18 June 2012

Nine to Five, Here I Come!

Two seemingly unrelated bits of news:

Item the first: I bought a whole pineapple yesterday, because it's Lola's birthday today and she requested one -- (she is now a decade old, and yes, I'm a little verklempt by that fact, thank you very much) -- and I put the pineapple on the counter to wait for morning.

Item the second: We've had some sickies around here the past few days, plus one child recovering from outpatient surgery, so we've been powering through pain reliever/fever reducer.  We've used this item a lot:

But see, when you have a lot of players, things that seem unrelated all of the sudden become inextricably linked.  To my high blood pressure, hair loss, and desire to run for the hills.

Yesterday afternoon, I walked into the kitchen, and found one of my sons, repeatedly stabbing the pineapple with the medical syringe, sucking out the pineapple juice and happily shooting it into his mouth.

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It's OK though!  I start a new job tomorrow, my first real, non-independent contractor, full time, direct deposit, honest to goodness JOB since 2001, and that pineapple and syringe business -- or at least whatever iteration of that business is next to come down the pike -- will be my husband's problem.

Sorry hon: gotta go to work!

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15 June 2012

Recycling: It's Good for the Bottle, It's Good for the Blog Post

OMGosh.  I've missed writing here.  Life, at breakneck speed, has come between me and my computer of late.  There are big changes coming to my big family, changes that do not involve us getting any bigger, mind you, but changes that are occupying my time and talents lately.

More on that later.

In the meantime, let me go green for a moment, and recycle a post celebrating the dad in this family.  Originally a birthday greeting, it's being trotted out this time as a Father's Day message.

Here's the thing I tell my kids about gifts.  The greatest gift we can ever give to someone we love is our words.  Our thoughts, expressed.  Our memories and stories, written down, preserved.  Words never fade or fray.  They never need batteries.  They never crack or snap in two.  We never grow out of them.  They last forever, on paper or in our hearts.  They weave together the strands that keep us together.

And so, on Father's Day, with barely two sticks to rub together, we have many words to show our love to a wonderful, perfectly imperfect father and husband, who always, always has words to tell us he loves us, and words to tell us the paella is ready, and words to tell us to be quiet the barcelona game is on.

Here are some words for you, dearest.


1. He teaches us soccer moves. • 2. He read Little Women to me. • 3. He takes us to Fenton’s for ice cream. • 4. He’s the milkshake parent. • 5. He creates beautiful gardens. • 6. He takes us to In-n-Out. • 7. He makes us warm fires in the winter. • 8. He finds stuff for us at Thrift Town. • 9. He tells mommy she is beautiful. • 10. He wrestles with us.

11. He gave us Bob Dylan. • 12. He brings me ribs from T-Rex. • 13. Two words: Top Dog. • 14. He draws pictures with us when we are doing art and on the menus at Fatapples. • 15. He read Shakespeare to me when I was really little. • 16. He says sorry. • 17. He tells us he loves us every day. • 18. He carried all of us kids in the backpack when we were little and let us all drool down his back. • 19. He loves to take naps with us. • 20. He reads Always Room for One More and One Morning in Maine to us.

21. He likes to make us laugh. • 22. He read The Phantom Tollbooth and The Hobbit to us in the evenings on mom and dad’s bed. • 23. He makes us delicious paella and pizza. • 24. He goes on our field trips when he can. • 25. He takes me to play soccer at the park early in the morning before school. • 26. He makes mom yummy Old Fashioneds. • 27. He makes sure we always have the right soccer shoes. • 28. He writes poetry for us. • 29. He takes us on the train in Tilden Park. • 30. He reads and learns all he can about coaching youth soccer so that he can be the best possible coach for our teams.

31. When we were inconsolable babies, he would pack us into our car seats and drive around for as long as it would take for us to settle down. • 32. He likes to watch The Incredibles with us. • 33. He takes us to the lawnmower store (Urban Ore). • 34. He has an amazing collection of weird and funny faces. • 35. He (and mom) got us a Wii for Christmas. • 36. He makes “bonfires” in the back garden. • 37. He takes us to see professional soccer games. • 38. He’s a cuddler. • 39. He makes coffee for mom in the morning before she gets up. • 40. He makes sure all of the doors are locked every night.

41. He takes us to Albany Memorial Park. • 42. He makes sure mom remembers the whipped cream when she buys stuff to make hot chocolate for us. • 43. He takes us to the Botanical Gardens to find lizards. • 44. He’s the teeth brushing parent. • 45. He gave us lollipops with bugs in them. • 46. He gave us life. • 47. He brought us to his classroom while he was teaching and let us draw. • 48. He works hard each and every day to take care of us.


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07 June 2012

"80-20 Dirtbags"

I can't quite explain why I loved Act II of This American Life's Crime Scene episode, but I loved it enough that I am telling everyone I know to listen to it.  And I'm sharing the link here, because this was the most entertaining 13 minutes of my week, hands down.

To be sure, there is a sky-high gross-out factor.  If you're are squeamish, I feel bad for you because you probably shouldn't listen, which means you'll miss out big time.

I will say this much: Act II features a guy who took his inspiration from Mr. Wolf, as in "Here you go Mr. Wolf."  That is pure gold.


05 June 2012

You know you have a big family when...

...living room forts make you bone-crushingly tired.  When the sight of blankets and chairs set up in crazy patterns all over the house is no longer cute nor a sign of the most amazingly creative and intelligent children ever.  When living room forts make you irrationally, inexplicably want to weep.

That's when you know.

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