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2006 January

Senior Citizens In Training

January 22, 2006

“What was that? Did you just fart?”

“Don’t worry, it doesn’t smell.”

“You know what they say about skunks… they don’t smell their stink either.”

“And how exactly would they know that? The skunk could be walking away thinking, I just ripped a good one.”


“Between your “smell-less” farts and aching joints, and my capped teeth and weekly pill container, we are ready to hang with the geriatric set. Now we just need to learn to play Canasta”

“And move to Florida, which doesn’t sound half bad right about now.”

Posted by Chris @ 10:07 pm | 3 Comments  

Quote Of The Day

January 20, 2006

said by Rob last night as I took a raspberry turnover out of the bakery package.

“Are you really going to eat that?”

Turns out that no, I wasn’t going to eat it. I was going to throw it. At him.

Posted by Chris @ 7:55 am | 20 Comments  

How Do You Do It?

January 19, 2006

I frequently get emails asking me about the logistics of taking care of seven children. How do you feed them all? How many gallons of milk do you go through a week? How much laundry do you do? Do you drive a bus? (answers: they feed themselves, none, never quite enough, a 15 passenger van with the back bench removed)

My friend Carmen, a.k.a. Mom to the Screaming Masses, and I have decided to team up and write our takes on raising a much larger than average family in a world where the average is less than two. Every Wednesday for the next month we will write on the same topic and publish the essays on our respective blogs.

Have any burning questions that you would like us to address? Now is your time to ask them. Leave them in the comments or else send me an email if you are shy.

Updated to add:

While I appreciate honesty and all the enthusiasm, perhaps I wasn’t clear that I didn’t mean this to be a free for all, ask any personal question and it shall be answered type of thing. Carmen and I were wanting to write about what it means to be a mother to many children… the good, the bad, the often humorous. By writing on the same topic at the same time, there would be two unique perspectives.

We aren’t going to be disclosing our tax returns or showing our bank statements, and everyone can rest assured that neither of us has our husbands shackled to the bed, forcing them to impregnate us, as much as they might enjoy the shackling. I think everyone who has a blog and puts their life out in the open has certain boundaries. I can’t discuss my husband’s job for the obvious reasons, as well as the fact that his life is *his* story, not mine. This is why I mostly I write about me. Me, me, and more me.

Posted by Chris @ 8:20 am | 65 Comments  

Quote Of The Day

January 18, 2006

“I can’t wait to see the look on your face when I win.”

said by my 5 year old as we sat down to play Candyland.

Three games, discrete card placement, and forgetting to move my gingerbread man, he finally saw the look on my face. It was relief.

Posted by Chris @ 11:48 pm | 10 Comments  

I Am Wearing A Mouth Guard Just In Case

January 17, 2006

I have always been uncomfortable with competitions. Probably because I have never been good enough at anything to win.

I had one trophy I got when I was a kid for a bowling competition. But every single kid there got one just for showing up. And it was for bowling, so not like I was all that thrilled with the meaningless trophy anyway.

I remember years of Field Day at school, which I felt would be more accurately called Day of Torture and Humiliation. We were required to enter at least five events. There were some kids who would enter every single event, and win many of them.

Then there were kids like me who searched the list for the events requiring the least amount of physical exertion and only finding two or three acceptable events would grudgingly sign up for the 50 yard dash, or the wheelbarrow race, where I would have my face mashed into the grass when my arms could not keep up with partner who was running behind me and then inevitably I would not be able to hold up my partners legs with my scrawny arms. We would finish a sad and pathetic last place. Everyone else in the race would already be done, drinking their gatorade, relaxing with a good book, looking up momentarily to point and laugh at the sheer absurdity of me engaging in any sport like activity. (I may be exaggerating slightly, but this is truly the essence of how it felt.)

And then no one would want to be my partner for any other event and I would end up being partnered with Marie, a girl who would pick her nose and eat it, and smelled as though she hadn’t taken a shower since kindergarten. I would end up having my leg tied to hers in the three legged race, my face in her armpit, feeling that I was forever doomed to this lot in life.

Then I would get to the events I signed up for thinking I might have a chance at doing well in, like jump rope contest where the object was to jump as many times as you could without tripping over the rope in a minute. Once you became tangled in the rope it was over. The pressure was too much, I would trip after two or three jumps and everyone would laugh.

Or the ball distance throw where you would stand on homeplate and throw the ball as far as you could into the outfield and the longest distance would win. My ball usually fell just short of the pitcher’s mound.

At the end of the day there were girls, I went to an all girl prep school so there weren’t any boys, who would have ribbon after ribbon hanging from their necks. I would have nothing. I would pretend that I didn’t care, but secretly I wanted to have some ribbons too. I wanted to be good at something. I wanted to be like my friend Pam who had an entire wall of big ribbons she won in horseback riding competitions, instead I had the bowling trophy cavorting with the dust bunnies under my bed.

I never won any academic awards either. There was ALWAYS someone who scored higher on the test or wrote a better essay.

Anyway, this is a long winded way of saying that the BoB thing is killing me. killing me softly with his song , which if that scene from About A Boy didn’t make you laugh until you cried then you have no sense of humor and we can’t be friends, so go away.

If it only lasted a day or two I could deal with it and laugh and shrug it all off. But it is going on forever.* And the voting more than once? I’m not sure I quite understand it.

I love writing for my blog and I am sure all the other people who have blogs do as well, otherwise what would be the point. And I am not sure how much a subjective award really says about a blog anyway.**

And before anyone decides to say anything, this isn’t a post in which I am seeking validation by pretending I feel insecure. I have felt this way from the beginning but refrained from writing about it lest my intentions be misconstrued. But everyday I have had a pit in my stomach and writer’s block just thinking about it.

I can’t get over the feeling that even though I am in the lead for my category that eventually my legs are going to get tangled up and I am going to end up on the ground with my face in someone’s armpit and astroturf in my braces.

*or January 30, same difference

** this has absolutely nothing to do with the awards and the gracious people who put them on, and everything to do with me.

Posted by Chris @ 9:58 am | 33 Comments  

Proving That I Would Rather Do Anything Than Exercise

January 16, 2006

I hate exercise. I really do. I don’t mind exerting myself physically doing something, like shoveling, mowing the lawn, taking a walk outdoors, or eating cookies, but I hate doing something physical that has no other purpose than to burn calories. I can be outside shoveling for an hour, but after three minutes on my treadmill I want to kill myself from sheer boredom.

So, in an effort to need to be more lazy exercise less be more fit, I began looking online to see how many calories I burn in a day and then I could figure out how many I could consume and not gain weight.

But there aren’t any categories for things that I do all day long. I didn’t find answers to my pressing questions.

How many calories does it burn playing the dishwasher game? What’s the dishwasher game? Surely you jest.

The dishwasher game is played when you are loading the dishwasher with dirty dishes from the sink. You rinse the dirty dishes off under the running water while standing on one foot. The other foot is used to hold the baby back from the dishwasher. Periodically you pull the baby off of the open dishwasher door and/or remove fragile or dangerous things from his hands. If nothing gets broken and the baby doesn’t get hurt, you win!

Automatic disqualification occurs if the baby takes off running with a knife. Automatic disqualification and revocation of your ability to play the game ever again occurs if the baby runs off with a knife and you don’t discover it until several hours later when you happen upon a stray knife laying on the floor in a completely different room. Not that this has ever happened to me. Just putting it out there as a warning to those less attentive sort of parents.

Running up and down the stairs burns 472 calories per hour, but what about when you are running up and down the stairs in the context of playing the blind laundry obstacle course hurdle jump?

This is when, carrying your basket filled with laundry, you must jump over strategically placed baby gates and avoid stepping on toys that have been randomly scattered across the floor, all while blinded by the huge laundry basket in front of you blocking your vision. Points are given in this game for not falling over the gates, dropping any laundry, or knocking over small children. Swearing is not allowed, unless you enjoy hearing it repeated by your toddler at the inlaws Thanksgiving dinner table.

Making the bed burns 35 calories, but what about the upper bunk mattress wrestle?

This is the name for changing the sheets on the top bunk bed. You must stand with your legs spread, on tip toes, balancing on the wooden side rails of the bed. In this precarious position you must lift the end of the mattress in the air while simultaneously wrapping the fitted sheet around the corner of the bed. Extra points are given in this one if the child is sick and has vomited in the bed and you don’t get any of it on yourself, or on the child in the lower bunk.

Using these charts I figured out that fifteen minutes of reading burns 13 calories, talking burns 18 calories, (what about yelling, though? surely it requires more exertion), and horse grooming, which really can’t be any more strenuous than grooming a two year old, 70 calories. If I do all the above simultaneously and then sprint around the kitchen table for two minutes, 15 calories, I can then eat one Samoa and one Thin Mint.

I am ordering those Girl Scout cookies and I am going to enjoy every single one.

On the other hand, sleeping burns 60 calories per hour. Clearly the solution is I need to sleep more.

Posted by Chris @ 9:32 am | 30 Comments  

A Vote For Me Is A Vote For… Something*

January 13, 2006


Vote Here

Still unsure who to vote for? I present evidence that will one day be used against me persuade you to vote for me.

I am an inventor of great baby products as seen here:

An Invention Whose Time Has Come

and here:

Toddler Hair Protector

I make delicious and nutritious meals:
You want to complain

While I am turning into my mother I realize the craziness of it all and therefore can not really be that bad

I have grocery shopped with all my children and lived to tell the tale:

I make enormous sacrifices for my children

I am sane.

Because I hope that things like this make up for all the rest.

Did I mention how honest I am?

Because I have repented.

How about because I did this to my body SEVEN times:


* I know it sounds like a terrible cliche, but after reading through all the other “mommy blogs” I am honored just to be a finalist with such awesome, funny, interesting, smart women like these.

And while you are voting, be sure to vote for Jurgen Nation for best new blog. She is original and creative and never fails to crack me up, though her doll photographs creeped me the hell out.

Posted by Chris @ 8:08 am | 23 Comments  

For The Love Of Popcorn

January 12, 2006

The other night Rob came home with a hot air popcorn popper. The kids were so excited. We gathered round the popper, the kids holding their popcorn containers in anticipation. We were having popcorn!

Rob turned it on. The unpopped kernels began flying out of the machine, taking the newly popped corn along with it. They were flying around the room, pelting us like tiny napalm bombs, landing on us and burning our skin. The kids were less than impressed and ran out of the room screaming about how much it hurt. Wimps.

Having never owned a hot air popcorn popper before this, we had no idea how efficient these things were. “Is it supposed to send all the popcorn flying around like this? It seems rather messy. Who would enjoy this?” Rob asked.

“Some popcorn loving masochistic freak, that’s who! For the love of God, TURN IT OFF!” I yelled, now safely in the other room with the wimps children.

This thing didn’t work at all, less than 10% of the kernels actually popped, and those that did had to be gathered up from all corners of the kitchen. Luckily in our house we have the ten hour rule. Any food that is on the floor for ten hours or less is deemed worthy to eat. And equally as lucky, children don’t mind eating food that has once been on the floor.

“If I didn’t know any better I would think that there was a Candid Camera crew lurking behind our curtains.” I said, “Surely this has to be a joke.”

I suppose we should have been clued in by looking at the box. Any product that has nothing more impressive to boast about on it’s box than having an on/off switch, couldn’t be all that good.

Piece of crap

Rob returned it to the store. I wanted to scrawl “PIECE OF CRAP” across the front of the box with a thick black marker to serve as a warning to anyone else who might want to buy a popcorn popper. But Rob thought that if I did that the store wouldn’t take it back.

This blog is nothing if not filled with good advice. Consider yourselves warned, people. Unless you are one of those popcorn loving masochistic freaks, and I mean that in a good way, in that case, this is the popcorn popper for you.

Posted by Chris @ 7:02 pm | 19 Comments  

Quote Of The Day

“Mooo-mmeeeeee! Come here and close your eyes.”

said by my two year old daughter who was in the next room.

Oh So Pretty

When I opened my eyes, this is what I found:

She said she was a “pretty princess wearing makeup” and really, who am I to disagree.

At least it wasn’t as bad as when she did this with non-washable markers:

Decorating Baby

Try explaining that one to all the busy bodies at the grocery store.

(The mirror above was a French Provincial eyesore that I found and am in the process of refinishing, which explains the blue painters tape and why the mirror is so filthy.)

Posted by Chris @ 1:36 pm | 16 Comments  

Two Non-Posts in One day

January 11, 2006

I was out for most of the day today (tubing if you are interested) and when I came home to all the comments on my delurking post, I was blown away. I mean I see my sitemeter and the number of hits I get everyday, but I assumed most of them were just me obsessively hitting the refresh button to see if any one had left a comment yet.

I’ve made it part way through the list, visiting everyone who has left a comment, though some of you didn’t leave a link, which I should probably thank you for because my fingers are exhausted. I think my fingers are losing weight, my wedding rings seem a bit roomy.

Then I heard that I am a finalist for a BoB award. First off I was excited, and then incredulous. I mean, why me? There are so many good blogs out there.

Then I went and saw who else was nominated and visited some of their blogs.

Suddenly I felt like the skinny teenager with braces and acne who mistakenly sat at the cool kid table, and then spends the entire lunch period praying for a fire drill and hoping no one will talk to her and ask her who the hell she thinks she is for sitting there.

Because if she tried to answer them she would probably end up spitting food out of her mouth or laughing nervously until boogers flew out of her nose. And then she would have to move far, far away and change her identity, lest she be subject to the never ending ridicule.

I should probably try to be gracious and just say thank you to everyone who nominated me. It was suggested to me that I have a problem taking compliments and should perhaps have made it a New Year’s resolution to stop the self deprecating comments. But I don’t make resolutions, and so I continue on.

And to think I have wondered where my children got their flair for the dramatic.

Posted by Chris @ 7:06 pm | 24 Comments