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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Come January

Come January we will be moving to Alabama.

It kind of makes me wish that when Rhett had that chipped out tooth, I had just let him keep it. I bet we would feel like we fit in better if I had.

Sigh.

I have never lived in the Deep South before. It will be an adventure.

This post makes it sound like I'm reluctant to move, but to be honest, I'm laid back about it all. When your world is the four walls of your home, it's so much easier to be fine with switching one set of four walls for another set of four walls.

As Rhett says, "If they sell chocolate in Alabama, you'll be just fine."

And really, isn't that the truth?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ahem.

I know I should be modest and retiring about this and pretend that I'm only telling you this because my husband is making me (yes, Pioneer Woman, I am looking at you). But I don't mind self-promotion.

Also, I've already told you I think I'm awesome. Despite the almost overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

So. There's this new blog magazine thing. It is pretty cool because it reviews all these blogs (You know how you never have enough blogs to read to completely avoid housework? This will solve your problem!) and it looks pretty slick, too.

This month I am a featured blogger. Hooray for me! Actually, I should really be groveling and thanking them for taking me despite the fact that I have blogged only like four times in the last year. But, whatever. I'm awesome.

Here is the link if you would like to take a look. I am on page 20ish, but look around. Have fun. Ignore your kids. Don't do the laundry. Heaven knows I'm not.

How I Will Get Famous and Stuff

In the last four days, I have eaten almost 100% candy. Breakfast? A fun-size Kit-Kat, a banana flavored Laffy-Taffy (banana flavor=fruit), and two Reese's peanut butter cups. Lunch? Three fun-size Nestle Crunches, a Fun Dip sugary stick, some candy corn, and again, a fruit-flavored Laffy-Taffy. Dinner? Snickers, M&Ms, Tootsie Rolls, and Milky Ways.

I should warn you off of this kind of diet, because just imagine the caloric intake here. And also, the lack of vitamins.

But, I'm going to make millions off of this because I've lost three pounds by eating nothing but candy.

I'm a freaking diet genius!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Oh, Halloween.

Contrary to family tradition, I did not throw a Hadley Halloween party. This is primarily because I am too busy, but secondarily, I didn't want to clean my house just to have it destroyed again. Also, Halloween sugar cookies? Doesn't that just sound exhausting?

I am working on numerous things for school which are neither interesting nor pertinent to most people. However, I don't let this deter me from doing my craptastic best. I have suddenly (and to the surprise of anyone who knew me as a student) achieved a reputation as an overachiever. My AT teacher would be shocked, surely, as would my mother.

Whenever I get my grades Rhett wants to know what my exact percentage was. Whether it is a 93% or a 98%, Rhett is always disappointed in me. This is because Rhett views any percentage over a 90% as wasted effort. If, for example, I were to get a 98%, Rhett will tell me that I worked 8% too hard. This is because Rhett is awesome, and I have decided that I need to adopt more of his life attitudes.

Anyway. Back to Halloween. Veevs dressed up as the great Kate Wetherall (from The Mysterious Benedict Society books), and yes, she had to explain that all night long. Spe wanted to be a skeleton. I had previously bought him some skeleton pajamas, and he was insistent that instead of a real costume, he just wanted to wear those pajamas. AWESOME! Jakers wanted to be a spider, but changed his mind, seventy million times, so he ended up being a lion. We had that from three years ago. Baby Logan was a rooster, which is also a tried and true costume.

We had a trunk or treat at our church, and one of our children who shall not remain anonymous in any way whatsoever (Jakers) pulled down his lion trousers and started urinating into the tall grasses in front of the church. I bet only a hundred people saw him. Because he is awesome.

That was our Halloween. A small recap:

1) I did not have a party.
2) No one got a new costume.
3) My child urinated in public.
4) I am awesome. So awesome it is almost embarrassing.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

MI-5

I can't stop watching MI-5. It's phenomenal. Not just because of Richard Armitage, although I love him, too. The show is on my local public broadcasting station, and we're off season now, so we're watching reruns. But I'm dying to know: ROZ? ALIVE OR DEAD?

I love the action, the Britishness, the awesomeness of the plots. But the real reason I love it is because Lucas has/had this American girlfriend who worked for the CIA, and lawsie mercy, is her American accent awful. I love it. For some reason, it makes me postively gleeful.

It's payback for all the times Americans slaughter the British accent and pretend they're doing it just fine.

Whenever Americans find out I lived in England for a year and a half, they almost always give me their best British accent. And by best, I mean, holy crap, what accent are you even trying for?

If you have it in your area, you should be watching MI-5. And if you're one of my British friends who is going to see the next season a whole five months before I am, ANSWER ME! ROZ? ALIVE OR DEAD? I must know.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Dying, dying, dead

So, I'm pretty sick right now. Not just the polite, slight-headache "I am not feeling quite the thing" of the Regency romances (God bless you, Georgette Heyer.), but more of the kind of sick where I just turned to Rhett and said in my hoarse-almost-dying-voice, "Look, if I die, please don't marry so and so." Rhett rolled his eyes, went upstairs to watch football, and left me with a sink of dirty dishes. I agreed to put off dying until the dishes were done, for the sake of my family.

Rhett hates it when I talk about my death as if it were impending (probably because the death rate in his family is seventeen thousand times higher than the death rate in mine), but I just like to know that my wishes will be respected, even when I'm dead.

When we were driving across Louisiana last year, we passed a mausoleum retailer (I have no idea what this line of work is officially called, but just roll with me here) off the freeway, in the middle of nowhere. It put me in mind of a few matters that I needed to discuss with Rhett. Just in case.

"I'd like to be cremated when I die, Rhett." It's true. I would rather be cremated than experience the indignities of embalming. Most Mormons prefer embalming, but I have never been overly concerned with conformity.

"No." Rhett was driving, and he didn't even bother to look over at me.

"No, I'm serious. I want to be cremated."

"No."

"But why? It would be cheaper." I believe that the bottom line is the way to Rhett's heart in almost every instance.

"No."

"But it's what I want." I also believe that Rhett wants to give me my way, all the time.

"So what? You'll be dead. I'll do what I want, for once."

"C'mon, Rhett. You can carry my ashes all over the place with you. You can have them mixed with paint and have an artist draw my portrait with paint that is made of me. So cool!"

"No."

"Why won't you let me be cremated?"

"Fine. I want to be buried in a mausoleum."

"Fine. I'll be cremated, you can have a mausoleum."

"No, wait, I want a crypt."

Sigh. "Okay, Rhett. You can have a crypt."

"Can I have a crypt keeper?"

"NEVER MIND! FINE! EMBALM ME! PUT POKY THINGS UNDERNEATH MY EYELIDS TO KEEP THEM SHUT! DRAIN ALL MY BLOOD AND REPLACE IT WITH EMBALMING FLUID! PUT BAD MAKEUP ALL OVER MY FACE AND LET PEOPLE KISS MY COLD, WAXY CHEEKS! FINE! SEE IF I CARE!"

"No, but really, I want a crypt keeper."

I have decided to put off dying until we can work this matter out. For the sake of my family.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Has Been A While, No?

Should I even bother anymore? (Not, of course, that I have been overbothered with this blog, obviously).

Anyway--a few random things that should have received their own posts, but were swept aside in a rush of other more important things like feeding kids, laundry, schoolwork, etc. Life has never been so busy around here as it is this semester.

1) On the second day of school, Spe sat at my kitchen table, drinking a Capri-Sun and having a cookie. "Mom," he said to me (so sincerely!), "How do you even play boys versus girls anyway?"

I hid a grin, and responded, "I don't know, bud. I think I've forgotten the rules. What do you think?"

"I don't know. They're chasing us, but it's not tag!"

My sweet boy.

2) My parents came and we all trekked to San Antonio to visit Sea World. It was a cold and rainy day, and my children discovered that I am the world's biggest baby when it comes to roller coasters. But aside from that, we had a great time. While we were there, Rhett, in an effort to shore up his position as my mom's favorite, asked her to show him how to find his genealogy.

A summation: My genealogy runs through the simple, hardworking folk of the Derbyshire Dales, Shropshire, and other various English places (there are also some Danish folk mixed in for good measure). One of Rhett's lines, on the other hand, runs straight into royalty, tracing back to the Plantagenet line, William the Conquerer, Roman emperors, etc.

It has been a trying time in our marriage. He is wont to say things like, "I'll just leave these dishes here for the peasants to take care of," or "I would say something crass, but my royal breeding won't permit me." (Funny how it never stopped him before.) I am trying to keep him humble by reminding him that his pedigree is really a history of inbreeding, conquest, and oppression, but nothing works.

I may not be impressed, but my mom was, and for Rhett, that's the most important thing.

3) I am now working as a "temporary staff" member at my university. I am grading papers. This is farcical, because I despise grading papers. It was the only part of teaching that I hated. Yay! I get to do it again! Actually, I got on the computer to grade papers. Is anyone surprised that I wandered over here and decided that I simply MUST post before I grade papers? Procrastination is key to who I am as a person.

Monday, September 6, 2010

What Rhett says: Kids wouldn't it be fun to live in China?

What the kids hear: Pack up, kids! We're moving to China within the month!

What I hear from friends and acquaintances for the next three weeks: I hear you guys are moving to China.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

At Thirty-Three

Since I have turned thirty-three, Rhett has reminded me several times that if I were Jesus, I would currently be atoning for the world's sins and resurrecting myself in miraculous fashion. I encourage this kind of talk, because Rhett's penchant for irreverence is going to get him thrust into hell, which I think we've already established is the place that I have the best chance of landing a permanent home.

After Logan was born, I suddenly noticed, why no, it wasn't pregnancy making me look a little old, it was just that I am, in fact, starting to look a little old.

I'm not old, really. I know that. I'm young! I'm totally young. I'm too young, in fact, to have four kids, but here I am, pretending I know what I'm doing, trying to remember that they want to buy school lunches on Friday, that Veevs prefers her sandwiches with plain peanut butter, that Spe likes his tortillas rolled up with ranch, and that Jakers won't eat anything except yogurt and granola bars.

But if I look closely in the mirror, I can see that my skin no longer thinks it's very young. I have a little wrinkle in my forehead, where I have raised my eyebrows in disbelief one too many times. I have the beginnings of crows feet around my eyes. I have a spot on my face where the pigment is just gone. (Hello, Michael Jackson, I no longer think you are quite as ridiculous with your pigment-erasing excuses.)

So I'm trying all sorts of creams and lotions, which has had the effect of plumping up my pre-wrinkled skin, but has also made me break out like a teenager all over again. My choices are awesome: acne or wrinkles. WIN-WIN! I have tried to compromise by using the fancy creams and lotions only above my chin (which is the breakout central), but then I worry that I look like a complete freak: plump youthful skin above the chin, haggish wrinkly skin on the chin, one albino spot on one cheek, and a small wart (I didn't mention this previously, but hey, why not? What pride is left to me now?) on my lip from this last pregnancy (my doctor quasi-promised it would go away after birth, but he was wrong, wrong, wrong).

It's hard being this glamorous, guys.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Suppress Your Kinder Side--For Your Own Sake

May I suggest that the next time you wake up in a really cheerful, happy, loving mood, you suppress your desire to deviate from your normal morning routine in any way? Even if your desire is to provide your children with "a special treat" to show them how much you love them?

Because I've been having to make toast with sprinkles on it (like a cupcake) pretty much every morning for the last sixteen months. It's the new morning routine, and it makes me grumpy.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

In Which I Project My Anger Toward Ma Ingalls

Two weeks ago our dishwasher broke, which was not okay, not even close to okay, for two major reasons:

1) Rhett, as the person who does not actually DO the dishes, decided to wait until the July4th weekend to replace it so that there was the possibility that a sale would be occurring.

2) For some reason, this absence of a dishwasher made me so angry (furious even) at that smug Caroline "Ma" Ingalls from the Little House book series (not the show, which I never liked because Melissa Gilbert was never what I imagined Laura looking like, and don't even get me started on the plot liberties they took with that show--pfft).

You guys, washing dishes by hand for a family of six takes a long time. And in the Little House on the Prairie, Ma Ingalls makes it look super easy. Like Laura says things like (I'm paraphrasing here because I'm too lazy--no, scratch that--I'm too worn out from doing all the dishes around here to go and look it up--but I just read this book a week or two ago, so it's close), "After breakfast, Ma cleaned up the dishes and put away the iron spider and let the curtain fall over the opening of the covered wagon and so then the camp was tidy and clean again." Uhhh, Laura? You forgot to mention that this took her THREE hours and then it was time to cook lunch. And then THREE more hours and then dinner time. In fact, Laura, you forgot to mention that Ma spent her entire life washing dishes. AND MADE IT LOOK EASY, and NEVER COMPLAINED.

Please don't think that this is the first time I've ever had to do dishes. My grandmother, to this day, still doesn't have a dishwasher, and so when we went to visit her we always did the dinner dishes by hands. But seriously, doing them by yourself (without a dish rack) takes much longer than when your mother enlists her team of eight to whip the kitchen into shape. And you know, if that got too boring, I could always pretend I needed to use the bathroom while everyone else finished up.

Here at my house, if I pretend I need to use the bathroom, I come out and the dishes are still there.

And that is why I hate Caroline Ingalls. And Laura Ingalls, too, for that matter. Smug overachievers always rub me the wrong way.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Confessional

Tomorrow I will be heading to the movie theater for the "Summer Movie Fun Package of Old Movies Which Have Been Out of the Theaters for Over Two Years Now But We Will Still Play Them for You Anyway Just So You Can Get Out of the Heat (And Buy Candy)". My kids love going to the movies, mostly because we usually never do, so it's a real treat.

As usual, I will be sneaking candy in so I don't buy the overpriced junk there. This is a sin. I know it and you know it. It's dishonest. So is charging $4.00 for a pack of Bottlecaps, though.

I'm hoping that when I get to Judgement, in whatever form it takes, God will look over my list of sins and be all like, "I've got bigger fish to fry, sweetcheeks, so let's make this quick." In these visions I always imagine God as a district attorney or something, and I'm just like the little pawn in a bigger game: the drug mule for the ultra-violent cartel or maybe the victim-prostitute who informs on her pimp. And when the DA (God) offers a deal, I'll take it. I'll squeal on my neighbors who aren't married but are living together. I'll squeal on my other neighbor who lets her kids endanger themselves like on a daily basis. Why, just tonight I noticed that my neighbors had not yet brought in the garbage cans and the HOA rules clearly state that they have to be in by sundown on garbage collecting night.

But then I imagine that God will be like, "Fine, thanks for that information. I appreciate your cooperation. But I'm still going to nail you for swearing. And for believing in evolution. That's fifteen to twenty in the brimstone, baby. With all the people you informed on."

Oh, crap. I'm going to hell, right?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

On Capitalism

Saturday is our kids' payday at our house (It is also the day wherein you can hear Rhett say, "Dollah, dollah bills, y'all" over and over and over. No, that's not annoying at all, but thanks for asking.).

We love our money (or monies, if you ask Jakers). So much so that we like to raise monuments to capitalism.
In this photo, Jakers shows how, with a little help from taxpayers everywhere, risky assets can be managed effectively. It'll turn out fine, don't worry!

Spe wants you to know that banking can be very, very sexy.
Veevs, true to form, is using a more conservative model of banking. See, you can still build and expand with some funds, but keep most of your capital in reserve. Who knows what will happen tomorrow?Dammit, Jakers! Your shady schemes have caused this house of cards to fall down. There's a run on the bank! Quick, call the FDIC!

Don't blame Logan for this whole mess. He's a socialist.


A naked, chubby, happy socialist.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

On Hair Loss and Humor

Because I am losing my hair from nursing (and don't tell me this would stop if I would take my vitamins--NOT TRUE) I am finding my hair absolutely everywhere. On the floor. Clutched tightly in baby's fist. In cracks. (And yes, I mean cracks.) Just yesterday I found one wrapped around baby's neck. Which of course, reminded me that with just a few more hairs I could be living this poem, one of my favorites from Browning, whom I love for his fascination with mental psychosis. You wouldn't guess that about me, would you? Oh, you would. Well. Hmmm.

In other news, this blog entry here has been cracking me up lately. I keep revisiting and revisiting it to laugh. Thank you, Azucar, for this beautifully written satiric piece. Is it disrespectful to Swift (or Azucar depending on your outlook, I suppose) to say that it quite reminded me of "A Modest Proposal" in that it starts out sounding almost plausible and then gradually builds to sheer ridiculousness? Love it. (And only sort of because it burns Skousenites.)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Turning the Corner

For a while, I suspected that this son of mine might have a personality disorder:


I mentally checked off all the bad behaviors every day: hitting, kicking, pushing, headbutting, whining, yelling, screaming, whining more, yelling, screaming, demanding chocolate milk every three minutes, whining, whining, and oh, did I mention the whining? If this were someone else's blog and I were feeling particularly sanctimonious, I might leave a comment to the effect that he's only three, be patient, he's just being a normal three-year-old.

But this is my third three-year-old, and while undoubtedly my test group is not large enough to impress any researcher worth her salt, it is large enough for me to remember that my other children did not struggle with such wild emotions so frequently and for so long.

Quite frankly, I have been at my wit's end with Jake. I tried giving him more love. I tried giving him more attention. I tried being more patient. I tried being less patient. I tried being more strict. I tried a devil-may-care attitude (I'm naturally good at that one).

I can even go so far as to say that if it were not for his beautiful blue eyes and his winning smile, we may not have survived. And by we, I so clearly mean him.

I would rack my brains for reasons: Middle child syndrome? Terrible twos/threes? Rhett's genetics?

Last week it came to me like a flash from the heavens (and perhaps it was): this little boy is simply exhausted. So our new rule has been that if Jake wakes up before 7:30, he takes a nap. At age two, he stopped taking naps, flatly refused to lay down with me, and made the whole process so miserable and awful and painful that I gave it up. It was, I thought, not worth the fight. But having weighed personality disorder-like behavior with a little resistance to the nap, I have decided why yes, it is worth the fight. (Admittedly, he gives much less misery on nap days than he used to.)

He is much, much, much, much, much improved. I hate to jinx it, but I daresay we have turned a corner.

And now I can go back to my devil-may-care attitude to parenting. Thank goodness. The mental energy required in good parenting is, quite frankly, exhausting.

I might need a nap of my own.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Open Letters

Dear Mom--

You know how I used to use my pacifier to go to sleep? Yeah, I don't want to do that anymore. I would rather suck on a blanket. Or sometimes I like to use your pointer finger like a pacifier, but it's way more natural.

Also, since I'm opening up here, remember how I used to lay on your left arm to go to sleep? Could you switch it to your right? Cool. Thanks.

Not to be pushy, but remember how for like a week I really didn't want to nurse, and then I changed my mind and I wanted to nurse ALL the time, and then I decided I only wanted my bottle again? Well, I'd like to get back to basics again. Boobs, please.

Thanks--

Baby Logan


Dear Son--

Hey, I've got a friend, Dr. Ferber. I'm going to force an introduction here. Kisses!

Mom


Dear Dr. Ferber--

I'm such a fan of your "let's get these babies sleeping" method, but really? Do you really think you pioneered this method? You think cave women weren't like, "Wow, this kid's driving me crazy, but I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT TO DO!" Don't you think women have been letting babies cry themselves to sleep for eons without involving you whatsoever?

I'm just saying.

Heidi


Dear Son--

Forget my last letter to you. I will now be employing a method of sleep training called common freaking sense. It is exactly like Ferberization. You will love it just as much as Ferberization, I hope. I know I will.

Love, Mom

Thursday, May 13, 2010

They Do?

Sometimes when I'm in public with my four kids, people will look at me and my herd. Generally, the two boys will be trying to slip things into the shopping cart, Veevs will be engrossed in a book (my daughter, that one) and Logan is probably fussing (because it's been like an HOUR since he's eaten and he is STARVING).

As I'm trying to move the whole herd ("Boys! Don't touch ANYTHING, okay? EVER AGAIN, you hear me?" "Veevs, watch where you're going, please. Veevs? Veevs? Veevs? LISTEN TO ME!"), invariably someone will say to me,

"Oh, enjoy this time. It goes by so fast! They grow up so quickly!"

While I politely fight down the urge to fling my cart at them and say, "Then they're all yours, sister!" I usually respond with a very weary, "They do?"

Because I feel like I've been doing this for the past twenty-seven years (technically that would mean I had my first baby at . . . oh, forget technically. I'm too tired to do the math.). Diaper, feed, nap. Diaper, feed, nap. Temper tantrum, time out, screaming. Temper tantrum, time out screaming. Directive, no response, WHY WON'T YOU LISTEN? Directive, no response, WHY WON'T YOU LISTEN? For years.

I'm sure some day it will feel like my kids grew up so quickly. Just not today. Or tomorrow. Or the next day . . .

Sunday, May 9, 2010

In Which I Officially Am OLD

Yesterday, a little girl called me "Ma'am". Now, we live in the South, where it's acceptable to do that to anyone over the age of fourteen, but for me, it was weird. She passed me on the roller rink and blithely yelled, "Excuse me, ma'am!" or it might have been, "Coming through, ma'am!" but either way the message was clear--youth and vitality passing age and exhaustion on the left.

So I sped up (I am quite amazing on a pair of quads, you know) and passed her, just to show her that I still "had it". I am sure she had been wondering. And I said, "Excuse me, sweetie!" as I passed so that she would feel the same level of acceptable Southern condescension that I had been subjected to. Because I'm like that.

I've been called worse, so I'm not sure why I was so annoyed by being called Ma'am. One time one of my students said something to me like, "I'm not sitting down, you bitch." (I'm not adding the italics for fun, here. I can't convey the way this student said it without italics. Or maybe all-caps. Yes, he said, "I'm not sitting down, you BITCH.") He was in a fit of pique and as someone who often suffered from fits of pique during my high school years, I knew just how to handle it. I think I said (in the sweetest, most well-modulated tone I could manage) "Yes, I am a BITCH (or bitch if you prefer). How sweet of you to finally notice. Now sit down before I really get bitchy." He sat. We moved on.

He wasn't one of my honors students, by the way, and this is how you can tell: Honors students are always like, "Oh, Mrs. Hadley, you're so funny." "You're so cute, Mrs. Hadley." "Can we please read another poem by Robert Browning, Mrs. Hadley?" and "Why, yes, Mrs. Hadley, you do look better when you gain sixty pounds during pregnancy!" Because honors students? Three-quarters of their smarts can be attributed to the fact that they have figured out that teachers love to reward sweetheart students with good grades (By the way, I loved teaching Honors classes. It was like being served up a side of self-esteem every morning.).

So, anyway. The point of that post must be recapped, since it was so convoluted:

1) I do not like being called "Ma'am"
2) I will retaliate with "Sweetheart"
3) I don't mind being called "Bitch" but you have to really mean it.
4) I love Honors students (and all other students who loved me first).
5) I am really a great roller-skater.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

At the Beach: A Photo Frenzy

Something very funky is happening with my font, but I'm too lazy to fix it, so just read and pretend everything is normal. Borrow this coping mechanism from me, if you must.

We recently pulled Veevs out of school for a week and vacationed on the beach in Florida (yes, the same beach that is now imperiled by the oil spill--damn you, BP!) It was on this trip that I discovered Rhett had never taken a real beach vacation--the kind where you stay at the beach for hours, every day. He was quite taken with the beach.



Unfortunately, he was not so taken with the beach that he tried to dress attractively for the occasion. When he came out sporting these shorts, knee-high socks and brown tennis shoes, I raised my eyebrows and said, "Really?" He reminded me it was his vacation, too. Whatever.
We rented bikes and rode around on the bike trails. The kids sat on the back. Spe made the time pass by pinching his driver's bum. Jakers made the time pass by dragging his feet on the wheel, and baby Logan passed the time by vomiting all over himself (but he loved it!).


I could eat this baby. And quite honestly, I think I could eat two pounds off of him, and he'd be no worse for the wear. So chubby!


We vacationed with some of our best friends who moved away recently, whom we still miss fiercely. Jacob and their son were all up in each other's business pretty much the whole time just to prove that a two-year-old and a three-year-old don't know how to share, be friends, or use soft voices. As if we needed that theory tested.

Fun was had by all. You will note that there are no pictures of me here. This is because this is my blog, and I just had a baby four months ago, and back off, OKAY? Imagine me tall, willowy, and tan. Because reality bites.

No-Talent Talents

I've been thinking lately about talents (not in a church way) and I've come to the conclusion that the working definition of talents is seriously short (and also, by the working definition of talented, I'm so not talented). So, here's a list of skills that are really talents. Some of these I say are talents because I'm good at them. Others, like housekeeping, I say are talents because I'm not one bit good at them (see, it's not my fault! I'm just not talented).

1) Reading--I think this should be considered a talent, and not just a time-waster, and here's why: I read a lot. So quit thinking I'm lazy. I'm just extremely, extremely talented. When we first got married, Rhett asked me to teach him how to speed read. I laughed in his face, because here's the secret recipe: Read for six hours every day of your whole childhood, embracing the faux friendship of fictional characters like Anne of Avonlea, Jo March, and Nancy Drew to assuage the pain of the fact that you have no friends in the real world. Repeat, repeat, repeat. FOR YEARS. YEARS, I SAY!

2) Housekeeping--Most people think that if you're not good at this you are just lazy. But that's not really it. You're just not talented. Some people (Mom, I'm looking at you!) have a natural gift for organization and cleaning and stuff, and they really find joy in being all clean and on top of the laundry. These are the GT (gifted and talented) homemakers. Then, there's people like me who think, "I unloaded and loaded the dishwasher today. What more do you want from me?" These are the LD (learning disabled) homemakers.* One of the ladies in my book club has wrinkled fingers from using Windex like twenty-seven times a day. She swears it's a curse, and I'm all like "Windex? I think I have a bottle in the garage. Rhett uses it on the van windows." See the difference between the talented and the untalented? It's pretty obvious.

3) Scheduling--I have a friend who keeps her whole life in her head: hair appointments, doctor appointments, car maintenance, everything. That girl has talents, no? I have another friend who keeps her schedule on her calendar and never misses anything because she is religious about checking her calendar. She is performing at grade-level, methinks. And then there's me: I keep a meticulous calendar and forget to check it, therefore missing probably 30% of my appointments. I wish I were kidding, but a couple of weeks ago I forgot Spe had school in the morning until the carpool showed up. Because we've only been doing this for eight months now.

I had a few more, but when the baby cries, I answer (well, after five to ten minutes, anyway). Talentless, I tell you!

* Don't get all nasty at me thinking I'm making fun of kids with these labels. The real shame is that we have these labels in the first place for kids. THAT'S what I'm making fun of, okay?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Bling Factor

The other day we went to Costco as a family. As always, Veevs started lingering around the diamond display.

I immediately started my "How many legs do you think were cut off for this particular 2-carat diamond?" spiel. Veevs has heard it many times before and on an intellectual level she agrees with our anti-diamond stance.

"Oh, Mom," she sighs. "I know. It's just that they are so shiny." And then she lingered a little longer, looking at the sparkly diamonds.

I wanted to tell her it was just fancy lighting that made them look so shiny, but the way she looked at them (so longingly!) broke my will to teach her social responsibility.

I held her hand and we looked at them together for a few minutes.

"They are pretty, aren't they?" I said. She nodded. "C'mon," I said, "Let's go look at the toy aisle."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

On the Campaign Trail

Veevs decided this week that we needed a House President. She decreed, with dictator-like certainty, that our House President should be determined via a democratic vote. Shortly after her decree, these campaign posters were found on the refrigerator.


She is very cute. And also, quite the bike rider.


She is not above a little bit of dirty politics, however. Does Spe know how to read? I think she's implying a general unfitness for duty based on a lack of literacy.


This strategy may have backfired on her. When I saw this, I pledged my vote to Spe. Spe, by the way, was completely uninterested in the outcome of the election. He may have to watch out for a coup d'etat. The delicious taste of power is still in Veev's mouth. There's no telling what she'll do.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Irish Holiday

I love St. Patrick's Day as much as the next non-Irish person. Rhett always claims Irish, but I'm not sure how, since his family history stalled out in Boston with a woman of loose morals (read: prostitute). But he claims his beard can't be that red (his hair is dark brown, but his beard really is Irish red) without a little bit of Irish somewhere in him.

We celebrated in the way that we always do: green milk, courtesy of those naughty, mischievous leprechauns. We also usually have a treasure hunt for a pot of gold (read: golden wrapped Rolos and peanut butter cups) but I forgot to get those at the store, so we did that the day after. I told my kids the leprechauns were too drunk the day before to stop by, but that they would be sure to come by after their hangovers wore off (kidding!).

So today was the day of the treasure hunt. The kids were thrilled to find the candies in the bottom of my laundry hamper, wrapped in cellophane and tied up with a green ribbon. Jakers was so thrilled that he ate all of his candy right then, before breakfast. You guys, I gave them a lot of candy, too. Like a cantaloupe-sized package of golden chocolates. That kid has my genetic disposition for chocolate, and I couldn't help but respect him a little more for his ability to pound it down with no stomach ache.

It ended in disaster, however, as all my good mothering intentions do, when Jakers then proceeded to sneak into Veev's room and eat all the candy that she had. Drama, tears, wild accusations, and a call to the leprechauns to deliver some more candy (read: Rhett, who had taken the extra candy to work with him so as not to derail my why-the-hell-do-I-still-look-six-months-pregnant-diet and who also laughed and laughed and laughed when I told him of the not-funny-at-all incident) ensued.

When Rhett returned home, Veevs shared out a piece of candy to Spe, but I forbade Jakers from having any more as he had probably eaten his weight worth in candy already. More tears, drama, wild accusations, etc.

Happy freaking St. Patrick's Day everyone. Erin Go Bragh and all that stuff. Somehow it seemed a lot like every other day around here.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I'd like to say I'm back, but . . .

A long time ago, when my dad was serving as the bishop in our home ward, a young man came back from his mission and came to our house to visit my dad. One of my wise, post-mission siblings (or maybe it was me?) advised him that he would want to give himself some time before he started dating. (Do you know how awkward just-returned LDS missionaries are around the opposite sex? Trust me. It's not pretty.)

The young man said, "Oh, I'm back!" with so much confidence we just had to laugh.

He had been home for less than 24 hours.

I'd like to be able to say that I'm back in terms of my blogging, but the honest truth is that life is busy around here. So I'm here. Now. That's all I can say about it.

Here's our latest baby, Logan. He is fat, fat, fat and hey, so am I, so it works great!


Not fat enough for you? Try this one, although there's a gormless look to him in this shot that I can't approve of. And red eyes. Because I'm too lazy to edit this picture. I'm here now, okay?


He has proved to be the most delightful baby--a great sleeper, a laid-back soul, a sweet-tempered fourth baby. I don't know why I get so lucky with sleeping babies, but I know better than to question it. The reason I know better is because when Veevs was sleeping twelve-hour stints at three weeks, Rhett made me call the pediatrician and ask what was wrong with her.

And then they laughed at me.

While I'm working pictures (unedited, of course), here are some of the other kids, too. This is mostly for Grandmas, but you can look if you want:

Christmas pajamas. Rhett and I also have a pair, but I'll spare you the glory of that spectacle.

This one I could just eat. I really could.

And now, I am no longer here. Maybe I will be back soon. Who knows?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Flux Capacitor

Rhett, as you know, has some quirks. But you guys, he just makes me laugh. And laugh. And laugh.

At his work the other day the copier was broken. He was trying to help get the jam out of the paper path (probably whilst cursing), but it was hopeless. The copier was just broken.

Andria, the administrative assistant, said, "Oh, let's just call the maintenance department." She dialed up the number and started putting in the request for repair. Rhett said, "Hey, tell them we think the flux capacitor is broken." (You remember the flux capacitor, yes? From the Back to the Future movie?)

So poor Andria. She says to the maintenance person, "We think it's the flux capacitor that's causing the problem." And then Rhett starts laughing. And so does the maintenance person, but the maintenance person says around her laughter, "Okay, I'll mark that down."

I don't know why, but I've laughed about that for weeks now. It doesn't hurt that someone from his work gave Rhett this shirt that he's been wearing around.