Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Beautiful floors

Here's our wood floors in the corner of the living room. And the new no-VOC paint. The color is Joshua Tree, but it looks blue sometimes, greenish other times and a definite blue-green on occasion. Did I mention it went on with one coat?! I don't mind two coats, but the husband who actually does the painting does mind.

Doggone phone service

Monday was quite a day with sickness, potential water shortages, the tile guy ... Then the phone went out -- AGAIN! Stupid digital phone! Second time in a month. These people have to get their act together.

I'm grumpy when I have to sit through 20 minutes on the cell phone while they try to reboot it from wherever the call center is. Then I schedule the appointment for a technician to come out. I complain about it to friends who have their own horror stories.

I'm thinking digital phone service has to go! Then Dean comes home from work...

And finds the phone cord yanked out of the wall outside and gnawed on.

Maybe the dogs have to go.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

You know he's wondering if the check will be good

Don't you hate it when you are a little haphazard with the bills because your house is all tore up and you are having trouble keeping anything straight and then you get a final notice that they are shutting off the water if you don't pay up?

You hate it more when you are at the doctor's office with your sick kid and the nice man putting in the tile in the kitchen and the bathroom has to accept the notice for you...

Monday, April 28, 2008

A thief in the night

Somewhere around 6:15 a.m.:
"Mom." It's the short boy whose name I can't remember at this hour because I was up all night with the older, sicker one.
"Mom." GGGGGRRRRHHH. He'll go away soon.
"Mom." He's not going anywhere.
"Mom ."
He's not a dumb kid. He wants to make sure I'm awake enough to understand him. It's an effective technique. "YES?"
"Something bad happened. I went to bed with my pants on and then I woke up this morning. LOOK WHAT HAPPENED!!!!" 
He shows me his bare little boy leg.


Friday, April 25, 2008

Mother's Little Helper

I present to you the IPod -- THE GREATEST BABYSITTER EVER.

My brother (Hi Rod!) gave me an IPod for Christmas. We won't discuss how he bought it in his football team's school color and had "Go Tartans!" inscribed on the back. While I use it (New Yorker and This American Life podcasts), you wouldn't know it by the contents of the video area. There's High School Musical, The Suite Life, Ferdinand the Bull and Jack Jack Attack. I can get through a PTA meeting, a visit to the doctor's office or a long drive home with cranky kids with the magic of the IPod. 

I have to be careful not to use it too much. It's like drugs. If the kids get addicted, Mommy might need more, bigger, better technology to make it through the day.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Jack learned about divorce today (No, I am not announcing the breakup of our marriage on my blog.  Wouldn't Dean be surprised?).
I had a van full of kids, taking them home from school, and Neil asked about two other kids.
"It's their turn with their mom," answered one of their friends.

Mom Alert. We know people who are divorced (Some of my best friends are divorced...). Most are remarried and it doesn't come up. In fact, a relative who is divorced and remarried has destroyed the photos from the first marriage and asked all the relatives to do the same so it won't come up with their children (I'm trying to protect identity here... hopefully I did).

Back in the van, the friend is explaining how these kids can see their mom one weekend but not the next weekend. They move between two homes. And this helpful child is going on about how they forget stuff at one house and can't have it because they have to wait to see their mom, etc.

It didn't register with Neil (or he thought it was a reasonable plan). But Jack's eyes just kept getting wider. Holy crap! Something else for my sensitive son to worry about. I could see Jack's mind working, trying to grasp this new horror that had never occurred to him. Wait a minute! Mom and Dad don't have to be married?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I just got a promotion

Not really, but I'm thinking about it. I'm in charge at home, right? Well, I'm in charge until Dean and the kids get home.

I'm thinking of giving myself a raise, a corner office and an impressive title.

I have been playing with the idea of making up a job for awhile now. My make-believe job would be the reason I cannot volunteer for the 1,000th time this week because the excuse that I actually want to spend some time with my own kids doesn't seem to work.

And some of the working moms on the baseball teams cannot volunteer for ANYTHING because "I work." So do I, sister.

I have friends who work full time and believe my schedule is the ultimate in flexibility because I stay home (I'm rarely in the home. I have a dirty house to prove it.). My commitments are to my children, their growth and their education.

I want a little respect when I say I am working in my son's classroom and I cannot change it constantly. It is just as important as a meeting with a client. In fact, in my life, it is more important.

This is not to slam those who work full time. I did it for the first 4 years of Jack's life. But I also know you juggle, you adjust and you do your best to help your kids. I volunteered back then too. I have friends who work full time now and still volunteer. It's a matter of priorities. And "I work." is a convenient excuse for some.

I'm going to start saying, "I'm sorry. I can't. I have a meeting." So what if the meeting is with my 5-year-old and his race cars.

I'm the vice president of procurement (grocery shopping and frequent visits to Target required for position).

Friday, April 18, 2008


Fundraising, fundraising, fundraising. I'm tired! But the Tri-R-athon is today!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

New paint

New floors mean new paint in the dining room and living room. That's the rule of home improvement: one thing leads to another. Our air conditioner leaking and ruining the Pergo-like floors three years ago led to new cabinets in the kitchen (we didn't want to do new floors if we were going to change the layout of the kitchen eventually), new counters, new sliding glass doors and new windows (still working our way through that one) and new lighting in the kitchen. Now the floors look awesome and the paint looks dingy...

Pity my husband. He's doing the work and I made him buy the Fresh Aire No VOCs paint from Home Depot. I'm praying it goes on well and looks good!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Something to stand on

We finally have flooring! Not all the floors are covered, but we have major progress. The dining room, living room and family room have beautiful maple wood floors, stained a lovely medium brown. The rooms are empty and beautiful right now. We just keep dusting the floors.
The dogs are slipping and sliding. At first, Shiloh wouldn't step on it. He didn't know what it was. Cody races through the rooms and ends up sliding until he hits a wall. It's great fun for the whole family!
If we actually get the tile in the kitchen and bathroom, the ENTIRE downstairs will finally have nice flooring. No more concrete, no more damaged old Pergo-like flooring, no more tile that Dean tried to put in ("I don't need spacers.").
Jack almost cried when he realized he couldn't ride his bike or scooter in the house any more (Mom let them life like hooligans before!). Yes, my son, you will have to learn to live like other people do -- no bikes, no scooters, no cleats, maybe no children in the house!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Why boys like girls

We are in the car and Neil is talking away. Suddenly he asks, "Mom, do you remember the Pink Lady?"

"Pink Lady?" This is one of those mom moments when you are scanning your brain as fast as you can to figure out what he is talking about.

"The Pink Lady, Mom!" The emphasis is clearly to help my ignorant mind catch up. I fake it.

"Sure, the Pink Lady."

"The men get crashed and other stuff following her."

Now it is coming clear... He's talking about the ad with the woman with the unibrow who rubs Planters peanuts all over herself and the men are drawn to the peanut pheromone. (Watch the YouTube video here.)

"Yeah, I remember the Pink Lady."

"The boys all like her because she loves nuts."


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Blogging is dangerous

I had no idea that bloggers were in such danger:
Thank you to Kay who left the link on Mighty Girl.

And this one shoots down my plan to remember what writing was by keeping this blog:
Thank you to Defective Yeti.

Spring Break

It's spring break and we were spending a lot of time in our pajamas...then we learned that the new wood flooring had arrived and would be installed at the end of this week! Eeeeks! Imagine mass panic as we started packing up books, toys, couches, etc.

Monday, April 07, 2008

One small step for mankind...

Look at me! Actually, look at my kids. They are cuter.

I can actually post a picture on my blog! Who knew I could come so far with technology? Ken B. is laughing at me right now. And he should. It's embarrassingly easy.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

What's more boring than sick kids? A toaster oven

Instead of more talk about my sick kids (back down to one, but the one decided to throw up)... I'm going to talk about my love for my new toaster oven (I'm tired, people. Give me a break.)

As my friend Julie said, "How did you live with out one? Especially with kids."

I agree.

I don't believe I've ever owned a toaster oven before -- not even in college. The regular, two-slices-at-a-time toaster started sending out small sparks, flames if you will, on occasion. I didn't rush out to buy a new one. I just unplugged it when I left the house. At the time, it seemed logical, but now it does seem a bit foolhardy.

The replacement toaster is a toaster oven from heaven (Costco). I've been baking, broiling, warming food to unnatural tempatures, making mini batches of biscuits. It sits all silver shiny on my counter.

How DID I live without this?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Sick and sicker

Sure, the husband's out of town. Night No. 1, finds me trying to sleep at 1 a.m. when Jack comes in wheezing and coughing. I was also trying to sleep at 2 and 3:45 and, funny enough, at 5:30 a.m. Why did I even try?

Now it is Night No. 2. I'm thankful that I got the trash cans out before the rain started. Jack has antibiotics and anti-wheeze medicine -- all should be right with the world. That's when I hear Neil start coughing.