Friday, October 31, 2008

The Power of Mother

Occasionally being a mother means that I get to toy with my children the way a cat toys with a mouse. Today was that day! I got Lizzy a bowl of ice cream. When Jake heard the magic words ice cream he asked for some. Just to toy with him I said "no."

EVIL LAUGH!! The power I hold is immense! Not really, usually I’m at their beck and call.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I got in the car, turned on the radio and started signing along. After about five seconds I realized I was singing along to the CD Jake got with the music for his 5th grade play. Yes, I was listening to and singing along with Aladdin.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Gutenberg! The Musical.

On Saturday night Marcy and I went to see Gutenberg! The Musical. I’m not really sure how to describe it in an appropriate way for my family to read about. Parts of it were hilarious while many other parts were a little lewd.

My favorite line of the night (and the most ironic) was when Bud was explaining the musical. He called it historical fiction, which he explained was “. . . fiction that's true!"

But I was pretty disappointed in the conclusion! Sadly poor, lovesick Helvetica destroyed Gutenberg’s printing press and that the townspeople killed Gutenberg before he could build another; which led to the general illiteracy that still plagues the America today.

Lesson learned? Well, yes, next time I’m going to choose the play!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Trunk or Treat

At the Halloween party last Saturday, Will was a little annoyed. We kept heading him off from the CD players, I tried to get him to eat chili and to top it off I put a costume on him. After a half an hour of putting up with crap like that from his parents he was “all done!” He found a book from the nursery and read it the rest of the time. He even sat in the van reading while all the other kids went trunk to trunk collecting candy.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I grabbed Will and hugged him. He wanted me to let go. I saw the wheels turning. He kissed me and I let go.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Candy the Pirate

We’ve been working on the kids' Halloween costumes. Jake has been death for the last three years so all I had to buy him was a replacement sickle. I forced Lizzy to be a pilgrim because I made Bri an adorable pilgrim costume five years ago and I think it’s sooo cute! Bri vacillated between a pirate and a witch. We finally settled on the pirate last week.

Problem -- All the pirate costumes we found looked like Candy the Slutty Pirate. And call me prudish but I’m not comfortable having my twelve year-old look like a medieval prostitute. So, I had to make her a pirate shirt. (Which I am trying to finish before we leave in two hours for a Halloween party!) I have had to unpick seams multiple times and when I stuck myself with a pin and worried aloud about getting blood on her costume. Bri responded, “Don’t worry! That just makes it more realistic!”

Friday, October 24, 2008

I put my mind down for a minute and now I can’t remember where I put it!

I was in the middle of making a berry sauce when my sister called me. By the time I answered the phone I had forgotten what I was doing. Fortunately, I was still in the kitchen and happened to walk past the stove.

Today, I called Bri from my cell phone and heard the answering machine message that Will must have recorded a couple of weeks ago when he was messing with the machine. (I meant to check it, but forgot.) He, of course, said nothing during the very long recording of background noise. By the time I got home the thought that I should re-record something had flown from my brain. But I was reminded when my mom called and said that she‘d called earlier and Will had answered the phone.

Maybe I’m getting old, or maybe it's because I only got five hours of sleep last night.

. . . I'm going with old!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Maybe I’m a Little Obsessive

I called my sister because I hadn’t talked to her for so long. I’m a little perturbed at her because she hadn’t called me in a long time and quite frankly her excuse of “her husband taking a new job in a different state, packing up her house and putting it on the market and the aforementioned husband actually being in a different state leaving her alone with four children and a house that needs to be ready to show at a moment’s notice” sounded a little thin. I mean she is one of my sisters that sews, bottles food and manages to decorate her house! Can this be much harder? Although, now that I think about it maybe I gave her the disease I had a year ago in which my husband got a job in Texas, commuted there for six months. We sold our house, moved into a two-bedroom apartment, ended up living there for six months, then decided to stay in Massachusetts and had to look for a new house.

Bean, a word of advice, go for a four bedroom apartment right off the bat!

Back to our conversation -- I was worried that Obama wouldn’t win and she was worried he would. And I’m jealous that Palin got a $150,000 new wardrobe. And I thought, hey, if everyone who reads my blog contributed $10,000 then I, too, could look smokin’. No, not really and anyway I’d blow it all on chocolate and lessons for the kids. But I did promise to call her on November 4rd and remind her to vote. She was surprised that I’d risk a vote against the last, great hope for America but I told her I loved her more than I loved Obama and anyway she lives in Idaho. If she lived in a swing state . . . maybe, no, I’d still call her.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Yarrgh! I need to figure out a costume for Halloween.

I’m supposed to dress like my favorite band and come prepared to sing. But I don’t think I’ll look very good dressed as one of the band members of Snow Patrol, or the Killers. Maybe I’ll go as James Blunt and sing You’re Beautiful. But I won’t act out the video!

Anyway, suggestions?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

This goes out to 5 special white woman and you know who you are!

Boybama - Battleground for Your Heart from Portal A Interactive on Vimeo.

(Here's a shout out to two of Marcy's sisters-in-laws who happen to be white and living in Ohio and to my white friend Karen also in Ohio, my white sister-in-law Valerie in Nevada and to Tara my white hair dresser in New Hampshire. Great, there's my five!)

Lunch Conversation

“Can the clam chowder have hot dogs in it?” Jacob asked.

“No” said my husband and I.

“If it has hot dogs in it I’m not eating it!” Lizzy stated.

. . . . during lunch . . .

Jacob: “It’s pretty good, but it would be better with hot dogs. You should try it dad.”

“I’ll let mom try it.” My husband responded. Yeah, he’s got my back.

But now that I think about this I realize this has happened before. Anytime one of our children has made a creative new dish; I, of course, try it but my husband doesn’t always. Even if I’m shouting with my eyes, “YOU TRY THAT!!” He’s just a darn foodie!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Outside in 40 degree Weather

I saw a near-naked cherub wearing only a pair of underwear put on backwards and the inevitable iPod trying to open the door to the sunroom. His body chilled my hands as I hugged him.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

5th Grade Field Trip

I signed up to go on Jake’s field trip. Well, the note I actually handed in said if you need me to come I will. I guess they needed me because I was on the schedule. I got a late start and worried that the kids would already be there. But I think that I got to Hopkinton before the bus left the school.

We got the kids into their climbing harnesses and some boy ran up to me and shouted that he had a wedgie. What do you say in response to that? “Thanks for letting me know.”

They divided us up into groups and the day started off well when an eleven year old came up to me and informed me that, “I can burp really loud, if you need to get the attention of the group. It’s my talent.”

“I appreciate that,” I responded, “But I can’t imagine I’ll ever need to use that particular skill.” It is so obvious that I was never an eleven year old boy because I don’t understand them at all.

Because the school has been having lice outbreaks, I was in charge of wiping out the helmet between kids; probably because I acquitted myself so well during my experience with small, icky creatures.

Friday, October 17, 2008

He’s playin’ wid me

Will likes to call me Michelle. It started over a month ago. I got him off the bus one day and he said, “Michelle,” over and over again. I tried to correct him but to no avail. Everyday when I get him off his bus he calls me Michelle all the way into the house. I decided that it was a joke.

Today, I went into his school and, of course, as soon as he saw me he started saying, “Michelle” over and over again. His life became sublime when his therapists changed and it was his turn with Michelle. “Mom,” he greeted her. And he alternated between saying mom and Michelle for the next half hour.

I wonder why he always gets his bus driver America’s name right.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Does this mean that there is an eventual end to the torture of listening to children's music over and over again?

I rushed Will, Lizzy and Jake out the door. We were going to be late for Tae Kwan Do and I couldn’t find Will’s iPod anywhere. I asked him where it was but he ignored me. So, I grabbed a Curious George Book and hoped for the best. When we sat down on the bench Will noticed the shuffle in my purse. I told him it wasn’t his. “Dr. Suess?” He hopefully asked.

“No, buddy.” I replied. But undeterred he put the earphones in and turned it on. I expected him to listen for a minute, perhaps forward through all the songs, and when he realized there wasn’t any Lori Berkner or books on tape to throw it down in disgust. But . . . he kept it on. He listened to my songs for 45 minutes. I checked twice to hear if it was on, it was. He was listening to Augustana and Keane. I thought this means that either Will’s musical taste is expanding or that he’ll listen to anything if he’s desperate.

We came home and before I had even walked upstairs Will had found his iPod and it was plugged directly into his brain trying to repair the damage that listening to alternative music might have caused.

. . . .Later that day

Will was sitting on the rocking chair, his shuffle lying on the blanket chest, reading a book and listening to mine. I checked his. It still worked. I guess he preferred Keane to the Ants Go Marching In, maybe I better put some good stuff on his shuffle before he appropriates mine away from me!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Choice 2008

Last night on Frontline there was a good documentary, The Choice 2008, that discussed the careers of both Obama and McCain. If you missed it check it out.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


There’s a gorgeous yellow leafed tree across the street that I see from my office window. The leaves on the opposite side of the street are colorful and starting to fall while the leaves in my yard are barely tinged with color.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Guess What Internet

My husband came home from his appointment with his doctor looking a little shell-shocked. “She said I had baby soft skin,” he managed to get out.

“Well you do,” I said. “And I think I’ll let the internet know.”

Sunday, October 12, 2008

He successfully avoided my finger

I looked over at Will and noticed that one eye was a little red and swollen. I put some eye ointment on my finger to put in his eye. But he wiggled away from me. I tried again. It didn’t work that time either. In the past, I would lie him down on a bed with his arms down under my arm, and hold open his eye to put the medicine in. But today I realized that Will is too big for me to hold him down anymore. I tried to reason with him. I showed him his eye in the mirror. I asked if his eye hurt. I told him I could make it feel better. I practiced putting my uncontaminated finger near his eye. I tried singing a song while wrestling with him. Bri tried holding his arms down. I tried to pin him. At one point we were on his bed while I was attempting unsuccessfully to medicate him when I looked up my husband was staring in the window in consternation wondering why I was torturing his son. As he was in the middle of staining our deck I didn’t call him in to hold down our poor little nine year-old. After fifteen minutes I gave up.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I'm getting old

Bri babysat for someone other than me for the first time last night. She made fifteen dollars. Considering the economy, I’m relieved to have a second wage earner in the family.

Friday, October 10, 2008

What's Up With That?

There are many things that don’t make any sense to me; things like Bush getting elected for the second time or why anyone would ever choose to have a Formica sink cabinet. But near the top of that list is why when you enter the search terms “37 inch flat screen high definition TV” my blog shows up on the first page. I can’t help thinking that there must be some confusion on the part of google or the person searching for information. I can only imagine that person saying something like “I wanted advice on brands, but what I found was a mom saying she canceled her cable because her kids were watching too much TV. What’s up with that?”

I also get people searching for nudist information. Alright, I’ll grant that anyone who spends any amount of time at our house will definitely see Will naked and there was that one time Will was in the front yard only wearing his iPod; but the rest of us generally wear clothes.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Yesterday, Will’s therapist Cait read Where the Wild Things Are. That’s the book he skinned a while ago. They growled at each other. This morning when Will got on the bus one of his friend’s from school said, “Hi William.” And Will growled! It was adorable.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Hug Me Pillow

My sister sent me a link to buy a special pillow that she felt would keep me company during those times my husband is traveling. Although, the pillow promises to "provide comfort as well as piece of mind" and it's "unique shape provides firm sleeping support;" I'm not sure I'm really comfortable having a pillow that looks like this in my house even if it's only $29.99 plus shipping.

Cut to the chase, Bean! What are you really trying to say? I read the comments and felt a little uncomfortable.

Monday, October 6, 2008

A One-Sided Conversation with Will

Yesterday I confiscated Will’s iPod after finding both him and the iPod taking a shower together. With one of his two favorite things not available, Will was forced to focus on jumping on the trampoline for amusement.

But he doesn’t know when to stop. At 9:00pm it was dark and in the 30s but I had to bring him back inside two times. The second time I brought him back inside our conversation was as follows:

Me: “Will it’s to cold to be outside without pants on. I have pants on and I’m still cold.”

Will didn’t say anything to refute that, but gave me a pinch to make his feelings clear on being forced to come inside.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Game Playing Friends

On Saturday, an old pinochle playing friend from college came by. He was in Boston for a few days so he came over for dinner. We used to play with him and his wife frequently. I miss playing cards because we haven’t found “game playing friends” here.

So, we played Wiz War which is one of the coolest games in the world, especially the expansion set! My husband stomped us in less than twenty minutes so it was a quick game. But we made up for that with the longest game of Settlers of Catan I’ve ever played. It lasted over three hours! By that time I didn't care who won, I just wanted someone to put me out of my misery. The kids didn’t get to bed until after 11. Good thing it was Saturday night.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Last night Bri and I went to a service auction. The women in our church wrote down different services they would do for others. You received points to "buy" the services based on service, or how many kids you had or if you read your scriptures, etc.

I brought two bags filled with chocolates and packages of Pepperidge Farm cookies and offered to make anyone’s dessert of choice. Bri offered yard work and babysitting. And we ended up cleaning house!

I was really tempted by the photography lesson but when I saw face painting I knew it must be mine! It would have cost me $150 to have her come to Lizzy’s party and quite frankly that wasn’t going to happen. The lady sitting next to me reminded me that two years ago I won her offer to plan and come help with a birthday party. Naturally, this happened right after Jake’s party, is that karma?

I had my plan to save all my points for the face painting but the first thing up for auction was an offer to paint a room. What could I do? I bid. Bri agreed to give me whatever extra points I needed for the face painting. Bri and I did well! I get one room painted and face painting at Lizzy’s party, combine that with the party planning and the party is basically done except for the food and decorations, sweet! Brianne gets a 45 minute harp lesson and a sewing lesson -- Halloween costume, check. The only thing that would have made the auction better is if I could have gotten the personal yoga class, too.

Hindsight: I should have auctioned off Marcy's superior wallpaper removal services and made a killing! Kidding. I would have bid on that myself.

Friday, October 3, 2008

It sounded like a jet airplane was taking off from my family room

Anyone who believes that girls are louder or talk more than boys is either delusional or has never had a slumber party for 11 year-old boys. Seven boys screamed more than all the girls who have ever come to any of Bri’s slumber parties combined!

I don’t know what possessed me to allow Jake to have a slumber party after last year’s half slumber party fiasco. One of the kids called it a fighting party. I thought this year's party would be better not only through better planning but more importantly through a thorough culling of last year's guest list. Those who made the cut were polite and nice.

Well, after I stopped the boys from screaming and pushing each other around on the rolling chair it got a little quieter. I banished the chair to Lizzy’s room and tried to dull the boys’ senses with food. When that failed I sent them downstairs to watch Speed Racer. They were torn between eating the snacks and throwing gummy bears at each other. Naturally being boys the floor was covered with gummy bears and I was relieved that I didn’t buy the silly string.

They started burping like ducks and one of the boys threw up. Both my mom and dad called during the party. I thought they were in tune with me and heard my psychic call for help; but later I realized they both called to talk to Jake.

Fortunately, only three boys ended up staying over night! I hate to think of how loud it would have been with more! Girls know how to whisper, but 11 year-old boys don’t possess the gene sequence that allows them to whisper.

Last year my husband supervised Jake’s party while I took the other kids out. Surprisingly, this year when I asked what he wanted to do he volunteered to take the other kids to Boston’s Children’s Museum. By the time he got home I figured out that I probably could have doubled the kids he had to take and halved their ages and he still would have chosen to leave.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

William’s Top Ten List of Favorite Activities

10. Go on amusement park rides

9. Watch TV or movies

8. Read books or magazines

7. Swing in the backyard in various states of undress

6. Swim

5. Sit on the toilet reading (because everyone leaves him alone even if he’s been in there for a half hour!)

4. Drive in the car while listening to music

3. Jump on the trampoline while listen to music on his iPod.

2. Surf the web

1. Listen to music or books on tape

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I was really trying to be quiet!

My husband told me he was going to make a difficult business phone call. I was quietly surfing on the computer when the home phone rang. I jumped up, planning on running to the phone to stop the ringing. On my way to the phone I ran into the vacuum cleaner, knocking it over onto the wood floor where it landed with a deafening crash!
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