Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Not Edible

Last year, a Christmas ornament almost caused a hospital visit. Right after we had put up the Christmas tree, L decided to do something not very smart. We were all in the living room admiring the tree, but then it was bedtime. As we tried to corral everyone up the steps, L started jumping around doing a dance somewhat reminiscent to Michael Flatley of Riverdance.

As he was dancing about, he was singing, "Candy cane, candy cane, candy cane." We all stood there watching him entertain us, but then he horrified us as he danced his jig over to the Christmas tree and bit an ornament exactly like this one:

What followed were lots of tears and us digging shards of glass out of his mouth. They were everywhere from the roof of his mouth, to underneath his tongue. After he was cleaned up he warned his siblings, "That's not a candy cane! Don't eat them!"

What was your first clue, oh wise one?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

How I almost ruined Thanksgiving

My parents have two kitchens in their house. One is upstairs in the main living area and another is in the basement. This makes cooking for an army, or Thanksgiving, especially easy. The disadvantage to the two kitchen house is running up and down the steps repeatedly to check on things. This was my job on Thanksgiving. Up the steps, down the steps I went checking, stirring, and rearranging.

On one of my trips downstairs, L and K decided to see what I was doing. We were almost finished with everything, but I was waiting for the marshmallows to brown and turn into their lovely goo before taking them upstairs. They had puffed up so nicely, kind of like a marshmallow atomic bomb cloud right there in the oven. The timing was perfect and now I needed to get them out; however, there weren't any oven mitts downstairs. Part of me thought to ask L to run upstairs and get some, but then I spotted a dish towel and decided to improvise.

Carefully, I opened the oven and pulled out the rack trying hard not to deflate my marshmallow cloud. So focused on the beauty of the marshmallows was I that I failed to realize what was happening to the dish towel until I heard L say...

"Uh, Mommy? There's a fire."

Looking back now, I know that I heard him because I remember him saying it, but instead of asking where the fire was, I was salivating over marshmallows.

"Mommy!" he exclaimed. "There's a FIRE!!!"

My hand was feeling warm. In fact, it was very hot. The dish towel I had so carefully placed around the sweet potatoes was now on fire. The oven being an electric one, had coils on the bottom which had ignited the towel's edge when I inadvertently touched it to the coils. The fire was quickly moving towards my arm and my sleeve. All I could say was, "Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh." Poor little K started to scream. I stood there frozen like an idiot trying to figure out what to do.

So, I did what any person who obviously has forgotten all fire safety lessons from grade school would do. I ran around the kitchen waving the now rapidly fire consumed towel above my head. That is until my very wise five year old son should, "Mommy! The sink. Put the towel in the sink and turn the water on."

And so, I did just that.

My heart was beating hard and smoke was coming up from the sink as I heard the loud sssssssssss of the fire being put out. I decided to go upstairs, get the oven mitts and do it the right way. As we went upstairs, L announced, "Mommy started a fire in the basement!"

And the sweet potatoes? The loveliness of the marshmallows didn't survive the turmoil and they ended up all over the sides of the dish, but they still tasted good.

This Thanksgiving I learned two things: never use a towel as an oven mitt and that five year old boys are smarter than 34 year old women.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Freaky Me

I've been tagged to tell seven freaky facts about myself. Well, technically, they don't have to be freaky, but I can't see discussing the plain, obvious things. That wouldn't be any fun at all. Here we go...

1. When I was a senior in high school, I learned to play several Van Halen songs on the piano. Until this point, my piano pieces were along the lines of "Claire de lune" by Claude Debussey and not "Jump" by Mr. Eddie Van Halen, or my personal favorite, "Dreams". But, I did it as a favor to my band teacher who needed someone to play in the crazy "rock band" created by a few boys who thought they were the next big thing. They played during half time of basketball games. They needed a keyboard player in the worst way and my teacher was pregnant and didn't want to do it. So, because she was one of my favorite teachers, I agreed to it. It also helped that I kind of had a thing for the drummer. We had a brief dating experience two years before that ended disastrously with my mom calling his mom on the phone and telling her, "Keep your son away from my daughter." It's hard to get a boy to like you after that.

2. I still wear my retainers to bed every night. I also wear them when I nap (which with four kids is a rare occasion). Literally, I cannot sleep well if I do not have them in my mouth. My braces have been off for 17 years and I still wear retainers. If I do happen to fall asleep without them, I wake up in a panic because I'm convinced my teeth have moved.

3. My favorite snack in the world is peanut butter on graham crackers. They have to be Nabisco graham crackers and I have to have a BIG glass of cold milk with them. Sometimes, for a bit of variation, I have Nutella and graham crackers. Honestly, I eat this most every night. Sometimes I even eat them for lunch.

4. I like shoveling snow. In fact, I'm a little OCD about it. This drives my husband nuts. He would rather go out in one big shoveling fest and get everything that has fallen. I would rather put on and take off 25 layers many times throughout the snow storm and get it as it falls. Something about the instant gratification of cleaning the sidewalk and driveway thrills me. I'm sure if I lived in an area that received several feet of snow on a regular basis, I wouldn't enjoy this activity nearly as much.

5. No one alert the loony bin on this one, but I'm convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that our family met an angel. This angel's name was Charlie and he was a six foot five black man. Stop laughing. When O was four years old, she had to have major craniofacial surgery. We were at a new hospital, with new doctors, and I was nervous. The surgery she had at a different hospital, with different doctors prior to this upcoming one, didn't go well. She was given too much anesthetic or something and had problems with her heart rate. So, the night before the impending surgery, I was a mess. It was the evening before her surgery and we were going out to dinner with some friends, my parents and my mother-in-law. Behind my brave facade for O, I wanted to sit and cry. As we got ready to walk into the restaurant, Charlie the angel (no, not Charlie's angel) approached us, pointed at O and said, "God wants me to tell you that everything is going to be just fine tomorrow with your daughter. God is all around her, even right now, so you guys just go have dinner, relax, and pretend you're going on vacation because it's all going to be ok."

I almost fainted. How did he know? He couldn't have known and that's why I know he was an angel. After that, I had no choice but to relax because really, who can argue with God and a big angel named Charlie?

6. I wanted to be a podiatrist when I was in high school. I had it all planned out until Mr. Evil, my principal at the time, told me there was no possible way I could make it through medical school because I wasn't that good in math. After that, I completely shut that dream out of my mind. Words. They are powerful, powerful things. I see this former principal around town from time to time and I have to resist the urge yell, "DREAM KILLER!"

7. My twins were grown on lemon/lime Gatorade, Sprees, grilled cheese, and ramen noodles. These were the only things that did make me throw up. Gee, and people wonder why they were born with clefts. Hmmm, could it be that I was eating like a five year old?

So, that's me wrapped up in seven facts. Whew, I'm done.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Shakespeare Anyone?

I ran across this fun little gadget and have been having just the best time putting off mopping my floor by playing with it. It's so fun I need to share. The inner English nerd in me loves Shakespeare, so this could keep me occupied for hours.

You just insert whatever you'd like into the box, and VOILA! your own Shakespearean quote.

Here was my first one...

William Shakespeare

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever.
One foot in June Clever, and one on shore,
To one thing constant never.

Which work of Shakespeare was the original quote from?

Get your own quotes:

I don't know if I like this one. A foot in me? Ouch.

William Shakespeare

Away, you scullion! You rampallion! You fustilarian!
I'll tickle your June Clever!

Which work of Shakespeare was the original quote from?

Get your own quotes:

Well, gee, shouldn't we be properly introduced first?

William Shakespeare

Let's carve him as a dish fit for the June Clever,
Not hew him as a carcass fit for hounds.

Which work of Shakespeare was the original quote from?

Get your own quotes:

Yes, me thinks I am befit for some royal dining. My tongue doth long for something better than a PBJ or fish sticks.

William Shakespeare

Thou canst not say I did it: never shake
Thy gory June Clever at me.

Which work of Shakespeare was the original quote from?

Get your own quotes:

I can be pretty scarey. Just ask Mr. Clever.

William Shakespeare

June Clever, June Clever! Parting is such sweet sorrow
That I shall say June Clever till it be morrow.

Which work of Shakespeare was the original quote from?

Get your own quotes:

On that note, I'm outta here!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Public Service Announcement

Wondering how many children should be in your family?

Contemplating having more than two children? Does four sound just perfect?

Before having four or more children, ask yourself the following question:

"How much do I like doing laundry?"

Is it this much...

Does the sight of this many "darks" make your heart skip a beat?

If viewing these pictures makes you have cold sweats, nightmares, or nausea, I suggest you continue using birth control.

Otherwise, stock up on detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheets.

Monday, November 5, 2007

It's a wonder I get clean at all

I always love hearing about the lives of stay-at-home mothers on t.v. talk shows. My particular favorite is when they're on Oprah because she acts horrified, mystified, and amazed all at the same time. Usually this reaction is elicited from her when she hears about the hygienic practices of mothers. Some women only take the time to pee twice a day. GASP! Others forget to brush their teeth. OH THE HORROR! Still some choose to wear sweatpants and a ponytail in lieu of showering. ALERT THE MEDIA ON THIS OFFENSE AGAINST THE UNIVERSE.

Oprah always acts like it's the poor woman's fault that she does these things. It's not her fault. No one in her right mind would choose to only pee twice a day or live with fuzz on her teeth. She must do this because she has children. I'd like to share my experience with Oprah to illustrate exactly why most mothers feel the need to forget the shower entirely.

It was Friday afternoon. I had been cleaning the house all day in yoga pants, a t-shirt, hair in a ponytail, but I did have clean teeth. J had just gotten home from school and I needed to shower and get ready to go shopping with a friend that night.
O was taking a nap, and so J, L and K were downstairs watching PBS Kids. Looking back, I should've just snuck off because they wouldn't have realized I was gone, but I made the stupid mistake of saying, "I'll be in the shower."

This is code to children for, "Please come into the bathroom 40 times in a 15 minute period and interrogate me with questions."

So, I'm showering, life is good. I hear someone shuffling outside the door. I'm pretty sure it's J because while he doesn't mind bombarding me with questions while I'm showering, he does try to be polite about it. Then I hear:

"Um, can L and I go outside and play baseball?"


Door shuts. I return to showering.

Door opens.

"Mommy? (this time it's L) J wanted me to go outside. Do I have to wear a coat?


Door shuts.

Door opens.

"I have a question (J is now back) I need to practice my trombone, but should I do it now, or should I wait until I get done playing outside."

Getting mildly annoyed at this point, I tell him to go outside and take his brother with him.

Several moments of peace and quiet elapse and then the door opens. Now K has entered the show.

"MOMMY!?" (she's yelling to be heard over the water)

"Yes, K."


"Yes, K."

"Mommy, me want to watch t.v."

"I want to watch t.v," I reply, stressing the correct pronoun.

"Silly Mommy, you can't watch t.v., you're in the shower."

Insert scream of frustration here.

"K, isn't the t.v. already on?"

"J turned it off when went he went outside."

I had two choices at this point. Either have her wait for me to get out of the shower which would mean that she would stand in the bathroom asking me if I was done over and over again, or I could send her on a mission to find her brother. So, I told her, "Open the front door and ask J to turn on the t.v."

A few minutes pass and I think I'm in the clear when I hear footsteps.

"Mommy? K told me that she wanted to watch t.v. Is that ok?"

This is really too much I say to myself. There should not be a revolving door on my bathroom! I stuck my head out of the curtain and hissed, "Yes, it is ok. Why wouldn't it be ok? You all were watching t.v. just a few minutes ago and it was ok! You turned the t.v. off when you went outside and now your sister wants to watch it, so please, please, please turn it back on!"

"Sorry," he says in a sad voice.

Great, now I have guilt.

"Mommy?" (now L is back)

"What could you possibly need?"

The following will be written phonetically the way L talks because it's much more effective that way.

"Mommy, I don't want to pway outside with J anymore because I'm a yiddle cold. Ok? It's a yiddle cold outside. Why didn't you tell me it was a yiddle cold? I wore my jacket, but it was the one Grandma Leah got me for Cwismas yast year and that one isn't vaywee warm. I need my blue one out of the closet, but J told me that I would be fine in my other one. J is going to pwactice his trombone now, so should I watch him or can I pway on the computer for a yiddle bit? If it's ok, can I pway golf?

Right now, having soap drip into my eye would be less torture than this constant interruption.

"L, you can play on the computer. In fact, please don't even bother your brother because he doesn't like it when you sing along with him as he plays his trombone. And no standing in the hallway dancing either. Just go downstairs and play golf."

"Thank you, Mommy. You're nice. When we go to Yuke and Yora's house (translation: Luke and Laura's house) tonight, will you be there? Nope, that's right you and Yora are going shopping. I'm going to play with Yuke and Daddy. I haven't seen Yuke in a yong yong (long, long) time and I can't wait to play with him."


"Yes, Mommy?"

"Please go play on the computer now."

"Ok, Mommy."

Finally, I got out of the shower only to discover I had only one leg shaved. Funny, since I distinctly remembered shaving twice and then it hit me.

I had shaved the same leg twice.

And Oprah wonders why stay-at-home mothers don't shower. Come spend a day with me, Oprah, and it will all be crystal clear.