Tuesday, September 30, 2008

In case anyone wondered about my political leanings

You Are 44% Democrat

You aren't a full fledged Democrat yet, but it's likely the party that fits you best.

You probably consider yourself an independent Democrat. You usually support the party, but you also think for yourself!

You Are 12% Republican

If you have anything in common with the Republican party, it's by sheer chance.

You're a staunch liberal, and nothing is going to change that!

How Republican Are You?

I really do think I'm more than 44% Democrat.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Continuation of Yesterday

Now I have spent two days in a row taking Will’s shuffle away from him while he jumps on the trampoline in the rain. I don’t mind him jumping in the rain, although, by the end of the day I was just putting on dry underwear before sending him outside again. The problem was that every time I confiscated his tunes he followed me inside, thus causing a need for another change of clothes if not a shower.

Right before we sat down for dinner I looked out the window for Will. I saw a pair on pants on the grass, underwear and a shirt discarded on the trampoline and a naked cherub jumping happily wearing only his blue iPod shuffle. I bought him the shuffle because I thought he could clip it to his shirt, my plan doesn’t work well if he’s naked. But even if he has more than a pair of undies on, he holds it in his hand so he can skip ahead to whatever song he’s in the mood to hear.

It’s fortunate we have a 12 foot high wooden fence surrounding much of our yard. If not I fear we would be cited for repeatedly violating decency laws.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

What a glorious feeling! I’m happy again!

It has been raining for two days here but Kyle won’t stop Will from jumping on the trampoline. I’ve changed his clothes five times today and caught him jumping on the trampoline wearing only underwear and his ipod three times. My husband took a couple of the kids to the library and to distract Will from going I suggested he go jump on the trampoline again. But he was sad. So, I decided to jump with him as I had not yet taken a shower. We jumped until Will was wet and I was somewhat wet. Then I thought I would try bouncing on my butt before landing on my feet. Usually it’s not a problem; however, Will decided to do the same thing at the same time in the same spot. One of his elbows hit my stomach, another elbow hit my head and yet another elbow hit my arm, he, of course, was fine while I was writhing in pain on a wet trampoline. By the time I stood up I belonged in the completely wet category but gamely kept jumping.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Very Cool Site


I might as well be a man

My grandpa found out his real name when he was in his 50s. He saw his birth certificate and it had a different first name. Apparently everyone, even his parents, disagreed with his given name and refused to call him by it! I mention this bit of my family history to put my small lapse in context. My error lasted less than a year and was very minor as it needed only a few phone calls to correct rather than legal documents.

In honor of Jake’s birthday I will admit that I was confused to his actual birth date for almost a year. I thought he was born two days later than he was. Seriously! I know he will need some heavy duty counseling to recover from that; but I figure that I’ll give him enough reason for counseling anyway, so an extra year or so shouldn’t make much of a difference.

It wasn’t until I mentioned birthday plans to a neighbor and mentioned what I thought was Jake’s birthday that I found out I was wrong about the date. My neighbor remembered his birth date as being two days earlier. I went and looked it up. She was right. It was a little embarrassing to have to change his birthday at the doctor’s office. No, not kidding, I had it wrong everywhere. Thankfully someone outside the family was paying attention.

We all know that I don’t remember anyone’s birthday. My twelve year-old mentioned to me yesterday that we needed to something special for her father for his birthday because I forgot it last year and he didn’t even get a cake. Perhaps a friend could . . . .

Friday, September 26, 2008

Full Circle

A couple of years ago I bought The Flavor Point Diet book. The idea behind the diet is if you only eat similar flavors throughout the day you’ll eat less because you’re bored. I did not like the recipes and thought the diet was stupid so I donated the book to the library.

A couple of months later my husband told me that he bought a diet book for me from the library. Guess what book? Yeah, The Flavor Point Diet book. When he told me what it was, I said that I had donated that very book to the library. It kills me that we paid for that stupid book twice! I still have it because I don’t dare donate it again. I feel stalked.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Beep . . . . . . . . . . . Beep . . . . . . . . .. . .Beep

My phone started beeping at 5:39am this morning. I didn’t know what it was as first. I checked my alarm. After a few minutes, I realized that the battery in the phone was low. I tried covering it with my husband’s super fluffy pillow. It slightly muffled the beep but I found myself waiting and listening for the next beep so I gave up and hung it up in the kitchen. Then I stubbed my toe on the carpet on the way back to my room.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Yet another reason I’m grateful my brain is larger than the size of a walnut!

On Saturday, DK and I saw a squirrel run across the highway. Then on Tuesday, Marcy and I saw a suicidal squirrel narrowly escape death as it ran across the highway. The squirrel literally ran between wheels going over 65 mph. I thought it was dead.

Squirrels running to or from the medium are ridiculous. There’s nothing there, except certain death. However, when I said as much to Marcy she countered that the squirrel’s family could be there. Imagine that if you will. A squirrel colony surrounded by whizzing, rumbly bringers of death. The inquisitive squirrels weeded out through the process of natural selection. It almost makes you want to be a part of nature doesn’t it?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Give me a couple more years!

You Are 44% Massachusetts

You're likely a Massachusetts transplant. Big rotaries still scare you, and you probably live outside of 495.

Usually He Just Ignores Me

Last night I told Will to put a shirt on as he was only wearing a pair of underwear. He came out of his room wearing three shirts and a pair of pants. I can't believe he listened to me!

Monday, September 22, 2008

The kind of Socialism we can all agree on!

New York University Professor Nouriel Roubini said it best referring to the bailout of big business by us, "It is privatizing the gains and profits, and socializing the losses as usual. This is socialism for Wall Street and the rich."

Oh, I get it. Socialism is good for the rich, ah country as long as the poor pay for it!

Under Pressure

While driving in the car I had to yell at Jake and Lizzy to stop fighting which led to a conversation about the pressures facing a 5th grader. “I have a lot of pressure at school, mom. Then I come home and there’s more pressure.”

“What kind of pressure do you feel at home?”

“You just don’t understand the kind of pressure that comes from having a younger sister,” he replied, as if it were obvious. Which thinking back to my days at home with a younger sister should have been obvious. But the pressure I faced came more from my younger sister’s enforcer AKA my oldest sister than from my younger sister. Because if I displeased her in any way she would sic my big sister on me.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

My old house was tiny! It’s amazing that I kept my sanity!

I dropped off an invitation to the lady that bought our old house. We decided to have an old neighbors’ party. (For people in our old neighborhood, not people who are chronologically old. However, several of them are quite old so perhaps we are having a party for former neighbors and old, former neighbors.) My husband thought that we should invite our old house’s current occupant. I, on the other hand, continue to fear that something will break in that 86 year old house and she will blame us, thus I am tempted to avoid her.

I dropped of the invitation and was invited in to get some mail. I walked in and everything looked so small. It felt tiny! I was incredulous that we had managed to survive in such small square footage. It wasn’t so bad for my husband as he always traveled, but for me alone with four small, vocal, destructive children it was a little tight. Our house was so small we didn’t have an office and my husband would sit on the bed and work on his laptop. Occasionally, when it got really noisy he would be driven to the damp hole of a basement which had a seasonal spring flood.

No, I don’t miss that charming, extraordinarily small house.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Is there an Eagle Scout award for mothers?

An ongoing annoyance for me is that I have to help Jake with scouts.

1. I was never a girl scout.

2. I am a wimp about many scouting kinds of things.

3. I don’t know how to tie knots.

4. My husband is an Eagle Scout. He even worked at a Boy Scout Adventure base in his youth.

5. Paternal history of scout leadership. His parents are way into scouting as evidenced by both of them having a Golden Beaver award. (Previous to our marriage I didn’t even know that adults got awards in scouts.)

6. No history of scouts on my side as evidenced by my brother dropping out of cub scouts.

Clearly, I should have nothing more to do with scouting than merely dropping Jake off at the meetings. But not only am I called upon to drive, I am also called upon to help him pass off requirements; which leads to me doing things like forcing my sister to build a fire in her back yard and pretending to cook food over said fire. (We cheated, of course.) Jacob barely got his Webelos two week before his birthday and only because I helped him pass off six belts in about one month.

I may have to learn how to tie knots so I can tie my husband to my child and not let them loose until Jake has passed off a few requirements!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

We're running a nudist colony here folks!

Question: How many times can Will walk in front of my other children naked without them noticing?

Answer: A lot!

Statement: I shouldn't have to tell him to get dressed as often as I do. Or for that matter, remind my other children that they should tell him to get dressed if they see him in a state of undress.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I can't fire my Personal Trainer because I don't pay her.

My friend Marcy proclaimed that I would be her guinea pig to help her decide if she would like to pursuit a career as a personal trainer. So, she “encourages” me to exercise. She plans our exercise regiment and gets all technical on me; by throwing out the names of the muscles we are using and making me do painful things with bars and weights (while I take her name in vain). I go along with the exercising because it’s just easier and I’d rather my boobs stick out further than my belly.

PT Marcy is taking my exercising very seriously. When I introduced her to a friend at the YMCA, Marcy mentioned that she wouldn’t be there on Friday could Jen supervise my workout. Jen thoughtfully nodded that yes, yes she could; and I felt like a football that had just been handed off to the backup quarterback and prepared myself for the kickoff.

PT Marcy has caused me to experience a certain amount of muscle “acheage” during our workouts. But I get some of my own back. Last week we went for a six mile bike ride on a bike trail that was not flat. And I mentioned it . . . a lot. Then I started talking to distract myself. She told me that she now had an appreciation of what her husband had to listen to. I told her I was glad to give her the opportunity to appreciate her husband, because that’s what I’m all about – complaining uh, empathy.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pink or Purple Sparkly Books

Lizzy has been my library buddy since she was born. She likes to pick out books for me to read. Years ago, I learned to smile and nod when she showed me the books that she chose. Pink books are her favorite followed by purple. But if she can find a pink sparkly book, well, that is probably the best, most exciting book in the whole world.

A couple of weeks ago, my husband took Lizzy to the library where she chose some books for me to read. They came home with a purple book, a black book, a gray book. J., who knows that I tend to read books in darker hues, said to me, “You won’t believe what books she wanted to check out for you! I talked her into a couple of others.” I responded that I decided to let her choose whatever made her happy, although I didn’t let her chose more than three.

But it came back to bite me when I went to jury duty. I was out of books so I took one of her choices – a purple one. When the other jurors asked me what I was reading I sheepishly had to respond, “A purple book.” But I read it anyway.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Direct quote, “Don’t throw up!”

Will started throwing up his pills earlier this summer. He takes an assortment: Super Nu-Thera (the “autism” vitamin), calcium, zinc, melatonin (to help him sleep), and whatever else his DAN, Defeat Autism Now, doctor suggests. For years he swallowed a truckload of pills every day then during the summer he decided they made him throw up – and they did, every day.

It was great, especially when we were staying at my sister Jane’s house! I started giving him his pills outside accompanied with a stern command of “Don’t throw up!” Will can throw up at the drop of a hat if he wants to. When I made him try a hot dog many years ago he threw up. He threatens to throw up if I make him eat non-preferred vegetables. And about five years ago when he only ate corn chips, hamburger and fruit, he threw up a lot as I forced him to expand his diet.

I cut his pill usage back in an effort to decrease the vomiting. It worked. Today I threw in two tiny cod liver oil caplets and some good digestive bacteria. That sent him over the edge and he let me know. But because that’s the kind of mother I am I rinsed them off and made him swallow them again.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

He may not talk much but he sings

Will has a CD of church songs for kids. I walked in the dining room only to hear him singing along to The Books of the Old Testament song. You know the one? Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers . . . .

That’s bound to come in handy at some point in his life, right?

Friday, September 12, 2008

I had a conversation with my husband Rake

While trying to avoid housework, I found a website that answered a question that had been nagging at me since Sarah Palin was announced as McCain's running mate. The question is, of course, if she was my mother what would she have named me?

Answer: Meat Notgay Palin. Truer words were never spoken since I like meat and am not gay.

My husband would be named Rake Trinket Palin. (I will not repeat what he said when I informed him of his true name.) Our kid's names seemed strangly appropriate in ways I'm only starting to understand: Clip Dragon (that's obvious -- Bri's obsessed with dragons and her personal hygiene), Timber Challenger (Jake wants to be a singing lumberjack inclined astronaut), Falter Locust (Will doesn't like to work and goes to the kitchen opens all the cupboards and eats anything he can find) and little Chop Meth (well, I guess Lizzy destined to be a drug addict).

Bonus: If I enter all my friend's names in the Sarah Palin Baby Name Generator, I can continue to avoid housework for days!

Dad, you could have been Stick Freedom!


Alright, I found seven left hand gloves and three right hand gloves but none of them match; even though four of the left hand gloves were identical!

In vain I keep hoping that if I buy several pairs of identical gloves that come April the kids will still have matching gloves.

But the larger question remains: why did I move the gloves to our new house if they didn’t match?

I just don’t know.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11th

I was out running errands this morning and at exactly 10:01am I passed a fire station. The firemen stood at attention in front of their trucks. Has it really been seven years? I remember sobbing in front of the television watching as people fell from the sky.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

. . . . and then I woke up

from a horrible nightmare. Last night I dreamed that we had bought a different house. Something that was the opposite of everything I want or would ever buy! My house was set on a busy commercial street, a main street in a run-down town flanked on both sides with hardware stores. Discarded trash piled around the house and the yard was covered in cracked asphalt that was covered with abandoned machinery piles.

The house was old but lacked the charm of my former house built in 1922. This house was a beat up dump crying out for a wreaking ball. The kitchen was a vintage kitchen from the 50s. I noticed a single ancient sink and a stove. This kitchen lacked any counter space and more than a few cabinets. The walls were a bumpy cement plaster. But the most frightening aspect – the huge hole in the middle of the floor. As the hole was nearly as large as the room I had to hold on to the handles on the appliances and doors to make my way out of the room. I could see the room below and worried about falling through. And there was another room with a hole in the floor.

I know my husband was fixing something in a different room but I was a little annoyed he hadn’t fixed the holes first since they were an obvious hazard for the kids and me -- since I apparently decided to go into the room with the expanding hole. I didn’t like this house and was angry it was ours.

It was a two bedroom house, with a shed outside that had another bed! But I didn’t want my 12 year-old sleeping outside in a shed alone. The house was cramped, outdated and had that little something I like to call the “ugh” factor.

I’m not a professional dream analyst; however, I will go ahead and say this dream was carryover from living in a two-bedroom apartment and the havoc that caused to my psyche. I am a delicate flower that needs to recover by going to New York to visit art museums!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Homework for the literal minded

I asked Lizzy to do her homework before we went to Tae Kwan Do. Lizzy insisted that her teacher said she should do it that night. I tried to explain to her that her teacher would be fine if she did it in the afternoon rather than at night.

I had to repeat myself several times before she decided to do her homework -- just to shut me up!

Monday, September 8, 2008

High Definition 37 inch Flat Screen TV

William, somehow, always seemed like a good reason not to hurry out and buy a replacement TV. He can be hard on things. I've bought a seemingly endless supply of replacement CD players, DVDs and Dr. Seuss books for him. Will went through a phase where he ripped out the pages in his favorite books so he could look at all the pages at one time. One morning about five years ago, I woke to find the power button on the TV missing. Yes, missing. Did he break it off, I wondered? No, he pushed it into the TV so we can only turn it on with a remote or the end of a pencil. The missing power button coupled with a former penchant to tap the screen endlessly and smear peanut butter on the screen caused some reluctance to buy a replacement, as our TV was ancient but obviously durable!

We planned on getting rid of the TV when we moved to Texas. But when we decided to stay in Massachusetts it came to the house along with the couch. But unfortunately, we didn’t bring the old DVD/VCR along with us and when I tried to hook up the new DVD player I realized that our TV was so old it didn’t have the colored plugs. This meant the kids couldn’t play game cube and Will was reduced to watching movies on the portable DVD player.

So, with the switch to digital coming soon it seemed like a good time to buy a new TV.

In spite of my admitted love for Charmed, E! and HGTV we don’t have cable anymore -- just a bent rabbit-eared antenna that we drape over the TV. I don’t pretend I got rid of cable out of any special mothering philosophy. I’m not an all-natural foods, no TV or violence kind of mother. Rather I subscribe to the don't come get me unless there is blood philosophy or the philosophy of can't you do it yourself? I got rid of cable because I got mad that my kids wouldn’t do their jobs. And in spite of my withdrawal symptoms from the afore mentioned shows (and many others) I want a shot at my fantasy of having my children do all the housework.

So, when we plugged in our brand new High Definition 37 inch flat screen TV we had the same crappy reception as before! The stations that broadcast in digital look pretty good. The others? Well, they’re pretty fuzzy. It seems so ridiculous to watch fuzzy shows on a high-definition TV. Surely, there’s a TV fairy out there that’s angry with us. Maybe if we make a blood offering we will appease it and it will protect the new TV from William.

We’ll see how long this TV stays untouched. Listen closely for my husband’s scream of agony when Will does something to it.

Just in case, I’m keeping the old TV -- power button or no power button. If it can survive eight years of Will it's nigh on indestructible!

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Will cuddled next to me on the pew. At church, he looks at his books and then when bored, he’ll try to sit on my lap, touch my face and lovingly utter a non sequitur, such as “moon,” or “Joe.” I know people watch him because they make comments. Todays' was, “He’s really gotten big.” He is big. But I hope the day never comes that he’s too big to sit in my lap and tilt my head to touch his and whisper, “moon” in my ear.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

One more step

On Thursday, I watched I am Legend instead of McCain’s speech and I think it was a good decision for my mental health. Then on Friday, I watched about six episodes of Jon Steward’s Daily Show which helped me feel better about the election.

I’ve decided that Jon Steward is my celebrity crush!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Bringing me back from the Abyss

My dad called me to mention that my blog seemed angry and hostile lately. I said it was because I cared so deeply about our country. He suggested that perhaps I could try screaming in my bathroom as an alternative to blogging about it. I told him I’d think about it.

He said that my political rants seemed at odds with the rest of my blog. I agreed. But I’ve always had strong opinions and the editing feature doesn’t always work in my brain. I feel so strongly about some things that it’s hard for me to understand why everyone doesn’t agree.

When I asked my husband why politics doesn’t drive him as crazy as it does me, he said, “I find out enough to make my voting decisions then I let it go.”

Oh . . . that’s seems healthier doesn’t it? I think it’s because he has a calmer personality than me. I agreed to tone down my rhetoric. Then my dad said that I could always get a dog.

I will blog about the winner of the election and about my conversion to the Dark Side but I'll try to leave it at that.

It is always in season for old men to learn. Aeschylus

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Almost Paradise

My husband just asked me, "If you were stranded on a desert island who would you want with you?" I said him. Thinking that his Boy Scout training would come in handy.

He said most Americans would rather be stranded with a pet. Then I asked him who he would want to be stranded with. He replied, “You.”

Surprised, I asked him, “Wouldn’t you want someone who would contribute to your survival?”

He thought for a couple of minutes, and then said, “No, I’d choose you but I’d expect to hear a lot of complaining.”

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

In a hypothetical competition for most exciting Vice Presidential Nominee . . . the clear winner is John McCain.

I’ve decided that selecting Sarah Palin is either a brilliant or disastrous political move! It has energized the conservative evangelicals who have never been enthusiastic about McCain’s candidacy to actually canvas for him. She’s an attractive Pat Robertson. It was interesting that she seemed to get more enthusiastic cheers than did McCain from the delegates last night.

McCain excited Republican women who I’m sure never thought a woman would be on the Republican ticket in their lifetime. And I think women across America owe him something for dragging the Republican Party across that line. (Although, I doubt a woman will be on the Republican presidential ticket again for 20 or 30 years, I’d be delighted to be proven wrong!) If McCain hoped to pull in Hillary voters I think he’ll be disappointed. But that may not have been his motivation at all.

Regardless of Palin’s lack of qualifications, and however much I’d have preferred McCain to pick one of the many qualified Republican woman, I think it was an important step for the Republican Party to take.

The Republican's attempt to deny Palin's lack of experience and qualifications is amazing. I’m watching in awe and with a significant amount of horror as the Republican machine repeats over and over again the big lie that Palin has more experience than Obama.

The choice of Palin has driven an incredible amount of media attention away from the Democrats. It’s fair to say that since McCain announced that Sarah Palin as his pick I and many other engaged Americans have spent a significant amount of time thinking and reading about her. He could have done worse, she has energized the conservative evangelicals in his party and we’ll see what happens in November.

Catch and Release

I think I’ve mentioned the active animal life in our new neighborhood. I’m concerned there’s a Killer Squirrel close by because something chewed a huge hole in my plastic garbage can lid. I only moved a couple of miles away from my old house and nothing ever tried to eat my garbage can when I lived there. Sure one Halloween it was tagged with a smiley face but to my knowledge the plastic was never actually consumed.

I’m starting to miss the skunks, and the huge albino possum that at one point may have lived under my front porch for a couple of weeks in my old neighborhood. Now I have to contend with foxes, wild turkeys, killer squirrels, deer, snakes and small frogs in my backyard. Actually, I’m fine with all of that because I can hide in the safety and sanctity of my house.

Saturday, I went in the kitchen and heard a rustling behind the stove. It was unmistakably an animal. As ghostly fingers started running up and down my spine, I stifled a scream and went to find the only person who could help -- my husband. He was in the middle of a project. Poor Brianne was given the old office as her bedroom. The only problem with that was that it has six glass panels in the door. That doesn’t give a twelve year old a lot of privacy. So, my husband was replacing her door.

We went upstairs with different emotions. I was freaking out. My husband was annoyed because this messed up his schedule and Brianne was excited at the idea of an animal in the house. As my husband tried to figure out how to take off the stove hood I taped sheets over the doorways and stuffed suitcases in at the bottom. I wanted the animal to have only one way to exit the kitchen; because if I had a wild animal loose in my house my brain could actually explode and I might have to move.

As my husband started the process of dismantling the hood and decorative shelf, I huddled behind the sheet for safety, peering out at Bri who was holding the bag and flashlight. J. took out screws and banged on things with a hammer then . . . silence. We thought it flew out. I was so relieved. J. put stuff back together and went back downstairs. We stationed Lizzy on the ladder watching the roof and everyone returned to what they were doing.

I started making dinner as we needed fortification after that stressful experience when . . . rustle, rustle, rustle. “It’s not gone!” I scream in my head. This time my husband brought up something to pry apart the cabinets because he was determined to remove the animal from our premises; I retaped the sheet over a doorway and stationed my six year-old at another with a rug to wave. I cowered behind her. I peered in the kitchen and I saw a little bat nose poking out from the vent duct. I retreated again behind Lizzy and very maturely did a freak out dance. J. and Bri captured the bat, took it outside and let it go. It circled a couple of times before flying away, hopefully never to return to my oven vent!

Then I walked into the bathroom only to find a spider.

I learned a couple of lessons from this experience. 1. Apparently maternal love only goes so far with me. If I am scared I will throw my children to the curb. 2. It is good to have children that are not scared of animals. If this ever happens again Bri will know what to do and that could come in handy if my husband is away. 3. I can simultaneously realize a bat's nose is cute while being close to death. 4. I am without doubt a complete and utter wus.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Just us and our two boys out for the day

My friend Marcy and I took Will and Pete to the Boston Aquarium Friday. Everyone else was in school but the boys don’t start until Tuesday. The ride in was uneventful except for Marcy rolling Will’s fingers up in the window but he has plenty so I wasn’t worried about him losing a couple.

It was nice for the boys to be able to explore on their own terms instead of being dragged from exhibit to exhibit. It did mean that we split up because Will loved watching the penguins and spent a half hour watching them. We also enjoyed sitting on a bench looking at a bronze snake.

Will touched a ray, a starfish and a sea urchin because he’s braver than me. I only touched the ray and it creeped me out. It’s interesting to see what he wants to look at because it’s impossible to predict what will catch his interest. He didn’t care about the fish; well, it’s an aquarium – who goes there to see fish? He liked the penguins, seals and the two snakes.

More than three days later he still occasionally walks up to me and says, “Two snakes.”

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