Tuesday, March 31, 2009

How I Love you Huckleberry Hound and Hershey's!

Apparently I am feeling very poetic today. I was strolling through the grocery store snagging some stuffs for dinner and my neighbor's birthday truffles and I started to channel my pal Miranda and Huckleberry Hound. I'm sure Miranda is completely flattered right now.

You can sing along if you like.

Oh my darlin'. Oh my darlin'.
Oh my darlin' Mo Magoo.
You know you're making me quite crazy
Oh my darlin' Mo Magoo.

You make me nutty
You make me loonie
You make me wanna lose my mind
But I guess I have to keep ya
'Cause the doctor says you're mine.

You would think after a trip like that I would resist the temptation to pump the children full of Hershey's Robins Eggs. But how can you turn down a candy that doubles as a cosmetic? (That's for you Cat!)


Tuesday Tribute: Here's to You "Normal."

If you've been reading the Zoo for a while you know that I seldom play very many memes here. Most of that finds it's way over to The Bowl. But today there was one that I couldn't resist. Jay at Halftime Lessons and Deb at Dirty Socks and Pizza are the host of Tuesday Tribute. It's a weekly opportunity to bow to someone or something other than our ginormous egos.

This is my first time playing along but I have read quite a few of the tributes in the past. Let's see if I can do the meme justice. My Tribute to "Normal."

Welcome to My Norm!
There's a dino in the dining room
And a pick up in the tub.
There's a martian on the ceiling fan
And an ape under the rug.
A watermelon's sprouted
Underneath the bathroom sink.
And something quite unknown
Is making such a stink.
I saw a walrus hiding
In the pillows on mom's bed.
She hasn't found my toad yet
Or I'd probably be dead.
My little sister just ate dirt.
The big one flushed the phone.
I think I should try hiding
Until my Dad gets home.
I think my mom is losing it.
She's about to blow her stack.
'Cause she may have just discovered
She's standing in dog yack.
I'm pretty sure at other homes
This scene might make you squirm.
But around these parts my mom would say...
Welcome to my Norm.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Mom Tip #67: Be Grateful for What You Have

It's my first day in two weeks without someone else's child in my house. I mean it! I even had surprise children yesterday. There's nothing like having someone else's children in your house to make you grateful for your own children. In case you missed it you can revisit my experience from last week at Mom Tip #66 (appropriate number, don't you think?).

So here are a few of my child related gratitudes.

I am grateful that Marmoset stopped stripping when she came to her diaper. Especially when I realized its contents. (Scratch that - I changed her and now she's decided to be naked.)

I am grateful that we have no where to be today since Rhino decided to wear Steeler's shorts with a burgundy sweatshirt. (And Marmie is naked. Not good for public outings. Wait, make that a double scratch. Rhino now has on camo pants with his burgundy sweatshirt.)

I am grateful that Orangutan didn't call my bluff this morning when I told her I would "come up there and get you!" Crashing the bunk beds was not on my list of things to do today. (Nor was staring at a naked toddler or a clashing 4 year old.)

I am grateful that my children don't like milk on their cereal sometimes. Clean up is so much easier when it only requires a vacuum. (And a naked Marmoset won't need a bath.)

I am grateful that my dog doesn't care what he eats sometimes. (Did he really just cover his eyes?)

I am extremely grateful for the secret stash of mini chocolate chips in the top of the freezer and the Belevedere on top of the fridge. Oh wait. That has nothing to do with my children. Well, not directly anyway.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Oh the Things a Blogger will Blog.

*Which should have the subtitle "She Hasn't Put the Leash Back On Yet"*
There are six children here today (in case you missed all my whining on Twitter) so I have not even thought about attempting any housework until the three visitors go home. Why would I even dream of running up a mudslide? So while they have been sweetly playing here in the playroom I have been supervising from my desk and Tweeting and following and stuff.
I took a minute to study my blogoversary ticker and my post counts and I am facing a decision.
It's 118 days until this blog turns 1. Who'd a thunk I would have made it this far? On top of that I only have 75 - well now 74 - posts until I hit 300. So here's the dilema.
Should I pace my posts so that I hit 300 on the anniversary? Should I shoot for 350 on my blogoversary? Or should I just celebrate one or the other?
And then you come to the fact that a little over a month later The Bowl will celebrate its blogoversary. To make 300 coincide with the blogoversary over there I would have to post 139 posts in 158 days. A little more do-able considering I take at least one day off during the weekend.
Of course then I'm looking at how to celebrate. I should try to host a giveaway or something but I don't have a clue how to do that or even what I would give away. Anybody want to make a donation or act as a coach?

This looks like a cool way to party!

I'm wondering if blogging is my therapy or if I need therapy for my blogging. I seem to think about this an awful lot. I was actually tossing this very problem around last night when I was supposed to be sleeping. That and what I would blog about if we started to have the severe storms that were forcasted for us. Then I started to freak out a little because what would I do if there were six children and no power.

Wait. Did I have a point? And what has happened to my playroom? I gotta run.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Are you Tired of Being Tangled Yet?

Because I know you all did exactly what I asked and crossed everything this morning so that you looked a little like this...

Looks painful doesn't it? Like Gumby and Smurfette had a little one. Kinda freaky really. Those chicks on the bottom really got a bum rap. What am I supposed to be talking about? Because I'm pretty sure it's not Gumby.

Oh yeah! You want to know if Rhino got pulled in the lottery! I called the school and Ms. Debbie the secretary answered the phone. I gave her my name and told her that I wanted to check the PreK list. She asked me to hold and then immediately said, "Oh wait! You're Tucker's mom?"

Deep breath before I said yes. Holding for a split second before she answered with...

Tension's killing you isn't it? It's this little thing I'm working on called plot development. You're supposed to create tense situations that keep your readers craving the answer to the conflict. Is it working?

"Sure, he's in! I hope we made your weekend!"

Are you kidding me? It took me a full 20 minutes to stop dancing long enough to realize that I was supposed to be on my way to pick O up.

So YES! We are in! Thank the Lord because with this week's track record, if I had to make two school stops on the way in the morning we would be late every single day of the year.

At first he wasn't thrilled because he thought O would be mad that he was going to school with her. O assured him that she was really excited because she would be able to look out for him and maybe she would get to see him in the cafeteria at lunch and she would make sure he found me in the car rider line. You know, take care of all that really important stuff. Now he feels better and he is ready to start getting ready for school.

The question now is how am I going to feel in August when it all really happens?


Grandkeeper Bought Them for the Wrong Kid!

This is who she bought them for.

This is what I've been looking at all morning.

She's a fashion plate, she is!

Cross Whatever You've Got People!

Today we have the big pull for the PreK lottery at school.

Today we find out if Rhino gets to make me nutty for another year or if he goes to school and makes Mrs. F nutty instead.

See, PreK is not mandatory here in Georgia because they don't have enough classes for the bajillion four year olds in the state. In day cares it's handled on a first come first served basis. In the public schools they have a lottery where they literally draw the names out of a hat.

Last year we were #49 on the registration list and O got pulled. You would have thought I had been given gold - I think I may have actually cried a little. This year the ladies helping with registration told me that there were a lot fewer registering so hopefully this means our chances are even better. Even so, if the people pulling the names just happen to be readers of my blog, "Please I beg you! Pull his name!!"

And it's not because my son makes me crazy. I mean, yeah, sometimes he does. It's more like I want to avail myself of the school's speech therapist. I was the horrible mother who didn't break her child of the pacifier in a timely fashion and now we are up against a very ugly impediment. We almost had to do translation for his vision test the other day because the tech was having a hard time understanding him.

So cross what you've got. We REALLY need this pull to go in our favor. Of course I'll be back after school to let you know how it went. In the meantime I may channel a Chinese contortionist and tangle myself up.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mom Tip #66: Set Boundaries!

**Editorial Note: While I understand that not ALL only children or children of divorced parents have issues with boundaries, the child in question is both. If your child fits one of those molds and does not fit my issue - a million kudos to you for being a rocking parent. If your child is neither and fits my issue - you need a swift kick in the rear.**

For the love of all things holy fellow parents, set some boundaries for your children. Not all behavior is acceptable.

Let's talk about this. If I walked into your home, strolled into one of your bedrooms, opened a dresser drawer and threw the contents all over the room, would it be acceptable? If I grabbed your purse or wallet and proceeded to distribute the contents to the four winds, would it be allowed? What if I pooped in the middle of your living room floor and then bit you on the leg?

The good news for you is that I don't behave like that. Would you like to know why? Because my parents taught me from a very young age that not only is it wrong in my own house, but it is even more rude, devestating and embarassing in someone else's. Can I share a little news flash with you? My children will not be doing it in your house if they come to visit. Would you like to know why? Because I have taught them that it is completely wrong to act that way in our house and incredibly rude, devestating and embarassing in someone else's house.

I have been spending time with a child who apparently has not been taught these things. This child happens to be an only child and the product of a newly divorced home. While I understand that both parents feel like they should allow a little leniency to "make up for their issues" I don't condone it. You want to make it up to her? Teach her to say please and thank you instead of "gimmee" and "I want." Teach her to share - not snatch. Teach her to wait her turn instead of bulldozing everyone out of her way. Teach her that destroying someone else's property is hurtful and rude.

But let me give you one more tip. Back your boundaries up. If you are setting boundaries, reinforce them when they are broken. Should my children ever lose their minds in any of the forementioned ways while we are in another person's home, you can bet your eardrums that I will be tip toeing on the fine line of violating the Geneva Convention. I will knock somebody's butt OFF!

And before you jump on me for that one, let me tell you something else. If you don't want to see me discipline my child (which I try not to do in public), don't give me the stink eye when my child is pouring a strawberry milkshake down the back of your shirt in a restaurant.

Should I have to take care of an issue in public (usually Target or the grocery store), you will see me get about two inches from my child's face. I will put my hands on either side of their face and mine so that they can't look anywhere but into my eyes. I will have a very quiet conversation that you will probably never hear and we will be done. If we aren't done, you will see a very hasty trip either to the restroom or to our vehicle.

I have three children. I do the same thing with all three. They know what is expected and they play by my rules. You know why? Because I'm the big person. I'm the adult and respect is a way of life in our house.

As long as I'm on a roll, let's cover one more base shall we? Chores. It is completely acceptable for you to ask your children to do chores. Quite honestly it is more than acceptable in my book. Someone looked at me cross eyed the other day when I mentioned to the exhibits that it was time to gather their laundry off of my bed and put it away. Yes, my five year old, four year old and even the two year old put their own laundry away. They also feed the dog, clean their rooms, bring me their dirty laundry, clean up their playroom and clear their dishes from the table. Yes, I help them with some of those things but they can do them on their own.

In my humble opionion, part of the problem with society is that people expect to be waited on hand and foot. Also part of that opinion is that the reason they expect it is because their parents never taught them personal responsibility or work ethic.

I have to go now. I just kicked a hole in the side of my soap box and if I plan to spout again anytime soon, I have to get my slaves to work fixing it.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Shove Sentiment!

Can I blip yesterday from the grid and try again? Seriously?

I was off to a wonderful start with getting all my blog posting up and commenting like a fiend. I didn't do much because I knew it was a short morning with O having an early release day. All was going well.

Then Marmoset and her pal decided to clean out all the gravel and sand in the bottom of the fireplace onto my livingroom floor. I can deal.

Then they emptied my purse and coupon organizer all over kingdom come.

We went to get O.

We came home, had lunch, and went down for naps. Pal decided to strip. I redressed Pal put her back down and took a shower. I came out of the shower and Pal has stripped again, this time distributing the contents of her diaper for me. Marmoset only got an hour nap.

I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to keep Marmie and Pal where I could see them at all times while still making sure Rhino got to the potty on a regular schedule and O had a steady supply of snacks for her tapeworm. Well, it HAS to be a tapeworm. No healthy child eats like that!

Then we handed Pal off to second sitter and packed up for Rhino's check up. We've been away from the city for two years now. I forgot how nasty traffic is especially in the rain. It took me 10 minutes to get within a mile of the doctor's office. It took me another 25 to actually make that mile.

Then it was an hour for the checkup, vision, hearing, and "shops" as Rhino calls them. Did I mention that it was still raining? That meant that traffic was still snargled beyond belief so it was another 45 minutes to get home (a 15 minute drive without traffic but who am I kidding? There's always traffic!).

I followed all the other chaos up with a disasterous dinner for everyone (who burns corndogs?) topped off by a blue birthday cake with white icing. It was his birthday; if he wanted Smurf cake who was I to say no? At least I talked him out of the blue frosting.
Did I mention that I've been in a perpetual allergy attack all day? Sneezing, itchy eyes, snotty head, and stopped up ears. Did I also mention that I have Pal and Rhino's BFF again tomorrow after I register Rhino for school?

If I'm not on drugs already (which I may be...I'm not sure) I probably should be.


I wrote this last night before I went to bed and I was revisiting in hopes that I had a better perspective. I don't. Did I mention that I lost the keys to my van at some point in all the chaos last evening? Did I mention that I searched all morning only to realize that I left them in my hooded sweatshirt which was going in the laundry? I should have known it wasn't going to be a much better day.

So Rhino's BFF didn't come today after all because he's under the weather. But Pal is back. Stab me in the ears. Another cleaning out of the fireplace. More pinching and scratching. There's a Mom Tip in this. I'll be back when I can tip and not rant.

Where's my coffee? It's entirely too early for an "Uh Oh" moment.Photobucket

Wordless Wednesday - Sentimental Journey

Four years ago you entered the world early and with such a ruckus. I should have known then that you were a very special child.

As we watched your personality develop we began to realize just how special you were.

You weren't just the only boy in a house full of girls. You were the one who would be the orneriest, stubbornest, and funniest.

Between your crazy faces and your crazy sayings, we have never stopped laughing at you. Even when we feel like you are tap dancing on our last nerve by refusing to potty train.

Four years has gone by so incredibly fast.

Just this once it's ok if you don't listen when I tell you to "grow up."
Happy Birthday, Rhino.

Your Zookeeper loves you very much.
(But could you please stay out of your nose!)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Well, That's Good to Know.

Apparently you really can stave off panic with panic. That preemtive strike I attempted earlier worked. Three of my spares exhibits won't be coming this afternoon. They will all be here all day Saturday but I can prepare for that. Of course Saturday we're supposed to be experiencing some severe weather but there is always my pal playdough, movie party and nap.

Maybe I should freak out on people more often.

Preemtive Panic Attack

Thank you. I needed to do that so that I don't do it in about three hours. What happens in three hours you ask? Thank you for caring. My home will have eight people in it. I will be the only one over eight years old. Unless you count the dog.

Let's take a roll call shall we?
K1 - 7 in a few days
K2 - 5
Orangutan - 5 (5 days younger than K2)
Rhino - 4 tomorrow
K3 - 3
Marmoset - 2 in two weeks
and R - 2 on Sunday.

What was I thinking? And I promised them that I would make chocolate chip cookies for snack. Did I mention that it's about to start raining any minute? Me and seven children. In the playroom. All afternoon.

It was nice blogging for you. I'll be in my padded cell tomorrow.

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Mother's Sleep

For the briefest of moments last night I thought about blogging about how nice it was this weekend to get some nice, deep, restful sleep. Then I went to bed.

What is it about becoming a mother that totally destroys your sleep?

It starts in pregnancy when you can't get comfortable no matter how you position the pillows or which side you lay on. Even before the belly shows up you wake up to morning sickness which makes you dread going to sleep in the first place.

Then you give birth and we all know what sleeping with a newborn is like. You hear every sigh, every squeak and every whimper. That's not terribly restful sleep either.

Now in my case I had my children back to back so I have stayed in newborn sleep mode for four and a half years. All the children are sleeping through the night now so what do I do? I switch beds and rooms and roomates and disrupt the whole thing. So we're back to broken sleep.

Friday we had a really busy day of being outside and running and playing and carrying on so everyone slept like the dead. Saturday we had a similar night. So it's not a surprise that as I laid down last night I was thinking that maybe the end was in sight. Maybe I would get to go back to sleeping through the night in a deep and comfortable sleep in my own bed.

Nope. 1:30 AM Orangutan calls me into their room to tell me that Marmoset woke her up by singing. Marmie looked up at me and said, "You sing too Mama?" So I ended up laying down with her until she started to drift off. Once all was quiet again I went back to my bed and snuggled in.

3:30 AM Rhino taps me on the nose and tells me that Marmoset is trying to climb into his bed. I check all the beds and she is sound asleep in hers. When I got back to my bed to tell Rhino that he was dreaming he was sound asleep sprawled all over my pillows and wadded up in the blankets.

6:45 AM Orangutan calls me from her bed that she's ready to get up and get ready for school.

And another night is lost to being a mother.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Want a Dose of Old?

Guess how I've spent my morning?

Rounding up the paperwork for Tuck's PreK registration next week.

How's that for a dose of "How Time Flies!"

So far I have rounded up the old social security card, birth certificate, and a utility bill for residency verification. I booked his doctor's appointment where I will snag the immunization form and the hearing and vision check. The only thing left is a trip to the dentist which of course I am dreading because we already know he needs work.

And I was wondering why my head was throbbing.

This little guy is getting ready to go to school?


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Planning my Summer

Now I know you all think this is a little premature - especially those of you who are still looking at snow. Here's the thing. Spring break is in two and a half weeks. We all know that spring break is really just a dry run for how nutty things are going to get over the looooooong summer break. That being said, I think it is completely appropriate for me to start planning now.

Here's my list of things that I would be willing to do, vlog and blog for the small fee of some corporate sponsorship. Hey! They are getting behind all kinds of techno Internet promos now and I'm a pretty entertaining person if I do say so myself so I can't see that I could severely hurt anyone. And I have Twitter, Facebook and my two awesome blogs on my side. So here's the list Corporate PR people. Feel free to contact me when you're ready to get behind me.

Remodel my house.
I was thinking that this one could be sponsored by a LOT of companies thus spreading the cost out and minimizing the impact on any one company. I think some appropriate sponsors would be Home Depot (we all know how I feel about Homer), Bed Bath and Beyond, Pier One, Rooms To Go, Behr or the DIY Network. Duct Tape or 3M could also get involved because child restraint and painters tape would definitely be involved. See guys, all you have to do is provide the supplies. I'll provide the sweat, swearing, and crying.

Redo my entire landscaping front and back.
Homer, you are in on this one too. DIY you could come hang out too. Caterpillar, I know you guys are in need of some good face time and I'm sure there are some trees to come down or other front loader/skid loader projects (like spreading topsoil) so I saved some space for you. You may want to send a licensed operator though because I can't guarantee my heavy machinery skills.

And the BIG ONE that I would really knock out of the park for everyone - The East Coast Road Trip!
I have Winnebago, WalMart or Target, and Exxon or BP tagged for this one. Rand-McNally we'll be needing your help too unless Tom Tom or Garmin wants to kick in (just in case Winnie gives me a model that doesn't have a navigation system). I'll go to whatever East Coast landmark or city you want. But know this; if you choose some educational spots, you would expand your campaign base by labeling yourself the Education Company!

So you ask yourself what you get in return? You get your name plastered all over every blog, vlog and my forehead related to your endeavor. You get my dry wit and humor. And you get one free commercial on network TV because you will undoubtedly be so awestruck by my mad skills at PR that you will want to sign me for an enormous contract as a spokesperson.

I should offer a claimer that I really would do all of these things this summer if funds were available. I should also note that while I am not a review or PR blog you can bet your paint rollers and Tang that I would take every single one of these companies up on their offer if they said they would do it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Laughin' my Pushers Off!

Can I just tell you how much I love my Rhino? I swear he gets funnier every day.

Yesterday I was making PB&J's for lunch and of course being the on top of it mom that I am I had forgotten to take some bread out of the freezer the night before. For the record 15 seconds is just about perfect for defrosting 2 slices of frozen bread in the microwave. So I popped two slices in and turned around to see Rhino scratching his behind.

Dude! What are you doing?
"My pushers are itchy."
Your WHAT?
"My pushers."
What are pushers, son? And with that I turned to take the first slices out and put the second slices in. I turned back around to see my beloved son with his behind hanging out of his drawers.

"See Mom! These are my pushers."
By this point I wasn't just grinning anymore - I had started to giggle. "Why do you call them pushers, exactly?" Thinking that maybe he had mistaken the word tush for push.

(Ready for it?)

"Because they push my butt around and make me wiggle when I dance like this!" Please picture a very enthusiastic puppy wagging its tail. You know how they kind of wiggle all over? That's what your pushers do.

I literally hit the floor. I'm still giggling and on the verge of tears as I type this and this is the third time I've told the story. As certain members of my family might say, "That boy ain't right!"

Monday, March 16, 2009

You Might Not Want to Call 911.

We got love you packages from our favorite Z.I.T. today and the fun has been boundless. Well, it was fun once I convinced Orangutan and Marmoset that they could wait until after bath to put on their new pajamas. That part wasn't so fun.

Now the empty boxes have been converted into cars and more specifically police cars complete with steering wheels and walkie talkies.

Orangutan took hers off for a minute so she could decorate it and the Security Dog tried to bite it. She used her best gruff officer voice and told him, "Do NOT eat the police car! If you eat a police car you will get a ticket and get thrown in jail and you will have to eat mashed potatoes for the rest of your life for breakfast and lunch and dinner and even for your snacks."

I asked her if that is what people in jail have to eat. "Well something like that anyway!"
Officer Rhino has been busy chasing down bad guys in his unmarked car (he didn't want to decorate his) and has so far found three stores that were being "battacked (that's not a typo) by ugly bad guys." Because apparently all bad guys are ugly.

Officer O drew a "12" on the back of her car. I asked her if it was her car number and she said, "Yes. And I'm car #12 because I have arrested 12 bad guys so far. " The Grand Keeper was on the phone at the time and asked what they had done to be arrested.

"Some were robbing purses, and some were sticking up people, and some were robbing the bank. Well, a lot were robbing the bank but I got them all!"
Look at me. Raising such upstanding citizens. Who apparently would rather live in Idaho.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Another Economic Cutback.

I'm sure it comes as no surprise when I tell you that The Zoo has been impacted by the recent upheaval in the economy. So we've been doing what all of America has been doing - looking for ways to cut back in our spending. We'll today we went for the gold.

The Zookeeper took a few hours this afternoon to decompress and ended up buying a set of hair clippers complete with scissors, guards, combs and an instruction booklet. That's right Zoobies! The Rhino was in need of a haircut and while the $18 dollars I spent on the clippers would have covered the haircut at Snip-it's I was approaching this like an investment. If I was investing in entertainment, aggravation, and disaster, my return has been the best ever.

Let's talk entertainment. L.M. Lion was fancying himself a barber today so he put Rhino on one of the bistro chairs and got down to business. Surprisingly the back of the neck and the beginning stages went fairly well. But then it was time to head for the ears.

"Bud! You can't put your hands there!"
"Buddy! I have to be able to see your ears if I'm not going to cut them off."
"No! I didn't mean I was going to cut your ears off. I just don't want to cut you."
"I did NOT cut you!"
"Be still; I'm almost done."

"Well, crap. I messed that up, didn't I?"

It's not the Rhino's best haircut ever but he's a cute kid so he can carry it off. Let's just say that I think I might take a swing at the next haircut - it should be due right AFTER Easter.

Then (in mid-cleanup)..."If we can skip taking Rhino to the salon, do you think we could do the dog too?!" There was a little too much enthusiasm in that question and the next thing I knew the dog was in the hot seat. At least it was a much quieter encounter, but it WAS a two man job.

That's not snow on my sweatshirt and sweatpants.

The economics work out pretty well if we can master the technique. Clippers? $18. Haircut at salon for Rhino? $18 + tip. Grooming for Security Dog? $40 + tip.

Providing the Zookeeper with this much blog fodder? Priceless!Photobucket

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Mother's Legacy

L.M. Lion and I were watching West Wing (thank you Bravo syndication) the other week and they were talking about the President's legacy. What would his legacy be? How would people remember his time as president.

Of course it went into my brain and I chewed on it and worked it around and I started to wonder. Political officials and celebrities and "big" people aren't the only ones with legacies. Parents definitely have a legacy - a pretty big one if you ask me. But you don't have to have children to have a legacy. Normal people (because parenting is NOT normal - we've established that here at Zoo Suburbia) have a legacy too. I of course was wondering what my legacy would be. I mean, I'm not much more than a mom. Yeah, yeah. Wife, daughter, sister, friend. But my main title in life and the name I go by most often is Mom.

I know what my mother's legacy (so far) is. My mother gave me the gift of cooking. One of my first memories of our "new" house - the house I grew up in - was pulling a chair up to the counter and helping to make a birthday cake. Cooking is so much a part of me now that I have a whole shelf on the bookcase dedicated to cookbooks, the most important one being a copy of the one my mother used to teach me to cook.

My mother also took on the painful task of teaching me how to sew. I say painful because I was not the most patient of students, would get frustrated easily and probably left more porjects unfinished in her sewing cabinet than I actually finished. But now I have a skill that allows me to make my own dresses, skirts, gauchos, capris and who knows what for the kids. Advanced skills? No but enough to make my children happy.

Probably the biggest legacy my mother has given me is how to pray. There is a generally held consensus in our family is if Mom is praying, get out of the way. Something is going to happen. And I try. I try to pray sincerely and powerfully like my mother.

So now I am setting out on my own parenting journey trying to leave a legacy of my own. I will never know what my legacy is but I certainly hope that I can pass at least the lessons that my mother passed to me. After all, who has a more powerful legacy than a mother?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mom Tip #65: Sometimes our Job just Stinks.

I'm not talking about the smells. Eau de poop and barf is definitely not one of the highlights of being a mom. Just the same there are so many other aspects of our job that stink that the smells really just act as a little whipped cream and cherry on top of all the other odor.

The hours stink. We are up at the butt crack of dawn (no offense to any Dawns in my audience - I'm sure your butt crack is adorable) and really have to hit the ground running. We can say that we sit in the quiet and savor our fabulous coffee, but chances are that if someone were to put a hidden camera in our house, they would find that we have the coffee in one hand and we are picking out clothes or washing dishes with the other.

But I got sidetracked (SURPRISE!). We cover the whole day working inside and outside our home and then we clock out (or not) and we head home (or not) to fold laundry, feed small and large mouths, bathe people, read stories, tuck in and call it a night. But we don't call it a night because now we are sneaking into rooms and putting away the laundry, washing dishes, paying bills, picking up toys and trying to get our heads on for the next day. We fall into bed only to be jarred awake by some noise in the middle of the night or we open our eyes to see a big toe on the end of our nose. Our hours stink.

The pay. Now some of my fine readers may very well have good paying careers outside of the home but sentimentality be flushed. I love my children and their hugs and their kisses and giggles. They really are something special. But it sure would be nice if someone really did pay me that $114,000 that some ridiculous government agency determined my work to be worth. And even nicer if they paid me in something other than a namby pamby tax break or day care credit. Pay me in the green.

Ahh Hah! I figured out the real stimulus package! Pay the stay at home moms and working moms for their parenting time. We in turn will hire teenagers to babysit while we go to spas and nail salons and malls and crafting and writing conventions. Or maybe we'll start our own businesses that will stimulate the ecomony. We will be spending that money you gave us. We will be providing jobs for working class people. As Mrs. Dolly Levi said, "Money is like manure. It does no good unless you spread it around." (Name that musical and a bonus for the person who names the actress who played her. Double bonus if you can tell me who the leading man was.)

Anyway, I'm just saying that for all the joy that being a mother can be, it's not a job for whiners and wimps. It's a job for selfless, dedicated, determined, focused people with no olfactory nerves.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: A Day at the Park

Waiting for a breeze.

Coming down!

Hi Mom!

In search of more Wordless Wednesdays? Head over to MomDot and peruse some folks with more camera talent than me.

And don't forget about Show me the Funny tomorrow at The Bowl!