Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My Review of Cleaving by Julie Powell

I finished reading Cleaving by Julie Powell last night- it's the follow-up to Julie & Julia. The book was difficult. Not difficult reading as much as the subject was dark and tough to get through. Julie & Julia was light and hopeful, this book was the opposite. She's in love with her husband, doesn't want to leave him, yet she's carrying on a long term affair, and having sex with random strangers. Eric, Julie's husband is also having affairs. She's just flat out miserable the whole book, and it's wrenching. I liked it, but it wasn't the normal read for me.

There were two main themes running through the book. One theme was Julie learning butchering, a typical "Man's Job" in this part of the world. The other theme was addiction. Julie is addicted to her lover and to alcohol. She has been spurned by her lover, and spends most of the book thinking about him. I am totally opposed to cheating. If you are going to be unfaithful. at least have the decency to end it with your current significant other before you enter into anything with a new person. I do think people are monogamous, and that being in a sexual relationship with more than one person at the same time is just wrong, and maybe that's why this book was so hard for me. It was someone who I liked in an earlier book, who I now dislike.

There is so much pain in this book, emotional pain, physical pain (various body aches brought on by butchering) and mental pain (Julie torturing her husband by downloading a song he sent her to their shared computer comes to mind). Julie and Eric are in this mind-fuck (sorry, but I can't think of a better term) of a relationship. They bring nothing but pain to each other, and yet, neither one of them can end it. That could be another issue for me. Julie and Eric got into their relationship at a young age, and really became adults together. They don't see a life outside of each other, which may be similar to my husband and myself. Maybe that's why I had problems with this book. Are my husband and I also destined to come to misery like Julie and Eric?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Why Me?

A week or so ago, my FIL calls up and says that they're going to be coming out here (well Vegas) for a week or so, and will be in town for a few days. Sure, no problem, they'll be here midweek.

Then on Wednesday, he calls to say that Mr Keen's Uncle is dying (throat cancer, diabetes, etc, what drinking and smoking non-stop for 40 years will do to a person, added to the fact that the cut off most of his right hand with a band saw last year, but I digress), so they won't make it. Mr Keen and I decided that since they won't be here, and since he actually has a weekend off, we'll go up towards Payson, rent a cabin for the weekend, and let the kids play in the snow (the got 3 feet over the last weekend). We get that set up on Wednesday, Mr Keen cancels the hotel that he reserved for his Dad in Vegas, etc.

Then YESTERDAY, on Thursday, at 8:30 at night, they call again to tell me that they ARE coming out, but now will be flying directly into Phoenix, and will be here on Wednesday through Monday. Not only is this a LONGER trip than the original, but it's over the weekend where we actually have plans now. Mr Keen's of the opinion that we tell them sorry, you can stay here, but we're going to be gone. And I totally agree with him.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Gingerbread Houses

Adeline & Anaya working on the house, and eating frostingAnaya, adorable as usual.
All three working on the gingerbread tree. It was mostly Avery's project, but the other two helped.

Adeline, she lost her two front teeth, just in time to sing "All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth"

Avery, dumping an entire bottle of sugar on the tree

Anaya "helping" Avery

Adeline "helping" Avery

Happy, sugarfied kids

The finished products. Ignore the messy countertops, I know that I do!

The Wind Storm

We got hit with a heck of a storm last night. Lost power from 11:00 PM until 6:50 AM. Tree branches down, junk blowing all over the neighborhood, junk in my pool, etc. And, the cherry on top of the fun was that the smoke detector in my room went bad last night- as in something was making it just randomly go off, scaring the piss out of two of my three kids (Anaya slept through the whole thing, how, I have no idea. Note to self, if there is ever a fire, someone will need to wake Anaya and get her out of the house). We had to disconnect the stupid thing. Not a big deal, but a pain in the ass WHEN THERE ARE NO LIGHTS. Avery's heart felt like it was going to explode out of her chest, she was so scared. Avery wound up spending the rest of the night with Frank & I, and was still asleep when we left.

This morning, trying to get the kids dressed was obnoxious as well. They were afraid of the dark, and unlike most mornings I couldn't wake them and send them
downstairs on their own, because it was too dark. I did, however, get a shower, because miracles of miracles, the hot water heater stored a decent amount of hot water at a pretty good temperature.

The lights came on just as I was getting out, 20 minutes later than usual. Then the normal kid drop-offs, exacerbated by Adeline missing her bus. And finally I made it to work about 30 minutes late. Have fun with this storm when it gets to you.

Monday, November 9, 2009

What Do You Watch?

I have a long standing relationship with my TV and TiVo. We spend more time together than I spend with my spouse. Therefore, I watch a lot of TV. In no particular order, these are the shows that are currently on my To Watch List:

  1. Big Bang Theory- mostly for Sheldon and Rajesh
  2. How I Met Your Mother- because Barney Stinson may be the best written character on TV, closely followed by Robin Scherbatsky
  3. Project Runway- I'm not in love with this season. I'm not sure if it's been dumbed down for Lifetime, or if it's just taken so long for the season to air. But, we are nearing the end of the run, and the finalists have been announced. All are talented, and I have no issues with any of them.
  4. Top Chef- A favorite in the house. One of the only cooking shows my chef husband will watch. Tom Colicchio is delicious in his own right. The product placement can be annoying and obvious.
  5. Flash Forward- It takes thought power to watch this show. I tivo it most of the time and catch up with it. It's my placeholder for LOST.
  6. Glee- I'm glad baseball is over and Glee can get on a regular schedule.
  7. Thursday Nights on NBC- not quite Must See TV in it's heyday (or even TGIF) but a good line-up- The Office is the top show, the other three are decent. Yes, there's a schedule conflict with Flash Forward, but I can't really watch Flash Forward with the kids up. So comedy rules.
  8. Dexter- Love the Trinity Killer arc, hate Rita. Can't Rita just be killed off? Or leave Dexter or something like that? Because the kids and wife are killing the show.

Other Shows I Watch That Are Currently Not Showing New Episodes:

  1. Weeds
  2. Big Love
  3. Dr Who

Friday, October 30, 2009

Poor Baby

Poor Avery has caught a nasty cold. I’m not saying it’s H1N1, but it might be. We’ve already had one confirmed case in our house. In September, the husband became my 4th child when he came down with H1N1. He is such a whiney baby when he’s sick. The husband had a confirmed case, and seeing as how the older two girls had been sick a few weeks before with similar, but less intense symptoms, his doctor suspects they also had H1N1.

The poor baby was up last night from 11:30 -1:00 AM. I couldn’t find the mask and tubing parts for the nebulizer, and I suspect one of her sisters walked off with it. Eventually I got her to calm down, got some Tylenol down her throat, and she drifted off to sleep in her room with the humidifier running at full blast. The very dry air we’re experiencing right now isn’t helping matters at all.

I suspect that Halloween will be a complete bust for her. Feeling crappy doesn’t help, but she is also petrified of her costume. She yells at me whenever I try to dress her up in it. Today she’s supposed to be going to a Halloween party, and I have her stand-by costume ready to go. It’s a skeleton sweatsuit that she didn’t wear last year because it was too hot.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Picture Time!

I took Anaya to get her pictures taken this weekend. She hasn’t had her picture taken professionally since she was 2. Since then, whenever we stepped into a studio, she’s had a complete melt-down. I think it was the pressure of being told what to do and where to sit and how to smile and all that. She’s very obstinate. This time, she made it through the shoot, and her picture actually came out really cute. I hate to be biased, but Anaya is probably the prettiest of my kids. When you catch her in the right mood, she can be really photogenic.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Drama Mama

My oldest is a complete drama mama. Everything she does is a production; either it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to her or the absolute worst. This morning there was a huge amount of drama over her school clothes. Now, she’s in 1st grade in a public school. But, luckily (or so I thought) it’s a uniform dress-code school, so getting dressed should be pretty easy. We even take the guess work out of it by keeping her “school clothes” separate from her other clothes. Also, this is the same school she went to last year, and she’s been in school now for almost two months this year. Today though, she wanted to wear some non-uniform clothes to school. She cried and whined and basically dragged her feet for 15 minutes while getting a shirt on. All of her uniform shirts (i.e. collared polo-type shirts in light blue, white or navy) were suddenly “too big” or “too itchy.” So I told her to put on an undershirt, and that was deemed “too hot.” It didn’t help much that her sister, Anaya, who goes to pre-school daily, was flaunting the fact that she got to wear her new shirt to school today. A fabulous costume type t-shirt that made it look like she was a cowgirl. All the getting dressed drama made her miss the bus, and pretty much put a icky spin on my day.

In other thoughts, I’ve been thinking a lot about the Obama proposal to lengthen the school year and school day. Personally, I think it’s a fantastic plan, but this is a whole ‘nother blog all on it’s own, soon to come.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Good Old Granola Bar, but Better, the Larabar

I am one of those people who skips breakfast almost every weekday. Then, by lunchtime, I’m so hungry I make bad lunch decisions. So, in order to spot this behavior, I’ve started stashing granola bars in my desk at work. These are my breakfast at my desk. I eat them first thing in the morning when I’m checking my email (really looking at Facebook, don’t judge me), and planning my day (still looking at Facebook, probably playing Mafia Wars or Bejeweled). So I’ve gone through a pretty wide variety of granola bars. Some I don’t like because they’re too sweet, others are too crunchy, and others just don’t taste right. I’ve been working my way through the natural foods section of my local Fry’s store, and a few weeks ago, found the amazing Larabars (folks, they aren’t paying me to say this). I am in love. These are so tasty and packed full of good stuff. My favorite right now is the Ginger Snap. It’s like the best tasting Gingerbread Man ever, but soft and chewy rather than tooth-breakingly crispy, it has a good heat to it, due to the real ginger. The Lemon Bar is also delicious. It’s tart and has a real lemon flavor, rather than the faux lemon taste that some bars have. I would love to try Apple Pie, Key Lime Pie and Cinnamon Roll, but my Fry’s doesn’t carry those. Perhaps I’ll check out Whole Foods and see if they have any in stock.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Robbery at our Home

Our home was broken into yesterday, 09/18/2009, between 4:30 and 5:00 PM. The front door was kicked open and a 52" Mitsubishi TV was taken from the back family room. The police were called, we have a police report. We also had all of the paperwork for the TV, so we were able to provide them with the serial number for the TV. We know the exact time, because my husband, had been home all day sick. The only time he left was to go pick our daughter up at Desert Meadow's after-school program and to get the mail. The door frame was completely shattered. Poor construction quality at our front door showed that the door frame in our house, at least on the lock side, wasn't screwed into anything. We expect there was more than one person who came into the house, because you would have needed two men to move the TV. I expect our home had been under watch for a few days now, and that they were only after the TV, because a laptop and a gaming system in the same roomwere not even touched.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Driving Like a Monkey

There was an article in the Arizona newspaper today that got picked up by Fox News, and has gone nationwide. In Arizona, we have these traffic cameras that catch speeding vehicles. They are the tools of the Devil. Yes, I've been caught. It's a $180 fine. In my defense, I was over by the airport, and the camera is very tricky over there. In that section of the highway, the speed drops from 65 MPH to 55 MPH. The camera is set up right beyond the sign. You guessed it, I'm driving along at my normal driving speed, and I get bagged for going 72 in a 55. Goodbye $180! And apparently, I'm not the only one who gets caught there. A man in Arizona is trying to beat the system by wearing a Monkey Mask when he drives. This way he can't be identified as the driver of the car. Check it out for yourself. You tell me, is this man an unappreciated genius? Is he a performance artist of the highest caliber? Or, is he just a man cheating they system?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Is She a Vampire?

Yesterday, when I got my youngest from daycare, there was a note on her daily report- “Avery bit another child and left a mark.” But the teacher didn’t mention it, so I didn’t even notice it until we got to the car. When I did see it, I asked Avery who she bit (Avery is 2, in case you were wondering). She looks at me, puts her hands on her hips and says “Bitey Shawn” which I suppose translates to I bit Shawn. Then, in what I can only imagine is the re-enactment of the post biting lecture, she gets a bit agitated and starts pointing and saying “No, no bitey Shawn. In time out.” And then it trails off into 2 year old babble that I can’t even begin to translate.

Now, I know Avery bites. But, it’s gone down considerably in frequency, especially as she got more verbal. I spoke with her teacher, and they were pretty sure that yesterday’s bite wasn’t a huge issue. That Avery just got overwhelmed by the other kids, and took it out on someone smaller than her. It’s really the first time in about 4 months that she’s bitten anyone who isn’t named Anaya or Adeline, so that’s a relief.

Next year, when she’s potty trained, I’m hoping to move her into a pre-school program, in a center. Something I can’t do now because of the cost, and because she’d get kicked out for biting. As much as I love her current daycare, I think being with more kids will be better for her. More kids her age. This kid is too smart for her own good. She’s devilishly smart. Knows how to problem solve. For example, Mommy’s candy is hidden high in a cabinet. Neither of the other kids have ever attempted to get in there. Avery gets a chair, pushes the chair to the counter. Climbs onto the counter, pulls the chair up onto the counter, to get to the candy. I come into the kitchen, and find her covered with chocolate, sitting on the chair, on the counter. She’s also the kid who will get into the pantry, rip open a box of cereal, and then use scissors to cut into the bag. Need I remind you, she’s only 2!

Monday, August 24, 2009

I turned 31 yesterday. A year ago, I started this blog, with the intentions of doing daily entries. That didn’t happen. But, many things have happened over the last calendar year (besides me getting a year older).
First off, my baby, Avery, is no longer a baby, but a toddler. She turned 2 on August 1. She is my last baby. We indulge her a little, and she’s kind of bossy, but in an adorable way. Over the past year she started walking and then running. Climbing, jumping, talking and became her own person instead of a lump. The baby stage isn’t my favorite, I’m a much bigger fan of the toddler stage, even if it is more work. Avery is also in her own bed, a twin size bed, in her own room. She knows the letters A and Y.

Then there’s Anaya. She’s the sensitive one in the middle. She’s much quieter than either of her two sisters, more passive, and prone to irrational fears. While the irrational fears have gotten slightly better, she still has some quirks. She has a fear of dogs, especially little dogs. She hates when it rains, and takes a windy day as a personal attack. She gets carsick, and therefore can’t sit in the very back row of the van. Anaya is also my typhoid Mary. If there is something going on, Anaya will get it, and be sicker than the rest of the family put together. She’s susceptible to lung infections, and gets bronchitis at least twice a year. She’ll be 5 in November, and started pre-school this school year. The teacher tells me that she doesn’t participate a lot, and hangs back to watch everyone else do the activities. Not a big surprise, because in her other daycare, it took almost a year before she’d talk in circle time. When Adeline and Avery get too rough for her, she goes and hides out in the quiet of the upstairs playroom.

Adeline, my oldest is a social butterfly. She’s my clone looks-wise, but far more outgoing than I ever was. We call her the mayor of her school, since everyone seems to know her name. It’s interesting when we pick her up after school. Everyone, even the older kids say goodbye to her by name. Adeline is the benevolent dictator of the playroom. It mostly runs on what she wants to do and what TV shows she wants to watch, but she occasionally lets Anaya do some choosing. She’s in First Grade now. School work isn’t her strong point, but socialization is. Recently mastered counting to 100, and basic and primer sight word lists.

Frank and I have been together now for almost 14 years, and will be celebrating our 9 year wedding anniversary this October. We’ve hit some rough patches, but worked through them. I called him out on his expectations that I would just sit back and let him go globe trotting while leaving me home with the kids. He’s also trying to be around more, which is difficult due to his work situation. He’s trying to take the two days off a week that are due to him, but it doesn’t always happen. I’m more vocal in what I expect from him now. If I need him to get up and help me with the kids in the morning, I wake him up, and can’t expect him to be able to read my mind. I’m trying to be less passive aggressive.

My goals for the upcoming year-
1. Gain control of my closet. Do a major clean-up job and get rid of a lot of items, or put them in storage in the garage.
2. Get to a more healthy weight. Lose 20-40 pounds. 20 would put me at pre-baby weight, 40 would be pre-wedding weight.
3. Attain number 2 by eating better, incorporate more vegetables into my daily diet, whole grains, etc.
4. Spend less money. Stop impulse purchases. I have tons of clothes, there is no reason to go out and buy any at all this year. Stop buying magazines. Use the library for books.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Single Momhood

I've been a crappy blogger this summer. Slacking off, not blogging, doing my own thing. It's because I've been childfree. I hate to say this, because it makes me sound horrible, but I've loved not having the kids this summer. I've been able to do what I want, when I want. At the risk of sounding self absorbed or selfish (which I am), I like my ME TIME. I don't get that enough when I'm home with the kids. Do you have any idea what it's like to be a single Mom to three kids? OK, sure, I'm married, but he's never around to help. He's home maybe one day a week, and a few hours in the mornings. I do all of the childcare by myself. It sucks. I feel for the real single Moms out there, because at least I have security of a 2nd income in the house, if not the emotional support of a 2nd parent in the house.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Miracle of Life

I found this link and need to share with you all. But, it is highly disturbing. Scremingly funny, but highly disturbing. If you have not yet had a child, but are thinking you may want one in the future, you really don't want to watch this (or maybe you do?). But, fear not, the featured product is laytex free, for those of you with allergies.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Summer Bummer

My husband is being forced to burn vacation time this summer. Admittedly, he gets like five weeks of paid vacation a year, and rarely takes more than three weeks, but still. I, on the other hand, do not have any paid vacation time this year, having just started my job last November. Does this mean that I will not take any vacation? Nope, it just means I take it unpaid. Next week I’m heading off to my hometown, to attend a few weddings, host a wedding shower, and connect with my girls from high school. Thursday will be the kids and parents party at a friends home. Between the nine of us, there are four girl children and three boy children. My oldest is the oldest of the group, since I managed to pro-create at age 24. In August, I’m taking a few more days off to go back to the hometown to be in my sister’s wedding. Which means, that this year, I don’t get to go anywhere other than East Coast Massachusetts for vacation. Lovely place, but I grew up there, and would sometimes like to go somewhere else for a change.

Which brings me to the irritation. The husband is not coming with me in June to Massachusetts. But, he is taking the week off. So he’ll be home alone for the week, well, alone with the cat. Now, he’s trying to find something to do during that time, maybe a trip to California, Colorado, or New Mexico. One of the surrounding states that are easily accessible. Then, because he’s sometimes not my favorite person, he’s taking two weeks off in July. But, is considering taking a trip to Ireland, alone, during one of those weeks (the other week, he’s going to Massachusetts for a Red Sox game, and to pick our oldest up so she doesn’t miss too much school). So, I’m kind of pissed. Because this is the first summer in a long time that I am not pregnant, and we don’t have an infant. So the month of July is a child free month. If he does follow through with this ill-thought-out plan, he’ll be taking the only time we have together this year without kids, and going out of the country. And, more importantly, he can’t understand why I’m mad about it. I don’t have any vacation time, it’s not like I can go with him. Last summer, he took off for ten days and did an East Coast Baseball trip. I countered with a girls-only trip to Chicago. This year, our only vacation together will be my sister’s wedding, and that’s pretty much a working vacation for me. There’s no free time in there. I’m just hoping he doesn’t get his act together and get his passport, because that would solve all problems.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

30 Things You Wouldn't Think To Ask

Answer These 30 Things You Wouldn't Think To Ask.
1. Have you ever been searched by the cops? I've gotten the nice little feel up from security guards, the more personal feel up from TSA at a few airports, but never a full body search of my person from a police person. But, coming home from college my freshman year, my car was pulled over for not having a front license plate. Mind you, I had a really old Massachusetts Green license plate, so I didn't even HAVE a 2nd license plate for the front of the car. Yet, I get pulled over for this farce. The cop sees my age, sees the UMass stickers on the car, and must have decided that there was a good chance he'd be able to get me on some sort of drug or alcohol possession charge, based on those criteria alone. So, he decides to search my car. For over an hour, I sat at a rest area on Route 2 in Massachusetts while this guy takes apart my car. He found nothing, because A, I'm not stupid, and B, all of the contraband had been consumed before finals.

2. Do you close your eyes on roller coaster? No. I love them, they're my favorite part of amusement parks.

3. When's the last time you've been sledding? I think Thanksgiving 2007 it snowed when I was back in Massachusetts, and I may have taken the kids down the driveway a few times. I hate the cold and snow.

4. Would you rather sleep with someone else, or alone? Truthfully, I like to fall asleep alone in the bed. I can totally foresee Frank and I being the married couple who eventually move into two separate beds. I'm not easy to sleep with, I'm all over the bed, I kick, I flail, I roll, it's ridiculous.

5. Do you believe in ghosts? Sometimes.

6. Do you consider yourself creative? Not really, I'm a logical.

7. Do you think O.J. killed his wife? Yeah, but it no longer matters

8. Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie? Jennifer Aniston is far more interesting.

9. Can you honestly say you know ANYTHING about politics? Yes.

10. Do you know how to play poker? No.

11. Have you ever been awake for 48 hours straight? No.

12. What's your favorite commercial? I love Vince the Sham Wow man. He rocks.

13. Who was your first crush? One of the Fulton Boys, Ron Baker.

14. If you're driving in the middle of the night, and no one is around you, do you run a red light? No. Because with my luck some drunk lady is going to come out of nowhere and nail my car, killing me and leaving my kids motherless.

15. Do you have a secret that no one knows but you? Highly doubtful.

16. Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees? Red Sox. Yankees suck. New York in general sucks.

17. Have you ever been Ice Skating? Not in years, but growing up there was a pond in the woods behind my house. We would go all the time back there, and also on the Weymouth Res.

18. DO YOU REMEMBER YOUR DREAMS? Often. I tend to dream vividly.

19. What's the one thing on your mind? That I'm slacking off today, and have about a million things better to do, yet I am compelled to write this as a blog.

20. Do you always wear your seatbelt? I do, otherwise my car beeps at me.

21. What talent do you wish you had? I wish I was more musical.

22. Do you like Sushi? Some, the non-scary stuff. Tuna is yummy, eel is scary.

23. What do you wear to bed? Nuthin.

24. Do you truly hate anyone? No, I don't think so. I've never been hurt enough to hate someone.

25. If you could sleep with one famous person, who would it be? I'm gonna go cliche with this one and pick George Clooney, except he's so good looking that he's most likely crap in bed. So maybe someone less attractive would be a better choice, because he's had to work more to get laid.

26. Do you know anyone in jail? I don't believe so, but you never know.

27. What food do you find disgusting? Yogurt, mayonnaise, Ham

28. Have you ever made fun of your friends behind their back? Of course, but I still love them.

29. Have you ever been punched in the face? Yes.

30. Have you ever punched anyone in the face? Yes, and it hurts.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

You Like Me! You Really, Really Like Me!

Did you ever feel like you were born cursed? That nothing ever goes your way? That fate just has it out for you? That’s how I usually feel. Nothing ever falls in my favor. If a rock falls off a truck, it will strike my windshield and break it. After high school graduation, I went white-water rafting with a group of other people who had also just graduated. Who fell off the raft? Me. And, not even in a bumpy part. I just kind of fell overboard. If I need it to be a nice day, in order to get something done, you can almost guarantee that it will rain, hail or be a windstorm. It’s like there’s a permanent black cloud over my head.

BUT NO MORE! Because, for the first time ever, I HAVE WON SOMETHING! Yes, that’s right. The fabulous Kristina of Pulsiper Predilections, has informed me that I have won a fabulous baby onesie. I am very excited, because I never win anything. So, thank you Kristina! And, dear readers, I suggest you check out her blog, because it pants-peeingly funny-

Thank you!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Competitive Preschools or They Must Be Different in the Big City

I had the chance to watch Nursery University this weekend, onDemand (thank goodness for that handy little invention, I’d never get to watch movies otherwise. Seriously, OnDemand and Tivo have changed my life). Its about the insane process of getting your child into “the right” preschool in New York City. How “the right” preschool can feed your child into “the right kindergarten” and then forward all the way to the Ivy Leagues. My husband was actually home before midnight, so we watched it together, completely astonished by the antics of these parents. Hiring advisors to tweak their submissions packages. Stalking the admissions officers. Name dropping so much that you could build a castle with all the blocks of bullshit they were dropping. One of the Dads, who I shall call “Tool in the Tie” because he wore a tie all movie, was so tightly wound about the whole issue, I thought he was going to have an aneurysm. His kid (very cute kid, btw), managed to get into all 8 schools that she applied to. Tool in the Tie almost cried, he was so happy. The Token Black Family, from Harlem, took a more laid-back approach, applied to one school and got in. These are preschool programs for kids who are 2 and 3 years old. It’s absolutely ridiculous. Competitive Parenting at it’s finest.

I work full time, so my kids go to a sitter. I had the luxury of having a nanny last year, while my youngest was between the ages of three months to one year. This year, the oldest is in kindergarten, and goes to a school summer day camp. The younger two go to an in-home private daycare. Next year, because Child #2 misses the cut-off, she’ll go to preschool instead of kindergarten. Even though she knows her letters (upper case and lower and knows the sounds they make) and numbers. She’s socially very young, so a year of preschool will do her good. And, I get to send her for the fabulous price of $175 a week. At this point, I pay more in daycare than I do in mortgage payments (we have a really low 30 year fixed mortgage). If we didn’t have kids, my mortgage would be paid off in ten years or less. The Oldest didn’t go to preschool. It didn’t really effect her in school. She’s one of those kids who got on the bus the first day and never looked back. No separation anxiety. By the second week of school, she was the mayor of that place. Everyone knew who she was. Child #3 is still a bit of a puzzle. Right now, she’s staying put in the in-home, mostly because she’s aggressive. She bites, and pushes. At home, she’s just holding her own so that her sisters don’t take her stuff. At daycare, she still doesn’t let other kids push her around. She’s the boy I don’t have.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Funny Things Kids Say or Please Don't Call CPS on Me

So I get an email from Adeline's teacher yesterday.

She asked the kids what they did for Mother's Day, and Adeline told the class that on Mother's Day they went swimming, and Mommy drank beer and yelled at us.

Yup, that's what she said.

Now, the reason they got yelled at was because the bottle of the single beer that I did have, got knocked over and broke. I yelled at them to stay away from it while I went to clean up the broken glass.

Now the class and the teachers think I'm an alcoholic with an anger problem.


Monday, May 11, 2009

No More Cribs

I took down the crib on Saturday morning, for the last time. Actually, Avery helped it along, she broke the bottom out of it. The crib was just a $99 Walmart special, we didn't really put it together correctly. In our defense, there were only one set of height holes that actually lined up close enough to hold the bottom mostly flat, so that's what we used. Of course, we could have returned the crib as defective, but that would have meant sending it back to the manufacturer, and we needed it at the time we bought it (we're slackers OK? the kid was 4 months old, way too fat for the bassinet and continuing to let her sleep in the swing seemed like bad parenting at the time). The side had stopped staying up a few months ago, and it was getting pretty wobbly. Avery must have shaken it just enough to bust the bottom out. So I was awoken to a hysterical child in the remains of the crib. She wasn't hurt, just scared and mad. We pulled the trundle out from under the bunk bed, stuck the railing in the side, and she's now in a twin bed. Woke up once last night, around 4 AM. The bugger can open doors, so she walked down the hall to find me. Changed her up, put her back in bed for another few hours.

So no more cribs in my house, and each of my kids have been in beds before they were 2 years old. We don't do toddler beds, but had we a better quality crib that was actually a convertible to a toddler bed, I would have used it. Going out and buying a toddler bed seems like a waste of $50, akin to buying changing table, another piece of furniture I deem totally useless. Throw a changing pad on top of a bureau or something, don't waste space on a changing table. Of course, I always used my bed, and many a times slept in pee as a result. But, with a newborn, you reach a point of exhaustion where things like pee puddles are just acceptable casualties of the job.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Weekend Update

First off, we survived Adeline’s sleepover. All the kids, except for my own, were asleep at 11:00. Anaya, my 4 year old, was the last to fall asleep, and I had her Dad move her to her room when he got home from work. The girls did wake up at 5:30 in the morning though, which was not a thrill. I got up a 6:30, made them breakfast, which they didn’t eat, and let them go swimming. I just don’t understand how they could swim, because it was only about 70 degrees outside, and about that temperature in the pool.

Then on Saturday, my kids were crabby. Finally, after an exciting Red Sox game, I took them down to the neighborhood park. It turned out that half the neighborhood had the same idea, because there were probably five families there with their kids as well. The kids were all running around, screaming like banshees, as kids are wont to do in situations such as this. My youngest sat down with a boy about her age, and proceeded to put sand on his head. I picked her up, and moved her away from him. She picked up a bucket of sand, and whipped it at the kid’s head, missing him by barely an inch, and causing his father to remark on her pitching arm. I should probably mention that the mothers in the neighborhood don’t really know me, because I have the audacity to work, and not only that, I work at a job that’s not in healthcare or teaching. Therefore I miss out on all the little Mom’s Group meetings and all that. At some point, Anaya came over and got the sand toys out and started building a sand castle. Avery went to sit with her. Avery probably tried to help, but isn’t much of a help, in any situation. Anaya got mad, and yelled, across the playground “Mom, I will lose my shit if Avery knocks over my sandcastle again.” The Dad I was talking to started to laugh, the Moms in their little clique looked horrified. I just shut my eyes for a second, took a deep breath, tried not to laugh, and just moved on. Because that was totally my fault. That’s an expression that I use all the time, so they didn’t pick it up from anyone except for me. I am in so much trouble when Anaya starts school.

Sunday was boring. Didn’t leave the house except to play in the pool and the backyard. Watched the Sox complete the sweep of the Yankees. Fell more in love with Jacoby Ellsbury. Put the kids to bed, went to bed early myself, and that was the end of the weekend.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I’m I Glutton for Punishment

I’ve agreed to allow my 6 year old to have a slumber party for her birthday. Argh! By this Friday, I’ll need to get the house clean, or at least cleaner than it is now. Order a cake, buy some junk food, and put together goodie bags. Since she turned 6, I told her she could have 6 girls from her class sleep over. I’ll put them in the guest den downstairs and I’ll crash in the guest bedroom. This way my younger daughters can actually sleep, and the noise from the slumber party will be contained in the front part of the house. I am not looking forward to this. I’m sort of stressed about it to tell you the truth. But, once this first one is over with, I’m sure it will just get easier. Plus the pool is open, so they can go swimming which will tire them out and burn off a bunch of time. If I can get four hours of sleep on Friday night, I’ll consider it a success.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I Hate Ketchup

I hate ketchup. I hate the way it smells. I hate the way it looks. I really hate when it starts to get dried out and sticks to the top of the jar, or to a plate. In my opinion, there are only two acceptable uses for ketchup. First, you can use ketchup on scrambled eggs. Just a little, just as a dipping sauce. The second use is in conjunction with mustard on a hamburger or cheeseburger. Unfortunately, I have children. Said children believe ketchup should be used on everything. Hot dogs. Chicken. French fries. When they eat ketchup it gets everywhere. The whole table is covered with a thin film of the stuff. I then need to come through with a scouring pad and scrub it up. Not only that, but the flies love the stuff. We have a lot of flies in Arizona, and a lot in our house, since the kids don’t know how to shut the door behind them when they go outside.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My Prom Dress

Yes, OK, Prom happened 13 years ago. I went with my darling husband, who was my boyfriend at the time (did I think it would last this long? truthfully no, not at that point in my life). But, if I was going this year, I would totally want to wear this dress:

Yes, its a vagina dress. Nothing says good, wholesome prom fun like a suggestive vagina dress! And, at only $99.99, you can buy it here:

I think the designer didn't have this in mind, but its totally how I'd wear it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Blistery, Blustery Day

My middle child has sensory issues. Currently, she’ll only wear stretchy pants or shorts, because jeans “hurt” her knees and ankles. I think it has something to do with how the seams rub against her legs. She’s very particular about what sheets are on her bed, because some of them are “scratchy.” There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason as to which sheets are scratchy, they just are. She doesn’t like when the weather isn’t calm and sunny. Luckily for her, we live in the Phoenix Valley, so she does get 300+ days of sunshine a year. Yesterday was one of the days that the weather wasn’t to Anaya’s exact specifications. It was sunny, true, but it was very windy. Her sisters were playing outside, and Anaya wouldn’t go with them. At first she was paranoid that she would be blown away. Then, she told me that the wind was hurting her. I asked if the wind was blowing dirt into her eyes, and she told me that no, the wind was hitting her. We had to go to the grocery store to buy just the essentials- eggs, milk, and bread. Anaya was terrified that the van would be blown over. When we were at the store, a particularly robust gust of wind made something on the roof clang down pretty hard. Anaya lost it. She cried that the building was falling down, and that she would be killed. I had to move Avery from the front of the cart, and put her in with the groceries, so that Anaya could ride in the cart seat with her face against my chest, and her hands clenched over her ears. It was exhausting.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Birth Control

My Mom is at my house for the week. So last night, we were watching ER together, which is something that rarely happens now, but was a regular thing for us when we lived in the same house. This also brings me to my favorite parenting moment of all times. My Mom and I were watching ER, I was probably 16 or so (and still a virgin, as I was pretty much invisible to the opposite sex at that age). There was a pregnant teen on the show, so she turns to me and goes “I’ll kill you if you get pregnant before you graduate college.” That’s it. And, that was about as condemning as she got about things like sex, drinking and drugs. Unlike in most households, we were never told that you shouldn’t drink or do drugs or have sex while a teenager. It was a behavior that while not 100% accepted, was an expected part of life. It was a pretty good way to grow up. I didn’t feel any guilt about my decisions, or lack thereof. But, I knew that if I was stupid enough to get pregnant, I’d be the one who would have to deal with it. I felt totally comfortable going to my doctor and getting on the Pill when I was 17, because I knew I didn’t have to hide the pills from my parents, nor would they go through my stuff in an attempt to find out what I was doing. I don’t know how the birth control topic was covered with my middle two siblings, but with Liam, the youngest, the mantra has pretty much become “no glove, no love.”

Monday, February 16, 2009

Why I Am A Bad Driver


March 10, 2008

Seriously. I am a sane person. But, today, I totally lost my shit. LOST IT. Because of the asshole Michigan blue hair driver in the grandma car that was going like 35 on the highway. And, I was stuck behind her, and all I wanted to do was get in the next lane so that I wouldn't get stuck on the 101. Totally boxed in, big ass trucks on one side, exit lane on the other, old lady in front of me, dragging, because my car lacks the necessary pick-up (it's a 2001 Ford Focus. Do Not Mock It.) to quickly change lanes. I was so mad. I just started yelling, and making angry jazz hands at her. I could actually feel my blood pressure thudding in my ears, it was that bad. Finally, I was able to get into the left lane, right before the exit, and make my way home, but it put me in a bad mood.

Jan 16, 2008

Read here for an informative definition of the term "Masshole" if you are unsure:

This morning, I was stuck in traffic. Apparently, somewhere on the Phoenix Grid, an armored truck had run into some problems, and fucked up traffic for the entire metro valley. Luckily, I live in the West Valley, and travel to the Central/East Valley for work, so I missed the worst of it. I only hit the a small part, right at Baseline, at the 10/60 interchange. I needed to get on the 60, going East. And this my friends, was where my experience with a true Masshole begins, out here in lovely Arizona.

Getting on the highway itself was a bitch. I was stuck in at least 5 light changes, because the traffic just wasn't moving up the on-ramp. Finally, I get on the ramp, and start going up. I get to the flat part, and thankfully, it looks like once I get past the clusterfuck of those trying to get on the 10 or 60 West, I should be OK. So, I hug the right side of the road, and manage to scoot past the people who are trying to get into the parking lot of traffic going nowhere. Out of nowhere pops a Volvo, driven by a female. She cuts me off, which I'm totally fine with, because if I was stuck in that mess, I'd also jump out at the first opening I had. I'm behind her now, and notice the swoopy U that signifies a UMass Alumni. Well, I'm a UMass Alumni, and I too have a swoopy U on my car. Mine is maroon, since I went to Amherst. This one I notice is blue, which is UMass Lowell. You don't see many of those. I expect it's either because people don't actually manage to graduate from UMass Lowell, or else, they're really not proud of the fact that they went to school in Lowell. So, then, this chick really proves that she picked up some driving tips in Lowell, or else, she's a Masschusetts native. She's driving along, going fine, and then, right where the ramp to the 60 East breaks off, SHE TRIES TO NOSE BACK INTO THE TRAFFIC FOR THE 10!!!! Amazing. Masshole move at it's finest.

I Hate Continental Airlines

A Repost about a bad flight home from Massachusetts last summer (2008)

The Return Trip Home
Aka Continental Airlines SUCKS
By Kara Keenan
Continental Airlines is quite possibly the worst airline in the US, and perhaps even the world. This is evidenced by the fact that on Sunday, June 29th, I was left stranded in Newark, NJ with my 11 month old child, as were 23 other people who were on my flight. Continental refused to accommodate any of our requests, or to make the unanticipated stay easy on any of us.
Here's what happened. The original flight out of Boston was delayed 2.5 hours, because of storms over NYC. We were told that the connection to the Phoenix flight would be OK, because that plane was also delayed. The 5:30 PM flight left Boston at 7:55 PM. We got to New Jersey's airspace, and were put in a holding pattern over the airport. An announcement was made over the speakers that the gate had been changed so that we were landing at gate 82, right next to the Phoenix flight at gate 84. In addition, it was requested that the Phoenix passengers were to be allowed off the plane before everyone else. So we land, and make the dash to the next gate. The plane is still there. Luggage starts to go from one plane to the next. All is well in the world. Then, the evil man in the Red Coat says "sorry, the cabin door is shut, you can't get on the plane." He sends us to gate 90. Gate 90 is manned by a large, angry black woman who tells us that we have to go to the ticketing agents in order to be re-ticketed. During this time, the luggage is moved from the original plane to the plane going to Phoenix. Tricky Continental employees get the angry mob out of the area beyond security, and promptly shut down security for the night, making us stuck in the bowels of Newark airport. Not only that, the ticketing agents are totally unwilling and unable to accommodate any of us. In fact, we are blamed for getting to the gate too late to board the plane. I believe the exact words out of one of the ticketing agents mouth was "you got there too late to get on board, it's not our fault. You're lucky we're willing to re-ticket you free of charge." Not only that, but they are showing in the official records that the plane only left Boston 1 hour and 48 minutes late, leaving over a half hour for all of us to get to the gate. Which is not what actually happened. We got to the gate at 8:54 PM, and were denied boarding on a flight that was leaving at 9:15 PM. Their solution to fears that we would not be safe in their main terminal (terminal C at Newark, aka Hell) was that we move over to terminal B, because the food court stayed open all night, and that the floor cleaners would be coming through pretty frequently so people would be awake.
Luckily, my aunt and uncle were driving down from Boston to New Jersey that night, and picked Avery and me up at the airport. We spent the night at my uncle's sister's house. I at least got a shower and a bed, which is more than some people got. I got on a 10:55 AM flight from Newark to Atlanta, and then a 4:05 PM flight, on Air France no less, from Atlanta to Phoenix, finally arriving in Phoenix at 5:05 PM, Monday, June 30th, more than 24 hours after I originally set out to get home.
Because Continental was so obnoxious, evil, and just plain mean, I will never fly with them again. Seriously, if they had offered anything, I'd probably not hate them so much.

Repost From older blog- Bad With Geography

From 08/06/2008
The embarrassing conversation I had with my husband last night, while watching the Red Sox and Royals game-
Me: "So the Royals play in Canada right?"
Frank: "No, Kansas City. There's only one team in Canada."
Me: "Expos"
Frank: "No, they're gone. Try again."
Me: "Canadians"
Frank: "That's hockey. It's the Toronto Blue Jays"
Me: "I thought they were from upstate New York. Isn't Toronto by Buffalo or something?"
Frank: "How can you be a college graduate and not know that Toronto is in Canada?"
…………………10 Minutes Pass……………………………………………..
Me: "I looked up Toronto online, and it is by New York. It's a legitimate mistake to make."
Frank: "Yes, it's close to New York, but its still in CANADA." (at this point, he's frustrated with me and stops talking to me)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mean Girls

This is not a review of the movie "Mean Girls" (though that is an awesome movie). This is about an incident in my daughter's class that got me thinking about my own experiences with the mean girls.

My oldest daughter is in kindergarten, and I had hoped that we wouldn't have to deal with the Girl Wars until 4th Grade or so. But, apparently they start younger all the time. This is what happened. Adeline started out the year very friendly with a girl, who, for lack of a better word, is kind of intense. The other girl is very possessive about my daughter, doesn't like her to be friends with other people, etc. I actually emailed the teacher and asked her to move my daughter so that at least she could sit with other kids in the class. The teacher had noticed the situation developing and was more than happy to comply. Well, things flared up again recently, when Adeline had a play date at another friend's house. The intense girl got very upset and told my daughter that she wouldn't be friends with her anymore and that no one else liked her. My daughter handled it like a pro though, she told the intense girl "so what, I have other friends, I don't need to be friends only with you." Intense girl started to cry, my daughter went off and played with her friends. I know this won't be the last time that the Girl Wars occur. My Adeline is already at a disadvantage. She's tiny, the smallest kid in her class, at almost 6 years old, she's 38 inches tall and weighs just 37 lbs. She's also got knee length blond hair and blue eyes, so she sticks out in a school where 80% of the population is Hispanic or Black. As a result she's known by more kids than most. Older kids know her by name and talk to her already. If this continues, I know that it will be an issue. The other girls are going to be mean to her just out of spite. But, anyways, this incident got me thinking about my own experiences with the mean girls.

My Mean Girls experience was mostly in the 8th Grade. The town combined the Jr and Sr High Schools, so instead of having both a North and South High, there was just one High School, same as Jr High. The way the powers that be combined the schools was something of a clusterfuck. They unevenly balance the "teams," at least in the 8th Grade. Two of the teams were pretty equal in numbers from both North and South (but I have no idea who actually was on these teams, they may only exist in my mind). One team was majority South, with a few randoms from North (this is the team that everyone I grew up with wound up on), and the other team was mostly North with a few randoms from South (Me and three others in the classes that I took). I was on this team because the math teacher, Mrs Ciampa was supposed to be the best, and I was having problems with math. My Mom requested specifically that I be put on this team, setting me up for a sucky year. In addition, I had to take "Reading Skills" that year. But I screwed myself on that one. I kind of just filled in all C's for the reading assessment test at the end of the year before (Reading Skills was interesting, we read some pretty questionable stuff. Some Ray Bradbury stories that I now appreciate, but were pretty deep for 8th graders).

The 8th grade school year starts and I have No One in my classes that I'm friendly with. Not a single person. All of the girls in the class it seems have been together for years. One girl in particular seems to have it out for me (ironically, she'd become one of my better friends and we'd live together in college, but I digress), and is the biggest bitch in the world to me. No one talks to me, no one walks to classes with me. Nothing. At least I had people to sit with at lunch (Sandy and few other girls, including another one named Sandy if I remember right). It sucked, and I was miserable for the first three month of school. Finally, in mid-December or so a new girl came to the school and it was at last someone to at least talk to. It was easily the most angst filled time of my life. Sure, things improved once I had a friend (Thanks Melody!) in my classes. They really didn't get better until 9th Grade when at least I had Jessica and Heidi in my classes. But by then, I had built up this brittle shell around me and had a hard time making friends. I didn't speak much in High School at all. I should have. I would have, if I could have ever relaxed. I was always on guard, thinking that people were talking about me. Which is total crap. No one even knew I existed.

As an adult, it's hard for me to just go into a group setting and start talking to people. It was better in college. I kind of reinvented myself and realized that I really didn't care what people thought of me. I know who I am, and that's all that really matters. Take me at face value or take the time to get to know me. I'm a decent person. I'm funny. I'm quirky. I know tons of obscure trivia that makes me very useful in Trivial Pursuit or Jeopardy.

I'd like to apologize to anyone that I was a Mean Girl to. If I hurt you, bitched you out, or pretended you didn't exist, my bad. It was just my way of coping.

What Does Your IPod Say About You?

What Does Your Music Library Say About You??


1. Put Your iTunes on Shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. You must write down the name of the song no matter how silly it sounds!
4. Put any comments in brackets after the song name.
5. Tag at least 10 friends


Need to preface this by saying that there are 4726 songs on our ipod, and its pretty much used as a server for our shuffles.

What do your friends think of you? Get in the Way- Tree (Maybe I'm not proactive enough? I have no clue)

If someone says, “Is this okay?” You say? Letter to a Friend- Shelter (Yes, I vent by writing emails to friends)

How would you describe yourself? Livin' & Rockin'- 311 (Yep, that's me, Livin' and Rockin')

What do you like in a guy/girl? Skungle- Pilfers (No idea)

How do you feel today? Just a Girl- No Doubt (Pretty apt. I am just a girl after all)

What is your life’s purpose? Skills to Pay the Bills- Beastie Boys (It is important to be able to afford the life that I have become accustomed to)

What is your motto? Apache- Sugar Hill Gang (No idea)

What do you think about very often? Live at E's- Sublime (No idea)

What is 2 + 2? Lucky- Radiohead (2+2 is an easy question, I guess that's lucky)

What do you think of your best friend? Brother John- Blues Traveler (cheeseball answer- yes, my best friend does have a brother John - looking at you Frank)

What do you think of the person you like? Homebrew- 311 (we did grow up in the same town)

What is your life story?So Much I- Red Hot Chili Peppers (It's incomplete? Who knows)

What do you want to be when you grow up? Wailing Paddle- The Rudiments (No idea)

What do you think of when you see the person you like? Bulldog Front- Fugazi (that's kind of mean)

What will you dance to at your wedding? (Nice Dream)- Radiohead- (Umm maybe?)

What will they play at your funeral? Gone, Gone, Gone- Carl Perkins (I shit you not, that's really what came up!)

What is your hobby/interest?Peephole- System of a Down (I guess I'm voyeristic. I do blogstalk people, that's kind of like looking through a peephole at someone)

What is your biggest fear? Mesa Town- Authority Zero (Yes, I guess Mesa can be pretty creepy. Lots of Mormons there)

What is your biggest secret? Stand Up- Street Dogs (I like to be ordered around? Not so much, I'm pretty Dom.)

What do you think of your friends? Tell Me Lies- Swingin' Utters (Liars and bitches, the bunch of ya!)

What will you post this as? Cielito Lindo- Voodoo Glow Skulls (No clue)

Again, there you have it. A lame blog with lame answers. Lots of random songs.

25 Things About Me

Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged . You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

1. I'm a really bad driver, but most of my accidents have been with inanimate objects, not other cars.

2. I have no sense of direction. It's so bad that if I leave my comfort zone, I have no idea where I am. Phoenix is a grid city, and I still get lost if I go more than 15 miles from my house. I can get lost in my hometown. I'll be heading to my sister-in-laws in Weymouth, and wind up at the CVS in Wollaston, and not know how I got there.

3. I'm not an emotional person. I don't get worked up about much. I don't cry that much about things that happen in real life (TV/movies make me cry). I don't bitch that much either.

4. I don't do religion.

5. I'm afraid of centipedes. All those legs are so freaking creepy.

6. I pick at scabs until they bleed, scab over and pick again. This is why I have tons of small scars on my arms, not because I'm a cutter.

7. I believe that steak should always be served barely cooked. Just toss it on the grill to warm up the outside and serve it up.

8. I love bad movies. Made for TV movies that show up on the encore channels on cable. Movies about big, evil animals. Natural disaster movies. Horrible hollywood movies that never should have been made (Dante's Peak, Deep Blue Sea)

9. I swear a lot. You know its bad when your kid (at age 3) yells at traffic- "Green means go asshole."

10. I use the word Dude a lot, probably too much. I've been known to call my boss dude.

11. I watch surgery shows on TV with my hand over my eyes. It's so gross, but I can't look away fully.

12. My closest friends I've known since elementary school and Jr. high. Some of them were pretty mean in Jr. high, but I've moved past that. (Looking at you Andrea)

13. I bite my nails.

14. I know the guy who blew up the shark at the end of Jaws. He's a a blaster from Quincy, and married to my Mom's best friend.

15. I don't have a lot of empathy. For example, when hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the first thing i thought was "what do you expect? you live under the sea level, in an area where hurricanes happen. Serves you right." I guess that means I don't have a lot of sympathy either.

16. I haven't lived with my parents since I was 20.

17. My husband and I are basically the same height. So I can't wear heels when we go out.

18. Which is sad, because I really love black high heel boots.

19. Once a year or so I give into the need to take my hair red, and it always ends badly, with me getting pink or orange hair as a result.

20. I can't have any more children.

21. I got two tattoos when I turned 18, and hid them until I was 22 and buying a wedding dress.

22. I prefer a stick shift to an automatic transmission.

23. I'm really good at memorizing social security numbers. A total useless skill in the real world.

24. I have no idea what my license plate number is, don't know the zip code where I work, or the main line number for my job, but damnit, I remember I graduated 30th in my high school class.

25. I'm not afraid of death, but I am scared that I'll outlive my kids.

So there you have it. There are probably a lot more things that I could think of, but these were the first 25 that came to mind. I'm a sharer I guess. I'll tell anyone who wants to listen my whole life story.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Wall Art

A few weeks ago, while I was in negligent mother mode (aka playing with Facebook or something similar), I left the children alone downstairs. They were rather quiet, which is unlike them. Usually World War III threatens to break out at any given moment. So, after about 10 minutes of quiet, I yelled down to the Axis of Evil to find out what they were doing. Anaya tells me that they're coloring. OK, good, no problem there. Then I ask "What are you coloring?" Adeline tells me "Me and Anaya are coloring on paper, but Avery is coloring on the walls." I cringe. Send up a quick wish that she's not using marker, and go downstairs to investigate. I find the following artwork marked on all four sides of the pillar in our dining room:

As you can see, it's crayon, thankfully. And, because housework isn't one of my better qualities, it's still up on the pillar. Mom's best friend, the Mr Clean Magic Eraser will be able to get rid of that in no time at all, now I just need to find Mr Clean.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Saturday Rituals

This post is based on an idea from an email from a book group that I belong to.

What is your Saturday morning ritual? How has it changed over the years? Do you even have one?

Growing up, Saturday morning was not my favorite time of the week. We (the kids in the family) all had paper routes, and therefore had to do the early morning delivery on Saturday. My Mom would have us up by 6:30-7:00 and piled in the back of the station wagon so we could get the papers out. In a totally unsafe, but never questioned maneuver, we’d drive the route slowly, with the back of the station wagon down, and us jumping on and off to deliver the papers. In the four years that we had the route, we were never pulled over by the cops, so obviously it was accepted. Then, after the route in the spring and fall, there would be at least one, but sometimes two or three soccer games. As we got older the games moved to Sunday morning, but in elementary and middle school, the games were on Saturday. We’d get home from that and my Dad would make breakfast, omelets most of the time. As we were raised UCC Protestant, our church was on Sunday, and not Saturday afternoon, like the majority of my Catholic friends.

In high school I worked for CVS and usually was the closer on Saturday night, so I could sleep in. Sometimes I’d have to get up and go to a soccer game for a sibling, but that was it.

In college, Saturday mornings were spent in bed with my boyfriend. We’d typically go out on Friday nights, come in early on Saturday morning, and sleep in until 11:00 or later. Then get up and find something to eat. When we got an apartment together, he started working weekends, so I’d be left alone in our apartment, and would use that as my day to get the grocery shopping done and put the laundry together for him to take on Sunday. On Saturdays when he wasn’t working, we’d walk up to Sicilia Pizza, get something to eat and then watch movies for the rest of the afternoon.

Saturdays with kids aren’t so relaxing. Frank works 90% of them, so I usually let him sleep until 10:00 when he needs to get up to get ready for work. I get up with the kids, between 7:30 and 8:00. The older two know to get up on their own, go downstairs, and watch TV. They’ve even progressed to the point where they can get a drink and something to eat (junk most of the time, but it keeps them quiet). Avery is still in diapers and she’s soaked in the mornings, so when she gets up, I need to as well. I’ll get her changed, and the day starts for real. I cook breakfast- pancakes or eggs. We watch some TV. The beds get stripped and sheets are thrown into the wash. We’ll usually head to the park after Avery’s nap. Even the local park is a break from being in the house, and after about four hours alone with the kids in the house, I need to get out. I’m not the most patient Mom in the world, so Saturdays can be a day of chaos. If anyone is in a bad mood, it festers and grows until we’re all in crappy moods. The kids pick on each other, and it’s always two against one, though the teams change minute to minute. Adeline is getting near the age where she wants friends to come over on Saturdays, and I’m just not ready for entertaining kids on a weekly basis. We don't do religion, so there's no religious obligations that need to be met on either of the weekend days.