Monday, June 30, 2008

Almost Back to Normal

On our way back from New Hampshire Saturday, after we had our haircuts; my friend told me that the “house me” was different from the “apartment me.” She said that I’m different now (better). Not as mental but she thinks I haven’t fully recovered from living in the apartment yet and I might want to look into Zoloft. I’m stressing because my house isn’t unpacked. My husband’s parents are coming Tuesday. Two of my friends and their kids are coming Monday, I’m babysitting, and the kids still have piano, MyGym and Tae Kwan Do. I can’t figure out when I have time to clean. Oh, probably right now.

It’s vacation week for Will this week but I still want the house unpacked. I told the kids if they helped me enough we would take them to Six Flags on Thursday. Unfortunately, I noticed that “house me” is yelling at the kids to help me put junk away. It's not working. What do you call it when you keep doing the same thing hoping to get a different result? Let’s call it optimism. I do think I need Zoloft.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

I’m Different from the Other Moms

It’s not because I have so many children that I feel they’re interchangeable. When I only had Bri my friend Teri said that I was significantly mellower than a first time mom. Part of this has to do with growing up in the west and thinking I was invincible for most of my life. I remember climbing on my roof when I was five or six years old and walking around. When I tell my children to get down from neighbors’ roofs it’s because I know that my neighbors will freak out, not because it necessarily worries me. Hey, it was one story and not very steep.

Eastern moms tend to be more neurotic. I tend more towards the If you’re not bugging me and it doesn’t involve poop do what you want school of thought. I also push independence. Unfortunately for my children, sometimes I say “fly little bird” before they have feathers. Then I scrape them off the pavement and brush off the dirt.

I really started noticing the difference when Lizzy was in pre-school. One day they had a "Ride the Bus to the School Day." I took Lizzy. The other mothers were taking pictures. It didn’t occur to me to bring my camera. Lizzy got on the bus. We wave to each other for a while until I got bored and started looking around. The other moms and their entourages are still waving to their children. I saw that one of my friends was crying because her daughter was riding a bus. Keep in mind this wasn’t the first day of kindergarten! This was still pre-school. Kindergarten was months away! About this time, it occurred to me that if I was going to go to Target and be back in time to pick Lizzy up I better leave. So, I did. And I noticed that the bus pulled out of the parking lot right behind me. I couldn’t recover from that. I was the only parent to leave before the actual bus and even I knew that leaving before the bus was not good.

But the longer I live in the East the more neurotic I become. Last summer, I visited some family in Utah. I was at the park with the kids and I saw a lot of unsupervised kids. And I became Eastern. My brain disapproved. Where were their parents? Why would they let small children play unsupervised? I was not Eastern enough to actually say anything when someone came over. But if she had been able to read my mind she would have gotten a tongue lashing! But if this trend towards neuroticism continues, I will develop “first time mom” syndrome right about the time they all start college.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


I was at the store with the girls. They were handing out samples. Lizzy was wild for the pesto. So, I bought some. I gave the kids pesto on some Italian bread for lunch. I told Jake the pesto had garlic and olive oil in it. He said, “Wow! It’s weird that something so good can have such gross stuff in it!”

Friday, June 27, 2008

Today is Love Day

I got a note from Will’s teachers that he spent the day saying, “Today is love day” over and over.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Checking In

My dad is still calling me everyday. Either he’s worried that now I’m going mental because I’m trying to unpack and my four little slaves aren’t very helpful; or he’s concerned that my house is trying to drive us out. I’ve made up with my house (I think). I possibility, might have caused or imagined some of the problems; or perhaps, it was satisfied with the blood offering from my husband. If I had known that all it took was a little blood, I would have slit a vein the first day! But if that’s what it takes there’s enough routine bleeding with four kids that the house should be fine for years.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Singing Conversations

As the song was playing on the radio I sung to Bri, “Tell me, what’s on your mind.”

Bri responded, “Awake is the new sleep.” Then she added, “Just do it! Whatever it is, whatever it is. Just do it!” for good measure.

Clearly, I am playing too much Ben Lee in the car!

It’s Not a Mud Pie

I really thought I would have my house unpacked by now and I would be taking down wall paper. I was delusional. I forgot I owned so much crap. I don’t know where to put anything so I started a pile of things to get rid of but it's not big enough to make a difference yet. I was putting Lizzy to bed when I heard the gut clenching sound (for me) of water hitting the floor. Will was the only other person in the house and even if he wasn’t, statistically speaking he is responsible for at least 80% of the really large messes made in our house.

There was a time when our favorite Massaman curry paste was out of stock in the Asian market and it can take months for more to come in. So my husband bought a lot of spices and experimented with making his own spice blend. We still have a lot of those spices left. Will dumped out four cups of cumin and was adding a significant amount of water. I don't know if he was hungry or just wanted a little more zing in his food. Anyway, he took his third bath of the day while I cleaned up the floor, counter, cabinets and previously washed dishes.

Oh, why did we keep those spices?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Petty Tyrants

I’ve noticed in all my dealings with government officials and federal employees that there are two reactions to having that kind of job. Let’s start with the understanding that the whole “having a job thing” is a bother and anyone who asks questions or makes them work is an added inconvenience. Now keeping that premise in mind there are two major (many more minor) reactions when you need any help. The first reaction is that the person stays relatively normal. The second reaction is that the person goes power mad, in this case it doesn’t matter how much or little power the person actually possesses. You can, for instance, have a power mad receptionist and it’s ugly.

But I’m not sure who raises these people? Certainly, my parents never said that it was acceptable to insult or be really sarcastic to strangers. I know I would have some harsh words for my children if they routinely acted like mouthy seven year olds! I was on the phone with some winner from the post office. I said that I didn’t think my mail had been forwarded yet. “You don’t think?” She responded.

I thought about saying, “I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you weren’t a native speaker. I don’t think means that I am not 100% certain but it is not likely.” But, unfortunately in times like these, my parents’ installation of good manners surfaces and I don’t say anything that I desperately want to say. However, the longer I live in the East the closer I get to saying it. (No, it’s not living in the East I’m just turning crabby.) I have to be satisfied with saying, “No, I don’t think it has.” Do these people think I have nothing better to do than talk to them. I don’t want to talk to them. They give me headaches and cause me to rededicate myself to teaching my children good manners! When I would much rather sit at the computer, eat chocolate and let my children raise themselves.

Monday, June 23, 2008

I freaked out my dad

The 911 post I wrote had him worried. He tried calling my cell and the home number but people like to chat with me on the day I’m moving (because apparently I don’t have enough to do) so I was in the backyard with Bri’s friend’s dad who was picking up his daughter. When I answered the phone the next time my dad called he said, “It was the house wasn’t it?”

“What?” I asked.

“The house hurt your husband, right?”


I’ve convinced my dad the house is angry at us. He advised me to start threatening it with bodily harm it anything else breaks. I don’t think my dad realizes the amount of damage my children and I can inflict on the house in normal living conditions. Threatening it with more damage might cause it to have convulsions or a nervous breakdown. We would probably have to commit it to a mental hospital for evaluation. That would mean a longer commute for my husband and I’d have to change bus routes again so I think we will have to come to some sort of understanding. Perhaps it will feel better when I put away some of the boxes cluttering it up.

I think my dad is really worried because he figures if it came down to the house and me -- the house would win.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I really did have to call 911!

Several guys came over to help us unload the trailer today. It's a sad commentary on the work ethic of children when other kids are more help unloading than the children who actually own the stuff.

Some of the furniture was scuffed. I wonder if it would have come through the move better if we hadn't shipped it to Dallas than shipped it back to Massachusetts.

My husband was disconnecting the spring on the pull down ladder to the attic when it hit him on the funny bone and sliced open his elbow. His arm immediately went numb and tingly, he thought he broke his arm and was really annoyed. A friend drove him to the emergency room and I tried to put things away in the house. Bri was watching Will in the back yard but he slipped away and we couldn’t find him. We searched the house and the backyards of the neighbors around us but we couldn’t find him so I called 911. I gave the police the wrong description of what he was wearing because I forgot I changed his clothes.

After what seemed like forever they showed up. A policeman found him down the end of our very, very long street and around the corner. I was so relieved! This is the second time police have brought him back home. Then I loaded him and Lizzy in the car to go pick up my newly sewn up husband.

And now some semi positive news: The toothbrush is out of the holder. I showed it to someone who swish, swish pulled it out without any tools! I was a little annoyed. I'm sure I loosened it with all the hammering! If he had pulled out the toothbrush then cemented the tile back then I would have been really impressed.


My husband is at the emergency room getting stitches!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sometimes my sheer brilliance astounds me!

The one bathroom in my house that lives on in all it’s 70s glory is memorable. It has a peachish sink, tub and toilet. Which is set off by the speckled tannish tiles that go halfway up the wall around the bathroom; but perhaps the crowning jewel of the room is the Formica cabinet and built in makeup table. You might have been unaware that sink cabinets could be make out of Formica. I know I was. But the cabinet’s and makeup table’s glossy white, silver and gold marbleized looking surfaces call to me. I won’t tell you what they say because it’s private. (And my sister wants me to keep this blog rated PG.) I imagine in a different life I would sit at the table and beautify myself. But that image belongs in the same life where I imagine Will would not break perfume bottles or rub all the lotion on himself or line up all the makeup.

Above the sink in the wall tiles, there is a soap holder, a mini cup dispenser, and a toothbrush holder. Lizzy’s toothbrush got stuck. She asked for help. I tried to pull it out. I couldn’t. I tried to loosen it with dishwashing soap. That didn’t work either. Then I had the most brilliant idea in the world and I tried to hammer the toothbrush out of the holder. I broke the toothbrush holder off the wall. Now the wall is missing a tile. But even hammering it didn’t work! The toothbrush is still stuck in the holder only it’s not on the wall. Is that progress? I would have tried my electric knife only it was still on the moving van. Lizzy thought it was funny that her toothbrush was still stuck.

I really am the cool mom, but perhaps I shouldn’t be left alone with the house.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Belated Happy Birthday

Sorry E. I noticed that I posted (on your birthday) that I remembered your birthday because it was on Flag Day and I forgot, oops! There's some delicious irony in that isn't there? I love you even if I am self-consumed with breaking my house.

My House is Either Accident Prone or Quite Upset with Me!

It seems like one thing or another has gone wrong with this house since we’ve moved in. There is a huge broken branch on my neighbor’s tree dangling precariously over the wires connected to my house. (I foresee either a $1,000 bill in my future or a bad relationship with my next door neighbor.) There’s a row of four lights in my kitchen, two stopped working two days ago. The bathtub faucet, well, you already know about that. Half of my outlets in any given room do not work. I didn’t notice that the bedrooms, the office and living room lacked overhead lighting. One would think that with four phone plugs in a room I could find one that worked. No. You saw that coming didn’t you? And now my microwave stopped working.

Maybe with time our relationship will improve. Maybe the house is overwhelmed by the number of children that will be living here. Maybe it’s lonely for the old family. Maybe it’s scared. I hope it’s that! Fear I can work with.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Trend Continues

When we sold our first house years ago; a couple of days before we moved out Brianne found yellow paint and painted the carpet in her room, her blankets, and the walls. What do you do? When my husband was in grad school his parents bought a new house and let us live in their old house. We, of course, caused no damage whatsoever to that house not even the day before we moved out; although, we did have to build a half wall to keep Jake from turning off the water heater. Cold showers everyday for a week will influence you to take drastic measure.

The day before we moved out Will found a sharpie. Background: Will likes to draw on stuff, a lot. Markers don’t last long around our house because he likes to chew on them (they’re not poisonous—I called) and draw on books, walls, legal documents, his sibling's homework . . . He wrote A, E, I, O, U in permanent marker all over two of the air conditioners. I went to CVS to buy nail polish remover at 10:00 pm. It blurred the vowels a little. My husband found something that dissolves plastic. That worked on one of the air conditioners. We defaced the air conditioners. The screen is broken. I broke the disposal. We leave mattresses by the dumpster. My kids ate so many cookies in the office they were banned from taking any more. Will screamed and rolled down the hallway. I’m surprised they didn’t throw a party when we left!

One thing did go smoothly

When we had our phone number transferred over to the new house we switched to a new company. For that whole day we could use the phone at both the apartment and the new house. It only rang at the house but I could call out at both. I even tried calling myself.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

It Worked Two Days Ago!

I thought it would only take a couple of hours to clean my apartment and turn in the keys. We still had some stuff to move out so we were there until 1:30pm. It was unbelievable. By the end we were down to the weird, awkward stuff that you wonder if you should really keep moving from house to house. But we thought, “Hey, we moved it 2,400 miles, why get rid of it now?” We ran out of space in the trailer so we abandoned one mattress set by the garbage cans.

I had to drive back twice to pick up the kids from their bus stops. I got to the house and I didn’t know where anything was. I looked for a half hour for the box labeled really important bathroom stuff. I called my husband in frustration. The punk had hidden it in the bathroom!

My husband left for his six hour drive to Delaware and I tried to put things away. I was in the kitchen trying to find something to eat. Bri yelled, “Mom, Will’s poopy!” Jake had used the last of the toilet paper and poor Will didn’t know what to do. I put him in the shower. The water didn’t work. What?! Will had a bath in this very bathtub just a couple of days before. WHY DIDN’T IT WORK? Was it leaking? Was my house going to fall apart? Did I need to call the plumber? Is this a sign that I should not have bought this house? I put Will in my shower and left to find a towel. The only one I could find was a beach towel. I dried him off and he ran back to the other toilet. Ahhhhh. I yell for Bri to find me cleaning supplies. The kids tell me the downstairs toilet is plugged. In the midst of this my friend Marcy calls. She sends her husband over. Poor Tom, he thought that I would stop taking over his life once we moved out of the apartment. Yes, the part where I do my laundry at your house is over. But now it’s worse! My husband travels during the week, Marcy likes me and you have skills. It’s like having a second wife without any benefits.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Congratulations President Bush!

The second part of your plan to ignite the passions of the country and incite Americans to violence using a bait and switch model is working! The first part of the plan: blame Iraq for 9/11, when that is refuted just claim Iraq has WMD. If anyone points out fallacies in your argument you simply out someone in their family (either from the closet or CIA). If anyone argues that Saudi Arabia provided the most terrorists rely on American’s notable lack of knowledge of geography and tell them that Iraq is actually Saudi Arabia. Americans won’t know for years that we attacked the wrong country.

Second part of the plan: Using a modified trickle down model to propagandize kindergarteners. (It’s voodoo economics but with crayons instead of money.) My six year old just brought home a picture of her as a soldier AKA “community helper.” She is standing over a dead bad guy who is depicted with Xs on his eyes. She is protecting people from what I think is a bomb. Perhaps we should just sign her up for West Point now.

She told me she wanted to be a soldier before and I didn’t say anything because I assume she’ll outgrow it and I want her to believe that she can do anything. When I told my husband what Lizzy said he assumed I had launched into a diatribe against Bush, the war, and Republicans for good measure. Then he said that she would probably be a good soldier. WHAT!?! That’s not the point! Give Liz a few years and she could probably take both of us.

The phase where Lizzy wanted to be a fireman passed. I assume this will too. Internet, here is evidence to prove we are not all for gun control in Massachusetts.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Refreshingly Nonconformist -- doesn’t that sound like a commercial for a drink?

Someone told me at church that her husband enjoyed watching Jake because he was refreshingly nonconforming. I guess you could call it that. I’m glad he’s enjoyable to watch; trying to keep him under control, well, not so enjoyable! I understand why we compete with a sermon for attention. Between the pinching, recitations of Dr. Seuss, odd stories from Jake having little if anything to do with the topic at hand I understand that we could be considered mildly diverting.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I am ½ completely thrilled with myself

It started a couple of weeks ago when I was watching Lost, Sawyer sarcastically asked Kate if she wanted him to make a mixed tape for her. That idea took hold of my brain and has not let go. My husband made me a couple of tapes while we were hanging out but I never reciprocated. I suck at some things like giving gifts and thoughtfulness. In some ways I’m kind of like a guy. My husband has never gotten anything from me for our anniversary (16 years, we got married young). I’ve actually forgotten it more than once. He can’t take it personally because I’ve also forgotten my own birthday. I can’t remember all my siblings’ birthdays either. (The only one whose birthday I know was born on Flag Day.)

I felt pretty bad when I realized that my mother’s birthday and Mother’s Day was in less than a week and I hadn’t done anything for her. I called my sister and asked her to get something and put my name on it. I still haven’t sent her any money, oops. If she took credit cards this would not be a problem! Now I have another problem, however, because it’s almost Father’s Day and I don’t have anything for my dad. I feel a little too sheepish to call my sister. In the future maybe I’ll ask for a revolving line of credit.

I’m not very good with gifts. I gave my husband socks for his birthday every year for ten years. At this point he has plenty, so now he doesn’t get anything. I asked what he wanted for Father’s Day. He gave me very specific instructions but . . . . we’re actually moving that day so he shouldn’t hold his breath; which brings me back full circle to my brilliance. I made him a mixed CD. He can listen to it during his six hour commute to Maryland and realize that yes, I am worth all the crap he has to put up with.

Uh, dad – Happy Father’s Day! Do you want a CD or do you take credit cards? BTW, I’m sorry I didn’t get you anything for your birthday either. You really may want to consider trading me in for a new daughter. (One of my sister-in-laws is extremely thoughtful. I’ll give you her number.)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Lawyer Part II

Our lawyer left our closing early to go to another closing. Yeah, seriously, about 5 minutes after he told us how much we were paying him for representation. Right after he let us know he was doing us a favor by not rescheduling our 9:00am closing time that had been set weeks ahead of time. My husband was incredulous.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

My Old Theme Song

When we were planning to move to Texas from Boston I was completely conflicted about going through with it. It was more than just worrying about hating the weather and the politics. For at least one week I listened to Boston by Augustana over and over again. Listen to this song and tell me you don’t want to move to Boston, too.

I don’t like my lawyer

My lawyer, who shall remain nameless for fear of a lawsuit, is really pissing me off. He doesn’t respond to me. If I email him he sends an email response to my husband without even a cc to me (sexist). We set up a meeting last Friday to sign paperwork for our closing. He forgot. We show up and he has no idea why we are there. Then he acts like we were just some idiots who decided it would be really fun to go see our lawyer because we don’t have any friends. Maybe, just maybe I could have come up with something slightly more fun to do if I thought about it for oh, I don’t know 2 seconds! I tried for a couple days to find out how much money we needed to bring to closing, I may as well have been trying to pull his teeth out with my fingers.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Population Control

Bri just told me that her friend read my blog and told her, "Now I know what it's like to be the mother of four. I decided I don't want to have four children." Great, now I'm responsible for crushing the hopes and dreams of twelve year olds!

Sex and the City

I don’t understand all the excitement over the SATC movie because I never watched the show. I saw parts of a couple of the shows as I was flipping channels but I have never seen a full episode. The shoes, non-frumpy clothes, even the title seems so far away from my reality (at least since I’ve had children).

Poop in the Suburbs that would be a show I could relate to -- only far to well. But it would be cancelled the first season because who wants to see that? It’s too close to reality. One of my friends, who works with special needs children, told her husband when he wanted her to watch Supernanny with him, “That’s what I do all day. I don’t need to see it on TV.”

I think we all like to vicariously experience a different reality sometimes. Even some very odd people (like my sisters) who would rather clean than watch TV occasionally escape from reality by reading or seeing a movie. Maybe SATC is not my escape because either it is so far from my daily life I can’t relate or because I cannot conceive of spending so much money on a pair of shoes.

Or perhaps I’d just prefer to see one of the witches on Charmed kick some demon’s butt and I relate better to that. I think that’s it. I would rather be able to take someone down than to have a fabulous life and wonderful clothes! That is my escape – imagining I could firebomb all those threats to me or my children. Close your eyes and imagine how incredible that would be; government officials who are infringing on our constitution rights – gone, assorted terrorists – gone, miscellaneous people at the CDC or NIH who covered up the dangers of thimerosal—gone, George Bush – well, he’ll be gone soon anyway. I’m getting excited just thinking about it. Clearly discernible bad guys taken out by the good guys within 30 minutes, yeah – that’s definitely my idea of escape from reality. And until that becomes reality I’ll just watch it on TV.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

It’s hot and all our shorts are in Texas

I am starting to countdown moving into a house. My friends are counting down to the time I will no longer go over to their houses to use their washing machines.

I still have an irrational fear that this won't happen. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's gut level fear that I will never have enough space (or a garage). However, I am moving forward with the assumption that everything will work out. I've even switched over my newspaper subscription. It's called faith.

Monday, June 9, 2008

I'm a cruel, cruel mother

We were driving in the van on the way to swimming. Jacob asked me if I thought he would be nicer to his kids than I am. “I hope so.” I replied.

“I think I will. Maybe when they’re ten I’ll buy them a little TV for their bedrooms.” He said.

I’m busted. He’s going to be so much nicer to his children than I am! But I was a little surprised about his comment -- I’m mean about so much more than just the lack of TVs.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

In the Van

Jake: "Mom, Bri kicked me with her hind legs!"

Fart Blaster

Sometimes I think my children are a little different than other peoples’ children. Jake went to a birthday party. One activity was decorating a tee-shirt. All the other kids decorated their shirts with Red Sox players’ names and numbers. Not my boy! He drew a picture of himself farting and some dead guy lying on the ground behind him. I assume he was farted to death. The title was “I’m fart baster.” Fart baster is a super hero. Maybe not in your family, but apparently he is in ours. On the back of the shirt is the word Bye! with lighting coming down. I told Jake that baster was a word (?) that sounded similar to a swear word. So, he changed it to blaster. But . . . I’m not sure that was an improvement.

All I can say was that it was another proud moment for me as a mother.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Luddite in a Strange Land

The world feels topsy-turvy when small or medium children are better at something than their parents. Bri is a computer wizard. I, who am impressed with my own brilliance when I figure out how to put songs on my iPod, have less “computerability” than she does. (Look at me going all George Bush on you!) She wanted to make cartoons. Her dad said he didn’t have time to help her but there was Movie Maker on the computer. She figured it out. Her new thing is Power Point. She made this amazing Jeopardy game with buttons, four categories, daily doubles . . . She’s probably spent twenty + hours on this. I blame her perfectionism on my husband.

My husband, who has an MBA and has been a consultant for 8 + years, watched her presentation, then asked her, “Could you show me how you made those buttons in Power Point?”

I’m still trying to figure out MySpace and Twitter. I didn’t want a MySpace page because, quite frankly, I'm just not that cool. But I wanted to see my friend’s. I had to join because her page is private. I wasn’t sure if it was worth the effort but I did it anyway. I think I sent friend requests to several people but I’m not sure. I thought about sending requests to my nieces and nephews but that could be awkward if they said no. On twitter I clicked on someone’s locked icon. A message came up: A request to read their tweets has been sent. I’m all nooooo, I was just curious about the locked icon. I don’t know that person and I really don’t care to read their tweets. That’s just great! Now a person whose name I don’t even remember thinks they have a cyber stalker. Not only can I embarrass myself in real life there’s also a whole other world for me to humiliate myself in. It’s called the Internet.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Lions, Tigers and Vampires oh my!

One of my friends said her daughter was mad for Stephanie Meyer books. She recommended Twilight for Bri to read. I checked out the book. I started reading the first chapter. What? Vampires! My very, very conservative friend recommended a vampire book to my 12 year old!?! I’ve read some vampire books and none of them have been appropriate for tweens. I was shocked but this one was different. It was compelling. I’ve read it twice. I might even let Bri borrow it long enough to read it. And if I don’t well, the movie is coming out in December.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Electric Bill

Certain events cause you to look at yourself and realize how much you have changed. I had one of those moments when I called NSTAR to transfer our electricity and gas to the new house. As I looked at the bill I noticed that it had the wrong apartment number on it. It was still delivered because Kevin the mailman is one of my peeps (he even put a sock in my mailbox when it fell out of my basket when I stopped to pick up mail after doing laundry one day). I call myself his stalker. We’re pretty tight.

NSTAR tells me that I’ve been paying the bill on the wrong apartment, that our apartment doesn’t exist, and that someone else who actually lives in the apartment we’ve been paying for called and said they would pay for the electricity for now on. Uhhh, ok? Then NSTAR asks me to run down to the fourth floor and look at the meters. Even five years ago I would have been, “Yes, ma’ma. I will go down to the office, find a key, find the room, look at the meter, whatever you want me to do.” Now, however, I’m all, “No.”

NSTAR called back an hour later to let me know she figured it out. We just got a letter from NSTAR, we have a credit of over $200. I am so ordering gluten and casein free takeout every night until we move. It’s called plain white rice.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

the "H" word

Lizzy: "Is heaven a swear word?"

me: "No."

Lizzy: "I thought it was the 'H' word."

I hate making meatballs

I just made Will 2 cookie sheets of meatballs, bread and a double batch of cookies. The problem with having a child that turns into a stimming fiend when he eats gluten and casein is that it involves making a significant amount of food from scratch unless you want to spend a bajillion dollars on food.

The poor kid had gone years without macaroni and cheese until last week. If he saw the other kids eat some, he would plead for it and lurk around waiting for us to turn our backs on him. Then as soon as the coast was clear he'd stuff as much as he could in his mouth. Once I saw a box of gluten and casein free macaroni and cheese. (No, the box wasn't empty.) I bought the five dollar box and made it for Will. It was disgusting.

I found a recipe last week using rice macaroni and a white sauce made with vegan fake butter spread, soy milk and butternut squash. I called him over. "William do you want macaroni and cheese?" I asked. He was incredulous. What, me? He inhaled the whole pot. It wasn't bad. But I think it would have been better if I hadn't used vanilla soy milk.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

He just smiles and nods

Ever since vacation week when I moved into my friend Marcy’s place, her husband has been slightly confused. He went away for a month for work and when he returned everything was slightly off. I had taken over their lives. He finds giant orange sacks filled with laundry and extra recycling bins put out by his mailbox. He wonders how far this will go. He’s testing the water. He returned my bins on Monday at MyGym. But underlying everything is fear. Fear that one day he’ll come home and I will have taken over the spare bedroom or worse that I’d dropped off all the kids and disappeared.

Monday, June 2, 2008

I’m one step closer to having a live in maid

Bri came running in to tell me Will was getting into non-gluten-free pasta. I went in the kitchen. He had taken it out of the fridge and was warming it up in the microwave! Unbelievable! I didn’t even know he could use the microwave. Not only am I one step closer to not having to cook but now I’m wondering what other skills Will is hiding. Maybe he’s actually capable of balancing the checkbook or washing the car. I’m watching him -- his free ride is over. He will rue the day he showed me he has skills!

Fly Traps

Banishing Will from the balcony didn’t really take. We sort of fixed the screen door. It just doesn’t slide. Anyway, a fly flew in the apartment. I hate flies. I follow it around for a while trying to swat it. My husband suggested vacuuming it up but all that resulted in was me looking like a fool dragging a vacuum around and waving the wand in the air. Jake and Lizzy made a trap. They put some beef jerky down as bait and had a basket and some rope. Then they waited a while by their fly trap. I didn’t point out any logistical problems, such as oh, I don't know -- the basket having holes big enough for the fly to escape through; because while their plan is to catch and release the fly, my plan is to kill it. My children are so pet deprived that all animal and insect life is sacred to them and I just didn't want to hear the, "How would you feel if you were a fly and someone killed you?" refrain again.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Not bad for a six year old

Lizzy made breakfast this morning for everyone (she put the bowls and cereal on the table). And she made me an “I love you” poster. I’ve decided to keep her.

I sat there listening to children's music

Last night we went to the Acton Science & Children’s Museums for an Autism Alliance activity. We took turns watching William dart from floor to floor. He liked the magnets and wanted to hug the giant water tornado. But he just got to the point where he was done. I very intuitively figured this out the second time he went to the van and persistently tried to open the locked doors. So, we sat in the van for a while and waited for everyone else to finish up. I was reading New Moon so I didn’t mind at all.

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