Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year’s Eve, Our Style!

We played Settlers of Catan and ate a ton of junk food. Then the kids decided to watch a movie. Problem: of course, they each wanted to watch a different movie. To end the argument I wrote the movies on three different slips of paper and had J. draw one. He drew Spirit. Jake wasn’t happy! “It’s not a violent movie.” He complained. “I only like movies with violence. Movies with shooting or has a spell cast on them or where someone dies. Except if Sirius dies, I’m not happy with that.” Yes, it’s another proud moment for me as a mother.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Wii Fit is the New Y

Jake had a friend over the other day. As usual, they were playing the Wii. But this time something was different. Mat and he were playing Wii Fit. THEY WERE JOGGING! I left the room to snicker.

Speaking of exercise: Marcy come back soon because I haven’t exercised since you left!

Monday, December 29, 2008

My Newest Obsession

I bought Jake Civilization III for Christmas and I love it. I’ve played it so much that the kids complain that I’m hogging their computer. Last night I started playing it at 10pm and went to bed at 5:45am. Needless to say I’m going to give it up because otherwise I won’t do anything else.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Sometimes things just don’t go the way I plan

I planned a really nice Christmas Eve program. Bri has been practicing Christmas songs for several weeks so I decided that I’d read T’was the Night before Christmas, then we’d sing carols. The kids would open one present. Then J. would read a short story as a transition and we would have a spiritual message about the real meaning of Christmas with hymns interspersed with readings from the New Testament. It didn’t go well.

I had to take a detour with Will in the bathroom in the middle of the night before Christmas and he didn’t really cooperate during the caroling. (He appropriated the musical score.) Then Bri and Lizzy did a nice Jingle Bells routine. The rapping encore was quite funny. The kids unwrapped a present. Then J. started reading the short story. Will started playing the keyboard. At first we just told him to turn it down but Will prefers a loud volume so eventually I unplugged it. After trying in vain to find the right plug to plug it back in and after being told “no” multiple times to playing on the computer or DVD player Will lost it. He started running around saying, “Name Jesus Christ, Amen,” in a vain attempt to end his torture. When that didn’t work he moved on to pinching and saying “Quiet voice.”

During the “spiritual” portion there was a significant amount of poking each other, putting feet on each other and laying hands on each other while complaining over how much they had to read. I believe that the message of the true meaning of Christmas was lost in chaos.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Lizzy came home earlier this week with a Christmas wish that she wrote out.

"I wish for pess. And pepoll tobe cind. Becus pepoll love pess. And pepoll to niss. And pepoll wud not be fiding."

Translation: "I wish for peace and people to be kind. Because people love peace. And people to be nice. And [I wish] people would not fight."

I'll second that. Now go open a present!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Exotic Pancakes Courtesy of Will

Will has been making platefuls of food that he leaves around the kitchen and dining room. J. feels that he’s a budding artist expressing his feelings through art. I admit to being at a total loss regarding his motivation. I refuse to believe that it’s artistic expression because the most likely inspiration for smashed bananas and pears is anger. I think he just likes to play with my mind.

I’ve found a lot of plates with mounds of chocolate chips and mini marshmallows. Occasionally, he adds other ingredients. Once I found him pouring a pitcher of water on top of the marshmallows and chocolate chips on the plate, the water cascaded off the plate and dripped on the floor.

A couple of days ago a found a plate filled with chocolate chips, marshmallows, a smashed banana, a spoonful of peanut butter and hot chocolate mix. There was only one thing to do – I made pancakes.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Itsy Bitsy Spider

Monday morning I was woken up at 6:00 am by a recorded phone call stating that school was still on. I came back in my room only to hear J.’s business phone ring with the same message. Only in Massachusetts! Actually, I’m being a little facetious. It snowed for almost two days straight and there were a lot of roads to clear.

After Lizzy and Jake left for school I spent an hour digging 4 feet of plowed snow out the entrance to my driveway. When I came in Will was at the computer. “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” he asked. I looked at the monitor. Will had entered “theeittsseabatssbidrw” as his search term and unbelievably nothing was found. I thought it was a pretty good attempt but I helped him out anyway.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Movie Night

The kids sat on the couch watching a Charlie Brown Christmas special. They were wrapped up with blankets and pillows. I watched them as I folded clothes. William looked like Mary with a blanket over his head and pillow on his lap. His eyes started drooping and his head nodded then he opened his eyes. I watched him for a couple of minutes until he fell asleep sitting up.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snow Day

We got four phone calls telling church would be canceled today because of the snow. One thing I love about living in Massachusetts is that on Sundays the churches that have canceled services due to snow scroll along the bottom of the TV screen the same way the names of canceled school districts scroll on weekdays. I laughed when I first saw that.

It’s finally stopped snowing. It snowed about 28 hours straight. I shoveled the driveway three times and I’ll have to go out one more time. Yesterday afternoon I took Bri shopping for a dress and it was horribly busy considering the crappy weather. We almost didn’t make it up the hill to our house. I called J. and said I’m stuck halfway up the hill please come fix this.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


I was going to write a glowing review on Freecycle. I first heard about it a couple of years ago on NPR and was really excited about it. Instead of continuing to fill up landfills with useful stuff, you pass it on to someone who can use it. I have a tendency to hold on to stuff because I want to give it away rather than throw it away. Well, my husband loves Freecycle but for the opposite reason. It’s a giant, ongoing, free garage sale to him. My husband has a history of buying crap at garage sales. When he brings it home I usually react in a non-positive way. After almost 17 years of marriage. I thought I had mostly cured him of bringing home useless crap for me to mutter over but that all changed with I hooked him up with Freecycle.

My enthusiasm for the concept overrode my common sense and I did not foresee the inevitable result. We are now the proud owners of four lawnmowers. We also have a circa 60s fireplace screen in the garage. When he said that he thought I’d like it, I responded that if I’d gone with a mid-century modern look in the living room it would be great but without corresponding furniture it’s nasty. I may have to cut off his internet access!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Half-Snow Day

Schools are closing early today because of the impending foot of snow that is forecasted to be dumped on us today. So, of course I’m puttering my morning away. I should be stocking up at the grocery store where those who have not yet gone shopping are staring at half bare shelves and fighting over the last container of hamburger. (Really, not kidding Marcy said there wasn’t any beef left at Shop and Shop!) I’m picking up Pete and Will from school today because their school was the 75th to call their transportation company and I’d prefer that they not spend three hours driving home. I’ve decided that once all the kids get home we’ll make treats, watch movies and shovel the driveway over and over again.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My Husband knows what I like

He emailed me this link today. Sock and Awe! We've discussed the shoe incident a lot and sadly I have to admit I find it really funny. Now I'm going to try to double my score!

Sometimes it's hard to wait.

Yesterday, I opened the Christmas present I bought for my husband to give me. Since Marcy was busy my motivation to go work out at the Y was lessened; so, I decided to try out my new Wii Fit. It wasn’t a great cardio workout but my legs were a little sore the next morning. Now I just need to get Will set up on it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Conservation Freak

Because my husband is a conservation freak who cares about the environment he has been very concerned with the plight of the American chestnut tree that was nearly wiped off the planet. As no doubt all of you know, American chestnut trees were struck with blight. Fortunately a dedicated group has been working to cross the chestnuts with a blight resistant tree thus hopefully saving the trees.

My husband sent in a donation and agreed to measure the tree growth for a couple of years in exchange for some chestnut seeds. He’s mentioned this to me a while ago and had nearly given up hope of planting seeds when they arrived in the mail. Why do I care about this you ask? For the simple reason that because of the chestnut seeds I was able to send Marcy an email asking: “do you have any pots for J. to plant his nuts in?” And as a bonus I was able to follow that up with “By the way, he has four nuts.”

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Marcy, Marcy, Marcy!

Apparently, I’ve mentioned Marcy too much on my blog because my dad told me he was thinking about adopting her – I said yes anyways. I’m a very simple creature. I like food, listening to music, reading, being on the computer, my family, my friends, triceps exercises and Marcy. I used to like shopping before autism got in the way (but now that I have kid-free time I’m starting to like it again), and cooking (before years of complains from my children drove any desire to cook from me). I obsess about politics, ethics, couches and maybe Marcy.

I guess there’s only one question left to ask – Marcy, how about it? Do you want to be my sister? You can share with Bri because she has a big room.

Friday, December 12, 2008

More Indecisive Shopping

I stood in front of the curtains at Linen ‘N Things trying to decide what to buy. I felt paralyzed with indecision. What if I buy the wrong curtain? What if I don’t like it when I get home? Your basic first world problem I know but it still hurts my head.

I hate to think how much time I’ve wasted in the curtain section -- I know it has been hours. But I feel conflicted and compelled to be there. Do I want stripes or a solid? I almost make a decision but can’t commit. It’s a good thing that I didn’t think this long about marriage or I probably wouldn’t be married! Yesterday, I managed to buy 3 blankets, two sets of curtains, a hamper, a coat hanger and a decorative metal thing. It’s amazing how proud I can be of myself for spending money.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wallpaper Purgatory

I have re-entered wallpaper removal purgatory. Maybe I was inspired when my little sister told me that she almost bought a house completely covered in wallpaper. I blew out her eardrum when I screamed “Are you completely mental?” into the phone. Needless to say, she did not buy that house. Probably to save herself from a lifetime of hearing “I told you so” from me every time we talked. And if you cannot complain about removing wallpaper to everyone you talk to, what is the point of actually removing it? Case in point: I complained about it to another parent at Tae Kwan Do right after I complained about driving all the way to (only an additional 4 miles but through really bad traffic at rush hour) for Tae Kwan Do. Hmmm, I’m noticing a trend perhaps my husband was right about me.

But maybe I’m entering another phase in purgatory because right after Marcy (AKA partner in purgatory – I will grant that conceivably I rather than the wallpaper could be her purgatory) left I continued to remove the wallpaper and removed almost three more stripes of wallpaper rather than ignoring it until she was forced to come over again to help me out of guilt! So, either I’m getting use to it or this wallpaper is easier to remove than the wallpaper in my bedroom.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I’m only Sneaky When I Hide Chocolate

I’m sure my children know everything they’re getting for Christmas. Jake found Super Mario Cart months ago. They picked out another Wii game last week. And their other gifts have been scattered by my bed for weeks. I’ve even asked them if they want ski lessons for Christmas.

When I was little it never occurred to me to search out my Christmas presents I just waited for Christmas. My friend Melissa told me when she was little they would unwrap their presents to find out what they were, then rewrap them. Bri admitted to me a year ago that she would peek at the unwrapped presents.

My husband bought two presents for me to give him – although, I could only find one to wrap so I wonder if he already used the other. And I’m thinking about buying myself Wii Fit for my husband to give me.

Last night I wrapped presents, so if by some small chance the kids did not have time to look at their presents – it’s too late now!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Basic Training Envy

While Marcy and I were working out this morning at the Y we met a recruiter for the marines. We pondered aloud the possibilities of joining up. Marcy said that it sounded like a vacation. I thought the workouts would be great. The only hitch; well, I don't think what we would earn would offset the live-ins our husbands would have to hire to replace us!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

More Proof That While I May Not Know Things, I Know People That Do.

Last night we had our ward Christmas party Marcy and her son came with us. She was incredibly helpful with the Christmas trivia. She answered half the questions for me. Ironically, my Jewish friend doubled my score.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Mike and Barbara

Last night two guys from our church came over. We were a little entertaining to say the least. I think Will’s latest stim is names. He walked up to them, pointed at the first guy and said “Mike.” He walked over to the other guy and said “Barbara.” My kids dissolved in laughter. After calling them Mike and Barbara for a while, he touched Mike on the chest and asked “Name?”


Then he pointed at Barbara, “Name?” He asked.

“Josh.” Will was so excited at the thought of more names he asked them to spell them. Merrill started spelling his name but Will wanted him to sign it while he spelled it. I signed it from across the room and Merrill copied my signs. Then it was Josh’s turn. Will found a piece of paper and wrote their names down.

The kids enjoyed their visit and, as usual, Will did streak by them on his way upstairs then hung out in his underwear for a while before they left. “Josh” and “Merrill,” Will said as they were getting ready to leave. “Barbara.” Josh corrected Will on his way out the door.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Sometimes William will utter a non sequitur. When I woke him up for school this morning he told me Massachusetts twice. Then later he followed that up with salsa. Um, ok. Massachusetts I get, but salsa? Maybe he wants some. I assume he doesn’t mean dancing. He likes to tell me the date. It’s adorable. He’ll say something like, “Friday, December 5th 2008,” with his hand covering his mouth. He caused all his siblings to dissolve in a fit of giggles yesterday at dinner when he said, “December,” during the prayer.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My Indecisive Shopping Obsession

My newest hobby is apparently buying towels. I’ve been going to Linen and Things often. I’m trying to decide which comforter I should buy but I can’t decide. I almost decide on one but then see something else or I change my mind. I’ve narrowed it down from five choices to two but then I added two new ones. Marcy is so frustrated with me she almost bought one of my choices on Monday. I did actually buy one of my choices so I end up with something but I think I may buy a different one as well as I still have a failsafe method of choosing -- It will be the last of the seven choices in the store.

However, there are other things that I manage to buy (although I will admit that it can take me some time to choose). I bought some white towels for my bathroom. Then I went back and bought some taupe and brown towels for my glorious peach bathroom. Bri also picked out a comforter set. I tried to talk her into a different one but she didn’t like any of the ones I suggested. It’s interesting that I am trying to decide between three sets after a month and Bri never wavered from her first choice. Hmmm.

Yesterday Marcy and I found the curtains.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Keeping up Appearances

Marcy called Monday morning to find out when I was leaving for the Y. I said in just a few minutes only to walk into my room and realize that since I didn’t do laundry over the weekend I didn’t have any clean exercise clothes. I dug around in my drawer for a while and was faced with a choice of yoga pants with a hole in them or knit shorts. I went with the yoga pants. I dragged out my sewing machine and sewed up the hole that I’d ignored for well over a year. Now I had to find a shirt. Let’s see, my choices were a green XXL men’s tee-shirt or a button down. I choose the shirt that ended mid-thigh because I felt like looking like someone who exercised in their pajamas.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Garage Sale

After I gave some of Lizzy’s toys away I decided that the kids should go through their toys and decide what they wanted to keep. They dumped the My Little Pony horde, matchbox cars and about two boxes of crap. I asked what they want to do with all their excess. “Have a garage sale.” They responded.

Thinking “Um, it’s December.” I said, “Sure, why not.” We’ll store them in the attic until next summer then pull them out. But what will I write on the posters?

Three boxes of really great toys!

Come to our yard sale!

It’s definitely worth your time!

The only problem with having a garage sale is that I worry that people would be pissed to arrive and only find a couple of boxes of toys.

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