Piercing the Veil

First of all – this is NOT spam, friends!  It’s Us – THE WHEELERS! Forgive the sudden blog title change.  But here’s what’s going on:

Piercing the Veil

Where Veil is defined as:
Noun. A piece of cloth that a woman wears over her face to protect or conceal.

I heard this phrase the other morning in a podcast I listen to daily and it resonated with me.  Well, I haven’t been here in a while (other than last night’s post on our first beach experience).  I haven’t posted as frequently as I used to.  I’ve been back and forth with completely ditching this blog vs. keeping it going.  As some of you know, I tried to make it private a few months ago.  And that was unsuccessful.  Many of you couldn’t even log in to see our posts at all.  So, I made it public again.  But, I’ve still been back and forth with how much to post on here.  And how much to say.  There’s a piece of me that fears being honest and open.  First of all, for the sake of my children.  But also, I haven’t quite figured out how to wear my many hats gracefully (professional career person. mother. daughter. wife. volunteer. au pair host mom.). And unfortunately there are times when I feel that being successful with each ‘hat’ — well, the hats compete with one another.  How can I gracefully be all of these things?  And with integrity and honesty?

Piercing the Veil resonated with me the other morning because I feel like that’s what I’m dealing with on a daily basis in this thing we call Motherhood.  And it’s about time I decide if I should pierce this veil that’s used to hide all of my emotions.  It’s about time I decide if I’m going to talk about it openly as best I can. OR – stop and just read other people’s blogs.  There are so many women/mother bloggers out there that I admire.  They write openly and honestly and somehow they can talk about their frustrations.  And somehow they do this without sounding like bad mothers!  And I admire that.  They put it out there.  And I’m sure many people judge them.  But they do it anyway!

So, here I am… telling you that we are about to embark on this journey together.  To go deeper.  To be more honest.   To “Pierce the Veil”, so to speak, that I use to cover up all my real motherhood emotions.  Such as frustration.  And Tiredness (this is an emotion, right?).  And “I just wanna give up today-ness”.  And don’t we all have these feelings?  From time to time?  That natural feeling of frustration.  Or confusion.  Or those moments when you think: “when am I ever gonna have time to myself again? or time with my husband?  and… can we actually DO this parenthood thing?  Are we any good?” (and these thoughts are normally followed by extreme guilt for actually having those thoughts at all!).  And really – it doesn’t matter how wonderful your husband is.  Or how beautiful your children are.  Or how lucky you feel (trust me – I am reminded every single day just how very lucky we are).  Frustration happens.  And life gets hard.  And these emotions are real. We are humans, afterall.  Very complex. Caring. Loving. Guilt-ridden. Tired.  Loving.  Humans.

I’ll never forget a piece of advice given to me by a fellow mom… and I’ve written about this before (Sarah! If you are reading – thank you!)…  She told me how frustrating it was at the very beginning because the advice she had received was: “Enjoy every moment. It goes so fast.”  She told me to disregard that advice because it just leads to the guilt.  Guilt of not enjoying every single second.  Because seriously, let me give you a scenario:  it’s not all that enjoyable when you haven’t found time to eat all day. And your toddler twins are screaming so loud that you and your husband literally cannot hear each other (even when screaming at the top of our lungs to communicate with one another).   And you feel like you’re gonna faint from lack of food. And you need to clean the house because company is coming over tomorrow.  And the dog is howling at the back door like a wolf.  And for goodness sakes, the darn mango mush from breakfast has stubbornly solidified itself on the freakin’ kitchen floor and refuses to come off!  And I’mFreakinHUNGRY.  And When Can This Mama Just EAT Something? PLEASE?! And darnit, I stepped on another Cheerio!  And why in the world are they screaming like this?  I can’t hear myself think! (insert serious guilt for not having more patience  during this very, in hind-sight anyway, funny parenthood moment).

Now – I obviously have not found a cure for this motherhood guilt I’m speaking about.  But, I know I’m not alone.  And I know it’s real.  And I know that not everyone’s life (including mine!) looks like a Pinterest board.  Let’s get real, people.  Only certain corners of my house resemble anything close to the cool things I’ve collected on Pinterest.  And I LOVE those corners.  I want more of them.  But, life just isn’t perfect. and pretty. and organized. all the time. It’s just not.  (But I might try very hard to prove this fact wrong! In fact, I’m sure I’ll post some of those ideas right here on this very blog.  Just don’t be fooled, ok?  My life is not a Pinterst board.)

So, back to my point:  I’m going to do my best on this blog to be the ‘real deal’.  To be open and honest.  And to share with you when I have the time and the energy to write it all down.  This is also going to be my ‘guilt-free’ space, so if you don’t hear from me because life is busy or I have a million work project or work trips… well, that’s just what it is.  I’ll be back when I have the time.  And, finally – you will see a few changes on this blog over the next few weeks or months.  I’m working on a little facelift with my friend over at Eastmoor Digital.  And we’ll also be changing the official title to “Me + Him + Dog + Twins”, so that our last name isn’t quite so obvious. 🙂  But don’t worry – we’re still The Wheelers… just not in the title of this blog.  So, I hope you’ll join me in communicating here and keep reading along with the Wheelers.  AKA, me, him, dog, twins.

With love,

PS: If you wanna read another blog by an open, honest, and funny mama – check this one out: Momastery.

PPS:  If you are reading along and like this post, can you do me a favor?  Can you comment down below or just hit the “like” button?  This open and honest thing is hard for me, so if you appreciate it and like it, can you let me know, so I can stay motivated to keep it up?  Thank you!

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First Time at the Beach… for a Cure

Sixteen-and-a-half months old and today was the twins’ first time at the beach!  At three months old we vacationed at the beach but they were way too young for the actual experience.  This past summer we tried to get to the beach, but unfortunately on the days we attempted to head down, the 105 degree temps kept us away!  So, that brings us to today: the first official beach experience!   This weekend wasn’t a random choice, actually.  This weekend was the annual Bike to the Bay event for the National MS Society.  And although we didn’t ride (we’re a little logistically challenged over here, with the twins!), we traveled down to support our friend who was recently diagnosed with MS.  An amazing team called “Wheels that Heal” raised over $10,000 to find a cure!  And they rode from northern points of Delaware all the way to the ‘Bay’ a.k.a. Rehoboth/Dewey Beach area.  (If you would like to donate to the MS Society through the “Wheels that Heal” team, just click here.)

Even though it was a short travel-filled day, today felt like a mini day of vacation.  The weather was absolutely beautiful.  Gorg. geous. We stopped at the Dogfish Head Brewery for a late lunch with our fam and one of my best friends.  This place was a special treat for us and even the twins loved it!.  When we headed back to the beach house that was rented for the weekend, friends from near and far were all around.  What an awesome show of support.  And right before heading home, we decided to take the twins for their first beach experience.

Grayson LOVED walking on the sand.  I was really surprised by how well he took to it.  Logan wasn’t too thrilled with the experience.  But you’ll have to ask her dad exactly how it went, since they were way ahead of us on the beach and I didn’t get to experience it first hand.  What was I preoccupied with?  Well, let’s see…  let’s just say that Gray-Boy-Toddler + Sand + Walking =  A Slower Pace.  But it also equaled fun! and cute! (see video below!)  Logan was carried to the water by her awesome daddy and apparently didn’t LOVE what she saw.  We’ll give this beach thing another try next year.

Here are our beach pics!  Dogs were playing.  Birds were flying.  Gray was offering sign language for “dog” and “bird”.  The water was cold, but perfect.  Waves were rolling.  A twin was scared.  Another twin was enjoying.

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Apple Carrot Pancakes

This is so easy!  Use regular pancake batter, such as Bisquick.  Follow their directions to make pancake batter. Then shred some carrots and apple.  Use as little or much as you want, depending on how “obvious” you want your fruits/veggies.  Add them to the batter.  Then cook pancakes as usual!   This is one of the few things the twins will eat these days (more on that in another post), so it makes me happy that they’re getting fruits and vegetables in their bellies.  I’ve also added squash, zucchini, and blueberries in the past.  Use them in any combination you desire.  The trick is to make sure the batter is still a “batter consistency”.  If you do that, your pancakes should turn out fine!

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Happy Wordless Wednesday!

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Just a small note: Logan was napping while these pictures were taken.  She loves her sleep!  (Thank goodness one of them likes to sleep!) Next time, I’ll share some good ones with her included!  Also, you may have noticed that I’m not posting as many pictures of both of the twins these days.   There’s a good reason for that.  Do you know how much energy it takes to chase two toddlers around at the same time? (…Two toddlers who are often headed in different directions?!)  It’s so much easier to take pictures of them when there are two adults around or when only one of them is awake (and these moment are rare).   When I do have an opportunity to take photos of both of them, it’s become seriously challenging to get them in a picture together.  And by seriously challenging, I mean nearly impossible.

That’s also because this happens:

“Ooohhh!  Mommy has a camera!”

“Mommy, how does this thing work?”

“Can I take a picture?”

“Let me hold the camera!  Just for ONE second, Mom! Please?”

“oh, look– that’s me!  Right there!  I’m on a little screen!  cool!”

Like this:

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There is so much transition happening over here.  What an abundant week we’ve had.  For the past week we’ve had our current (soon-to-be “last” or “previous”) au pair and our new au pair living under our roof (for ten days, to be exact).  It’s hard to believe that one year ago Manoli joined our family as our au pair.  The twins were only three months old.  They were still only drinking milk – no solids.  They couldn’t hold their heads up.  They were still practicing and gaining strength during “tummy time”.   Now they are two little energizer bunnies, running around the house.  They understand nearly everything we say.  They give hugs and kisses.  They use sign language to communicate.  They laugh like crazy and communicate through signs, words, and body movements.

Tomorrow we will say goodbye (for now!  just “for now!”) to Manoli.  Josh and I will take her to the airport in the afternoon, so she can head back home to Mexico.  And our new au pair will have her first official afternoon alone with the twins.

I will probably cry like a baby.  I think, like many transitions, this may be harder on the Mama than on the babies.  But, truth is – transitions are never easy.  It doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with day care transitions for a toddler, classroom transitions for an older child, or nursing home transitions for an adult.  Isn’t it strange how it doesn’t matter if the change is happy or sad?  No matter what, change is difficult.  Perhaps it’s human nature.

I wish I could bottle up all the moments we’ve shared with Manoli over the past year and put them on a shelf, all nice and pretty.  Then we could open them up and enjoy them whenever we would like to…  But, instead we have pictures and videos and our memories of the past year, which we will share with the twins as they grow up.  Manoli will forever be a part of the story of their first year!

We will miss you, Manoli!  We Love You So Much!

Photos from one year ago…

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Nap time is like…

Adapted from photo by: PinkStock Photos, D. Sharon Pruitt

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It’s Wordless Wednesday! “First Haircut” Style!

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