Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I woke up with a bruise today. Yesterday for the first time in over a year, Alex & Ian took their afternoon nap at the same time and it lasted a mind blowing 2 full hours. It's like it was meant to be. Alex practically asked to go to sleep and BOOM done. Nighty Night.

I quickly unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher, a task I can only do while Ian is slumbering as he likes to climb up on the door, grab onto the racks and shake them like a caged monkey. I knew I had to think fast. WHAT could I accomplish during this gift from god break? Now, your about to get a glimpse into my absolute 'inner freak'. Are you ready? I pulled out my master 'house' list. It has a breakdown room by room in list format of what either needs to be done in that room, or bought. Example.

Living Room-

  • Replace door hinges from icky brass to oil rubbed bronze

  • Find new ceiling fan, then figure out how to hang on our 20 foot ceiling
  • Find new picture frames for the hundres of photos we have no place to put

I quickly ran to the garage to survey supplies. What could I do in 1-2 hours without making too much of a mess or needing a trip to the Home Depot? AH! Lightbulb. I grabbed my electric drill, screwdriver, painting tape, primer, brush and hit the stairs.

Had there been a camera filming, it probably could have been a documentary on the life of a mom apparently on speed. I was excited, panicked and anxious that at any moment I'd hear that tiny 'blip' of the baby monitor notifying me my 'me time' was over.
I've been painting window frames, doors, and mouldings in our house for over 2 years now. Our bedroom, the last room was my victim today. I first had to remove the shade from our window which evidently was being held by just one bracket, as removing the one sent the thing plummeting right to my eyeball. PAIN. I ran to the mirror to make sure I wasn't bleeding. No time could be wasted. I taped, painted the window and much to my surprise the kids still slumbered. Now what, AH. My closet frame. I removed the giant, brass rimmed, mirrored closet doors I despise and set them out on our back patio. Don't ask me how I did this. It must have been super human 'mommy during nap' strength. I taped and primed again. Satisfied, I cleaned up and put the dangerous objects away just in time to hear Ian stand up and shake his crib rail in his normal 'get me out of here' rage.

I love Mondays. The errands and catch up tasks of the weekend are done. We've cleaned, we've shopped, we've done our laundry. It's just my day with my kids. Total quality time. I actually get down on the floor and play with them, we go do fun things, or sometimes we just stay in our Jammie's all day and snuggle, read & play. It's is what makes the other 4 long days at work all 'worth it'. But this Monday was particularly special because I had a great time with my babies and got to do something for me too. I painted. I made progress. It was a good good day. Even IF I woke up with a bruise.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Ode to Shark

It came to us over a year ago. I'm not even sure where we got it. It was either a party favor, or we acquired it for a quarter in one of those money sucking gumball prize machines at Red Robin. It's an inch long, blue, made of rubber and it's actually a whale. Alex obsessed over said 'shark" for weeks. "I need shark", "Where's shark", "Not without my shark". She soon lost interest but shark our friendly blue rubber whale will NOT go away.

We will find it in the oddest places. In a junk drawer, under the bed or couch, in Alex's dresser, on Ian's changing table. I've picked it up a million trillion times. I could swear I threw it away or stuck it somewhere we would surely never find it again. 'Shark' ALWAYS comes back. IT'S. ALIVE. It's now a part of our family. Some people have dogs & cats. We have an ugly beta fished named 'Felissa' and a little blue rubber whale.

Now, when we find it, we call it out. "I found shark!". Alex even joins in on this family game. Last week, I cleaned and organized the toy room. I went thru every bin, drawer and threw out old toys, packed away baby toys and tossed all the itty bitty pieces of garbage toys we've acquired over the years. Sean was at work, the kids were napping and after finding 'shark' near the gas pedal of Alex's Barbie car I shook my head, giggled and said 'outloud' as if anyone could here me...."shark". I swear I tossed her once and for all. I put it in an old party favor bag, and set it on the washer & dryer with all the other 'get out of my face, I'm tired of picking you up and stepping on your sharp edges' toys.

Friday morning, Sean, unassuming and groggy was handed 'shark'. Nonchalantly, and sorta like 'here dad, I found this'. Ian released it from his sweaty little grasp. What? HOW? We don't know. I figure one of us will go to our graves with Shark. It may one day be quoted in our will, and I'm considering adding to my 'to do list', START COLLEGE FUND FOR SHARK. If for some reason 'shark' one day stops rearing it's little blue head, I want to remember her always. This is for you Shark, we love you and your always welcome in our house.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Chubby Dubby Curly Girly

The other day at the mall, a man asked me if my kids were twins. No really, I'm serious. It took me a second to comprehend his question. I processed it, swallowed it and spit. "No, she's 3, he's 1. That's a two year gap". I could tell you a few things I would have RATHER said, but this is public and I do hope my kids will read it one day. And for someone who is currently trying to remove the word 'stupid' from her vocabulary for fear of the 'stupid' police (Alex & Caden) writing me a ticket. I'll refrain.

If it's not bad enough that we have our own insecurities and our own image problems, once your a mother-you carry the burden of your children's until they are old enough to start carrying them themselves. Last night the kids teacher who I love dearly said, 'I could have fed him food for hours to keep him happy, but I didn't want to make him fatter than he is'. I laughed. It's funny, right? Everyone knows our kids have cheeks, they have invisible rubber bands around their wrists and typically resemble the Michelin tire baby until they are 3.

While pregnant, and in my ' 9 month psychotic state of hormone surged delirium', I used to worry about whether or not my kids would be cute. Obviously, like all parents I only hoped for happy, healthy babies with 10 toes and fingers. But what if? What if, like an episode of Seinfeld, your friend peeks over the cradle and with a look of horror can only muster 'she's breathtaking'. I've always thought my kids were the most beautiful creatures I'd ever seen. You obsess over what they will look like for months and months and then you see them for the first time and you think 'Of course, she looks just like herself'. People will say, "She looks JUST like you". You wonder, "Is that good?, Oh no, she looks like me!" You then obsess about their name. Does it sound too feminine, or masculine. Can you shorten it? What's a good nickname? Will kids make fun of them? You play rhyming games and imagine all the possibilities of what they could be called while huddled in the front seat of the school bus. If your Sean, you say the full name loudly as if it's being broadcast at an NFL football game. "IAN PATRICK KOLMER on the tackle" he'd say. Sounds like a good, strong name right?

Alex, the poor dear gets almost no attention from strangers but for her hair. You've all seen her, she could double for Shirley Temple. Her long curly locks, ringlets really, get her so much attention. I've been asked countless times..."Is it natural?" "No lady, I smother my 3 year old's head with harsh chemicals and permed it so I can spend 20 minutes a day combing and detangling it. Just so people like you will make really idiotic comments like that." I don't say it, but I want to. Others will come up and pull the ringlets, run their dirty Costco hors d'oeuvre smeared fingers thru her hair and say "Where does she get it". "HHHHMMMMM, are you asking me if she is biological? Would you like me to tell you if she's adopted? Or should I just tell you that I spent my entire childhood with ringlets and HATED EVERY MINUTE OF IT and now spend too much time and money getting it to look flat, limp, & straight." Which may lead you to believe she didn't get it from me. Well, she did.

And Ian, "What a tank", "He's huge", "What do you feed that boy?". It took me months to get over the "Your huge" comments while pregnant and now this? And it's true, both my kids have always topped the charts in the 100th percentile. Despite the fact it looks as though Sean and I fill our kids with Cheeseburger happy meals, and KFC kids platters, they actually eat almost entirely organic food. But like any Mom, all I want to hear is that they are cute, adorable, or what charming personalities they have, WHAT GREAT SENSE OF HUMORS. Throw me a bone here, I'd even take a 'He's Breathtaking'. At what age do these comments become harassment? Have I discovered the root of adolescent self loathing? I did minor in psychology. Maybe I've missed my calling.

For anybody reading, I assume your out there. This is not intended to cause any guilt or feelings of regret in comments you've made towards my kids. Oh no. How can you not? I'd do the same thing. In fact I do. See photo I staged of Ian with Teletubbies. This is just a mom who can see into the future. When Alex is 15, and blaming me for her hair, wishing she could have hair like Shiloh Jolie-Pitt. And when Ian is wishing he could be Wide Receiver rather than Nose Tackle. I'm going to show them this, tell them that I understand, and that it's been difficult for me too. ;)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

OMSI, Cupcakes and Swimming

This last weekend, my Auntie KK and her 3 kids Jake, Isabella, and Ava came to visit. I took a four day weekend which we filled to the brim with fun. Friday, we took the kids to OMSI. My mom kept Ian home and I got to enjoy some time with Alex  and Caden (my nephew). I didn't have to cart a stroller or a diaper bag, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Saturday we got all the kids up, ready, and dressed in record time. We had family pictures at 10. Much to mine, Sean and Kay's dismay we had to cut our leisurely morning coffee short and get out the door in a flash. We appointed jobs, we had Kay the ironer, Sean got all the kids dressed, and I made breakfast and organized outfits and hair pretties. Pictures were great, we travelled from park to park, to school to playground to water treatment plant (no joke) to capture some precious moments of the family. It started to get blazing hot so we were all happy to be done at noon. We all headed back to our house to have a BBQ lunch and pre-birthday party for Caden who's turning 4 this month! I honestly can't believe it. It seems like yesterday that little nugget was propped in his exersaucer turning circles as fast as humanly possible and screeching like no boy should.

After lunch, cupcakes and presents we loaded everyone up and headed to the river for some boating, floating, & swimming fun. The kids had a great time, all strapped in their life jackets they jumped and leaped from floaty to floaty. They swam and were towed on the inter tube. Even Ian was in good spirits despite the tight, throat constricting life jacket he was wearing. I remember a few times looking around and feeling so happy that everyone was happy. We really had a great time. The kids were so ecstatic to be together, and having fun. Unfortunatley, my dad cut his finger up pretty bad so we had to bug out, not because he needed stitches. Oh no, he made it clear he was NOT going to urgent care and this gashing wound was nothing that some super-glue couldn't fix. We re-convened at our house (again) for some more food, leftovers this time. The kids ran about, and we nursed our heat exhaustion and hurty fingers with some cool beverages.

The next morning, we got my aunt and kids packed up, and I drove them back to Vancouver where they would spend their last day at my grandparents before flying back to CT. Alex was so sad to say goodbye to Ava ecspecially who she adores and spent most of the weekend nurturing like her very own cabbage patch doll. Why she doesn't dote on Ian like that, I don't know. Probably jealousy, and seriously, he's almost the same size as she is so why shouldn't she drag him around by his arm and knock him down while they are racing to the pantry?

Saying goodbye was hard, we never quite know when we will see them again. Fortunatley, I had to switch gears rather quickly as I was hosting yet another BBQ for some dear friends in town from Boston. We had another great gathering with some great friends and all their kids. It is amazing to me that each time we manage to get together like this, there is another human in the mix. The same group of people we used to attend class with, party with, etc are now asking us 'where do we throw the poopie diapers?' It's surreal and amazing and funny and weird. I don't quite know what we all used to talk about in college, maybe we didn't do much talking at all? But somehow discussing sleep problems, breastfeeding, and 2 year old behavioral issues seems so NORMAL? When everyone left and the house was tidied again, I sat down EXHAUSTED but feeling so terribly blessed. Blessed for great family, great friends and some really good times this weekend. I don't quite remember my walk upstairs..I 'think' I brushed my teeth and then died in my bed.

Monday I had a leisurely morning with the kiddos. We got ourselves ready, and went to the mall to meet our friends Tasha and lil' Nola for some dirty play structure fun. I think that's where we lost Ian's snuggly football blanket he holds so dear. We later took the kids to Chucky Cheese for pizza and more games. Alex had a great time and Ian spent the majority of his time either screaming with glee on the kiddie play structure, throwing himself face first down the slide, or climing up the Ski Ball ramp. He was so happy and over-stimulated the little sucker didn't take an afternoon nap. After a trip to Babies R Us for a replacement security blanket, new binks for Ian (apparently, we've lost the 42 we used to have), and some new Dora underwear for Alex...we called it another busy day.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Why Daddy Why Daddy WHY?

Let me begin today with Ian. Scratch that, let me begin with my sister and I who this last summer while I was on maternity leave took on the giant project of replacing all of the mouldings in my house. See, we busted the fridge water hose and jimmy rig fixed it. It lasted several months so go us! Now Ian. The other day, he yanked the hose back out spraying water EVERYWHERE. In true Ian fashion he found this hilarious. As Sean dug under the house to turn the water off, and I held onto the hose to stop the flow-which by the way HURT! (water pressure is crazy) Ian decided to climb up Sean's back and squeeze his way into the man hole under our house. THIS is just another crazy evening in the Kolmer household. We cleaned up the mess, laughing and sweating and wondering, what happened to us?

Yesterday I asked Sean, "WHY is our fridge not fixed yet? It's hot and I'm tired of drinking tap water without Ice". So tonight Sean took Alex on a field trip to a frequented location of ours, Home Depot. Upon returning, I found him hovering in the corner of our dining room HIDING from Alex. She had pushed him to his limits with her multitude of WHY questions. He was SERIOUSLY about to lose it. I saw him silently mouth to me 'I can't take it anymore'. We all know these questions. Some we know the answers to and we do our best to explain why the sky is blue or why boys have 'wiggly bodies' and girls don't (A common Alex must know) or why can't we have an ice cream sandwich even though we already had three sprinkly frosting covered animal cookies? As I type, Sean just now heads upstairs to retrieve Alex from her normal position over the stairway with her 7th request for new water, or a different blanket, or to turn her fan on or off or to move baby back to bunnies spot. I have to tell you all. I love him.

This is my ode to Sean to say THANK you for being such a great daddy. For answering all the WHY questions (mine and Alex's) and for only sometimes feeling like he can't do it anymore. In all honesty, I know how lucky I am and how lucky these two kids are for having a dad like him. Without him, our crazy life would not work. I would not work, and neither would our fridge.

Monday, August 11, 2008

She's got it! Oooohhh Baby She's got it.

This one is for you mom. Who always understands why I can't sleep at night. I heart you.

I've known for many many years now, that if I was lucky enough to acquire any traits of my mother-I've at least gotten her attention to detail, OCD like obsession for cleanliness, order, and listing. And oh, her love of home decorating. Her and my lovely Auntie all have this passion, this sick need to constantly be creating, painting, fixing, remodeling despite all the other things we have going on. It's our therapy, it's our outlet. WE LOVE IT. This bond unites us. When nobody understands why we must organize drawers in the midst of chaos, or replace door hardware on an already crammed weekend. We get it. This weekend, ah-I was so proud. I learned that Alex has it too. She can now join our club.

Sean and I were enjoying a restful few minutes this Sunday morning as Ian snoozed. We beckoned Alex to the play room to find something to do independently while we sipped our coffee and watched HGTV. Alex quiet for just moments, hollered to us 'Mom, I'm sweeping the kitchen...BUT DON'T STEP IN MY PILE'. I died. Where did she get that? She had to have heard that somewhere, oh yes. I've said that near a trillion times over her lifetime from the time she could crawl, walk, and ride her trike thru my pile. Because inevitably each and every time I sweep-like a magnet SHE is there. 'Don't step in my pile', I would say. And now, with her little play broom. She's throwing it back at me.

I'm not sure whether to feel sad or elated that she's following this exhausting path. I suppose, I'd rather her be this than that. 'That' being dirty and dis-organized. But for a control freak like myself, who feels so out of control most of them time. It's comforting to know, that at least I have my pile of dirt! Just please don't step in it.

I wish I something funny to say about Ian. This weekend, he did nothing but make me smile. He continues to be such a snuggly love. He is almost always happy, although he's proving to have a real short fuse when he can't quite swing his chunky thigh over his ride-on train, or if he gets himself stuck under the piano bench. He's walking really well now, but gets going much too fast at times. So different from Alex where she would not walk until she was absolutely positive something soft could catch her fall, he barrels towards whatever, whenever as fast as possible. You can see it in his face when he knows he's going to go down. He braces himself with a squishy, closed eye grimace like 'here it comes...whooooooaaaaaaaa'. Crash. He typically giggles at his own fall which warms my heart. He's big into mimicking words and sounds, most often it's sneezes that he's trying to imitate. He's got the 'ah ah ah' down and then does this full body convulsion 'achoo' with no sound. It's always followed with a giggle, like 'I am so funny'. I don't know most days what I would do without his cheery disposition. What a love.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Boogers, Bodily Functions. Poop.

I used to dream about having children. Plan how many and how old I would be. I'd pick out names and imagine how wonderful life would be. Don't get me wrong, parenting is wonderful and rewarding and makes me happier than anything but nowhere in my 22 year old mind did I imagine THIS kind of wonderful.

After reading my initial post, a friend of mine responded with a story of her own. Let me begin by stating she cared for 6 kids under 6 the previous day. Enough said. As a mother of two, who watches 'Jon & Kate + 8' religiously to keep me motivated and believing 'I CAN DO THIS'. 6 kids, to me sounds horrific. Her oldest was found 'helping' by cleaning the toilet with her brothers toothbrush, and her nephew handed her a gift which she believed to be something her youngest might choke on. Prior to saying, "Oh thank you", she revealed within her palm...a booger. That my friends is Real. Life.

Boogers, Snot, and Poop are just a part of my everyday. In fact Alex says 'poop' nearly 4 million times in a 2 hour period. This is a word, I was neither allowed to say as a youngin' nor do I care for her to say it but she's a daycare child and you can only control so much. We ignore it so as to not draw attention to it, for which she would-just say it more. If that is even possible.

Last week, Alex and I were enjoying our nightly couch snuggle. It's my favorite part of the evening. We snuggle, we talk about her day and she inevitably at some point will rub my arm and say 'I love you momma'. Aaaah. God love her. I was reviling in her sweet comment when I realized this, 'rubbing of my arm', was in fact her wiping a booger on me. !?What?! I asked her, "What is that?". Alex calmly replied, without removing her eyes from her Little Einsteins show, "It's a booger mom". I'm confident that this was somehow punishment. Punishment for all those times I had her pinned on the floor, digging in her nose with my pinkie finger nail to get that one last boog out while she kicked and screamed. Some of you may think child abuse, but just because your under 3 feet tall doesn't mean, you should be walking around with boogers and icky plaques in your teeth. Sean knows. In fact, he'll hand one of the babes over to me and say, "You gonna get that?"

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Listing isn't cutting it.

For those of you that know me, you know I'm particular. I like things a certain way. I love order, cleanliness and above all I love crossing things off my many lists. My dear lists keep me in control but somehow they aren't cutting it anymore.

I lost control 3 years ago when my first child was born. Juggling a full time job, kids, house remodeling, etc has pushed me to my limit attimes but I'm still here and still strong! My amazing husband, and my dear sweet babies are all I need. Oh, and my lists of course.

I was laying in bed last night pondering the fact that just inches away from my bed rest the baby books I spent entirely too much time picking out at a VERY over-priced baby boutique. I put them here so that I could write in them daily, weekly, or worst case scenario monthly to document their lives, their growth and the many funny things they say. At this point, I'm afraid to open them for fear of a mass sneezing fit due to the inches of dust that have built up on these carefully chosen books, which dare I say-Have not been opened since last August. Shame. On. Me.

Which leads me to this. I've decided to begin a blog. My friends do it, I love reading them and what better way to document the life of our family, my kids, and maybe I'll add a tasty morsel of my experience raising them for my own personal humor in 20-30 years. People are always telling me, 'you'll laugh about this one day'. So, we'll see about that. Maybe someday,
Alex & Ian will read this and say 'I don't need no stinkin baby book'. Or, it could prove to be good reading material at one of their weddings. Ha. So here it is. My kids-Alexandra 3, Ian 1...this is for you. Three years late but I forgot to write it on my list.

A quick update on the kiddos.

Ian just turned 1 July 3rd. I can hardly believe it. How quickly a year flies when your not pregnant. He's walking now! A little teeter tottory style with his back all arched to offset the load he carries on his front. What a belly this kid has. He smiles and laughs and has an amazingly mature sense of humor which I like to think he got from me as he finds people falling, hilarious.

Alex is 3! She wows me with her concepts and speaks like a 15 year old at times. She's sweet and darling and my love but a Taurus just like daddy. She keeps Sean and I laughing and keeps us on our toes too. Who said the 2's were hard? Ha, it's the three's baby. I attribute it to her sharp wit, her negotiation skills and she knows...she's got the look.

Last night I asked her to brush her teeth. Our nighttime routines, as if they weren't hectic enough have become almost nightmarish recently as Alex is fighting each and every step it takes to get her curly little Afro to bed. She responds with, 'I don't want to brush my teeth'. Inside, I wanted to scream 'we all do things we don't want to do in life'. A million things I did that day are rushing through my head. Getting up at 5am, going to work, making dinner, doing dishes, cleaning the highchair (my all time worst task). I take a breath remembering I'm dealing with a 3 year old. I respond, 'We have to brush our teeth and get those icky plaques out'. Alex in her very cool and collected 'mom, your such an idiot tone' says, 'Nah, I'm just going to drink them out'. Nice.

I was at a 1 year old birthday party a few weeks ago. One of the moms said, 'yeah, the only thing the hospital tells you when you have a baby girl is WIPE FRONT TO BACK'. Then they just send you on your way. It's true, and that really mad me laugh. The first year or so of your child's life, you struggle just to keep them alive. You feed them, clean them, put them to sleep. They turn 2 and all of a sudden you realize, I have no training for this. So, where is the book for 'What to do when your 3 year old won't brush her teeth'. Huh? Where is it, I got a 10 spot burning a whole in my pocket right now. Anything ANYTHING to give me an extra 20 minutes of peace at night.

Well that's all for now. I'm at work, so I better get back to it. I just crossed something off my list and now I can be productive.