Monday, March 30, 2009

High on Gluten

My day started early today. It started at 2:11 am (to be exact) when William, riding a “wheat high”, decided it was time to get up. I got him to lie back down on his bed for a few hours but I heard him tossing and turning. He got up again a few times. Luckily a Nancy Drew computer game had taken out the kids’ computer so I was not forced to listen to the Pledge’s Fabric Sweeper for Pet Hair commercial over and over again at the highest possible volume. And to be perfectly frank, if I had to listen to that at 5:00 in the morning I might have been forced to go into the bathroom and shave my head just to express my displeasure.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


I've had a headache for two days. I'm freezing. My back hurts and I've already coughed up both lungs. And on that note I'm going to crawl back into my toasty bed.

But my Fern Green dining room is pretty, if not completely painted.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I Need a Spoon!

I keep finding silverware in the garbage. Will uses one then throws it in the garbage to clean up. ARGGG.

Downside to having a set for 24: You don't notice you have fewer knives at first!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I didn’t get Will off the bus today because I was at a parent teacher conference. After I got home I hugged Will. “Michelle, Michelle.” He greeted me.

“Did you have fun swimming today?” I asked. “Who did you go swimming with?”

“Mom.” He replied.

Confused I corrected him. “No, I didn’t go swimming. You went with Michelle.” He looked at me quizzically.

What? Then I realized, he meant Michelle when he said mom. I just didn’t get the joke.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Reentering Hades

I was doing quite well ignoring the peeling, pink wall in my bedroom and the wallpaperless dining room but someone called me earlier this week to schedule a day to paint the dining room -- and that day is tomorrow. So, I did some sanding and some more puttying and I bought some paint.

I think I could have ignored the whole situation for several more months if not years despite Marcy’s occasional comments but I am not one to look a painting gift horse in the mouth. Thus you have my forced painting prep.

Fair Warning: Prepare for complaining.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Marcy and I planned on going to the Stand For Children rally today at the State House but she ditched me thirty minutes before we were suppose to be on the bus. She gave me an excuse about having a migraine and her son being home sick but I saw right through that lame excuse. Excuse me Marcy, ever heard of something called a cell phone? You could have been back home within a couple of hours if your son had needed something.

It’s interesting that Marcy made me sign up to go to this rally then she cancels. Hmmm, irony or conspiracy?

Anyway, I brought an apple and two granola bars and I lobbied for educating our children. Yes, I am now a lobbyist and you can send me hate mail and blame me for the collapse of the banking industry and I will laugh at your pain because that is the kind of person I am.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Charlotte’s Web

Bri and Jake were in a musical over the weekend. They’ve spent a lot of Saturdays over the last couple of months rehearsing. I lucked out that one of the cast members, who lives three minutes away, drove the kids most of the time. (I offered him Brianne’s babysitting services in return -- she didn’t mind because she loves his two-year old.) I felt bad that I didn’t help much with the play so a couple of weeks ago I asked one of the producers if I could bring something to the cast dinner. She looked at me with an exhausted look on her face and asked if I wanted to be in charge of it. I took a deep breath and said yes.

It didn’t involve much. I bought lasagna and rolls. I made green salad and brownies. But I have never been involved with planning dinner for a large group (sixty people) and it was emotionally stressful regardless of how much I reassured myself that it mostly involved shopping. I called my friend Cat two times from BJs to talk about salad and how much lasagna I should buy; and this after I discussed it with my husband and Marcy earlier!

The lunch was practice for the Staff Appreciation Breakfast at Will’s school which I volunteered Marcy to be in charge of. She in turn drafted me. Poor Marcy. She will rue the day she started hanging out with me!

But the musical was a success. My friend DK’s six year-old enjoyed it so much he jumped from his seat into the aisle and yelled, “YOU ROCK!”

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Little Bit of Stress

I have to come up with dinner for sixty today. Yeah, I'm feeling a bit of stress.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Same Old Story

Charlie Rose interviewed Condoleezza Rice about Iraq. She said no one believed there was a link. Oh, really? No one? No one at all?


DIY Flu Vaccine

This is a couple of years old but it's always nice to have a refresher course in a Do It Yourself project. To see a better copy of the video go to this link.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Finger of Power

When I got Will off the bus yesterday I accidentally poked him in the eye. He started rubbing his eye and making sad sounds. “All done,” he told me, obviously in fear of me taking out the other eye as well. I tried to hug him and said that I was sorry but he kept his distance from me.

Today when I took him off his bus he started rubbing his eye again. I think my poor boy is scared of my finger.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Can You Hear Me Now?

Jake is desperate for a cell phone, not to call people on mind you, but for the status and to play games on. I tried to explain to him that there are other devices that actually work better to play games on called, oh, I don’t know -- a Nintendo DS; devices that have the additional charm of already being in the house. But he’s not buying my spiel and the topic of his desperate need for a phone comes up weekly.

Bri, who was relatively content being the only seventh grader (and quite possibly the only student) in her entire school who was phoneless, decided that it would be the height of unfairness if her eleven year-old brother had a phone before she did. And I'm not sure she was convinced when I assured her I wasn’t going to buy Jake a phone to play games on.

But Bri, after months of listening to Jake describe his longing for a phone, decided that she too has a significant need for a phone. I, who only got a cell phone a year ago as I am hopelessly behind the times (not really, I was just trying to avoid calls from my children’s schools), have decided to buy Lizzy a phone just to play with their minds!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Oh Yeah, Baby

Apparently the commercial for Pledge’s Fabric Sweeper for Pet Hair is one of the funniest things Will has ever seen because he watches the commercial for it over and over and over again while laughing hysterically! I know that other nine year-olds get on the computer and play games or check email. Not my boy … he’s busy watching commercials.

Not that we have a pet, or upholstered furniture for that matter.

I just watched the commercial. It's really not that funny. Maybe it would be if I turned the volume up to an eardrum piercing level?

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I told Bri to leave the room so I could listen to a song that I didn’t feel was appropriate for her. “Well then, maybe you shouldn’t listen to it either mom.”

Uh... Slam!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Useless -- but kind of Cool

I found a really cool site. You can see the difference between the spread of Target and the spread of Walmart.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Today is a very exciting day in New Mexico because it is Pluto Day! You might not be aware that Pluto is still a planet in New Mexico (and California). Yes, really! Neil deGrasse Tyson wrote The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet. It was a interesting book. I am now more interested in outer space.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Fray -- You Found Me

I love this song!

Staring Into the Future

I told my husband that when he is old and has to live in an old people home that I’d go visit him every day. Only then, I realized I’d forgotten about Will. I’ll have to get my husband and a wheelchair and push him out to visit Will every day.

My husband asked me, “Why do you assume that I’ll be the one in a wheelchair and in the nursing home.” I responded that there’s a place in my life where Karma and bad luck collide and I plan on them eventually moving in with me.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My kids just had a five minute argument over who set the garbage can on fire.

I was on my computer listening to Ben Lee’s Numb. Bri was hanging out with me looking over my shoulder, when from out in the hallway I heard Jake say, “Uh mom, the garbage can’s on fire.”

What!? He said it in such a calm way that I didn’t react for a couple of seconds as my mind tried to process the information. Then I went to the kitchen and sure enough, large flames were curling out of the garbage can! I grabbed the garbage can. Jake asked me where the fire extinguisher was but my first instinct was to pour water into it from the sink. It was too large to fit in the sink. So, I ran it to the bathtub and turned on the water. It was literally 30 seconds away from burning a hole through the bottom.

I told Jake that the next time something was on fire he should probably yell. I figure that won’t be too far in the future after all Will is a budding pyromaniac.

I asked my kids which of them decided to char the hamburger buns and transfer them to the garbage can. No one expressed any desire for black buns covered in plastic wrap so I asked Will if he set the garbage can on fire. He sang, “I am like a star shining brightly.”

I’m going to take that as a yes . . . but, Bri remains convinced it was Jake.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday Morning

After my alarm woke me up at a seemingly obscene hour, I staggered out of bed to wake up Lizzy. I’d warned her last night that she’d have to get up an hour earlier in the morning. She didn’t want to go to bed but after a semi-reasonable conversation with me she agreed to go.

After I retrieved Lizzy from her bed she told me that going to bed at 7:00pm was great. “Can I go to bed at 7:00 every night?” We compromised on 7:30pm. But I’m not holding my breath. I figure she’ll change her mind in, oh, about five and a half hours.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

My Dad’s Pack of Dogs

My dad has a tractor. He’s had it for a while. But the problem with having a tractor is that eventually you have to have land to drive on with said tractor and dirt to push around with said tractor. So, eventually my parents bought a lot up in the mountains for the tractor.

The problem with having a lot in the mountains for a tractor is that eventually you have to do something with the lot besides push dirt around. Even though my dad had bought a trailer for the tractor so they could go on drives together the tractor still felt lonely. So my dad decided to build a shed for the tractor to live in. It was a big shed; big enough for the tractor and the little camper that could go on my dad’s truck to live in. And the tractor was content . . . for a while.

But the tractor was lonely and talked my dad into moving up on the mountain lot and building a house. The tractor thought they could have a lot of fun together – pushing dirt around and digging holes. And it was fun, but it made for a long commute for my mom.

Then my dad got a dog. He named him Buddy (which ironically I often call William). Buddy also liked to go on rides in the truck with my dad, but what he loved the most was riding on the tractor with my dad. He loved riding on the tractor enough that once he actually tried to bribe my dad into letting him ride on his tractor by bringing him a rabbit. Imagine that will you -- “See this rabbit . . . it’s yours for one little, itsy, bitsy ride. Come on, come on. It’s a great rabbit so it’s totally worth a ride!”

Well, if you have a tractor, shed, outbuildings, a dog and a partially built house the only thing left to do is start collecting animals. So, my dad got a pony and a mare. The pony is mostly content being a horse, but the mare thinks she’s a dog. She acts like a dog. She plays like a dog. She comes when my dad calls her. But she still hasn’t figured out how to climb in the back of my dad’s pickup and she’s jealous of Buddy when he drives off with my dad! Next my dad got a steer. The mare terrorizes the steer. She chases him and she won’t let him sleep in the little barn even in the middle of winter.

The other day my dad called me and told the mare and the dog were playing hide and go seek. I thought that was ridiculous until I remembered my children played hide and go seek in our two-bedroom apartment and Bri once got stuck in a garbage can. Clearly there is some kind of family cross-breed defect.

So, my dad has a dog who likes riding on the tractor, a mare who thinks she’s a dog, a pony that tags along and a steer that’s terrorized by the mare. It’s like some misbegotten Dr. Doolittle farm gone terribly wrong.

And while all this is going on, my dad is slowly breaking every bone in his body -- some of them twice. Seriously! I talk to him on the phone and he’ll casually mention, “Yeah, I don’t feel great. I broke my foot again.”

I blame it all on the tractor!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Turning My Children Into Mush

Hugging Jake is like hugging a limp noodle. I grab him and he immediately becomes limp and three inches shorter. I’ve been working on making him hug me back. I know you might assume that my eleven year old probably just doesn’t like displays of affection from his mother; however, some things are non-negotiable. I get to affectionately tap my children’s bums and they must hug me on demand!

Last night when I grabbed Jake to hug him, he turned into a medium noodle. I told him to firm up. He sat on the couch, “I’ve got to calm down!” He said, as he slowly breathed in and out. After a minute he got up and hugged me. Then he started giggling and said, “Wait, I need a minute to concentrate!”

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


I just read an article in Discovery Magazine online. Melissa Lafsky first calls Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) controversial and risky then says behavioral therapy has gained significant support. I'm so tired of journalists writing articles about things they clearly know nothing about!

ABA = Behavioral Therapy

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I'm Not Suprised . . . Just Disappointed

If you want to ruin an otherwise good day read this article from Newsweek and here's the memo from the Justice Department.

My Bad!

Marcy called me Monday morning to assign fault for the massive snow storm that took out the east coast. Yes, it’s my fault. If I had only listened to her advice to buy a snow blower as insurance against snow, this never would have happened. I can only defend myself by saying that while I was at the store I made a mistake and confused a shovel for a non-automatic snow blower. Perhaps I thought it was a first generation snow blowing prototype. Perhaps I was under the illusion that since I had four children I could force one of them to be my snow removing slave. Whatever the justification I can say now with hindsight that clearly I was, possibly or maybe not wrong at all!

Monday, March 2, 2009

She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain

Yesterday in church, Will felt “called upon to sing” she’ll be coming ‘round the mountain when she comes rather LOUDLY. It’s not so bad when he’s singing Love at home or I am a Child of God but certain songs disrupt everyone around and sure enough when I glanced around I saw shaking shoulders and giggles. My husband removed him from the pew before he got to the old red rooster verse with the accompanying chop, chop.

On the way home the kids sung the song to him. But I guess he was over it by then because he told them, “all done” to get them to stop singing.

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