Thursday, October 25, 2007

Working in the Rain ... oh what a wonderful feeling!

Well, fall has finally arrived! We have three (stolen) pumpkins, two mums, one gourd, and one new house! Yippee!

Today I met with a husband/wife painter team who refer to one another as "Pie" -- short for "Sweety Pie" -- and who strongly believe in red kitchens, color "hopping," and wild bathrooms. Luckily, they are also the cheapest estimate I have found and can start (and finish!) on Saturday.

In other news, it has been raining.

Note to interested wannabe grammarians: the pronoun "it" in the previous sentence has no antecedent and is commonly referred to as "dummy it" by linguists.

There is lots of news, but I think that under these circumstances, quotes might be better than long-winded stories :

  • “Permaclutch 2 virtually eliminates clutch repairs.”
    ~John-John, in response to UncaLew's statement: "That's not a New Holland, it's a Ford, but New Holland bought out Ford, and supposedly there ain't a Ford thing about them anymore."

Jacket/shoes from Nanny; Jeans from consignment

  • “I have actually had people tell me – during a closing! – that they had quit their job after making the offer and securing the loan on their new house! Ha ha ha ha! Can you believe that?”
    ~Our Closing Agent, who clearly doesn't know about Husband's career goals

  • "Oh no. Another redhead in that house." (said with deadpan expression)
    ~Previous owner of our new house upon being introduced to me

  • “Who is a redhead?”
    ~Me, while examining him and his wife for red roots and discovering no clues

  • “My first ex-wife. See, I’ve bought this house three times. Once with the red-head. Then we divorced and I bought her out of it. Then there was the next one. Then I bought her out of it. Now I got this one.”
    ~Previous owner, pointing to the 3rd one

  • “Look it me, Deddy! Now I know how dat coon musta felt!”
    ~Warrior, Alabama child, hollering from atop the Exxon/McDonald’s playplace cage-simulator area (CSA)

  • “Get outta my damn house."
    ~The Goose, in response to Coon Boy’s usurpation of the CSA

  • “Put on your socks NOW.”
    ~Mama, in response to the above Goose-to-Coonboy interchange

  • “You need to tell her that that wasn’t him who started it before that little boy gets in trouble.”
    ~Coonboy’s delightful mother, in a half-hearted attempt to force her husband to convince me that it wasn’t my child who started the ugly-word war

I think you get the picture. It's been some kind of week. And now, on top of it all, I've decided that I don't like the book that I chose for my Book Club. I'm telling you ... if life gets any harder, I'm just gonna check into a "center" and get a job putting little cherries on cupcakes.


Will it EVER stop raining?

I wish California could get some of our rain.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


You know that you’ve found a happy school home for your child when he’d rather help Ms. Catie set out chairs than kiss you goodbye. I have to drop him off so early that even the director is not there yet. Only Ms. Catie, who dutifully feeds him BOTH breakfast AND lunch three days a week.

Poor Ms. Catie. I fear she has expectations even higher than mine: two weeks ago she sent home a homework assignment sheet that read, “Have your child draw a picture of him/her self playing with his/her ‘baby.’ Then, ask him/her what his/her favorite part of ‘Caretaker Week’ was and write it down in a complete sentence below the picture.” John drew a triangle and said that his favorite part of Caretaker Week was the horses.

But Caretaker Week has even more good parts to it. Since this preschool is a “cooperative,” we are required to do various tasks such as clean up after unsuccessful fundraisers, serve on "grounds" committees, and make meals for families with new babies. So of course I signed up to make a meal for John's friends, Ben & Sam, whose mother just had a baby girl. After volunteering, B&S's mother promptly informed me via email that they do not eat pork. Fine, fine. Pigs are fairly disgusting animals.

So, I was all proud of myself for signing up for a delivery time that coincided with my Fall Break. I spent most of Monday afternoon preparing the meal ... you know that I couldn’t just pick up a rotisserie chicken and some coleslaw. I had to attempt Cappellini Pomodoro with fresh basil and green onions from my dead, wasp-infested garden. Just gathering the ingredients nearly required me to take a tablet of the anti-psychotic variety. And then—mind you, I was on fall break and going WAY beyond the call of duty—I had to wake up The Prince from his nap and rush the meal to the center by 5:00 p.m. On my way out the door, however, the New Baby Meal Coordinator/Way-Too-Happy Room Mom called to say that the family had gone on a spur-of-the-moment camping/rock climbing trip in Appalachia and could I please bring it either the following day or next Thursday? I chose the following day of course, since the meal was already made.

Now let me pause here for a minute and take a poll: How many of you would attempt even a well-planned camping/rock climbing trip with a newborn and 3-year old twins … MUCH less a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants one???

So I took the meal the following day (yesterday) only to discover that Sam and Ben were not even there. Nobody knew where they were and nobody knew if anyone was coming for the food. So I left it in the director’s office and asked the two-year old teacher if she would put it in the fridge in case they never showed.

And today when I went to pick up The Goose, I noticed that the entire meal was sitting there on a table in the director’s office, exactly where I left it.

I'm not annoyed that I risked my life braving the vegetable garden, or wasted my time cooking, or spent my money buying iron-fortified pasta and organic San Marzano tomatoes. I’m just disappointed in the level of parental cooperation, and I'm wondering if I can hold a family with twin preschoolers and a newborn accountable for much of anything.

All my life I have been questioning myself about why I continue to be an overly-contributory citizen of every community of which I am a part while others just go around having babies and rock climbing and participating in all sorts of other irresponsible activities.

Sorry, I really meant for this to be all about how funny JEB is these days. Earlier this evening he told me that if I didn’t get still and quiet he was gonna “pop my butt.”

Probably one of the more important events of late (besides consistent potty pooping and butt popping) was our (LAST EVER) trip to the pumpkin patch. So traumatizing was the event that I have already arranged for my 2008 electronic calendar to send me an email on October 1st of next year saying, “DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT GOING BACK TO THE PUMPKIN PATCH.”

Here is a photo of John and his friend Elliott (remember the tractor/head gash incident at the birthday party – well, Elliott has, thankfully, recovered quite nicely) just outside the portapot after Breakdown #1 of the day.

John & Elliott

There were subsequent breakdowns in the John Deere Tricycle Area, the Troughs Full of Corn (that you can scoop up with empty Gatorade bottles) Area, and in the actual Pumpkin Picking Area where there are lots of aggressive bees, frustrated parents, and over-tired children. I saw one Mother kneeling down in front of her preschooler saying, “UN. BEE. LEEVABLE. UN. BEE. LEEVABLE. You wouldn’t pee in the potty, but you just pulled down your pants and pooped in the pumpkin patch . UN. BEE. LEEVABLE.” Indeed.

We hightailed it outta there.

Confession: So fast did we hightail it that we ended up inadvertently stealing three pumpkins and a small gourd. Don’t worry, I have already mailed them a check with an explanatory letter that is sure to make their scrapbook.

I solemnly promise to you that I do not intentionally make things more difficult than they should be; however, the title for my autobiography (for publication after I’m done with my second term as First Mother) is Mountains & Molehills: The Struggles of an Earnest First Mother.


Here are some recent conversations we've had:


(Photo note: Costume found on consignment for $5. He went straight to it and said, "This is the one.")

What do you want to be for Halloween?

An orange farmer.

Oh. Like the ones in Florida?

No, like an orange farmer.

OH! Like a farmer who is orange?

Good eye, Mom!

Thanks, Bud.

You're welcome.


To the tune of "Are You Sleeping?" ...

Red is rojo

Red is rojo

Blue azul

Blue azul

Yellow's amarillo

Yellow's amarillo

Orange morado.

Orange morado.

Are you sure that orange is "morado"?

Yes ma'am. We learned it in music class.



It's time to go upstairs for bed.



Do I have anything in my teeth?

Just some broccoli over there on the right side.

Thanks, bud.

You're welcome.


We close on our house next week!

Until then ...


Onward, upward, and sideways.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Adults Have Misclassified Him as a Handful

Right. That angel? How could anyone think he's a handful?

OK. So he hasn't been napping at school and tomorrow's the day that Mama goes in to find out WHY there is never a peaceful, closed-lid crescent moon hanging over his name (the class indicator that a nap has been taken).

You'll be happy to know that I have now fixed my Flickr account so that you can actually see the photos! I just realized that I had my privacy filter set so high that not even the happy wire-tapping people in the White House would be able to see them. So now you should be able to click that link I provided in my previous post and see all the birthday party pics.

For general pics, click here.

Sorry, I'm tired. Buying a house is hard work. You have to sign all these papers and your hand just hurts by the end of the day. My life is so hard.

Next week I may be absent, but I'll make up for all of it; I promise.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

My Other Carseat is on a Tractor

Or so his birthday boy shirt says.

We had the party! And only one kid cut his head open and had to get stitches! A well-planned event indeed. Click here for all the photos.

In other news ...

There was a Fall Fundraiser at his school on the same weekend that all the grandparents were here. (Lucky school!) And they had karaoke. And he is his mother's son.

When the little girl superstar passed him the mic, he sang out:


And we beamed with pride.

I'm pooped. More next week ...