Aprils house 400 am, 2 hours after the teething baby went to sleep:

Thereís a noise downstairs and my dog is urging me awake he is covered in some kind of powdery substance.

I sneak downstairs to take a peek. something is crunching uncomfortably under my feet. I see the outline of my soon to be two year old.....oh my gawd she defeated the child proof gate!!!!!!! I turn on the light. She had been eating powdered enflac straight from the can and it had formed a thick crust on her tiny little face. The powdery substance on the dog turned out to be powdered green tempera paint and covered my girl as well on top of the enflac crust, she doesnít even look human.

Both were all over my pure white carpet. The crunching was macaroni. 1 box of macaroni can cover my entire main floor in a fairly even spread. I get the girl cleaned up and the mess cleaned up and I hear her baby brother wake up....time to start the day.

Flash forward two days later.

Ahhh the kids are tucked in sound and the house is quiet, time for my nightly chat. Tap tap tap. hmmm whereís the dog? I get up and search the house for him finally opening my bedroom door there in the darkness a green glowing 150 pound dog stands shaking on top of my dresser. I flick on the light, my jewelry is all over the room. Not only is the dog glowing from the Halloween stuff Heís wearing my makeup. My craft kit was all over the room, beads in the sides of my water bed. My clothes are also all over the room and lipstick stained. Halloween make up is everywhere, the place is thrashed. Looking up at me is a multicolored soon to be 2 year old elf saying "hi Mommy" in the voice of an angel.

They call it the terrible two's but Iím telling ya it's really from one and a half till three fortunately this phase passes. I know its hard to believe but it does. I've witnessed this stage first hand 4 times now... first with my brother then my two daughters and now my son has entered into it. It will test every facet of your personality. The key to surviving this is humor.... securing the fridge with a tarp strap or duct tape and knowing when you need a break.

Yes I said break. It seems like thereís a lot of pressure to be super mom or Dad these days. Women especially are very hard on themselves and even harder on other women. I know Iíve seen the look of horror when Iíve announced a need some time away from my kids.

First time moms or women without children are the worst for this. When you announce you need a break they assume you're lacking in some way and will look at you as if you said Iím going to abandon my child. I've also seen some of the same women who reacted this way call me up crying hysterically weeks later because they can't handle it anymore.

There is nothing wrong with recognizing when your every nerve has been pushed to its limits. The danger is in fooling yourself into believing that you never need time for yourself and letting the stress mount until you've emotionally snapped. If you donít give yourself personal time you'll stress yourself out and trust me the babies will sense your emotions, and will become stressed out too and harder to manage. You cant endure day after day of what I described above ( and trust me that really happened) and maintain your sense of humor if you never get a break.

All parents need "ME time". Hereís a little secret ...your children need time away from you too. I have often found that when the babies are the most testy if I take a two hour break and come back they are happy to see me and in a better mood. Needing "ME time" does not make you a bad parent. Recognizing when you need it makes you a smart one. Taking that time makes you a happier one.... Your both thrilled to see each other. When the parents are happy the children are too.