Showing posts from March, 2009

I'm So Flexible I'm Turning Inside Out

Not my best day. I made paella last night for the school's multicultural potluck, for which the children were to bring in food representing their cultural heritage. We are not Spanish, so I just explained that in a family this large, we actually constitute a culture of our own, and that in this case, paella represents the Lolitish culture, as in Lola-really-likes-it-so-I-made-it-for-her-class. Neither of my boys seemed all that interested in the potluck -- one wanted me to make plain spaghetti noodles and the other wanted my "special homemade quesadillas." (How special can tortillas and cheese really get, people?) Now, my children are, in fact, Italian and Mexican, so these choices would have been more in keeping with the point of the potluck. But paella is SO much more interesting and tasty. And since this was not a mandatory assignment, I went with the most enthusiastic kid. Sorry boys: develop taste buds and I'll make you something interesting next year.

1. Just Like Her Mother

One day, while shopping in Costco, I discovered that my 4-year old, similar to her mother, likes lists. Having seen me with my own lists -- daily -- she appeared to have picked up a thing or two. So wheeling through the behemoth warehouse, she "wrote" her own list for the items we needed and crossed each one off in its turn. Ever since I noticed that, I encourage her to make lists of stuff, mostly because it keeps her busy and she talks less when she's got a list to keep her occupied. No small feat with that one. Today we had quite a few errands to run. After the first one, to the local copy shop, she wanted to know what stops we were making and in what order. So we pulled over, found her a pen in my FEMA-level messy car, wrote down all the errand stops, and started on our way again. Second stop, post office. Once that was done, and we were back in the car, she immediately grabbed her pen: POST OFFICE . And then she channeled her mother: "Oh Mom! Put COP

Adventures in Language Acquisition

When my second son was around 2, we were in a serious Toy Story phase at my house. (Side note: Toy Story, Blue's Clues, and many other kiddie-favs fall into the funny category of "things-I-stuck-my-nose-up-at-before-I-had-kids." When my first child was born, TV and movies represented ALL THINGS EVIL and we didn't let him watch much of anything at all. Not having any reason myself to see kid movies or watch kid shows, I thought they were all (a) stupid, (b) damaging to healthy child development, and (c) worthy of suspicion based merely on their popularity. My, how far I have come. I remember asking a friend "So what is this Blue's Clues thing?" How hilarious that I was suspicious of one of the quietest, sweetest shows on television! And I remember another friend telling me how she loved watching Toy Story with her nephews, and again, I was suspicious. Must be tripe, I thought. Until I reluctantly let the boys watch it, expecting to hate it, and discove


Little ole me? Awww, thanks! Viv has bestowed upon me a blog award -- my first -- and I am quite honored by her gesture. Thank you Viv, for your kind words! Folks, please visit Viv's blog . She's got five kids, another on the way, and lots of great things to say about motherhood. I like her blog because it's very real, very honest, which I think gives other moms permission to be honest about their experiences too. Go Viv! OK, as a recipient of this award, I am charged with sharing 7 things I love and 7 blogs I follow. Herewith: I love: 1. The sound of rain on the roof . This is my favorite sound, except maybe for the sound of my children laughing. It reminds me of being a kid, and feeling safe inside a warm house while nature beat the hell out the world outside. I still feel that way when I listen to a storm. 2. The Beatles . One of my proudest accomplishments as a mom is that my kids know The Beatles. They know who is whom, they can sing along with the

Pay Attention to the Signs

Some signs that you have been neglecting yourself: A. Your husband, noticing that your hair smells good, says: " Did you wash your hair? Wow, I haven't smelled that smell in awhile !" B. Your friend gives you some make up because she "accidentally" bought the wrong shade and thought you might be able to use it instead. She is right. C. Another friend gives you three really nice blouses and a lovely dress jacket that she doesn't wear anymore, and acts like you are doing her a favor by taking them (bless her). D. Your 6-year old girly-girl asks why you never wear skirts or dresses. Your 4-year old girly-girl chimes in with: " Yeah, why not mom ?" E. You sleep in your jeans because you're too damn tired to walk down to the dryer and get the nice clean jammies. And the biggest sign that you've been neglecting yourself is that you can come up with way too many signs that you've been neglecting yourself. I've had a lot on my pla

Pioneers and Einsteins

Last night, we got home after 7pm from baseball practice. The house is still a disaster after being neglected for over a week while I worked on a deadline. There seemed to be no food in the house. Rick and I were sitting on the couch, exhausted, and I was feeling daunted by the prospect of feeding everyone. However, that independence I have worked so hard to instill in my children is paying off! I dragged myself off the couch to hunt for dinner and discovered that my 2-year old had taken matters into her own hands. She had located the powdered sugar shaker and was licking the top. Dinner is served! One down, four to go. I handed over one bottle of syrup, one bottle of ketchup, a jar of cherries, and the cinnamon sugar shaker and called it a meal. * * * And as I sit here typing and contemplating my lack of dinner skills, I look down and see my son's homework on the table. Math. After solving the math problem, the student is supposed to answer the question: "Is your answer

My Kids

They're not children so much as they are opportunistic pirhanas. Will they ever become civilized? * * *

From Their Perspective

Found this little "blog-tivity" on a great blog I read from another mom with five kids (we're out there!) and gave it whirl with four of mine. You will get the impression from this post (unless you have been in my house) that I have an unusually clean house. This is so far from the case that I can't quite express how untrue that impression would be. But these are their true and unaltered answers. Enjoy! 1. What is something mom always says to you? Lola: I love you. Elizabeth: Clean up. Vincenzo: Clean up. Samuel: Clean your room. 2. What makes mom happy? L: Laughing. and Dancing. E: Making picture frames. V: The most cleaned up rooms. S: Me wrestling with my brother. 3. What makes mom sad? L: Being mad. E: Not cleaning up. V: No clean rooms. S: When I don’t eat the food she serves me. 4. How does your mom make you laugh? L: Being funny. E: When you draw pictures that are goofy. V: That’s a bad question. Nothing. S: She tickles me. 5. What was your

Let's Put This Baby to Rest, Shall We?

I am sitting in my very messy kitchen, grateful that the sun is shining and the trees are blossoming, drinking coffee and getting myself mentally prepared for a weekend of Little League baseball. And breathing a big sigh of relief that this week has limped to a close. During the past week, three project deadlines converged in my freelance life. Two are in the hopper, one still looms. During the past week, all five of my children got to hear some angry lady yell to me: "I don't give a f*** about your f***ing kids, bitch." During the past week, my 73-year old, bicycle-riding father played chicken with a truck, and lost. He is in the hospital with a broken pelvis, multiple contusions, and a humbled sense of gratitude that he was not killed. Oh, the stories this week could tell. And I would give this week its voice if I didn't need to go do laundry, find baseball socks, rouse and feed the masses, and get everyone off to the Opening Day Parade for Little League.