Feeling Wishy Washy…

Not so sure I am really happy over here at WordPress. I kinda miss my old Blogger ways. Neither site is perfect, and this one is not so bad that I want to jump ship, but every now and then I have a feeling of longing… it’s like homesickness… as though I am not sure sure I belong here. And would it be so completely wishy-washy to drag all of you all the way back to the old site? You all think I am mad. A blog is a blog is a blog. But it ain’t so. For example, I wanted to show you all this amazing picture that Alexander drew the other day.

It’s his first decipherable picture. It was the first thing he has produced that was not scribbles. It was a picture of his father and he was just so proud especially because it was anatomically correct! (Not sure where the arms are though! And could that be chest hair just beneath his neck?)

So at Blogger I could have easily embedded this image directly from Picassa or uploaded it from my computer. But I can’t here and I am so maddened and frustrated. Anyhow if you click on the link below you will see my little Picasso!

 

 

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/qpva5-yjzqnwVzaandVspQ?feat=directlink

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Parenting with a sense of humor

The only way I can communicate with Don during the day is via email or text messaging. He can not be on the phone while in the OR. Earlier I sent him a text asking if he would be home in time for me to take Becca to skating so that I would not have to drag the boys and risk a 5 or 6pm nap from Alexander. I then went on to tell him that the kids were driving me bonkers. I am overtired and really need more of a break than the two hours a week I get. I went on to explain that I would have driven them to school in this… or in an ice storm just to get them the hell away. Sadly, this is not one of those I-am-so-overjoyed-to-have-the-kids-around-all-over-and-on-top-of-me snow days. It’s one of those I may break-into-school-and-deposit-the-kids-there kind-of days. Don’t gasp. If you haven’t had one you are either The Greatest Mother in The World, or you are inhuman. Or you are lying. A big fat LIAR!

So after whining over a text message this is what Don told me to do!

Under my desk on the right are pre-paid FedEx bar code stickers.

Firmly attach one sticker to each child then dial 1-800-GoFedEx for ground service pickup.

 

show of hands if you think it is OK to wash three year old’s mouth out with soap!

Seriously, this kid has a problem. He might look all cute and preppy but boy oh boy does this kid have a sailor’s mouth! Incessant bickering from older brother and sister does not help matters. I have tried to get to the root of the problem (siblings) and scold them for saying unkind words that younger brother should not be repeating. But I know that the minute I walk out of the room they are hurling insulting words at each other behind my back.  So really, I should not be surprised at what does come out of Alexander’s mouth. And yet, it never ceases to amaze me.

Yesterday we were in the kitchen getting Rebecca’s Birthday dinner ready while she was out at ice skating with Grandma, Grandpa and Dad. Alexander was a bit overtired and giddy and fresh.

Me: Alexander stop doing that, please?

Alex: No.

Me: Please, I wish you would stop. You are going to break it. (Refering to my aerolatte frother.)

Alex: No you big Jerk. You are an idiot! (I know exactly where he picked this up from.)

Me: Alexander, that is a terrible thing to say. We don’t say words like that and you know it.

Alex: But Becca and Griffie do.

Me: But they shouldn’t and neither should you.

Alex: You big Jerk!

Me: I should wash your mouth out with soap, young man.

Alexander is quiet as he is clearly trying to visualize how I would do this.

Me: You want me to?

Alex: Yes!

Me: You had better watch it or I will, Mister!

A few minutes pass and he does something else he shouldn’t have and I reprimand him again. He gets off his stool and gives me a kiss.

Me: I don’t want your kisses, Alexander. I want an appology. You are not being a very nice boy right now.

Alex: But Mommy, kisses make everything better!

I swear, if he wasn’t so darned cute…

for a fleeting moment

there was quiet and calm. All three kids were back in school yesterday. I was back home by 9:00 and the house was still. Dirty but still. The hustle and bustle and chaos from the holidays was behind us but the remnants left in the wake were still there. I vowed to get the house all tidied before Alexander got home from school. In a madwoman pace I cleaned all the downstairs floors, vacuumed and Swiffered (I’d leave the real mopping for the housekeeper to do on Thursday.) I put away all the bottles of wine and champagne and sodas and seltzers and mixers. I brought all the bowls and platters back down to the basement. I emptied the dishwasher. I loaded the dishwasher. I did many, many, many loads of laundry throughout the day. By 10:15 the house looked halfway decent and I decided that with an hour of freedom left I would stop everything and enjoy it. I made myself an English muffin and a fresh pot of coffee so that I could indulge in a cappuccino. Martha Stewart was on television. I half paid attention to her as I scanned my emails and read my friends blogs. When the coffee maker let me know she was all done percolating I made my beverage and brought my warm mug and hot buttered English muffin into the family room and settled in to the couch. The English muffin was divine. The hot melted butter seeped deep into the crannies and was the perfect salty flavor. Each bite a perfect amount of crunchy and soft. My coffee was super hot. I like it that way. I like it almost too hot to drink. I sip it and linger over it and really enjoy it. I like my coffee sweet in contrast to the salty muffin. I was sad when my breakfast was over. There was one English muffin left and I knew exactly what I was going to have for breakfast the following day. Eventually my hour ran out. And while Alexander and I had a perfectly enjoyable afternoon my hour had run out. My first hour of freedom in over two weeks. Gone like that. In a blink of an eye. And spending the day on Sunday in bed sick unable to move doesn’t count. Well it does in that it could have been a workday and I would have had to have looked after the kids (one at least) while at death’s door. So it counts. But it doesn’t really.

 

My kids went to bed with their pajamas on backwards and inside-out. They flushed ice cubes down the toilet and slept with spoons under their beds. Yes they are strange children. But apparently this is the universal code for creating a snow day. It is? It is! Where have you been? I assured them there would be no snow day and they were just being silly. The ice cubes had been flushed. I let them sleep in what looked to me to be very uncomfortable bed ensembles. But I took the spoons. I did not want my good spoons missing. I kissed them all good night and headed downstairs. As much as my kids wanted a snow day I, admittedly, wanted a delayed start. I wanted my kids, all three of them, out of the house, but I wanted to get them ready at a more leisurely pace. And I too went upstairs with some ice cubes… Well, not really!

 

I was up into the wee hours of the morning composing emails to important people and chatting via email with my friends — mostly those on the West Coast who were still awake. Eventually I crawled under the covers only to be awakened a few hours later by the high pitched shrill of the phone. It was a message generated from the Head of the children’s school telling me there would be no school today. Ah good. Back to bed. What? No school? As in none at all? Surely this was some mistake. I turned the TV on to our local Channel 12. Alas, it was no mistake. It seemed that the towns directly on the coast all had delayed openings and those towns further inland did not. Children come from a great many towns to attend this school. I am grateful for my Head’s caution and care of the safety and wellbeing of her students, but… but… but what if I pretended I didn’t know school was closed and just, well, drove there and left them?

 

Oy vey.

 

And isn’t it funny that on those days when there is no school that everyone is up before the roosters? Amusing, I know. Alexander was begging to watch children’s television. So there I was snuggled up in my bed with my warm coffee and I was stuck watching not Joe as I would have loved, but Blue! I had the feeling that this was going to be the start of a very, very long day. By 10:00 Rebecca was telling me that her stomach hurt. I told her to go to sleep. An hour later I was in her room on my hands and knees cleaning up after what would be many messes today. Outside everything was coated in ice. It was spectacular, each small branch, each blade of glass seemed to be enclosed in its own special Waterford case. I could have stared at the magnificent beauty outside my window all day long. But I couldn’t. I had to keep Alexander away from Rebecca. And I had to keep Christopher away from the TV. And I had to get him to finish his book report and math homework and spelling homework.And I never did get my English Muffin. Christopher had it with Nutella slathered, warm and gooey, all over it.  And I had to change sheets and do yet more laundry. And I had to make lunches for those who were eating. Tonight those who are eating can have leftovers. And now that Christopher is downstairs with his father working on his many thousand piece Lego project and Rebecca seems to be a little better I can sit and relax. I am so proud of Christopher for doing all that work, a good bit for just being in second grade. I know he must have been bored today. Good, he’ll be excited to go back tomorrow! I have been sharing some apple slices with Alexander and once again Blue’s Clue’s rules the roost. But it’s okay because the day is almost over. Rebecca will have to stay home again tomorrow but the boys will be back in school. It’ll be just Rebecca and me in the morning before Alexander comes home. That’ll be nice. We’ll enjoy our time together. And then maybe, maybe on Friday there will be some peace and quiet around here again, if just for a little while! Friday’s not so far away. And a glass of red wine is a lot less far than that!

the party’s over…

and it was tremendous. and i will post more about our new year’s get together in a couple more days (and will start posting with more regularity again) but for now iwould like to share the first major lesson I have learned this year. do not. ever. leave bowls of Peppridge Goldfish in a playroom filled with preschoolers, not all of whom are constantly monitored by their parents. Goldfish belong in ponds. not smashed in rugs, under toys, under boxes, under tables, or in playhouses!

The Land of Misfit Cookies

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T’is the season to be baking, Fa La La La La, La La La La… I was on a roll making my favorite crispy, buttery, brown sugary chocolate chip cookie.  I broke out all the cookie sheets and had both ovens on. Despite the boys wanting to help and make a mess along the way which included egg yolk on the counter and down the front of the cabinets, flour, white and brown sugar all over the floor, I persevered and baked all my cookies. I love to bake and I have been told that I am very good at it. But just as with everything else, we have our good days and our bad days. This was not one of our best days! I was having a harder time than usual. The cookies seemed thinner and more delicate than in the past. Perhaps it was my imagination. Perhaps it was my haste. Perhaps it was my complete and total lack of memory. The chips were hot and the cookies were thin and in some cases transfering them from hot cookie sheet to cooling rack took a bit of determination. I need a few more cooling racks. And a way to get the chips to cool faster. That’s when the grand idea of tossing the cookies into the fridge to harden hit me as brilliant. I was operating at warp speed. Cookies on sheets, sheets in oven, sheets out of oven… sheets into fridge. Sheets out of fridge. Scrape cookies off and place in large plastic container. And so on and so on and so on. And when the Silpats were in the fridge I would place the cookie dough balls directly on to the cookies sheets. I had a system going. A good one. Efficient and fast. But as it turned out not so pretty! In two cases I crammed too many cookies onto the sheet resulting in a oozy blob… the cookies hardened nicely, but I had to cut them out. What resulted were square, rectangular and triangle shaped cookies! And I forgot to grease a cookie sheet and despite the fact the recipe called for 1 POUND of butter the cookies seemed to be pretty well glued on.

All my beautiful, perfectly tanned and browned cookies were set asside and packaged together. But what do I do about the others? The not so pretty ones? They still tasted good! I’m not one who likes to waste anything. I am certainly not going to waste a perfectly delicious though maybe not so beautiful (by certain perfectionists standards) cookies. So I loaded all my square, rectangular and triangular shaped cookies into the cookie jar. They looked odd but happy in there. Then I scraped the heck out of the cookies that were stuck. Crumbs went flying everywhere. I scraped off peices with my fingers, delighting in the buttery sugary goodness. In the end I got each cookie off the sheet. Beautifully, not really… Ok, not at all… But I do know a few kids and a certain husband who know better than to care what their cookie looks like. They know all too well that the beauty of the cookie certainly lies within.  And now, within me!

Potty Talk

I am Queen of my castle… here is my Throne!

(for a mere $10,000!)

Who knew?! Well, my friend Kim did! Why and how I have no idea and I didn’t ask. But when I Googled it I found out that it was indeed World Toilet Day.

According to the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association (leave it up to those crazy Canucks) “19 November was declared ‘World Toilet Day’ in 2001 by 17 toilet associations around the world. Since then there has been established an annual World Toilet Summit and many other regional conferences. Each toilet association has also engaged in many activities promoting clean toilets in their own respective country.
Since 2001, World Toilet Day has become a global platform for academics, sanitation experts, toilet designers, environmentalists etc. to share the latest on rural and urban toilets. The World Toilet Organisation asks each individual, in their respective country, to request better equality (more facilities for women); more accessibility & special provisions (for the disabled & mothers with babies); clean toilets (for everyone); and more toilets (for the less fortunate). “
There’s even a World Toilet Organization… but I won’t go on… I know many of you think this is a pretty crappy post anyhow!

A remote control flusher… because reaching behind you is far, far, too hard to do… and what happens when you have another remote to lose? Will you walk all over the house in search of it rather than just grabbing the little metal bar and gently pushing it down?

This one is just wrong!

For the hunters out there… or EccoMums who want to conserve…


Suspension bridges are one thing… suspension toilets are downright scary!


Yes, this is for real! And it ain’t cheap!

Gotta run to the can!

I’d be afraid someone would mistake the sink for the loo and vice versa!

Disaster Averted!

We went out last night to see the fabulous Pumpkin Spectacular. Afterwards we were all invited to a friend’s house for dessert. The children were all downstairs and the adults were upstairs enjoying a little dessert, glass of wine and uninterrupted (for the most-part) adult conversation. Suddenly I heard screams. Alexander screams. I listened for a second or two and decided they were a decibel or two above the girls-not-leaving-him-alone screams. I rushed to the stairs as he was being carried up by Jennee and Sid. Apparently he tried to copy Margaret by jumping off of one couch and onto another. Margaret is 7 and Alexander is 3. And while Alexander knows fully well that we do not jump on any type of furniture at home or anywhere, he must have gotten caught up in the action. Well his small body did not make it all the way to the other side. His head made it to the coffee table. That would explain the sheer screams. Flashback to 4 years ago when Christopher tried this same dumb stunt in our family room and he too smacked the back of his head on the corner of the coffee table… blood splattering everywhere. Not good for a squeamish girl like me.
I took Alexander from Jenee and held him in my arms. I could see no visible damage on his head (Thank God!) but when he opened his mouth to cry I saw bright red. Inside. On the left. I called to Don in my calm panicked mode (as opposed to my panic-panicked mode!) and told him to come over to where I was… now. I passed the baby (I still call him that sometimes) and told him that there was blood in his mouth. In the back. On the left. I could not tell whether he had bitten his tongue or his cheek. Don went to find a brighter spot so he could take a good look. I tried to tell myself that a lot of blood didn’t necessarily mean a lot of damage. Mouth and head wounds often bleed badly even if the injury is minimal. Don couldn’t get a good look so we went in to the bathroom. We sat him on the sink and got him to open his mouth really wide. And there I saw it the bright red…………………………………………………….Jujyfruit stuck in his tooth!

Whoppers and Kit-Kats and Twix… Oh My!

I haven’t had any Halloween candy in the house. In the past I’ve bought bags and bags and bags ahead of time. Not such a good idea. Because when that monthly sweet-chocolate-I-must-have-something-and-have-it-now craving comes by those bags become dust in the wind. Maybe you can have just one or two of those (puny) Fun Sized candies. But I can not. To me, it ain’t Fun Sized until the whole damn bag is gone and I am hunched over writhing in pain. Now that’s fun! Well, not really…
I decided that this year we would have no candy in this house until Halloween. So I went out to run my errands this morning and dropped off a script for Christopher at our local CVS and decided to pick up our candy. I stood there in the center of the aisle, lost, dazed and way, way, way, too confused. First I started grabbing all the stuff I don’t like. I don’t want to be left with gobs of ooey gooey goodness. I’m not good with temptation. So I grabbed some icky stuff. Then I got disappointed in myself. I can’t do that. We’re new to the ‘hood. We want people to come to our house, not run right by it. So I tossed all the icky stuff back onto the shelves. Besides, I know myself and I would end up eating the icky stuff too. Just because. It’s there.
Up and down the aisle I paced, wandering, querying, picking up packages and putting them back. I should have sent Don. This was one decision I was finding particularly difficult. And it continued for about 15 minutes. Bags go in the cart. Bags come out of the cart. In and out. In and out. Finally, I said to hell with it and just walked away with a few bags of really good stuff. I have m&ms, both regular and peanut. I have Reese’s cups and Whoppers and Milk Duds. I have Junior Mints. I have Nestle Crunch bars and something else. I have $50 worth of candy. $50 worth of friggin‘ candy! How absolutely ridiculous is that? But I want to be prepared. I want to have enough candy to pass out. Maybe we won’t get any Trick or Treaters at all… maybe we will run out of candy… I have no idea what will happen but I would rather have enough than not enough. I just don’t want any leftovers. At all.
Which brings me to another topic. My scale. It’s broke. Really is broken. I have this fancy digital thing I got when I first got pregnant with Rebecca eons ago. Well, I stepped on it the other day and the reading was off. Way off 10 pounds off. Of course I would love say I weigh what the numbers said I did but I would be lying and fooling myself. So I got on the scale and it said the same thing. I did this a few times. And then when I got on the 26th time it added 20 pounds! Just like that! I jumped off the scale and screamed! Yessir I screamed. Like I had seen a tarantula crawling by. And then I got back on 20 more times and the numbers wouldn’t budge. But they budged when I stepped on the 51st time. Back to that original reading. I know it’s all wrong but I like it! Damn, stupid, @^%#! scale!
I’ve hit middle age, that’s what I am thinking. I may never see the waistline I had in my early 30s. I haven’t seen it since Alexander was born. The kid destroyed me I’m telling you! I’m sure my midsection is what it is because I bore three children. But I have more excess skin on me than a Sharpei puppy. And I am blaming it on Alexander. And because I am getting old. (And, according to my husband, crotchety to boot!) But I have friends who have 6 pack abs and they are my age! Ok, well maybe the fact that my treadmill has more dust on it that in my bagless vacuum… and maybe my running shoes have been missing since Clinton left office… and maybe those m&ms aren’t really helping… but still!
So you know what I am going to do? I am going to shimmy into a pair of Spanx and grab myself a bag of Twix and eat them on my broken scale!