Wednesday, August 19, 2009

'Tis the Season

I love being with my kids. Love. This whole 24/7 thing has been awesome! What could be better than having them all to myself for 3 months? Sharing them. Yes. That's what they taught us in Kindergarten - to share.

Bring it on, 16/7!

Monday, July 27, 2009

All the Things I Said

I said I'd check in at this blog from time to time.

I said I'd never use the phrase "just you wait until your Dad comes home!"

I said I'd cherish every day with my kids because they grow up so fast.

Yes, I've said a lot of things. And really, I meant all of them. I recently sat down and took stock of all the things I've committed to, and was shocked to see that the list wasn't that long. But every job is a huge project.

* go through everyone's wardrobes and donate old clothing to GoodWill
* restock everyone's wardrobe... quite possibly at GoodWill, since I'm already there.
* save 50% on grocery budget by becoming a coupon ninja
* find time to squeeze in deal hunting
* score two kids-worth of school supplies for less than $5 total
* work VBS at our church for one week
* agree to run the craft section of our moms group
* wonder what the heck I was thinking, considering I'm not crafty. But I will save them money.
* sneak some summertime learning into our activities so the tiny brains don't turn to porridge
* regain mastery over my flower beds and lawn... ok ok-- over my potted plants on the porch
* put in half-time hours on the job, preferably not between the hours of 11pm and 7am
* keep my house in some sort of order
* go on outings
* have fun
* relax
* stop making so many "to do" lists and actually, y'know, "do".
* wash my face, put a fresh ribbon in my hair and have dinner on the table when the Mister comes home

I'll keep you posted. Really.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Leave of Absence

I haven't posted for a long time (perhaps you noticed?), but it's not for lack of material. The truth is, I have recently taken on more responsibility at work and with the summer holidays (i.e. double overtime) here, my mommy duties have also increased.

Which means I'm all work and no play now, but thank goodness I tend towards dullness in my downtime anyway. A good time in Mama's house means Seinfeld reruns and Brie with crackers. I fall comatose into bed each night and wake reluctantly to the sounds of my kids squabbling over the remote control in the morning. So blogging has unfortunately been the extra weight I've had to shed (although I really wish it was that last bit of muffin top from my last pregnancy instead, but that would've been yet another task on my overloaded schedule), and I'm thinking it'll be until the start of school before I can make regular appearances here again.

I'll check in from time to time, though, and you can always find my comments - both informative and irreverent - over in the other blog I co-author. Plus (and here's my shameless plug) it's a pretty good site.

'Til then, my dears, adieu.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Beginning of Something ... (insert adjective here)

And yes, those goggles are upside down

"Your brother is sooooo cute!" squealed Tweenie's friend.

We threw a "School's Out!" pool party for Tweenie's Girl Scout troop - eight giggling 9 to 11-year old preteens. Husband dutifully passed on his usual Saturday morning office run to look after Rascal and Kye while I handled the pizza and lifeguarding assignments.

Rascal and Kye were supposed to play nicely in the sandbox or playroom far from the girls as per Tweenie's express request, but apparently they didn't get that memo. Instead, they batted their long lashes (as only little boys have) at the girls and acted uncharacteristically sweet and well-behaved.

At some point, Kye got hold of a pair of swim goggles and wore them for the rest of the afternoon. Swimming. Eating pizza. Watching SpongeBob. It didn't matter. Eventually I had to confiscate them because they were grooving red marks into my baby's tender skin-- it didn't go over very well.

The sight of a diapered boy wearing goggles and eating watermelon prompted Tweenie's friend's comment, and I realized that eventually such a comment will lead to similar, less welcome breathy announcements.

"Oh my gosh, your brother is so cute!" As in date bait.

This hits a little close to home, because you see, I married my best friend's brother. I know where this is going. My then-BFF constantly waffled between 3 trains of thought:

1. Ew! Like, he's my brother! Don't tell me about how he kisses, seriously.

2. Thank God-- I guess we don't have to compete over Dale anymore :)

3. Well, if my bro has to date somebody, it may as well be someone I trust and actually get along with...

Geez, it starts earlier than I thought.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Other People's Children

An open letter to 80% of parents out there (or at least, living in the southeast US)--

To Whom it May Concern,

I'm writing this letter to voice my frustration with your current practice of parenting my children, particularly in my presence. While I completely agree with your intentions of protecting your own brood and the general public, I must take offense at the excessiveness of your paranoid concerns.

The following recent events may give context to my comments:

1. Splish splashing with Rascal in the shallow end of a swimming pool while your child is safely wrapped in a padded life vest-style Diego swimsuit plus arm swimmy things AND seated in an inflatable is not dangerous. Especially while I'm standing within arm's reach. And let's be clear: both our sons were splashing (even though Rascal started it - I can admit that much).

2. Running around the playground at a public park should be an automatic invitation for my children to holler like cowboys. That is what a playground is for, so if you're looking for a quiet place to play, allow me to give you directions to the library.

3. Children have a tendency to weave around on the road while learning to ride a bicycle. Since the stretch of road in question is within 100 feet of my driveway and a dead-end cul de sac, maybe you should rethink your speed while traveling said road to allow for more stopping room. Our street has maybe a dozen homes and at least half of those house kids aged 2-14.

4. When kids play together, they will give each other bad ideas. This is (a) part of growing and learning, (b) a teachable moment for you, and (c) inevitable. If your kid starts wanting to use the slide all by himself or maybe even say "stupid" (which I agree is not a good word), is it wholly my kids' fault? I will also take this opportunity to mention that time my son learned about Doritos from your son. Before that, he was perfectly happy eating Wheat Thins.

In any event, most of these problems stem from (1) kids being kids and (2) our slightly more relaxed parenting style. If anything, the fault is mine. Please direct all future bitching to the source, not at my children.

Actually, please feel free to bitch about it with your friends behind my back instead. You will not only have the satisfaction of voicing your complaints, you will also have a receptive audience. I will simply stare blankly at you as you list off all the non-life threatening issues you have and then promptly forget them. What I will remember, however, is to not arrange any more play dates with you.

I appreciate your prompt attention to these concerns, y'all.



Saturday, June 07, 2008

It's Gettin' Hot in Here

Whew! It's the dog days in southeastern US and we are broiling. Husband set up our aboveground pool and it's the only thing that makes this weather bearable.

It's also time for my kids to display never-before-seen levels of silliness as they all turn another year older this season.

Tweenie starts to worry about her physique when confronted with her bikini-clad bod. "Oh my gosh, mom! I'm fat!" She totally isn't, but it horrifies me to see she's picked up on what goes for societally acceptable body image these days (despite the Dove ads).

"I'm gonna run 1 hour on the treadmill, plus half an hour biking, plus 15 minutes of soccer drills every day!"

Five minutes later: "What? We're having grilled veggie kabobs? I want chicken nuggets!" And that exercise regime was in place for ... 20 minutes. It's never been spoken of since.

Now, I must say that I've seen the obesity issue much more prevalent in the south. No one can accuse me of being bone thin, and I would personally love to lose 5 pounds especially in the spare tire area. In comparison to many around me now, though, I am the thinnest by at least 50 pounds.

How did we get here? For starters, it's the fast food - driving down the interstate, every exit has signs for Wendy's, McDonald's, and Bojangles (fried chicken). Second, there are no sidewalks or large shoulders on the roads except in downtown, and with the speed limit on country roads set at 50mph, it is not remotely safe to go for a family bike ride or a jog. Our bikes have lain dormant in the garage since we moved in almost 3 years ago, except for the occasional ride around our backyard or up and down our short residential street. Third (and this really ticks me off), it is cheaper to eat Kraft Dinner or Hamburger Helper than to cook something half-decent from scratch. My grocery budget is at least 25% more than most of my friends because I cook almost everything we eat myself.

(ok, now I'm done with ranting and raving)

Rascal is turning into textbook boy, even more than he already was. His main source of hilarity is farting on purpose and mooning his sister. "Did it again!" he crows with delight. Did any of you read the Judy Blume "Fudge" series? Soooo worth it. We just bought it from the Scholastic book order and Tweenie is eating it up. She comments constantly on how she identifies with fourth-grade Peter suffering the existence of rascally little brother Fudge.

Kye is transitioning from being my baby to a real little person. He started speaking in full sentences suddenly about 2 months ago, and yesterday counted to 10 without prompting (I didn't even know he knew how). He's also decided to start defending his rights and personal property with respect to Rascal's attempted appropriations.

Discipline gets complicated now, because until recently I could safely assume that Rascal "started it", pushed, bit, yanked, stole, etc. Now, if I'm not present during the altercation, I have to try to sort it out by relying on this supposed inability of a young child to lie.

"Did you spill Kye's Cheerios?"

"No. He did it hisself."

Kye turns his huge blue eyes on me, welling tears shimmering. I'm stuck because I want to believe Rascal, but who can punish that little sweetie? They've both got my number, that much is certain.

This hot weather is getting to us all. With my baby growing up and bio clock ticking, I am oohing and aahing far too much over my friends' babies. Starting to think dangerous thoughts. Husband had at one point wanted 6 kids, but now we're outnumbered has rethought that strategy. We've now swapped positions on the family planning issue, and the debate on permanent (though presumably reversible) birth control is on.

I mean, I know it's probably a bad idea. But still.


Maybe when the weather changes I'll come to my senses...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Certain Eventuality

I'm not one to send around email forwards. On occasion, I have even deleted them without reading, especially since the ongoing epidemic of "send this email to your 15 closest friends to show them you care-- right now".

Either I really don't care, or I choose not to associate myself with such mushy gushy sentiments. I'm figuring my friends already know that I love them and don't need a chain email to tell them so.

However, this morning my cousin sent me a pretty funny one that rang all too true for me. It highlighted the difference between a first-time mom and a hardened professional like myself... check it out.

The First Kiss

It's your First Kiss and several questions might come to mind:

Is it the right time?

Is anyone watching?

Does your partner even want to?

Is your breath fresh?

AND,---Should you use some tongue?

Then you say . . .

'What the heck!' and Just Go for it!!!

This must be a 2nd or 3rd child... because Mom grabbed the camera and not the kid

Monday, May 12, 2008

My bad

I do apologize for my extended absence from this blog. I have been lurking more than usual at my day job at ChickAdvisor and writing all my wisdom (or prattling on to fill cyberspace, depending on my mood) at ChickLit, our site blog. You should go for a visit sometime. It's wickedawesome!

In other news, I feel like I'm still recovering from 3 weeks of family fun. We had such a fabulous time but for some reason it's taking me forever to bounce back. Like I've had a month of PMS or something (just as long as I'm not pregnant again, I say!).

Because of this and the fact that soccer season is in full swing, school's drawing to a close, and my flower beds have taken on a life of their own, I find myself with precious little spare time to rant and rave over here. I'm sad about that, and I hope to start finding more time soon. In the meantime let me leave you with yet another classic Rascal moment...

(in the van going home from preschool)
Mama: What d'you got there, buddy?
Rascal: It's my craft. I maked it all all all myself! It's soooooo pretty.
M: Tell me about it. Is that Noah's Ark and the animals?
R (angrily): It's not Noah's! It's mine! MINE!
M: I don't mean your friend Noah, I mean the other one... from the story.
R (emphatically): I maked it! I did! It's not Noah's! It's my boat, and that's Elmo in it! OK??


Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Lessons learned while hosting guests for 3 weeks in a row:

1. I can function on 4 or less hours of sleep. However, I cannot hold my liquor whatsoever in this sleep-deprived state.

2. My brother-in-law could care less if my legs are hairy. Hiding in my bathroom for 2 hours trying to wax various body parts while my little boys are emptying my makeup bag is an exercise in futility.

3. I am a much worse parent than I thought. My nephew does not act like Tarzan, and it is - apparently - possible to put babies on a schedule that is not interrupted by vacations. My sister-in-law is a freakin' genius.

4. I am a much better parent than I thought. My kids are not afraid of heights, dogs, Costco, or stairs because the Law of the Jungle employed by Husband and I (i.e. "I warned you 4 times not to touch that. You can stop crying now.").

5. That thing under my nose was not a zit. It was a cold sore.

6. Cold sores should not be fiddled with, as it may lead to a growth of ginormous proportions.

7. Cover-up makeup only goes so far, and then you have to walk around casually holding your hand against your nose. I find a contemplative facial expression helps with the illusion.

8. Getting out of a guest-filled house at 8:30 on a Saturday morning to take Tweenie to soccer is actually pretty awesome. Especially since we have to pass by Starbucks on the way to the field.

9. There is nothing wrong with letting Uncle or Auntie take a 3 a.m. shift. It makes no difference to Kye who fetches his bottle of warmed milk and rummages under the bed looking for Birdie.

10. I love my family and I think I need a vacation.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Rascal: "Mamaaaaaaaa! Come play cars wif me."
Mama: "In a few minutes." (clickety click on Spider Solitaire)
Rascal: "Mamaaaaaaaaa! Coooooooome!"

and then last night...

Rascal: "Mama, you sleep wif me."
Mama: "I have to go tidy up the kitchen. I'll check on you soon."
Rascal: "You stay a feeeeewwwww minutes. And den da sunshine comes and you can go."

*oops* He's on to me.