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2006 January

It’s Just One More Step On The Road to Crazyville

January 31, 2006

Like good parents everywhere, we engage in the futile attempts of preventing our little children from getting into our cabinets. Futile because despite our good intentions they still manage to find a way to circumvent the child proof locking devices and get to the rubbermaid, pots, pans, and small appliances.

This is what I discovered in my kitchen yesterday:

Cabinet doors

See anything amiss? Like where are the cabinet knobs?

Upon further investigation I find them. And the lock that used to hold the doors shut.

The Knobs

You’ll notice that the lock is still locked tight. My son unscrewed the knobs from the cabinet doors.

Is there some manual somewhere that these babies are reading that none of us grownups are privy to? Or are babies just getting smarter. My personal theoryis that there is something in those prenatal vitamins, some sort of super neuron synapse booster*. Coupled with the fact that when our mothers were pregnant with us they were still drinking cocktails and smoking cigarettes, it’s no wonder that our brain power is not equal to that of our children.

When my five year old was this age we had the type of safety lock on our cabinet doors that was on the inside of the door. You would have to open the door up about an inch, push down on the latch to release it, and then you could open the door. My son used to stand in front of the cabinet door and take out his fury on the cabinet, shaking the door back and forth, back and forth, with all his might. While screaming on the top of his lungs at the injustice of it all.

One day I walked into the kitchen and the door was gone. The entire door … gone. He had pushed and pulled so hard on the door that the hinges gave way and the door came free. He then dragged the door away and I would later it find it several rooms away.

And this is why, if you ever come to my house, you will learn two things:

1) All cleaning things are kept in obscure, inconvenient high places, and may or may not be used on a regular basis, and

2) All rubbermaid containers, pots, pans, and muffin tins must be washed before coming into contact with food, unless stray hairs, dirt and debris are desired in the food. I know that most people have clean things put away in their cabinets, but at this house you can never be sure.

Consequently, you should visit at your own risk.


*I have no idea what this means, since I was not a recpient of those vitamins and have also had seven brain sucking pregnancies. But it sounds smart. Unless of course you actually are smart, then I suppose it doesn’t.

Posted by Chris @ 9:05 am | 28 Comments  

Over At Dotmoms

January 30, 2006

I have a new post up over at dotmoms titled “Weighty Issues For My Daughter” in which I write about distorted body images, self esteem, and my simple hope for my daughter.

Posted by Chris @ 12:15 pm | 17 Comments  

I Can Only Hope You Are Not Eating Right Now

Lesson learned this weekend:

When your child says that they feel sick, it would be wise to believe them and pull the car over. Saying, “knock it off” doesn’t make the child stop whining and only serves to make you feel like a class A jackass when he then vomits all over himself.

When my two yr old, still strapped into her carseat, looked over at him and gagged, I snapped, “Oh, no you don’t. Knock it off.” I am nothing if not consistent in my empathy. But I could not take a chain reaction. As it was I barely able to stop the contents of stomach from spilling out all over the car.

I was relieved that I only had three kids with me when I had to strip him down to just his jeans. Jeans that were now soaking wet because I had to clean them with baby wipes, many, many baby wipes. I bagged his shirt and winter coat up in a shopping bag that was in the car and tossed them into the trunk, where they would bake and later require scraping to get the encrusted vomit off of them. But that wasn’t until later, at this point I was just happy to postpone dealing with any more vomit.

Luckily I had pulled in and found a parking spot right in front of the GAP. I directed him to stand on the sidewalk while I got the other two out of their carseats.

A woman walking by looked at him, and then at me with such disgust on her face, and said that it wasn’t that warm outside yet. I mumbled something back about him throwing up all over himself.

Honestly, I was taken aback. It was a warm day, unseasonably warm in the high 40’s, but there is still snow on the ground. And further more, even when it is 100 degrees outside, people don’t usually take children of his age out in public shopping without shirts on. She was several yards away before I thought of a a snarky comment to say back to her. I hate when that happens. I decided not to chase her down and say it, since I think it would have lost something and only served to make me look more crazy than I already appeared.

Once inside the GAP, we quickly had him re-outfitted, and we were able to soldier on with our shopping.

I found a dress for my daughter at a department store that was 80% off of the already marked down clearance price. So I bought her two dresses and a faux fur stole that almost makes me cry due to it’s unbelievable cuteness.

And I bought myself a pair of shoes and a pair of tall black boots, because can a girl have too much footwear? No, she can not. Especially when they are free, or 80% free. It was like they were paying me to take the inventory off of their hands. At least that is what I like to tell myself. Considering I had picked chunks of vomit off of my child’s clothing and carseat with baby wipes, while pretending it wasn’t at all disgusting, and not once gagging audibly, well I deserved new shoes.

Of course when I told Rob this he wanted to know if they were paying me to shop why did I give them $250. Such a man.

Posted by Chris @ 7:52 am | 19 Comments  

Proving He Is Man In Training

January 27, 2006

Yesterday it felt like I spent all of my free time searching online for children’s fancy pants clothing. The boys were easy, and boring. A suit is a suit is a suit, not much to be excited about beyond double breasted or not, and black, navy or charcoal.

And in the end I decided that I had better shop for those in person so that they will fit properly. Can I tell you how excited I am to shop with five boys who would rather have their toenails pulled off one by one than venture into a clothing store of any kind. Shopping with them will be a testament to my mental fortitude, or lack thereof.

But little girl dresses, that is a whole ‘nother world. Words like satin, silk, tulle, velvet, embroidered bodice make my heart beat a little quicker. My daughter wants a princess dress and who am I to deny her? As long as the dress doesn’t look like she is walking the runway in one of those freak child beauty pageants or make her look like a trollop in training, she (and by default, me) can have it.

So, yeah, we have been looking at lots of dresses online. Which led to the following conversation with my nine year old son.

“I thought you found a dress you liked this morning,” he said, looking over my shoulder at my computer screen .

“I did.” I answered, scrolling down the screen.

“Then why are you still looking for another one?”

“Just in case I find one I like more.” I paused to more closely examine a stunning two-tone taffeta gown with an ivory taffeta bodice with peasant sleeves and an irredescent olive taffeta skirt with crinolines and a full lining. A large band at the empire waistline has velvet flowers and vines embroidered. A large sash bow in the back and full zipper closure. I fanned myself.

“But, if you just bought that one and stopped looking you would never know if there was another one out there that you might like better.”

“Deep down inside I would not be satisfied if I knew I hadn’t perused every single option available to me. If I hadn’t looked at every single dress that was currently being manufactured somewhere in the world, I would not feel whole.”

“Why?”

“I’m beginning to realize that your kind can’t help it. It’s just in the Y chromosome, isn’t it?”

And I haven’t even thought about shoes yet.

Posted by Chris @ 8:25 am | 18 Comments  

Precariously Close To The Straight Jacket

January 26, 2006

If I ever have a complete and total nervous breakdown, it isn’t going to be the direct result of some major event. It is going to be an everyday occurrence that finally pushes me right over the edge.

It is going to occur because one of my children turned the toaster to the darkest setting after using it and I was the unfortunate person who tried to make toast next and ended up with the last two pieces of bread in the house turned to charcoal.

Or it will be that upon entering the shower I discover yet again that the brand new bottle of shampoo is empty and the bar of soap has been broken into hundreds of tiny pieces and stuffed into the drain.

Or it will be because the baby gate has been knocked down from the staircase and is laying on the floor at the bottom of the stairs and people are ignoring it and STEPPING ON IT rather than picking it back up.

Or because I go to buy some fancy pants clothing for my children to wear to my niece’s night wedding and the sellers want to charge $15 shipping per item. What are they smoking? And more importantly, will they be mailing some of it along with the fancy pants clothing? Because maybe I’d consider it then.

Posted by Chris @ 9:22 am | 18 Comments  

A Morning

January 25, 2006

For purposes of comparison I will begin my day at the same time as Carmen.

5:30 I am still asleep.

6:10 Still sleeping.

6:12 - 6:15 Yup, asleep.

6:15 Rob’s alarm goes off for the first time and I punch and hiss at him to hurry up and turn the damn thing off before it wakes the baby up. No such luck, the baby snuggles up and wants to nurse.

6:24 Rob’s alarm goes off for the second time. The baby sits up and whips his head around, almost taking my nipple with him. Yell at Rob to turn the alarm off, not hit the snooze. Settle the baby back down to nurse some more.

6:33 Rob’s alarm goes off yet again. I finally sit up and reach over him to turn the alarm OFF. Tell him one of these days I am going to throw it across the room. It’s been 14 years and I haven’t done it yet, but one of these days I will.

6:35-6:45 Lay in bed cursing the inventor of the snooze alarm, while the baby jumps on me, pulling my hair, head butting, and generally bleating like an injured sheep.

6:45 My 6 yr old comes into my room to tell me that the baby woke him up again this morning and why can’t the baby be more quiet.

6:45 Head into my bathroom, take my mouth tray out, rinse out my mouth and give Rob a time check. (Yes, I am that sexy in the morning.)

6:46 Pick up the baby, run down the hallway with him hoping that he will be quiet and not scream outside of anyone’s bedroom door, especially the 2 yr old. I really need my coffee before seeing her bright shiny face in the morning.

6:47 Make coffee, drink my first glass of water and take my thyroid medication

6:48 Sit on couch with 6 yr old and wait for the coffee to be ready. Think about how energy is wasted on the youth and wonder why he needs to talk so much. Change the baby’s diaper. Give up on trying to wrestle him back into his pajamas and let him walk around with the legs of his sleeper trailing along behind him.

6:55 Coffee is done and look for my special coffee mug, which in reality is an insulated travel mug that long ago lost it’s lid. I realize that it is in the dishwasher and that I forgot to turn it on last night. I take it out and wash it by hand (gasp!) and turn the dishwasher on. Rob grabs a cup of coffee, we discuss our plans for the day, and he leaves for work.

7:00 I go to use the bathroom. On the way back from the bathroom I notice the laundry. I take the snow clothes out of the dryer and put them away in the closet. Each kid has their own hook and wire basket with their name. I switch the wet clothing from the washer into the dryer.

7:15 Remember my coffee. grab my coffee and go sit on the couch with my 6 yr old and 5 yr old who has just come downstairs.

7:30 let them turn on PBS. Get up and head into kitchen. Get my laptop out. Pick up all the tupperware on the floor that the baby has scattered across the room. Notice that someone (okay, me) left the bag of garbage in the kitchen last night instead of bringing it to the can outside. The baby has pulled stuff out of it and scattered it across the floor as well.

7:35 Finish cleaning up the kitchen floor and head outside with the garbage, while the baby walks behind me screaming like I am taking away his most precious possession.

7:40 Sit down with computer and check email, news, and a few blogs.

7:50 Begin making breakfast. This morning it is pumpkin raisin bread. Make the batter, with help, while listening to the 5 yr old complain that he wants French toast and how I never make it. For the record, I just made it a couple days ago.

8:05 Put pumpkin bread into oven. Put tupperware back into the cabinets. Head back to laundryroom and begin folding clothes. The baby helps by taking items out of the basket and throwing them around the room.

8:10 My 8 yr old son comes downstairs. He sits at the breakfast room table and talks to me while I continue to fold clothes.

8:20 Two yr old wakes up. negotiate terms of her using the potty. Twelve mini marshmallows and a song.

8:21 hold 1 yr old back from toilet with my foot. Do butt duty while standing on one leg.

8:23 Hand out marshmallows

8:24 Test them to make sure they taste okay. Test a few more.

8:26 Phone rings. I can’t find it. Okay, I don’t really look, but assume if it is important they will call back.

8:28 Cell phone rings. It is Rob calling to say good morning and ask why I didn’t answer the phone.

8:30 In a completely atypical and never done before event, my 9 yr old comes downstairs. Usually he sleeps in very late and requires me to go upstairs and rouse him several times before he gets up. He says he got up early to help make French toast. Huh? Is this some sort of conspiracy?

8:35 Tell 9 yr old to take his medicine. He tells me he would prefer me to use the word pills.

8:37 Ask 9 yr old if he would like me to get his pills for him

8:38-8:49 Try to remain calm in the face of 9 yr old and his ADHD self. Go to my internal happy place where it is always sunny and peaceful.

8:50 Tell 9 yr old that if he takes his medication right away, I’ll let him help make French toast

8:51 Experience the joy that is an ADHD child before his medication kicks in. Something that only people who have a child like this can understand. He is belligerent, has no impulse control, and provokes everyone around him. Chant “happy place, happy place” to myself.

8:55 Begin making French toast.

9:00 First batch is done. Realize that someone has turned the dishwasher off and all dishes are still dirty. Curse a bit. Wash dishes by hand. Clean off stove top. Scrape dried egg off where it has splattered.

9:30 A dozen eggs and two loaves of bread later, breakfast is done. Clean off breakfast room table.

9:31 Eleven yr old asks if he can have a snack.

9:32 Load breakfast dishes into dishwasher and turn it on. Hand wash pans.

9:39 Look at to do list. Nothing that has to be done this morning. Add calling tuxedo rental place for the tuxedo the 6 yr old needs for the wedding of Rob’s niece.

9:40 Pick tupperware up off of the floor yet again.

9:41 Go upstairs. Make my bed and beds of three littles. Brush my teeth, wash my face. tie hair back into a pony tail. Get dressed and wear extremely unfashionable, yet comfortable, straight leg jeans, a white long sleeved GAP shirt, and a lime green v-neck sweater from Old Navy. Feel good about doing my part to support cheap foreign child labor. Pick out clothes for 1 and 2 yr olds. On the way back downstairs yell to other children to gather up their schoolwork and meet me downstairs. Remind 5 and 6 yr olds to bring their dirty clothes baskets to the laundry room.

9:55 Torture 1 and 2 yr olds by forcing them to wear clothing and have their hair brushed.

9:57 Do the laundry switch again. Grab an empty laundry basket and fill it with all the children’s snow clothes and boots for tubing this afternoon. Haul it over to the door so that we don’t forget it.

10:00 Yell up the stairs once more for the stragglers to come down with their school books. Head outside to install brand new carseat in the van for the one year old.

And that concludes the morning at my house.
My God, my life is boring when detailed in all it’s splendor. Though admittedly there is lots of things that have been omitted, but those were the even more boring things like telling people to brush their teeth or put the baby gate back up on the stairs before the baby plummets to his death.

Posted by Chris @ 12:00 pm | 41 Comments  

A Morning In The Life

Oh, is today Wednesday already?

The topic for today is morning routines. Carmen*, who is far more organized than I am, has already posted her morning routine. While hers is the same everyday with little variation, mine is never the same. So go on and read about her morning and come back here later to read about my less organized and more chaotic version.

If anyone else wants to write about their morning routine, feel free to do so and leave the link in the comment section!

*carmen is also the featured mom at Mommybloggers today.

Posted by Chris @ 10:06 am | 4 Comments  

Schizophrenic Weather

January 24, 2006

Sunday:

Riding

Monday:

Riding the Tricycle

Sunday:

Using Chalk

Monday:
Making a snow angel

Sunday:

Chalk

Monday:

Snowmen Cry Red Tears

Is it any wonder that I am crazy?

Posted by Chris @ 8:45 am | 29 Comments  

Quote Of The Day

January 23, 2006


Professing His Love to Frosty
Originally uploaded by the big yellow house.

“I love you so much. I can’t wait to eat your eyeballs.”

Posted by Chris @ 5:05 pm | 8 Comments  

Open Letter To People Driving By My House At 8:00am,

I know you are probably wondering what all those children are doing outside so early in the morning during a blizzard, coats and boots on over their pajamas.

I am sure that a few of the children were whining and making their sad pitiful faces at you as you drove by, hoping against hope that some nice family would pick them up, bring them home and save them from their pitiful, tortured life. Oh, and give them hot chocolate with whipped cream and mini marshmallows.

Unfortunately this is what happens when you decide to take the snow shovel off of the front porch, play with it in the yard, and LEAVE IT THERE the day before a blizzard hits and effectively covers the shovel, leaving nary a clue of it’s whereabouts.

Don’t worry, I am sure this will just be a one time occurrence. Natural consequences… much more effective than any form of punishment.

Signed,

The Mean Mean Mean Mother

Posted by Chris @ 8:44 am | 17 Comments