Rainbow Brite, Murky Dismal, & the Color Kids

I was born in 1988, the late half the of the 80s, and I typically identify as a child of the 90s, because those are the years I remember as a child.  I remember during the years I did live with my mom, she would often take us to the library.  I would spend as much time as possible there, picking out books.  Books were the way I escaped the harder parts of my childhood.  However, our small library did have videos we could check out as well.  It was the only way we could rent movies, because Blockbuster and Movie Gallery were for families that had money, which we did not.  In particular, I remember watching various Rainbow Brite films on VHS.  Any 80s kids nodding out there?

Rainbow Brite

I wanted to be Rainbow Brite.  She’s exactly what you’re imagining if you’re looking at her not knowing her now.  She’s upbeat, she’s optimism, she’s a problem solver, she’s joy embodied, she’s kind, she’s friendly.  Rainbow Brite is all the good things.  See that little white creature riding on the horse behind her?  That’s her sprite, Twink.  I actually still have this doll somewhere.  I’m semi-determined to find him and bring him to school now.

The thing is, lately I’m not feeling very Rainbow Brite.  I’m feeling a lot more like this unibrowed villian:

Murky Lurky

Murky Dismal and his (giant) sidekick Lurky.  Murky lives in The Pits.  He is gloomy, loves the clouds, and just feels like a downer all the time.  He’s overwhelmed by adulthood.  Yes, Murky, me too. 

But here I sit, day in, day out, relating a lot more to Murky Dismal than Rainbow Brite.  Adulting has been so hard these days.  & no, it’s not because I have twin babies and I work full time.  Raise your hand if you’ve ever been so overwhelmed by the circumstances of life that you feel like you are drowning! (raises hand)  & the sad part is, I am surrounded by people in the same boat.  Complaining or even discussing the hard days just brings us all down together & I don’t want to be responsible for sinking the boat.  What’s a girl to do?  I am fairly certain there isn’t a single area in the major domains of my life that has not had more than it’s share of difficulty thrown at it.  Children.  Marriage.  Finances.  Health.  Transportation.  & Work.  There are days where I drive home from work and I just cry about the day I’ve had.

Reader, I am not a crier.  I am not overly sensitive.  If anything, I’m more prone to just shutting down & shutting out life’s issues. 

I’ve sat in meetings, doctor’s offices, stayed up most of the night, discussed with my closest & wisest friends and I’m quite sad to say the result hasn’t changed, the circumstances can’t be helped.  There is nothing I can do to change the tide, I’ve been dealt a hand that I must play for the next year, all the while knowing, that not all the cards I’m holding are worth the trouble of effort I will have to put into playing them.  I don’t know how to Rainbow Brite the days ahead.  I’m also not the sort that wants to drag others down with me.  I don’t want pity. I think the worst of it is, the people around me are going through similar seasons of discouragement. I love encouraging others & loving on them when I’m at my best, but here I sit worn down & in survival mode day-to-day. Mentally & emotionally. You cannot give what you do not have. I know this is a season, but why are so so many in this season with me? This is not one of those seasons of life where it’s the more the merrier, quite the opposite. Pity party of 10? No thanks. 

Some days my only joy is coming home to my little family.

 They quite remind me of the Color Kids. 

So full of joy and goodness. All I know day to day is this: “Things have to happen when they do. Sometimes it’s storms & sometimes it’s rainbows. Don’t forget to look up.” So I’ll keep looking up. Maybe the storm will break soon. Maybe I’ll find an umbrella. Or maybe I’all weather the storm in a boat. 


Sun & Moon

This week our twins, Lincoln & Logan, will turn five months old. I’m simultaneously torn between wanting to freeze time & wanting to see the next stage. Each stage seems to be more precious than the last. I’ve really been enjoying month four. This month much more personality has emerged in each boy. I see Nathan and myself in each kid, in different ways. 

Lincoln, older by 3 minutes, exudes many personality traits of his Mama. He isn’t calm, he does not like to wait, and he’s outgoing. He’s also 100% little dude. He loves burping, tooting, & pooping. He wakes up all sunshine in the morning. He loves thrilling activities. You can pick him up by his feet, toss him in the air, etc. the more dangerous the activity, the more he laughs & smiles. He is always on the move. I’d wager he will walk first. He flirts with all the ladies, everywhere we go. He snores. He snorts when he laughs. He sticks everything in his mouth. He is demanding. He wants to touch everything. Now he is growing blonde hair. His other hobbies include: random shouting, fighting naps, sticking his fingers in his throat causing him to gag himself, listening to stories, smacking things in the exersaucer. 

Logan, our baby, gets a lot of traits from his daddy. He’s an old soul, a quiet man, a quirky little guy. He’s growing brown hair. He’s leery of strangers, but loves being held.  He wakes up and quietly plays with his feet for awhile before he informs you that indeed, he’s ready for attention. He loves music & when you sing at him. He smiles with his entire face. He has great eye contact and so much wants to communicate with Lincoln (who won’t look at him most of the time). He sleeps through the night, isn’t interested in standing or crawling, and seemingly wants to be my baby always. He won’t hold his bottle, loves to cuddle up with me, and enjoys being in the swing. When he does cry, he makes sounds dogs can hear, and he’s the kind of baby that stays happy when he’s sick. I think he’s empathic, he is extra sweet when I’m having a hard day. 

They are my sun & my moon, respectively. 

Down with August

I had a panic attack tonight. 

I never used to have panic attacks. Panic attacks, a place in which I can’t control my breathing or how hard my heart is beating or my mind from speeding. I started getting these panic attacks roughly…oh, 4 months ago. 

What a specific time you say?

Well, it coincides with the birth of our twins.  Everything about them compounded with the life I lead before them just spells disaster. Tonight I had another one of those moments. It occurred because it’s August. August is the worst month ever. Don’t believe me?

Ask a teacher. 

I’ve been working nonstop since the middle of July on my classroom and for my students. Working in my classroom where the air conditioning is about as reliable as McDonalds is at getting your order right. Working hard to locate my classroom things that were packed up without me present because maternity leave

All in the prepping in the world means nothing until you get your class list though in the world of the littles. I got my list Thursday afternoon. Then went and sat in inservice Friday morning. The kids showed up for preview day at 1:00. It’s been like a fast forwarding viewing of Titanic sinking on repeat since then. 

Prepare. Help others. Lose a student. Gain three. “My child actually goes by…” Change all their names on things. Pass out papers. Collect. Assemble binders. Send things home. Sort school supplies. Comfort cries. Teach rules and procedures. But make it fun. Stand on concrete floor (under pretty tile) for 14+ hours for the first time since like October because pregnancy. Team meetings. Group planning. Throwing out th plans because the district changed things again. Helping new people, helping people that are floundering. All of these things, so small, small parts of my job that I actually love. All combined make August pretty hard. 

Did I mention my birthday is Friday?

Then I come home. And I love coming home! My babies are so happy to see me! Our nanny is the best. She works whatever hours and makes my kids happy and comfortable in their own home. She sends me updates and pictures. I try to make sure we keep our home organized to make life easier for her and we keep all the snacks on hand. 

Before I had kids at the beginning of the school year, I’d be so exhausted, I’d come home and nap every day the first couple weeks because there is no tired like beginning of the year teacher tired. Now I have infants, and napping isn’t optional. Everyone needs me. So home at 4 to care for kids. Daddy comes home and after a shower he’s hands on with the kids. At this time, all the following occur daily: dinner is made, bottles are made, dishes are either washed or put away, laundry is either started or put away (sometimes both), & trash goes out. 

{I love all those posts about how you shouldn’t bother with these things when your kids are small. I want to know where those people live! The city dump?! I just don’t know how life functions when basic chores get ignored.}

Eventually I get the kids fed 3 times or so from the time I get home until I drag myself to bed between 10-11.  Exhausted doesn’t even begin to cover it. 

So what happened today?

Baby Lincoln sat up unassisted.

And I missed it. Our nanny took all the pictures and sent them my way (I was at school still then.) and I smiled big smiles. Came home. Same routine. Care for babies, do chores, make food. 

I was thinking about it all while doing my chores and then my breathing got weird and I was crying and I couldn’t get a handle on things. 

Because I am so scared I’m going to miss everything. I am so scared I’m going to blink and miss their lives. 

I went and held my babies and cried and cried and then I started to feel better. 

But oh man,

Do I hate August. 

Just a Little Request

Dear Babies,

My heart absolutely breaks over the idea of you getting older. So please, don’t. I wish you’d stay this small always, in so many ways, I really wish this. I love you, small babies. I love the way you smell after a bath, warm & indescribable-baby-scented. I love your little gummy smiles, mouths unchecked with evil teeth. I love how your whole face lights up when I talk or sing to you. I love watching your little hairs grow, remember when you didn’t even have eyelashes? I remember. I love the way you hold your pacifiers in with tiny, closed fists. I love how you long to be held, to cuddle, to snuggle with me. I love how you make me feel important, needed, & the most special woman in the world.  I love how you don’t think to doubt me, but instead always trust me to care for you. Little babies I think and talk about you all the time, and I love sharing pictures of you. I love hearing other people vocalize the things I see in you, how beautiful, happy, funny, & precious you are. Please don’t get bigger, babies, I’m scared of what the word will do to you. I’m so scared I can’t protect you from the evil in this world. Can you please stay small? Small enough that I can pick you up & hold you against my heart. Babies, I love how you now know each other, talk to each other in your special way, laugh at each other, and reach for each other. I love the way you play with your dad and the people you’re turning us into. Can you stay so small? So small that when you wake up in the night your first thought is, I want my Mama, she makes everything better. I love your chubby cheeks & your tiny toes. I love your huge bright eyes & bobbleheads. I love your leg rolls & how absolutely none of your clothes fit right. I love how you sleep in longer chunks now, and how big you can yawn. I love how your problems are so limited. Hunger, wet diaper, exhaustion, or loneliness. I love how easy it is to soothe away your tantrums and how forgiving people are when I take you out in public. Little babies, I love how you love blankets, music, and me. Honestly, what if you grow up & you quit loving me as much as you do now? I don’t know if I can handle it. So I’m asking you the impossible, little babies, I know, but can you still little as long as a little while can last? Just a little while longer, please, cause I’d like to make it last. 



10 Fictional Characters I Relate To (& Love)

I have watched my share of television. I always try to find characters I relate to, some series feature a character I relate to more than others. I’m going to share 10 of mine, feel free to share some of yours, or let me know if you relate to some of them, too!  I am strictly relegating this to television series. 

10. Olivia Dunham: Fringe

Bad things happened to her, things she doesn’t remember. A man spends his life trying to convince her he truly loves her.  I pled, yet simple, just trying to do her job, but she gets caught up in a mess. She also usually fixes it and somehow learns something along the way. 

9. Bernadette Rostenkowski: The Big Bang Theory

Embrace your inner nerd. Bernadette resonates with my nerdy tendencies and how I too, married a nerdy good guy. 

8. Lily Aldrin: How I Met Your Mother

She’s the glue that holds everyone together. Wife, mother, friend. Constantly questioning herself, but her good motives always shine through her blunders. 

7. Julia Braverman: Parenthood

Uptight, controlling, type a personality. Gets thrown a lot of life at once. Struggles to make life better. 

6. Juliet Burke: Lost

Know it all. Passionate about helping others. Hurt immensely by her past. Brilliant. 

5. Cristina Yang: Grey’s Anatomy

She needs a person. She gets cynical, dark, & twisty inside. Others make her better. Fiercely intelligent and competitive. 

4. Rory Gilmore: Gilmore Girls

Let me begin with a #TeamLogan and then move on to say #AnyoneButDean. Rory is a smart girl, from a poor home, chatty, big dreams, big heart, small town. 

3. Pam Beesly: The Office

I like Pam. She’s entirely ordinary. Normal life. Normal things happen to her. She’s witty and friendly, she doesn’t stir the drama pot. 

2. Shawn Hunter: Boy Meets World

The only male to make the list. I grew up watching Shawn Hunter grow up on television and hoping and praying he’d turn out okay in the end because I needed to know I’d turn out okay in the end. Spoiler: We did. 

1. Monica Gellar: Friends 

Like many women, I’m a Monica. Obsessive, OCD, people-pleasing, loser-becomes-likeable, kind, but crazy Monica. I even cook & clean. I plan and organize. No surprise here.