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2007 August

24 Hours in the Life: Part 5

August 7, 2007

3:30 Decide to go outside in the backyard with the children after my daughter tells me that I neeeeveeeeer play with her. We practically bathe in DEET here.

DEET, we practically bathe in it here

It’s hot out. And humid. I hate sweating. Wonder why my children insist on screaming “Look at me! Look at Me!”
when I am right there looking right at them. WHERE ELSE WOULD I BE LOOKING?!?!

4:15 decide to head over to the post office and get our mail. Really I want to bask in my air conditioned van. Then go over to the hardware store for a gallon of Benjamin Moore white paint.

checking out the missing teeth

6yr old checks out his missing teeth in the rear view mirror.

4:45 Pick up paint samples for the dining room. I hate the red dining room. It feels like you are in a cave, especially in the winter when the insulated draperies are up. Why yes, it is another paint color that my husband picked out and now hates.

paint samples

They are different colors. Yes they are. Have you been talking to my husband?

5:15 arrive back home. I have no idea what I am making for dinner. In an effort to procrastinate I open the new gallon of paint and put the final coat on the trim in the butler’s pantry.

Posted by Chris @ 7:05 pm | 15 Comments  

24 Hours in the Life: Part 4

12:50 My 8 yr old points out that our pumpkin plants are laying down in their little patch all wilty like. I suggest he go outside and put the hose that is still snaked around the driveway to good use.


1:00 Caillou is over. “Don’t you want to watch it again?” I ask. But no, they want lunch. So I pull out my all American Wonder bread and peanut butter and jelly. My mother refused to buy Wonder bread when I was a kid opting for that whole grain bread that I despised. So my children get Wonder whether they want it or not.

1:05 Hand out two peanut butter with grape jelly, three peanut butter with strawberry jam, three peanut butter with apricot jam, one peanut butter with blackberry jam. My oldest two decide to make their own as they are picky about the jam to peanut butter ratio.


Don’t you always lounge on a rocking chair to eat your lunch?

1:15 6 yr old starts bugging me for a popsicle.

Tell 6 yr old we will have popsicles in a little while. Not everyone has even finished eating their lunch.

6 yr old asks me again for a popsicle. Tell him later.

6 yr old asks for a popsicle again. My head may have exploded.

Susan calls to ask me if I am going to fingerpaint with my children in the house today. A reference to the Super Nanny episode that was on tv last night where the Super Nanny had the children fingerpaint. IN THE HOUSE. We both decided that we are not crazy calm enough mothers to allow that.

6 yr old asks again for popsicles.

2:14 6 yr old is shadowing me through the house.

2:15 pm “If you don’t stop following me around the house. There WILL BE NO POPSICLES!”

pm Susan says I must include that quote here for the day.
on the phone

2:17 Chat on the phone some more until neither of us can hear the other over our children in the background.

2:20 Put Miles down for a nap. Promise him a popsicle when he wakes up.

Finally convince small annoying children to go outside and play. Read email. Answer some of them in a timely manner, surprising even myself.

Kids come inside and I figure it is close enough to 3:00 snack time that they can have their popsicles. Running stampede through the house to the freezer. Shoving match ensues between children trying to find the perfect popsicle out of the hundred possible identical choices.

2:52 Kids begin finishing up their popsicles and I get to hear bad joke after bad joke that is printed on the sticks.

“When is a fin not a fin?”

“When it is a dol-phin” Hilarity ensues. Except for my 8 yr old who didn’t want to hear the answer and sulks, yells and whines at the rest of us.

I tell him to knock it off and stop acting like an 8 yr old.

“What did the calendar maker name his daughters?”

“April, May and June” Oh ho ho hooo boy. That is a real knee slapper.

3:13 After much joke telling, joke guessing, and resulting whining when someone guesses the correct answer. I declare all jokes over with for the day. There will be no more jokes in this house, dammit!

3:15 They go out into the backyard to play. I mentally go over my list of things that I still need to do for the day.

Posted by Chris @ 3:20 pm | 22 Comments  

24 Hours in the Life: Part 3

8:45 Serve breakfast to the kids. Surely the organic soy milk cancels out the sugar cereal, right? Look! It’s my own cereal party!


8:50 Log back onto the computer and check email. Email etsy seller from whom I bought a bag.. It arrived and is way way smaller than the measurements on the ad lead me to believe. Reread the ad and am still confused. Or measuring challenged. Or possibly retarded.

9:00 Continue in fruitless quest to access the control panel of my other blog. The red headed step child of my blogs. Poor neglected little blog.

9:30 Cringe when I hear an avalanche of blocks fall on the tile floor in the sunroom.

Realize I have done nothing productive online. Consider posts I still need to write. Feel uninspired. Decide to take a shower.

Walking by 6yr old son’s room reminds me that the tooth fairy forgot to come AGAIN. It has been a week. And not only that he had a second tooth fall out. There is a backlog for the tooth fairy now.

Hope he hasn’t checked envelope yet. Run back downstairs, rummage through pocketbook. I have a choice between a $20, a $5, three nickels and two pennies. Decide to give him the $5 and the change, reasoning he will lose it within a day and I’ll get it back.

10:00 Slip $5 into the envelope and “remake” his bed. Take the two tiny teeth and put them into my top drawer. Not sure what I am supposed to do with these things. Many of them are lost. But saving them is weird. I don’t save their toenail clippings, why save teeth.

tooth fairy envelope

In shower.

Dig through enormous pile of clothes in the basket on my bedroom floor looking for something to wear in this oppressive heat. Get dressed.

Go downstairs. Ask son if the tooth fairy came last night. He says he checked and no the tooth was still there. Casually suggest maybe he is wrong. He says he is NOT wrong. Casually suggest he re-check. He says he has already checked and isn’t going to again.

One of his brothers says that maybe the tooth fairy didn’t come because he is so fresh. Nod my head in solemn agreement. That is absolutely why the tooth fairy has not come. Packing my sunscreen for hell. I am already dressed for it.

Sit on front porch while kids ride bikes and scooters on driveway. Write blog post in between counting how many times they can bounce a ball, jump rope, or time them running around the yard. Make up numbers a lot. Mentally ad stopwatch to all their Christmas lists so they can time their own selves.

11:00 Go inside and do more of the laundry dance. Wonder if I should chance throwing a dry clean only skirt into the washing machine. Weigh the options in my head, ultimately deciding not to chance it. Then deciding it still looks clean to me and put it on pile clothes on the counter that belong to me and will be carried upstairs and put away sometime before hell freezes over.

11:15 been looking for painter’s tape. Finally decide to ask kids if they know where it could be. And what do you know, they know where it is. It is outside on the front porch where “someone” has wrapped 50 ft of it around the porch pillars. I wish I could say that I laughed, but I didn’t. Instead I shouted something like, “Oh for crying out loud. WHO DID THIS? HUH? DO YOU HEAR ME? WHO DID THIS? AND WHY?” Not one of my children answered, though I think I may have heard my neighbor who lives a block away shout, “NOT ME!”

Finish getting tape off of the porch. Much muttering and swearing.

11:25 Use the painter’s tape to tape off the trim in the butler’s pantry. The trim that I force my husband to put up before he left on a business trip and made him miss his flight.


11:30 Open up the can of paint and realize that I have hardly any paint left and will need to run out to the hardware store at some point. Paint the trim.

11:40-12:00 No idea what I did here. Wander around the house aimlessly and listen to incessant tattling would be my guess.

12:15 6 yr old comes running inside to the sunporch where I am now sitting typing this up. “The babies have turned on the hose and they are making a flood.”

Go over to that side of the house and discover that my 10 yr old, WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER, turned on the hose and then gave it to the little kids who made mud puddles and are now soaking wet. I am a mean parent who does not allow playing with hose unless permission is asked. Water isn’t free you know. Also, if they had their druthers they would keep it on all day.

Yell at everyone to get inside. Resign myself to the fact that my neighbors probably think I am a screaming shrew.

12:20 Make everyone who is wet and muddy change out of their clothes. Hurray MORE LAUNDRY!!!

Make 10 yr old unload the dishwasher to contemplate the error of his ways

12:30 That little brat Caillou is on tv. I rejoice because my 2 and 4 yr olds will sit quietly for an entire half hour. And I’ll let you in on my dirty little secret… sometimes I rewind it and let them watch it twice in a row. Calliou I want to hate you, but I am unable.

Posted by Chris @ 12:48 pm | 22 Comments  

I interrupt this live blogging

to put up this contractually obligated link to my post at Parenting.

I think that in every family with more than two children, there is a “middle child.” I am sorry Bug, but in our family it is you.

We have the oldest two boys who are into sports and Bionicles and do things together.

Your two brothers below you, who are into into sports and being destructive — we call them “The Little Guys.”

Then we have the two youngest, “The Babies,” who are into getting away with murder and driving me to an early death.

And then there is you.

Yes, my son’s birthday was two months ago. What’s your point?

Posted by Chris @ 9:37 am | 5 Comments  

24 Hours in the Life: Part 2

woken up by being head butted in the nose. Holy crap it hurts. I yell. Miles cries. I try to convince him to stop crying. I’d like to say I feel bad that I yelled and he is crying, but really I am annoyed.

7:10 have endured all the torture I can stand and get up out of bed. Grab socks, sneakers and a bra and head out my bedroom door. Miles following behind me yelling, “You running. mommy? You running, mommy?” I shush him because everyone else is still asleep.

7:15 Start coffee

7:20Move laundry from washer to dryer. Toss another load of laundry in washing machine. Marvel at the disaster that is the laundry room. Say goodbye to Rob as he also marvels at the laundry room disaster.

Change Miles diaper. Get him a granola bar for a pre breakfast snack. Turn on Today show. Lay down on familyroom floor and do sit-ups. Part of newly initiated exercise program so that I don’t look perpetually 5 months pregnant. Miles lays next to me and does his version of sit-ups, which includes kicking his legs furiously, rolling back and forth holding his knees, and shouting, “Whoa, whoooooa.” Wish I had that much fun exercising.

10 yr old son wakes up and comes downstairs. Watch the weather together and sigh deeply when the weatherman proclaims it “another scorcher out there” Hand son the remote.

7:53 Finally get a cup of coffee


Tell 10 yr I am heading out for my run/walk/daily dose of sucking wind and hating every moment. Miles cries and hangs on my leg. Tell 10 yr I’ll bring Miles in the stroller.

Toss Miles in stroller and head out.

8:35 Back home. Come inside and greet children who have woken up while I was gone.

just before morning walk/run

Posted by Chris @ 8:51 am | 13 Comments  

24 Hours in the Life: Part 1

I have been wanting to do one of these type of posts from awhile. But I always get sidetracked. When I have done these I like looking back at them later to see what I was doing.

I am sitting on my couch, laptop open, working. My 4, 6, and 8 yr olds are in bed. My 10 and 12 yr olds I hear talking in the kitchen in conspiratorial whispers. They are plotting against me. I yell, “Closing time! You don’t have to go to sleep, but you can’t stay here.”

My 2 yr old is sitting on the area rug with a pile of note cards and scissors. He is very intently working on covering every surface of the floor with his handmade confetti.

Super Nanny is on tv and I feeling very superior in my parenting skills. Until I realize that my 2 yr old is cutting with non-safety scissors. And that I allowed him to climb up on the counter to get the note cards and scissors. Maybe allowed is too strong of a word . In truth I had no idea it was happening because I was in the other room. He still has all appendages. It is all good.

10:30 pm Rob sends a photo to my phone from his nosebleed seats at a baseball game. I have sympathy vertigo.
Miles the 2 yr old is sitting inside the storage ottoman. He says “Eth my widdle bed.” A better mother would probably take that as a sign that he is tired.

10:45 pm
More working.

11:00 pm My other site is still down. Email host site to see if they have any idea because I am clueless. 11 yr old comes downstairs looking for some “thing” he can neither name or describe. He graciously offers to clean up the paper. While he does that I bring Miles to bed.

Realize I have spent 45 minutes on email and reading blogs.

12:00 am Still more working.

12:15 am Read email from host site telling me to clear my cache and that my blog will pop back up. Incredibly it works.

1:00 am
Watching stupid television.

1:20 amGet up and throw a load of laundry into my washing machine on my way to the bathroom.

2:00 am Wondering why I am still watching stupid television. And wow at a certain point during the night commercials really become low budget

Make mental list of all things I need to do. Overwhelmed and so I decide not to think about it.

2:12 am Decide to head up to bed. Will read a few pages of the book, The Gravedigger’s Daugter, that I am currently reading.

Posted by Chris @ 2:06 am | 11 Comments  

Turns out…

August 6, 2007

sometimes I do get to be the fun parent.

Mmmmm, ice cream

Of course it helps when Rob is 2500 miles away and unable to usurp my position as the fun one.

Posted by Chris @ 6:48 pm | 17 Comments  

people are strange

August 5, 2007

People say weird things to me all the time. Usually they say these odd things right after they find out how many children I have. (Just ask Susan, she took way too much pleasure in telling people how many children I have just to see their reaction.)

There are times when people find out I have seven children and they turn on their heel and never make eye contact with me again, much less speak to me. Because clearly someone who has not mastered birth control is not intelligent enough to converse with. Or else they think it might be contagious, who knows.

But mostly people say things that are odd, yet amusing. One of my favorites is the shocked look with the simple, “How??” Like their shock is so great they can not speak in complete sentences any longer. One of our cab drivers in Chicago asked if I had a television. It’s been awhile since I heard that one.

The grocery store is always good for a comment or two. Probably because even if I don’t have the children with me I am still buying obscene amounts of food that must be commented on, like it is weird to buy 10 packages of popsicles at once or something.

This morning I ran to the grocery store for a few things, which of course ended up filling two carts. It just seems a shame to pass by food we like that the store has marked down this week. For example, my little carnivores love ribs. They had huge party size, or family size in the case of my family, packages of ribs for $1 a pound.

My former vegan self weeps. But only until I slather them with barbeque sauce and throw them on the grill.

My husband has this thing about buying produce in advance. He thinks we should go to the farmer’s market daily and buy the vegetables that we want to eat for that day only. Otherwise it won’t be fresh! I am trying to introduce him to the thoroughly modern concept of refrigeration that keeps fresh veggies and fruits fresh…just like it does the milk and eggs! But his aged mind is having trouble grasping it. So I often end up filling my cart with an odd assortment of foods that makes it seem as though I am trying to have my children get scurvy.

So I’m at the checkout the cashier is is ringing me out. I had 8 boxes of cereal. Which might seem like a lot until to take into consideration that 2 boxes make one breakfast for my kids. The cashier is passing them one by one over the price thingy when she looks up at me and says, “You havin’ a party?”

For a moment I didn’t know what to say. So many thoughts were running through my head.

Primarily, do people have parties and serve their guests cereal? Because that would be sort of awesome. If so, why have I never been to one?

I came home, put the groceries away, and then realized I forgot bread, one of the four things I actually went to the store to buy. I did manage to buy 4 packages of bagels, hamburger buns, hot dog rolls, and hard rolls, but apparently none of them can be used for making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and how dare I even suggest such a thing!

Suitcase update: still packed.

Posted by Chris @ 11:54 pm | 70 Comments  

Be impressed

August 3, 2007

Not only did I stand outside in the blazing hot sun of my backyard picking these blueberries, I then came inside and baked this cobbler thing even thought it was 95 degrees inside my house.

be impressed

Doesn’t that earn me some good mom points?

blueberry cobbler thing

Clearly I do not have a career in the making as a food photographer. But it tasted good, or so I am told, and that is all that matters.

Of course I couldn’t eat it. So I made my own gluten free version. Which meh. I have discovered the one thing I hate about gluten free flours is that they are all gritty. So I was eating my own personal little cobbler when I realized that it felt like I had sand in my mouth. And that just ruined it for me. I know, imagine that not liking the feeling of having a mouth full of sand.

Completely unrelated, I still have not unpacked my suitcase.

Posted by Chris @ 11:09 pm | 43 Comments  


That is what Busymom called it this morning and I do believe she is right.

First there was the blogging conference. Then the blogging about the blogging conference. Then the reading the blogs that blogged about the blogging conference. I am all blogged out. Even the word blog is making my head hurt. I have no compelling thoughts, or any other thoughts really, left in my head.

And really the more reading I do, the less I feel like I was actually there. I am not sure that even makes sense, but there you go. So many people I planned to talk to but ran out of time.

So while I have no brain cells left, I do have blueberries. Lots and lots of blueberries.


The kids picked them. Eating ten for every one that made it into the bucket.

picking blueberries

I’m going to dig out that book, Blueberries for Sal, and see if I can convince them all to come inside where it is less than 5000 degrees. And I’m not exaggerating about the heat at all. Seriously, I think my face has melted off.

Posted by Chris @ 3:04 pm | 24 Comments