Showing posts from November, 2007

Snack Time

Yesterday, while I was cooking dinner, Lola wandered into the kitchen and asked for a snack. Before I could say no, wait for dinner to be ready, she specified the snack she wanted: a clove of garlic. So, being the nice mommy that I am, I peeled a whole clove of garlic and handed it over. She proceeded to munch away happily. Dad's response? "Keep doing that when you're in high school, sweetie!" Of course, she almost knocked me over a few hours later when she put her adorable little face in mine for a kiss...whew!

London Calling

Consider for a moment the very first task I must complete on a daily basis: GET FIVE CHILDREN OUT THE DOOR AND TO SCHOOL/DAYCARE ON TIME. It's a big job. Getting all five of them "processed" (fed, clothed, shoe-ed, equipped with lunch and ready to go), is enough to send me back under the covers pleading for the impossible: extra sleep, more time, and a magic wand. Some days, everything just clicks. I've learned that I don't have much control over when those days happen. It's like the Morning Gods just randomly decide that everything will go smoothly, no one will spill anything, shoes will appear exactly when I need them, no one will have a last minute library book to look for. Then there are the days when nothing goes smoothly. Yesterday began shaping up to be one of those days. In particular, getting the boys up was monumentally difficult. Sometimes, it takes me 20 minutes just to get them to lift their heads off of their pillows. They can devote an

Family Photos

While we were away for the Thanksgiving holiday, we took the kids to a school near Grandma Lola's house to play. It was great. Without the distractions of home, and work, and chores, and the next activity to get to, the only thing to do was play. Grandma kept Tallulah home, and the rest of us spent a few hours swinging, running, digging in the sand, spinning (and getting dizzy), playing soccer, and just generally enjoying the sunshine. Here, mostly for the benefit of our extended family, are some pictures of the kids:

Through My Daughter's Eyes

Lola's teacher told me yesterday that the class was talking about Mary, and how hard it must have been for her to make the journey to Bethlehem being 9 months pregnant and ready to drop. She (the teacher) described how it must have been very painful and difficult to ride the donkey while basically in labor. Lola piped up with something like: "My mom could ride that donkey; nothing hurts her, and she never got hurt with babies in her tummy!" While I would like to think that this is evidence that she thinks I am superwoman, I'm sure she has heard me tell people how easy my pregnancies were for me. This has translated into "pain free" for her. Should I tell her now, or let her have a rude awakening sometime in the distant future? I believe this goes in the category of Things No One Ever Told Me And It's A Good Thing They Didn't Or I Never Would Have Done This. This reminds me of the time, a few years ago, when in the space of one week, Lola'

I'm Not Buying It

It's the Holiday season. One way I know this is that people are already wishing me "Happy Holidays!" Well, not people so much as companies. While I haven't started hearing this from individual folks, I have heard it from Honda of San Francisco, Lucky's Supermarket, and Rubio's. I'm not buying it. I am not purchasing a Honda this year or patronizing Lucky's for the majority of my Holiday food shopping, nor am I believing that these companies are truly wishing me well. I think they just want my money. And speaking of the Holidays: I know the secular trend over the past several years has been to refrain from saying Merry Christmas , to use the more generic Happy Holidays instead. Do the politically correct-os out there realize that they are actually saying "Happy Holy Days?" So while Happy Holidays may in fact be broad enough to include all of the religiously based celebrations at this time of year, it still conveys that these days

I Want My Children To Be Happy

Oh, how I wish this were as sweet a sentiment as it sounds. In actuality, it couldn't be more selfish. I want my children to be happy purely so I won't have to listen to fighting, yelling, and whining. Last night, beginning in the car on the way home from the 3rd grade basketball game, and continuing throughout the bedtime ritual, my children fought or yelled about the post-game snacks, who was sitting where in the car, how unfair it is that the 2nd grader can't be on the team, how unfair it is that next year is "1000 days away," how unfair it is that mom was hugging the howling 2nd grader and not "me," and a few other things my brain has no more room to contain. The experience left me weak and listless on the couch. On the bright side, the cacophony did not start until the van door was safely shut, thereby creating the illusion that my children are really peaceful, loving people. That's at least something to be thankful for in this month

Stealth Parenting

If there was one thing I could change about what kind of mother I am, it would be how I feed my children. At least that's what it would be this week. I am one of those mothers who -- gasp! -- tends to cook one meal for the grown-ups and one for the kids. I am not proud of this. I am convinced that all those mothers who are able to get their kids to eat whatever they have prepared are miracle-workers, and am secretly afraid that the fact that my children do not eat the taco casserole or the baked fish or the lemon chicken pasta means that I am a bad mother. Plus, this is one of those things that has an aura of shame around it, so much so that a "dig" at that kind of mother made it into the movie Dan in Real Life , which Rick and I got to see last weekend. (A great movie: go see it!) The main character is a guy who writes a parenting column, and at a family dinner, someone derisively referred to a woman as a short order cook for her family. I cringed inwardly. I

Shakespeare Days

My 9 year old son is obsessed with Shakespeare. Now, I know that's not something you hear everyday. It's not something I would have expected. It's a wonderful thing that we are having a spot of trouble managing. Before I paint the full picture, let me also say that Samuel is obsessed with having his own cell phone, playing video games, playing sports, Captain Underpants, and various other very typical 9-year old boy stuff. But this past summer, we enrolled him in a 2-week Shakespeare theatre camp, and life has not been the same since. For about three days a few months ago, every chance he got, he would pull out the full text of King Lear, put the audio-version on our CD player, and follow along with the words. Not having 3 hours in a row to devote to this activity, he asked me to bring it along in the car, so he could listen and follow along as we drove around doing errands. When we got home, he would immediately put the CD in the home stereo and disappear beh

And the Rap Sheet Gets Longer...

Her criminal behavior continues. However, I now think that rather than reading about her in the crime blotter, I'll hear about her in those "Not-The-Brightest-Bulb-Criminal" stories that go around. Today, my lovely Elizabeth was sitting next to me... right next to me, in fact...when at a certain point, she covered her whole self with her blankey and proceeded to unwrap a package of whoppers. (Some of you may rightly be asking, "Why hasn't this woman hidden or gotten rid of all of the candy yet?" I keep asking myself this same question. But then, I inevitably answer something along the lines of: "Because I like the chocolate, too, dammit, and because yes it's a 5 minute job but if you could see my list of 5 minute jobs you would understand that I could spend the next 10 years trying to cross off everything on that particular list and moving the candy just doesn't rank! Having enough socks for 14 feet ranks! Finding my hairbrush ranks!

You are SO Busted

Our good friend Eric once remarked about Elizabeth that she was destined either to go to prison or become a CEO of a Fortune 500 company (also allowing for the possibility that she could be a CEO who goes to prison). Based on her behavior over the past few days, we seem to be leaning definitively in the direction of incarceration. The night after Halloween, during the bustle that is our home each evening, Elizabeth was strangely silent. She crawled under the dining room table with a couple of toys to keep her busy, and remained there for a surprisingly long time. As Rick and I hurtled through the house processing people for bedtime and generally doing what we do, I glanced every now and then over her way. Her back was to me, and I thought, "How cute...she's really enjoying some little make believe game!" A little while later, here she was, out from her hiding place...and smelling like candy! One look under the table: THOSE WEREN'T TOYS SHE WAS PLAYING WITH!

Halloween Madness

My goodness, who knew that Halloween could be so exhausting? I've been through a few of these holidays over the past five years, but apparently, I wasn't prepared. I don't mean the costumes -- those I had taken care of, or enough that I didn't have much to do the day before Halloween. Let's see, Tuesday had me making a fancy gold "R" bling necklace for my Brazilian soccer star, gluing Cinderella medallions on a pair of cloppy shoes, cutting the feet out of a 9-months monkey costume, so it would fit my 13-month-old, making a pirate flag...and a few other things I can't remember. But that's not what did me in. What did me in was the Halloween parties at school, the over-the-top excitement in anticipation of trick-or-treating, the scheduling -- who is taking whom where and when do they need to be picked up -- the trick-or-treating, and finally, attempting to combat the sugar high of four hyped-up, strung-out candy junkies. Oh, and then being t

Quilting Pride!

My aunt (and Godmother!) Carol is an amazing quilter. Actually, she's amazing at a number of sewing crafts -- she's made many wonderful gifts for my family, from dolls, to quilts, to stuffed animals, to afghans...she's very talented. And now, that talent has her competing for a $100,000 prize for a truly beautiful and intricate quilt that she first made as a gift for my uncle (her brother) and his wife. The national contest she entered is called The $100,000 Quilting Challenge , and the goal is to showcase the best quilts in order to inspire and educate others about quilting and to promote quilting as a unique art. Carol once explained to me the dizzying process of qualifying, and passing through various stages of judging, and believe me, it's quite a process. I don't even understand it all, but I do understand that Carol's quilt has landed her in the running to be the Grand Prize Winner! WAY TO GO CAROL! And here's where we all come in: WE CAN VO