Sunday, July 31, 2011


I am technically not allowed to fish in MA. I don't have a license. I'm fine with this, really.

But the last time we spent the night on the boat, Steve was still sleeping and the boys were getting all antsy, and I decided that it couldn't be THAT horribel if, maybe, you know, the KIDS were fishing. They didn't need a license.

So I took initiative and placed a sea worm on the hook of a rod that was just sitting there.

This is a bigger deal than you'd think. The sea worms are huge, like a foot long. And they have little leggy things. Like giant centipedes. And they have teeth, and they bite you when you pick them up. Probably they don't like the idea of being impaled on a fish-hook and then dunked in the water to be eaten.

But I did it.

Having accomplished this feat on one rod, I decided to take the next step and bait the hook on the second. And so I did, but I noticed that the reel on this one was different. This second rod was Steve's, and a little more complicated.

At this point Andy, who was holding the first rod, announced that he needed help. He had reeled in until the worm was dangling in the air and couldn't cast. And so I handed the complicated rod to Nick, and stepped over to fix Andy's problem. I flung the worm and the hook far from the boat - it took maybe thirty seconds - and turned to Nick.

I don't know what Nick did, but what I saw was a boy with a look of panic all over his face, and a huge tangle of fishing line. The line was so tangled, and the tangle so huge, it was just comical.

But I couldn't undo the knot. I didn't have a knife, so I couldn't cut the line. And at this point Steve came up and saw the knot and was not exactly pleased. But he told me he would take care of it as soon as he made coffee.

Three seconds later the rod I was holding tugged. The one with the huge knot and the line still in the water because I forgot to take it out. Yeah. That one. So I had to call Steve to come up and free the little skate I caught.

Steve went down to make the coffee, and I tried to clean up. And I went to pull out the first rod, which had been placed in the holder thingy. But as soon as I started reeling in the line, it moved and I got a huge tug.

So I had to call Steve and get him to free yet another accidentally caught fish. Before coffee.

It's funny NOW, though.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011

My Boys

It's how they roll.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Walking On Sunshine

I know he's mid-jump from one rock to the other, but doesn't it look like Nick is walking on air?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


This boat is called The Friendship. It's in Salem, MA. I have always wanted to go on it, but it never seems to be open when we're there. But right next to it is metal megaphone things that Nate can use to amplify his voice. Because it's not loud enough on its own.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Photos Nick Took

Our last trip to the boat, Steve needed my help with something. Because my hands were full, as always, I quickly tried to find places to put the items I was holding. In the process, I handed Nick my camera, thinking he was old enough to take care of it, and that it would be less likely to end up in the water.

When I took a loof at the photos, I realized he had been kind of busy documenting events.

This is a photo of half a docked boat and Andrew's arm. He does indeed have a tattoo (Star Wars Star Trooper) and he is in fact holding a coffee. Steve's coffee, which I had placed in the ground. But apparently Andy felt he should get to hold something, also.

This is a lovely photograph of my rear end as I am tugging at an inflatable dingy. Thanks, Nick. How many people get to see what they look like from this angle? I will pay more attention next time I purchase pants.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Nose Bleed

Nate's nose bleeds.

I have a thing about nose bleeds. I have only had a few nose bleeds, as an adult, but one send me to the hospital. I blame dry air caused by heat in the winter, mixed with too many herbal "supplements" that were actually thinning my blood. (St. John's Wort was one on them.)

Nate picks his nose. He'll stick his finger up there, and suddenly it's bleeding. He has no idea how it happens.

This morning Nathan suddenly stood up and shouted. "Mom! Mom! It was dry in here and my nose started bleeding! Because it was dry in here! That's why!"

Meanwhile blood is running down his lip. But forget about stopping the bleeding, it's more important to explain to me how it happened. He must be in politics. Let's not fix it, let's figure out who to blame!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

To Everything, Turn Turn Turn

No matter what it is, the boys will use it as a top. They spin everything.

Beyblades, fine. Those are supposed to spin.

But Gogos? These are little plastic figures. They have faces. My kids spin them. At each other.

Nick spins parcheesi pieces and jacks and dice. Anything with an edge. No matter how small.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Pack Rats

I start packing for vacations weeks early.

I try not to. I really do. Wait, Kathleen, I say to myself. Wait until a week before. Wait until there are fewer days TO the trip than there is IN the trip.

So I try. I start by making lists. I make a list of things to bring on the plane. I make a list of things I will need. A list of things the boys will need. I start making piles of things to bring.

And then I realize I'm packing already, like it or not.

In my case, it's a little different. We have space issues. I have been asked to repack my luggage because it was too heavy. And we need to bring three booster seats with us, which I insist on putting in the luggage, as we can't use them on the plane.

But still, a week before the vacation I have placed all the clothing we will being in the suitcase. I didn't want the boys to wear it and for me to not have time to launder it before the trip, see? This poses a problem because it leaves less clothing to be worn UNTIL the trip. The boys are now alternating between ragged pairs of cut-offs and long pants.

But I am ready to go. If I needed to walk out of here in an hour, I could do it. Half an hour! Twenty minutes might be pushing it.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Travel Plans

When I was a child, I used to laugh at the concept of people being afraid of flying.

Why were they nervous? What was there to be scared of? What, exactly, was the big deal?

The thing is, as a kid, one is in control of nothing. I made no choices. I didn't choose what I was going to have for breakfast, or lunch, or dinner. I didn't choose what I was going to learn about in school or what school I would attend. I didn't get to choose how we'd get to school, nor did I have any idea how to drive a car.

So taking a plane really wasn't that much different from everything else.

Not to mention that air travel has gotten much more tense. No steps have been taken to give the traveler more choices or make the traveler more comfortable. Only steps to instill more fear and make more tense. Also, now I have three children to get through security, and I can't bring a soda. And once I get on the plane, I have to spend every moment making sure my kids don't annoy anyone else. And if I complain or do anything to show my displeasure, I shall get placed on a no-fly list and I'll have to WALK everywhere for the rest of my life.

Four years ago, when I was told our flights had been cancelled, I said "OK, how are you going to get me and my kids to our next flight" and the airline worker said "Mam, you don't need to take that tone!" I guess I was supposed to be CALM and NOT ANGRY.

My point is, Airlines can make you as uncomfortable as they want, and you can't complain at all. Even normal reactions need to be squashed because anything negative means you get arrested.

It's not the crashing. It's the actual security and the airlines I am afraid of. AS soon as we get ON the plane - the last one, the big one, the one we need to get on to cross the ocean - I will be able to relax a little.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dinner Problems

I have possibly posted about this before.

I never know what to make for dinner.

The language is horrid, but this site has given me some interesting ideas. If you click the name of the dish, it gives you the actual recipe. Which one can use if one happens to have the ingredients, so it's not exactly perfect. What they really need is something that can be make out of nothing, or else a site that will deliver the ingredients to your door.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011


The boys like to watch Phineas and Ferb.

But they don't understand it.

I don't really like to watch it. It's not my preferred TV show, and I think there are more educational programs on television. But there are also more violent TV programs out there, and dumber ones. So I settle, sometimes.

The thing is, I find myself laughing out loud at Phineas and Ferb.
The boys sit on the sofa with glazed eyes.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I'm the Dirty Rascal

He's the King of the Mountain

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cars 2

We saw Cars 2.

This should be the end of the post. We took the kids to a movie. The end.

But I can make a huge deal about anything.

We decided to go to a theatre that wasn't too close, because it was showing the movie not only in 3D, but in IMAX. We asked Lillian to come along. I wasn't really looking forward to the actual movie, you see. It was the experience I was after.

First of all, we were paying New York prices to get into this theatre. $12 for the IMAX 3D. No discount for the kids, or for the matinee. MY theatre still costs less that $6 per adult before noon.

But this theatre was HUGE. The lobby was shopping mall huge. The concession stand, where I spent $17 on two waters and a lemonade (a small the size of a bucket) was adorned with dancing pretzels and hot dogs. It was very cool.

And you know what, the movie was good! It was funny, and it was clever, and it actually had a plot, which is more than I can say for a lot of kids movies. Also, the Italy part was obviously Monaco, and since I've actually been to the Grand Prix there I was filled with silly nostalgia.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011


I know I have gone on and on about how wonderful I think our library is.

Every summer, the library has a reading program. Every five books gives the child a raffle ticket and they can win T-shirts and toys and other things. We won tickets to StoryLand two years in a row, and have a Summer Reading T-shirt for every year going back to 2008!

This is the first year that Nick is in the "Big Kids" program. Up until now, he has gotten credit for every book I have read to him. This is the way it is for his brothers. And since I read them each a book at night, that's three books right there.

But this year, he has to read the books himself.

The books are supposed to be "at his level" and this is where Nick and I butt heads. He insists that he hates chapter books, and refuses to read them. While I wouldn't force him to read Pater Pan or even the Bakugan books he has forced me to red over the past few years, I do think he has the ability to muster through Frog And Toad. He disagrees.

In fact, when it's time for him to read, he routinely pulls over books that Nathan can read without much difficulty. Books with one word on a page. We spend a lot of reading time with me telling him he needs to choose something else, and him crying and telling me I am mean.

Unless, of course, he picks out Barbie and The Diamond Castle from the library. It's a level 2 reader, and he loves it, even though the story makes me GAG. Who said having all boys would get me out of this girly princess stuff? At least the levels are tolerable and dampened by karate and boy fighting games.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

This Little Piggy...

I have a cracked toenail.

I know, I know, who the heck cares. This isn't internet worthy, is it?

But the thing is, it's starting to hurt.

It's cracked down the middle, see? Vertically, not horizontally. And it's been cracked for months.

I keep thinking it will grown out, but now I think the two sides might actually be growing at different rates, because it isn't working, no matter how low I cut the sides to prevent snagging. Because the nail gets caught on my bedsheets, and it's uncomfortable. And now it's hurting.

How does one fix this? And just how bad does it have to get before I call the doctor? Do I have to wait until I can't wear shoes, or until the nail bleeds? I'm not at that point yet, but I'd like to know.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Count Nate In

Steve was sitting on the couch, playing his computer game.

"Dad, can I ask you a question?" Nick asked in a serious tone of voice. I thought maybe he was going to ask something complicated, like "Is there a God?" or "What happens when we die?"

"Sure," said Steve. "Ask away."

"What's five hundred and fifty plus five hundred and fifty plus six hundred?"

Steve put down his computer, and with only the smallest of pauses said " Five hundred and fifty plus five hundred and fifty is eleven hundred, plus six hundred makes seventeen hundred."

He stood up, rather proud of himself for having completed such an intricate addition on the spot. "How do you like THEM apples?" He said.

At this point, Nate popped up from behind a chair, a concerned look on his face. "Wait, Nick's eating apples?"

Nobody eats apples without Nate.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Different Worlds

My kids get really into the toys they play with. Sometimes they can have entire conversations with adults, and the look on the adult's face goes from charmed, to confused, to alarmed, as my kids jabber on and an in what may as well be an alien language.

Here is a quick guide to a few of the games my kids are interested in, just so you can follow along if you ever get cornered.

Pokemon: Pokemon has been around for some time. There is a TV show and a few movies, in which Ash, a young boy, wanders around the world looking for Pokemon to capture and train. Pokemon are like animals with special powers, and in the shows they fight each others in arenas for general entertainment. Ash is always trying to win badges from gyms in different regions. The card game uses these pokemon, and I'm sure there is an official way to play, but as far as I can tell it usually involves a lot of squabbling. There are also video games where you do as Ash does, wander around, collect pokemon, and then fight other pokemon in an arena setting. They also sell stuffed animals and smaller figurines.

Bakugan: Bakugan is newer. There is a TV show, and a series of books. The premise is that cards from a different dimension began falling from the sky one day, and also little balls which are actually creatures called Bakugan. The kids on Earth like to play Bakugan, invented by Dan and his friends, Marucho, Alice, Runo, Julie, and Shun, all with strange colored hair. They don't realize it's not a game, it's real, and that bakugan are actual creatures from a different dimension. Once they figure this out, they have to save the world with their bakugan brawls against Masquarade, who for some reason wants the world to end. The game includes not just cards, but metalic cards and the little bakugan balls that pop open into creatures on the magnetic cards, and that you then have to figure out how to squeeze back into a stupid ball again, but you can't because it's almost impossible, and also the four-year-old who has it has already somehow snapped off a key part. There are also a few video games.

Beyblades: As far as I can tell beyblades are tops. They have beyblade launchers, which spin these metal tops really fast, and two of them spun together bump into each other until one of them stops spinning. It's best to do this in a beyblade arena, because the beyblades themselves are metal, and can ruin floors and bathtubs. Thanks, toy people! You sure are super! There is a TVB show that goes along with this. I haven't spent that much time watching it, but as far as I can tell, it's a bunch of kids using their tops - er, beyblades, to combat the evil forces of the universe through beyblade battles. There is a lot of running around, a lot of dramatic commercial break placement, and nothing ever actually gets solved. Also, there isn't a lot of school for these children. Beyblades sell not only the bey blades, but eleven different types of launchers, and quite a number of different arenas. They are all cheaply made and over priced. But again, the beyblades lower home value, so...

And that's al I've got, folks. I could go into other things, such as Gogos, but I really haven't got the engergy.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Run Of The Mill

So, I joined Runkeeper.

It's an online workout community. You log your runs, or your workouts. It's supposed to be a team building thing, I think. You can also purchase an app and then run with your phone, and it will automatically tell you how far you ran and map it out for you an an actual map, and then you can choose to have people see where you ran.

I run on a treadmill, so it's a lot less exciting. But I like seeing what my trends are - for example, I run more on Wednesdays than on any other day of the week. And on the 13th of the month, I run less. How does this work? I don't know.

A coupe of months ago a little window popped up that said I had beat my farthest distance in a month.

I was thrilled. I had run ninety miles in a month! Of course, this just meant I had to do it again the following month, right?

I did. And then I did it again.

In June I ran 102.7 miles.
In the past year I have run 835 miles, and according to the treadmill, burned 88,535 calories.

I'm going to go have a donut now.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Vacation Plans

The other day at lunch we ended up talking about RV's. Maybe the kids saw a TV show where some one was driving one or something? Anyway, what got us on the subject doesn't matter, because I pulled up an RV website on my computer, and before I knew what I was doing I was telling the kids how we would rent one and I would drive them to the Grand Canyon, to Zion, To Arches National Park... (siblings, Steve will not be with me on this trip because he is not insane, so I will need a helper? Anyone?)

When I was a kid, my parents rented a "living van" and we drove to Lake Champlain and Montreal. I don't remember it being fun, exactly. I was four. But I remember it, and I don't remember it being NOT fun.

And the Grand Canyon is one of those places I am determined to take my kids.

Of course, it's not going to happen for quite a while. This year, of course, we have the France Fiasco. Nothing fiasco-like has happened yet, but I can be patient. Eventually the name will fit, I think. Also, I like alliteration.

And next year is the year of My Disney Vacation! I have been planning this for some time, now. Since we left the last time, I guess. I just found out, moments after I looked up RV makes and models, that I can NOW PURCHASE TICKETS! For OCTOBER 2012! Which is when I want to go. But I thought I had to let Steve get through this vacation first before bugging him about the next one because he hates planning vacations and he hates Disney World and he will probably have his own opinion about everything and MESS IT ALL UP! Also, we can wait a couple of weeks, I think. Right? Maybe? And I still need to think about a few details.

First, the France Fiasco!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Baby Bean

She isn't mine. But isn't she beautiful? Aren't her parents so lucky?

Of course, in this photo she's worn out from having three boys poke at her. Nick was amazed and in love and talked about her for days. Nate was indifferent. Andy flat out told me he didn't like her once we got home. Apparently she isn't half as entertaining as the cats she lives with.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Shining Armor

Yesterday he was sitting on one of the regular, non-booster seated car seats. He was measuring how far his legs reached, and muttering "I am so big, I can not believe it!"

Neither can I.

Monday, July 04, 2011


Last year we were on the boat. We saw some amazing fireworks.

But nature's fireworks are always the best.

Happy Fourth Of July!

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Hairy Situation

I know it's TMI, but a large portion of each warm season I spend more time than I think I should focusing on my leg hair. Shaving leaves stubble, but I have to wait so long between waxing...

For example, I'm going to the beach in a little over a week. If I wax my legs now, they might be unsightly once more by the time it's time for the beach. But not long enough for waxing. Which would mean I would have to shave, but my follicles don't like shaving.

How do people do this? I must be missing out on some information, here, because one shouldn't be this consumed by something so stupid.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

The Buzz

Nicholas is afraid of going outdoors. All flying things are probably bees or wasps on a mission to sting. He spends most outdoor times stomping his feet and crying until it's time for lunch or dinner.

In an effort to get him (and the other boys) to spend more time outdoors, I went out with them. I took them to the swingset.

The swingset is on this sandy area of ground. I am assuming the former owners built it up with sand, or a different kind of earth, either to even out the existing land or to make it softer for the former swingset. Whatever the reason, it turns out this type of sand, or dirt, is particularly favorable for wasps.

When you walk near the swingset, you can see hundreds of them buzzing around below knee level. You can hear them. Yes, the wasps are back.

I can't blame the boys for not wanting to play there.

I have looked for a nest. There is none that I can find. I can't find a hive, or a nest, or even a larger hole that most of the wasps seem to hover around. Instead, each wasp digs its own little hole in the dirt. I think they might be solitary wasps. They don't seems to be agressive. I can walk right through them, stand really close to them, turn over the dirt with a pitchfork... I have never been stung.

But still, that's a far cry to sending my kids out to play with them.

Any ideas how I can get rid of them? Besides calling the exterminator?

Friday, July 01, 2011

Spending Time

I told myself that this summer I would spend more time with my children.

Not time doing homework, or yelling at them to clean up. I wanted to spend some time actually playing with them. Building legos or painting, or playing house. Despite the fact that I stay at home, I don't do that very often.

So I told myself that rainy weather gives me that opportunity, and I tried. I declared one rainy day "car day" and told the boys I would help them reconstruct all the Hot Wheels tracks and train tracks. These tracks usually get put together once, and then sections of tracks get left all over the house, get used as swords, etc. and rarely do they ever get built again.

The boys were thrilled. But impatient. I tried, I really tried, but after an hour and a half I realized that they boys were playing without me. I was just getting frustrated because bits of track were missing, and because Andy kept asking me to fix the same section of track over and over again.

Next time I'm going to do painting. Maybe that will go better?