Archive for September, 2009

I know, you’re sick of our grass.  You don’t care.  But I care.

The people who owned our home had some kind of obsession with rocks.  There are small ugly rocks in every planter.  And it’s not a small layer.  The rocks are inches deep.  In some places close to a foot.   All year long, I worked at digging rocks in our back yard.  A half hour here and half hour there.  I even used picking rocks as punishment for disobedient kids.   Then, in one week, Dave conquered the back yard.  He dug out all the rocks.  He leveled the ground.  He layed sprinklers.  He reclaimed.

We planted grass seed.

We waited.  and waited.  We had little patches in sporadic points of the back yard, but not much to speak of. I definitely would not label it as a lush lawn.  I think even calling it a lawn was stretching it.  It was more of a dirt patch.   I’m not sure if it’s because we suck at grass or it’s the birds.  I’ve noticed there is a large flock that hang out in our yard now.  It’s like a bird smorgasboard at our house, what with the dog food the Dog refuses to eat and the seed spread all over the yard.

We had resigned ourselves to buying sod.  I was wondering if they would take a child in lieu of payment because grass is expensive.

Just as I was contemplating selling kidney’s on the black market, a friend called.  They were getting rid of some grass, did we want it?

YES!  Wait, what kind of grass?  Cause we’re too old for that kind of grass.  I mean, we have kids now.  Oh, some Bermuda grass.  We’d love it!  Oh, you already mowed and had some one cut it with a sod cutter.  You are totally our best friends ever.

Dave and a sibling or two, and Marshall went over and loaded up their used grass.

we've raised a hard worker

and then they brought it home and we unloaded it.IMG_6069

and then was the task of putting it together.  It made all of those hours of Tetris worth it.  it's like sewing but betterOur friends had enough grass to sod our whole back yard and part of the front yard.

Just as we were discussing finishing the front yard, another friend called and offered their leftover sod.  Our front yard looks like a patchwork of grass.  Some plush and green, some short and green, some yellowish and almost dead, and bare dirt.  Our poor neighbors.  Dave offered to make a sign

Please Keep off grass.  Grass Experiment under progress.

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I’m thankful

This morning I watered our grass, like I do every morning at the butt crack of dawn.  I have to go out the front door because we have the back yard lawn cordoned off like a police crime scene, only tighter.  We have a snow fence and all the lawn furniture on their sides near the bottoms of the temporary fence.  All to keep the dog out.  It turns out the snow fence really keeps Chanel off the grass not the dog.  He likes to sit on the grass and mock me as I walk around the house.

As I’m watering the grass and thinking about the long, long day ahead, a small hand touches me and makes me yelp.  Jacob is standing next to me.  The only way he could be in the back yard is if he teleported.  I’m pretty sure he doesn’t have magical powers. More likely he walked out the front door and around the house.  The thought gives me a mini heart attack. I have lots of those.

I ask him where Nathaniel is.  He’s suddenly struck mute.

I hear Marshall and Michael arguing in the kitchen.  I ask them where Nathanael is.  They ignore me.  I ask with a little more snap in my voice.  They mumble they don’t know.  My heart drops to the pit of my stomach.

I know he couldn’t be missing for more than five minutes.  He was in his bed when I started watering.  I hadn’t been in the back yard long.

We go looking in the house.

My neighbor brings my two-year-old, clad only in a diaper, at 7:00 am home.  He was standing in front of our house.  If only I would have walked back around the house, not knocking over the snow fence to get in the back door to look for my baby.

I’m thankful we don’t live on a busier street.  I’m thankful our neighbor recognized him.  I’m thankful she brought him home instead of driving off to work.  I’m thankful he’s home.

Dave went to Babies R Us and bought lots of door locks and baby proofing gear.  I’m sure though, it’ll be like our dog.  The babies will be outside mocking me while I try to squeeze the knob, press the button, and clap three times, all in vain to open the door.

If that happens, I’m buying a door alarm.  When the door opens it will screech bloody murder.  Our neighbors will hate us, but no one will be wandering the streets.  Well, except for the hookers, drug users, and zombies.*

We don’t live in the kind of neighborhood with hookers, drug users, and zombies.  How cool would that be though, zombies wandering the neighborhood eating hookers and druggies brains.  It would be like free entertainment out your window.  And we’d be safe inside because we couldn’t figure out the door knob lock.

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Biological Warfare

Our house is like a breeding ground for flies.  I think it’s a combination of our neighbors who never pick up their dog poop and our kids who don’t know how to shut doors.  At this point, I’ve given up.  I figure just as many flies are going out as coming in.

I’ve thought about throwing something really enticing outside to attract them out.  But then I’m pretty sure they’d send the message through the fly communication channels and they’d come from far and near to feast on the incentives to leave the interior of my house.  Which would lead to more flies inside.

Seriously, we are like the little nursery for flies.  I’ve never seen such tiny flies.  I’m sure they were conceived in our house.  I wonder if there’s a calling for fly porn.  I could totally make a killing with all the fly sex going on here.  The best part about fly sex, it makes them easy targets.  Two for the price of 1.

We’ve tried swatting.  The thought of fly guts everywhere is just nasty.  It seems like the flies only like to land on the counters.  Then I’d have blood and guts all over my counters.  Then if for some reason CSI came to my house, they’d jump to conclusions that a murder must have taken place in my kitchen.  Lots of little tiny murders.  Then I’d end up in jail.  I guess if CSI is at my house, someone’s already in jail.

Plus the kids think it’s fun to swat each other with the swatters, and that’s even more disgusting.

I thought about getting one of those electric fly swatters, but then I’m sure that would be more enticing to swat your brother with than a regular one.  Zap!

I think those sticky fly strips are conducive of vomiting.

So this week we’ve resorted to Biological Warfare.

Dave brought home one of these:


The first day it ate 5 fly flies.  We happen to be watching as it engulfed them.  It was pretty amazing.  I’m thinking about growing a whole jungle of Venus fly traps.  Pretty soon we’ll run out flies and it will be like The Little Shop of Horrors in our house.


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What did the Doctor say?

Let me preface this post with some back ground.

I sing to my babies every day.  Several times a day.  Since birth.  Yes, I’m rather amazing like that.  Or maybe, it’s more of like a free trump card.  When they grow up and we’re in therapy I can be all, “I sang to you every day and breast fed you.  What more did you want?   Sorry, you didn’t get a cell phone.  But I nourished your body and soul with breast milk and the ‘wheels on the bus’!”  Every day I’ve sung.  When they were immobile, I’d sing and exercise their little muscles.  When they sat up, I’d manipulate their little hands to make the motions to the songs.  Every day.  I was a little disappointed when they didn’t sing or do the hand motions with me at 6 months.  Or a year.  Or two years.  It’s very rare that they will sing along, they occasionally will do the hand motions, but very rarely will they sing.  I like to think they just like the sound of my voice.  That they are so mesmerized by my amazing hand motions and off key, off beat vocals that they can’t sing because they are engrossed with the watching.

The second peice of back ground.

My babies can talk!  Yes, my babies are talkers, especially Jacob.   This weekend the babies were playing in our pile of dirt.  Nathaniel was throwing sand.  Jacob got an eye full and screamed.  I told him to use his words.  He said, “Natey, You threw sand in my eye and it hurt me!”

Now that you are caught up.

I had to call the doctor today.  Dave asked me “what did the doctor say?”

Jake:  No more monkey’s jumping on the bed!

They listen!

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punchinello, he'll get your ass kicked

I’m going to totally embarrass myself here.  And I’m going to expand your vocabulary.

I’ve only gotten into one fist fight in my life.  Knock on wood, cross my fingers, send up a prayer to the Big Kahuna.   I was in high school.  I was having a hard time with a group of girls.  Who doesn’t have a hard time with someone during high school.

My friends and I were cool.  We were the kind of cool kids that hung out in the yearbook room.  We were the kind of cool kids that all were in Advanced classes.  We were the kind of cool kids that went to ivy league colleges and became Presidents of political groups.  We were the kind of cool kids that were part of the Kiwanas club.  Basically, what I’m trying to say is we were cool.  During lunch we were so cool we’d peruse the dictionary and do our homework.

One day during lunch, while flipping through the dictionary, I choose a page that got my ass kicked.  I found the punchinello.  It described my nemesis perfectly.  The little illustration looked so much like her it was uncanny.  The publisher’s must have known her.

Pun⋅chi⋅nel⋅lo (noun)

1. a grotesque or absurd chief character in a puppet show of Italian origin: the prototype of Punch.
2. any similarly grotesque or absurd person or thing.

You learn something new every day.  So when my nemesis roughly brushed past me between classes.  I turned around and called her a punchinello.  She was less than thrilled.  I gave her the excuse she was looking for.  It was over sooner than it started.  I am rather proud that she ended up with a black eye and I appeared completely unscathed.  It’s a good thing that I didn’t bruise easily and it was a Friday.

Of course, we were called into the vice principals office. They separated us so that we could individually tell our side of the story.  This was before the zero tolerance policies.  This was when the authority got to choose who was right and who was wrong.  She went first.  She told the Man I started it.  I called her a name. What a wimp.

My turn.

I guess technically I called her a name.  I called her a punchinello.  You know, it’s the star of an Italian puppet show.  It’s too bad that her vocabulary isn’t better.  I’m sure she would have appreciated it more if she knew.

She got a three day suspension.

I got the afternoon off and was told not to abuse my vocabulary.

So yes, the bigger girl might get a mightier punch in, but the smarter girl didn’t get in trouble.  The vocabulary is mightier than the fist.  Or something like that.

Turns out, she’s a punchinello, and I’m an abecedarian.

a⋅be⋅ce⋅dar⋅i⋅an (noun)

1. One who is learning the alphabet; hence, a beginner.
2. One engaged in teaching the alphabet.
3. Pertaining to the letters of the alphabet.
4. Arranged alphabetically.
5. Rudimentary; elementary.

I’m a darn good abecedarian (by definition number 2).  My two-year-olds know about half of their letters occasionally on demand.  Yes, occasionally.

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This year my goal is to find McKayla some joy.  Just a little bit.  I’m happy with a small tiny little corner of joy, really anything.  She is so sad and despondent about being homeschooled.  Her biggest complaint is the lack of social interaction.  She misses her friends.  I don’t know how she can possibly miss them when she talks to them all afternoon long and she sees them a couple times a week.

I’m respecting her supposed lonliness.  I’m trying hard to help her make connections within the homeschool community and with other kids her age.  I signed her up for tennis.  We are participating in homeschool softball.  She goes to art class.  I organized a movie night.  I joined a support group.  I take her and her friends to youth group.   We are dragging her to the Civil Air Patrol.  I’m barely leading a girl scout troop.  This is a very busy little girl.

Last month one of the mom’s offered a Cake Decorating class.  $10 for 4 weeks of cake decorating classes.  I signed her up.  Who doesn’t like cake?  I love cake.  Today was the first day of class.  We trekked to the lady’s house.  I dropped her off and wished her well.  They were making a bathtub cake.

modelMcKayla’s didn’t turn out quite so well.

bathtub from Lethal Weapon 2

“Well, it’s not like we were going to take pictures and publish it in a magazine.  We’re just going to eat it,” McKayla laughed.

It wasn’t a total loss.  She did have a great time.  She came home with great stories, a couple possible friendships and some interesting tips.  Like, if the frosting is the correct consistency you should be able to turn the bowl upside down and the frosting shouldn’t fall out of the bowl.   The decorating mom was much braver than I, she had all of the girls try it.  They all failed miserably, there was lots of frosting on the floor.

The brightest side:  We all had cake for dessert.

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