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2006 September

intense navel gazing

September 10, 2006

I am not a jealous person. To me jealousy implies begrudging someone of what they have and feeling, somehow, that you deserve it instead of them. I love when good things happen for people that I know.

I can say withough a single doubt that I never ever say a bad thing about someone with the sole intention of making them look bad so that I look good. Which is not the same that I can say for other people I have met. It’s one of those things that I have been trying to teach my children that when you talk about someone behind their back, people will not remember long what it is you were talking about, but they will remember your character. They will remember that you were the kind of person not to be trusted.

Whoa, way to go off on a tangent that has been bothering me for awhile.

Instead I suppose what I have is wistful longing.

In real life I don’t feel this way. I have children, lots of them so no need to be coveting other people’s kids there. I have a great husband, and frankly there seems to be a dearth of good men out there that I haven’t come across any others that I’d want. I have all the material things that I need. I have a house that alternately sucks my soul from my body with the amount of work that I do on it every week and makes me feel proud and capable. I have very little to actually complain about… other than cooking. Can they just stop eating for a few days?

So why do I feel exactly the opposite in the internet world?

I read about other women* who get to talk on the phone with people like Gloria Steinem, or are being offerred book deals, or are being paid for blogging and I can’t help but whine and stomp my foot. I concentrated in Wome’s studies! I want the chance to talk to Gloria Steinem on the phone and stammer and kick myself later for not coming up with a better question! Also, I like Amsterdam! And I really like getting paid for blogging, or at least I assume I would, since I really like spending money, surely I would like earning it too.

I was talking to a friend last night on IM and she agreed with me. She feels the same way. This struck me as odd. When I see her I see someone who is funny, confident, and a great writer. As well as being an all around wonderful person. We are going to form our own club… like the Lonely Hearts Club. But ours is going to be called the Wistful Longers Club. And we’re going to have our own t-shirts and everything.

* Do I need to say again that I really like these women, the ones that I know, I really like and that I am thrilled for them? I probably do.

Enough self indulgence and on to more important things.

Tommorrow morning I’ll have my tribute up to the person I was assigned in the 2996 Tribute Project.

2,996 is a tribute to the victims of 9/11.

On September 11, 2006, 2,996 volunteer bloggers will join together for a tribute to the victims of 9/11. Each person will pay tribute to a single victim.

I hope you will come back tomorrow and read something that is for once meaningful.

Posted by Chris @ 11:15 am | 26 Comments  

My boys

September 8, 2006

Well, half of them anyway.

Three Boys and a popsicle

My older sons have reached that age where they are awkward in front of the camera and most pictures of them turn out looking, well, less than flattering. My 10 yr old doesn’t like to smile and show his teeth and my 11 yr old has entered that gangly awkward, my feet are better suited for scuba diving than walking stage.

But this photo turned out cute and shows how sweet they are to their little brother. Whenever they have done something like throw spitballs all over their bedroom ceiling , walked their dirty shoes up the wall in an attempt to do handstands, used the towel bar as a climbing device and when it gets torn out of the wall just leave it hanging there like nothing is amiss and then deny any knowledge of it, or done something equally as mind boggling that I have no words other than to stare at the gape mouthed while I struggle for words like a fish out of water. Open my mouth, close my mouth, open my mouth, close my mouth and no sound comes out.

Whenever I begin to question just where I went wrong, I remember their overall sweetness and compassion for their younger siblings, how they delight in making them happy, and they way that their younger siblings light up when they see their older brothers, and it is then I realize that they are turning out okay afterall.

Posted by Chris @ 3:29 pm | 25 Comments  

my new crack

September 7, 2006

Today I made a blueberry-peach crisp that was delicious. With blueberries I picked myself from my own bushes. I feel like I belong in a Martha Stewart magazine. You know if I was serving it outside on my lawn on the tailgate of my old pick-up truck that was just old enough to be a classic and not a piece of garbage marking me as trailer trash. And if I had all sorts of other things people usually consider trash used in new and exciting ways that would make people weep that they had thrown away that old wooden shutter, broken screen door, and chipped tea cups. And if I were barefoot. Definitely barefoot.

But, alas, I was none of these things.

Blueberry-Peach Crisp

There is no photo of what it looked like after I put on the crumbly crust, or after I took it out of the oven, because I couldn’t wait to eat it.

Stephania posted the recipe on her food blog a couple of weeks ago and I just had to make it. I quadrupled her recipe and made it in a really huge sheetcake pan. She has photos of what it looks like after, because apparently her family is not a bunch of pigs like mine.

Of course now she has up the most delicious looking steaks that she says you can cut with a fork. A fork, people. The pictures look so yummy that if you are a vegetarian you had best stay away or you will be converted.

As a funny aside, we are trying to buy a half cow from a local organic farm. The children have heard us talking about it. One of my younger children was very excited, more excited than I would think someone would be over some chopped meat and steaks. But then I heard him say that “Mom said we are getting a cow!”

Oh yes sweetie, we are getting a cow. But it will come to us wrapped little 3lb white paper packages. So while we will certainly enjoy our cow, we will not be stroking it while lovingly gazing into it’s eyes. At least I hope the eyes are not in the half we get.

Posted by Chris @ 10:57 pm | 27 Comments  

Love is…

Love is...

playing the game just one. more. time.

For a full explanation and to participate visit Karen.

Posted by Chris @ 9:46 am | 12 Comments  

brought to you by the number five

September 6, 2006

This entry as “written” by my fifth son who is five years old on what it is like to be five.

“Victory is never as sweet as when you beat your older brother.”

I am five years old. It’s tough being five years old.

There are so many rules. And they are all dumb. Like my clothes, what is this matching thing? And why can’t I wear my Superman cape everywhere? All clothes should come with a superhero accessory.

Why can’t I just wear my underwear all day, backwards like I like it. I don’t understand why the cool pictures are on the butt of the underwear where I can’t see them. It makes more sense for the picture to be in the front and those weird holes to go in the back, so the farts can escape.

Did you notice I said butt and fart? butt fart butt fart butt. I can make noises that sound just like farts with my armpit. Wanna see? No? Well, maybe later. My older brother showed me how to do it. He is so cool. Sometimes he lets me play with him in his room. If I promise to be quiet and just sit there, without talking to him, he will sometimes let me watch him build his Lego sets. But I am not allowed to touch them ever.

Five is a fun age because I can still fit on my mom’s lap and sometimes my Dad will carry me up on his shoulders and I feel like I’m flying through the air. Five is good because I can tell people how old I am with just one hand, in case I am too busy to talk and I am holding something important in my other hand, like a stick.

I can ride a bike really good now and I go for walks with my Mom and she lets me ride my bike on the road, like a big kid. But I get mad when my older brothers come with us because they ride their bikes fast and I pedal really hard with my legs, but I can’t catch up with them. That’s a not good thing about being five. I can do lots of things, but I can’t do them as well as I want to do them. And sometimes I scream and stamp my feet.

I know how to write my name and love to write it all the time. On paper, on walls, on the floor, on the driveway, on my body. My Mom doesn’t like it when I write on the walls or the floor. Even when I write it somewhere really small, she notices. I don’t know how she does it. She said she has eyes in the back of her head. Sometimes I pretend that I am brushing her hair, but really I am looking for those eyes.

I am allowed to write on my body, since it is my own body, but only on the places that are covered by my clothes. But that’s not as fun because no one can see my name! My mom says when I grow up I can get my name tattooed across my forehead if I want. I might do just do that. But being a grown up is a long way away.

Things are hard about being five too. Getting a glass of water from the sink means getting a chair or stool from across the room and dragging it all the way over to the cabinet to get out a glass, and then dragging the chair over to the sink the entire time risking dropping the glass on the floor and breaking it. No I can not make two trips. I am busy. Doing lots of stuff, okay?

Most of the time it works out okay. My mom does not like it when I drop the glasses on the floor and break them. I don’t know why it is such a big deal. We can always go buy new ones.

But sometimes things go wrong. Horribly, terribly wrong. Like when I tried to put my dinner plate in the sink without a stool, because I am big you know, and it slipped and fell onto my head. And I had food in my hair and mustard from my hamburger dripping down on my face. My brothers were all shouting, “Get the camera.” And my mother? She is laughed so hard that she could barely hold the camera steady enough to focus the picture.

But then I laughed too. Because being five is funny too.

That’s the end. I have nothing else to say.

Posted by Chris @ 10:20 pm | 35 Comments  

Jar of what???

Jar of Kindness

If I fall into a sugar coma in the next few days, this will be why.

Posted by Chris @ 10:17 am | 9 Comments  

this is what makes the internet all worth it

September 5, 2006

Tonight I found this while surfing around reading blogs, or as I like to call it working. I know it makes me laugh too.

In light of my recent post about my thieving, stranger- water- swilling daughter, I found something that I just have to have. *

I came upon this post by sweetney on her ub-clay om-may blog. And you know it has to be good if I am linking it here because I have made my feelings pretty clear about ub-clay om-may.

* joking, obviously. Though I did just tell Mir today that I really need a cage for my 20 month old because he will not stop climbing on everything. **

** again, joking. Well, not really joking I did say that. And I would love some sort of APA approved toddler cage. But I won’t actually buy one, probably.

Posted by Chris @ 10:52 pm | 28 Comments  


putting together a chair... together

My head just about exploded after watching my son screw in the screws on three chairs. Because I could chop down a tree, saw the wood, and build my own chair in the amount of time it took for him to get one screw in.

don't be fooled

Do not be fooled, under ther sweet princess exterior lies the heart of a thief.
Oh a pretty credit card!

She wanted a credit card of her very own too.

He knows there are cookies in the bottom of the cart

He knows that if he doesn’t get to the cookies quickly that I will eat them all. As an aside, I am still faster than him.

applying for a job at IKEA

I am hoping she gets the job and starts pulling her weight around here. Three years of mooching off of us already.

running IS allowed

Running is always allowed at the store of flat box goodness.
Thankfully she did get to push the button

Thank god and your eardrums that she was able to push the button.

crown molding

Crown molding completes the now purple mudroom.

It is dificult to get a true picture of the color. But it does match the purple in the stained glass window here:


Today my 10 year old son had his first horse back riding lesson. I was pleased that there was one other boy in the class with him as it seems to be predominantly a “girl” thing. Like a good mother I brought my camera to capture the moment forever. But all I captured was my daughter watching the horses before my batteries died in my camera. Ah well.

watching the horses

Posted by Chris @ 5:46 pm | 14 Comments  

And they labored with teeny tiny allen wrenches

September 4, 2006

Our day today in home improvement peaked when we assembled our IKEA furniture.

We accomplished most of the things on our list, including the original list before I began adding things just to cross them off, except for some plumbing that Rob didn’t get to do because the parts had to be ordered and a couple of other things I had written down for Rob to do because I am helpful like that.

I did accomplish everything on my list, however. Which mostly meant that I walked around the house with a paintbrush in my hand and a gallon of paint attached to me.

I did want to address the theft of the stuffed animal since some zealous people felt the need to email me about the error of my ways and how I am raising future thugs by condoning this behavior. ( As an aside I just typed thongs instead of thugs. But that seems even more appropriate since my children can often sometimes rarely be pains in the ass. Perhaps that will be my new thing to say to them when they are acting up. “Stop being such a thong!” I kid. Maybe.) Obviously they don’t read here much or they would know that I am raising future circus people.

Honestly, she showed me the dog and I agreed it was cute. And then, because I HAVE SO MANY CHILDREN I ignored her like I ALWAYS do and didn’t notice she put it into her backpack. She has no idea at 3 years old about stealing something. She knows she can just cry, scream and roll on the filthy floor (”For the love of God, get up off of the disgusting floor!”) and I will buy whatever it is. Because in addition to circus tendencies I am raising spoiled brats. And I am proud of it.

Driving back to the store to pay? If she were older and it was done on purpose, sure I’d consider doing that or having some other sort of consequence. But the store is over an hour and a half away. I’d probably make the person write a note of apology and mail it back.

Enough of this.

Because did you read where I wrote about my daughter, the thief, drinking from some water bottle that was left sitting there on the floor? Did that just make you throw up a little like it did me?

I am a germ freak. I hate my children even sitting on public furniture. Or the doors to get in and out of public places. Or basically anything that is not inside my own home. This is why my children have never been to Chuck E Cheese or an indoor playground. I feel nauseous just thinking about it. A few years ago one of our local news staions did a story on those public indoor playgrounds and tested various areas of the playscape. They found all sorts of bacteria and e-coli all over the place. You know what that means? Shit! Shit on the slides! Shit on those balls in the ball pit that all the babies like to mouth And really, I have to draw the line at my babies putting shit, other than their own, into their mouth. Call me crazy.

I had walked away to go buy a drink, leaving Rob in charge when it happened. And when I got back to the seating area and found out what had happened. Well, I freaked out. I am sure that the other people in the waiting area were talking about me on their way home. But, you know you would have reacted the same way.

“Can I just leave you in charge for a minute without you allowing our daughter to ingest some potentially lethal liquid. What if the person spit into the bottle? Or what if they were sick or dirty? or had some sort of contagious disease? I DON’T KNOW WHAT KIND OF DISEASE! Flesh eating bacteria, or strep, or herpes, genital warts on their face! Oh my God. The germs! I can’t believe she drank that germy water. I don’t know if I could kiss her again!”

And then my daughter said, “I LOVE germs!”

I think it was probably at this point that Rob told me to get a hold of myself.

And I found myself wishing that Yvonne was with me. Because she is such a calm and rational person in the face of calamity.

Yvonne kindly left the link to her 911 calling bee story in the comments. I thought I’d pull it out here: the BEES!! And yes I was being sarcastic about her calm nature.

Posted by Chris @ 11:30 pm | 41 Comments  

And for today in the longest weekend EVER I present…

September 3, 2006

Things that were added to my list today, after they were done, just so I could cross them off:

1) Trip to IKEA to buy table, chairs, tool kit, and those delicious cookies that have the creme center and the the little circle of jam. (check)

2) Eat entire sleeve of cookies on the drive home while marvelling at the flat box packing goodness that could enable one to put an entire house worth of furniture into the back of a honda civic hatchback (check)

3) Have three year old drink a half empty bottle of water she found sitting on the floor in the IKEA waiting area, because I don’t think we can have enough germs. (check)

4) When the 3 yr old pulls a stuffed animal out of her backpack when you are 20 minutes away from IKEA and tells you she bought it, lie and tell all the other children that you knew she had it in there and did pay for it, so they will stop screaming that she is thief and is going to jail. (check)

Posted by Chris @ 11:00 pm | 24 Comments