Monday, December 31, 2007

how I spent the last day of the year

8:05 am: Brushed my teeth. I know this might not be an activity worth mentioning, but I just really can't do anything with mung mouth. And no matter how much you like your mama, nobody's excited about a stanky good morning kiss.

8:07-8:50 am: Opened HB's door, threw up a little at the diaper smell emanating from the crib; brushed my teeth again. Got HB up, and choked it back for 15 more minutes while he had his morning snack at the boob buffet. I know you are asking yourself, "Why is she choking on barf when she could just change the nasty diaper and then nurse the baby?" The answer is that, well, the baby just plain won't be changed until he's been to the buffet. It's not worth the screaming and having to get poop out of the rug, and also out of my armpits. Post buffet, HB got a new, dry, happy diaper, and then got dressed. Note: post buffet activities took 26 minutes, and involved me crawling all over the floor and tackling the baby numerous times.

8:51-8:53 am: Pretended to take a nap.

8:55: Discovered I had actually fallen asleep. Hauled baby out of tub, opened big kids door to find Wee Man dressed in 29 layers of Miss O's clothes, down to the underwear. Shrugged, walked out of the room and into my bedroom. Dropped baby on bed next to the Mister and three sleeping cats. Shrugged, walked out of the room.

Somewhere between 9 and 10, the kids ate breakfast, and Miss O found out, much to her dismay, that Grandma had started her yearly oven cleaning and the house stunk like, well, oven cleaner, and she had to wait until after lunch to go. Her reaction: MY DAY IS RUINED!!!!!!! My reaction: I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL!!!!! Also in that hour, Wee Man went down the street to the other Grandma's house, still wearing the entire contents of O's closet, and no diaper (oops!). Two hours later, Grandma Martha was really surprised to hear that when Wee Man said, "I pee in Sis's unnerwear," he meant what he said. Also in the 9 o'clock hour, The Mister sat down on the couch and slept until lunch. Consequently, steam began pouring out of my ears, and that fun activity lasted well into the afternoon. And HB took a nap.

9 am-12:30 pm:
I clean my kitchen and throw things away. This is what I do when I am in a very bad mood and realize that talking is not a good option (especially considering The Mister was STILL ASLEEP!). So I clean things until I have a Better Attitude. It took a long time. I also had a little time out from cleaning to read some truly horrible books to Sis. Disney's The Return of Jafar was one. It was all I could do to stay awake. I actually spilled some coffee on myself as I nodded off. Must have been a writer's strike or something.

Wee Man came home in clothes The Mister wore as a wee bairn, and went to bed. Miss O went to Grandma of the Clean Oven, I ate leftover chicken wings, The Mister (now awake) went somewhere, and returned later on. HB woke up and ate leftovers, too. For about an hour and a half.

Wee Man woke up. We tried to watch a movie, but "Dis movie not funny a lot." So I popped in a second choice. Also "dis movie not funny". He struck out the side and ended up playing Dinosaur Family, where his great big plastic dino kisses the little dinos and tells them she loves them. "It the mama dinosaur, and dese guys the baby dinosaurs." Got it. This chain of events took almost three hours. I put HB in his crib three times, and he screamed himself violet, screamed and pooped, and then screamed himself hoarse. So what you were saying, HB, is that you don't really want to nap again today?

5:00: IT'S BEDTIME!!! Just kidding, it's dinnertime. Everyone ate, and The Mister gave the boys a bath. I did more laundry, emptied the dishwasher, and then did more laundry. This is the first mention of the laundry today, but it is such a constant activity, especially with three loads of diapers a week, that I don't really think about it.

HB was in his crib, screaming again. I suddenly realized that there was probably A Reason for the crying, so I gave him some Hyland's Homeopathic Teething Tablets. HB almost instantly was soothed, he laid down his weary noggin and went to sleep. Not so much with the others, though. Wee Man was up finishing his dinner and not actually pooping on the potty for another 40 minutes.

Miss O came home, and ate everything that was not frozen. That took 90 minutes, in which time I did more laundry, and spent lots of time standing by the toaster oven waiting for her leftovers to warm up.

I sat down in the least comfortable chair in the house, recorded my very ordinary day, and now am going to bed. The Mister has a bar gig tonight, and it will run very late. So I get the whole bed to myself, and I won't even have to wear earplugs until 5 tomorrow morning, when he gets to bed. I'm actually glad I'm home, and not at a party where I'd have to stay up and Be Nice and Dress Up and Be Freezing. And I have no Resolution. I am making no Major Changes in my life. I am going to keep doing variations on the same thing I did today. Because it ain't broke.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

destined for perpetual dripper-hood

The Mister's parents gave me a French Press (that's a grown-up coffee maker for all you drippers out there) for Christmas. I cannot put into words my excitement, and the amount of gratefulness I feel. Because I love me some French Press coffee.

However, I have made three pots so far today, and it seems that the learning curve is VERY steep. I have created three varieties of bilge water unfit for slopping pigs. I don't want to believe that I am not clever enough to make coffee. And yet, I haven't had enough caffeine today to operate at my best.

Never fear, I will not give up. I will try, try, try again. And if all else fails, I will beg Beck to come over to teach my how to make a proper cup of coffee.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

merry christmas

This is my cozy living room where I wrapped painted wooden ornaments (or orm-naments, if you're Jack Curtis) that were covered in glitter, sequins and puffs. Not the tissues, the little pompom-my guys with sparklies in them. That is what the children are giving their grandparents, uncles and aunties this Christmas.
It's currently Christmas, and I am going to bed so that when my children wake up in 7 or 8 hours, and realize it's Christmas, I will be a rested and quite pleasant mama. And I will drink coffee and be unconcerned about Chocolate As Breakfast Food For Children.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

the things they don't mention

Last night, while the husband was home containing the wild beasts, I went to Dave's Christmas Wonderland with Beck and Megh. It was lovely to escape the zoo (because that's what it was yesterday) and have some grown-up time.

Dave's is really a lot to deal with for a visual person such as myself. There is sparkling, twirling, twinkling, bling-ed out Christmas crap everywhere. They even had Baby Jesus wrapped in a crystal swaddling cloth. It was crazy. It called to mind a Polish Catholic church in Berea, Ohio, where I taught music for a year while finishing my undergrad degree. Those Poles really know how to bedazzle their saints, I tell you.

It's sad and fascinating at the same time, watching people get ready for Christmas. More often than not, they seem really unhappy and even angry. I'm noticing that so many things are sad and fascinating at the same time, but it really makes my heart ache for all the pissed off Christmas shoppers, grousing and complaining about every little Yuletide setback.

Because...and here's the news of the millennia, people...we have this overdone, stressed out holiday because Jesus was born. Actually, we have overdone and stressed out this holiday that is about Jesus' birth. We celebrate Jesus' birth not because of the miracle of the virgin birth, and not because he was born in a barn. However, I do suggest a holiday celebrating all of the women who have had to give birth where an animal lives, which is miraculous. And disgusting. Mostly disgusting. We do not celebrate Christmas because the angels sang and the shepherds came and rich guys from far away brought super expensive gifts. Truly all of these events are unusual and special, and are the sort of thing reserved for the Son of God and Savior of the World. I can vouch for that, as I have birthed three spectacular babes, and there was no singing, no sheep (good fortune for me), and no rich guys came to the hospital to bring me valuable treasure.

We celebrate His birth so we can rejoice in His death and resurrection. Jesus did amazing things while He was here on earth. Pick a Gospel and read it if you need to catch up on that. But, by far, the awesomest event was when He died. Jesus gave His life, dying a horrible, agonizing death to pay for all of the horrible things we do every day.

I celebrate Christmas because I know about Easter.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

beary peshul

Jack: Daddy comin' home now?
Mama: In a little.
Jack: No, now.
Mama: You sure do love your daddy!
Jack: Yeah, and sis, and mommy, and sis, and daddy, and Henny, and Jack. Yeah.
Mama: I'm glad you love your family.
Jack: Fami-wee?
Mama: Family. All the people you love best.
Jack: Fam-uhl-wee. Jack, and Henny, and sis, and Jack, and daddy I love.
Mama: And mommy.
Jack: And daddy, and sis, and Jack, and sis, and daddy, and Henny, and mommy.
Mama: Well, thank goodness. You love your whole family.
Jack: I love you, mommy. You are beary peshul to me.

having babies is a happy thing

We have some truly lovely and wonderful friends who just found out they were expecting their first child. They are quite fond of one another, and plan to be so for as long as they both shall live. It is always a joy when normal, intelligent, competent people choose to have a child, and anyone with half a brain should rejoice in the miracle of life. So naturally we were ecstatic when we heard the happy announcement.

Congratulations, dear ones. May God bless you with a healthy baby who enjoys sleeping when it's dark out. Because that's what counts.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

in search of a clean bathroom

Is there one at your house? Because there certainly isn't one here. I am well aware that in the time it takes me to complain here about my dirty bathroom--which is my fault, I guess, because I haven't actually given it the business lately--I could have cleaned it. I would much rather just go use someone else's clean bathroom, or arrange an appearance of the Bathroom Cleaning Fairy, or anything, really. I've been such a good girl this week. I've been mostly patient, mostly pleasant, I've helped out a friend and prayed lots, I've fed my family all of the requisite meals and did loads and loads of laundry (including two loads of diapers, so far), and vacuumed, and played with the children, and remembered the baby's year-old doctor appointment...

Oh, and Bathroom Cleaning Fairy, in addition to the dirty bathroom that is the subject of my rant, we have a tiny little half bath off the kitchen that isn't sanitized and sparkling, either. So if you're coming, would you hit them both? That'd be great.

Monday, December 3, 2007

happy birthday, wedding day!

We celebrated six years of being married and pretty much loving it on Saturday.

Our shopping list (because we had to go to Target while we were in the neighborhood):
method daily shower cleaner
Mr. Potato Head (for Jack)
iPod card (for the babysitter)
condoms (for peace of mind)

Friday, November 30, 2007

mortal combat

There is almost nothing that makes me as angry as badly behaved children, especially when they are mine.

It has been an autumn of testing boundaries and our expectations. I'd like to think of it as a season, as in "there is a season for everything, a time to be born, a time to die..." A time to try to kick mama's ass with months-long, non-stop verbal torrents of hate speech and beatings applied to the siblings. Also, it has been a season of using all flat surfaces as a toilet, instead of using the actual toilet, making it a season of me wanting to spank the children with a rolled-up newspaper while rubbing their noses in it. However, since they are human babies and not dog babies, I have restrained myself.

Getting Olivia to preschool today was maddening. She was ready to go to school. All that she needed was to put on her shoes, coat and mittens, and walk out the door. Chaos ensued upon receiving the information that is was below 20 degrees outside and she could not wear sandals. I was so proud of myself for setting good limits (she could wear sneakers or her boots) and if she didn't want to cooperate, she could go back to her bed and have time-out until the time school ended, an agonizing 2.5 hours. It took a while for her to get the sneakers on, mostly due to the whining, kicking and screaming the phrase, "I am not living here with you if you make me wear shoes." We walked out the door and literally shuffled down the street to school. (I walked like a normal person; Olivia stomp/shuffled like an angry nursing home patient with a full diaper.) All that, and only 20 minutes late. Not too bad..

Not too bad until I went to pick her up. While I spoke with her teacher, she ran to where her sneakers were, hid them, and came back all in a dither, shouting, "MOM, MOM! SOMEBODY STOLE MY SNEAKERS!!! My BS-ometer was screeching off the charts. I don't need to replay the drama that ensued, but we were at school sorting out the sneaker situation for more than a half an hour. Oddly enough, Olivia was able to locate the stolen items almost immediately after being given the option to retrieve the footwear or receive a spanking in the lobby of the school. We eventually got home, and the ridiculous behavior continued.

Why is it that times like this make me perceive bad parenting as the golden carrot being dangled in front of my nose? Probably because I was four years old once, and the whiff of instant gratification still smells sweet. Lucky for everyone, I have a box of Stever's Dark Chocolate Meltaways stashed in the kitchen for just such an occasion, when I need something just plain nice to keep bad things from happening.

The tall will prevail.

get a job

So my charming daughter has taken to strongly encouraging me to "get a job, you know, so we can be rich!" This makes me cringe, right down to the core of me, for so many reasons..

I've had jobs. Quite a variety, too, if I do say so myself. I worked at an amusement park, as the obnoxious person who strong-arms guests into being photographed, only to strong-arm them into purchasing a crappy souvenir at the end of the day when they are too tired to fight it. At the same amusement park, I operated roller coasters, the Ferris wheel and a number of other less exciting ones. In college, I was the secretary for an optician, and did all sorts of optician-y things there; I taught piano lessons and voice lessons, in addition to teaching music in schools, directing musicals and plays, and spending a horrible year teaching math to junior high aged kiddos. I know how the math gig came to be and yet I cannot wrap my head around the fact that I was hired for that specific task after freely admitting failing math in college. Ah, education. I even spent a year teaching part-time nursery school. To round out this list, I was the music director at my church, and peddled America's favorite pink-hued skin care products.

All this led me to the following conclusions:
1. I should never, ever have spent four years (plus on extra semester) and $100K on an education in education.
2. I really do not like other people's children.
3. I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up.

I will address item #2 another time; my dearest know that their children do not fall into the category of 'other people's children'.

So here I am, a smart girl with lots of ambitions with no career ideas at all. But at the same time, here I am, mama of three of the most intelligent, beautiful, creative children ever to grace the earth. I stay home with them and keep them fed, clean and entertained. And really, I have never loved anything more. There has never been something I have worked so hard at doing, and even when I go to bed feeling like a colossal failure, I can't wait to get up and hold their warm with sleep little bodies, or hear my Wee Man say, "I good nap. Time wake up, Mom.".

I don't want to do something else. I know the time is coming when they will be enormous and want to be away from me. When that happens, I'll decide what it is I want to be when I grow up.