Posted by: Marisa | February 20, 2014

The Story of My Messy House

Our friends show up at the door exactly one second after I’ve finished dusting the house, putting away laundry, and mopping the floors. Perfect timing!

Friends at the doorUntil I hear a fifty two gallon splash on the kitchen floor and look back to see…

Milk on chair

What in the…who spilled their milk?! Milk on floor

“I’m not sure who spilled the milk mom, but look at the size of the chocolate bar Jack got into. I’d say that this is way worse than a few drops of milk, wouldn’t you?”

Posted by: Marisa | February 11, 2014

Bedroom Insanity of the Toddler Kind

A few months ago I met up with another twin mom for coffee which is fun because swapping twin stories makes me feel like my little hooligans aren’t as crazy as the singleton mom’s think they are. Unfortunately for me, this woman’s twins, Perfect Angel One and Perfect Angel Two, were the most annoyingly well behaved kids I’ve ever heard of. They were quiet, had never once drawn on the counters with permanent marker, and didn’t pile toys against their baby gate so they could pole vault over it. This coffee date wasn’t meeting my expectations but I was hanging in there until I asked how old her kids were when they learned how to break out of their cribs.

“Oh, they never broke out of their cribs” she replied. “We finally moved them into big boy beds when they were three and we said ‘stay in your beds until we come to get you in the morning’ and they did.”

At this point I threw my coffee all over her perfectly pressed shirt and stormed out.

Actually, I pulled one of those, ‘yea, mine too’ replies followed by an awkward I hate you laugh.

The truth is that Jack and Liam learned how to face dive out of their cribs when they were twenty months old and for the past seven months we’ve experienced absolute bedroom insanity.

It began on a night where we left the bedroom windows open just enough that a pair of anti-sleeping-toddler-beasts slipped in and invaded our children’s bodies. They sucked out the good littler sleepers we’d trained, set up shop, and began their mission to live a sleepless life. Their anger at being caged looked a little something like this.


After getting one foot on the top of the crib the toddler-beast was able to slide his body over the top, transition into a monkey hang and end with a ten point dismount onto the floor. No one was hurt so I promptly placed this screaming disaster of a tired child back in bed, looked at the Hubs, and said, “That didn’t just happen”. He agreed and we ran out of the bedroom, slamming the door behind us.  Then we heard two thuds, stomping feet, and a pack of Wilda-beasts trying to break through the bedroom door while screaming “MmeeebllahhaHhaaaBBBBLLLAAHHHHH”.

The Hubs and I stood in the hallway frozen, denying the inevitable. We went into their room, put them back in their cribs and ran for our lives. Again, two thuds and a lot of banging. This went on for more rounds than I’d like to admit because there wasn’t a shot in hell we were getting rid of those cribs…until one of the wilda-children realized that their ability to land on their feet was hurting their cause. This time, when he knew I was watching, he walked backwards, took a running leap towards the side of the crib, vaulted himself over the edge, and slammed his face into the floor.

Enter a few choice words flying from my mouth, the white flag of defeat, a screwdriver, and a beer.


As our children stood around laughing, dancing, and mocking us by having one last party in their cribs (seriously, look at that kid having a good ol’ time in his crib) we entered into the land of the Big Boy Bed.

Have you ever been to the land of the big boy bed? Because having two kids living cage-free means nothing is safe.

Not the diaper bin or the book shelf…

B5…the dirty diapers…


…or the diaper cream.


The clothes in the closet? Not safe.


And the furniture? Don’t get me started on the furniture. Every morning for seven months the boys have completely rearranged the furniture in their bedroom. We had a house guest one weekend who sat on the couch listening to the banging, scraping, and bumping that was happening for almost an hour. When the Hubs and I asked him why he didn’t get the boys out of their room. He said, “I thought you were in there with them. How would I have known your kids were moving the furniture by themselves?” Touche my friend.

As hard as they try not to succumb,  eventually the boys fall asleep. Want to sleep in front of the door, blocking your other brother into the room? I’m okay with that.



Want to share a bed? Sounds good to me.


Want to…


…fall asleep on top of the changing table? I’m not sure that’s okay. Neither is this.


Eventually, we smartened up and toddler proofed the room. We tied the closet doors and plantation blinds closed and took the diapers, bins, toys, books, changing table, end table, night light, and ottoman out of their room. The only things left in there are the glider and two beds…

Cribs Moved

…which they still insist on rearranging every morning.

Good News. We finally  had a chance to take a tour of that fancy new Pediatric ER they built in our town. It’s a beauty. I’m sorry I didn’t have time to take a few more pictures of the state-of-the-art facility but it’s awkward to pull out your phone and ‘say cheese!’ when the doctors are asking if they can clean the blood off your kids face. Believe me, I was itching to document the moment.

It looked a little bit like this…


Only that bleeder was from the time J’bear ran  into a wall. This time he fell forward, and then back down, the stairs inside our house. So picture blood running from his nose, cheek, chin, and eye. Plus, there was a lot more screaming.

For comic relief L was standing at the top of the stairs shouting, “Jay-jay fell down. Go boom.” over and over. Then, because he didn’t know how else to get my attention, he started pulling towels out of the kitchen drawer and throwing them onto the counter tops. When he was bored and the drawers were empty he pulled a really, really, Costco big, bag of popcorn off the counter and dumped it all over the floor. I kept ignoring him and running around the kitchen packing the diaper bag that I’d need in order to take J’bear to the ER – diapers, wipes, milk, a six pack of apple sauce, some gum?, a bag of pretzels, and some dried fruit. Apparently I was overly worried that we’d be stuck at the ER all night and might somehow starve to death.

The whole time I was focused on J and that diaper bag but I wished I could have documented the sheer insanity that was happening because even in that moment there was something kind of funny about watching my house absolutely erupt into chaos before my eyes.

When J fell, I knew right away that we were going to the ER but the hubs was out of town on business which complicated the situation because I couldn’t figure out how to drag two children to the hospital during Witching Hour (5pm). I contemplated calling an ambulance but how does it work with kid #2? Would they have let him come along or would I have had to stay behind with him? I didn’t have time to think through all of that. I started calling friends and finally connected with Aunt Jamie who called Aunt Kelly for moral support, which is good because by the time they showed up I had packed J in the van and pretty much abandoned L in the house to fend for himself. Turns out he decided to pay me back by playing Mr. Tinkle Pants from the front door, through the hallway, into the kitchen, and onto that pile of popcorn he’d dumped on the floor. Welcome to the chaos Aunt Jamie and Aunt Kelly!

When we got to the hospital the doctors cleaned J up, checked out his head and face, told us that falling down the stairs and hitting your face is better than hitting the back of your head, and requested that we stay for three hours of observation.

J at hospital before stickers

Within twenty minutes J was trying to break out of his hospital room. Five minutes later he found a kid-sized race car in the play area and insisted on driving it around the halls of the hospital.  He quickly realized he could crawl under the hood of the race car and hide there. This little maneuver was exactly what he needed to draw the attention of every lady-nurse in the building who thought J was so adorable! Next thing I knew he was hanging out with his besties behind the nursing station which was kind of awkward for me because it was obvious that I was the third wheel and he was all mom let me hang out with these lovely ladies and stop crampin’ my style. 

Just as he and his ho’s were exchanging stickers the doctor came into the hallway and told me that, based on J’s energy level, he thought the kid was fine. I agreed. Plus, I was ready to get out of there. It’s awkward being in the ER with a kid who wants to run around, sing, and flirt while the other parents are worried about their really sick kids. 

I was finally able to corral him back in his room and we watched some TV while we waited for the discharge papers.

J at hospital after stickers

Peace out ER.


Posted by: Marisa | November 24, 2013

Open Sesame

When the boys were learning to crawl people loved to tell me that my sanity was about to end, that life was going to become so hard, and that I’d better brace myself because shizat was about to hit the fan. “Oh my, you’re going to have two babies crawling around the house eating everything in sight!” I braced myself for the fact that I could no longer put my little bundles of spit n’ poo on the floor in one room, leave, enjoy a tall glass of white wine on the deck, and come back several hundred minutes later to find them in the same room. Crawling was a milestone I was prepared to selfishly dislike just a little. The same is true for walking. It’s a logistical nightmare to have to rally two kids into their bedroom, away from the top of the stairs, or through a parking lot.  Again, I was prepared to be slightly annoyed at my loss of freedom when this milestone hit.

But none of the fore-warners who were all ‘oh my gosh walking is going to be so bad’ bothered to prepare me for the milestones we’re currently hitting and I’m wishing they had because I needed some time to mentally and emotionally prepare for this.

Open Sesame

Last week I had an unexpected call with a client and couldn’t get the boys to the sitters house.  I did what has always worked which was pour bags of junk food into plastic bowls, hand them to the boys,  and plop them in front of a 52 inch, plasma, Elmo. Then, I went upstairs, out the front door and sat down on the steps. Less than five minutes later I hear a little L’bear running around the side of the house calling my name. My stomach drops as I see him running towards me.

Shut the front door.

That little punk figured out how to turn a door handle and let himself out of the effing house! Besides feeling like a jerk of a mother for allowing my kid to come running into the front yard unattended I was legitimately worried about where number two was. I’m not sure if you know but when we moved into our new house we inherited a pond. Not a real one, a fake one full of needy little fish with just enough water to cause problems. I abruptly ended my call, grabbed L, went running back to the pond, saw that J wasn’t there, went running into the house, looked in the laundry room, the shop, and all the dangerously non kid friendly places we have. Finally, just as I was about to throw up from the panic I was feeling I heard J giggling in the storage closet. I walked in, saw nothing, and looked around confused.

Eventually, I found him. Can you?


Milestone: Being able to turn door handles and let themselves out of the house. Dear Santa, I’d like some door bolts for Christmas.

Posted by: Marisa | November 11, 2013

Mr. Tinkle Pants and The Grocery Cart Debacle

Just before his second birthday L decided he was finished peeing in diapers and transitioned into the world of big boy undies and plastic potties. A week at the beach with his younger, potty trained cousin, was a nudge in the right direction but the realization that being potty trained meant he could take a standing leak on a tree sealed the deal.

I didn’t plan on teaching my child to be a barbarian at such a young age but the first time we left the house without a diaper we were at a festival in a local park. He started doing the tinkle dance and I knew there was no way we were going to make it to the bathroom on time. I ran him to the edge of the woods, behind a car, pulled down his pants and introduced him to the most convenient reason it’s better to be male than female. Once I had him situated and he was ooh-ing and ahh-ing over how awesome his new life was I looked up and realized that I had walked us just far enough into the woods that we were now facing the trail that led everyone into the festival. People walking past us could very clearly see what was happening. As they looked L shouted, “I did it! I go pee-pee!”

The problem with this new found freedom called ‘potty trained’ is that once you stop wearing a saggy old diaper you don’t want to go back but having to stop whatever fun you’re having to go to the bathroom isn’t reasonable either. So now we’re in the I  refused to put on a diaper but was having so much fun not telling you that I had to pee that I peed all over myself phase.

I’m now convinced that Target strategically places their bathrooms as far away from the kid section as possible to ensure that any toddler who yells tinkle has no chance in hell of making it to the bathroom on time. It’s a bonus if his mom forgets a change of clothes, has to strip him naked, run to customer service for a plastic bag, rush back to the kid section with a streaking toddler in tow, and buy a new wardrobe. The silver lining that day were the cute little foot prints L-bear left behind as he sloshed his way out of the store sporting a new outfit from head to ankles.

Peeing on the floor of Target wasn’t fun but in the long run it was relatively painless. Painful was when we were grocery shopping with both kids, had L in the back of the shopping cart, and started to see a trail of liquid dripping down by our feet. The minute we realized it was pee we stopped in our tracks and did one of those hesitations as it dawned on us that most of our groceries had been placed under the cart in an attempt to protect them from manhandling toddlers. #Fail. I started to run through the conversation I was about to have with the store manager, “Um, sir, do we have to buy these peed on eggs? How about the milk? And the meat? The napkins?”

As the hubs and I were trying to figure out what to do with the mess L turns to J and proudly shouts, “Jay-jay, that’s my pee!” J says, “Yeah!”And they both have a good laugh at the whole situation.






Posted by: Marisa | September 28, 2013

And Then They Were Two

The boys are two! And we’re still in-tact and fully functioning which is a hot damn miracle.

It’s totally cliche but I have no idea where the time has gone. I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that it seems like yesterday the boys were nothing more than itty-bitty-blobs.


Then they were born and we spent copious amounts of time sitting around watching these strange, helpless, itty-bitty-blob-people get used to our world.


By the time they were a year old we had pretty much dropped the ‘itty-bitty’ piece but they were still wobbly and blobby.


But today, no matter how hard I look, I can’t find the blobby-ness anywhere. Instead, I see two mini-humans.


They do all kinds of human things

like communicate.

77g 77y 3h

They grunt, grumble, scream and use sign language to communicate. As you can see from the pictures above, they know how to sign egg, star, and bird but it doesn’t stop there. They know the signs for all of their foods including avocado, mango, grapes, meat, chicken, broccoli, carrot, berries, spaghetti, and peas. They can sign almost every animal sign, their manners, and the names of their friends and family members. And since no repertoire would be complete without them, they also know the signs for pee and poop.

They parrot everything we say which is fun when we’re trying to get them to say challenging things like ‘America’ or ‘mom wants daddy to buy her diamonds’. It’s a lot less fun when you say something you’d rather them not repeat.  A few weeks ago I walked into the kitchen just in time to see L sucking the toothpaste out of a tube  of Colgate. I shouted an expletive, ran over, and realized the cap was on. My bad. Of course he repeated the world that belonged to a sailor. I blamed Uncle Zach but the hubs knew better. Now I’ve been banned from all the good four letter words and have been instructed to supplement my vocabulary with words like ‘shoot’, ‘shucks’, or ‘gosh darn it’. Boring.

Speaking of communicating, they love to sing. They sing in the car, in the bath, while jumping on the couch, with food in their mouths,  while marching down the street, waiting at the doctors office, and playing on the playground. I can’t possibly imagine where they discovered how much fun singing at the top of your lungs can be but I for one love that they love it.

The Eat Like Almost-Humans

Have I told you that they use silverware now? It’s awesome because instead of having to clean six articles of kitchen-ware at the end of every meal I now have to clean ten. Ten?! Impossible, right? Nope, every meal includes two plates, two cups, two lids, two trays, four utensils. Actually, that’s twelve and it doesn’t include the child-size smock they wear and the entire kitchen floor which is free reign for all the undesirable food. Regardless, I’ve been told that learning to use silverware increases the odds that someone will want to marry them so I let ’em have it. It’s cute that they’re so ambitious.




That being said, the fastest way to shovel food in your face is still with your hands so they like to keep their food shoving skills sharp.


Speaking of meals the boys no longer eat in high chairs when we go out. The reason this is awesome is because the town we live in has mostly trendy little hole in the wall restaurants and so few of them ever had two high chairs that we got in the habit of bringing our own. What a freaking pain to drag two kids, two portable high chairs, and a diaper bag full of free food for the kids into a restaurant.

Now we just find a table and plop ourselves down. It works out great for everyone…



Except for L who can’t seem to keep his eye on the prize for long enough to realize that while he’s looking at that squirrel J is helping himself to the good stuff on his plate.

Body Parts

The  boys are learning their body parts. If it’s in the song ‘Head, shoulders, knees, and toes’ they can tell you where it is but if you ask them where their prefrontal cortex is, which I ask them a lot, they get confused. Since they’re struggling a bit with the basics we’ve decided to hold off on the med school applications.


Speaking of ears, they have a strange obsession with their ear-holes. One day we were playing on the living room floor and I noticed this florescent green sticker jammed in L’s ear. Don’t worry. After a lot of screaming, hog-tying, and tweezer usage we got it out but I’d rather it not happen again.



These kids When music is on, they’re dancing. J especially seems to have something inside him that makes him want to move his little body around to the beat. Sometimes it’s a slow dance where he sways back and forth with his arms up in the air, other times he spins in circles, and sometimes he does a little jump-kick-swing-pump thing. It’s so freaking cute.

3e 3d 3c 3b

Play Time

The boys love going to the playground and are becoming more confident when it comes to playing on equipment that’s higher and higher. L seems to be pretty fearless which almost caused me to have a heart attack when I saw him sitting at the top of this slide…


But he was all, ‘Mom, I’ve got this”.


So I was a lot less fearful when I saw J up there with him the next time.


Which turned out to be the wrong response because J got this far down the slide before he realized he didn’t want to go any farther. Sorry little man but it’s too late to go back now.



My favorite part about having twins is watching them interact. They’re so playful with each other and they’ve really hit an age where it’s feasible for me to leave them by themselves in a room to play.  I like to peek in on them and what I see always melts my heart…hugs at snack time…


Hanging out in a hidden corner of the house…


Studying the outside world…


And sharing late night snuggles when they don’t want to sleep alone.


Did I say that what I see when I peek in on the boys always melts my heart? I did and I hope you called my bluff. I was being delusional. What I meant to say is that sometimes I see things that make my heart melt. Other times I see my kids playing wizard staff with a wooden skewer.


But I think you get my point. Having two year old twin boys is awesome and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

Happy Second Birthday J & L!

667 birthday pic blog ready 667 Crab Blog ready

Posted by: Marisa | July 19, 2013

Red, White, and Blueberry Picking

Once upon a time on a small blueberry patch in central Wisconsin there was a blueberrologist named Peter. He had dedicated his life to growing and studying the most rare species of blueberries known to man. Peter was sure that his species of berries would help cure a hideously uncomfortable form of diaper rash. He was focused and determined to eliminate the uncomfortable situation forever.

Meet Peter.

Meet Dan

Billy is Peter’s not-so-identical twin brother. He’s the wild child of the family and has  dedicated his life to dancin’ with the ladies. He happens to be broke right now and needs some money-cash. He  planned a trip to the blueberry patch specifically to sucker Peter into hooking him up.

Meet Billy.

66 wild child MG_1780

Peter’s a smart guy. The minute he saw Billy roll up to the blueberry patch on the Fourth of July he knew he was about to be on the losing end of a money exchange. Before Billy had a chance to ask for anything Peter took him straight to the blueberries that needed to be harvested.

L giving berry lesson

In his nasally little voice he told Billy, “Brother, these are my prized possessions. I am weeks away from having the final version of my anti-butt-rash serum ready for human trials. There are just enough berries on these bushes for me to create the serum I need so we must pick them quickly and efficiently. We cannot let any go to waste. And we certainly can’t eat any”.

24 Uh no Im not

“What do you mean we can’t eat any?!” Billy questioned. “That’s the only reason I agreed to come out to this patch in the first place!”

8 I can see you eating them

“Are you kidding me? Just don’t eat any. I need enough berries to create my serum. There is a very specific way to pick them. Watch as I show you. First you find a bushel that looks ripe…”

3 Tug them 1“and give it a little…”

2 tug them 2


1- Tug them 3“uuug.”

4 Tug them - give them a good

As Peter looked up with a handful of freshly picked blueberries he noticed that Billy hadn’t been paying attention at all. Through the bushes Peter saw that Billy was…

36 J eating Not sure what youre talking about

35 J eating

“Billy, I told you not to eat any of the berries!”

37 J eating 2“I’m not!”

54 MG_1800

“I’m just bringing these berries to the bucket.”

21 Ah yes these are perfect

“Okay, but seriously, keep your pie hole shut and the berry’s out.” Peter turned back to the bushes. Billy didn’t.

9 Im not eating any berries

Instead, he kept a close eye on his brother. “Blueberry picking is for chumps” he whispered under his breath. At the first chance he got he snuck away for a break.

33 J under the blueberry bush

Under the shade of a blueberry bush. Where he was careful…

34 bush

to get every last berry into his mouth.

6 Little piece in the center

When Peter found him he was furious.


He stormed off, shouting to Billy, “You’ve ruined my chances of curing diaper rash forever you little punk!”


And sough comfort from his main investor who told him not to worry because he had just come up with an even better way to cure diaper rash. Peter perked up as he listened to his investor comment, “If all the children in the world become potty trained there will be no diapers and if there are no diapers there can be no diaper rash.”

This made Peter very happy.

Happy Fourth of July!



Posted by: Marisa | June 15, 2013

Potty Pants and Pee On The Floor.

We’re in the process of potty training the boys.

Actually, we were in the process of potty training them. I guess it’s safe to say that the article I found on Pinterest outlining how to potty train kids in three days was crap might not have been meant for a single mom (for the weekend) with twins boys who aren’t quite two. I followed it to the letter: got the potties, the snacks, and 9 pair of big boy underwear but I guess that’s irrelevant at this point.

The process is that you put the kids in underwear and every six seconds ask them if they are still dry while grabbing at their crotches to make sure they are, indeed, still dry. When your hand doesn’t leave their crotchal-region covered in fecal matter you clap and carry on like a Disney character on helium. The screeching, happy, holy-wow-you’re dry gig is pretty annoying…I know, I got to do it once.

Here’s the thing though. This hooker online didn’t tell me that my kids would be tinkling on the floor within seconds of putting on their Mr Potato Head panties. You don’t need all the graphic details but here’s what you do need to know: All nine pair of underwear were soaked through in less than thirty minutes, I ate all the snacks in a frantic I can’t handle all the piss on the floor anxiety attack, and the toilets went completely unused. That was weeks ago and we haven’t seen Mr. Potato Head or his panties since.

My new strategy for potty training the twins is to keep the bathroom door open and hope they train themselves while I’m not looking.

I actually think it’s working because the other day this guy came running down the hallway…

1 PantsL

…wearing someone else’s pants on his head.

2 pants L

And since it’s completely atypical for my children to be wearing any pants at all, let alone two pair, I had to investigate.

3 Pants L

It turns out they were in the mood for a little Potty Party which was loads of fun. It included reading about world events…

13 Pants L

picking out their lunch menu…

9 Pants L

strategizing about how they were going to get Uncle Mike out of their magazine…

8 Pants L

test driving various seating options…

5 Pants Land checking out their contributions to the loo…which were minimal since their diapers never actually came off their little butts.

7 Pants L

6 Pants L

All in all I’d say my non-strategy is working quite well.

Posted by: Marisa | June 1, 2013

The Banished Boys and The Milk Monster

Once upon a time in a far away land lived a village full of village people. Together they built houses and schools, grew their crops, and sang kumbaya while holding hands and swaying. It was a peaceful village where people sauntered about, spoke quietly, and kept any loud-ness to a minimum.

Born into that town was a set of twins who, quite frankly, never fit in. From a young age it was obvious that these two boys were screaming, running, shouting, fighting bundles of crazy. No matter what they did they couldn’t contain their excitement or their noise.

One day the townspeople held a meeting to discuss the twins and, after very little debate, banished them to the outskirts of town where their noise would be put to good use. You see, the Evil Cup Monster lived in the forest outside the village and under the darkness of night would creep into  town and steal all the cups of milk, leaving the townspeople parched and dehydrated.

The noise that Crazy Jay and Loud Loui made was enough to keep the monster at bay. But one day while Loud Loui was walking through the woods by himself the Evil Cup Monster jumped out from behind a tree, screamed “boo!”, and stole his cup of milk. 

Loui was scared and went running out of the forest shouting “AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!”


“Brother” shouted Loud Loui, “Put on your cape. The Cup Monster has struck again and has stolen our milk. We must get it back before we become parched”.


Oh, I am not happy about this situation.


But if we hurry I’m sure we’ll have our milk back by dinner.


“Now follow me” he shouted as he ran back into the woods.


“Okay, but I’m losing my cape” Jay shouted as he trailed close behind.


The twins spent the next few hours looking for the monster and when they finally came upon him a fight ensued.

Pow, Pow, Kong Pow.

A few loud screams, one round-kick, a swish of their capes, and a kick to the monsters shin and they were victorious!

At the first opportunity Crazy Jay grabbed the cup of milk from the monsters hand and shouted, “Lets get outta heeerrreeeee”.

That monster was crazy!

“But we showed him” shouted Loui as he ran past Jay.


And a good laugh was had by all.

That was awesome!

Thanks to Loui and Jay the Milk Monster was never seen in their village again.




Posted by: Marisa | May 25, 2013

The Great Baby Heist

I’m not sure exactly when it happened but someone snuck into our house, went into the boys room, stole my snuggly-little-smooshy-baby boy and replaced him with this…

3jcrytoddler-child-creature who is too big for his crib to be one of my offspring.

And I’ll tell you this much, this guy is not happy about it.

2jcryLike, really not happy about it. 



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