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2005 November

Strange Days Indeed

November 30, 2005

“Watch me, NOW!” she screams.

Nothing brings out the dormant tyrant in a two year old like potty training. They know that they have all the power. They know that you want them to do something. And they make you pay. Oh boy, do they make you pay.

Over the past few days I have done more entertaining in my bathroom than I thought was possible. I have sung songs on command, dance, clapped, cheered, done the hokey-pokey and expressed all the cheeriness I could possibly muster over bodily wastes. I have begun saying, “Wouldn’t you like a little privacy?”

After each trip to the bathroom she is rewarded with Skittles. The first day she was rewarded just for trying. Every sit upon the potty earned a candy as a reward, whether or not she actually did anything. By the next day I told her that she would have candy only when she actually pooped or peed. She wasn’t that keen on this idea. But she was in love with her new Barbie undies, and who wouldn’t be thrilled with Barbie’s face on the crotch of their underwear, so there was no turning back.

But my daughter is smart, too smart I fear.

Tonight I was putting on my vaudeville routine in the bathroom when she stopped me by holding up her hand, palm facing me. “I am done,” she proclaimed and hopped off her royal throne. “See my poop.” I think if she knew the words she would be following it up with,’Wipe my royal ass, you lowly servant woman.’

I look into the toilet, ready to scream with delight over poop. The toilet is empty. “I don’t see any poop.”

“Yes, it’s right there,”she said, and then sensing that I wasn’t buying it she decided to elaborate. “Two poopies. See them. One. Two.”

“I really don’t see any poopies in the potty. Where are they?” I asked.

She let out a huge sigh, as if she is merely humoring me, “Right there! One. Two. They are very very tiny poopies. Maybe you not see them.”

“That must be it.” I agree because there is no way to win this argument with a two year old.

“Get my candies. Now.”

And, having been given my orders, I curtsey and scurry away to retrieve the candies lest her royal highness be kept waiting too long and decide to invoke her wrath upon me or make me put on another puppet show with empty toilet paper tubes.

Posted by Chris @ 9:13 pm | 22 Comments  

It’s 11:00pm And Too Late For Me To Think Up A Title

November 29, 2005

I have always wondered what housewives did before the internet, when they were trapped in their suburban houses with little contact with the outside grown-up world. Now I know. They did housework, which sucked the souls from their very bodies.

I am completely caught up on laundry, organized my mudroom closet and took out all of the kids winter gear, cleaned all my bathrooms, mopped every floor in my house that doesn’t have carpeting, and fell in love with the Mr Clean Magic Eraser, which I used until it was just nubby crumbs in my hand. I am resisting the urge to call all my children “Beaver”

I wish I had real life friends, instead of my imaginary internet ones, because now would be a great time for them to stop by. I might even bake something tomorrow because I think I have run out of things to clean. Though my daughter is potty training, so there is always the chance she will pee on the floor and I’ll get to mop it yet again.

Should you stop by and find me wearing pumps and a pearl necklace, shoot me.

Posted by Chris @ 10:40 pm | 18 Comments  

In Which I Never Mention My Computer Or How Much I Miss It

Saturday morning I went and got my hair cut and colored and my eyebrows, finally having recovered from the unfortunate plucking incident, waxed.

I used to go to a she-she sort of hair salon and spend a ton of money. The hair always turned out looking great, but the atmosphere left something to be desired. The hairstylists were so snooty that they seemed intent on making you feel like crap about yourself.

Now I go to a stereotypical small town hair place that mainly seems to cater to the geriatric set who come in for their weekly wash and set. It makes me slightly nervous, but so far I have had good luck and it is nice to be able to get a Saturday morning appointment with only a one week notice. Planning ahead is not my strong point.

This time I decided to get some bangs. I had bangs in some form most of my life, but a few years ago grew them out. The growing out process was long and painfully ugly and I swore I would never cut them again. But I guess like the pain of childbirth, the memory fades.

I was worried that a)I’d end up looking like Miss Piggy with tiny bangs and a round fat face, b) I’d end up looking the little Dutch boy with short bangs and a round fat face, c) I’d totally regret it since it took many many hellacious months to grow them out in the first place. But I put my fears aside and let her cut some bangs.

I came home .

“Wow, your new hairstyle makes you look ten years younger.”

“Seriously? You think so?”

“Yes. I really do think so.”

The kids all came over and they agreed that I looked much better, which is always a double edged sword because you come to the painful realization that you looked like crap for a few years there.

“So honey, how old do you think I look now? Be honest.”

“I’d have to say twenty-eight.”

“Twenty eight?”

“Definitely.”

“So… what you are saying is that before I got my haircut this morning I looked OLDER than I actually am?”

“Did I say twenty-eight? I meant eight. Nine, tops.”

Posted by Chris @ 7:32 am | 8 Comments  

It’s A Lifestyle Choice

November 27, 2005

Last Sunday night, Extreme Home Makeover was on television and because Rob was away I let the the kids stay up and watch it.

“Wait a minute, let me get this straight. So, they give these people a whole brand new house and brand new stuff?” my 9 year old son asked.

“Yes.” I answered.

“Can’t we get them to come here? I mean look at this place!”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“Well, we choose to live this way. We enjoy restoring our old house. And well, we aren’t economically disadvantaged.”

The looks on their faces let me know that they didn’t know the new pc word. “Poor. We’re not poor.” I explained. “Typically they are people who can’t afford to fix up their houses and they have also endured some sort of hardship.”

“Hardship, like what?”

“Uh, I don’t know like they have been shot, paralyzed and forced to drag their body 10 miles through the snow for help because their infant triplets were starving.” I said.

“Huh?”

“Okay, I am mostly kidding. I think this man on the show had to cut off his own arm in a tragic fishing accident.”

“What do you think I could get for a toe? I am totally willing to part with a toe if I could get a cool bedroom like that one.”

If anything motivates you to tackle projects around the house it is your children offering up their body parts in exchange for home improvements. So we used this long weekend to knock out the wall that separates our kitchen from our family room and to remove the hideous dropped ceiling and fluorescent light fixtures that have disgraced our house for too many years. What would ever make someone put those things in an historic old house? It felt like we were releasing our house from bondage.

I say we, but really my part was helping to clean up the horrific mess that only smashed plaster and lathing can make. I also ooohed and aaahed when appropriate and ogled my husband’s butt while he was up on the ladder. You know, the important things.

I would show the before and after pictures, but I don’t have a computer anymore. At least not until December 6th when my brand new laptop is scheduled to arrive.

Posted by Chris @ 9:33 pm | 12 Comments  

I Would Post Photos, But My Computer Is Dead

November 26, 2005

I often joke about being a bad mother and winning the worst mother of the year award. Mostly I am joking. I don’t think I am a particularly bad mother. Most of the time I think I am doing a pretty good job. I yell more than I want, I lose my patience more often than I would like, and occasionally say things that I later regret, but overall if there were a scorecard I think I would get a passing grade.

This past week my 11 month old baby burned his hand on our wood burning stove. I could make excuses and say that I told my older kids to keep an eye on him while I went to the neighboring room to wash my hands. I could say that I was only out of the room for a minute. I could say that he has never ever shown an interest in the stove or gone anywhere near it. I could make a host of other excuses, but when it comes right down to it, it was my fault. It is my responsibility to keep him safe. And I failed.

And to make matters worse, in my hysterics, I yelled at everyone else. Way to set a positive example and model self control! Look at me accepting personal responsibility! Go me!

I later apologized to everyone, but still I feel horrible about it.

Oh, and in the interest of full disclosure, I didn’t have any Children’s Tylenol in the house, so I gave him Children’s Tylenol Cough and Cold medicine.

He is currently wearing a little fingerless mitten on his hand to protect the second degree burns. It doesn’t seem to be bothering him at all, but it is heartbreaking. We have taken to calling him Michael Jackson and will spontaneously begin singing “Beat It” and moonwalking across the room. Yes, our family has a twisted sense of humor.

I’m clearing away a spot for the award right on the fireplace mantel. It can keep Lego Yoda company.

Posted by Chris @ 12:25 pm | 14 Comments  

MIA

November 22, 2005

I am experiencing withdrawal.

I returned home from my weekend of shopping and discovered that someone had dropped my laptop on the tile floor. The power cord, the one I just replaced, snapped in half from the fall. So essentially I came home to find an expensive paperweight.

Rob ordered me a new one and paid to have it shipped 2 day air. I realized the extent of my problem when I was visibly angry that he didn’t pay for same day shipping, or better yet, the “we’ll have a trusted employee get into their car, drive without stopping, while breaking all speeding laws.”

Now I have to wait for Rob to come home from work to borrow his computer. But by that time of day the kids are needy and my brain is beginning to shut down and I am hard pressed to form a coherent thought.

Anyway, my weekend was fun. I shopped until I could shop no more. Bought the children most of the inventory of ToysRus, though in a few short weeks I will be stepping over most of them and trying to remember why I thought that particular toy was a good idea.

So, yeah, this is probably the most boring entry that I have ever written. We are going to my SIL’s house for Thanksgiving dinner, so I will have cranberry sauce from a can with those helpful indentations so it can be cut into perfect slices. Hopefully, I will have my computer back and running so I can write all about it. I know, you can hardly wait.

Posted by Chris @ 10:45 pm | 16 Comments  

Shout It Out

November 18, 2005

It is the chore that never ends
It just goes on and on my friends …

Laundry. My life revolves around laundry.
It’s a lot like parenting, constant, unrelenting, mostly thankless, and never done. Yet, I continue to plug away.

Well, this weekend I am going to be laundry free. And child free.*

I am going away for the weekend, ostensibly to do my Christmas shopping, but really I am in it for the quiet hotel room…
For the meals out in restaurants– the kind where you don’t have to unwrap your food or eat it off of a plastic tray…
And for being able to browse through the houseware section of stores without repeatedly saying, “Look with your eyes, not with your hands” which after saying it a few hundred times devolves into “That’s touching! Do your hands have eyeballs? Yeah, I didn’t think so.”

So if anyone is looking for me, I won’t be home. But in the meantime, feel free to throw in a load of laundry for me. I’d be eternally grateful.

*child free, but not baby free. I will have the nursling with me.

Posted by Chris @ 4:51 pm | 11 Comments  

Five Years Ago Today

November 17, 2005

Just Born

I gave birth to my fifth son, who proved that colic can indeed strike a family twice.

Maybe if I hide behind my hands

Happy Birthday my fifth son. We’re ready for the colic to end whenever you are. No need to rush. I’m just sayin’.

Posted by Chris @ 7:37 pm | 8 Comments  

It’s A World Of Laughter, A World Of Tears…

November 16, 2005

I have found that I either have too many things I want to write about or nothing at all. Both of these result in me writing nothing. The former because I am too damn busy, and the latter because, well, I got nothing.

So in the spirit of sharing I present the Cliff Note version of my week thus far, a week which has only just begun:

I. Virus
The computer kind which has caused me much angst, hair pulling, and required much of my time and the downloading of a new spiffier anti virus program.

The body kind which has caused me a blinding headache, assorted aches, and heartburn so bad I am half tempted to gut myself with a butter knife to get some sort of relief, or die… either will do.

II. Annoying people
The pharmacist who, since she works at a job serving people who are generally sick, crazy, or in need of medication, should be personable. But she isn’t. She is mean and nasty and today I told her so. And I never do things like that. Ordinarily I take all the crap people hand out and bitch about it unproductivly later on.

The person who parked right up against the back bumper of my van at the grocery store. I had pulled through and taken up two parking places, like I always do because my van is the size of a small apartment and the back doors open outward. You know the back doors that one would have to open if they had just bought a cart full of groceries and wanted to bring them home. This caused much swearing on my part, as well as the throwing of groceries, and I really wanted to stand on the hood of their car and repeatedly smack my van doors into their bumper. Good thing I picked up that medication, huh?

III.Dads
My children love to watch Animal Planet on television and sigh over all the pets I will not let them own. I maintain that sea monkeys are pets. One of their favorite shows is Animal Cops: Houston. Rob happens to be in Houston this week on business. Today he went to the Houston ASPCA to meet the people the kids see on the television show and takes some pictures. He said the people there were so nice and happy to hear the positive feedback. They gave him some postcards to bring back and he made a donation to their shelter. The kids are going to be thrilled by this. He is such a good Dad. Of course they would be more thrilled if he brought them home a puppy or a kitten, but we have SEA MONKEYS damnit. And one day they will grow and we will actually be able to see them. Then who will be thrilled. Uh-huh.

I think I have found my own father. It a post all of it’s own, but I’m still not exactly sure what I am thinking about it all. But what has made that insufferable Disney song stuck on replay in my head is the fact that it appears my long lost father lives across the street from one of my internet friends. I know. Isn’t that bizarre? Add to it that I had no idea where exactly either of them lived two days ago. Tell me that wouldn’t make you walk around humming It’s A Small World.

IV. Christmas

Has there been some sort of holiday change that no one has made me aware of in which we have replaced Thanksgiving with a month long Christmas fest? It’s like a Christmas prequel. Where are all the Thanksgiving decorations? The dried corn, the turkeys, the…the… paper hats and buckle shoes. I dunno, whatever it is that says Thanksgiving.

I am going on my annual Christmas shopping trip this weekend with a good friend of mine, though I have come to the sad realization that we really have drifted apart and I’m not sure that we even qualify as friends anymore. She has yet to meet my baby. He just turned 11 months old. I guess she didn’t want to rush over.

Posted by Chris @ 1:29 am | 26 Comments  

How To Make A Mother Proud

November 15, 2005

My 9 yr old has recently developed a passion for cooking. He wants to prepare every meal, make desserts, and just mess around with the stove. I think it is the pyromaniac in him trying to find an acceptable outlet. Yesterday he made me scrambled eggs, toast, tea, and baked a cake.

I am all for it, because really is there such a thing as too many home baked goods? Especially home baked goods that I didn’t have to make myself.

Today he is going to make some kind of cookies. He isn’t sure yet what kind so he is reading through some cookbooks. That counts as school, right? Reading, math, measuring…

Anyway, he came up to me a little while ago and said that he thinks when he grows up he is going to be a chef and own a restaurant. He had it all planned out. The 6 yr old would be the waiter. The 4 yr old would wash the tables. The 8 yr old would just sit and eat all day and tell the people to “enjoy their meals” or “have a nice nice day”

The 11 yr old is going to be a professional baseball player and even if he wasn’t he said “[he] has no desire to work in a restaurant and have to serve people all day long.” Probably safe to say we could rule out the Peace Corp for him as a career choice, or a Red Cross worker who takes draws blood.

And my daughter, well he said “She can dance on the tables and entertain everyone, since she loves dancing so much.”

And here I was hoping that she would outgrow her penchant for taking off her clothing and dancing on the furniture.

Posted by Chris @ 8:44 am | 10 Comments