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Showing posts from October, 2007

Sugar Babies

I have to say (again) that it is astonishing how many people are (still) googling "tornado costume." And the folks googling it this afternoon are really under the wire, as it were. I should give them the idea we finally came up with, since Brian has decided (are you ready for this?) that he wants to go as a bat after all. A bat. Not a tornado. Larry and I are definitely going to eat that kid's candy first.

So here we are, Halloween day, and the kids are already so sugared up that they can't see straight. For starters, I totally ran out of breakfast comestibles; so I fed them apple pie for breakfast. Then, they spent an hour this morning stuffing candy into treat bags (don't ask why we bother doing that - tradition, all right?) while freely sampling it to make sure it was okay. Later, Rachel bumped her head somehow and got a popsicle, so Brian and Susie had sympathy popsicles - the really junky kind that come in a box of 800 for 2 dollars and are comprised …

Rite of Passage

Okay, let's just try to forget about Halloween and tornado costumes and half-eaten bags of candy pumpkins that the trick-or-treaters are never going to see - just for a little bit, okay? The holiday excitement here has reached a fever pitch, and I need a little break.

So....Sunday I took my son Theo out with his brand-new driver's permit. Theo is my oldest, which means that this was a brand-new experience for me. Nothing, I mean, nothing - not getting married, not giving birth, not realizing that you like to go to sleep by 9:30 - nothing makes you feel as suddenly, irretrievably aged as putting your first-born baby boy behind the wheel of an honest-to-goodness motor vehicle. My brain essentially flipped itself inside out trying to comprehend how, in a time span encompassing approximately 15.8 seconds, I went from trying to figure out how to buckle in Theo's infant car seat to showing him how to adjust the driver's side mirror. I know you parents out there who have …

Problem Solved

Larry attempted to construct a wearable tornado for Brian yesterday. Not wanting to get in the way, I took Theo out in the car with his brand-new driver's permit (that's another post - I haven't gotten to the point where I can talk about it yet.) Anyway, we came home, 2 hours and one undented car later (whew!), to find Larry and Brian gone, and a heap of tangled plastic fencing lying on the living room floor. I correctly deduced that Plan A had failed and that they had gone off to Home Depot to purchase materials for Plan B (have I mentioned that we spend more on Halloween than we do on Christmas around here?). Anyway, they returned bearing....weed barrier. Yup. I must have looked a little concerned, because Larry said, "See? No problem - we'll just wrap this stuff around him and we'll have a tornado!" Okay.

10 minutes later, poor little Brian (peering uncertainly out of the small space left for his face) looked as though he was wearing a burka. O…

Butterflies are made to fly....

Well, I seem to have tapped into some cultural zeitgeist for Halloween here. You would not believe how many people out there are googling "tornado costume" (and landing on my blog). Larry's still working on the costume concept here - he hauled home some heavy-duty plastic fencing from Home Depot. I think chicken wire would have been more malleable, but Larry said it was too sharp. To which I said, "So?" These kids should suffer a little for all that candy, don't you think so?

Where was I? Oh, yes, so today Larry was attempting to demonstrate how he was going to make this not very bendy fencing into a tornado costume by wrapping it around Brian's body, like so (and here he executed a very interesting pirouette while attempting to surround himself with the aforementioned material and I still can't believe I didn't have the camera handy). It's always a little scary when Larry takes over the costume design. Maybe it's a guy thing, but…

Waiting for the Weekend?

It's raining! Yes! The kids are outside with their raincoats and boots (all except Susie, who is protesting the boot concept), checking out all the puddles. And I'm inside, with the door locked (just kidding). Peaceful, that's what it is in here - downright peaceful. Ahhhh........

Susie just had a moment of severe panic - she couldn't find her arm. It was somewhere inside her dress, but she didn't know that. And it was hard to help her fix it, because she was so distraught and I was laughing so hard. It's hard being 2 years old, you know. Reminds me of when Brian was 4 and couldn't get through the day without some sort of weird crisis - like the time he dropped his pants in the potty. That sort of thing doesn't happen much to grown-ups. So the next time you think your day is difficult, remember poor Susie and her missing arm.

I was felled by a severe migraine (severe, as in, if I could have found an ax, I would have chopped my own head off) last …

The Sleep Saga Continues

As any of you experienced parents out there know, our story didn't end with getting the toddler to bed at 10:30 last night (by whacking her over the head with a rubber mallet). No sirree, Bob! (I've always wanted to write that.) She woke up at her usual time this morning, which meant that by about 4:30 this afternoon (because of course I wasn't going to let her nap), she was a sleep-crazed little animal who was simultaneously screaming to be put to bed and refusing to let me touch her. It was very sad. She finally yelled herself to sleep a little after 5, before I could get any dinner down her. Which means, of course, that she will be up at 2 or 3 in the morning, hungry as all get out. This is known as the messed-up-sleep-routine domino effect, and it takes a few days to blow itself out. Like a hurricane, only less fun.

Those of you who are still childless can avoid this problem by getting yourselves fixed and only adopting a child who is 4 years or older. This sol…

Breaking Point

Susie spent the entire day with her arms around my neck or screaming. Except when I broke down after lunch and gave her a nap, which means that she will be up until 10 this evening. I am about to snap. I can see the headlines now - "Mother Charged With Leaving Toddler at Bus Stop; Lawyer Plans 'Justifiable Abandonment' Defense."

We had a case in the local news recently of a woman putting one of her kids in the car trunk during a longish road trip. While the dog sat up front. Maybe I've been a parent too long, but I don't see the problem with that. The dog doesn't bicker. The dog doesn't make weird sounds at a younger sibling until s/he cries. The dog doesn't insist on a McDonald's with a Playland. I can see where a parent could get to the point where the child needs to ride in the waaay back. Just punch a few air holes, you know? That mother had had enough, and she snapped. Like I am about to do right now, if this child does not s…

Singular Accomplishments

Today, while my wonderful next-door neighbor let my 3 youngest kids play in her house, I managed to wipe down the fronts of the kitchen cabinets, one section of the kitchen floor, half the stovetop, and the outside of the kitchen garbage can. Go me! Then I ran up the staircase and danced around with my hands in the air, with the theme of Rocky playing in my head.

Frightening, isn't it?

You know, after 16 years of raising little kids, everything smells like pee. I think my olfactory sense has been permanently damaged. Or it could be that I missed cleaning up after one of Sarah's many accidents. She claims she's scared of the potty. Do you think she'd go for a litter box? I could even teach her to scoop it herself.

Larry and I did our bit to contribute to global warming by leaving the oven on all night. So, if scientists find another hole in the ozone this week, you can blame us. We're responsible for the overpopulation problem too, though I guess you knew that…

Caught Napping

Got my nap. Anna tried to ruin it by coming in at the beginning and demanding to know why she wasn't being allowed to go somewhere just because she was 3 weeks behind in schoolwork; so I explained to her how, if you want someone to grant you a favor, it's a bad idea to ask for the favor during that person's much-coveted nap time. She wasn't up to grasping this level of subtlety, so I had to resort to saying, "Get out of my room right now. " And she did. And my nap was great.

It's pathetic, but that was the highlight of my day yesterday. And today's highlight was my trip to IKEA. I meet a friend there a couple of times a year and we catch up on things and walk around and look at and discuss just about every single item in the store. Spending 4 hours like that is my husband's idea of a nightmare. Which is why I go with my friend instead.

I finally found a prepaid cellphone company that isn't going to make me buy a zillion minutes to get t…

Sleeping In Isn't What It's Cracked Up To Be

I was trying to sleep in (i.e., past 6 AM) this morning and I was having a nightmare that I was somewhere with Rachel and she kept talking and talking, saying the same things over and over, and I was trying to tell her to stop but I couldn't speak above a teeny-tiny whisper no matter how hard I tried, and Rachel was yammering away, so I started slapping her on the face to get her attention (it wasn't real - calm down) and it didn't work and this dream went on and on and on until I was feeling even more irritated than I feel in real life when Rachel yammers incessantly (because in real life I can yell at her to cut it out) until I finally woke up (whew!); butthe voice from my dream was still going, right next to me.

This completely freaked me out until I managed to open my eyes and realize that Susie was lying beside me and singing (happily) into my ear. And, no, I didn't slap her. But I do think I am owed an hour's nap sometime today.

Why Hillary Clinton Envies Me

After an entire day of being sick, Anna woke up yesterday morning and was downright pleasant to her siblings. It was scary, because it means that the real Anna is trapped in that teenager's body somewhere, and she can't get out. Not for any real length of time, anyway. All day, as she got better and better (physically), she got worse and worse, demeanor-wise. But it was nice for at least 2 hours. I've got to take what I can get.

I was a good mother and made chicken soup for my recovering sickie. Now we're just waiting for David and Larry to come down with this bug. I wish they would hurry up, because my best friend refuses to come into my house until they do.

I managed to escape for 2 whole hours this evening to attend a Stitch 'n' B...ch (I'm not a prig, I just don't want to lose the G-rating on this blog) near my house. Everyone was nice there; in fact, I've yet to meet a nasty knitter. People were showing off their expensive sock yarn; th…

Brady Envy

We had a teachable moment here yesterday morning - I got to instruct my daughter on proper dress (as in, if your entire butt crack shows when you bend over, you need to change your jeans before you go out) and she got to instruct me in just how much she doesn't care about our dress code. I don't remember ever seeing this sort of thing on the Brady Bunch. Which, I'm belatedly realizing, has been my guide to parenting all these years. No wonder I can never get all the housework done - I've been sitting around waiting for Alice to show up.

After Anna changed (loudly), she and Theo went out kayaking, which provided me with a much-needed respite from the teenage death glare (also never seen on the Brady Bunch); I spent my morning productively cleaning up after all of Susie's toilet-training accidents. Oh, and I made David cry by suggesting we work on his book report. Cross that one off my to-do list.....

I lost my head later when I picked up the teenagers from the bu…

Movie Maunderings

Warning: If you liked the movie Little Miss Sunshine, just skip this post. Go read some of the other posts listed to the left instead. We can't all agree on everything.


There's nothing like settling down with your teenagers for some family bonding/movie-watching time and right off the bat being treated to a scene where Grandpa is snorting cocaine. To add to our discomfiture, Theo said, "Oh, that's what that stuff is." Our brains did a double-take and Larry hit the pause button while shouting, "What?! Where have you seen it?!" Cool as a cucumber, that's my husband. Turns out that Theo had witnessed its use by some staff members at the Boy Scout camp where he worked last summer. How wholesome. I guess BSA figures that as long as the drug addicts aren't homosexual, it's okay. I can't believe we sent him there thinking that he'd be in a good environment. What with the smoking and the drinking and the drugs, Theo got a crash course i…

Sweatshirts and Socks and Halloween Rocks!

I don't know what's with that title - I just wanted it to rhyme.

What can I say? I lost my bet. Larry's b'day passed uneventfully, and I still owe him a cake (I didn't bother making one, I was so sure he'd be sick). We're not out of the woods here, yet; but it sure is nice to get a little break. I'm sure everyone reading this thinks so too.

Fall blew in with a blast here - we went from hot humid weather to wearing sweatshirts and jeans in less than 24 hours. And we're loving it. Well, except Susie, who of course has no memory of wearing anything but sandals on her cute little feet; it took quite a bit of strong-arming her (okay, actually, I used candy) to get her socks and sneakers on.

To add a little excitement to our day, we emptied out Larry's sock drawer of all the change he dumps in it and took the money to the coin-sorting machine (free!) at our credit union. Then we placed bets on what the total would be. We also watched the TV ther…

Barf-o-rama, Act III

More of the same here, I'm afraid. Monday was a relatively calm day, spent recuperating from the day before. We went to Target so David and Brian could blow the rest of their money (I really don't know where these kids get the stuff; I mean, I don't give it to them - could they be dealing drugs?) on a remote control airplane. Then I went to the dentist and (to make up for my trauma) a yarn shop, a type of establishment I had never been to before. I needed to go there to get a certain size knitting needle not carried in a generic crafts store like Michael's, and I have to admit I was curious about what I was missing in terms of the specialty yarn shop experience. But I ended up being disappointed. There were a lot of uber-price-y fistfuls of wool and everything (luckily) was a bit too refined (and expensive) to even tempt my appetite. I guess I'm just a cheap-eats sort of knitter. And I'm okay with that.

Okay, so we ate dinner, tucked the kids in bed, and…

Vomit Makes Me Want to Puke

Oh, dear, 2 days have gone by already? You know, time just flies when people are throwing up. Don't you think so? Actually, we had a vomit-free day Saturday, on which I ran around like mad and got all my errands done, because I knew that it was merely a brief hiatus and that the stomach-virus fairy was coming back. But she waited....so we went ahead with our plans to pack a fun picnic lunch and drive the 4 youngest to the great science museum in a city about an hour from here. We loaded everyone in the car and headed off and had a fairly uneventful car ride. Because Susie waited until we got all the way there, until we were pulling into the driveway of the museum, to start....erupting, really; there's no other word for it. She sort of burped, and scrambled eggs were pouring out of her mouth, for several minutes, while she sat there looking completely puzzled and the rest of us gawked in horror at what looked like a case of demonic possession. (For the record, scramble…

Civil (and Stomach) Unrest

I went out for my walk this morning and spotted a police car, a fire engine, and an ambulance . Reason? There was a skunk wandering back and forth across the road in broad daylight with his entire snout (and eyes) stuck inside a plastic yogurt cup. A nearby resident had called 911 because they couldn't figure out what to do. And neither could anyone else, actually. Neither the firemen nor the policeman nor the EMT's were willing to grab a skunk from behind in order to free its head from a plastic cup. Mind you, these were people who would run into a burning building or go straight towards a gun-waving lunatic, but this skunk had them all cowed. I wish I had had a camera.

I came home, ready to regale Larry with this tale of suburban unrest, and found him rummaging around looking for a dishpan. Bad sign. As he's usually not overcome with an urgent need to wash dishes by hand, I had to assume the worst. And I was right - we were being visited by the stomach virus fairy…

Teen Angel (Not!)

My friend with a PhD in neurobiology tells me that there is an evolutionary reason for teen girls to hate their families - it helps them to move out and start making their own families. Scary thoughts of teen pregnancies aside, I think she was trying to reassure me that Anna's evident dislike of anything remotely connected with any of us is a natural occurrence and not my fault. But if (evolutionarily speaking) 13 or 14 year-old girls are supposed to leave the family nest, wouldn't it make sense that their brains not evaporate into thin air at this precise point in their lives? Sending Anna out on her own (and believe me, I've fantasized about it) would be like sending a 2-year-old into the world to make her own way. Rachel, at 5, is more street-smart than her sister.

Can you guess it's been a rough couple of days? Her best friend went away for a week, plus we didn't have time to take her clothes shopping this past weekend; so now we're bearing the brunt of…

Heloise Goes to the Airshow

I received a handy household tip from a neighbor - baby powder stops wood floors from creaking. So I liberally sprinkled baby powder on the 2 worst spots upstairs (liberally, as in, I'm still sneezing) and smooshed it around with my hands until it sifted into all the cracks and....well, the floors still creak. I think they might creak a little less, though. My friend didn't tell me what to do with all the baby powder that didn't sift down into the cracks, so I smooshed that all over the rest of the floor in our bedroom (the whole house creaks, really). And there was still baby powder everywhere. Then I swiffered a few times. That looked better, so I quit.

But there was still a coating of baby powder on the floor, as my husband observed when he came home with the kids (yes, that was how I spent the precious hour-and-a-half I had to myself yesterday morning - spreading baby powder on the floor - I mean, when I wasn't folding clean laundry or trying to unearth the…