notesfromthetrenchesIII

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

And Now For Something Completely Different

I have a post up over at dot-moms today:


I have kids now who want more freedom than I am sometimes willing to give. Items to keep them safe aren't readily available in the aisles of Target anymore. Unless they are selling micro chips that I can implant in their brains to force them to make good decisions, override their dangerous ones, and track their whereabouts at all times.


What do you all think? Especially you experienced moms of older children. I thought as my children got older it would get easier. I have found that while it has become less physically exhausting, it hasn't become easier. The issues have become more complex, the answers less clear. My hand wringing and mental flagellation have increased. As have my grey hair and need for an occasional alcoholic beverage.

I wrote that I don't allow my children to used the public restrooms alone. There is no discussion about it, though my older sons wish I would relent. I either bring them into the women's bathroom, or depending on the location, open up the bathroom to the men's room and send one of my sons inside to see if it is empty. If the bathroom is completely empty they may use it. But I hold the outside door open with my foot and don't let anyone in. Usually no one wants to go in anyway.

Rob always thought I was being over protective until someone he knows personally had a 12 yr old approached by a man in a women's restroom. Not only did the girl not tell her parents, who were with her at the store, until weeks later, the way that she interacted with the man proved my point that at 12 years old, children just do not have the maturity to always make good decisions.

So, go on over there and read and then let me know what you think. And while you are there read some of the other essays by some other fabulous mothers.

The longer version

Rob was finishing up the trim work on our window seats in the kitchen. I was outside on our sunporch watching the little kids who were playing in the back yard.

Suddenly Rob came running out screaming that he had to go to the ER right then. I started screaming back, "Shut-UP! I know you are joking." And even though he was holding up a bloody stump and blood was pouring down his arm, I kept yelling at him to stop the joking around. After a couple of times of going back and forth I came to my senses and told him to get in the car.

Before we left I wrapped the base of his thumb in duct tape, what's not to love about this tape, to stop the bleeding. It also pretty effectively cut off the circulation to his thumb so it wasn't hurting as much as it could, and would once we arrived at the er and they cut the duct tape off.

We did find out that chopping of most of your thumb does not give you a free pass out of the waiting room. Also, that only men come to the emergency clutching bloody rags to their bodies, having cut, chopped, or blown off parts of their bodies. And with every man, sits a woman shaking her head.

Basically he cut off the back half of his thumb. Almost as if you scooped out the entire area, including the bone, behind your fingernail, yet left the fingernail pretty much intact.

Since it was a holiday weekend, Rob had to wait until today, Tuesday, to see the hand surgeon, who will repair the damage. He will have to have the tip of his finger cut off and a skin graft from his hip.

To say that he is bummed out, would be an understatement. He is also disappointed in the level of pain relief afforded by his Percocet prescription.

Not that it stopped him from finishing the building of the window seats or coaching baseball practice. He's tough like that, or crazy.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

In Which I Can't Complain About The Gum Surgery I Had Yesterday, even though it really really hurt

This house has taken blood, sweat and tears in it's restoration.

And now it has taken a thumb.

In The ER

Rob in the Emergency Room, after the morphine IV.

I discovered three things about myself from this experience, because yes, it is all about me:
1) I am not the person you want around in an emergency
2) It is a good thing I decided long ago not to be a doctor
3) I am lots of fun to have around in the emergency room after the initial crisis.

Oh and a fourth thing,
I need to remember to bring my camera with me everywhere, even when someone is holding a bloody stump of a finger in my face.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Are You There God? It's Me Chris

I told myself that once the boy stopped nursing and the boobs resumed their normal permanent state that I would buy some new bras. But you probably already know that God, since you are omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. And, as an aside, my children want to know if you and Santa are friends? Anyway, wearing baggy stretched out nursing bras does nothing for the self esteem.

So I began looking for some new bras. Online, of course, because what little is left of my self esteem can not take trying on bras in a brightly fluorescent lit dressing room.

I actually broke out the tape measure and measured. Then I read the directions again.

Then I remeasured, because surely I was doing it wrong.

Then I read the directions again, out loud this time, just in case I had suddenly been struck by some sort of reading comprehension problem.

And then I remeasured again, with both lungs filled to capacity with air.

And I got the same result.

I feel so deflated, literally.

The website laughed at me and sent me to the children's department to buy undershirts with a tiny pink rose in the center. Which will inevitably make it look like I have three nipples.

A friend of mine told me recently that she noticed her daughter had stuffed her bra with cotton balls. I can relate.

And God, while I am on this rant. Why can't clothing manufacturers agree on sizing? Remember when I went to Old Navy a few weeks ago? Well I bought two pair of capri pants for myself, in the same size. One fits perfectly. One not at all. In fact, I am not sure who the second pair is made to fit. Someone who has hips three inches bigger than mine, yet thighs that are a few inches smaller. Maybe they are made for ten year old boys. Who don't wear underwear. I don't know.

Also God. Bathing suits. I don't think I need to say anymore on this topic. I am afraid that should I wear one people who turn to look at me will be turned to pillars of salt, so great would be the horror.

Well, God that is it for now. I must go take my children to their class. Where I will see that woman who will totally insult me because she is perfect. And I will quietly seethe. And say curse words inside my head.

You might think I am taking your name in vain, but God, I am not. I want you to damn her. Smite her. If I wear a bathing suit under my clothes and flash her, could you turn her into a pillar of salt? or a burning bush? That would be cool. I'll bring marshmallows.


Thank you,
Chris

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Things that defy explanation

Alternate title, Things I'll be muttering about when they lock me up in the asylum.
I don't know why I bother asking questions.
Do I like to hear myself talk? I don't think so, at least not at the decibel and frequency that these sorts of questions require.
Yet, I can't help it. I long for answers, where there are none to be given.

Here are the top five ridiculous questions (that I can remember) that I have asked my children this week and their answers. Identity of children is not being disclosed to protect their innocence, future ability to find dates identity


Scene I:

Me: "Why did you think it was okay to poke your brother in the back with your fork because he was breathing near you?"
Child: "Because."
Me: "You are breathing near me and I'm not stabbing you with my fork."
Child: "Well, I bet you want to."
Me: "But the point is that I'm not"


Scene II:

Me: "Why is this shirt on the bathroom floor? What's that on it? Oh no.... no.... is that poop? Is that poop all over the tshirt? Why would someone do that? WHY?"
Child: "Maybe there was no toilet paper."
Me:"I think I have animals for children."


Scene III:

Me: "What do you mean you didn't want the hamburger anymore? Did it not occur to you that the garbage can would be a more appropriate place for it than under the couch cushion?"
Child: "Well, I might change my mind and still want it."
Me: "Oh puh-lease, were you really thinking you would eat it later?"


Scene IV:

Me: "Why did you just trip him?"
Child: "I didn't think that would happen!"
Me: "Well, how about you clear this up for me. Just what did you think would happen when you stuck your foot out as you brother ran by?"


Scene V:

Me: "Why would you think it would be okay to dry your wet body by rolling all over my bed? Wouldn't it have been easier to walk to the linen closet and get a towel?"
Child: "What's a linen closet?"


Bonus Scene inside my head:

Me: Why did you wax your own eyebrows?
Myself: It seemed like a good idea.
Me: But you have trouble handling the tweezers.
Myself: Yes, I remember that now.

Yet Another Bonus scene that occurred as I was typing this:

Rob: Why did you take a stick and beat all the plants and flowers that were just planted in front of the house?
Child: I don't know why.
Rob: What were you thinking?
Child: I don't know.
Rob: Were you angry? Is that why? You obviously did it on purpose. What were you thinking?
Child: No. I just thought of doing it and did.


Finally, one that isn't related to my children.
Why am I the number two result in this google search: how to bring shape in big hanging boobs in India. Why, I am shouting at you internet.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

What Every Girl Needs

What every girl needs...

a tattoo... of Cinderella.

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Best Years

Every time I go to the store with some or all of my children, old people will come up to me and comment on my family. They always have this wistful nostalgic look on their faces while they tell me to enjoy these years. That these were the best years of their life.

It used to sort of depress me, because, really? Is this as good as it is ever going to get? Am I really going to wax nostalgic over night after night of interrupted sleep, dirty diapers, endless laundry and tantrums? But then I began thinking that perhaps these old people were just going senile and that was oddly comforting.


Last week, nabbalicious wrote a hilarious story about something she did as a child. At the end of the post she wrote that she asked her mother about it and her mother told her that she didn't remember the incident, that she had in fact blocked most of the things she and her brother did out.

I thought it was just me. No wonder that past 11 years seem to have flown by. I hardly remember any of it.

Yesterday my kids started playing the "Remember when" game, otherwise known as the game to make Mom feel as though she has early onset Alzheimer's.

Some of the things I remember well, like when my then 3 and 5 yr old decided to "help" open the box that our pool came in, by sitting on top of the box and repeatedly stabbing it with steak knives they had pilfered from the dishwasher. The pool was damaged, though we didn't notice the damage until after we filled it and 2000 gallons of water leaked out all over our backyard. In fact it was the subject of my first blog entry ever.

Some I sort of remember, like when we first bought our house and one of the kids, Not Me, pulled the downspout (which was attached to the gutter three full stories above) off of the house and everyone rode over it with their bicycles until it was a flattened piece of aluminum laying sadly across the lawn. I have completely blocked out my reaction and Rob's reaction, though judging from the way the kids were laughing and holding their stomachs while retelling this story, whatever our reaction it didn't have the effect we desired.

Some are gone forever, like my 5yr old falling down and putting his teeth through his lip. I don't remember this at all. But apparently it was fairly recent and my kids tell me that I let him stay up late, sit on the couch with me, and eat popsicles until he felt better. I said, "Wow I am such a nice mommy, huh?" To which one of them responded, "No, it wasn't fair that he got to have all those popsicles and stay up late." Can't please everyone.

And they continued on. Some of the stories made me laugh, like when one of my kids went through a stage where he would like to pretend he would fall down the stairs, very theatrically and scream, "whoa, whoa, whoa" the entire way down. And how one time Rob thought he really was falling and shoved another child aside to "save" this one.

Some I am glad to have almost forgotten. Like the time everyone in the family had a stomach bug and my oldest son leaned over his top bunk to throw up and did so all over his brother sleeping below him. And how we had to wake him up and tell him he was covered in vomit not his own, and uh he might not want to open his mouth and talk just yet. Sometimes I feel like I live in a frat house. Also, we have never ever regained an interest in eating pizza pockets. In fact, if you want to get back at someone for wronging you, you only have to utter the phrase, "I am thinking of... PIZZA POCKETS"

Most of the stories I wish I could remember with more clarity. Some made me cringe with embarrassment over my own childish reactions. You'll have to trust me on this one. Not pretty.

Overall, I found myself feeling relieved since their stories were being recounted with laughter, even things that were not funny at the time had taken on a new humorous twist.

That must be the reason the old people say that it was the best years of their lives, they barely remember any of it. And the things that they do have been spit shined by time.

When I grow up, I want to be one of those old people in the grocery store. I want to remember these as the best years of my life.

I really, really do.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Way Back Weekend

Modern Technology

Friday, May 19, 2006

I'll be making a raft out of the empty bottles while I wait

telegram RAIN

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I'm Pacing Myself

One of the recurrent "discussions" that Rob and I have is my lack of attention to detail. Don't you love when someone points out your flaws under the pretense of helping you? I know I LOVE it. Especially when you don't consider said attribute to be a flaw at all.

One of the ways that this "discussion" takes shape is the way I serve dinner from the pots on the stove. I think why bother dirtying more dishes just to put the food out on the table. Why make more work for myself?

My husband says that if you tell yourself it is work, of course it will feel like work. Just tell yourself this is how it should be done. I will go on record here saying that I hate this sort of mind over matter crap advice. Let me just pull myself up by my bootstraps and turn my frown upside down. (Which reminds me I have been wanting to write a review of Kathryn Sansone's book, Woman First, family always)

However, it has been brought to my attention, repeatedly, that the stove top is not a serving station and that when he makes dinner he always sets the table properly. The atmosphere is part of the enjoyment of the meal. This all begs the question of exactly how often he makes dinner? or eats dinner with us? And does he really think the words atmosphere, enjoy, and seven children go together with meal? Me thinks he has been inhaling too many fumes from the polish he uses on his office furniture every day.

I think, let's not prolong this affair any longer than necessary and lets try not to make any additional work for me. If I could get the kids on board with eating directly out of the pots with their hands I'd totally consider it. Oh heck, I lie, I'd be all over it. I consider dinner a success when no one falls to floor writhing in mental anguish over the dinner I have just prepared.

But when he makes dinner he washes all the pots and cooking crap before anyone sits down to dinner. The table is set with napkins...NAPKINS folded into shapes, not torn paper towels, chargers and actual glasses, not water bottles. You think I'm kidding? No wonder I feel inferior.

I usually tell people that my husband would be a much better wife than I am. And I mean it. But the fact of the matter is that it is easy to be perfect when you are only doing it a few hours a week.

When I go out alone I come home to a list of "helpful" hints on how I could run the household more smoothly. I LOVE that. Most of the suggestions involve me cleaning way more, following the children around the house demanding they put their toys away whether or not they are still playing with them, following a detailed minute by minute schedule, and basically not sitting down or relaxing ever. It's just so not going to happen.

In return, I like to make nonsensical suggestions to him about how he should do his job. I give him my advice about dealing with the IRS and taxes and stuff, though my expertise begins and ends with filling in the bubbles on the 1040EZ form. But, like him, it doesn't stop me from freely handing out my advice outside my realm of expertise.

So I give advice like:

"Make sure you color in the entire bubble. Just to be sure."

"What? There are no bubbles to color in."

"Well, Rob, just keep it in mind for future reference. M'kay?"


Or like this:


"You should sharpen all your number 2 pencils in advance and put them into one of those cuppy things on your desk."

"What the hell are you talking about?" he'll ask.

"Just giving you my advice. You know those cuppy things I am talking about...what are they called..." I'll continue.

"A pencil holder?"

"YES! That's what you need. You should get a cute, yet manly one, for your desk. You know, to create the proper work atmosphere."


At this point he will usually laugh. He knows his "helpful" advice drives me crazy, yet he is unable to stop doing it. I guess much like I can not stop driving over the front lawn and hysterically laughing while I deny it and try blaming it on the oil man.

I have come to realize that if I only had to play housewife a few hours on a weekend day, I'd be able to do a kickass job also. Unfortunately, I don't have that luxury. I have to pace myself like a marathon runner.

And not one of those freakishly fast marathon runners, no more like one of those slightly overweight older housewives who probably have their own forty before forty list, and have trained for a year to do this once in a life time thing and feel like they are about to drop dead half way through but realize that there is no way to turn around so they have to keep plugging away... maybe even crying while they run?

Yeah, that's the kind of marathon runner I'm talking about.

I'd totally love to ponder this some more, but I have laundry to do, a diaper to change, breakfast to serve, and meals to plan. Somehow I haven't been able to convince myself that they aren't work. My suggestion of naked fasting week was not met with the sort of enthusiasm I had hoped.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Can't Get Enough

I am the featured mommy over at mommybloggers today.

And to everyone who said such nice things about me, I take it that the bribes arrived to you safely? No? They'll be there soon. Soon being relative of course considering I can't seem to make my way to the post office but once a week. Seeing as it requires I leave my house and go a whole half mile away and all.

Thank you for all your kind words. I wish I had something better up today than my floor.

I can give you this little snippet of previously edited out conversation that occurred while I was on my hands and knees cleaning up all the excess grout off the floor:

"You should totally be thankful that you have a wife who does these kind of home improvement projects"

"I am very thankful, though buying this old fixer-upper house was your idea, remember? Now, if you would tile the floor wearing nothing but a thong, that would make me very very thankful."

"You know, there are some things that are better left to fantasy. Having given birth to seven children, my naked thong wearing body in the glowing fluorescent light that is our kitchen, is one of those things."

Yes, I Am Getting Old

My thighs are killing me. I can barely walk and am resigned to hobbling around for the second day in a row.

But since it was a "holiday" we had to do it. It was the only thing that I really wanted for Mother's day.

We have been meaning to get around to it for awhile now, but other things kept getting in the way, namely all the baseball running around. But with the non-stop rain this weekend there was no excuse, no reason to leave the house.

So, we got out all of our tools. Took a few deep breathes and we dove in.

And yes, we took photos.

More Floor

More photos that you probably want to look at.

Caged Children

Then some of them escape.

Some Of the Caged Children Escape

Except the baby. He LOVES to watch us from afar.

He LOVED watching from the other room

What isn't visible in the photo are the hot pokers with which he is being stabbed.

Here is my tool.

Grouting the Tile

Are you asleep yet? Too bad.

Even small children are forced to labor here.

Hard Knock Life

"No, no breaks for you! I don't care if you are tired!"

Cleaning the Tile

Because I had scrub each individual tile with a wire brush, steel wool, and denatured alcohol. My daughter is "helping" with her bucket of water and little scrub brush. And though she tried her best, she could not gouge the already hardened grout out from between the tile.

I love this floor and it's dirt hiding properties. We have the same tile in our mudroom and it never looks dirty. I haven't mopped it in... well, how about we say a month. m'kay? But the thing is a quick sweep and it looks clean! My husband likes to point out that it is just as dirty as a white floor, and that just because you can not see the dirt doesn't mean it isn't there. But I just plug my ears, say," lalalala... you know where we keep the mop" Though, after reading about this on Mary's blog, I think I am going to have to buy my husband this for Father's Day.


Completely unrelated, my 8yr old made me this at a leather working class he took last week. I don't know what to say about it other than should I ever run into David Blaine I am prepared.What to wear with this creation...

Monday, May 15, 2006

Belated Mother's Day Thoughts

This morning my children gave me a card for Mother's Day. The outside of the card said, we were going to get you the best present of all for Mother's Day. On the inside of the card it read, but you already have us. Oh how they laughed at this. And oh how I laughed when I reminded my husband that Father's Day comes after Mother's Day for a reason.

A few weeks ago we went on a field trip to an old cemetery. It was cool, in a morbid kind of way. It is an historic site with most of the graves from the late 1700's to mid1800's, families who lived in the area where I now live. The older kids were listening to a presentation about the people who were buried there and interesting facts that were known about them and their lives.
People now aren't buried with their entire families often anymore. We have all spread out to different parts of the world. I know my inlaws were talking about the cemetery being filled and so when my sister in law died my mother-in-law bought a plot so she could be buried right next to her.

My father in law wants to be cremated and have his urn of ashes placed inside my mother in law's coffin when she dies. We all agreed. Though I did point out that he may not be as keen on the idea should she die first. And it could pose some difficulties finding someone to cremate him while he is still alive, but we're still willing to try.

I walked around holding my youngest son. Mostly I was holding him because when the woman had said to be respectful, quiet, and not to touch the gravestones because they were fragile, he thought she said, Scream like a wild banshee and run at the gravestones full force, slamming into them with your body like you are linebacker.

As I walked through I found myself overwhelmed. I don't often go to cemeteries... Thinking about the people. Real people, who lived near me, had real lives, loves, and children. And there were so many children who died so young.

That is where my eyes go first to the dates of birth and death. My eyes are drawn to the tiny headstones where the ages are measured in months and days.

Two brothers, roughly the age of my oldest two sons, both died when they fell into a frozen lake and drowned.

And then a few years later their sister.

I often think I would not be able to go on if something happened to one of my children. How did they?

I think about how difficult it must have been to carve out an existence in a place where I find the winter weather unbearable and we have central heating, polar fleece, and indoor plumbing. How many times I have I wrung my hands while my children were sick waiting for the tylenol to give them some relief, or for the anitbiotics to wipe out whatever it is. And my God how did people survive without modern dentistry? I would be toothless.

Since I have had children, I can no longer look at all the flags displayed for Memorial Day and not think of my sons. While I used to see the flags at cemeteries and see old men, I now see boys who are closer in age to my sons than I wish to acknowledge.

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My one year old reached out his chubby hand to grab the flag of a soldier that died during the Civil War, I think of my six sons, each one precious to me. All those small American flags blowing in the wind next to their gravestones have a gut wrenching effect on me.

I think of another mother who gave birth, rocked her baby, kissed his fuzzy warm head. I think like a mother who must have rejoiced when her son first began walking, told her a joke, and picked her the heads off of flowers. This is how becoming a mother has changed me. While I didn't like to hear stories of children who were hurt before I had children of my own, now suddenly every child that I hear about who has been murdered, abused, hurt, has the face of one of my children. I am haunted by these kind of stories.

I paused with my son in front of a set of tiny little grave markers. All of them babies from one family. None of them lived to be more than 3 yrs old. They were someone's baby. Someone who sat here in this exact spot, just like us 150 years ago, yet they were mourning their child. It's too much. I hugged Miles tight and the look he gave me said, "Did you take your medication, woman?". I say to him, "They were loved, just like I love you." And I cry big fat tears. And Miles headbutts me.

I think back on our busy morning, punctuated by me yelling too much. Me snapping at my children. Me exasperated by their annoying yet age appropriate questions. And I feel guilty for all that I take for granted.

It's too much. Sometimes being a mother is too much. And the card is right, I do already have the best present of all.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Way Back Weekend

Way Back Weekend

Friday, May 12, 2006

Seventeen Months

Today you turn 17 months old. Will I still be doing this when you are 205 months old and writing about I called you up at college and you have changed your major yet again and that I think you were out partying? And praying that you will just hurry up and graduate, with ANY major, so that your father and I can stop with the never ending college tuition.

Doing A Puzzle

As I type this you are clutching two little matchbox cars to your chest with one hand and trying to scale the back of my chair by hanging from my hair with your right hand. It is a miracle that I am not bald yet. I know what will happen next, you will climb up to sit on top of my head and fling your little cars at my computer screen. You hate my computer. You don't understand what I could find so interesting about it when I could have YOU in face, YOU jumping up and down on my lap, YOU pulling on my hair and screaming at me.

I wish I could invent a device that would give you an electrical shock every time I am typing on my computer and you try to climb on me. Just a little shock that would render you unconscious for a few days moments. Also I wish such a device would be socially acceptable. Do I have to say I am kidding? Probably, the internet takes itself so seriously.

The big thing that has happened this past month is that you have stopped nursing. I know I said I was going to nurse you until you went to college, but I reconsidered.

Since you have stopped nursing you have been sleeping through the night. It is strange how quickly it happened and even more strange how used to it I have become already. The transition has been harder on me than it was for you... as these things usually are.

You have to have Funky Monkey in bed with you. I am thinking of buying a second one should something unfortunate happen to the original. Like it self destructs so that it doesn't have to listen to me sing my personal rendition of the Beastie Boys "Brass Monkey, that Funky Monkey..." Of course I keep saying I'll buy a second one, but much like backing up my pictures on my computer, I never seem to get around to it.

Then one day it will be too late and Funky Monkey will be gone forever and you will be traumatized and spend years in therapy discussing it.

Sleeping

This marks the end for me. The end of nursing. The end of nourishing another human being with my body. It is like the final cut in the umbilical cord. And while I look forward to wearing clothes that don't provide easy access to my boobs and bras that don't have flaps that open and close, I can't help but feel a tiny twinge of sadness. Both for the end of an era in my life and my now poor sad non existent breasts.

Ah big boobs, I hardly knew ya.

Yesterday I was getting dressed and you were playing in my room with me. Suddenly you stopped and stared at my naked chest. I wondered if you were going to ask for your beloved nursies. And I felt a bit sad for you. But instead, you started laughing. A little too much if you ask me. And you walked away muttering to yourself.

It was much the same way as when I went back to my highschool reunion and saw that boy that I had pined for all those years ago. And there he was now fat, bald, and a much bigger know-it-all than I could have thought possible. I shook my head wondering what it was that I ever saw in him. Well, that was the way you looked at me, like you were thinking, "Wow, I remember those being much better. I can't believe how much I used to love them all those three weeks ago."

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You still don't say Mama...though I know you can. I ask you to say it and you giggle, shake your head, and say uh-uh. It's something of a game now that we play. I tell you to say Mama and you say no. Then I go through every other word that you say... teeth, daddy, bye-bye, nite-nite, ball, baba, tv, and you repeat them back to me. Then I say Mama and you laugh and scream Uh-uh.

You don't have an extensive vocabulary. I like to say that you are a quiet baby of few words, which we can all agree is a euphemism for I think my baby might be... what is the p.c. word now... verbally challenged.

You have discovered blowing your own spit bubbles, and you say ma-ma-ma while you do it. So I pretend you are saying mama. Yes, I lie to myself. It's quite pathetic isn't it?

We have an unbreakable mirror that you love to play with. I'll ask you, "Where's the baby?" And you will run over and look at yourself. You will sometimes put your face right up against the mirror and look at your reflection up close mesmerized by your own cuteness. More often you will head butt the baby. It must be a sign of affection because after a long break with no head butting you have suddenly begun doing it in earnest again.

Driving, Toddler Style

You love riding on your little girly car. But you only know how to power yourself in reverse, which is the source of many tears and much screaming on your part. You will get frustrated with your inability to drive forward, get off of your little car, and try to push it over while you scream what I imagine are baby obscenities. I know that I shouldn't laugh, but I can't help it. Your fury is so intense for someone who stands only 2 ft tall.

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You love to bang and hammer things. You still love anything with wheels. You can stack several blocks to build a tower, but you seem to enjoy throwing the blocks at unsuspecting siblings more.

100_3640

You love digging in the garden and tearing out my freshly planted flowers. You love throwing your food off the kitchen table.

Tupperware Drawer

You are passionate about emptying the tupperware drawer several times a day. That last one drives your father crazy, with a capital C.



You are a happy little pita pocket, and I love you.

My neck is permanently bent

Now, about saying mama...

Thursday, May 11, 2006

It's Now Officially A Baseball Blog

We were at baseball the other night. Really, is that any surprise. Where else would I be these days. My seven year old had a game.

He got up to the plate and took what felt like five minutes getting his feet situated in the perfect spot. He set up in his batting stance, looking the part of the perfect miniature baseball player. He was even wearing his little sweatbands on his wrists, which at this age are much more likely to be used as snot wipers than for absorbing any sweat, and batting gloves.

The pitcher throws the ball. He swings. He misses. He pirouettes at the plate.

The pitcher throws the ball. He swings. He misses. He pirouettes at the plate.

The pitcher throws...

After a few more times I couldn't take it any longer. He knows how to swing the bat. He knows how to hit a ball. He was playin' the clown, as we like to say at my house.

"Are you a ballerina?" I screamed out.

The other parents looked at me. A few fathers snickered, everyone else looked shocked.

"Not that there is anything wrong with that." I shouted out.

"You know if you were at ballet school and not a baseball field." I muttered under my breath, wondering why it is that everything needs to be qualified these days.

He finally hit the ball.


Running to first base

And that excited face, that is what makes it all worth it. The endless Saturdays spent at the field, the juggling of various games and practices every night of the week, the over priced junk food from the snack bar, doing our part to ensure that the oil companies make a huge profit this quarter, the huge color coded calendar... yup, all worth it.

Set of photos can be found here.
You know you want to share my pain...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

In Which Everyone Will Wonder Did She Google That

1. I pray for rain every day. Not because my flowers need it, but because I want baseball practice to be cancelled. I know. I feel bad about it. I feel like a traitor. And yet I can't help but feel giddy when it is clouding over in the late afternoon.


2. David Blaine scares me. He makes me want to hold a large crucifix out in front of me, shout Latin incantations like In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen, and throw holy water on him. I'm not even Catholic.


3. When I was younger I imagined that there would be a point in time where I would have perfect skin. You know after pimples and before wrinkles. Why didn't anyone tell me this was not the case? Why didn't anyone tell me that I would spend my mid 30's looking for an anti wrinkle cream that also contained benzoyl peroxide?


4. My 11.5 yr old can be so mature and funny, and do incredibly sweet things like bake me a birthday cake completely by himself. But then turn and be so exasperating that I slam my fist down on the kitchen table and shriek, "I wouldn't say another word, mister!" Causing me to wonder how I turned into a person who says things like that.


5. Speaking of my 11.5 yr old, he is the same size that I am and definitely physically stronger, which is nice when I want something heavy carried. Somehow though, in his mind he believes now that we are not equals, like his previously deluded self thought, but that he is in fact in charge of me. And I have found myself saying very mature things like, "you are not the boss of me" to him.

We have been having lots of conversations about how size doesn't matter (insert my own school girl giggles here), respect, and the qualitites of a good leader. Also I have reminded him that I am in charge. This is not a democracy. It is a dictatorship, and while I try to be a benevolent dictator, and foster the illusion that I care about your opinions, I will crush any and all attempts to bring down my leadership.

With that in mind, he challenged me to race the other day. At first I balked, because I wasn't sure what sort of message it would be sending to him. But he kept on. And on. And on. Talking about how much faster he was then me. How he could beat me in a race. My competitive side took over.

So we lined up on the driveway and got into position. The other kids were on the sideline. On your mark, get set, GO... and we were off.

I won easily. Despite having to hurdle a toddler on a tricycle that was in my path, I won.

And I was very mature. And only screamed and danced around the driveway a little. And I think I only said, "Uh-huh, who's talking now" once. Okay maybe twice.


6. I got a new cellphone. I know that you all wanted to know that. But I am very disappointed with the ringtone selection. I liked the ring I had on my old cellphone which sounded like an old fashioned phone ring.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Perfect Mothers Against Chemicals, Other Mothers, and Humor

I. Scene One:

We are at a playground in the woods. The woods, which by their very nature are shady. The shady woods with lots of bugs and very little direct sunlight. The mosquitoes are already out and last week I found our first tick of the season. Hurray for summer.

I pull out the insect repellent.

Perfect Mother, who is slathering her offspring in sunscreen, : I can't believe that you are putting that on your kids. Do you know what is in it?

Me: Uh... well, hopefully something that will prevent them from getting eaten alive by bugs here.

Perfect mother: It's filled with all sorts of chemicals.

I ignore her.

Perfect Mother: Do you want to borrow some of my sunscreen? I noticed you didn't put any on your kids?

Me: No, I'm not sure how I'd give it back when I was done.

Perfect Mother, who has no sense of humor : What?

Me: No thanks.

Perfect Mother: You aren't going to put sunscreen on your children?

Me: No. I'm not.

Perfect mother: Wow, that is just unbelievable to me that you wouldn't put sunscreen on your kids, but you'll put bug spray on them.

Me: No, what's unbelievable is that you care.

Perfect Mother: Aren't you worried about skin cancer?

Me: First of all, it isn't even sunny here in the woods. Secondly, my children have their fathers olive complexion, therefore they don't burn or even tan easily, so those small patches of sunlight that are coming through the trees really aren't a threat to them.

Perfect mother, shaking her head: Well, all those chemicals...

Me: Sunscreen has chemicals in it too. Mosquito and tick borne illnesses are a very real threat around here. And after having one child get very ill with Lyme Disease, to the point where he was beginning to have neurological issues, I am vigilant about using insect repellent.

Perfect Mother: Well, I would never...

Me: I never say never. Oh look a patch of sunshine, I had better go instruct my children to stay away from the dangerous sun.


II Scene two:

A different day, a different mother, a different reminder of how imperfect I am

Perfect Mother: I can't believe you let your children chew gum.

Me: I don't think a piece of gum once in awhile is going to hurt anyone.

Perfect Mother: Gum is bad for you. You really should keep it away from your children.

Me:Was there some sort of memo I missed that good mothers are against gum now?

Perfect Mother: I don't allow it in my house. I just say no.

Me: I think I am confused, Nancy. Are we talking about guns?

Perfect Mother: No gum, with an m. My name isn't Nancy...

me: G-U-M? as in chewing?

perfect Mother: Yes chewing gum.

Me: Wow,I am so out of the perfect mother loop. I thought we were against things like drunk driving, guns with an n, and internet pedophiles. Is there some sort of newsletter I can sign up to receive so I can be in the know. I want to be properly incensed at the choices other mothers make too!

Perfect mother: Well, it's just common sense. All those chemicals...

Me: And that Gogurt your kid is sucking down is completely natural?

Perfect Mother: ::blink blink::

Me: It isn't even called yo-gurt. And it is sucked out of a plastic tube ... but yet somehow that has perfect mother stamp of approval?

Perfect Mother: Well, it's better than lunchables.

Me: Ah, so there is some sort of kid snack food hierarchy of which I am unaware. Would this be in the monthly newsletter?


III. Scene Three:

Yet another motherfucking day


Perfect Mother: Your playscape at home... is it made out of cedar?

Me: Well, we have two. One is cedar and one is pressure treated wood.

Perfect Mother, gasps loudly shaking her head furiously: I can't believe that you would allow pressure treated wood in your yard?

Me, laughing: Wow. Yet another thing. Was this in the newsletter?

Perfect Mother: I don't know about the newsletter. Pressure treated wood is wood treated with arsenic. Arsenic! It seeps into the ground. It's poison!

Me: Good Lord, how will I ever keep it all straight.

Perfect Mother: You should get rid of it. I would never allow my children anywhere near it.

Me: Well, for that fact alone, I think I'll keep it.


That's it. I am done with people. Should anyone need me, my inferior self will be outside in my own private toxic waste dump, with my gum chewing, chemically coated children, rejoicing in the apparant miracle that I have manage to keep my children alive for over eleven years.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Being Thankful For The Little Things

It is baseball season. Six days out of the week someone has to be somewhere for some game or practice. Saturday was no exception.

We had three kids playing in three different games at three different, yet overlapping, times. Luckily they were at the same location. Mostly it was lucky for me since Rob was able to go with just the players, sparing me from spending most of the day chasing rock throwing toddlers around the fields and bribing everyone else with trips to the snack bar.

Saturday was also overpriced picture day. The kids wanted to get the photos that look like baseball cards. But for $40 per kid, I'll use my mad photo shop skills. We just bought the team picture and one individual photograph.

Last night the subject came up about posing for the pictures. My 11 yr old tells me that they had everyone pose holding their baseball bats. My 7 yr old pipes up the they all posed that way too.

Before I could ask my 10 yr old, he says,"They had everyone pose that way on my team too. Except for me."

"Why except for you?" I asked.

"I asked the photographer if I could pose like this instead." And then he showed us what like this looked like. He assumed a position that could only be described as a gorilla taking a dump.

We all started laughing. And laughing. I exercised stomach muscles that haven't exerted themselves in years. I had tears streaming down my cheeks imagining these pictures. Every time our laughter would begin to wane, one of us would ask him to assume the position again, and our laughter would begin anew.

Luckily this child did not inherit my personality. If people had laughed at me when I was a kid I would have run to my room crying and not come out for days. And when I did come out it would only have been to give everyone the cold shoulder. Then again, I would have posed the way the photographer asked. But this child isn't like me.

Once I was finally able to breathe, I said, "Did you make a nice smile at least."

"Well, I think so." was his answer.

And then he demonstrated his "cool smile" ... one that he evidently has been perfecting in the mirror. Though I am not sure I would call it a smile so much as moving your entire mouth over to the right side of your face. It was at that point that I fell off my chair and on to the floor, giving silent thanks that I didn't have a full bladder.

In a few weeks we will get the pictures. My other two sons will probably have photos that are cute but generic, certainly there will be nothing extraordinary about them. But the gorilla taking a dump, well, that is the sort of thing that lives on in family legend.

And so today I am thankful that we will have the photographic evidence to tease him mock him mercilessly cherish for years to come. And when he brings home his first girlfriend, I know exactly the photo I will have on display.

And don't worry internet, I will share it with you too.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Way Back Weekend

Mad Mothering Skills

Friday, May 05, 2006

Revised Addition Forty Things To Do Before I Turn Forty:

1) Learn to knit, so I can one day knit a blanket, scarf, long chain for my grandchildren

2) Start and continue an exercise regime for three months, even if it kills me [God, I'm lazy]

3) Do sit ups everyday for 3 months [Yup, still lazy]

4) Learn to accept my body and all it's imperfections (yeah, right) [oh, I am laughing...wooo hooo.]

5)Read novels I should have already read, classics I read a long time ago and either hated them with a fiery passion or loved them with a fiery passion to see if time has changed my feelings towards them [Still hate One Hundred years Of Solitude... hate it.]

6) Go to Paris with my husband

7) Spend a summer in Italy with my children

8) See the Grand Canyon

9) Take my kids to a Broadway show. I used to go frequently when I was child and have such fond memories of the experience [after looking at the prices of tickets, I'm not so sure I even want to do this one anymore]

10)Bring my daughter to the American Girl Cafe

11)Find my father, before he ends up dying and I never get to meet him.

12) Renew my wedding vows and have a party to celebrate, since we never had a wedding.

13)Finish writing a book (should probably start it too.)

14) Go through all our photographs and select some to matte and frame. AND hang them on the wall in our family room. [I've done a few]

15)Gather pictures of our home renovation and compile them into a coffee table scrapbook thing

16)Spend an entire 24 hour day without once yelling [I should be able to do this one around July 28th]

17)Bring my children to one of those indoor playgrounds and let them play without making myself nauseous over the amount of germs and bacteria they are touching and NOT once force them to go and wash their hands in the middle of playing. (Not sure I can do this one as just typing it is making me sick to my stomach.) I do draw the line at coating their hands with hand sanitizer and spraying them down with lysol before they get into the van; there are just some things that I can't give up. [I don't think I'll ever be able to do this... ever]

18) Ride on a rollercoaster, and if I feel particularly daring one that goes upside down

19) Catch up on buying all my children their annual Christmas ornament. (The idea is that I buy the children an ornament every year that represents them at that year of their life. When they grow up they will take the ornaments. Though who knows they will probably think it is totally stupid and queer and I will be stuck with all these ornaments on my tree forever or my attic)

20) Work tirelessly to rid the fashion world of low waisted pants by complaining constantly to anyone who will listen. [I work on this one every. single. day.]

21) Dig out my paints and easel and paint a painting

22) Hang the painting up somewhere in my house

23) Read the entire Narnia series aloud to my younger children [One book down.]

24) Take all my children to a baseball game at Fenway Park, wear a baseball hat, cheer and pretend I am a fan for the day

25) Find a reliable babysitter

26) Buy a huge bottle of vitamins and take them every day until the bottle is empty, without missing a day

27) Make it a habit to drink 8 glasses of water a day [though I am beginning to think if it were actually good for us to drink this much water our bladders would have evolved to be much larger. Also, God would have made water more tasty]

28) Finish renovating my house [before it sucks the very life out of my soul]

29) Get rid of all the things in my house that are just clutter and would benefit someone else [I'm trying, but convincing other people that their stuff is crap and they should get rid of it, isn't easy]

30) Make an ice skating rink in my back yard, build a bonfire, make hot chocolate, and have a skating party and enjoy it

31) Learn html [or pay someone else to do whatever it is I want done]

32) Learn how to make a really good pie crust, from scratch [thank God, I have accomplished this one, only once, but still...]

33) After I finish nursing my youngest baby, buy some new expensive bras and matching underwear. [I'm getting ready to do this, though shopping for a bra that is the size of a training bra isn't all that exciting]

34) Re-invent my mother's ring since it is missing a few stones

35) Buy a plant and keep it alive, instead of treating plants as if they are meant to be disposable

36) Practice saying the word "forty" so that I can learn to not throw up a little while I say it [working on this one, unsuccessfully I might add]

37) Unpack all the boxes in my attic and label properly the things that will stay [or just toss them randomly into the dumpster]

38) Organize a box for each child to hold their special childhood crap memorabilia, limit size of said box so that they can never say they don't have room for it in their own house

39) Keep the flowers alive in my flower boxes on my front porch for an entire summer. This will be accomplished by watering them instead of ignoring them and blaming drought like weather for their demise [well, now that I have gardening clogs, there will be no stopping me]

40) Come to grips with the fact that I am closer to 40 than I want to realize and there is no way I will be able to accomplish all of these things

I have come to the realization that aside from being lazy about following through on my lists, I am also very fickle and I'm not sure I even want to do all these things anymore.

Cinco de Mayo Cumpleaños Para La Señora Loca*

1974 Birthday



Happy Birthday to Me,
Oh how can it be?
That I'm even closer
to turning forty.


I Don't Know Where To begin

Just so you could fully appreciate the dress. Oh how I hated that dress and how I cried on my birthday because I was going to have to wear it. My mother still brings up how beautiful it was. Yeah, if you were blind maybe. I look like one of those bobble head statues.

1974 also marks the last time in my life that I have had short hair. My mother still brings up what a beautiful haircut it was. She said it brought out my eyes. Yeah, because what else would people be looking at, they were trying to avert their eyes from the travesty that was my "hair do"

No, I'm not the least bit bitter about my childhood.

And for my birthday my husband bought me a pair of gardening clogs. They haven't actually arrived yet, but he did show me the online receipt that he ordered them. So that is definitely an improvement over never getting a present. Baby steps, people, baby steps.





*I have no idea if that is correct. But I always feel very Mexican on my birthday and walk around rolling my rrrrr's ... well as Mexican as a blonde** haired pasty white girl of German descent could possibly ever feel.

** Shhhhh, only her hairdresser knows for sure.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Three Thursday Thoughts

There is nothing better than waking up and coming downstairs at 6:30am and being greeted by your seven year old. Your adorable seven year old, who is standing on a stool at the kitchen counter and who informs you that he has made a pot of coffee. And upon further questioning you discover that it has made it correctly.

That is why he gets to wear the "I'm my mother's favorite" t-shirt today with the "Mom loves me best" baseball cap and "I am the cutest" wristband.

And when he learns to serve it to me in bed, he'll get the "Favorite Kid" permanent tattoo.

******

On to more important things.

What exactly is the protocol for buying fundraising crap that the children of your friends or co workers are selling?

Theoretically speaking, if you buy some cookies, or wrapping paper, or frozen pizza dough, or support someone in a walk-a-thon thing, or several of the above for the same theoretical person, is there an assumption that they will buy a tub of frozen cookie dough when your kid is theoretically selling it?

Furthermore, if you have the theoretical cookie dough sheet in your office and said fundraiser hog person comes in to the office to remind you that they are doing a walk a thon thingy, yet they decline to buy the cookie dough from you....

What would the proper theoretical response be:

1) Stammer uncomfortably, being non-committal and avoid said person for the next week or so until their walk is over

2) Say, "I don't fucking think so."

3) Give the $25 anyway, but stew about it silently and vow not to buy anything from said person again... until the next time they ask.

I think it is obvious which one I would say, and also equally obvious why I don't work in an office.

Why do we have to have these stupid fundraisers anyway? I'm not talking about the cancer walk a thons and things of that sort, to me those are in a separate category. I'm talking about the endless school, scouts, sports fundraisers where you hit up your friends and neighbors for overpriced crap so that a small percentage goes back to the school, troop, team, whatever.

I am totally willing to contribute more money to my children's activities if it means we can all stop with this. I don't want over priced wrapping paper, stinky candles, or a tub of preservative laden cookie dough, which by the way you should totally buy from me, theoretically.



******

To wrap up this post, I'll leave you with a snippet of a conversation I overheard between my 5 and 7 yr olds.

"Sword swallowers are not idiots. They are very talented."

"No, they are idiots. Anyone who sticks a sword down their esophagus is an idiot."

"Yeah, but they are cool."

"Yeah, you're right. But you can be cool and an idiot too."

"A cool, talented idiot."


I am glad we cleared that up. Tune in next time where they wax philosophical about why Kermit the frog is no longer on Sesame Street.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

People, They Are The Reason I Stay Home

Just when I think I have run out of things to blog about, I leave my house and come into contact with the world.

Yesterday we went to Old Navy. Like most of the rest of you I'm sure, I got the promotional coupon in the mail this week with the plastic bag. Everything you can stuff in the plastic bag for 20% off. I have used this coupon deal, well every single time it comes.

Never have I actually had to stuff the things into the bag. As a matter of fact, I have had them give the bag back to me in case I wanted to shop more before the promotion was over. And if you shop online there obviously is no physical bag to stuff.

So keeping that in mind, we wandered through the store gathering up the poorly made clothing and feeling good about our part in supporting overseas child labor. When my little children complained and their knees began to buckle I said, "You think you are tired of walking around this store... just think about poor little Manish in India shackled to the bench sewing his fingertips to the bone so that you can have a t-shirt with a smartass quip on the front. Yeah, think about that and we'll see who is tired."

Once we felt that we had sufficiently perused every aisle of the store and had left no shirt pile unturned, we went up to the cash register.

I piled all my mounds of clothing onto the counter and she began ringing them up. After the first few items she asked if I had an Old Navy charge. I told her that not only did I have an Old Navy charge, I had my promotional bag.

She looked at my pile of stuff and said, "You can only have the 20% off of the items you can fit into the bag. And there is no way you can fit all of this into the bag."

"Huh? What?"

She informed me of the new stricter promotional rules, though I am unable to tell if they are in fact real rules or she is just on a power trip. I suspect the latter.

"I could fit all of this into the bag. It just seems sort of stupid." I said.

"There is no way you can fit all of this clothing into this small bag." she said, arms crossed.

"Yes, I could."

"I seriously doubt it." Her smugness is killing me.

"Is that a challenge?"

"I'm just saying. You will only get the 20% off of the items that are in the bag." At this point there was a line forming behind me. And I felt my blood pressure rising and my face turning red. I wanted to grab the bag and tie it over her head for a few minutes. And then smack her head against the counter a few times for good measure.

"Well, I am not buying anything that I can't fit into this bag. So if you want to stand there while I take each and every item and make it fit in here, we can do that. But I hope you realize I have seven children here who would like nothing better than to sample every lip gloss and hand lotion, bounce every ball, and play fetch with the dog toys. It's not going to be pretty."

"Those are the rules."

"Well, alrighty then." I reply.

And so I began. First I asked my eldest son to remove the hangers from his six pair of huge man sized shorts. Which he did with much embarrassed sighing. Oh the mortification of having your mother even speak in public. I begin the folding and rolling of clothing. And the stuffing into the flimsy plastic bag.

At one point my oldest son told me that I shouldn't be doing it that I am breaking the spirit of the rules. They have rules for a reason, Muh-om. I told him to remember those words next time he is fighting with me over some rule he has broken and thinks is stupid. After a few more minutes of him pleading the case of Old Navy, I informed him that his clothing will be going into the bag last and I hoped there would still be room. Because God knows I wouldn't want to break those rules and stretch the plastic bag at all.

As I neared the end of the bag stuffing extravaganza, the kids, minus one, were cheering. "Go Mom! Go Mom!" And once I stuffed the final pair of flip flops into the bag I high fived all my kids, minus one, and we all cheered, well except for the one standing near the exit door pretending he was there shopping all alone.

The woman at the cash register was suitably impressed. And she tried to explain about the rules to me again and how she was just following them. But my lack of eye contact and non committal "whatever" brought that conversation to a speedy close.

And just what did I stuff into that little bag:

3 size 2T tshirts
2 size 5T tshirts
10 size boys XL tshirts
7 pair of boys size 14 shorts (6 of which were denim)
3 shirts for me
2 pair of denim capri pants for me
1 pair of yoga capri pants for me
6 pair of flip flops
1 pink baseball cap

and a partridge in a pear tree.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Is He A Mom?

If you don't know what I am talking about, consider yourself lucky.

I wasn't going to write about the new "club" website, for a variety of reasons, mostly related to the fact that Andrew Shue and Meredith Viera sent me an email which basically said, you suck! go away! no soup for you! Those might not have been their exact words, but that was the gist of the email.

And so, I resolved not to like the new club thing, but then the more I read about people I actually like that have gotten the jobs, the more my resolve has weakened. Jenny is so hysterically funny, that I am sure I'll have to read her new blog just because of that.

And Jenn, she is going to be writing about life with tweens. And I have a tween. And yesterday we both agreed that tweens are at their cutest when they are asleep. Maybe she'll have ideas on how to harness the tween power for good, or else how to make them sound more appealing on ebay. Maybe she will give me insight into how a child who is so smart can not find a damn thing in this house, or his bedroom.

Or why we have to use that word tween. I hate it. It sounds way too nice for this bad attitude, eye rolling, know it all and don't you forget it age. I think royal pain in the ass would be a much better moniker. The world royal in deference to their own personal belief that they are in charge. I like the way that blogger spell check suggests the word twine instead, because I'd like to tie him up with twine some days.

I don't begrudge anyone their job. I am sure that they will all be great at what they are writing about. But I am left with the thought that perhaps Andrew Shue and Meredith Viera found out I have never watched an episode of their respective tv shows.


But Lucinda gave me a perfect post award. perfect post And that was nice and made me happy. It was for my BREEDER!!!1! post. Which, btw, if you really want to buy a tshirt you can by clicking on them. They are customizable (is that even a word?) which mean you can, you know, customize them to suit yourself. Really, chris, is that what that means?

Moving on.

Today I am going to torture myself by going to Old Navy with my children, including a surly 11 year old who will be hell bent and determined to not like a single thing that I suggest. All last week I asked him to please go through his room and look for his summer clothing so that we could figure out what, if anything, still fits him.

He came down several times telling me that he had no summer clothes at all, not one t-shirt, not one pair of shorts... nothing. And my questions about what could have possibly happened to all his clothing were met with eye rolling and exasperation.

Yesterday I went into his hovel bedroom to turn off the light, because at 11 years old he still hasn't mastered the light switch. It is such a complicated apparatus after all. I happened to glance into his closet. There amongst the rubble spilling out, were a huge pile of his summer clothes, folded neatly on the shelf where I must have put them in the fall.

It turns out that not a single item of clothing fit him. I can't believe how fast he is growing. Or how much food he is eating. He even eats stuff he doesn't like simply because he is hungry. People had told me that one day my sons would eat everything that wasn't nailed down and that I would need to get a job just to keep my boy posse in snacks, but I thought they were exaggerating. Turns out they weren't.

And I hate having to tell my boys, sorry no more snacks for you. It is Mommy's fault for never having watched Melrose Place. I'm sorry, perhaps you can go graze in the yard we do have a lot of overgrown grass that might be tasty.


Updated to add:
I have NOTHING against the moms who took the clubmom jobs AT ALL. In fact I really like all of the women that I know of who have accepted the jobs. And while I'd like to act all superior and like I didn't really want the job, the fact is that they turned me down and I am disappointed, more than I would really ever let on. It's much easier to throw rocks at their clubhouse and pretend I don't want to be a member.

But truthfully, if Andrew Shue called me up, or emailed, or had one of his henchwomen, like Meredith, email, I would totally netflix every episode of Melrose Place and maybe even wear a pink sweater set and strand of pearls while I blogged. I have seven kids to put in braces, one after another. Oh and who am I kidding, lots of shoes that would love to live in my closet aka Club Shoe.

So while I appreciate everyone's supportive comments, please tread lightly so as not to cause hurt feelings.

But did you see over there in my sidebar... I have an ad! So click on it or something.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Maybe He'll Get Lucky On Father's Day

This weekend I totally earned my gardening clogs and maybe some sort of toolbelt, though I don't really want one of those because who needs the extra girth of pockets hanging down your rear.

I also scraped and painted the front of the house this week, painted a section where Rob hung up new clapboards, sanded and repainted the front door, and installed a new doorknob. So all you thieves out there, you have missed your chance. I now have a front door that can lock. And a key! For my house! What a novel idea!

To be honest there is nothing to steal at my house other than toys. Unless someone is dying to have a 19inch television with a missing on and off button. In which case, have at it. Please take away the unique joy we have at having to plug and unplug the tv everytime we want to use it.

Rob and I have this ongoing "conversation" about who does more around the house:

Me: Boy, I'm exhausted from all this gardening.

Him: You? But I did all the work.

Me: Well I supervised and told you where to put everything.

Him: But I actually did the digging of the holes!

Me: Only because you didn't like how I was digging them!

Him: You were doing it wrong.

Me: Well, I went to Home Depot on a weekend(!!!) and bought all the plants, WITH the baby.

Him: Well I stayed home with SIX other kids and raked the entire backyard.

Me: Well, I brought He-Who-Runs-Into-The-Road-The-Moment-Your-Back-Is-Turned so that you could rake.

Him: Well, I went to work and earned all the money for you to buy the plants and whatever else it is that you couldn't live without and bought at the store.

Me: I stay home and take care of your children so that you can go to work and earn money

Him: Do you think I'd work this kind of job if I didn't have a family to support?

Me: Well, I put that plastic edging thingy in the ground and poured the bark mulch in... and ...and ...and I painted and put on the new door knob!

Him: But those things aren't gardening!

Me: You want gardening clogs, don't you? That's what this is all about. You want some cute gardening clogs.

Him: Yes,that is it. You have found me out.

The Big Not-Really-Yellow House


I did have to tell my kids that just because it's called a kick plate, does NOT mean that you kick it. Even though I don't particularly like brass, I decided to embrace the brass once I discovered how much a new front door and sidelights would cost.

I also bought a number plaque so now people will be able to find my house, though I think looking for the house that looks like Toys R Us vomited on it's lawn is much easier to spot than a small plaque.

Front Door