Monday, June 29, 2009

Not Me June 29th

Well, just because I am on vacation, does not mean that I do not have some secret divulging to do.  My sanity has definitely been tested this week, and I am readily willing to gain a little free therapy.  So, being that it is Monday, I will follow in the MckMama tradition of posting a Not Me! Monday post.  

On to the craziness . . .

It was not me that considered giving El benadryl to make her sleep for a portion of my 11 hour solo car ride.

It was also not me that decided that drugging my child was not a good decision, despite the beneficial side effects that it might provide.

It was not me that forgot to pack E underwear for our hotel stay.

Clearly, it was also not me that convinced him that not only was it OK to go commando, it was a healthy thing to do once in awhile.  It was also not me that cringed when E then said to the clerk at the fast food chain that he was being healthy . . . he wasn't wearing any underwear.

It was not me that dragged two twin mattresses into my vacation bedroom so my kiddies were not scared to sleep so far away in a new and unfamiliar place.  I would know that the kiddies would survive just down the hall without me.  I would never resort to such manual labor in the name of peaceful uninterrupted sleep.  Ridiculous!

It was also not me that almost lost her bathing suit top as I ran down the beach to rescue a run away float.  I would make sure that the old girls were secured high and tight before attempting a sprint.  That would be the logical thing to do, of course.


Much better.

On to this week's vacation insanity . . .

The Anatomy Lesson

I don't know why my boy surprises me, but he does it all of the time.

After a busy day at the beach with family and cousins, my sister and I piled the sandy kiddies into the tub to hose them down.  E, El and cousin Luke squealed as the water poured into the tub and created  a cascade of bubbles to frolic in.  

Just about that time, Luke "noticed" that El was missing something.  

"Mom?" he questioned my sister.  "Where's Ellerie's pee-pee?"

My sister, Jaime, and I giggled at his three year old's perception of  a girl's anatomy, and then Jaime patiently explained how boy's pee-pee's are on the outside and girl's pee-pee's are on the inside.  Both boys considered this new fact for a few moments as they glanced at themselves and then over at an oblivious Ellerie.

Then, Ethan said it.

"Mom, Luke's pee-pee is waaaay smaller than mine."

After another round of chuckling, I patiently explained that Luke was younger and so he was smaller . . . everywhere.  Both boys nodded and accepted the short explanation, and  I breathed a little sigh of relief that the anatomy lesson seemed to be over.

Later though, I realized that at least now I have an answer to a question I had posed to myself many times.

Boys  do start comparing their parts shortly after birth.

It must be hard wired.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Relaxing? HA!

I have concluded that going on vacation is a lot of work.

Just to prepare to go to the beach for a couple of weeks, I have had to:

1) Make sure that my laundry is done.  (And, you can now stop laughing!) This in and of itself is almost an impossible job, because, frankly, if the laundry is completely clean, then there is not enough drawer space in this old house to put it all away properly.  Thankfully, with vacations comes luggage, so clean laundry is going directly into those, and not into overflowing piles on the floor.  

2) Clean out the refrigerator.  Now, it would be nice if I was talking about removing all of the food and cleaning the shelves with hot, soapy water.  Lord knows it needs that!  No, I am talking about using up food that will go bad while we are gone.  Consequently, we have had some interesting concoctions for dinner.  One night my husband grilled italian sausages, the little one ate it with shredded  monterey jack cheese, and for a side dish we had mushrooms and nectarines.  Not exactly the gourmet meal one dreams about.  This morning the kids have the option of splitting a yogurt, eating dry cereal with no milk (we finished that!), or some sour cream.   . . . I am betting that I will end up throwing out that sour cream. 

3)  Choose toys for the beach house and the car ride.  This one is super difficult.  First off, I want toys that will keep the kiddies busy during the 11 hour car drive.  But, I would prefer that those toys be relatively quiet.  And yes, we have packed books, and CD's, and DVD's, but what about after that???  What toy can you produce for a 19 month old that doesn't have something that crinkles, buttons that beep, or a monotonous song that makes camp in your in brain.  Even Elmo's patented laugh gets a bit old after the third hour of his giggles.  At that point he can tickle himself right out of my car for all I care.  Hubby, being the sarcastic fool that he is, recommended that I just give El a roll of aluminum foil to occupy herself happy.  He apparently thinks her recent addiction to foil is . . . funny.  I wonder how funny he would think it is if he had to re-roll the 75 feet of foil for the third time.  Hmmmmm.

4)  Take care of two weeks worth of household chores.  Just thinking about this one gives me a stomach ache.  First, I have had to do the household bills in advance.  They are now in my planner labeled as to when I can mail them out so as not to overdraw my account.  Keep your fingers crossed that the checks don't cross in the mail.  Then, I have had to arrange mail pick up, newspaper stoppage, back-up for the inevitable non-stopping newspaper (In 7 years of vacations, they have never done it correctly. No, I am not exaggerating.  The local newspaper is that bad.) and a multitude of other little chores.  My brain is swimming with all of the details, and I am sure that I will forget something.  At least this year I know that I won't forget to remember to arrange for Sammy the Cat.  I am embarrassed to say that one year he did make the short list.  Fortunately, being a cat and a bit of a snob, he didn't care.

5) Maintain all of my normal household duties in spite of the above.  I have to admit, this chore is slipping.  There are goldfish swimming under the coffee table and dust bunnies procreating under my bed.  My bathroom mirrors are desperate for a cleaning.  El's soapy hand prints have adorned them for at least three days.  When you glance at your reflection, it looks as if her little hand prints are choking you.  Startling to say the least. I have given up on the basement and other nether regions of my house too.  I figure if someone were to rob us while we are away, they will not walk around noticing how very clean my furniture is.  And, if they do, they need to look for another line of employment.

So there you have it.  

Vacation insanity at its best.

Relaxing?  Isn't it?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summer Fun

Things are going swimmingly . . .


After . . .

Poopie painting,

Unwrapping an entire roll of aluminum foil,

Climbing on top of kitchen cabinets,

Pouring out 4 cups of cold coffee on the floor,

Coloring the walls with chalk,

Coloring the floor with chalk,

Coloring her hair with chalk,

Poopie painting . . . again,


Jumping in the pool with mom's help,

Jumping in the pool with no help,

Jumping in the pool 257 consecutive times with mom thinking, "Help!",

Playing in the dirt in the backyard,

Taking a bubble bath with sissy,

Eating sketti,

Taking a second bath after eating sketti,

After . . .



Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Riddle Me This

Question:  What goes thump, crinkle, crinkle, crinkle, crinkle, tee hee, crinkle, crinkle, crinkle?

Answer:  Ellerie unrolling 75 feet of aluminum foil.

Just another insane day . . .

Monday, June 22, 2009

Burying the Dead

Last week, during one of our daily errand runs, the kiddies brought up the subject of our dear, departed Sammy the Cat.

"Mom?"  Ab asked. "Just where is he?"

"Well, you know he is in heaven.  Being fat and lazy and happy, and probably eating tuna fish." I was pleased with the pleasant picture that I had created.

Ab wasn't satisfied, however.  "I know he's in heaven mom.  But, where is his body?" 

"Oh!"  I replied.  Naturally, as an almost eight year old, she would understand the difference between a soul and a body, but I hadn't given a thought to discussing it with her.  "Well, we had Sammy buried in a pet cemetery out in the country."

Noticeably relieved, Ab replied, "Oh!  Good.  I just didn't want him to be in our backyard."

I was quiet.  I got it.  There is just a certain ick factor to knowing that your pet is buried near your playhouse, and that is why hubby and I opted for the pet cemetery.

We cruised along a bit until Ethan piped up from the back seat.

"Mom.  I am going to bury Pap Pap," he declared.

Still thinking about the Sammy conversation, Abbie and I both exclaimed, "What?!"

I was a little softer.  "E?  What are you talking about burying Pap Pap?

Ab got right to the point.  "E!  He isn't dead!  Why would you bury him?"

Completely unruffled Ethan replied, "I know he didn't die.  I want to bury him when we go to the beach next week!"

So, while Ab and I were reflecting on Sammy, E was thinking of digging in the sand, and apparently, burying my father, who he knew would be game for the adventure.

After sighs of relief and a few giggles at our silliness, I said to E, "Yes Ethan.  You can probably bury Pap Pap at the beach next week."

It was quiet once again until Ethan broke the silence with the question, "Can I bury his head too?"


I still can't explain them.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

To My Hubby

Happy Father's Day to my Hubby!

The man that can laugh in the face of out to dinner chaos . . .

Who can juggle a sleeping infant and 2 rowdy kiddies . . .

The man who can sleep like a baby when he sleeps with his babies . . .

The man that melts my heart with his love for his kids . . .

Happy Father's Day, honey!  You deserve a day at the course.  Go enjoy!

With much love,

Friday, June 19, 2009

My Daddy

Thanks Dad for all of the lessons that you have taught me.  I love you deeply.
Happy Father's Day!

My dad is a man of few words.

One time, while my father was at work, my mother decided to knock down the wall between the living room and family room in our house.  When my mom greeted him in the driveway after work, his face showed that he knew that something was definitely up.  But when he entered the foyer and viewed the cement sub-floor where the the wall once was, he just shook his head, turned to my mom, and said, "Well, you finally did it!"

That's it!  No yelling, no screaming, just . . . well . . . an explanation.

Time and again it was like that with my dad.

When I would bring home a new boyfriend to meet my parents, my dad would pull a stone face.  He rightly earned a  notorious reputation among the teenage boys in my class.  One time I overheard a friend say to one of my prospective suitors, "He doesn't talk.  It's eerie.  He just stares."  I can't remember if I actually made it to a date with that scared, scared boy.  I don't think so though.   I thought that my dad was just being difficult on purpose to intimidate those boys, and it drove me crazy that I was the one with the scary dad.

Later, at twenty-two when I faced my first real life changing moment, I felt so very alone.  But when my dad took me in his arms, his quiet demeanor wasn't so annoying anymore.  My perspective had vastly changed from my teenage self,  and I realized that my dad's quietness was a source of his strength and at that point in my life,  a source of my strength too.  I appreciated that he didn't require me to hash out details of my situation or relive ugly moments.  He just sat with me and let me be.  It reminded me of how when I was a little girl and my mom had to work evenings to help support the family, my dad would tuck in my sister and me. And, very often, sis and I were able to twist his arm and convince him to let us lay with him until we fell asleep.  Just his quiet presence made me feel safe and I would quickly relent to my sleep.  And, as a new adult with some serious adult problems, I felt that same calm resolution from my dad.  He was my comfort, and my protector in one.

Later, after I had my babies,  I loved when my dad would visit.  He would take my colicky babies and walk and walk and walk.  Never tiring or complaining.  Just quietly bouncing those cranky babies until they gave up and realized that their Pap Pap was ever vigilant, ever watchful, and quietly loving them to a sound sleep.  As the kiddies grew, I would watch my dad tickle the kiddies with his moustache or watch the  them play babies with him on the living room floor.  Dad always, always participated and was eager to be in on the action, even if he didn't volunteer much conversation.  The kiddies recognized that although he may not have said much, he was always listening and attentive.  He believed in their fairies and bogeymen and he was silently respectful of their ideas.  And, in kid world, that was and is really all that counts. They loved that Pap Pap played with them, and they saved special kisses and hugs to plant all over him to show their appreciation. 

Dad always basks in that kind of love.

And, although I am probably a bit too big to climb up in his lap anymore, I know too that my dad will always be my best listener and teacher.  

And the lesson that I have learned?

To listen with my heart, of course.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Why . . .

Why is it?

Why is it that Ellerie loves the feel of fresh poopie on her chubby little fingers?

Why is it that Ethan can ask the same question 57 times and when I answer him, he says with a straight face, "What did you say mom?"

And, just why is it that Ab's fourth toenail grows faster than all of her others, and when we snuggle together, it inevitably scratches me down my leg?

Why is it?

Why is it that my kids will eat lasagna if I call it pizza casserole but not if I call it lasagna?

And, for that matter, why is it that my children will readily try a new food if it is not me that serves it?

Why is it that a popcorn snack always results in a popcorn fight with the kiddies?

Why is it?

Why is it that even if I am feeling thin, my feeling melts away if I see a certain number on the scale?

Why is it that I  consistently don't remember the said feeling when I reach for my chocolate fix at about 4:oo pm?

And finally, why is it that on some days a mountain of laundry looks like a molehill and on other days (read - today) the molehill of laundry feels like Mt. Everest?

Why is it?

Why is it that the sight of my sleeping children makes my heart swell so big that it feels like it could leap right out of my chest?

Why is it that a tender hug from my hubby at just the right moment is better than any medicine that any doctor could prescribe?

Why is it that I deserve such wonderful daily blessings?

Why is it?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Once Upon a Summer Morning

It was nine a.m. on a summer morning,

and all through the house, 

not a kiddie was stirring,

not even ones who play house. . .

Here's hoping your morning was as peaceful as mine!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Decision

When my dad toasted hubby and me at our rehearsal dinner, he pointedly looked at each of us and said, "Love is a decision that you make each and every day."  At the time, I was so engrossed in the moment and celebrating with my family and friends that I did not really comprehend what he was saying, but nine years later, I am beginning to grasp its meaning.

To fully love another human being, you have to recognize that love is not just a feeling, it is a choice that you need to actively make. Each. And. Every. Day.  Falling in love . . . getting that butterflies in your belly feeling, that feeling that you get when you are a little kid and you are swinging just a little bit too high on the swing set, that feeling that you get when you are just about to dive off the high diving board at the pool, that feeling . . . is the easy part. 

It is the staying in love that is the hard part.

You see, once life takes over, the ability to choose to love takes over too.  And, choosing to love your honey when every fiber in your being just wants to scream, beat your fists into a pillow, and just let honey have it, is so much more difficult than just allowing the hate and anger to consume you.

So, when hubby decided to scrape the snow and ice off of my window one morning before work and used our metal shovel to get the job done, I had to almost bite my knuckle raw in order to not kill him for putting 4 foot long scratches across my windshield with the shovel.  When I found out that we would have to replace the windshield, I had to switch knuckles and keep on gnawing in order to maintain control.    I had to actively remember that hubby was just trying to be nice when he scraped my windshield down. I had to choose to love hubby even when every little nerve in my body was so mad that I could strangle him.  There was no rosy, pretty pink love feeling at that moment.  Instead, there was a bold and cold decision that I knew that I had to make, even though I didn't feel like making it.  

And when I recently messed up our bank account, hubby had every right to be downright ticked at me.  I had screwed up and screwed up royally, and it was going to cost us extra money that we did not have.  But instead of taking it out on me, hubby immediately recognized how terrible I felt, swallowed his angry feelings, and gave me a much needed hug.  He chose to love me even when I felt completely unlovable.  He made a decision to love me. A decision that, at the time, was not easy.

Hubby and I have to make these decisions daily.  Whether it is his clothes on the floor or my penchant for leaving egg shells in the sink, if we let the little things bother us day to day, if we accused and used each other to get our petty anger out, then we would be chipping away at our own foundation as a couple and we would be in no shape to handle the big things when they inevitably creep up.

And they always do creep up.

By choosing to love each other, hubby and I are constantly reinforcing our foundation.  With every choice, our wall gets a little thicker, and with every decision, we are just a bit more solid.  Together.  That's not to say that we don't have our cracks, either.  We do.  But because our focus is to be proactive in our foundation and in our relationship, we can weather the cracks.  We can repair them. And we are that much stronger for it.

So, when we have to face a new life or an unexpected death, when we have to face financial adversity or a tragic loss,  or when we have to face a success or a defeat, hubby and I are ready.  

We have nine years of decisions to prove it.

Happy Anniversary Paul.

I am happy to decide to love you each and every day.  


Monday, June 15, 2009

Not Me! June 15th

It is Not Me! Monday . . . 

and . . .

so far so good.

After getting up at 7 am I have already had my coffee (with cereal, but I did think about my beloved Krispy Kremes), cleaned the kitchen, worked out at the gym, made the kiddies breakfast and lunch, and brainstormed with the kiddies about our A-Z summer (more about that later).

I have been quite productive today, much to my surprise.  And, I am wondering if it is because hubby went in to work today?


Anyway, with so much done already and the day looming before me, I actually have a moment to divulge my last week's craziness in order to start this week refreshed, renewed, and reasonably sane.  Onto the craziness . . .

It was not me last Wednesday that walked around for the better part of the day with a spot of guacamole on my favorite teal T shirt.  I would have realized that I had spilled the guacamole while I was shoveling it in my mouth during lunch. (A move that I have perfected in order to keep E from devouring the entire bowl before anyone else can eat!)  I would have glanced at myself in the mirror at least once during the afternoon, so that I would have found that the green stain was displayed proudly on my left nipple region.  It was not me that then wondered what exactly the banker, the grocery clerk, and the gas station attendant thought of the said green nipple stain.  I wouldn't worry about such things!

It was also not me that grabbed my teal t-shirt this morning to wear to the gym, forgetting that the guacamole stain did not come out in the laundry.  It was also not me that was horrified when I spied my green nipple in the gym's numerous mirrors.  Ridiculous!

It is still not me that is  wearing the offensive shirt.

It was also not me last week that attempted to quiet a melting down El at the grocery store with a cookie, a cracker, and then a sandy and crumby piece of candy from I don't know when (or where for that matter)  located at the bottom of the abyss that is my purse.  I would never resort to bribery!  Never!  Clearly, it could not have been me that hoisted a screaming and wriggling El up and over my shoulder, left my grocery cart, and ran out the store's door when the bribery did not work.  That would be just silly!

It was not me that considered never shopping at the above grocery store again.

Finally, it was not me that trashed one of hubby's shirts when I discovered that something in the dryer had melted onto it.  I would never have rationalized that since hubby has approximately 217 other shirts to choose from that he would not miss that particular one.  Nope! Not me!  I would take the time to check every pocket of every pant leg that makes it into my washer and dryer.

Isn't that what everyone does? Every time?

Happy Monday!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


I love my mom.

She loves her dog.

And, after my recent loss of Sammy the Cat, I think that I can understand her love of her dog.

But this, this  . . .

I do not understand.

This is mom and her dog, Cappy, taken from her iphone.  Cappy is on a mini getaway weekend with my mom and dad.  Mom is carrying him in a front pooch-pack.

I really do not understand this.

But, I am pleased to see my mom smiling.  So, if the doggy and his carrier make her happy, than I am happy.*****

(*****Remind me about this in about a month when I am on vacation with my family, my sister's family, my mom, dad, and grandma, and Cappy.  I may just forget.)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

At the Park

Having a swinging time!

Coming . . .

and going!

I crack mommy up.
  And, quite frankly, I even crack myself up!

I am such a big kid!

Play Time: Ethan Style

E is usually a good sport.

When his sisters are getting down and dirty and setting up a mean game of house, he usually is game, and he agrees to be the dad or the brother or even Mr. Incredible (in order to save them from evildoers in our basement, I suppose).  There have been times when he even agrees to be
 the grandmom or the sister, complete with pretty frock, matching shoes, and earrings from the Pretty Pretty Princess game.  

Like I said, usually he is compliant and just happy to be a part of the action.

But, after the third rainy day in a row this week, when Ab and El were content to play house and Barbies and babies in a makeshift tent under my dining room table,

 . . .apparently E had had enough, because, this is what I found.

A casualty of war, no doubt, and definitely a sign that my boy was ready to be, well, a boy.  He was done with the girly play, so he did the only thing that he could do.

He took apart poor Troy Bolton (of High School Musical fame).  According to him,  he wanted to see how the legs worked.

So, even though poor Troy is now handicapped, maybe the girls can have him join a wheelchair basketball team and lead the Wildcats to victory once more.

And as for Ethan, maybe he will become a doctor.  

Here's hoping.


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