Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cleaning For My Children's Social Life

Tomorrow, I have 6 elementary school kids coming to my house. I watch my neighbors kids on half days etc... and my girls wanted to have "play dates." Since I never feel like I can have them because we live in such chaos lately, I gave in...poor things deserve a social life beyond their stuffed animals and eachother.

Since I have averaged about 4 meetings a week, and working at night, I have not gotten a whole lot of cleaning done. I figured one or two days I could get it all done if I concentrated on it.

Um...I clearly had my dirt blinders on. I started on the kitchen yesterday...and still haven't gotten it done. I opened the microwave, and I am pretty sure that a head exploded in there. I haven't even attempted to get into that.

The other day I dropped and entire canister of Applesauce on the floor, and it exploded all over the kitchen. I thought I had cleaned it all up, but today as I was cleaning, I noticed blobs of applesauce all over the cupboard doors that I had missed, on the back splash and I actually even found some on the light fixture...what the heck?

I walked into my girls bathroom, and turned around and walked out. I am NOT taking that one on with out a suit of armour, I might get toothpasted to death, so they are going to do it.

I had about 10 loads of laundry waiting to be folded which took me 2 hours...and I never did get to the mound of socks which I am fearing will take over the house and start marching in formation to seek and destroy other rogue clothing cells.

My husband came home tonight as I was exhausted, and cleaning the huge dust globules that form on lampshades and other objects that you don't regularly clean or notice until you are in a hurry or until one of those long hair like strands of dust and spider webs comes down and taps you on the shoulder. He has the audacity to say "I don't think you should worry about it, its just kids and they are just going to make a mess anyway."

After my head did a few 360's, I explained that I didn't want to have to file a missing persons report, or have to explain why when their mother comes to pick up their child, I cannot locate them and fear they may be lost in the mounds of laundry, or that unbeknownst to me, there was a pack of wild animals living in my kids rooms and they ate their kid...

I don't need the press of people wildly running from my home screaming "The Dingo Ate My Baby..."

So my house is at least passable, and by that I mean you can pass through each room without being attacked by the mess left there. Wish me luck with my house invasion tomorrow, as I am sure that I will wake up on Saturday to have to start the shoveling out process all over again.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Whodda Thunk It?

So this morning, my eldest Marshall was all "Mom you won't believe what Henry said..."

My mind rolodex started flipping... the list of things that Henry has said is quite long and quite inappropriate, so I had a lot to choose from.

“Hmmmmm dagnabbit wabbit stole my cheeweeoos?”

I struck out, which was obvious to me by the rolling of the eyes and the you are so stupid look from my tween standing in front of me.

“He was holding onto the door and pushing down on it really hard and said ‘This is vewy cumbersome’ I asked him what it meant, and he said ‘Heavy’ I am in 5th grade and I don’t know that word!”

Well some thing’s never cease to amaze me…

although I am not sure why, he seems to be a clone of my second child, who told people that she has a ‘sibling’ at 2 years old, and was ‘concerned about her feelings’, and that ‘other kids were disturbing her while she played’ at 3. Then at 4 when she started having some trouble, or rather…being some trouble in preschool, her teacher said, ‘I think it is because they don’t understand Caroline…she tends to, well, talk over their head.’

I blame this on my mother and the various other English teachers in my family. Getting in a room full of them in a conversation makes me feel like I am a contestant on Jeopardy…

My mother will say “4 syllable word, 5 syllable word, 4 syllable word don’t you think?”

and I am all:

“What is… a sentence I am supposed to understand but am not sure it is even in ENGLISH!”

I never win money though.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Yeah Someone Else's Kid...

I have to say I am treading on thin ice here as I write about my niece...because I don't want any bad sister voodoo coming my way...but hey, all is fair in embarrassing moments raising kids, and while Henry certainly holds his own, there are those who give him a run for his money.

My niece whom will remain nameless and picture-less gave Henry some competition last night. (Her father is a retired cop and I am a little fearful of taking a long "vacation" if I put personal info on the internet...poor little girl may never date…but come to think of it, my girls might not ever date either considering of their 3 uncles…ALL of them are police officers…and poor little Caroline has the most protective one as her God-father, who takes his job very seriously!)

So last night I was working at the library and my cute little niece comes in to get books. She came up stairs to say hi to me first. Really, this was a front to get a Hershey Kiss out of the back office, but I will take any love I can get. That is the luxury of being an aunt, even if it is chocolate induced, you get all the hugs, none of the battles.

So she runs up and gives me a big hug, and I ask her what she did at preschool today. She is the same age as Henry so generally an open ended question to a 3 year old spurs a comical response.

She cocks her head, says “hmmmmmmmm” Clearly this took a lot of thinking to come up with:

“I watered flowers with my this…” she then proceeds to demonstrated how she bent over and spit on all the flowers.

Yeah, I am thinking what you are thinking….what is UP with my family genes…

Friday, March 13, 2009

I Was Happy to Read This...

"Punctuality is the virtue of the bored." - Evelyn Waugh

My family calls it "Pie time." I seem to always be on my own schedule...which never really corresponds with anyone else in the world’s schedule. I have to set alarm clocks to get me moving, and even then, I seem to find 100 things to do right before I walk through the door.

The artistic side of me likes to claim that I live in the moment. That what I am doing at that particular moment seems to take precedence over anything that the future might hold. I think that this sounds soooo much better than...totally unorganized or lazy or scatter brained...or bird brained...or any of the other titles I have achieved in my lifetime!

I rarely complain about my middle child Caroline on here, and her lack of organization:

Although, as you can see I CLEARLY would be justified... But, I don't, because she has the same problem as I do.

(And my parents read this, and I am quite sure there would be an onslaught of comments about my room and “spaciness” that I would get…and really? Who wants to hear about that!)

She has all the intentions of the world of cleaning her room in the 45 minutes allotted...(which we have called "shoveling out")

But she gets started, and then finds a Barbie, which she sits and plays with for a while, then she finds a piece of paper, and draws on it for a while, then she finds a piece of lint...and makes it into a mouse bed, and then she finds a piece of her carpet coming out so she picks at that for an hour creating a secret world in her head where the piece of carpet is a magic machine that takes her to another planet where parents don't MAKE their kids clean their rooms and are much more reasonable...

So after about 3 hours, we come up to see her room, and all we see is what is pictured above. And in the middle of her bed, will be the piece of carpet, a lint ball, a Barbie, and a sheepish looking Caroline...see....Time, it is all relative.

I used to be exactly on time. (And when I say on time, I mean, if a boat was leaving at 8, I was running up the ramp and jumping on at 8.) Then I had Marshall, and I was 5 minutes late. Then I had Caroline, and I became 10 minutes late...then I had Henry and, well, as you can imagine, I would be getting to the dock as the boat is returning from Sea!

I find now, that I am running out of the house half clothed, with a granola bar in one hand, my toothbrush running in the other, carrying Henry with no shoes, and saying, "You don't need a Jacket! It is ONLY 10...its not like it’s in the negatives..."

Most of the time I run into what ever event I was intending on attending about 15 minutes behind schedule only to realize that I forgot something important…like underwear or something...But I suppose, if I look at the quote is NEVER boring!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Just Get The Needle Out and Be Done With It.

As you may or may not know, or care, I have a couple fancy named diseases…(none of them catching) so I have to get blood drawn fairly regularly. I think that it would be easier if they could just set up a port so I would be like a gas tank and just unscrew the lid and pour it out as they need it, because it is starting to get traumatic.

I must have bad Karma when it comes to giving blood. (Or getting blood hacked out of my body…) I think that perhaps in a past life I was a really mean nurse...or maybe one of those Civil War nurses that had to cut limbs off or something. What ever it is, the needle and I have some major disagreements.

It really started in College when I went to give blood. I was trying to be a good citizen and hear the call for blood donation. All I know is mass chaos ensued and I am pretty sure there is a nursing student that is still holding her knees and rocking back and forth in a padded room.

First she couldn’t find my vein. Then after rolling it about 10 times and then perforating it she decided to go for the other arm…at which point she got the needle in, but didn’t secure the tubing at the end very well…(I assume) She walked off to torture another student, and my needle started violently vibrating…which I later learned means that it was resting on the vein wall…

I tried to get her attention and when she went to adjust it the tubing fell off, I assume because blood started squirting out of my arm. I say assume because I really couldn't look...She then screamed a little, and 400 nurses came over.

They practically had to call Haz Mat, and they had more plastic covering their bodies and the floor as they cleaned up my little tiny pile of blood that had seeped out onto the arm of the chair and the floor. You would have thought I leaked Uranium.

At one point I believe I said “for crying out loud I will clean it up.” I don’t think that this was received very well…

I couldn’t bend my arms for two or three days and had welts the size of ping pong balls on the crook of both arms.

I walked out to meet Jamie and his best friend for lunch and Chris laughed and said (really loud) “You look like a Heroine Addict who didn't get it right” at which point everyone stopped and looked sadly at me wanting to dial the local drugs anonymous line and inform them of my existence. I didn’t find the humor in this much.

I have about 100 stories of my tortured veins, bruises and blood, but I won’t go into them. Other than to say that yesterday I had a similar thing happen with getting my blood drawn. I am glad it is winter because I can cover my track marks when I go to pick my kids up at school…

I am, however, wondering who I pissed off in a past life to make me get people who can’t read labs right and have to take second set of tests, try to re-poke the same vein, not be able to get it, go to another vein, and another, until they finally get one that has forgiven them for the first 3 horrible pokes, only to leave me looking like a human pin cushion with bruises the size of a small child running up and down my arms.

At least now the equipment doesn't leak blood out like a Steven King novel when things don't work...perhaps my padded room nurse invented it!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Training Kids

At Least Henry is starting to understand my view of TV. It is a battle everyday, because Henry would just assume, sit in front of the TV with drool dripping out of his half open mouth and lack of brain cell stimulation, then actually DO anything. I am not sure what this is all about. My girls I could easily dissuade from the whole TV addiction, but with Henry it is a daily occurrence.

He will watch ANYTHING. If I am watching congress on TV he will sit and stare… it is a little disconcerting.

I have told him that he can watch a limit of two shows a day and they have to be approved shows that are somewhat educational…although I have to admit that PBS claims that Curious George teaches science concepts, but I am pretty sure that he is only filling Henry with ideas of how to make me more insane.

This morning Henry was up for not more than 10 minutes before he asked for TV. I said, lets hold off and get breakfast and the girls to the bus first.

He looked at me blankly, as if I may NOT have heard him…

Then more insistently he said in his best teenager, I know more than you, and I am so tired of having to live with you voice:

No Moooom, I want to watch an edgicalcashional show...”

There are some days I think I should just give up and sit him in front of the TV and rest…because he makes me tired…so very tired…all within minutes of his waking.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


My son just sat in the middle of my couch, picked up a Barbie and yelled into her face:

"I am Chuck, the evil sandwich making guy...HAHAHAHA"

Uh...I am not even sure WHAT to say to that...just thought I would share with my fellow Henry sympathizers...I appreciate all your concern.


Henry's preschool teacher had to verify something with me today. She reluctantly approached me and in a hushed voice said...

"Um, I have a question for you..."

I never like that sentence because it can mean so many things. It could be the start of various quandaries such as “Is Henry allowed to write on people’s faces at home?” or “Henry thinks he is a Cat and is refusing to talk in anything but a meow”...or maybe, “Have you ever applied for ‘super nanny’?” You just NEVER KNOW. But alas, it was just this...

"Henry keeps saying that he is drawing Nemo's big Butt, do you know what he means by this?"

I had to explain that in the movie, Nemo's classmates call the boat a butt...and that is when Nemo is captured...when he touches the 'Butt'.

(Not that the child has not been exposed to big butts, as it is a trait on both sides of his family, and he I am sure that at his current height, where they are always right in his view point, he is fully aware of them...I am just not sure that he has made the connection in his head between what the movie is saying and the large derrieres that block his sunlight on a regular basis.)

His teacher, who may have been internalizing the big butt thing, was somewhat relieved...although I still say somewhat confused....huh....

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Not For the Faint of Heart

The bed time routine for us is sort of like and Olympic sport. With three kids of various ages, the bargaining and arguments start at night fall, which when you are living in Maine, means that your kids come off the bus in the winter already telling you that they aren't tired, and “can they read a little extra?”

The other night was no exception. We got everyone in their beds, and inevitably we heard the little pitter patter feet of Henry then the pitifully whined "mom" from the top of the stairs.

Now generally this will make me laugh because all three of my kids will be in their rooms for about 2 seconds, then come to the top of the stairs for something and start their Oscar performance "tired voice." Usually followed by the statement "while I was sleeping..."

While they were sleeping? Really? I have barely gotten down the stairs! There are many things that kids can do in a matter of 60 seconds...Pick a nose, destroy a room, even drive their parents to the brink of insanity, but sleep? I am not that Naive.

So being the understanding mother that I am, I didn’t even let the last m get out of his mouth before I told him to go back to bed. Did he go back to bed? Nope, he told on me. He went into his sisters room told her that I was being mean and that he didn’t feel good.

Pitter patter, pitter patter, stomp, stomp, stomp (this would be Henry and Caroline coming to the top of the stairs)

“Mom, Henry says that you won’t listen to him and he doesn't feel good” ***

My very mature response: “Mom is off duty right now, but if you would like to leave a message you can do so after the beep”
(It has never ceased to amaze me that the kids will actually wait for the beep and… leave a message)

“Um, moooooom, I don’t feel good, that is me Henry”

I really should have listened to my answering machine.

About 10 minutes later I hear a strange noise…kind of a splat. (I told you not for the faint of heart here) I came around the corner to what could only be described as a Hollywood war scene.

The boy had lost his stomach…down the stairwell…in what I can only decide was a vengeance Exorcist move, he apparently spun around in a 360 to achieve maximum coverage in the hall way, and down the stairs, on the walls, picture frames, all the way down…to yes…the FRONT DOOR.

I have decided that the Answering Machine will only be put on in matters that I am certain will not end in gagging and Lysol coverage… and I have to say the nightly Pitter patter pitter patter is now making me twitch with Post Traumatic Stress.

Spring is coming right? Because I am pretty sure I need to open my windows because there is something very unholy in my house.

*** before you judge me, he NEVER feels well at Bed time, and the "I don't feel well" excuse is used on average 400 times a don't judge me!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lessons I have Learned this Winter

1. Never say that it can't get worse...because then it will,

2. Never be thankful that your family has only had the head cold flu, not stomach flu, because then the stomach flu feels challenged and will come after you and your loved ones with a vengence only seen in the movie 300

3. Believe your children when they say that their stomachs hurt at bedtime. It could be just a ploy to stay up later, but having your kids stay up a few minutes later is much better than cleaning projectile vomit off your entire stairwell and front door.

4. A 12 hour drive can always be made longer and more harrowing in ways you never imagined.

5. 80 or so inches of snow in a winter, leads to a state of mind only seen in "The Shining." Even the nicest person in the world starts to get surly when they are trapped for 3 months at a time with their three kids in the house with sickness.

6. Snow is really pretty in November, gets you in the Christmas Spirit in December, expected in January, dreaded in February, resented like hell in March, and can spur homicidal tendencies in April….I am just warning you all!

7. Who ever decided that TV was the Devil, did not live in Maine in the Winter with three kids trapped in their house by a militant germ Jihad.

8. Don't believe what people say about girls being moody, and melodramatic...they clearly have never had a 2 year old boy, who throws himself with a sigh onto the couch only to whine incessantly for the next 2 days about not feeling well, and could you rub his tummy. My girls just suck it up.

9. I believe that senility is simply a mechanism to forget these parts of life...hey look there’s a chickadee on the bird feeder, what was I saying? Oh ... I love oatmeal...really I do, um…what was the question?

10. Everyone says you will survive, thousands of people before you have, in worse circumstances...which makes me just think that the past generations were just dumb, and frankly, I don't want to hear about it!