Thursday, March 31, 2011

Andy's Teeth

Andrew had his first visit to the dentist this morning.

The practice of dentistry has changed since I was a kid. This is probably a good thing, considering all the advancements in technology. I'd hate to think they were still doing things the way they were 30 years ago. But still, some of it takes me by surprise.

Nick, for example, had two of his molars sealed. I don't know exactly what this is. They paint the teeth with varnish and then use a special flashlight thingy to heat it up and dry it. This is supposed to prevent decay somehow. Which is strange, I thought that's what brushing and flossing did.

Checking in, the receptionist did not hand me a clipboard with copies of a form. Instead, she handed me an actual tablet computer, and I filled the form out electronically myself. It went right into the system, including my signatures on all those privacy practice forms and the ones telling me about the kinds of fillings they use.

Andrew has to go back next week. I might have mentioned this before, but they don't like to clean teeth on the first visit. They poke around and ask questions, and then schedule a cleaning for two weeks later. If you ask me, this is a stupid practice and a waste of time, but that's the way they do it. I have no idea why.

Andy had a great time. He listened, he opened wide, and he even let them try to take x-rays, even though only 2 of them worked because his mouth was too small for the ones on the side.

When the actual dentist showed up he said "Hello! Can I take a look at your teeth?"

Andy just stood there, not saying anything. Then we realized he was opening his mouth, showing the dentist his teeth. From across the room.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bad Word in Context

I volunteer with Nick's school class during Library time. At this point it's a lot of reminding kids not to climb on the shelves and trying to find a Sponge Bob book that child X hasn't read yet.

This morning the kids started asking about Easter books. At this library, locating the Easter books is made simpler by the little sticker someone has placed at the top of the spine. Easter books have a Bunny. Halloween books have a witch. Christmas books have candy canes. You'd think this would make finding a book fairly simple.

However, not all the children were satisfied with this search method. One child in particular always needs a little extra help with her search for the perfect book, and she is not satisfied until you look something up on the computer for her.

While I was helping her shuffle books around and she was making up and changing her mind, another child ran up to us, his face in a panic. "There's a bad word in that book! The book that kid has on the rug. It's a bad word!"

The librarian and I exchanged glances, both wondering what book in the children's library would possibly have a bad word in it? Or what word was being mistaken for a "Bad Word!"

I went over and took a look at the book. The boy smiled at me in that way, the one that has discovered a broken rule in the grown-up world. He pointed at the offending word.

It was an Easter book with a religious slant.

The word was "Jesus."

And I'm just going to leave it at that.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Library News

Ever since Nicholas was eighteen months old, I have been taking the kids to Story Hour at the library in our town.

Nick is almost seven now, and too old for Story Hour. Andy has just turned three, and just finished his first five week session of Big Kid Story Hour. I think of it as "The Story Hour Where I Get To Read A Book" because I don't have to participate.

I know I have written about Story Hour Registration before. Even though the library is closed and registration does not begin until 9am, people begin lining up outside the doors at 8am. Then you get a number for each child. And then you get to sign up for one of five possible morning or afternoon sessions.

Because Andrew and Nathan are in school three days a week, and do gymnastics, and because Andrew still usually naps on the afternoons, we usually choose Thursday mornings to do Story Hour.

Well, yesterday the phone rang and it was the Children's Librarian. She was calling to let me know that Thursday mornings weren't going to be available this time around - there were too many conflicts with the day, and they would have had to cancel two of the five classes.

And she was calling me because she knew that we preferred Thursday mornings, and didn't want me to be surprised when we showed up for registration.

I am telling you, I LOVE this woman and this library. I mean, who does this? How thoughtful is that?

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Steve recently purchased ten boxes of Girl Scout Cookies from one of his Sunday School kids.

Ten. You know they're $3.50 a box now, right?

Ten boxes.

The difference between me and Steve, who I love dearly and who cannot really be blamed for helping out this little girl and bringing cookies into our home, is in our interpretation of the situation.

What ten boxes of cookies means to Steve: We will have cookies for a long time.

What ten boxes of cookies means to me: I will eat ten boxes of cookies within the next two weeks. If I control myself.

I mean, is there anything in the world quite like a Samoa?

I do not, as a rule, purchase things like cookies or chips or ice cream. Or pastries or cakes. Or anything, really, that a normal person might think of as sweet, unless you count yogurt or craisins. I like to keep this stuff out of my house because this stuff in unhealthy, but mostly because I do not have the will power to ignore the stuff. I will deny my children chips and then somehow consume the entire bag during an episode of Glee.

Steve, on the other hand, is an eater. Is will sit down and eat a big huge meal. But he is oddly unmoved by cake, cookies, or chips. He can let a cake sit there in the fridge for weeks, let cookies wither in the cupboard. And then, three weeks later, he'll go "where did the thin mints go?" and look at me. And, really, they were just SITTING THERE! If he had really wanted them he would have eaten them by now, darn it!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Over It

I'm sorry about complaining.

And I'm done.

I went into the school to see what I could do about getting Nate to the morning class next year, and the answer was: nothing. What's done is done, apparently. From what I gathered from the ladies I spoke to int he office, and the emails I traded with the principal, my case for putting Nate in the morning class simply wasn't as compelling as that made for the other children. I felt sick and awful about it, and when I dug up my copy of the application, it turned out they were right.

I don't know where my head was that morning. I don't know if I was distracted, or in a rush, or what. But I neglected to mention anything related to scheduling difficulties at all. Perhaps this would have tipped the scale in my favor. Perhaps not. But now I'll never know, because I honestly didn't put everything down.

Lesson learned - put everything down. Explicitly. In writing.

I also found out there is a good chance we might get switched to AM if enough people drop out or choose to go elsewhere. 3 people. That's all I need. It's entirely possible. I also decided that this would not be the worst thing in the world. Is it what I wanted? No. But at least the difficulty will be mine. Nathan will be fine. Andrew will also be fine. And I can adapt to anything for a few months. After some thought, this is not serious.

I think that I was already feeling helpless about the school situation, and this tipped me over the edge. I want what's best for my children. We all do. But I suppose every parent has a different idea of what "BEST" actually means. And so there is disagreement, argument, debate, and when all is said and done, we won't care because we'll be in High School already.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Angst #4

Nathan has been placed in afternoon kindergarten.

Kindergarten is half day. In order to save money, they split it into morning and afternoon, so they could double up on class space and teachers.

I asked for morning, but not everyone get their first choice, due to the fact that everyone wants morning. Also, I waited until almost 10am on the day registrations were due to turn in my registration, as I didn't realize it was first come first serve. I thought it was random.

Why is this a big deal, you ask? What is the problem?

We get up in the morning, and I get the kids ready to do the day's activity. Most days, the kids go to school. At least Nick goes to school. If the kids don't go to school they have library, or they have gymnastics. There is usually something to get us out of the house.

At 11:30, I pick up the kids from preschool, or our activity is over, and we go home, have lunch, and nap. Andy still needs a nap. Sometimes Nate needs a nap. I sometimes need a nap.

Now imagine, for a moment, that all of this turns on it's head because I was late getting the registration in, or don't know the right people, or because I know the wrong people, take your choice.

I drop Andy off at school, and I still have Nate all morning. The free time I used to have when the kids were in school at the same time is gone. I pick Andy up, and I still have Nate, but now I have both of them for another odd length of time because drop of for Kindergarten is an hour after pick up for Andy, meaning it's too little time to go home and eat, but too long to go right there. And then I have Andy all afternoon.

I can't sign Andy up for morning gymnastics unless I bring Nate, and Andy won't do well in the afternoon class because he gets grumpy without a nap. I get no free time to clean, shop, write, run, volunteer, do anything without having to fetch juice or entertain or keep an eye out to make sure a lone child doesn't write on the walls or eat all the crackers or ty and swing from the hall light with a jump rope to be like Tarzan. Ever. It's back to last year before Andy was in school at all, only with more driving.

I am so upset about this, it is unreasonable. There is a slight chance that he might be changed to morning, as it wasn't our first choice. But I'm pretty sure I don't know the right people for that. It's just that, with one little letter, I went from really looking forward to next year to really dreading it.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Angst #3

So, Nathan has been enrolled in public kindergarten next year.

First, I need to tell you they have cut back on the program.

Why would they do this? you ask. Well, here's the deal. Our town has four public schools. The high school, for 9-12. The middle school, for 6-8. An upper elementary school, for grades 3 - 5, and a lower elementary, which has been grades 1 and 2, but recently had a kindergarten class added.

Except for the High School, which is brand new (we used to ship our kids off to the town next door) all of the buildings are pretty crowded. See, the town experienced population growth, and that means more children, and the school buildings were unprepared.

The Lower Elementary School is crowded now, especially since Kindergarten has been added. The town voted to add a special Kindergarten building.

But apparently the Upper Elementary School is even MORE crowded. So crowded, in fact, that a decision has been made to split the 3rd grade in half. Half the third grade shall remain behind at the Lower Elementary. Even though it's already full.

This causes a problem. Suddenly the same resources are not available for all third graders. Suddenly the third graders do not have access to the same music, science, art teachers. What's to be done?

Well, the solution for the music and art classes is that the music and art teachers at the Lower Elementary get to teach these students for an extra year. Unfortunately, as there are only so many hours to the day, this means the kindergarten will not get music or art.

The librarian assured me that Kindergarten will still get library time, but she gets a shorter lunch.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Kindergarten Woes

Another school year, another basket full of angst toward our public school system.

As you might remember, Nick was in the first ever kindergarten class for our town. Before that, there was just no public kindergarten. That was year #1, the angst revolving around the fact that I was sending my firstborn off to the wolves in an unproven program run in a bunch of trailers that was only 2.5 hours long. Because we didn't want to spend the money on a full day program.

Year #2 of angst was because Nick was recommended for the transitional program instead of 1st grade. They deemed him unready, and predicted he would not do well. I angsted over that one plenty, although in the end I came around and decided it was the best thing for him. A lot of this has to do with the teacher he ended up with, because she is so wonderful, and I would put him anywhere to have had her.

Anyway, my angst and anger have become unleashed over this anew, in this is the LAST year that particular program will be offered. It's the money. They don't say that, though. instead, they posted a particularly snotty paper written in "researchese" explaining how it has been proven for YEARS that holding a child back at this level does not improve their chances at success, and that giving a child an extra year of kindergarten is just a waste of time and resources, and that it poses a bunch of extra problems later in middle school, something which no parent ever wants to consider when making this choice. And now it's rendered useless as we have this kindergarten program set up and can spot children who will have difficulties on the way in and offer these perhaps twelve children a full day for "extra help."

I have to say, I read this article and then shook for hours. Because for years the one thing I have been hearing about the transition program is "It's not Kindergarten!" and it's not. The kindergarten program is 2.5 hours. Transition is full day. They do the work the first grade does at a less intense pace. Also, this lady who wrote this report obviously did not talk to me about what I considered in making this choice, because I did so think about his being a year ahead in middle school and in high school and in college. I thought about his self esteem and his abilities and weighed placing him in a classroom where he was unable to keep up and would foster a hatred of school and a sense in incompetence with that extra year.

But most of all I got angry that they placed all this on the parent. As though I forced them to put my child in the transition program because I had some sneaky plan to make him a better football player or a better student than anyone else. Like I was trying to cheat the system. The SCHOOL offered and even recommended it. That was why I did it. And now they turn around and basically state that it was a selfish choice that is, in the long run, not actually going to help my child. And by the way, my kid went to their new kindergarten, and still 'wasn't ready', so there.

I have more to say, but it's going to need it's own post because I'm too wound up.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Whaa Whaa!

This post is about nothing. Well... nothing in particular. I am going to use it as a warning.

I've written a few posts in advance. And they are, to be quite frank, really irritating in their quality. I complain a lot, and whine a lot, vent a lot. And not always very coherently.

I'm sorry. I plan on going back and editing them to make them a little more... you know. Readable. But I' not making any promises. So please consider this fair warning.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Officially Spring

How do I know it's Spring?

My gramma used to make a bit of a fuss over the crocus coming up in the spring. She would fuss over them and say the frost would kill them. These are not crocus, they are tulips, and possibly some daffodils, depending on where I planted the bulbs. But the sentiment is the same.

Here's where the other half of the bulbs are.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

What is this?

I have no idea what Nate is doing here. Karate? Dancing? Saluting?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I'm a few months behind on my holiday stories. Please deal with it, or wait ten months and come back.

When these were posted all over the walls at the preschool, I pointed them out to Nathan. "I like yours," I said. "Who is that man again?"

"It's Barack Obama," he says.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Utility Belt

Nathan likes to keep stuff in his pockets.

All of them.

Monday, March 14, 2011

I Don't Want To!

We follow a pretty regular routine. Sure, there are variations - some days we have show-and-tell and other days we need to go buy sneakers. But there are some things that we do every, single, day, like it or not, no matter what. You would think that my kids would learn to accept this.

But no. No they don't. Every day after lunch Andrew informs me that he is not going to take a nap. And I then inform him that he is. And he tells me he isn't. And I say he is. I am lucky that
1 - Andrew is small enough to be distracted by the story that comes before nap and that
2 - Andy actually DOES NEED a nap, and so usually falls asleep before too long and I have to wake him up when Nick's bus gets home at 3:40.

Just this morning both Nick and Nate told me they were not going to school. "I'm not going to school!" they said. Only they were screaming so it was more like "I DON'T WANT TO GO TO SCHOOL!" And in Nick's case, an added "I'M NOT GOING!"

It's important to examine who is speaking before reacting to statements like these. There are differing translations.

Nate: I don't want to go to school
meaning - I don't want to stop playing with these toy dinosaurs.

Nick: I don't want to go to school
meaning - I don't want to go to school

In either case, the important thing is not to give in. In my case, it usually involves a lot of screaming, shouting, and threatening. I'm all for talking things out, but we're on a schedule. We have no time for coaxing or easing into the idea of school. That bus in ON IT'S WAY, like it or not, and we better be out in front when it gets there. (We weren't. We were still in the garage when it breezed on by. ) Also, more than once I have dragged a screaming or sobbing Nick and placed him on the school bus. Yes, I am heartless.

Nicholas is particularly good at refusing to do things that I require every day. These things include practicing his piano, and doing some homework. For the record, piano practice is usually just over 5 minutes and homework is writing out his spelling words - there are five of them. That's 5 minutes, and 5 words.

Nick throws tantrums like the gods of Olympus over these 5 minutes and 5 words. He refuses. He screams, he cries, he becomes angry and threatens to rip up the sheet of practice words. He scribbles on the paper. He tries writing them very quickly so that every other letter is backwards and unreadable. He tells me that he hates writing, he hates writing, that no one else has to do this homework and that I am so mean and so AWFUL and it's so unfair.

I get very angry. I want to bang my head against the wall. I want to bang HIS head against the wall.

He likes piano a little more. Especially when he finally can play something all the way through. But the writing he fights me on.

I keep having to remind myself that
1 - it's not so much that he doesn't want to write as it is he really wants to play with his brothers,
2 - it's only five words, so how unfair am I really being? and
3 - my job is to prepare him for the future, and in this case the future is first grade, where people will need to read the ideas he writes down. So being able to form letters and words needs to be a priority.
4 - he would have more playtime if he would shut up and do his darn jobs!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Why Didn't I Get A Girl?

in my bedroom one afternoon as I'm changing from a skirt into sweatpants.

Nate: Mom, those socks are connected.

Me: They're tights.

Nate: They are very long socks.

Me: They're tights. See?

Nate: Oh. They're pants.

Me: They're TIGHTS! Get OUT!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Foiled Again

Many mornings I wake up before my alarm.

There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is that I've always been a morning person, and at some point in the night I will start waking up and looking at the clock to see how much time I have left to sleep. When I find out I have less than fifteen minutes, I wonder if it's worth my while. After all, I will only get woken up by a rude alarm noise. I hate my alarm's noise. And the alarm had the capability to wake up not just Steve, but the boys.

I try to be as quiet as I can in the morning because I want my kids to stay asleep. They, like me, are light sleepers once the bulk of the night has past, and the slightest noise can awaken them. And then not only will I not be able to run, but I will be awake. And although it may not seem like it, that's where the heart of me longs to be at 5:10 am.

So I quietly pull on my leggings and my sports bra, I carry my sneakers and walk in my socks, and I slip out the bedroom door...

And then my children mess the whole thing up.

No, not THOSE children. The OTHER ones. The furry ones. My pets.

See, no matter how many times I've done this, the pets equate any adult with open eyes with getting fed. As soon as I leave the bedroom, Franks starts meowing loudly and pitifully. "Meow! Eeeeeeeyow!" he says, weaving in and around my feet. Gunther also thinks the day has officially begun. He doesn't say anything, but his nails click click click on the wood floor and the stairs. And he leads the way down, ke-THUMP ke-THUMP keTHUMP you would think we had an elephant instead of a lab-chow mix. Puck is usually much better behaved. Unfortunately, don't think it has to do with manners but with laziness and his failure to pick up on the fact that I am awake.

The pets are always surprised, and a little offended, when I ignore their bowls and a furry nose on the door to head downstairs to the basement. They sometimes try to follow. I swear, even though I close the door behind me, Frank has been able o open it half the time.

Anyway, before I wake up the house is still and silent. But moments after I get up the place is a whirlwind of pet activity. No wonder the boys are getting up before 6!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cry Cry Cry

I swear, my kids will cry over just about anything. Or fight over just about anything. Everything can be fine, but if someone has a green cup the other two will want it. And if someone has the job or washing windows, suddenly this is the most coveted job in the world.

Nick is folding towels. It is his new job, one he picked because he said he'd like to do laundry. So I let him. Andy is crying because his job was not folding laundry and he was told to go start cleaning the toy room.

Nate at first did not want to clean the toy room. Even when told this meant no TV, he said, "fine." But when I told him this meant Nick would get to play his DS and he wouldn't be allowed to even watch, he changed his mind. And ran upstairs.

And from upstairs Andy started crying again, probably because Nathan started cleaning up what HE wanted to clean up.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

More Mice

The mice are back.

See, they went away for awhile. I caught four of them, I think, and then the mousetraps were empty. And they stayed empty for days. So I took the mousetraps and put them away.

But then, the other day, I found mouse poops in the drawer. And also, those little spatuls thingies I use to get the last of the peanut butter out of the jar were nibbled to the stub. And little red plastic shavings were everywhere.

So I put the mousetraps up again.

And then next day there was a mouse. And I let it go down in the woods, past the shed.

And then days went by with no mouse. So I forgot about it, until this afternoon.

This afternoon I was going to once again remove the mousetraps and live, happy and secure in the knowledge that our home was mouse-free.

But one of the mousetraps was closed (empty), and my ice-cream scoop with he rubber handle was gnawed.

So the mice have been around, but not falling into my traps.

Nick says it's because the mice have figured out that they are traps. I think the traps may not be working the way they are supposed to be working. Or, based on the mouse poops I found in a different cabinet, they are in the wrong place.

I have baited the mouse traps with mouse bait AND peanut butter, and have set them up in new locations. I'm hoping these work. But I am very close to getting the poison ones, simply because I hate setting the stupid mice free.

Seriously, you can open the trap and wait for it to climb out, but it won't. It will cling to the inside of that plastic box like glue. You have to SHAKE it out. And honestly, I feel like I'm killing the mice anyway, setting them out in the cold, in the snow, with crows and hawks and foxes out there.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


Oh, the trauma when a 6 year-old's Nintendo DS stops working.

Let's home we figure out how to fix this soon.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

This Might Be Science

One of my most favoritist bands ever is They Might Be Giants. When I was in High School we had a couple of their albums, Flood and Apollo 18. I loved them. They were kooky. Which, ironically, is why a lot of people find their songs similar to nails on a chalkboard.

But guess what? They make kids music! Yes, yes they do! A lot of the songs they write are perfectly fine for younger children, and they even have a few albums out specifically for kids!

I have known this for a while. I just wasn't sharing.

But recently, at the library, I found a CD called "Here Comes Science" and it also has a DVD with videos for all the songs. The boys already love "The Elements" and "My Brother The Ape." The funny thing is, I've become enamored with science again. It's not like I hate science, but I usually find it cold and difficult and complicated. These songs touch every part of science, from biology to astronomy, chemistry to physics. Even scientific theory. And they are all, as far as I know, accurate. (Except that one song about the sun. They've added a short song after that one explaining how they were wrong, and new evidence has been discovered.)

Anyway, it makes me happy, and might be a good gift for any youngster.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Dinosaur Movie

When I was feeling all sick and my head hurt every time I moved or looked at the light, I decided to put on a movie.

"What movie do you want?" I asked the boys.

"How bout the dinosaur movie we watched in a long time ago?" said Andy.

"Which one?" I asked. Trying to remember all the dinosaur movies we've watched.

"The one... with the dinosaur... we watched it before."

"The Land Before Time? With Little Foot and the little guy that says 'yep yep yep?'"

"No, the other one."

"Dinosaur? The one with Aladar and the egg?"

"No, the one we saw... before in a long time."

"Um, Dinosaur Train?"


"Dino Dan?"

"No, it's the movie we saw before!"

"Um... The Land Before Time?"


Andy was clearly getting more agitated and I was backtracking because I had run out of movies. So I grabbed my trusty ipad, went to Netflix, and typed in "Dinosaur."

The first movie that popped up was, of course, Dinosaur. A movie which, for the record, I had already mentioned, but which Andy assured me was not the one he was thinking of. But it was.

"This one!" he said, pointing at the little poster of the dinosaur.

What did we do before technology?

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Sick Again

I was sick again.

I woke up on Friday a little after five. And I was tired. Because it was 5am. And I didn't want to work out, but I reminded myself that I always feel better when I work out, and always feel icky and eat more junk when I don't.

So I dragged myself out of bed and made myself run five miles. I went slower than usual, adding on a little extra time. I wasn't gasping for breath the way I sometimes do.

And then Andy came down, and I walked him back up the stairs and we got the other boys... and then I realized I wasn't tired in the usual way.

I kept having to sit down. I didn't want coffee. I DID NOT WANT COFFEE. Or food. Also, my tummy was starting to hurt.

I managed to get the kids to school, and then I slept. And then I picked Andy and Nate up, and I slept some more. I called Steve and asked him to bring home milk. I watched a little TV, but my head was hurting, so I stopped. And I slept some more. Nick came home, and I put on a movie. I climbed back into bed. Steve came home. I said hello to him, and I climbed back into bed.

And I stayed there until 6am this morning.

I feel much better now. A whole different person.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Schedule Change

I have been setting my alarm for 5am to run.

It's always been a challenge figuring out when to fit in my run.

I've tried many things in the past. Mostly I did one of two things depending on the day's schedule. I rushed home after dropping the kids off at school, getting on the treadmill, and running really fast, then rushing through my shower and showing up, out of breath, to pick up the younger two.

Or, I turned on the TV, handed the kids their DS's, and barricaded the room with baby gates before getting on the treadmill, turning every so often to shout "give that back to your brother!" and "No jumping on your brother's head!"

It was not fun. I felt that I was giving up all of my alone time to running (I was) and I had to cancel any time I had anything else to do, like food shopping, or a doctor's appointment. And when the kids were with me I often ended early and angry.

So last month I made a choice. I would try to run before the boys woke in the morning.

The boys often wake up before 6am. I don't know why. I have tried to discourage it. But even after late nights they wake before first light.

But 5am is the earliest I will get up. No earlier. I bought an alarm clock. I lay out the boys clothing the night before. And my clothing. And my workout clothes. I pack the boys backpacks and get everything ready to go.

And for the most part, it works.

I ran into a few glitches. The boys sometimes wander into the basement in the middle of my run, and then I have to stop and figure out what to do (I usually send them back to bed, or tell them to go up and read books quietly.) A few times they will be awake when my alarm goes off. Once I even heard Andy say "What was that noise?" when I turned it off.

But for the most part, I am happy with this arrangement. I gives me a couple of extra hours on some days, or lets me work out on days I wouldn't otherwise have time.

Yes, I get tired.

Which is why I have started sleeping again at naptime.

Friday, March 04, 2011


I hate doing laundry. I do it every single day, but it never gets done. There's always more. And the creatures I live with keep making things dirty! They're always peeing in the bed (kids), or throwing up on the duvet (cats) , or spilling tomato sauce on their pants (ok, this was me.)

I know I'm supposed to be thankful we have a washer and dryer, but I wonder. If I had to lug everything to the laundromat, then at least it would be one day of intense laundry and I wouldn't have it hanging over my head every single minute of the day.

Thursday, March 03, 2011


In my quest to uncover all of my flaws, I have discovered that I have large pores.

I know. This is odd. I don't spend a lot of time thinking about things like pores or my skin, unless I'm breaking out or sunburned. But apparently, this way of thinking has added up to years of neglect. And now my skin is blotchy and uneven and I have large pores. I must have read an article or something, because I can't figure out why I suddenly became obsessed with this.

Anyway, there is no cure for large pores. You just cleanse your skin and then try to tighten them up somehow. I chose to do this with a mud mask which I purchased at the grocery store.

I used it. I was pleased, all things considered. But mostly I was pleased with my blue mud face. So was Nathan, who was startled into silence when he came in to ask me / complain about something and saw me propped up on pillows, my face bright blue. He stood there for a few moments, a little smile or his lips, his eyes HUGE, and then left. I think he was torn between screaming and asking me to put some on him. Then he left and I overheard him telling Andy I had blue on my face.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Need a Rush

When does middle age start? Am I qualified to be middle aged? I mean, I'm over 35, so this very well might be the middle of my life, or the beginning of the middle of my life. Then again, I could get hit my a bus...

I'm not trying to be morbid. Not at all. Or fatalistic. I'm actually just trying to find a way to bring up the subject of... well, of being tired.

I'm tired. I'm tired a lot of the time. Every once and awhile I'll have a moment, or a stretch of time, a few hours, where I am not tired. I feel energized and awake and alert, and it's such a great feeling! I love it, and I want it to last forever.

But more and more often these days I am just exhausted. I want to laze about in bed and read or watch TV. I don't want to do anything but nap. I want to sleep late and fall asleep early.

I'm not sure why this is. I'm eating well, with the occasional cake binge. I'm sleeping enough. I'm working out. I don't think I'm working out too much. I'm not really under any unusual stress. But somehow it's all adding up. Last night I went to bed before 9 and still had to drag myself out of bed ten hours later. Even if I'm not middle aged, I feel old.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Fifty Cents...

I still make Andy take a nap.

He's the only one. Sometimes the other boys will nap, but they are older so I almost always let them choose. Andy, however, melts into a puddle of whiny snotty tears at 5pm unless he gets to spend at least one hour unconscious.

To get Andy to sleep, I usually lay down with him. I know I shouldn't. I used to be able to send Nick to nap alone, and he would. But Nate was more stubborn, and he and Nick found out they could talk to each other and pinch each other for hours without sleeping, so I started staying with them thinking I would break them into it slowly.

Instead, when Andy was born I just started sleeping with them, or reading until everyone fell asleep and I could get up and do stuff. If I don't, they never settled down, and I appreciated the time to read or nap myself.

So now it's just Andy, and the other boys "play quietly."

I like resting with Andy. It gives us some time alone. And although most days I read him a book, some days, like today, we'll look at the computer a little.

Today we looked at the Bronx Zoo, and I told him that we might actually go there for April Vacation. I told him we might be able to ride a camel. He got excited. Then he asked if there were elephants. There are - and I told him so. But then I realized they were part of an exhibit that opened in May. April comes before May, and I told him I wasn't sure if they could be seen before May. "We'll have to see if they show the elephants before May," I said.

And then I realized that Andy's chin was trembling and tears were in his eyes. "But I want to see elephants!" he cried.

I told him we would keep going to zoos until we found some elephants.