Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Holiday Haunting!

Last Christmas, we got one of those little cards that play music when you open them. This one played an electronic beeped version of "We Wish You A Merry Christmas." And during the post holiday clean-up, the card must has gotten stashed in the kitchen drawers, which I recently cleaned out.

Before I could throw the card away, the boys noticed it and immediately began fighting over it.

Naturally, a few days into the beeping and warbling, the card had me batty, and I snuck it into the trash. Not the usual trash, but the trash I take to the dump - It was mixed in with some bigger items.

This was last week.

Tonight I thought about putting the trash out so I wouldn't have to tomorrow, but I noticed a couple of things. 1 - the trash was really smelly, and the crows would have it all over our lawn before dawn, and 2 - the trash can must have a hole in it, and also the trash bag, because the beet soup I had thrown out has now leaked all over the garage floor in a nice, bright red puddle that looks frighteningly like blood. Smelly beet blood.

And then I realized that I was hearing it. Tiny, tinny, persistent and off tune, wishing me a Merry Christmas as I pondered the consequences of leaving the beet stain on our garage floor.

And this was when I knew I was actually insane.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Communication Barrier

I think they are called the "Terrible Two's" because the child get so easily frustrated at not being able to communicate. He knows what he wants, he just doesn't have the language to let you know. Especially when he gets tired, the effort is frustrating and he gets angry and inconsolable, and no one can figure out why.

Nick used to point in a general direction and say "Osh?" and then meltdown when we gave him blank looks.

Today, just before bedtime, Andy started crying. "Mine!" He was saying. "No! Mine! Mine!"

And I had no idea what he was talking about. I hadn't taken anything from him. His brothers hadn't taken anything from him. We were all just going in to read stories. "Mine!" he screamed. "Mine!"

"Your what?" I asked.

"No! MINE!" he screamed.

I tried consoling him, but over the past few days I've learned that Andy holds a grudge. He will cry loud, angry tears of vengeance, and sit under the table, refusing to let you pick him up. And he will do it for a long time.

I tried ignoring him, figuring he would get distracted by the book and hush. Instead, he cried louder, and I had to read louder, until I could hardly hear myself.

Then he took the next step and stuck his snotty, tear soaked face in between my head and the book. "Look at ME! I'm telling you something! Something upsetting! And that thing is : MINE! Mine! MINE!"

At one point I turned to him and said "OK, Andy. Go get it." And he stopped crying and left the room. I thought he would come back in with something that was his, or something that might start with the letter M. Or maybe something that ended with "Ime." But instead he just started crying again, as though he had been looking for something and someone had moved it.

This was when I turned to his brothers.

"Does anyone know why Andy is crying?"

"Yes!" Nick said. He was stretched out in Nate's bed, ignoring the whole fiasco. "He's crying because he is tired."

Oh. Yeah.

Maybe Nick should be the mom.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday, September 29th

5:45 am - Andy wakes me up

5:55 am - change sheets on Andy's crib, and on Nate's bed. Promise to look into more effective night-time diapers

6:00 am - breakfast, feed pets, dress kids, put in a load of wash.

8:00 am - go outside to wait for bus.

8:30 am - bus shows up for Nick.

8:31 am - throw other two kids in car

8:40 am - finally locate keys

8:50 am - drop Nate off at school, drive Andy to Baby Gym class

9:15 am - Baby Gym class

10:30 am - Andy's Storytime at Library

11:15 am - Pick up Nick

11:40 am - Pick up Nate. Eat lunch at the new place next door, and have the check picked up by a nearby table. Wonder how this always happens to me.

12:45 pm - get Nick and Nate to gym class.

1:45 pm - go home and try to get Andy to nap.

2:45 pm - give up on Andy napping, put laundry in dryer, go outside to rake leaves.

4:30 pm - have early dinner so Steve can go to a class.

5:00 pm - clean up

6:00 pm - start getting the kids ready for bath, story, bed.

7:20 pm - tuck the boys in and fold laundry before collapsing.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Arms Full Of Marbles

Today's post has nothing at all to do with this picture. I took it. I think it's pretty. And I don't have any good pictures of the boys to post.

Today I took the boys to the pool. We joined the pool at the Holiday Inn so that we could have a place to go to splash around and to practice swimming. It's not swanky, but it's a pool, and usually the only other people there are elderly or vastly overweight ladies, and sometimes a few other young kids.

But today a woman walked in with three bigger kids. And when I say big, I mean the biggest one probably displaced more water than I did. This wouldn't have been a big deal, except that he chose to displace it again and again and again by jumping into the pool, and the around while in the pool.

We've had issues before with kids playing wildly in the pool. There are many signs that say NO DIVING, NO JUMPING, but kids don't read signs. And many parents don't enforce the rule. Even when they do, kids are kids. They don't come there to swim laps, they splash, they kick, they move around, and the once smooth surface of the water becomes a stormy sea with waves overlapping the edges of the pool and splashing right into Andy's face as he hovers, helpless, in his water-wings.

And I understand. I UNDERSTAND.

But these boys... they were bigger. And they were throwing balls - tiny, juggling balls. And they had bad aim, I have to tell you, most of the time the balls ended up out of the pool and one of them had to splash past us to get out of the pool and retrieve it, the splash back in and hurl it to the other end of the water.

The older ladies I spoke about earlier, the ones that do not move around well in water or on land, exited the water and retreated to the hot tub, but not before one of them yelled at the largest boy "No Jumping!" after he practically landed on top of her.

This was the only time I saw the mother react. She then yelled at her son, and it was embarrassing for him, no doubt. But she never seemed to notice how they bumped into other swimmers or how many times I rescued Andy from one of their lurching bodies. She sat there and read a paperback, and at one point actually left to try out the workout room. (There is a glass wall between the rooms.)

And I rolled my eyes, and I thought about how horrible her children were, and how she was making no effort with them. No Effort.

And then Andy decided he would swim without water wings. Nick and Nate were having a go at it, so I guess he wanted to be included. And I was kind of fighting him on it, when I heard Nick start crying and spluttering, and it turned out he had been sans flotation device over his head and needed me and the the boys had been splashing and I hadn't noticed! (Later it came out that one of the boys had actually landed on top of him, but whatever.) Hooray, Mom!

This was followed quickly by Andy jumping into the shallow end of the pool sans water wings and hitting the back of his head on the concrete edge on the way down. Loud crying. Hooray, Mom!

Not to mention the fact that this morning I threw a fit after Nathan pushed Andy in the driveway (Andy has a banged up face) and Nathan also threw a fit, which the school bus driver and our neighbor leaving for work all got to see. And that Nathan himself also has a black eye due to a block being chucked at his face by a brother.

And I thought about all of this as we got dressed to leave the pool, and when we walked back out past the woman reading and her three, very active boys who were drinking gatorades in the hot tub, I realized that there was no way to keep it from happening.

I do my very best, and my kids get banged up and hurt and they hurt each other. They throw fits and they cry and they refuse to go outside because of bees and they insist they can swim when they can't. They fight over junk mail and refuse to pick up toys and then cry when I enforce our rules. And they do it all at the same time, one ofter another, never giving me time to solve one problem before another disaster strikes. It's like trying to carry marbles across the room in your arms, and they keep falling, but if you stop to pick them up, more will fall because you can't really move your arms. And all these people are sitting around watching you do this and thinking "What is her problem? Why does she keep dropping all those stupid marbles?"

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Andy still calls animals by the sounds he thinks they make.

A cat is a "Meow."

A dog is a "Wha-wha!"

And a cow is a "Booo!"

Monday, September 21, 2009

Can't Breed!

I hab a code, an I can't breed.

I spent all afternoon trying to get the kids to pick up their toys. "I will put them all on the high shelf," I said.

Nick looked thoughtful, then finally asked "For how long?"

I sighed. "For a long time. For at least a week. So are you going to pick them up, or do I have to put them on the high shelf?"

Nate looked at me, serious and wide eyed. "High shelf!"

What followed was hours of boys shoving toys under beds, getting found out, crying, blaming, hitting each other, crying some more, a little bit of picking up, and ending with Nathan shoving all the toys he picked up on top of his dresser - the highest shelf he could reach. Because that as so much easier than the toy bin. Which is right there, on the floor.

I am not feeling well. I would like to go to sleep now. But I am forced to sit here and watch the season premiere of HOUSE.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


We take a Star Wars book out of the library each time we go. They are easy ones. I try to select the ones with only a couple of sentences on each page. Nick can't get enough, and I read at least one each day, unless I manage to hide it.

Andy now points to R2-D2. He calls him "Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo!"

Saturday, September 19, 2009

2 Cute 2 Handle

Nick and Nate spend last night on The Boat with Steve. We were all prepared to make it a whole-family affair, until we remembered that we had a dog, and that at some point he would have to eat, and more importantly at some point he would have to pee, and he couldn't just hang around for fourteen hours waiting.

Besides, I dislike the cold and don't feel well on the boat.

So I stayed home with Andy.

Nick and Nate had a wonderful time.

And it let me spend some time with Andy. When the boys are at school it's just us, but I'm so foolish in always dragging him shopping or cleaning the house or doing something that needs doing and is so amazingly and totally BORING to a 21 month old toddler.

But when it was just us in the house, we had some good moments. He woke up and I could hear him walking around, looking for his older brothers. I called him in to see me, and he was so enthusiastic about everything I suggested. "You want to go down and get some toast?" "YEAH!"

I need to stop taking the little guy for granted and spend some real time with him.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Ship's Ahoy!

So we got this boat. And it's a very nice boat. And Steve likes it very much. And so do the boys, although I have to say that visiting the boat with the boys is not half as relaxing as visiting the boat without the boys. Because they seem to fall and clonk themselves on land, and the boat pitches back and forth and if they fall below deck they will hit something, and if they fall above deck they are either going to land below deck or in the water. They also can't stay either up or down, they keep going up and down the ladder until I think Steve is going to have a stroke.

But the boat is very nice. Now that the end of the season is almost here I think I'm going to miss it, even just sitting on the mooring. But I have discovered a very unfortunate thing.

I get seasick.

I can't stay below deck for more than a few minutes before starting to feel ill.

This is really starting to put a damper on my dream of moving us to a boat and sailing around the world.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Catching Up

Almost two weeks ago my sister, Anne-E, came to visit. (In case you couldn't tell from the photo I posted in the last entry.) And we went to StoryLand! (In case you couldn't tell from the above photo.)

It was a lot of fun, and I only wish that I could see my sister more often.

Tell me Humpty Dumpty isn't the stuff nightmares are made of.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Feeling yucky

I am feeling rather yucky today. I didn't mean to take a nap - I was just going to rest for a few minutes, but I fell asleep anyway. I slept longer than Nathan, who came in and sat on my bed with Nick. What great kids. I hope Steve feels like pizza for dinner, because the thought of cooking is making me gag.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Join The Chorus

Church services started today, and that's not the only thing. That's right, choir rehearsals! Actually, choir rehearsals started a couple of weeks ago for me, but Sundays after service is rehearsal time for the Youth Choir. Guess who's giving it a try this year?

Yup, Nick and Nate.

Nate is really too young to be in the choir, at 3, but I didn't think there would be any way to get him to sit around and watch Nick. So both of them had their first rehearsal today. They look so small, sitting there with the big kids. The director handed them the music and the took the sheets of paper and leafed through it, as though they could read the music, let alone the words. And they sat there, listening to the music, and dividing up into parts, and sometimes even singing.

FYI - I know that singing is my interest, and not the kids, yet. But I told them they only had to try out two songs, and then they could decide if they wanted to stay in choir.

At one point the director was trying to get the kids to learn some notes. "This sounds familiar," he said. And then he sang the same notes to "Bob, the Builder!" And Nathan's face lit up like it was Christmas.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Over Extending

I think I've bitten off a little more than I can chew at the moment.

I've posted about this new blog I've started. And it's tough, even though I told myself it wasn't going to be like this one, and that I wouldn't hold myself to the same standard in terms of number of posts. But I do feel that it should have some sort of content.

At the same time, I am taking a creative writing class. This shouldn't be too time consuming, as it's online, but I still need to take time to read the lecture, to join in on the online discussion, and to actually do the assignments.

This is all happening at a time when school has just begun and our schedules are topsy turvy anyway, not to mention that church services begin tomorrow (we close for the summer) and choir rehearsals also pick-up.

Maybe normal people can juggle all this, but I can't. I can't find time to shower. And the result (besides being smelly and dirty some days) is that everything I do is less than my best.

And I guess this is my way of explaining just why I've been missing more days than usual, and why some posts have been... unfinished.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Little Fishy

Steve was talking to Nathan about going on the boat tomorrow. "We'll go on the boat, you, Nick, and me. And we can go fishing!"

Nate turned to him, eyes gleaming with excitement. "Yeah!" Pause. "And I'm gonna stay here!"

I laughed.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


We like robots here.

Wall-E is a robot. C3PO, R2D2 - robots. Voicebot - robot. Transformers - robots AND ALIENS, which is probably why they are so cool.

Nick sometimes talks about building a robot with Steve, but I think he thinks they will be building C3PO. Steve thinks they will build a box with a blinking light. Half joking I spoke to Nick about wanting a ROOMBA. Nick started asking a few questions, thought about it, then announced "I think I'd like one!"

Nathan calls everything a bot. "This is shoebot" or "This is swingbot." Tonight at dinner he started bouncing his fork off his knee. "This is forkbot. He can fly!" I told him forkbot should fly some pasta into his mouth. He did.

Any calls them all "botbots."

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Breaking The Spell

Today was great, all things considered. Nick made it to school. I managed to make it to the library and get a couple of books for myself. I even worked out!

It's just Andy. We constantly have conversations like this:

Andy: Mom!
Me: Yes?
Andy: Mom!
Me: What is it?
Andy: Mommy!
Me: Andy?
Andy: MomMEE!
Andy: MOM!

He refuses to use words to ask for things. But he will shout my name louder and louder, even if I'm right there, looking right at him. It really is infuriating.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Labor Day

My sister Anne-E came up for a visit and we went to Storyland. I shouldn't have gone - I should have waited for the boys to be 100%. But I didn't. I am incapable of not going to amusements parks. It was a great time - I'm so glad she came. The boys miss her already.

And tomorrow is the start of a new week. I'm pretending last week didn't happen. And maybe this time everything will go smoothly, naps will be taken on time, and I will actually get to work out.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Friday, September 04, 2009

Health Care

Andy is now sporting a 103 fever. He will not eat, and refuses to let me do anything, insisting I hold him ALL THE TIME. Both Nick and Nate were out of school today. So please, understand that where I'm coming from when I write this is a place of being tired and frustrated and having watched too many Disney films back to back.

In the meantime there is all this to do about Health Care, and Reform, and how Obama is obviously bad and evil and wants to brainwash this nation's children, which, I'm sorry, but that is just BS because he's the president and presidents have always, as far as I know, visited schools and spoken to children. And as to the lesson guides, get over it and stop reading into things. Haven't we all been encouraged to think about what is being said? Or to ask what we could do for our country? Or does that only apply when the president is then shot?

The more I read, the more comments I hear, the more I am convinced that people are all selfish bastards who don't give a flying fiddle about anyone other than themselves. I'm sure everyone is brainwashed. No one wants to actually listen to what anyone else has to say. It's just jabbering back and forth and my LORD I am so tired I just want to wash my hands of all of it so that I can stop getting worked up over it all.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

How It Begins

We've had a busy week. Nathan has been sick, and had to miss his first day of school. Andrew has not had a fever but has been unbelievably cranky, refusing to let me out of his sight. And today when I picked up Nick his teacher came out to the car to let me know he had been weepy and tired. Kids are getting up at 4am, naps are all over the place, screen time and reading time are distant memories. Not only is my house a mess, but nothing is where it should be during the day, either, no matter how hard I try to keep things - like lunch and dinner - where they belong.

I have been so busy and running around like a lunatic. I haven't been able to run for the last couple of days, which puts me in a bad mood in the best of times. But I've also been overwhelmingly exhausted. And this afternoon I just threw a fit because the boys refused to watch Look Who's Talking or 101 Dalmations, but insisted on Sprout, which I simply refuse to sit through any longer.

And something tells me that maybe, just maybe, this touchiness and this tiredness is the first symptom of whatever it is they've got.

Actually, I kind of hope it is, because otherwise I've got no excuse for feeling so irritated and annoyed at my own offspring.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

First Day Of School

Officially, school started today. Today was full of getting used to the new schedule. Getting used to the bus (which drove by our house before turning back), getting used to pick-up (which took 20 minutes because all of the kindergarteners are in car seats), getting used to the delayed nap time (Andy fell asleep in the car and then wouldn't nap and then was Baby Crank until I forced him to nap at 2:30), and getting used to curve balls, like Nathan running a high fever on what was supposed to be his first day.

Poor guy.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Can't Talk - Busy

Nick had his first visit to school. It went well. Except for the bus ride, which took three times longer than it should have, due to the fact that they combines two routes into one for just the kindergarten visit,that every single person had to stop and take a picture, and that the driver wasn't familiar with the streets, many of which were unmarked, so she made some wrong turns, and many people weren't home because by that time it was 20 minutes after the meeting was supposed to start, and so they had driven, but little did they know that 3 out of 4 busses were still driving around.

And also the classrooms weren't ready, specifically his, which still had workers installing carpet in it, and all the toys and books and supplies were stacked in the hallway.

Nick's first real day is tomorrow, when he rides the bus with the big kids, all by himself.

I was supposed to be distracted by Nathan's first day of school. But Nathan came down with a 103 fever this afternoon, and is going nowhere.