The Sibling Sleepover or Best. Idea. Ever.

By on Jan 18, 2016 in Expert Advice, General Family, Life With Three, Parenting | 1 comment

First of all…Hey there! Yes we are still alive with the three kids. Everyone is doing great. And it only feels like we are drowning 97% of the time instead of 98% of the time so, improvement! This past weekend was cold in Chicago. I’m not going to complain it’s been a pretty mild winter and we choose to live here (blah blah blah). But three kids and 0 degrees outside? Shoot me in the face. Seriously. At one point I just curled up in a ball on the couch and went into some kind of hibernation. The hibernation of, “I. Can’t. Even.” We somehow got dinner together and on the table an hour early. Which was good because we were all hungry and it was halftime of the football game…hashtag goodtimingforsportsisimportant. Everyone showered and bathed….and it was 6:30 (they usually go to bed at 8 and we are just starting the bedtime routine at this point). Now what? Lucy and I played some Crazy 8s. Then some War (just as annoying as when I was a kid hashtag ifeachpersonhastwoacesitwillneverend). Veronica went to bed. All the teeth were brushed and potty trips happened. And we were just all done. I mean as always at bedtime. But I mean. Done. So I said, “Hey why don’t you guys go have a sleepover in Lucy’s bed?” [Sidenote: all three of our kids share a room, with Lucy getting a top bunk of a custom bunk system and Rocky on the bottom bed and Veronica in the crib.] Kids: “What do you mean?” Me: “I mean go play up in her bed super quietly and maybe Lucy can read books using a book light outloud…but quietly outloud because Veronica is sleeping.” Kids: “WE TOTALLY WANT TO DO THAT!” Us: “Ok. Go. Goodnight.” Up the stairs they went…then there was….silence. We looked at each other and said, “This is just never going to work. It’s only 7pm….but whatever, let’s start a movie.” So start a movie we did. Veronica woke up at one point. Jason put the elders under a blanket with the book light.” At about 8:30 we heard the door open, and little feet come down the stairs. Damnit. Lucy returned the book light. Gave us a kiss, and went back to bed. Rocky gave us a hug and a kiss and put himself back to bed. We looked at each other with a “The Fuck?” look on our faces. How did that work? How did they only wake Veronica up once? But also. THESE KIDS ARE AWESOME! They requested the sleepover again tonight and while I’m all for it, we are keeping it to weekend days (and to keep it special so it doesn’t turn into just pure play and loudness). Rocky also said, “Maybe Veronica can join us when she’s two. I think that’s a good plan.” Given that crazy kid can climb the ladder already and get on the top bunk, I don’t think he’s...

It’s Not All Sunshine and Unicorns Farting Rainbows

By on Feb 18, 2015 in Chicago, General Family, Life With Three, Parenting | 0 comments

My old neighbor came by for a visit yesterday. We were talking about how social media frequently gives the perception of perfection, making those of us that aren’t perfect, question our choices and decisions. The point is not whether or not we should feel this way, but the fact that we do. The fact that people do tend to post the best of their lives and not the nitty gritty, shitty and frustrating times. She mentioned she liked this site because we are fairly honest and so here you go my friend, this post is just for you. Lucy has swimming lessons on Tuesdays at 4pm. Usually Rocky is still napping and thus I take her while my Dad or stepmom stays with the little two. Yesterday he didn’t nap, and I wanted to get him out of the house and so I thought it would be fun if he went with to watch Lucy swim. Which it was…for the most part. Let’s not talk about how his marker got away from him on the bench at the pool and now there is a nice green stripe along the bench…shhhhhhh. Then it was time for Lucy to finish up, where she takes a shower in the locker room. She’s also freezing after swimming and takes forever to warm up. Fine fine. She’s in the warm water, warming up. Rocky meanwhile isn’t being too bad (it’s amazing how my definition of “not too bad” has changed since that kid came around) but he’s taking off his boots and his socks, leaving them various places around the locker room, he’s pushing buttons on the scale to change it around, etc etc. So I get Lucy’s hair washed, but she won’t rinse it. Thus the conversations goes: ¬†Lucy, please rinse your hair. I am. Lucy put your head under the water. IT IS UNDER THE WATER. Honey, not one hair on your head is in the water. YES IT IS. If you don’t put your head under the water, I’m going to have to help you. THAT’S NOT NICE. I AM RINSING MY HAIR. Ok, now I have to help you. So here I am looking over my shoulder at the 2.5 year old running laps, and the woman who has no kids “because she’s a street photographer and couldn’t imagine having to deal with them” is sssshhing him (really, if all the noise in the locker room is annoying, then don’t fucking do your swimming DURING THE SAME TIME AS THE KIDS SWIMMING LESSONS, IT’S ONLY TWO DAYS A WEEK FOR AN HOUR…FIND ANOTHER TIME), and pushing my 5 year old under the water all while she’s screaming, YOU’RE NOT NICE. YOU DON’T DO THAT TO PEOPLE. Which to be fair she’s right, BUT OH MY FUCKING GOD. RINSE. YOUR. HAIR. So we get done with the shower, I blow dry Lucy’s hair. This isn’t going too bad. Then I’m helping her get dressed because she’s still freezing and can’t lift her legs up. But WHATEVER we are doing it. We are walking out the door. Come on Lucy. Come on Rocky. No Rocky you have to keep your gloves on. But I don’t like gloves. I know honey but it’s freezing on so let’s put them on. But I don’t like gloves. I know but it’s cold out. But I don’t like gloves. I KNOW BUT IT’S COLD OUT. Then this woman with the no kids who is a street photographer kind of laughs and says, “And think of it, you have another one at home.” (she knows this because I met her when I was pregnant with Veronica). You know what. Fuck you. Yah I do. But you know what doesn’t help? Pointing out to a clearly frustrated mom basically that kids are difficult and oh my how will you handle it when the third was is around. I mean how about saying, Hey, do you need any help? Or. Hey you are doing a fine job, these days happen. And I know that. And I don’t really give a shit what this woman thinks, but still. She doesn’t have kids and so she’s never been there so I have to give her some slack, but it didn’t annoy me any less. It was a great day really. Kids acted pretty well most of the day. Super fun seeing my friend. Rocky actually started interacting with Veronica instead of just poking her. He was making her laugh out loud. At night the kids were goofy and funny. Veronica went to bed with ease, the elders went to bed with out complaint. But it wasn’t all beautiful. And it isn’t always beautiful. I guess my goal is for it to be mostly fun and beautiful. And that’s the best anyone can ask...

It’s Christmas Eve

By on Dec 24, 2014 in General Family | 1 comment

In my mom’s family Christmas Eve was the big to do. My mom’s mom, so my Baba, would be cooking up a storm: borsht, periogis, the mushroom things that went into the borsht, the grainy sweet stuff that everyone ate first (these things all have Ukrainian names which a) I don’t know and b) if I did I wouldn’t know how to spell), etc etc etc. I have an image of my grandmother cooking in her kitchen, in the house in Schererville all dressed up for people to come, some kind of dress, nylons, her hair done and make up on…and then on her feet…slippers. As soon as people started arriving…or maybe even when it was time to sit down she would change into her dressy heeled shoes. Why I always wondered. Wouldn’t you just want to finish getting dressed and get your normal shoes on? Note, that I hated (and still do) slippers. Anyways. her over the stove in a dress and slippers is a very strong memory I have of my grandmother. Now as memories go maybe it was just one year that she did this…I don’t know. My grandfather would be down in the lower level (it was a split level house) entertaining the dudes and refilling drinks and whatnot. I would be bouncing of the walls in excitement, because of course after all this nonsense the presents parade started. We did presents on Christmas Eve night there. For a long time I was the only kid. My mom is 9 years older than her brother. I mean she had me when he was only….let me do some math in my head…19..18? Maybe? something like that. He didn’t have kids till I was like 12 or something. So for a long time it was Me and a Bunch of Older Ukrainian People. All speaking Ukrainian (which I didn’t). And I had to wear a dress. Blech. I remember being very very annoying, “Mom. Mom. Mom. Moooommmmmmmmmmmm. When can I take this dress off? After dinner? No one even cares what I’m wearing! Can’t I go put my jeans back on? Mom? Mom. MOM!” My god I want to punch¬†little me in the face. JUST WEAR THE STUPID DRESS YOU PROBABLY LOOK REALLY CUTE. My grandfather used to just set a video camera up and aim it at the table while we were eating dinner. What was with that? Did he go back and watch the home movies? Of people eating? Where are those videos now? Am I on them…sulking because I’m still in the stupid dress? My mom and I would exchange our presents to each other after we got back home and we were the only two. We’d watch White Christmas usually while opening presents. Still to this day I think of my mom when that movie comes on. So it’s Christmas Eve and now my mom lives in Florida and I won’t see her today. And I miss her. We are forming our own new traditions here in our house. This year it’s pizza and Christmas movies with friends and family. Next year who knows! Maybe I’ll get it together and pull out the fancy china and make everyone dress up. Lucy of course will love it whereas I’ll try and dress-up some jeans to be “fancy”. Tomorrow of course is the Big Day. We have lots of surprises for the kids and are looking forward to it. I will of course make sure Jason and I wake up at 4-5am. We watch Four Christmases before the kids wake up. Of course Jason says if we ever get divorced me setting an alarm on Christmas morning will be one of the grounds for said divorce. This year the alarm is Little Miss V of course who is waking up between 4 and 5 which is perfect. Merry Christmas Everyone. May you holiday be filled with laughter, cheer and happiness…oh and booze…important component of any christmas...