Thursday, March 29, 2007

My very own Keats

Chase has been working secretly in his room on a mystery project. When his masterpiece was finished, he shared it with me - it was a poem. And because I cannot pass up an opportunity to brag about my children (what mother can?) I thought I'd share his simplistic brilliance with you. I don't know many seven year olds that write poetry for fun, but he is that kid. He is so creative, so original. I just love that about him.

How do the trees move?
By Chase

How do trees move,
when the leaves move,
and the twigs fall,
when you are in your bed
and school is out.
When your alarm clock goes off,
the birds fly away,
you dash to play
the wind whispers through the air.

And here is the original (because I love all his misspellings and erased re-writes ):

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

my blog plastic surgeon

Here is Marta, the design genius, pictured left, with her twin (though they were born several years apart). She saved me from utter blog destruction. She gave me this shiny, new face lift, and I love and adore it. I love and adore her. She is a pint-sized explosion of creativity, spunk, and sunshine. She can always make you laugh and has a sense of style that leaves women everywhere green with envy.

Thanks, Mart. Love it.

Love you!

getting a face lift

I am in the midst of trying to improve the look of this little blog. I have solicited help from a fabulous designer, and you will see her work shortly. Be patient if it looks a little screwy until she fixes what I have messed up.

On manhood...

"It's okay, Mom, I'm responsible. I'm turning into a man now," said McKay when discussing with me whether or not he would remember to bring his bat home from the baseball game.

[See, I don't like to take it because I'm afraid it will get mixed up with someone else's, and we'll never see it again.]

I had to remind him to grab the bat after the game.

Which proves once and for all that HE IS TRULY becoming a man.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

midnight worries

Ever crawl into bed exhausted, and your mind STARTS GOING A MILE A MINUTE AND YOU JUST CAN'T TURN IT OFF? Why do we mothers do this to ourselves? Here are some of the things running through my head last night that prevented me from falling asleep until about one o'clock a.m.:

  • Did my kids feel loved today?
  • What time is the spring concert on Thursday?
  • Why did I eat all those STUPID cookies?
  • Will I survive the dental visits next week in which all my childhood fillings are replaced?
  • Am I getting sick?
  • My allergies seem really bad right now. Should I see someone here for that?
  • I wonder what time my meeting is tomorrow.
  • What day is my turn for treats at baseball?
  • Does Josh have any clean shirts for work?
  • How can I make reading more fun for Chase?
  • Why DID I eat that?
  • Maisy, Maisy, Maisy.
  • I hope my toe doesn't hurt too bad to run.
  • I don't know what I'll do if I can't run.
  • Running is my sole physical release. I. MUST. RUN.
  • Should I do laundry tomorrow or the next day?
  • I should have done the laundry today. I won't be home all day tomorrow.
  • I wish I didn't have the theme song from "Maisy" in my head. I HATE that song. Maisy, Maisy, Maisy - Maisy - Mouse!
  • Seriously.
  • Which house should we buy?
  • How will we know it's the house?
  • How will the kids survive this move?
  • Was I patient enough with the kids today?
  • Is my cell phone charged? Is the kids' phone charged?
  • I wonder if I have time tomorrow to run to Michael's. Gotta get that new job chart finished.
  • When will I have time tomorrow to make dinner?
  • Maybe we should have pizza for dinner tomorrow.
  • Did I close the garage door?
  • Did I lock the back door?
  • What was that noise?
  • What if I die in my sleep tonight?
  • What if someone breaks into the house and kills only me because I'm awake and could identify them?
  • What if I have cancer and I don't know it?
  • Wonder if the sun is coming up somewhere in the world right now.
  • Maybe I should get up and have a bath.
  • Are the kids covered up? It might be cold tonight. They'll probably get in bed with us if they're not covered up.
  • Did we set the alarm clock?

Don't you just hate these kinds of nights? I don't have them very often, thank goodness. I don't know how I'd survive without my sleep. Hopefully tonight I'll be so tired that I'll crash right when my head hits the pillow...

Monday, March 26, 2007


Forgive the close-up of my ugly, disturbingly hobbit-like feet, but I had to share my pain. See the toe right next to the baby one? I think I broke it. I was stepping over a big, plastic box and slammed my foot into it really hard. It really hurts and has made wearing anything resembling shoes very painful. Nice Monday, no? Here's hoping the rest of the week goes better.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Not trying very hard to clear his name

A conversation:

Me: Could it POSSIBLY be zippered into one of the sofa cushions?

Him: Hmm? Oh, are you still looking for that remote?

Me: You had it last; you have to help me find it. Will you help me open the sleeper sofa again and look?

Him: I don't miss the remote. I'm kind of glad we haven't been able to find it. It's nice not having t.v.

Me: Do you want to live to see your grandchildren?

Him: Okay, I'll lift it up again, you look.

Me: What about in our room? Did you take the remote in there on Wednesday? [when it was last seen]

Him: I don't know. How much longer do we have to look for this thing?

Me: What about in the mattress - could it have gotten shoved in there?

Him: I don't see how that could have happened. I mean, isn't that the place most men hide their magazines?

Me: [A sizzling glare...] What else did you do that night? Think - recreate the night in your mind. Did you go to the bathroom and accidentally flush it, and you're just not telling me because you're embarrassed?

Him: No, I would have laughed really hard if that happened.

Me: [More glares]. What about snacks? Did you eat anything while I was gone on Wednesday? Maybe you took it down to the kitchen.

Him: Maybe. Ooh, I'm kind of hungry now that you mention it. Is there any more of that trail mix left?

Me: Oh, YOU WILL NOT BE EATING ANYTHING until we find this stupid remote.

Him: You know, I did have my computer out. Maybe it fell into my work bag.

Me: [30 seconds later, I'm looking in his bag and I find the damn remote] YOU ARE SO RETARDED. Have you not looked in here the last three days?

Him: Yeah, I kind of had to shove my computer down in there the last few days. Guess that was it.

Me: You guess that was it? Oh, you are so not watching any C-SPAN tonight.

Him: Sure, fine, whatever. Now how about that trail mix, woman?

My only consolation is that at least I get the ten dollars. And some new Grey's Anatomy.

things I've learned this week

  • Seeing the ob/gyn and the dentist in the same week is way too much torture to endure in a mere seven days.
  • For some reason, the Pinewood Derby brings out much more competitiveness in the dads than the boys.
  • Ignoring the laundry to scrapbook will induce no guilt whatsoever for me. [Note to self: DO THIS MORE OFTEN.]
  • My kids are the absolute best. I really do adore them.
  • Josh's car should not display how many miles he can go before running out of gas. He will push the limit, get down to zero, and RUN OUT OF GAS.
  • I, of course, will bail him out while thinking, (but not saying), I TOLD YOU SO. Because I'm just a good woman that way.
  • It is beyond my understanding, but McKay and Chase are incapable of keeping a light bulb in the lamp in their room for more than a week without it burning out/breaking/shattering/spontaneously exploding/just plain not working. (What do they do in there at night??)
  • Amazing Grace is a fantastic, inspirational movie. See it today.
  • Favorite thing this week: Finding out that our friends, Chris and Emily, are coming to visit next weekend. Yay!

At the scene of the crime...

Our t.v. remote has gone missing.

And not just hiding-under-the-couch-cushions-missing, but gone without a trace. Now for some, this might not be a big deal. For our house, it's huge. Sure, we can still watch t.v., but who wants to watch live t.v. anymore? I have been so spoiled by the DVR that I can't bear to sit through one minute of commercials. We TIVO everything and watch it commercial-free. Unfortunately, without the remote, the pre-recorded shows are inaccessible.

Josh was the last one to see the remote alive (which means we all blame him). He has become the primary suspect. We are gathering evidence for our case, but have little to convict him with unless we find a body.

He just might be sent to jail anyway. After all, it was a new Grey's last night, and I HAVE TO WATCH IT.

There is a reward being offered now of ten dollars for anyone who finds it. Yes, it is that important. My kids have been brought up right - they'll do ANYTHING for a buck. And ten bucks? Let's just say that trash has been gone through, and it wasn't by me.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of our remote, please send it my way. I know we'd all appreciate it (most especially Josh).

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I hate it when that happens...

Don't you just hate it when you step into an elevator and stumble upon the worst B.O. you've ever smelled in your life? Unfortunately, you are on the top floor of the building and the elevator stops at each floor on its way down. Everyone that gets on looks right at if you were the source. You want to scream at the top of your lungs, "IT ISN'T ME!"

Brought to mind the Seinfeld episode of the "Mutant B.O." that got left in the car from the parking valet guy.

In real life, it's not nearly as funny. Why is that?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

why I'll keep my kids

Today was a horrible day.

It started to all go awry this morning at my long-overdue haircut. I have yet to find a hair cutting person here that I like, and was giving someone new a try. She was okay, but VERY CHATTY. She kept putting down the scissors to talk, and inside I'm freaking out, thinking of that preschooler of mine that announces ever-so-loudly (in her most disapproving tone) when I am late. And to complicate the preschool pick-up today, we had a playdate at the park with some new friends immediately following preschool (which I would have gotten out of had I known the Mom's cell phone number).

So it's five minutes before I needed to be picking Hannah up, and I'm still sitting in the salon chair. I told the hairdresser that I really needed to leave. That prompted her to PUT DOWN HER SCISSORS YET AGAIN to tell me some story about a customer who...BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. I tuned out and kept my panicked eye on the clock. She FINALLY finished about five minutes after I was supposed to pick up Hannah, which had me running out the door and wildly throwing money at the receptionist for my (not-so-great) sixty dollar haircut, but having no time with which to fix or deal with it.

So I fly over to preschool, grab Hannah, and head to the playdate. Remembering at that moment, of course, that it was a lunch playdate. And I had no lunch. So McDonald's drive-thru for Hannah it was.

Spent the next two hours chatting with the mother of Hannah's little friend who was very nice, but found myself floating away mentally to my to-do list that was at least a mile long.

Raced home to shove some lunch down my own throat before heading out to pick up the boys from school.

Then it was homework. And in between juggling homework, mail, and the phone calls that for some reason always come at homework time, I attempted to piece some dinner together.

Then we were off to Chase's baseball game. In the rain. Which makes me ever so cranky (and does nothing for the judgement of my new haircut which I possibly hate or love, but have no time to tell).

During the baseball game, I got assigned the task of keeping an eye on the boys in the dugout. We've had some boys messing around, and by virtue of the fact that I seem to attend every game (how the other parents get out of it is beyond me), they nominated me as Dugout Mom.

And on my first watch, someone got whacked in the face with a metal bat. (Aren't you just begging for me to tend your kids right about now?)

So we finish the game somewhat intact, pile in the car, and rush to sit in traffic for 30 minutes on our way home. We arrive home, hurriedly eat some of the less-than-tasty dinner I had thrown together earlier. Next came baths, the finishing of homework, and priming of the pinewood derby car.

I was frazzled. I was done. I needed these children in bed so I could sit down and find any sense of sanity left floating around my head (until, of course, I realize that there are 400 loads of laundry waiting to be folded and put away). I haul up three baskets full of clothes, grumbling, and find my sweet boy, McKay, sitting on Hannah's bed - reading to her. He'd tucked her in, picked out her favorite book, and began to read to her. Nobody asked him. Nobody even mentioned that he ought to do that. He saw I was about at the breaking point, and stepped up to the plate. It brought sharp tears to my eyes to see this thoughtful boy taking some time for his little sister, and having the wisdom beyond his years to know that I needed help.

Brought the day in perspective, too. Because at the end of the day, what really matters most anyway? The laundry I didn't get to? The emails waiting to be answered? The phone calls not returned? The dinner not made well? No, what matters is that these little people know that they're loved.

And boy, are they ever.

Hannahism for the day

H: "I've got some important work to do today."
Me: Oh, really? What is that?
H: "I've got to practice being beautiful."

Monday, March 19, 2007

breaking the spirit of my righteous husband

I won. Yep, I finally convinced Josh to skip church and take us all to Disneyland.

We headed up to Anaheim very early yesterday morning (leaving our house by six a.m.) That's right - we were ON THE ROAD and ready to roll much earlier than I am willingly up on a school day. But the lure of the Magic Kingdom called and somehow I was out of bed with a smile on my face. Could have been seeing their faces light up when we told the kids Saturday night what we were doing. Or the pitter-patter of Hannah's feet at midnight telling me ever-so-softly, "It's one-two-zero-four. Is it time to go to Disneyland yet?" (I love her way of telling time. I can always count on her first thing in the morning when, without my contacts or glasses, I am pretty much legally blind). But we all eagerly headed out for a day of fun.

First mistake (and maybe god's way of punishing me for breaking the sabbath) was going on a weekend day. It was SO CROWDED. And I mean, ridiculously-full-of-people-crowded. It started out okay, but by noon, you could hardly walk. Josh calculated our ratio of time in line to actual ride time and felt like it was an utter waste of time being there (yes, the nerd in him coming out).

Second mistake was not packing our own lunch - we spent about sixty dollars in the park on what was the equivalent of wonder bread and a product that I question as containing any actual meat. Even immediately after eating, the kids were still starving. And it almost always takes at least 15 minutes at home before they're starving again.

We had pretty much done all the major rides by about four o'clock. And seeing that the Fast Pass wait time was at least two hours for crappy rides like Buzz was time to get out of there. Not, of course, without the requisite gift shop visit, which I like to call When My Kids Beg For All Kinds of Expensive Plastic Crap (and when I buy it just to get them to BE! QUIET! FOR TWO WHOLE MINUTES).

But in spite of all this, we had a great time. I think it's the kid in me that just loves Disneyland (which is funny considering I am generally opposed to anything sporting a big black mouse and/or characters). But I love the rides. I love the look. I love seeing that ghost sit next to you in the Haunted Mansion. I love Splash, Space Mountain, and the Matterhorn. I love that even after all these years, thousands of people still flock there.

I only wish they had flocked there on a day different than us.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

13 things I love about you

So it's our anniversary today, and in honor of that, I thought I would post 13 things I love about for every fantastic year together:

  1. You always let me have the last bite of dessert.
  2. You encourage me in buying things that make me feel pretty.
  3. You make me laugh. Still.
  4. You happily take the kids on Saturday mornings to give me a break.
  5. You ALWAYS go pick up the take-out.
  6. You listen when I need to complain or vent about my day.
  7. You willingly and graciously tend our kids so I can go on trips with my girlfriends.
  8. You work so hard, even when you don't want to.
  9. You always say I'm beautiful when I ask, "Does this make me look...[insert negative adjective here].
  10. You are uncompromising in your principles.
  11. You laugh with me at stupid movies.
  12. You dream big, you live big, and you encourage greatness from all of us.
  13. You still love me, even after all these years.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Things I've learned this week

  • When browsing Barnes & Noble, it is wise to keep track of the time, especially if you are supposed to pick your daughter up from pre-school. She will yell "FINALLY, JEEZ!" very loud when you arrive one whole minute late.
  • The phenomenon known as the "marine layer" basically means that it can go from 75 degrees to 50 in about ten minutes with a drastic increase in humidity. And this will always happen at the beginning of a three-hour baseball game.
  • The marine layer and I do not see eye-to-eye when it comes to matters of my hair.
  • Surprisingly, trying to talk Josh into skipping church and going to Disneyland is not as easy as you would think.
  • Freezing the girl scout cookies does not necessarily make them less tempting for me. You see, FROZEN COOKIES ARE DELICIOUS.
  • Paying my kids to clean is well worth the one dollar a piece that they charge me.
  • Hannah's version of helping me make dinner is her sitting on the counter in an apron eating Lucky Charms.
  • Grey's Anatomy is still the best hour spent watching television.
  • Favorite thing this week: The warm sunshine and MAC makeup packages in the mail.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

mixed up legs

Hannah (as a lot of 4-year-olds have been known to do) frequently puts her shoes on the wrong feet.

She did it today, and I gave my usual comment, "Your shoes are on the wrong feet. Does that matter?" (Because most days it doesn't matter to her).

Exasperated, she replied, "It's not my shoes. My legs are on the wrong feet. THAT'S THE PROBLEM, MOM!"

Clearly, I was mistaken. If only we could find a way to switch those legs around so she'd be more comfortable...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

for love of the game

Josh was able to make McKay's baseball game tonight, arriving about halfway through. McKay, seeing his father pull up, eagerly ran over from the dugout for a high-five and a hello.

Josh says, "Hey, Mack, what's the score?"

McKay: "I think it's tied or something. We're doing just AWESOME."

McKay then runs back to the dugout and rejoins his team.

Josh turns to me, "So, what's the score?"

Me: "The score is 7 to 1. We're 1."

Because it's not about whether you win or lose.

It's about goofing off in the dugout with a bunch of squirley boys your age, adjusting your new cup every ten seconds because it's JUST! SO! UNCOMFORTABLE!, and diving like mad when you're up to bat (after all, it is kid pitch this year, and yes, he's already been hit).

Monday, March 12, 2007

battle of the white trash clans (also known as: when I pray the tourists will stay home next time)

My kids have half-days all this week due to parent/teacher conferences (OH GOODY was my first reaction), but we made the most of it by heading to the beach. The past couple of days have been unseasonably warm. And not just warm, but HOT. Lovely, gloriously, freakishly hot. I'm talking at least 80 degrees today.

So I'm enjoying the beach, sitting under the umbrella, rubbing my feet in the sand . I look up to see a large group of people practically setting up camp on the beach. These were an unsavory-looking group - chock full of mullets, tattoos, wife-beater tank tops, black levis and Motley Crue t-shirts (yes, black levis on the beach - go figure?). I watched in amusement as it took four of them to put up their umbrella. With ghetto-blaster rocking (didn't know anyone even had ghetto-blasters anymore), they were all set. Pretty soon, out came the case of beer.

Which they consumed in all of ten minutes.

Thankfully, one couple was able to stop making out long enough to make a beer run.

Well, wouldn't you know it - here comes another group. They looked so much like the first ones, you would have thought they were related/inbred cousins. And with the beach practically deserted, they wisely, and ever-so-thoughtfully, chose to set their blankets up about 10 feet from the first group.

Only the second group wasn't so keen on the beer drinking (which is actually illegal at this beach). They also didn't like the loud metal music blasting from the stereo (shocker - I would have thought it was right up their alley). Not too politely, the one with the most tattoos asked them to turn their music down.

Just in time for beer-run couple to return with more beer. Upon which, they were not so thrilled that the Metallica was being turned down. They responded by playing the music so loud that even the seagulls drowned themselves just to make it stop.

This led to a hilarious back-and-forth name calling/stuff struttin'/chain smoking/beer drinking/'you-talkin'-to me?' power struggle between the rival clans.

The battle came to a close when the park ranger pulled up and came down on them for the liquor. I was hoping for a Jerry Springer-style battle in which they pulled hair, shouted obscenities, and lifted up their shirts to show off the goods.

Maybe next time.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

last week's lessons (a little delayed)...

  • When Josh says he's sick, HE'S TRULY SICK.
  • When Josh is sick, he probably should not drive himself to the doctor.
  • Josh + a 105-degree fever + an ER visit = ONE BAD WEEK.
  • Friends who will sit with you all night in the ER are friends to keep around forever.
  • Little League Opening Day ceremonies, in which they announce all 400 players individually by name, will take HOURS. Skipping this event next year would not be such a bad thing.
  • Girl scout cookies are of the devil and will taunt me with their yummy, satanic deliciousness.
  • When the cable box goes haywire and works only in black-and-white, the children will assume this is how I watched t.v. as a little girl.
  • The children will need to be educated that I am a YOUNG mom and was privileged to enjoy color t.v., computers, and not riding to school on a dinosaur when I was their age.
  • The cable company will not see the black-and-white viewing as the emergency we feel it is, and will take days to send someone out to fix it.
  • Shopping is the best therapy for a rough week.
  • Favorite thing this week: Seeing a movie all by myself and LOVING it.

Friday, March 9, 2007

sicker than sick

Well, it's been a crazy 24 hours.

For those of you who haven't heard, my Josh is one sick puppy. Wednesday night he came home from work and was feverish, felt terrible, and had a RAW sore throat.

Thursday morning he woke up, still was feverish, still felt terrible. He made himself a doctor's appointment and told me he was fine enough to drive himself there.

I believed him.

When I hadn't heard from him after his appointment, I called his cell phone to see how it was going. He babbled pretty incoherently and managed to get out, "Come get me." So Hannah and I race to the clinic to pick him up. We find him curled up in a ball, asleep on the exam table, while the doctor is trying to wake him up and give him medication and instructions. He told me that Josh was hallucinating in the office due to his high fever, he had been throwing up, and was pretty out of it. The doctor said it was most likely strep and sent us on our way with an antibiotic.

By about six o'clock last night, he had a fever of 105. He would not wake up very well, was spouting off with all kinds of gibberish (again, the hallucinations). I force-fed him some Motrin and called for a blessing. He didn't even budge when the home teachers came over. Didn't get out of bed, didn't respond, didn't even open his eyes. By this point, I was starting to get a little worried, so I paged the doctor on-call. He told me to take Josh to the emergency room (standard doctor answer when they can't/don't want to deal with you and your sickness after their workday is done). I was still a little doubtful - and not wanting to spend six hours in the ER unnecessarily - so I called my good friend, Vicki, who just happens to be an ER nurse. She came over, took one look at Josh, and calmly told me, "If we can't get him down the stairs, we're going to call the medics. He needs to be seen now."

Luckily, we were able to load him into the car ourselves, and I called another friend to come stay with my kids. Dear, sweet Vicki called ahead to the ER (WHICH WAS ABSOLUTELY PACKED WITH PEOPLE) and when we got there, they had a bed, an IV, and a doctor waiting for us. She stayed with me the entire time (even though it was her night off - she had already worked a full day) and she took great care of us. I am confident that without Vicki, we would have waited about two hours just to get seen; she had us in a room faster than we could blink.

They ran a battery of tests on Josh (blood work, chest x-ray, and lumbar puncture to check for meningitis) - all of which thankfully came back negative. They pumped him full of IV fluid, as well as some IV antibiotics, and some pain medication to help with his throat. It was a little scary, and watching them do the lumbar puncture nearly made me pass out (quite literally - had to go sit in the hall with my head in between my knees until it passed), but otherwise it went okay. Got home at about one o'clock in the morning, so we're pretty tired today.

He is doing so much better though - the fever is down and I am trying to push the liquids so he doesn't get dehydrated again. They think it's just a really severe case of a strep infection that just ravaged his body. Thank heavens it's not something worse.

We are on the mend.

Thanks to all who called with concern. We love that you care.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

20 questions

I get so inundated with questions from the little Hannah around here, that I decided to pull out a notebook and pen to document the crazy things that come flying out of her mouth in a given day. Here is a list of questions said to me in the last 24 hours by Hannah:

  • Is it time for breakfast?
  • What does 'insane' mean?
  • Mommy, am I hilarious?
  • Why do you have to cut burritos with a knife?
  • Why do the boys like such dangerous things?
  • Do I have school today?
  • Can I have a nickname that's not silly?
  • What did you just eat?
  • Can you turn on Noggin?
  • Do you like peppers?
  • Why does Chase worry about me?
  • Can you get me a drink QUICK? Cause my mouth is all spaghettio-ish.
  • When can I get a baby sister?
  • Can I dance at my wedding?
  • Will I be cute when I'm all growned up?
  • Can I have a snack?
  • Why didn't you open this new box of rice krispies, you silly?
  • Can you play with me?
  • What's for dinner?
  • Will you give me a kiss and a hug?
    • As you can see, never a dull moment around here.

      Never a quiet one, either.

      Tuesday, March 6, 2007

      dear me...

      Miscellaneous-Mum came up with a great idea that I found out about from a very darling Housewife. The concept is this - write a letter to yourself at some point in your past with all the things you wish you could have told yourself back then. Here's mine:

      Dear Me in 1990 (junior year of high school):

      You are at probably the lowest point of your entire life. You cannot see past the next week, let alone the next year. This has been a bad year for you. Your friends have not been there like you thought they would. You have had your heart broken into a thousand pieces and you don't see much of value when you look in the mirror. Trust me when I tell you, you will make it, and come out stronger on the other side. You will one day laugh that you dated boys named Skip, Kolby, and Mike. You will see that you were MUCH too good for them.

      You will go on to college and have many more opportunities for growth. Your character will be tested and your integrity called into question. Have the courage to stand up for yourself. Don't be afraid of confrontation - especially when defending what you know to be right. These years will also be one of great freedom. You will thoroughly love not having a curfew and being on your own for the first time. It is here that you will discover the joy of running. Keep that up, for it will be a source of great happiness for you. You, my dear, will even one day run a marathon.

      You will make a few poor choices in the boys that you like during this time. It will seem like the end of the world when they break your heart. Trust me when I tell you that it will be short-lived, for you will find your soul mate shortly into your second year of college.

      This will be a man that you will fall hard and fast for. The first time you see him, something inside you will whisper, "Hello, old friend." Your brief courtship will be enough for you to know that he's the one - the one you want to spend eternity with. Your logic will argue against this, but you won't listen to it (thankfully). You will marry this man VERY EARLY on a warm day in March, and begin your life together. In the beginning, you will be oh, so poor. You will be the textbook definition of "starving students," but you will never feel anything lacking in your rich life. You will work at jobs you hate so that your beloved can get through school. He will repay that in spades by working hard enough so you can quit work and stay home when you have your kids.

      Yes, you will have children with this man - and find yourself more in love with him than you thought possible. At times, these children will sap every ounce of your strength, but when you tuck them in at night and watch these angels sleeping, you will find a renewal of that strength. The baby years will go by so fast - please don't wish them away. You will always laugh - and stand in wonder that you still find this man funny after 13 years together. You will move cross country - more times than I'd like to admit to you - but it will be the best thing for you. You will be forced out of your comfort zone, and learn to get over your fear of the unknown. You will become an expert at making new friends - something you never thought possible.

      Now listen up, this is the most important thing I've got to say to you. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. You don't believe it; you never have. You will not be 110 pounds. EVER. But you will come to feel at home in your own skin, I promise you that. You will one day look in the mirror and not hate what you see. Oh, and please, for the love of god, stop perming your hair. You will figure that one out, but far later than you wish. You will always cringe a little when looking at your wedding photos. They would have been so much prettier had you not gotten that one, last perm. In fact, you will hate it so much that you will get your hair straightened on your honeymoon and never perm it again.

      So make the most of this year, know that there are so many great things up ahead for you. It's hard when you can't see past tomorrow, but I promise, tomorrow it only gets better.


      You in 2007

      Monday, March 5, 2007

      the homework blues

      I hate homework time. I should love it more, I know, but it's my least favorite time of day. I don't mind spending time with my darlings - teaching, nurturing, and generally building their vast stores of knowledge. But those things tend to happen best at the park when you find a butterfly cocoon, or the aquarium when they've discovered just how cool jellyfish are. Not at the kitchen table when they're hungry, they're tired, and all they want to do is sit down and watch themselves a little SpongeBob Squarepants.

      It became such a chore this year, that I was forced to invent the "Homework is a Treat" jar. Yes, in that respect, I have become my mother. We roll a dice, and whatever number is the highest becomes the number of M&Ms everyone gets. The M&Ms are only given out upon successful completion of homework time. If there is complaining, whining, or poor effort - I get to take back some of their M&Ms. Since some days we roll only a two, these chocolate candies have become precious commodities not to be lost. We had to institute "homework" for Hannah simply as a means to keep her from tormenting the boys. She used to bounce around the table - almost always munching on some sort of messy, salty snack - singing the princess songs at the top of her lungs. IT DROVE THE BOYS CRAZY. So now we fill a yellow legal pad with rows of letters and words for her to copy, which has seemed to help.

      Today is particularly challenging because Chase stayed home sick from school. I suppose that technically excludes him from homework, but his jumping on the couch tells me the antibiotic has kicked in and he could participate. Upon being informed of this, he returns to his prior death-like trance on the couch. "I'M JUST TOO SICK, MOM. REALLY."

      Yeah, right.

      Hannah has now finished her pages, which she loudly brags about and tosses in the face of McKay - who still sits chained to the table (figuratively, of course). He gets mad and returns fire in the form of verbal insults, which prompts her deliver a sideways strike to his cheek with her hand. This then results in his crying, and her promising all sorts of servitude if he won't tell Mom - which he recognizes as a great bargaining chip and begins a negotiation.

      All this while I'm struggling to come up with an idea for dinner other than McDonalds, sort through the mail, not eat my way through a bag of Oreos, and somehow manage to tidy up the house in a vain attempt to appear in control when Josh comes home tonight.

      I'm not.

      And it looks like Oreos for dinner for me. Maybe for us all.

      Friday, March 2, 2007

      this week's lessons

      • When attempting to break bits of chocolate in a glass bowl for melting, do not use the pointy end of a pair of scissors. It WILL BREAK THE BOWL, but more shocking is that I will be oddly surprised that it happened. (CLEARLY, I AM A MORON)
      • Calling old friends to catch up is always a treat. One that should be repeated more often.
      • Preschool starting up again after a month-long hiatus is PURE HEAVEN. For her and for me.
      • Scrapbook stores are dangerous, dangerous places. Spending will happen; I will be powerless to resist.
      • PMS is NOT a license to eat everything in sight.
      • Exercise actually is better for said PMS than eating 40 pounds of chocolate. REMEMBER THIS IN 28 DAYS.
      • Husbands can sleep through the children projectile vomiting in the middle of the night. A very mild case of alleged wife snoring will send them packing angrily to the couch.
      • A clean house makes me oh, so very happy.
      • The yearly cub scout Blue and Gold Banquet will feature the oddest potluck dishes imaginable.
      • When waiting for a call from McKay that baseball practice is over, it always helps to make sure my phone is actually TURNED ON.
      • A new pair of shoes can rejuvenate tired outfits.
      • Favorite thing this week: Rediscovering The Royal Tenenbaums. Just a brilliant film. Netflix it today.

      Thursday, March 1, 2007


      Inspired by my friend, Annie, here is a list (and we all know how much I love a good list):

      I wish I...
      • didn't love food so much.
      • could be in an exotic destination, right this minute. (Oh, wait, kinda am. I guess I wish I was on vacation somewhere exotic)
      • had a maid.
      • wasn't so hard on myself.
      • could remember everything I read.
      • had more time to read.
      • could always ensure my kids were safe.
      • had better skin and no freckles.
      • didn't like t.v. so much.
      • was a better cook.
      • could just be content with my body as-is.
      • could write a novel.
      • was more kind.
      • could travel and see the world with my family.
      • had fresh flowers in my house every day.
      • could talk to my grandpa who died when I was nine.
      • had a personal stylist to blow-dry my hair every morning.
      • could scrapbook all the time.

      Your turn - what do you wish for?