Monday, March 29, 2010

Smells like tween spirit. . .

Around here, we now have two tweeners growing up. . .

Me, to child in shower: Be sure to wash carefully.

Child: Why? I wear deodorant now.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New math

While getting something out of the cabinet this afternoon, I glanced down at my son's homework, which was lying on the counter.

A couple of words jumped out at me, causing me to look it over more carefully. What I thought I read couldn't possibly be on a child's math paper.

But no, I had not misread. The question was: "Find something nearby that has parallel lines".

His answer: "The two sides of a wine bottle".

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A true lock-in

As I mentioned, my oldest daughter's birthday was on Wednesday. She turned 10, and it was a momentous occasion. Double digits, a decade, the big 1-0! We are very proud of her and what a wonderful young lady she is becoming.

While we could have just celebrated in the same old way, the youngest two children and I decided to shake things up a bit. By locking the kids in the car.

I was leaving a friend's house to pick up the older children from school. My 3.5 year old son was playing in the front seat (pushing lots of fun buttons, I later realized) while I gabbed with my friend and put the baby in her carseat. I then corralled my son and put him in his five-point harness, slid the door shut and walked around to my door. About the time I got to the driver's door, I heard a definitive click. I immediately knew what happened and felt a mild sort of panic. I looked down at the seat, and there lay my keys and phone. I quickly called my husband on my friend's phone, and he (after having me double check all the doors and windows) rushed the 15 minutes to unlock the doors.

It was a harrowing time. The kids were mostly unaffected, although by the end they were both crying. It was a really warm day and I was worried about the temperature in the van. Luckily, my husband was able to come quickly, and all was fine in the end.

I told my daughter, though, that I would rather commemorate her next birthday in a less stressful manner.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Gardening, schmardening

Today in MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), we had a great presentation on gardening and growing an herb garden. The gal who presented was very knowledgeable and told us all sorts of things about planting, watering and pruning our herbs. We then decorated our little pots with ribbons and bling (!), and made a decorative label for each pot. I joked that I needed ribbons and stickers in manly colors, because if these herbs had a chance at life, it was with my husband, not me.

To say I don't have a green thumb is like saying that Hitler was a little naughty. I am horrible at gardening, primarily because I don't enjoy it. I don't like getting my hands all dirty (the dirt stays under your nails for days!!), I'm not a fan of the bugs, and pulling weeds doesn't sound therapeutic to me - just exhausting. I love the great outdoors - we camp frequently - but gardening is not my cup of tea. Even houseplants don't make it a week under my care!

So - these little unsuspecting herbs sit on my counter, having no idea the home they've been given. For their sake, may my husband sweep in and have pity on them.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pronouns are for wimps!

Having had small children for 10 years now, I seem to have lost the ability to use pronouns. Young children understand dialogue much better in the third person (as in "Mommy said to brush your teeth!" or "Did Mommy give you a kiss?"). Pronouns just mix things up and confuse little ones just embarking on the English language.

Apparently, though, certain children in my household would prefer it if I switched back to first person. Take my eldest child, for example. Just the other day I said something along the lines of, "Mommy will help you with your homework in a minute". She looked at me imploringly and said, "I will help you!" I was momentarily confused. Will she help herself?!? Then I realized she was correcting my 2 year old grammar. Yes, I suppose my older children do deserve a mother who has full command of the English language, which decidedly includes pronouns.

I must say, though, in my defense, that I can't help myself. This has been a problem since my oldest was a mere baby (far before she ever could truly understand what I was saying, anyway!). I recall taking a shower when she was about 3 months old. My daughter was not even in the room with me, but in my mind, the pronoun-ectomy had already taken place. I dropped the soap on the shower floor and thought (thought - not spoke) "Mommy dropped the soap!". So you see, it's a lost cause. If, at three months of motherhood, I was thinking in third person, there's no hope.

So, if you are conversing with me and I lapse into third person, have pity. I really can't help myself.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wednesday blahs

I'm not very motivated in the housework department today. Monday I hit the ground running, doing all my scheduled chores plus many more as the ideas struck me. Yesterday, I ran lots of errands (with just the baby home from school), which is a day I enjoy - who doesn't love to shop?!? But today, I have just basic chores to accomplish, and I am tired. I'm not getting very far, and I 'm really wishing for a nap. I don't think that is going to happen, though. . .my 3 year old is giving his nap up, I'm afraid. Every day he is not in school, he likes to ask, "Can we skip my nap today?". My knee-jerk response is, "No, no, a thousand times no! A nap is a wonderful thing!! Why ever would you want to skip it??" But then I realize how I feel about sleeping is decidedly differently than how a 3 year old feels about it. To me, sleep is a much-sought after, elusive, joyful activity. To a 3 year old, it is a punishment.

Anyway, as you can see by this post, I am procrastinating all my work. I'm going to wager that it will all be here tomorrow, still waiting to be done. For today, I'm going to rest as much as the children will allow.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Deep thoughts by Jack Handey. . .er, mammamilk

1. Why do doctors always start their explanations out with "so"? You ask a question, such as, "Why does my son need this surgery?". The doctor begins his sentence, "So, surgery is necessary because. . ." Why add the "so"? It is completely superfluous.

2. We have a Jesus Mii on our Wii. We also have an Obama, an Elmo, and an old, wrinkly, fat Mii the children have named Prunes. When the kids are playing games, they will shout out "I just passed Obama!" or "There's Jesus!". It's vaguely disconcerting. I suggested (repeatedly) that having a Jesus Mii might be sacrilegious, but was apparently not heard.

3. The sun is shining today, for the THIRD day in a row. Yes, you read that right. If you are from around here, you know that is a stinkin' big deal. The sun NEVER shines here during the winter. Everyone can feel their moods being lifted.

4. My dear first born is turning 10 in 2 weeks. She is beyond excited to be "a decade, double digits, the big 1-0!". I am so proud of her, but am having trouble believing it is here already. When I am missing her sweet baby days, however, I need only look to her little sister to be reminded of them. The two look amazingly similar.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

How to shave $10 off your grocery bill

  • Choose $112 worth of groceries.
  • Approach checkout. Notice there is only one register open at 9:15 on a Monday morning. Frown.
  • Watch cashier scan groceries and coupons. Hear total. Suppress desire to say "How did I spend that much?!"
  • Swipe debit card.
  • Hear cashier say, "Oh no. That rang through as cash. I'll have to rering it all."
  • Try to remember everyone makes mistakes. Do not complain.
  • Attempt to entertain antsy toddler and juggle fussy baby while entire receipt is rerung by hand. Remember days as a Target cashier (if applicable). Try not to sigh.
  • Hear cashier announce new total (which should be the same as before, but surprisingly is not). Hear him proclaim, "I'll take $10 off for all your trouble!"
  • Rejoice inwardly and offer thanks out loud.

Take home lesson: $10 for 15 minutes of "work". If I could do this on a regular basis, we'd be rich!

The rising costs of education

In about 8 years, the first of our children will enter college. With four siblings behind her, the cost of higher education is staggering. I can't imagine how we will manage to pay for it all.

My children, though, are not too worried about the rising cost of education. They live their lives, blissfully unaware of the heavy financial cloud awaiting all of us. In fact, they are so unconcerned, they have decided they would like to provide a college education for others as well as themselves. How are they doing that, you might wonder?

By leaving on all the lights in our house.

Yes, you read that right. My children would like to educate all the children of the fine people who work for our electric company.

My kids find it virtually impossible to turn off a light. Our dining room, downstairs bathroom and basement are especially high on the kids' priority list. They must feel that leaving these lights on perpetually will really give all those electricians' kids' a leg up, because these three rooms could guide a ship into harbor any time of day. In fact, my poor husband is known to grumble, as we go up to bed, "Does anyone know how to turn this basement light off except me?!"

I guess I should be proud of them. They are changing the world (for those who work at the electric company, anyway), one room at a time.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Four years is too often

I'm sick. Not that I'm-gonna-die-sick, but with a bad cold: achy body, stuffy nose, headache and sore throat. I have been limping along since I was stricken last Friday. Thankfully my husband's weekend work schedule afforded him some free time, giving me a few chances to rest.

The last time I was down with any kind of illness was four years ago, when I was pregnant with our fourth child. God must have given me a first-rate immune system, since my children have been sick, oh about 20,000 times since then. Diarrhea, vomit, and runny noses? No problem - they're no match for me! I am able, however, to come down with a cold when no one has been sick in our house in weeks.