February 2010 Archives


Willow turned seven yesterday and has been watching High School Musical movies every waking moment since just to drive that point home.  Nathan gripes and moans and literally writhes in agony about it (while sitting on the couch watching with the rest of us).


If you subscribe to the Waldorf theory about kidrearing, that puts all four of my kids (7, 8, 11, 13) right in the phase where they're most interested in their friends, so I'm thinking, Hey! I'm kinda done here.


Kidding, of course.  I still have to feed them and drive them all over the free world.

Yesterday Sean sent me this link, so at lunchtime I walked over to the grocery store and picked up My Very Own Box of crayons.  


I'm not sharing, because I need this box for the next year or so, and this is the fate of poor, hapless crayons around here:


Thru this Saturday is week 12: macaroni and cheese



Check out the flickr pool, pick up your own box of crayons, dust off the camera and play along on the home game.  If the sun comes out this weekend, I'll catch up on the first eleven colors.

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Willow is standing in the middle of the living room, and we are all watching her, except for Lex who is watching Hulu in his room.  It's her turn, and she's pretending to climb, like maybe up a tree or a pole or something, but you can definitely tell she is climbing.  We know she's trying to be an animal, and for a hint she says, It starts with a Ceeee.  So, of course, I yell Koala!  And she says, YES, and SG goes, Huh - koala starts with a K, dude, and I said, If you wanna win, you have to think like a six year old.

Sophie, of course, had the best run, but I can't remember all the ones she did.  There was the one where she got on her back and flopped around: Hobo having a seizure; and the one where she pointed to her foot, so we all yelled FOOT, and then to her brother's crotch, and I said, OhMyGod, *sigh* Football?

I think the very best was the one where she sat, her chin resting on her knees which were drawn up to her chest.  I'm a kind of food, she said, and then didn't move, didn't even blink I don't think.  So we started guessing foods that she likes, and then she yelled, It's my FAVORITE spice!  Without missing a beat, Nathan yelled PARMESAN CHEESE! and SG and I laughed until we cried, while she pointed out that she was sitting triangle shaped.  Trust me, it was funny as hell in person.  It's like playing charades with Salvador Dali, if he were smoking opium; but in a good way, you know?

This week begins the 6 days a week of sports routine that will be here for the next few months.  Willow has softball Monday nights and Saturday mornings AT 8:30 EVERY SATURDAY UNTIL MAY.  Soph has soccer Wednesday nights and Saturdays, and the boys have wrestling Tues/Thurs/Sun nights.  We will blow off the Sunday wrestling, I think, because it's 30 miles from here and ends too late to be out on a school night.  Still, though, our schedule is gnarly full and that's not even the science projects and homework and skateboard riding and guitar playing and all that.  I'm not complaining, though.  I love it even though it's relentless.  Willow's first softball practice was last night and holy crap you never saw anything so cute as her little team.  The batting helmets are so big on them you think they'll wobble right over, but they can all hit off the tee and Willow even got a couple of ground balls with her new mitt that SG got her.  I can't wait to see them in their little uniforms with their visors. 

I like this.  I like the crazy busy, fifty things a week.  Sure it's a pain and super expensive and no doubt I will gripe about keeping it all straight, but I love tucking them into bed when they're worn out from having fun.  I don't spend as much time with my kids as I wish I could, and it feels like we're doing stuff they'll always remember. 


~Sophie.  She likes to sleep in my bed at night.  SG said to her (but not at all unkindly) SophODemon, are you going to still be sleeping in your mom's bed when you are eighteen?

She did not miss a beat.  She rolled her eyes, exhaled, turned her face toward her right shoulder, Uh, NOOOH.  I'll be sleeping with my boi-friend.  Sigh.

And SG looked at me and I looked at him and we could not help but laugh though I was also kinda praying a little, because, well, because.

~Over the weekend I forced the girls to pick up the toys in their bedroom, heartless bitch that I am.  You know how it is; they act all stunned, look at you, openmouthed and outraged.  Well, they say, will you at least HELP US?  And I say, Uh, no.  I have stuff to do and it's your mess and your room.  And YOU WILL CLEAN ITALONE.

Later, after they actually did a fantastic job of picking up (I only had to drag stuff out from under the bed and out of the closet twice before they stopped with the stuffing/cleaning) followed by vacuuming, I heard that Willow turned to Sophie as they were picking up the 47 stuffed dogs and 53 Playmobile babies and 6 million candy wrappers and said this:

Mom is treating us like SHIT.  Like a BIG BAG OF SHIT.

She's six.  First grade.  I should be absolutely utterly and completely horrified.  Instead?  SG and I spent a few days getting her to say it again, and then reminding her that she can't say that at school or around her friends' parents, unless it's a friend she doesn't really want to hang out with anymore. 

The baby of the family has it made, man.  We eldest children aren't allowed to get away with anything, but the babies get to be evil and parents find it entertaining. 

~While I'm at it, I'll retell this story.  When Lex was about four and Nate was two and Sophie was newborn, we were all at the barber shop, getting Lex's hair cut.  He was sitting in the barber's chair, on a booster, all cute and chatty with his little brown sandals poking out from under the cape.  He and the barber started talking about smoking. 

Lex: My dad smokes.

Bob the Barber: Oh.  Well.  he looked at me  But your MOM, she doesn't smoke.

Lex: Noooooooo, my mom doesn't smoke.


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you'd think that in New York, of all places, Fashion Ave wouldn't be just one way

So yesterday I got trapped in my own shower.  At first, I was laughing, because how dumb is that, to get stuck in your own shower?  But almost immediately the claustrophobia kicked in, and I started to get very nervous.  The door comes off the track all the time, and it's not a big thing (except for that one time when the door came OFF the track and fell on me, but I survived that).  This time, though, the door that always gets hung up did its thing and it messed up the other door, too, so that neither of them would slide more than a few inches away from the wall.  It kind of felt like all the air got sucked out of my lungs and I started talking out loud to myself like I would to one of my kids who's freaking out, Ohhhhh, this will be just fiiiiiiiine!  I said, Everything will pop right back into place and you'll be out of here in just a second!  Really!  Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. . .

Obviously, I was able to escape, which I almost regretted given how poorly the rest of the day was: kids elbowing each other so they could be the first one in the van; foot stomping and whining and lots of wandering off during the *&%$*&# Valentine making; an epic brawl (pushing and scratching and threats of bodily harm included) between the girls because one "accidentally" closed the others' tab on the computer; and the crying - dear, sweet, merciful Lord, the crying - about picking up toys, about going to bed, about not getting to go ice skating, about having never been to Disneyland, about shoes and food and tangled hair.  I was just all, DUDE, I wish I were still trapped in that damn shower.  But then, then I thought how much better it would be if I just threw the kids in there instead, knocked the door back off the track and let them brawl it out, Celebrity Death Match style.  Ooooh, or THUNDERDOME!  With costumes, natch.

As luck would have it, we are coming up on a three day weekend and the kids are with me!  Bring. It. On.


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IMG_4122.JPG IMG_4126.JPG apron

This is the five dollar apron I found on Etsy last week that improved my day by at least 300% just by being in my mailbox when I came home after work.  Why, yes, I am wobbling on the side of the kids' bathtub because I don't have a full-length mirror.  That big can of beer was totally helping me keep my balance, though.

Yesterday morning when I merged onto 101 N, I was listening to one of my favorite albums from when I was just a scootch older than Lex.  I guess I had a little cabin fever to get out after two days working at home with sick kids, because I got all Mario Andretti on the freeway with my stereo cranked up really loud.  Anyway, I was thinking about my kid and my own self when I was about his age and how radically different those two personalities are but, even so, how well he and I get along now.  He's much, much more mature at 13 than I was.  Don't get me wrong, he still has a 13 year old boy sense of humor (like, he *really* wants to get this tshirt), but he's far more aware of both himself and the world than I was back in 1983.  He's motivated to study and do well in school because he knows that it will be a big huge deal later on in life.  I did alright in school, but I was so wrapped up in where I was that I didn't really think much about becoming an adult.  And then I was one and found that really quite often I was thinking, Damn, I wish that I had _____.  I don't think Lex will be doing as much of that. 

I can never remember exactly what year it will be when he graduates from high school, so as I drove, I counted off on my left-hand fingers: eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth; and the right: two thousand eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen. . . and my stomach sank because that's only five more years.  I already feel like I don't see much of him; that when he is around his sisters take up all my time.  I try to talk to him as much as, more than, I ask him to do things like take out the trash or vacuum or clean the bathroom.  He either still likes me some or he humors me and sits down to talk with me, but a lot of times a couple minutes into a conversation I can tell that he's dying to go text his friends or watch Hulu.  And I get it.  It doesn't even really hurt my feelings.  In fact, if a 13 year old boy would rather hang out with his mom than his friends, no matter how awesome she may be, then he's probably not going to be the happiest kid in school, you know?

It's amazing to watch him navigate being a teenager.  He's so much better at it than I was.  He's, well, he's capable.  I don't think he'll be kicking himself in the ass when he's grown as much as he will be kicking everyone else's and taking names.     
Partner since June 2006





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