Thursday, July 30, 2009

Things I Have Made

Two of my boys were gone tonight so I decided to make a new thing for supper: a salad. I never make salads. They require a lot of chopping relative to how full they seem to make anyone. A salad's purpose seems to be to get people ready to ask for food for the remainder of the night.

This salad, however, had substance: ham, garbanzo beans, cheese, boiled eggs.

Joel was dutifully enjoying it and said, "This is really good except that the lettuce sort of gets in the way."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Things I Have Learned

I canoed on a river with my 5 children and a 70 year old woman who is stronger than I am.

I learned that I am 23 times more likely to have a car accident if I'm texting while I drive.

I drove.

I didn't text.

I saw 3 deer, one of which made direct eye contact with me expressing something like this:

Deer: You wanna go?
Me: No, you go ahead.
Deer: Really? You won't smash me with your car?
Me: I won't, but you'd better hurry because there are more cars coming.
Deer: Well, warn them that I'm here.
Me: Ok, I'll turn on my headlights. Whoops, no, hold on, that was my wipers. Whoop, ok, that was my blinker. Hold on. Don't run.
Deer: You're an idiot. Are you texting?

The moral of my story: I am 23 times more likely to run into a deer no matter what.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Weird Commercial

I took note of a commercial tonight. It claimed to make my life easier by something like 1000%. Which, I know isn't even mathematically possible but I took note nonetheless.

The commercial featured a woman and her laundry. She said how excited she was about the Purex 3 in 1 sheet. Her life was transformed by the fact that one sheet cleaned her clothes, softened her clothes and took out the static. Her final statement was: "Now all I have to do is fold!"

Tonight, I threw in my third load of laundry. I assessed how much trouble I had pouring detergent into the lid of the bottle and then pouring the detergent into the washer. I didn't have to assess how much trouble I had putting a dryer sheet in because I don't have any dryer sheets.

I have piles of unfolded laundry all, all, all the time. That is trouble. Potty training is trouble. Boys and lacrosse is trouble. Swimming in a hotel pool that someone had pooped in is serious trouble. (happened today) But when did pouring soap into the washer become so wearying?

Just let me know when the Folding Laundry Poop In Pool Alert Gnome is for sale. I'll take two.

Why Didn't I Think of That?

We just got home from a trip to Duluth. My boys each got a souvenir: a mood ring complete with a Pocket Guide To Your Moods Based on Color. Each ring cost $2.50.

This morning Levi looked at the color and then at his pocket chart. "It's blue. That means I am.... INCREDIBLY HAPPY! YES!!!"

Eli looked at his ring during supper. "Hey Mom," he said, sitting back in his chair. "I'm calm."

All of a sudden, it dawned on me. They weren't looking to see if their mood matched their ring, they were looking at the ring to see what mood they were in. My imagination went wild. What moods might I talk myself into if I could find my heart shaped mood ring from 1976: patient? well-mannered? organized? thrifty? all the fruits of the Spirit just by looking at my ring?

I now plan to buy mood rings for everyone in my family and then make my own Pocket Guide to go with them.

Blue: obedient
Green: content
Purple: servantlike
Yellow: scholarly
Orange: getting along with my siblings
Mixed colors: cook and clean for your mother

The possibilities are endless, and I may never need to discipline again.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Inner Being

I cleaned my face with Bath and Body's Uplifting Tamarind Nectar.

I washed my hair with Herbal Essence White Nectarine and Pink Coral Flower.

I put on clean pajamas that had been washed in Purex Cherry Blossom Vanilla detergent.

I brushed my teeth with Crest with Scope.

I climbed into bed and my husband said, "Hm. You smell like....warm bread."

The only possible explanation I have for that is that after 15 years and 4 months, the essence of momness has seeped into my innermost being and has trumped every scented personal hygiene product that exists.

I don't even bake bread.

I should be thankful though. There are a lot of other things I do that, if I smelled like any of them, (Kraft Macaroni and Cheese; Luv's Diapers; Mowed Lawn; What Is In This Tupperware; Walmart) my husband might ask me get up and do a little fragrance spritz. Of Warm Bread.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Getting Ready

One thing I have at least thought about doing to get ready to be a parent again-again-again-again-again-again is to try to eat healthy foods and exercise. To that end, I have been making soymilk smoothies with fruit every, ohhhhhh, 4 days or so.

At noon I ate carrots with hummus and drank a cup of green tea.

Just now, I polished off 4 pieces of licorice, half a Snickers bar and a hazelnut latte.

I'll go take a multivitamin.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Things I Have Done

A friend and new mom just wrote about locking herself out of the house with her "baby in tow." My first thought was that I would have locked myself out of the house with my baby inside. And that led me to try to encourage her with all the things I have done as a mom that might make her feel better:
*shut Emma's entire hand in the car door when she was less than 2 years old

*dropped Grace on her head in a parking lot when I tripped and fell over a piece of bright yellow CAUTION tape

*left Eli in a shopping cart in an aisle at the grocery store because I honestly forgot I had him

*started to walk out of the Marine General Store without Zeke because I honestly forgot I had him

*let Emma fall off a picnic table because I was busy being horrified at Gracie who was eating a cigarette butt

Well, that's the walk down So You Want To Be A Mom Memory Lane. I'll soon remember 10 more things that would get me fired if this job didn't have such incredible security. But that's enough for now. Hope everyone feels a lot better about their parenting.

A Great Addition

I got an email from our adoption agency about some new employees. Each new staff's qualifications is listed. One is a "mental health professional" who will be answering questions, helping people through the wait time, referrals, court dates and travel.

I thought my agency couldn't get much better, but they just did.

I think the only thing missing is an Ethiopian Time Machine Find My Baby Pilot and we'd really be set.

Ok, I guess I'm set anyway. I'm reading Future Grace for the third time. A couple chapters of that and I'm ready to adopt the entire country.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The News

Last night I thought it would be impossible to learn anything more about Michael Jackson. Instead, I learned a fact I might consider being in the Top Five Disturbing Things About Michael Jackson.

He homeschooled.

I may never be the same.

Now, in addition to incredibly disturbing images of him with umbrellas, a weird nose, a white face, pressed lips and a creepy, breathy voice, I have to wonder:

What curriculum did he use?
Did he submit report cards?
Did they go on field trips?
What did he do for science?

And the most important question:
Did he ever wear a denim jumper and french braid his hair?

Monday, July 13, 2009

New Territory

I just crossed into new territory today. I bought a skirt to go with my swimsuit. Not a skirt to go with a tailored blazer or a skirt to wear on Sunday or a skirt to go to an important meeting. No, this is a skirt in which to go swimming. My husband does not even know.

Reading glasses, coming soon.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Trying to be a Good Mom

Three of my children went to soccer camp this morning. It gave me a chance to have a little date with Zeke. We went to the zoo. Gracie graciously accompanied us.

I have tried to balance the influence of teenage sisters on Zeke's growing up with having a childhood that a preschool teacher would recognize. A free zoo? Perfect.

We spent an hour there with me, dutifully reciting the proper names of the animals to a very wary Zeke. Maybe it's not so great being at the same level as the snow leopard who looks like he already knows what you would taste like if he could just get through the glass.

When we were done I asked Zeke what his favorite animal was. "The elephant," he said confidently.

"And what else?" I said, getting annoyingly similar to a Children's Zoo Expert Volunteer.

"The waterfall," he said.

And by the way, there were no elephants.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Today I went to Walmart (I know, again) where I watched my two year old lie down right on the floor. I got home and set him in a lawn chair on the front porch with a very blue, very Crisco-y sugar cookie. He got set outside on a lawn chair for two reasons:

1. I had to drink a cup of coffee before I had the energy to put him to bed. That's because I was tired from cleaning the kitchen to get rid of the ants that had decided to come to my kitchen and gather around food particles that I can't even see.

2. I didn't want Blue Crisco Walmart Cookie Crumbs becoming a meal for ant families who must lurk just outside the door.

I scraped the side of the van against a pillar in the Stillwater Library Parking Structure Made By Sociopaths.

I slammed my finger in the dishwasher.

I had to read a lot of my daughter's science to help her figure out the answers.

I thought I lost one of Zeke's doggies without which he will not sleep nor function.

I tried to order some school materials. The site spun and spun trying to calculate my shipping costs. The order was actually supposed to ship for free.

I fought with Joel about how to be sincerely helpful when I am drowning in the sea of futility and post traumatic Walmart stress syndrome.

Then I went on a walk. The heavens were declaring the glory of God. I chatted with my neighbor. My husband came and picked us up because he thought we'd been out for a long time. I had ice cream. I read my daughter's blog about how much she likes our family. I talked with someone about their newborn baby and realized that I have had the pleasure of 5. I have 50 junior high kids coming to my house tomorrow. I have 3 tablespoons of wine and 5 crackers with cheese.

That's a little summary of the day.
It got better.