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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

You guys!

So, it's been awhile.  That's okay.  I actually think it's been like a year. 

It would be nice if I could say that in that year I've cured cancer, written a book, or you know, become a better person.  I think it's safe to say that nope, I'm still over here, doing my thing (or reading a book when "doing my thing" gets too exhausting). 

Anyway, things are good here.  Alabama has been experiencing some severe weather lately, which I slept through in its entirety.  I felt a little guilty when I woke up the next morning and everyone had Facebook posts about spending the night in their closet, wearing bicycle helmets, and convulsively watching the news.  But in the end, who's the real winner?  Me, because I got like three more hours of sleep than everyone else, and I'm still here.

We were supposed to have a second round of horrible storms, and they sent my kids home early from school so that we could, in theory, all die together.  But that storm system never really happened, so it was like a surprise half day that reminded mothers everywhere (in Alabama) that summer is to be feared.  By 6:30, I seriously was like, "Isn't it bedtime?  Didn't I feed you like four hours ago?"  It was a long day, is what I'm saying. We were together, but we didn't die.  I guess that's another win!

We are spending a lot of time at the soccer fields, at the baseball diamond, at the gymnastics center.  This is because, in an attempt to simplify, I told all my kids that they had to pick ONE sport or activity only.  You guys, I don't know why I even bother with this simplify philosophy, because anyone with five kids knows exactly what happened.  They all picked different sports.  Basically my schedule is exactly the same, but instead of dropping off three or four kids at each venue, I drop off one and wait with four in the car or on the sideline.  It's not quite what I intended.

Some of the things I did intend (and am super proud of):  Veevs came home from school upset as could be because kids in her school were making fun of gay people.  She was honestly horrified that people could be that mean.  Although she is very shy (clearly, not from me), she stood up and told them that she thought everyone deserved to be treated nicely. 

Spe got called for interference at one of his baseball games because he was trying to pat the arm of everyone who rounded first base and tell them good hit!  nice job!  He has been doing this all year long, but we had to explain it's fine to do that when people STOP on the base, but if they are running to second, it's not nice it's interference. 

Jakers has discovered the joy of The Boxcar Children series, which brings me so much joy I could just cry.  We talk ad nauseum about Benny's hijinks, Violet's gentle ways, Henry's work ethic, and Jessie's resourcefulness.  I wouldn't be me if we also didn't talk about the gender role issues in those books, so we do that too.  I swear, there's nothing nicer for me than to stumble across my kids reading. 

Logan and Cubby are generally delightful in the way that four- and two-year olds are delightful.  And what I mean is, I play a lot of Sleeping Queens with Logan, and I clean up a lot after Cubby.

You guys, how can a whole year have passed? 






Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Cubby

Caleb, or Cubby, as we call him affectionately, is in that stage.  He is one now, and toddling around with a Frankenstein gait.  He primarily is using his newfound mobility to create chaos and destruction throughout the entire house.  I suspect that children are exceptionally cute at this stage just so their mothers won't give them away, free to a good home. 

Things I have cleaned today, thanks to Cubby:

--The contents of my cookie decorating bin (I used to think I only made sugar cookies at Christmas and Valentine's Day, but if you look in my cookie bin, I'll be damned if I don't have cutouts for every holiday except Mardi Gras.)

--My Tupperware cabinet (I don't mind this one so much, because kids gotta play somewhere, and this is as easy as anything else.  However, I have cleaned this up at least once a day for the last three months.  Old.)

--The diapers (He gleefully pulled out the diapers one by one and then lurched away, holding the empty packaging.)

--My folded/unfolded/refolded laundry (I could write a whole post about the horror of my clean clothes pile right now, but suffice it to say that what was clean and folded is now clean and all over my floor.)

--An entire shelf of books (My favorites, of course.  He rips them out, looks at me with a toothy grin, and then throws them over his shoulder.  And then he laughs, because, golly, isn't he clever?)

--The bin of Mardi Gras beads (from Mobile, which, dear ones, is so family friendly, and if you haven't been with your kids, you should go, because it was so much fun I could barely stand it.  We got beads, moon pies, footballs, a plastic sword, frisbees, and even ice cream sandwiches, which was awesome.  You wouldn't believe how excited you get when someone chucks a 15 cent Oriental Trading treasure your way.  Everything about it was family friendly, except for my son, Logan, who lifted up his shirt and danced with his giant belly hanging out while singing "Jingle Bells" at the top of his lungs.  We bring the Fat Tuesday with us, thanks very much.)

--The socks in the mismatched sock bin (Why do I leave this on his level?  Because I'm a glutton for this kind of cleaning, I guess.)

My goal, some day, is to get to a net positive chore effect with my kids, where the assistance they give in cleaning outweighs the giant messes they create.  I'm not sure this is realistic, but I have to dream.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

All Libbed Up

I sat with Spencer tonight, a fresh MadLibs pad in his hand.  He was scribbling furiously, but everyone knows that you can't play MadLibs alone.

"Here, Spe," I said, and I grabbed the pad and flipped the page and poised my pen before he had a chance to protest.  "I'm going to teach you how to play MadLibs."

When his first two plural noun choices were farts and wieners, I looked at Rhett and said, "Well, I guess I don't have to teach him anything at all."

It turned out my kids were expert MadLibbers, culminating in this sentence:  "When a giraffe wants to drink pee from the ground, it has to spread its buttcheeks and slurp up the water with it's long bungholio."

No more lessons required?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Yogan

I forgot this, which I wanted to write about Logan, probably because he is in hot water for dumping a glass of water on my computer, even though there are strict rules about having beverages near said computer.  As you can see, it still works, but I am waiting for the water to hit the motherboard and wipe out everything.  I expect catastrophe, you see.

The other day I came across Logan (who says his own name Yogan, which I love) leaning against the couch doing something crazy with his legs, and saying, "No, I'm in front!  No, I'm in front! No, I'm in front!" over and over again.  I paused and said, "Hey, Logan, what are you doing?"  He looked down at his legs and then at me and said, "Oh, my yegs are arguing again." 

"Show me." I said, delighted, of course.  Weirdness is my love language.

"No, I'm in front!" he said, and crossed his right leg in front of his left leg.

"No, I'm in front!" he said, and crossed his left leg in front of his right leg.

"No, I'm in front!" he said, and crossed his right leg in front of his left leg.

You get the idea.  He is a delight and a joy, no?

I have been saying this long and loud to anyone who will listen this year, but Christmas was a helluva lot more magical when I wasn't the person in charge of the magic. 

Having said that, I still love Christmas.  It's a lot of work, but totally worth it.  Right now I'm working on neighbor treats and teacher gifts, wherein working on means that I'm actually here, posting on my blog, and thinking about how I should be doing neighbor treats and teacher gifts.  I did Rhett's coworker gifts yesterday, and if you can't see the irony of quasi-feminist Heidi docilely baking and collating and wrapping her husband's coworker gifts, well, then perhaps your sense of irony is off? Just living the dream over here. 

Veevs has been home sick with the flu for like umptillion days.  Jake was home for one a half day with a bad case of faking sick.  I know, because I'm an expert.  Logan woke up this morning with a fever.  It explained so much about why he climbed in to bed with me and refused to get out in the middle of the night.

By the way, Veevs has a blog of her own.  She would love it if you would stop by and comment, I'm sure.  You can click here.  She has been posting about eight times a day since she has been sick, and I think a Twitter feed might be more appropriate, but I find it charming and delightful.  I especially like how there are some parts where I can tell she has thought carefully about how best to word her writing.

Our elf, as might be expected, is a little bit lazy.  Sometimes he moves midday, and sometimes not at all.  I always blame this on someone touching him so that he lost his magic.  This causes Jakers to get almost hysterical with his wild accusations of elf misconduct (mostly directed toward Logan).  Ah, Christmas.  Such a time of peace and love and goodwill.

I have noticed very few people have been posting about the tragedy in Newtown in meaningful ways, and I suspect that is because, like me, most people are still trying to make some kind of meaning of it.  It is so horrible and awful that it seems like perhaps we shouldn't talk about it?  Perhaps it is so awful that we can't make anything better by revisiting the chain of events, the horrible details of children suffering?  I don't know, but I just know I've been heartsick.  I cry, and then I go hug Jakers (my kindergartener) who stiff-arms me and says, "Why are you kissing me so much?  I just want to play."  He makes it easier to let go of sentimentality, that one.

Merry Christmas, everybody.  In the finest of feminist tradition, I have to go make my fabulous mint fudge to give to the neighbors.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Libraries. Not for children.

I took my kids to the library today.  They have today off of school, but sadly for the librarians, the library was open.  It had been a while since we had been to see our librarian, Nate, and his stack of books, so this seemed like a great opportunity.

Except I think Nate wanted to drown us all by the time we were ready to check out.  I went to hand him my library card.  "I've already got you pulled up, and I've checked out all the books.  You can just go."

There might have been a touch of panic in his voice.  But really, if they don't want the pants on the giant Mickey Mouse stuffed animal pulled down, why don't they secure them? 

I made the kids apologize, but they could barely keep a straight face.  Sorry, librarian Nate.  Really.  So sorry.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Solo.

Last week my mother came to visit me.  In a way, my father, uncles, cousins, nephews and brothers also came to visit, but not really.  They came to my town to have a golf reunion (wherein they avoid talking to each other the whole time by golfing 36 holes a day and falling into bed exhausted at night).  As you can imagine, I didn't see much of them (although we had two very lovely dinner visits). 

As always happens before my mom comes, I tried to clean my house up before she came.  Aside from a few hot spots (my bedroom) we did pretty well.  In the way that my mother always has, she brought with her a bubble of organization and capability that I am personally unacquainted with.  She looked at me after a few days and said, "Oh, this is such a lovely vacation for me!"  Okay, I said, if your idea of vacation is doing all my laundry, dishes, and cooking, then you should come here more often.

She laughed, "I'm not the kind of person who can sit down."  No kidding.  Her version of vacation is how I picture an old-school Soviet work camp. 

The children were so delighted to see her.  I took them out of school for one day and we went to Fort Toulouse to look at the old forts.  The kids collected Spanish moss from the trees (at Veev's request so that she could use the moss for bedding for her cat den), poked at a deer carcass (left over from a tanning demonstration at Frontier Days), and wandered the fort and park area.  We were going to go to the zoo, but Veevs protested that we've seen the zoo a zillion times.  Membership has its privileges, but they are lost on her. 

But now I'm alone again.  Me and my laundry.  And my dishes.

Rhett went with my male family members golfing and although they were all very kind, he confided to me later that he was, in fact, truly awful at golfing.  When he came out in the morning of the golf outing, he was sporting a navy blue collared shirt, khakis, and a sea-foam sweater vest, all on top of a skin tight white UnderArmour shirt.  Whoa, whoa, whoa, I said, what's going on there?

Rhett looked offended.  I am, he said with grave dignity, following the example of Uncle Mike.

While it is true that Uncle Mike wore a sweater vest the night before, I'm guessing he would have been appalled to see his fashion so desecrated. 

Look, I said, lose the sweater vest and the UnderArmour, and you might just pass.

But what if I get sunburned?  Did you see Trent yesterday?  Talk about a white boy with a sunburn!

I considered it a small win when he ditched the sweater vest.

My littlest baby is learning to eat all sorts of junk, and boycotting baby food.  This is always a little sad, because a) it means my baby is growing up, and b) it means I have to start thinking about what to feed him.  Additionally, he is all over the place, and has developed a penchant for pulling out all the books from my bookcase.  It was cute the first 43 times I cleaned it up, but now after approximately 578 times, it is losing it's charm.  However, how can I complain?  He is my LAST BABY!  Is it a rule that you have to cherish every moment with your LAST BABY, or am I allowed to celebrate that I am eleven months closer to never having to change another diaper?