Showing posts from August, 2012

Absence Makes the Kid Grow Funnier

This past weekend, I traveled for work, and was gone from the crack o' early on Friday morning until very late on Sunday night.  I didn't see my babies for THREE WHOLE DAYS. It was a big three days. Four performances of Midsummer Nights Dream. Two soccer games. Dinners with extended family. Swimming with cousins. I missed quite a bit. This afternoon, I picked up Little T from Kindergarten, and as we walked hand in hand to the car, she told me all about how ready she is for her very first soccer practice ever for her very own team.  She listed the things she collected this morning: cleats, shorts, shin guards.  Then she put her hands out in front of her, cocked her hip to one side and said: "Officially, all I need now is matching socks!" It was adorable.  And it made me laugh.  I grabbed her and hugged her, and she said: "I got funnier while you were gone." It's true: she's hilarious. Soccer practice is still three hours away.  Hav


I am a list maker. I live and die by my lists.  I make them every morning, and use them like a religious zealot.  And while there are not many things about which I am obsessive or anal retentive, when it comes to my lists, I am both.  I need clean paper and good pens.  In a pinch, I'll go for a very sharp Ticonderoga pencil, but I'm bound to feel just a little resentment that I can't find one of my fine point pilots.   I don't need much. Clean paper.  Good pens. So when I sat down this morning to make my list, and found my nice new pad of yellow legal paper had been hijacked by a 5 year old, I was displeased.  Here is what I discovered: And it went on and on and on.  Every.  Single.  Page.  Of a brand new yellow legal pad.   Stupid creativity.  This is what happens when I don't let her watch TV.  I won't make THAT mistake twice. * * * * True confession : it was not that long ago that I had to turn to my

A Cautionary Tale

If you let your 13 year old ride his bike to Target and pick out his own clothes, you might end up having a conversation you wished you hadn't when he excitedly comes home with this, enthusiastic as he is about the new bike grandma and poppa bought him for his birthday this year: * * *

A Good Reminder

In the kitchen, getting ready for the first day of school, we had many things to remember. I told my 7 year old that I was going to need reminders to get them everything they needed. She popped off: " Mom.  I'm not a reminder.  I'm a kid ." OK then.  I'll get no help from her. * * *

Little T Low Rider

We went to see The Odd Life of Timothy Green today.  It inspired the following: That all by itself made the ticket price worth paying. * * *

Because the Laundry is Still Stupid

I would like to write a blog post today. I have a mountain of laundry taunting me from the garage. Ergo, I cannot write a blog post today. But I can, in honor of said laundry, post a rerun of a laundry inspired poem from two years ago. Sonnet to my F***ing Laundry How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways. I hate thee to the depth and breadth and height My arms can reach, when feeling out of sight For the ends of towels and underpants. I hate thee to the level of my family’s Most urgent need, all day and every night. I hate thee freely, as boys toss their socks about. I hate thee purely, as girls turn outfits into piles. I hate thee with a passion put to use In my former life, and with frightening strength. I hate thee with a hate I hope to lose When my small saints move out. I hate thee with the breath, Fibers, tears, of all my life!—and, so help me God, I shall put this hate to use to conquer you. * * * More of my Poetry Spoofs here .

One of These Things is Not Like the Other

A Little T tidbit for tonight: I know they're all cute and smiling, but one of them is tricking you. My other kids will tell you, about their youngest sibling, that she makes friends wherever she goes. It's true. Once, she went to the park for the afternoon and by the time she got home, I had an evite in my inbox, inviting her to the birthday party of a boy she had met that very same day. This past week, she went with Rick to the local swimming pool for the afternoon, and quickly buddied up with a bunch of kids who were all there from the same YMCA camp. She splashed around, giggled and played, and pretty much stayed with these kids for the whole time. During one of the breaks from the pool, she went with these campers over to where their counselors were gathering everyone to give them some instructions. She sat with the YMCA kids. And one of the counselors commenced a head count. Rick narrated the scene that followed. First counselor counted the group three times

If I Ever Need A Reason To Love YouTube...

...these two clips will suffice. Joss Whedon, of Avengers fame, takes on Birbiglia and Glass. And then, Birbiglia and Glass get all up in Whedon's face. How can you not love this?  I love this. " We should be nurturing corporate spectacle, like good Americans. " * * *

Sharing Something Awesome

I love NPR. Really, I love everything about it: the news...the reporters...the weekend shows...the information...the entertainment... Sadly, I harbor deep-seated jealously of people who work at NPR, because I'm sure they have more interesting lives than I do, and I'm pretty sure I could have been that interesting, had I known enough when I was younger to go into journalism or communications or some such field.  I did not.  Instead, in a not-clearly defined trajectory, I went into the baby-making field, and we all know how that turned out.  That turned out five people. Anyway, back to the issue at hand.  Peter Sagal has written a short piece on the wonderful Ira Glass.  I think everyone should read it, so I am sharing a link to Peter's site. Here is the link to Peter's "hats off" to Ira Glass . Since you have just returned after going over there and reading it, I can refer to the This American Life segment on the carnival game guy, and you will kno

On Gratitude

Life is too short to waste on bitterness.  Right? Life is too short to do anything but be grateful, and I have much to be grateful for. One wonderful husband. Five beautiful kids. A roof over our heads. Soccer balls at our feet. Work. This: Hearts full of love and gratitude. * * *

A Tale of Two Willies

OK, so the answer to the question I posed in my morning post is that I wallowed and sniffled most of the day.  But my kitchen and living room are both clean, so the day is not a total loss.  I guess. In my defense, I have a nasty cold today, so every time I tried to lift my self off of my pillow, I was soundly smacked back down by the pounding in my head. While I was neither productive nor efficient, I survived, so that's a good thing. And two Willies got me through the day.  I share those with you here. The First Willie My husband, in response to our FEMA level surroundings and our sound-barrier-breaking children, asked me today if we will ever have a clean, peaceful, comfortable home.  Today was his turn; sometimes it's me asking him.  But today it was his turn to ask me, and I gave him the usual unsatisfactory answer:   Yes.  Really.  I'm nearly certain.  Yes, we will.  I think.  Yeah.  Sure. Then, tonight, the better answer hit me, a la Willie Shakes: If th

What's It Going to Be?

Today, will I wallow and sniffle? Or will I pull up my big girl panties and get to work? Will I Facebook too much?  Obsessively check my blog stats?  Wait for emails to appear in my inbox? Or will I be proud of myself at the end of the day for fighting both the good fight and the laundry pile? When the day draws to a close, will I drown my troubles in a pathetic beer of sympathy? Or enjoy a celebratory ale, satisfied that I did my best and deserve a little reward? * * * We shall see. * * *

We've Got It All!

It's been a loud week here at Casa Alatorre.  Let's see...we've had: An ER visit, followed by all kinds of fun tests and scans High fevers (3 out of 5 kids) 1 barfer (so far)  A hacked checking account 8 straight days of rehearsals/performances Soccer camp: that we are running, not simply attending Lots of eating in the car, ergo, lots of spilling in the car Lots of getting places late Usually, when people say things to me like "I don't know how you do it," I kind of shrug it off.  Usually, my attitude is that everyone has their own version of normal, and this big ole family just happens to be mine.   But this week?  I don't know how I do it either.  I think I must be sleep walking through the sturm und drang, or traveling inside a protective bubble.  Or maybe that's just God.  Or denial.  Or the nightly cocktails I've had with my dad. Whatever.   I can't plan ahead more than 1 hour this week.  I'm hoping we don'

Bumpersticker Truth

Well-behaved children rarely make good blog posts. Went to Mass on Sunday and the children were positively -- boringly -- well-behaved.  Gone are days like these .   Have I done too good a job with them?  Are my blogging days numbered? * * *

7 Quick Takes: Volume 56

  It's Friday and I'm not at BlogHer '12.  I'm at BlobHer, on my couch.  But I've got a computer and an internet connection, so nothing's going to stop me from Quick Taking! Please visit our host , visit some of the other posters, and grace them with a comment or two or seven. ~1~ A Ridiculous Take .  I got a new toothbrush today.  I then had an argument with my youngest child, because she was upset that I would not let her have my old one.  Really? ~2~ A Promotional Take .  I really want to see this movie, and I really hope it comes to a theater near me. Doesn't it look great?  Today, I went on Facebook and posted on the FB walls of two local theaters to encourage them to screen this movie.  DO THE SAME.  Seriously: here's how . ~3~ A Cutie-Pie Take .  One of my daughters asked me the other day for a hug.  Then she said: "Do you ever run out of hugs?  Because I'm going to be needing lots of them."  I as

Motherhood Changes a Few Things

Such as, the meaning of the phrase "pick up line." These are the things I ponder while waiting for Claudius and Cordelia to be released from Shakespeare Camp. * * *

I Don't Need Parenting Books. I Have Friends.

This family boasts three daughters.  Three smart, funny, sweet, strong, wonderful girls. We are in for a world of hormonal hurt that I'm estimating will last for the next 12-14 years.  In the past few weeks, I've had my first glimpses into what that is going to be like.  In other words, I have seen the face of a girl teenager and it has struck fear into my heart. So I turned to some friends who have daughters older than mine, and I described the situation thusly:  “ I've seen her get more upset and indignant in the last week than I've ever seen in her entire life.  If you stacked all her tantrums from ages 0-10 in one pile,  combined  they wouldn't be as forceful as some of her reactions to things this week.  I'm experiencing cognitive dissonance: she is being difficult.” And their responses were golden, so I thought I'd share them here for any of you with pre-hormonal daughters, so you might benefit from their words of wisdom.   Friend the


I have decided that every single person in the whole world is whacked.  There is no normal.  Doesn't exist. Whew! * * *