Friday, September 24, 2010

Boys Will Be Boys

My poor daughter and I are surrounded by boys in every sense of the word. Even our dog is a boy. And even our dog seems to revel in the primal pleasure of burping and farting in a way that I’m certain I will never understand.

In our house, while I’d like to think that I rule the roost, I am woefully outnumbered and consistently amazed and slightly horrified by just how much boys will be boys and how young it all starts. I remember when our firstborn was about one and a half, he looked at me with outright glee and said ‘FART!”. I instantly shot my husband a stern look that clearly said “where the hell did he learn that and do you really think it’s appropriate for a kid under two to be joyfully exclaiming FART?!” and then I sweetly looked at my little lad and said “No, no. Not fart. Toot.” And then he and my husband roared with laughter as if to say “is she serious?! What a loser! Guys don’t TOOT, we FART!” And so it began.

Our triplets are just about the age our first guy was when he discovered the joy of flatulation. And they are equally exuberant. I sometimes feel like a poo-poo prisoner because though they are not yet two, they have figured out the one way to get Mom’s undivided attention is to shout with all their might “Poo Poo Potty!!! POO POO POTTY!!!!!” So, I take them, one by one to sit on the potty. They hold me hostage as I rub their back, sing them songs, tell stories and urge them to poop or pee or do something other than hold me against my will in our dirty bathroom. And you know what my reward is? The occasional fart! The stinky fart (most certainly NOT a tender toot!) has become the first inking of potential success with the poo-poo potty training. Ah, the irony of it all.

And then there are the sports. Our oldest is in first grade and just started soccer. In addition to the identity issues this creates for me (am I now a “soccer mom”? what does that even mean?!), it frankly destroys our weekends. Practice on Saturday, games on Sunday. My five year old races energetically down the field while my husband plays the role of assistant coach and I tear up the field in my own way while trying to corral our other four kids and keep them off the field/out of the goal/away from the ball. It’s the same kind of fun I had when T-ball started in the spring except that now my kids are bigger and faster and it’s harder to catch them!

The triplets love to get in the game – any game. They are obsessed with balls. … soccer balls, soft balls, baseballs, tennis balls, footballs, beach balls, golf balls, lacrosse balls, you name it, they love it. They’re even starting to enjoy their own personal sets, if you know what I mean. Their limited vocabulary is fairly fluent in the language of sport – “pass”, “catch”, “out”, “my turn” are a part of their daily vernacular. And regrettably “NO BALLS IN THE HOUSE” has become part of mine.

Of course, beyond playing sports, watching them has become a favorite pastime. While the triplets are already chanting “J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, JETS!,” our five year old cries when bedtime arrives before the Yankee game ends and then demands to watch Sports Center when he wakes up. Heaven help me and my little lady… especially since, much to my dismay, all my little fellas seem to enjoy watching any sort of ball game while clutching their own. My husband assures me this is all normal (as he asks me to move so he can see the score of the game) and utters with an admittance and acceptance that I’m starting to understand, “Boys will be boys.”

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Moms Rule

I recently attended my local Mothers of Multiples monthly meeting. Truth be told, I didn’t want to go. I never want to go; I think I’ve only made it to two meetings in two years – although, of course, the five kids under five could have something to do with my poor attendance record. In any case, I was worn out from a long day at work and the typical chaos of our dinner and bedtime routine. I was wearing old leggings and a crappy t-shirt and would have been more content settling in for the night than driving 20 minutes away to mingle with a group of women who I barely knew and wasn’t sure if I’d have much more in common with than the admittedly bizarre fact our uteruses (uteri?!) happened to host more than one baby at a time.

 But, I figured, as I often do, nothing ventured, nothing gained. So, I slapped on some lipstick, threw on a cute pair of flats (courtesy of my sister, as with most cute things I own!), tossed on a sweater and headed out the door. And boy, am I ever glad I did. After just a few short hours with a bunch of women I hardly knew, here’s what I’ve concluded: Moms Rule.

 Not just the “Moms of Multiples” who I had the pleasure of spending the evening with, but all Moms. I realized that we are united by far more than our expanding and contracting uteruses – or, for that matter, by our saggy boobs, baggy bellies and bags under our eyes. We are united in that we are warm, welcoming people – whether it’s a knowing smile to a nervous expectant Mom or one last hug before the bus comes, we are wired to make those around us feel better. To feel confident. To know they can tackle the task at hand – whether it’s surviving the first year with a newborn (or two, or three!) or surviving the first day of school, we support everyone around us. We tend to be funny and real and often, the combination of the two is when we’re at our best.

We are the consummate multi-taskers – we buy groceries, cook meals, clean houses, change diapers, plan parties, organize play dates, pay bills, upload photos, plan vacations, write thank you notes and remember the in-law’s birthdays. We help with homework, do the laundry, kiss the boo-boos, cheer at the soccer games, drive to ballet class and return the library books.

 We pride ourselves and artfully juggle our roles as mothers, daughters, friends, sisters, neighbors and colleagues. We support each other, laugh together, cry together, bitch together and intuitively pick each other up just when it’s needed most. We do all this for one – or two, or three or five or more – reasons. We love those little people that come out of our oversized uterus; we want to make them happy and we want the world they grow up in to be a better place. We want to inspire them to make it a greater place. And we’re wise enough to know that we can’t do it alone. We need the help and support of other Moms and thankfully, find that they are there just when we need them most. Much like our own Moms. So, if you haven’t done so recently, take a moment to pass this on to all the many Moms in your life and remind of this simple truth: Moms Rule.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Summer Vacation

We waited a long time for our summer vacation this year and boy, was it ever worth the wait.  The week before Labor Day was a sun and surf filled week away from work, home and our typical daily responsibilities.  As I look back on our blissful getaway, I'm reminded of a few more things that I love about summertime... and, about our "Cubs"...

Outdoor showers -- whether it's the sun or the stars shining down upon you, few things are more freeing than an outdoor shower.  Not to mention, with five sandy kids, it really simplifies the post-beach routine!

Sunsets.  Nothing beats sunset at the beach.  It's the perfect punctuation mark to a day filled with sun, fun and sandcastles.  And, it is quintessential summertime -- the kids are up past their bedtime, they may still have salty, tangled hair... they may eventually just go to bed that way... and, that's ok!

Relaxing.  And not necessarily in the literal sense of the word since there is little relaxing to be done when you hit the beach with five tots running in five different directions.  But, when we're on vacation, we tend to relax the rules a bit and, as it turns out, this is good for everyone.  It's ok if the kids watch some TV before breakfast.  It's ok if breakfast includes a typically-forbidden sugar cereal and/or donuts.  It's ok if naps get skipped in favor of lingering a bit longer on the beach.  It's ok if there's no veggie with dinner and it's ok to wait 'til tomorrow to fold the laundry or empty the dishwasher. This is what vacation is all about.

Exploring.  Whether it was searching for seashells or wowing at whales, each day contained some new adventure.  Des tried surfing (braving hurricane force waves in a noble attempt!), I tried paddle boarding and the kids made discoveries big and small... hermit crabs, the aforementioned outdoor shower and one of their Mom's perennial summer favorites: Sundae School (

Exhaling.  Literally just letting it all out. Taking deep breaths, inhaling the salt air and exhaling all the angst that builds up each day... each day until we are lucky enough each year to return to the Cape.  To the place we came individually as kids and now come together with a family of our own.  The place we got engaged. The place that we love. 

It's hard to believe that we've only been home for a week -- it's been a whopper of a week... back to work, back to school, and back to reality.  As anticipated, the memories will last a lifetime and the pictures will provide smiles for months -- and years -- to come.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

So long, Summer of Peril!

It’s hard to believe that the summer has gone so quickly. I remember thinking over Memorial Day Weekend that this summer would likely be recalled as the “Summer of Peril.”  What other way was there to consider the hazy, hot, humid days that streteched ahead through Labor Day... days that would be filled with poolside ventures , backyard barbecues and beachy weekends attended by my own personal set of Backyardigans – a full set of five that included only one swimmer (which is a flattering description of Liam ‘s ability though fortunately, he does keep himself afloat!), one pink-Croc wearing sprinter, and three toddlers, in the most literal sense of the word. As I look back on Summer 2010, I realize (once again) just how lucky we are.

To provide you with just a quick rundown… there were consistently little Lyons Cubs running into the street as we chased them shouting “No, no! No, no, no!” … which, of course, they interpreted as “GAME ON!” and ran all the faster. Then there were the backyard barbecues… “HOT!” we’d yell as they approached the fiery grill with outstretched hands. And we can’t overlook the stairs, inside and out, that were tumbled down repeatedly, resulting in lumps and bumps and frequent use of the “Boo Boo Bunny.” There were snack drawer invasions, toilet bowl fishing expeditions, crib climbing and table dancing. There were falls from bikes and trikes and trips from tree roots and uneven sidewalks. There was one impressive bee sting, millions of mosquito bites, a case of strep throat, a few ear infections and the realization that one of our car seats has a curse – whoever sits in it inevitably pukes. So, of course, to keep things fair, we rotate the kids in that seat so that everyone gets their fair share of puking. Thoughtful, right?

Then there’s the challenge that the pool and beach present. We made it to Labor Day with nary a scare despite the triplets tottering at the water’s edge for months. And then it happened. On the unoffical last day of summer, we let our guard down. In the blink of an eye, two of our tots ended up in the deep end of my parents’ pool, bringing all our fears of the Summer of Peril front and center. Thank God that in the next blink of an eye my Dad and brother-in-law fished them out. Thank God that they were only shaken up and not physically harmed. And, thank God that the Summer of Peril is finally behind us!

I am so ready to put away the Crocs and pull out the sneakers. Needless to say, I’ve already packed away the swimsuits and located the snowsuits. I’m really looking forward to Fall adventures that I hope will include apple picking and pumpkin carving and who knows, maybe even lighting a fire in the fireplace… although, maybe that should wait just a bit longer… I don’t think my nerves are ready for an Autumn of Peril; instead, I’m hoping for a Fall with few falls, frequent laughs and a continued sense of gratitude for our mischievous little Cubs.