Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Save the baby, screw the rice

So my parents returned from their Alaska trip and we all gathered at their house today to celebrate my dad's birthday. We arrived early afternoon and the kids were wild after so many days of rain and indoor captivity (imagine a zoo keeper's challenge of amusing elephants in a small bird cage). After the gift exchange that resembled Christmas (glad your suitcase could not carry more--MOM), the kids played nosily until dinner. Mom, Kristin and I are trying to eat the table while my dad ate with all the big kids in the family room. I commented on how it must feel just like the cruise ship dinners, surrounded by 4 children vying for food off his plate because it always tastes better that way. He did not mind sharing both his food and space thankfully but Anita did not wish to eat sitting still. Apparently she has become so adept at getting her own bottles out of the cooly bag and then serving herself while surveying the room that she feels the confinement of a chair to be a bit like prison. She is wandering throughout the house with food when I calmly suggest my sister invest in Aaron rental furniture if she continues to let food be spread to all corner's of the house. She did not giggle but my mom did. Then Keaton is done eating and Anita takes his place in the regular kitchen chair. She is attempting to climb over the table and nearly places her hand in the egg drop soup. My sister grabs her arm and is holding her off the table but in the chair while also trying to serve her white rice. Keeping in mind the hour of the day-the witching hour that is- and the lack of sleep my parents have had in their last 24 hours of travel, my mom notes with alarm that the chair is slipping out from under the baby. My sister responds very calmly that she only has two hands and can't manage it all. On a roll with a few one liners today, I begin to chant, "Save the baby, screw the rice!" My mom nearly choked which is not a new occurrence at dinner but still enough to get me started. So in the end, no babies were harmed and no need for the Heimlich but another great dinner and perfect reminder as to why we only do take-in with these crazy babies. We are anxiously awaiting Saturday morning when we all leave for the beach together. The laughs, memories, and witty comments will keep us entertained.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Well, I have recovered from registration although it did take strawberry daquiris and pizza. Not my usual evening meal, but then not a ususal day. We spent the weekend slowly easing into life and wishing we could capture Saturday in a bottle. Nothing like having no expectations and not getting anything done to want a few more days like that. We are gearing up for our beach trip and this week all the appts. necessary to keep a household running.

This is a reminder to all who think stay at home mom's don't do anything.
6:30 wake up
7:00 showered and readyish for the day
7:15 Two children up - hoping for a little more time to get tea made
8:00 All 4 up and husband long gone
8:15 discussion and fixing breakfast (always a vote and someone unhappy)
9:00 ATT guy arrives to change over tv, internet, phone
9:30 second loud fight of the day among girls
10:00 time to eat again (not me- mind you- them)
10:30 No phone, internet, cable- thinking we should have started school today
11:00 Discussion about lunch and starting to fix a hot meal
11:30 Still man in attic and baby who wants to climb the stairs to attic
11:35 resisting the urge to close stairs part way like I do for husband in attic
12:00 lunch- Keaton throws most of his on floor (sadly no dog to help with cleaning)
12:30 Dishes and more dishes due to so much eating
1:00 Lesson on new dvr (do love new technology) hard to hear over children demanding shows as demo is being done (side note- they can read anything to do with High School Musical)
1:27 ATT finally gone, but left phone number to call re: my phone
2:00 Call ATT spend one hour discusiing phone options and careful with words in case I was recorded (more than husband would have been)
2:15 Charge cell phone because of previous 1 hour use and no house phone til Wed.
2:30 Answer calls of hunger pangs again with "Get some fruit!!!"
3:00 send email to husband because he is not answering cell and can't/won't call home
3:30 Pretend to go to bathroom for 2 minutes of alone space.
3:45 Send email to soccer team I don't coach explaining no practice due to weather. Yes always a drought and then soccer season brings on the rain.
4:00 A load of laundry or is that three for the day???
4:12 Begin dinner (we are an ever eating crowd in case you ever get close by-stop in)
4:42 ask for the house to be picked up and the wrestling to stop
4:43 someone crying--I was a minute too late it appears.
5:00 Michael is on the way home but must do some work after everyone is in bed
5:15 Family meeting regarding behavior issues for the day
5:30 Sit down for dinner and Keaton is allowed to feed himself.
5:50 Michael has baby in bath, I am cleaning up after yet more food.
6:19 Going to watch closing cermonies on old dvr but cable has been removed so not so much (also why phone won't work until Wed but ATT lady's explanation was that they came out too early to set things up- a first I am guessing)
7:00 Sent all children to bed because they are over tired- we went to bed before them Saturday night only to find out they had stayed up to watch Track and Field then the Cosby show and went to bed "sometime after 2 I think Mom"
7:30 discussion of wireless phone change and 35 minutes on with another ATT rep who was unsure what phone we should get, what plan was right for us, and how to get our numbers from old phone to new easily but his wife had done it so he knew it was possible (Is this really customer service or just commentary)
8:05 Children back up for water and bathroom

None of this is that odd for my days except it should have included schooling, an interview/discussion with a writer about homeschooling, work for my sister, soccer practice for 2 hours, a trip to the library and ALL of this done while nursing constantly. That is why some of us are tired when we fall into bed at midnight. But alas only 6 more hours to repeat, because the pest service guy comes tomorrow...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I am in charge of registration for our homeschool group again tomorrow. I have chosen a job that entails only three days per year. And now that I have done it for a few years with Amy, we have a system. But it never fails to intimidate me the night before. I am trying to print a google document and it is not turning out right. As I was talking to Amy, we were recounting our favorite Registration moment. Here is how it went.

We are set up in the doorway of the registration room so as not to allow ANYONE out without signing up for cleaning. We had a new policy this particular year and we decided to charge people to opt out of cleaning. The facility we rent requires us to clean it before the after school kids come in. We are a non profit, volunteer only organization-- a bit more organized than a co-op but still no one on the payroll. So after speaking in firm tones all morning about this new policy which was not met with happy grinning faces, but instead by a skeptical are you just milking me for more money (note previous sentence about no payroll) both Amy and I were reaching a breaking point.

A woman approaches who has had health issues and has never signed up for cleaning. We explain the new process to her and she is incredulous. "I am going to be charged $10 for having a heart attack." We reply calmly with no of course not, but you will have to pay like everyone else to opt out. She causes a bit of a scene telling us that she can not do heavy lifting (of which none is required in this cleaning). We firmly explain the choices again, her student she is signing up for classes may clean, she may clean, or she may pay. Seems so simple until she yells, "I wish to speak to the head LEAD." Back to previous paragraph- we are an organized co-op. We do have a board and a president, but this was a combination of registration decisions with board decisions and then same people always doing everything and that must change decision. So I jump out of my chair and run to several board members leaving the woman telling everyone how we were charging her for her health issues and Amy flabbergasted because really who is the head LEAD?? I ask if there is a head LEAD and when I get the skeptical look I had already delivered to the woman, they reply with YOU are the head LEAD. Not a title I relished at the moment, but being assured they "had my back" which did no more to comfort me than being with my mom in a dark alley, I return to the table where all the people in line behind this woman are anxious to see if she gets out of this policy. I quietly inform her that in fact these are the only choices and she is welcome to step aside and decide which one is best for her, but no registration will be complete without a commitment of some sort. I then sit back in my seat and wonder why we don't make these mornings, Margarita Madness. The line quiets and the next woman sheepishly looks at Amy and hands over all her paperwork in hopes that we do not find fault with any of it I am sure. Keeping in mind that Amy and I are not fond of any confrontation and have spent our entire lives in avoidance of such issues.

It is comical to find that WE have found our calling in not letting anyone out of the building without the proper paperwork filled out. We take great pride in this fact and tomorrow evening we will recount how we did not let anyone slip by and we have the documentation to prove all the checks and cash match our numbers. I will arrive with coffee and depending on Amy's dream tonight and if it seems like a premonition of our morning to come, those coffees might just need to be spiked. Beware the two women bearing pens and clipboards tomorrow. Thanks to Lucy for taking the piranha role for Cleaning duties. :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Our weekend

We had an up and down weekend. Saturday we spent the day in Fayetteville, Ga. Denali had two games and we returned in the early evening. We got settled in and then our dog of 15+ years started having what we now know was seizures. He was acting really odd and then started trotting through the backyard as though he did not have hip trouble. It was so unusual that I called a friend who has vet experience. She thought it might be a seizure and we sent the kids to bed. By midnight, He had several more and Michael was headed to the emergency clinic. Unfortunately, it closed beginning August 1 as an all night clinic and would not re open until 8 AM. Michael spent all night up with the dog, which reminded me of why he chooses to be veteran. His love for animals and especially if they are in pain or in trouble actually causes him to become undone. By 7 AM he was ready to take the dog. Tibbis died at 8:15 at the clinic and that is how the kids day began. We had to pack up and grab breakfast on the road for an 11:30 game one hour away. We discussed all our options and decided to bury Tibbis with my parents dog in their yard. We returned from the game and met my sister and family at the house. After digging the hole, Michael let the kids help place the box in the ground. We have kept Keelin and Keaton's placentas all this time waiting for the perfect time or place to bury them. It seemed fitting that these baby homes could help guard our special family member. The kids were given a good experience in the circle of life and death this way. I feel incredibly blessed that our family experiences about death have been as perfect as possible with bodies being old and giving out. Our good news for the weekend was in additon to spending A LOT of time together, Denali had a great weekend of soccer continually improving and eventually scoring the only goal for her team, but most improtantly, she gave it her all. Our rollercoaster ride seems to be over and we are settling in without a pet. He will be missed greatly and our memories will be fond.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

Our favorite Olympic Sports

1. Gymnastics- I once was gymnast and can just begin to appreciate the hard work.
2. Swimming- Not a sport our family is into but love watching it.
3. Soccer- both women and men.
4. Beach Volleyball- Michael wishes to make a living at this.
5. Fencing- A local girl is in this event
6. Water polo- The stamina in treading water amazes me.
7. Canoe- this does not look like fun but incredibly difficult
8. Synchronized Diving- this means you must spend too much time with one person :)
9. Diving- also amazing and way to daredevil for me.
10. Cycling/ Road- Having ridden with kids, too close for my comfort.
11. Volleyball- also fun to see.
12. Weightlifting -an incredible story about a woman who homebirthed too.
13. Rowing- we even have a rower in our gym but no need to work that hard right?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Ok two words- Elton John????

Sunday, August 10, 2008


I am typing at this late hour because I don't have to get up tomorrow morning. Why? Because we are not starting our "real" school year yet. We have worked all summer a little each day but will begin our new year after we return from the beach in September. I have actually planned for the first 6 weeks already though and I am so excited. I think it is going to be a great year, especially now that Keaton can occasionally entertain himself. He was so excited at Stacy and Adele's house today because it was his first experiencen with kittens. He continually called them dog dog, which is his name for our dog. In his world, all four legged creatures must be dogs. Well also because their cats weigh more than our dog. We spent along morning cleaning up the backyard and the kids whining that they did not like outside work. Obviously neither do Michael or I or we would not be cutting bushes down to 8ft off the ground with a chainsaw. It was a very long time coming, this trimming and required many trips to the front yard dragging trees the size of Michael. The yard is not quite finished but we decided to call it a day at noon. I went to the grocery store and listened to my ipod while shopping. Felt a little young but most importantly, I did not have my kids with me so I did not wish to hear anyone. It was sooooo fun. We are catching up on Olympics tonight and then plan a playdate tomorrow. It was a fun weekend and a good reminder to our kids that someone must do some dirty work and none of us is above it. Hope this lesson continues to sink in. Michael and I were discussing the selfishness of kids, inherent, and the reminder for us that as the parents we must demonstrate unselfish behavior for them to model. I am going to focus on looking for the lack of selfishness in our kids for the next few weeks. When you are looking for something, it is usually easier to find. I look forward to seeing how they can demonstrate it.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

New Thursday Thirteen

Ok, it has been a week since I posted so catching up. We spent 4 hours each adult in the font yard this weekend because we let it go so long that we could not even afford illegal help to get it done. I have been trying to learn to knit. Hobbies in our house MUST be productive so I feel that I must make a pair of socks before winter. It is supposed to be relaxing but as of yet it is causing me great anxiety that I can not master what small children have been able to do. We have spent a great deal of time focusing on soccer. Our season begins next weekend as we travel to Fayetteville for a tournament. But last but not least, what has absorbed most of my time is that we had Keaton's four front teeth removed today due to decay. We struggle with teeth like some families struggle with allergies. As it has been researched and explained to me: we as a family have a bacteria that feeds and spreads and we share food, my kids teeth very early, and I insist on nursing on demand. This combination apparently does not allow the teeth to develop properly. We had the option to have fake teeth put in but decided against it. On a side note, if in Atlanta, we know a GREAT dentist who can do partial sedation in the office and she was wonderful. Thanks Dr. Susan Lee. Now to my thirteen.

Things I am Grateful for Daily:
1. My husband who walked the floors last night with me because Keaton could not nurse after midnight.
2. My other children who stepped up to the plate and handled themselves this afternoon so we could nap.
3. My sister who amazingly was able to stay with Keaton and be his familiar face. I DO NOT do medical well at all.
4. My parents who always help even when it means rearranging and dropping anything in their lives. My dad took the girls to breakfast, my mom kept me company in the waiting room.
5. Our friends who checked up on us, prayed for us and even brought me chocolate (thanks Mel-although not so much left to offer you).
6. Our insurance which allowed this procedure to be an option that did not involve financial sacrifice for a year or so.
7. Our city, which gives us many options to great health care.
8. Our health, which we forget to be grateful for until we are not.
9. Living here in the US which I have been reminded often lately is a privilege despite all that people believe. Just leave the country and you will discover how lucky we are.
10. The many nutritious options for food that we have evey single day.
11. The beautiful, safe, loving home I live in.
12. Our extended family who loves and supports us even though they are not local.
13. And last but not least, the opportunities that come each day to help us grow and learn to love more.