This morning, I woke up at 7:00. I laid in bed for a few minutes - reflecting on all the shopping I had completed yesterday and how adorable the kids were going to look in their new clothes.
I stumbled out of bed and walked to the kitchen to pour myself a glass of OJ. As I tiptoed past the nursery, I could tell that the girls were still sleeping. I thought to myself, "Ah, good. I'll let them go until 8:00 and that will give me plenty of time to get dressed, get breakfast ready, and unload the dishwasher."
Anticipating that I have at least an hour to spare before the kids woke up, I tiptoe back in to our bathroom and decide to give myself a green mud facial. I open the tube and smear a handful of mud all over my face. Once it dries, in 20 minutes, I'll wash it off and instantly look 15 years younger. As I'm standing there sipping my juice, waiting for my mask to dry, and savoring the tranquility of a quiet house ... the doorbell rings.
Which, of course wakes the girls up ... and which, of course, sets my heart racing. Who the heck is here so early on a Saturday morning?!
I peek through the blinds and see it's the cableman, here to bundle our television, internet and phone service together. Had this been ANY OTHER PERSON (with the exception of a surprise visit from my mother or Ed McMahon holding a bouquet of balloons), I doubt I would have opened the door. But, I suddenly remembered Charlie had scheduled this service a week ago, and I didn't want my husband thinking I was a monumental flake for not answering the door simply because it was too early for someone to be calling and I looked like hell warmed over.
I open the front door wearing my red flannel snowman pajamas, that I've had for the past 8 years and wore up until I was 6 months pregnant. My hair is pulled up in to a rats nest on top of my head ... a remnant of the ponytail I was wearing yesterday and I have a green mud mask smeared on my face. I look positively lovely. The cableman comes in and doesn't even bat an eye, which makes me think that my appearance is not unusual for stuff he sees during his rounds.
He asks me something about "Where is the cable and phone cord?" Blah, blah, blah. I try helping for a few minutes, but I clearly have no idea what he is looking for and I don't have the brain capacity to understand at that point in time, because the mud mask is now partially dry and my face is itching like mad. I finally shoo him off to the garage to do his own investigation while I get the kids out of their cribs.
When he comes back in a few minutes later, Elizabeth is running around the kitchen. We make small talk about how he has a toddler at home that is on the brink of driving he and his wife insane. Just then, Carolyn comes running in from the opposite direction, wearing Molly's collar around her neck, and the guys jaw drops open. He looks at me and says incredulously, "Oh my God. There's two of them?" I respond "No ... there's actually three of them. But, if all three of them were home right now, I'd look worse than I actually do. This is my vacation day."
This invariably leads to him asking me questions about whether or not triplets run in our family, did I take fertility drugs, and how do we manage? For the record: I'll tell anyone under the sun that Charlie and I went through three cycles of IVF to be blessed with our children. But as I was standing in the kitchen this morning ... in my snowman pajamas - rats nest hairstyle - and green face ... I didn't have it in my heart to tell our cableman the whole story. Yes, we have multiples in our family (that's the truth). The only drugs I took were prenatal vitamins (God, please don't strike me down). We manage because Charlie and I have an outrageous sense of humor.
The cableman leaves and we eat breakfast and then take off to feed ducks in the local pond. Actually, it's a water hazard at the golf course - but ducks live there. I try to get out at least once a week to feed the ducks the heels from our bread or any pieces that are moldy. The kids are starting to get the hang of feeding the ducks - although they'll sometimes eat the pieces that I give them to throw out, which always makes me gag whenever I see our children chomping on a chunk of green fuzzy bread.
I planned to put the girls down for two naps today, because they went to bed late, woke up early and I didn't want them to be overtired ... especially since we had a birthday party to attend this afternoon. But on the way home, Elizabeth started to fall asleep in the stroller.
THIS IS NEVER A GOOD THING, because all it takes is 5 minutes of shut-eye and her little sleep clock is entirely reset (interpretation: you can kiss that 2 hour nap g'bye). I started jogging with the stroller, swerving it all over the sidewalk. I leaned down and rubbed her head and was loudly singing "Stayin Alive". We get home and I quickly unload the girls in to their cribs. I take a quick shower, get dressed, and wrap the birthday present. I peek my head in the nursery and the girls are wide awake. They hadn't slept at all. While they are still in their cribs, I whip up a batch of O'Henry bars - since the person we're scheduled to visit this afternoon (an old neighbor) once ate an entire pan of O'Henry's while at our house. An entire pan. Twenty minutes later, he learned about the laxative effects of Karo Syrup. Despite spending the next 4 hours in the bathroom ... he LOVES O'Henry's and is always asking for a batch.
I get the girls up and feed them lunch. It's was good I waited to get them dressed for the day until after they'd licked the O'Henry topping off the spoons. We load in to the car and as I'm pulling out of the driveway, I remember my cell phone. I retrieve it and start to leave again, when I remember my camera. Leave again, remember the present. And the O'Henry's still cooling in the refrigerator. After running in and out of the house SEVEN times for various odds and ends, we finally leave and drive TWO HOURS to the birthday party. Thankfully the kids slept the whole way, although I never would have gone if I knew it would take so long to get there.
We arrive - the kids play in an un-landscaped yard for a couple hours where they are covered from head to toe in dirt - and then we drive TWO HOURS back home. They didn’t sleep a wink, but rather, laughed hysterically while they watched Baby Beethoven repeat five times. If I ever questioned the usefulness of it - today I was convinced that the DVD player in our van is worth it’s weight in gold.
When I arrived home at 8:30 PM, I open the garage door to pull the van in and immediately realize the door leading to our house has been left open. Molly is no where to be seen. But instead of instantly thinking "Where has the dog gone?!" I pray that no stray rats have scurried in to our house. I walk in to the house and find Molly laying on the floor in our bedroom with tufts of black hair everywhere. Thank goodness she is more mature than she once was. I shudder to think how bad it would have been, to have a labrador retriever puppy with full access to a house for six unsupervised hours. It happened once when we were in grad school. Monty and Molly both got in to the house while Charlie and I were out of town. Two weeks and an untold number of Febreeze bottles later ... our house still stunk to high heaven.
Because the kids were literally rolling around in the dirt backyard at the birthday party - I figured that they needed baths when we got home. To keep it fast and simple, I filled up the kitchen sink and stuck them both in. When it came time to take them out, I dried one off and put on the top part of their pj's, letting them run around diaperless for a couple minutes until I could get the second baby out. Doesn't it figure that both of them, as soon as their little feet touched the ground, took off running to the carpeted part of our house and went pee everywhere. If the dog doesn’t go pee in the house, I suppose they think they should.
Tonight, as I was on my hands and knees cleaning dog hair and pee off the ground, I had to remind myself that it could be worse. If it wasn't for the O'Henry bars and shiny face that looks 15 years younger ... I might not have felt like I was on vacation.