Saturday, March 31, 2007

Like Son, Like Mother

There's nothing more fun to my boys than a strip of fabric.

In fact, I have had to put my foot down because they kept stealing my clean sheets, towls, blankets, pillowcases, what have you, to pull over their heads and bump into things with. And for the life mf me, I couldn't understand why they were so excited, and why I couldn't just fold the laundry and put it away and be done with it.

Thursday I popped in at the fabric warehouse I get my fabric at, just to check the price and types of muslin. But I couldn't be in there without browsing a bit, and looking at all sorts of prints and fabrics. I especially like the fancier ones, the velvets and the sheer fabrics with flowers embroidered. I can't help but put my hand out to stroke each one and see how soft it is... And I suddenly had a thought: That I would very mush like to pull the sheer fabric over my head and face, like a veil, and turn and run out the door into the sunlight, waving my arms, the fabric streaming out behind me, unspooling as I went!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Joy of Grandparenting

Nicholas sometimes gets confused about extended family. This is hardly surprising. Steve's family, who we see more often, has many Great Aunts and Great Uncles, and many of his father's cousins, but everyone is introduced as "Aunt" or "Uncle." There are only a couple of children, by Steve's cousin, and we have only seen them a few times.

On my sinde of the family Nick has many Aunts and Uncles, but he doesn't see them as often. There are also many friends of family that he sees just about as often as the real family, and it starts to get confusing after awhile, too.

Yesterday I had a doctor's appointment - just a check up - and Lillian came to watch the boys. When I returned I expected to find them as I always do, TV on, and eyes glazed over with the joy that is Grammy. But instead the TV was off. They had, apparently, spent the entire time playing "Airplane."

"Airplane" is a game where Nicholas makes everyone sit in their seats, fastens everyone's seat belts, and then talks everyone through a very short plane trip. "We're taking off! We're landing!"

"Tell your mother where we went on the plane!" Lillian urged Nick.

"New York!" He shouted.

Lillian obviously wasn't satisfied with the abreviated answer, and went on to add "We visited his Gramma Jean, and his Grampa Charlie - "

Nick shouted "And Gramma Linda!"

Linda - you've been promoted.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


Nicholas and Nathan have taken to fighting over every little thing. Yesterday the practically came to blows (and would have, had I not interceded) over lunch boxes. Nicholas was using a new lunch box (because I left his regular one at school) and Nathan was feeling left out, or at least I guessed he was, since he kept running up and snatching the lunch box and running away with it and screaming when anyone tried to reclaim it. So I got a small soft cooler that the hospital gave us when Nate was born, and gave that to Nathan.

Nick loved this, and he then tried to get Nick to play "Going To School" with him. Nick slung his lunch box strap over his shoulder and walked around the dining room. With a little urging, Nathan did the same, following in his brothers footsteps. It worked while they walked, but them Nick said "Now we put away our lunch boxes. Put your lunch box up here, Nate." Nathan had been going along with it, but suddenly Nick was taking away HIS LUNCH BOX! Nathan wasn't about to give it up. Nicholas was frustrated because Nathan was NOT PLAYING BY THE RULES! And of course Nathan had no idea there were rules to begin with.

Both boys were screaming and screeching and red in the face, each with one end of the lunch box and pulling with all his little might.

Nathan has also started to get jealous of Nick. I can tell because when I sit with Nick on my lap, which isn't all that often these days, Nathan tried to push him off.

I see them litle Dr. Dolittle's Pushmi-pullyu. As the duck said "Lord save us! How does it make up its mind?"

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Surfin' In My Imagination

There is this kids song called "Surfin' In My Imagination" ('cause I won't get to go on a vacation, oooo eee oooo ooo ahhh!)

We actually ARE taking a vacation, provided I can figure out what to do with our pets. The trouble is, it's planned for late June. And June is far, far away. Too far. I just can't wait that long.

And I have no idea what I think I'm going to get out of it, besides sun and family and good food. Because I am taking my job with me. I'm hopful that by then getting the boys dressed in the morning will be less of a test on my patience. Right now getting Nathan dressed is a bit like putting eyeliner on a greased pig. He's not exactly fighting me, he's just trying to get away. He's not interested in me, he's interested in whatever is in that cabinet I won't let him open.

We saw the movie "Sherry Baby" the other night. Not an upper. It's about a drug addict who's on parole and who is trying to get reaquainted with her young daughter. But there is this one scene where she is trying to help her daughter change her clothes, her pants, her shoes... and the girl is standing there and the woman is saying "You have to help me. Lift your leg. Lift your leg. No, the other - wait. No - You have to HELP me. I can't do this by myself. You have to help me." And i TOTALLY UNDERSTOOD. Because that is me with Nicholas every morning. I hold out a pair of pants, and I expect him to put his foot in through the leg hole, and he half lifts his foot, and then puts it on the floor again, and then half lifts it, and then puts it back on the floor, and then he puts his foot in his pants but then puts his foot down before it gets to the leg hole, so the pants slip out of my hands, and then I lift the pants and try to guide his leg into the hole, and I look up and he's staring at the window and trying to reach some toy, and I redirect his attention to getting dressed. and then he grabs my head for balance, so that his whole thirty pounds is on my head as I pull up his pants, even though his feet, somehow, are still glued to the floor...

This will follow me on my vacation. It will still be there. Perhaps. Perhaps, perhaps perhaps.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Cabin Fever

This is a picture of New York. Well... part of it. It has nothing to do with this post. We had technical difficulties with the camera last week, so I didn't take as many pictures as usual.

Last night Steve and I watched a movie, and afterwards I tried to think but I just couldn't remember what day it was, or what day it would be the next morning.

When I first started my maternity leave I didn't think I could ever really get tired of it. Sure, I got tired, but that was lack of sleep tired. Or later on, it was pregnant tired. It was physical and mental. I enjoyed making my own schedule, being free to watch daytime TV, having time for my hobbies, and being there with my kids.

Here. Being here with my kids.

But the truth is, I'm starting to go a little batty. I make my own schedule, but it is just recycling the week before. I make time for hobbies and TV, but honestly most of that is done away from the kids, and there isn't a lot of time for it. And I love being with my kids... but...

After (almost) three years of being a mother, I find myself actually aching for a workplace. I would love to be responsible for doing something that didn't get undone practically before I finished doing it. I would like to be away from my kids for a few hours, to be surrounded by grown-ups and grown-up stories and grown-up issues.

I am not ready to hand over the care of my children to other people - especially Nate. But maybe, just maybe, in a year, I might be able to find something work-wise to keep me busy.

Monday, March 26, 2007

still sleepy?

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but the boys are both sleeping through the night. I can go to sleep and not get out of bed until they wake up. These days they are waking up around 6 or 6:30, and when they wake up the first thing they do is NOT to scream and yell and cry for me, unless one of them had a leaky diaper.I can count on a few minutes of the boys playing together. When I go in to their room, both of them are usually in the crib, both smiling.

I should feel better now that this is the case. I should have renewed energy. I should feel like a new woman.

But instead I'm just tired.

What is up with that?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

What's Different?

See the whispies? His hair? The ones that make it looks like he's about to take off?

I know every other photo pf Nate has his shoving some sort of cake into his mouth, but ignore that part. LOOK AT HIS HAIR!

That's right. First haircut. No one got emotional but me. And now my baby looks like A BOY.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Saturday Story

One of the things about having a dog is that you inevitably end up having to clean up after it. I myself do not relish the idea of scooping up dog poop. For some reason changing diapers fourteen times a day offends me much less.

We have a great deal of outdoor space for Gunther to go in. He has a few spots which he goes in, most of them far, far away from the house.

The other day Steve noticed that a dog had pooped right in our driveway, feet from our front door. And we all had a hunch it was not Gunther. Gunther only poops on grass. He would not poop on hard driveway surface. But the dog next door, Buck, just might. Gunther is a hyper and friendly dog, barking at everyone, and wanting to play with everyone. Especially Buck. But Buck is a hunting dog. He's nice enough, but playing with other dogs is not high on his to do list. He enjoys taunting GUnther, walking across our yard while Gunther barks and scratches at the door to be let out. He stands at the edge of the property, just where the invisible fence keeps Gunther in. Gunther barks and yaps and jumps and goes crazy, and Buck just stands there, looking anywhere but at Gunther.

Given Buck's plan for driving Gunther nuts, we figured it was probably Buck who pooped in front of our door. Which wasn't TOO big a deal, since it hasn't ever happened before.

But it was located in a pretty prominent place.

This morning the weather was warm, so I put vests on the boys and took them outsde, taking them out the front door instead of the back, to try and avoid the mud.

Naturally, Nathan headed right for the poop. We had no chance of stopping him. It was as through an invisible force PULLED him towards it, and he even sped up as he approached it, so that when he finally stepped in it he was going about fifteen miles an hour.

This alone would have been funny. Lillian, who was visiting, was trying to get Steve to get some paper towels to remove the poop, and I was trying to get Nick's vest to zipper, when Nathan then turned and came back towards us. This time, however, he was going downhill.

I saw what was going to happen before it happened, but I just couldn't get to him in time. Nathan stumbled down the incline, and then pitched forward. He did put out his little hand to break his fall. His little hand landed RIGHT ON THE DOG POOP! HIs vest clad tummy landed right on top of the dog poop.

Lucky for us the poop was dry, so there wasn't a mess. Which, in many ways, made it even funnier because there was... no mess. I could laugh without being too grossed out.

Oh - and Steve gets points for them cleaning up the poop.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Grey's Anatomy

I haven't been getting a lot of sleep recently.

And it's my own fault.

Blame it on the fact that I found the ONE Jodi Picoult book at the library that I had not yet read. Or you can blame it on the fact that I just discovered Grey's Anatomy on Netflix, and I've been trying to squeeze in a couple of episodes a night, but I always watch just.... that... one... more... and I love the show with an intensity which... well, it's like the crush I had on Leonardo DiCaprio back in his Titanic days. Unrealistically all consuming. Only instead of a guy, it's an entire TV show, which, by the way, I will not watch on regular TV because I haven't gotten there yet. I'm only halfway through season 2. And like many new love affairs, at the start it may deprive you of sleep.

Anyway, the point is, I've been sleepy and distracted, which would explain why, at the breakfast table this morning, Nicholas slowly and carefully placed his spoon on the page of the book (Songs of the Humback Whale) I was reading. To get my attention.

So today I am making it a busy day, with lots of things to catch up on. On that note, we've got to go get Nick's hair cut.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Nothing Slows Him Down

Nathan has an ear infection. This is the first time that both Nick and Nate are on antibiotics AT THE SAME TIME. Don't worry. The meds are different colors, so there is plenty for them to fight over.

It hasn't really slowed them down much, though. Nathan might sound like a lung will pop out of his throat at any moment, and he cries a bit more than usual, but he's still as impish as ever. He doesn't like to do what the rest of us are doing, but instead he heads towards my bathroom, where I know I will find him sitting on the floor with my eye liner.

I am really not a make-up person, but I do own eye liner, which I have taken to applying every day in an effort to look like a grown up, and a good looking grown up, not one of those grown ups strung out on meth. Nathan loves my eye liner. I'm glad someone loves the eye liner, because I, for one, have always been a little afraid of it. I never know what I'm doing, and as the point approaches my face I know that I will inevitably end up either looking like a racoon, or poking myself in the eye.

Nathan has no such fears. He stick the eye liner just where he wants it to go, in his mouth. Nicholas, for his part, does the same thing with my colored lip balm (which I use instead of lipstick). He loves it. Oh, how he loves it.

When I was working in day care, the three year old boys loved pretending to put on make-up more than the girls. I know it is a natural part of pretending, processing gender roles, etc. I also happen to be one of those people that thinks a man should be allowed to wear eye shadow and lip liner if he wants. And a sequined dress. Go for it. As far as I'm concerned it's a big old bother, but if a man wants to go through the trouble to put on panty hose he should be allowed to wear them. And then he can show me how to put them on without running them. But it's different somehow when you're looking at your own children. There is still a very strong voice in my head that wants me to say "MAKE-UP IS FOR GIRLS!" and snatch it all away.

As of yet, I have not. Yelled. I have snatched, simply because I don't want my stuff to get ruined. I HAVE said "Usually Girls are the ones that wear make-up, but you're too little for it, anyway."

But my favorite line, the one I love and will keep repeating when it comes to things like make-up, jewelry, hairstyles, and clothing: When you get to be 18 and become a famous rock star, then you get to wear all the make-up you want.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Dangerous Hobbies - Scrapbooking

In my efforts to be Organized and Efficient while Bettering Myself and Getting Things Done, I have started scheduling in things like playing piano, quilting, and working on my scrapbooks. The idea behind thi is so that, if I ever happen to find myself with a few moments to spare, I don't waste them on trying to figure out what needs to be done, or what I should do. And even if I only spend ten minutes putting photos in an album or cutting out shapes of fabric, it's better than not having done anything at all, right?

Since I spend nap time running (or sleeping, if I'm sick with a cold as I have been this past week) I need to balace these hobbies with the boys. So now, when I do scrapbooking, I hand Nicholas a sheet of paper and some stickers, and sometimes a photo that I am not using. He practices with scissors, and he likes fooling around with the ribbons and the things I use.

The other day I realized he had run off with one of my ribbons. He was walking around the house with it. Nathan was following him with the other end wrapped around his neck.

Let me say that again in case you didn't catch it.

Nathan was following him with the other end of the ribbon WRAPPED AROUND HIS NECK. This is why you aren't supposed to give ribbons to babies. They have this uncontrollable urge to cut off their own airways.

I didn't panic because the ribbon was so loose one could really one say it was DRAPED around his little neck.

"Nicholas, what are you doing?"

"Taking my dog for a walk."

Apparently, Nathan gets to be the dog.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Details, Details

Oh my Lord

There's so much to do

Tomorrow I think I'll pour a pitcher of water down the mail chute

Monday, March 19, 2007

Theory of Spreadability

When we were kids I can remember my father ranting in desperation over little shreds of paper. His complaint was that, no matter where we kids were gathered, or what we were doing, somehow little bits of paper, like confetti, would somehow apear all over the floor.

This is related to two Theories that I have observed around my own house. The first is the Theory Of Random Items. This theory proposes that the number of random items scattered about a floor is increased twenty times per child using said floor. I am not talking about toys. I am talking about random items you do not expect to find scattered around your floor. Yesterday I glanced around and realized that my kitchen floor was decorated with fantasy novels, Steve's socks, dog bones, measuring spoons, funnels, BB Gun pellets, a plastic bag, a toothbrush, a few pull-ups, a pair of underwear, a backpack with Nemo on it, an empty jewelry box, a thank you note from last year, and a copy of a book about toilet training your child.

This theory is kind of related to the Theory of Spreadability, which states that, even if you put all of the toys in a bin or a basket, they will seem to leap out on their own and spread themselves around the floor, creeping under furniture.

WHy has no one discussed or discovered these before now?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

What Snow Looks Like

The last snowstorm we had was a real one. We must have gotten a foot. Winter used to mean snow on the ground from December to March, but the past few years this hasn't been the case. This is what winter looks like in my head.

I would have posted photos of the kids in the snow, but Nick's school sent us home with snowpants that were not his, so I brought them back, in case whoever had Nick's snowpants wanted to swap back. But so far, no luck. And now Nick has no snowpants. How irritating is that?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

What does YOUR kid do?


Still feeling under the weather and not up to a real post, so here's a picture taken about a year ago. Obviously, both boys have changed tremendously. Here's how.

Nathan can now walk, run, climb, open drawers and remove items such as birthday candles and matches, Sharpie markers, and knives. Ha takes only one nap a day. He no longer usus a bottle at all, and eats regular food. He sings "Bob The Builder," "The Backyardigans" and also "Twinkle Twinlke / The ABC song" I don't know whichbecause he just sings the notes and it's the same song. He is also starting to say a few words. "Mommy!" "Mermie" (Ernie) "Mummy!" (yummy), and "Bah Bah!" (Big Bird.) He is working on sounds for "MIlk" and "Food" but usually he just pushes me into a standig position while waving his empty sip cup around wildy, and up to now that's worked just fine.

Nicholas now speaks very fluidly. Without being TOO biased, I happpen to think he speaks more than a typical almost-three year old. He talks about his days at school, the things he wants to happen, and his dreams, sometimes mushing them together a bit so that you end up confused abotu what really happened. He can use words to tell you what he wants to do and what he doesn't like. He can also tell on Nathan, and let me know when NATE is doing something not right. Nicholas is also making improvements in using the potty. This past week he started telling me he needed space, and making me close the door and leave him in there alone. Part of me was thrilled - after all, this is what I am working towards, right? But the other part of me was sad he didn't need me, and scared, so, so scared, about what I would find once I opened the door. For the record, each time he decides to go alone, he pees, and finishes up without my help, even if his pants do end up on backwards afterward. We're still working on pooping in the potty.

Friday, March 16, 2007


I don't know about you, but when I am feeling sick, really sick, I generally try not to do too much. I might do some laundry. I might still feed my kids. But there are no trips to the zoo or late nights when I am hacking and coughing and sneezing up a storm.

Last night I medicated both my children, giving Nicholas medicine even though he was only a little sniffly. And I took a TheraFlu drink, which I love despite the fact that it is so bitter. Before 10PM I was sleeping heavily, and glad for it.

And then I heard this noise, like the demons of hell rising down the hall. And I sleepily stumbled from my bed and made it down the hall, where Nicholas was kind of throwing up, but mostly kind of coughing, hacking, and then barking. BARKING. Like a seal. He sounded kind of like a seal. When he calmed down a little, he was still wheezing, and his breaths were coming fast and quicly and sounded strained...

Of course I had to take him to the Emergency Room right away.

If you've never heard the croup, it sounds like barking. And in case you were wondering, yes, an almost-three-year-old can get the croup. Apparently. After hours of Nicholas talking up a blue streak, telling anyone who would listen that he had a "throat in his mouth" and making it seem so silly that I might even begin to wonder if a child so talkative might be in need of air, the doctor finally showed up. He looked in Nick's mouth, and in his ears, declared that Nick had the croup, but he's better now, except he has the beginnings of an ear infection in both ears, so he'll perscribe antibiotics, oh, and we should give him a dose of steroids for the airway just in case.

The boys slept late this morning, but not late enough. I still have to figure out what is really wrong with my child, who is collecting ear infections like other kids collects rocks or stamps or pet rodents. I need to do laundry. I need to figure out what is wrong with my camera - I think I broke it. My new camera. My new, expensive camera. ugh.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Blogger still won't let me upload any photos... I hav no idea if it's blogger or some setting on my computer or what. All I know is that it's irritating.

But since I haven't been taking many pictures lately, it's also kind of saving me.

Yesterday the weather hit 70 degrees. I mean, it was that warm. Tuesday had been sunny and warm, too, and I took the kids outside, but we could only stay out a short while due to the fact that my shoes were sinking six inches into the mud each time I took a step. I'm not kidding - you can see my deep footprints on the lawn. So yesterday, after picking Nick up from school, I took the boys to the park.

Nick was very excited to go to the park. As soon as I started driving he started asking "Where's the park? Mom? Mom? Where is it? Where is the park? " as though I would forget where we were going or not recognize it or something. And, of oucrse, once we got there, we had to deal with the other 300 children who were there for the same reson we were - non-muddy outdoors.

I have never before this been to the park with two mobile children. I mean mobile as in walking. Nicholas, of course, immediately ran for the slides, climbing ladders and scaling walls he hadn't been able to on his own last fall. And Nathan was happy just running, and then getting as close as he could to swinging swings, sharp drops, falling boulders.... you get the picture. The problems wa, I couldn't keep an eye on them both at the same time.

I know that, at some point, a parent feels comfortable enough saying "go play" and then burying her nose in a book, or a cell phone, or another mother's storytelling. But NIcholas isn't three yet, so I feel that I should know where he is at all times. This proved to be impossible. I ended up scooping up Nate, trying to convince him to play wherever I could get a line of sight on the other child - the one shouting 'Go, Nicholas! GO!" and jumping up and down on the climbing equipment.

Today it is raining, and it is cold. And now I am in a hurry for spring to be here please, thank you very much.

Anyway, I'm still feeling sick this morning. Nathan has a cold, and the way my throat and ear feel, I think I have it, too. Not only am I sick, tired, and cranky, but so is Nathan. Nicholas, however, has asked to go to Chuck E. Cheese's. (We only went that one time about a year ago!) He is feeling fine.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Attack of the Wakey Wakeys

Well, blogger is not letting me upload a photo today.... or maybe each of my attempts has secretly somehow been successful, in which case you might see 5 identical pictures of Nick crying and two pictures of the boys from last year.

Every once and awhile, one of the boys gets what I like to think of as the WAKEY WAKEYS. This is when a child wakes up frequesntley during the night FOR NO APPARENT REASON. By that I mean they wake up more than three times, and it's not a nightmare, not a cold, not obvious tummy trouble, although they might possibly be a little congested or they might possibly have some gas or something. But nothing ever really gets resolved.

The night before last, Nicholas had the Wakey Wakeys. I swear I was up seven or eight times, and deprived of enough sleep to forget that I'm the mother and that I'm supposed to comfort him, and instead woke each time with an increasingly strong notion that he was doing it on purpose to torment me. After all, once I got to him, there appeared to be little I could do. He wouldn't sit up. He wouldn't tell me what was wrong. He looked fine. His bed was dry. I even changed his diaper and he was fine. He was just making that ncredibly annoying "heh heh heh heh heh" sound that says "Please find out what's wrong so I stop making this sound, or some passser-by might bash my head in with a rock." Near 4am I was dashing in there and whishpering "If you wake up your brother then YOU will be the one to put him back to sleep!"

Which explains, to some extent, the irritable and depressed mood I was in yesterday.

Well, guess what? Last night, Nathan had the Wakey Wakeys. Again, no apparent reason for the discomfort or distress or the apparent urge to torture Mom. It got to the point where he was crying before I could leave the room. But there was nothing I could do. He was just a fuss bucket.

Yesterday I skipped my workout to nap, but I am reluctant to do it two days in a row, despite being so tired I could... well, take a nap. Besides, who knows when this trend might end? Since the boys are taking turns and have naps scheduled into their days instead of five mile runs they are much better equipped to keep this up than I am.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Sick Day?

I am so tired and down.

I went to vote in the primaries this morning. There were five - FIVE - huge ballots, double sided, all cryptically worded, and I was terrified that one wrong vote would have a huge hardware store building it's newest store in our backyard. Meanwhile, the boys did their best to make as much noise as possible, throwing sip cups, toys, and getting hurt, as I stuck my head out of the voting booth and periodically threw m&m's at them.

I then purchased a box of girls scout cookies, and we ate half the box.

Then we got home and I put on Peter Pan.

It isn't even 10am.

I want to sleep. My body aches from working out and not sleeping. And the boys have an uncanny ability to fall and bump themselves and get into huge screaming fights over NOTHING, which makes me even more upset and sad and feeling helpless, and wondering why I decided to do this with my life.

Monday, March 12, 2007

How do YOU stop Global Warming?

Do you take any steps to help prevent Global Warming?

The other night Steve and I watched "An Inconvenient Truth" which was quite frightening, really. By the end of the film (despite it being sappy and manipulative and not a real documentary at all in that it had a definite agenda and left out what is probably a lot of relevent data and had lots of sappy music and showed pictures of cows) I wanted to go out and do something to stop global warming. Right away. I wanted to fix the problem. Or at least do whatever it was that I could do.

Mr. Gore went on and on talking about the EFFECTS of global warming. He had slides. Scary slides. They showed flim of ice shelves crmbling and falling into the ocean. They showed computer generated projections of what the earth would look like, what California and Florida would look like after so many years of global warming - specks in the ocean. Or just.. ocean. And also one memorable computer generated image of a drowning polar bear.

I didn't actually need convincing of anything. Despite all the compelling data, Mr. Gore actually had me at "Hello!" and I waited patiently until the end of the film to hear what Mr. Gore had to say about WHAT I COULD DO. I was looking for something practical, something within my power, such as "grow tomatoes - tomatoes help stop global warming." Or even "stop eating beef - beef causes global warming!" You know. Some step I could take today, or tomorrow, or in the immediate future, to help our environment.

Mr. Gore said there were 3 contributors to global warming. The first was population. I interpreted this to mean one of the things I could do to help our environment would be to not have children. Too Late for That. However, in my maternally soaked brain, which has been marinading in motherhood hormones for over three years now, I think killing off a bunch of OTHER random people (rapists and child molesters) would be a more practical and preferred solution than telling me my children were unwanted. Which, when I think about it, he wasn't implying anything like that at all, though. He was just saying population was a factor. Besides, if the responsible people all stopped having kids, the only kids left would belong to the irresponsible people, and I just don't see how that helps.

I missed the second contributing factor because I was up with a screaming child and trying to put him back to sleep. But the third factor, I'm pretty sure, was fuels. Fossil Fuels. And this is where Mr. Gore's non-political campaign became absolutely political, because he mentioned that treaty we won't sign... Kyoto. He said how important it was for us to sign this treaty. It is apparently a matter of life or death that we sign this treaty. BUT HE NEVER EXPLAINED IT!

Which brings be back to yesterday's post. WHAT DOES THIS TREATY SAY? WHY IS IT SO GOOD? OR BAD? Why is it supported? Why is it opposed? Would someone put some actual content into their hot air? And is it really the only way? Why do we need a treaty to stop global warming anyway? Since when do these things depend only on paper? WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO BE SO STUPIDLY COMPLICATED?

Personally, I'm never sure what it is I'm doing to help Global Warming (I mean help stop it) and what I'm doing to be kind to other parts of our environment. I am going to start a compost in the spring. I am going to keep recycling my cans, bottles, and papers. I don't wash anything unless it's dirty. We're getting those special light bulbs for the three hundred light fixtures in our house.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Voting Time

Our town has a primary eection this upcoming Tuesday. You can always tell when these things are just around the corner from the many, many signs that are posted along the side of the road. Most of them just have names od them, but some of them have more cryptic sounding messages. "Vote NO on Proposals 2,3, and 5!"

None of these signs, absolutely none of them, explain their politics. I have no idea what these people who want me to vote for them think. What is this guy's experience? How has that woman voted in the past? Should I vote just because I like the signpost better than the other 15 signposts on that particular corner?

As a voter, I know it is my responsibility to figure these things out. But honestly, who has the time? Have you seen how many signs are out there?

We are in the process of building a High School. Not me and Steve, that would be silly, but our town. For some reason there is a great to do about all this. It can't just be done. Every little thing has to be bickered over, discussed, voted on, and voted on before that to see if it should be voted on.

We were recently sent a booklet outlining Building Options for this high school. It included a floor plan of each option. Option A is the basics. Option B would include an extra softball field and Option C would include a greenhouse. It outlined how much each option would cost the taxpayer. But as far as I can tell, it's like buying a car. You can't just get SOME of the options. If you want the greenhouse, you've got to take the softball field. This booklet explained which proposals on the ballot had to pass for each option to pass. Option #4 means the greenhouse passes, option #3 means softball, and if option #2 doesn't pass then apparently we don't get to build the high school at all.

There are a bunch of signs out there that say "Vote YES on 2, 3, and 4!" But there are also a lot of signs that say 'Vote NO on options 2, 3, and 4! SUPPORT SCHOOL PLANNING!"

My questions is - IS THIS NOT A PLAN? Because the floor plan looked like a plan to me. Or is it just not THE RIGHT plan? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

And of course, there's no real way to find out. No one that speaks about politics speaks plainly. English is not a political language.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Unexpected Roses

Does anything brighten a Monday more, or make me feel more giddy?

Friday, March 09, 2007

new and interesting ways to drive me nuts

The other morning something underneath our kitchen table caught my eye. A pile of shiny goldish things. I went over and looked at them. The things looked familiar, but I couldn't quite place them.

"Nick," I said, "What are these? Where did you get them?"

"There!" Nick exclaimed, pointing to the pantry.

He had unscrewed all the knobs off the drawers. And closed the drawers. And placed the knobs in a pile under the kitchen table.

Well, would YOU recognize the knobs off of YOUR kitchen drawers if they weren't on your kitchen drawers?

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Bigger Bigger

Faster than a speeding bullet... it's Nicholas, growing. Look at how huge he looks on this toy. Look at how short his pants are. When he does something that "big kids" do, he waves his arm and says "Me Bigger Bigger!"

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Billy Boy Billy Boy

Ten years ago I was allergic to most types of exercise.
Bad at sports, impatient, and easily bored. That was me. Oh, also, I refused to go to a gym because I didn't want anyone to see me while I was working out.
Occasionally I would go for a run. And I was miserable the whole time.
And then... then I found Billy. I can't remember who suggested I try the Tae Bo tapes (yes, they were tapes for VHS, not DVD's) but I did. And I liked them. I like the idea of punching a pretend bad guy. And then, THEN THE MATRIX came out, and I could pretend I was actually IN the MOVIE, and that was it. I lost all sorts of weight. I looked fabulous.
But working out doesn't work that way forever. My schedule changed. I moved further away from my job, and I started running instead of doing Tae-Bo. Then I got pregnant and gained three billion pounds.... and before I lost it all I got pregnant again.
They say that the pregnancy weight you do NOT loose before you get pregnant again is yours for life.
At least this one author said it.
I hate her.
Anyway, I am terrible at dieting. I try, because I'm actually kind of smart, but my willpower when it comes to not eating year-old marshmallows or the kid's chocolate Easter bunnies is practically non-existant, especially when compared to my staying power when it comes to working out. I can work out for hours. I can diet for ten minutes.
I have recently upped part of my workout from a 5k run to a 5 mile run, which I can accomplish in just about 40 minutes.
I consider myself in excellent shape, and think I am doing pretty well, all things considered.
And then Lillian brought over some Tae-Bo DVD's.
I have to say I had lost my love for Tae-Bo because I wasn't able to get through a workout without having to run and attend to a wailing child. Also, Billy was driving me nuts with the same inspirational pep talk, the smae missed kicks, the same shouts, EVERY SINGLE DAY! Because it was the same tape. But it still drove me mad.
And here was Lillian, bringing me her Boot Camp DVD's. They come with straps - like weights with rubber bands. And the other day I tried one of these DVD's for the first time, thinking I would probably breeze by it, and OH HOW WRONG I WAS!
Five minutes into the workout I was pleading for a break. My arms just couldn't take it. I was barely moving an inch because I just couldn't. This workout took all that I had. In the arms department.
Billy Blanks.... Oh, that Billy Blanks. He may wear horrid workout outfits, but let me tell you, he does it for me every time.
Workout wise.
I will look good in that swimsuit yet!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

From the Inside Looking Out

As you probably know, I have absolutely no decorating sense at all. So I need some opinions on this one. Please.
We have a colonial house. Not from colonial times, unless one considers the 80's a time for pioneers. But a house built in the colonial style. In other words, a box. The windows in our house has windows that are gridded.... paned. I think originally windows were this way because smaller panes of glass were easier to make, transport, replace, etc. And now windows are this way for aesthetic reasons.
Or at least this is what I assume. Because in our house the windows ARE FAKE!!!!!! They are normal sized, regular old windows. The wooden square thingies, these bars, they are just sticks placed on the inside of the windows to make it LOOK like the windows are made with smaller panes. Really, they aren't. I found this out because they have started falling off. OK, fine, getting knocked off. Gunther jumpes up like a mad dog whenever anyone delivers a package, and I can actually hear the sticks breaking and falling to the ground. And what's left looks really odd. I've tried to fix them, but nothing has worked so far. And I catch the kids walking around waving them like batons or even carrying entire grids around as though they have found some ancient relic.

So my question is, do you think the windows would look naked without them? I knind of like the unaltered light that comes through the windows, and now I'm strating to realize that these faux-panes make the place look like a prison, with all these bars... so...
What sdo you think? Naked? Or Prison?

Monday, March 05, 2007

Wacka Wacka Wacka

My sister Anne-E gave the boys these adorable outfits from Chinatown in San Francisco. They really are beautiful and adorable (because they are so small! All small outfits are adorable.) But let's face it. There are very few opportunities one gets to actually wear traditional chinese outfits. Unless you are like my friend Betsy, who actually dressed up as a Chinese Man for Halloween, but that was back in the late 70's, and I don't think we do that any more.
Anyway, I was going through the boys' closet, weeding out the clothing I can't squeeze them into anymore, and Nick caught sight of the outfits. He started yammering about "My Dress! My Dress!" So I figured, what they hey! I dressed up the boys so that I could take a few pictures. The boys loved it - at least at first. Then they ripped off the little hats, and eventually the pants. But at first they were all over it, dancing and waving their arms around.
Finally I decided it was time to end it, mostly so I could stop worrying about spit up or potty accidents in the pretty clothes. "Time to get dressed in our regular clothes!" I announced.

Nick looked at me and shook his head. "No," he said. "I'm going to wear my Chinese Food Clothes some more."


Sunday, March 04, 2007

Not Good Enough

Ever have one of those times when you feel like, no matter how much you do, it still won't be good enough? Like, no matter how much time you spend getting breakfast ready, your kids will still have squashed banana in their fingers and cry because they can't see the sip cup two feet to their left. And it doesn't matter if you spend 99.9% of your time with your kids, includng time in the bathroom, trying to pour milk, and trying to eat your own breakfast, during the .1% of the time you are actually looking at something else your kids will find your husnabd's laptop computer, so carefully left on the back of the couch.

It doesn't matter how excited you were to go out to dinner with your family last night, your kids will spend the entire time screaming - no, really SCREAMING for no reason, or hiding under the table, or throwing rice at the people in the next booth, a middle aged couple on a date, obviously neither person with any desire for coming in close contact with a child under the age of seventeen regardless of how adorable they look. Yeah, no matter what I do, it's wrong and it makes things worse.

It was a horrible dinner. This is a horrible morning. And I'm pretty sure it's going to be a horrible day. I wish I could go back to bed and start over.

Saturday, March 03, 2007


When we were kids, we used to play pretend games. Winston would be Billy The Kid. Anne-E would be the younger (and lesser known) brother, Johnny The Kid. I would be the older sister, Sarah The Kid. And Emily, who at this point was very small, would be Payday The Kid.

You heard me right. Payday. For some strange reason, Anne-E decided that Emily's nickname would be Payday. She didn't know what it meant. But there you go. We called her Emily. Unless we were playing a game, And then, then she was Payday, Superhero.

Happy Birthday, Payday. I'm waiting until it is at least 7am where you are to call you!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Definition of Frustration

With the new year and new year resolutions I am always compelled to purchase new furniture. Already, in 2007, we got a new cooktop and a new kitchen hutch. I always feel a little guilty spending money on furniture. There's this little me inside my head, jumping up and down, waving mini-me arms and shouting YOU DON'T NEED THIS! You have lived FINE WITHOUT IT! But if I always listened to this little me we would still be living at our old place, the kids sleeping in cardboard boxes in the upstairs walk-in closets. Because you might live fine without something, but... define FINE. I could live in a tent with no clean underwear and still be FINE.

A couple of years ago I put up simple hooks in the side entrance - the one everyone uses. I put a bunch of them up high, for grown ups, and a bunch of them down low, for kids. And as far as I was concerned, I had taken care of "where do I hang my coat" forever.

Until the drywall gave on the lower hook rack. It probably had something to do with the kids yanking on their coats. It also probably had something to do with the fact that I screwed the hook racks right into the wall with no anchors, but heck I'm really bad at that kind of stuff.

Now there was still room for grown-up coats, but kid coats got bunched up on the floor with the boots in one of those unruly piles that takes on a life of its own and spreads down the hall towards the kitchen... So I went online and purchased a nice-looking but relatively inexpensive hall tree rack thingy. Hooks up high, a bench down low for gloves and hats and that bike helmet I keep tripping over..... perfect!

There were a few weeks when I wondered if I actually placed the order. Because nothing came. And nothing. And still nothing... and then, Wednesday, I came home to find two huge boxes by the door.

I was so excited! I started putting it together right away, which was a mistake, because it's hard enough to follow the directions without Nick stealing things - like the wood planks you are trying to put together - or Nate crawling all over it. So I set it aside after a few steps. That night I resumed my efforts, but it was still hard going. See, some of the wood was slightly warped, so instead of sliding easily into the pre-formed slots I had to push and pull and bang on it with a wrench. I also didn't have a screwdriver, but instead used a leatherman which, ironically, is stuck with the screwdriver thing poiunted out and I can't get it back in.

Anyway, after three hours I had finally gotten to the point where I had three big parts to fit together... and I noticed that one of the big parts WAS NOT PUT TOGETHER CORRECTLY. Sure, I could have put it together and it would have been functional, but the decoration was incomplete. I mean, it's supposed to have three decorative slats on each side. One side has three, and the other side has one and two holes where the slats are supposed to be.

They are sending me another part to replace it, but it could take up to two weeks. For now I still have a pile of coats in the mudroom. And I also have a half assembled tree rack / bench thingy in my office, and two huge cardboard boxes with the bits I haven't needed yet, and a bowl full of scres and dowels and hex keys and a broken leatherman.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Buy This Book!

I have probably mentioned this before, but I consider myself very, very, very fortunate to know so very many very talented people. Very. Like, yeah.

No, but seriously, I feel that I know more of my share of creative geniuses. If we all banded together we could change the world. The trouble is, we all have different ideas on how it should be changed.

Here is a book written by my sister Anne-E. It's called Two If By Sea. You can buy it now on Amazon by following the above link (maybe), or Buy this book. Buy it. BUUUYYYY IIITTTTT! She's a better writer than I am. Way better. WAAAYYYY.

Also, have I mentioned that I am so very very extremely proud?

PS - because my new browser doesn't give me a button for links, I'm trying to insert links via cutting amd pasting html. It might just work. But then again, it might not. So please let me know if they're taking you to the right places. If they aren't I'll have to try something else.