Friday, December 31, 2004

2005 Goals (otherwise known as dreams)

I never make resolutions. NEVER. The reasoning behind this is, well, because then I have written proof of failure. This year I have decided to start a list of goals. I figure the odds are I will achieve nothing on the list but at least it will give me a bit of direction. So, in the long held tradition of New Year's Goals (NOT resolutions - never resolutions)...

  1. Get a job at my employer of choice. (I'll let you know where and why if I ever get a job there)
  2. Sign a book contract/re-evaluate writing career.
  3. Begin a baby book for my FOUR-year-old.
  4. Organize my photos so I can update the kids' albums.
  5. Possibly even update said albums.
  6. Stay on top of disaster we call our home.
  7. Do more with my children.
  8. Not yell so much.
  9. Take more photographs.
  10. Lose weight.
  11. Exercise more. (that means any little bit will count.)
I just found my writing goals from last year. Amazing feat in itself. So here are last years goals (copied right from the e-mail I sent to my crit group)...
  1. Write more in 2004!
  2. I have restarted my historical young YA(I think that's the target group anyway). Been researching, researching, researching. Now to actually start writing something!
  3. Send in at least 3 assignments to ICL. I have 4/5 left to do. I'd like to say Finish the class, but let's be honest - I don't see it happening.
  4. Submit, submit, submit!
Now the verdict...

  1. Started a blog which has caused me to write more.
  2. Did not work on my historical novel but started and completed a first draft of a mid-grade.
  3. Finished my class - THIS month!!!
  4. Submitted some. Not as much as I should have. (and I have nothing out right now)

Can I just say WOW! Maybe I should write things down more. I did better than I expected. A lot better. Makes me feel better. I only put things I could accomplish on my own without the influence of those outside me. (Such as my goal to sign a contract.) This year I say - what the hay? I'm going for it. The worst case (most likely) senario is it won't happen.

BTW, Who the h*ll says 'what the hay?' I think I'm channeling a 90-year-old woman.

Edited to add: Have you made any goals or resolutions for the new year? Tell me what they are...

Update

The Fridge is fixed!!!
All is well with the world.


I need to put a disclaimer here. I understand the world is not well at all. So I must add: Except for the horrors of the earthquake. Mind numbing horror that is so very hard to comprehend. Is anyone else facinated/repelled by the coverage? I actually can't watch for long or I start to want to grab a blanket, wrap myself up and go to sleep on the couch. The global crisis is testing the limits of the medication I'm on. I'm praying for everyone who is in crisis right now. May the new year bring safety, comfort and everything you need to make it a better year than the last couple of weeks of 2004.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

HELP!

  • Kids are still on vacation.
  • Freezer Refrigerator broke last night.
  • Christmas decorations still up.
  • House a disaster.
  • No snow for skiing or sledding - yard melting into mud pit.
  • No 2005 Mom's calendar!! Life as we know it is about to end...


    Did I ask for help?

Edited to add:

Nothing in my refrigerator or freezer is cold. NOTHING! The fridge is only 4 1/2 years old. WHY? It is going to cost $60 just for them to LOOK at the thing. Tomorrow. Tomorrow people! AND - it is getting warmer and warmer outside so I can't even keep stuff out there. It is suppose to be COLD outside this time of year. Why are we having a heatwave in DECEMBER?

Someone hates me...

I need stronger drugs.

Kid Quote

"I can't believe we have a real dog in our house!"


Said by Zach as he was playing with Bernie, his Aunt Shana & Uncle Rob's puppy.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Christmas Cheer

Just wanted to share a little Christmas cheer. And a great way to misuse your children's playthings.

• see it





• hide it

Friday, December 24, 2004

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I hope everyone has a joyous & peaceful holiday.

Kid Conversation

ZACH (looking out window while waiting for his brothers to finish getting ready for bed): "Why can't we see Santa?"

ME: "Because he only comes when you are sleeping."

ZACH: "I know but WHY can you and Daddy see him?"

ME: "Because we're grown-ups."

ZACH: "When can I see Santa?"

ME: "When you're a Daddy."

ZACH: *grumble, grumble* "I don't want to have to wait THAT long."

Kid Quote

ZACH (putting down fork halfway through dinner): "I'm full. Put me to bed."

He knows Santa only shows when all the kids are asleep.

Christmas Eve

The relatives have arrived.
The baking is not done.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Happy Birthday Alex!

Today is my first born's birthday. Alex is 10 now. Double digits. A very exciting time. I've decided to take a few minutes to tell you a bit about him.

Alex is handsome. Blond. Blue eyed. Big teeth growing in at odd angles. (When I say big teeth, I mean BIG. He has his father's teeth.) He is responsible. Reliable. Kind and generous. He is an old soul. He was born a little old man and seems to get younger with each passing year instead of older. Never one to tantrum he occasionally melts down. Now. As a preteen. Never as a toddler.

We hear stories from teachers and his friend's parents. Stories of working with the children who need extra help. Stories of befriending the child at the party. The one no one else knows. The friend from the birthday boy's preschool who is a little strange. There are also the stories of skill and enthusiasm. The stories of trying hard and determination. The stories of maturity and calm. I always ask if they are talking about my child. But I know they are. I can see the light in him. Even when he doesn't show those same qualities with his brothers I still see them peek through.


He is the child who rises at 6 a.m. for school. He gets dressed, brushes his teeth and makes his breakfast before insisting I get up and spend the last 15 minutes before the bus comes with him. I must sign his binder, make his lunch and remind him to get his snack and flute. I feel confident if I failed to rise he would be able to fulfill these obligations on his own. If he had to. I hope he never does.

The last few days I have been remembering him as a baby. I have the clearest memories of his baby days. The hours of staring at him. Talking to him. Reading to him. (He would sit and listen to stories from day one.) His little mohawk with it's blond tips (really, he was born that way).


I have one photo that flashes to my mind repeatedly. It is Alex lying on his daddy's bare chest. Covered to their chins in bed. Sleeping. Sweet. Innocent. Still had the dark hair he was born with on the back of his head.



I remember him at a year, making his way around the room emptying every shelf, box, table of items while I laid, sick, on the couch in the early stages of my pregnancy with Tyler. He would make his way around the room. When he was done I would drag myself off the couch and clean it all up. Only to have him do it again. Boxes of toys - dumped. Shelves of videos - swept clean. Bookcase - emptied.



I remember him at 18 months, knowing all his colors - even orange, brown and purple. Speaking in complete sentences.


I remember him at two, eating applesauce with a spoon and not getting a drop on his bib. Everyone where I worked thought this a miracle. I couldn't understand why - until I had more children. He also was talking in paragraphs.


I remember him at three, practicing writing his name. Sharing with his brother and having the biggest blue eyes anyone had ever seen.


I'll admit to the memories getting hazy after this. (and the photos aren't in an album yet.) By the time he was five-and-a-half we'd had two more sons - for a total of four. But I will never forget his kindness and caring.


Alex's 1st birthday

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY SON!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

At This Moment...

10 years ago, St. Anesthesiologist was administering an epidural after my husband (who had been insisting "no drugs" during the birth of his first child) ran around the hospital screaming for someone to give me drugs.


And then the angels sang.

Harry Potter 6

In case you haven't heard...
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

will be released July 16, 2005
.
Already in my shopping cart over at Amazon.

What Our Holiday Card SHOULD Have Looked Like




(Notice the top part of the tree is still not decorated - my job.)


EDITED TO NOTE: More new pictures on photoblog. No baking done.

More Baking

Nothing going on. Just more baking.


DONE:

3 dozen oatmeal M&M (eaten)

3 dozen oatmeal M&M

4 dozen secret ingredient chocolate chip

4 dozen chocolate dipped pretzels


NEED TO DO:

3 dozen secret ingredient chocolate chip for school tomorrow

1 apple caramel pie for office tomorrow

1 apple caramel pie

6 dozen peanut butter cookies

5 loaves banana bread


SKIPPING THIS YEAR:

Sugar cookies

one random type cookie

Monday, December 20, 2004

Amazing

I'm really surprised no one commented on my amazing cake. Yummy.
It looks as good as it tasted. mmmm... chocolaty goodness.

Kid Conversation

ME: "It is -6 degrees out. Go put on a sweater or something."

TYLER: "Fahrenheit?"

ME: "Yes." odd question

TYLER (yelling to his brothers): "Dress really warm. It's -6 degrees Fahrenheit. That's like -23 degrees Celsius."

I went to a conversion calculator. It is actually -21 degrees. How did he know that? I certainly didn't know that.

COLD

I just put my son on the bus and it is -6 degrees. Yes, MINUS. SIX. degrees. Let me add - winter officially starts tomorrow.


More news... the lights are on the tree. It took me 8 days but it's done. Good thing I was home alone when I did it or the children would have learned many new words. I broke the #1 rule of tree lighting. I put the first string on without testing it first. Not sure what I was thinking. As soon as I realized my error I plugged it in and - you guessed it - half the string was out. The middle half. Very odd. Had to take it down and start over. I did test all the rest of the strings and they all worked just fine. Only string not working was the one I put on the tree. Consider the lesson learned.


The best news is the children have put up most of the other decorations. I'm SO glad they are old enough to do that. They did a fantastic job too. Not all clumped in one spot. Decorations more than three quarters of the way up. Just room enough on top for my breakable ones. A few more and the decorating will be done. (I have decided not to put out all the decorations as I just don't feel like it and can't seem to figure out where to put them.)


I am without a vehicle today so I have no reason not to bake. Much baking needs to be done. The 3 dozen cookies I made last week are almost gone. I haven't made any more. Today starts the baking frenzy. The good part is the kitchen will be toasty with the oven on all day and smell yummy. (Of course I can't smell so that part will only benefit the children when they return home from the cold. The FRIGID OUTDOORS.)

Sunday, December 19, 2004

More Birthday

Since I've already mentioned that today is my birthday, I will go on to tell you, what I'm apparently getting for my birthday is this:

• find out





• close


I should mention there is a lot of this:

• find out how much





• close


I should also mention this is all from today. (I just ran out and took these with my new CAMERA.)



**EDITED TO NOTE: It seems to be stopping.

My Birthday

I wasn't going to mention my birthday here but since I had such a lovely dinner last night I realize I must.


First of all, I have come down with a nasty cold. Very unpleasant. Has made me very whiney. My head is so filled with snot I can barely lift it from the pillow in the mornings. Because of this our plans for dinner were being changed to getting take-out and renting a movie. Oh, and a nice big vat of the good stuff. (The good stuff being Starbucks coffee almond fudge ice cream.)


The problem with colds is nothing sounds good to eat. It is the only time in my life when nothing sounds good. Usually everything sounds good and I can't decide. Anyway, last night the children were sleeping away from here. We had a credit card that did not belong to us. (Thank you Jeff's mom.) And we needed food.


I had suggested Macaroni Grill - the only thing sounding good was their bread ~mmmm~ and the shrimp portifino ~mmmmm again~ but the 20 minute drive and probable hour wait (it was a Saturday night during prime shopping season) seemed too much for my heavy head to handle. We stopped by a nearby restaurant and looked at the take-out menu. Nothing. Nothing interested my cottony head. Got back in the car and I told Jeff to make the decision. Okay, I demanded he make the decision because I couldn't. Through his reluctance he suggested MG. He was driving. I was upright. I said fine. I did mention the bread didn't I?


We went. We sat in the bar area. We had a drink. I pulled out my new DIGITAL CAMERA. (Have I mentioned my new DIGITAL CAMERA?) We had a lovely time. We took lots of pictures. Other than the constant honking of nose blowing and scrounging for tissues it was great. It was great fun. Yes, FUN!

We were seated. Neither of us had any clue as to the wait time because we were too busy having FUN with the camera. The camera fun continued at the table. The waitress was great. Very understanding of the nose blowing and picture taking. Thankfully we were seating in a very back corner. That combine with the high noise level prevented most from hearing the elephantine trumpeting of my nose. (I'm not kidding here. Those who've heard it can attest to the unbelievable likeness to elephant trumpeting that is my nose blowing.)

After the delicious dinner that I could actually TASTE - well, mostly. Something that I've never experienced before happened. My husband betrayed me. In the best way possible. But still a betrayal.

They brought me cake and SANG to me in ITALIAN. SANG people. I'm not sure if you realize but I don't like people looking at me. Especially when I look like freaking Rudolf. Still, it was short and not as annoying as when a whole group comes and acts all happy it's your birthday with clapping and all. This was much better than that. Still, I'm afraid I didn't thank the singer. I might have but the embarrassment has wiped my memory clean.

Still, much fun. Here is my cake (which I could actually taste & miraculously we had room for when just moments before we were so so stuffed):






More evidence of our fun can be found in my photoblog. I will post some more fun tomorrow.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Present For Me!

I received my present for Hanukkah/Birthday/Christmas last night. The 'man in brown' delivered it during the 45 minutes I was out yesterday.


It's a DIGITAL CAMERA! Thank you to all family that chipped in so I could buy it. Expect my blog to be littered with photos now. The photoblog will be updated much more frequently and the family will be inundated with pictures of the kids. Lord help the internet.


This explains the timely photos of Visible Zach (as I have been now told to call him by TR Zach). It also explains the photos of the BLUE SKY on the photoblog. Who knew skies were suppose to be blue? I, myself, had forgotten.


And can I just tell you all how much I love the delete function? Yippee! Instantly delete all evidence of crimes against photography. (Yes, the skills that were paid for with much tuition.)


Now if I could just figure out how to put a thumbnail of the newest photo in the sidebar...

Invisible Zach

Invisble Zach today:





Close-up of his face:





(The eyes are Bionicle masks)

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Kid Conversation

Scene: Getting in car at grocery store
ZACH: "We need to get home. I miss Zach."

ME: "Ummm. You ARE Zach."

ZACH: "No, My friend Zach." He has no friend named Zach.

ME: "Oh."

ZACH: "He is invisible. You can't see him."

ME: "Ok."

ZACH: "He is waiting for me in my bed. He misses me."

ME: "Is he napping?"

ZACH: "No, he broke his leg."

ME: "Oh my. How did he break his leg?"

ZACH: "He was snowboarding and the snow got in his eyes - through his goggles -and he couldn't see and a tree was coming and he hit the tree and he broke his leg. That's how."

ME: "Oh my! Did the ski patrol take him down the mountain on the sled?"

ZACH: "No. I told you he was snowboarding down the mountain when he broke his leg."

ME: "But how did he get the rest of the way down?"

ZACH: "Mooom, he was down. I told you." Of course.

• more Invisible Zach



Scene: Later at home - Zach ran upstairs as soon as we got home and returned to playroom with his pj's. He then proceeded to lay them out as if someone was laying on the couch.
ZACH: "Invisible Zach is resting on the couch. Come see."

ME: "Look at that. How is your leg feeling Invisible Zach?"

ZACH: "He answered you. Can't you hear him?" Uh, no.

ME: "I heard him but I can't understand him. I guess he speaks another language."

ZACH: "YES!"

ME: "Does he speak Spanish? I can't but you can. (no you can't) Could you translate for me?"

ZACH: "YES! He said he is feeling a little better. I'm going to go play now."

Invisible Zach Update: Invisible Zach later broke his other leg, then healed. His leg is much better now.

Yesterday Invisible Zach was dressed in the real Zach's pj's as soon as he got dressed. He was laying on the playroom floor all day and TR (The Real) Zach gave him a heart pillow head and some Imaginex Castle walls (with windows) for eyes and a piece of green something-or-other from the castle for a mouth. I must take a picture soon so all of you can see Invisible Zach.

• Enough Invisible Zach

Update

My holiday cards are mailed & the tree is in the stand!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Hectic

Thank you for the gift suggestions! I think I have finally finished the boy's shopping. Can't reveal what he is getting as he has been known to read over my shoulder occasionally and possibly check this site when I'm not looking. Can see him trying to find out what I've purchased this way. Hmph, boy is too smart for his own good.


My to-do list is as long as my arm now. Starting to feel overwhelmed. Our perfect tree we picked out on Saturday is probably dead since it is still sitting outside, wrapped up. Must venture into basement today to get tree stand and decorations. Hope cobwebs don't hold me prisoner until large family of spiders can suck me dry - holidays are already trying to do that. If you don't hear from me in a couple days but you do hear children screaming unchecked that they must eat - please send help.


Another problem is ordering the last of the gifts on-line. Seems nothing will be here on time now that I've waited so long to order it.


The Holiday cards are done. I'm not happy with the quality of the photo (seems WAY too soft) - not sharp at all. But the kids are all looking at the camera. A freaking Holiday miracle in itself! Now to address them all.


In the spirit of the holiday season I am now a redhead. Redwood to be exact. I love it. The kids seem to like it. No one has run screaming from me yet. I'm taking this as a good sign.


Must get on with day. Friend coming over and would like to do basic housekeeping chores so as not to scar her or her son.

Monday, December 13, 2004

HELP!

What does one buy a ten-year-old boy? He's complaining he hasn't gotten any toys but most of what I see is too young for him. All he has picked out are books and video games. HELP!

Update

Hanukkah is in full swing here in MoMMY's household. Actually, it is almost over. Whew! We have just about made it through one holiday but as we all know, Christmas is right around the corner.



The tree is bought (and still sitting outside the side door), the decorations are still sitting in the basement. Much baking must still be done. (Okay, all the baking)



Two of the children have been sick and it seems a third is coming down with something.



**Million dollar question: Will the illness be over by Christmas or will the parents be ill? (Worse than sick kids this time of year)



The great part of celebrating two holidays is things are broken down and easier to handle. One family down - one to go. The bad part is: THERE ARE TWO HOLIDAYS TO CELEBRATE!



Oh, and let's not forget Alex's birthday. He is turning TEN in NINE DAYS. NINE DAYS! OMG! I was thinking I had loads of time. I don't even know what to get the child for a gift. No celebration planned. Nothing. Besides all of that... I am NOT old enough to have a child in the double digits. Really, I'm not. Okay, technically I am. But I don't feel old enough. And did I mention NINE DAYS????



<must go to Amazon right now and shop his wish list>

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Friday, December 10, 2004

Show-and-Tell

No, no. Get your mind out of the gutter. I'm referring to Wednesday's show-and-tell at preschool. I was told by the teacher that they like Zach to close out the session because he does such a good job at it. Curious as to why, the teacher told me to 'just watch'.



Anyone who has ever seen the average 4 year old show-and-tell knows that it usually consists of a child sitting (or standing) in front of the class clutching some object they hold near and dear, staring at the class with a mild to severe look of panic on their faces. They mutter one word answers to questions the teacher asks as if being asked to reveal matters of national security under threat of torture.



Do I need to say it? Okay, I will... Not Zach.



No, my child grabs his objects and starts putting on a show for the class. The elephant puppet is soon spraying water over the class with his trunk. This then causes Zach to punch him in the stomach for getting him all wet. Soon the children that were trying to discover if the cure to cancer was under their fingernails or in their neighbors hair has eyes fixed on Zach. Laughter is erupting and I feel as though I have entered some smoke-free, juice-only, well-lit comedy club where the performers are all under 4 feet.



Finally the teacher had to get the hook so she could move on to story time.

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Evil Starts With E

I was the working parent at preschool today.



It was 'E' day.



Zach brought 2 Elmos and an elephant puppet.



His friend brought Evil Bad Guy



Imagine watching the teacher say, "Evil starts with E," to a bunch of 4 year olds. How could you not laugh?



I'd expect to hear that at my house but in preschool? Not so much.

Monday, December 6, 2004

The Awww Factor

Zach wrote "MOM" for the first time today.


Then he drew 2 hearts connected with a line because we love each other.

And The Angels Sang

I'm not a shopper.


A star grocery shopper but not a real shopper. It is usually painful. unsuccessful. aggravating.


Yesterday I went shopping with my mom. It was a beauteous day. The sun shone. The angels sang. Things were easy. The crowds didn't bother me. I found everything on my list and lots of things that weren't. You know, the things you don't know you need until you see them. And all was on sale. (okay, not all - just most.)


My holiday shopping is almost done. I'm almost ready to dig out the decorations and - gasp! - decorate. I'm almost ready to start baking. and making gifts. and I think I must be losing my mind. I'm listening to Christmas music on the radio. I'm singing along. Someone has possessed me. It is the only explanation. That or the medicine is working.

Friday, December 3, 2004

Numbers

The boy is FINALLY GOING BACK TO SCHOOL! Hacking up lungs and all. He was home for FOUR. EXTRA. DAYS. FOUR! None of the kids have ever been home that long from school before. (Now that I say this he will probably once again stay home - Nooooo!)


And I have too much to do to enjoy it.


Dylan has resumed making up songs about private body parts. Refuse to repeat song. Use your imagination.


Christmas parties have started. Gifts must be bought and wrapped. Hubby's party is TONIGHT. Pharmacist said I shouldn't drink more than one drink while on happy pills. ONE people. ONE! I'm known as the wife who does shots. Pre-party martini party at co-worker's house. ONE DRINK. And none of my clothes fit. And did I mention only ONE DRINK?


Only FOUR, yes FOUR, days until Hanukkah people. Totally not prepared. Thanksgiving decorations still up. December holiday ones still in basement. Luckily we keep the menorah upstairs on display.


I must thank my hubby for coming home yesterday morning to watch the hacking child while I worked the book fair at the intermediate school. Zach got lots of attention from teachers used to dealing with 9-12 year olds and young girls who ooo'd and aw'd at him claiming him the cutest. ever. His head is swelling faster than my pie eating butt. (Okay, not really. My butt is far too fast for him to keep up. And it doesn't eat the pie - I do.)


Must get ready, put hacking child & body part singing child on bus, drop youngest at nursery school, volunteer in 1st grader's class, go to Walmart (for pie making essentials, wrapping paraphernalia, cleaning devices & products), pick up youngest, make pie, wrap gifts, and try to beautify self for evening with hubby's co-workers. I think I need a nap.




Oh, and did I mention I may have to work at the book fair again from 11-2? Well, I might. Don't ask how this will all work. I DON'T KNOW.


**Edited to add: There is a blizzard outside my window. Snow is dropping in beautiful yet future shovel-inducing amounts. At this rate will have to shovel drive before I leave in LESS THAN TWO HOURS.

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Thanks

I never did mention what I am thankful for and the guilt is killing me. So here, now, for your enjoyment...

What MoMMY is thankful for:




No new bodily conversations lately.


The kids: The reason I get up each morning.



Jeff: Without whom I don't know how I'd make it through each day.



My Mom: I got my hair cut and my house cleaned today. Seriously, without her my life (& house) would be a mess.


My family: The rest of them for all of their love and support.



The way we all get along: We may have the occasional disagreement but family gatherings are not painful. I've heard from many people that they dread getting together with family and I am blessed to not have that problem. So I'm VERY THANKFUL!



Our home: It may need work but I'm glad we have one and I do love it. (except maybe the holes in the ceiling)



That we have enough: Maybe not everything we want but we do have enough.



Our health: Other than a bit of crazy we are all healthy. (and Tyler is going back to school tomorrow - I don't care if he is coughing up a lung)



My friends: Your support has been phenomenal. You have all brought a smile to my face and make each day a little better.

My computer: with it I would never have met most of you.

Oh, and dinner, which I have to get on the table right NOW.