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Saturday, January 29, 2005

Not Just A River In Egypt

Today I went grocery shopping. When I was checking out the cashier asked for my ID for my six pack of Mike's Hard Lemonade. I was *this close* to leaping over the counter and shouting "I love you" while I hugged the poor young thing.

I gleefully handed it over and asked the teenage cashier if he wanted a date. I think I scared him... I seem to be having that effect on my new friends lately. Funny how the same thing used to annoy me when I was 19 and 20 and forced to drag out my fake ID .

I have decided to ignore the sign I saw on my way out that said they require identification from everyone and that customers should consider it flattery. I know my cashier thought I was under 21. I am also going to pretend I didn't see him card the old man behind me in line who was at least 80 and hunched over his cane.

And I know when I heard the cashier mutter that I was the same age as his mother, that he really meant to say sister. I walked out of the store a happy woman and I flung my fabulous blonde streaked hair over my shoulder. Because I don't have gray hair, not one. Those are very blonde highlights.

Denial. It is a wonderful place to live.

Friday, January 28, 2005


My son just came to me and showed me his water bottle which is full of water that is frozen solid.

"Did you put it outside last night?" I asked.

"No, I left it on the windowsill next to my bed! We don't even need a refrigerator anymore. We can just line our food up on all the windowsills," he excitedly proclaimed.

I pondered this awhile and he spoke up again.

"Actually we still need to keep the refrigerator. You know for the things we only want a little bit cold, not frozen solid."

And as he says this I jump ahead 30 years in my mind. I picture my son talking to his own son.

"You think the house is cold? You don't know what cold is. When I was a kid..."

It Is Just An Expensive Cardboard Box

6:00 am I am woken up by my daughter, who has been woken up by the familiar beep-beep noise of the oil delivery truck backing up our driveway. Familiar because he is here every week.

The sub zero temperatures are causing us to burn through oil like... like... well, like something you burn through quickly. I can't think of an appropriate metaphor. My brain is numb from cold, lack of sleep, and weak coffee (totally my own fault).

I would say water, but that wouldn't be accurate since half of our pipes are frozen. Maybe I should say money since this is the second week in a row that we have gone through 200 gallons of heating oil.

I might not feel so bad about it if the house were at least warm. I set the thermostat to 70 degrees when I went to bed last night. The temperature in the house at 6:00am was 58 degrees. The furnace simply can not generate enough heat to make up for the heat loss in extreme cold temperatures.

We have a kerosene heater running in our sunroom, the coldest room in our house, to try to take some of the pressure off the furnace. And we have an electric space heater running in one of the bathrooms downstairs where the pipes freeze as soon as the first frost hits the ground. And now,if our bill from last month is any indication, thanks to the new federal deregulation, we are paying about 40% more for our electricity.

I think today I am going to go out and buy more plastic sheeting and duct tape. We have a couple of rooms that we do not use that I have been wanting to turn the heat off to and seal up.

Also it is such a nice look. Nothing says class like plastic duct taped over your windows, especially when the kids tear holes in the plastic and you have to repair the holes with more duct tape. Remind me why we don't have dinner parties?

Soon we are going to be stuffing newspaper inside our clothes and wearing fingerless gloves, while huddling around a fire of our all our wooden furniture. Let the good times roll.

And in case anyone thinks this sounds like fun and wants to come and share the experience with me, the house diagonally across the street from us is for sale. For a measly 1.2 million dollars it can all be yours. Just think about it. It's like living in a cardboard box, but with a really big mortgage. Though I hope for that money it is better insulated than mine.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

22 Degrees is Positively Balmy

The day before yesterday the temperature here soared to 22 degrees. It felt warm. So warm in fact that I left my coat in the car when I went into the store shopping and it seemed as though most of the other shoppers did as well. The high temperature was a welcome respite from weeks of subzero weather and snow. What good is snow when it is too cold to go outside and enjoy it?

It is strange how this happens, the perception that temperatures are warm now which would have felt bone chilling only a month or so earlier. On the first day it hits 50 degrees after a long cold winter it feels hot and we go outside in short sleeves and poke around in the gardens itching to begin planting. We go for a walk or a bike ride and try to avoid the mud of the spring thaw.

The children look forward to a few days of warm weather so they can go play on the grass again, not possible until the ground dries out. I made the mistake one year of letting the children run around and play on the lawn one warm early spring day. To make a long story short, our yard ended up looking like the mosh pit at an outdoor alternative rock concert and my children like tiny mudcovered concert goers.

My husband almost had a heart attack when he came home from work and he probably contemplated divorcing me when the realization set in the the entire yard needed to be graded, re-seeded, and re-landscaped. The lawn and all it's plantings had been turned into a vast mud wasteland. I felt bad, but it was one of those things that you don't realize is happening until it is too late to stop it.

This past Tuesday my husband was packing for a business trip in a southern state. We checked the weather before he packed and it called for high 40's to low 50's for the rest of the week. If 22 degrees feels balmy, then 50 degrees will feel tropical.

He had no idea what to pack.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

I Am Turning Into My Mother

My mother is crazy. Not the kooky, eccentric sort of crazy, but the certifiable, should be locked in an institution receiving shock therapy kind of crazy.

One of the ways she shows her craziness is by spontaneously bursting into song at inappropriate times. And by song I don't mean real songs, but commercial jingles or obscure nursery rhymes. Basically they are songs that scream, 'I am a crazy loon', when sung outloud in public.

The first time my husband met my mother we were over at her house for dinner. We were in the middle of a conversation when she got up to get something off of the counter and suddenly blurted out, on the top of her lungs, "I love what you do for me, Toyota" and then sat back down at the table like it was a completely normal thing to do.

I have always told him that if I begin to become like her he should just kill me and put me out of everyone's misery.

Today it happened. I was shopping in BJ's. One minute I was just standing there perusing the produce and the next thing I know I blurted out, "Lunette and Molly and clown and her dolly on the big comfy couch."


Saturday, January 22, 2005

The Storm of the Century

We have a blizzard warning in effect for our area. I find it odd that they are calling it the storm of the century. Ummm, so what... the century is only five years old, that is hardly impressive. If it were 2099, well then that might be saying something.

The snow has not yet even begun to fall, but no matter everyone has lost their minds anyway.

On the way home from my son's gymnastics lesson this morning we saw three car accidents on a small stretch of road a few miles long. I just have one thing to say. People slow down, there is plenty of milk and bread at the store for everyone!

Of course I have no idea what drives this stocking up madness to begin with... bread? milk?

What about the important things like coffee, alcoholic beverages, snack food and chocolate?

As for us, we are ready for our 18-24 inches of snow:

gasoline for snowblower: check
kerosene for heaters in the event of power loss: check
firewood, solely for ambiance: check
snack foods: check
wine: check
straight jackets and valium for hyperactive children trapped in the house: damn, next time

Friday, January 21, 2005

In Which I Expose My Husband For the Nice Guy He Is

My phone just rang and as I answered it I heard:

Rob: "A!! A!! I pick A! or maybe C!! Yeah C!! A or C. I want to change my answer from this weekend. Is it too late to change my mind?"

Me: "Yes it is"

Rob: "But I didn't know it was a quiz with multiple choices! If I had seen all the choices laid out before hand I would have chosen A and C. I would have eliminated B right away."

Me: "Well, maybe next time you will know"

Rob: "Obviously B was wrong. Please, please let me change my answer."

Me: "Don't worry there will be other chances to demonstrate what you have learned."

Rob: "Did I tell you how beautiful you look today?"

Me: "Umm no, but you haven't seen me today."

Rob: "Well, but you are beautiful (pause) and um so smart!! and funny!! ( pause) I mean it. I am so so lucky. (pause) I really mean it. wow, I am one lucky guy."

Me: " Well now you are just sucking up."

Rob: "No, that's not true at all! (long pause) So, ummm are you going to write that I said something nice on your blog? "

Me: "Well, let's not get all crazy now."

Thursday, January 20, 2005

My New Best Friend

This past weekend I was shopping in Target. ( God I love that store. I am both thankful and heartbroken that the closest one is an hour away from me.) I only had my 1 yr old and the baby with me.

I was holding the baby and looking at stuff I didn't know I needed or wanted until I saw it on the shelf, when a woman came up to me and asked me if the baby I was holding was my own. This was a new and slightly odd question.

I told her he was in fact mine and anwered one month when she asked how old he was.

The she said, "Wow, how can you have a baby so young and be so small and skinny."

And then I grabbed her and kissed her.

And then I made her pinky promise to be, like, my best friend forever. I told her we could go over to their fine jewelry department and buy one of those best friend necklaces. She could wear one half of the heart and I could wear the other half.

I had some other ideas, but she was in a pretty big rush to finish her shopping.

She seemed slightly disturbed as I kept following her around the store, but I told her she is my new best friend and I will not be ignored.


And now a quiz.

When your wife tries on the jeans she just bought and asks you how they look, the correct response is:

a) They look so good I want to rip them off you right here and now and have hot sex with you.

b) I am sure they will look fine once you lose the rest of the weight you gained. How many more pounds do you have to go?

c) Wow, they look great. How did I get so lucky to have such a beautiful wife as you?

d) Fine.

e) Anything else that pops into your head EXCEPT for b.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Second Installment In A Series

Don't you hate it when your toddler uses her hair as a napkin? Especially when said toddler hates having her hair washed with the fiery passion and fury of a thousand suns.

Don't you wish that there was something to prevent this hair-as-napkin other than sitting next to the toddler, risking your own hair, and obsessively cleaning her hands off with a washcloth?

I know I do.

But now I have a solution.

Step One:

Step Two:

Step Three:

Viola. A happy eating toddler with an even happier mother.

I am so full of good ideas that I amaze myself sometimes. Stay tuned for the next installment when I solve the problem of shirt sleeves being used as kleenex.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

One Month Old Today


Today you are one month old. One short month, yet it feels like I have known you forever. It is as if your place in our family was preordained. You were missing, yet we didn't even know it until you arrived.

I love the way to turn your face toward my voice when I talk to you. I love the way you raise your non-existent eyebrows and cause wrinkles across your forehead like a little old man. I love the way you purse your lips and look like you are whistling.

I love your tiny hands and the way you flail them around. I love your skinny little legs and how you hold them up in the air. And I am always amused by the body proportions of babies.

Mostly you look like this though.

and this:

I have nicknamed you Smiles, mainly because I am sarcastic, but it does sound better than Moaning Miles or Cry-els, which are the other nicknames that spring immediately to mind. I am hoping that this nickname will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Much in the same way that I repeat over and over again "You are a happy baby" as you scream for hours and I walk you around the room. I am hoping one day you will think, "Hey, I am a happy baby. I really should stop crying." And then you will. I hope. Please God.

Your siblings all love you and still fight over the chance to hold you. They shower you with love and kisses, sometimes a bit too much. Not sure why you look so frightened of your sister kissing you.

You love to sit in your vibrating bouncy chair during the day. It has proven to be worth it's weight in the number of batteries it burns through on a daily basis. I have found myself stealing AA batteries out of your siblings toys in desperation. But their toys are annoying, and your seat is so so wonderful.

You will tolerate being carried around in the sling if I keep in constant motion. Which would be fine if I didn't feel like standing still, sitting down, or using the toilet occasionally.

Your reflux is doing much better now that you are taking medication and I have cut almost everything out of my diet. Soon I will be grazing out in the yard. Okay, not really, but it does seem that way some days. And the frightening spells of apnea that were caused by your reflux have all but disappeared (knocking on wood). Your incessant crying and overall irritableness have improved as I eliminated foods from diet as well. I have been through this with several of your siblings, so it isn't much of a surprise.

You sleep in bed with us at night. You like to be right on top of my body or else nestled into the crook of my arm nursing. And, despite the fact that I wake up with a stiff neck and sore shoulders every morning, I love it. I love having your tiny head right near my face and breathing in your brand new baby scent. I love how you contentedly sigh as you nurse.

Since you will be our last baby, I find myself viewing all the "firsts" with a bit of melancholy. I know how fast babies grow up and I wish I could slow down the process. You have outgrown the newborn sized diapers and when I put the outfit on you yesterday that you came home from the hospital in, it was too small. In this past month you have lost your umbilical cord and had your first bath. You celebrated your first Christmas and your first New Years. Your fuzzy dark hair is slowly falling out and your hairline is beginning to resemble your fathers, though I am sure that unlike his, yours will grow back.

As much as I try to fight it, soon these early days will just be a hazy memory. And I will look at you, like I do your siblings, and wonder why a lifetime passes so quickly.

It Sounds Like So Much Fun

Annual ski passes for 4 children and 1 adult: $600

New skis for one child and adjustments and tune up of skis for another: $200

Ski Lessons: $240

Power Bars to keep up energy: $8

Hot chocolate in the lodge: $10

Staying home in my warm house because Rob has taken the day off from work to bring children skiing in the 20 degree, freezing rain and snow, and high wind winter storm warning weather: PRICELESS

Don't they look so cute and happy on their way to freezing their extremities off?

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Prototype of My New Invention

Do you have a baby who enjoys sucking on their pacifier?

Does your baby spit the pacifier out by mistake and then cry until you replace it in his mouth?

Are you tired of repeatedly sticking the pacifier in his mouth and then having to do it all over again a few minutes later?

Do you wish there was a way to secure the pacifier in his mouth?

Well now there is.

I present the pacifier with ear clips:

No more uncomfortable than wearing a small pair of glasses.

Sure to provide hours and hours of contented sucking for your little one as well as peace and quiet for you.

Order yours today.

Updated to add: Before someone decides to call CPS on me, this is only a joke. I would not really have my 4 week old wear this, as much as I would love to ;-)

Saturday, January 08, 2005

The Children Are Next On the List

I probably shouldn't even utter it outloud, but I am beginning to feel better. I noticed it late last night when I realized I hadn't been coughing all evening AND that I was hours late taking my medication. That is the sure sign to being on the road to health; I am no longer watching the clock anticipating the time I can take my antibiotics and suck down more Robitussin.

I also am beginning to get back some of my energy and do more than sit on the couch and stare into space. Now I am trying to catch up on all the stuff I have been ignoring, namely ridding my house of the germs that seem to have taken over. Have I ever mentioned that I am a germophobe?

My children have never been to any sort of indoor playgrounds. Just the *thought* of them makes me feel ill.

This morning I got out my bleach, sponges, paper towels and Lysol and set out to rid my house of germs. I disinfected everything I could find. If it had a knob or handle on it, it got washed down with bleach and sprayed with Lysol. All the doors and door jambs were cleaned. As I disinfected all the doorknobs in the house I began to wonder why I bought a house with so many damn doors and briefly thought that I should make a rule prohibiting children from touching any doors or doorknobs.

As I bleached every square inch of the third bathroom, I was rejoicing that the children's bathrooms are devoid of any fixtures and sporting plywood floors and bare studs for walls. It meant there was no cleaning to be done in there. I did spray the air with Lysol, just in case those sneaky germs were hiding in there anyway.

All the toothbrushes are in the dishwasher being cleaned. All the beds have been stripped of their bedding, the bedding washed, and the mattresses sprayed with Lysol.

And did you know that if you spray copious amounts of Lysol on your telephone it will stop working? Me neither. But at least my phone is disinfected and it's not like I ever really answer the telephone anyway so I won't miss it too much.

I am off to make sure I haven't overlooked anything in need of disinfecting... just where are those kids hiding anyway.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Don't You Hate It When...

You have a sink full of dishes and you put a big bowl on the top of the pile and turn the water on for the big bowl to soak, only you forget that the water is on until it runs out of the bowl, out of the sink, across the counter and you hear it dripping onto the floor?

No, that's never happened to you? Nevermind then.

Good thing I had the big pile of bills on the counter to absorb some of the water before it could hit the floor.

In A Funk

I feel like I have nothing to say lately. Rob asked me last night why I haven't been posting much of anything recently. Truth is I have been feeling bogged down by day to day life, the everydayness of life, the sameness of the days. I have a few posts saved as drafts, but they seem horribly boring.

I feel like I could be knocked unconcious and come to three days from now and I wouldn't even notice.

I have the same conversations:

'Yes, you NEED to brush your teeth EVERYDAY, because I am a mean mother who likes to torture you by making you have clean cavity free teeth and thus deprive you of the experience of having your teeth drilled.'

'Your shirt is not a not a napkin (tissue, rope, weapon... insert whichever is appropriate in the given circumstance)'

'If I step in pee on the bathroom floor one more time I am going to make all of you pee outside in the snow... (pause) ... no it wouldn't be fun... (pause)... no it wouldn't... (pause)... don't you kow how cold it is outside? (pause)... fine, pee outside.'

'You need to wear boots outside in the snow. I am not going to take you to the ER when your toes turn black from frostbite. What? (pause) I don't care how badly you had to pee!'

'You tracked snow and mud in through the entire house and left all your stuff in a puddle. Please clean it up and put it all away. (pause)I realize you are cold, but cleaning all your crap up will warm you up. Really it will.'

'Time to clean up your toys'

'Time to clean up your toys'

'Time to clean up your toys'

'Please don't force me to make empty threats about throwing the toys away, smashing them, eating them, giving them more deserving children, setting them ablaze... just clean them up.'

'Who did play with them if it wasn't you?'

' Well next time tell NotMe and IdaKnow that they need to clean them up before they leave.'

I do the same things:

Pick couch cushions up off floor and return them to couch
Clean the bathrooms
Wash clothes
Dry clothes
Fold clothes
Put clothes away
Wonder why the hell they have so many clothes
Pick couch cushions up off the floor and return them to couch
Make nutritious meals three times a day
Ignore my children while they complain about aforementioned nutritious food
Pick couch cushions up off the floor and return them to the couch
Help children do schoolwork
Find eldest child who has a knack for hiding when it is time to do schoolwork
Pick couch cushions up off the floor and return them to couch
Try to find ringing telephone
Decide they will call back if it is important
Load dishwasher
Turn it on
Turn it on again when realize 1 yr old has turned it off
Turn it on again when realize 1 yr old has turned it off
Try to distract 1 yr old
Unload dishwasher
Realize distraction of 1 yr old was not successful and all dishes are still unwashed
Turn dishwasher on again
Pick couch cushions up off the floor and return them to couch
Wash pencil off of walls where 1yr old has colored on them
Take pencil away from 1 yr old
Ten minutes later give pencil back when it becomes apparent I would rather wash walls, floors, furniture, cabinets, than listen to her screams
Pick couch cushions up off the floor and return them to couch
Give 4 yr old gum to leave me alone for a minute to type
Sense a pattern, but decide not to think about it
Play trains
Play with Imaginext
Curse the Imaginext makers as the pieces will not withstand the playing of the 4 and 5 yr olds
Play with other assorted toys
Pick up the couch cushions and throw them on the damn couch
Change what feels like the thousandth diaper of the day
Think we should buy stock in the diaper and wipes companies
Remember we have no extra money because we go through so many diapers and wipes everyday
Ignore couch cushions on the floor and step on them while walking through the room like everyone else
Find ringing phone
Respond "nothing" when husband asks what are you doing.
On the verge of deciding I am being punished for something horrible I did in a past life
Get hit in the head by a folded up, covered with an entire roll of tape, piece of paper
Spend ten minutes trying to open the piece of paper
Read the note from my 5 yr old, "I LOVE YOU MOM" covering every square inch of the paper
Decide I couldn't have been all that bad in my past life
See 1 yr old walk into room naked, holding a poopie diaper
Resolve to live this life better

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Do You Know What Today Is????

According to Sheryl, today is De-Lurking Day! A special day celebrating lurkers, and exhorting you to muster the strength and bravery to click on that comment button and end the deafening silence.

Today you must delurk and comment on every blog that you visit, or as Mir said, bad luck will befall you and your children, and your children's children. You don't want to be responsible for that now do you?

Seriously, I do wonder who all of you are. I get a handful of comments each day, mostly from people I "know", but who are the other 150 people? Who are you???

Just leave a comment and say anything... as long as it's nice ;-)
And leave a link to your blog, if you have one, so I can visit you too and lurk at your blog.

Then go forth and comment everywhere... spread the love.

Monday, January 03, 2005

To My Children...

the same ones I claimed to adore in my last post.

Yes, I do make dinners you hate on purpose.

In fact, I stay awake at night scheming and plotting in my kitchen, trying to come up with the most offensive food combinations.

Tonight I hit the jackpot.

Who knew homemade macaroni and cheese with broccoli was so extremely vile as to cause screams, cries, and spontaneous leg spasms causing you, one of the objects of my unfaltering adoration, to involuntarily collapse to the floor.

Do not worry those of you who ran through the kitchen, pausing only long enough to express your disgust. And you may want to perfect your tantrums and insults.

The best thing about no one eating dinner is that there are plenty of leftovers.

Mommy Dearest gets a day off from cooking dinner tomorrow. I will be using that extra time to check your closets for wire hangers.