Showing posts from September, 2009


Who needs jazzercise? Who needs step aerobics? Who needs a personal trainer? Not me! I got Tallulah. All 29 pounds of her. Wrestling her into her carseat EACH and EVERY damn time I run errands renders me sweaty, sore, worn out, and definitely ready for a full body massage. It is something to behold. She screams loud enough to mobilize CPS workers around the nation. She stiffins her body with such severity that it takes super human strength to fold her bottom into the car seat. She holds onto any and every thing within reach -- the seat in front of her, the other seat's seat belt, the edge of the car door -- with a super-glue grip. I've even tried pouring a dissolving agent over her hands to pry them loose. When I start to get the upper hand, she bites, scratches, pulls my hair, pinches my arms, and flails like a lunatic. I put her arms in the straps 10-15 times before I am able to make them stay that way. It can take up to 10 minutes for the entire process, at

Job Opening

Today I was thinking about writing. I do this frequently, in lieu of actually writing. So I was pondering the problem that writing presents which is basically this: you have to tell the truth . You can't hide behind much of anything at all, or what you write will be boring at best and bad at worst. And bam: there in my head was a Marine Corps Drill Sargeant Type, standing over me and shouting: "You've got to stand somewhere! This writing thing, this writing happens in the most uncomfortable room you've ever been in, sister: no comfy chairs or couches, no blankets or pillows, lady, nothin' ! Nothing to get comfortable on, so you've got to stand up or you're gonna fall down on your ASS! You a little uncomfortable??!? Good! That's exactly where you should be, or your should get your ass out of this house!" OK, so maybe I don't need quite that level of animosity clamoring down on my head, but I do need that drill sargent pushing me to stand u

Tell Me Why

I have been thinking about health care lately -- go figure -- and I cannot for the life of me figure out why a person would be opposed to universal coverage for all. I suppose I sort of get it, if you are happily covered by good insurance that you've never really needed. And I understand (although disagree with) the fear that insurance provided by the government would be inefficient at best and corrupt at worst. And I am familiar (although in disagreement) with objections based on opposing social entitlements. We've heard quite a few voices against the public option citing these and other concerns related to covering everyone. As an aside, since our country already has a public, albeit not universal,option --Medicare -- we can see evidence of how it works. My own family was recently the beneficiary of the public option: Last Spring, my father, who has a private plan but also has Medicare because of his age, was in a serious accident while riding his bicycle. He was able to

Primary Colors

Green. Cool, lively, abundant, growing. Crisp and clean, like her smooth skin. The color of her eyes and of her temper. Blue. Bright sky, field trip days, really good music. The color of her hugs and of her imitating dance moves from Dancing With the Stars. Yellow. Pure fun and sun, laughter, goofy-ness. The color of her giggles and her endless Knock Knock jokes that are not funny but are because she loves them so. Red. All things fancy, all things special, fierce love. The way she grabs life by the, um, horns, dives right in and makes everyone she meets a fast friend. The color of her enthusiasm, her strength, her energy, her volume. She is my primary color girl, my girl who can combine and create a million different colors from the palette at her disposal: she is sweet, exasperating, generous, mean, strong, fragile, hilarious, sharp, tiny and larger than life. She is the girl she draws over and over, filling up paper after paper, the happy one with the crazy hat

Take It On Faith...

..take it to the heart...the waiting is the hardest part. Someone please tell me that having my daughter do the dishes is worth it...even if I have to do them over again. Someone please tell me that encouraging my son to "take pride" in doing a chore well is worth it...even if he rolls his eyes so hard he can see the back side of his skull. Someone please tell me the whining and shrieking and bickering will pass....even if they're all past 30 when it does. Someone please tell me that the seeds I sow today will someday grow into strong plants, because frankly, I am aware only of weeds and the stench of manure. Which leads me to this one: someone please tell me that the youngest will someday not wear diapers. Just took a 30 minute break from this post while handling 2.5 full blown melt downs. One homework push pin in the hand other people melting down induced . I am waiting, waiting, waiting for the back-breaking, bone-crun

From His Perspective

Mom puts sinaman in our french toast. She also calles dad hony or rick. She is the one who atwase cooks. She goes to IDS for her work. She loves to sing. One of her favorit music is the fore seasons. She saports all of us in scool. She likes spending time with one of my siblings. So, apparently, she should be spending a little more time supporting them in spelling, specifically, but otherwise? This was pure golden to stumble across. We have a kajillion notebooks in our house, in our car, in our two trucks, in purses and backpacks, because drawing, writing, and coloring have always been our fallback activities to keep squirrely kids occupied. I never throw them away, and this is why: what if I missed this? What if I tossed this small little apple-shaped noteboook, most of the pages of which have meaningless scribble, into the trash, and never saw this little reflection on "Mom" written in careful, newly-learned cursive? He's right! I do love to sing, I lo


Talk of the Nation today was about the 8th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The question put forth was this, paraphrased from my memory: "What emotion still lingers for you from the experience of 9/11? What feelings will not let you go?" People answered as you would expect: fear, sadness, anger, the desire for revenge. Those feelings and emotions have stayed, for so many of us. For me too. I, like all of you, remember so distinctly that morning. I was giving my boys a bath; Rick had already left for work. He called mid-morning and told me to turn on the TV. That's how I heard what was happening, and that scene stays with me. I got the boys out of the tub, dried them off, my beautiful 3 and 1 year olds, and smelled their clean, soft hair and skin. I held them, cuddled with them, and watched them roll around with each other in their towels. All the while, I cried in disbelief as I watched the terrible pictures. I did not keep the TV off; maybe I

You know you have a big family when...

...the "family pass" to the zoo only covers half of you. * * * We had a great time at the zoo yesterday. We had some strict rules: we eat the food we bring with us...we go on ONE ride only...we play nicely with each other. The first two rules were based on my desire to have enough money to also buy groceries this week and the third was based on my desire to avoid coming home bald. I'm happy to report success on both fronts. A couple of highlights: Tallulah, riding her "baby roller coaster," which was actually just little tiny cars driving in a tame circle. She thought she wanted to go on this ride, but spent the entire time covering her face and wailing "I TOO TIRED...I TOO TIRED!" The operator stopped the ride half way through and pulled her off. Hearing Tallulah in front of the chimpanzees: "They my family!" She's been taking her sibling's teasing to heart. She actually thinks they are being sweet to her! Watching my boys watc

What Our New Frogs Have Taught Me

I have learned that escaping crickets are no cause for alarm. Turns out, that if you accidentally let a couple of crickets loose in your house, you'll come across them in a day or two, catch them, and dispatch with them forthwith. As I sat at the top of my stairs today, putting on my shoes, a bit of motion caught my eye. There, hopping down the stairs next to me, was one wayward cricket, lost in the boys' room a couple of days ago. At the time, I felt considerable panic and disquiet at the prospect of something buggy jumping around the house. And here he was, looking like he was out for a stroll to check out the new digs. One plastic cup and an index card later, I caught the little stinker and surprised Beans and Bella with a mid-morning snack. I no longer need to freak out if a cricket gets loose. What else will these creatures teach me? * * *

A Once in a Lifetime Moment

Yesterday, no different than most days around here, upon arriving home from school pickup with all the muppets, I could do nothing except sit on the couch and survey the FEMA-like setting of my living and dining rooms. It was bad. An inconceivable number of shoes was strewn about. Newspapers were falling off of the coffee table. School papers (oh, bane of my existence) threatened domination. This morning's oatmeal sat crusting in bowls, while companion cups of 7-hr. old milk settled into a souring pattern. The floor was covered with cheerios and grit. It was bad. It was depressing. I had to do something. Often, I am too defeated to handle this level of destruction, unless I've had massive amounts of coffee and it's early in the day. But I just couldn't take it; something had to be done. I enlisted the help of my grumpy children by ordering the three eldest to take turns washing dishes. I set about collecting recyclable paper and finding the pairs for all

Sign Health Care Petition

President Obama will give a major speech next week laying out what he thinks needs to be in the health care bill. This is a critical crossroads. The president needs to hear that Americans are counting on him to stand up to the status quo and fight for real reform with a strong public health insurance option. I just signed a petition telling President Obama I'm counting on him to fight hard for a bold health care reform bill. Can you join me at the link below? Because no one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick. (Most of this is a cut and paste job from ; thanks for joining the cause!) * * *


"I don't hate all boys.  Just most of them." -- 4 yr. old "Frogs are the best birthday present anyone ever got ever." -- 9 yr. old "I hurt my leg at school today, so I took the kiss you gave me this morning off of my mouth and put it on my leg to make me feel better."  -- 4 yr. old "Mommy, it's 10 o'clock in my butt." -- 2 yr.old "If I miss the soccer picture day this year, I'll have to be photoshopped in to it." -- 10 yr. old __________________________________________________________ No vitriole here, just hours of endless entertainment. * * *