Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Up Up and a Sniffle!

During our eventful snow storm on Sunday, the kids and I watched UP, which is a great movie, with a great message for the adult as well as entertaining for the kids. The message of “It’s never too late” and “Life itself is an adventure” etc…were wonderful and well needed right now in this time of my life.

However, on the heals of watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” Its no wonder that my kids have me on 24 hour watch and have taken away all my belts.

I suppose it is understandable that my kids are acting really nice and tiptoeing around me after the heap of snorting, smiling, crying, flesh that I turned into as I watched the movie.

Geeze, not only are my taste buds all screwy at my age, but apparently age is making me a weepy mess nothing less than akin to the drunk idiot of my past...

I love you MAN…..”

Monday, December 21, 2009

Flurries in the South???

So on Sunday it snowed. Which when you live in Maine, in December is not really a life altering event.

However, it also snowed in Texas...and the Mid-Atlantic and South East... What is this the end of worlds???

That one foot dump of snow on their streets has completely paralyzed the mid-Atlantic, they may not go to school again until February when the heat wave comes and makes sure that even the tiniest snow flake has melted.

Oh, was that harsh and sarcastic?

Probably a little, but having taught there for a number of years...(yes I did used to be a part in the intellectual development of our youth...don't get stuck with that scared look on your face, I am on a break, your youth are safe!) I used to get so irritated. The prediction of a couple of inches would spurn an apocalyptic reaction making the grocery stores scramble to put more bread, water and milk on their shelves.

Now, really folks…even if you are stuck for 3 days in your house from your 2 inches of snow, do you really need 10 loaves of bread? And frankly hip checking the old lady out of the way of the cooler to get the last 20 jugs of milk was a little much.

Just put on your boots, go out into the snow, and enjoy it…it will probably melt tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Geriatric Taste Buds

Is it possible to have old people taste buds?

I mean I am just curious because I am sitting here eating pickled beets...and have had them every day this week.

I can remember going to visit my dad’s family down south and them eating turnip greens, pickled beets, tomatoes like apples, and turnips with salt and vinegar (although I will admit I always liked that one…) and being so totally grossed out. Perhaps it was my over processed taste buds that kept me from liking these things…or perhaps it was my immature pallet.

I don’t know, but I always assumed that kind of food “old” people food. All the “old” people in the family liked that stuff…you know, the stuff that’s all healthy and what not, and all that self-canned-crap” from the garden.

Yeah, well, as I plopped a few more pickled beets on my plate and Henry stuck his nose up and said…
“ewwww their PURPLE,” (clearly assaulting his white-food-only sensibilities,)

I realized…OH CRAP…I like old people food now…

Go in my pantry folks, and you will find all my self-canned-crap. Not to mention the words "when I was your age..." are creeping into my daily conversations with my kids...Clearly I am running down hill from here. Somebody just shoot me if I start eating pickled pigs feet though...

I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Happy Holidays

We celebrate Christmas in our family, but if you don't just substitute Happy Holidays...

Hope you have a good one!


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Another Adventure in Caroline World

So, you may well remember the Melba Toast Elevator we have a new one on the horizon...mom and dad...go ahead...I am making your day again...

Caroline has a mailbox now on her door...(OK not anymore because after I took a picture of it, ridiculed her to ensure her need for therapy in her future, I threw it away...) If you look closely you will see that she has written that it is her mail box...you know, just in case someone couldn't tell...

Nice to know that at least she has mail... a piece of foil trash and a snot looking plastic hand that is supposed to stick to walls but has lost its stick...however, it CLEARLY is to precious to throw away!

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Big Sky

Today my niece is over for a play-date. They always have interesting interactions when they are together, if you can remember the past post of Henry looking in her butt to "see what was up there," or both getting into Caroline's swimsuits and dancing around the house...Margo looked cute in the pink and blue flowered one piece...Henry?...well, not so much.

Today has been relatively calm, other than having to intercept the plan for Margo to wipe Henry after going potty...that was a close one. But while I was upstairs spoiling their plan, I said "Henry your room is such a pig sty"

Margo's response was "I know, I don't know why his room is such a big sky...big big sky...yup it is a big sky."

I just sort of giggled to myself, but now I am listening as they play mommy and daddy with Henry's lovey bears. They just picked him up from school and now they are having them take a nap. Margo has informed them that their room is a "BIG SKY and what are they going to do about it!"

Hmmm, how does someone go about getting rid of the big sky in their room?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Death Scare

Death Scare
Ok so yeah, I got sick...however, I didn't realize that I was going to have the black plague of sickness.

Last Friday I was coaching my middle daughters DI team…(you know, because I didn’t feel like I had enough going on in my life and felt that I needed a little something extra to concentrate on…)

I had a little headache during the practice, but didn’t think a lot of it. When you spend your days raising Henry, dealing with an angsty tweeny bopper, and trying to keep up with Caroline who seems to outsmart me even on a bad day, headaches can be pretty par for the course.

However…by the time we got in the car to drive home I was shivering. Teeth clattering, I ambled into the house and called my husband at work. I pretty much hinted as to the fact that his children were now going to be on their own and if he appreciated their general welfare and safety he ought to think about getting home on time.

By the time he got home I had a 102.7 fever and was pretty sure that I might pass in the next 24 hours.

But, there is an upside for a mother who doesn’t seem to slow down long enough to do anything other than use the restroom…oh wait…I usually put that off too…

I had to rest.

I lay on the couch for 2 whole days… I know, I know…I felt like Cleopatra… OK well, really not so much Cleopatra as a lazy lump of plague infested cells. BUT, I got to lie on a couch…and watch endless bad TV…

And I taught myself to crochet after I was able to sit upright again…

So plague or not, I guess I have a little soft spot for my H1N1. It forced me to stop, sleep and knit… for a couple days anyway!

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Flu has Landed

SO, I was rather excited because today was to be my daughters first full day back at school. Some very supportive friends were going to take me to breakfast and I was going to get my house back in order after a Quarter of Homeschooling which has left my house completely in surrender to my nasty, and I was going to be able to blog regularly again...again...(I keep on saying that)

However, On Friday, as Murphy's Law would have it, the flu knocked me on my butt, and I spent the entire weekend, and today in the prone position with 102 fever. The first beautiful weekend we have had, as well as a beautiful day today...It will probably snow as soon as I am upright again.

Instead of brunch and cleaning, I have Theraflued and ousted the air around me.

But on the good side, I watched an entire disk of McLeods Daughters, and 2 seasons of the Vicar of Dibly. Something that on a normal week would have enlisted my rather large Guilt gene, but since I am forced to lie on the couch in feverish aching, I guess I just won't care.

So here I go back to my couch because I believe at this point I have been upright for oh...10 minutes now, I wouldn't want to stress myself now would I?

Here is to good health by tomorrow...the fever must break at somepoint...I mean can't Murphy see the state of my house?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Adventures in Cell Phones

OK, so I went to a Halloween party...and so I may have treated more than I tricked...did I HAVE to send my cell phone through the heavy wash cycle?

Because that just made my life SO MUCH EASIER...can you sense sarcasm?

I heard from many after an exasperated post on Face Book, that if I put it in rice for a few days it would dry it out. So I did...and it did...mind you the screen looks a little strange and the picture of my husband and I now looks like it was taken in one of those funny mirrors at a carnival with a squiggly forhead and such...but it charged and turned on. Although, it is saying I have no service...


Chalk one up for stupidity...

It did however, make me realize how addicted to cell phones we all are. I generally make my phone calls to away family on my way home from work at night. (no worries, I drive back roads and drive slow and even put it on speaker if I need to) Tonight I couldn't. But you know what?

I turned up my radio and sang like an idiot at the top of my lungs.

I realize that I missed doing that. So, if nothing else, I suppose I should thank the washing machine for giving me my "obnoxious-in-a-car-by-myself-singing-really-loud" times back.

While I understand that others that may meet me at an intersection head banging or screaming really loud and be very afraid that I might be having a seizure, I am happy that I was reminded just why I like being in a car by my self with out anyone I have to talk to.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ahhh The Sins of our Youth

So I have posted many times about my little Caroline and her ability to put anything into a bag and collect it...rocks, sticks, leaves, stickers, starburst wrappers, small neighborhood children....what have you.

Her room generally shows this talent of hers, and when she is sent up to clean it, it becomes a 4 day marathon of crying, screaming, threats and ultimately a half cleaned room and a family exhausted of the fight.

I have to admit though, (as my parents are laughing reading this,) she comes by it honestly. I know that I was the same way.

Full of good intentions she goes up pulls out all her stuff to put away, and then…well, it is just begging to be played with while its being put away, and then….well, then she gets lost in her imaginary world and forgets that after about 5 hours her parents are going to completely loose their mind when they check on her because she has been in her room for 8 hours with out having picked up a thing, and in fact, it possibly could be messier than when she started the endeavor.

I am learning to be more patient…HOWEVER… she is also known for using trash to create all sorts of things…she will pull old non sticky stickers out of the trash because she doesn’t want to throw them away and use tape to re-stick them to various things…that they won’t come off of….like her lamp!

This one was my favorite however. The empty Melba Toast box affixed to the end of her bed. When I asked why she had trash tied to the end of her bed she responded with an astonished look on her face.

“Mom, that’s not trash…that is a sideways elevator that gets my Barbies from one side of my bed to the other without having to walk”
How could I have NOT KNOWN THAT????

Yes I am fully aware of my empty box obsession when I was a kid…I just can’t help thinking of the saying “The sins of our Fathers” and I am pretty sure that this is the result of a deal my parents struck with the universe when I had my children…so mom and dad?

Thanks A LOT….really…

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Right-O Mate, Wanna Cuppa?

One thing I have learned from my obsession with my Australian Ranch-opera is that Australian lingo does NOT translate.

In fact people may think that you have suffered a stroke if you start to use it with out warning here in America.

No matter how much I would love to say “Ta” instead of the cumbersome Thanks. And think that “I stuffed up” sounds so much nicer than “I screwed up” And some how that accent pulls me in every time, mine just can’t pull off the “Right-O.”

It’s depressing. Our insults seem so crass, and I am longing to call someone a Nob…Knob?…but see, I don’t even know the correct spelling…and its not really a good insult if you aren't sure what it means. (But is sounds good) So I guess I am going to have to stick to the coarse versions in our language.

I guess I will just have to get to it, and be a lover Aussie talk from afar.

**mind you I get the same way about our counterparts across the pond too…the English have it going on too.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Lesson in Little Man Colds

OK so I know that I posted the You-Tube Man*** cold at some point. Because I thought it was funny and what ever...My husband told me I had to write a disclaimer that he is not like that… (wink wink nudge nudge)

Then Friday night happened and I have found there is something worse than a man cold… the dreaded LITTLE Man Cold.

Henry was happily running around a birthday party for a friend. No problem…certainly none when it came to downing a big cupcake. However by the time we ran my middle daughter to a birthday party… he was screaming at the top of his lungs “Oooowwwwww my THROAT hurts.”

I kindly suggested that perhaps his throat wouldn’t hurt if he didn’t scream, and that the more he screamed while I was driving the more likely I was to go careening into a telephone pole. This did not seem to have any affect.

By the time we got home he was…not kidding…lying on the floor writhing in pain and moaning. I really actually started to get worried. Perhaps aliens? Tse Tse Fly made an escape to Maine? The Swine Flu?

He moaned for 2 hours and then I finally just put him in bed. Concern and insomnia led me to his room at about 2 at which point I found he had a fever, and I got the really sad eyes and pitiful voice saying “please sleep with me”

I was going to resist but as I was leaving out his door the “oow oow oow ow ow” started again. Obligingly I got in bed and (did not sleep) comforted my child who was clearly having some sort of science fiction episode.

The next day he had a fever, looked like hell, lay around and asked for us to wait on him hand and foot and to be honest, played us like fiddles. I slept (not really attaining any real sleep) with him again that night because it was the only way to avoid the “OOOHHHH oww owww owwww”

The next morning dragging myself downstairs to make a mammoth size pot of coffee and splaying myself on the couch to try and recover from two nights of no sleep, I hear the sprite jumping footsteps coming down the stairs…

“Mom, I don’t have a fever anymore, let’s do something!” (And I checked…he didn’t)

Seriously? The child was on the brink of death, wore me out…and now was begging me to play…

Yup, give me man cold any day…the little man cold sucks.

*** I apologize to any of you manly men that read my blog...clearly I am not talking about you! :-)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Boing Boing Hair

So the other day when I was getting ready to go to work, little man came into the bathroom with his hair soaking wet.

"What are you doing?" I asked
"I am trying to get my hair to do right." Henry responded with a brush stuck in his hair.

I am used to my kid’s role playing. I have been told it is developmental, if I am sweeping, they try to sweep, when I am cussing, they wander the house yelling various words that make your hair curl…that is how it works right?

So I didn’t really think much of it, until he started sifting through my closet and pulled out an old curler from 1982 and kept trying to put it in his hair. I thought hmmm, maybe I can help.

“Henry can I help you?”
“I am trying to get my hair like Justice’s”

This is a boy in his preschool, not being sure exactly WHO Justice was, I thought OK I can do boy hair…

I spiked his hair up and sprayed it…(he looked pretty cool) He was so excited he ran to his bathroom to see it in his mirror…

then I hear a shriek of horror…(apparently this is NOT how Justice does his hair) In utter hysteria, Henry runs into my bathroom…

“But that’s NOT how his hair is…now it is stuck this way, you glued it…” after about 10 minutes of instructional Yoga breathing and a little water on a comb, I brushed his hair out.

Moving his fingers in a circle at his forehead he said “His hair goes like this….”

“OHHHHHHHHH he has curly hair…” I nodded…being slightly worried that he knew how to use the curler when I don’t use them…I had to explain that his hair was too short and too straight to do that. After a large disappointed frown, he moved on to crashing his cars into the cat lying on his bed…

It did however remind me a little of Clementine by Sarah Pennypacker, she loved curly hair…she called it Boing Boing hair… A great book for kids, and on a side note, I think that the author totally channeled young Pie for the Clementine character…it was like reading a biography…scary.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Children's Music

OK so I am taking this as a sign that I am on my third child....

I was standing in line with my little man and getting very disapproving looks from the older lady behind me because my 4 year old was dancing like a wild child and singing…really loud…”I want a girl with a short skirt and a looooong…..” (wait for it) “JACKET!” The gentleman standing with the older lady kind of smirked…but looked confused as Henry went on about fingernails like justice… I am assuming that they don’t listen to the band Cake very often…

Here’s the thing, when my eldest (who is turning 11) was a toddler, my car was always blaring Veggie Tales, Dan Zanes, and Raffi on a regular basis. In fact on one rare date with my husband, we got 45 minutes away from home and realized that we had been mindlessly singing to a "toddler hits" CD the whole way. (We very quickly changed over to Credence Clearwater to try to redeem ourselves...) Needless to say when my second child came along just 2 years later, we were still in the toddler phase, so we continued to bop around to Baby Beluga.

But then…I got tired of “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” I knew the honeymoon was over when my sister and I on a long trip with just the babies, made up rated R words to “The Ants Go Marching One by One”…I had clearly moved on

Henry’s favorite song is not “Little Blue Planet” or “Old Mac Donald” but rather “16 Tons” by Tennessee Ernie Ford, and “Jackson” by Johnny Cash. It’s all good, but I guess I need to expect the odd look every now and again.

…I am just waiting for him to break out into “They tried to make me go to rehab, but I said NO NO NO…”

Monday, October 5, 2009

What Does THAT Mean?

OK so I have talked about having crazy dreams before...I don't know whether they are stress induced, or perhaps Advil PM induced since that is the only way I catch ZZZ's anymore. Nonetheless they are weird!

So last night I was dreaming that we lived in this old industrial warehouse type thing with lots of widows for ceilings and iron bars. It was pouring rain, and our roof was leaking all over the place. Every time I would get a bucket under one of the leaks another place started…MDH did not seem concerned in the least.

That part is kind of blunt, but then, I went in our pantry and found a money bag with 1000$ in it from a fundraiser I had run for the library and forgotten to give them the money…it was over a year old, and I was freaking out that my sister was going to get in trouble and she was going to be so mad at me…and there were scary vagrants, and shady characters wandering in and out of my pantry, (yeah I know, what is that all about?) I was shocked that the money hadn’t gotten stolen.

THEN little man came down stairs and peed in our umbrella stand by the front door, and we all laughed…then I woke up.

Huh, me thinks a break from Advil PM is warranted…

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Shall I worry ... or just get a lighted palm sign out front!

So the other day little man and I are in the car driving to school. I remember 4 from the girls…it was exhausting…not because of the running around as much as the endless questions in the car on the way to go somewhere.

I suppose that I should be thankful that I have inquisitive children…it is supposed to be a sign of intelligence…Yeah…the fact that they are intelligent enough to know that they are driving us slowly into a crazy stupor with each question they add to our already surrendering brain…

So amidst answering the questions about why there are colors, where is Maine, is it on Mars (I will admit I did pause on that one…) does the grass get painted green in the summer and if not then why is it always green…there was the rather simplistic question: “Mom, what is medium?”

AH HA, an easy one I thought to myself, (clearly forgetting that we are dealing with Henry here.)

“Well Henry, some things are really big, and that is Large. Some things are really little and that is small…then there are the in-between things, and those are medium.” I was pretty proud of how concise that answer was…

There was a long pause in the back seat…

“No, I think a Medium can see into the future”

Huh…didn’t see that one coming!

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Great Reminder

Sometimes we're so concerned about giving our children what we never had growing up, we neglect to give them what we did have growing up. ~James Dobson

This was the quote at the end of a great post by a fellow blogger...I truly appreciated the message and figured you all would too!

Check it out at Achorn Farm We probably could all stand a little reminding....


Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Quicky

So here we are the end of September and I have so many things I could have written about...and didn't. SIGH. Yesterday was my husband’s birthday and he took a few hours to come home early and be with the family.

This was really nice; if I were him I would have opted for more overtime!

We were going to walk to the bus stop to get my 3rd grader off the bus and surprise her with her daddy being home. Henry wanted to stay at the house with my eldest.

When we left the house we didn’t even get to the end of the drive when we heard a shriek of terror filter out of the windows… by the time we got to the end of the driveway, Henry was flying out of the house screaming “DON’T LEAVE ME!!!!!”
(These are the times that I am thankful we don’t have many neighbors.)

But the sight of Henry flying out of the house, running past us, and starting down the street…in his underwear and a button down shirt, was something to behold. (We are talking tighty-whitey Lightening McQueen underwear!)

Of course being the sensitive soul that he is…My husband started yelling after him “woooohooo I can see your underwear, Hey Lightening McQueen Biscuits…where are you going…”

I could have told him how that was going to end…Henry, who gets embarrassed so easily yelled “Nooooo it’s NOT FUNNY…” and started running back toward the house. Thankfully my eldest knew enough to bring his shorts out side so I could put them on him and stop the underwear hysteria. By the time the bus came, all was well…and clothed…Ahhh a day in the life of a boy.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

scenes from the garden

I never did much of that this year, I guess because mother nature took a beating on my garden and to be honest I was very thankful that I was not a settler, because I have a feeling I would have ended up eating my hand off.

Even our zuccini and squash bit the dust with only 4 jars of pickles having been made. But I had plenty of beans that I put up. My inlaws bootlegged some Northern Neck tomatoes to me in August so i was able to put up salsa, sauce and bruccetta...But alas, my sister will have plenty of dilly beans to hide from us...

One of our new successes was the pole Limas (below) they were the best tasting limas and prettiest I have ever had...I am growing twice as many next year!

And as always, being a gardener in the fall, I have grand ideas for the following year, such as putting plexi glass over my apple trees to keep the damn deer away...(not really, but after only getting 10 apples as opposed to my prolific harvest last year I am under some serious research!) And perhaps a garden Fairy to stave off too much rain, and encourage bugs to disappear...

I guess our other big success...I got beautiful sweet potatoes this year out of only 4 plants... so next year we are growing more...we eat them like candy in this house, so it makes sense.

So I am putting my gloves away for the winter, and starting to dream of a perfect spring to plant...already!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Camping Pie Style

For those of you who have followed my blog for any amount of time, may have reason to notice, than many of the “plans” I make end up in a debacle…I’m just sayin’

All summer we had been planning to go camping with my sister and some mutual friends with all the kids. We finally found a weekend, made our reservations, and looked forward to it.

Things looked gloomy for June and July, but then August hit, and finally the ark landed on dry ground and we thought for sure we were in luck. Beautiful weather…I even got a cucumber or two…Then…the weekend we were supposed to go camping…

A flurry of Facebook activity between the families let us know that Hurricane Dannyboy was coming for us, on the weekend we were supposed to go…OF COURSE IT WAS.

Half bailed, but my sister, my self and one other family felt the need to tempt fate and tough it out through a hurricane.

Friday was beautiful we drove up with all sorts of plans, set up our campsites which looked something akin to the Fort Knox of tarps, thanks to our superhero “Kit Tarpington” who climbed trees, scaled rocks and teeter tottered on picnic tables to hang tarps over our tents to assure us for our hurricane bound night.

And you know, setting up for 5 hours made sense when we were laughing, having a margarita, and the sun was shining on our backs.

However, what we failed to have the insight to see, was on the inside of our over confident trailblazing selves, was the overwhelming desire to be dry, and not have whining children in the rain.

As the hurricane came in, and we checked the forecast online, and all we saw was a mass of green for the next 12 hours, we decided to pack it in…

The 5 hours of setting up in the sun seemed fun, now, in the driving rain and gusting winds, trying to figure out how to get those knots undone while hanging by one fingernail from the branch of a tree and eating bark…not so much.

To add insult to injury, to wake up this morning, to sopping tents that have to be spread out all over the lawn to dry in the BLAZING BEAUTIFUL SUNNY BLUE SKIES, kind of makes me want to say some things I cannot post.

Pies law: If you plan it, it will be a debacle…I’m just sayin’

Friday, August 28, 2009

Blue Belly Button...

There are days where I just look at Henry and think to myself..."REALLY?"

I am just curious what makes someone sit in all sincerity and think....gee I think I will color my belly button blue...

This was a week ago...he has been swimming in pools, had baths, been in the ocean even, and STILL HAS A BLUE BELLY BUTTON... which as you can see, he is quite proud of!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

An Unhealthy Obsession

Ok so I am writing this from the confines of a hospital room...actually I will later be typing this off of a piece of paper and trying to read my scratch, but you get the point.

No serious worries yet, but my eldest daughter is here for an ultrasound to make sure that her appendix has not decided to bail ship. So while I am sitting here in the waiting room which undoubtedly will be for years, waiting for this all to happen I thought I would talk about my newest, greatest obsession.

Drover's Run.

I am not one to get obsessed with TV shows...Ok that is a lie, every now and then one will be good enough for me to get into...Veronica Mars, Six Feet Under. You know the kind that you kind of think you know these people, and you can't wait to see them again? (Yeah, I am sounding scary and unstable...)

At any rate, my sister got me hooked on an Australian show called McLeods Daughters. My husband and brother-in-law could arguably say that we have an obsession with this because we are similar to the sisters in the show, which is true. They could also arguably say that we need to remember we are NOT Australian ranchers and that the use of “Right-O” and “Bloake” (I told you more on that later) probably make us kin to the “Trekkies” that are spouting of sentences in Clingon.

Between the sister thing, the Aussie lingo, the mad desire to be a farmer, I couldn’t say exactly what it is, but I am hooked, and starting to wonder about my sanity.

I got my mother in law hooked while she was here, re-watching some of season one with her. You know, bring everyone down with you I guess! I started to question myself because the first few are a little cheesy…but then I fell in love with the cows, and sheep drenching, hot helicopter Alex, the being able to vicariously live through my computer screen. (My mother in law had to sign up for Netflix before she left so she could keep watching! HA)

My husband is quite satisfied since he has unlimited time with the Red Sox now, because I curl up in a chair with the computer and watch my McLeods before bed.

My eldest rolls her eyes and say “Oh MOOOOOOOOMMMMM” in the way that only a teenager can belittle you, every time she hears the: “Previously on McLeod’s Daughters”

But hey, I could start my day with worse things. If a cup-a and an Australian Ranchopera start my day with my dream of someday having my own farm…well, I call that a daily reminder of my goal…and I am pretty sure that Anthony Robbins would be cool with it. LOL.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

We Knew He Had a Brain...somewhere...

So life in our household has held its challenges this summer. I keep trying to get going on this blog again, but between meetings, hospital visits, singing gigs (more on that later), trying to save my garden and winter stash from the wrath of Mother Nature this summer, visitors visiting us in the...wait for it...VACATION STATE, and if I am really honest a general malaise that seems to have set up residence in my body I have totally neglected my blog. I actually have had a few people wonder about me…which made me all sappy inside.

As for the rest of you, I hope that you will continue to read when I get to it, and will stick with me through my stress…it has to end someday right?...Or as my dad says, “one way or another,” the cheerful bloake that he is. (More on use of that word later too…)

What spawned me to write, was Henry…I knew you wouldn’t have guessed it. I write on here often that I worry about him, and then I laugh because I think he is just sort of waiting to prove me wrong. I suppose it is always good and humbling to have one kid who works at making you feel like an overprotective, fool…otherwise you might just start believing all the playground parent, parent magazine gossip, and who knows where that could lead! I am not sure, but probably with me covered in antibacterial sitting in a padded room hugging a pediatric diagnosis book, and a bottle of wine!

So the other day I had my teenage niece in the car and she was letting the sun reflect off her phone onto the ceiling of the car and she looked at Henry and said, “Hey we better call the Scooby Gang to come investigate this mysterious light!”

Scooby is one of my sons very unhealthy obsessions…one that I disapprove of, but in times of needing to get work done have been known to turn to…I know…Bad Mom.

Henry looks at her, rolls his eyes and said:

“No Sawah, that is just the sun light reflecting off your phone onto the roof of the caaawww”
Sarah looked at me in amazement, and I fell into a stupor…The kid can’t recognize all his letters but knows the word reflection, not to mention the scientific process of what was happening. Rock on my baby boy, rock on

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Squirrel Lowery

We have a new want to be member of the family. One that must have a death wish of sorts, and is certainly masochistic...I mean why else would you choose this family to join?

We like to call him Squirrel Lowery. I am not sure if he will survive his attempts to become a regular in our house, with my broom wielding husband, not a lamp, book, or TV is safe, much less my little auburn haired nut muncher. A few years ago, we had a tear in our screen door. Our cats had gotten to where they squeezed through and the hole got bigger and bigger. We used to call it our “red neck cat door.” But after our parents and siblings put enough shame on us, we got a new screen door…(actually as luck would have it, the shame built up at the same time our neighbors got a new one and gave us their old one…)

We finally had a fixed screen door. After a few days of entertainment of watching the cats come tearing around the corner to try and go through their cat door, only to bounce off and sit there dazed and confused… Now animal lovers, no harm no foul, no one was hurt, only laughs occurred and it’s not my fault my cats are a few brain cells short of a stick.

Finally we have a new screen. The very first day, my large footed beast of a 10 year old stuck her big toe through the screen while she tried to perform the trick “walk through screen door.” I thought my husband was going to loose his mind. The new toe hole was in the exact spot that the red neck cat door had been. So much for new stuff.

So after a trip out to the store...we came back to find that the hole in the screen had been pried open by none other than a red squirrel.

We came home, he looked at us like “Hey….did you get more apples?” As he sat on my counter big belly full while gnawing on a pinklady out of my apple bowl. However, when my husband screamed I think he realized that he may have overstepped his visit and leaped from our counter to the top of our TV cabinet. Mind you this is about a 10 foot leap. (can you see him behind the plant??) We did manage to get him out, but have had subsequent visits from our friend. I am wondering if I should take the bed and the picture above of his mom and dad as a sign he is planning on moving in. If so I am going to need some valium for my husband and locks for my kitchen cabinets…

Monday, July 27, 2009

Wig o Mania

We had a visit from my grandmother from Virginia, my aunt from Virginia, and my parents. I don't have to tell you how many "y'alls", and "bless her hearts" were thrown around, but my college days came back quickly and by the time they left I had store clerks in Maine looking at me funny. "You're not from here are you?"

We had a party for my dad and my daughter’s birthdays on Friday night. My grandmother from Virginia never ceases to amaze me. She always buys things for the girls that in 1000 years I would never spend money on, but they end up being the hit of the party.

They have received such treasures as Plastic purses, gaudy princess nightgowns, and the piece de la resistance…Hannah Montana wigs. Clearly I have gotten too practical!

The wigs mind you were a hit. Everyone in the family was trying them on. Henry cried that he didn’t get one…I am ok with that. But we got in hysterics when he tried it on because he looked like me in my blonder…OK younger years!

After so much fun…maybe I ought to rethink the underwear and swimming lessons…

Life is too short…get your kids a wig.

Friday, July 17, 2009

After much screaming, protesting, rioting in the bathroom, and a mop full of clean up...we have decided to send the boy to the Marine Corps....maybe they can do something with him!

Believe me when I say that my husband nearly lost his life tonight when I walked up stairs to see what the screaming was about, and Henry was fleeing the bathroom, half shaved. Tufts of hair oh the top of his head waving about 5 inches long, and 1 bang that went down to his eyes, the rest shaved. There were pieces above his ears that hadn't been reached either, so the over all affect was that Henry looked like a psychotic newly born baby bird...on Speed...
Now, I managed to calm him down and get the scissors to trim the random pieces that Jamie missed all together. It doesn't look like a high and tight, but, well, I guess when you have a moving target it isn't easy to wield your clippers with accuracy.
In the end, Henry enjoyed checking himself out in the mirror, and like that washing his hair was not an ordeal anymore... all is well that ends well...

Just in case you didn't remember the before picture....here is one.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Groundhog Day

I do know that I am losing major Karma points with writing about my grandmother. It is not like she is going to get me back, as I am fairly sure Henry will when he is older. I am convinced he will, either by blaming me for all his ills in his Therapists office, or as an author who in true Disney form knocks off the mother at the beginning of each story.

So I write with a slight amount of guilt…yeah, not quite enough though to make me not write!

So as you know I help take care of my 93 year old grandmother, who for all intensive purposes is in better health than I am; however a team of Doctors numbering in the hundreds would never be able to convince her of that. That said…her mind is, well, not as sharp as it once was.

(I say this with the full knowledge that at the rate my brain is deteriorating I will be a drooling carrot by the age of 50.)

So I drive my grandmother to one of her Dr in NH that she didn’t want to give up when she moved. It is an hour long scenic drive, that we have driven oh…about 1 million times, and that isn’t counting when she drove it herself every weekend when I was a kid coming to see us from Bath.

We drive down the road and it is the same exact road it always has been…very few new houses, very few new businesses, very few improvements….the very same comments at the same places every time.

It is kind of like that movie Ground Hog Day where the same day keeps happening over and over and over.

Gran: “Look how much this has built up; look at that new golf course”

Me: “MmmHmmm, remember that is where I had my prom”

Gran: “Oh really? It has been there that long? Look at that…that was just a road side stand and now it is a big business…”

The one that kills me however, is the "oh, look at all that beautiful farm land" to which my response is always "yeah we really want a farm someday," and gran says "Yeah me too."

OK so the thing that is so funny about that, is that my grandmother hates being outside. Part of why she looks younger than me at 93, is, well... she is very well preserved. Being an active person in nature is her personal hell. It is funny to watch her outside, it is as if the fresh air hurts....So I kind of entertain myself for the next few miles picturing my grandmother working outside in a field...

The running commentary makes me giggle. I have it down to the mile marker what is going to be said…the exact words…and my responses are always the same.

But there is always the one moment of solidarity where we flip off (yes even my grandmother) Alexanders, a restaurant that pissed off my Dad and now there are generations of our family flipping them off and never eating there…It makes me happy that she always remembers to lift that extra special finger at that moment every time.

I am sure that we will all lose our memory…and as I said, some of use sooner than others! But my dad has a good way to look at it.

When your memory is that bad, “you wake up in a new place, and meet new people everyday” Until then, I will just nod and give my standard responses to all the “new” things on our way to NH.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Beany Birthday

It is my middle child’s birthday...so last year I wrote a little note to the boy on his birthday. But I never did it about the girls.

SO, today is Bean Day. Caroline is the child that was not to be. She was a twin, and at 16 weeks I lost her twin, and was sent home being told I was going to lose her as well because I was so late in the pregnancy…obviously I didn’t. Then came the many months of torture, when I was told that there were all sorts of things wrong, from deadly chromosomal defects to downs syndrome...then finally in my 7th month, they figured out that everything was going to be fine...it was a rollercoaster that I still am not over totally.

On this day 8 years ago I woke up in labor and refused to admit that I was, because we had a family picnic planned with just Marshall...and dammit, I was determined to have my last family day. She was 2 weeks early. We called my Dr...She said to come in...I called her back and said:

"I decided not to come in; I think I will be fine."

Uhhhh....yeah, I wasn't thinking very clearly...I was NOT going to have her on the 14th... But I did. About 4 hours after that phone call, well, and after my Dr. threatened me with bodily harm after waking her up at 6 in the morning, (in a loving way.)

I went in, and was already 8cm dilated....so, within a couple hours, Caroline Elizabeth made her debut, and nothing was ever the same.

So here goes my letter to my baby girl:

My little Carobeaner*...you fought like hell to be here, and you are still fighting. I see you fighting the world, even when there is no battle. Still, when you allow yourself, you are the most loving and caring child in the world with a heart big enough to swallow the world. Your hugs can literally make me gush inside.

You haven't stopped moving since the moment you could. You are a mover and a shaker. You find it hard to sit still, hard to be patient, as if you are just waiting for the world to just get on with it. You are a sweet girl, but make no mistake; you are barreling through life with purpose...A natural leader who will never want the job.

It seems to me that this is not your first time around here. You have a sort of Old World knowledge that makes you impatient with being a kid, as though you are just waiting to be old enough to show your true self and until then you have to put up with the child’s play.

You are a perfectionist on the inside…the worst kind (I know). You won't compete with others openly, you just internalize it and struggle with your own feelings of imperfection...I hope that some day you will take a look at what I can see. Someone who is strong enough to just be herself no matter what others say, smart as a whip, and just right the way you are...

That smile, and giggle are demonic, but wonderful and make me warm. I always feel loved, and hope that you recognize how much you are loved. You have so much passion wrapped up in that little body of yours, sometimes I think you are an empty sponge needing to be filled, an impossible task that I think you will be trying to complete your whole life.

You are the consummate inspirer. You can cut me open, put a Band-Aid on, and somehow talk me into apologizing for bleeding. You will go far my little one…just believe in yourself…because I wait with baited breath to see what you will accomplish next…you amaze me everyday of your life.

Happy 8th birthday!
Love MOM

*Carobean is what my sister coined her with when she was just an infant. When you would hold her she would climb up your shoulder like she was mountain climbing…the name Bean has stuck…but who am I to complain…I am PIE!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Henry the Germ

So Henry is kind of a mamma's boy. I hear that this is pretty common among the Male Toddler Kingdom. I think that moms, somehow have super power until their son’s turn 13 and then they become no longer essential.

I have tried to fight his charms, but remain convinced that if we lined our borders with little boys who want “just one more story” with their bottom lips protruding and crocodile tears filling their eyes (but not spilling over,) we would have no war.

So tonight I put little man down to bed and we had our usual fairly unsettling Oedipus conversations of Henry wanting me to stay. WHY can’t I just get under the covers and cuddle for a minute, and he doesn’t like to sleep alone because it is too dark, when that doesn’t work he tries to convince me that “Blue” and “Green” his teddy bears, are going to run away because they are scared and then he will be so sad. The only argument that gave me pause was:

“But WHY can’t you sleep in here…I won’t snore.”

I was so tired tonight that I lay down and read stories to him, which launched into a conversation.

He turned to me with all sincerity and said:

“I want to turn into a turtle...then a germ”

“Did you say Germ?”

“Yeah the ones you get on your hands and then get a cold.”

I swear, I never know what that boy is thinking…but one thing is for sure…I did not stay for the “just 2 more minutes” !

Friday, July 10, 2009

Henry the Guitar Man

Yesterday my friend Mark came over to practice for a party that we are playing for...in 10 days...and we have yet to rehearse...do I sound a little frantic...I am thinking YES.

So we were pulling together the music etc... And Henry disappears for a moment. He returns with his guitar, pulls up a chair next to Mark (who also plays the guitar) and starts observing very closely.

If Mark would strum, Henry would strum. If Mark used a pick, Henry would use a barrette. If Mark tuned his guitar, Henry would turn the little thingy’s to tune his guitar. (Can you tell I don’t play the guitar??) It was pretty cute, I wish I had gotten a picture of Mark with him...but this morning, I came down stairs and saw Henry, with his guitar in the same chair, singing 16 tons by Tennessee Ernie Ford...

well, with his own words…

“Some people say man has blood, and blood…because mans are made of blood and blood”

Being true to his Y chromosome, blood is all he got from the whole song. Mind you it is only in one stanza:

“some people say a man is made out of mud, a bold man’s made out of muscle and blood, muscle and blood and skin and bones, a mind that’s weak and a back that’s strong.”

But I suppose you could say he was close, at the very least he is not squeamish…The boy never ceases to amaze me and make me laugh. Needless to say the laugh was short lived, because as soon as I did he got mad at me and wouldn't let me take anymore pictures...oops

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Back from Vacation!

I have to say that I had all sorts of intentions of writing my blog and my book while I was on vacation...

Clearly that happened!

I am thinking that perhaps it was the salty air, with no rain...the ocean lulling me into pensive thought and relaxation....

Yeah I know, I am not kidding anyone...It was the sand between the toes, the umbrella drink, and the knowledge that 6 adults in the room means I am only responsible for 1/6 of the bad things that happen...

The illustrious Margo and Henry shared a room together. This ended up in a sort of old married couple effect that none of us could keep a straight face for. She nagged, He picked, they fought, and then cuddled on the couch.

My favorite conversation however, was:

Margo: "Henry do you love me?"

Henry: (not even looking) "yeah"

Margo: "Then how come you don't talk to me?"

At this point, every wife in the room looked at their significant other and busted out laughing. Somehow, in the course of one week, they had managed to cover the same 13 years I have!

The big girls all shared a room...It was the stuff of a great sit com. The angsty teenager moping about, texting her torment to her friends at home, the hyperactive over sugared 7 year old psyched to be up past 8, and the one in the middle being trying to balance her too cool, eye rolling with her childish desires... But I have to say all three of them were a joy and brought my sister and I back to our beach trips as kids.

I spent my time looking for shells and tickle bugs…My childhood obsession obviously had not waned.

Well... of course the hot tub and umbrella drinks were a plus!

However easing back in to Maine life has been a challenge. There is something empirically wrong with wearing a sweater to a meeting in July! I am getting ready to trade my gardening ventures in for arc building.

I fear taking the girls to the beach because boogie boarding in 65 degree water, is a whole other world from the 78 degree ocean in Nags Head!

At least that yellow orb in the sky is gracing me with its presence this morning, and I had better take advantage of it before it disappears behind the wrath of the rain Gods yet again.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Amazing what a Little Sunshine will get ya

Yesterday about midway through my horrific day of insanity, this yellow orb in the sky came out. It made all the gray go away, and then something amazing happened....The rain stopped, and the skies turned blue, and lo and behold, I no longer wanted to crash my car into people who irritated me for no apparent reason!

Apparently I am deeply affected by the Vitamin D that the sun so readily hands out to me. We have had two straight weeks of rain. I would try to sit and write my blog and have my sense of humor, but somehow, I would start typing and this steady stream of surliness came out instead, I realize that would have never made it Noah’s crew…I don’t care how Godly he may have been, I would have been tossed overboard after the first two weeks.

Once the sun came out and I started to calm, I realized that the past few days all my sentences were ending in Dammit. As in: I have to feed the cats again Dammit? or, you want me to drive you to day camp Dammit? I don’t care that you are only 10, can’t you drive yourself Dammit? Here is your dinner Dammit.

OK, so maybe I wasn’t that bad, but I was starting to resemble an old man sitting on his front porch yelling at everyone and being boorish about the way life is now that the Ark was making its resurgence. At one point I may have even tried to pull my dentures out and throw them at someone.

But alas, the sun came out…just in time for me to leave for North Carolina. Now the slugs can really enjoy my strawberries as there will be no one to stop them, and no one to pick them.


But this morning, as I actually hear birds singing again, and while it is cloudy, I have hope that the big yellow orb in the sky may once again shine upon me, I can relax a little as I try to pack for 5 people to go to NC. And really? I shouldn't complain that I am headed out to a beautiful beach for a week in nice hot weather! I am looking forward to blogging a week with out any other demands on my time...just an umbrella drink and grandparents to find, and parent my children...

PS I now have blight on my tomatoes from the incessant rain, any tips on how to get rid of it? Or am I destined to not have tomatoes again this year because of it???

Thursday, June 25, 2009

New Style for Henry

I wrote not long ago about Caroline's amazing sense of style. Have I mentioned that we fully believe that Henry is Caroline's twin that I lost? (for real)

It started out innocently enough, A head flashlight that he got for his birthday became fashion wear. I get it, it is kind of cool, and frankly, I wish I had one...however, I had to wrestle it off of him to go anywhere. Finally when I told him the battery was going to run out and I wouldn't replace it, he stopped wearing it everywhere, and just as in a nice tie, he chooses the best places to don his "headlight."
Then we got into the dress ups, which is no big deal, I thought it was kind of cute, a little flower bra never hurt anyone, though my husband did not think that I should encourage this, because he was in no way prepared to take him to Shaws with THAT on.
THEN, he found the goggles...and it all went down hill from there! Since I have been packing and trying to get ready for our trip to NC, Henry has had a lot of...well, free roam the house unmonitored time. Which is scary in and of itself, but some of the outfits little man has come up with are even scarier! He walks around the house with these goggles on and since they don't fit tightly, he still tries to breathe through his nose, creating a sort of science fiction Darth Vader effect. I can hear his breathing coming down the hall. But they are now the centerpiece of all his new outfits...
I think that the Thomas the Tank Engine underwear and the pedometer complete this ensemble with flair. However, I am not sure that people would want to walk next to him in his race....
Then came this, I am thinking that somehow he has broken into my I-pod and decided to become a member of the White Stripes or something...

Either way, he is rocking the earphones, birthday hat, and his new favorite, the mask.
Yeah...High School is NOT going to be kind to this one!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Coffee Vs. Parenting

I am starting to wonder if my parenting abilities are becoming obsolete to my need for coffee...I believe that this has been a real cause and effect relationship. For instance...my NEED for coffee increased as the NEED for me to be a parent increased.

The other morning I was in such a foul mood when I got up. Just plain exhausted from life and work and kids, that I am pretty sure that the breathing my family was engaging in at the breakfast bar was the most annoying thing that had ever existed in my life time…

After my very rational rampage on family life where I simply pointed out that I was the only one who ever did anything, and politely let my husband know that rinsing out his sink (and only his sink) did NOT constitute cleaning the bathroom, I then proceeded to inform the rest of my family that their arms would not break off if they attempted to actually put the new toilet paper roll, ON THE HOLDER. I further educated them on the fact that I was no longer going to pack snacks for them because there was no need. With so many crumbs under the breakfast bar, they could simply shake their socks out and have at least a full granola bar on their plate so why bother packing extra food.

I believe it was when the froth started forming at the corners of my mouth that my oldest daughter stood up and looked at me with big scared eyes and said:

“Mom, can I make you some coffee?”

I realized that perhaps my need for coffee could be taking the place of my patience... or maybe just replacing it...either way, my kids are so shell shocked that they are looking to see if the coffee pot has coffee in it before they open their mouth now...hmmm

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Anniversary

So tonight is my 13th anniversary. Yeah I know, awww. But like I said, it was number 13. Thus the flowers and sappy cards have since turned into Board meetings and laundry folding.

I took off work thinking that maybe we could sneak out for a glass of wine or something. Yeah, then my board scheduled a meeting and Jamie had to go to the Gorham town board meeting, so now I am paying a babysitter so that my husband and I can go to board meetings and not see each other. I know, right?

All was made good as my meeting went smoothly…which was just SHOCKING, and my friend Pam took me out for a glass of wine to celebrate my anniversary.

But as I sit here, pleasantly surprised at the ease of my meeting, and a good friend’s effort to make my day better, I am reminiscing about the actual wedding itself.

I am guessing that right about now I was trying to comb out the birdseed that my cousin-in-law ground into my 90's Rave Hair-sprayed bangs as we made our final exit from our reception. This was not on our own accord, but very typically my husband had to get me away from the party and convince me that we had places to be. (13 years later, it is no different. My go-go- gadget mouth just keeps on going until Jamie gets me to recognize that not all people are extroverts and may actually tire of my party energy.)

It was the hottest day of the summer that year…in Virginia, and I kept going into the kitchen of the farmhouse and getting more ice cubes to dump down the front of my dress…it was so wet my mother had to hang it to dry.By the time we reached Williamsburg VA, we were so ravenous because no one told us that you never get a chance to eat at your own wedding, dove into the basket of food that was packed for us. With crab dip dripping down our chins as we ate through the entire basket of food was truly a romantic moment.

So here is to 13 years, and many fond memories, still getting dragged out of parties, and eating less than gracefully when I am hungry.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Play Dates With Cousins

As I have often written, Margo and Henry have interesting play dates...many times ending in the explanation that clothes aren’t optional or the ins and outs of appropriate behavior.

The funny thing, is neither one of them seem to have these problems with anyone else…they just save it for us, and I think secretly they are trying to drive Dan (Margo’s father) to madness…

The other day I was at my sisters house and I could hear them playing in the other room...they were pretending to pee on each other. Margo would squat on Henry’s head and make a “shhhhh” noise…then Henry would stand up and pretend to pee on her head…

Now, I can remember having some weird make believe play as a kid...I do remember playing a game where I was stuck in the woods and sprayed by a skunk and all the gnomes were running away from me because I smelled... or even playing Batman and Robin who turned evil and fought each other over bubble gum. (I remember that one because it ended in screams and my mother locking me in a bathroom after an unfortunate placement of a “mountain” that robin stood on, which happened to be a wasp nest. I rocked the pink pin cushion look for the rest of the summer from all the calamine lotion it took to coat the 4000 bee stings I had…)

But peeing on each other???? I don’t even KNOW where to start with that one!

I informed them that, that was kind of gross, and they went upstairs to play. Yeah…where the monitor was on…they were playing house and were serving Pee for dinner…

I am so glad that they listen…and a little concerned about the potty talk…and serving of potty material…honestly, what the hell?

I am waiting for Dan to come home…”Margo…you have lot of splainin’ to do!!”

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Scenes from the Trellises

It's amazing what a month will do! We have already had our first harvest of radishes, which I just put in a bowl of water in the refrigerator and my eldest and I just keep plucking from them out of the bowl and pop them in our mouths like candy. Loving the radishes.

Last night we had our first lettuce from the garden too, and had a nice salad...too bad the carrots don't come up at the same time!

We are also getting some red strawberries too, so I am looking forward to some good tasting jam soon! If I can keep the kids from eating them as fast as they ripen.
Our bush beans as you can see below are doing really well.
The Cabbages below are starting to head, and our potatoes behind them are already starting to bloom. I got such an early start this year because of an early spring that things are really coming earlier than usual....which makes me realize the need for a hoop house or greenhouse...that is my next big project. Making a frame to fit over some of my raised beds so that I can get an earlier start, and a later finish!
Apple trees have a zillion apples started...I love the way they look, especially on a beautiful sky like the Maine blues...

I have discovered, only one other soul in our house that loves my garden as much as I do......
Yeah, he looks miserable doesn't he!
So there it is! I am getting ready to put a thing on the side to keep track of what we planted this year, because I am totally copying some of my other blogger friends who do that and I love to scroll through what others are growing....I know...I am a big copy pants.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Ditty

I know that most of you have heard this a thousand times, and if so, you may skip it...yes, you have my permission... But another person sent it to me this morning, and after a few days of running around like a crazy lady, getting all my meetings in, conversations with gran in, trying to find astronaut men for Henry's cake, I sort of had been humming the tune of the William Tell Overture in my head. (Why, oh WHY do stores not carry astronaut men? Don't they know that little boys STILL LOVE SPACE?????)

I am pretty sure that this music is a theme song for moms of multiple aged children. I have found that having them spread out is proving to be a real task. I go from making dinner at 4 to get my eldest to softball on time, to wiping a rear end. It just seems my world is always split three ways. (I am not one of the three by the way)

So anyway...here is the Mom's Overture, for those of you who have not heard it, you will laugh... I got quite reminiscent when she said "I'll give you something to cry about" I believe that was my dads mantra through the parenting adolescent girls years.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Escape to Boston

In a much needed escape from home, my friend Jen and I decided to head to Boston for the night.

There were many lessons learned on this trip not the least of which was, as much as we both love "The Amazing Race" It is NOT for us! In fact in some strange turn of events I am pretty sure that we would cause a national incident and end up in a prison somewhere sharing bread and water and fighting over the burlap sac blanket.

The other big thing I learned was that, no matter how mature amongst our peers we seem...when we get together, we still point to random people and say "There's your boyfriend,” and we still sneak up behind the unsuspecting and snap our pictures with them, although we are not nearly as brazen as we were, we still managed to scare off a colonial re-enactor. The greatest part about this trip was watching our husbands, both the ultimate planners and type A’s squirm, when the week before we hadn’t solidified anything but the night we were going. I think that Jens husband finally slept well when I assured him that we did have a hotel room and that we weren’t going to be sleeping in a dumpster behind Faneuil Hall. True to our style, Jen and I had no plan and we just took it by the seat of our pants and had a ball.

North Station was the beginning of our many debacles of travel. It was like watching two people from another planet try to ask where the bathroom is, when we were trying to figure out buying T-passes.

Jen puts in a 20 and a bunch of “tokens” came out with her ticket. Her face fell, “Well there goes 20$ I didn’t know we would get change in tokens.” We turned to walk away when I realized that her new gold treasure trove was actually those gold dollars that you get at the post office.

Needless to say with 18$ in coins, Jen proceeded to pay for drinks, meals, and tips in change. When waiters would pick up their little black ticket holder, inevitably gold coins would spew out all over the floor, and we were trying to escape as fast as we could frantically pressing elevator buttons. They clearly were not as amused with our lack of common sense as we were.

There was also the issue that we hadn't been out of the house in a while, and this seemed to have impaired us greatly in our communication skills. I spent the first hour winking at our waiter unintentionally when ever he would ask if we needed anything. When Jen pointed it out, I got in such hysteria that we had to leave before we got locked up. It’s ok, because apparently it was catching and she had to actually move seats because she kept staring at someone unintentionally and he kept staring back. It was like we had no social skills at all...that’s what happens when you are trapped in a house for long lengths of time with toddlers...all social etiquette goes out the window! We did finally; however stop the incessant nervous winking and staring after we settled in to our normal selves again. Thankfully.

We met a friend from High School that we hadn’t seen in 15 years that is currently living in Boston. She took us to a great bistro with Jazz music which we finally left at 1 in the morning when we realized that we were the only ones left in the restaurant and the cook actually came out sat on a step and looked at us with that look of “Please Please Please go home silly girls with a camera”
The next day we walked about 400 miles around Boston never really knowing which direction we were going in, because as we found out, we are both seriously directionally challenged…as in we really should have been in remedial radar classes when we were in school. Our direction challenge became even more keenly obvious when we got on the wrong train to go to North Station. (Luckily we figured it out before the next stop, got off, laughed at ourselves and got on the right one….besides it was less crowded.)

We did make it to the North End where the owner of the restaraunt basically harassed us on the street until we went in...although Jen did tell him that he "had her at Sangria"

Much to our family members chagrin, we will probably do it again…and we may even adventure in other towns or cities, or God forbid, countries. We ate our way through Boston, and fully intend on getting lost somewhere again.


And Now....

Monday, June 8, 2009

Adventures in Caroline-Wear

Caroline my middle child has always marched to a different drum…(preferably to her, one that she designed, made out of lots of sticky tape and paper, makes a really loud noises and she stores under her bed.) In other words, this child has a mind of her own.

I always want to encourage that, it is something gravely missing from our kids today…and while adults seek this quality out in their employees, children, and even in themselves as they are older, it is the very quality we want to squash when they are little… The very idea that your kid might be singled out because they are different is a pain similar I can only imagine, to having your heart ripped out of your body and played rugby with. Ultimately we want our kids to fit in.

My little Bean, does not…for the most part. It has been a source of much joy, perplexities, and angst for all of us for almost 8 years now.

One of her “things” is her dress code. I have had to learn to just let go, because the battle was far worse than the embarrassment of having to take a kid in a cow costume with a tiara on to the grocery store.

Every morning, her father and I wait with baited breath to see what concoction Caroline will come up with to go to school in.

Most of the time it is as simple as “purple day,” which is a day she finds all the clothes of various shades of purple and wears them all together resulting in a sort of modern art of atrociousness effect. Or the constant skirt over jeans, pants, leggings “Juno” effect. I have to say the Cowboy boots with yoga pants and a down vest on a 78 degree day was a little puzzling.

So the Sunday after Easter my church had a “Holy Humor” Sunday where we were supposed to dress a little whacky etc… Jamie and I figured we didn’t even have to tell Caroline, if we just let her figure out an outfit it would probably work for this day.

Yup, You guessed, Caroline walks into our room, with a perfectly matched outfit, hair brushed down, and even had matching shoes…no cowboy boots. Refusing to change, I just plopped one of my late Aunt Ida’s crazy church hats on her head, realizing that this child, will never, do what we expect, and in the end, I guess that is why I love her so much!

And Yes, this would be her, taking a self portrait while out bikeriding in her purple dress, boots, and red fairy wings...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Permanant Parking

I seem to have a little problem with my car...apparently Jamie and I both have a bad Car Karma God after us this week.

The other day I get in the car to drive the kids to the bus stop, I go to put my car in drive, and hmmmm, it wouldn’t budge.

I started doing the whole freak out running behind schedule, lots of choice words that ended in “Girls, you better run your tails off to the bus stop”

They dutifully started running with their 800 pound backpacks bouncing on their shoulders. (The 800 pounds really is more a description of Caroline’s backpack. It is packed solid with sweaters from January, papers from September, books from her bookcase (for emergencies,) marbles, lip gloss, small animals, random neighborhood children, and perhaps her lunch. But if I am honest, most of the time I come home to find that on the counter because she forgot to shove it in to her overstuffed back pack. If I sound unconcerned, just know that I have washed my hands of her disaster area after nearly getting engulfed in gross the last time I tried to clean it.)

Needless to say, some time goes by, and my car slides easily into drive. So I think…huh, must have been a fluke.

Yeah, that wasn’t smart. I went to get gas, at a busy time, and got stuck in park at the gas tank. I am pretty sure that the guy in the big truck behind me did not find this amusing. After the third time that he laid on the horn and yelled “come on” I threw my hands up in a sign of despair.

One would have thought he would have figured out there was an issue…most people don’t just hang out in their car at the gas tank…what did he think I was doing? Sniffing fumes? By the time he was completely distressed and coming toward my car…yup you guessed it, it slid right into drive, making me look like a complete ass.

We are still trying to figure out what in the world is going on, because it works fine most of the time…but then…at the worst moments decides to stick…

Then today, Jamie ran over a knife blade on the turnpike and blew out his back tire… He is fine, but uh…what are the freaking chances of that?

I am wondering what Car Gods I have pissed off, and perhaps should contact Click and Clack to see if they can call them off. Because after the 500$ it is going to cost us to fix these issues we are going to need some time to recoup!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Little Mans 4th Buffday

So today is the day...The day that life as I knew it before June 3rd, 2005 ended...for good...with a slamming of the door!

Yes, It is Henry's birthday.

I was awoken by Henry in bed singing "Happy Buffday to MEEEEEE, Happy Buffday to MEEEEE" Not a bad way to wake up I would say.

In my normal torturous parent mode, I said, "Guess what we got you for your birthday?" Excitedly he jumped up and down and said what?

“Lima Beans!”

There was a long moment of silence where he sized up the situation. I am guessing he was trying to figure out if I was joking or not, but then again, he may have been trying to figure out where the nearest projectile blunt object was…

He laughed a little tentatively and said “Nooooooo”

“Of course not” I said, “I got you a tree!”

Then he got the jist of this game. “Noooooo”

“Well then, what do you want?”

Now let me say here, that this is the downfall of many a parent. You don’t ask this question because ultimately they say something that isn’t what you got.

At this age, they can beg for Legos all year, and then the day they are to open their beloved Legos, they have changed their mind to a Power Ranger…or even better, a pony.

Now that’s not something a quick run to Target can solve!

“A ROCKET SHIP” He jumps up and down. (While I was thankful he did not say bunnies…I think that we may be past that land mine…) I thought about the bike in the garage that we had gotten him and got a little nervous.

As we walked downstairs to take a look, He said “I am so excited to be 4, it has been a long time since I was 4!” I am pretty sure that this solidified my thoughts that he was a Norwegian warlord in a past life.

Alas, we got his new bike out, and in a stroke of good Karma…guess what? (Take a look at the name of the bike in the picture!)

Happy Birthday Henry!

Friday, May 29, 2009

A Week Worth of Blogging: Scenes from the Trellises, Henry's Broadway Debut, and Parental Sappy Tears.

I cannot believe that I have not gotten this done before now...what a dork I am.

I have been being held hostage by Softball, and much like water boarding, Softball season in elementary school with two girls on different teams and different schedules...is not much fun!

So here is my week’s worth of Blogging done in one long blog...I will section it of course so that those Henry fans can skip right to his Broadway debut, and those garden followers can admire my radishes with out getting mired down in my sloppy weepy video of my eldest’s first singing solo.

So read what you will, but I may test you later...

Scenes from the Trellises:

Firstly, I always do my scenes from the trellises starting in about June, but since we seem to have moved Maine about 3 hours south we have been able to plant early this year, with only one minor set back when we thought that there might be a frost. Like the true manicured lawn type that I am, I gathered buckets, blankets and tarps and covered my entire garden…just in case.

All though my beautiful landscaping of patchwork blankets and old buckets was beautiful, my neighbors I believe, were pretty happy when there was no frost and I took my lovely problem solving decorating down.

It has been raining for 3 days straight so things now are three times bigger than these pics, but Thought I would share anyway.

Something is eating my beans however, as soon as the first true leaves emerge, something tops them right off….any ideas what this little thing that I WILL seek out and DESTROY could be?

I have had my first little harvest of radishes. My daughter and I proceeded to eat the entire bowl full instead of saving them for a salad. But more will come later.

Planted in the garden to date: White Cucumbers, pickling and slicing cukes, Watermelon, pole beans, bush beans, wax beans, lima beans, peas, potatoes (red and Yukon Gold), sweet potatoes, radishes, zukes, and squash, acorn squash, sugar pumpkins, and giant pumpkins, Red Cabbage, Green Cabbage, Pointed Cabbage, peppers (red, yellow, green), jalapenos, habanera, tomatillos, tomatoes (cherry, Roma, Mortgage Lifters, yellow), Jenny Lind Cantaloupe, strawberries, Onions (shallots, white, red, yellow and spring), Swiss Chard, Spinach, Turnips, Beets, Carrots, lettuce (red leaf, Boston, Romaine), And all my Herbs! We have a good start to the season; let’s hope some of it actually grows big enough to eat!

Henry’s Debut:

So I admit it, I am a Broadway Musical junkie. It comes from having been a singer for a long time…and from growing up near the Prescott Park in Portsmouth, where every year you can attend musicals for free. As long as I can remember I loved them.

My daughter Marshall does to. So we were listening to Pandora (which is a music lovers paradise, you can get it for free on your computer) We put it on the Broadway station…

What happened next is...well...my husband is having nightmares about it…(He is NOT a musical fan) Mind you, this went on for a good 10 minutes, through the Guys and Dolls song and on to "I'm Gonna Wash that Man Right out of my Hair"...

“Ladies and Gentlemen, singing a selection from Guys and Dolls, I introduce the flailing, singing Henry…”

I don’t think that any scouts will be calling any time soon, but hey, it was entertaining.

Proud Mom:

And lastly, my daughter tried out for, and was given, her very first singing solo in her fifth grade concert. I cut it short so that only her solo was on the video partially to cut out Henry sneezing and yelling "Scuse me." And, you will have to excuse the mild shaking of the camera.

Apparently as I age, I am turning into a sappy pile of mess. I was desperately trying to hold the camera still as I sniffled and stifled the tears…I am pretty sure the woman on the other side of me thought I was having a seizure as I jerked and choked. But since she didn’t call 911, she must have figured out that I was just uber proud.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

He's Gotten to the Public

Other than my random ranting about Henry, I figured the few masochistic souls that read this blog were the only ones that were exposed to my brand of Henry, but he has gotten out to the public.

A woman in town had a party on Friday night for moms. The invitation was extended to everyone she knew, and they were to invite whom ever they wanted. This is a very brave soul. We had a wonderful time, and it was a great way to connect women that otherwise never would have been. But it was also a time for me to see how, much like the swine flu, the stories of my boy are filtering through the community.

There were a few people who recognized me or my name, but couldn’t place me. I said “Oh, well I am on the school board, and those meetings are televised...” No that wasn’t it…
“Well, I teach an agriculture class to little ones for Parks and Rec…” No that wasn’t it…

Then the moment of clarity.

“OOOHHHHH you’re HENRY’S mom.”

You know, those are the moments where you aren’t sure that you should readily admit something like that. It’s a real quandary. It could be “He is a cutie pie” because Henry has a large source of charm when he chooses to use it, but it could also be:

“He is the one that broke into my car and stole all my spare change out of the console before peeing on my tire.”

One just never knows!

But, apparently another mom was telling a story about Henry and his “bros” at school talking about their dreams…Most were pretty normal…until they got to telling me about Henry’s. (Of course after toddler translation we cannot be sure how it all really played out.)

Apparently the state of the cleanliness of my house was revealed, when they learned he had a Skeleton from his closet in his room eating dust crackers under his bed.

Other than not knowing what exactly dust crackers are, I was at least relieved that it wasn’t something more serious...

Knock on wood.