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Saturday, May 28, 2005


Description of my experience of watching my two oldest sons baseball team play today.


Watching the pitcher allow TWENTY runs in the first inning, before he was replaced (with my son)


Watching ground balls go between the legs of the infielders.


Watching the outfielders stand as though glued in one spot while the ball falls equidistant between two of them.


Watching four kids on the team, two of which were mine, give it their all while the rest of the team could care less.


Trying to keep five other children happy, not throwing gravel, and not jumping off the bleachers during the two hour and forty minute baseball-athon.


Watching my 52" tall 50 pound 9 yr old pitch a no hitter second inning, striking out all three kids that came up to bat. Kids that are at least 3 years older and at least a foot taller.

A five minute reprieve from the pain.

I have done my parental duty for the season. Next time I feel the urge to torture myself I will pull my fingernails off one by one.

Friday, May 27, 2005

You Found Me!

What would we do without search engines to take us to the information we so desperately seek? There are just so many disappointed people whose searches lead them to my website. Some of them I wish I could track down and ask, "Just what were you thinking?"

Here is a sample of the searches that brought people to me recently.

I) The ones that made me laugh:

porkchops+games+rednecks prompting me to wonder, are there games that rednecks play with porkchops?

my 5 year old can't hear me yeah neither can mine, selective hearing seems to be a problem with children, especially those of the male variety.

chris drunk whiskey tango have you been looking in my windows?

big house flies although I realize now they were probably referring to insects, my first thought was of my house flying through the air a la Wizard of Oz

my house is bigger than your house game never heard of it, but sadly, I bet I would win the my house cost more to heat than your house game

another word for ass donkey? mule? husband?

II) These people seem not to grasp the idea that a search engine is not all knowing:

house I want trust me, this isn't it
am I getting old yes, you are
why am I getting old
reasons I am getting old
d*ck, pr*ck, c*ck bigger than his I bet he is happy you are searching for this
boobs like hers
our yellow house nope, this one is mine, unless you come over with a check big enough
picture of a big house I like

III) The searches obviously done by a disappointed adolescent male who doesn't yet know about bra sizes:

pictures of boobs bigger than a foot a foot around? a foot across? a foot long?

IV) People without a firm grip on reality. It is not real people. It is a movie.

real jedi school
jedi children's praise (why am I number one in this search?)
can I be a jedi doubt it, since it is pretend
real jedi light saber again, pretend
i want to be a real jedi good luck

V) the hopeful:

i wish i were married
any big boobs any big ones will do, sadly there are none here
great big butts
any boobs this person isn't even picky about size

VI) Those seeking actual information, which I was sadly unable to provide:

how to make a whirlpool
how to make a paper mache volcano
why you should use public transportation
find snowpants under $90
how to make general tsaos chicken recipe
how long for your hairline to grow back for male teens with low cuts I don't even know what this means
how to wash baseball uniforms washing machine works for me
what are disturbing nursery rhymes rock a bye baby always seemed a bit distressing to me

VII) You Found Me, Now Go Away:

This is the category whose searches I am not going to type out. You people need some serious help. Truly.

VIII) And to the one person who searched for something that I did have offer, congratulations!

photo of a black bear at a house

Thursday, May 26, 2005

You Say Tomato, And I Say It Correctly

A few weeks ago my sister in law called us.

Her: "I'm calling to tell you Daddy is having prostrate trouble."

Me: "Well, I'd have trouble laying face down on the floor if I were eighty years old too."

Her: "What?"

Me: "What, what?"

Her: "Am I missing something?"

Me: "I was just joking with you. You said prostrate."

Her:" Yes I know"

Me: "It's prostate. But nevermind, it obviously wasn't funny. What's wrong?"

She then proceeded to tell me that Rob's father had not been able to go to the bathroom for eight days. EIGHT DAYS!!! Good God man, what took you so long to realize there was a problem. After day one I would be whimpering in the doctor's office.

She brought him to the doctor on the eighth day and they had to give him a catheter and bag to wear until they can do surgery. It isn't cancer, thankfully, but his heart problems complicate any sort of surgery.

Despite my efforts, she continues to call it prostrate. And I continue to picture my father in law laying face down on the ground.


Last year a good friend of mine who was very pregnant called me.

Her: "I wanted to let you know I am having an aversion."

Me:" An aversion?"

Her: " Yes, an aversion. Tomorrow."

Me: "You're planning on having an aversion tomorrow?"

Her: "Yes."

Me: "Planning ahead, huh. What are are you planning on having an aversion to?"

Her: "The baby, of course."

Me: "The baby? Do you mean a version?"

Her: "Yes, that's what I said."

Me: "No, you said an aversion."

Her: "Yes, I know."

Me: "I thought perhaps you had developed an intense dislike for the baby."

Her: "What?"

Me: "Never mind."

Then we proceeded to have a conversation about her "aversion". She kept calling it that, and I kept calling it a version. She is confident that she is correct. It is still that way a year later.

Every time she talks about her aversion with him when she was pregnant, I can't help but cringe and think she doesn't like her baby.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

I Can't Even Find Any Humor In It

Six hours of non stop dental work later, I am home.

And in pain.

Surprise surgery on my entire upper gumline. I generally prefer my surprises to be something sparkly, wrapped up in a small box.

The highlight of my day was when the periodontist found out I had seven children, he said that every woman should have seven children if it meant they would look so good. Which was really nice considering I have the teeth of a crack whore from being pregnant constantly for the past ten years.

But then it was a bit creepy, because why was he looking at my body when he was supposed to be working on my mouth. Of course he was older and had to wear glasses with little microscopes attached to the lenses to work on my mouth, so who knows what he actually saw.

All in all, the break wasn't as much fun as I had hoped. A massage chair can only make up for so much.

If anyone needs me, I'll be laying on the couch holding ice packs on my cheeks and questioning my will to live.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

A Well Deserved Break

Rob is home from his fishing trip. He is exhausted, poor thing. I, on the other hand, am not exhausted at all. I find being with my children, non stop, 24 hours a day, with nary a break, for an entire week envigorating.

Tomorrow I get to have my break. I have a dentist appointment, where I will probably end up with a root canal.

I am looking forward to going, because:

1) I haven't been alone in over a week and listening to Hopalong's non stop whining is causing my ear drums to bleed. Oh, and the constant hopping, not so cute anymore.

2) I will be alone, and therefore get to drive the car, instead of the big van, which is large enough to cart around an entire sports team.

3) I will be alone, which means I will not have to buckle any carseats or listen to bickering, crying, and fighting.

4)I will get to recline in a chair for a few hours, with no one on my lap.

5) Did I mention I'll be alone?

Hello. My name is Chris and I have no life.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Packing My Sunscreen

Don't you think it would be fun to take seven children, in varying stages of cleanliness and undress, to the emergency room, by yourself, at 8:30pm on a Sunday night?

Yeah. Me neither.

Which is why I didn't.

Just pass the BMY (Bad Mother of the Year) award over here and let me keep it. I'm making a permanent space for it on my mantle. Maybe I'll engrave my name on the little plaque.

My 4 year old was shuffling his feet on the hardwood floors, in the midst of a temper tantrum. And he got a huge splinter. Only I couldn't tell that there was anything wrong for a long time since he had already been screaming, crying, and generally just making my eardrums bleed.

When I finally did notice the splinter, it looked like a small pencil underneath his skin. And it was in there deep. I scoured the house and found a lame pair of tweezers and a needle and attempted to remove the splinter. Only the 4 yr old was sure I was trying to amputate his foot, and behaved as such.

After several attempts it was pretty evident that I wasn't going to be able to get it out of his foot without a few shots of whiskey and a leather strap to bite on, but we had no whiskey in the house and a glass of Pinot Noir did nothing for me. And neither did the beer I drank just for good measure. I just put him to bed and hoped a staph infection wasn't festering under the skin with the wood.

I awoke this morning and realized it was my lucky day! We already had an appointment with the pediatrician for the 2 yr old's physical and the doctor felt confident that she could remove the splinter. I slathered EMLA cream on his debilitating injury and off we went, him hopping on one foot, since he could not wear his shoe.

I gave him the nickname Hopalong today. No one in the doctor's office thought the nickname was funny, in fact some looked a bit horrified. It always amazes me how people can have no sense of humor.

He climbed on the table and the doctor looked at his foot. Then he proceeded to scream. And scream. And scream some more. When he wasn't screaming with his ear drum piercing screech, it was only because he was inhaling to scream yet again. All of this was before anyone even touched him.

The nurse and I both held him down while the doctor went to work with her special pointy tweezers. Half an hour later, the splinter was still as deep as ever. I was half tempted to grab the tweezers from her hand, push her aside and have a go at it myself.

The doctor kept saying, "I'm really not hurting him."

And I keep saying, "Yes, I know you aren't. He has a flair for the dramatic."

I think his screams were getting to her. They don't bother me since I am used to them, or else I may just be cold hearted. Whatever, just get the splinter out already.

By now the waiting room was now full of children, who were terrified. She sent us home with instructions to soak it and if it doesn't work it's way out in a few days, we'll have to head to a surgeon to remove it.

But Rob will be home tomorrow and he fancies himself quite a good splinter-taker-outer. The overly dramatic screams don't bother him either. If your going to scream, you might as well have something to scream about, is usually his splinter taking out motto.

During this whole thing my 9 yr old ADHHHHHHD son was jumping up and down between me and the doctor, trying to "get a better look". I asked him to stop and told him it was annoying.

He replies, "I'm not being annoying."

So I say, "Well, yes, you are annoying me."

He says, "I'm not being annoying."

I say, "yeah, you are."

He says, "I am not being annoying."

Well, you get the picture.

And then my head exploded and the doctor had to pick my brain matter up piece by piece with the tiny tweezers and replace it back into my skull.

We left the doctors office, splinter still intact, Hopalong still hopping, brain matter still oozing out of my ears. I said, "Good luck" with a grimace on my face, to the white faced children of the parents who didn't think my Hopalong joke was funny. Going to Hell, I am.

To top off the day, we were driving home and I was scanning radio stations, and a song came on that said, "if heaven were a pie, it would be cherry."

I hate cherry pie.

All I can say is Hell had better be chocolate fondue.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

My Other Child

I have a child
who is so bad
He makes me yell.
He makes me mad.

I hear him running on the stairs,
But when I look, there's no one there.
He scatters toys across the lawn.
He sets alarms to ring at dawn

He skips and bounces down the hall.
He knocks the pictures off the wall.
He takes the cushions off the couch.
He spits chewed food out of his mouth.

And leaves it on the floor
For me to find.
I'll pick it up.
I don't mind.

He jumps upon my just made beds.
He cuts the hair from toddlers heads.
He peels the paper from the walls.
He loses every. single. ball.

He picks the heads off all the flowers,
and turns the hose on them full power.
He leaves it running in the grass,
to make mud puddles in which to splash.

He tracks the dirt across the floors.
He paints with mud on outside doors.
He digs up flowers in the yard.
He bends his brother's baseball cards.

He leaves the tops off all the pens,
After he writes on walls with them.
He pees on walls,
and floors and sinks.

It is he who made the fart that stinks.

He tosses clothes around the room.
and mixes toys in with them too.
He fills his pockets up with sand,
and gum, and rocks, and rubberbands.

I find them later in the wash
sometimes stuck to clothes and socks

He is to blame for many wrongs,
not putting things where they belong.
The corner has a welcome mat,
a balled up towel, a coat, a hat,
some rocks, some sticks, a spoon, some glue,
a cup that has ants,
or at least it used to.

The soap he breaks into little bits.
And on the mirror, he always spits.
The expensive shampoo he likes to waste,
and paint the sink with blue toothpaste.

I confess sometimes I have to yell,
"Who DID this? Now, you must tell!"

I question children one by one,
"Did you do this?"
"I'm not the one."

They say "Mommy, you must believe,
"That is not something done by me."

"If not you, who could it be?"
The answer always is,
"Not Me."

Not Me, Not Me, what a naughty child,
so destructive and so wild.
But I tell you, he is clever
I have never seen him, never.

I might rethink my spanking stance,
And get him on the seat of his pants.
If I could catch him in the act,
I'd give his bottom several whacks.

But really I wish
That he'd just go.
And take his sidekick,
Ida Know.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Breeder of Discontent

For years we did not have a television. About a year ago we bought one.

Now suddenly I realize how inadequate I am. I'm not pretty enough. I'm not thin enough. Not cool enough. Not fashionable enough. My hair is not shiny and bouncy enough. My boobs not perky enough.

My house is not decorated and accessorized nicely enough. Unless, you are a toddler, then it is decorating nirvana.

I realize on a deeper level that it is all an illusion. There is no such thing as "perfection", as evidenced by movie stars and their never ending plastic surgery. But I do feel much better about myself the less television that I watch.

What about that housewife show? In all fairness, I have never watched the show, but I gather it is about a neighborhood of housewives, and I have seen photos of the cast. I am a housewife. I know lots of housewives. I don't think I know any that look and dress like the women on that show. And I certainly don't know of an entire neighborhood of them. I am shuddering at the thought of having to live in a neighborhood like that and being forever cast as the inadequate frumpy wife.

Which brings me to another rant. I am a small boned person. I generally wear the smallest size clothing a store has to offer. But when I shop at Old Navy I have to buy size medium or large shirts. Why? Who is their target dressing audience? Ten year old boys? because I think that is who the smallest sized clothing would fit. I mentioned this to a friend recently and she said she doesn't even venture in to that store. A world where I wear a size large is not a world she wants to visit. Me either, for that matter.

Unless, perhaps, the shirts are supposed to be worn as a second skin, which they just might be considering how fashion ignorant I am. Is that an attractive look? I could save a lot of money and just go around topless.

And maybe bottomless too, since I am so sick and tired of those low waisted pants that slip down my hips everytime I exhale. Call me crazy, but I honestly don't think that a 36 yr old woman walking around hiking up her jeans every few steps, is an attractive look.

I am thinking of boycotting that store, at least for grown-up clothes. My husband has already made fun of all the men's clothing they have to offer. The last time we were in there he picked up a jacket and asked me what I thought of it. I had to tell him that it might be cool if you were 18, but on a 40 yr old man, I am afraid it resembles a Members Only jacket or something you'd find at JC Penny's.

The children's clothing is okay, if you find things on the clearance rack and it seems almost like they are paying you to take it away. I do hate it though when I buy something and then two weeks later it is almost free. And I wonder about the business strategy of running the clothing through the store so quickly. I refuse to buy things at Old Navy that are full price, just on principle. I would hazard a guess that I amnot the only one.

And why is it that the shorts for boys are getting really long. One of my sons asked me if they were capris. Is it that they need to put all the extra fabric somewhere, from shortening the girls shorts to basically underwear length? But the rant about clothing manufacturers making little girls into street walkers will have to wait for another day.

Then, when I thought all hope was lost, I went into the Gymboree store that just opened near us. My 2 yr old daughter and I both gasped when we entered. And she ran inside and started gathering everything she could in her little arms screaming "pretty! pretty!" Who could argue with that? She got some new clothes, a new dress, shoes, and a pocketbook. I am not sure why a 2 yr old needs a pocketbook, but she wanted it and it matched the dress and shoes perfectly. I know how special that is. Who am I to deny her?

Here is where I should probably wrap it all up and tie it all together. But I can't.

Usually, I would just rant away to fabulously patient husband, who likes play the role of the devil's advocate. We have some heated debates and can rant like together like no one else, which really is a great form of foreplay. And efficient, since we can do it with our clothes on and when the children are awake.

But he is away for 4 days flyfishing in Wisconsin, with his best friend. Conveniently, for him, without cell phone reception. It sounds like pure torture to me, hiking through the woods to the river carrying a bunch of crap, fighting off mosquitos, trying not to fall into the water and drown or get hypothermia, sleeping in flea bitten motels. And pointless, since they don't keep the fish. He keeps hoping that one day I will pick up his hobby with the same enthusiasm as him. Not. going. to. happen.

Well, that's all I got here. Move along now folks.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

In Numbers

6 boxes of Frosted Flakes
5 boxes of Corn Pops
4 boxes of Froot Loops
8 boxes of Apple Jacks
30 half gallons of soy milk
1 month of unbridled cereal eating
20 red light saber spoons
1 working green light saber spoon
1 non working green light saber spoon

finally leading to this:

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1 highly coveted blue light saber spoon

We will now stop hoarding boxes of specially marked cereal.

Good luck finding your own spoon. May the force be with you.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

And Then There Are The Other Times

When they are so sweet, it makes your teeth ache.

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I now have a vase full of "pretty flowers" on my kitchen table. At least this time they have stems.

Which really beats the floating dandelion heads arranged in a bowl as a centerpiece.

Sweet Revenge

Do you remember how, when you were a kid and you misbehaved, your parents would say to you, something along the lines, 'I hope when you grow up, you get a kid just like you.' And you would make some wisecrack remark like,'As long as they aren't like you.'

And your parents would laugh, and you thought they were laughing at your oh-so-funny, oh-so-clever and original remark. Turns out they were laughing because they knew that in another 20 years or so the next generation would exact their revenge for them.

They were willing to wait.

Today the children were playing outside and I caught my 10 year old encouraging his 6 year old brother to misbehave. I had the 6 yr old sit on the porch steps while I talked to the 10 year old. Over his protests that he did nothing, I explained the concept of being an accessory to a crime.

His reaction, "Puh-lease, Mom. This was hardly an illegal act."

Me, "Yes, duh-ear, I realize that it was not literally a crime. But it wasn't nice and that sort of behavior is not acceptable in this house."

Him, "But we're not in the house. We're outside"

Me, "You know what I mean. Do you have anything constructive to say?"

Him, hand held over his heart, "I am shocked at my behavior. Truly. I am shocked. And a little bit saddened. But mostly shocked."

How do you listen to that with a straight face? I know I couldn't.

And for all those times my mother said I was fresh, and I would retort, "At least I'm not stale."

I'm sorry.

Isn't my apology revenge enough?

Monday, May 16, 2005

Bumper Stickers

I don't have any bumper stickers on my car.

I find them fascinating on other people's cars though. The fact that the message on the bumper sticker somehow spoke to the person, and that it spoke to them enough to want to put it on their car and broadcast it to the rest of the world. The messages are hardly original either.

I can't imagine finding one that encapsulates who I am am and what I would want to say about myself.

My other car is not a broom, though I would be willing to consider getting one, given how much gas it takes to fill my van and that I wouldn't have to listen to children fighting as I rode along.

My child is not an honor student at XYZ Elementary School. Aren't they all now with the No Child Left Behind Act?

Likewise they didn't beat up your honor student, and even if they did I wouldn't want to be bragging about it.

I suppose that I could put a homeschool bumper sticker on my van, but I really don't want to hold myself up as some sort of example of homeschooling excellence. Especially since they are all often dancing in their seats and yelling to each other, and we more frequently look like an example of the "special" bus.

And just what is up with the sticker of the boy peeing on things? For some reason I always see this one on pick-up trucks driven by boy-men under 30. Am I supposed ot be impressed that you have a penis and can pee standing up? I'll admit it would have advantages when camping in the woods.

But, I can push a live baby out of my vagina, much more impressive. For the record, if you really could arc your urine from here to Iraq, I would be impressed. I would think you are entitled to have the sticker on your car. Otherwise, it just makes you seem like a dumbass. A dumbass who must use pictures rather than words to get his point across.

The one that gets me every time and sends me off on a rant to whomever is in my car with me, is probably just a New England one.

This Car Climbed Mount Washington.

I'm not sure why I am supposed to be impressed by this. It is a car after all. And there is a paved road to the top. Are there cars that have tried to drive up and not made it? Have people been forced to abandon their vehicles along the side of the road?

Their website lists all the people who have died on the mountain, but I see nothing about cars. I hiked up Mt Washington, back in my youthful and more energetic days. Days when my sports bra and spandex shorts were my clothing, not foundational support garments.

It was difficult. But I have full confidence that even the first car I ever bought, 1975 lime green VW rabbit, that had no working odometer,a broken gas gauge, one headlight and only an AM radio could make it to the top.

Today I saw a woman driving a car with a new one to add to my top five list of worst bumper stickers.

Quit tailgating or I'll flick a booger on you.

Whoa, and here I am out of windshield wiper fluid. I'd best stay way way back. I'll admit I am frightened. Not by the booger, but by the fact that someone bought this and put it on their car for the entire world to see.

Though I am thinking, if she could put this bumper sticker into a pictogram format, I have just the man for her. He was driving a black Ford Ram pick-up truck with a peeing boy sticker on the rear window.

Think Your Own Thoughts

I should probably just leave it at that. As a directive to the person who needs to be reminded that taking someone else's exact words, thoughts, and ideas is stealing. In fact, there is a fancy word for just this. Can you say plagiarism? But ,of course,given my personality, I can not just let it go.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I should consider myself duly flattered. But I don't. I prefer compliments along these lines:
Your children are beautiful, or
What you wrote made me laugh, cry, recoil in horror...whichever, or
my personal favorite, Your ass looks really small in those new capri pants.

Mostly I just want to scream copy cat and point my finger. But I won't do that either. This person knows who they are. I hope she is squirming uncomfortably in her chair. I'll make it easy for you, if you think I am writing about you, I probably am.

The first time I saw that this person wrote something eerily similar to something I had written, I chalked it up to coincidence. Even though the word choices and phrases sounded just. like mine. I didn't give it much more than a 'huh'

It happens doesn't it. In the words of Mark Twain, "Adam was the only man who, when he said a good thing, knew that nobody had said it before him." * I am sure that all of us have read or heard something, thought on it, and then subconsciously the idea or words have become our own. Or sometimes people just simultaneously have the same idea.

But then it happened again. And I thought, ' hmmm.'

And again. And again. It almost made me laugh. Almost.

But the more I thought about it, the more annoyed I became. I have never thought that anything I have written has been particularly theft worthy. I am not a professional writer. However, I don't think that people coincidentally have the same ideas as another person more than once.

Unless they are psychic, which is a possibility I didn't even consider until just now. If that is the case, then that person already knows what I am thinking.

Shame on you.

* Oh look, giving credit to someone for an idea that was theirs. What a novel idea not to steal some else's EXACT words and pass them off as my own.

Friday, May 13, 2005

It's A Mother's Day Miracle

Okay, it wasn't on Sunday and it wasn't miraculous since I did most of it my own damn self.

But I cleaned out my van. To include:
Taking out all the carseats (6 of 'em for those that are counting) and washed the covers. Vacuuming the floor and seats and even using the little crevice tool.

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Please notice in this photo the lack of any people old enough to do it without supervision, as well as the boy who thinks he is a monkey.

This is no small feat. My van is larger than the apartments that many of our NYC friends live in. Truthfully. My husband has a co-worker who lives in a 300sq ft one bedroom apartment. That is pretty much smaller than any one room in my house, aside from a bathroom. I had asked if she could cook and serve herself breakfast in bed, and maybe shower at the same time, because that could be a selling point.

In any event, my van is now free of petrified french fries, gum wrappers, assorted papers, lollipop sticks, and half eaten, now unrecognizable foods.

And how did we celebrate? Did I ban the children from stepping foot into the van so I could enjoy the cleanliness?

Nope, we took a field trip to a local organic farm, where the kids all climbed in compost heaps and took turns plating onions in his field. Then they each planted their own six pack of lettuce seeds to bring home. One of which I knocked over in the van and had to try and scoop up the dirt and itty bitty seeds and get them back into the planter with no one noticing.

And then we stopped at the batting cages so the oldest two could practice hitting. 150 balls each later, they were done.

We stopped at Dairy Queen on the way back home. Because what goes better with dirt than drippy ice cream cones.

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We never go to Dairy Queen because Rob has "issues" with it. He hates the idea of standing outside, in a dirty parking lot, licking an icecream cone. Personally, I think standing next to a dumpster, along a chain link fence, in a dirty parking lot just adds to the ambiance. Where else can filthy dirty children enjoy a good icecream cone AND provide entertainment for passerbys at a busy intersection.

As we were about to drive away, my 9 yr old discovers that he had stepped in gum. And tracked it all over the van. He was upset because if I hadn't cleaned out the van, "you wouldn't even notice."

In the words of my 10 yr old, "It was inevitable."

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Five Months

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I know that it is such a cliche, but I can't believe how quickly time is passing and how fast you are growing. At the same time, it feels as though you have been a part of me forever. I cannot conceive of a time when you were not in existence. When I think back on the past, before you were born, I feel your presence lurking behind the scenes. I am not sure how to reconcile these two seemingly conflicting feelings of you having just been born, yet having been here forever.

You love looking at the world around you. You have perfected rolling over and will roll around the room trying to get where you want to go. I spend a good deal of time getting you unstuck from various places, as well as untangled from your own arms. Sometimes you roll over with such force that you bang your head on the ground and cry. And I'll pick you up and kiss your little head, which will make you laugh and cry at the same time.

You sleep at night as well as I could ever hope for a 5 month old to sleep. You sleep in bed with me, with your arms extended to the sides, making sure you get the third of the bed that is rightfully yours. Your beautiful little face is the last thing I see at night before I fall asleep, and the first thing I see when I awaken, through no choice of my own, several times during the night. You consistently sleep at night from 9:00 pm to 6:00am, waking up to nurse, but falling right back to sleep. The only drawback to this is that you are now awake for longer periods during the day. Periods during which you demand constant amusement.

You have an attention span of about 3 minutes before you are bored. You are excited and happy about your toys and siblings, until suddenly you are not.

If you could talk, I imagine this is what you would be saying.

"Get that toy! Shake it above my head."

"Oh, I love that toy. I am going to scream at it and laugh at it a few times."

"Give it to me. I want to hold it now."

"Oh, I love this toy. I love this toy. I wonder how it tastes?"

"Yum. Yum. Oh no I dropped the toy. It's lost... forever."


"Oh there it is. Mommy found it. Shake it over my head some more."

"Okay. Done with that. Walk me around the room now."

You demand constant attention, want us to play with you, and carry you around, yet you hate the sling. I think you find it too constricting, as you can't kick and flail and grab anything more than fists full of my hair. I have nicknamed you my little pita pocket. Which really is short for my little pain in the ass pocket sized version, somehow that one was to cumbersome to say. Other people might not find the nickname as endearing as I do, but I mean it with love.

I'd walk across hot coals to see that toothless baby grin and hear that belly laugh. And there are days that would be a welcome change of pace from the toy shaking, room pacing, noisy toy playing rut.

Right now you are laying under your musical baby gym grabbing the toys and perfecting your stomach crunches. Summer is almost here and soon you will be showing off your six-pack in your tiny swimming trunks. I do wish they made baby toys that played better, less annoying music, because after a few minutes of listening to this toy I am ready to scream and can hardly blame you when you do. It is especially fun when the other kids turn on noisy toys for you and we have dueling annoying musical arrangements.

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There are always people around who want to play with you. And you seem to know that the smallest sigh of discontent will bring people running.

And you have a 2 yr old sister who provides more entertainment than the rest of us could ever hope to. What could be better than playing with Mr Potato Head?

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Why a real live potato head baby, of course.

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Luckily I rescued you before she decided to put on the ears and nose.

I love you, my little pita pocket.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Waste Not, Want Not*

Today I put out a bowl of carrots on the kitchen table for the kids to snack on. The bowl sat there for a couple of hours and no one really seemed interested in eating the carrots, until they noticed the 2 year old eating them.

She had taken the bowl down from the table and was walking around the house with it.

The kids all began digging into the bowl and eating the carrot sticks with such enthusiasm, that I was reluctant to tell them where the carrots had been. What they don't know can't hurt them, right?

Did they really need to know that the 2 year old had dumped them out onto the carpet. And that she had put them back into the bowl, pausing long enough to lick a few of them. Or that she had dumped them out a few more times and took bites out of random carrots. And she used them to color on the glass sliding door. What's a little germs among family members, right? I think the dirt caked on their hands and under their fingernails was much more vile.

I considered telling them, but I knew then they would demand a different snack. And, well, the carrots are good for them and would go to waste if they refused to eat them.

So they continued eating. Until one of the kids noticed some carpet fluff in the bowl. Then one of them noticed that some of the carrots had bite marks. And further investigation revealed chewed up carrot pieces in the bottom of the bowl.

So, I don't think they'll be eating food they find their sister carrying around again. If their collective reaction was any sort of indication, they probably have developed a lifelong aversion towards carrot sticks.

But at least they didn't go to waste.

* When I was a child I went over to the house of a friend from school. Her mother frightened me, and given what my mother was like this says a lot. Her mother always wore her hair pulled back into a really tight bun, giving the illusion that she was pulling her face up with her hair. A poor man's face lift, if you will. Any way, this one particular day I was supposed to eat dinner over their house and I didn't like what she had cooked. She said "Waste not, want not," which meant nothing to me and she made me sit at their kitchen table with my plate of food in front of me until it was time for my mother to pick me up several hours later. When my mother came to pick me up I was crying and the woman told my mother what had happened. And my mother yelled at me for being picky. Yelled. at. me. If anyone ever dared to treat one of my children that way I would tear the persons head off and serve it them.

I have hated that saying ever since.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Top Five Signs That Spring Is Here To Stay and Why I am Thankful

5) The daffodils have bloomed, the trees have buds, and allergy medication has been bought. And I am thankful for extra soft tissues with lotion.

4) The black flies are out and swarm you as soon as you walk outside. These black flies laugh at deet or any other insect repellent. (Rob tells me that they are not called "black flies", but they are black and they fly and everyone other than Rob calls them black flies, not by their Latin name, Flyus Blackatum.) But I am thankful they prefer to bite my husband and my children run around so darn fast even the flies can't keep up.

3) The winter clothes have been washed, folded, packed away, rifled through, worn, washed and packed away for the last time this season. And I am thankful that more summer clothes fit in the washing machine per load, theoretically reducing the amount of times I need to run the washing machine.

2) The mud. that. is. everywhere. outside. and. now. inside. too. Making me thankful that I have shunned carpeting.

1) I have torn down the plastic sheeting and duct tape that covered the windows in our family room, and while I will miss that classy look, I am thankful that warm weather means we can stop selling our plasma to pay for heating oil.

Just call me Little Miss Sunshine, always looking at the bright side while drinking out of my half full wine glass.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Can't Live With Them, Can't Sell Them On Ebay

Rob brought home a cake last night for my birthday. It was lovely. The children said it tasted exactly like those ho-hos we had last week, which I can only assume was meant as the highest compliment.

And really you couldn't tell that it was three days past it's expiration date unless you noticed the huge red sticker that said CLEARANCE HALF PRICE. But it's my birthday, and I'm worth it. Generally speaking, it is my policy not to buy or eat food that is on clearance, for obvious reasons. But, hey, I can live dangerously one day a year.

That and the fact that Rob had to stop at two grocery stores to find this sorry neglected cake. It was either this cake or nothing. While I could have lived without the cake, the children would have been disappointed.

Rob bought me a number 3 and 6 for my cake, in case I had forgotten how old I was. This caused my 7 yr old to say, "Hey, I thought you said you were 25?" And my 6 yr old to answer, "No, she is 63, can't you read the numbers?"

After blowing out the candles on my cake, I was asked what I wished for. I thought for a minute and then said, "I wished my children would clean out the van."

I looked around the table at them, and most of them looked depressed with the knowledge that they'd have to do it now, just to be nice. Well, except for my 4 yr old who wanted to know if that meant he could use the hose. That would be, no.

Suddenly my 7yr old piped up, "Well, too bad you told us. Now it won't come true!"

And they all laughed and breathed a collective sigh of relief. Because everyone knows you can't tell your wish.


My 6 yr old just got out of the shower and I point out his left leg, still caked in dirt from the knee down.

"Oh, I must have forgotten to wash that part"

Alrighty then.

Like Lambs Before The Slaughter

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I had thought by baking cute cupcakes and having Rob as the coach of the baseball team, that I would not have to attend the games. Not that I don't enjoy watching their team get three outs with the first three boys that come up to bat; boys that duck and step outside the box as soon as the pitcher lets go of the ball. And I do so enjoy watching the opposing team score 13 runs in one inning.

But Rob said that if I want to continue bitching about the overall parental apathy that I had to attend the games. And since I am not about to give that up, I went.

I am not sure that there is a word to accurately describe the skill level of the team. But I will try. My two sons are in third and fourth grade and the team is comprised of sixth and seventh graders, and my sons are among the few good players.

There was more than one player that I saw swing at a ball by twirling around at the plate. I had to restrain myself from screaming something like, "Are you twirling your tu-tu girlie boy?"* Because that would have been mean and I was supposed to be rooting for this team, after all.

There was also more than one player who ducked when the ball was pitched at him, one of whom was squatting in almost a fetal position trying to swing.

And then there were the kids who cower behind their baseball gloves in the outfield and run away from the ball.

I suggested to Rob that at the next practice he line the kids up and whip balls at them so that they can see it won't kill them to get hit with a ball.** But apparently there are rules about that sort of thing. Clearly this is why I could never be a coach.

But the cupcakes were yummy and the other team was totally jealous. They may have beaten us 18-0, but we had snacks. And we weren't tired and sweaty. And our uniforms were still in pristine condition. And we got to recite the loser mantra.*** What did they get for their troubles???

And just watch out next time. We're totally going to eat our snacks in front of them again and not share one bit. We'll see how they like that.

*Not that there would be anything wrong with this tu-tu twirling at a ballet class.

**Obviously I am joking so please keep your hate mail to yourself. I would never line the kids up and throw balls at them. They would totally be expecting it that way. Much better to have the surprise factor.

*** The loser mantra for those who don't know is, "Hey, at least we had fun."

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Top Ten Reasons I Know I Am Getting Old

I remember the day clearly that I felt like I was an adult. It wasn't getting married or having children. No, it was the day I bought a melon baller. I stood at the cash register holding it and I remember thinking that the next step would be being trapped in suburbia, attending a tupperware party, where I would end up buying more single task kitchen items that I would have to store somewhere and only pull out a handful of times a year. Or worse yet, foisting a little booklet of avon products off to my neighbors and encouraging them to order skin so soft as an insect repellent.

Many, many, many years have passed since that day. I still own that handy little melon baller. I have never been to one of those insipid parties. Isn't it that same as rubbermaid? But I have been to a pampered chef party where I bought something and I love the satin hands hand creme from mary kay. And I make cute food for my kids. The march was inevitable, I guess.

Today I will decorate cupcakes so that the tops of them look like little baseballs for my two oldest son's baseball team in honor of their first home game. And hope I at least give the impression of being the good mother I long to be. Not to the other parents, I really couldn't care less what they think of me, but to my children. I hope it's enough.


Today is also the eve of my birthday. A birthday which will no longer enable me to check the 25-35 year old box on surveys. A birthday which will force me from now on to check the box which states 36-dead, or whatever it says.

I present the top ten reasons why I know I am getting old.

10) I use the word comfortable when describing my ideal clothing and the word practical when shopping for shoes. I look at the "fashionable" clothes that teenagers are wearing, and laugh. Though I will go on record saying that I will never wear stockings with open toe shoes. Why do old people do this? Was this ever a good look? Or is it just that they have become so practical that they want to keep their feet warm and wear the shoes they like?

9) I was buying my son vintage globes on ebay for his collection and noticed the globes are younger than I am. I realized I could say, "I remember when toys were made out of tin..." Soon the toys I played with as a child will be called antiques.

8)I have uttered the phrase, "When I was a kid..." and the music I grew up listening to is played on the radio at a special day and time called the "Way Back Weekend". And you know the next step is calling it the "oldies but goodies" . Who knew it was possible to wax nostalgic about the seventies and eighties.

7) I have a child who wears clothes bigger than mine.

6) I have known my husband and been married for a third of my life.

5) Every time I get the slightest ailment I think I am dying and should seek out a specialist. I worry more than I should about dying and leaving my children motherless. And I worry about what they would remember about me.

4) I have a "condition", albeit a minor one, and own a daily pill container, fulfilling one of my life's greatest fears.

3) When I look down at my hands I see the hands of my mother.

2)I frequently find myself wistful for my body the way it looked in my early twenties, because from my vantage point now, I realize that was as good as it was going to get. Who knew? I wouldn't have been caught dead in the body I have now.

1) I can buy myself whatever I want for my birthday, but like Ponce de Leon the only thing I want I can't buy. Though my area of exploration is limited to the cosmetics counter in my local department store.

Monday, May 02, 2005

I'm Writing A Book

A book about my adventures in grocery shopping, because surely these things don't happen to everyone. Or maybe they do and I am just unaware.

I'll skip over the actual shopping part this time, I have already discussed that ad nauseum, here and other places I am too lazy to find and link to.

But, this weekends real adventure began from the check out aisle, where my groceries somehow morphed from fitting comfortably into 2 carts, to overflowing from three. Thankfully, with the bread safely tucked underneath the rest of the groceries.

I got to have two baggers, which made me feel very special, and celebrity-like, though I could have done without the constant running commentary about how much food it was and how it will last a long time.

I guess they didn't see all the kids I had with me, who can inhale a cart full of groceries in an afternoon. But, in their defense, some of them were running around so fast that they weren't readily visible to the naked eye.

Then the store manager rewarded my children for their good behavior. Good behavior is subjective I suppose, or she couldn't see them either. They each received their very own chocolate Easter bunny. The Easter candy which is no longer fit for selling, but perfectly acceptable to give away to children.

Which was nice.

Except it really wasn't. I didn't need them to have that jolt of sugar and caffeine and then strap them all into a car.

So, I handed over my husband's paycheck and we began to leave the store. I was pushing one cart with my infant, my 7 yr old was pushing one cart,while lovingly holding onto his chocolate bunny, and the grocery bagger was pushing the cart with my two year old. As the circus train headed out of the store and across the parking lot, my 7 yr old ran over his 4 yr old brother. In a very dramatic Oscar worthy performance, the 4 yr old lay on the pavement and rolled, writhed, and screamed, while a line of cars in both directions waited, watching the show.

Behold the spectacle that is my family shopping. I wish I could charge for the viewing.

Somehow I managed to push the shopping cart over to the side and drag my 4 yr old over with me. As I bent down to look at his scraped knee, I heard my 2 yr old screaming, "Weeeeeeee weeeee,"along with maniacal laughter that is never good. I look up and see her, still strapped into the cart, flying solo down the incline of the parking lot. It is at that point I notice the grocery bagger standing next to me, completely oblivious.

"You let go of the cart?!?"

She took off running and caught the cart before it crashed into some parked cars. As I caught up to her she mumbled, "I am having a bad day."

Which made me laugh. My life is her bad day, yet she bags groceries for a living. I guess it is all in your perspective, because bagging groceries would be on my list of things I'd like to do right behind gouge my eyes out with a butter knife.

By the time I got the groceries unloaded into the van, the children had all eaten their chocolate bunnies and were bouncing around. All I can say is thank God for the five point harness.

Before we drove off I looked over my shopping list, which I had left in the van, as usual. In the excitement of buying more! cereal! that contains the light saber spoons, I had forgotten to buy flour and tin foil.

You know what that means... the circus train will be rolling through town again soon. Look for us at a shopping center near you.