Monday, August 31, 2009

After watching Stand By Me this weekend, and also after having briefly mentioned it last post, I've kind of got it on the brain. I was twelve or so when it was released in theaters and it's one of the few movies where I remember my experience in the theater, rather than just recalling the movie. It was at The Cinema, and I had a cat in my lap the whole time.

Being the suave kid I was at that age, I used to up my coolness status (if only in my head) waiting for the opportunity to repeat some of the good one-liners from the film. In school, I tried unsuccessfully to get anyone to say "shut up" to me , just so I could say so wittingly back "I don't shut up, I grow up. And when I look at you, I throw up!"
Alas, not being known for sharp wit let alone for even talking much, the typical reaction I got was "huh? did you say something?"

Or when someone would say "See you later" I would so cleverly answer "Not if I see you first." I was so smooth. Only nobody knew it because I never got the chance to repeat my zingers and I was usually left stuttering witty comebacks like "uuhhh, yeah? So what??" before I kicked them in the shins.

Also on my list of good one-liners were (and still are) great quotes from Charlie Brown specials. You know the ones with the Dolly Madison ads? I still say "I got a rock" when we go trick-or-treating with the kids and they announce what they got. And "Cold hard cash! What a beautiful beautiful sound!" (says Lucy shaking her money tin at her Psychiatry 5 cents stand) I love it when Sally shouts "YOU OWE ME RESTITUTION!" after being denied going for tricks or treats.

But one of my favorites is "Chaaaarrrge!!" followed by "Never jump into a pile of leaves with a wet sucker." This one my kids have caught onto and now they repeat it (and re-enact it) every time they have a lollipop. Unfortunately, they might be doing more than simply enjoying the pop culture of my generation. Shannon bears a strong resemblance to Lucy, especially when she refers to Daniel as her "stupid blockhead of a brother" Funny enough, she will be a witch this year for Halloween too.

"A person should always choose a costume which is in direct contrast with her own personality."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

With summer winding down, we're coming up with more creative, less kid-like places to go. I've been itching to return to Schoen Place lately and revisit my old college stomping grounds. Twitches of nostalgia flooded through me as we drove past Fisher College and down the road to Nazareth. "Look kids! That's the hill I used to sled down!" I didn't mention we used fiberglass lunch trays "borrowed" from the cafeteria. Or sometimes three of us would jump in one of those plastic kiddie pools and surf down the hill California style.

We didn't expect to occupy the kids with much. There isn't really much for little ones to do except feed the ducks. But we knew... that, plus ice cream would be more than enough activities to keep them happy.

Once we purchased the "duck food" they came to us in droves frighteningly fast.

But it wasn't long before the poor ducks were neglected for the braver land-loving pigeons. Katie had no fear and was feeding them straight from her hand. I on the other hand, was torn between spasms every time she came daringly close to the edge of the water and being grossed out by the fact that we were surrounded by birds. Pigeons no less, and me without any hand sanitizer.

I got over it and the kids had a good time.

I think Daniel even petted one. *shudder* I let go of my care free they're-too-cute-too-be-dirty-animals phase when I had kids and witnessed first hand how much dirt and germs a person can manage to stick on themselves.

The old train trestle. I like the rusty metal and industrial feel to this structure. Plus I like to say "TRAIN!!" in my head (like Gordy did in Stand By Me) every time I see one.

There's so much character in this face. I've always loved the crevices and lines around his eyes. Someday I'll try to take a picture that shows off how blue they are. And then I'll try to humiliate him by attempting to draw a caricature that exaggerates all of his features.

I don't know why but I love pictures of daddy with the kids walking together taken from behind. This one reminded me of a similar one taken over three years ago.

Just look at those chubby little bow-legs. I could eat 'em up. (insert cliche term of your choice here: 'where does the time go?' or 'it feels like only yesterday' or 'they grow up so fast!' or 'hey, you never know...' wait strike that last one. I've got lotto on the brain)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Monopoly (or is it Monotony?)

As I left the house I made an extra effort not to slam the door again this time. The slight drizzle in the cool but humid air comforted me slightly as I got into our van. When I arrived at the construction area at the end of the road, I was flagged to stop by a young female worker. "How dare she work in a predominantly men's world and still manage to pull off a sexy look" I thought. It's hard enough for us regular ladies to come across as appealing with our flabby guts and our stretch marks; permanent tokens serving as payment for doing the job only women can do. There she goes, gaining the respect of not only the men she is working amongst but also every male driver she makes wait for her. Is it worth it? This so-called respect? I'm afraid the only way to get the attention I crave is if I look like a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. I really don't need this kind of pressure or these thoughts right now. And I'm convincing myself that I don't crave that kind of attention anyway. I'm on Free Parking for the time being and I'm not going to waste it pondering the difference between sexy and sexist. Patiently I continue to wait while Johnny Reznick sings "...and I don't want the world to see me..." which thrusts me deeper into a funk.

Once I arrived at the supermarket, I sat in the parking lot just for an extra moment, letting the sprinkling rain encourage my mood. When the weather is like this, I am allowed to feel depressed and sorry for myself. It's the sunny days when I am most frustrated. I'm required to be happy and uplifting then. It's my job. For the kids' sakes. We don't want to expose them to adult emotions like depression and poor self worth. Unfortunately they'll learn that soon enough. But when it's raining, no one expects a person to be happy. If you see someone crying in the rain you think "Oh, well it's raining, they will feel better soon." Funerals and break-ups and terribly bad news only come during inclement weather thus I can hide my sadness easier when it's wet out. Or maybe I'm just living in my own little world of ridiculous self-imposed rules.

I parked somewhat far from the entrance. There's no rush. I am alone and can steal a bit of extra time. No one will know and the worst of it would be that lunch is just a little late. I only have three items on my list but I take my time and even find a couple of extra things we could use. I don't want to hurry back. This brief time is my only respite. Why can't they ask daddy for a drink or a snack or another bowl of cereal? He's right there. Why is it that I get so upset when my kids only want from me what I'm there for? I chose this life remember? "Stay at home, you were made for this job" I told myself seven years ago. I convinced myself that if I could handle ten adults with special needs I could surely handle a baby. I completely underestimated the mental strength needed for this line of work.

I'm disappointed to enter the checkout line because it means the ride's almost up. Do not exit till it has come to a full and complete stop. Time to go back. What if I don't go back? What if I drive away with my bread and shaving gel and $60 and just keep going wherever I want to go? Could I be happier? Of course I know my answer but sometimes when I'm alone I like to wallow in self-pity. Hopefully this is not my strongest personality trait.

The kid at the counter finishes ringing me up and I put on the standard smiley face and "Thanks, you too" spiel. She's so young. She'll go home and turn on the tv, maybe grab a bag of chips (because who thinks about weight at that age?) and call a friend. Maybe go out to a fancy restaurant and shopping later because she has no overdue bills. And she's earning money. Her very own. She's free. The little snot. I briefly allow myself to reminisce the time in my life when I was her but quickly shake it off. "I'm grumpy and I'll stay that way till someone else does something about it" says the little brat inside me.

The walk back to the car is still damp but sweet. I take the construction route home, hoping to be delayed a little longer. I am not let down. I pull into the driveway fighting the wave of dread I know is coming. Instead, I busy myself thinking about lunch prep details. Not that anyone will appreciate what I've made. I am cooking for myself at this point but isn't that what I wanted? As I reach the door I can hear the squeals and screams from the other side. I surprise myself as, (of my own free will) I open the door and enter to my youngest chirping "can't find me mommy!" as she hides obviously under her nite nite. My dismal mood is momentarily lifted but returns as I remember I must provide food for these people.

My "get out of jail free" card has now expired and I can almost hear the metallic clink of the imaginary cell door being shut heavily behind me. Like the game Monopoly, life can start out as fun. But before you know it you find yourself mortgaging all your properties and making frantic deals with the other players just to stay in the game when all you really want to do is quit and go to bed.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I don't know what the scientific name for this plant (weed?) is but we call 'em poppers.

They're nature's little jack-in-the-box.

They "ripen" (bloom?) in late August. First you find a good fat one. Then, ever so delicately, you remove it from the bush by grasping it at the stem. VERY important not to grab the little sucker itself. That's a wasted popper.

Put it in your own hand, or you can surprise pop it into an unsuspecting sibling's hand. (really robust one's are best saved for this)

When you're ready, nudge the mini explosive ever so gently. Just when you think it's a dud... BOING! A silent detonation that may make your heart do a skippety skip.

When I was a kid, every year we would go to Grandpa's at the end of August. It was always a bittersweet trip because even though we were at our favorite vacation place, it meant school was imminent.

But that fact was softened by the abundance of poppers there just waiting to fulfil their popping destiny.

Grandpa would have been 107 (I think) today.

Happy Birthday!

Monday, August 24, 2009

With fall coming soon, I am mentally preparing for the usual barrage of decisions that need to be made and money that needs to be spent on birthdays and Christmas. Thanks to Shannon's keen observation not only during tv shows but during commercials, she has made my job a little easier. Though I'm not sure which is harder; buying a gift for a child that knows exactly what they want and has to own only that IMPOSSIBLE to find toy, or having to guess what my child might want and hope I don't completely ruin their special day because they got a cheaper generic version of Barbie's mansion instead of the obscenely priced name brand version.

Shannon saw an ad for something called "Zhu Zhu Pets" (referred to in America as Go Go Pets) and has simultaneously jumped on the must-have-toy-this-year crazy bandwagon as well as sealed her doom.

Watch this commercial and tell me if I'm crazy.

On the one hand, they are cute and appealing in a I-just-wanna-carry-em-around-in-my-pocket kind of way. With the cute noises and fun little accessories. But is it just me or are they creepy too? I can't put my finger on it. Maybe it's just the Japanese feel to the ad that throws me off but something about these innocent little guys makes me uncomfortable.

I am obliged to watch these ads repeatedly because Shannon squeals with excitement when they come on and demands that I also see them so that I don't mistakenly purchase a "Fur real" pet instead. (which are SO last year)

Even though I like the concept of not having to care for a real animal, something about these things gives me the heebie jeebies. In the back of my mind I am picturing Chuckie dolls that come to life and terrorize the town. Or the killer bunny from Monty Python.

We're having enough problems with nightmares lately. I don't want to have to console my child in the middle of the night because they are petrified the harmless soft little battery-powered toy is going to come to life and bite their ears off.

At least she doesn't want a pony.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I've never seen "The Three Faces of Eve" but I understand it's about a woman with 3 distinct multiple personalities.

I think I could count 256 different moods/"faces" projected from my oldest.

And I'm still counting.

Generally, I consider myself to be relatively confident when it comes to child-rearing. The kids know who's boss and usually I DO have the answers they need to hear.

Often when Shannon has a bad day, she talks about it with me. Usually it involves who is best friends with who today or how "nobody's respecting her" when her brother and sister don't let her boss them around. Or that "it's just not fair!" when she can't have what she wants that very second. Typical emotional 7 yr.old stuff.

At least I am able to draw on my own unfortunate childhood experiences and share my wisdom with her.

Right now, she listens to me. And if I'm careful not to drone on too long, I can avoid "lecturing" and losing her interest.

But someday I fear she will not come to me willingly nor will I have all the answers.

I fear this day is coming too soon.

Like probably 5 years. (or tomorrow)

Then what am I gonna do?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

How can two babies, born and raised in houses close enough to use walkie talkies (pity we never did) be so completely different? Both come from loving families with siblings.

Both households share similar fundamental values. (and sometimes a cup of sugar too)

Both children are equally loved and cared for. And they played together a lot as well.

And yet, photographic evidence seems to paint a picture of one beautiful, polite, even cherubic child.

And the other...well let's just say if a stranger was given the choice... well which one would you pick up? The cute angelic baby on the left, or the cranky fussface (and probably stinky) one on the right?

Yep. This is proof that geography doesn't make a speck of difference in manners.

If we were identical twins, we could easily be told apart simply by who was sitting quietly and who was tearing into their cupcake ready to mash it whole into their mouth and ask for seconds before baby number one even gets the paper off.

Guess which baby I am. (hint: I slightly resemble Frankenstein. How appropriate.)

How is it that my daughter is singing the exact same words to the exact same tune I used to when I was a kid and was making a mad dash to the bathroom? Must be genetic.

"Gotta go gotta go gotta go right now...." sung to the tune of that (insert musical link to the song hours were spent trying to find)
(ok, couple minutes)

It's the same tune I bonk the brains out of Katie to when she's on my lap and we're pretending to be riding a horse. (when it's not to Bonanza. I'm talking about the other riding song.) It's also a song often played when viewing a scene portraying a lot of things getting done in a short amount of time. (maybe sped up too)

Da da dum Da da dum Da da dum dum dum....

Somebody help. Because I gotta go gotta go gotta go right now Upstaaaairs And get off my butt.

Monday, August 17, 2009

We introduced the kids to the (heavy on the music, light on the humility) band Metallica today.

I fear Daniel may have found himself a new hobby. He looked a bit like Lars (above) only he was banging away on a rubbermaid container with a rainstick and some other long-ish type toy.

As long as he doesn't go the Ozzy route...

Oh how do I love thee air conditioner? Let me count the ways...

Without this most ingenious invention, I am certain I would look (and behave) like this:

I'm such a spoiled (youngest) child that I had the audacity to turn on the oven today. That's right. I'm not afraid to say it. Because even though you poor condition-less souls liquefying in this torrid climate will come to kill me tomorrow for bragging about it, I made cinnamon rolls today. And every luscious bite is worth the cursing I will receive. (are you sick of my adjectives yet?)

We are so detached from the outside world right now, the kids got bored and made up a game in honor of the fiery weather. It's pretty much a: lets-put-on-all-our-winter-clothes-and-pretend-to-have-a-snowball-fight-in-our-living-room kind of a game.

It's 3000 degrees outside and my kids have their mittens and hats on. Again, I can't stress it enough. I need to meet the creator of this snappy contraption give that person some cinnamon rolls.

And my first-born child...


Friday, August 14, 2009

When we are children, we are always expected to complete certain activities that are "for our own good."

"Eat the crusts! They'll make your hair curly!" (or what I was certain to be true- "it'll give you chest hair")

or "Stay outside (in the apocolyptic typhoon) a little longer. It builds character."

The one I currently apply the most is "You made the mess, you clean it up."

When I was a kid, unlike many others who don't view it as a punishment, I took swimming lessons.

Of course it was for my own good. It builds character right? And confidence, right?

Nothing made me more sick to my stomach than the knowledge that on swimming days, I must endure the most humiliating (to me) and stressful experience I could imagine. Read reports in front of the class aloud? Cake compared to this torture. You mean you actually want me to stick my head under the water?

You're crazy.

Jump off the diving board into that deep vat of shark-infested death? Yeah right, sure you'll catch me.

Once I got so worked up I actually vomited. Fortunately, we were on the way back home because class had been canceled. (and I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact that I had eaten OJ, pickles and carrots for breakfast)
Who did these haughty teenage instructors think they were? So arrogant and caught up with flirting with each other. Or determined at whatever cost to the petrified child to impress the parents with a card full of fishy stamps on every requirement. (I only got fishies on the "blows bubbles" line. THAT I could do all day)
So what revenge did I enact on these nasty instructors?

I married one of 'em.

Not one of the ones from my childhood... just someone who was one. Geesh. What are you guys thinking??

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I love the library. I love it because it's a free activity we can occupy the kids with for at least a half hour. Maybe that's not as long as I'd like but when the chasing and raised voices begin, I'm ready to check out. (in every sense of the word) (hardy harr harr)

But what I really like about the library is that it's an excuse for me to check out children's books for myself and no one is the wiser to my sad situation.

I'm terrible at history. I've always found it just D U L L. But often I'm reminded of my ignorance, (like all those social gatherings where people want to discuss the absurdity of the seven years war or something) and I wish I could contribute to the conversation. With the kids returning to school soon, (not soon enough) I have a new motivation to rejuvenate my knowledge of history. This way when asked, I can actually talk about the Boston Tea Party and explain why it wasn't a frilly gathering of women gossiping and drinking Darjeeling.

I found a book called "George vs. George The American Revolution as seen from Both Sides". I have now read this cover to cover (all 55 pages of ages 8-12 info) and am proud to say I know a bit of history I didn't know this morning. Thanks to the pretty pictures and simplified text, I get it. Why didn't I do this sooner? So what's the next major war? Too bad I didn't discover this in high school. It would have saved me a lot of headaches and c minuses. ( I know, I'm pretty pathetic)

This is Cocoa. He's ours but was inspired from the Cocoa at the library story time. He has his own song and dance. Funny how amongst several other children dancing and singing along, mine sit quietly with their hands in their laps, practically imperceptibly doing the hand motions. Yet at home, when I try to recreate story time, they not only don't sit still, they don't shut up either. How can I gain the respect the story time lady has?

I love to sit and read to the kids. It's the one activity that doesn't require much effort on my part and I can be proud that I'm doing something educational with my kids. You'd think with an art degree, I'd be more prone to creative endeavors. Not so much really. I never seem to have the energy or we don't have the right supplies. I'm not really a "game playing" kind of mom either. I do it once in a while, but then I get bored so quickly. Or frustrated because someone is picking a fight. Even story time is not without it's flaws. Always someone is jockeying for position on my lap, or can't see, or hasn't learned how to BE QUIET. And if I'm "in a mood", I become irritated when I find myself constantly stopping to explain the pictures when the text would explain it if they could just WAIT A MINUTE!

Despite my complaining, I consider story time at home to be one of the more pleasant activities I do with the kids. Except when I get elbowed in the gut as they adjust their position. That's not cool.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Each of my children have their own creative strengths.

Daniel is straight forward. What-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of inventions. Nothing to worry about, just plain 'ol fun. With Daddy's help, he made this modification to his cozy coupe after a failed attempt at making a monster truck out of paper. Something about making your own contraption from scratch is satisfying. (there's more coloring around the other side.) Of course he's Gravedigger. And it's not finished yet. I'd like to paint this sucker and maybe add a bit of bling to it. Too bad we don't have more access to huge appliance boxes. I'd love to see what unfolds then.

I was smacked around and force-fed a huge dose of reality with this one today. As I was slaving away in the kitchen, (ok, standing and trying to figure out what to prepare for dinner) I heard a peculiar conversation happening in the living room. She was talking to herself in a mock "role-play" manner which is very common for her. I don't usually pay much mind but today I felt extra curious so I stood quietly and listened. Fear soon replaced innocent curiosity and I swiftly regretted eavesdropping. I should have kept on doing nothing in the kitchen.
I won't write the details, (no need to embarrass her too much just yet) but the words smooch, boyfriend, rock star and breaking up were mentioned. And the phrases "been in the tent a long time" and "that's the biggest longest kiss..." Also ribbit ribbit. (hopefully an innocent reference to fairy tales)
She hasn't even hit the tween years yet and this has become part of her vocabulary. While I'm relatively safe for now, I'll feel better when Tim gets his shotgun from his parents' and I can start looking into nunneries.

Besides, it's this one I think I really have to worry about.

Monday, August 10, 2009

(Daniel is flipped around-head at the foot of the bed)

Holy Maloly! Getting the kids to bed is becoming quite an extravagant endeavor. There is no simple story-thenbrushteeth-thencozyupinbed routine. No no. That's way too boring. I'm going to have to start bribing them just to get them into the bathroom. We get upstairs and while I'm sure they were right behind me a second ago, they are now scattered in every other room.
I'd love to see this on tape. You know, sped up so that the span of 15 minutes is shown in 30 seconds? With silent movie piano music plinking in the background? You'd see all of us in and out of every upstairs room no less than 27 times. And me spinning superfast around in circles in the middle of the hallway every 5 seconds.

I check the girls room. Shannon has already emptied about 30 of her purses and arranged the items on the floor in preparation for rearranging. Katie is in Dan's room playing with the trucks and trains. And Dan? He's in mommy's and Daddy's room stressing the kitties out.

"Okay kids! Everybody in the bathroom! Brush teeth! Go potty! Get jammies on!"

I pick up Katie and with one arm and carry her to the bathroom while I pull down her pants with the other. Stick her on the potty. Good. We have a start. Before I can check on the other two, Kate's screaming "No! Ha to brus teef!"
OK. (it's gross but...) I give her the loaded toothbrush and let her go to town while sitting on the pot.

"Shannon! Do you have your jammies on yet?"
no answer.

"Dan!" as I walk into his room, assuming I'd find him there. Nope. Go into my room. Nada. "Dan?"
*giggle giggle* "I'm in the cwoset! You can't find me!"
"No I can't! Now go potty!"

back at the bathroom, I'm trying to help Katie put on jammies and her diaper. "NO MA! Wet mee do it!"
"But it's inside out. Let me get it for you."
ok, ok, be back in a sec.

"Shannon, please get your jammies on!"
Shannon: "Mom? (holding a charm on a chain) When you get a second, could you undo this for me?"
"Yeah, ok. Then get ready for bed."

"Katie! Come to bed now! Are your jammies on yet?"
"No ma! I ha to cween!"
Now Kate's scrubbing the bathroom with a washcloth, I still haven't seen Dan and I think Shannon may have at least put her stuff away.

30 minutes later... The girls are in bed (after Katie's nightly cannonball jump into it) A jammie-less Dan comes into the girls room with a truck and wants to make tire patterns on the rug. This fascinates Katie who is now out of bed and fighting for the truck. At least Shannon is ready.
(ok, it wasn't 30 min. later...whatever)

After an eternity, (I really need to get me some patience) prayers and nite nites have been said. Everyone is tucked in, and as I come out of the bathroom to head downstairs, Dan says "Mom? I have a couple sentences to say."

*deep breath in* "Yeah? What?"

"I have me heart and I love you and Maggie and I'm so happy you are taking care of me and us guys."

*exhale* Awwww...

Right after I took the picture of Shannon, she went into one of those lucid but still dreaming states. She sat up, scratched her chin, looked at me and said
"A pig."
me: "A Pig?"
Shannon: "A pig."

Totally unrelated ridiculous quote for the day:

"Oh. This is the kid's house. We're doing this for the kids."

said by Jon (of Jon & Kate plus 8) when asked why they are getting a (totally unnecessary in their kajillion dollar home) new kitchen.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

When we were young, (before kids-BK) the idea of pets was so appealing. Especially (as Katie would say) "teeny tiny" ones. They're just so fluffy and cuddly and precious and cute. (stop gagging Teresa)

As a child, I loved wee creatures as most kids do. I wanted to take home the lonely flea-infested strays, care for the broken-winged baby birds, humanely trap and keep a squirrel as a pet. (I mean c'mon, how can a wild animal be so gosh-darned cute and not be meant to be kept and brushed and napped with?)

I really loved my cats with all my heart and thoroughly believed that when they snuggled with me, they were expressing their undying thanks to me for being such a wonderful human. That they loved it when I drew on them with markers or dressed them in cute outfits.

This love of animals carried on through young adulthood and into the BK times. Tim and I adopted Maggie and Gracie soon after moving into our first place. It was a sign of our commitment. It meant that we were responsible adults. In retrospect, it was probably a mistake.

I like my cats, sort of. But somewhere in time, after children started to come, it became easy to really hate those obnoxious, smelly, prissy things.

What's happened to me? I used to spend hours petting and loving and telling my secrets to my feline friend. Now, I'm constantly kicking the stupid varmint out of my sacred lap and cursing as I wipe the drool off my hand. (Gracie leaks from her mouth when she's settling into position)
At promptly 6:30 am, EVERY morning, I am awakened not by my children, but by the stupid ding-a-ling cat who is literally in my face. Drooling and meowing and shoving her hungry self onto any exposed parts of my comatose body. (not Tim's of course, just me) Even the kids know not to bug me first thing in the morning. I'm positive the only reason why my cat is still with us and not dead in a bag in the river is because I'm too paralyzed at that hour of the morning to do anything about it.

I've become so selfish I don't even want a warm soft body in my lap after the kids go to bed. That's when they come out. And that's when I'm least in the mood to appease them. They're just another living thing trying to suck away my will to live.

Aren't they supposed to be therapeutic? Shouldn't I live longer because I own one? How bout twice as long because I own two?

There is still the occasional amusing moment keeping my deadly thoughts at bay. When Gracie enters a room very cautiously, stepping as if through a minefield, I like to wait till she is just at my feet and then twitch a toe ever so quickly and slightly. When successful, she'll lift her hind legs up and pivot around on her front paws or sometimes travel straight up off all fours as a startle reflex.

That's fun. Every cat owner does stuff like that right? Am I cruel?

I also enjoy making them chase the imaginary laser mouse around in circles till they are too dizzy to walk straight. Is the ASPCA going to come after me now? I'm pretty sure the cats like it. After all, we know they won't do anything they don't want to do.

I've tried to recapture my lost feelings for my pets, but all I come up with are resentful ideas of how to get rid of them because dammit, Grace peed on the carpet again. But the kids seem to like 'em, so I'll tolerate them. For now.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Time to sign her up for gymnastics.

Or the Olympics

Or the circus.

Or maybe it's time to stop her from growing and subsequently doing any REAL damage.
I don't want to jinx anything here, but I bet she'll be the first one in the family to break a bone.
Speaking of jinxing, I'm feeling a teensy tad Twilight Zone-ish after hearing about John Hughes passing away. What was it, two days ago I mentioned him? It wasn't long after I did the one about Billy Mays when he died too. So who wants to be the next subject on here?
I tell you what, I'm not really superstitious but I thought twice about writing about my youngest tonight.
Something tells me not to worry, she'll climb her way out of anything.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Reasons to be proud

Our kitchen sink pipes have decided to finally conk out on us and refuse to drain. (I won't admit it was the surplus of potato peels I tried to force down the disposal) The smart thing to do would be to call a plumber. But we know that they will tell us all our pipes need replacing and we're not prepared for news of that sort. We'd rather live like it's colonial times and throw the dirty dishwater out into the backyard until we've exhausted every attempt at fixing it ourselves. Can't wait to meet the new neighbors. I'm sure they'll love us.
How many times have I said I would love to live like the Amish? With their cute wagons and simple lifestyle? Heck with that! I want indoor plumbing back. Though I'm pretty sure they have that so what time period am I referring to? Anyone? I know, Little House on the Prairie times. I need to brush up on my history. So I'm proud of myself for coping with a primitive lifestyle. For maybe one more day. That's it.
Also, I mowed our lawn for the first and ONLY time today. Can't say as I like it much. I was dripping with sweat and it wasn't even hot out. My hands felt like they were shaking for 2 hours afterwards and I stink. Yuck. So I'm a princess. So what? At least I pump my own gas. (Maureen:)

Katie has been talking a lot more. I wish I could understand a lot more but after she says staccato-like "mom! yoo ha to ge me reek!" I'm still saying "what?? You want me to get you week? No wait a minute, you want me to get you drunk? No, that's not right..."

I do understand this one though. "kaa baa!!" She says this while perched on the edge of her bed just before jumping onto the mattress. Anyone guess?

I'm so proud of Dan because he has officially reached big boy-dom and is no longer requiring pull-ups at night. I think he could have done this long ago and was just milking it for as long as he could. I started to clue in when he began to call himself a baby and play pretend sucking his thumb. I don't mind most forms of imaginary play but that one drives me nuts.

And the finale! Shannon's new smile! Again! Poor thing can't even say her own name properly with the other front tooth now gone. But she doesn't seem to mind. She wanted to keep her tooth because it reminded her of when she had speech therapy and learned to keep her tongue behind her teeth. (guess she'll have to re-learn that one) I'm anxious to see how the new ones grow in. Are braces in our future? (nooo, please nooo!)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

School? Who needs school to start? (me...DESPERATELY!)
At Aunt Nancy's birthday party this weekend, the kids did their share of learning.

Katie made a new friend.

Daniel studied hard in shop class.

Shannon and Jayden actually DID some work.

Science class. See the tiny toad?

It's all fun and games till... Uh oh! Who's this scary dude coming up the hill?

Run away!!!

Keep running!!