My blog has moved! Redirecting...

You should be automatically redirected. If not, visit and update your bookmarks.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

It's All A Learning Experience

1) You should never use the toilet paper holder as a bar to hoist yourself up onto the toilet, or use it to vault off the toilet seat. It is not designed to hold your weight and it will be pulled right out of the wall.

Should you chose ignore this warning and do it anyway...

2) You should never hold the entire roll of toilet paper over the toilet bowl while you try to completely wrap your arm in a mummy-esque fashion in preparation for wiping your butt.

Should you chose to ignore this warning and do it anyway...

3) When the roll falls into the toilet, as it inevitably will, you should NOT try to flush the roll. It will not fit.

Should you chose to ignore this warning and do it anyway...

4) You should not grab the plunger and try to stuff the roll down the hole. It will not fit. Well, it might fit part way down, but it will not go down all the way, which is a problem.

Should you chose to ignore this warning and do it anyway...

5) You should not close the bathroom door and go merrily along your way thinking that the plumbing fairies will come along with their friends the cleaning fairies and clean up the mess. Leaving the scene of an accident is a felony, remember that.

Should you chose to ignore this warning, and really why wouldn't you at this point given your track record...

6) You had better be upstairs packing your bags to run away. I'll know it was you. The wet footprints that lead from the bathroom to you will be the initial tip off. The stench of poo and the wet cuffs on the bottom of your pants will confirm it.

Should you have ignored all the previous warnings, there really is no hope for you, but I'll give you one last piece of advice...

7) DO NOT, Under any circumstances, deny that it was you and say, "I didn't do it. Not Me." Unless of course you want to see your mother's head spin around and her eyeballs pop out of her head, dangling down onto her cheeks by springy tendrils. Contrary to how it sounds, this will not be cool.

If it has come to this it means you have ignored all the previous warnings and there is no hope for your redemption, and the baby Jesus is crying.

8) You should be prepared to do a lot more chores around the house because you mother is now blind. Also, she is dead.

What is the lesson in all of this is always be cautious, honest, courteous, or ask for help? No, that would be wrong.

The lesson learned from all of this: 'Tis better not to wipe at all than run the risk of having to do more chores.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Random Thoughts From A Weekend

I went to the bridal shower on Saturday for my niece, where there was no nudity involved. At least none of which I was aware.

I realized at the party that I am thankful I have no female friends close enough that I would ever have to throw a party like this for them. I would totally suck at this type of thing. Games to play? I think I have expressed my feelings about games enough. It just wouldn't occur to me to buy a BRIDE bingo game or play a musical present game.

And then there was a trivia game about cake. I should have done better at it since I love cake. But it was a deceptively tricky game, deceptive because it was so easy and I was overthinking the entire thing. I thought those sorts of things ended once your kids hit second grade. But I guess not.

It would never have even entered my mind to buy helium balloons to decorate with, for the same reason. And don't even get me started on the adorable little mint container party favors that her friend made by herself. I would be a failure at this sort of thing, and everyone should be thankful that I am not their best friend also.

But now, if I ever make a friend and have to throw her a bridal shower, I am ready. Though I think I will do things my own way. Much more alcohol consumption would be required.

Pin The Penis On The Groom- a variation of the pin the tail on the donkey game. Only instead of being blindfolded and having to spin around three times, you have to do three shots of tequila. This will render the blindfold unnecessary.

And serve pasta salad made from these,


which the directions say to cook until they are firm.

I am going to hand out random party favors like kazoos. Simply because I would think it was funny.


Quotes from the day:

i) Shortly after my niece asked me who some old woman was at the party that neither of us recognized. My niece was accosted by the woman and crushed into her overflowing uni-bosom.
My niece said to her, "Oh my goodness, I haven't seen you in so long."

Which prompted me to say, "It has been so long in fact, that I have no idea who the hell you are. Are you sure you are at the right party?" But she didn't hear me. All the old people there were slightly deaf, slightly senile, and slightly tipsy from their half glass of pink wine.

A fact that was never more apparent than during the game portion of the party, where I had plenty of time to ruminate on the fact that my children are made of the same genetic material.

ii) Then as it was time to leave, Rob's aunt asked me for a plastic bag. I told her I didn't have a plastic bag. Then she said, "Well can't you get one?"
Thinking she might be slightly confused I said, "I don't live here."
To which she responded, "Aren't you the help?"

No, but thank you for remembering me. I guess it is payback for not remembering the other aunt. Also, I am rethinking the outfit I chose to wear.

In keeping with the random theme:

I was wearing my new black leather high heeled boots, and thought they were very hott (with two t's such was their hottness) and then I fell off of them. One minute I was standing there and the next I just fell, almost like a strong gust of wind blew me over. You know if a gale force hurricane gust came blowing through the house. I hurt my knee and was hobbled. And the limping in the new black leather high heeled boots, so NOT hott.

This prompted my husband to ask yesterday, "Does your incessant complaining make your knee feel better?" With sympathy like that, how could it not.

The Bride To Be

The bride to be with my sister in law who refuses to be photographed. I am not sure I can adequately explain how annoying that is.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Giving A New Meaning To Bridal Shower

My niece is getting married next month and today is the shower. I have been talking about it all week, mostly in terms of how I really need to go buy a card, wrapping paper, and scotch tape, because it would seem that my children eat these things. I still haven't gotten around to it, but it is 9:30am and I don't have to leave for another two hours. Plenty of time.

I decided, in an act of mercy towards my husband, to bring my two year old daughter with me to the shower.

"Why can't I go, Mommy?" the 5 yr old wanted to know.

I try to think of a nice answer, because sometimes the truth-- I don't want to bring you-- is better kept to one's self.

"I'm sorry honey, but it is just for girls." I answered.

"But why?" he asked again.

Before I could answer my 6 yr old piped up. "Because it is a shower. Get it? A shower. Who wants to go see a bunch of girls showering? "

"That's stupid, why don't they shower at home?" the 5 year old responded.

"I don't know. Girls just like to have parties and shower together." the know-it-all 6 year old said.

I didn't have the heart to set them straight, mostly because no one was bugging me to come along anymore, such was their revulsion.

One day they will figure it out on their own that it is the kind of stupid party men would like to have.

Friday, February 24, 2006

25 Easy Steps:

How To Take A Trip To The Restroom With A Two Year Old

1) Take the elevator to the floor in the store that has the bathroom and is, of course, different from the one you are shopping on

2) Walk through the little girl department where your child insists she needs several pocketbooks, a noisy baby toy, and a pair of pink capri pants that are 2 sizes too large

3) Stand patiently, and go to your happy place, while your two year old opens the door to the rest room ALL BY HERSELF, a door which is too heavy for her and requires you to wait for five minutes while she screams, beats on the door, and berates anyone who tries to help her. Then she will finally grant you the privilege of opening the door for her. It's a privilege, don't forget it.

4) Upon entering the restroom she insists on singing loudly to hear the echo

5) Then will begin the dancing portion of the event, in front of the full length mirror while you try to convince the her that taking off all of her clothing is not an option

6) She must check every bathroom stall before picking an acceptable one

7) Then change her mind

8) She will loudly wonder what the people in the other stalls are doing and try to peer under the stall door to see for herself.

9) She will scream "FART" when she hears the inevitable , while you chant, "happy place, happy place" to yourself

10) You will put toilet paper all over the toilet seat, while trying to prevent her from touching the "little garbage can" in the stall

11)You pick her up to put her on the toilet, which activates the automatic flusher

12) All the toilet paper falls into the water and is sucked away, while your child screams hysterically at the sound of the whirling vortex of terror she is sure will suck her down the toilet next. If only...

13)Repeat the toilet paper process, while she does the pee-pee dance and screams, "I not have to go"

14) She will now refuse to sit on the toilet papered seat, forcing you to hold her over the bowl while she dangles from your hair

15) Realize that those child birth classes you took long long ago were actually in preparation for moments like this. Practice lamaze breathing as your back begins to cramp

16) Eventually, she pees on back of her shirt and your shoe. This will cause her unimaginable amounts of angst. You, on the other hand, are just glad that you are wearing absorbent socks.

17) Exit the stall and head over to the sinks to wash your hands, where you discover that the sinks have some sort of new fangled faucet that requires you to push the handle with one hand in order to make the water come out. How is handwashing with one hand even possible? Additionally, you are holding your child with one hand and can not seem to locate your third hand. Where is that third hand, dammit?!?

18) Feel confident enough to shout out to anyone who is listening, "This was obviously invented by a man WITH NO CHILDREN!"

19) Hold daughter up to the hand dryers to try and dry off the back of her shirt where she peed on it.

20) She doesn't like the hand dryers and lets you know by kicking you in the mouth.

21) The taste of blood tells you it is time to exit the restroom.

22) Reverse the process to get back to the section of the store where you were shopping. Once there, pick up exactly one item off of the clothing rack to examine before your daughter says, "I need to go pee."

23) Heave a heavy sigh, say a few expletives through your smiling clenched teeth, and holding your daughter's hand head back to the elevator.

step... squish... step... squish... step

24) Scream, "Noooooooo!" when the person getting on the elevator with you attempts to push the floor button himself. Then smile weakly at them in hopes they don't beat you up when the doors close.

25) Wonder why you were so excited to have your child potty trained

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Running On The Inside

I really had no idea that people felt so strongly about the name of my blog. To everyone who emailed me venting their disappointment, I say, "I'm sorry. But change is good. Embrace the change. And um, I love you too, even though you frighten me a little."

Also, the rate I do things it will be a long, L-O-N-G time before anything changes.

Moving on. Yesterday I had another root canal, where I told my endodontist he really should throw this one in for free considering all the work I had given him over the course of the past year. Afterward, he told me not to engage in any aerobic activity or lift anything heavy for the day. He said it would make it hurt more. But did I listen? Did I?

Of course not. Because I was still numb and not feeling anything. And I have a little black dress to wear next month. Also, why would it make it hurt more? I'm tough. I can handle it.

But then after running my jaw began to hurt. It could just be a co incidence, the timing of running and the novacaine wearing off. For me, however, it is just another check mark in the column of why I hate exercise. It still hurts this morning. Today I'll just be running on the inside. I wonder how effective that will be?

Not to be deterred by my relentless teasing, Rob made up a spreadsheet for the grocery store. Some of the things on the spreadsheet made me laugh, like frozen fish fillets, tartar sauce, and dry gravy... I don't think I have EVER bought those things. I opened my email on Tuesday afternoon to find this along with the request that I add the items we need to the list:


Rob went to the grocery store that night and drew a schematic of the store, with the aisles and food items listed in the aisle where they would be found, in the order that he walks through the store. I thought he was going to have to spend the night there it took so long.

He is finishing up working on it and is then going to print it off and hang it on the refrigerator. Which seems great, in theory. But given the way that things get ruined or disappear in this house, coupled with my laziness, I don't think it will be long before the grocery list is scribbled with crayon on the back of a random used envelope.

I know it pains my husband that I can't be as anal retentive as he is. Maybe I'll change. Change is good, right?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Motherhood: Where The Insurgents Wear Diapers

I have to admit something that has been bothering me since the Frey story came to light.

My house is not yellow.

There I have said it. Shocking, I know. I am sure many of you feel duped, misled,because you related to me as the owner of a YELLOW house. In fact, my house is Linen White.

Somehow that did not have the same ring to it.

When I picked the blog name I really didn't give it much thought. I had opened up the blogger page. Clicked where it said create your own blog and typed in the first thing that came to mine. In retrospect it is probably an unconscious theft from Bear in the Big Blue House.

For about 9 months now I have been thinking of moving away from blogger and setting up a new domain name. Althought the name choices seem endless, they are not. In fact every single domain name that I thought of and thought it was so clever and original is already taken. That would include thebigyellowhouse dot com, dot net, dot biz and variations thereof.

I enlisted friends, who were not all that helpful... you know who you are no need to single you out for public humiliation. And in another rash moment I bought a domain name.

But, no sooner had I replaced my credit card into my wallet, I realized that I hated it.

When it popped into my head I thought it was sort of funny. A play off of the old lady who lived in the shoe.. You know, the one with too many children? The more I thought about it, the more I didn't want to define myself that way.

I do love shoes. But yellow shoes... not so much.

I thought it might grow on me. Unfortunately, my post purchase remorse continued to grow.

All I could picture was a cartoon shoe with little cartoon children and a cartoon old lady. I hate cartoons. It's the reason I have never been able to sit through an episode of the Simpsons, Family Guy, or whatever those other cartoons for grown ups are called. In the interest of full disclosure, I also don't like unicorns, rainbows, fairies, or any of that mystical make believe Lord of the Rings type stuff. Moving along.

Today while I was driving home from the dentist, why yes I do live there, I thought of a domain name that I like. I also thought of taglines I liked. I was certain that it would already be taken. I rummaged through the car and my pocketbook for a pen and scrawled my idea on the back of my hand, just so I would not forget. Oddly, I have lots of fabulous ideas when I don't have a pen and paper handy and within moments I promptly forget them all. I should start wearing a pen around my neck like old people do with their glasses.

I almost drove my car off the road in my quest for a pen, but it was worth it because no one else had picked the domain name. It was all mine. And faster than you can say American Express I bought it up.

And so, the big yellow house will be packing up. I am trying to decide what to pack and move, what to toss, and what price I can get for the god awful tsotchke we got as a wedding present and have been dragging around ever since.

There I go lying again. I have no wedding gift tsotchkes since we eloped and no one bought us a darn thing. We have no one to blame for the ugly crap in our house, but ourselves.

Motherhood Unmasked: notes from the trenches (

right now it just redirects you here.

Tell me how much you love it. If you don't, well keep that to yourself.

I hate to disappoint, but I have no dentist stories for today. I did nothing to embarass myself. I'll try harder next time, I promise.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Things I Have Learned Today

1) Exercise is hazardous to your health. When you are running on your treadmill and your children start fighting near you, turning to yell at them will result in you misstepping and falling. You will be flung off of the back of the treadmill and the ear phones will be ripped out of your son's Ipod. As you lay broken on the floor, your son will rush to the aid of his Ipod.
Also, the black and blue bruises will match your new black dress perfectly and giving the entire ensemble a level of classiness you never could have imagined.

2)You can not turn your music up loud enough to mask the screams of a two year old. Unless you turn it up so loud as to cause your eardrums to burst. In which case you will rendered deaf. Not that it would necessarily be a bad thing.

3) Before telling yourself that you will run until the next song is finished it would be wise to know how long the next song is. I can run a half a mile to Californication by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I didn't really want to. The song kept going on and on and I was screaming in my head, "Just shut-up already, Anthony" alternating with "God, I hate exercising"

4) Similarly, singing out loud to this song while trying to run will result in a sound that resembles a wounded sheep and will cause your family to gather 'round and stare at you, slack jawed. They will imitate you later on.

5)As much as I like my large, relatively speaking, nursing boobs they are a pain, literally, when trying to run. And running while holding them in place is not very easy for the uncoordinated like me. (see number 1 above) Thank God I run inside my house where no one can see me feeling myself up.

6) I have a new body part to fixate my hatred upon... I have deformed ears. The reason I know this is that the ipod earbuds will not stay put inside my ears when I run. I have not noticed any one else having this problem.

7) Bladder control is something I should have appreciated more. In fact I think that might be my new tagline, Gaining A New Appreciation For Bladder Control. Too much information? Yeah, I thought so.

Does This Count As Justifiable Homicide?

Murder Committed Over Toliet Paper

And my family thinks I over react when they leave the empty cardboard tube in the bathroom.

Monday, February 20, 2006

My Kingdom For A Burkha

Yesterday I went to the mall to try and find something to wear to my niece's wedding next month. My criteria were simple. Must be able to whip out the boobs for nursing without having to lift the entire dress over my head, as that is still socially unacceptable in most circles. That was about it. I was open to anything else.

As luck would have it, all the holiday party dresses were on clearance. So I gathered up all the ones I could find in my size, that weren't too ugly, too skimpy, too garish, or too old lady like, and headed into the dressing room, my 1 yr old and 2 yr old in tow.

Here is where I think stores go wrong. What is with that bright fluorescent lighting that highlights every single body flaw and makes your skin appear sallow and as if you have been living in a dark cave with no exposure to sunshine for at least a decade? Wouldn't stores sell way more clothing if the dressing rooms were lit by, say, candlelight? Everyone looks good by candle light.

Or even better, pitch black darkness with just a tiny hand mirror to look in.

And now, thanks to my two year old,everyone in the dressingroom store entire mall knows the color of my underwear, the fact that I don't have a Brazilian, and they are all wondering what the "that" refers to when my daughter screamed, "why does your stomach look like that?"

I picked out a dress that I hated the least and figured if I didn't eat from now until next month I might be happy with how it looks. It didn't have a price tag on it, so I had no idea how much it cost. The rest of the dress were clearanced down to around $75, give or take a few. Then they all were an additional 20% off for the President's Day Sale. I assumed this dress would be right around there also. The sales girl went off with the dress and when she came back she told me she would sell it to me for $14.99. I congratulated myself for my mad bargain hunting skills. Also, I professed my love for the dress and vowed to buy some hand weights.

But now began the quest for a bra to wear with this dress. It requires a strapless bra.I have never owned a strapless bra. I always worried it would slip down around my waist and end up looking like a loose belt, or worse yet, bring my boobs down there with it. I still am unsure about the whole thing as I don't quite understand what is going to hold it up in place where it belongs. These here are working boobs. They are tired from all their work and like to have some support.

At this point, my daughter was going to DIE if she did not have a sugar coated pretzel like some people she saw behind us at the cash register line. So we exited Filene's and bought some crack sugar coated pretzels. They were so yummy, and also so calorie laden that I will need to run non stop from now until the wedding to burn them off. Yes, them. I couldn't let the one my daughter didn't finish go to waste. Or my son's either.

So if you are wondering where I am, I am running my ass off, literally.

By popular demand, here is a photo of the dress:

The Dress

I still need some new shoes. My black heels are circa 1999, and as much as I try to convince myself that they are still stylish, they are not.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Smartass Is More Like It

After having a heated "discussion" with my eleven year old, in which he insisted his stupid ridiculous thoughts on alien abductions were undeniably true and refused to hear any evidence to the contrary, I said:

"You know what, I wish I was half as smart as I thought I was when I was eleven years old."

"Yes, but the difference is I am smarter than you."

Who is this kid? And what kind of price could I get for him on ebay?

Friday, February 17, 2006

Not Disorganized, Lazy

Yesterday Rob called me from his office, almost giddy with excitement.

I had just emailed him a list for grocery shopping, a task which he has been taking on with much greater frequency.

"I just heard the most fabulous thing."


"My co-worker, D., came up with this fabulous time saving grocery shopping system. She made a list of all the aisles in the grocery store and the items that she typically buys in each of those aisles. Then she put it into a spread sheet and printed it out. She then hangs this up in he pantry and as she comes across something she needs she just checks it off on the list. The beauty of this is that when she is at the grocery store she knows exactly where each item is located and never has to back track through the store hunting for that one elusive item."

"Wow." Admittedly my brain went numb after the word spreadsheet.

"Amazing isn't it?"

"Who the hell has time for that? This is why I need a job. So that I can ignore it and have time to do things like this."

"But don't you think it is a great idea?" he asked.


"Do you want to do it? I could get the list of what is in each aisle from the grocery store tonight. And you could..."

"Oh see, I was thinking more along the lines of you photocopying her list and shopping at her grocery store from now on."

"But she doesn't live near us and her list has the foods that her family eats."

"Change is good."

Thursday, February 16, 2006

At Last

I just found out that my post is up over at dotmoms, Rules for two year olds and tweens.

I'm going to have to go read it; I feel like I wrote it so long ago I can't even remember what I had to say.

Fourteen Months Old

Fourteen Months Old

This past month you have turned into more of a person, stepping even further away from babyhood, and showing us your developing personality. You make you wants known and express your displeasure when things don't go your own way. Often this results in you stamping your feet before flinging yourself prostrate onto the floor.

You notice now when we all laugh at something and you join in by screwing up your face and making a very loud fake laugh. If you do something that causes us to laugh you will continue to do it, testing out your newly developed sense of cause and effect.

Your newest loves:

Bananas, you love eating them almost as much as squeezing them between your fingers and smashing them into the rugs and furniture.

Toilet brush, you try and push people down and out of your way when they open the bathroom door so you can go get it... and brush your hair.

The pile of garbage and dirt that results when one sweeps the floor, you try to grab the garbage out from in front of the broom and run away with it. I have to literally hold you back with the broom and sweep like I am an Olympic hockey skater going towards the goal. Who knew sweeping could be a full contact sport.

On and off switches, especially the one on the vacuum, which makes vacuuming a longer and infinitely more frustrating experience.

Laundry baskets, you love to push them around the house. It borders on an obsession. Any clothing that happened to be in the baskets you grab out while pushing and throw around the house, leaving a trail of clothing in your wake.

Ripping pages out of books and magazines, this just never gets old for you.

As I have said before, you don't like to sleep at night. But I'm okay with that. And so is your father. Last night, when you woke up for what felt like the 50th time, and Rob sat up in bed and yelled, "This is bullshit!" he meant that in a nice way.

You don't like to talk, preferring the point and scream method of communication instead. The one word you do say is "Eat" , though it sounds more like "EEEEEEEEEEE" You walk over to the cabinets where we keep the food and scream it.

You are never silent. You walk through the house with such purpose, swinging your arms and pointing at random things. Sometimes I like to "translate" your baby speak into what I think you are saying. For example, this morning your walked into the dining room and pointed to the fireplace mantle. I think you said, "What is that up there? You call that decorating? Why the hell do people put their wallets, toys, and papers up there?" Why indeed.

Those little teeth

You are still teething, getting your fifth tooth in right now. It doesn't really seem to bother you. And aside from the constant stream of drool pouring out of your mouth, one would never know that you were teething. It amazes me the variety of foods you are able to eat with only those four little teeth. You eat everything that we eat. This past month, in a belated celebration of you being a year old you ate part of a peanut butter and honey sandwich. We throw caution to the wind here, botulism and allergies, we laugh at you! Ha!

You are such a happy baby. You constantly laugh and smile, from the moment you get up in the morning we are greeted with your grin and dimples. I don't think I have ever seen a baby smile so much. Surely your cheeks must ache by the end of the day. Just this morning when Rob's alarm went off you popped up in bed and looked back and forth from your father to me smiling. "How can anyone wake up so happy?" Rob had asked. You laid back down and closed your eyes for a few minutes before climbing over us to try and get the books off of our bedside table.

I look forward to the day when you can eat without having to take the chewed food out of your mouth and examine it every few bites. Similarly it would be nice if you could understand the concept of a napkin instead of using your hair. Though since most of your siblings still haven't grasped the whole napkin concept, I realize this will be a long time coming.

You like to clap your hands, give high fives, and wave bye-bye. But on your own terms. You don't like to perform like a trained circus animal, much to the disappointment of your siblings.

Fourteen Months

As I was sitting here typing you walked over to me and reached up with your chubby arms. I picked you up and held you close. You wrapped your sticky hands around the back of my head tangling them in my hair. You brought your face close in to mine. I smelled your sweet baby breath, a mixture of your morning nursing, pancakes with syrup, and magic marker. I thought I was going to be the receiver of one of your highly coveted, not often given, kisses. Instead you head butted me.

And then you got down and walked away, laughing and babbling. I think you were saying, "She falls for it every time."

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


The topic for today is chores. Carmen has already had her post up for most of the day, obviously she is way more organized than I am.

I have been thinking about this topic, and avoiding writing about, because I am a total failure at implementing any sort of chore system. I should. I want to. But the reality is that 1) I am a pushover, 2) I am a perfectionist, and 3) It is just usually easier and more efficient to do it myself.

In theory, the children age 5 and over are supposed to clean their rooms, make their bed, bring their dirty laundry downstairs in their basket when I request it, and put their own clean, folded laundry away. They are supposed to clean their own spot off at the table and put their dishes in the sink.

In reality, they whine and moan and generally act like they are living in a factory shackled to a bench and forced to sew the Kathie Lee Gifford clothing line for Walmart.

Every night we have what I call "chore time" after we eat dinner. I should rename it screaming and crying time, because that is mostly what goes on. The house is divided into the areas we use everyday. Tv room/breakfast room, mudroom/back bathroom, kitchen, diningroom/sunroom, foyer/staircase/front bathroom. Whoever is on kitchen duty "helps" me in the kitchen cleaning up after dinner. I randomly assign each kid one of the five areas. We have long ago gone over what is expected of each area.

For example, cleaning either of the downstairs bathrooms involves: using the clorox cleaning wipes to clean the toilet... the entire outside of the toilet, use the brush inside the toilet, clean the sink with a clorox cleaning wipe, use windex on the mirror and faucets, use a sponge to clean the bathroom floor around the toilet-- since the boys seem to think that is part of the peeing area, clean off the light switch, and finish up by spraying doorknobs and handles with Lysol and finally sweep the floor.

What I think actually happens: they walk into the bathroom, turn the water in the sink on full blast so that it splashes everywhere, slosh some of it around, make faces at themselves in the mirror and then empty the can of Lysol into the air.

And so it goes.

I am torn about the whole chore issue. On one hand, I would like them to have daily chores and perhaps give them some sort of allowance. On the other hand I don't like the coercive aspect of tying their money to chores and the inevitable angst of being forced to with hold some of their allowance for chores that were not completed up to my standard. On the other other hand, I am a mother of course I have more than two, I feel like they pitch in when asked and that is more important than being tied to some sort of schedule that would stress us all out.

So basically in my house the chores are all mine and I delegate them when I feel like I haven't fulfilled my yelling quota for the day.

As with every other week thus far, if you have an opinion on chores you would like to share, leave a link in the comments section that we can all share./

A Letter

To my 14 month old son,

I am sorry that I appeared overly excited about you sleeping through the night a few days ago. I deeply regret writing about it and appearing to be thrilled about spending less time with you during the middle of the night. That is not the case.

How could I ever not want to spend quality time with you, in the dark, while the rest of the eastern seaboard is sound asleep? I so enjoy your company that I am completely willing to sacrifice my precious few hours of sleep and the tenuous grasp I have on my sanity in order to be awake with you.

Now can you please stop waking up every hour on the hour ALL NIGHT long to show me the error of my ways. Please.

I hope this apology is sufficient. If not tell me what additional penance I must do to win your favor, preferably during daylight hours.

Your very sleep deprived mother

PS- Before you think of disregarding this apology and making a habit of the night waking, I want to remind you that I have a crib and an attic, and I am not afraid to use them.

PSS- Yes I realize that it is cold in the attic and that I would be very cramped in that small crib, don't make me do it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Quote Of The Day

"You don't get money on Valentine's Day. You just get lots of love... and candy, definitely candy."

said by 6 year old son in response to his younger brother who asked if he was getting money.

I matted and framed this photo for Rob.

Seven Heads

Just slightly better than the dark glasses and mustache.

Yes, I gave Rob the version with the words all over it to being to his office. I had to make sure none of his co workers would try to take the photo and do something with it. Can't be too safe these days you know. The world is full of crazy people. CRAZY! And I am sure when they see the photo I'll seem very sane.

The children got Valentine beanie babies, mugs filled with assorted treats, including a package of hot chocolate, the good kind with mini marshmallows. Yeah, they are worth it. At least that is what I tell them.


The hyperactive sugar frenzy is beginning already. I really should stop eating the candy.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Me, Me, and Even More Me

Mommybloggers is doing a four day love fest. It sounds like something that people would have been doing in the 60's while smoking bongs, burning their bras, and growing their armpit hair. But it's not. Not even close.

Every hour on the hour for four days mommybloggers will be posting an entry written by a mother on the topic of love, 40 moms in total.

Um, it has already been going on for two and a half days... me so bad at posting. But hey, you all have nothing else better to do than to head on over there and catch up by reading 25+ posts, right?

Rumor has it that mine will be published tomorrow at 2pm CST.

And in case you can't get enough, and trust me I'll understand if you have because I am getting a little sick of myself too, my latest post should be up at dotmoms tomorrow. I have no idea anymore when it will be published. I'll let you know when it shows up.

When Being Hot Refers To Hot Flashes

Saturday I was driving home from the dentist when I realized that I was on empty and had better get to a gas station.

I pulled into the gas station and got out of the car to pump my gas. There were a group of three guys, college age I am guessing, at the next pump over who were looking at me. I pumped my gas and as I went to get back into my car I noticed that they were turning and smiling at me. It's not everyday that I get noticed by men. I think the whole seven- kids- hanging- off- of -every- available- appendage- or- else -whining- about- something is a real turn off for men flirting with me. I don't know why, because seven kids, a mom van, and stained clothes scream, "WHAT A CATCH!" to me.

So, I began to get a little big headed, thinking to myself that even though I am 8, 10, 12, 15, 20 years older than they are (Oh dear God, I just realized that I could, in theory, be their mother. Eeeewww) I still have it going on.

I smiled back and got into my car and began to drive off. One of them waved and as I went to wave back I glanced into the outside mirror and realized that my gas tank was open and the gas cap was still sitting on my trunk.

I pulled the brake and got out of the car to close it all up, which involved chasing down the rolling away gas cap. I gave a little wave and laughed, happy that I didn't slip and fall like I typically do, because that would be embarrassing.

I got back in the car, feeling like I was all that and a bag of chips. I looked into the rear view mirror to adjust my sunglasses and noticed that I had drool coming out of my mouth and down my chin.

And then I came to the sad realization, they weren't looking at me because they thought I was hot, they were looking at me because they we were wondering what a retarded woman was doing driving a car.

A retarded woman who was old enough to be their mother.

Sunday, February 12, 2006



Why, no I don't think I am over reacting. Why do you ask?

Updated to add: If you want to be a "friend" on my flickr contact list you have to sign up for your own flickr account. It's free, easy, and you don't have to put up any photos if you don't want to. When you add me as one of your contacts I will be notified and can then add you as a friend. I realize that there are still some public photos over there. The rest are marked private for now.

After Some Thought

Well, after lots of consideration I have changed my Flickr account so that my photostream is only visible to people I designate as friends.

It is true that once you put pictures out there on the internet you have no control over what someone does to them and while I can accept that to some degree, I also think I have to make an effort to make it more difficult for people to take them.

At least that is what I think right now at this moment. I may change my mind. I might watermark them. The pictures that is, not the children. Though now that I think about it, it might just be easier to write in permanent marker on the kids' foreheads than to add a watermark to each individual photo.

I did email the flickr people, for those of you who have asked me, and told them I thought they should ban him from using flickr. They haven't responded yet. I don't expect much, there isn't anything illegal in what the man did, as creepy as it might be.

So if you want to be a friend and I don't already have you designated as one, send me an email.

Then I can invite you over for slumber parties, where we can do each other's hair, make prank phone calls to all the cute boys, tell stories and giggle loudly until my parents kids come downstairs and tell us to keep it down, or else! Oh, and put the bra of whoever falls asleep first in the freezer!

And of course we could take pictures and I could put them up on my website where someone will find them searching for women sleeping together, and then we could collectively freak out and begin the hand wringing anew.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Why I HATE People

alternate title : Just when I thought my estimation of mankind could not sink any lower

I got home from the dentist today and was all set to write something funny. It involved drool! I checked my email accounts and then went to my flickr account. I had sent the link to a friend (a real one, not imaginary!) who hasn't seen my kids in a while and wanted to see some photos. I was curious if she had looked at them yet.

I noticed that someone, who had a user name I didn't recognize, had added some of my photos to their favorites. It struck me as odd for several reasons: 1) They were not the sort of photos that someone would have an artistic interest in, 2) They were only of my daughter, and 3) Why do you want photos of some kid that you don't even know?

I thought it was odd when someone favorited my photos of the Wiggles, but I thought, 'Hey, whatever floats your boat' and really I just assumed that some parent did it to show their child, not some man who wanted to masturbate to a picture of Dorothy the Dinosaur. I might just be naive.

I went and viewed this person's photos and it was a fat old man who only had a handful of his own photos up. It gave me the creeps. I went and looked at the other photos he had favorited around flickr and they were all of little girls. Picture after picture of little girls.

Excuse me while I go vomit.

I had always thought there was a contingent of people who over reacted by not allowing their children's photos on the internet, but now I understand it a bit better. I have turned all my flickr photos to private while I decide what I am going to do. They should still be visible here where I have them in posts.

It was bad enough last week when Rob and I watched that Dateline show about the pedophiles. I spent the entire next day that I was at Home Depot wondering if every man I made eye contact with was eyeing my boys up as potential sex partners.

I am left sitting here thinking, What the fuck*? Is this really the world we live in?

*I just told blogger spell check to learn this word. I feel the urge to use it more.

Friday, February 10, 2006

That's The Number After Six!

In all my dental excitement this morning, I forgot to mention this monumental milestone.

Last night, for the first time in thirteen months and twenty nine days, Miles slept for more than three consecutive hours. Much more.

He fell asleep during The Office, which I can't understand how he could fall asleep and miss that show, which was around 9:45pm and he did not wake up until 4:45. That is SEVEN HOURS. Seven hours all in a row.

Which means that I slept for four hours all in a row, which hasn't happened since I was in my second trimester pregnant with him. I woke up so disoriented from all that REM sleep. And then I had trouble falling back asleep because I felt so well rested.

I'm sure it was just a fluke. He probably sensed that I just wrote about sleep and how I was okay with him waking up during the night, and now he is going to toy with me.

Which reminds me I don't think I used the word "which" enough in this post either. I must make a note to myself which says use the word "which" whenever possible, shunning all other words which might work better. And start more sentences with the word "and"

Dental Fun 2006

The time has come for my dental fun to begin anew in 2006. I hate going to the dentist, and for that hatred I paying dearly, literally.

Last year I found a new dentist, whom I love. I had gum surgery, multiple root canals, and even more crowns. At this point once I am dead and buried, my teeth will live many, many centuries beyond me.

Tomorrow I have a dental appointment to begin work on another quadrant of my mouth. You know it is bad when you have to divide the work into quadrants. And I was excited, sort-of, to begin the work so that I could be done with the dental extravaganza.

I feel the need to point out that I do have good dental hygiene, honest. I don't have gnarled, brown, rotting teeth. In fact, they look quite nice thanks to spending my entire adolescence in braces. Rob is convinced that excessive tooth brushing and flossing are the cause of all my troubles. But the real cause of all my teeth problems are:

1) crappy dentists in the past who did crappy work,
2) fillings that were too large and over time caused my teeth to become weak
3) A love of hard candy which caused several of those brittle teeth to break. I will curse that little box of Halloween Nerds to my dying day, and
4) Being pregnant seven times and throwing up every several times a day, every single day for months, YEARS on end
5) My hatred for dentists which made me not get the work done in a timely manner, and
6) Crappy genetics

So, tomorrow I was all set to go and begin new work. But, now one of the teeth I just had a root canal done on and capped last year, began hurting. Not throbbing blinding pain, just extremely sore. After it lasted for a couple of days I self prescribed some antibiotics, because I am a doctor.* It hasn't helped any, and this morning I woke up with my jaw aching when I open my mouth, or repeatedly poke in front of my ear. At this point it is difficult to tell if it is sore from all the poking or hurts all on it's own.

*no, not really I just play one on the internet
** I am so tired of all the spam comments. I want to go back and turn off all of the comments on the old posts, but who the hell has time for that.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Sound Of Brain Matter Oozing Out

Did you hear that sound? It was the sound of my head being repeatedly bashed against the wall.

I am trying to take portraits of my children so that I can frame them for Rob. Do I need to explain further? Probably not, if you are a parent.

But I will. Thus far my 6 yr old has wanted to be photographed with his paper airplane and kept putting it in front of his face every time I pointed the camera at him. And I don't know why my screaming doesn't make for a lovely shot, really I don't.

And my 11 yr old says that getting your picture taken is stupid.
When I asked how stupid being grounded was, he reconsidered.

Three down, four to go.

God help me.

Updated to add:

Okay all done. Is it really sad that the one year old was the most co-operative? And I had to take his photos while trying to prevent him from throwing himself off of the couch and on to the hard tile floor.

I got lots of photos like this:

More silliness

Click on it to be brought to the set of them on flickr.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Sleep, Glorious Sleep

The topic Carmen and I chose for this Wednesday is sleep. How much, how often, and how the heck do you make the kids do it.

It's one of the first things people ask you about when you have a baby, "Is he sleeping through the night?", "How many naps does he take?" (My babies missed the memo that they are supposed to nap at all.) There are books upon books devoted to helping your child go to sleep, and there are zealots on all sides. People no longer ask me if my youngest sleeps through the night, I think that they probably assume he does at 13 months old. But he doesn't. In fact he wakes up at least twice to nurse and cuddle.

Eventually he will sleep through the night without me. They all have.

I have just entered the previously uncharted territory of having children old enough to stay up at night as late as Rob and I do. Last night at 11:00pm I went into my 8 and 9 yr olds bedroom where they were wide awake playing a game. I jokingly asked them if they wanted to come tuck me and their father into bed. But really, it feels like it is coming to that. Gone are the days of having wild sex on the dining room table. Okay, there never were those days to begin with, but the possibility was there.

At 11:30, when Rob and I were still awake reading, we began to hear a loud thump thump thump noise. Rob went to investigate and they were practicing doing handstands against the wall.

Typical, I am afraid.

Sleep is one of the areas of parenting where I feel like I have slacked off over the years. My older children were great sleepers when they were little. We had elaborate bed time routines that involved lots of time, rituals, and bargaining. I just don't have the time or the inclination for that any more. I used to brag about what wonderful sleepers my children were and silently take credit for it as an indication of my stellar parenting skills. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Our bedtime routine now begins around 7:30ish when I begin telling people to go brush their teeth. My 5 and 6 yr old sons will brush their own teeth and then come to me for inspection. Sometimes they pass, sometimes they fail and must rebrush, sometimes I think they forgot where their teeth are located and I will brush for them. I send them upstairs to put their pajamas on and to come back down. Usually at this time I am finishing cleaning up the kitchen and the 1 and 2 yr olds are doing their best to tear every last item out of the cabinets that they can get their hands on.

My 8, 9, and 11 year olds take turns going to brush their teeth. Everyone likes to brush their teeth in one particular bathroom downstairs and it is considered a punishment worse than death to have to brush your teeth next to a sibling.

Then at 8:00 I announce that it is bedtime and everyone should get their act together and head upstairs. And here is when any semblance of routine falls apart.

I walk upstairs and go into my 5 and 6 yr olds bedroom. I tuck them, find their leap pads, books, leapsters, what ever else the need in their beds with them, turn on their nightlight. Sing twinkle twinkle little star and usually one other holiday appropriate song. I leave their room and say goodnight. I usually say "See you in the morning." Which is funny because I'll see them several times before then and eventually I will end up saying, "I don't want to see you until the morning."

I go into the bedrooms of my older children and usually talk with them for a few minutes, ask them what novels they are working on reading, briefly discuss plans for the next day, kiss them goodnight and leave the room. They will all come downstairs at various points during the night, mostly to talk with Rob or share some fascinating tidbit they just read. Last night at 10:00pm they were practicing their batting swings in the tv room with Rob, until I finally I yelled, "What the hell?!?" They will get into their pajamas on their own and turn off their lights when they are sleepy.

Bedtime at our house doesn't mean you have to go to sleep, you should (mostly) be in your own bedroom and doing something quiet, preferably reading.

My youngest two children will go to sleep anytime between 8:30 and 10:00 depending on what kind of naps they took, or didn't take, during the day. It honestly doesn't bother me since we get to spend some time focused just on the two of them. Every few days, when I know that the two little ones will go to sleep early, I let one of the boys stay up late with me and play a game alone, just the two of us.

I feel like their lack of early bedtimes, the constant in and out of their beds, and not going to sleep right away, should bother me a lot more than it actually does. But like with everything else in this parenting gig, I feel like there are enough things that do bother me, to worry about the things that don't. I have also discovered that the very things that make me bat shit crazy, don't bother other people in the slightest and vice versa.

(Completely unrelated, when I did the blogger spell check it suggested the word beating in place of bedtime. Too funny)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

I'm Very Afraid

You know how whenever you go to the grocery store you end up in the checkout behind some woman who is quibbling over the price of an item when it is rung up. She insists there is a sign she saw somewhere in the store that makes her item on sale, and yes she does want someone to go and find the sign thankyouverymuch.

When the woman turns around in line to look at you and mumble an apology, you refuse to make eye contact, because you are NOT on her side, you just want to hurry up and get out of the store, and why do you always get stuck in the slow line. Why?

So they send the bagger to go find the mysterious sign; he is not exactly a rocket scientist. And he comes back to the cash register, but can not remember exactly what the sign says after that l-o-n-g trek though the grocery store, so he has to go back and look at the sign again. And at this point you think you might have died a little.

And then the cashier is arguing with her over whether or not said item is on sale, and then they bring the store manager over to look at the item and the sign. And the store manager begins to quibble over the wording of the sign with the woman. And you use your laser beam eyes to burn a hole into the back of that woman's head.

The store manager and the woman go back and forth, back and forth, and you wonder if the store manager is working on commission, because why the hell does he care so much. And when he finally agrees with the woman he acts like he is doing her a favor, instead of abiding by the sign that was hanging up.

And the entire time you are standing there trapped behind this woman in line, holding your tongue from blurting out, "Good Lord woman I'll pay the 50 cent difference*, just get on with it!"

Well today, that annoying woman who holds up the entire line, was me.

For all those people who had their food go bad and their ice cream melt into puddles while this was taking place, I apologize.

*in my defense, it was a $10 difference on boneless chicken breast. $1o makes it worth it, no?

Monday, February 06, 2006

Always Read The Manual

Saturday I bought one of those baby seats that clips on to the table. I have grown tired of the baby walking around the house while eating, leaving a trail like Hansel behind him.

We threw away our highchair a few weeks ago in a fit of exasperation. I was ready to bring the high chair back in after a few days, but I discovered that anal retentive husband had wasted no time bringing it to the dump. It was the most poorly designed highchair and had so many nooks and crannies for food to get stuck in, that unless I cleaned it daily with a toothbrush it was disgusting. And I didn't scrub it daily.

We had one of these clip on seats when my oldest son was a baby. It was a simple thing. Made of plastic and metal, which was easy to keep clean. It may not have been the most comfortable thing to sit in, not that I ever sat in it, but given the short attention span that babies have for remaining seated in a chair of any kind, I don't think it matters much. Also, aren't those big puffy diapers like wearing your own personal chair cushion?

Well, eleven years have changed things. This seat was so darn complicated, with it's detachable fabric cushions, and harness straps.

You know how these things are, you have to be a rocket scientist to figure them out.
We were having so much trouble with the thing we finally resorted to reading the instruction manual.

And that's when we found the solution to our problem.

good advice

Remove the baby before attempting to fold the chair! Damn, and here we were trying put him and the chair away together in the cabinet and take them out at the next meal time.

It's already back in the box, waiting to be returned to the store. And yes, we took the baby out of the chair first.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


This is probably the only thing that I like about having a double sink.

multi tasking

I kept trying to encourage him to make himself useful and wash the dishes while he was bathing, but it was to no avail. The only interest he had was in eating the old wet food or tossing the dishes on the ground. I completely understand the latter. Many days I feel like doing that rather than washing them also. Strangely I have never felt like doing the former.

Friday, February 03, 2006

For My Husband Who Is Away

on a business trip eating in top notch restaurants, sleeping in 5 star hotels, having interesting conversations with people who don't have stains on their clothing suffering endlessly because he misses me so

There are some appealing aspects to having a spouse who travels occasionally for business.


1) I can watch as much HGTV and Sex in the City reruns as my heart desires

2) I can eat as much fart-astic food as I desire without giving any consideration to another person and their olfactory system. Last night it was bean dip, yummy! Also, excuse me.

3) I can have the entire bed to myself (which is important because of #2 above)

4) I don't have to clean up the kid's toys that are strewn about the house, because it doesn't bother me in the least. Nor does the "toy clutter" hamper my ability to relax on the couch and enjoy the aforementioned fart-astic food.

5) I can watch television and play with my laptop and not have to pretend to make conversation or feign interest in the weather forecast

But then there are the drawbacks:


1) I have to go around the house and lock all of the doors and then check them all again. And I have to remember when I go out that I have locked all the doors so that I remember to bring my key with me. Or else we will be locked out and I 'll be forced to walk around the house to find an unlocked window that I can hoist one of my smaller kids through.

2) Even though I have the entire bed to myself I can't sleep and spend the night tossing and turning and the sheets feel cold.

3) The strange noises that I inevitably hear in the middle of the night, which convince my overactive imagination that someone has broken into my house and is going to murder me in my sleep. Therefore, I must sleep with the regular phone AND cell phone under my pillow. I've seen enough of those Law and order type shows to know the criminals always cut the land line, and so am prepared for this possibility.

4) Eventually I still do have to clean up the toys, because even I get tired of kicking a path.

5) How much fart-astic food can one person eat before they become offensive even to themselves?

6) I want to be the one to see Ted Danson eating out in a restaurant wearing some fake white hair on his head. Yes, my life is that uneventful that it is things like this of which I am am immensely jealous.

It might be a close toss up, but in the end, I much prefer him to be home to warm the bed, protect me from an untorrid death, and take out the trash. Even though it means fighting over sharing the covers, cleaning up the house every day, and saying "Wow, that's interesting!" when I really have no idea what he is talking about.

And really, isn't that what marriage is all about?

Me and Al Gore... We're Like That

The results are in and I didn't win the BoB. I guess it came out that I don't really have stripper sized boobs and that it was all smoke and mirrors and crumpled up toilet paper. I'll go pick the astro turf out of my braces now.

I met some great new people, like Grace and discovered some new (to me) blogs like Daring Young Mom, who has amazing super powers that I want to learn how to harness myself.

And above all congratulations to Lucinda.

But I have the Look At Me award over there on my sidebar, and that one means the most to me since it was created out of self deprecating humor, cynicism and friendship.

Oh, and my friend Jurgen Nation won for Best New Blog. With those umlauts, it was inevitable. Way to go, Stacy.

Quote Of The Day

said by my nine year old son this morning:

"What kind of omlette can I make you this morning, Mom?"

He then went on to make custom ordered eggs for everyone. Now if I can just get one of them to fan me with palm fronds and and another to feed me grapes, I'd be all set.

And a manicure, that would be nice too.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

A Birthday Post

In honor of my husband's 41st birthday, and in lieu of an actual present, I present 41 things I love about him:

1)He can lift heavy things.
2) He has more shoes than I do.
3) The slipper dance, 'nuff said.
4) He calls me several times a day just to say hello.
5) He ends every phone conversation with, "I love you."
6) He is friendly, how many people are on a first name basis with the tollbooth collector and receive presents from this person
7) He is heroic in the true sense of the word, not the watered down we all are heroes version of the word
8) He denies he is a hero and thinks everyone would climb into a burning car to save strangers (for one example)
9) The fact that he honestly believes this despite all evidence to the contrary, like the crowd of people who were doing nothing.
10) He will eat anything, to include my cooking.
11) He can build stuff.
12) His butt in jeans
13) Or out of them
14) He is an incredible father
15) He laughs at the children when my first inclination is to reprimand.
16) He is good at taking out splinters
17) He hates talking on the phone more than I do
18) He is an excellent cook
19) He bakes bread
20) He's mine, you can't have him
21) He loves to garden
22) As a result we have the most gorgeous flowers in our yard, despite all attempts on my part to kill them
23) He doesn't laugh when I bring home another house plant
24) Well, not too much anyway
25) When I told him about Blogher he insisted that I go
26) And then hounded me until I made the reservation
27) He is supportive of me almost to a fault
28) He believes in me more than I believe in myself
29) He is athletic and still plays sports like he is eighteen years old
30) All the other forty year old men think he is crazy
31) He admits that he feels his age the day after, however.
32) He keeps me well stocked in pens, in spite of children who eat them (not really, I don't think, but I can't imagine what they do with them)
33) He can make a fire out of twigs, rocks, and a handful of dirt, or so it seems
34) When the door handle on his car broke he fixed it ... with a rope and a stick, until the new part was delivered
35) He handles paying all the bills
36) He irons
37) He can recite every movie he has ever seen
38) He thinks he can sing
39) and can not be convinced otherwise
40) He married me
41) and really believes he got better end of the deal.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Why I Hate Winter Reason # 697

That thing called "black ice" which for all you people living in warm sunshiny places, is ice that you can't see until you drive over it or step on it.

This afternoon while we were out the temperature dropped. Unbeknownst to me, the water that was on my front steps froze.

I slipped and fell down the steps holding the baby, the diaper bag, and my camera. MY CAMERA, people. And my children, who obviously inherited their empathetic tendencies from me, just stood in the door way looking at me. And when I yelled, "Hello? Do you see me lying here on the ground?" One of them had the gall to reply, "I thought you meant to do that."

This prompted a stream of language from my mouth that probably made me elderly neighbor blush. I'm sorry Dottie. Sometimes you just gotta say... well you heard me the first time.

The baby was fine. The camera was fine. But my tailbone is killing me.

Yet another reason I need to live somewhere warm.

The Quest For Organization

Being organized is not my strong point. My anal retentive husband wishes it were. I am full of good ideas. I would be great at telling other people what to do, but when it comes to implementing the organizational strategies in my own life, well let's just say that if the road to hell is paved with good intentions I have already gone there and back several times.

I love organizational stuff. I love baskets and bins and dream of having a playroom like you see in one of those Pottery barn catalogs, where all the toys are put away in their labeled baskets. Unfortunately, I have children who actually want to play with the toys and not just admire them in their bins or lined up neatly on the bookcases.

I am not nearly as organized as Carmen.

The one area that I do shine is my mudroom closet. Yes, it is a small small area. But it is a start, right? I think that it works because I thought about what the closet needed to do before I designed it. When we bought the house there was no closet on the first floor, no mudroom, no dedicated laundryroom. All of those things are imperative for a large family, so we added on to our house. The space for the closet was limited so I knew that I would have to organize in other than a traditional manner for it to work for us.

There is a bar with a shelf above it that runs along the back of the closet and along the right side. I hang up my coats as well as some of the extra jackets and vests that belong to the children. The bar is higher than normal to leave ample room underneath. On the shelf I have baskets which, since it is winter, hold out of season things like umbrellas, sunscreen, rain ponchos, swim diapers.

Mudroom closet

On the left hand side I have shelves which hold wire baskets. Each kid has their own basket labeled with their name to keep their hats, gloves, sunglasses, etc. Rob and I each have one and there are several left over for the extras.

On the uppermost shelf I have two small wire baskets, the content of which changes depending on what I am going to be doing. I'll put mail in one if I am going to the post office so I remember to mail it, my wallet, extra diapers if I know I have exhausted my supply in the car. Right now the shopping cart cover and sling are waiting to go back into the van after being brought inside to be washed.

All the kids socks are kept in this closet. The large white bin on the bottom shelf holds the socks. The one on the right holds baseball hats. Yes, we have that many baseball hats with six boys.

Mudroom closet baskets

On the right side of the closet I have a peg rack. Each child has a hook to hand their coat and snowpants on. There is room underneath for two pair of shoes per child. Their snow boots are kept lined up near the back door where I can better contain the mud and wet mess that they make.

mudroom closet

It usually looks neater than this but the baby kept running in there and grabbing the shoes and tossing them around while I was trying to take the picture.

I also use baskets in the children's bedrooms to hold their small personal toys and books. The boys have some blue wooden bins. I have found boys wreck havoc on traditional baskets, these are much sturdier. (Please ignore their bedroom floor, it is slated to be refinished this spring)

Organizing the bedroom toys

My daughter has several baskets and stacking "suitcases" to hold all her tiny treasures.

Organizing the bedroom toys

And that is probably about it for me. I have other organizational systems in place for meals, cleaning, and laundry but those don't seem to go nearly as smoothly. In the interest of keeping it real, I thought it would be better to focus only on the things that actually do work for me.

It's Wednesday Again

The topic today is organization.

I still have to write mine, obviously I need to be more organized on the blog post writing, but I wanted to let everyone else know early so they could write on the topic if they desired. Same as last week, just leave a link in the comment section.

Can't wait to see what other families do.