Friday, January 25, 2008

I'm inside my house

obviously, because why would I be outside my house when it's (only) -35°? I can think of zero reasons why.

So I'm inside my house with a slew of my darling Husband's insanely charming family. There are oodles of toddlers (who are slowly coming to terms with the whole sharing concept), tons of tweens (who spray themselves with too much Bod and refuse to pry their faces away from the xbox), and a handful of sisters and brothers to help me keep said kids in line.

I'm not exactly sure how many extra people inhabit my house presently; I lost count at 37.

But there's lots and lots of alcohol.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Nom Nom Nom Nom

Monday, January 21, 2008

And then my head exploded.

Because if you knew me, you’d know that these crisis-type situations usually catch me off guard and this is why my husband needs to not be gone. I? Handle the bloody lips, the banged heads, the pinched fingers. All those immediate and not-so-catastrophic child emergencies that require the Mama. But true emergencies? Like my eleven year old Boy accidentally dropping an entire guinea pig cage WITH HER IN IT down a flight of stairs? Freak.Me.Out.

Oh my god is it DEAD??

Oh my god child please stop sobbing so!

Oh my stars and planets and spatial anomalies WOULD YOU JUST LOOK AT ALL THE POO ON MY STAIRS??

Hi. I’m Melissa Nibbles. I just plummeted down seven stairs and here I live to tell about it. I’m fine actually, thanks for asking. As it turns out, guinea pigs bounce. Didn’t know that did you? May I perhaps nibble on a strand of your delicious-looking hair and squeak softly in your ear?

Why yes, yes I am incredibly cute, soft and cuddly. And yes, I also happen to be the replacement pet for the red-headed agama lizard that went to the Great Desert In The Sky, or so to speak, a few days ago. Let’s just say we all hope Mama doesn’t mistakenly reach into the freezer for some scrumptious chicken breasts and inadvertently grab the frozen reptile awaiting his spring burial. Because that would totally scar her children.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

And to think

these two aren’t even biologically related:

I know right?

I carried that little girl in my womb for nine months and breastfed her for six. I didn’t lay eyes on that little boy until he was five. And yet, in just the right lighting, they inexplicably pass for twins. With distinctly similar interests and boldly dissimilar personalities, these two children are a paradoxical exercise in parenting.

There’s something almost credible to the arguable belief that couples start to look like one another after years of being together.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Love is

being an 11 year old big brother dressed in an old Santa Claus suit. Love is knowing that your little brother has precious few years to believe and making those years last is essential to childhood. Love is not caring that your face itches and smells like 50 year old mothballs.

Find more love here.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Bright Friday nights

spent wrapped under a blanket watching my Better Half play Call of Duty 4 is, like, totally awesome. I don’t even care that my delicious muffin top is hanging over my comfy yoga pants and my hair looks as though it suffered through a four alarm fire earlier. None of that matters because only two of us are awake. 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. is when we allow ourselves swearword time. Stub your toe? Go ahead baby, yell “Fuck!” because the kids are sleeping and it’s just You and Me time. Wheeee! So it’s Friday night and I’m slummin’ it on the couch. And I’m okay with that.

Although it would be a nice evening for dinner out and wish-list stroll through Lowe’s, and I’m sure the local pub is just crawling with witty people willing to engage in jovial banter and light political discussion. Yes I said light; it is after-all, only January. And as much as I enjoy gnawing at the soft underbelly of the moral majority, I know loads of dubious goings-on and smear campaigns are likely in the coming months. So there’s no need to overdo it early. Save it. I like to think of these next few months as the “argument perfecting phase.” It’s the time I spend tidying up those sensible one-liners that even the most hardnosed social conservative has trouble refuting. And often times, just when I don’t think it’s humanly possible to get any thicker, another County Guy will crack an Obama/Osama association joke and slap somebody on the back. And I’m all “omg!!!!! Did you JUST think that up??? Because I’ve NEVER heard that one before and it’s so FUNNYY!!!!” Then I want to slap him in the head. Or in Ann Coulter’s case, I want to reach through my television and grab her Adam’s apple until she turns a rich shade of purple.

Apparently peaceful Friday nights really get my pants in a bunch.

I’m getting the Star Trek hand signal from the bedroom so I guess it’s Crazy Time.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The irony

of a January thaw is the conflict between what’s going on outside and what should be going on outside. It can really mess with a person. Our hats, mittens, boots, and snow-gear are piled and scattered throughout the mud room for what's felt like months now. Yet the warm sun and mild breezes on my hat-free head and lightly- jacketed body is confusing. My routine impulse is to grab for my sherpa-lined coat, push my feet into warm snow mocs, slip on the latest pair of mittens knitted by my sweet Mémère, and brave the bitter temps. (There arrives a moment on or around December 15th, when you no longer care if you get static head; you just want to be warm. I’m so there.) But temperatures ranging from 50° to 60°F? Almost makes me believe I’ll never need those bulking winter garments again this year! It must be spring because I’m wearing only my trés cool puffy vest (that my fashionably clever sister bought me for Christmas) and decorative scarf (which was one of my first ever kitting projects and looks more like a badly crocheted plant hanger than a scarf). Again I tell myself it must be spring because the heaps of fluffy snow are half their original size and the flattened grass looks as though it really wants to be green and glossy. My toddler and I even tramped in squishy mud today – if that isn’t spring, please tell me what is. Please tell me I haven’t still the frigid, snowy months of February and March to plod through. Please?

Because this sucks.

It’s not quite warm enough to do this:

and yet stuffing your hat and hood under a bicycle helmet somehow makes the 30 minute ride worth it. It seems a few zooms around the driveway can awaken those summer peddling legs and give you enough mental juice to get through the inevitable winter that’s yet to resurface. Like when you dream of flying – you know it’s a dream and will eventually wake up. But it sure is fun while you’re up there.

I know winter’s on his way back. He’s never failed me yet. With or without the groundhog’s silly shadow, winter will walk into my house without knocking, pull all my sweaters from the shelf and put two jars of hot cocoa mix in the snack cupboard. Because he’s good like that.

But I did make sure to point and laugh at him when I saw this:

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Very Bad Things

happen when children are allowed to play with Photoshop all by themselves. I thought my maverick approach to homeschooling would serve them well as they explored their creative inclinations with a little digital art. And a perfectly good photo of their mother:

Yes this is in fact me and not an alien duplicate of Fidel Castro.

Isn’t it just hilarious? Aren’t my children endearingly inspired? I’m so moved by their originality and creative talent that I want to take them into my arms and give them a snowy face-wash big hug!

Or how about this delightful rendition of Mother: Abducting Children and Sucking Their Brains Out With a Straw:

I feel pretty oh so pretty! Pretty and Witty and Gay!

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I wasn't kidding

when I said the Children break my stuff. Note the adorably naked toddler as he barbarically gives my Dyson the old 1-2 knockout.

Unsuspecting little thing didn’t stand a chance against his chubby-powered feet. Or as I like to call them at 3:00 am as they stab my kidneys – his clubs of death. Honestly. What’s going through his head as he boorishly drags the vacuum from the closet and begins dismantling it as unsympathetically as possible? This:

I’m quite sure that’s exactly it.

We keep telling ourselves we’ll have nice things when they’re grown and out on their own adventures. Then of course my mother reminds me that those will be the times when I most cherish their childish ways of destruction. Like the time I carved my initials into my parents’ new hutch. Apparently she just loves that work of art now.

I know I know. But it would be luxurious to own a kitchen table that didn’t show obvious signs of three children eating and drawing on it every day.

(150th post. w00t!)

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Monday, January 07, 2008

Perfectly buttered popcorn

made expressly on the kitchen stove in my new kitchen pots (wheeee! for christmas!) is a really good thing. Like scary good. My marvelous homeschooling mama/friend (frama? miend? there's got to be a nickname in there somewhere) taught me the classified technique of home made popcorn. There is NO WAY IN HELL I will ever enjoy a steamy bag of mircrowave popcorn the same way again. It'd be too much of a let-down. It's like the secret society of Orgasmic Popcorn just handed me a key to the golden gates of their city. Where fat, happy cows always give creamy butter and sunny fields of corn grow only the best kernals for popping. And then? She made me a thick, warm pan of hot chocolate from scratch. As in baker's cocoa scratch. My children looked up at her with chocolate-brimmed lips and buttery-glazed eyes in utter adoration. Could there be a more delicious afternoon snack after an hour of snowball fights? I didn't think so.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

During which I complain about

certain neighbors who frequently drop their kids off in my yard under the guise of “coming over to play” when in reality they just need free babysitting so they can drive around town looking for crack. Or whatever it is they do.

That is all.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

And that's when you know

just how much of an amazingly perfect mother you are. The loaf of homemade bread is cooling on the countertop – its warm, yeasty aroma filling your kitchen with happy expectations of sitting around the table with people you love. The edges of the spiced apple pork chops are crisping in the oven and the last of the water evaporates from the pot of garlic brown rice. The house smells good. My smallish people are quietly reading and playing with their stash of holiday toys.

I feel like today was worth more – like I somehow managed to get more organics into their bodies and meaningful ideas into their minds.

I smooth my smartly coifed hair and pick a few bits of lint from my pressed pants.

My darling toddler looked up from chugga-choo-chooing his wooden train and sweetly asked “what you cooking?” I revealed delicious secrets of warm bread, baked apples and tender pork chops – to which he took great offense and shrieked disgustedly “NO! I WANT CHIKIN NUGGITS!”

Just then the shiny Perfect Mother ribbon unpinned itself from my festive new year’s sweater and fell to the floor without making a sound. All that hard work! All that kneading and seasoning! I swept the floors three times today for god’s sake!

I cracked open the last lime beer in the refrigerator and told him to go watch some TV.

I think it’s back to yoga pants and peanut butter and jelly.