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2007 January

The art of compromise is never having to do it

January 19, 2007

If I never write another post again it won’t be because of tivo. It will be because I am trapped in that hell called painting. We are installing a new hardwood floor in the family room this weekend and so in preparation for it I am repainting. Because God knows if I wait to paint until after the floor is installed I will end up kicking over the gallon of paint. Or my son will walk by with the feet of his pajamas trailing behind him, drag them across the paint tray and leave a trail of paint behind him like a snail. Thankfully that last one happened on the old floor yesterday.

Initially I was just going to touch up the places where the paint had gotten dirty, scribbled on, or washed clean off the walls.

But then Rob said he was tired of the green walls. He said the color is just “too damn happy” Given my penchant for zoloft and alcohol I would have to disagree and possibly substitute mania inducing. And maybe, if I were going to be painting anyway, I should consider a new color. A nice calming neutral color, which SURPRISE! was what I initially wanted to paint the rooms in the first place. I found one place I wrote about my love for non-color colors here , but I know I have written about it many times. I just don’t have time to dig the posts up because I have approximately 5.2 million square feet of wall space to paint. Give or take. (The family room, breakfast room, and kitchen are all an open floor plan and need to be the same color as there is no logical stopping place.)

I would have killed him right then and there except for a few things:

1) Who would install the new wood floor?

2) The ground is frozen which would have made disposal of the body difficult. And also would have required me to go outside in the cold and I try to aviod that as much as possible.

3) I don’t really like the green all that much either. I feel like I am living inside a jolly rancher candy.

4) I want this range, but in red.
range

But I don’t want to feel like I am living inside of a Christmas themed room. As an aside, I think that this range will greatly improve my heating up skills. I am positive that macaroni and cheese and Raman noodles will never taste better.

And most importantly,

5) I never have to compromise again. Whenever we have a decorating disagreement I can just say, “Uh, green room? Do I really need to bring it up?” In the same way that when we discuss new car purchases I only have to say, “Uh, Audi? Do I need to remind you of that?”

Posted by Chris @ 11:14 am | 46 Comments  

A promise to my children

January 18, 2007

I will always be supportive of you and your ambitions. Always.

I’ll be there for you, standing outside the baseball diamond watching you in the bitter cold or the baking sun. I’ll be there.

I’ll sit in the ski lodge clutching my hot cocoa for warmth and stomping my feet so that my toes don’t freeze and break off, just so you can have a day at the slopes.

I’ll sit and listen to your fascinating stories about Legos, UFO theories, or the retelling of various Mythbuster episodes in excrutiating, some might even say painful, detail.

But I will draw the line at standing at a superdome for 2 days so you can audition for American Idol, because you have NO TALENT OR SINGING ABILITY WHATSOEVER. You will thank me one day that you did not humiliate yourself on national television.

I will tell you the truth. And remind you that you come from a long line of singing and rythmn impaired people.

Tough love, baby. That’s what I am all about.

And remember, we laugh because we care.

Posted by Chris @ 12:07 am | 45 Comments  

still wandering the desert alone

January 16, 2007

This weekend I was out shopping and came across this beauty.

The perfect martini glass

I held it up and took a picture of it. I may have clutched it to my chest. I thought of Susan and Jody, and wished they were there with me.

A couple was standing next to me and they laughed.

“Isn’t it a great glass?” she asked.

“Ohmygod, YES!” I replied, thinking I had found my people.

“I’m going to buy it. It would be perfect for a fish!” she exclaimed.

A fish? Seriously?

“Oh see, I thought it was perfect for an evening martini. You know after the kids are in bed and can’t fetch me a refill.”

She gave a nervous laugh, like she thought I might be crazy, which duh.

And so I said, “I have seven kids.”

“Ooooooh. Okay.” and she nodded. And quickly walked away.

Perhaps my new tagline should be, Alienating people since 1969.

(Also, we bought a tivo. So if you never hear from me again that’s because I am busy making sweet sweet love to my tivo.)

Posted by Chris @ 12:16 pm | 77 Comments  

In the spirit of sharing

January 12, 2007

The comments on the previous post have truly humbled me. Thank you so much for all the kind things you had to say. Some of the comments made me laugh out loud. Thank you. And so in this spirit of sharing, I will finally answer that meme with five things about me that you might not know, and probably could care less about.

1) I spent a summer in Africa studying art. The trivial thing I missed the most when there was ice cubes in my soda.

2) I have entered one race in my entire life. I arrived there completely excited and pumped up, one might even say full of myself considering that I even though I was thin and looked good in my spandex shorts, I never ran. After one mile, when I was passed by what appeared to be a 6 year old, the old people, and the overweight people I decided that it totally sucked and stopped running. Luckily there was a van trailing behind the runners to pick up the losers like me. Or I should say loser since I was the only one in the van. When we got to the finish line I told everyone that I had stopped because I had a bad cramp. It was a lie.

3) I am difficult to live with. Shocking, I know. But little things drive me bat shit crazy. One of those things is the way my husband takes off his coat and puts it everywhere but the closet. The chair next to the front door, the ballister, the door knob to the freaking closet. I don’t like to be a nag. And I certainly don’t like to pick up after people who are capable, I have children for that afterall. So now I just take his coat and toss it outside. And then I pretend I don’t know where it is. And it makes me laugh.

4)When I was 17 my mother got me a summer job at the mega corporation where she worked. The job turned out to be on an assembly line. A freaking assembly line where you could only go to the bathroom during one of the two 15 minute breaks you had a day. To amuse myself I pretended that I had a British accent and was left handed. This mostly meant I said stuff like, “Cheerio, but it is so hard for me to fill this box because I am left handed.” I lasted half way through my second day, when I went home during lunch and never returned.

5) One summer in high school I went to see Crosby, Stills and Nash at Radio City Music Hall with a friend. After the concert ended we hid in the bathroom until everyone left and then we snuck around the back corridors until we found the after party. We ended up meeting Michael Douglas, Gregory Hines, and a host of other famous people I can’t remember now. Graham Nash kissed my cheek and told me I was adorable, which, in retrospect, was really nice since I was wearing pink leggings and a long shirt with shoulder pads so large that I looked like I had a grape on top of my shoulders.

Bonus thing:

6) I was engaged before I met my husband to someone who was a jerk of epic proportions. I would like nothing better than to say that I came to my senses one day and left him. But the truth of the matter is that he dumped me, saying he couldn’t imagine only getting to have sex with me for the rest of his life. Ouch. Not sure why he said that since I later found out that it hadn’t stopped him during the entire time we dated. But I am thankful every single day that he dumped me.

Posted by Chris @ 9:51 am | 52 Comments  

Do it for your country

January 10, 2007

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

It is delurking week again, the brain child of Sheryl over at Paper Napkin.

So go ahead, delurk. Leave a comment. Tell me something about yourself that I don’t know, anything at all. And leave your url so I can return the visit. I promise I won’t bite, unless you are into that sort of thing.

Posted by Chris @ 11:35 pm | 364 Comments  

“You have how many kids?”

“Seven.”

“Wow, how can you possibly love that many?”

“I don’t. I just fake it.”

*****

This has to rank up there as one of the oddest exchanges I have had. As if love is somehow finite and can be used up. Ooops, sorry children numbers 5 through 7 my capacity for love has reached it’s maximum. Too bad for you!

I have a had quite a few people ask me why I don’t write about my older children as much as I do the younger ones. I suppose if you don’t know me personally it gives the impression that I don’t care about them as much, or that I don’t have as loving thoughts about them (Some of them are approaching teenagerhood, if I let them live that long.) The reality is that my oldest ones have reached an age where I feel protective of their privacy.

They don’t color on walls, strip off their clothes and run around the house naked. They don’t look really cute with food smeared all over their faces. They have thoughts that are all their own and I feel privileged that they share them with me. They also don’t change much month to month.

I would never want to embarass them by writing things about them publicly. I do write them letters on the their birthdays and I write things that I want to remember, but are not neccessarily for public consumption. Those things I chose not to publish. Like the 3400 photos I took of all my children last year, really you should thank me.

It is a balancing act.

The letter I wrote to my oldest son on his twelfth birthday should be my next post I have published over at dotmoms. I haven’t written over there in several months, having taken a bit of a break. But when it comes up I’ll let you know.

Rest assured all my children are well loved, cherished, and special to me as individuals. And they are all funny as hell. I am lucky. More lucky than I truly deserve.

Posted by Chris @ 4:46 pm | 54 Comments  

25 Things I Love About You

January 9, 2007

or mostly love about you, as you turn 25 months old.

1) Your cheeks that have dimples I could get lost in.

2) That you love your monster (dum-dum shoes) shoes and insist on wearing them every single day.

3) That when you wear the monster shoes you growl and kick people. When I scold you you look at me exasperated, hold your arm out, palm facing skyward and say, “No, mama. Dum-dum shoes.” Oh yes, obviously it is the shoes at fault, not you. How silly of me.

4) The way you imitate you father snoring.

5) Whenever I am cooking, or at the counters preparing some sort of food, you grab your chair and carry it over to where I am. “My do. My do,” you scream. Even though you usually have no idea what exactly I am doing.

6) The way you adore your siblings and call for your oldest brother as soon as you wake up. Sometimes you even call for him in the middle of the night and I have to admit that at such times I have selfishly thought that I should put your crib in his room.

7) When you do come into our bed in the middle of the night, the way you will pat my cheek until you fall asleep. If I roll over and put my back to you, you will say, “Mama?” every few minutes checking to see if I am still there waiting on your every whim.

8) They way you say “Otay” in a pathetic little voice whenever we ask you to please NOT do something, like color on the walls, or empty out all the spices from their little jars. Not that it actually means you will stop doing whatever it was.

9) They way you emphatically deny you did anything wrong, even when caught in the act. You have decided that going into your sister’s bedroom and tossing every single thing that you can lift down the stairs is the most fun way to spend your time. I have caught you standing on the tops of the stairs, her shoes and books in your hands, and you will yell, “No, mama. No my do.” as you throw them.

10) You can’t help but dance whenever you hear music. You are enthusiastic enough to make up for your lack of rythmn and a dance style that can only be described as the toddler version of the white man’s overbite.

Happy 2nd Birthday

11) The way you can sing along to the jingles in commercials.

12) When you are in bed with us and your father starts snoring really loudly, you kick him as hard as you can by bringing both your legs up in the air and bringing them down on his stomach. Your father doesn’t find it quite as endearing as I do. But then again I don’t find his snoring endearing.

13) You snuggle your face into the crook of my neck and pat my back with your hand when I carry you up to bed at night. It almost feels like you are comforting me and reassuring me that you will will still be here in the morning.

14) You bring out a side in your older brothers that might not be as apparent if it were not for you. The way your 12 yr old brother dotes on you and plays with you unprompted tells me that I am doing something right. His constant eye rolling and attitude sometimes lead me to believe otherwise. Every night you two brush your teeth together, with you standing on the toilet lid leaning over the sink. Your oldest brother doesn’t let anyone brush their teeth in the bathroom with him, other than you. That is how special you are to him. Only you are allowed to jump on his bed too, or touch his toys, or even look at him some days.

15) Every night after all your siblings have gone to bed, you run around like a madman while your father and I sit on the couch. You throw balls at us which we “catch”– meaning we mostly swat them across the room in self defense while saying things like, “I’m getting old.” or “Why is energy wasted on kids who have nothing productive to do with it?” or “Is it bedtime yet?” And you just run around laughing like it is the best game ever.

16) Every single day you walk into the kitchen table. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I would think that at this point you would realize that the table is there permanently , but no. I have wondered if all the head banging has damaged your brain.

17) The way you undo the child proof locks on the kitchen cabinets to get what you want out of them… and then relock the cabinets when you are done.

18) You gallop around the room when you are excited.

19)You scream “Towel!” when you are taking a bath and water splashes in the vicinity of your face, my face, or our next door neighbor’s face. Then I must dry your face off, quickly, because you don’t like having your face covered even for a few seconds. For this reason putting shirts on you becomes a battle of wills, me pulling the a shirt down and you trying to tear it off your head. I usually win.

20)Whenever I run on my treadmill you throw toys at me to see them zoom off the the back of the treadmill and into the wall. As long as you don’t throw heavy wooden toys or hit me in the head, I am mostly fine with it.

100_8109

21) You refuse to let anyone near your head with scissors. You violently shake your head back and forth and scream. Unless it is your 3 yr old sister. I am slightly offended that you have more faith in her hair cutting ability than in mine.

22)If we are all going to sit down to watch something on television together, you run into the room screaming, “My spot! My spot!” and woe to anyone who is sitting in the place you have deemed your spot. The person will be faced with a choice… give up the spot on the couch or listen to you scream “My spot!” for the duration of the show punctuated by you running over and turning the tv off.

23) That we can celebrate your birthday a month late and you don’t mind at all. And that you are thrilled when you older siblings make and decorate your birthday cake all on their own.

The kind of party favors you end up with when your sister "helps" you pick them out 24) That you love the Disney princesses and agree with your sister that those are the party accessories you should have. Though I have a suspicion that had there been Thomas the Tank Engine party stuff we may have had a brawl right there in the aisle of the store.

25) That you are mine.

Posted by Chris @ 11:04 am | 57 Comments  

resolutions that never were

January 4, 2007

“I have decided that my new year resolution is to have sex every day.”

“Wouldn’t I need to make the same resolution?”

“I didn’t say it had to be with you.

“Good luck with that.”

*****

“Okay, my resolution is to get up early every morning and have coffee with you before I leave for work at the ass crack of dawn” (Ed. note: ass crack of dawn might be my own personal interpretation)

“But that won’t jive with my resolution to sleep in every morning. Maybe the person you are having all that sex with will want to have coffee with you.”

*****

“I resolve to eat healthy and exercise…”

“Maybe you should start smaller.”

“… for a whole day!”

Posted by Chris @ 10:55 am | 29 Comments  

death warmed over would be an improvement

January 3, 2007

I was sick with some sort of plague flu like thing last week. I spent the entire day before New Years Eve laying on the couch doing nothing. Not one thing did I do above lift my hand to reach for the remote control. I hated every minute of it. It despise being sick.

At one point I moaned loudly and said, “I really wanted to spend the day using my new vacuum.”

To which Rob responded, “Wow, you really are sick.”

Slowly I began to feel better and the blinding headaches and fever went away,now I am left with the joint pain and muscle aches. I feel like I have just rowed in the Head of the Charles, when in reality I have done little more than sit and type.

I was up until 3:40 in the morning last night unable to sleep. Watching the minutes tick by on the clock, mentally deducting how much time I had to sleep if I fell asleep RIGHT THAT SECOND. My muscles and joints were killing me. I should have gotten out of bed earlier than 3:40 to find some Advil to take, but I was tired and kept hoping that I would just fall asleep and be able to ignore it. I wasn’t.

At 7:00am I was awoken by a little hand slapping my face, gently at first and then with ever increasing intensity. I tried my best to ignore it. Finally I opened my eyes my daughter was in bed next to me, “Oh are you awake, Mommy?”

Of course one of my first thoughts was Lyme Disease. Ever since my oldest son got it two summers ago it is the primary thing in my mind whenever one of us gets sick. No matter what the symptoms may be. But my husband reminded me that a person would actually have to go outside the house to get bitten by a tick. And that this really isn’t the season for that to happen.

If this is how my little kids have been feeling, then it is no wonder why they wanted me to hold them can carry them around. I’d like to have someone carry me around, while I just grunted and leaned in the general direction I wanted to go.

Also I’d like a massage.

And someone to cook dinner for me.

And some earplugs.

And while I am at it world peace.

And some cookies that aren’t frozen.

Posted by Chris @ 4:54 pm | 19 Comments  

A perfect post

For people who have never had an eating disorder or a warped body image, these things are difficult to understand. How can a person who is thin think they are fat? People think it is an elaborate rouse designed to get others to pay compliments….”Oh just eat it, you aren’t fat.” or “I wish I were as fat as you!”

There isn’t a day that goes by in my life that I don’t think about food. Right now I have a rather healthy relationship with food, but the thoughts are always there, fleeting though they might be. And I will always feel as though I am huge. The largest fattest person in the room; someone who takes up too much space. Eating makes me feel weak, not eating makes me feel powerful. Strange how the ultimate act of self-loathing can do that. Whenever I got shopping and I am browsing through the racks of clothing, I always think the sales people are whispering about me, “Look at her. Can you believe she is going to try that on?” And these are my thoughts now, as a “healthy” person.

This month I decided to nominate Stacy at Jurgen Nation for the perfect post award, for her post Rex and Effect. She is so open about her struggles with anorexia, and is able to articulate the thought process behind it better than anyone I have ever met.


No matter who is around me and how much I love that person, inside I feel alone. And miserable. And I have no idea why or how to make it stop. I hate depression. I hate that it attacks you when you least expect it, when it tackles you just when you can’t fight back. I hate the medicine, that I feel hunger pains and a smaller waist turn depression into something embraceable, something to turn toward rather than against. I hate being fucked up thinking fucked up thoughts and thinking I’ll be able to handle things so much better if I’m just two five ten twenty pounds lighter; that people will like me more and be more interested in who I am …

To me a perfect post is one that makes you think long after you have read the post and clicked the little x. They are the ones that make you go back and read again. Go read stacy’s post. You won’t be sorry.

Posted by Chris @ 9:24 am | 18 Comments