Showing posts from September, 2007

For Lack of a Better Idea

I've been trying to think of what to write about all morning, and I'm coming up with nothing. Probably because I'm not having such a great day...kind of blah and blue and uninspired. So I decided just to tell a few stories. These are a random bunch, with no particular connection except that I hope I remember them FOREVER. Story #1: Back in the day when we were a family of four (or maybe five, I do sort of lose track), we were experiencing some pretty gnarly sleep deprivation. Which, if you have experienced it -- parents, medical professionals, POW's -- you know how disorienting it can be. We were also being subjected to Raffi music in high doses, which, now that I think about it, could also be used as a strategy for wearing down POW's. Our boys LOVED Raffi, and we did too, at first. But there are only so many times a parent can get excited about "The more we get together, together, together..." Conversely, there is no end to how many times a smal

Decisions, Decisions

The question I am pondering today is this: Should I take my two youngest daughters out of daycare, where they spend three days a week, and care for them myself instead? We originally placed them in daycare -- a wonderful, home-based operation, run by a Peruvian family we have come to love -- so that I could work on those days. I work for myself, so while the girls are at Nora's house, I and my computer are supposed to be earning money through the various freelance jobs I have and through the work I do to help run the family business. In theory, it all works. In practice, it's quite a different story. I still end up finishing projects at 3AM, working after the kids have gone to bed, working with a baby on one knee. On my "workdays," the first order of business is to plop down in a semi-conscious state on the couch and recover from the monumental daily task of getting five children out the door with lunches they will eat, appropriate attire, a minimum of ear wax

Tattoo You...and You and You

A Rolling Stones album . . . and so much more. My house became a tattoo parlor today. It seems that tattoos are all around us, and it seems my very impressionable almost nine year old is, well, impressed. This has been building for awhile. I think it first started when he joined his first basketball team, and then started watching NBA games on television. He was wide-eyed, mezmerized, by the professional players and all of their various special qualities. From the lingo to the blingo, and all of the tattoos in between. Since then, Sam has really noticed tattoos. He's been going up to complete strangers -- tattoo-ed strangers -- and saying, "I like your tattoo!" This has started many an interesting converation for him, and it sure is neat to see your children able to carry on conversations and be all independent and all. I don't really enjoy the idea of having a tattooed child, but I may have to brace myself for the possibility, or at least for the "

I Can't Make This Stuff Up

Driving to school this morning, the clouds were impressive. Big, fluffy, infused with sunlight. Gorgeous. A perfect opportunity to distract the kids from harassing each other by getting them to play the tried and true Find Shapes in the Clouds game. I don't have much time to blog this morning; we are getting ready for our niece's wedding tomorrow, and of course, I've left it until the last minute to make sure that everyone has wedding attire clean and ready to go. But before I dash off to buy tights for the girls, here are some highlights to what we found in the clouds this morning: Pirate Dinosaur Dog Happy face Pretty run of the mill stuff. And then, they found a king. Who had two big eyes, and because of the way the rays of sunlight shot up above the "head," the king was actually wearing a crown. So he became the King of the Clouds. And then he became GOD. And then, my kids went bananas, because they decided that they are the first people in all of

Junky Stuff

We were driving through our neighborhood a few weeks ago, and Vincenzo, with great disgust in his voice, says: “Mom, I’m tired of all this junky stuff!” Thinking he might be commenting on the state of the minivan, I was gearing up to launch into a tirade about how the kids never listen when I tell them to get their garbage and clothes and toys and books and papers and food and cleats and homework and treasures OUT OF MY CAR. But wait: might he mean something else? I did what the smart mom does before tirade launching; I know it’s the smart thing because of all the times I have done the opposite. Smart mommy that I sometimes am, I said: “What do you mean?” He clarified: “I mean all the dirty trees and houses, and all the junky stuff around the houses.” He’s right. While there are lots of folks in our neighborhood who take great pride in their homes and yards, there are also plenty of folks who don’t, either because they don’t have the resources or because they are renters who

Just Another Fun Filled Day

Monday morning: Get up at 5:45 to make it to the grocery store when it opens at 6, because there isn't enough "lunch box" type food in the house for the school day. Stop on the way out the door because the baby has woken up. OK, so feed the baby first, drop her on the bed with dad, and off to the store. Think vaguely about what to make for dinner...give up on that one. Expend brain cells trying to balance nutritious lunch items with items the children will actually eat. Give up on that one, too. Get home, make coffee, go to the dryer to get the uniforms out for the kids. Discover that the uniforms are still waiting to be transferred from the washer to the dryer (we can talk about whose fault that was later). Hastily pile the uniforms in the dryer; look at the clock: 50 minutes until we leave for school, 45 minutes to dry if we're lucky. Back to the kitchen; make school lunches and realize that I actually bought enough food to feed 3 classrooms instead o

Store Bought Spiderman

My kids and I were discussing Halloween this morning on the way to school. This is a 12-month conversation at our house; my children's plans for Halloween begin every year on November 1. Last year, my boys' costumes were AWESOME. Homemade from stuff we had around the house, a couple of trips to the local thrift store, a dash to the craft store, and one bottle of yellow fabric dye. I have great memories of Halloween costume making when I was little, and a deep sense that any costume worth its salt is NOT store bought. Half (or more) of the fun is creating an ass-a-kickerata costume from "scratch." Last year, my kids were on board with this. See the picture -- it speaks volumes: This year, however, they have asked specifically for STORE BOUGHT COSTUMES. This is how they put it, even before they told me what they want to be. "We want store bought costumes." What, do they lie in their bunkbeds and come up with this stuff in partnership? I can just

A Reason to Celebrate 9/11

I have a baby with a birthday today. She is one year old, and beautiful, and bright, and lovely. She was born on the 5th anniversary of 9/11. I remember when I first learned I was pregnant with her, and my due date was 9/13. I fleetingly thought: "Oh my, wouldn't it be awful if he or she is born on 9/11?" I didn't think too much about it, though, because my other four children were ALL almost two weeks late. But then, as fate would have it, I went into labor and delivered on 9/11. I met a woman this morning who immediately said to me: "How wonderful to have this day transformed by the blessed birth of a child!" This is not the usual response I get. Lots of people give me sad-ish smiles, or shudder, or say something like: "Well, at least you have something to celebrate." Usually, they sound like they are tyring to say something nice because it seems too horrible to them to have a child with this particular birthday. But this woman was ab

A Riff on Names

I just read Dawn's blog, from (which, if you don't know about her already, you absolutely should check her our and find out her story -- it's a kick!), and it inspired me to write about my own children's names. First and foremost, it is not a good sign when you triumphantly announce your minutes-old baby's name and your mother -- your own flesh and blood -- responds with: "You're kidding. What? You're kidding, right?" Dawn is right: no matter what you intend, or what YOU would prefer people call your children, people will give your kids nicknames. We're not really into nicknames here. Or at least, we like the names we picked for the kids so we like to call them by their full names. We have lots of nicknames for them, but not that they really go by all of the time. For example, I call my daughter Lola "Lola-berry ding-dong" quite a bit...we call the boys "Chief"...we call each other

Heaven is us.

A story. A few years ago, the family dog passed away. Chelsea was, quite simply, the most wonderful dog in the world, and we all loved her dearly. At the time, we had three children, and I was great with child #4. Telling the kids was the hardest part, of course; the 5 year old took it the hardest...he immediately burst into tears and had many questions about why and how and when and where. The 4 year old was matter of fact. "That's OK; we'll see her in heaven." End of story. The two year old...well, she was two, so if it wasn't about her, she wasn't interested. A few weeks later, I was walking up the hill to pick up the 5 year old from Kindergarten. I was walking with my four year old, hand in hand, enjoying a rare moment with just him. We weren't talking about anything, just walking. Out of the blue, he says to me, "Mom, I know where Chelsea is." And when I asked him where, he just put his hand over his heart. And I said somethin

So many questions, so little time

Here are some of the questions I have been asked in the past 24 hours: Can I have a cell phone when I turn 9? Where is my yo-yo? Do I have to eat the green beans? Did you fix my frog yet? Did you sew my nightgown yet? What's for dinner? Why do I have to go to school? Have you ever seen a french fry walking down the street talking on a cell phone? Where is my yo-yo? Where is my homework? Where is my yo-yo? Do we HAVE to pick up the girls? Where are my shin guards? Why can't I watch a show? Does this mean I can't play soccer in the house? What is a cherry-picker? Can I paint my fingernails? Where is my yo-yo? Where is my pencil? Can you help me with my homework? Can you do my homework? Can I fingerpaint? Why can't I fingerpaint? Why do people have tattoos? Why does Emmett (neighbor) smoke so much? Where is my yo-yo? As you might imagine, I really hope I find the flippin' yo-yo soon. See, this is part of what I mean by motherhood being ridiculous. It is simply rid

Looks like it's gonna rain!

Here I dive, into the wonderful world of blogging. Having been inspired by many a mom-blogger out there, here is my contribution to the online world of writing. I have five children. In another month, after three upcoming birthdays, they will be 9, 7, 5, 3, and 1. They to describe the little darlings? They are wonderful, exasperating, adorable, brilliant, exceptional, infuriating, exhausting, and time-consuming. So basically, they are just like yours. Over the past nine years, I can't tell you how many times I thought to myself, or had someone say to me: "You should write that down!" This in response to some story or utterance from one of my kids that made me laugh, cry, stop and think, or want to scream. I also can't count the number of times each day I think about how ridiculous parenting and motherhood actually are. By this, I mean I can't quite believe the situations I find myself in, the questions that are put to me (and that someho