Archive for March, 2011

The Trip Mighta Been Shorter Than This Recap

March 13th, 2011 at 5:51 pm » Comments (12)

I only went away for 2 days and 1 night, but I got so BEHIND. There’s so much to tell y’all. There’s only one solution, really. I know you know where this is headed. A list. It has to be. Let’s # it this time, just so I don’t wear out the *.

1. I went to see LaLa. LaLa is my sister, although that is not her real name. I didn’t grow up calling her that, nor did anyone else. It’s a nickname that came about with my kids not being able to say her real name.

2. LaLa has a new boyfriend. I got to meet him. Together, they are… darling. They adore each other. We had sushi, because where THEY live? There are sushi restaurants. Yum. I picked out the krab (but I would have picked out the crab, also, but the “k” does make it worse, and the cucumbers because. ew. Cucumbers.)

3. Sat by a woman on the flight Friday that was so fascinating, so unapologetically fabulous, that she will HAVE to be a character I write one day. I was so entertained I couldn’t read the novel I’d brought. She wasn’t talking to me – but the things i heard! And the way they were said! Oh! One day, I will write her and you will meet her. LaLa nicknamed her the Flying Walinda, for reasons that actually have to do with… I forgot. Something or other about a friend of hers.

4. Before sitting next to the FW, though, I was standing in the correct numbered line that Southwest uses for boarding purposes. As it was the first possible day of Spring Break, there were a lot of VERY young looking college kids in Greek lettered t-shirts and backpacks milling about. One of these was standing behind me, but shouldn’t have been. “I’m the last one in this  ’A’ row, so you’re probably in front of me,” I told him. He was confused. (He might need some more schooling.) He shrugged and said he’d stay there. But he didn’t understand and asked questions that might indicate he either wasn’t very bright, was hungover, or had just never before encountered the Southwest system. I explained how it worked and sent him on his way, after he had a visible lightbulb moment when at last he understood.

5. THEN, in our destination city, we are standing at the baggage claim and the babyfaced, possibly not so bright frat boy comes and stands next to me and asks if i’ll explain how the baggage carousel works. He was kidding. Of course he was. But I’d JUST been thinking how great this brief  kid-free time would be and I… well. Hate me if you will for being cruel to small children, but I didn’t mean to be. I said, “I have three little boys and I left them at home. It’s my day off.” He looked as if I’d slapped him. I did NOT mean to sound like it sounded. Really. I didn’t. I honestly forget that college boys think they’re men. I mean, don’t you? They can’t help it that they look like my precious ten year old.

6. His timing was particularly bad, because I’d flashed back to the 7,000 children’s books I’ve read to the kids where a lost baby goose is looking everywhere for its mama and wants all the other dogs, cats, cows, lizards, etc to be his mama and then finally finds a suitable mother and is taken care of in the big bad world, and I just did NOT want to mother a babyfaced frat boy right at that second and I expressed it in a thoroughly unkind manner. I slapped a  hand over my mouth and laughed in his face, and I’m sure that helped as I could hardly get an apology out, over all the laughing. Lovely.

7. The lost baby goose walked off. I became the nasty, mean villain of the story who does not mother the adorable, fuzzy lost baby.

8. I felt bad for about 30 seconds and then I got my bag and went and hugged LaLa and told her all about who would later become known as the Flying Walinda.

9. We shopped. It wasn’t really planned. But OH! We did WELL. There are so many stores in that city that I do not have access to here. It was wise to take advantage of being so close, right? For reasons we never understood, there was a banana peel on the floor of anthropologie. LaLa and I are tied for The Two People Who Hate Bananas The Most On The Whole Planet, so we were particularly transfixed by the odd sighting. LaLa took a picture. We wondered if it was a social experiment we were failing and there were hidden cameras recording how we watched the banana peel and left it as-is. But we were unfair candidates, given our extreme banana aversion. If we felt less strongly, we mighta kicked it to the side. Or discarded it. Or done something. Anything. But instead we watched with big eyes until someone less icked out by bananas manned up and took care of it. It was a 10 minute wait.

10. Then HolyCousin got off work, met us for pizza and we watched the most boring movie ever while curled up under blankets side by side by side on LaLa’s couch. LaLa cheated by not watching with us and  playing games on her phone. HolyCousin itched. She itches when she’s tired. I sat in the middle and tried to keep my feet warm. We all tried to stay awake.

11. Yesterday, the 3 of us shopped. And at one point, LaLa had occasion to accidentally/fantastically/hysterically spew chewed up cookie ALL over herself, me, and the inside of her car. I might have said something minor that inspired that particular action, but the end result was possibly the single best Laughing-Induced Food Spewing Incident i have ever witnessed. (And I have witnessed many.) We laughed far past the point of serious stomach pain. I cried more than I have in ages, but stopping was impossible.

12. We had invited our dad to shop with us. He’s a good shopper. Our stepmom was out of town. I really thought he’d take us up on it. But he turned us down FORCEFULLY, and then re-lived in astonishing accuracy what it was like to take his two daughters back-to-school shopping. When we were 17 and 14 years old. He told us HOW we shopped, what we bought on the first, second, third, and then fourth complete circuits of the ‘world’s largest mall’ and how the only single shopping experience worse than that was when he took me prom dress shopping and he had to drive to each and every single prom dress store in all of North Texas.

13. I didn’t go to prom, as I was being snooty and antisocial and no one asked me. But there were other formals, I suppose, and all these years later a simple invitation to shop with us had our dad regaling us with the details of the insanity that came before buying two specific dresses for me – both of which he described in perfect detail. I’d say the man is scarred. He was so polite at the time, though, that all of this was fantastically comical and news to us, all these years later.

14. Needless to say, he did not go shopping. But he did take us to a great restaurant where I ate more pasta than I have had in the last month. And i am not a carb-avoider. I just PIGGED. OUT. It was wonderful. It was nice just to hang out with him, even if he didn’t want to shop.

15. We 3 cousins sang that dreadful old Heart song about the lady who picks up a guy on the street in the pouring rain and has his baby but never tells him that’s why she’s using him, but he finds out years later and she stomps on his ego in a phrase we’re sure was a ‘size’ comment. We sang with passion and with derision at the crazybad lyrics.

16. HolyCousin had heard about the cookie incident and banned us from eating cookies in her pretty, new car. Wise move.

17.  Today I had the 3 year olds for Sunday School. They had not adjusted to the time change and they flopped on the floor like sad, wilted lettuce leaves. With jet lag.  Until one of them had a meltdown and decided he hated me and then later, in the parking lot, he gave me a dirty look and started to tell his dad all about me. Ugh.

18. My own 3 little boys were glad to see me when I came home last night. I’m quite the failure with all others.

19.  Had a wonderful lunch at my mom’s today. She made mushrooms, even though I’m the only one who will eat them.

20. Even with all that shopping, I did not buy shoes. Just wasn’t in the mood. It’s rare, but it happens.

21. HolyAuntie in Hawaii was under tsunami watch, but was unaffected and is perfectly fine and dry and safe and we are all grateful. I didn’t call and wake her up and bug her like I (and everyone else she ever met) did  the last time. This time she sent out an “i’m fine, and going to bed” email and then an “all clear” email to follow up. Excellent.

22. I have a burn halfway between my wrist and elbow that looks disturbingly like a hickey. I was trying to take the foil off a pan of chicken enchiladas. Two weeks ago.

23. Mike has ordered pizza from the same place twice within the last 3 days. When I questioned this, he said, “But I ordered different stuff.” Well. Right then. He was nice enough to order me a veggie pizza.  And something I’m almost afraid of. It looks like pizza with macaroni and cheese on top. I think I may become a carb-avoider.

24. I ate a McFish last week. There were extreme circumstances involving ravenous hunger, not being home any time soon, rowdy kids who wanted McDonald’s and the stupid rationalization that, “well. i do eat fish now. how bad could it be?”

25. And the answer is VERY bad. It was a fishburger with a perfectly square fish patty with a SLICE OF CHEESE on top of it and the most revolting part that STILL makes me feel dirty every time I think about it? It wasn’t that bad. Really. I’ll never do it again, I give you my word. But it was NOT that bad.

The Boys Discuss Kissing & Virginity.

March 10th, 2011 at 9:43 pm » Comments (10)

Have you ever had the ‘thrill’ of being around some guy who clearly thinks he is God’s Special Gift to Women?  And then… after you bite your tongue and do not ask if there is a Gift Receipt, have you wondered HOW he got this way? Why? For how long?

I might have some insight to these questions. It might be disturbing.

Yesterday I drove three little boys to school in Mike’s truck, so they were all sitting side by side and right behind me. It was Spring Picture Day so they weren’t wearing school uniforms. They were in darling, not matching, pairs of plaid shorts with coordinating shirts. Because I am That Kind of Dorky and make no apologies, and also? They don’t object to stuff like that yet, so I’m taking full advantage. If I were really crazy, I’d have gone to a mall or put some effort/money into these outfits.  I didn’t. Not that it mattered.

Seth-5yr looks around at all the abundant handsomeness in the backseat and says, “Mom. I really do not teenk you should have bought us dees shorts.”

“Why?” I’m afraid he’s going to object, because Seth-5yr does things like that,  but it’s way too late for an outfit change. We’re on the way already, with no spare time this morning.

“Well. I am yooking so good dat guhls might just… kiss me… at ‘chool. Acshully, we all are yooking DAT good.”

He was completely serious. This was an honest assessment of how those $8  plaid shorts from Target had transformed him and his brothers into creatures so devastatingly  handsome that the females of the Christian elementary school would not be able to restrain themselves from physically attacking and kissing them, so far gone would they be by the emotional need to express their passion for the plaid shorted boys.

I was stunned into silence.

Caden-7yr giggled but then, in all seriousness, agreed. He went on to theorize that Seth-5yr would be kissed the most because his shirt had ‘the most colors.’ As if girls flail themselves at boys in shirts with lots of colors, or something, and Thanks For Telling Us That, Caden-7yr. I had no idea. It’s a good thing that men often spare me the temptation of wearing rainbow shirts. What a relief.

In short, they were looking too good for school. They might be kissed, repeatedly, upon arrival, JUST for wearing those shorts and having combed hair for once, AND the matching socks I insisted on today that normally I wouldn’t.

“Seth-5yr. You’re saying that the girls will kiss you because you look so good, they won’t be able to help it?” I just had to clarify. I was behind in this conversation, but it was too early in the day for this kind of insanity.

“Oh yes. Dat is what I am saying.” He shook his head in solemn acknowledgment of the crimes of passion that were about to unfold. truth be told, he looked a little excited.

“Well, you DO look good. All of you. I agree y’all are looking pretty handsome. And girls do like that.  But I have faith that the girls at your school will be able to appreciate your shorts and your matching socks and your combed hair without giving in to any urges to attack you. They’re nice girls.”

Sometimes, all it takes is a bargain priced pair of questionably plaid shorts to turn a handsome child into Watch Out, Ladies – I’m Too Sexy for My Plaid Preschool Britches So Go Ahead And Throw Yourselves At Me… I’m Expecting It.

You can probably tell by now I’m not one of those moms who dresses their kids super-cute. Or at all. I let them wear whatever they want, and they usually look crazy, and I do not care at all. And it’s a good thing. Because the slightest bit of inept styling from me turns them into THAT. Yuck. Behold the power of the matching socks. Matching socks + plaid shorts = Bizarre Ego Explosion x 3

They’re crazy, those 3.

And on a similar note…

This is another backseat conversation from another day this week. It proves why I am not cut out for homeschooling. Among other things.

As we drove, I’d been trying to encourage the kids to like the music of Asleep at the Wheel. It had gone pretty well, surprisingly. I wisely skipped “Big Balls in Cowtown” because I’m sure they wouldn’t have believed my explanation of what that meant, and I’m also sure I did not want to hear THEIR explanation of what that song meant. Can you just imagine? Ugh.

Then I moved on to Don Williams. I’ve tried this before, and they do not understand the appeal yet of “Tulsa Time.”  But they will. How can they not? Although I did forget one lyric in “I Believe in You” that says something about virginity. Nothing offensive there, of course, but it sparked a precious conversation between Seth-5yr and Caden-7yr.

Seth-5yr: “Hey, Caden. What is virginity?”

I turned down the volume so I could hear the answer.

I’m so glad I did.

“What? Oh. It’s a state.”

“It is?”

“Yes. There’s the state of Virginity, and there’s also one called West Virginity. They’re, um….. east.”

“Oh. Okay.”

And they went back to an earlier conversation.

And I slid down a little lower in my seat and my eyes filled with tears because they do that sometimes when I’m holding back a laugh.

If I were a homeschooler type I would commend the 7yr old’s grasp of geography, but correct that it’s actually Virginia and West Virginia, right?

I had no such inclination. It was so adorable I just couldn’t stand to say anything. I was thrilled Ethan-10yr was deeply interested in a book and not weighing in on the Virginity topic because there would have been a lot to discuss, including Mary and, instead… I just wanted to leave it.

Just for right now, I have two kids who think Virginity is a state in America, and I think that’s too darling to fix just yet.

I kinda wanted to attack them and kiss them to pieces. And they weren’t even in plaid that day.

warning: this is a blog on adrenaline

March 9th, 2011 at 6:33 pm » Comments (5)

Mike came home today from a trip. I was expecting him tomorrow. Because I’ve been breaking cars/trucks and they’ve been shuffling in and out of the repair shop, it didn’t occur to me he was really home when I saw his truck in the drive. I thought the guys had dropped it off for him.

I came in the back door and saw immediately that things were not like they were when I left a few hours before. There was a large bowl in the laundry room sink and the dog was in the house – when I’d left him out – and he was acting very excited. I looked at him and felt a whooosh of a sickening adrenaline rush and the thought forming – painfully slowly – to get the kids back out of the house before seeing what was going on. Scary. And then when I did see Mike’s things and then Mike, there was not a big hug and an “Oh, welcome home!” moment. No. There was not.

Instead, there were a lot of mixed thoughts going on that included:

What sort of bad guy cares about stainless steel bowls?

Dog, you are useless.

Oh, it’s Mike? WHAT? (breathe, breathe.)

I was going to wax my eyebrows tonight.

I’m going to see my sister on Friday and her eyebrows are ridiculously flawless, always, and this is a problem. Waxing schedule not negotiable.

I usually clean house before he gets home… did I…? No.

I’ve never claimed Mike and I are good with communication, but still. Sometimes a text is in order.

In other news.

This is good news. (Although, so is a husband home a day early, probably, and after the shaky/sick feeling goes away, I’m sure it will feel like good news. But let’s hope that happens before morning when he’s on the next plane.)

Starting again. Sidenote: Adrenaline thoroughly messes with blogging.

Baseball news. Last night was Caden-7yr’s first practice since we went bat shopping and since we had the practice in the backyard where I pelted him to pieces. And?! Y’all! That ‘method’ WORKED. Caden-7yr hit everything that came out of the ball pitching machine thing last night. EVERYTHING. Like, 15 solid hits in a row. He looked good.

If he can hit the awful pitches I throw, then suddenly all those other balls from the machine  just seemed too easy and predictable, right?!  And, perk: Not one of those hit him. I was excited. Okay, I still am. I just had to tell y’all.

Workout Buddies. (Not.)

March 8th, 2011 at 1:50 pm » Comments (10)

It’s possible I’m nicer than previously thought.

But this is just a working theory, based on the odd observation that I accidentally know names/faces/kid stats if applicable of more than a dozen women at various gyms. All sizes, ages, shapes. I’m not sure how or why this started, but we know each other and look for each other and remember details of each other’s lives. And it’s getting worse. Worse, because I really don’t want friends. Except y’all, and the few I might have in Real Life. So this social pattern should probably stop soon, or at least slow down.

We small talk, and maybe more than small talk. Assuming you cross the threshold of Small Talk and head into other territory when a gal asks you to ‘lift up in prayer’ her husband’s low sperm count.

I know. I wish she hadn’t used the “lift up” phrase, as well. Must have been a serious dose of Grace of God that I did not laugh in her face and then have to apologize for my total immaturity and seek repentance right there at the gym with a darling little blonde who just wants to have babies. I agreed, and later, did pray. Generally, if someone is nervy enough to ask me to pray about something – watch out. I will assume you mean right then and there and I will whip out some Jesus on you and pray. This was the exception. I would have laughed, despite it obviously not being funny, but I’m quite literal and I had an unfortunate and inappropriate visual going on.

Maybe I’m not that nice after all. And that’s somewhat of a relief.

This is a part of Texas where small talk is everywhere, and people will talk Jesus to you anywhere and anytime. I mind this far less than I used to. These gym ladies will talk anything. They’ve invited me to prayer groups and bible studies,  offered samples of Advocare, asked to see my abs (uh… no), and even told me where the latest bargains are to be found for jingly belly dancing skirts. I politely declined all of them but chatted away, regardless of the fact that I am not a chatting type.

I like them.  There’s not a single one of them that I don’t like.  This morning I was having the best time talking with a girl named Robin when I noticed her black t-shirt had pink words saying, “Be my BFF.”

I wanted to stop talking to her immediately when i saw that. Who wears that?! And why did she have to be so funny? I don’t want to be anyone’s gym BFF, and it better not happen by accident when I’m not looking.

It’s such a challenge to maintain a commitment to anti-social behavior in a town this friendly.  (But I intend to win.)

Baseball in the Backyard

March 6th, 2011 at 2:55 pm » Comments (9)

This morning I was cold, and standing in the bathroom with the hair dryer up my shirt when my sister called. I touched the word ‘answer’ on my phone’s screen, and waited for it to actually answer. But it didn’t. So I waited awhile and then held the phone to my ear and apparently it had connected anyway, because i could hear my sister laughing.

“OH! WAIT….! HANG ON!” I yelled over the sound of the hair dryer, because it takes two hands to turn the thing off. It took a moment.

“You’re like an old lady with a phone! What was that?”

It DID seem exactly like the sort of thing our grandmother would have done.

“Eh, hair dryer – I was cold. I don’t talk on phones much.” And then we had a lovely conversation that lasted for a very long time. I’m going to go see her for a couple of days at the end of the week. Yea!

At the end of the call I was telling her about yesterday’s baseball practice in our backyard. The boys took turns batting, while I pitched, and then they tried to teach me how to catch, and then we went back to batting.

I cannot catch a baseball.

It doesn’t matter if it is tossed lightly up and arcs gently down toward my glove from only a few feet away. Can’t catch.

Caden-7yr watched Ethan-10yr throw me in excess of 20 balls and watched me miss or drop every single one of them. Then he said, “This is so bad… it’s like being at a movie theatre.”

“What? You mean I’m so bad, it’s entertaining?”

“Yeah. That’s what I mean.” He shook his head in amazement at my 100% miss rate and said, “You don’t even accidentally catch one.”

True. We gave up teaching me to catch and the boys took turns batting while I pitched to them. I’d pitch 10-20 balls and then another one of them would take a turn. All three boys did well, and got some great hits. We have a few ‘real’ baseballs, and a bucket of big, baseball sized whiffle balls. The kids kept politely asking me to use the whiffle balls.

And I would, but then I’d try to talk them into the others. “When you hit one of the real baseballs, they go so much further. It’s WAY more fun, right?”

“Um. Yes. No, it’s okay, Mom. Could you please just use the whiffles?”

After having this conversation a few times with both Ethan-10yr and Caden-7yr, I figured it out. “Oh….! Is it because it hurts so much more when I hit you with the baseballs?”

“YES!” Caden-7yr on home plate and Ethan-10yr on first base yelled in unison.

I’m about as bad a pitcher as I am at catching. Almost. Not quite. But about half of the balls I throw will hit the kid square in the head (wearing a batting helmet), or other body part. I’m amazed at how polite they were. How they had just suffered in silence in the name of baseball. It cracked me up completely and they waited patiently, unamused, while I sat down in the dead grass and laughed until my stomach hurt. I apologized for all their mom -inflicted injuries, but my sincerity was probably undermined by the collapsed-on-the-lawn -laughing-fit that preceded said apology.

I remembered that my mom happens to be a much better pitcher than I am. I’ll invite her over next time. She’ll bring new meaning to the phrase, “relief pitcher.”

My sister asked me why I didn’t just throw underhanded, or not so hard. As if!

Throwing hard might be the only part of baseball I can do right! Aim will come later. Probably.

After I’d thrown Caden-7yr 3 whiffle balls in a row without hitting him, he’d warily say, “Okay. Try a real one. I trust you,” with a face and a stance that said he definitely did not trust me. And then I’d feel awful and throw it way wide to overcompensate and be sure I wouldn’t hit him. And then the next one I’d throw the other way to overcompensate for how wide the last one went, and then hit him again in the head and he’d shoot Ethan-10yr a loaded look and say, “Okay… whiffles please.”

But despite all of this, they’re having so much fun AND I’ve toughened them up so much that they don’t even let on they’re hurt. I think it’s a great start to the season!

A Call for Rain

March 4th, 2011 at 10:39 pm » Comments (5)

It’s 10:30 and it’s raining. RAINING.

Out there, in the dark… is mud. Waiting for me.

I called my mother, even though I normally wouldn’t call so late.

“Hi… Mom. Would it be really, really irresponsible parenting to ask if you’d babysit the kids for just a little bit tomorrow while I take my truck out in the mud? It won’t take long!”

“Kelsey, you…. you sound like Charlie Sheen.”


“Well, I was just watching Dateline and he sounded all [here she did a really talented impersonation of someone who sounded gaspy and giddy] like he was ON something.”

“Oh. Right. I’m excited, please…?”

Of course she said yes. My mother is wonderful.


And wonderful.

No Worries

March 4th, 2011 at 4:06 pm » Comments (7)

The kids are playing together, quietly in a bedroom and getting along. They’re safe, happy and I’m not worrying about any of them. This wasn’t always possible in our home, and so I’m sitting on the couch, actively appreciating every contented giggle and sound effect they make.

this. is. good.

I’m more aware of it that normal because I’ve been doing that thing again with the gradual freaking out and stressing over nothing. I’m real good at that.

perfect example:

(I didn’t tell you about it at the time, because I was THAT bothered.)

In September, I noticed one of my ribs had thoroughly gone rogue. It was seriously, literally out of line, this left side rib. It threw off the entire Rib Cages Are Symmetrical belief that I had been led to believe was sacred, thanks to all cartoon sketches of skeletons I’d ever seen.  So one of my ribs is a rebel. And it bothered me. My ribs aren’t all sticky-outy or anything. I don’t remember how this was discovered. But upon too much painful squashing of all ribs, repeatedly for the next months, I determined that this one was definitely wrong. The only thing left to be determined was HOW wrong, and I feared the worst, whatever that might be.

I mentioned it, finally, to Mike in November, right before Thanksgiving. He laughed at me and told me it was fine. But it wasn’t fine. It was bothering me endlessly and felt constantly bruised because I’d smash at it until it hurt. In my free time. Instead of learning to knit or cook,  I would smash the rib and stress over it.  Instead of sleeping.

I didn’t want to ask anyone. Mike had laughed at me for worrying and said it was nothing. But that’s Mike’s optimistic approach to anything, which definitely has an upside. It counterbalances me.

Anyone who might have a more informed opinion on rogue ribs might have to be entrusted with the sight of my stretch mark collection. Said collection can stop a 5 yr old in his tracks and make him ask, “WHAT? IS? THAT?” at 6:30 in the morning when I have no words or patience or answers. And, worse, was the probable forthcoming diagnosis of Something BAD, Tumor Like, Cancerish and Really Wrong.  So the idea of discussing this was out.

Instead I worried and stressed and didn’t sleep and rib-smashed and didn’t mention it again to anyone. For months.

Sleep deprivation and having to ask myself if nightly rib-smashing to the point of bruising equated to self-harm caused me to re-think the Ask Somebody idea.

So one day after church I asked Mr. Physical Therapy. His knowledge of anatomy is staggering and his face lights up when he talks about boring, ligament-y body parts described with very long words. Perfect, right? Also, I figured if he ever had to see stretch marks, he’d probably laugh and say it was nothing.  But I was hoping that wouldn’t be necessary and he’d say, “All rib cages have that weird thing on the left side. Cartoonists just leave it off in the name of simplicity.” And then the whole thing could be forgotten.  But he didn’t. So I went in later that week and he looked at it, and then x-rays and basically, it was fiiiine.

I could tell you the theory about the rib, but that wasn’t really my point. What I really got out of that was the overriding message of,  “But that’s how YOU are. This is what normal is for you. It doesn’t have to mean something is wrong or bad.” (And, bonus: zero reaction to the stretch mark collection that can halt child traffic in the hallway at dawn.)

So I’d made myself silently stressed and crazy for months over something that was indeed different, but not wrong or bad. Pointless waste of energy, sleep, and valuable time that could have resulted in knitwear.

And I’ve been doing it again.

I looked at a calendar and added up the days that Mike is gone. He’s home just about 50% of each month.  And you know….? That is different. Different from what life used to be like around here. And I’ve tried to tell myself it was wrong and bad and negative…

but maybe it isn’t.

The kids are perfectly fine. I’m not a hate-to-be-in-the-house-by-myself sort. (I’m more of a ‘yea, I can wax my eyebrows in silence without worrying about someone coming in the bathroom’ sort.)  I adore silence. It doesn’t bother me that I spent today researching how to buy the perfect baseball bat or that I’m the parent at the practices, making notes on what skills we’ll work on in the backyard that week. I LIKE that stuff.

My mom lives nearby and helps me out – something Mike is just as grateful for as I am. Years ago, it wasn’t this way. He was traveling and I had four kids in an incredibly unsafe home and no nearby relatives and it was way too much pressure every day. Each day I had to keep everyone physically safe, try to manage the details of what damage had been done to everyone at home and at school, and predict/prevent future disasters. The chaos of Kim-16yr, back then, was too much for me – or anyone –  to deal with alone. We needed an army of professionals and a lot of God.

But this?

Life is sweet. These three boys are doing great, and I enjoy getting to be with them. When Mike’s around, he spends more time with them than he normally would, so I don’t really think they’re missing out.

Mike is happiest when he calls from some other city and he tells me all about the clients he helped, and how.  For whatever reason, he doesn’t sound like that when he’s here. And when he is here, he doesn’t talk to me about clients or much of anything else anyway. I’m not any better – I don’t assume he’s interested in stuff he doesn’t ask about. I never told him the ending to the  Rib Saga because he didn’t ask and I figured if it mattered, he would have. That’s how we are. I only tell y’all all this stuff you probably don’t care about,  because you have the option of mouse-clicking away and I’ll never know.

Like the rogue rib, this all might be different than how it used to be- but still normal for us and not worth the stress of assuming it’s a sign of something awful.

I think.

Today, anyway.

Today, there’s no stressing and gradual freaking out. There’s only an appreciation for this sweet life, safe home, happy kids, and an arrangement that seems to be working out just fine for everyone.

Chicken Spaghetti And Other Things

March 3rd, 2011 at 11:48 am » Comments (3)

It was one of those mornings where I awoke feeling as if I’d been kicked, punched, and bruised while I slept. And I had been.

No idea why Seth-5yr came in last night, or what he wanted, or why I put him in bed with me just so he could elbow my shoulderblades all night. We had a conversation in the dark about all of these things, but I forgot what was said. It’d be easier if he weren’t so cute. Have I mentioned his dimples?

Or if he gave me an inch or so of room. I’m small and I like to sleep while suspended off the very edge of a king sized bed – it’s not like I’m taking up too much room. But there’s Seth-5yr, right up against me and then a huge expanse of free space on the other side of him and his pointy elbows.

Ugh. I ache. My back feels like a piece of meat that has been beaten up in the name of tenderizing.

Enough complaining, though. I made chicken spaghetti yesterday for the teacher thing. I printed out a PW recipe and also all of your tips from the comment section. Thanks, y’all! The day before, I cooked the chicken in the crockpot and then added other stuff to flavor the stock. This involved first skimming the fluffy white cloudlike disgusting globs of chicken fat. I sang, in order to distract myself from the task. That sicks me out so completely.

I made another batch  of chicken spaghetti that was far less interesting, with no spices, no veggies, and more cheese for Mike and the kids because that’s how they eat. I made a zucchini casserole thing for me that was okay, but not worth the extra effort and calories if you’re the only one who will eat it and you like plain zucchini sauteed with a little sea salt and olive oil. But whatever.

The verdict on the plain, non-PW chicken spaghetti, not the one for the teachers: Mike and Ethan-10yr were polite, Caden-7yr had four helpings, and Seth-5yr asked for a corn dog as soon as he sat down and saw that I’d been cooking. I said no. He cried. I was unmoved. After fifteen minutes, he ate, got over it and was fine.

(But then last night he came and beat me up while I slept, so maybe he wasn’t as over it as I thought and maybe that was Chicken Spaghetti Payback Time. Also known as, Next Time Gimme A Corn Dog)

There was only one cooking mishap, which is pretty good for me. Our cooktop is on the island in the middle of the kitchen. At one point I was standing on the opposite side from where I normally stand and i reached over to turn a burner on. But I turned on the wrong one, because I was looking at the burner knobs upside down and I managed to melt some things that should not have been melted when the wrong burner came on under some stuff. But given my normal level of destructiveness, this was hardly noteworthy.

I went searching for a photo of the kitchen island to help explain that and found this instead. I might finally be figuring out posting pictures!

Here is why I have my own truck:


Because that was Mike’s old truck, and more specifically, what I used to do to it in my free time. He was very understanding about it. Still is. Now I have a truck that is much more suitable for those purposes. (I don’t get stuck like that anymore.)

Ohmygosh that mud is beautiful.

Is it Cheating If It’s Another List? (Guilty)

March 2nd, 2011 at 1:13 pm » Comments (8)

* I had a  conversation with a spider this morning. Maybe I won’t do things like that when the kids are home in the summer.

* Went to the grocery store and is was blessedly uneventful compared with the last time.

* The weather is gorgeous today.  Bring on the endless baseball practices and games and yardwork. Ready.

* But. There’s been no rain that would help me take out a big truck and act out all my aggressions in a somewhat reckless, muddy fashion.

* Mike has the world’s cutest crush on Jennifer Lopez. He didn’t tell me. I just figured it out because I am SO brilliant.

* It was all the weird giggling and sighing that gave him away.

* Can’t blame him a bit. It cracks me up.

* Johnny Cash coming through the kitchen speakers.

* Love that.

* The Eating Fish Thing continues. Yea! This changes everything. Am not a vegetarian anymore. Progress! Positively sprinting up the food chain again.

* I was SO impatient with children yesterday. 3 boys had 3 tear-filled meltdown for 3 different reasons within 30 minutes. I didn’t let my nerves show until the last 30 minutes before their bedtime.

* Which stinks, because then they probably went to sleep and had bad dreams about me.

* Mike came home and said something nice, and that helped. Me – it helped me. Not the kids. Who probably really did have nightmares about me.

* I’m not running. I should be. Even if I don’t want to be a runner, I feel obligated to know how far I can run. Like how everyone should sort of know how tall they are or what their driver’s license number is… I feel obligated to know.

* The problem with that is I go running and then come up with a # of miles and that’s my answer. And then? I’m fine with that answer for about 7 seconds. And then I think of when I could go run again and increase that number.

* This is the sort of thinking that turns me into a runner, fully against my will and better judgment. I don’t even like running. It’s boring. I’m the only one who ever knows that number. But that number is never high enough.

* Right now I don’t have a #. And I should probably just try to go with that. But even the non-number is uncomfortable, because shouldn’t I have that number filed away in my brain…. just like my driver’s license number? I really should….

* I just ordered really cute running shorts. No idea why I did that.

* Homework. Should be doing homework instead of hanging out here with y’all. Crime is calling.  (more…)