn and Staten Island closed from September 3rd to September 14th for the annual cleaning. Does it really take two weeks to clean a museum? I knew I couldn’t manage them both, alone, at the Coney Island Aquarium, fearing I could find one trying to swim in the new Ocean Wonder shark tanks.

Does anyone really know what its like to raise twins without “help”?  I don’t think there are many east of the Mississippi doing it without a nanny.  Or, at least with family helping on a weekly basis.  I thought I was out of the woods but now, at three and a half, they are wiser and skilled at ganging up and manipulating me.  And demanding! “I want pancakes and I want to put my own butter on them with the purple knife and I want them in a plastic bag, not a plate, and I want to wear my purple princess underwear and I want to go the yoga room after school and I want to eat pasta for dinner and I don’t want that kind of pasta and I want candy and I don’t want to wear those pajamas and I want to color now and I have to go pee and I need you to turn on the light and I want to have my other book in bed and I need you to find my other book, the one with the words, and its NOT that one its the other one with the ripped sticker on it .  .  .” And, that’s just Maxine.

Today, at least I can say all three are in school for some portion of the day.

On that note, one amazing feature of our our new home – a crucial selling point – is a footbridge that connects our building directly to Brooklyn Heights which, as implied, sits  high up on bedrock overlooking Manhattan.  The Squib Park Footbridge, was going to make my walk to Luca’s bus stop and the girls’ new Brooklyn Heights preschool, stress free and downright pleasant.  It was all part of a wonderful dream.

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Then, JUST LIKE THAT, for seemingly no reason the bridge CLOSED.  And my daily routine is nightmarish.  Sorry for the inconvenience?  It’s way more than that. And temporary? The most recent update referred to a multi-month closure. The sign should  read “Attention, Mom of Twins, this bridge will not reopen until the day your kids are old enough to drive themselves to school.”

We were supposed to be like the happy people  you see walking across an already built bridge. Now we have to cross a busy street, with no crosswalk, to walk up a very very long and steep hill. No scooting happily over the bridge, avoiding traffic and enjoying the Manhattan skyline.  Instead I trek carrying my bag, two backpacks, two scooters, and a potty while dragging both unwilling girls up that brutally long hill. Midway, a water bottle usually drops from their backpacks, swinging on my sore arms, rolling downhill faster than I can grab it. Upon arrival, as everyone else is happily dropping off their one child at school and chatting it up, I usually show up like I worked the overnight in the ER.  I cant’ imagine what winter will be like.

At least at the very moment I gently push them into the doorway of their class, I can enjoy a beautiful walk back to my new home, knowing I have a couple of hours to catch up. That’s assuming I don’t go flying down the hill and wind up (back) in the ER.

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My Lil Valentines

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Happy Valentine’s Day !

It’s Never Too Late

birthdayWith the arrival of another new year, on January 2nd, Maxine and Laurel turned three! That only three years ago, one day past a similarly frigid New Year’s Day, they came crashing into our lives, blatant and unexpectedly early (in typical fashion), is still staggering.

Starting with the initial, shocking news; so much of it still seems like a blur.  I remember heading to midtown for, by all accounts, a “routine” sonogram early in their pregnancy. Relieved and gloriously thankful for the success we seemed to (finally) attain after several years trying for a second child. Between another failed pregnancy, my mom’s breast cancer treatment, a move from our apartment (and, later, back to the same buiding again), there were some stressful years where we, seriously, questioned if we were too old to start over with a newborn. We made the decision to start fertility treatment a year prior, and now decided this would be our last attempt.

I wanted Luca to have a sibling. As an only child, my parents did everything to make sure lots of kids were around and I wasn’t alone. So, at least during elementary school, I barely noticed or cared that I didn’t have a brother or sister. But, around the age of eleven or twelve, our close family friends’ got divorced. I assumed we’d always do everything together and things would never change. Skiing in Vermont, summer vacations in Montauk, holiday parties, and bar-b-ques. But, after their parent’s separation and subsequent move out of the neighborhood, I barely saw those friends again. Even as a child, the realization that blood is thicker than water hit me hard.

Back at my doctor’s office, anxiously awaiting the thumping of one little heartbeat, I recalled, with dread, a similar moment years back. At that time, I stared at a much grainier screen, excited to hear the pumping, so strong only weeks prior, now just appearing as an empty, black, stagnant, and silent screen. Myself, as a much younger woman, naive to the statistics on miscarriage, confused that maybe the machine wasn’t functioning properly.

But this day would be different. Still in my daze, I heard my doctor mention something about there being “a development” and my heart stopped. Having come this far, again, I didn’t think I could bear disappointment knowing it would close the door for us. “Sorry?” I stumbled, unsure that I heard him correctly and what he meant. “I’m hearing another heartbeat,” my doctor said cautiously. I cleared the lump in my throat, “What, exactly, does that mean?”

A quick Google search on the likelihood of having identical twins shows the odds being 1 in 10,000. They develop when one fertilized egg divides into two, and seem to occur entirely by chance, regardless of twins running in the family.

My initial shock inspired panic. Realizing that, even in our attempt to avoid the possibility of twins by using only our healthiest single embryo (in their quest for success most doctors push to use at least two, resulting in many fraternal twins), that our little one split on us, despite our intentions. Sensing my fear, the nurse reminded me of our blessings and added that her mom had twins at 40. “But, I’m going to be 45,” I choked back.

She was absolutely right; Maxine and Laurel are an unbelievable blessing, bringing us pure love, joy, chaos, laughter, exhaustion and fun while rounding out our family. Meanwhile, our initial fears weren’t even close to the reality of how much work they are. Everyday is like running a daycare. But we wouldn’t trade it for the world.

The chaos was immediate. From even before they arrived, when my water broke, suddenly and unexpectedly, in the middle of the night. My last doctors exam had assured me I had, at least, another week which would get us close to 35 weeks (still early, but safe). Well, they weren’t waiting.

By midnight on New Years Day, most of our friends in the building, were still away on holiday vacations. My family, not expecting any news, just returned back home from Christmas with us, and never heard our middle of the night cell phone calls. With time critical, we raced to the hospital, taking poor Luca with us. At only seven, he was so patient and supportive, waiting all those hours with me overnight; then having to sit, alone, in the waiting room when they took me in for what turned into an emergency C-section.

When the girls finally came home from the NICU, only two weeks later, the real fun began… and it hasn’t stopped since. We were blessed with two, healthy, spirited, strong and beautiful little girls that would, forever, change all of our lives and give Luca the siblings he always wanted.

As with every new year, when people reflect and make resolutions, this 2018 I will try to remind myself that it’s never too late to try or begin something new. And, to never give up. No excuses. Whether it’s telling your story, getting back to my blog posts, pursuing a new career, making up with an old friend or family member, starting your exercise plan, learning a new language, or just doing something that you’ve been dreaming of for a long time – just go do it. It may change your life, forever! It did for ours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thankful for the Twins Finally Using the Potty

IMG_3191So, I finally, stepped up to accept my, unfortunate, duty as a parent to train my girls to use the potty.  Indeed, freedom from the endless loop of changing diapers, was motivating, but secretly, I hoped to avoid or just ignore it. Would it really matter if they were still in diapers in first or even third grade? Aren’t there worse things to worry about? Sooner or later they would figure it out on their own. Then, we learned that ski school and camp wouldn’t accept them for drop off, untrained. Alarmed, we had a hard deadline in January and had to get to it.

Back when Luca was young, and I was a fresher faced mom, I, enthusiastically embraced these challenges, reading up on all sorts of advice. Unfortunately, all the experts were aligned. Lock yourselves in for three days, take off the diapers, and let it all go. Well, after the shit hit the fan, or in this case, the floor, I was done. NO WAY could I cope with that for 72 hours. Since I had committed to getting rid of diapers, I put underwear on him and continued for another few torturous days; sitting him down every half hour, me next to him, hoping for a miracle.

Fast forward seven years and, despite technology’s evolution (I didn’t even have a smart phone, let alone iPhone, back then), they still don’t have an app for this. Overwhelmed with two of them, I opted for a laid back approach and promptly amazon primed two pink potties, a portable potty for the playground (Kalencom 2-in-1 Potette Plus), two cases of pull-ups, about 20 pairs of disposable underwear, candy, stickers, and extra bottles of wine to set about my task.

It’s been a frustrating few weeks, but real progress is happening. Maxine took the lead, being the most consistent with usage, supported by her utilization of algorithms to calculate optimal candy accumulation per pee or poop, manipulating timing for optimal rewards. Though I am very proud, one downside has been her determination that it’s not worth her time if she needs to do her business during reward blackout periods occurring daily before 7:00 am or after 6:45 pm.

Laurel was also catching up, but mostly on how she can guilt me into also earning candy for doing absolutely nothing but crying and screaming when Maxine gets her rewards. Though painful, I had to wise up to her manipulation and hold her accountable to, at least, sit on the potty to earn a candy treat. Luckily the prospect of a special new Doc McStuffins, or as she calls it, Stuff McStuffins back pack had her in a frenzy. She only needed one poop on the potty and it was hers.

It was an arduous few days when Maxine earned the coveted prize, before Laurel, and, to Laurel’s envy, wore the backpack everywhere, even to bed at night. Luckily, after dragging both potties, the portable potette (which came in very handy during a nature walk on Shelter Island), and everything else we needed for Thanksgiving, to our house in Bridgehampton, we had a breakthrough. After catching Laurel sneaking off behind the sofa to do her business, Mark yanked her into the bathroom. In a critical moment requiring excellent timing and aim (both rare for my husband), to her shock, Laurel nailed it right in the potty.

Anxious to see her rewarded, I jumped the gun. Once she had that backpack strapped tightly on, she immediately went on strike. After two long days, it took the fear of loosing her prize and possibly spending the afternoon with a fictitious babysitter to motivate her back to action. And, while there have been some slight mishaps, I am confident she has turned a corner.

Among so many things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving, having the worst of this job behind me, for the last time, is certainly one I don’t take for granted.

 

 

 

He Just Turned Ten, But We Both Have Some Growing Up To Do

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Luca’s 1st Birthday

Luca, our only child for 7 years, turned ten on October 14th! Somehow, he still manages to be the sun we all orbit, even with all the chaos his sisters’ create. From his first moments the kid’z been fawned and fussed over, cherished, adored, and overly spoiled. Not that he doesn’t deserve, almost, every moment of it. He’s given us more laughter, love, pride, and pure amusement this past decade that I could ever express in words.

Like most kids, he lives for birthdays and holidays where presents are involved. Which BTW, when did Halloween, Easter, and Valentine’s Day become holidays for relatives to send gifts?

As parties go, this year’s wasn’t over the top but, with little free time on my hands, it was stressful nonetheless. By the morning of, I was still unsure how, after committing to provide transportation, I was going to get 13 of the 16 kids coming from FIDI and Tribeca to Indoor Extreme Sports in Long Island City, Queens, during rush hour, on a Friday night.

I also needed to pick up the cake, assemble gift bags, and make sure a sitter was lined up for the girls. Bottom line, I put a lot of work in with little time and help, save for my mom who ran with me to Party City on the eve of the party, while Mark was enjoying a guys night out.

At this age, Luca’s expectations for additional gifts, on top of, yet, another birthday party needed a serious adjustment. We checked out his Amazon wish list and promptly nixed 3 more giant nerf guns (how many Nerf Zombi Strike FlipFury Blasters does one kid need?), and a tactical vest kit (sorry, NO). Since he would be showered with gift cards from all of his friends, we picked a few listed items, including a pair of random headphones.

But, always wanting things to be perfect, I fretted that, for his turning double digits, I didn’t have that one special gift. I thought,”rather than just any old headphones, why not buy him a cool pair of Apple Beats.” Now, desperate to have them for tomorrow, the 14th, Grandma and I sprinted to the Apple store knowing we still had to get the cake and grab the girls by 1:00. Considering the kid looses everything, I opted for a, slightly, cheaper pair, rather than dropping $300 on wireless ones. Miraculously, I got the last blue ones in stock, and coupled them with a matching iPhone case as a gift from his sisters. Feeling pleased, I ran to pick up the cake.

On Saturday morning, with Luca anxious to open his gifts, I couldn’t wait to surprise him with the upgraded headphones. But, no sooner did I hear, “Is this it?”, after he surveyed the few boxes we brought out, “I can already tell you didn’t get me a nerf gun,” he said, choking up. Defensively, I reminded him how many he had and maybe he could use his gift cards (ie, his own money) for more.

He was acting very childish, but I knew he was tired. Rather than let it go, I became incensed when I saw him sulking on the couch. Before I knew it, I was laying into him, “Didn’t you just have another birthday party, with transportation for all of your friends, and a beautiful soccer ball cake? I went out of my way to buy you something special.”

Clearly we were both out of line but, as the adult, I should have been able to let it go. Hell bent on making my point, I rambled on throughout the morning, exhausting us both. Unlike Mark, somewhat, the, detached, voice of reason, I also couldn’t bare living with Luca’s disappointment, however misplaced it was.

Later that day, it all blew over, and soon Luca was rocking out with his Beats, thanking us lavishly. All was right with the world again, until later that week. As he stepped off the bus, on Friday, he turned to me, his voice seeming to crack a bit, “Mom, why didn’t you buy me the wireless ones?”

I mean, what is it with kids? It never ends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Out of the Office

out of officeThis may sum up the reason for my silence, but it does give, slightly, the wrong impression; one of relaxation. As a backstory, two years ago, when the twins were born, we bought a summer home for a place to get the kids out of the city in the summer, spend some more time with nature, ride bikes, boogie board, yada, yada, yada.  We knew we needed some extra space, and crashing at my parent’s house, on summer weekends, with three kids, wasn’t going to work. And, for the most part, our time here is filled building memories with family beach days, barbecues, fresh seafood, dining el fresco, enjoying local berries and corn, and excessive amounts of Wolfer Summer In a Bottle, Rose’.

But, during the weeks in August, when I’ve been out here with Luca and the twins, alone, it tends not to be all sun, beaches and rose’. Well, just maybe not all beaches; and NOT ENOUGH ROSE’.

Upon our arrival last week, Max and Laurel immediately conspired that it was time to stop napping all together despite that they are only two and a half! And, just like that, as I was getting used to consolidating, ie cramming my writing into their hour and a half midday nap, along with other mundanities like cleaning and doing laundry, that precious time evaporated. Anticipating a full on crisis, I, luckily, found a morning drop off program at our beloved Children’s’ Museum of the East End, and enrolled them pronto. Thank god, after fully protesting on day one, they now love going to “my little camp” every morning. While it’s been a lifesaver, and managed to shaved off from 9:00- 12:00 daily, I still need to fill the remaining eight, non stop, hours from noon until bedtime! With two 2.5 year olds, it can be a very LONG day!

Grandma and Grandpa were also visiting us these past two weeks. With Mark gone, having the support of my mom on some long, hot afternoons at the park with the girls was a blessing. Grandpa also helped, a little, by entertaining them outside with the hose when their end of day crankiness (both the girls’ and Grandpa’s) typically amped up. But, initially, the girls sensed a situation they could manipulate to their advantage, which played out well for them those first few days.

With two extra adults fawning all over them, they weren’t sure if I still had the balls to instill time outs and strict bedtimes with grandma and grandpa looking over my shoulder. Possibly there was a new sheriff in town? And, like clockwork, there was a notable uptick in calculated tantrums and considerable limit pushing to throw us all into a tailspin. A lot to take after already suffering, mild, heatstroke from hours in the sun at every Google mapped playground available on the east end.

Thankfully, Luca loved the Hampton Country Day Camp, which managed to exhaust him all day with plenty of kids his own age. I can’t express my gratitude enough for providing peace of mind for his contentedness, along with their knack for distributing the optimal number of foam Thumbs Up and Starfish Awards (currently piled up on our kitchen counter), hosting super awesome bus karaoke and enough competitive sports to keep him fired up and ready for his 8:50 am pickup every morning.

With the Hampton Jitney or L.I.R.R. Cannon Ball Express delivering Mark back to us on Friday evenings, I, gratefully looked forward to another weekly family outing at Almond, Bridgehampton where Chef Jason executes impeccable cooking, someone else does the clean up, and, our friend, Jack, expertly, chills another bottle of our favorite rose’.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s the Summer of Camp

With our 2nd annual trek to Lake George taking seven hours, instead of the alleged four (not my idea to leave the city at 4pm on a summer Friday), to drop Luca off for 10 days of sleep away camp, I’ve been thinking that this could be his last summer camping away.  Car travel is never easy with the twins,  and, though she, miraculously, made the full ride on Friday night, Maxine, got car sick on the short, but windy, hilly drive up to the camp for Sunday drop off, just as we were pulling into the parking lot.

camp blog 1I grew up on Long Island, only 80 miles from Manhattan, but what is it about the city and sleep away camp? It seems like everyone goes. It wasn’t in the plan for Luca but, last summer, when 4 of his friends, who all live in our building, were going together, I couldn’t refuse. It’s, undeniably, a great opportunity to gain independence, play zombie tag and gaga out in the wilderness, hike, sail, and swim in the lake while bunking with friends in a cabin . . .who wouldn’t want to go? Sign me up.

But so far, this summer has been consumed with planning, transporting, or packing for various summer camps. And, while I love that Luca is somewhere in the wilderness, hopefully not dangling from a cliff or contracting lyme’s disease, and completely detoxing from technology (not allowed), I wish he was closer and didn’t require a full staff to complete the required paperwork, medical forms, and round trip driving.

I don’t mean to complain. I know I’m lucky to be able to send him. But all this schlepping, packing, and planning for everyone’s whereabouts during these precious 8 weeks is taxing. Rather than relishing the downtime with no homework or having to wake early for the school bus, we are, or at least I am, frantically struggling to align schedules, pack and unpack suitcases, label underwear (not mine) and make sure we don’t loose anyone.

With a 7 year age gap between Luca and the twins, I need to ensure he’s has lots of activities, and time with friends, so he’s not spending all summer being dragged around to assorted playgrounds and toddler classes with the girls, or begging me to play Clash Royal all day. But, keeping all of them engaged and contented is a handful. Between martial arts camp in the city, sleep-away camp up in Lake George, and sports camp out East in long Island, we are all over the place (not to mention that he better be prepared for American Ninja Warrior some day).

When the girls get a little older, I look forward to not having to over schedule  everyone’s summer break and, hopefully, just spending some days at the beach, going to baseball games and exploring museums like I used to when Luca was young. But, try dragging toddler twins and an active 9-year-old to the Natural History Museum by yourself everyday. So, until then, it’s what needs to be packed, labeled, and whose going to watch the girls next Friday so I can spare them an eight-hour round trip drive back to Lake George for pick up? I sure hope my husband can come home from work early!

Get the Coxsackie out of Here!

It’s been radio silence on my end, but I do have some justifiable excuses for my disappearance. With 4th grade now in the distant past and my son home, with the twins, its been no picnic finding time to blog. Once we evolve into the assorted camp schedules this should, hopefully, work itself out. The end of school year transition throws everything off in our house and is a bitter-sweet reminder of how fast the years really pass – that Luca will be entering 5th grade next year astonishes me. Somehow I blinked, and now he’s almost in middle school.

cox 2And, just in time for summer, we had an unexpected, and unwanted, intruder. In my last post, wasn’t I, just, gushing about how awesome my girls’ preschool was? Well hold that thought; for the second time in 4 months I received another “warning” email that the Coxsackie virus (aka hand, foot and mouth disease) was going around their classroom. And, like the walking petri dish that she is, Laurel, once again, was an easy target. Just in time for her two aunts and cousin to arrive, for an annual visit, and also causing the girls to miss their 2 days a week of preschool. More money out the window; check.

Coxsackie is a miserable virus with multiple symptoms usually accompanied by red blisters in and around the mouth, hands, and soles of the feet. This time, while Laurel’s other symptoms were much worse, luckily, she was mostly spared the blisters. As we’ve learned, kids under 5 can continue to get Coxsackie and don’t really build immunity. Fortunately, it’s rare for older kids and adults to get it.

It was only back in March when, on our way to the airport for a long birthday weekend to Miami, I received the preschool’s first “warning” email and thought how lucky we all were to be skipping town. Toasting ourselves on the plane, as the girls sat, suspiciously mellow, with Luca playing video games, I pondered why everyone was behaving so well.

Somewhere over South Carolina, I noticed strange-looking bumps forming around both girls’ mouths; like they got ahold of my lipstick and tried to connect the dots in a tangled circle. Still, naive to what was coming; it was, in fact, totally foreign to me since, in 9 years, Luca never got the virus at any of his schools, let alone twice in 4 months.

By the time we landed, Maxine and Laurel, both, looked like they got into a rumble with a porcupine; covered in red bumps everywhere, accompanied by two, thankfully, low-grade fevers to match. Impeccable timing when you’re traveling to a place where the only goal was to hang out in the sun in our bathing suits for the weekend.

This week, dare I speak to soon, it looks as if Maxine may be spared. Still, while trying to enjoy, and tend to, our visiting relatives, poor Laurel needed extensive comfort and care, not to mention, wanting to be held constantly.  For obvious reasons, I hope it will bypass Maxine. And, now they’ve missed 2 weeks of school in honor of the July 4th holiday. More money out the window: check, check.

While I haven’t, yet, identified patient zero at the preschool – there are only 8 kids in the class and my two represent 25% of them – we are down to a possibility of only 6 other kids. With my private eyes now out in full force, you can bet that if I see another bump at drop off, my kids will be getting the coxsackie out of that place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hip Hip Hooray! The Girls are Headed to Pre-Pre-K!

For another day. The contract was signed in May.

Don’t get the wrong impression! I genuinely love being home with my girls and feel blessed to be able to do so. I don’t think I would trade it for the world. But the reality of caring for twins, with no help, every day, can bring frequent and, honestly, dire occasions.

FullSizeRenderCountless days are filled with unbounded elation and pride, taking them to the park, guiding and watching as they learn, grow, and interact together; but, others offer the same level of exhaustion and desperation; picking up perpetually dropped food on the floor, pleading with them to stop brushing the walls with the toilet brush, dropping objects in the radiators, pulling diapers out of the diaper genie, and fighting, pushing, and biting each other.

Hearing other moms of “singletons” (a word I never heard before having twins) talk about heading uptown, or to Brooklyn, for some cool new mommy/baby yoga class or exhibition can be isolating, when, at least at this age, taking the twins out of the neighborhood, alone, is the equivalent of trying to commandeer a cruise ship through the Holland Tunnel.

The qualities that make my girls extremely mischievous and endearing, also make them arduous. When other kids are sitting nicely in their high-chairs, mine are usually standing and jumping up and down in the seat shouting “O-U-T!” While everyone else’s kids are sitting quietly in their stroller, my girls insist on standing and leaning dangerously over the tops, nearly grazing the sidewalk, taking all of my strength to keep our tandem double stroller from toppling over on my way to the supermarket.

And, the horrified stares and comments, from random strangers, can take their toll. “Do you see that they are not strapped in – that looks dangerous,” I often hear as my girls are blatantly jumping up and down in the stroller, trying to push each-other over; leaving me no room for denial. “It’s not nearly as dangerous as Maxine opening the car door on the Long Island Expressway while we were driving 65 mph, or when she opened the car door right as I was entering the Midtown Tunnel, at night, in the pouring rain, with no place to pull over. . . you should have been there for that,” I want to say.  Usually when all of this is going on, I am carrying some chewed up cheese or granola bar that Laurel has just spit out, in my hands, and only trying to keep us all moving until I can reach the nearest garbage pail.

In truth, I have tried EVERYTHING to keep them nicely seated, but these girls can bust out of a five-point harness quicker than Houdini. So, a few months ago, I enrolled them in a great drop-off Pre-Pre K program, close to home, two days a week. I miss them so much during this time, but I know they are socializing with other kids, doing all sorts of super messy art projects, and having fun. Despite their mild protests on Monday and Wednesday mornings, I gleefully push them along explaining that in a short time mommy will be back to pick them up to go scooting or the park. But, before I know it, I’m often interrupted, “Ma’am, do you see she is dragging her shoes on the ground from the front of the stroller,” and I’ll look down, knowing that, in a few short minutes I will, actually, be stroller free for a while.

Lady, “This is how we roll.”

 

 

 

 

 

Louis Louis

You reach a certain, middle-aged, point in life where it’s nice to have a few special, more expensive, and higher quality items. But it doesn’t take long to realize that luxury goods and kids just don’t mix. We nearly sustained two casualties last weekend, just living our everyday lives, not asking for any trouble.

IMG_2435Despite Apple’s claim to “do swim workouts in open water, track laps at the pool, or splash with your kids,” Mark’s new Series 2 watch didn’t stand a chance against Maxine’s wrath.  As she yanked it down from the nightstand,  it’s screen quickly cracked, thus totally mocking Apple’s claim to “see your metrics clearly, no matter how much the sun glares.”

The second, more unfortunate case occurred in a cab, heading to Randall’s Island, en route to one of my son’s two weekend soccer games.

As an aside, after living in the city, car free, for almost twenty years, we bought a car two years ago – mere months before we learned we were having twins. They say a car’s value deprecates the minute you drive off the lot. In our case, it lost value and, unknowingly, became too small. Last week, we sold it so we could buy another to accommodate the 5 of us, plus Grandma, Uncle Mike, or who ever else may need a ride.

The irony of owning a car in New York it that, but for random weekends or to head to the beach in summer, it’s barely used. Back in the day, taking the LIRR or Hampton Jitney out east was a no brainer. Doing it with 3 little kids and a giant suitcase, during high season, is to be avoided at all costs.

Of course, the only weekend where Luca had two soccer games occurred on the one we didn’t yet have the new car. So, after an expensive Uber ride out to Staten Island on Saturday, we opted for a more frugal cab to take us up to Randall’s Island Sunday morning.

As with most New York City cabs, our ride up the FDR was, utterly, life threatening. While Mark was enjoying the ride up front, I had all 3 kids across the back belted in tight. To our distress, we discovered that Randall’s Island has more than just a few soccer fields, and, after endless looping trying to locate Field 6, Mark and I exchanged pleasantries and decided we needed to pull over. At that very moment, poor Maxine (once again, the villain), succumbed to the perpetual stop and go, and threw up inside my Louis Vuitton bag, sitting open, unsuspectingly, on my lap. Because we were strapped in pretty tight, I couldn’t prevent her from another episode, seconds later, ensuring she covered all bases by blanketing the outside of my bag too.

With me begging the cabbie to pull over, the situation was bleak considering we still had to sit through the game. With only the clothes on our back and the water and snacks packed so lovingly, in my bag, it proved to be long and noxious morning. After paying the driver handsomely for the fare and to have the car washed, any efforts at frugality were futile.

Amazingly, even in her compromised state, Maxine’s targeting skills were quite precise in more ways than one. As our cabbie managed to pull over and we all piled out, miraculously, I was standing right in front of a minuscule sign pointing to field #6. At the end of the day, we all had Maxine to thank!