Archive for December, 2009

Little snippets


Jacob:  I’m not the brother!  You’re the brother!  I’m the Jakey!

Nathaniel:  No, You am the brother!  I’m the Natey.

This went on back and forth for quite awhile.  I wonder, what would it be like to define yourself as purely you.  Not as a brother, or a son, or a father, but purely as you.


Screaming comes from the boys room.  Loud screaming.  The kind of scream that any mother is sure that the cause is bodily harm. I rush in.

Nathaniel:  There is a MONSTER under my bed.  A LOUD monster!  He is shaking my bed and SCARING me!!!

It was the dog, our apneatic dog.  He fell asleep under Nathaniel’s bed, sometime after we put Nathaniel to bed.  He was snoring so loudly that it was shaking Nathaniel’s bed.  Poor kid.


McKayla:  I strongly dislike you.

Me:  What’s new.


Mike:  Do you think Santa comes down the chimney of bad people’s houses with a bazooka.   (this is followed by bazooka sound effects and pantomiming.)

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I’ve decided

I think that being 12 might be better than being a man.

  • when you’re 12, you know everything. Not somethings, but everything.  It doesn’t really matter what scientific, experiment proven, 1,000 participant studies, real life experience your parents may have, you know more than them.  I really wish I was that smart.
  • when you’re 12, pestering is an acceptable route to trying to get your way.
  • when you’re 12, it is socially acceptable to be rude.
  • when you’re 12,  you don’t need logic to argue.  “It’s not fair” is a common used rebuttal.
  • when you’re 12,  you don’t have to have a job.
  • There are no bills.
  • You have no responsibilities (other than a turtle, who can thankfully live without eating every day).
  • when you’re 12, the hardest thing you do all day is empty the dishwasher.
  • when you’re 12 you can sleep until 12.  I wish I could sleep past the crack of dawn.

Yep, I think I may decide to give up this whole parenting gig and decide to be 12.  Of the two, 12 is definitely the easier one.

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I’ve been a little busy

I was content making a gingerbread house.  Dave wanted a village.  Complete with people.  It’s rather a long process making a whole village.

My sewing machine and I have been busy getting re-acquainted.  It’s been a while,  Singer.  It’s been awhile.  If you are a lucky recipient of something with a zigzag stitch, please, be very very thankful.  Don’t laugh if it looks like Mike could do a better job.  I assure you he could not.  The zigzag and I are not particularly fond of one another.  I zig and Singer zags, but the front and back never zigzag in  unison.

Toys R Us, Sears, Michaels Arts and Crafts on the last weekend before Christmas, makes me wish we lived on a desert island.

Why did Mattel decide to wait until 2 months after Christmas to release the Jacob doll?  Not the best marketing plan.  Also, makes me wish I would have saved my old Barbie house and turned it into a vampire den to house the Twilight dolls…

I don’t know why I wait until the week before Christmas to get started on all of my gifts.

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It’s up!

One thing about having five kids is that everything takes five times as long.  Instead of one silly photo.  I get five, well four, because one of my five is on the cusp of being a teenager.  Teenagers don’t go out of their way to embarrass themselves like a seven-year-old would.

Things that should take a relatively short amount of time, seem to take forever.  Reading a bed time story, not one but five.  Using the restroom out and about, if there’s only one stall, it takes five times as long. Actually, it takes about ten times as long because the water in the sink suddenly becomes enthralling.   Or by the time they’ve finally finished, someone needs to go again.  Checking out books at the library takes forever, everyone needs to use their own card.  Ordering ice cream, forever. Have you been to the ice cream shop with one indecisive child?  Try five.

Yet for all of the normal things that take five times as long, there are just as many that happen five times as quick.  A package of oreos, they are gone almost as soon as I set them on the table.  Cleaning the house happens pentafaster (I just made that word up).  Of course, the house seems to become messier exponentially quicker with each child.  And the tree goes up lickety split.

Having a daughter taller than me comes in handy during the holiday season.   I can sit and observe the lightening of the tree, all the while being thankful that I don’t have to put the lights on the tree.  Once the lights go on, it’s really only a matter of minutes before all of the ornaments are on.

We always try to make it orderly.  I am the keeper of the ornaments.  I hand out special ornaments to each child.  The babies get non-breakable ornaments.  I make sure they have hangers on them.  There are rules.  One at a time. Every one takes turns.  Ornaments must be hung securely.  You must help people smaller than you.  With five, it’s hard to follow rules and enforce them.  More often than not, there’s a bottleneck involved in this process.  I can’t seem to hand them out fast enough.  Just about the time when my patience is running thin, it’s over.  The last ornament is hung.  We’re done and it’s up.

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Seven, it’s the new Two

Dear Internet,

I’m not quite sure when seven became the new two.  I’d like you to please take it back.  I’ve had enough of it.  I’ve googled terrible sevens, but there just isn’t the information out there like the terrible twos.  All I’m getting is “7 terrible ideas for breakfast”.  Why would someone write terrible ideas for breakfast.  Wouldn’t “7 great ideas for breakfast” be a better article.

Seven is harder than two.  Seven is bigger.  Seven isn’t as easily distracted.  Seven is much louder and defiant.  Seven tantrums take much longer to blow over than two’s.  Seven has logic, no matter how flawed.  Seven is much more persistent.  Seven has a longer memory.  Seven should really know better.

So internet, please forgive me for sending my seven-year-old to bed at 6pm.

Also, since I have you here.  What kind of wine goes best with cheesy tuna noodle casserole.  It’s been one of those days…



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Homemade presents

Normally, I set the kids loose in the dollar store with a list and a dollar for everyone on that list.  It’s funny the things they buy.  Cheesy figurines.  Terrible smelling candles.  Biographies of unknown people.  One year they each bought their dad dishes.  He was able to have a whole place setting: cup, bowl and plate.

This year to combat all of the junk, consumerism and ungratefulness; we are making all of our presents.  I figure by working hard to come up with an idea, develop the concept, and then create it, the kids will be more appreciative of the things they receive.

We’ve made gifts for all of the aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmas and grandpas, and now we’re working on the siblings.  When you have four siblings, that’s a lot of presents to make.

It’s fun to see how excited the kids are getting about making each other presents.  Mike made Marshall a tied fleece blanket and then promptly ran upstairs to tell Marshall how much he would love it.

Marshall made these puppets for the twins.  He sacrificed his own socks.  He designed them.  Cut the pieces and sewed them all by himself.  He first imagined a whole gaggle of puppets.  After finishing the last stitch on the second puppet, he decided one puppet for each toddler was enough.

From my pessimist Marshall, “We don’t want to get carried away.  They may not even like them.”

I’m pretty sure they’ll love them.

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An adventure

I want you to imagine this:

It’s 5:30 pm.  I’m still in my pajamas.  Judge me if you want, but I didn’t have anywhere to go today and with two toddlers, a few hour visit with a three-year-old nephew, three kids to home school, bread to bake, meals to make, and a house to clean; there are just some days there isn’t time to change.

The phone rings.  It’s dave.  He’s stuck and traffic and won’t make it home for cubscouts.  He asks if I can please go to the meeting in his stead.  And oh, by the way, could I plan it too?

Of course, I can:

5:32 defrost some hamburger meat.

5:35 plan a cubscout meeting

5:37 search the internet for secret codes for the meeting

5:39 print secret codes

5:40 clear the kitchen counter, wash a couple dishes, make a meatloaf

5:55 I remember that I was supposed to type a skit for the Webelos.

5:56 sanitize my hands

5:59 quickly type up a two page skit and proofread for errors.  (Of course, the group of 9-year-olds found three errors in less than two minutes.  I should hire one of them to edit my blog.)

6:05 quickly change and brush my teeth

6:15 give McKayla dinner and babysitting instructions

6:17 Where the heck are my keys?

6:18 Suddenly dawns on me that Dave took my car to work because his in in the shop.

6:19 it’s too late to walk

6:20 yell “We’re riding our bikes!”

6:22 the garage door closes and the boys take off down the street.

I try to get on my bike.  I can’t quite get my leg over the seat.  Think, “Wow, it’s been a long time since I rode my bike”  Is this even my bike?  Indeed it is.

I think to myself, maybe it’s the steep driveway.  I walk my bike down to the street.  Huh, I still can’t get my leg over the seat. Maybe it’s my jeans.  Maybe I’ve never ridden a bike with jeans on.  Briefly contemplate changing. I try again.  I still can’t get my leg over the seat.  Huh, maybe I’ve shrunk?  I tilt the bike over, at this point it’s almost laying on the ground.  Now I’m straddling the bike but my butt isn’t on the seat yet. I try heaving my ass up.  Dude, I can’t remember getting on my bike being this hard.  I scoot the bike over to the curb.  It wasn’t pretty, because there isn’t much clearance between the bike and me.  It was more like inching the bike along with me.  I get to the curb.   I  steady the bike and am FINALLY on the seat.  My feet don’t touch the pedals.

WTF?  Maybe I really did shrink?

I’m near the curb, because somehow getting on my bike moved the bike away from the curb.  I’m sitting on my bike seat (small victory) but can’t touch the pedals, and suddenly the ground seems rather far away and my balance seems a little shaky.   I contemplate jumping for the curb, stunt devil style.  I figure that will end badly for me.

Miraculously, I made it off of my bike.

6:25 Have a small panic attack.  It’s dark and my 9 and 7-year-old children are riding their bikes alone.  And I don’t have any idea how to adjust my seat’s height.

6:26 contemplate throwing the damn bike in the street and letting someone run over it. Then they can give me a ride to scouts out of guilt.

6:26.5 decide to look at the seat.  Notice it has a very easy latch to make the seat go up and down.  Lower the seat.  Wonder who played with my seat in the first place?

6:27 finally get on my bicycle and ride around the corner, to see my boys waiting for me. I notice my tires are a little flat and wish I would have rethought bringing a large purse on a bike ride.  I’m definitely not a seasoned enough rider to try to balance, pedal and carry a purse.

We made it to the meeting, ten minutes late.  Safe but winded.

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Throwing metal

I bought Dave Metallica tickets for his birthday.  I like Metallica just as much as the next gal.  Of course my favorites all come from the black album and I prefer them played on my stereo at a reasonable volume. Who doesn’t love Nothing Else Matters?   I’m really more of a Tori Amos or Tracy Chapman kind of fan.  I can’t imagine Tracy  rocking the HP Pavillion so hard that the ground reverberates through my whole body.  Nor do I do see Tori exuding so much fan spirit that we all throw metal in sync while repeating after her.

The concert was amazing though.  Mostly made amazing because of the old man sitting next to me.  He was accompanying his teen age son.  More importantly, he happened to have an extra set of ear plugs for me.   Yes, I sported those yellow monstrosities in my ear canals, while everyone else lost their hearing.  Don’t worry, I didn’t miss out on anything.  Periodically, through the concert, I had to check to make sure that I still had earplugs because it was so loud.

Of course there were overpriced t-shirts and beer.  How can you not partake.

And two mile long lines to get in.

There was the crowd of pot smokers that gave everyone a buzz from their cloud of smoke.

There were guitar pics thrown in the crowd and jumbo Metallica beach balls.

There was pyrotechnics and fire.  Because what is rock without fire?

There were lasers and strobes.

There was crowd surfing and mosh pits, including fat guys without t-shirts.

There was even a clown.

And there were the fans.

I was rather impressed by the diversity of the crowd.  I don’t know why I was surprised.  But I was.  I expected everyone to be in their thirties.  Maybe it’s the egoism leftover from when you’re a teenager and feel like your the first person ever to discover a band.   The band is too cool for old people and way too good for younger people.  Who knows, I was surprised though.  It was a testament to how amazing Metallica is.  There were little kids, teenagers, people in their twenties, thirties, forties, and fifties.

Do you see the big lady sitting down in the right corner of that picture up there?  She wore a long denim skirt, denim shirt, cardigan sweater, had her hair in a bun, and I think at one point in the concert, she actually pulled out her knitting.  I did notice that her head kept bopping with the beat and she’d throw up peace signs when everyone else threw metal.

In the aisle next to us was the fifth member of Metallica.  He serenaded us all night long.  No, he didn’t bother watching the band.  He head banged and played air guitar all night.  All for us, in the eleventh row.

Or there was the guy who came to a heavy metal concert in cowboy boots, booty shorts, a feather skirt and weird chest strap.  He spent the whole night worshiping the ground and playing air drums.  All from behind a concrete wall.  He never once ventured in to see the band.   He was so outlandish that people took pictures with him.

And sadly, before we knew it, Metallica had played for three hours, and it was over.

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Boy vs girl

Tonight as I struggled to pick something to wear to the metallica concert, I decided that boys have it way easier than girls.

Dave: you are stressing too much about this. It’s a rock concert. See I’m already dressed. (ozzy Osborne shirt & jeans)

Me: I don’t own any metal shirts and I have 5 pairs of jeans to choose from. Not to mention shoes.

I should be a boy. Getting dressed would be so much easier.

Plus being a boy means someone cooks for you and cleans up after you. You don’t have to worry about scrubbing toilets or grocery shopping. You orgasm every (I’d put this in italics but I’m blogging from my iPhone) time and it takes very little to turn you on. Plus someone else births your babies for you.

Dave: but you do get multiple orgasms, you don’t have to go to work and someone puts up with your crap. I like the second pair of jeans, hurry up and get ready.

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We bought a new toilet seat.   The coolest toilet seat ever.  Well, the coolest toilet seat if you have toddlers.  I can’t imagine this toilet would be cool or necessary in a house full of adults.  In that case, I think it would be rather freakish and annoying.

But we have toddlers.  Two of them.  Two potty training toddlers.  Very slow training toddlers.  Neither of my toddlers like the traditional potties.  They like the big toilet.  They like to climb up on the toilet like a spider.  Then they like to precariously perch in the most uncomfortable fashion.  I’m rather surprised that I don’t have more boys fall into the toilet.

While at Home Depot, shopping for our Christmas tree, we found this toilet seat.  The little seat snaps into the lid when you close the lid.  Hopefully this will give my little toilet training failures a leg up on this next step on the develepmental charts.

Doesn’t that seat look nice and shiny and clean?  Mine didn’t.  I opened the box to find all of the nuts and bolts in a zip lock bag.  The previous owner was nice enough to leave a few stray hairs.  The seat wasn’t as clean and sterile.  It was more scuffed and worn.

Who buys a toilet seat, uses it and then returns it?

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