Thursday, September 30, 2004


Dylan started swim lessons last night. Now I know we're bad parents. None of the kids have taken swim lessons. In large part because they have always been held on Saturday mornings between 8 and 9 a.m. Like we'd ever make it to that. HA!

NOTE: Actually, the oldest took swimming a couple of times when he was young and only had 1 sibling. After that it was really too complicated.
But now, now they have moved swim lessons to Wednesday evenings. At the same time my mother and I were discussing swim lessons for Dylan. See Dylan takes after his mom. Me. Poor, poor boy. He has no interest in sports. He's tried soccer. Too much running. He's tried wrestling. More fun to play in the gym than wrestle. He has no interest in baseball or football or hockey. We're running out of options here. So we decided to try swimming. He needs some form of activity to keep the boy healthy.

He loved it! Yay!

The hard part for me was watching him line up with the other kids and look so uncomfortable. We'd never been to the high school pool. He didn't have his bubble. Neither of us was sure of what to expect. I could see it in his body language. He was stiff and unsure. So unlike him. He was put into level 3 swimming.

He watched as the rest of the level 3's jumped into the deep end and swam back to the side. Yes, they just jumped in. In the deep end. He watched the level 2's sitting on the side of the pool in the shallow end. He looked at the level 1's sitting, with bubbles, on the deck of the pool talking. Hmmm... His teacher beckoned him to jump in. He climbed halfway down the ladder. He stopped. She told him to get in. He stayed right where he was. He looked at me and shook his head. No.

I wanted to run over and said there had been a mistake. I wanted to jump over the rail sectioning off the bleachers and run around the slippery pool deck (no shoes allowed) and pull him to me, reassure him and put him in level 2. I stood up. I walked to the rail. I watched with my stomach clenched. Dylan climbed out of the pool. The teacher climbed out. They spoke. Heads together. They walked over to the level 2's and chatted with the instructor. Ms. Level 3 walked back to her kids. (This took approximately 93 minutes in Worried Mommy Time)

Dylan stood on the side looking unsure. He climbed down the ladder. He swam to Ms. Level 2 then to the side of the pool. Then he loosened up, talked to the other kids and had a blast. It took approximately 27 seconds from pool entry to loads of fun. Yay!

6am Comes too Early

I have just this a.m. realized why getting up is so hard to do. The first couple of weeks of school I was running on adrenaline. Much like the first month I worked the graveyard shift. (That was BC - before children) I didn't sleep more than a couple hours a day. The next month I slept all the time. I'm talking from when I got home to 5 minutes before work and occasionally at my desk. When I finally regulated my sleep - month 3 - I started a new job with regular hours.

Oops, tangent, back to the present... It has taken me 3 weeks to realize I'm not getting my 8 hours. Yes, I know people often survive on less. Many people don't need 8 hours. I do. I can get by on less but it catches up to me with illness and exhaustion. It caught up with me this week.

Add to that the occasional waking in the middle of the night. Last night it was Dylan. Nightmares at 3:15 in the morning. Who are we kidding? 3:15 is not in the morning, it's the middle of the freaking night and I'm protesting.

Apparently I'm having trouble focusing this a.m. Need more coffee. Back to the nightmares...

He was turning into a bulldog. Before that it was a chimpanzee, porcupine, bat, and a snake. He said it was scary because he was changing into so many things. Too many. It seems one or two would have been okay but 5 was just too many.

Then I had to lay with him. Then there was a bloody nose caused by an itchy nose. After staunching the flow of blood and some children's Sudafed he found blissful sleep. Then I did. After returning to bed. While planning another blog entry (not this one).

I really need to go to bed earlier.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004


Ever have one of those days where the universe is out to get you?

This is what I'm talking about:

You drop off youngest at Grammy's and notice bus leaving area without having left oldest.

A call to the bus garage informs you oldest son forgot to take different bus to Grammy's so you must go BACK home to pick him up. You finally make it to school (on time) and second son is ten minutes late for early pick up. Now you must drop off oldest. You finally get on the road and find they have closed the expressway. You detour only to get stuck behind car going 10 mph and swerving all over lane. You finally get around little old lady who either needs to get glasses or a booster seat (& probably both) only to be stopped dead at the end of a line of cars almost a mile long getting on another expressway. The miracle? We were only 12 minutes late.

NOTE: Have I mentioned there is NO TRAFFIC where I live? This is one of the reasons I live here. People here think it is bad if rush hour traffic is moving less than 70 mph. You are never stopped dead. I've never been more than 5 minutes late because of traffic in the 14 years I've lived here... until now.

Happy Birthday Mom!

to my mom
aka GosMMY (Grammy of said Many Male Youngsters)
May this be your best year yet!

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Banned Books Week

How I almost missed this I'll never know.

You can go here to find some titles to get you started. Good thing I've read a few in the past couple weeks alone. In fact, the kids own a few on the list too. hmmm... time for a trip to the bookstore?

Picture Day

What do you think it means when your waiting for the bus with the kids and you swear you keep hearing the bus? Think it means you can't wait for the bus to arrive? Ya think?

Could it have something to do with the fact that the kids are running around the yard playing some game they're making up as they go. Usually this would warm my heart but today, because it is picture day, if the bus doesn't get here soon it is inevitable that one of them will soon be sporting a face full of blood and sidewalk. Now I know it could happen at any time. They could trip going up the bus steps. They could fall getting off the bus. They could trip over their own feet in an empty hallway. All this and more is on the horizon. BUT, if I get them on the bus it is out of my hands. Makes me feel okay about it.

BTW, I'm wondering what you all think. I keep getting flack for letting my 8 y/o decide to not get his hair cut for his picture. (This comes in forms that range from outright dismay to the ever popular, "Your such an easygoing mom." This is not said in admiration but that way that tells me - you are a bad, bad mom who gives in too often.) Plus, I'm making him wear his hat. I realize this makes me a horrible, no good, very bad parent but I'm flaunting in the face of tradition. I'm going against all my parental training. I'm letting him decide. So today he left with shaggy hair and his baseball cap on backwards (I do want to see his cute, little face in the photo). Oh, and a note in his backpack letting the powers that be know it was authorized.

UPDATE: All children made it on the buses without injury but the little men with hammers are still busy doing construction in my head.

Ahhh, the Light

There are a thousand little men hammering inside my head.

Monday, September 27, 2004


I have decided that some men should be required to wear riding pants & riding boots at all times.

NOTE: I said SOME. I will be happy to make the decisions regarding this.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: Thank you to the 2 older gentlemen crossing the street while I was on my way to nursery school. I never realized how flattering riding outfits could be - apparently age has nothing to do with it but a good butt does.

I Swore I Wouldn't Go Here... my blog but here it is.
I just realized the current rate at which I've been gaining weight may cause some to think I'm pregnant. (I'm not.) This is not an agreeable discovery. At this rate I will hit 200 sometime in - I'm not going there. Let's just hope it doesn't happen. If I managed to avoid 200 with my first pregnancy there is no reason to think I will hit that marker now or any time in the near future. After all, I put on an amazing amount of weight with Alex that caused strangers to comment on my impending twins. (NOTE TO VARIOUS OLD WOMEN WHO CLAIMED TO "KNOW" THESE THINGS: just one, just like I said - told you I was just fat, thank you very much) But this is another story to be told another day when I have nothing of interest to write about. (Yes, probably tomorrow.)

Now PLEASE, do not tell me to start exercising. If one more person... (NOTE TO SELF: Turn off comments. It will save much grief.)

Here's the thing about me and exercise: I HATE it. Despise it. There is not one single thing that causes me to sweat that I even remotely like. Well, one thing. Okay, two. But the first has pretty much caused me to stop doing the second.

Okay, okay, I'll tell. The second (I know you know what the first is) is dancing in clubs where the music is loud & live, there are lots of bodies to hide behind and smoke fills the air. Yes, it's been that long. I know smoke no longer fills the air in public places. Now don't suggest I plan a girls' night out to go dancing. The reasons this won't work are (in no particular order):

  1. I have 4 children.
  2. I am not ready for the stares of horror that woud accompany my return to the dance floor.
  3. All "my girls" are too busy with meetings, sports, scouts, and other child related events.
  4. None of "my girls" really drink anymore. A glass of wine puts them under the table. And how does one get on the dance floor without a drink or two?
  5. None of "my girls" dance anymore.
  6. I don't think the bands I enjoy dancing to perform anymore. (I know the Ramones just lost Johnny to cancer. :-( )
  7. isn't 6 enough?
Besides, when I started working out I started putting on weight. For some reason exercise causes me to return home and eat everything... well, just everything. I'm getting a fuzzy recollection of working out in February and pulling Cheerios off a 100th day of school display. We used Elmers. It's non toxic. Kids eat it and are fine. I'm sure a little glue and dirt from little hands won't hurt me. Not too much anyway.
I will add that I lost 30 pounds (we're talking 4 pants sizes) a little over 3 years ago - my God! Has it been that long??? Kept it off for about a year. Started working out. Started gaining. Stopped working out. Still gaining. I am now almost where I started. Not good. Especially since I gave away all my "fat" clothes. Good thing I bought some new (bigger) clothes this fall.

The big question... Do I try to lose weight again only to fail and eat even more out of depression? Do I do my best never to be home so I can't eat constantly? (This choice requires me to not have access to the computer any more - I'll think I'm going to be sick.) Or do I just throw the scale out and enjoy the fact people on the internet can't see me?

Friday, September 24, 2004

Kid Quote

Told to me just this minute:
ZACH (4): "Panda just tooted in my face." (NOTE: Panda is stuffed. Is this what my life has come to?)

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Bad Mom Award

Yes, again.

Once again I have earned the Bad Mom Award. No, no. All of you who think you have done horrible, terrible, no good things in relation to your children - you are wrong. I have committed a grievous sin. I forgot to pick up my 3rd grader from rollerskating. At 4:00 I remembered. At 4:45 I received a phone call asking if I was planning on picking him up. Yes, the 4:30 pick-up time came and went with not a speck of recognition from me.

With possibly the quickest exit ever with three children, we arrived at school at 4:51. Little boy sitting alone on bench waiting my arrival. Okay, he wasn't alone. There were two other kids there. Back to my sad story. He was crying and carrying on. Actually, he was hanging out without a care in the world.

ME: "I'm really sorry. I lost track of time."

TYLER: "It's okay."

ME: "Are you alright? Really?" Thoughts of the day he took the wrong bus home and subsequent nightmares for two weeks.

TYLER: "Yeah, I'm fine." He proceeds to skip to van and play with his brothers.

It seems there was no scaring involved. He really wasn't worried. I'm glad he is secure in the knowledge we will always come for him. I'm a bit worried though. There was no surprise Mom lost track of time. Granted it happens ALL of the time. The kids do know that. Shouldn't they still be upset I didn't show up? I mean I'm glad he didn't care but does that mean I'm an even worse parent than I thought?

Where are those shelves?


Got a return e-mail from Dylan's teacher. She mentioned he seems tired by mid to end of day. Reminded me of a conversation with the teacher last year.

TEACHER: "Dylan seems really tired. He told me his brothers wake him up all the time and don't let him sleep." Look of disapproval accompanies this statement.

ME: looking horrified (I'm sure). "They wake him up in the morning for school."

TEACHER: Looks at me with disbelief. "Oh, sure. You might want to put him to bed earlier."

NOTE: Other children really do wake up Dylan. Usually it is 20 minutes before bus arrives because he is oversleeping AGAIN and is in a better mood when his brothers wake him than mom.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: As for putting the child to bed earlier. We start bedtime at 6:30 - 7pm. Actually, if you count dinner, we start bedtime at 5:30. 5:30 dinner, 6:30 shower/teeth/pj's, 7:30 story, 8:00 lights out. Any earlier and I'll have to feed him when he gets off the bus. Then when would he work on his math?

Theme of the Week: Math


ALEX: "I remember putting my math homework in my folder. Now I'm going to get a strike."

ME: "Check your backpack again and give me your lunch box."

ALEX: Looking a bit panicked. "It's not here."

ME: "Can you do it when you get to school?"

ALEX: "No. I'm going out to play." Seems panic has subsided.


ME: Pulling lunch box from Alex's backpack. "Here's you math homework. Do it now."

ALEX: "Where was it?"

ME: "In your backpack. Didn't I tell you to give me your lunch box yesterday?"

ALEX: "Didn't I give it to you?"

ME: "If you had you would have found your homework."

ALEX: Rapidly doing homework while waiting for bus. "Oh, yeah."

NOTE: Obviously when I told him to look in his backpack that meant glance into its depths and move nothing.


Note comes home to work on counting by 5's to 100 and counting by 2's to 40 with Dylan. He counts to 100 no problem. Can't seem to grasp the 2 thing. I write them out. Flash of understanding. Loss of understanding. Must keep working.


E-mailed teacher to tell her we really are working on Dylan's math.

Just can't wait to find out what Friday brings...

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

MoMMY's Morning

5 a.m. - Notice hubby turning off alarm

5:00 - still hear alarm. shit, it's my alarm

5:00 - hit clock

5:09 - hit clock

5:18 - hit clock

5:27 - hit clock

5:36 - why is this happening? hit clock

5:45 - hit clock, beg hubby to make coffee

5:45 - drag self from bed, curse academic world

5:46 - brush teeth, pee, remind hubby about promised coffee with pleading look

6:10 - refuse to exit shower (to self)

6:12 - wish hubby good day, sweet nectar of the Gods

6:17 - notice pancake batter from last night's dinner on front of cute, new zip sweatshirt

6:17 - scrub at batter

6:18 - I'll just say I didn't notice, I made pancakes for breakfast

6:18 - realize most people at nursery school already know me, don't want extreme laughter to hurt someone so early in a.m.

6:19 - continue to scrub

6:20 - drag oldest from his bed

6:22 - scour top of dryer, kitchen floor, bathroom for lunch money for 6 year old to buy pizza for lunch

6:25 - run upstairs and steal money from kid's piggy bank for lunch

6:27 - make list of things to do before nursery school, why did I agree to be the working parent on the first day???
6:28 - There should be laws against getting up this early
6:33 - Fight with oldest over who should make his breakfast

6:35 - try to get peanut butter off sweatshirt

6:41 - there is not enough coffee in the world
6:41 - put on water for more coffee

6:45 - turn on porch light, push oldest out door

6:46 - chat with him until bus comes

6:52 - who decides what time the buses start running and how can I get a hold of them?

6:53 - start this blog

6:57 - how am I going to put 2 kids on the bus, buy milk and get to preschool by 9 when the bus doesn't come until 8:47?
7:00 - I need a nap.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004


I did it. I managed to drag myself from bed before Alex climbed the steps of the bus.

Yesterday I accomplished a rare and wonderful feat. I napped. While Zach was being babysat by Tom & Jerry I had a deep sleep nap that lasted 1 1/2 hours. Granted the first hour was puncuated with requests. I responded with monosyllablic (all I could manage at the time) reasons why he needed to leave me alone and let Mommy sleep while trying not to scar him.

Then I woke suddenly. Wide awake. To silence.

ME: (still laying on the couch) "Zach?"
ZACH: no response - noise coming from bathroom
ME: (flashes of chaos and destruction from my extensive experience with unsupervised preschoolers) "Snookerdoodle? What are your doing?"
ZACH: "I'm in here."
ME: (must not panic) "What ya doin'?" (creeping toward bathroom with beginning stages of hyperventilation)
ZACH: (coming out of bathroom) "I was reading If You Give A Mouse A Muffin."
ME: (holding breath & peeking in bathroom) "Okay. Anything else?" (book on chair... nothing else out of place - pictures of past destruction in kitchen, living room, every other room of house running through my mind)
ZACH: "No. I only read the parts I remember. I skipped the rest. Is that okay?"
ME: "That's fine Sweety." (continue searching house for signs of total destruction... found -none. It's a freaking miracle!)

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Brain on Vacation

Saturday my brain went on a vacation. It worried me a bit. Well, more than a bit. I wandered room to room wondering what I should be doing. When I'd think of something, it would be gone before I made it into the next room. I tried to make a list. Really. When the pen hit the paper nothing came out. I finally fell asleep on the couch in the playroom. Didn't help.

Luckily for the children, my MIL invited us to dinner. Good thing they didn't have to rely on me to put a meal together. Now I have mentioned that my MIL is an anatomist. I mentioned to her my "problem" hoping she wasn't about to commit me. What she told me does not bode well for my family. Apparently, as we age, this happens more often/intensely during our periods. I figure at the rate I'm going, two months from now I'll be put into a home for a few days each month. A year from now I'll be strapped to a chair drooling on myself. Not a positive forecast of things to come.

The good news is: at about 3:30 a.m. my brain snapped back. It woke me from a dead sleep and started running through all the things I needed to do as soon as I woke. I was even able to fall back to sleep after about an hour of mental marathoning.

The bad news is: I had to take allergy medicine when I got up. It's prescription and the only one I've ever tried that didn't make me drowsy. Unfortunately, it also wakes me up after about 3 hours of sleep. When Tyler woke me up because of nightmares at 2 a.m. I was/am up. Laid there until 3:15 and then realized it was time to get up. No sleep on the horizon. Just a million thoughts running through my head. (Apparently trying to make up for Saturday.)

So if any of my family is reading this... expect to find me napping later in the day.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Talk Like A Pirate Day

Ahoy! Tomorrow be Talk Like A Pirate Day. Drink up, me hearties and save me some grog. I've been waitin' t' post this link since I started this blog.

Avast! As I mentioned in June, find your pirate name here.


Captain Bess Bonney

PS- Bloody Jack Cash - That's quite a cutlass ye got thar, what ye need is a good scabbard!

Friday, September 17, 2004


We are almost done with the meetings. The endless meetings with teachers. Don't get me wrong. I really love meeting the kids' teachers. I love to hear about what their days are like, what they will be learning, a bit about their teacher's personality. If you are asking why I don't ask the kids then you have no children or they are too young to go to school.

My kids talk. They talk a lot. They do not tell us anything about their day except what they played in gym, what prize they picked from the prize jar (though they usually can't tell you what they did to deserve the prize) and what animal they are studying. (In Alex's case it is crayfish.)

Two nights ago the meeting was with Tyler's teachers. Alex had them last year so we already know them. I wanted to see their reaction to Tyler. The boys are so different and I was a little concerned about the shock. Apparently no need to worry. Mrs. C. said as we were leaving, "I didn't think I could love another of your kids as much as the first one. I was wrong. He's great!" She then told me how confident he is. (Is that what you call it?) He has apparently deigned himself willing to learn "their" cursive even though it is not the same as his own.

Last night we met Alex's teacher. He is young. I am told he is funny. He seems very nice. But he still seems a little lost when it comes to knowing anything about the kids. This is understandable considering they have only been in school for 6 days. I even got to see the crayfish. The big intermediate school doesn't seem so scary anymore and Alex seems to be adjusting.

Next week is a 4th grade band meeting & a meeting with Dylan's teachers. That's it until open house at the primary school in October.

Must get ready for visitation day at nursery school. That starts for real next week and next Friday I will have 2 1/2 hours to MYSELF!!! Whoohoo!

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Bad Mom Award

I have once again won the bad mom award. Not only did I not believe my child, but I blogged about it. Then the truth came out. He was right. I was shamefully wrong.

It happened at parents' night last night. I jumped ship early at the nursery school parent orientation (at which I was required to be present even though this is my SIXTH year in a row I have attended the thing) and boogied into Tyler's parent night - late. I slid into a seat next to my hubby and ignored the disapproving looks of the other parents. When we had a break for snack, odd I know - but a chance to mingle with the other parents, I approached the teacher we called the other night.

ME: "I'm really sorry about that phone call the other night."

Mrs. K: "It's no problem. I misspeak sometimes."

ME: "I tried to explain to him that he misunderstood you but he wouldn't listen."

Mrs. K: "He's always on top of things. Only one other child picked up on my error."

ME: sudden realization dawning "He was right?"

Mrs. K: "Yes, only two of them picked up on it. Tyler picks up on everything. It's great."

ME: "You mean Tyler was paying close enough attention to notice this? He was right? The teacher misspoke? Are we really talking about Tyler? Oh, my, GOD! I am the worst parent ever!"

Actually, I didn't say those last things. What I said was, "Thanks again for taking the call. It helped a lot."

I then ran to my husband to tell him what a bad mom I am. "...I argued for ages. I told him he misunderstood. No wonder he cried. I didn't believe him."

Let's make more space on the mantle. Oh no, it's getting a bit crowded. At this rate we'd better build some shelves.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Kid Conversation

ZACH (4): "If you don't let me go with them I'll dissect the Oinkster." (his stuffed pig)

ME: "Do you know what it means to dissect the Oinkster?"

ZACH: "Get the bacon."

Why I Can Never Homeschool

Tyler and I were discussing his homework last night. The paper said to pretend you would get a dollar amount of the number of the day of school. How much would you have at the end of the year? The example was $1.00 on the first day, $2.00 on the second, etc. There are approximately 183 days of school.

Tyler insisted his teacher said the amount is the DAY of school. Example here would be, the first day was on the 9th so you get $9.00. I had him read the assignment on the paper. We read the assignment together. He still did not believe me. The paper was wrong, his memory was right.

The discussion deteriorated to tears and yelling (from him not me). Then he insisted I CALL his teacher at home. After many more minutes of "discussion". That is exactly what I did. Thank God she gave us her home number last year when Alex had her! I explained that Tyler was not believing my explanation of the homework and insisted I call her then handed him the phone. He explained the problem, listened to her explanation, hung up and said, "The paper is right."

Then we discussed how to solve the problem and I showed him how to do it quickly in Excel. He did it a few times and that was the end. Why do the kids never believe ME?

Fantastically Funny

You simply must splendorize this page.

"School's Great!"

Everyone has asked how school is going, so.... GREAT! The boys are loving it. They all have "the best teacher/s". They all have friends in their classes.

Alex told us at dinner last night that his teacher threw a box of tennis balls across the room yesterday. Jeff & I looked horrified.
ME: "Why? Was he angry. Did he throw them at someone?"

ALEX: "No. He just threw them."

JEFF: "But why?"

ALEX: "I don't know. It was funny. Then he threw 'girl in class's' shoes. We were all laughing."

ME: "He threw her shoes? Why?"

ALEX: "It was funny. Can I be excused?"

ME: "Yes."
Jeff & I were left looking baffled. I didn't even know how to discuss this turn of events.

This morning:

ALEX: "...then he dropped a stack spelling books and the noise scared me. It was so funny."

ME: "Funny? Why did he do that? Were people not paying attention?"

ALEX: "No, it was funny. I have to get my backpack."
I don't get it but apparently this guy makes lots of noise, throws things around and this is all very funny to his students.
Tyler is excited because his class is all about working together and helping each other. If they get stuck they are suppose to work with someone else. I asked if he expected to get the answers from the other kids and he said, "No Mooom , you discuss it with someone and get the answers together." Then I asked if he planned on helping other kids. "Yes , There is this boy... I can't remember his name, he doesn't read very good so I helped him today." I must say, a moment of pride.

It's sad the boys have inherited my inability to remember names. I had a great memory (*note the use of had - I lost it permanently around the time of pregnancy #3.) for everything but names. I've tried every trick. All those things the memory gurus tell you to do. None of them work. About 2 minutes after you tell me your name, I've forgotten it. Gone. Completely. I'll remember your face, your kids, any interesting tidbit you told me about yourself, but not your name. Okay, these days the tidbits might escape my memory too unless they are really juicy.

Dylan tells us all about fish, bobbers & worms. This is a complex reward/punishment system I'm not sure I understand. The good news is he earned a prize the first day for getting all his fish "caught". Dylan is a very reward oriented child. Each day he gives us a rundown of fish caught, bobbers earned (bad), almost earned bobbers & worms (very bad I hear).

US: "What else did you do?"

DYLAN: "I almost got a worm."

US: "Yes, but what did you do?"

DYLAN" I got 2 of my fish caught. If they catch all 3, I get a prize."

US: "You told us that. What else? How was the bus?"

DYLAN: "Good. I didn't get any bobbers today."
You can guess how the conversation continued. That's all we know. Fish & bobbers & worms. Not sure if they read or do math. No mention of lunch or recess even. Just fishing stuff.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Kid Quote

Zach (4) to Dylan & Tyler:

"Let's go antagonize Alex now."

We Now Return to Your Regularly Scheduled Activity

I tried to write on the 11th, I really did. I just couldn't seem to do it.

It was a stressful day here and most of it did not have to do with the date. Just the stress of scheduling 4 kids, extra activities, differences of opinion (mine & hubby's) and lack of answers from people in charge of activities in question.

There are very few times when Jeff and I have different opinions on important things. Usually there is compromise. Usually the choice is out of our hands. This was not one of those times. The gap between formal religious education and overscheduling was wide this year. The amount of different activities for the older kids is being reduced but the time devoted to the remaining ones is increasing. The amount of activities for the little ones are increasing. The amount of driving is increasing. The amount of lugging kids to someone else's activities is increasing. See a problem here?

I think we've managed a compromise. Nothing is set in stone but we are talking again. We are both trying to make it work. Get what we want and give the other person what they want. We seem to be lucky this time. The last two times it was the house (I got what I wanted) and Zach's name (Jeff got what he wanted). They are choices neither of us are happy about. Still.

I'm happy to say, I think the current issue will work out for everyone.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Happy Birthday to You & You

Happy Birthday

to my wonderful hubby, Jeff

Not another year older dear, aged to perfection!
and his little sis Rachael.
You're not a teenager any more Rach!

Friday, September 10, 2004

Things I Have Actually Had To Say

Stop licking your brother.


Yes, I'm cranky today. I know you're wondering what I could be cranky about before 7 in the a.m. when school is finally in session. Let me tell you. (Remember, no one said you HAVE to read this. I get to vent here if I want to.)

The most basic reason is I have to get out of bed in the dark at 6 a.m. to get Alex off to school. WHY would they make kids go to school so damn early? Who planned this anyway? You just know some morning person had a hand in this. Maybe a whole bunch of them got together and planned this as revenge on us night owls.

Another reason I'm so cranky is I came down with a cold yesterday. You know the stage when you have chills and you lean forward and your nose actually drips like a faucet. After the hundreds of colds I've had, the dripping still freaks me out. Not the so stuffy your head will explode part of the cold (though that makes me cranky too) but the drippy part actually surprises me every time. I'm just getting past that part now, moving on to the stuffy bit.

Then there is the sudden realization that we are going to have to transport the kids 1 hour each way to activities FIVE days a week. Yes, I said an HOUR, FIVE days a week. That is TEN hours a week, not to mention the gas to support these trips. Now I know your saying, put the kids in activities closer to home. Why drive that far? Well, the only gymnastics center is that far away AND the "nice to interfaith marriages" temple is that far away. In fact, I think there is only one temple any closer and that is still 40 minutes away. Wahhhh!

I swore I would not be one of those mom's who ran their kids here and there and left them with no down time. Up until now we have managed to eat together at least 5 nights a week. Now it looks like we are down to 2. The other problem with 2 of the travel days is the start time. Hebrew school starts at 4:15. Alex will have time to have a snack and do a bit of homework before we go but I will have to pick up the middle 2 from school on Mondays. Then on Tuesdays, I (or my mom) has to pick up Tyler 20 minutes before he is suppose to get out to go to gymnastics. Arghhh!!! The worst is when I have to drag all 4 kids out there. This is not going to be pleasant. Usually during the school year, and especially in the winter, they are homebodies. They get home and don't want to leave again. I can't even get them to the grocery for milk.

All I want is to curl up in my jammies and hang on the couch but I must go to Walmart and Wegmans (the grocery). Last minute school supplies will not wait (I did try to get them at another store last night while Ty was at gymnastics but they had NOTHING left.) Oh, I'll also be dragging an extra preschooler around with me. Don't get me wrong. She is a great kid and too cute (& a girl, always a plus in my book) but ugh! shopping with 2 kids and a cold.

I'll stop ranting now. Thanks for reading (if you did). If anyone has suggestions, PLEASE let me know. I'll take all the help I can get. (Anyone want to drive?)

Thursday, September 9, 2004

They're Gone!

As of 8:55 this a.m. the boys were off. The middle two stepped onto that big, yellow schoolbus and it whisked them away. I would dance but I'm feeling a bit sleep-deprived. Maybe after a shower and another 10 cups of coffee.

I'd like to say it was the wonderful first day experience we usually have with no yelling and everyone ready early - but no. I had to wake Dylan at 8:05 and THEN he decided he HAD TO HAVE a haircut. Out came the clippers followed by a quick shower. Breakfast was rushed. Minimal yelling to EAT! BRUSH YOUR TEETH! Then we all hung out on the front porch and took the traditional 1st day pictures. Soon the bus was chugging up the road.

So here I sit, with Scooby-Doo in the background, and wonder what I should do first...

Whoohooo! Today's The Day!

One down, two to go. The first one is off and it's almost time to get Dylan up. Tyler was up with Alex and is ready and waiting.

I'm going to have to take Englishrose's advice here and nap later. Only 5 hours of sleep and I woke up 3-4 times. It's going to be a LONG day. I was so worried about not waking up and missing Alex's first day at a new school. Even he is nervous and he is the child that never gets nervous. Middle school is such a big deal. Too bad Mom (that's me) made him wear rain boots to school. In my defense, Francis is here and we are expecting 3-6 inches of rain today. The sidewalk is flooded in front of the house and he has new sneakers. I caught him double checking that they were in his bag. (I made sure, I'm not totally heartless.)

Zach just got up and there is excitement in the air. I surprised myself and have had thoughts of peeking in middle school windows to check on my baby - I mean oldest. Well, he's still my baby! All I could think of while lying (or is it laying? I never get that one right.) in the dark at 5 this morning was the mean aide who I served lunch duty with while subbing last year. What if she targets MY son. She actually made a girl cry. I'm tough but she was nasty!

Time to get Dylan up. On to the next round of preparation and then shove those two on the bus. Soon it will be just Zach and I. YAY!

Tuesday, September 7, 2004


34 hours from now my children will be at school!!! About 18 of those hours will be spent sleeping. I couldn't be more excited. Wait! Yes I could - and I am.

What, you ask, could make me more excited than school starting?

Let me tell you...

NOTE: if you are not a children's writer you will probably not understand this so bear with me - or skip below to tell me what the hell a laundry list has to do with laundry.

The editor I have been conversing with has asked for the 1st three chapters of my young MG (remember MG=midgrade or targeted to 9-12 year olds)!!

Yes, this could all end badly. Yes, she could send threatening letters saying I must never send another manuscript or she will unleash legal action. ~note: I'm joking here.~

BUT, this may be the beginning of something good. The best case - she asks to see the rest. The worst case - she's not interested.

I know. There are many other places for this all to fall apart if she asks to see the rest. Stop shouting. I know! But I can never get to the good parts without getting to the first step (where I'm at! Wait... maybe I'm past the first and on to the second. Maybe the third in this case. Thinking now... there may be a billion steps in this journey. hmmm... well, they all start with the first one. Right? I said RIGHT? Answer me. Boost up that ego of mine!)

So time to cross, or recross, those body parts. Pray if you do that type of thing. I will ask you refrain from any sacrifices. (that means no humans, animals, or even plants may be hurt in order for this to happen - except for the occasional ignoring of my children)

Laundry List

Two more days and my life is reading like a laundry list. (By the way, why is it called a laundry list? I do not make lists related to my laundry. If anyone can answer this question, PLEASE DO!)

Visit school/teachers - The children are up nights, having meltdowns, not sleeping, fighting, crying all in an extreme way that tells me they are anxious about school. Don't get me wrong, they all love school. They are excited about their new teachers. They have all their "stuff" ready to go. Still, 2 more days...

Gymnastics - yes, it starts this week. We are moving up from once a week to twice a week for 2 hours instead of 1 1/2. Also had to throw in a dance class. Tyler is in a preparation class so he can someday join the center's team. Ugh! What have we gotten into?

Doctor's check up for Tyler. (remember he just had a birthday? Forgot to make the appointment until the day before his birthday.)

Start preparing for Hammie U. - Online friends are putting together a novel retreat for us less experienced children's writers. Classes start soon. Assignments start now. So exciting!

Must stop all this and get on with my day! Starting the list now...

Monday, September 6, 2004

3 More Days!!!

Yes, 3 more days until school starts. I'm starting to get very excited. I am also conflicted so I am taking a poll. You must all give your thoughts on this:
  1. Should I use the first 2 days of school to get caught up on overdue housework?
  2. Should I use the time to write?
  3. Should I use the time to wallow in my freedom, read books and do nothing productive?
Now if you haven't realized, school starts on a Thursday here. I have 2 days and then the weekend. I'm thinking of putting off housework until next week.

This week & weekend are hideously busy. Gymnastics starts tomorrow, check-up at the doctor's for one of the kids, more gymnastics, carpet cleaning at nursery school (never did get to that), hubby's birthday (and his sister's), community festival, etc.

So... what do YOU think I should do on the wonderful, free 1st day of school?

Friday, September 3, 2004

We Survived!

The party is over. It went well. Nothing broken. No one broken. Wait, Alex did get a welt on his back where Tyler hit him with his lightsaber. (this was after Alex hit him and Tyler hit him before that, etc, etc) Right now they are building Bionicles together and there aren't even any raised voices.

No news on the editor front. It's a long weekend so I'm putting it out of my mind for the time being. Will try to wait to revisit this issue until Wednesday, Thursday next week.

The good news is: the kids are sleeping at Nana's tonight. Whoohooo Nana! I think I'll rent some movies and lounge in bed with hubby. Think I can convince him to start lounging at 4pm?

The best news is: School starts in FIVE DAYS!!!!

Thursday, September 2, 2004

Tied Up In Knots

I'm all tied up in knots. Why you ask?
  1. Tyler's 8th birthday is tomorrow (well, today). This means a party starting at 2 p.m. that includes me taking 5 kids to the movies, getting pizza, and a sleepover. The thing won't end until 10 the next morning. What was I thinking when I suggested this? I have no idea. (The good news is my house is much cleaner than it has been.)
  2. I sent an e-mail this afternoon (yesterday) to an editor I've met (she is SO nice and I'd love to work with her) and asked if she'd like to see the first 3 chapters of my MG. (that's mid-grade for you not in kids' lit. You may remember me referring to my WIP these last few months - this is it.) Also, so as not to let you all think I do this type of thing so informally on a regular basis, we have been e-mailing each other and she has shown interest in my work. So... YOU MUST ALL CROSS YOUR FINGERS AND ANY OTHER BODY PART YOU ARE ABLE TO CROSS so that she asks to see it, AND wants to buy it.
  3. I went to a RACWI (Local chapter of children's writers and illustrators group) tonight at a B&N and had a mocha frappachino. I really do know better than to drink coffee at 7 p.m. Not sure why I ignored this fact. But now I'm UP.
The question now is, how do I relax so I can sleep and be well rested for the party tomorrow?

Oh, probably no blogging tomorrow. The computer is in the kids' playroom. It's the same room the kids will be sleeping in.

More Than A Bit Scary

I am pure evil. I lie awake at night devising schemes of world domination, and I will not rest until all living souls bend to my will.

I took this test along with some others. This was not the one I expected to get the highest score on. I was thinking the Grunge Test or Hippy, Geek or Internet Addict - but NOooo. Evil Genus and a 55 % on Punk Rock. I'm fearing for my children...

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Blog Housekeeping

  1. I'm removing my guest blogger's privileges. Yes Mike, you're out. Not because I don't enjoy your blogs, but you never post. If you ever want to again, let me know and I'll add you back on.
  2. Come on people... COMMENT. I'm getting lonely here.
  3. Picked up my photos from the trip today. Still have to scan some in and load them up. You should see them by next weekend at the latest. The nature shots will be added to the photoblog, the kids will be linked to here.
  4. I'm TIRED! I find myself staring into space and it's difficult to pull it back. Got all of my To-Do list done (amazing) except for shampooing the nursery school carpet. Can't do that until 7pm when my co-cleaner shows up with the keys. As soon as that is done... I'm GOING TO BED! (fingers crossed that it's closer to 9 than 10 - I hope I make it that long.)

Things To-Do/Things to File

My to-do list is officially longer than my arm.

A full day home yesterday and somehow nothing got done other than the kids trashing the playroom. Not quite sure what happened.

Actually, my to-do list is shrinking. Tyler woke up at 4am with some issue (he wasn't sure what it was). I think he may have been sleepwalking/talking. He can't remember it. However, it caused me to rise from bed and re-situate him, turn on sound machine, etc. At 4:53 am I realized sleep was alluding me and got up. Now the kitchen is clean, dishes done, laundry almost finished, papers gone through, to-do list added to, phone calls made, e-mail checked. Unfortunately, the to-list goes on and on and on.

Carmen at Mom to the Screaming Masses asked how you keep papers organized. I let her know my system and then thought I'd share it here. After all, last year I discovered a system that worked and it wouldn't be fair to keep it to myself.

To control the mountains of paper the children bring into the house I hung plastic file folders on the wall in the kitchen (across from the calendar). Each person in the family has one. Each file gets a "SAVE" folder, a "Look at Me" folder, and any other they need (Sunday School, Sports/band, etc). All papers go into the LAM folder upon arrival to the house. After both parents look at the papers they get filed: garbage (many) or SAVE. Phone lists, bus passes, other school info goes into the SAVE folder as well as art projects and impressive writings. After the SAVE folder gets a bit full and you can't cram any more papers into the file it is time to move them into a box. When the LAM folder is jammed full it is time to take it out and hand it to your husband. You then demand he look at everything RIGHT NOW otherwise you will dispose of it before he gets a chance to see it. This usually works when he gets behind.

Carmen asked other questions about organizing your young but I have no answers for her. Check it out. Maybe you have some helpful info. And if you do, TELL ME!