Friday, June 20, 2008

It's My Party...I'll Blog If I Want To

I know. You've missed me (I hope). But I had to start celebrating my birthday yesterday, one day early. Because today will be filled with preparations for Larry and Anna going away for the week to work camp, and I refuse to be shorted. So...

We went blueberry picking yesterday! I harangued Larry into taking a day off work (because today's my birthday), and then I decided we should all go blueberry picking and he had to agree ('s my birthday); and a mere 50 dollars later, we walked out of there with 12 and a half pounds of the yummy fruit (plus what we had managed to stash in our bellies, which was quite a lot).

The excursion would have been blessedly uneventful, but (and you knew there was a but, didn't you?) Susie decided to poop. So she did. Which was sort of smelly, but we figured that it was the compost or whatever that the blueberry growers use to make their plants grow; so we ignored it, until Susie informed us that she was a walking manure pile. (A cute one, though, I must say.) Larry and I bickered over who should change her (did I mention that today is my birthday? Oh, I did? Well, then...). You would think that, after 6 kids, we wouldn't bicker over things like that anymore; but old habits die hard. He felt the incident was my fault, because I had said we didn't need a diaper on her, so I should be the one to clean her up (even though it is my birthday today)(but, I've mentioned that). So I pouted. He ignored me, for a while. But I won.

Larry won the other argument though. We could hear bird calls everywhere as we picked, and at one point Larry said, "Listen to that one! It sounded just like something electronic." Which made me launch into my "No, electronic rings and trills are modeled after bird calls, not the other way 'round. That's the problem these days - we're so disconnected from nature that we forget where all these sounds originally came from, even when we experience them directly, blah, blah, blah" speech, all the way down the row and into the next row, where we discovered a box hooked up to some speakers, with the words "BirdGard" emblazoned on it.

Come to think of it, we hadn't seen a single bird the whole time. Apparently, the electronic hawk calls being broadcast keep the birds from eating the berries. So...I had to eat crow on that one. (Ha, ha, ha - I couldn't help it!)

It's my birthday, I can pun if I want to...

When we got home from our farm labors, I went straight upstairs and took a 2-hour nap. It was heavenly. I swear, there is nothing I like better than a mid-afternoon siesta. I think I've been programmed to expect a midday break from the daily craziness by 16 years of napping babies. Ever since Susie gave up her nap, I've been pining for my quiet time.

I made blueberry buckle when I got up. It was delicious. We put 3 candles in it and called it a birthday cake. There were more candles, but the girls got a little overeager and stuck them in the cake before it cooled down sufficiently. They melted. Yum.

Anna gave me my birthday present early by having a nice little tantrum yesterday evening; we let her go have a bunch of fun all day, and she was angry that that experience wouldn't be repeated today. We had the nerve to suggest that it was, in fact, our desire for her to have fun at work camp all next week that necessitated her staying home today to help us prepare for her and her father's absence. (Larry was dragooned into being a driver and work crew supervisor for the week.) In Anna's words, "Him? I don't even want him to go!"

Be involved, the experts say. Show the kids you care. I am starting to think that the "experts" never actually had any teenagers of their own.

Theo's present to me was taking it like a man (truly) when we decided that he couldn't go to work camp after all because he would miss too much of his Arabic class. His reaction was impressive - no histrionics, no door slamming, just a resigned acceptance of losing the only fun thing we had planned for him all summer. Heck, I was more upset than he was. I cried. (In my defense, it was an emotional time of the month for me.) ( was practically my birthday...)

The little kids cried, too - they had been anticipating a dairyfest of epic proportions for the week he was to be away (Theo's dairy allergy is severe enough to preclude our cooking any cheese in the house while he is in residence). They had planned homemade pizza, quesadillas, whipped cream, and baked ziti. Given that I probably would have gained 10 pounds over the week from this menu, I'm sort of glad those plans fell through.

Well! Time's a-wastin', and I need to take advantage of any free moment I can get today. I think I'll go to the bookstore and just sit there. Quietly. You see, if I stay home, I have to keep reminding people that it's my birthday; because they expect me to do the things that I have to do on ordinary days. Maybe I should just give them a list:

Things I Don't Do On My Birthday

  1. Settle fights
  2. Serve meals
  3. Button buttons
  4. Kill centipedes (all right, I never do that)
  5. Listen to tantrums
  6. Share the bathroom
  7. Eat sensibly
  8. Get off the computer before I darn well want to

I leave you with this, as a little present, though I don't feel like crying. Still, it's a birthday song. Again, look at those back-up singers. Look at how clothed everyone is. I think Anna fears that that is how I want her to dress.


  1. Happy Birthday!!! Mmmmm Blueberry Buckle. . ..

  2. Happy Birthday!! Hope you get to enjoy the day.

  3. Umm yeah...I thought of a comment while reading was...let's see, what was it again?....oh yeah.... Happy Birthday.

  4. from bia -

    You had your comment thingie turned off (or, it wasn't showing up) so I circumvented the problem and decided to e-mail you your birthday greeting.

    So, BUON COMPLEANNO! (Happy Birthday in Italian, of course!)

    I hope today you will get to do what you want (because it's your birthday), will be pampered (because it's your birthday), will be praised as the greatest wife/mother ever (because it's your birthday), and will be brought breakfast in bed (because it's your birthday). Oh, and let's not forget the giftcard to your favorite bookstore (because it's your birthday).

    Hope you have a wonderful day . . . BIRTHday that is!

  5. Happy birthday! And tomorrow, don't forget the ever-influential justification, "It's still practically my birthday."

  6. AnonymousJune 21, 2008

    I remember reading several years ago that birds were starting to imitate cell phone rings. One sort was even doing that really annoying Nokia default ring. Ornothologists were really concerned over the loss of true bird language.

  7. Memarie Lane, please, please tell me you are kidding me.

  8. She's not kidding.

    Love the video but seriously you expect Anna to cover her whole body? Oh and happy birthday!

    No cheese?! I'd die! Oh and happy birthday!

  9. Happy belated birthday!

  10. AnonymousJune 21, 2008

    happy birthday!

    the blueberry story sounds like fun! for my family it's time to go strawberry picking ;-) yikes, i can feel the rashes coming up

    hope you had a great day!!!


  11. Happy Birthday!

    Mockingbirds in urban environments have been documented mocking everything from lawnmowers to cars backfiring. (Mockingbirds in non-urban environments mock other birds.) (And please don't ask me for a citation, I'd have to go find it.) I wouldn't be surprised that they're mocking cell phone rings, but on the other hand, that's what mockingbirds DO. It IS their language. Also, they repeat everything three times. Mockingbirds are the ornithology world's version of a preschooler.

  12. AnonymousJune 21, 2008

    Hey - Happy Birthday! Hope it's a vomit free day. :D

  13. AnonymousJune 21, 2008

    Happy Birthday! My list is similar to yours :) And waxy blueberry buckle, made with fresh, just-picked berries, sounds awesome!
    Hey, Theo's taking Arabic? So is Elliot. Maybe they could commiserate together.
    And why is something called work camp considered fun? Just curious. Is that a misnomer designed to keep back all but the already-initiated?

  14. Happy Birthday. Love especially the won't "share the bathroom." Now there's a birthday gift!

    Speaking of imitation, I handed out some of those little boxes of raisins to the kids one day, and Susan said, "Hey, these are like fruit snacks!"

  15. Happy Birthday! What a fun outing for a birthday too! I love picking berries and wish that there was a place to do that closer to where we live...

  16. Happy Birthday! It sounds like you had quite the full day! Poop to blueberries and everythign in-between.

    I'm interested in your son taking Arabic. I lived in Lebanon for over 4 years as a child.

    Oh, and if you want REAL manure, just come over to my place. I blogged about it yesterday.

  17. Happy Birthday!!

    Oh, how'd I know it was your birthday?

    A little bird told me.

  18. Happy Birthday, you funny, funny girl. Enjoy.

  19. And look at you with your You Tube-I'm impressed. Next up: Photo Shop!

  20. AnonymousJune 21, 2008

    Happy Birthday my friend.

    And Theo is taking Arabic class? How cool. He'd be my Dad's favorite, for sure!

  21. Happy Birthday!!
    12 pounds of blueberries is quite a feat!!! I am totally impressed!!!

  22. AnonymousJune 22, 2008

    And THAT is how to spend a birthday.

    Doing WHAT you want to do, WHEN you want to do it!

    Happy Birthday.

    p.s. Way to stay strong on the diaper thang - it WAS your birthday afterall....

  23. No "fashion malfunctions" for Miss Gore! Though I think those backup dancers need a little Paula Abdul. Or Cherry Coke. Or something. Were there any scarves left at the department store when they were through?

    When you hit 50, you can start celebrating birthday *weeks*. Try it; you'll like it!

  24. Happy birthday next week!`I kind of wanted to go scrape my tongue off when I thought about the waxy build-up from the candles in the Blueberry Buckle. I hope it wasn't too off-putting.

  25. AnonymousJune 22, 2008

    Happy Birthday! My birthday was Friday as well - what a coinkidink! My parents have the same birthday and when I was growing up I thought that you had to marry someone with the same birthday as you. So I was always on the lookout for someone who shared my day and believe it or not, you are the first person (besides Cindi Lauper) I have "met" with the same b-day as me. If you were a man and it was 15 years earlier, I might think it was destiny ;) Anyhow, hope it was a great one!

  26. Oh, happy happy day! Hope you had a good one, and that it carried over into Sunday, too!

  27. Happy Birthday! Now I'm gonna have that song stuck in my head all night :S

  28. Happy belated birthday! And what a funny post this was. It's true..I think you can make anything entertaining.

    Love the bit about the "fake" bird sounds and real sounds and how we can't tell the difference anymore. So, so true.

  29. Happy (belated) birthday!

    Hope you had a great one! Did you ever get out to the bookstore? I love the sound of all of those blueberries. Mmm!