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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Making Amends

This morning I woke up determined to right the wrongs that I did yesterday. The kids were still asleep and they all look so cute and innocent and QUIET when they are sleeping. Today was going to be Good Mother Day.

I took the leftover ham bone and made it into split pea and ham soup. I let the kids help me. Oh what fun was had by all! We chopped together, measured together, chopped some more. Oh so much damn fun I could hardly stand it! But wait, the day was just beginning I had much MUCH more fun planned.

Playing yahtzee

Then I played Animal Yahtzee. Not once, not twice, but four times. And considering how much I hate games, this was an impressive showing. And then, because I was playing Good Mom today, I played Animal Rummy. I didn't let my eyes roll back in my head once and stifled the urge to say, "Hurry up, discard!"

Animal Rummy/

Then the kids smashed open the geodes they had received as stocking stuffers. That was FUN! What a great present that was for indoor use, because you know that you can never have enough tiny rock particles all over the house. And excited children running around waving hammers is always a recipe for success.

I ooohed and ahhhed over several Lego creations and proclaimed my love for them, saying I wanted to marry them I loved them so much.

Since I was also trying to work the good wife angle as well, I baked bread. The little kids helped knead it and only once did I have to remove a child from the table who decided that jumping on the dough would be a much more effective way to knead it.

Kneading dough

My daughter ate obscene amounts of candy all day long. But she did use the potty. I had to resist singing the song "Bigmouth" by The Smiths when she was eating two lollipops simultaneously, because it was good mom day. And good moms don't sing songs like that. They sing songs like "Who is Captain Feathersword?" and they sing it without making any innuendos about what Captain Feathersword is tickling with that sword of his.

And we made homemade root beer with a kit my 9 year old got for Christmas. And then made some slime that my 8 year old got for Christmas. We learned that food coloring stains.

When my 8 year old told me that he had broken the faucet in one of our bathrooms by using it as a handle to hoist himself up onto the sink. I just smiled and walked away. This unusual reaction prompted him to follow me and ask, "Did you hear what I just said?" But I didn't want to spoil Good Mother Day by shouting, "Are you freaking kidding me?"

Just when I thought the fun was coming to an end, someone suggested painting.

Before I could answer my brain exploded and began oozing out of my eyeballs. And my children grabbed their spoons and scooped it up and ate it. It was green. Now it is gone.

Here I am trying to hold my brain matter back in my eye sockets.

Moments Before I Died

This Good Mother Day was tough. I am looking forward to tomorrow when once again mediocrity can reign. Long live the good enough mother, I like her best -- what with her intact brain cells and all. A solid C, that is what I am aiming for.

A Day in the Life set of photos is here.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Barely Passing

If I were graded daily on motherhood, today I would get a D-. The only thing that would prevent me from getting an F outright would be the fact that I did feed my children today. That has to get me some points, right? But dinner was macaroni and cheese... from a box... and not the Organic kind either. Nope I served my children the day glow orange mac and cheese. And I called it dinner.

Today I yelled at my children. They were fighting and yelling at each other all day long, so it seemed the only sensible thing to do would be to yell right back. I mean I know I listen to someone screaming in the background like a shrew.

Today I told my son that I did not want to hear another Calvin and Hobbes comic recited verbatim when he refuses to even memorize all his multiplication tables, because it makes me crazy that he is wasting his obviously limited precious brain cells on that useless crap. Yes, I said that. Nice, huh? He had a smartassed comeback about calculators and being an underappreciated genius.

Today I let my 1 year old son suck on the bottle of Hershey's syrup he took out of the refrigerator because I just couldn't bear to hear him cry anymore.

Today I held off giving my daughter Tylenol just a wee bit longer than the recommended time, because I was enjoying having her lay on the couch and watch tv for a change rather than climbing on and in everything.

Today I told my daughter, who is two remember, that I would buy her an iPod if she would just pee on the potty, something I have no intention of doing. So that makes me a big fat liar. She is refusing to pee or poop on the potty and is holding it in for incredibly unhealthy amounts of time. I have run out of ideas as the bribing, candy, entertaining and sadly, even yelling are doing nothing. I am worried that she is going to be neurotic one day and her psychiatrist will trace it all back to her potty training days with an uptight mother.

Today I told my nine year old son that I had sent in his entry for a contest he wanted to enter. In reality I had forgotten all about it. My motivation for lying was completely selfish. I didn't want him to be angry at me. Much better for him to think that his entry wasn't good enough, don't you think?

Today I hid in the bathroom with the last piece of pumpkin pie and a tub of Cool Whip because I didn't want to have to share it. I felt such a sense of entitlement to eat that piece of pumpkin pie alone. I'm sure that it isn't healthy.

Today I told my son that I would play Chutes and Ladders with him... later. And I never did. Tonight I walked by the dining room table and saw the game still sitting there ready to play. Being disemboweled with a butter knife could not be as painful.

Today I asked my daughter to do something and she said, "Sorry Mom. I can't. I too busy." She sounded like me. And then my heart shattered into a million pieces.

Today at 5:00pm I decided it was late enough to pour myself a glass of wine.

Finally, today I lied. It was big enough to be three pieces of pie. You know if I had cut it and not eaten with a fork right out of the pie tin with my back pressed up against the bathroom door.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Highlights From A Christmas

Visit With Santa

The presents that were the unexpected biggest hits and caused the recipients to scream, "Thanks Mom. This is all I have EVER wanted." Which I wish I had known before I shopped:

pedometer, given to my 9 year old who spent the entire day yesterday running and jumping around the house and giving us hourly, sometimes even more frequent, updates on how many steps he had walked thus far. It also gave me the ability to say things like, "Hey, go outside and run around the house ten times and see how far that is!" or "I wonder how many steps it is to bring the garbage from the kitchen out to the garbage cans?"

grabber claw, now there is nothing out of reach and pinching people's butts has never been so much fun!

empty 2L bottle of Sprite, though technically it wasn't a Christmas present, but it was bought for Christmas and given the amount of enjoyment my 1 yr old has gotten out of the empty bottle, it should have been

A gun that shoots suction cups and was bought at the Dollar Store has been much loved by everyone. Now I have little spit circles on all of my windows

The present that made us laugh the most:

A wool peacoat I gave to Rob which claimed to be reversible. But the reverse side was the quilted lining which looked like a lining and not at all like it was the right side, except for the pockets. I can't adequately describe how funny it was. You'll just have to trust me on this one. It was tears streaming down my cheeks, peeing in my pants funny. The children didn't think it was nearly as funny, but I think that is probably because they were sober.*

The present that broke as soon as it was opened and renewed my hatred for all things Barbie:

Barbie Magna Doodle piece of pink crap.

The present that I have enjoyed the most:

Skipper. I had one of these when I was a kid and used to play with it all the time. I discovered I am still good at it. The kids and I had numerous competitions yesterday, with me screaming things like, "I'm taking you down suckah. You can't beat me." and "Be serious, this isn't a game!"

The most unexpected present:

A beautiful red wool coat that was given to me "from Rob". He was very surprised and I complimented him on his exquisite taste.

There is so much more I could write about but my fingers are just bloody stumps from all the twist-tie undoing and my tiny screwdriver services are required yet again to install some batteries that will eventually end up costing more than the toy itself. I have Christmas photos up at Flickr, just click the Santa one at the top of the post if you want to relive my Christmas in excrutiating detail

*not that we were drunk, just enjoying a bottle of wine or three on Christmas Eve

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Trying To Make Up For Being Naughty

Cookies For Santa

Let's hope Rudolph could guide the sleigh as the designated driver.

Friday, December 23, 2005

And Then The Threats Fail

Driving home from seeing Santa at the mall this morning my two year old daughter was throwing a screaming tantrum in the van... she wanted to shop more, much to the dismay of all the penis bearing people in our family.

I turned around in my seat and said to her, "Santa is watching you."

She stopped screaming, looked at me, and said, "No he is not. HE NOT AT HOME! HE AT THE STORE!"

Various children piped up with theories about Mrs. Claus watching or satellite monitoring systems, but she would have none of it.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Life At The Gulag

1) Pour wood furniture polish all over the floor

2) Tell children to put on their socks

3) Make children run and slide all over floor in their stocking feet, thereby polishing it and allowing me free time to eat bon-bons and have a pedicure

4) Realize too late that furniture polish makes the floor REALLY slippery

Indoor Skating

5) Slip and slide throughout the house while singing "Slip sliding away, Slip sliding away..." until realizing just how depressing that song it

6)Tell children the reason it doesn't hurt when they fall to the ground is because they are closer to the ground and that the extra butt padding that I have is negated by the increased distance to the floor

7) Tell children Santa doesn't like it when you point out Mom's excess padding and that they had better do some more chores to make sure they stay on the nice list

Sing Along

Three Days Before Christmas and I have on my mind:

12 snowy boot prints
11 loads of laundry
10 dozen cookies
9 pounds I'm gaining
8 beds to make up
7 bratty children
6 hours of wrapping
5 dirrrrrr-ty bathrooms
4 pies to bake
3 crumb filled couches
2 bottles of wine

and I wonder where I can buy coal.*

*(both for the kids and myself)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Overheard At My House

"Put it in!"

"I am putting it in!"

"That's the wrong hole. Put it in the right hole."

"I'm trying."

"Will you concentrate already. It really isn't hard."

"Yes it is hard."

"Push harder."

"I am"

"Harder. Harder. C'mon, keep pushing."

"There. It's in."

"Sheesh, I feel like a cigarette."

"What? Why?"


"Why do they make those ski gloves so hard to put on?"

I Could Feel My Hair Turning Grey

There is a gallery of Holiday Photos up at dotmoms. See if you can tell which one belongs to me. I know, you all can hardly contain yourself with excitement.

I think I aged ten years in the dollar store today. I found glasses there, more like water goblets than wine glasses though, but I needed those also. I am a little frightened about what it says about me that I now buy my glassware at the dollar store, but oh well.

I can say with absolute certainty that I will never buy any sort clothing there... or make-up. So I still maintain a shred of more former pre-child, pre-crazy, pre-aged self.

In other news someone nominated me for a BoB award. Thank you. Maybe this year I'll get to be a finalist and go all Sally Field on you.

She's Making A List, Ignoring It Twice

Things I still have left to do before Christmas:

1)Bake and decorate our gingerbread house. I am thinking of taking a lead from my friend Annalise and adapting her cookie-less chocolate chip cookie recipe and making a gingerbread-free gingerbread house, which would basically be giving the kids packages of Necco wafers, gum drops, and licorice string to eat and calling it a day.

2)Wrap way too many freaking presents for my children, which a month from now I will be tripping over and wondering why I didn't just toss my money into the garbage and save myself the time and aggravation of shopping.

3) Clean my house so it will pass the white glove test of the relatives. God help me. Right now my house is in "kick a path" condition.

4) Buy some new wine glasses, since I have broken all but two of ours. If I don't get to buy some I must then choose three relatives I would not mind sharing my glass with. Why do they make wine glasses so fragile? Don't they know that drunk people will be handling them?

5) Bring the kids to see the mall Santa and get their picture taken with him. Wonder if I could test out my new wine glasses while doing this.

6) Decide what to serve for Christmas dinner and then buy it and cook it.

7)Bring the kids to the dollar store so they can buy presents for each other, Rob and me. Because Rob needs another one dollar ceramic figurine for his office, which is where we tell the kids all the tacky shit, ugly crap, presents they give us end up.

8) Clean the bathrooms and make boy use the outdoors until after Christmas.

These are just the highlights of the normal things. I also have to finish painting my kitchen cabinets and installing the new hinges and hardware, thus giving the illusion to the relatives that our cabinets aren't held together by spit and prayer. And hang my new dining room curtains. And... and...

And yet here I sit procrastinating. The only explanation I have for this is that I love the adrenaline rush of not knowing if it will all be done in time. Will the relatives be eating PB&J and the kids rooting through Target bags for the gifts?

I think I need more coffee.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Quote Of The Day

said by my 5 year old:

"I can't wait for Christmas to get here. Then I won't have to be so good until next December."

Huh. I had no idea he was working so hard to be good. It must be an internal struggle, because it certainly isn't apparent to anyone else.

Friday, December 16, 2005

A Contest

I've got nothing here today but sick kids and tons of guilt over all the holiday "fun" that we still haven't gotten to and need to get done in eight days or ruin my children's lives forever. Okay, that might be a wee bit dramatic, but that is just a glimpse at my inner dialogue.

Yesterday I attempted to take more pictures of the children, somewhat successfully. This photo was begging for a funny caption. Everyone put on your thinking caps and the best caption will win a non-existent prize of my choosing. Oh yeah, I am generous like that.

Looking For Santa

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Since my baby son loves to bang on pots and pans more than he likes to play with any other "toy", can I tell the grandparents, and others who want to buy presents, that he really would appreciate a new set of Calphalon pans?

In Keeping With The Same Joyful Holiday Theme

If Dante were rewriting Inferno which of these should be included in a Circle of Hell:

a) Having a spouse who smokes and tries to quit smoking at least twice a year, thereby making the rest of us walk around on eggshell for two weeks while he is all cranky and irritable, only to start smoking again a short time later, which makes it extremely difficult to be supportive the next time and causes some people, who shall remain nameless for their own protection, to say things like, "You might be healthier, but I am going to have to kill you. Therefore quitting really is a lose-lose proposition."

b) Having the aforementioned spouse decide that two weeks before Christmas is the perfect time to try to quit smoking AGAIN.

c)Holding a beautiful bottle of wine in your hands that is begging you to drink it, only being unable to find the bottle opener.

d) All of the above.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Quest For Just One Good Photograph

If Dante had to take Christmas photos, he would have included a Tenth Circle of Hell.

Slide Show of my efforts.

I really don't know why they refuse to smile nicely. I know I would smile pretty if a scary woman was pointing a camera at me screaming, "Smile, damnit! It's Christmas, and for Christ's sake can you just pretend you love your siblings for a minute."

And sadly, yes, I did pull out the evil trump card and yell, "That's it, I am calling Santa. COAL, COAL for everyone! Then you will have a reason to frown."

To keep it real and balance the last two posts it is imperative that I share a knock-knock joke my 2 year old daughter and I shared yesterday immediately after the photo taking fiasco.

Her: Knock-Knock, Mommy.
Me: Who's there?
Her: Santa Claus
Me: Santa Claus who?

And when she paused too long...

Me: Santa Claus who is not stopping at this house with presents, that's who!

So yeah. Not taking that award off of my mantle any time soon.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Dear Miles,

I spent the first 21 years of my life wishing time would hurry up. I remember wanting to turn double digits, I couldn't wait to get my ears pierced, I couldn't wait to get my driver's license. And then to turn 18 and move out, to turn 21 and be a bona fide legal alcohol swilling adult. I was forever wishing time away and I see your older siblings doing it too.

Then I spent a period of time in my life where I didn't wish time would hurry up. I just went along with it, content. It was a relatively short period of time since I was married and pregnant by the time I was twenty-four years old. It wasn't until I was a parent that I began to wish time would slow down. Slow way way down. While there are things that I look forward to accomplishing in my life, they are no longer age dependent.

It amazes me that a year has passed since your birth. Yet at the same time, it is as though I have known you forever. I can not imagine a life in which you did not exist. When I think back to a period of time before you were born I now imagine you there also, waiting on the sidelines.

Yum, cake!

Last night we were in bed. I was reading and you were nursing. It was a typical night. I was wishing you would hurry up and fall asleep. You were kicking your leg, trying to hit your father with your foot. We were both trying to ignore you, hoping that you would fall asleep out of sheer boredom. You still do not sleep well at night and have probably never slept longer than four hours at a stretch. Then you began clapping your hands. I looked down at you and our eyes met. You stopped nursing and pulled your head away so that you could better look into my eyes.

I remembered the day you were born. When they laid you onto my body. You were screaming. Our eyes met and instantly you stopped crying. We looked into each others eyes. We didn't need any words, we just knew each other. I hope I remember that moment always, the moment we first met and gazed into each others eyes free from the burdens of pain and disappointments we are sure to inflict on each other over time.

Birthday Baby

Wait, just wait, I beg time. Just slow down so I can fully etch this moment in my memory.

Your love of the vacuum is unparalleled and equal only to your sister's hatred of it. Whenever I pull out the vacuum you excitedly run and try to get in front of it, almost as if you are daring the vacuum to suck you up also. Your sister runs behind you, screaming and usually grabbing you by the back collar of your shirt and dragging you on your back across the room. You don't like that much.

You now walk all the time. I thought I would never forget the way you crawled scooting on your butt, using one arm to pull your body along, the way that someone who has no control over their lower body would do. But already that memory is fading, being replaced by the newest thing, being replaced by the way you walk kicking your legs out to the side as you step.

Who is that baby?

You have finally developed the concept of object permanence. Fancy words to mean that you know things exist even if you can not see them. What this means in practical terms is that I can no longer hide my coffee cup behind my back and expect you not to look for it. It also means that you can accept my brief absences without too much angst. Throwing a blanket over my head and then pulling it off saying, "peek-a-boo", while still fun, doesn't hold the thrill that it used to anymore.

I miss the way you would go from panic that I was gone, shock that I materialized before your eyes, and happiness that I was back. I loved the way it never got old for you and we could play the game over and over again and each time it was like new for you. Now you put the blanket over your own head and pull it off, which is an adorable new game in it's own right.

We play this game, you and I, where you walk away from me. I spread my arms wide. You stop and turn after making it half way across the room and giggle to see me waiting there. You run to me, well do your zombie walk as fast as you possibly can, sometimes losing your balance. But you never take your eyes off of mine. Your arms are spread wide like mine and when you reach me you wrap your arms around me and nuzzle my neck with your face. I breathe deeply inhaling your scent. I never want to forget this moment, the way you are right now.

Yesterday we were playing on the floor together. You got up off my lap and began walking away. I watched from behind as you toddled away from me, your arms held up for balance, your hands into little fists. You were giggling. I waited for you to pivot around and look for me. You paused at the threshold. I put my arms out in anticipation.

You kept walking. You walked right out of the room, never bothering to look back at me. I wanted to call for you. I wanted you to come running back to my arms.

I knew this was only the first time I would be watching you walking away from me, stepping out on your own. And while I know this is what being a parent is all about, letting go over and over again, until you think your heart is walked right out of your body. Maybe this is why it happens in such small steps, so that when you pack your bags and go off to college, confident that you know more than I do, I won't be as sad to see you go. Maybe it is so your heart becomes hardened by these tiny fissures and doesn't just shatter.

Nevertheless, as you walked away from me, and out of the room, I wanted to call out, "Wait. Come back. I'm not ready."

You have two words that you say, "uh-oh" and "Eli", the name of one of your brothers. Notice that neither one is Ma-ma. You like to throw your food off of your high chair and say "uh-oh" as you do it.

Eating Cake

Once you are done doing that you like to get down from your highchair and eat the food off of the floor. We have the ten hour rule at our house. One of these days I'll get smart and just throw your food on the floor and eliminate the pretense of you eating like a civilized human person.

You now have four little teeth. When you get excited you will bite me on the shoulder. Your feelings get so hurt when I involuntarily yelp. I can't help it, it hurts, though your father always tells me that I over react. You use those four teeth to eat everything. Thanks to Halloween and your sister potty training you now have a love for candy. You are the first one at the kitchen cabinet when I am handing out treats.

I was reading your birth story last night(here and here) and already time has erased some of the edges off of the memory and blurred some of the pain, something that seemed unbelievable at the time. I no longer remember what bargains I made with God or what promises I vowed to keep if you were born safely. But I hope I have kept them. I am so thankful to have you.

Playing the Calphalon drum

Happy Birthday, my little caboose. I love you.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Difference A Year Makes


A Year Later

Another One

I have another post up over at dotmoms. A fluff piece about toys that stand the test of time.

Snowy Days

Snowy Road
Originally uploaded by the big yellow house.

This is the view from the front edge of my driveway down my road. We had over a foot of snow fall Thursday night into Friday morning.

I used the snowblower for the first time...ever. It has always been Rob's job and to be honest I have never wanted to do it and start some sort of precedent. Much better to fiend ignorance of that complicated machinery.

I went out to help my oldest son start the snowblower. (He does his fair share of acting helpless as well.) I got it started and began moving the snow off of the driveway. The children were all running around the yard, rolling in the snow, seemingly oblivious to the frigid temperatures. As I went around the driveway, a huge u-shape driveway with a long section that goes along the side of the house to the backyard, the kids would run through the blasting snow. They used the snow shovels to deflect the snow and try to spray it back at me. They were covered with snowflakes. Their cheeks bright red. Their laughter contagious. I couldn't help but smile and after a while I wasn't sure if my cheeks ached from the cold or from the smiling. Suddenly it wasn't a dreaded chore anymore.

I watched those children of mine. Not long before this I had been looking out the window, annoyed at the amount of snow and the inconvenience of it all. My children had the exact opposite reaction. They couldn't wait to get outside. When did that magical quality that snow holds disappear? It was gone long before I ever had any sort of snow removing responsibilities, I know that for sure.

But today, for just a little while, I had it back. I laughed with my children. I waved to the snowplow driver as he plowed my street. A wave of solidarity for two people conquering the elements. At least that is what the wave signified on my part. He was probably trying to wave me out of his way, but whatever. How often is it that it is socially acceptable to be outside with frozen boogers hanging off your face?

Afterward, we went inside and I made hot cocoa for everyone. How much better hot cocoa tastes after you have been cold. We shed all our wet layers of clothing and sat down huddled around the wood burning stove, trying to place our gloves in the best drying positions. As we sat sipping and stirring, and invariably spilling, our cocoa, the children began discussing their outdoor adventure. Who threw a snowball how far. Who tunneled under the snow the farthest. Who hit Mom with a snowball in the back. Their voices rose in volume, their stories became more animated and fantastical, and their laughter filled the room.

And for a brief moment I had that feeling back, the magic of the snow, the limitlessness of the possibilities, the sweetness of cocoa. And I thought this, this is why I had children.

Friday, December 09, 2005


Originally uploaded by the big yellow house.

I put up a few pictures of the family at Flickr, including, by popular demand, pictures of the infamous grandfather.

I have been wanting to write about Thanksgiving, but really don't have all that much to say. We went to Rob's sister's house. I love my sister-in-law and her husband, but they can bicker like no other people I have ever come across in my life. The insults they hurl at each other under the thin veil of humor gives me knots in my stomach. It makes everyone uncomfortable, but they all laugh anyway.

This time they were worse than usual and I said something about how stressful it was listening to all their fighting. Of course I said it like I was joking, because that is just what we do. They were both aghast and insisted they weren't fighting. One of my kids piped up saying, "you're being mean to each other and yelling. That's called fighting."

My sister-in-law also opened the world of Barbies up to my daughter. And everyday since Thanksgiving I have been picking Barbie accessories up off of my floor, silently cursing her, and wondering if I throw away a few things a day how many days it will be before my daughter notices... or I do.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Purple primer. Is it any wonder I was singing "I love you, you love me, this color makes me crrr-A-zy..."

The Primer

The final color, though I am going to put one more coat I don't anticipate it changing the color dramatically.

The Red Wall

And just in case you can't remember what it looked like a few weeks ago:

Dining Room

Really, isn't anything an improvement?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Go On And Read

My latest post, Piling on, is up over at dotmoms. I didn't give it that title, by the way. Not sure I really even "get" the title, but I can never think of any good titles either. Anyway, move along and go read it. Unless you don't want to, then just go along your merry way.

Update: I fixed the broken link. Thanks, J.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Red, Red Room

I am sitting here typing on my new laptop. Hallelujah!

When the UPS man pulled up in front of my house I pushed my children out of the way as I ran out the front door and jumped up on the truck before it was brought to a complete stop and kissed the UPS man. Okay, I exaggerate slightly. I did wait for the van to come to a complete stop.

Now I just have to figure out how to get all my stuff off of the old computer's hard drive and on to this one. But I'm trying not to think about that right now. You know how there are always other people telling you to make copies of all your files and important stuff you have saved on your computer and you always mean to get around to doing it, but never do? Well, I'll join their voices and hope someone heeds my warning.

One of the things that has been on my endless to-do list this week was painting my dining room. Specifically, painting my dining room red. I have mentioned before that my idea of the perfect wall color is in the white family and red couldn't be farther from that.

It is such a labor intensive color to paint. The "grey" primer which made me feel like I was trapped inside of Barney the dinosaur such was the purpleness of the color.

I painted the first coat of red paint on the walls and stood back surveying the walls. It didn't look the swatch. It is a much deeper red than I had intended. But I was thinking I might like it anyway. Or to be completely honest, hating the idea of repainting enough to live with the color.

My 11 year old came up next to me and stood with me. "It looks really cool, Mom."

"You think? Because I wasn't sure I like it." I answered.

"Yeah, it looks like blood. Like someone smeared blood all over the walls," he excitedly said.

And I was relieved. Because that was precisely the look I was going for. I might just paint Helter Skelter on the walls to complete the ambiance.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Agony and Ecstasy: Quotes From A Weekend

"I don't care where you are going, just tell me your computer isn't going away for four days too."
said by me when I came to the sad realization that my severely limited computer time was about to become non-existent.

"I knew it would happen one day, but I had no idea I would enjoy it so much." said by Rob as we looked at the window, snug and warm in our house, as our two oldest sons used the snowblower to clear the driveway.

"Holy crap, 104.3! His brain is going to ooze out of his eyeballs if we don't get his fever down soon." said by me shortly after taking my 11 month old son's temperature and shortly before giving him a cool sponge bath and freaking out.

"The website says it shipped last Friday!! I better hurry up and finish that big to do list I made when I thought I was going to be an out of touch shut in for many more days." said by me as I jumped up and down on my furniture.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Not Old, Not Infirm, and Definitely Not Prostrate

This past year has not been a good one health wise for my father in law. Way back in April he began having prostate trouble and didn't pee for eight days. Yes, that is correct eight days.

When he finally went to the doctor he had a catheter put in place and he began the gauntlet of tests. Test after test after test. All the while he still had this catheter in place.

During the stress test he almost passed out and it was discovered that he had three blocked arteries. The blocked arteries would need to be addressed before he could have surgery to fix his prostate.

So the surgery was scheduled with the tiny roto-rooter to clean out his arteries. During the surgery they discovered his blockage was too strong for the tiny roto-rooter and he would need to have open heart surgery. It was nerve-wracking news.

In the end he came through that surgery with flying colors. The day after his surgery he was walking around the hospital making fun of all the "old" people. The man is 80 years old, just had his chest sawn open, and yet a day later he still has his biting sarcasm and general dislike for the elderly and infirm. Neither group he will admit to belonging , by the way.

Then he had to wait to recover from that surgery and various complications before he could finally have the prostate surgery.

At long last he had the prostate surgery on Tuesday. Rob visited him when he came out of surgery and he assured Rob that "when you are 80 years old and need this surgery, I'll be there for you." Rob reminded him that he would be 120 years old at that point, but he insisted he'll still be around. And knowing him, he will be. And he'll probably be making fun of us.

Today, for the first time since April, he peed. And no one had to clap and cheer, at least not in the bathroom with him.

I think he deserves his very own bag of Skittles.