Showing posts from April, 2009

Gustatory Longings

Okay, it's 1:30 PM and I'm already over my Weight Watchers points allowance for the day. And I haven't even eaten anything fun. Some grapes, a cup of granola (homemade), chicken soup, half a sandwich....

Someone shoot me, all right? I'm living in a minefield of food.

I keep thinking about things I'd like to eat. You know what I want? What I really, really want? I want one of those sacks of mini-Oreos. I could eat the whole thing and feel very, very happy. Is that so wrong?

Swine Flu

See? It's everywhere.

Theo is sick today, so we all donned surgical masks and threw incense at him. I would have bought hand sanitizer but (no joke) the local Harris Teeter is sold out. Panic much?

Larry is still away, which explains why I haven't been able to blog. Seems that there are a lot of little things Larry does around here that free up some me-time for yours truly. Who knew? I would thank him when he gets back, but he's going away again. So the hell with that.

How about some fridge pictures? Maybe somewhere in that petrie dish I call a refrigerator there is some incipient cure for our latest could-be pandemic. Where are those people from the CDC when you need them?

Here's the picture I took on Monday, when I realized I couldn't wait until Wednesday. You see, the refrigerator replete with food-filled containers was making the kids think there was actually something they could eat in there; and I hated hearing them cry when they took off the lids and f…

Still Here!

Larry has had a lingering, flu-like illness for over 2 weeks. Since yesterday, every time he blows his nose or coughs, he adds a few pig-like oinks or snorts. The kids love it. "Swine Flu!" they yell.

I wonder whether his fellow airline passengers this evening will find that routine funny?

Because, yes, Larry is leaving me again. But only for a few days! He has to come home and pack for the 2-week trip he's taking (lucky for him) after Mother's Day.

Mother's Day? I won't want much. How about a fountain coke (with ice!) and someone (Larry) to clean the rotting apples out of my second refrigerator? I'm easy.

You see, I've given up Coke. I was drinking more and more of it, until I was considering filling one of those Camelbak things with the substance and wearing it on my back with the straw in my mouth. So I quit cold turkey. I'll have one on Mother's Day. Another one on my birthday. After that? I'll probably slowly get addicted a…

Bravo for Brassieres

Well! In case any of you felt I was exaggerating in this post of mine lamenting the difficulties of finding brassieres that don't include enough metal to qualify as engineering projects, check out this story on the BBC website. Its headline reads "Bullet Bounces Off US Woman's Bra". That woman wasn't me, but it sure could have been. At long last, I have found an upside to being too well-endowed.


We're heading up to Grandma and Grandpa's house for their birthday weekend. That means today will be spent doing laundry, packing, and trying to figure out a seating arrangement in the car that will keep people from killing each other. Oh, and baking a cake...and going to the bank...and working at the bookstore...

In fact, maybe I should get off this computer and get started. Have a good weekend, y'all!


Oh, wait! One more thing! One reader of this blog kindly sent me this video that gives instructions on how to use a rotar…

Positively Prehistoric

Sometime in the not-too-distant past David and I were in Target (shocking, I know) looking to buy new house phones. There was a cute vintage-y looking one that had the push buttons in a circle as if it were a rotary dial. I pointed it out to my 21st-century son and said, "Those were the phones I grew up with. Only they didn't have pushbuttons - you had to dial them."

David's brow furrowed as he examined the phone. "What do you mean, dial?" he asked, with all the professional curiosity of an archaeologist examining some recently unearthed relic.

"You know, dial," I said, attempting to pantomime the action with my finger. "There were little holes where the numbers are, see? And then you would stick your finger in the number and bring the dial around to this little stopper thing. And then you'd let go and it would go back!"

"And then what?" David asked, as if I were explaining a system as complex as that of the Navajo c…

Same Old, Same Old

Nothing here tonight folks, not even a funny video. It was just one of those days where the little ones got to witness yet discussion between Mommy and their teen sister about money, appropriate expectations, responsibility, etc. (So maybe I won't have to go over it with them when they are teens? I can only hope.) Ants are invading, there is a cricket hopping somewhere around my bedroom, centipedes are taking over our home. Everyone still wants to eat 3 times a day, plus snacks. There were the requisite 3 loads of laundry to do. Theo informed me that he threw out his Chemistry textbook from last year because he didn't think I would need it. Why should I need it again? Just because he has 5 younger siblings who are also homeschooled? Just more proof that these kids think we are made of money....

Oh, and I'm a Weight Watchers recidivist again. Ain't we got fun?

But there was one bright spot: it was free ice cream cone day at Ben and Jerry's. …

Rainy Day Activity List

April showers bring madness, right? Here's how I amuse myself whilst trapped indoors all day with 6 children:

Rainy Day Activity List

Put away 3 loads of laundryHide in bedroom to sneak-read a chapter of The Unforgiving MinuteWash 3 (different) loads of laundry
Scrub yucky stuff (technical term) off shower doors.Make well-child appointments for 2 out of 6 kids. Put off the other ones until next year.
Yank sheets off Anna's bed and explain to her that when making the bed, she must remove all objects resting on mattress first.Duck death glare.Condense 6 bags of knitting down to 4. Pile them in corner of bedroom in a half-hearted attempt to "neaten up."Narrowly avert poisoning children with 3-day-old tuna salad.Open fridge and wonder how it gets messed up so fast. I mean, I just cleaned it out.
And here is how my children amuse themselves:Ask for something to eat.Race Mardi Gras necklaces down the stairs. (They act sort of like slinkies)Ask what's for dinner.Shriek l…

As The Food Turns: Beyond Belief

Look - I'm not proud of it, okay? It just...happened. What with a birthday, and Easter, and Uncle Matt visiting, things got a little wild and out of control, all right?

That thing lying in front looking like nothing so much as a bound and gagged corpse is some celery that, pushed to the back of the fridge, froze to death. Reality is not pretty.

Behind it you see practically my entire collection of storage containers (aren't you lucky?). There is still a rectangular one in the fridge, holding food that is not yet past its prime. I'm sure you will be viewing it next week. On the left:

homemade chicken noodle soup, with carrots - I have no memory of when we ate this. It was a long time ago.a full container of leftover ground beef and peas (with rice), a delicious and easy recipe I found in 365 Ways To Cook Chinese. I don't think the title means that the foodstuffs contained therein should be held in the fridge for 365 days, however.
a small piece of leftover grilled G…

You Say Tomato, I Say Tomahto...

[I swear, fridge post tomorrow...I don't have any empty food storage containers left]

Hoo, boy! My head hurts. After yesterday's comments, I decided to research such facts as deficits, budgets, etc. After a lot of reading, I just have one request:

Don't make me do that again. It was excruciating.

Anyway, the most balanced assessment and complete numbers (that was readable) was here at Take some Tylenol before reading - you'll need it. And if anyone could elaborate on the difference between deficit and national debt - gently - I surely would appreciate it.

Reading it, I can see why a lot of people are upset about the numbers. They are very, very large. (Stop me if I am getting too technical here.) But I stand by yesterday's assertion that when you inherit a whole lot of problems, it costs money to fix them. In theory, President Obama could cut the deficit more right away. But then he would be unable to address long-ignored problems that in the…

What the F...?

Annoyed? Hell, yeah!

Could someone please explain to me where all these Tea Party protesters were for the past 8 years as the previous administration ran the deficit up to record numbers? I have no problem with people objecting to gov't spending. None whatsoever. I do have a problem with people keeping their mouths shut and waving their flags for 8 years as the deficit went up and up and up, but suddenly having a problem with it when a Democratic president takes office. Hello? These numbers didn't appear overnight and they won't go away overnight either. This angry populism seems just a tad hypocritical, if not downright partisan.

Because the financial sector of our country operated without regulation and oversight for at least the past 8 years and essentially plundered our economy, we happen to have significant numbers of people out of work. Because our government ignored the need to address the health care issue, we happen to have significant numbers of people unab…

Bag Lady

"Hey, Anna," I said. "I heard you telling your friend on the phone that a customer yelled at you? Why?""Oh, she said I was bagging her groceries wrong, but I already knew to put the bread on top. Then she rolled her eyes at me."

[oh, sweet poetic justice!]

"How annoying!" I said.

"Oh, that's okay," Anna said, shrugging. "I just plopped a head of cabbage on top of her Cadbury eggs when she wasn't looking."

I'm so proud of her. Anna, abused retail workers everywhere salute you.

Funny Bunnies

What with Brian's birthday cake and the jelly beans left by the Easter Bunny and all the little foil-wrapped chocolate eggs the kids picked up at the egg hunt at church, our family's collective blood sugar level is running at an all-time high. Could someone please stop the madness? We ate more sugar this past weekend than Laura Ingalls Wilder saw in her entire life.

No Peeps, though - I can't stand those things.

Pee Is Thicker Than Water

Uncle Matt came down to spend Brian's birthday and Easter with us. As we have discussed before, Uncle Matt leads a somewhat sheltered life, a life unbuffeted by the unpredictable demands of child rearing. But not to worry! Susie quickly inducted him into our special brand of chaos by peeing on him.

That'll teach him to hold his cute little nieces and nephews, won't it?

Larry and I added insult to injury by making light of the whole incident - "That's all right," I joked to the kids, while their uncle was downstairs changing his shirt, "Uncle Matt is absorbent!" Oh, we were the picture of nonchalant, seasoned parents, I'll tell you.

"But Mommy," Rachel said, "there's some pee on the couch, too." Immediately irate, Larry and I shouted (in unison), "What?! Where?!"

I don't know why, but the bemused look that appeared on Theo's face - a look recognizing that his parents were worried more about the furn…

Ahead Of The Curve

Last night in the bookstore, a gentleman came to my register to buy Have A New Kid By Friday. Its subtitle reads How To Change Your Child's Attitude, Behavior, and Character In Five Days. Being a teen-weary mom, I was intrigued.

"That looks interesting - think it'll work?" I said.
"Oh, yeah," he said. "Of course, it expects parents to be a little stricter than is common nowadays."
"Well, sometimes that's necessary," I said, happy to be communing with another seasoned parent. "How old is your kid?"

[Whaddaya think? 6? 11? 24? Guess again.]

(Beaming proudly) "She's due in July."
Maybe that was my problem: I didn't start disciplining my kids early enough. Like, in utero...

Raising The Bar

Y'all can join me in despising the folks who did this study. Apparently, a simple date night is no longer good enough to save your marriage. Nope, a stroll through town, a stop at an ice cream shop, or the sharing of a good movie at your local cinema just won't cut it anymore if you want to keep your relationship from tanking; it seems, instead, that you have to do something exciting and novel with your spouse in order to keep the love alive. Go skiing! Take dance lessons together! Take a cruise on an ill-fated ship!

Ever feel like people just keep raising the bar on you? It takes a Herculean effort just for Larry and I to carve out an hour or so a week to go out together. Now we have to make it unusual, or even thrilling?

I think we might as well call that divorce lawyer right now.


And by the way, oh worshipful Google, "romantic" is not synonymous with "naked" or "having sex." Now that I've searched for a Google image…

A Slip Of The Grip

The pristine condition of my beloved new minivan inspired me to do something I have never even attempted before: I banned all eating in the car. It's been over 3 weeks, and the prohibition stands. That's not to say it's been easy; it's not every woman that could listen to her 6-year-old daughter shriek for 20 minutes and still not hand her the (sealed) box of granola bars in the front seat. But 2 decades (almost) of child rearing has toughened me - I managed to quell any motherly guilt that tried to seep through and remained stalwart in my determination not to let the kids trash my beautiful new vehicle.

So, you can appreciate the irony yesterday of my dropping a full Coke (with ice) when I lifted it out of the driver's cupholder, as my 4 youngest children gawked with horror. The car filled with the sound of their shocked silence (which, as I have discussed before, can be a very loud thing) as 12 ounces of caramel-colored liquid dispensed itself all over the cen…

Goofing Off

Larry had me cosign the final papers for the car loan this morning. "Why do I have to sign them?" I asked. "Isn't your signature enough?"

"Hey," he said, "I'm not going to be on the hook for this alone, you know."

Now, why do I feel worried? And isn't it better if only one of us goes to jail?


Larry and I are spending a cozy (and cheap) evening listening to the Capitol Steps April Fool's Day radio special. If you've never heard one of their shows before, you are missing a treat. I think my favorite was 2 New Year's Eves ago, when they had the 4 liberal Supreme Court Justices dancing around singing "Staying Alive."

Look! I found it on YouTube:

There are a lot of other ones to watch too. Why not? Sure beats working...

Paper Chase

There comes a time for all of us when we realize that we have reached a personal point of no return. For me, that time was today.

Setting: the paper goods aisle in the commissary
Characters: one middle-aged housewife, formerly known as fetching and flirtatious, and one nicely built middle-aged guy with a great haircut

The scene opens with the housewife kneeling in her hip jeans (not mom jeans!) and trendy clogs and lace-trimmed T-shirt by the toilet paper display, brow furrowed, trying to figure out the best buy. Irresistible!

Guy: Hey, this brand here (gesticulating at package in his hand) is only 5 dollars for 12!

HW: Yes, but what's the square footage?

Guy: Huh?

HW: (grabbing package) See? Right here? Only 320 sheets per roll! I bought the cheaper kind once, and I was changing the toilet paper roll twice a day!

Guy: Oh, wow - I never thought of that. (Switches brands) (Walks out of HW's life forever)

I think Larry can rest assured that I will never be swept off my feet by so…

The Evolution Of Language

Woo-hoo! I slept in today! All the way until...are you ready?...

8 AM

Yup - not until 8:00 was I roused from my beauty sleep...unless, of course, you count 6 AM, when my husband's alarm sounded. I had to get up and turn it off, as he was already in the shower. Oh, and then there was half-past midnight, when Susie couldn't find her nighttime water bottle....

All of which leads me to conclude that, after almost 2 decades of being a mother, certain terms in the English language are what I would call "defined down." Whereas sleeping in used to denote a solid 9 or 10 hours of deep sleep, it now specifies a situation where, by the grace of God, none of the kids managed to set the house on fire while their sluggard of a parent attempted to rack up 8 broken hours of snooze.

Let's see, what are some other examples?

Mother's Night Out - What used to mean an evening out carousing and gossiping with friends now refers to the night that it is my turn to drive the orchestr…

Mixed Review And A Bad Pun

I bought Clue for my kids and sat down to play it with them last night. Now I'm trying to figure out if the game itself is any fun, or if it is just the thought of the game that's fun. I found it's sort of tedious, trying to move from one room to another (a fact made no easier when you have a child weeping because he/she didn't get to use the secret passage). We kept losing the hard-to-see weapons on the board, and I'm afraid Rachel was starting to get more weird ideas in her head.

On the other hand, the game makes me want to sashay around the living room in a slinky dress while holding a cigarette in one of those long cigarette holders. I have sudden urges to lean against the mantelpiece and gesticulate with a handsome smoking pipe as I expound on my theories of whodunit. And I love shouting, "It's Colonel Mustard....with the lead the billiard room!" I mean, I could do that all night.

I have no idea what the children thought. But they…

Cheap Trick

You guys were all over that mom-modified version of Clue that I mentioned yesterday. There were too many good suggestions to name them all, just check out those comments...

I discussed last year how much I hate April Fool's Day. I mean, what's to love about a holiday that centers around the concept "Ha, ha, I made you look like an idiot!"? Not that I am upset that my beloved Mrs. G fooled me into thinking that she had actually paid for a Botox treatment - no, not at all. I like feeling stupid. Really.

Yeah, I'm gullible (although, in a perfect world, I believe that I would be described as "innocent" and "trusting").

And speaking of duplicity, whose favorite teen girl thought she could trick her parents by erasing the computer history after each use? Anyone wanna guess? My dear Anna, the game is on!