Friday, May 27, 2011

One More Thing

I forgot to mention that this trip to Vegas is for a wedding - my very first Vegas wedding - and that I'm going to be wearing this:
I have never owned a Betsey Johnson dress before. I have also never worn anything so pink and foofy (that's a technical term). Pretty exciting, yes?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Check, Check, Go!

As I gear up for my much-needed and much-anticipated trip to Las Vegas(!) this weekend (as always, there will be a recap), I thought I should also announce that I think I managed to cross two more items off my 40 by 40 list!

You might not have noticed, but I posted a link to an article I wrote about being a theater widow a couple weeks ago. Well, it has since come to my attention that what I wrote is, in fact, a personal essay and it was technically published. I think I'm having trouble with this one because it sneaked up on was too easy for something I thought was going to be super hard. I'm also not sure it stretched me in the way I thought that writing something for, say, Brain, Child magazine might have. Not that I can't still do that, but in the interest of giving myself credit for an accomplishment, I'm checking #5 off the list. Woohoo!

I'm also checking #22 off the list because after much trial and error, I believe I am capable of both appreciating and making a good martini. I learned that I was putting too much Vermouth in. And also that I don't like gin martinis, so my definition of a good martini is Grey Goose up, slightly dirty. Another woohoo!

And now with all those accomplishments under my belt, I am headed off to my happy place where I will lounge and play Monopoly slots and appreciate some more good martinis. Life is good.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Gray Skies are Gonna Clear Up

Is it always blue skies and sunshine following a tornado? Like the sky just had to get all the bad stuff out and now it can move on? Our house was (thankfully) out of the storm path today, but North Minneapolis got hit pretty hard. And  now it's gorgeous outside -- complete with a Muppets-worthy rainbow.

Weather aside, it's been a good week in the parenting department. I made another mom-of-twin-geniuses friend (those are hard to come by) and I unburdened myself of a good load of parental guilt by attending the boys' rollerskating field trip on Friday.

I wasn't exactly looking forward to the field trip as 1) I don't generally enjoy large groups of children and 2) I don't generally enjoy making small talk with other parents - or worse, having no one to talk to because all the other parents know each other, because they all volunteer at the school on a weekly basis.

However, I'm happy to report that it was a lovely experience. First of all, I got to have visceral flashbacks to my elementary school years, as the roller rink has managed to defy the laws of time and remain exactly as I remember it from 1986.

Then, I got to be reminded that Aidan can be very independent, as he took off on his own and lapped me several times around the rink.

And finally, I got the pleasure of spending the whole 2 hours with my little Owen. Now granted, I wasn't thrilled about the fact that he wouldn't let go of my hand (my back was still sore from dragging him around the lake by our house, on his rollerblades), but had I not been physically attached to him, I might have missed the cutest moment of the day:

While we were skating, we heard a shout of "Owen!" behind us and I turned to see his friend Claire (who also has Asperger's) skate up and take Owen's other hand in hers. I tried desperately to get my Blackberry to snap a photo, but it was too dark and I was moving too fast, so it refused. (Damn you, RIM!) It was just so precious. And it got him to let go of my hand for 20 seconds before he determined that she skated way too fast for him (ahem) and went back to clinging to me.

But just seeing the way she wanted to skate with him...and also seeing all the other kids who made of point of saying hi or telling him he was doing great as they whizzed was exactly the warming my heart needed. So I stopped trying to get him to let go of my hand and reminded myself that I was lucky to be there with him and that in the not-so-distant future he won't want anything to do with holding my hand.

And so we skated. To Rihanna. To Guns 'N' Roses. To Taio Cruz. To the Black Eyed Peas.

And we were happy.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Me, Meet Me

I need to say something aloud before I change my mind: I think I might be turning back into myself.

I mean, the me I was before I had kids. Obviously not the same person I was before I had kids, because my kids have both made me crazier and changed me in many, many good ways...

It's as if the me who had kids just finally had the time and energy to get to know the me from back before I had kids and we've worked out some kind of agreement on how to be a mom and a thinking person who enjoys non-kid-related things, without all the neuroses...well, with maybe slightly fewer neuroses.

I'm not being articulate. All I'm trying to say is that as my boys hurtle toward their 8th birthday(!), I'm starting to more vividly recall the days when life did not revolve around sleeping and eating schedules. And that's kind of exciting.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

Ah, Mother's Day. Do the rest of you moms fluctuate between wanting to spend the day cuddled up with your kids and wanting to jet off to a tropical island where no kids are allowed?

It's funny how a day that's supposed to honor us as mothers is so often used as an excuse to take a break from our kids...not that I'm criticizing. I think the year that we did brunch with the kids and then I flew away to New York with my husband and had dinner in my favorite NYC restaurant was probably one of the best Mother's Days ever. Like everything, it's about balance, I suppose.

This morning I had homemade (schoolmade) flowers bestowed upon me, as well as my coveted mortar & pestle! Then we stuffed ourselves silly at the same fabulous brunch buffet we attend every year. The one with the chocolate fountains and those amazing little desserts you see above.

The rest of the day will be spent laying around, waiting for the finale of The Amazing Race. And possibly making guacamole with my new toy. And dreaming of a tropical island.

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 6, 2011

I Am an Expert

Lifehacker put out a call for experts and as I was putting together a professional(ish) entry, it occurred to me that I am an expert in many things - and who knows when one might need such an expert?

I am an expert at raising twin boys – particularly if one has autism and both are geniuses (or at least “moderately gifted”).

I am an expert at eating cupcakes.

I am an expert at being married to the owner of an improv theater.

I am an expert at finishing raising yourself when your mom moves out during high school.

I am an expert at dying your hair purple if you don’t want to bleach it first.

I am an expert at planning trips to Las Vegas.

I am an expert at surviving a teenage stepson who made almost every bad choice (and was an asshole to boot) but is now emerging from the depths as a pretty nice guy.

I am an expert at planning parties I'll probably never throw.

I am an expert at updating my Facebook status.

I am an expert at reading dessert menus and over-ordering.

I am an expert at waking up in the middle of the night to dispense children’s Tylenol.

I am an expert at making lists.

I am an expert at over-analyzing things that don’t need to be analyzed in the first place.

I am an expert at giving hugs.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Month Before Cake

It figures that I would fail to blog on the final day of my blog-every-day month. Ah, well.

It is a shame, however, that I missed acknowledging the last day of Autism Awareness Month yesterday. Especially since I wanted to tell you that I finally convinced my husband to read "Look Me in the Eye" (he's a stubborn one) and he wrote a lovely blog post about it.

I hope you were all able to celebrate the month in some way - hopefully either by becoming better informed about autism yourself, or by educating someone else.

So yes, it's May 1st, and sure it's May Day, but at our house, it's most importantly the beginning of birthday-planning season. A household of Geminis, are we. My birthday is first, which is probably good since I require the most planning, and re-planning, and second-guessing of plans, etc. I wobble between wanting to plan a fabulous day of activities where I get to spend time with my family and friends and simply wanting to have a day where I don't have to do anything except possibly get a massage and read a book...or watch the Food Network. Yes, I wobble...but ultimately we all know I'm going to plan some kind of activity that will allow me to wear a party dress and eat dessert.

Added into my birthday-planning complexities is the fact that my boys' birthday is the day after mine. This might not sound like a big deal, but it is. I refuse to have my boys wake up at grandma's house the morning of their birthday, which means we either have to find a sitter to come here (and face waking up at 6:30 a.m. the day after my party), or we just have to celebrate a day earlier. Celebrating a day early isn't usually a huge deal, but of course, this year my birthday happens to fall on a Saturday...hence, my fantasy of planning a day of fun. Maybe if we start early, we can all be in bed by 9 p.m.

As for the boys' birthday, I'm still trying to sell my idea of them each inviting one friend for mini-golf and teppenyaki, but I suspect that they'll choose to have another traditional party with at least a dozen kids, which I suppose is alright given their social challenges.

I don't want to leave my husband out here. His birthday is exactly two weeks after the boys' birthday, which this year also happens to be Father's Day. You could say he gets screwed in this scenario, but the good news is that he tends to not want to do much for his birthday anyway. Naturally, I always plan something anyway. I could get into the added complexities of his birthday being on Father's Day, but it's really not all that important - we'll make it work. There will be dinners and cake and celebrations galore in June. Emphasis on cake.