Friday, September 28, 2007

The Family Routine

This video was just sent through my mommy message board and it is too true not to post here. This man has some real talent.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Kitchen Weariness

This is an actual disorder. Although it is not yet recognized by the CDC. I plan on making Kitchen Weariness my new cause. To fight for moms everywhere. The first step is education, so let me explain.

Kitchen Weariness occurs when a mom hears one of the following phrases one too many times:

"Meatloaf again! Oh man."

"Mom, I don't like this. Can I have some dessert?"

"I'm afraid if I eat this I might throw up."

Actual gagging sounds while eating.

"Can't we have something good for dinner tonight?"

At this point we throw our hands up in disgust because our ungrateful children have not eaten anything in at least 21 days. It is then that dinner denial sets in. We let dinner time slip by without cooking anything and then when the hunger cries begin to surface we whip up something totally satisfying, if a bit unhealthy. Like popcorn. Now popcorn on it's own isn't an unhealthy snack, but as a dinner entree, it leaves a little to be desired. But at this point you are just ecstatic to fill their bellies with anything that has a vegetable in it's name.

I used to get away with that pretty often, but now I have older children. I just know that they will run and tell their friends that they were allowed to have ice cream sundaes (milk group) for dinner and I will become that mother who doesn't care about the health of her children in all of those snooty PTA circles that I don't fit into anyway.

So, I had to come up with a solution. With 7 dinners to cook each week and 5 children...well, you do the math. Works out pretty good, huh? Each child (excluding Memphis of course) has a night where they must plan and help prepare dinner. That means that there are only 2 nights a week that I have to plan and prepare a dinner that everyone will complain about and nobody will eat! (Friday doesn't count, it's pizza night.)

It's been working out great so far. Of course, one night Carson planned a lovely pb&j with a succulent mac-n-cheese on the side, but what do you expect from a 3 year old? Brianna has made us some wonderful garlic cube steak and also some impressive enchiladas. Meyson made tacos and a really good lasagna. Cody has only had this opportunity once, but she made a fabulous spaghetti-a-la-Cody (spaghetti noodles with no sauce, just parmesan cheese). I did finally convince her that we should make some sauce for the rest of us.

I love not having to plan all of the meals and the kids really enjoy learning and encouraging each other. That's great and all but the real payoff came today. Meyson was describing his dinner plan and Carson said, "I hate lasagna," and Brianna followed on the heels of that with, "What!? No dessert?!?" Meyson turned to look at me and exasperation overtook him as he said, "It's never enough!" weariness. Doesn't feel so good to be on the losing end of that one does it? I think he may be the first man (ahem) to ever have experienced this disorder. My work is done.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Duct Tape Diaries

When Carson was about 15 months old I started to have a major problem with her. Whenever she was in her bed at night or for a nap she would take all of her clothes off including her diaper. Later I would find her naked, asleep, and usually laying on wet sheets. I thought it might just be a short phase that would become boring in a day or two. I was wrong.

This went on for a week before I consulted my mommy network for ideas. I received lots of practical advice:

"Put her in footed, zip-up pajamas." She figured that out after the first night.

"Put her diaper on backwards." I really thought that might work, but I was up against a will power equal to the force of gravity. This technique didn't even make it through one nap time.

Then one day while taping up a box with duct tape, I had a revelation. Duct tape fixes everything, right? So the next time I put her in bed I wrapped a strip of duct tape around the top of her diaper. Voila! A solution that finally worked. So, for the next 5 or 6 months that was the routine twice a day.

So yesterday I put Memphis down for a nap, occupied Cody and Carson, and went to lay down myself for a little while. When Memphis woke up and started to make noise, Carson came in and asked me if she could go play with him. They both seem to enjoy this even though Memphis has to "play" from the crib, so I said yes and put my head back on the pillow.

A little while later Memphis started screaming and I got up to see what all the commotion was about. I walked in the room to find that Carson was also in the crib with Memphis. I have no idea how she got in there, but that's an exploration for another story. The more remarkable detail here is that Memphis was completely naked.

Given her history of nudism (not even sure that's a word) I immediately blamed Carson. I kept asking her why she had done it and I kept getting answers like, "because I love him," or "because I wanted him to come to my tea party." Oh yeah. Naked tea parties. Those are the best.

To bring this long story to a close, I put Memphis down for a nap today and when I went to get him I found him naked, asleep, and laying on wet sheets. All by himself. Looks like the days of duct taped diapers have returned.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

He Told Me So

I post enough stories about silly things that other people do on this blog, I guess what goes around really does come around.

Brad and I were cleaning up the kitchen the other night and we came to a big bowl of spaghetti noodles from a few days before. You see, I have not quite adjusted yet to how much food is necessary to feed us all and so sometimes we have a lot left over. I'd rather it be that way than send the kids away still hungry.

Anyway, Brad was putting the noodles down the garbage disposal (or dispose-all if you ask him) about three or four at a time and I was growing impatient. I said, "You know this thing works really well," and began to shove the noodles down the drain.

I guess I don't have to tell you what happened next, but I will anyway. The sink became a raging torrent of gummy liquid. Nothing would drain. We proceeded to pour anything we thought might help in there: ice, vinegar, coke, nothing was off limits.

Of course this only added to the height of the liquid in the sink and fueled the fury with which it swirled. At one point the disposal actually threw up at Brad.

In an attempt to lessen the volume of gelatinous mess, we were scooping it out of the sink with large bowls and dumping them outside. Brad was carrying a very large, heavy bowl full of water when he sneezed and...well you get the picture. It wasn't pretty.

Fortunately he was able to see the humor in the situation and we were both laughing uncontrollably. And, my man fixed the sink the next morning. Yep, six months ago I would have had to call a plumber but no longer.

Through the whole ordeal I could see the I told you so in his eyes, but he never said it. So let me concede. Brad, you were right. Next time I'll just throw the noodles in the trash.


Monday, September 03, 2007

A Thief Among Us

One morning last week Brad, Memphis, Carson and I went bunk bed shopping for Brianna and Cody. I had an ulterior motive when I suggested that we start out at the children's consignment store. I figured, hey, I got him used to the idea of buying beds, maybe I can somehow disguise the really cute clothes I find as a bed. My excitement over the adorable outfits I had found quickly faded though when I got to the register.

I opened my wallet and thought, wow, this thing feels really light. I reached for my bank card and it wasn't there. In fact, there was nothing there. That pocket of my wallet holds 2 debit cards, 2 credit cards, my driver's license, and several other important cards. Gone. All of them.

I was fighting the urge to throw up all over the counter in front of me as I thought of where I was the last time I used them and how many places I had been since then. Fortunately it didn't take me very long to remember that I definitely had them the night before and that we had only made one other stop that morning: my mother's office where I had left my purse in the unlocked car in the parking lot.

So I called my mom in a panic wondering if she thought someone would open our car, find my purse, open my wallet, and remove only the cards (not the cash). Seemed far fetched to me, but there just wasn't any other explanation.

I began to dread the rest of the day because I knew it would be spent calling several different card companies, waiting endlessly on hold, and possibly having to deny charges made by someone other than myself. As if I didn't have anything better to do.

Then, in a moment of brilliance, I thought I had better ask Carson if perhaps she had seen the cards anywhere:

"Carson, did you play with Mommy's wallet this morning?"

Nod, nod.

"Did you take some cards out of Mommy's wallet this morning?"

Nodding while holding up one, then two, then three, then five fingers.

"Do you know where they are now?"

"Uh-huh. Follow me." And she galloped off as if to lead me to some super secret buried treasure.

There, in the cabinet under the tv was a nice little stack of very important cards. She reached in and grabbed them like she was handling something made of glass and presented them to me so proudly. I felt like I had just won the grand prize. I was really too relieved to be mad, but we did have a long talk about how we don't touch other people's stuff. She has no idea what kind of mayhem she almost caused. One day, when she grows up, I'm going to teach her children how to hide Mommy's credit cards. I can't wait!